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Title: New Ideas in India During the Nineteenth Century - A Study of Social, Political, and Religious Developments
Author: Morrison, John, 1856-
Language: English
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NEW IDEAS IN INDIA DURING THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

_A Study of Social, Political, and Religious Developments_


BY THE
REV. JOHN MORRISON, M.A., D.D.
LATE PRINCIPAL, THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY'S INSTITUTION,
CHURCH OF SCOTLAND MISSION, CALCUTTA, AND
MEMBER OF SENATE OF CALCUTTA UNIVERSITY


LONDON
MACMILLAN AND CO., LIMITED
NEW YORK: THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1907



PREFACE


The substance of the following volume was delivered in the form of
lectures in the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh during Session
1904-5. As "Alexander Robertson" lecturer in the University of Glasgow,
the writer dealt with the new religious ideas that have been impressing
themselves upon India during the British period of her history. As
"Gunning" lecturer in the University of Edinburgh, the writer dwelt more
upon the new social and political ideas. The popular belief of Hindu
India is, that there are no new ideas in India, that nought in India
suffers change, and that as things are, so they have always been. Even
educated Indians are reluctant to admit that things have changed and
that their community has had to submit to education and
improvement--that suttee, for example, was ever an honoured institution
in the province now most advanced. But to the observant student of the
Indian people, the _evolution_ of India is almost as noteworthy as the
more apparent rigidity. There is a flowering plant common in Northern
India, and chiefly notable for the marvel of bearing flowers of
different colours upon the same root. The Hindus call it "the sport of
Krishna"; Mahomedans, "the flower of Abbas"; for the plant is now
incorporate with both the great religions of India, and even with their
far-back beginnings. Yet it is a comparatively recent importation into
India; it is only the flower known in Britain as "the marvel of Peru,"
and cannot have been introduced into India more than three hundred years
ago. It was then that the Portuguese of India and the Spaniards of Peru
were first in touch within the home lands in Europe. In our own day may
be seen the potato and the cauliflower from Europe establishing
themselves upon the dietary of Hindus in defiance of the punctiliously
orthodox. _À fortiori_--strange that we should reason thus from the
trifling to the fundamental, yet not strange to the Anglo-Indian and the
Indian,--_à fortiori_, we shall not be surprised to find novel and alien
ideas taking root in Indian soil.

Seeds, we are told, may be transported to a new soil, either wind-borne
or water-borne, carried in the stomachs of birds, or clinging by their
burs to the fur of animals. In the cocoa-nut, botanists point out, the
cocoa-nut palms possess a most serviceable ark wherein the seed may be
floated in safety over the sea to other shores. It is thus that the
cocoa-nut palm is one of the first of the larger plants to show
themselves upon a new coral reef or a bare volcano-born island. Into
India itself, it is declared, the cocoa-nut tree has thus come over-sea,
nor is yet found growing freely much farther than seventy miles from the
shore. One of the chief interests of the subject before us is that the
seeds of the new ideas in India during the past century are so clearly
water-borne. They are the outcome of British influence, direct or
indirect.

Here are true test and evidence of the character of British influence
and effort, if we can distil from modern India some of the new ideas
prevailing, particularly in the new middle class. Where shall we find
evidence reliable of what British influence has been? Government
Reports, largely statistical, of "The Moral and Material Progress of
India," are so far serviceable, but only as _crude_ material from which
the answer is to be distilled. Members of the Indian Civil Service, and
others belonging to the British Government of India, may volunteer as
expert witnesses regarding British influence, but they are interested
parties; they really stand with others at the bar. The testimony of the
missionary is not infrequently heard, less exactly informed, perhaps,
than the Civil Servant's, but more sympathetic, and affording better
testimony where personal acquaintance with the life of the people is
needed. But of him too, like the Civil Servant, there is some suspicion
that in one sphere he holds a brief. This, indeed, may be said in favour
of the missionary's testimony, that while the Anglo-Indian identifies
the missionary's standpoint with that of the native, the native
identifies him with the Anglo-Indian, so that probably enough he
occupies the mean of impartiality and truth. The British merchant in
India may also offer as evidence, and indeed is "on the spot," and
apparently qualified by reason of his independence. But the interest of
his class is professedly limited to India's material progress; and of
his general views, we recall what Chaucer said of the politics of his
"merchant,"

  "Sowninge alway th' encrees of his winning."

And finally, in increasing numbers, natives of India themselves are
claiming to pronounce upon the effect of the British connection upon
India; and yet again we feel that the proferred evidence must be
regarded with suspicion. That Indian is exceptional indeed whose
generalisations about India are based on observations and historical
knowledge. If the Civil Servant's honour is bound up with a favourable
verdict upon the question at issue, the educated native is as resolved
upon the other side. Nay, truth requires one to say that at this time
the educated Indian is virtually pledged against acknowledging any
indebtedness to Britain. For the reason why, we need not anticipate, but
it is foolish to shut one's eyes to the unpleasant fact, or to hide it
from the British public.

Where, then, is the testimony that is reliable? Is there nothing else
than the disputing, loud and long, of the six blind men of Indostan who
went to _see_ the Indian elephant and returned,

  "Each in his own opinion
  Exceeding stiff and strong,
  Though each was partly in the right,
  And all were in the wrong!"

From preferred testimony of all kinds, from all affidavits, however
honestly sworn, we turn again to the ideas now prevailing as they
_betray_ themselves in the lives of the people and the words that fall
from their lips. Carefully studying earlier history, we ask ourselves
wherein the new ideas differ from the ideas current in India a century
ago. Then as progress appears, or is absent, the forces at work stand
approved or condemned. The exact historical comparison we may claim to
be a special feature of this book.

The writer is not ignorant of the delicacy of the historical task he has
set himself. He claims that during the twenty years he spent in India he
was eager to know India and her sons, read the pamphlets and articles
they wrote, enjoyed constant intercourse with Indians of all classes and
religions, reckoned, as he still reckons, many Indians among his
friends. He claims that during these years it was his pleasure, as well
as a part of his professional duty, to study the past history of India.
Ignorance of Indian history vitiates much of the writing and oratory on
Indian subjects. As a member of the staff of an Indian college, with six
hundred University students, the writer claims to have had exceptional
opportunities of entering into the thoughts of the new middle class, and
of cross-questioning upon Indian problems. In India, students "sit at
the feet" of their professors, but let it not be assumed that the
Oriental phrase implies a stand-off superior and crouching inferior.
Nay, rather it implies the closest touch between teacher and taught. All
seated tailor-fashion on the ground, the Indian teacher of former days
and his disciples around him were literally as well as metaphorically in
touch. The modern professor, successor of the pandit or guru, enjoys
intercourse with his students, as full and free, limited in truth only
by his time and his temperament.

Judging by the test of the new ideas in India, the writer has no
hesitation in declaring that the British regime has been a great
blessing to India. Likewise, whether directly inculcated or indirectly,
some of the best features of Christian civilisation and of the Christian
religion are taking hold in India and becoming naturalised. Called upon
as "Alexander Robertson" lecturer in the University of Glasgow to
deliver a course of lectures "in defence of the Christian faith," the
writer felt that no more effective defence could be offered than this
historical survey of the naturalising in India of certain distinctive
features of the Christian religion and of the civilisation of western
Christian lands.

Of this also the writer is sure, whether he possess the qualifications
for the delicate task or lack them--there is a call for some one to
interpret Britain and India to each other. In their helpless ignorance,
what wonder that Britons' views are often incomplete and distorted? On
the Indian side, on the other hand, the terrible anti-British feeling
now prevailing in India must surely be based on ignorance and
misunderstanding, and in part at least removable.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Rev. Alexander Robertson, a probationer of the Free Church of
Scotland, although never in office, died at Glasgow in 1879, leaving the
residue of his estate for the endowment of a lectureship as aforesaid.
As trustees he nominated two personal friends--the Rev. J.B. Dalgety, of
the Abbey Church, Paisley, and James Lymburn, Esq., the librarian of
Glasgow University. These two gentlemen made over the trust to the
Glasgow University Court, and the writer had the honour of being
appointed the first lecturer.

The Gunning Victoria Jubilee Lectureship in the University of Edinburgh
was founded by the late Dr. R.H. Gunning of Edinburgh and Rio de
Janeiro, in the year 1889. The object of the lectureship was "to promote
among candidates for the ministry, and to bring out among ministers the
fruits of study in Science, Philosophy, Languages, Antiquity, and
Sociology."



CONTENTS


    I. THE NEW ERA--SOME LEADING WITNESSES                             1

   II. INDIAN CONSERVATISM                                            11

  III. NEW SOCIAL IDEAS                                               21

   IV. THE CHIEF SOLVENT OF THE OLD IDEAS                             39

    V. WOMAN'S PLACE                                                  50

   VI. THE TERMS WE EMPLOY                                            65

  VII. NEW POLITICAL IDEAS--A UNITING INDIA                           72

 VIII. NEW POLITICAL IDEAS--FALSE PATRIOTISM                          88

   IX. NEW RELIGIOUS IDEAS--ARE THERE ANY?                           103

    X. THE NEW RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS OF INDIA IN THE NINETEENTH
       CENTURY--INDIAN CHRISTIANS AND BRAHMAS                        120

   XI. NEW RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS--[=A]RYAS AND THEOSOPHISTS        132

  XII. THE NEW MAHOMEDANS                                            144

 XIII. HINDU DOCTRINES--HOW THEY CHANGE                              148

  XIV. THE NEW THEISM                                                166

   XV. JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF                                          184

  XVI. JESUS CHRIST THE LODESTONE                                    194

 XVII. INDIAN PESSIMISM--ITS BEARING ON BELIEF IN THE HERE AND
       HEREAFTER                                                     213

XVIII. INDIAN TRANSMIGRATION AND THE CHRISTIAN HERE AND HEREAFTER    223

  XIX. THE IDEAS OF SIN AND SALVATION                                239

   XX. THE IDEA OF SALVATION                                         254

  XXI. CONCLUSION                                                    269



NEW IDEAS IN INDIA


CHAPTER I

THE NEW ERA--SOME LEADING WITNESSES

  "The epoch ends, the world is still,
  The age has talked and worked its fill;

  The famous men of war have fought,
  The famous speculators thought.

    See on the cumbered plain,
    Clearing a stage,
    Scattering the past about,
    Comes the New Age.
    Bards make new poems;
    Thinkers, new schools;
    Statesmen, new systems;
    Critics, new rules."

    MATTHEW ARNOLD.


India is a land of manifold interest. For the visitors who crowd thither
every cold season, and for the still larger number who will never see
India, but have felt the glamour of the ancient land whose destiny is
now so strangely linked to that of our far-off and latter-day islands,
India has not one but many interests. There is the interest of the
architectural glories of the Moghul emperors, in whose grand halls of
audience, now deserted and merely places of show, a solitary British
soldier stands sentry over a visitors' book. For the great capitals of
India have moved from Delhi and Agra, the old strategic points in the
centre of the great northern plain, to Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, and
Rangoon, new cities on the sea, to suit the later over-sea rulers of
India. There is the interest of the grand organisation of the British
Government, holding in its strong paternal grasp that vast continent of
three hundred million souls. Sometimes the sight of the letters V.R.I,
or E.R.I. (Edwardus Rex Imperator) makes one think of the imperial
S.P.Q.R.[1] once not unfamiliar in Britain. But this interest rather I
would emphasise--the penetration into the remotest jungle of the great
organisation of the British Government is a wonderful thing. By the
coinage, the post-office, the railways, the administration of justice,
the encouragement of education, the relief of famine,--by such ways the
great organisation has penetrated everywhere,--in spite of faults, the
greatest blessing that has come to India in her long history. Travelling
by rail from Calcutta to Benares, the metropolis of Hinduism, situated
upon the north bank of the sacred Ganges, we see the British rule, in
symbol, in the great railway bridge spanning the river. By it old India,
self-centred, exclusive, introspective, was brought into the modern
world; compelled, one might say, by these great spans to admit the
modern world and its conveniences, in spite of protest that the railway
bridge would pollute the sacred stream. Crossing the bridge, our eyes
are fixed on the outstanding feature of Benares--city of hundreds of
Hindu temples. What is it? Not a Hindu temple, but a splendid Mahomedan
mosque whose minarets overlook the Hindu city, calling the city of
Hindus to the worship of Allah. For the site of that mosque, the Moghul
emperor Aurangzeb ruthlessly cleared away a magnificent temple most
sacred to the Hindus. Concerning another famous Hindu temple in the same
city, listen to the Autobiography of another earlier Moghul emperor,
Jahangir. "It was the belief of these people of hell [the Hindus] that a
dead Hindu laid before the idol would be restored to life, if in his
life he had been a worshipper there.... I employed a confidential person
to ascertain the truth, and as I justly supposed, the whole was detected
to be an impudent imposture.... Throwing down the temple which was the
scene of this imposture, with the very same materials I erected on the
spot the great mosque, because the very name of Islam was proscribed at
Benares, and with God's blessing it is my desire ... to fill it full of
true believers." These things I write, not to hold up to condemnation
these Moghul rulers, but to point out by contrast the voluntary
character of the influence during the British and Christian period. For
there is in India a grander interest still than that of the British
political organisation, namely, the peaceful gradual transformation of
the thoughts and feelings, the hopes and fears, of each individual of
the millions of India.

[Sidenote: The nineteenth century in India--a conflict of ideas]

The real history of the past century in India has been the conflict and
commingling of ideas, a Homeric struggle, renewed in the nineteenth
century, between the gods of Asia and Europe. Sometimes the shock of
collision has been heard, as when by Act of Legislature, in 1829, Suttee
or widow-burning was put down, and, in 1891, the marriage of girls under
twelve; or when by order of the Executive, the sacred privacy of Indian
houses was violated in well-meant endeavours to stay the plague [1895-],
great riots ensuing; or when an Indian of social standing has joined the
Christian Church. At other times, like the tumbling in, unnoticed, of
slice upon slice of the bank of a great Indian river flowing through an
alluvial plain, opinion has silently altered, and only later observers
discover that the old idea has changed. Not a hundred years ago,
students of Kayasth (clerk) caste were excluded from the Sanscrit
College in Calcutta. Now, without any new ordinance, they are admitted,
as among the privileged castes, and the idea of the brotherhood of man
has thus made way. The silent invasion is strikingly illustrated in the
official _Report on Female Education in India_, 1892 to 1897. On a map
of India within the _Report_, the places where female education was most
advanced were coloured greener according to the degree of
advance--surely most inappropriate colouring, though that is not our
business. The map showed a strip of the greenest green all round the
sea-coast. There the unobserved new influence came in. The _Census
Report_ for 1901 showed the same silently obtruding influence from over
the sea in the case of the education of males. Many such silent changes
might be noted. And yet again, the most diverse ideas may be observed
side by side in a strange chequer. In the closing years of the
nineteenth century, the University of Calcutta accepted an endowment of
a lectureship "to promote Sanscrit learning and Vedantic studies," any
Hindus without distinction of caste being eligible as lecturers; and
then, shortly after, agreed to the request of the first lecturer that
none but Hindus be admitted to the exposition of the sacred texts, thus
excluding the European heads of the university from a university
lecture. Perhaps the lecturer thought himself liberal, for to men like
him at the beginning of the century it would have been an offence to
read the sacred texts with Sudras or Hindus of humble castes. According
to strict Hindu rule, only brahmans can read the sacred books.[2]

[Sidenote: Indian ideas.]

For in all three spheres, social, political, and religious, the advent
of the new age implied more or less of a conflict. India has still of
her own a social system, political ideas, and religious ideas and
ideals. In the Indian social system, caste and the social inferiority of
women stand opposed to the freedom of the individual and the equality of
the sexes that prevail in Great Britain, at least in greater degree. In
the sphere of politics, the absolutism, long familiar to the Indian
mind, is the antithesis of the life of a citizen under a limited
monarchy, with party government and unfettered political criticism. In
the sphere of religion, the hereditary priesthood of India stands over
against the British ideal of a clergy trained for their duties and
proved in character. The Hindu conception of a religious life as a life
of sacrificial offerings and penances, or of ecstasies, or of
asceticism, or of sacred study, stands over against the British ideal of
religion in daily life and in practical philanthropies. To the Hindu,
the religious mood is that of ecstatic whole-hearted devotion; the
Briton reverences as the religious mood a quiet staying intensity in
noble endurance or effort.

[Sidenote: Testimony to the change in ideas]

The nineteenth century has witnessed a great transition in ideas and a
great alteration in the social and political and religious standpoints.
It is easy to find manifold witness to the fact from all parts of India.
The biographer of the modern in ideas. Indian reformer, Malabari, a
Parsee[3] writing of a Parsee, and representing Western India, is
impressed by the singular fate that has destined the far-away British to
affect India and her ideals so profoundly. Crossing to the east side of
India, we seek a trustworthy witness. The well-known reformer, Keshub
Chunder Sen, a Bengali, and representative therefore of Eastern India,
declares in a lecture published in 1883: "Ever since the introduction of
British power into India there has been going on a constant upheaval and
development of the native mind,... whether we look at the mighty
political changes which have been wrought by that ... wonderful
administrative machinery which the British Government has set in motion,
or whether we analyse those deep national movements of _social_ and
_moral_ reform which are being carried on by native reformers and
patriots." All Indian current opinion is unanimous with the Parsee and
the Bengali that a great movement is in progress. The drift from the old
moorings is a constant theme of discourse. Let Sir Alfred Lyall, once
head of the United Provinces, speak for the most competent European
observers. "There may be grounds for anticipating," he says, "that a
solid universal peace and the impetus given by Europe must together
cause such rapid intellectual expansion that India will now be carried
swiftly through phases which have occupied long stages in the lifetime
of other nations."[4] In another essay, in a more positive mood, he
writes of British responsibility for "great non-Christian populations
[in India] whose religious ideas and institutions are being rapidly
transformed by English law and morality."[5] In a third passage he even
prophesies rashly: "The end of simple paganism is not far distant in
India."

Sir George Bird wood has also had a long Indian career, and no one
suspects him of pro-British bias--rather the reverse. Yet we find him
writing to the _Times_ in 1895 about one of the Indian provinces, as
follows: "The new Bengali language and literature," he says, "are the
direct products of our Law Courts, particularly the High Court at
Calcutta, of Mission schools and newspaper presses and Education
Departments, the agents which are everywhere, not in Bengal only, giving
if not absolute unity yet community in diversity to the peoples of
British India." The modern literature of Bengal, he goes on to say, is
Christian in its teaching; if not the Christianity of creed and dogma,
yet of the mind of Christ.

It is that transition in ideas, that alteration in social, political,
and religious standpoint which we are going to trace and illustrate.



CHAPTER II

INDIAN CONSERVATISM

  "By the well where the bullocks go,
  Silent and blind and slow."

    RUDYARD KIPLING.


[Sidenote: Indian conservatism.]

[Sidenote: Is mere inertia.]

But while acknowledging the potent influences at work, and accepting
these representative utterances, it may yet be asked by the
incredulous--What of the inherent conservatism, the proverbial tenacity
of India? Is there really any perceptible and significant change to
record as the outcome of the influences of the nineteenth century? Well,
the expression "Indian conservatism" is misleading. There is no Indian
conservatism in the sense of a philosophy of politics, of society, or of
religion. Indian conservatism--what is it? To some extent an idealising
of the past, the golden age of great law-givers and philosophers and
saints. But very much more--mere inertia and torpidity in mind and body,
a reluctance to take stock of things, and an instinctive treading in the
old paths. "Via trita, via tuta." In the path from one Indian village to
another may often be observed an inexplicable deviation from the
beeline, and then a return to the line again. It is where in some past
year some dead animal or some offensive thing has fallen in the path and
lain there. Year after year, long after the cause has disappeared, the
feet of the villagers continue in that same deviating track. That is in
perfect keeping with India. Or--to permit ourselves to follow up another
natural sequence--things may quickly begin to fit in with the deviation.
Perhaps the first rainy season after the feet of the villagers had been
made to step aside, some plant was found in possession of the avoided
spot. India-like, its right of possession was unconsciously deferred to.
And then the year following, may be, one or other of the sacred fig
trees appeared behind the plant, and in a few years starved it out. Ten
years will make a banyan sapling, or a pipal, into a sturdy trunk, and
lo, by that time, in some visitation of drought or cholera or smallpox,
or because some housewife was childless, coloured threads are being tied
upon the tree or some rude symbolic painting put upon it. Then an
ascetic comes along and seats himself in its shade, and now, already, a
sacred institution has been established that it would raise a riot to
try to remove.

Visitors to Allahabad go to see the great fort erected upon the bank of
the River Jumna by the Mahomedan emperor, Akbar. One of the sights of
the fort, strange to tell, is the underground Hindu temple of "The
Undying Banyan Tree," to which we descend by a long flight of steps.
Such a sacred banyan tree as we have imagined, Akbar found growing there
upon the slope of the river bank when he was requiring the ground for
his fort. The undying banyan tree is now a stump or log, but it or a
predecessor was visited by a Chinese pilgrim to Allahabad in the seventh
century A.D. Being very tolerant, instead of cutting down the tree,
Akbar built a roof over it and filled up the ground all round to the
level he required. And still through the gateway of the fort and down
underground, the train of pilgrims passes as of old to where the banyan
tree is still declared to grow. Such is Indian conservatism, undeterred
by any thought of incongruity. Benares is crowded with examples of the
same unconscious tenacity. I have spoken of the ruthless levelling of
Hindu temples in Benares in former days to make way for Mahomedan
mosques. Near the gate of Aurangzeb's mosque a strange scene meets the
eye. Where the road leads to the mosque, and with no Hindu temple
nowadays in sight, are seated a number of Hindu ashes-clad ascetics.
What are they doing at the entrance to a Mahomedan mosque? That is where
their predecessors used to sit two hundred years ago, before Aurangzeb
tore down the holy Hindu temple of Siva and erected the mosque in its
stead.

[Sidenote: Yields before a persistent obtruding influence.]

[Sidenote: _E.g._ British influence.]

But Indian conservatism is more than an indisposition to effort and
change; for the same reason, it is also an easy adaptation to things as
they are found. When a new disturbing influence obtrudes from without,
and persistently, it may be easier to give way than to resist. British
influence is such a persistent obtrusion. In English literature as
taught and read, in Christian standards of conduct, in the English
language, and in the modern ideas of government and society, ever
presented to the school-going section of the people of India within
their own land, there is such a continuous influence from without. The
impression of works like Tennyson's _In Memoriam_ or _Idylls of the
King_, common text-books in colleges, the steady pressure of Acts of the
British Government in India, like that raising the marriage age of
girls; the example of men in authority like Lord Curzon, during whose
vice-regal tour in South India there were no nautch entertainments; the
necessity of understanding expressions like "general election" and
"public spirit," and of comprehending in some measure the working of
local self-government--all such constant pressure must effect a change
in the mental standpoint. The army of Britain in India, representative
of the imperial sceptre, has now for many years been gathered into
cantonments, and its work is no longer to quell hostilities within
India, but only to repel invaders from without. Other British forces,
however, penetrating far deeper, working silently and for the most part
unobserved, are still in the field all over India, effecting a grander
change than the change of outward sovereignty. "Ideas rule the world,"
and he who impresses his ideas is the real ruler of men.

[Sidenote: Indian conservatism overpowered otherwise.]

Telling against Indian conservatism or inertia are other things also
besides persistent Western influences. Many things Western appeal to the
natural desire for advancement and comfort, and the adoption of these
has often as corollary a change of idea. To take examples without
further explanation. The desire for education, the key to advancement in
life, has quietly ignored the old orthodox idea that education in
Sanscrit and the Sacred Scriptures, _i.e._ higher education as formerly
understood, is the exclusive privilege of certain castes. The very
expression "higher education" has come to mean a modern English
education, not as formerly an education in Sanscrit lore. Had the
British Government allowed things to take their course, the still
surviving institutions of the old kind for Oriental learning would have
been transformed, one and all, into modern schools and colleges. Even in
1824, when Government, then under "Orientalist" influence, founded the
Sanscrit College in Calcutta for the encouragement of Sanscrit learning,
a numerous body of native gentlemen, with the famous Raja Rammohan Roy
at their head, petitioned that a college for the study of Western
learning might be established instead. For a number of years now, the
Sanscrit College, then founded, has actually had fewer pupils on its
rolls than it is permitted to admit at a greatly reduced fee.[6]

Again, the idea of _public questions_, the idea of the common welfare,
has come into being with the nineteenth century, and is quietly
repudiating caste and giving to the community a solidarity and a feeling
of solidarity unknown hitherto. Upon one platform now meet, as a matter
of course, the native gentlemen of all the castes, when any general
grievance is felt or any great occasion falls to be celebrated. The
Western custom of public meetings for the discussion of public questions
is now an established Indian institution, and daily gives the lie to the
idea that there is pollution in bodily contact with a person of lower
caste. That a special seat should be reserved for a man because he is a
brahman would be scouted. The convenience of travelling by rail or in
tram-cars has been even more widely effective in dissolving the idea.
And if the advantage or convenience of the new ways can overcome the
force of custom, so can the unprofitableness of the old. For
illustrations, I pass from the gentlemen who attend public meetings
where the speeches are in English, to the less educated and more
superstitious and more blindly conservative people. In the Mahratta
districts of the Central Provinces, says the _Census Report_ for 1901,
in recent years an unavoidable scepticism as to his efficiency has
tended to reduce the earnings of the Garpagari or averter of hail from
the crops. In Calcutta the same influence has extinguished the trade of
supplier of Ganges water. The water taps in the house or on the street
are too convenient, and the quality of the water is too manifestly
superior for the desecration from the iron pipes to outweigh the
advantages. A few years ago, in Darjeeling, north of Bengal, the brahman
names upon the signs of the liquor shops were distinctly in the
majority. The sacerdotal caste, new style, had appreciated the chances
of big profits and shut their eyes to the regulations of caste, which
have relegated drink-sellers to a very low place in the scale. Brahmans
are even said to figure among the contractors who supply beef, flesh of
the sacred animal, to the British army in India. "A curious sign of the
changing time," says Mr. Lockwood Kipling (_Beast and Man in India_),
"is the fact that Hindus of good caste, seeing the profit that may be
made from leather, are quietly creeping into a business from which they
are levitically barred. Money prevails against caste more potently than
missionary preaching."

In this region, where convenience or comfort or personal advancement are
concerned, it may safely be asserted that the so-called Indian
conservatism has not much resisting power. There, at least, it is found
that where there is a will there is a way.[7]

[Sidenote: The Indian mind awakened.]

And there is a higher influence at work dissolving and reconstituting
the whole framework of ideas. Upon the Indian mind, long lain fallow,
modern civilisation and modern thought and the fellowship with the world
are acting as the quickening rain and sunshine upon the fertile Indian
soil. That these and similar obtruding influences have had a
transforming effect has already been alleged. But far beyond, in promise
at least, is the revived activity of the Indian mind itself. If the age
of Elizabeth be the outcome of the stirring of the minds of Englishmen
through the discovery of a new world, the multiplication of books, the
revival of learning, and the reformation of religion, how shall we
measure the effect upon the acute Indian mind of the far more
stimulating influences of this Indian Renaissance! What comparison, for
example, can be made between the stimulus of the new learning of the
sixteenth century and the stimulus of the first introduction to a modern
library? It would be an exaggeration to say that the Indian mind is now
showing all its power in response to the stimulus. But it is everywhere
active, and in some spheres, as in Religion and Philanthropy, in
History, in Archæology, in Law, in certain Natural Sciences, individuals
have already done service to India and contributed to knowledge.
Glimpses of great regions, unexplored, in these domains are rousing
students to secure for themselves a province. "More copies of books of
poetry, philosophy, law, and religion now issue every year from the
press of British India than during any century of native rule."[8] Of
course it would be misleading to ignore the fact that reaction as well
as progress has its apostles among the awakened minds of India. Much of
the awakened mental activity, also, is spent--much wasted--on political
writing and discussion, which is often uninformed by knowledge of
present facts and of Indian history. The general poverty also, and the
so-called Western desire to "get on," prevent many from becoming in any
real sense students or thinkers or men of public spirit.

Indian conservatism, therefore, we contend, is not the insurmountable
obstacle to new ideas that many superficially deem it to be.



CHAPTER III

NEW SOCIAL IDEAS

  [_Purusha, the One Spirit, embodied,_]

  "Whom gods and holy men made their oblation.
  With Purusha as victim, they performed
  A sacrifice. When they divided him,
  How did they cut him up? What was his mouth?
  What were his arms? And what, his thighs and feet?
  The Brahman was his mouth; the kingly soldier
  Was made his arms; the husbandman, his thighs;
  The servile Sudra issued from his feet."

    From the _Rigveda_, Mandala x. 90,
    translated by Sir M. MONIER WILLIAMS.


[Sidenote: Caste represses individuality.]

New ideas in the social sphere first claim our attention. The individual
and the community, each have rights, says a writer on the philosophy of
history, and it is hurtful when the balance is not preserved. If the
community be not securely established, the individuals will have no
opportunity to develop; if the individual be not free, the community can
have no real greatness. Speaking broadly, when Western social ideas meet
Indian, the conflict is between the rights of the individual as in
Western civilisation, and the rights of the community or society as in
the Indian. India stands for the statical _social_ forces, modern Europe
for the dynamical and _individualistic_. In India, as in France before
the Revolution, certain established usages are prejudicially affecting
the progress of the individual, fettering him in many ways. I refer to
caste, the denial of the brotherhood of mankind, the artificial
barricading of class from class, the sacrifice of the individual to his
class--condemned by native reformers like Ramananda, Kabir, Nanak, and
Chaitanya long before the advent of European ideas. Whatever the origin
or original advantages of the caste system, it has long operated to
repress individuality.[9] It is a vast boycotting agency ready to hand
to crush social non-conformity.[10] One can easily understand that if
society is rigidly organised for certain social necessities (marriage
for example) into a number of mutually exclusive sets or circles,
admission to all of which is by birth only, an individual cast out from
any set must perish. No one will eat with him, no one will intermarry
with him or his sons and daughters. It is into such a society that
modern social ideas have been sown, the ideas let us say of John Stuart
Mill's book, _On Liberty_--the _individual's_ liberty, that is to
say--which used to be a common university text-book in India.

[Sidenote: Caste suggests an imperfect idea of the community.]

[Sidenote: Nevertheless, a practical solidarity in Hinduism.]

Besides setting the community too much above the individual, the caste
system is faulty in presenting to the Indian mind an imperfect idea of
the community. The caste is the natural limit to one's interest and
consciousness of fellowship, to the exclusion of the larger community.
According to Raja Rammohan Roy, writing in 1824, the caste divisions are
"_as_ destructive of national union as of social enjoyment." In _Modern
India_, Sir Monier Williams expresses himself similarly. Caste "tends to
split up the social fabric into numerous independent communities, and to
prevent all national and patriotic combinations." Too much, however, may
be made of this, for the practical solidarity of Hinduism, in spite of
caste divisions, is one of the most striking of social phenomena in
India. Whatever may have brought it about, the solidarity of Hinduism is
an undeniable fact. The supremacy of the priestly caste over all may
have been a bond of union, as likewise the necessity of all castes to
employ the priests, for the Jewish ritual and the tribe of Levi were the
bonds of union among the twelve tribes of Israel. Sir Alfred Lyall
virtually defines Hinduism as _the employment of brahman priests_, and
it is the adoption of brahmans as celebrants in social and religious
ceremonies that marks the passing over of a non-Hindu community into
Hinduism. It is thus it becomes a new Hindu caste.[11] Then, uniting
further the mutually exclusive castes, many are the common heritages,
actual or adopted, of traditions and sacred books, and the common
national epics of the Ramayan and the Mahabharat. The cause of the
solidarity is not a common creed, as we shall see when we reach the
consideration of new religious ideas, ideas.

[Sidenote: New ideas opposed to caste, namely, individual liberty and
nationality.]

If Hinduism as a social system is to be moved by the modern spirit, we
may look for movement in the direction of freedom of individual action,
that is, the loosening of caste; we may look for larger ideas of
nationality and citizenship, superseding to some extent the idea of
caste. As is not infrequent in India, Government pointed out the way for
public opinion. In 1831 the Governor-General, Lord William Bentinck,
issued his fiat that no native be debarred from office on account of
caste, creed, or race, and that a son who had left his father's religion
did not thereby forfeit his inheritance.

[Sidenote: Loosening of caste.]

To any observer it is now plain that while caste is still a very
powerful force, and even while new castes, new social rings, are being
formed through the working of the spirit of exclusiveness, the general
ideas of caste are undergoing change. In these latter days one can
hardly credit the account given of the consternation in Calcutta in
1775, when the equality of men before the law was asserted, and the
_brahman_, Nanda-kumar, was hanged for forgery. Many of the orthodox
brahmans shook off the dust of the polluted city from their feet and
quitted Calcutta for a new residence across the Hooghly. In 1904, we
find conservative Hindus only writing to the newspapers to complain that
even in the Hindu College at Benares, the metropolis of Hinduism, some
of the members of the College Committee were openly violating the rules
of caste. In the same year a Calcutta Hindu newspaper, the _Amrita
B[=a]z[=a]r Patrik[=a]_, declared, "Caste is losing its hold on the
Hindu mind."[12] The recent denunciation of caste by an enlightened
Hindu ruler, the Gaekwar of Baroda, is a further significant sign of the
times.

[Sidenote: Offences against caste.]

What does caste forbid and punish? Freedom of thought, if not translated
into social act, has not been an offence against caste at any time in
the period under review, neither has caste taken cognisance of sins
against morality as such. The sins that caste has punished have been
chiefly five, as follows: Eating forbidden food, eating with persons of
lower caste, crossing the sea, desertion of Hinduism for another
religion, marrying with a person of a lower caste, and, in many
communities also, marrying a widow. The Hindustani proverb, "Eight
brahmans, nine cooking-places," hits off with a spice of _proverbial_
exaggeration the old punctiliousness about food. The sin of eating
forbidden food is thus described by Raja Rammohan Roy in 1816: "The
chief part of the theory and practice of Hinduism, I am sorry to say,"
writes the Raja, "is made to consist in the adoption of a peculiar mode
of diet; the least aberration from which (even though the conduct of the
offender may in other respects be pure and blameless) is not only
visited with the severest censure, but actually punished by exclusion
from the society of his family and friends. In a word, he is doomed to
undergo what is commonly called loss of caste."[13] Now, in respect of
the first three of these offences, in all large centres of population
the general attitude is rapidly changing. In the light of modern ideas,
these prohibitions of certain food and of certain company at food, and
of sea voyages, are fading like ghosts at dawn. An actual incident of a
few years ago reveals the prevailing conflict of opinion, especially
with regard to the serfdom which ties down Indians to India.

[Sidenote: An actual case.]

Two scions of a leading family in a certain provincial town of Bengal,
brave heretics, made a voyage to Britain and the Continent, and while
away from home, it was believed, flung caste restrictions to the winds.
On their return, the head of the family gave a feast to all of the caste
in the district, and no one objected to the presence of the two voyagers
at the feast. This was virtually their re-admission into caste. But
shortly after, a document was circulated among the caste complaining,
without naming names, of the readmission of such offenders. The tactics
employed by the family of the offenders are noteworthy. The demon of
caste had raised his head, and they dared not openly defy him. So the
defence set up was the marvellous one that, while on board ship and in
Europe, the young men had never eaten any forbidden or polluted food.
They had lived upon fruit, it was said, which no hand except their own
had cut. The old caste sentiment was so strong that the family of the
voyagers felt compelled to bring an action for libel against the
publishers of the circular. They lost their case, as no offender had
been mentioned by name, and the tyranny of caste thus indirectly
received the support of the courts.

Of course it would still be easier to discover instances of the tyranny
of caste than the assertion of liberty, even among highly educated men.
In this matter of emancipation also, North India is far ahead of the
South. While minister at the court of Indore, 1872-75, the late Sir T.
Madhava Rao, a native of South India, was invited to go to England to
give evidence on Indian Finance before a Committee of the House of
Commons. _On religious grounds_ he was not able to accept the
invitation.[14] Nor is it generally known that the Bengali nobleman who
represented his country at the King's coronation in London belongs to a
family that is out of caste. If the newspapers are to be believed, an
orthodox Bengali Hindu was first invited to attend the coronation, and
was "unable to accept." Had that gentleman accepted and gone, his
example might at once have emancipated his countrymen. But he did not
know his hour. "There is a venial as well as a damning sin," we may
note, in regard to this crossing of the sea. "A man may cross the Indian
Ocean to Africa and still remain an orthodox Hindu. The sanctity of
caste is not affected. But let him go to Europe, and his caste as well
as his creed is lost in the sea."[15] An orthodox Hindu has never been
seen in Britain.

It is worth noting also, that in earlier times it involved loss of caste
to go away South, even within India itself, among the Dravidean peoples
beyond the known Aryan pale in the North. Thus, slowly the cords of
serfdom lengthen.

Towards the fourth of the offences against caste, namely, the adoption
of a new religion, the general attitude has likewise changed, although
to a less degree. In large towns, at least, the convert to Christianity
is not so rigidly or so instantaneously excluded from society as he used
to be, and the Indian Christian community, although small, is now in
many places one of the recognised sections of the community.

This certainly may be asserted, that the modern Hindus are being
familiarised as never before with non-brahman leaders, religious and
social. Neither of the recent Br[=a]hma (Theistic) leaders, the late
Keshub Chunder Sen and the late Protap Chunder Mozumdar, was brahman by
caste. The great Bombay reformer, the Parsee, Malabari, is not even a
Hindu. The founder of the Arya sect, the late Dyanand Saraswati, was out
of caste altogether, being the son of a brahman father and a low-caste
mother. The late Swami Vivekananda (Narendranath _Dutt_, B.A.), who
represented Hinduism at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893,
was not a brahman, as his real surname plainly declares. While, most
wonderful of all, the accepted leaders of the pro-Hindu Theosophists,
champions of Hinduism more Hindu than the Hindus, after whom the
educated Hindus flock, are not even Indians; alas, they belong, the most
prominent of them, to the inferior female sex! I mean the Russian lady,
the late Madame Blavatsky, the English ladies Mrs. Annie Besant and Miss
Noble [Sister Nivedita], and the American, Colonel Olcott. Which side of
that glaring incongruity is to give way--brahman and caste ideas, or the
buttressing of caste ideas by outcastes, Feringees, like Mrs. Besant?
It would be interesting to hear an orthodox brahman upon Mrs. Besant's
claim to have had a previous Hindu existence as a Sanscrit pandit. What
sin did the pandit commit, would be his natural reflection, that he was
born again a Feringee, and a woman?

[Sidenote: Unpardonable offences.]

But the offence of the fifth sin, marrying below one's caste, or the
marriage of widows, seems as rank as ever. Upon these points, rather,
the force of caste seems concentrating. The marriage of widows will be
considered when we come to discuss the social inferiority of woman in
India. To marry within one's caste promises to be the most persistent of
all the caste ideas. The official observation is that "whatever may have
been the origin and the earlier developments of caste, this prohibition
of mixed marriages stands forth now as its essential and most prominent
characteristic. The feeling against such unions is deeply engrained."
And again, a second pronouncement on caste: "The regulations regarding
food and drink are comparatively fluid and transitory, while those
relating to marriage are remarkably stable and absolute."[16] The
pro-Hindu lady, already referred to, also agrees. "Of hereditary caste,"
she says, "the essential characteristic is the refusal of
intermarriage."[17] Even Indian Christians are reluctant to marry below
their old caste, and value a matrimonial alliance with a higher. To that
residuum of caste, when it becomes the residuum, one could not object.
The Aryan purity of the stock may be a fiction, as authorities declare
it to be in the great majority of castes and in by far the greater part
of India; but given the belief in the purity of blood, the desire to
preserve it is a natural desire. If one may prophesy, then, regarding
the fate of the caste system under the prevailing modern influences,
castes will survive longest simply as a number of in-marrying social
groups. To that hard core the caste idea is being visibly worn down.

[Sidenote: Support of caste by British authorities.]

With strange obliviousness surely, the British officials are lending
support to caste ideas in various ways, while many of the best minds in
India are groaning under the tyranny. The compilers of the _Report of
the Census of India for_ 1901, gentlemen to whom every student of India
is deeply indebted, in their enumeration of castes, give the imprimatur
of government to such Cimmerian notions as that the touch of certain low
castes is defiling to the higher. The writer and condoner of the
following paragraph surely need a lengthy furlough to Britain or the
States. We read that "the table of social precedence attached to the
_Cochin Report_ shows that while a Nayar can pollute a man of a higher
caste only by touching him, people of the Kammalan group, including
masons, blacksmiths, carpenters, and workers in leather, pollute at a
distance of 24 feet, toddy drawers at 36 feet, Palayan or Cheruman
cultivators at 48 feet; while in the case of the Paraiyan (Pariahs) who
eat beef, the range of pollution is stated to be no less than 64 feet."
Some consolation let us even here take from the fact that in an earlier
publication the extreme range of the polluting X-rays of the pariah is
stated to be 72 feet. So there has been 8 feet of progress for the
pariah. But our point is, that interesting as all that table of
precedence no doubt is, it is out of place in a Government report, which
may be quoted against a poor low-caste man as authoritative
pronouncement regarding his social position. Justice and humanity, good
grounds in the eyes of the Indian Government ere now for legislating
contrary to caste ideas, ought to have enjoined the ignoring of caste
ideas here. It is no mere fancy that after an accident one of these
low-caste masons in South India might be brought to the door of a
Government hospital and be refused admission by a native medical officer
because his presence polluted at a distance of 24 feet--has not the
Government Report declared it so? It is no fancy, for a year or two ago
the Post Office reported that in one village the Post Office was found
located where low castes were not allowed to approach. In some
provinces, also, teachers will object to the admission of low-caste
children in their schools; or "if they admit them make them sit outside
in the verandah."[18] What now of the dignity of manual labour which
many a high official has expounded to native youth? Or to take another
instance of un-British countenancing of the caste idea. The Shahas of
_Bengal_ are a humble caste, and the members of higher castes will not,
as a rule, take water at their hands, so the Government Report tells us.
On the other hand, the Shahas of _Assam_, immigrants from Bengal, have
managed to raise themselves high in the social scale. Why, when an Assam
Shaha takes up his residence again in his motherland, Bengal, should
this Blue-book be casting up to him his humble origin? Why this
un-British weighting of those who are behind in the race? Again, at the
very time of the Census, the Maratha caste was in conflict with the
brahman in two Native States of Western India, Kohlapur and Baroda, over
a matter of religious privileges. The brahman contention is that the
Mahratta pretensions to high-caste blood [kshatriya] are groundless, and
now we have the very same statement in the _Census Report_, backing "the
king of the castle" against "the dirty rascal." Not a century ago,
students of kayasth [clerk] caste were excluded from the Sanscrit
College in Calcutta; they are now within the privileged circle, but
their claim might not yet have been made good had a Government Blue-book
of these earlier days been allowed to brand them as debarred from the
College by their caste. At a public meeting the writer heard one of the
most learned and respected Hindus of Calcutta respectfully protest to
the Lieutenant-Governor against the public recognition in the _Census
Report_ of such irrational social grading.[19]

Similarly in the provision by Government of Caste Hostels for students.
According to the first rule of the Hindu Hostel in connection with the
Government College in Calcutta, "none but respectable Hindu students ...
shall be admitted,... and such inmates shall observe the rules and
usages of Hindu Society." In that rule, "respectable" simply means
_other than low caste_. Now for the _reductio ad absurdum_. A certain
Bengali gentleman of low caste was some years ago entitled to be
addressed as "Honourable," from the high public office he held, yet by
departmental orders the Principal of the Government College would shut
the door of the College Hostel in the face of the Honourable's son.

[Sidenote: New religious organisations repudiate caste.]

Of the new religious organisations of educated India, three repudiate
caste, namely, the Protestant Christian community, the Br[=a]hma
Sam[=a]j or Theistic Association, chiefly found in Bengal, and the
[=A]rya Sam[=a]j or Vedic Association of the United Provinces and the
Punjab. These forces of new religious feeling are marshalled against
caste as a social anomaly and a bar to progress. Mahomedanism in its day
was a powerful force arrayed against caste, but its regenerating power
has long ago evaporated, for in many districts of India caste ideas are
found flourishing among the Mahomedan converts from Hinduism. They have
carried over the caste ideas from their old to their new religion.[20]
The Sikhs in the Punjab also repudiate caste, but they too have
forgotten their old reforming mission. Notwithstanding, we repeat,
Northern India owes an immense debt to these two religions, particularly
to Mahomedanism. Let any one who doubts it observe the caste thraldom of
Southern India, where Mahomedan rule never established itself.
Irrational as caste is in Northern India, it is tenfold more so in the
South, as we have already seen. A noteworthy assertion of "the rights of
men," or more literally of the rights of women, against caste may be
noted in that same caste-bound South India. In the Native State of
Travancore, caste custom had prohibited the women of the lower castes
from wearing clothing above the waist. But about the year 1827, the
women who became Christians began to don a loose jacket as the women of
higher caste had been in the habit of doing. Bitter persecution of the
Christian women followed, but in 1859 the right of these lower-caste
women to wear an upper cloth was legally acknowledged.[21]

But the outstanding evidence of new ideas in regard to caste is
furnished by the Hindu revivalists who, under the leading of Mrs. Annie
Besant and the Theosophists, have established the Hindu College,
Benares, as a buttress of Hinduism. From the _Text-book of Hindu
Religion_ prepared for the College, we learn that these representatives
and champions of orthodoxy defend caste only to the extent of the
ancient fourfold division of society into brahmans, rulers, merchants
and agriculturists (one caste), and servants. What, we may ask, is to
become of the 1886 sub-divisions of the brahman caste alone, all
mutually exclusive with regard to inter-marriage? The text-book actually
quotes sacred texts to show that caste depends on conduct, not on birth,
and refers to bygone cases of promotion of heroes to a higher caste
without rebirth. Its final pronouncement on caste is that "unless the
abuses that are interwoven with it can be eliminated, its doom is
certain." So far has the opinion of orthodox conservative Hinduism
progressed with reference to its fundamental social feature, caste.



CHAPTER IV

THE CHIEF SOLVENT OF THE OLD IDEAS

  "Let knowledge grow from more to more,
  But more of reverence in us dwell;
  That mind and soul according well,
  May make one music as before."

    TENNYSON, _In Memoriam_.


[Sidenote: English education the chief solvent.]

English education is the chief solvent of old ideas in India and the
chief source from which the new are supplied. English is the language of
the freest peoples in the world. It is only to be expected, therefore,
that with the spread of English education in India the idea of
individual freedom and the feeling of nationality should grow and the
caste idea decline. The beginning of the process is often witnessed
among the boys in Secondary Schools in India. You lay your hand upon the
arm of a boy, a new-comer to the school, and you ask him in English,
"What class?" He answers "Brahman," giving you his caste instead of his
class in school. The boy will not be long in the English school before
he will classify himself differently. In a dozen ways each day he is
made to feel that the school and the modern world have another standard
for boys and men than the caste. Or take another example of the
educative effect of a study of English--I can vouch for its genuineness.
In your house in India you get into friendly conversation with a
half-educated shopkeeper or native tradesman. You ask in English how
many children he has, and his reply is, "I have not any children, I have
three daughters." Just a little more reading in English literature would
have taught him that elsewhere the daughter is a child of the family
equally with the son.

There, in these two examples, the great social problems of India present
themselves--caste and the social inferiority of women, and in the
English language we see India confronted with ideas different from her
own. Take a third illustration from the socio-religious sphere. Few
Hindus think of Hinduism as a system of religious practices and
doctrines to be justified by reason or by spiritual intuition, or by the
spiritual satisfaction it can afford to mankind. No, Hinduism is a thing
for Indians, and belongs to the Indian soil. The converse of the idea is
that Christianity is a foreign thing, the religion of the intruding
ruling race. It is not for Indians. A vigorous patriotic pamphlet,
published in 1903, entitled _The Future of India_, assumes plainly that
_Hindus_ and _Indians_ mean the same thing. The pamphlet speaks of the
relations of Indians to "other races, such as Mahomedans, Parsees, and
Christians," as if these were less truly Indians than the Hindus. To the
writer, manifestly, Hinduism is a racial thing. To him, however, or to
the next generation after him, further study of modern history will make
clear that only in a slight degree and a few instances is religion a
racial thing, and that there are laws and a science of spiritual as of
bodily health. Once more, how ill-fitting are, say, the Indian word
_mukti_ (deliverance from further lives, the end of transmigrations) and
the English word _salvation_, although _mukti_ and _salvation_ are often
regarded as equivalents.

To the man instructed in English, such contrasts are always being
presented, tacitly inviting him to compare and to modify. We can put
ourselves in the place of many a youth of sixteen or seventeen, hope of
the village school, going up to enter a college in one of the larger
towns of India. He is entering the new world. Should he be of brahman
caste, it may profit him a little, for he will still meet with many
non-brahman householders ready to find him in food and lodging simply
because he is a poor brahman student. Of course he is looking forward to
one of the new professions, Law, or Medicine, or Engineering, or
Teaching, or Government Service. In _these_ it is patent to him that
caste is of no account. High caste or low, he and all his
fellow-students are aware they must prove themselves and fight their way
up. The leading place at the bar is no more a high-caste man's privilege
than it is his privilege to be exempted from standing in the dock or
suffering the extreme penalty of the law. We have already referred to
the effect of the assertion of the equality of men before the law in
1775 in the hanging of the brahman, Nandakumar, for forgery. Now,
looking back at the dissolving of the old ideas of artificial rank and
privileges, we may reckon also the equality of men in the great modern
professions, foremost in India being Law, as among the chief dissolving
agencies.

[Sidenote: Extent of English education.]

[Sidenote: English words naturalised.]

It is easy to give _figures_ at least for the vast agency now at work in
the spread of English education in India. Higher English education for
natives began with the founding of the Hindu College in Calcutta in
1817; in the year 1902 there were in India five Universities, the
examinations of which are conducted in English; and affiliated to these
examining Universities were 188 teaching colleges containing 23,009
undergraduates; and preparing for the Matriculation Examination (in the
year 1896-97) were 5267 Secondary Schools, containing 535,155 pupils.
From these Secondary Schools in the year 1901, 21,750 candidates
appeared at the Matriculation Examinations of the Universities
professing to be able to write their answers in English, and of these
nearly 8000 passed. That figure is a measure of the process of leavening
India with modern ideas through English education--8000 fresh recruits a
year. That is the measure of the confusion introduced into the old
social organism. A small number, no doubt, compared with the ten million
of unleavened youth born in the same year, and yet they are the pick of
the middle classes and must become the leaders of the masses. The masses
in China, it is alleged, would not be anti-foreign were it not for the
influence of their literati, and the thoughts of these Indian literati
must also become the thoughts of the Indian masses. It is the mind of
these literati, mainly, which we are trying to gauge. According to the
census of 1901 their total number approached one million, being those
who could read and write English. Descending below the English-reading
literati, I have noted about three hundred English words naturalised in
two of the chief vernaculars of India, an indication, if not a measure,
of the new influence among the masses.

[Sidenote: Too sanguine prophecies of progress.]

Yet having tabulated figures, once more, ere we proceed, we enjoin upon
ourselves and our readers a cautious estimate of the progress of ideas.
The European hood and gown of the Indian student may merely _drape_ an
_unchanged_ being. Writing in 1823 about the encouragement of education
and the teaching of English and the translation of English books, the
Governor of Bombay, Mountstuart Elphinstone, declared too confidently
that "the conversion of the natives _must_ result from the diffusion of
knowledge among them." Macaulay, similarly, writing from India in 1836
to his father, the well-known philanthropist, declares: "It is my firm
belief that if our plans of[English] education are followed up, there
will not be a single idolater among the respectable classes in Bengal
thirty years hence." Omar Khayyam's words suggest themselves as the
other extreme of opinion regarding English education in India, inside of
which the truth will be found:

  "Myself when young did eagerly frequent
  Doctor and saint, and heard great argument
  About it and about, but evermore
  Came out by that same door wherein I went."

The lines express the view of many Anglo-Indians. We may reply that
anywhere only a few individuals are positively liberalised by a liberal
education. We must patiently wait while their standpoint becomes the
lore and tradition of the community.

[Sidenote: Reformers are English-speaking; reactionaries are ignorant of
English.]

The part played by English education in the introduction of new ideas is
apparent whenever we enumerate the leading reformers of the nineteenth
century. One and all have received a modern English education, and
several of them have made some name by addresses and publications in
English. Of Indian reformers, distinguished also as English scholars,
may be named with all honour:

1. Rammohan Roy, a great opponent of Suttee and Idolatry, who also dared
to make the voyage to England. He died at Bristol in 1833.

2. Iswar Chunder Vidyasagar, a great upholder of the right of widows to
remarry and an advocate of education, both elementary and higher. He
died at Calcutta in 1891.

3. K.M. Banerjea, D.L., C.I.E., an opponent of the caste system, the
greatest scholar among Indian Christians. He died at Calcutta in 1885.

4. Keshub Chunder Sen, religious reformer, an advocate of a higher
marriage age for girls. He died at Calcutta in 1884.

5. Mr. Behramji Malabari, an advocate of a higher marriage age for
girls--of the Bombay side of India.

6. The late Mr. Justice M.G. Ranade, a social reformer of Bombay.

7. The late Mr. Justice K.T. Telang, C.I.E., an opponent of child
marriages and a social reformer of Bombay.

8. The late Raja Sir T. Madhava Rao, K.C.S.I., a social reformer, of the
Madras Presidency--died in 1891.

Pandita Ramabhai, it may be noted, had entered upon her career as a
champion of female education before she began the study of English.

[Sidenote: Sanguine estimate of progress.]

In striking contrast with all these in this respect are the men who
represent the extreme conservative or reactionary spirit, who as a rule
are as ignorant of English as the great reformers are the reverse. We
may cite, in illustration:

1. Dyanand Saraswati, founder of the new sect of [=A]ryas in the United
Provinces and Punjab. Their chief doctrine, the infallibility of the
Vedas or earliest Hindu scriptures, is reactionary, although a number of
reforms are inculcated in the name of a return to the Vedas.

2. The late Ramkrishna Paramhansa, a famous Bengali ascetic of high
spiritual tone, but of the old type.

3. The gentleman already referred to, who as University lecturer on
Hindu Philosophy in Calcutta insisted that none but Hindus be admitted
to the exposition of the sacred texts, shutting out the Chancellor, the
Vice-Chancellor, and many Fellows of the University.

4. Sanscrit pundits, very conservative as a class, and generally
unfamiliar with English.

New Hinduism in contact with the modern educational influences was most
interestingly manifest in the person of Swami Vivekananda (_Reverend
Rational-bliss_ we may render his adopted name), representative of
Hinduism at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893. The
representative Hindu was not even a member of the priestly caste, as we
have already told. It were tedious to analyse his Hinduism, as set forth
at Chicago and elsewhere, into what was Christianity or modern thought,
and what, on the other hand, was Hinduism. Suffice it to say that as
Narendra Nath Dutt, B.A., he figures on the roll of graduates of the
Church of Scotland's College in Calcutta. While a student there, he sat
at the feet of two teachers representing the new and the old, the West
and the East. In the College classroom he received religious instruction
from Dr. Hastie, the distinguished theologian who afterwards taught
Scottish students of theology in the University of Glasgow. At the same
time he was in the habit of visiting the famous Bengali ascetic,
Ramkrishna Paramhansa, already mentioned, and of communing with him.
Returning from Chicago crowned with the honour which his earnestness,
his eloquence, his power of reasoning, his attractive manner, and his
striking physique and dress called forth, Young India lionised him; Old
India met in Calcutta and resolved that Mr. Dutt of kayasth caste must
drop the brahman title _Swami_, which he had assumed, before _they_
could recognise him. In 1895, having gone to Dakhineswar, the old
residence of his Hindu master, Ramkrishna, Swami Vivekananda was
actually expelled from the temple where his master had been wont to
worship. The Chicago representative of Hinduism had been guilty of the
sins of crossing the sea and of living like a European, and so he must
be disowned and the temple purged of his presence. After a few years,
Swami Vivekananda bravely settled down to unobtrusive, philanthropic
work, one had almost said _Christian philanthropic work_, in a suburb of
Calcutta, denouncing caste and idolatry and the outcasting of those who
had crossed the sea, and recommending the Hindus to take to
flesh-eating. There, and while so engaged, in 1902 he died. How shall we
ticket that strange personage? Kayasth caste as he was born, or new
brahman? Swami or B.A. of a Mission College of the modern Calcutta
University? A conservative or a reformer? Hindu ascetic or Christian
philanthropist? He stands for India in transition, old and new ideas
commingling. He is a typical product of the English and Christian
education given to multitudes in India to-day.



CHAPTER V

WOMAN'S PLACE

  "To lift the woman's fallen divinity
  Upon an equal pedestal with man's."

  "The woman's cause is man's; they rise or sink
  Together, dwarfed or godlike, bond or free."

    TENNYSON, _The Princess_.


[Sidenote: Social inferiority of women.]

Next to caste, the chief social feature of India is the position of
women in the community. Hindus and Mahomedans alike assign to the female
sex an inferior position. In Mahomedan mosques, for example, no woman is
ever seen at prayer; she would not be permitted to take part. Only by
the neglect of female children in India, and the special disadvantages
from which women suffer there, can it be explained why in India in 1901
there were only 963 females to every 1000 males. In India, as in Europe
and all the world over, more boys than girls are born, but in the course
of life the balance is soon redressed, and in the whole population in
every country in Europe, except Italy[22] and Bulgaria, the females
actually outnumber the males. Why are the Indian figures so different?
Pro-Hindu enthusiasts may glorify the Hindu social system, and wish to
deny the social inferiority of the female sex; average Anglo-Indians may
be suspected of being unsympathetic in their statements; but the Census
figures stand, and demand an explanation. Where are these 37 girls and
women out of every 1000--over five million altogether? Common humanity
demands an answer of India, for we seem to hear a bitter cry of India's
womanhood. As infants, less cared for; as girls, less educated; married
too early; ignorantly tended in their hour; as married ladies, shut out
of the world; always more victimised by ignorance and superstition--in
life's race, India's women carry a heavy handicap, and 37 out of every
1000 actually succumb.

In the matter of the social elevation of their sex, it appears to the
writer that Anglo-Indian ladies fall far short of what they might do. A
fair number do interest themselves in their Indian sisters through the
lady missionaries and lady doctors, but first-hand knowledge of the
lives of Indian women is very rare indeed. Our late revered Queen's
interest in India and in the womanhood of India is well known, but her
feeling about the duty of Anglo-Indian ladies I have never seen
recorded. Speaking at Balmoral to an Indian Christian lady, a member of
one of the royal families of India--the only lady perhaps who ever
conversed in Hindustani with Queen Victoria--she expressed her regret
that more Anglo-Indian ladies did not get up the native language,
sufficiently at least to let them visit their Indian sisters. Than
Christian sisterly sympathy thus expressed, what better link also could
there be between two communities which many things seem to be forcing
apart?

[Sidenote: Suttee and female infanticide.]

It would be unjust to depreciate the influence of mother and wife among
Hindus, and we freely acknowledge that, after custom, the mainstay of
the zenana system is concern for the purity of the female members of the
household. Saying that, we must now also note that modern ideas of the
just rights of the female sex have made little progress in India. Some
progress there has been, judging by the standard already applied; for
although in 1901 there were only 963 females to every 1000 males, in the
year 1891 there were only 958, and in the year 1881 still fewer, namely,
954. But it seems as if in India we had justification of the law of
social progress that woman's rights will not be recognised until man's
have been. The brotherhood of man must be established before men
recognise that sister women too have rights. Translating into Indian
terms, and without professing to have given positive proof--caste
feeling must still further decay before the position of women becomes
much improved. At all events, judging by the past, it almost seems to
have been necessary for the Legislature to intervene to secure any
progress for the sex and give a foothold to the new ideas, glaringly
unfair to the sex as the old ideas were. Thus in 1870 female
infanticide, earlier prohibited in single provinces, was put down by law
throughout India; although there are localities still in which the small
proportion of female children justifies the belief that female
infanticide is not extinct.[23] Nevertheless, let the progress of the
new ideas regarding women be noted; we compare the hesitating
_inference_ of the practice of female infanticide in the _Indian Census
Report_ of 1901 with the voluminous evidence in the two volumes of
Parliamentary Papers on Infanticide in India published in 1824 and 1828.
Kathiawar and Cutch, Baroda and Rajputana, round Benares and parts of
Oude and Madras were the localities particularly infected with the
barbarous custom in the first quarter of the century. But to return to
the recognition of the rights of women in legislative enactments. In
1829 an Act of the Supreme Government in Bengal made Suttee or the
burning of a widow upon the dead husband's pyre an offence for all
concerned. In 1830 similar Acts were passed by the Governments of Madras
and Bombay, and the abolition of Suttee is now universally approved.[24]
Such is the educative influence of a good law. Perhaps a would-be
patriot may yet occasionally be heard so belauding the devotion of the
widows who burned themselves that his praise is tantamount to a lament
over the abolition of Suttee. But the general sentiment has been
completely changed since the first quarter of the nineteenth century,
when the Missionaries and some outstanding Indians like the Bengali
reformer Rammohan Roy agitated for the abolition of Suttee, and the
Government, convinced, still hesitated to put down a custom so generally
approved. In these changed times it will hardly be believed that
Rammohan Roy only ventured to argue against any form of compulsion being
put upon the widow, and that the orthodox champions of the practice
appealed against the abolition not only to the Governor-General, but
also to the King in Council,--the petition having been heard in the
House of Lords in 1832. But once more to return to the emancipation of
women by Acts of the Legislature. By another Act, in 1856, the Indian
Government abolished the legal restrictions to widow marriage. Still
another Act, in 1891, forbade cohabitation before the age of twelve; and
although fiercely opposed in the native press and in mass meetings, the
Act, which expressed the views of many educated Hindus, is now
apparently acquiesced in by all, and must be educating the community
into a new idea of marriage.

In five aspects the social inferiority of the female sex is still
apparent--namely, in the illiteracy of females, in marriage before
womanhood, in polygamy, in the seclusion of women, and in the
prohibition of the marriage of widows. Excepting the last, no one of
these customs is imposed by caste, nor is the last even in every caste.

[Sidenote: Their lack of education.]

The inferior position still assigned to women in Indian society can best
be shown in figures. The indifference to their education is manifest
when for all India, rich and poor, European and native, in 1901, there
were fourteen times as many men as women who could read and write. Only
one female in 144 was educated to that extent, and the movement for
female education has practically been at a stand-still for some years,
in spite of the increase of native Christians, Brahmas, and [=A]ryas, who
all advocate the education of girls, and in spite of fostering by
Governments and missionaries. Taking _British_ India by itself, there
was a higher proportion of educated females, as we should of course
expect, although that only makes the proportion less elsewhere. In
British India, about 1 in 100 [9 per 1000] could read and write; but
even there, less than 1 per cent. The quickening of ideas in cities is
apparent. In the cities there are proportionally more than twice as many
educated females as in the whole country.

[Sidenote: Premature marriage.]

The injustice done to the sex by marriage before womanhood is apparent
from another paragraph of the same Report, showing that out of every
1000 girls of the age of 10 or under, 58 are already married, as against
22 boys. Taking Hindus alone, the number of married girls of 10 years of
age or under is 70 per 1000 as against 28 married boys. Even allowing
for those provinces where cohabitation is delayed, these figures mean in
other provinces a cruel wrong to the children of the weaker sex, a
doubly cruel wrong when to premature marriage may be added girl
widowhood. The _Census Report_ declares that in the lower strata of
Hindu society there has been a rapid extension of child marriage and
prohibition of the marriage of widows within the last two or three
generations, although at the low age of 10, fewer girls are reported
married than in 1881.[25] That is to say, the bad example of the higher
castes is lowering the marriage age in the humble castes, while modern
influences are diminishing the number of marriages of mere children,--we
can see both forces in operation. Here again Indian Christians,
Br[=a]hmas, and [=A]ryas are at one in setting a better example and
advocating reform. The educative Act of 1891 for British India has also
been noted above. Native States too are following up. In Rajputana,
through the influence of the Agent of the Governor-General, Colonel
Walter, an association was formed in 1888 which fixed the marriage age
for two of the chief castes at eighteen for the bridegroom and fourteen
for the bride. In the Native State of Baroda, in the extreme West of
India, a new Marriage Act has just been passed by the enlightened ruler
[1904]. In Baroda, except in special cases, the minimum marriage age of
girls is henceforward to be twelve, and of the bridegrooms sixteen.
Exceptional cases had to be provided for, because of the custom in
certain communities within the state of Baroda to celebrate marriages
only once every twelve years, female infants and girls of ten and twelve
being then "happily despatched" together. With that custom and with the
new Act together, it would necessarily happen that girls of eleven at
the general marrying time would have to wait twelve years more, or until
their twenty-third year. Since in some parts of India there is a saying
about women "Old at twenty," that delay would not do. All educated young
men may be said to hold the new ideas in these marriage matters.
Students now regard it with regret and some sense of a grievance when
their guardians have married them in their school or college years. The
only alleviation to their minds is when the dowry which they bring into
the family at their marriage helps to endow a sister who has reached the
marriage age, or to educate a brother or pay off the family debts. Among
educated people too, the idea that the other world is closed to
bachelors and childless men has died, although a daughter unmarried
after the age of puberty is still a stigma on the family. Do British
readers realise that in an Indian novel of the middle and upper classes
there can hardly be a bride older than twelve; there can be no love
story of the long wooing and waiting of the lovers?

[Sidenote: Polygamy.]

As regards polygamy, the Census shows 1011 married women for every 1000
married men, so that apparently not more than 11 married men in every
1000 are polygamists. But polygamy is still an Indian institution, in
the sense that it is at the option of any man to have more than one
wife; in the matter of marriage, the rights of man alone are regarded.
All over India, however, among the educated classes, Mahomedans
excepted, public opinion is now requiring a justification for a second
marriage, as, for example, the barrenness, insanity, infirmity, or
misconduct of the first spouse. The temptation of a second dowry is
still, however, operative with men of certain high castes in which
bridegrooms require to be paid for. The writer well remembers the
pitiful comic tale of a struggling brahman student of Bengal, whose home
had been made unhappy by the advent of two stepmothers in succession
alongside of his own mother. The young man did not blame his father, for
his father disapproved of polygamy, and was a polygamist only because he
could not help himself. It had come about in an evil hour when he was
desperate for a dowry for his eldest daughter, now come of marriageable
age. He had listened to the village money-lender's advice that he might
take a second wife himself and transfer to the daughter the dowry that
the second wife would bring. Then in like manner the lapse of time had
brought a second daughter to the marriage age, the necessity for another
dowry, and a third mother into the student's home. The poor fellow
himself was married too, and one could not resist the conjecture that
_his_ marriage was another sacrifice for the family, and that his
marriage had saved his father from bringing home yet another stepmother.
The redeeming feature of the story--the strength of Indian family
ties--let us not be blind to.

Polygamy in India is certainly now hiding itself. A couple of
generations ago it was practised wholesale by the kulin brahmans of
Bengal. Several middle-aged kulins are known to have had more than 100
wives, and to have spent their lives in a round of visits to their
numerous fathers-in-law. For each wife they had received a handsome
bridegroom-price. So declares the last _Census Report_. Except among
Indian Mahomedans, who have the sanction of the Koran and the example of
the Prophet himself, there are now few upholders of polygamy in India.
In a meeting of educated gentlemen in Calcutta a Mahomedan lately
protested against some passing condemnatory reference to polygamy, on
the ground that in a general meeting he expected that his religion would
be free from attack. A learned Mahomedan judge, on the other hand,
writes that among Indian Mahomedans "the feeling against polygamy is
becoming a strong social if not a moral conviction." "Ninety-five out of
every 100 are either by conviction or necessity monogamists." "It has
become customary," he tells us, "to insert in the marriage deed a clause
by which the intending husband formally renounces his supposed right to
contract a second union."[26]

[Sidenote: Seclusion of women.]

With regard to the seclusion of women, at some points the custom seems
to be slowly yielding to Western ideas, although it is still practically
true that Indian ladies are never seen in society and in the streets of
Indian cities.[27] A different evolution, however, is still more
manifest at this present time. It almost seems as if at first modern
life were to bend to the custom of the seclusion of women rather than
bend the custom to itself. The Lady Dufferin Association for Medical Aid
to Indian Women is bringing trained medical women _into_ the zenanas and
harems, and every year is also seeing a larger number of Indian
Christian and Br[=a]hma ladies set up as independent practitioners, able
to treat patients _within_ the women's quarters. In the year 1905 a lady
lawyer, Miss Cornelia Sorabjee, a Parsee Christian lady, was appointed
by the Government of Bengal to be a legal adviser to the Bengal Court of
_Wards_, or landowning minors. Zenana or harem ladies, e.g. the widowed
mothers of the minors, would thus be able to consult a trained lawyer at
first hand _within_ the zenana or harem. Missionaries are discussing the
propriety of authorising certain Christian women to baptize women
converts _within_ the zenanas.[28] Long ago missions organised zenana
schools, and now native associations have begun to follow in their
steps. In all Indian Christian churches, women of course are present at
public worship, but they always sit _apart_ from the men, a segregation
even more strictly followed by the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j or Indian Theistic
Association. For the sake of zenana women, the Indian Museum in Calcutta
is closed one day each week to the male sex, and in some native theatres
there is a ladies gallery in which ladies may see and not be seen behind
a curtain of thin lawn. Movement even towards a compromise, it is good
to observe.

[Sidenote: Prohibition of the marriage of widows.]

The prohibition of the marriage of widows has already been referred to
as bound up with caste ideas of marriage and with social standing, and
as the most deeply rooted part of the social inferiority of women. By
some at least the injustice has been acknowledged since many years. At
Calcutta, between 1840 and 1850, Babu Mati Lal Seal promised Rs10,000 to
any Hindu, poor or rich, who would marry a widow of his own faith, but
no one came forward.[29] The late Pandit Iswar Chander Vidyasagar of
Calcutta has also already been mentioned as a champion of the widow's
rights. But though legalised in 1856, the cases of re-marriage among the
higher castes of Hindus in any year can still be counted on the fingers
of one hand. The _Report of the Census of India_, 1901, takes a gloomy
view regarding the province of Bengal, the most forward in many
respects, but the most backward in respect of child-marriage and
prohibition of the marriage of widows. The latter custom, we are told,
"shows signs of extending itself far beyond its present limits, and
finally of suppressing widow marriage throughout the entire Hindu
community of Bengal."[30] The actual number of widows in all India in
1901 was 25,891,936, or about 2 out of every 11 of the female
population, more than twice the proportion [1 in 13] in Great Britain.
As in the matters of the repudiation of caste and the raising of the
marriage age, the three new religious bodies, namely, the Indian
Christians, the Brahmas, and the [=A]ryas, stand side by side for the
right of the widow.



CHAPTER VI

THE TERMS WE EMPLOY

    "Precise ideas and precisely defined words are the wealth and
    the currency of the mind."

    --Introduction to _The Pilgrim's Progress,_ Macmillan's
    Edition.


[Sidenote: No _Indian_ race or religion.]

Experience teaches the necessity of explaining to Western readers
certain terms which even long residence in India often fails to make
clear to Anglo-Indians. Let it be remembered then that the terms _India,
Indian_, have only a geographical reference: they do not signify any
particular race or religion. India is the great triangular continent
bounded on the south-west and south-east by the sea, and shut in on the
north by the Himalayan Mountains. Self-contained though it be, and
easily thought of as a geographical unit, we must not think of India as
a racial, linguistic, or religious unit. We may much more correctly
speak of _the_ European race, language, or religion, than of _the_
Indian.

[Sidenote: A Hindu religion.]

The term _Hindu_ refers to one of the Indian religions, the religion of
the great majority no doubt. It is not now a national or geographical
term. Practically every Hindu is an Indian, and almost necessarily must
be so, but every Indian is not a Hindu. There are Indian Mahomedans,
sixty-two million of them; Indian Buddhists, a few--the great majority
of the Buddhists in the "Indian Empire" being in Burmah, not in India
proper; there are Indian Christians, about three million in number; and
there are Indian Parsees. A Hindu is the man who professes Hinduism.[31]

[Sidenote: Where is Hindustan?]

_Hindustan_, or the land of the Hindus, is a term that never had any
geographical definiteness. In the mouths of Indians it meant the central
portion of the plain of North India; in English writers of half a
century ago it was often used when all India was meant. In exact writing
of the present time, the term is practically obsolete.

[Sidenote: Who speak Hindustani?]

Unfortunately for clearness, the term _Hindustani_ not only survives,
but survives in a variety of significations. The word is an adjective,
_pertaining to Hindustan_, and in English it has become the name either
of the people of Hindustan or of their language. It is in the latter
sense that the name is particularly confusing. The way out of the
difficulty lies in first associating _Hindustani_ clearly with the
central region of Hindustan, the country to the north-east of Agra and
Delhi. These were the old imperial capitals, be it remembered. Then from
that centre, the Hindustani language spread--a central, imperial,
Persianised language not necessarily superseding the other
vernaculars--wherever the authority of the empire went. Thus throughout
India, Hindustani became a _lingua franca_, the imperial language. In
the Moghul Empire of Northern India it was exactly what "King's English"
was in the Anglo-Norman kingdom in England in the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries. French was the language of the Anglo-Norman court
of London, as Persian of the court of Delhi or Agra; the Frenchified
King's English was the court form of the vernacular in England, as the
Persianised Hindustani in North India. It was this _lingua franca_ that
Europeans in India set themselves to acquire.

[Sidenote: Urdu literature]

Continuing the English parallel--the Hindustani of Delhi, the capital,
Persianised as the English of London was Frenchified, became the
recognised literary medium for North India. The special name _Urdu_,
however, has now superseded the term _Hindustani_, when we think of the
language as a literary medium. _Urdu_ is the name for literary
Hindustani; in the Calcutta University Calendar, for example, the name
_Hindustani_ never occurs.

[Sidenote: Hindi language and literature]

About the beginning of the nineteenth century another dialect of
Hindustani, called _Hindi_, also gained a literary standing. It contains
much less of Persian than Urdu does, leaning rather to Sanscrit; it is
written in the deva-nagari or Sanscrit character; is associated with
Hindus and with the eastern half of Hindustan; whereas Urdu is written
in the Persian character, and is associated with Mahomedans and the
western half of Hindustan.[32]

[Sidenote: The Brahmans]

Another series of terms are likewise a puzzle to the uninitiated. To
Westerns, the _brahmans_[33] are best known as the priests of the
Hindus; more correctly, however, the name _brahman_ signifies not the
performer of priestly duties, but the caste that possesses a monopoly of
the performance. The brahman caste is the Hindu _Tribe of Levi_. Every
accepted Hindu priest is a brahman, although it is far from being the
case that every brahman is a priest. As a matter of fact, at the Census
of 1901 it was found that the great majority of brahmans have turned
aside from their traditional calling. In Bengal proper, only about 16
per cent. of the brahmans were following priestly pursuits; in the
Madras Presidency, 11.4 per cent.; and in the Bombay Presidency, 22 per
cent.

[Sidenote: Brahmanism.]

_Brahmanism_ is being employed by a number of recent writers in place of
the older _Hinduism_. Sir Alfred Lyall uses _Brahmanism_ in that sense;
likewise Professor Menzies in his recent book, _Brahmanism and
Buddhism_. Sir Alfred Lyall's employment of the term _Brahmanism_ rather
than _Hinduism_, is in keeping with his description of Hinduism, which
he defines as the congeries of diverse local beliefs and practices that
are held together by the employment of brahmans as priests. The
description is a true one; the term Brahmanism represents what is common
to the Hindu castes and sects; it is their greatest common measure, as
it were. But yet the fact remains that _Hindus_ speak of themselves as
such, not as _Brahmanists_, and it is hopeless to try to supersede a
current name. Sir M. Monier Williams employs the term _Brahmanism_ in a
more limited and more legitimate sense. Dividing the history of the
Hindu religion into three periods, he calls them the stages of Vedism,
Brahmanism, and Hinduism respectively. The first is the period of the
Vedas, or earliest sacred books; the second, of the Brahman philosophy,
fundamentally pantheistic; the third is the period of "a confused tangle
of divine personalities and incarnations." Sir M. Monier Williams'
standard work on the religion of the Hindus is "_Brahmanism and
Hinduism."_ "Hinduism," he tells us, "is Brahmanism modified by the
creeds and superstitions of Buddhists and non-Aryans of all kinds."

[Sidenote: Brahm[=a], Brahma.]

[Sidenote: Br[=a]hmas]

We are not done with this confusing set of terms. _Brahm[=a]_ is the
first person of the Hindu divine triad--the Creator--who along with the
other two persons of the triad, has proceeded from a divine essence,
_Brahma_ or _Brahm_. Brahma is Godhead or Deity: Brahm[=a], is _a_
Deity, a divine _person_ who has emanated from the Godhead, Brahma.
_Br[=a]hmas_ or theists, believers in Brahma, are a religious body that
originated in Bengal in the nineteenth century. Repudiating caste,
idolatry, and transmigration, they are necessarily cut off from
Hinduism. The body is called the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, that is, the
Theistic Association. Enough for the present; in their respective places
these distinctions can be more fully gone into.



CHAPTER VII

NEW POLITICAL IDEAS

I. A UNITING INDIA

    "There are many nations of the Indians, and they do not speak
    the same language."

    --HERODOTUS.[34]


[Sidenote: The ideas of citizenship and public questions.]

With modern education and the awakening of the Indian mind have come
entirely new political ideas. That there are public questions has in
fact been discovered; for in India the idea of citizenship, the
consciousness of being a political unit, was itself a new idea. We may
say that it was made possible in 1835, when an Act of Legislature was
passed declaring the press free. In 1823 an English editor had been
deported from Calcutta for free criticism of the authorities, but after
1835 it was legal not merely to think but to speak on public questions.
Before we pass on, we note the strange inverted sequence of events which
may attend on fostered liberty. The right to criticise was bestowed
before any right to be represented in the Legislature or Executive was
enjoyed. In this freedom to criticise the acts of Government, the India
of to-day is far ahead of countries like Germany and Russia.

[Sidenote: Government exists for the good of the governed.]

The new idea of citizenship, thus made possible by a free press, is
largely the outcome of three great influences. Christian philanthropic
ideas, disseminated both by precept and example, could not but be
producing some sense of brotherhood, and what Burke calls a "civil
society." Then again, the free and often democratic spirit of English
literature was being imbibed by thousands; and in the third place,
through the newspapers, English and vernacular, the people were being
brought into actual contact with the political life of Great Britain.
Due particularly to the first of these influences, the noblest of the
new Indian political ideas is that tacitly assumed in many of the native
criticisms of the British Government in India--high tribute as well as
criticism--that Government exists for the good of the governed, and
indeed responsible for the welfare of the masses. The British Government
is indeed an amazing network covering the whole continent, ministering
life, like the network of the blood-vessels in our frame. At least, its
apologists declare it _to be doing so_, and its native critics declare
that it _ought to_. The native press, for example, is prompt to direct
the attention of the Government to famine and to summon the Government
to its duty. In India a noble idea of the Commonwealth and its proper
government has thus come into being. Likewise, it ought to be added,
except in times of political excitement, and in the case of professional
politicians, it is generally acknowledged that the conception of the
British Government in India is noble, and that many officers of
Government are truly the servants of the people. It is not suggested
that the policy or the methods should be radically altered. The
politician's theme is that the Government is more expensive and less
sympathetic than it might be, because of the employment of alien
Europeans where natives might be employed.

[Sidenote: The new national consciousness.]

[Sidenote: English rule, a chief cause.]

[Sidenote: The very name _Indian_ is English.]

Other new political ideas follow the lines of social change. We have
seen how in the modern school, the idea of caste gives way before the
idea of rank in the school, to be followed in College by the idea of
intellectual distinction, and still later in life by the idea of success
in some modern career. In the political sphere, modern life is also busy
dissolving the older and narrower conceptions of life. Atop of the
sectarian consciousness of being a Hindu or the provincial consciousness
of belonging to Bengal or Bombay, is coming the consciousness of being
an Indian. This consciousness of a national unity is one of the
outstanding features of the time in India, all the more striking because
hitherto India has been so unwieldily large, and her people incoherent,
like dry sand. "The Indian never knew the feeling of nationality," says
Max Müller. "The very name of India is a synonym for caste, as opposed
to nationality," says Sister Nivedita, the pro-Hindu lady already
referred to, who likewise notes the emergence of the national idea.[35]
"Public spirit or patriotism, as we understand it, never existed among
the Hindus," writes Mr. Bose, himself an Indian, author of a recent work
on _Hindu Civilisation under British Rule_.[36] And Raja Rammohan Roy,
the famous Bengali reformer of the beginning of the nineteenth century,
we have already heard denouncing the caste system as "destructive of
national union." From what then, during the nineteenth century, has the
national consciousness come forth? Many causes may be cited. The actual
unification effected by the postal, the telegraph, and the railway
organisation, has done much. The omnipresence of the foreign government,
all-controlling, has also done much. The current coins and the postage
stamps with King Edward's head upon them--the same all over India, a few
native states excepted--bring home the union of India to the most
ignorant. The constant criticism of the Government in the native press,
the meetings of the All-India political association called the Congress,
and the fact that modern interests, stimulated by daily telegrams from
all over the world, are international, not provincial or sectarian--all
these things combine to give to the modern educated Indian a new Indian
national consciousness in place of the old provincial and sectarian one.
In short, the British rule has united India, and the awakened mind of
India is rejoicing in the consciousness of the larger existence, and is
identifying the ancient glories of certain centres in North India with
this new India created by Britain. Never before was there a united India
in the modern political sense; never, indeed, could there be until
modern inventions brought distant places near each other. Two great
Indian empires there certainly were in the third century B.C. and the
fourth and fifth centuries A.D., and the paternal benevolence of Asoka,
the great Buddhist emperor of the third century B.C., deserves record
and all honour. Let Indians know definitely who deserves to be called an
ancient Indian emperor, when they wish to lament a lost past; and
descending to historical fact and detail, let them compare that period
with the present. The later empire referred to was an empire only in the
old sense of a collection of vassal states. Turning back to the hoary
past, in which many Indians, even of education, imagine there was a
golden Indian empire, we can trace underneath the ancient epic, the
Ramayan, a conquering progress southward to Ceylon itself of a great
Aryan hero, Ram. But of any Indian empire founded by him, we know
nothing. "One who has carefully studied the Ramayan will be impressed
with the idea that the Aryan conquest had spread over parts of Northern
India only, at the time of the great events which form its
subjects."[37] Coming down to the period of the greatest extent of the
Moghul empire in India in the end of the seventeenth century, we find
the Emperor Aurangzeb with as extensive a military empire as that of
Asoka, but with the Mahrattas rising behind him even while he was
extending his empire southwards. That decadent military despotism cannot
be thought of as a union of India. In truth, the old Aryan conquest of
India was not a political conquest, and never has been; it was a
conquest, very complete in the greater part of India, of new social
usages and certain new religious ideas. The first complete political
conquest of India by Aryans was the British conquest, and the ideas
which have come in or been awakened thereby, we are now engaged in
tracing. As regards the new idea of nationality, we have noted that the
new national name _Indian_ now heard upon political platforms, is not a
native term, but an importation from Britain along with the English
language. How, indeed, could the educated Indian employ any other term
with the desired comprehensiveness? If he speak of _Hindus_, he excludes
Mahomedans and followers of other religions; if he use a Sanscrit term
for _Indians_, he still fails to touch the hearts of Mahomedans and
others who identify Sanscrit with Hindus. There is no course left but to
use the English language, even while criticising the British rulers. The
English language has been a prime factor in evoking the new national
consciousness, and in the English language the Indian must speak to his
new found fellow Indians.[38] Even a considerable portion of the
literature of the attempted Revival of Hinduism is in English, strange
as the conjunction sounds.

How the thought of Indian unity over against the sovereignty of Britain
may reach down even to the humblest, the writer once observed in a
humble street in Calcutta. A working man was receiving his farthing's
worth of entertainment from a peep-show. His eyes were glued to the
peepholes, to secure his money's worth, for the farthing was no small
sum to him; and the showman was standing by describing the successive
scenes in a loud voice, with intent both to serve his customer and to
stimulate the bystanders' curiosity. Three of the scenes were: "This is
the house of the great Queen near London city," "This is one of the
great Queen's lords writing an order to the Viceroy of Calcutta," "This
is the great committee that sits in London city." He actually used the
English word _committee_, the picture probably showing the House of
Commons or the House of Lords. Thus the political constitution of India
and its unity under Britain are inculcated among the humblest. In the
minds of the educated, one need not then be surprised at the growth of a
sense of Indian unity over against British supremacy.

[Sidenote: The Indian National Congress.]

[Sidenote: English, the _lingua franca_ of the Congress.]

The Indian National Congress, or All-India political association, is the
embodiment of this new national consciousness of educated Indians, the
only embodiment possible while India is so divided in social and
religious matters. Were there only ten or twelve million Mahomedans in
India instead of sixty, the new national consciousness would undoubtedly
have been a Hindu or religious, instead of a political, consciousness.
But in matters religious, Hindu looks across a gulf at Mahomedan, and
Mahomedan at Hindu, neither expecting the other to cross over.
Christianity, third in numbers in India proper, proclaims the Christian
Gospel to both Hindus and Mahomedans, but is regarded by both as an
alien.[39] Nor is any All-India _social_ movement possible while social
differences are so sacred as they are. But politically, all India _is_
already _one_; her educated men have drunk at _one_ well of political
ideas; citizenship and its rights are attractive and destroy no
cherished customs; and in the English language there is a new _lingua
franca_ in unison with the new ideas. The Indian National Congress is
the natural outcome. There, representatives of races which a hundred
years ago made war on one another, of castes that never either eat
together or intermarry, now fraternise in one peaceful assembly,
inspired by the novel idea that they are citizens. The Congress meets
annually in December in one or other of the cities of India. The first
meeting at Bombay in 1885 has been described as follows[40]: "There were
men from Madras, the blackness of whose complexions seemed to be made
blacker by spotless white turbans which some of them wore. A few others
hailing from the same Presidency were in simplest native fashion,
bareheaded and barefooted and otherwise lightly clad, their bodies from
the waist upwards being only partially protected by muslin shawls. They
had preferred to retain their national dress and manners; and in this
respect they presented a marked contrast to the delegates from Bengal.
Some of these appeared in entirely European costume, while others could
easily be recognised as Bengalis by the peculiar cap with a flap behind
which they had donned. None of them wore the gold rings or diamond
pendants which adorned the ears of some of the Madrassees; nor had they
their foreheads painted like their more orthodox and more conservative
brethren from the Southern presidency. There were Hindustanis from
Delhi, Agra, and Lucknow, some of whom wore muslin skull-caps and
dresses chiefly made of the same fine cloth. There were delegates from
the North-West--bearded, bulky, and large-limbed men--in their coats and
flowing robes of different hues, and in turbans like those worn by Sikh
soldiers. There were stalwart Sindhees from Karachee wearing their own
tall hat surmounted by a broad brim at top instead of bottom. In the
strange assemblage were to be observed the familiar figures of Banyas
from Gujarat, of Mahrattas in their cart-wheel turbans, and of Parsees
in their not very elegant head-dress, likened to a slanting roof.
Assembled in the same hall, they presented a variety of costumes and
complexions scarcely to be witnessed except at a fancy ball." Now and
again, we may add, a speaker expresses himself in a vernacular, and with
the inborn Indian courtesy and patience the assembly will listen; but
the language of the motley gathering is English; the address of the
president and his rulings are in English; the protests, claims, and
resolutions of the Congress are in English. For in the sphere of
politics, the new national feeling _confessedly_ looks to Britain for
ideals. Apologies for India's social customs and for her religious ideas
and ideals are not wanting in India at the present time, for in matters
social and religious, as we shall see, the political reformers are often
ardently conservative, or pro-Indian at least. But in the sphere of
politics it is the complete democratic constitution of Britain that
looms before India's leaders. Britons can view with sympathy the rise of
the national feeling as the natural and inevitable fruit of contact with
Britain and of education in the language of freedom, and even although
the new problems of Indian statesmanship may call forth all the powers
of British statesmen. Like a young man conscious of noble lineage and of
great intellectual power, New India, brought up under Britain's care, is
loudly asserting that she can now take over the management of the
continent which Britain has unified and made what it is.

Where the "National Congress" and the Congress ideas have sprung from is
manifest when she first presents herself upon the Indian stage. As her
first president she has a distinguished barrister of Calcutta, Mr. W.C.
Bonnerjee, of brahman caste by birth, but out of caste altogether
because of frequent visits to Britain. Patriot though he is--nay,
rather, as a true patriot, he has broken and cast away the shackles of
caste. His English education is manifest when he opens his lips, for in
India there is no more complete master of the English language, and very
few greater masters will be found even in Britain. Further, as her first
General Secretary and general moving spirit, the first Congress has a
Scotchman, Mr. A.O. Hume, commonly known as the "Father of the
Congress." His leading of the Congress we can understand when we know
that he is the son of the celebrated reformer and member of Parliament,
the late Dr. Joseph Hume.

[Sidenote: Representative Government.]

Several of the claims of the Congress have been conceded in whole or in
part. Since the first meeting in 1885, elected members have been added
to the Legislative Councils in the three chief provinces, Bengal,
Madras, and Bombay, and new Legislative Councils set up in the United
Provinces and the Punjab. To the Council for all India, the Viceroy's
Council, also have been added five virtually elected members, out of a
council now numbering about twenty-two members in all. Four of the new
members represent the chief provinces, and the fifth the Chamber of
Commerce, Calcutta. Other five the Viceroy nominates to represent other
provinces or other interests. Looking at the representation of Indians,
it is noteworthy that in 1880 only two Indians had seats in the
Viceroy's Council, whereas in 1905 there were no fewer than six. The
Provincial Legislative Council of Bombay will suffice as illustration of
the stage which Representative Government has now reached. Eight of the
twenty-two members are virtually elected. That is to say, certain bodies
nominate representatives, and only in most exceptional circumstances
would the Governor refuse to accept the nominees. And who make the
nominations? Who are the electors enjoying the new political citizenship
of India? We shall not expect that the electors are "the people" in the
British or American sense: no Congress yet asks for political rights for
them. The idea regarding citizenship still is that it is a royal
concession, as it were to royal burghs, not that it is one of the rights
of men. The University elects a member to the Governor's Council, for it
has intelligence and can make its voice heard; the Corporation of Bombay
elects a representative, for in the capital are concentrated the
enlightenment and the wealth of the province; the importance of the
British merchants must be recognised, and so the Chambers of Commerce of
Bombay and Karachi send each a representative. Other groups of
municipalities elect one; the boards of certain country districts elect
one; and finally two groups of landlords elect one representative each.
It comes to this, that the men of learning, the burgesses of the chief
towns, the British traders, and the landowners and country gentlemen,
have now a measure of citizenship in the modern sense of the word.

The same feeling of citizenship has been given recognition to in 759
towns, whose municipalities are now partly elected, the right of
election having been greatly extended by the Local Self-Government Acts
of 1882-84. In these Municipalities even more than in the higher
Councils the new educated Indian comes to the front. According to the
roll of voters, it is property that enjoys the municipal franchise;
emphatically so, for a wealthy citizen of Calcutta might conceivably
cast three hundred votes for his Municipality throughout the twenty-five
wards of the city; but they are English-speaking Indians in all cases
who are returned as members. Politically, this is the day of the
English-educated Indians. Such is the stage of the recognition of this
new idea of citizenship in India. The idea represents a great advance
during the British period, although, broadly speaking, it has not yet
reached the stage of British opinion prior to 1832. Nevertheless one
feels justified in saying that in present circumstances the desire of
the educated class for a measure of citizenship has been reasonably met.
Of course at the examination for the Indian Civil Service, held annually
in London, the Indian competes on a complete equality with all the youth
of the Empire.



CHAPTER VIII

NEW POLITICAL IDEAS

II. FALSE PATRIOTISM

    "Now do I know that love is blind."

    ALFRED AUSTIN.


[Sidenote: Cleavage of opinion--European _v._ Native.]

An unpleasant aspect of the new idea is much in evidence at the present
time. On almost every public question, the cleavage of the public
opinion is Europeans _versus_ Natives. Far be it from me to assert that
the natives only are carried away by the community feeling. A case in
point is the violence of the European agitation over the "Ilbert Bill"
of 1883, to permit trial of Europeans by native judges in rural criminal
courts. Our question merely is: How has the new regime affected native
ideas? Given then, say, a charge of assault upon a native by a European
or Eurasian, or the reverse--a case by no means unknown--the native
press and the class they represent are ranged at once, as a matter of
course, upon the native's side. Given a great public matter, like Lord
Curzon's Bill of 1903 for the necessary reform of the Indian
Universities, immediately educated Indians and the native press perceive
in it a veiled attempt to limit the higher education in order to
diminish the political weight of the educated class. The 1904 expedition
into Thibet was unanimously approved by the Anglo-Indian, and as
unanimously disapproved by the native press. Educated India no doubt
joined with the rest of the Empire in wishing success to Japan in the
1904-5 war with Russia, but the war presented itself primarily to the
Indian mind as a great struggle between Asia and Europe. Other lines of
cleavage may temporarily show themselves,--among natives the division
into Hindus and Mahomedans, or into officials and non-officials; but on
the first occasion when a European and a Native are opposed, or when the
Government takes any step, the minor fissures close, and the new
consciousness of nationality unites the Indians. European lines of
cleavage like the division between capital and labour or between
commerce and land have not yet risen above the Indian horizon.

The Indian Christian community occupies the peculiar position of sharing
in the new-born national consciousness as strongly as any, and yet of
being identified with the British side in the eyes of the Hindu and
Mahomedan communities.

[Sidenote: Anti-British bias.]

[Sidenote: India ruled by Indians.]

Thus, almost inevitably, an anti-British bias has been generated, one of
the noteworthy and regrettable changes in the Indian mind within the
last half-century. Probably many would declare that the unifying
national consciousness of which I have spoken is nothing more than a
racial anti-British bias. At all events, hear an independent Indian
witness regarding the bias.[41] "There is a strong and strange ferment
working in certain ranks of Indian society.... Instead of looking upon
the English rulers as their real benefactors, they are beginning to view
their actions suspiciously, seizing every opportunity of criticising and
censuring their rulers.... The race feeling between rulers and ruled,
instead of diminishing, has increased with the increase, and spread with
the spread, of literary education. That all this is more or less true at
present cannot be denied by an impartial political observer." An
up-to-date illustration of the bias appears in the address of the
Chairman of the National Congress of 1906. "The educated classes," he
says, "... now see clearly that the [British] bureaucracy is growing
frankly selfish and openly opposed to their political aspirations."
While regretting that feeling and the prejudice that often mingles with
it, let those interested in India at least understand the feeling. It is
the natural outcome of the new national consciousness. Even educated
natives are in general too ignorant of India, past and present, to
appreciate the debt of India to Britain, and how great a share of the
administration of India they themselves--the educated Indians--actually
enjoy. For every subordinate executive position in the vast imperial
organisation is held by a native of India, and "almost the entire
original jurisdiction of Civil Justice has passed out of the hands of
Europeans into those of Indians."[42] But the anti-British bias, let us
on our part understand. The attitude of educated Indians to the British
Government of India, and to Anglo-Indians as a body, is that of a
political opposition, ignorant of many pertinent facts, divided from the
party in power by racial and religious differences, and with no visible
prospect of succeeding to office. The National Congress is the permanent
Opposition in India. A permanent Opposition cannot but be biassed, and
its press will seize at everything that will justify the feeling of
hostility.

[Sidenote: Illustrations of the bias: Famines.]

An outstanding illustration of the anti-British spirit is the frequently
expressed opinion that the Indian famines are a result of British rule,
or at all events have been aggravated thereby. The reasoning is that
India is being financially drained to the amount of between thirty and
forty millions sterling a year, and that the people of India have thus
no staying fund to keep them going when famine comes. Having said this,
we ought perhaps to quote the opinion (1903), on the other side, of Mr.
A.P. Sinnett, ex-editor of one of the leading Indian newspapers, and, as
a theosophist, very unlikely to be prejudiced in favour of Britain. He
insists "that loss of life in famine time is infinitesimal compared with
what it used to be." "As for impoverishment," he goes on to say, "we
have poured European capital into the country by scores of millions for
public works and the establishment of factories, and we have enriched
India instead of impoverishing it to an extent that makes the Home
Charges--of which such agitators as Digby always exaggerate the
importance--a mere trifle in the balance." Lord Curzon's statement of
three or four years back was that there were eight hundred and
twenty-five crores of rupees (five hundred and fifty millions sterling)
of buried capital in India; and he might have added the easily
ascertainable fact that the sum is yearly being added to. The
anti-British idea was put forward in 1885 by the late Mr. William Digby,
an ardent supporter of the Congress; the Congress adopted it in one of
its resolutions in 1896, and the idea has lamentably caught on. In 1897
a Conference of Indians resident in London did not mince their language.
In their opinion, "of all the evils and terrible misery that India has
been suffering for a century and a half, and of which the latest
developments are the most deplorable famine and plague arising from
ever-increasing poverty,... the main cause is the unrighteous and
un-British system of Government, which produces an unceasing and ever
increasing bleeding of the country," etc. etc.[43] Such language, such
ideas, do not call for refutation, here at least; they are symptoms only
of a state of mind now prevailing, out of which educated India must
surely grow.

Nor need it be forgotten that the rise of the anti-British feeling was
foreseen and political danger apprehended when the question of English
education for natives of India was under discussion. A former
Governor-General, Lord Ellenborough, declared to a committee of the
House of Commons in 1852, that England must not expect to retain her
hold on India if English ideas were imparted to the people. "No
_intelligent_ people would submit to our Government," were his words--a
sentiment repudiated with indignation by the learned Bengali, the late
Rev. Dr. K.M. Banerjea. In the same spirit, apparently, Sir Alfred Lyall
still contemplates with some fear the rapid reformation of religious
beliefs under modern influences. He sees that the old deities and ideas
are being dethroned, and that the responsibility for famines, formerly
imputed to the gods, is being cast upon the British Government. "The
British Government," he says, "having thrown aside these lightning
conductors [the old theocratic system], is much more exposed than a
native ruler would be to shocks from famines or other wide-spread
misfortunes." "Where no other authority is recognised, the visible ruler
becomes responsible for everything."[44] Fortunately, "policy" of that
sort has not prevailed with Indian statesmen in the past, and Britain
can still retain self-respect as enlightener and ruler of India.

[Sidenote: Championing of things Indian.]

The championing of all things Indian is another recent phase of the same
national consciousness. As the work of Britain is depreciated, the
heroes, the beliefs, and the practices of India are exalted and defended
as such. Idolatry and caste have their apologists. At almost every
public meeting, according to the late Mr. Monomohun Ghose of Calcutta,
he heard the remark made "that the ancient civilisation of India was far
superior to that which Europe ever had."[45] In the political lament
over a golden past, there is glorification by Hindus of the Mahomedan
emperor Akbar, praise of the Native States and their rule as opposed to
the condition of British India, and there are apologies for leaders in
the Mutiny of 1857. Much of that is natural and proper patriotism, no
doubt, and no one would deny the ancient glories of India or the many
admirable characteristics of the people of India to-day. It is the
self-deceiving patriotism, the blind ancestor-worship, of which we are
speaking as a phase of modern opinion. As an instance when Indians
certainly did themselves injustice by this spirit, we may single out the
celebrated trial in 1897 of the Hon. Mr. Tilak, member of the
Legislative Council of the Governor of Bombay. The Mahrattas of Western
India look back to Sivaji as the founder of their political power, which
lasted down to 1817, and have lately instituted an annual celebration of
Sivaji as the hero of the Mahratta race. One great blot rests on
Sivaji's career. In one campaign he invited the Mahomedan general
opposing him to a personal conference, and stabbed him while in the act
of embracing him. It was at one of these Sivaji celebrations in 1897
that Mr. Tilak abandoned himself to the pro-Indian and anti-British
feeling, glorifying Sivaji's use of the knife upon foreigners. "Great
men are above common principles of law," ... he said. "In killing Afzal
Khan did Sivaji sin?" ... "In the Bhagabat Gita," he replied to himself,
"Krishna has counselled the assassination of even one's preceptors and
blood relations.... If thieves enter one's house, and one's wrists have
no strength to drive them out, one may without compunction shut them in
and burn them. God Almighty did not give a charter ... to the foreigners
to rule India, Sivaji strove to drive them out of his fatherland, and
there is no sin of covetousness in that." Practical application of Mr.
Tilak's language was soon forthcoming in the assassination of two
British officers in the same city of Poona. Mr. Tilak, victim of his own
eloquence and of the spirit of the day, was necessarily prosecuted for
his inflammatory speech, and was sent to prison for eighteen months. But
it is not too much to say that the _unanimous_ feeling of educated India
went with Mr. Tilak and regarded him as a martyr.

[Sidenote: Boycott of British goods.]

From the pro-Indian feeling to the anti-British Boycott feeling is only
one step along the road that new-educated India is treading. The boycott
of British goods in 1905 has been the next step. The provocation alleged
by the politicians who organised the boycott was the division of the
province of Bengal. Whether that was cause sufficient to justify the
boycott or a mere pretext for another anti-British step is now of
secondary importance. The plea of encouragement of native industries we
may set aside as an afterthought. The boycott has been declared, and
what concerns us is to see the national feeling now take the form of a
declaration of commercial war upon Great Britain--none the less
disconcerting because some of those concerned clearly have an eye,
however foolishly, upon Boston in 1773 and the war thereafter. It gives
pause to India's well-wishers. "India for the Indians," will that come
next? There no friend of India dare wish her success, to be a possible
prey to Russia or Germany, or even to Japan. But reasoning to the
logical issue, we get light upon our premisses. _India for what
Indians?_, we ask ourselves. For Hindus or Mahomedans; for the million,
English-speaking, or the many-millioned masses? For many a day yet to
come it will be Britain's duty to hold the balance, to instruct in
self-government and to learn from her blunders.

That the national feeling of Indians may become a main strand in a
strong Imperial feeling, as is the national feeling of Scotland, must be
the wish of all friends of India. But how is the Indian feeling to be
transformed?

[Sidenote: Remedies.]

[Sidenote: Instruction in History and Political Economy.]

[Sidenote: High-minded Anglo-Indians.]

The new Social Ideas of India have asserted themselves in spite of
opposing ideas, deep-rooted; on the other hand, the new Political Ideas
are in accordance with the natural ambition of educated Indians, and
have had no difficulty in expanding and spreading. In comparison with
the new social ideas, in consequence, the new political ideas are a
somewhat rank and artificial growth, forced by editors and politicians,
and warped by ignorance and prejudice. The widely current idea that,
owing to British rule, the poverty of the Indian people is now greater,
and that the famines are more frequent and severe than in former
dynasties, is the outstanding instance of the rank growth. Neither the
allegation of greater poverty nor the causes of the acknowledged low
standard of living have been studied except in the fashion of party
politicians. Another of the ideas, as widely current, is that every ton
of rice or wheat exported is an injury to the poor. A third is that the
payments made in Britain by the Government of India are virtually
tribute, meanly exacted, instead of honest payment for cash received and
for services rendered. Again, what can be the remedy? In the early part
of the nineteenth century, the Foreign Mission Committee of the Church
of Scotland objected to Dr. Duff, their missionary, teaching Political
Economy in the Church's Mission College, the General Assembly's
Institution, Calcutta. They feared lest the East India Company would
deem it an interference in politics.[46] In 1897, after the Tilak case
already referred to, the writer on Indian affairs in _The Times_
complained of the teaching of historical half-truths and untruths in
Indian schools and colleges, instancing the partisan writings of Burke
and Macaulay, and many Indian text-books full of glaring historical
perversions. The remedy for such erroneous ideas is certainly not to
withhold the present dole of knowledge, but to teach the whole truth.
The recent History of India and Political Economy with reference to
India should be compulsory subjects for every student in an Indian
University. It ought to be the policy of Government to select the ablest
men for professors and teachers of such subjects. If, along with that
remedy, more Anglo-Indians would take a high view of their mission to
India, and of their residence in that country, much of that regrettable
bias and bitterness on the part of Indians would surely pass away. If
instead of adopting the attitude of exiles, thinking only of the
termination of the exile and how to while away the interval,
Anglo-Indians would take some interest in something Indian outside their
business, much would be gained! The best Anglo-Indians are eager to
promote intercourse between Europeans and Indians, but many
Anglo-Indians, whatever the cause, seem incapable of friendly
intercourse. On the matters that should interest both them and their
fellow-citizens in India, they have in them nothing save unreasoned
feelings. These form the numerous class, of whom Sir Henry Cotton spoke
in an address in London in February 1904, to whom it is an offence to
travel in the same railway-carriage with Indians. These are the
corrupters of good feeling between Britons and Indians, as sympathetic
men are the salt that preserves what good feeling may still exist. In
every Indian sphere the men of the latter class are well known to the
native community, and are always spoken of with cordiality. The writer
remembers trying to have a talk with a British soldier about the
generals of the army, and how the man seemed unable to do more than say,
with enthusiasm, of Lord Roberts and General Wauchope and others, "Yon
was a man!" and as depreciatorily of others again, "Yon was no man at
all." Such sympathetic "men," instinctively discerned, India has much
need of, if this anti-British feeling, so far as it is not inevitable,
is to be checked. In such "men" the new Indian feelings of manhood and
citizenship and nationality will find recognition and response, in spite
of displeasing accompaniments, for such feelings we must look for under
British rule and from English and Christian education. From such "men,"
also, the new Indians will accept frank condemnation of social
irrationalities or political exaggerations, as _e.g._ the notion that
those have right to claim full share in the British Empire's management
who would outcaste a fellow-Indian for visiting Britain, even had he
gone to state their case before the House of Commons. To speak of laymen
only, there are no Anglo-Indians more trusted than those who make no
secret of their desire for the advancement of India's welfare through a
religious reformation, who hold that this purely pro-Indian national
feeling is as yet imperfect because divorced from the idea of the unity
of mankind and the concomitant idea of the progress of the whole race.



CHAPTER IX

NEW RELIGIOUS IDEAS--ARE THERE ANY?

  "From low to high doth dissolution climb.

       *       *       *       *       *

  Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
  The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
  That in the morning whitened hill and plain
  And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
  Of yesterday, which royally did wear
  His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
  Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
  Or the unimaginable touch of Time."

    WORDSWORTH.


[Sidenote: A Renaissance without a reformation.]

It would be interesting to speculate what the Renaissance of the
sixteenth century would have done for Europe had it been unaccompanied
by a Reformation of religion. Without the Reformation, we may aver there
would have been for the British nation no Bible of 1611, no Pilgrim
Fathers to America, and no Revolution of 1688, along with all that these
things imply of progress many-fold. What might have been, however,
although interesting as a speculation, is too uncertain to be discussed
further with profit. I only desire to give a general idea of the
religious situation in India at the close of the nineteenth century.
There has been a Renaissance without a Reformation.

Into the new intellectual world the Hindu mind has willingly entered,
but progress in religious ideas has been slow and reluctant. The new
_political_ idea of the unity of India and the consciousness of
citizenship were pleasing discoveries that met with no opposition; but
that same new Indian national consciousness resented any departure from
the old _social_ and _religious_ ideas.

[Sidenote: Meaning of the term _religious_.]

In speaking of the development of religious ideas in India, I use the
term _religious_ in the modern sense. Under religion, in India is
comprehended much that in Europe would be reckoned within the _social_
sphere. In India all questions of inter-marriage and of eating together,
many questions regarding occupations and the relations of earning
members of a family to idle members, are religious not social questions.

The case was similar among the Jews, we may remember. As recorded in the
fifteenth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, two of the three
injunctions of the Jerusalem Church to the Gentile Church at Antioch
deal with these same socio-religious matters. Blood and animals killed
by strangling were to be prohibited as food, and certain marriages also
were forbidden.

Perhaps among Europeans the question of burial _v_. cremation may be
instanced as a matter of social custom that has been made a religious
question. But in no country more than in India have customs, _mores_,
come also to mean morals. A halo of religious sanctity encircles the
things that have been and are. Taking "religion," however, in the modern
sense, we ask: Although there has not been any great Reformation of
religion, have religious ideas undergone no noteworthy development? It
is well to put the question definitely with regard to religion, although
in the opening chapter abundant testimony to a general change in ideas
has already been cited. There _is_ no lack of specific evidence as to
religious changes, and the adoption of certain Christian ideas.

Sir Alfred Lyall's observations let us first of all recall, for he
possesses all the experience of an Indian Civil Servant and Governor of
a Province--the United Provinces. He speaks both for officials and for
Europeans conversant with India.[47] Speaking in the person of an
orthodox brahman surveying the moral and material changes that English
rule is producing in India, he says: "We are parting rapidly under ...
this Public Instruction with our religious beliefs." The old brahman
warns the British Government that the old deities are being dethroned,
and that the responsibility for famines, formerly imputed to the gods,
is being cast upon the British Government. Another official witness
speaks still more plainly. _The Bengal Government Report_ upon the
publications of the year 1899 asserts: "All this revolution in the
religious belief of the educated Hindu has been brought about as much by
the dissemination of Christian thought by missionaries as by the study
of Hindu scriptures; for Christian influence is detectable in many of
the Hindu publications of the year." The writer of the _Report_ is a
Hindu gentleman. The _Report of the Census of India_, 1901, declares
that "the influence of Christian teaching is ... far reaching, and that
there are many whose acts and opinions have been greatly modified
thereby." After these statements from secular and official writers, we
may refrain from quoting from Mission authorities more than the
statement of the Decennial Conference of representative missionaries
from all India in 1902. The statement refers to South India.
"Christianity," we are told, "is in the air. The higher classes are
assimilating its ideas."[48] Thus from East and North and South, from
officials and non-officials, from Europeans and natives, comes
concurrent testimony. There is no declared Reformation, but Christian
and Western religious ideas are leavening India.

[Sidenote: Variety of religious ideas in India.]

To the student of Comparative Religion, or of Christianity, or of the
general progress of nations, that testimony from India is particularly
interesting. To the student of Comparative Religion, India presents a
particularly attractive field. Not hidden away in sacred classics or in
the records of travellers, but as elements of existing religions,
professed by men around, are illustrations of most of the types of
religious thought and practice. There are the pantheism of certain Hindu
ascetics, the polytheism of the masses, the animism of aboriginal races,
and the varieties of theism of Christians, Mahomedans, and the new
Hindus respectively. There are the curious phenomena of goddesses as
well as gods, and of distinctive features in the character and worship
of the female deities. There is the whole scale of worship up from
bloody sacrifices and self-tortures and from worship where the priest is
everything, to worship like that of Mahomedans and of Protestant
Christians, where a mediatory priesthood is virtually repudiated. There
is the stage, still farther beyond, at which the worshipper is supposed
to be able to say of himself "I am God." Of the first and last stages,
India may be called the special fields, for probably nowhere else in the
world are so many animals killed in sacrifice as at the temple of
Kalighat in Calcutta; and the last stage, as an observable religious
phenomenon, is peculiar to India. In India there is presented to us
salvation in the attainment of an eternal existence along with God, as
among Christians and Mahomedans and many of the less educated Hindus;
and there is salvation in deliverance from further lives, as among those
Hindus who hold the doctrine of transmigration. In India all these
varieties of religious thought and practice are actual, perceptible
phenomena, ready for first-hand observation by the student of
Comparative Religion. But still more interesting to him is that they are
there in mutual contact, and telling upon each other. For in the sphere
of human beliefs, the student is much more than an outside observer and
classifier. He has his own conception of truth, and is interested in
observing how far in each case there is a convergence towards truth or a
divergence from it. In the sphere of human beliefs he holds further,
that, given opportunity, the nearer to truth the greater certainty of
survival. Given opportunity, as already postulated, the law of beliefs
is the survival of the truest. Truth will prevail.

[Sidenote: Dynamical elements of Christianity.]

[Sidenote: Dynamical doctrines in other spheres]

To the student of Christianity, again, that same concurrent testimony is
profoundly interesting. Certain Christian ideas are being assimilated in
India. Certain cardinal aspects of Christianity are proving themselves
possessed of inherent force and attractiveness. They are showing that
they possess force not from authority, or tradition, or as part of a
system of doctrine, or as racially fitting, but when presented in new
and often very unfavourable surroundings. Borrowing an expression from
physical science, certain elements of Christianity are proving
_themselves dynamical_. For in non-Christian India, ecclesiastical
authority or tradition and the system of Christian doctrine as such,
possess no force. By illustrations from other spheres, let us make clear
what is meant by such dynamical elements of Christianity. The doctrine
of the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection was put before
the world by Darwin in 1859, and within the half century has been
accepted almost as an axiom by the whole civilised world. Undoubtedly
that doctrine has proved itself dynamical. On the other hand, a few
years earlier than the publication of _The Origin of Species_, another
body of new doctrine was propounded to Britain and the world, and
strongly urged by its upholders, namely, the doctrine of Free Trade--the
advantage to the community of buying in the cheapest market. True or
false, that body of doctrine has not proved dynamical among the nations,
for the great majority of peoples still repudiate the doctrines of Free
Trade. Similarly certain elements of Christianity are commending
themselves to new India, and certain others are failing to do so at this
time.

[Sidenote: Illustrations from the history of Christianity.]

From century to century these dynamical elements of Christianity may
vary; and it is profoundly interesting to the student of the history of
religious beliefs to observe the variation. In the early apostolic
times, when the apostles and disciples were "scattered abroad," we see
plainly in the Acts of the Apostles that the dynamical element of
Christianity is the Resurrection of Our Lord. It is that which tells,
and His coming reign--with Jewish audiences in particular. It was,
_e.g._, the manifestation of Christ to St. Paul on his way to Damascus
that completed the conversion of his life. And so, repeatedly throughout
the record of the Acts of the Apostles, they are described as
witness--bearers of the resurrection to the outside world. [Greek:
Megalê dynamei], "_with great power_ gave the apostles their witness of
the resurrection of the Lord Jesus; and great grace was upon them
all."[49] And yet--dynamical elements vary--in the different atmosphere
of Athens (we are twice told in so many words) this same resurrection of
Christ dug a gulf between St. Paul and the Athenians.[50] Passing to a
very different period, the latter half of the eighteenth century, the
period of the rise of Methodism and the revival of religion in England,
the period of new interest in the inmates of prisons, of agitation for
the abolition of slavery, of the foundation of all the great missionary
societies, the period of the French Revolution and the demand at home
for extension of the franchise, all outcome of the same
inspiration,--what was the strong epidemic thought? Reading the
religious history of the time, we feel that the power that passed from
soul to soul was a tremulously intense realisation of the family of God
and the love of God for men, represented in Christ's voluntary death
upon the cross, love for the neglected and the enslaved in their sins
and their sorrows. And again in our own day, when we are tempted to say
that the consciousness of God and the eternal, the primary religious
instincts, are fading, what by common consent is really dynamical among
educated men? Assuredly not the shibboleths of High or Low Church. It is
the person of Jesus Christ that is dynamical; what He was on earth, what
He has been ever since in the hearts of individuals and in the Church.
In a real sense we are starting again from and with Himself.
Anticipating, let us say that these two elements most recently dynamical
in Britain have had force likewise in India.

[Sidenote: India a new touch-stone of Christianity.]

India in the nineteenth century has been indeed a new touchstone to the
Christian religion; and, in brief, to make plain how far Christianity
has proved its force and its fitness to survive will occupy the
remaining chapters of this book. What has been the nature and extent of
the impact of Christian and modern thought upon India, and particularly
upon Hinduism? Of course I am thinking particularly of the educated
native Hindu community that has sprung up during the century just
closed. The dynamic of Christianity, which it is our task to test,
implies a measure of conscious and intelligent approval. Japan is
another such testing ground. Indeed the only large fields where
Christianity is presented to bodies of non-Christian men able to yield
approval or refuse it on intelligent grounds, of which they are
conscious, are India and Japan. In China also there are no doubt large
bodies of literati, but as a class they have not yet come into the
modern world and into contact with Christianity. Even down to the Boxer
rising of 1900, the wall of conservative patriotism shut off the
literati in China from the outer civilisation and religions.

[Sidenote: Indians themselves to be our witnesses.]

Fortunately for students of India, her new literati are not merely in
touch with the modern world, but express their minds readily in public
meetings and in print. From themselves we shall chiefly quote in
justifying the statements that will be made regarding the former or the
modern religious opinions of India. To non-Christian or secular writers,
also, we shall chiefly go, that the bias may rather be against than for
the acknowledgment of change and progress. Our plan is to pronounce as
little as possible upon either the Christian or the Hindu positions. We
are observers of the religious ideas of modern India, and desire our
readers to come into touch with modern Indians and to see for
themselves.

[Sidenote: Obstacles to changes in religion.]

[Sidenote: Education strips new Indians of belief.]

Truth is great and will prevail, but let us not under-estimate the
difficulties in the way of new opinions in India, where these do not
appeal to the natural desires for power or status or comfort. I have
already referred to the deep-rooted notion that Hinduism is of the soil
of India, and adherence to it bound up with the national honour. I refer
to it here again only to glance at a kindred notion, common among
Anglo-Indians, that the Indian religion is the outcome of Indian
environment, and is "consequently" the best religion for India. That
superficial fallacy, undoubtedly, alienates the sympathy of many
Anglo-Indians from religious and social progress in India. Thrice at
least did one of the most distinguished viceroys, when addressing native
audiences, advise them to stick to their own beliefs, using these or
very similar words. He was addressing Mahomedans at one place, Hindus at
the second place, and Buddhists at the third, and we leave his advice at
one place to contradict his advice at another. Certainly let us allow
for variation in local usage, and in subjective opinion, while we are
insisting on the universality and objectivity of truth. For in spite of
new and strange environment, in spite of that prevailing notion that
religion is a racial thing, of the natural disinclination to change, of
modern agnosticism and materialism when the old ideas do give way--in
spite of these things, some of the cardinal features of Christianity are
commending themselves to educated India. Far from religion being racial,
the recent religious evolution of India suggests that in respect of the
religious instinct and the religious faculty, mankind are one, not
divided. _A priori_, therefore, we might anticipate that the elements of
Christianity which have proved dynamical with new India will be the same
that have proved their dynamic with educated men at home. So far as the
situation in India has been created by the destructive influence of
modern education, and by what may be called the modern spirit, the same
influences are telling both in Europe and in India; they have come from
Europe to India. There is the same unwillingness to believe in the
supernatural, and the same demand that religion shall satisfy ethical
and utilitarian tests. One difference, however, we may note. The
educated men of India may not be living so entirely in the modern
atmosphere as the men of Europe and America; but in India the modern
spirit finds usages and systems of thought more inconsistent with modern
ideas. As a consequence, where in India the modern spirit _has_ come, it
has stripped men barer of belief. Listen to the following curious
conglomeration, showing the influences at work, constructive and
destructive. It is a passage from the pamphlet already referred to, _The
Future of India_; the author is arguing for what he calls "practical
recognition of the Fatherhood of God"--one new positive idea. That idea
he takes to mean that "God is the Father of all nations and religions,"
and that _therefore_ "it does not matter much to what religion a man
belongs, so far as the future of his soul is concerned." Does not that
signify that he himself is stripped bare of belief? From which modern
notion, that religion does not matter much, he next argues that a man
ought to deny himself the luxury and "satisfaction of breaking his
religious fetters," _i.e._ of seceding from his own faith and joining
another. He ought to stick to his community, says this writer, and "have
the satisfaction of working for the elevation of his countrymen." There
we have the new political consciousness. The writer, it should be added,
says some plain things about the need of social reform.

[Sidenote: Three dynamical elements of Christianity.]

As proved by observation in India, the dynamical elements of
Christianity may be briefly enumerated as follows. Monotheism, tending
more and more to the distinctively Christian idea of God, Our Father, is
commending itself, and being widely accepted. Secondly, in a remarkable
degree, Jesus Christ Himself is being recognised and receiving general
homage. In a less degree, and yet notably, the Christian conception of
the Here and Hereafter is commending itself to the minds of the
new-educated Hindus. In the new religious organisations also, the
Christian manner of worship and of public worship commends itself almost
as a matter of course. In none of these spheres am I describing the
outcome of visible conflict or of any loud controversy. Rather,
Christianity brought close to the religious instincts and the religious
ideas of India has been like a great magnet introduced among a number of
kindred but non-magnetised bodies lying loosely around. In the presence,
simply, of these dynamical elements, or in contact with them, Indian
religious thought is becoming polarised. Towards and away from the same
great points, Indian religious thought is setting. These dynamical
elements of Christianity, and the illustration of their power, will be
considered in the following chapters.

Of the elements of Christianity that have proved themselves dynamical,
we may note the natural order in which they have come. The order in
which I have stated them is the order in which they asserted themselves,
first "God Our Father," then "Jesus Christ Himself." First, of this
world in which we find ourselves, when our _minds_ awake, we must have
some satisfying conception. The belief in one God, in Him for whom we
can find no better name than "Our Father," approved itself to awakened
India, to the _intellectually_ enlightened, and in the first place to
small groups of enlightened men in the large towns, the centres of
modern education and Christian influence. Then came an advance of a
different nature altogether. To those spiritually minded and more
intense men who needed a religious master, a hero, to whom their
_hearts_ might go out, there came, after certain obstacles had been
broken down, some knowledge of the actual historical Jesus Christ. The
first stage satisfied the _mind_ of modern educated India; the second
stage concerns the highest affections and the lives. We know the step,
when in the Apostles' Creed we pass from "I believe in God the Father
Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth," to the words "and in Jesus
Christ." Thereat we have brought theology down from heaven to earth; or
rather, in these days we would say, in Jesus Christ we have obtained on
earth, in actual history, in our affections, a foundation on which to
rear our system of actual and motive-giving belief.



CHAPTER X

THE NEW RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS OF INDIA IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

THE INDIAN CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND THE BR[=A]HMAS

  Children of one family.


[Sidenote: Two physical changes on the face of a country.]

When we consider how the face of a country has been altered during the
lapse of time, two great changes may be noticed, both of them due to the
action of man. First we may observe that the whole general character of
the country has undergone transformation. Gone are the ancient forests
of Scotland, which of old in many districts clad the whole countryside,
and with them have gone the wild animals which they sheltered. The
forests destroyed, and the rainfall in consequence less abundant, the
surface marshes and lakes have in many places vanished, taking the old
agues and fevers in their train. Instead of the strongholds of
chieftains in their fastnesses, surrounded by bands of their clansmen
and retainers, has come the sober, peaceful, life of independent
tenants, agricultural or artisan. And so on, down through the general
changes wrought on the face of a land by modern conditions of life, we
might watch the evolution of new features of the landscape. But we turn
to the other kind of change, which is more noticeable at first sight,
and is more directly due to the action of man. Great, laboriously
cultivated, fields now stretch where formerly there was only waste or
forest, or at best small sparsely scattered patches; and the very
products of the soil in these new spacious fields are in many cases new.
Where, for example, even in Britain before the close of the seventeenth
century, were the great fields of potatoes and turnips and red clover,
and even of wheat, which now meet the eye everywhere as the seasons
return? Where in India before the British period were the vast areas now
under tea and coffee, jute and cotton, although the two last have been
grown and manufactured in India from time immemorial? "It might almost
be said that, from Calcutta to Lahore, 50 per cent. of the prevalent
vegetation, cultivated and wild, has been imported into India within
historic times."[51]

[Sidenote: Two similar changes in the religious thought of India.]

All that, of course, is a parable. Likewise, in the new India we are
studying, product of new modern influences direct and indirect, two
kinds of religious changes impress us. There is, first, the gradual
change coming over the whole thought of the people, a transformation
like that wrought upon the face and climate of many lands. There is,
further, the religious change, more immediately evident, in the new
Indian religious organisations of the past century, analogous to the
new, cultivated, products of the soil.

[Sidenote: Four new religious organisations.]

As change more definite and perceptible, we look first at the new Indian
religious organisations. Within the British period, four organised
religious movements attract our notice. They are: I. The new Indian
Christian Church; II. The Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j and the kindred
Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes; III. The [=A]rya Sam[=a]j; and IV. The
Theosophical Society, which in India now stands for the revival of
Hinduism.

I. To hear the native Indian Church reckoned among the products of the
British period may be surprising to some. There are indeed Christian
communities in India older than the Christianity of many districts in
Britain, and even excluding the Syrian and Roman Christians of India we
must acknowledge that the Protestant Christian community dates farther
back than the British period. Yet in a real sense the Protestant Indian
Church, and the progressive character of the whole Indian Church, belong
to the century just closed. The Moravians and one English Missionary
Society excepted, all the great Missionary Societies now at work have
come into being since 1793. In 1901 the native _Protestant_ community in
India, outcome of these Societies' labours, numbered close upon a
million souls.

[Sidenote: The Indian Church.]

[Sidenote: The Indian Church and the national consciousness.]

The Indian Christian Church is a living organisation, or congeries of
organisations, over two and a half million souls all told, and growing
rapidly. The exact figures in 1901 were 2,664,313, showing an increase
during ten years of 30.8 per cent. The figures exclude Eurasians and
Europeans; and in Anglo-Indian speech, we may remark, all Americans and
Australians and South African whites and the like are Europeans. The
attitude of the Indian Christian Church to the new ideas introduced by
the British connection and by the modern world can readily be
understood. Cut off, cast off, by their fellow-countrymen, and brought
into closer contact than any others with Europeans in their missionaries
and teachers, their minds have been open to all the new ideas. We know
in fact that Indian Christians are often charged, by persons who do not
appreciate the situation, with being over-Europeanised. It may be so in
certain ways, but, irrespective of Christianity or Hinduism, the
adoption of European ways results from contact with Europeans, and in
certain respects is almost a condition of intercourse with Europeans.
Let those, for example, who talk glibly about Indians sticking to their
own dress, know that gentlemen in actual native dress are not allowed to
walk on that side of the bandstand promenade in Calcutta where Europeans
sit--a scandal crying for removal. With regard to the new national
consciousness, it may be repeated that the Indian Christian community is
almost as alive with the national feeling as the educated Hindu
community. As the Indian Church becomes at once more indigenous and more
thoroughly educated in Western learning, as it becomes less identified
with European denominations, and less dependent upon stimulus from
without, it will no doubt become still more national in every sense, be
more recognised as one of India's institutions, and become a powerful
educator in India. Once within the environment of the national feeling,
the seed of Christian thought and modern ideas will spring up and
spontaneously flourish. The future progress of the Indian Church may be
said to depend upon the growth of that national consciousness within it.
The sense of independence and the duty of self-support and union are,
properly, being fostered in the native churches. But one of the dangers
ahead undoubtedly is that, like one of the other religious movements of
the past century, or like the Ethiopian Church in South Africa, the
Indian Church may become infected with the political rather than the
religious aspect of the idea.

[Sidenote: The Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j.]

[Sidenote: Rammohan Roy.]

II. _The Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j_.--Next to the Christian Church in order of
birth of the issue of the new age, comes the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j or
Theistic Association. It was founded in Calcutta in 1828 by the famous
reformer, Raja Rammohan Roy, first of modern Indians. The Br[=a]hma
Sam[=a]j is confessedly the outcome of contact with Christian ideas. By
the best known of the Br[=a]hma community, the late Keshub Chunder Sen,
it was described as "the legitimate offspring of the wedlock of
Christianity with the faith of the Hindu Aryans." "No other reformation"
[in India], says the late Sir M. Monier Williams, "has resulted in the
same way from the influence of European education and Christian ideas."
The founder himself, Raja Rammohan Roy, was indeed more a Christian than
anything else, although he wore his brahman thread to the day of his
death in order to retain the succession to his property for his son. In
London and in Bristol, where he died in 1833, he associated himself with
Dr. Carpenter and the more orthodox section of the Unitarians,
explicitly avowing his belief in the miracles of Christ generally, and
particularly in the resurrection. In Calcutta, indeed, the origin of the
Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j was acknowledged at its commencement. After attending
the Scotch and other Churches in Calcutta, and then the Unitarian
Church, Rammohan Roy and his native friends set up a Church of their
own, and one name for it among educated natives was simply the Hindu
Unitarian Church. It is a secondary matter that, to begin with, the
reformer believed that he had found his monotheism in the Hindu
Scriptures, now known to all students as the special Scriptures of
pantheism.

Raja Rammohan Roy, the brave man who made a voyage to Britain in
defiance of caste, the champion of the widow who had often been
virtually obliged to lay herself on her dead husband's pyre, the
strenuous advocate of English education for Indians, the supporter of
the claim of Indians to a larger employment in the public service, has
not yet received from New India the recognition and honour which he
deserves. To every girl, at least in Bengal, the province of
widow-burning, he ought to be a hero as the first great Indian knight
who rode out to deliver the widows from the torturing fire of Suttee.

[Sidenote: Service of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j to India.]

As its theistic name implies, the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j professedly
represents a movement towards theism, _i.e._ a rise from the polytheism
and idolatry of the masses and a rejection of the pantheism of Hindu
philosophy. Of course, noteworthy though it be, the foundation of the
Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j in 1828 was not the introduction of monotheism to
India. In the Indian Christian Church and in Mahomedanism, the doctrine
of one, personal, God had been set forth to India, and in one of the
ancient Hindu philosophical systems, the Yoga Philosophy, the same
doctrine is implied. But in India, Christianity and Mahomedanism were
associated with hostile camps; the Yoga Philosophy was known only to a
few Sanscrit scholars. In Br[=a]hmaism, the doctrine of one personal God
became again natural naturalised in India. That has been its special
service to India, to naturalise monotheism and many social and religious
movements. For in India, things new and foreign lie under a peculiar
suspicion. In the social sphere, the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j repudiates caste
and gives to women a position in society. As Indian _theists_ also, when
their first church was opened in 1830, they gave the Indian sanction to
congregational worship and prayer, "before unknown to Hindus." For, the
brahman interposing between God and the ignorant multitude, the Hindu
multitude do not assemble themselves for united prayer, as Christians
and Mahomedans do; and at the other end of the Hindu scale, the
professed pantheist as such cannot pray. In proof of the latter
statement, we recall the words of Swami Vivekananda, representative of
Hinduism in the Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893, in a lecture
"The Real and the Apparent Man," published in 1896. "It is the greatest
of all lies," he writes somewhat baldly, although one is often grateful
for a bald, definite statement, "that we are mere men; we are the God of
the Universe.... The worst lie that you ever told yourself is that you
were born a sinner.... The wicked see this universe as a hell, and the
partially good see it as heaven, and the perfect beings realise it as
God Himself.... By mistake we think that we are impure, that we are
limited, that we are separate. The real man is the One Unit Existence."
Prayer is therefore irrational for a pantheist, for no man is separate
from God.

[Sidenote: Its limited membership.]

The influence of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j has been far greater than its
numerical success. Reckoned by its small company of 4050 members,[52]
some of them certainly men of the highest culture and of sincere
devoutness, the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j is a limited and local movement,
limited largely to the province of Bengal, and even to a few of the
larger towns in the province. But if the taint of the intellectual
origin of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j be still visible in the eclecticism
that it professes, in its rejection of the supernatural, and in its poor
numerical progress, it has nevertheless done great things for India.

[Sidenote: The Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j and the national feeling.]

As yet the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j has remained unaffected by the political
aspect of the new national feeling. Early in its history there was,
indeed, a section of the Sam[=a]j resolved to limit the selection of
scriptures to the scriptures of the Hindus, but the late Keshub Chunder
Sen successfully asserted the freedom of the Sam[=a]j, and probably
saved it from the narrow patriotic groove and from the political
character of the third of the new religious organisations, the [=A]rya
Sam[=a]j.

[Sidenote: Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes or Prayer Associations of S.W.
India.]

_The Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes_ or Prayer Associations of South-Western
India.--The history of India is pre-eminently the history of Northern
India, that is of the great plains of the Ganges and the Punjab. One may
test it by the simple academical test of reckoning what percentage of
marks in an examination on Indian history is assigned to the events of
the great northern plains. It is the same in the more recent religious
history of India. The southern provinces of Bombay and Madras have
contributed very little in respect of new religious life, organised or
unorganised, compared with the northern provinces of Bengal, the United
Provinces, and the Punjab. The Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes or Prayer
Associations of Bombay and South-western India are monotheistic like the
Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, and have their halls for their own worship. But
socially they have not severed themselves from their Hindu brethren, and
do not figure in the Census as separate. Even compared with the
Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, they are few in number. The first Pr[=a]rthan[=a]
Sam[=a]j was founded in Bombay in 1867. In Madras there is a small
representation of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j.



CHAPTER XI

NEW RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS

THE [=A]RYAS AND THE THEOSOPHISTS.

    "Let us receive not only the revelations of the past, but also
    welcome joyfully the revelations of the present day."

    --BISHOP COLENSO.


[Sidenote: The [=A]rya Sam[=a]j.]

III. _The [=A]rya Sam[=a]j_ or _Vedic Theistic Association_--In contrast
to the Sam[=a]jes which are leavening the country but themselves are
numerically unprogressive, are two other organisations--first, the
[=A]rya Sam[=a]j of the United Provinces and the Punjab, and secondly,
the Theosophists, who are now most active in Upper India, with Benares
the metropolis of Hinduism, as their headquarters. These two have taken
hold of educated India as no other movements yet have done. They appeal
directly to patriotic pride and the new national feeling, or, more
truly, are primarily shaped thereby.

Founded in 1875, the [=A]ryas are the most rapidly increasing of the new
Indian sects. In 1901 they numbered 92,419, an increase in the decade of
131 per cent. What ideas have such an attraction for the educated middle
class, for to that class the [=A]ryas almost exclusively belong? In
certain parts of the United Provinces and the Punjab, it seems as much a
matter of course that one who has received a modern education should be
an [=A]rya, as that in certain other provinces he should be a supporter
of the Congress.

[Sidenote: Foundation ideas of the [=A]ryas--two.]

The prime motive ideas are two. One is the result of modern education
and of Christian influence, namely, a consciousness that in certain
grosser aspects, such as polytheism, idolatry, animal sacrifices, caste,
and the seclusion of women, the present-day Hinduism cannot be defended.
Those things the [=A]ryas repudiate,--all honour to them for their
protest in behalf of reason, although in respect of caste and the
seclusion of women, their theory is said to be considerably ahead of
their practice. In the same modern spirit every [=A]rya member pledges
himself to endeavour to diffuse knowledge; and a college and a number of
schools are carried on by [=A]ryas in the Punjab. Repudiating all those
current customs, of course the [=A]ryas have parted company with the
orthodox Hindus. [=A]rya preachers denounce the corruptions of Hinduism,
and in turn, what may be called a Great Council of orthodox Hindus has
pronounced condemnation on the [=A]ryas. At an assembly of about four
hundred Hindu pandits, held in 1881 in the Senate House of the
University in Calcutta, the views of the founder of the [=A]ryas,
Dyanand Saraswati, were condemned as heterodox.[53]

The second motive idea is the new national consciousness, the new
patriotic feeling of Indians. The patriotic feeling is manifest in the
name; the [=A]ryas identify themselves with the [=A]ryans, the
Indo-European invaders of India, from whom the higher castes of Hindus
claim to be descended. Virtually, we may say, the [=A]ryas claim by
their name to be the pure original Hindus.

[Sidenote: Infallibility of the Vedas the leading tenet at first.]

To the first influence we may assign one of the chief doctrines of the
[=A]ryas, namely, their monotheism. Others of their doctrines belong to
the theology and philosophy of Hinduism, _e.g._ the ancient doctrine of
the transmigration of souls, and the doctrine of the three eternal
entities, God, the Soul, and Matter, the doctrinal significance of which
we shall have occasion to consider hereafter. These three uncreated
existences constitute one of the doctrines of the Joga system of Hindu
philosophy. To the second, or patriotic, influence, we may assign
especially the fundamental tenet of the founder of the [=A]ryas, namely,
the infallibility of the original Scriptures, the four Vedas, given, as
he alleged, to Indian sages at the creation of the world. "Back to the
Vedas!" we may say, is the cry of the [=A]ryas. In effect, the cry is
tantamount to the plea that the errors of Hinduism are only later
accretions; and be it acknowledged that no sanction can be drawn from
the Vedas for the prohibition of widow marriages, for the general
prevalence of child marriages, for the tyranny of caste, for idolatry
and several other objectionable customs.[54] Among the [=A]ryas,
therefore, we have the championship of things Indian in its crudest
form. Ludicrous are the attempts to rationalise all the statements of
the Vedas, and to find in them all modern science and modern ideas,
pouring new wine into old wine-skins, in perfect innocence of "the
higher criticism." Thus while animal sacrifices are proscribed by the
[=A]ryas, they are everywhere assumed in the Vedas, and two of the hymns
in the Rigveda are for use at the sacrifice of a horse
(a[s']wamedha).[55] According to an [=A]rya commentator, however,
a[s']wamedha is to be translated not "sacrifice of a horse," but
destruction of ignorance,--sacrifice of an ass, as one may jestingly
say.[56] Offerings for deceased parents, prescribed in detail in the
Vedas, are similarly rationalised into kind treatment of parents in old
age. The ancient and modern condemnation of eating beef was rationalised
by the [=A]ryas as follows: To kill a cow is as bad as to kill many men.
For suppose a cow to have a lifetime of fourteen or fifteen years. Her
calves, let us say, would be six cow calves and six bull calves. The
milk of the cow and her six cow calves during her natural lifetime would
give food for a day to an army of 154,440 men, according to the
calculation of the founder of the [=A]ryas, while the labour of the
other six calves as oxen would give a full meal to an army of 256,000
men. Therefore to kill a cow, etc., Q.E.D. Modern democracy, the
Copernican system of astronomy, a knowledge of the American continent,
of steamships, and of the telegraph are all discovered by Dyanand in the
Vedas, as no doubt wireless telegraphy and radium would have been, had
death not cut short, in 1883, the discoveries of the founder of the
[=A]ryas.[57]

[Sidenote: The modern leaven still affecting the [=A]ryas.]

These specimens of [=A]rya exposition of the Vedas I have given with no
intention of scoffing, although we may be permitted a laugh. I desire to
show the conflict of modern ideas and the new patriotic feeling, and how
the latter has affected the religious and theological position of the
[=A]ryas. It is the prominence of the patriotic feeling in many branches
of the Sam[=a]j that has led some observers to describe it as less of a
religious than a political organisation, anti-British and anti-Mahomedan
and anti-Christian. But the opponents of the Sam[=a]j are always
associated by [=A]ryas with rival religions; _keranis, kuranis,_ and
_puranis_ is their echoing list of their opponents,--namely, Christians
_(kerani_ being a corruption of _Christiani_), and believers in the
Koran, and believers in the Purans, _i.e._ the later Hindu books. And
that there is much more than political feeling is apparent in their
latest developments. The leaven of modern ideas has now led to the rise
of a party among the [=A]ryas which is prepared to stand by reason out
and out, and repudiate the founder's bondage to the Vedas and his _à
priori_ expositions. Popularly, the new party is known as the
"flesh-eaters." At present the Sam[=a]j is about equally divided, but
the more rationalistic section comprises most of the new-educated
members. Should the [=A]rya Sam[=a]j retain, as their chief doctrinal
positions, the perfection of pure original Hinduism and opposition to
every other ism, no great foresight or historical knowledge is required
to predict for the [=A]ryas, despite their vigour, a speedy lapse from
their reforming zeal into the position simply of a new Hindu caste,
reverting gradually to type. Their fate is still in the balance.

[Sidenote: The Bombay [=A]rya Sam[=a]j.]

The [=A]rya Sam[=a]j in Bombay does not repudiate caste. One of their
principles is that no member is expected to violate any of his own
special caste rules. Why, one cannot help asking, this invertebrate
character of the new Indian religious associations in Western India? It
is patent that what the Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes of Western India are
to the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j of Bengal, the [=A]rya Sam[=a]j in Bombay is
to that in the Punjab and the United Provinces--only feeble echoes.
Bombay Indians lead their countrymen in commercial enterprise, and in
political questions they take as keen an interest as any of the Indian
races. With hesitation and with apologies to Parsee friends, we ask
whether it is the numerous Parsees in Bombay who have made their
fellow-westerns only worldly-wise. For to great commercial enterprise,
the Parsees add a stubborn conservatism in religion.

[Sidenote: The Theosophical Society and the national feeling.]

IV. _The Theosophists_ are the only other new religious organisation
whom we can notice.--Them too the new patriotic feeling has very largely
shaped. Founded in America in 1875, the very year in which the [=A]rya
Sam[=a]j was established in Bombay, the Theosophical Society professed
to be "the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity," representing
and excluding no religious creed and interfering with no man's caste. On
the other hand, somewhat inconsistently, it professed to be a society to
promote the study of [=A]ryan and other Eastern literature, religion,
and sciences, and to vindicate their importance; and it appealed for
support, amongst others, "to all who loved India and would see a revival
of her ancient glories, intellectual and spiritual." At the same time
the society professed "to investigate the hidden mysteries of nature and
the psychical powers latent in man." The society naturally gravitated
towards India, and by 1884 had 87 branches in India and Ceylon, against
12 in all the rest of the world. Its career might easily have been
predicted. Inevitably, when transplanted to India, about the year 1878,
such a society came under the spell of the new national consciousness
already referred to. For a time Theosophy shared with the political
Congress the first place in the interest of New India, and crowds of
educated Indians still assemble whenever Mrs. Besant, now the leading
Theosophist, is to speak. One of the rules of the society, however,
saved it from the descent into politics that has overtaken the [=A]rya
Sam[=a]j and tainted it as a religious movement. Rule XVI (1884) forbids
members, as such, to interfere in politics, and declares expulsion to be
the penalty for violation of the rule.

[Sidenote: [=A]rya period of the Theosophical Society.]

Consistently enough, when the society was transplanted to India, it
entered into partnership with the [=A]rya Sam[=a]j; for two years,
indeed, Madame Blavatsky, the first leader of the Theosophists, had been
corresponding from America with the founder of the [=A]ryas. The [=A]rya
tenet of the infallibility of the original Hindu Scriptures needed no
reconciliation with the Theosophist declaration of the ancient spiritual
glories of India. But the [=A]ryas are also religious reformers, while,
as enlightened Hindus now complain, the Theosophists are more Hindu than
the Hindus. After three years, in 1881, difference arose on the question
of the personality of God. The [=A]ryas, we have seen, are monotheist;
the Theosophical Society, we shall see, is identified with brahmanical
pantheism.[58]

[Sidenote: Buddhist period of the Theosophical Society.]

[Sidenote: Pro-Hindu period of the Theosophical Society.]

The Buddhist period of the Theosophical Society, which came next, is
best known to general readers, but is only an episode in its history. In
the early "eighties," we find the society pro-Buddhist, and apparently
identifying _Buddhism_ with "the ancient glories of India, spiritual and
intellectual," that the society was professedly desirous to revive. We
associate the period with the publication of _Esoteric Buddhism_, by Mr.
A.P. Sinnett, one of the society's leaders, and with Madame Blavatsky's
claim to be in spiritual communication with Mahatmas [great spirits] in
Thibet, the Buddhist land, now robbed of its mystery by the British
expedition of 1904. Madame Blavatsky claimed to be receiving letters
carried straight from Thibet by some air-borne Ariel. The discovery in
1884 of Madame Blavatsky's trickery ended the exhibition of "psychical
powers," and also apparently the Buddhist period of the society. That
the society itself survived the exposure is proof that it had a deeper
root than any mere cult of Buddhism or Spiritualism could give. Its
appeal, as we have said, was to the new patriotic feeling in the sphere
of religion. To Madame Blavatsky succeeded Mrs. Besant as leading
spirit, and to the cult of Buddhism again succeeded the glorification of
ancient Hinduism and now also apologies of Hinduism as it is; and to
Madras as chief centre of Theosophy succeeded Benares, metropolis of
Hinduism. Mrs. Besant proclaimed herself the reincarnation of some
ancient Hindu pandit, and called upon Hindus to devote themselves to the
study of the Sacred Sanscrit. Supported by many well-to-do Hindus, in
1900 she founded a college at Benares in which Hinduism might be lived
and inculcated as Christianity is inculcated in the Indian Missionary
Colleges. In the beginning of 1904 a great figure of the goddess
Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of Learning, was being erected in the
grounds of the College. The subordination of the Indian Theosophical
Society, at least in the person of Mrs. Besant, to the pro-Hindu
national movement may be pronounced complete. In the sphere of religion,
this new Indian consciousness which has enveloped the Theosophists is a
force opposed to change and reform. The Theosophical Society, which at
the outset professed to be the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood, is
now fostering caste and Hindu exclusiveness, the antitheses of the idea
of humanity. Yet, as we shall see, even in the text-books of Hindu
Religion prepared for use in the Hindu College, Benares, Christian
thought is not difficult to discover. And its meed of praise must not be
withheld from the attempts of Theosophists and the Hindu College,
Benares, to rationalise current Hindu customs and to reduce the chaos of
Hindu beliefs to some system that will satisfy New India. Fain would the
Theosophists propound, as we have already noted in the chapter, "New
Social Ideas," that caste should be determined by character and
occupation, not by birth. That being impossible, they would fain see the
myriad of castes reduced to the original four named in Manu. To quote
again the summing up regarding the caste system in the chief Hindu
text-book referred to--"Unless the abuses which are interwoven with caste
can be eliminated, its doom is certain." That is much from the leaders
of the Hindu reaction. In Hinduism they may often see only what they
wish to see, but they are not wholly blinded.

The Theosophists, it should be noted, do not figure as such in the
Census. Indian Christians, Brahmas, and [=A]ryas have all taken up a
definite new position in respect of religion, and ticket themselves as
such; the Theosophists are now at least mainly the apologists of things
as they are, and require no name to differentiate themselves.



CHAPTER XII

THE NEW MAHOMEDANS


[Sidenote: The national anti-British feeling not manifested among
Mahomedans.]

[Sidenote: Mahomedan religious movements.]

The Mahomedans, the other great religious community of India,[59] have
been far less stirred by the new era than the Hindus, whom hitherto we
have been chiefly considering. Only a small number of Mahomedans belong
to the professional class, so that modern education and the awakening
have not reached Mahomedans in the same degree as Hindus. Quite
outnumbered also by Hindus, they identify themselves politically with
the British rather than with the Hindus, so that as a body they do not
support the Congress, the great Indian Political Association, and have
no anti-British consciousness. Mahomedan solidarity is strong enough,
but it is religious not national, and so it is only in the religious
sphere that we find the new era telling upon Mahomedans. Two small
religious movements may be noted curiously parallel to the [=A]rya and
Br[=a]hma movements among Hindus, and suggesting the operation of like
influences.

[Sidenote: The Wahabbi movement analogous to [=A]ryaism.]

As the [=A]ryas preach a return to the pure original Hinduism of the
Vedas, the first Mahomedan movement inculcates a return to the pure
original Mahomedanism of the Koran. In particular, it urges a casting
off of the Hindu customs and superstitions that the Indian converts to
Mahomedanism have frequently retained,--the offerings to the dead, for
example. In the first instance, the movement came from a seventeenth
century Arabian sect, the Wahabbis, but the movement reached India only
about the year 1820, and therefore is a feature of the period we are
surveying. The movement belongs specially to Bengal and the United
Provinces north-west of Bengal, and is known by a variety of local
names, Wahabbi and other. Significant, as supporting what has been said
regarding the absence of anti-British feeling among present-day
Mahomedans, is the fact that in the first stages of the Wahabbi
movement, both in Eastern and Western Bengal, the duty of war upon
infidels--on the British and the Hindus in this case--was a prominent
doctrine of the crusade. In Mahomedan language, India was _Daru-l-harb_
or a Mansion of War. In these later years, on the contrary, it is
generally recognised by Mahomedans that India under the British rule is
not _Daru-l-harb_, but _Daru-l-Islam_, or a Mansion of Islamism, in
which war on infidels is not incumbent.[60] It may be noted that the
decree, recently issued from Mecca, that British territory is
Daru-l-Islam, can only refer to India.

[Sidenote: The Aligarh movement analogous to Brahmaism.]

Exactly like the Brahmas, the other new Mahomedan sect, in the modern
rational spirit, have refined away their faith to a theism or deism
purged of the supernatural. Mahomed's inspiration and miracles are
rejected. These represent the modern rationalising spirit in religion;
reason is their standard, and "reason alone is a sufficient guide."
According to Sir Syed Ahmad, founder of the movement, "Islam is Nature,
and Nature Islam." Hence the sect is sometimes called the Naturis,[61]
or followers of _Natural_ Religion, the adoption of the English word
identifying them again with the Br[=a]hmas, who are essentially the
outcome of English education and Christian influence among Hindus. The
Naturis, the modernised Mahomedans, have as their headquarters the
Mahomedan Anglo-Oriental College at Aligarh in the United Provinces. It
ought to be said that they also claim to be going back to pure original
Mahomedanism before it was corrupted by the "Fathers" of Islam.



CHAPTER XIII

HINDU DOCTRINES--HOW THEY CHANGE

    "As men's minds receive new ideas, laying aside the old and
    effete, the world advances. Society rests upon them; mighty
    revolutions spring from them; institutions crumble before their
    onward march."

    --_Extract from Mr. Kiddle, an American writer, which occurs in
    a letter "received" by Madame Blavatsky from Koot Humi in
    Thibet_.


[Sidenote: Will the new religious organisations survive?]

The four new religious organisations described in the preceding chapters
may or may not survive--who can tell? What would they become, or what
would become of them, in the event, say, of the great nations of Europe
issuing from some deadly conflict so balanced that India and the East
had to be let alone, entirely cut off? The Indian Christian Church,
hardly yet acclimatised so far as it is the creation of modern efforts,
would she survive? The English sweet-pea, sown in India, produced its
flowers, but not at first any vigorous self-propagating seed. The
Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, graft of West on East, and still sterile as an
intellectual coterie, how would it fare, cut off from its Western
nurture? The [=A]rya Sam[=a]j--what, in that event, would be her
resistance to the centripetal force that we have noted in her blind
patriotism? The reactionary Theosophists--after the provocative action
had ceased--what of them? Would not the Indian jungle, which they are
trying to reduce to a well-ordered garden of indigenous fruits, speedily
lapse to jungle again? We shall not attempt to answer our own questions
directly, but proceed to the second part of our programme sketched on p.
122. How far then have Christian and modern religious ideas been
_naturalised_ in New India, whether within the new religious
organisations or without? Whatever the fate of the organisations, these
naturalised ideas might be expected to survive.

[Sidenote: Modification of doctrines.]

[Sidenote: Elements of Christianity being naturalised in India--three.]

We recall the statements made on ample authority in an earlier chapter,
that certain aspects of Christianity are attracting attention in India
and proving themselves possessed of inherent force and attractiveness.
These, the dynamical elements of Christianity, were specially the idea
of God the Father, the person of Jesus Christ, and the Christian
conception of the Here and Hereafter. For although Hinduism declares a
social boycott against any Hindu who transports his person over the sea
to Europe, within India itself the Hindu mind is in close contact with
such modern religious ideas. The wall built round the garden will not
shut out the crows. Indeed, like the ancient Athenian, the modern Hindu
takes the keenest interest in new religious ideas.

To comprehend the impression that such new religious ideas are making,
we must realise in some measure the background upon which they are cast,
both that part of it which the new ideas are superseding and the
remainder which constitutes their new setting and gives them their
significance. In brief, what is the present position of India in regard
to religious belief; and in particular, what are the prevailing beliefs
about God?

[Sidenote: Indian beliefs about God--Polytheists; Theists; Pantheists.]

A rough classification of the theological belief of the Hindus of the
present day would be--the multitude are polytheists; the new-educated
are monotheists; the brahmanically educated are professed pantheists.
Rough as it is, we must keep the classification before us in trying to
estimate the influence upon the Indian mind of the Christian idea of
God. From that fundamental classification let us try to understand the
Hindu position more fully.

[Sidenote: No one doctrine is distinctive of Hinduism.]

Let it be realised, in the first place, how _undefined_ is the Hindu's
religious position. From the rudest polytheism up to pantheism, and even
to an atheistic philosophy, all is within the Hindu pale, like fantastic
cloud shapes and vague mist and empty ether, all within the same sky. To
the student of Hinduism, then, the first fact that emerges is that there
are no distinctive Hindu doctrines. No one doctrine is distinctive of
Hinduism. There is no canonical book, nowhere any stated body of
doctrine that might be called the Hindu creed. The only common measure
of Hindus is that they employ brahmans in their religious ceremonies,
and even that does not hold universally. A saying of their own is, "On
two main points all sects agree--the sanctity of the cow and the
depravity of women." In contrast to Hindus in this respect of the
absence of a standard creed, Mahomedans call themselves _kitabi_ or
possessing a book, since in the Koran they do possess such a canon. In
the words of Mahomed, Christians and Jews likewise are "the peoples of
the book," and have a defined theological position. But regarding
Hindus, again, we note there is no doctrinal pale, no orthodoxy or
heterodoxy. "We Europeans," writes Sir Alfred Lyall regarding Hinduism,
"can scarcely comprehend an ancient religion, still alive and powerful,
which is a mere troubled sea without shore or visible horizon."[62] In
these days of opportunist denunciation of creeds, the amorphous state of
creedless Hinduism may be noted.

The experience of the late Dr. John Henry Barrows, President of the
Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893, may be quoted in
confirmation of the absence of a Hindu creed. After he had won the
confidence of India's representatives as their host at Chicago, and had
secured for them a unique audience there, being himself desirous to
write on Hinduism, he wrote to over a hundred prominent Hindus
requesting each to indicate what in his view were some of the leading
tenets of Hinduism. He received only one reply.

[Sidenote: Pantheism, Maya, and Transmigration may be called Hindu
doctrines.]

No one doctrine is distinctive of Hinduism. It is an extreme misleading
statement, nevertheless, to say as some Western writers have done, and
at least one Hindu writer,[63] that Hinduism is not a religion at all,
but only a social system. There are several doctrines to which a great
many Hindus would at once conventionally subscribe, and these I venture
to call Hindu doctrines. In theological conversations with Hindus, three
doctrines very frequently show themselves as a theological background.
These are, first, Pantheism; secondly, Transmigration and Final
Absorption into Deity; and, thirdly, Maya, i.e. Delusion, or the
Unreality of the phenomena of Sense and Consciousness. I find a recent
pro-Hindu writer making virtually the same selection. In the ninth
century, she writes, Sankarachargya, the great upholder of Pantheism,
"took up and defined the [now] current catch-words--maya, karma [the
doctrine of works, or of re-birth according to desert], reincarnation,
and left the terminology of Hinduism what it is to-day."... "But," she
also adds, "they are nowhere and in no sense regarded as essential."[64]
Naturally, then, the inquiry that we have set ourselves to will at the
same time be an inquiry how far Christian thought has affected these
three main Hindu doctrines of Pantheism, Transmigration, and Maya.

[Sidenote: Commingling of contradictory beliefs--]

[Sidenote: Polytheism with Monotheism.]

Nor is it to be imagined that the Hindu polytheism, theism, and
pantheism are distinguishable religious strata. "Uniformity and
consistency of creeds are inventions of the European mind," says a
cynical writer already quoted. "Hinduism bristles with contradictions,
inconsistencies, and surprises," says Sir M. Monier Williams. The common
people are indeed polytheists, at different seasons of the year and on
different social occasions worshipping different deities, male or
female, and setting out to this or that shrine, as the touts of the
rival shrines have persuaded them. Nevertheless, an intelligent member
of the humbler ranks is always ready to acknowledge that there is really
only one God, of whom the so-called gods are only variations in name. Or
his theory may be that there is one supreme God, under whom the popular
deities are only departmental heads; for the presence of the great
central British Government in India is a standing suggestion of
monotheism. The officer who drew up the _Report of the Census of India_,
1901 (p. 363) gives an instance of this commingling of monotheism and
polytheism. "An orderly," he writes, "into whose belief I was inquiring,
described the relation between the supreme God and the Devata [minor
Gods] as that between an official and his orderlies, and another popular
simile often used is that of the Government and the district
officer."[65] The polytheism of the masses may thus blend with the
theism which is the ordinary intellectual standpoint of the educated
classes.

[Sidenote: Monotheism with Polytheism.]

Rising to the next stage, namely, the theism of the educated class--the
blending of their theism with the polytheism of the masses is
illustrated in the July number of the magazine of the Hindu College,
Benares, the headquarters of the late Hindu revival and of the
pantheistic philosophy. In answer to an inquirer's question--"Is there
only one God?" the reply is, "There is one supreme Lord or Ishvara of
the universe, and there are minor deities or devas who intelligently
guide the various processes of nature in their different departments in
willing obedience to Ishvara." The Hindu College, Benares, be it
remembered, is primarily one of the modern colleges whence the modern
new-Indians come.

[Sidenote: Monotheism with Pantheism.]

Again, the modern theism of the educated, in like manner, very readily
passes into the pantheism of the philosophers and of those educated in
Sanscrit, which I have described as part of the accepted Hindu
orthodoxy. For, whatever its origin, an observer finds the pantheistic
idea emerge all over educated India. The late Sir M. Monier Williams
speaks of pantheism as a main root of the original Indo-Aryan creed,
which has "branched out into an endless variety of polytheistic
superstitions." Whether that be so, or whether, as is now more generally
believed, the polytheism is the aboriginal Indian plant into which the
pantheistic idea has been grafted as communities have become
brahmanised, the pantheistic idea very readily presents itself to the
mind of the educated Hindu. In any discussion regarding human
responsibility the idea crops up that _all_ is God, "There is One only,
and no second." We can scarcely realise how readily it comes to the
middle-class Hindu's lips that God is all, and that there can be no such
thing as sin. The pantheists are thus no separate sect from the theists,
any more than the theists are from the polytheists. The same man, if a
member of the educated class, will be polytheist in his established
domestic religion, theist in his personal standpoint and general
profession, and probably a pantheist in a controversy regarding moral
responsibility, or should he set himself to write about religion.

[Sidenote: Illustration of polytheism, monotheism, and pantheism
commingling.]

Take a statement of the mingling of polytheism, monotheism, and
pantheism from the extreme south of India, a thousand miles away from
Benares. "Though those men all affirmed," we read, "that there is only
one God, they admitted that they each worshipped several. They saw
nothing inconsistent in this. Just as the air is in everything, so God
is in everything, therefore in the various symbols. And as our king has
diverse representative Viceroys and Governors to rule over his dominions
in his name, so the Supreme has these subdeities, less in power and only
existing by force of Himself, and He, being all pervasive, can be
worshipped under their forms."[66]

[Sidenote: Pure pantheism rare.]

At the top of all is the pure pantheist, a believer in the illusion of
the senses, and generally though not always an ascetic. For life is not
worth living if it is merely an illusion, and the illusion must be
dispelled, and the world of the senses renounced. If "father and
brother, etc., have no actual entity," said the reformer Raja Rammohan
Roy [1829] when combating pantheism, "they consequently deserve no real
affection, and the sooner we escape from them and leave the world the
better." So the pantheist is generally an ascetic cut off from the world
to be consistent in his pantheism. Yet again, we repeat that such pure
pantheists are very rare, and that "in India forms of pantheism, theism,
and polytheism are ever interwoven with each other."[67]

To one familiar with India, such a medley is neither inconceivable nor
improbable; the debatable question only is, what sufficient account of
the cause thereof can be given. Why is it that Hindu doctrine has never
set? Why this incongruity between doctrine and domestic practice? Why
this double-mindedness in the same educated individual? Much might be
said in the endeavour to account for these characteristic features of
India, the despair of the Christian missionary. I confine myself to the
bearing of the question upon the influence of Christian ideas, and
particularly of Christian theism.

[Sidenote: Fluidity of Hindu thought; rigidity of Hindu practice.]

For the student of this special aspect of Hinduism a second pertinent
fact here emerges, namely, that Hindu practice is much more established
than Hindu doctrine. The unchangeableness of Hindu ritual is not a new
idea; it is its bearing on doctrine that has not been clearly
considered. There _is_, then, a distinctly recognised Hindu orthodoxy in
manners and worship, at least for each Hindu community, while there is
no orthodoxy in doctrine. The broad distinctive marks of Hindu practice,
we may repeat, are the social usage of caste, and the employment of
brahmans in religious ritual. With ideas, then, thus fluid and practice
thus rigid, it will be easily understood that Christian and modern ideas
have made much greater headway in India than Christian customs and modes
of worship. The mind of educated India has been Christianised to a much
greater extent than the religious or domestic practices have been.
Perhaps it might be said that all down the centuries of Christian Church
history, opinion has often been in advance of worship and the social
code, that social and religious conventionalities have lagged behind
belief. If so, it is the marked conservatism in ceremonial that is
noteworthy in India. While Hindu beliefs are dissolving or dropping out
of the mind, Hindu practices are successfully resisting the solvent
influences or only slowly being transformed.

[Sidenote: More progress towards Christian thought than Christian
practice.]

It is not too much to say that the educated Hindu does not regard a
fixed creed as a part of his Hinduism, but rather boasts of the
doctrinal comprehensiveness of his religion. He joyfully lives in a
ferment of religious thought, surrendering to the doctrine of a
satisfying teacher, but the idea of creed subscription, or a doctrinal
stockade, is utterly foreign to his nature. For him the standards are
the fixed social usages and the brahmanical ritual. Hear a Hindu himself
on the matter, the historian of _Hindu Civilisation during British Rule_
[i. 60]: "Hinduism has ever been and still is as liberal and tolerant in
matters of religious belief as it is illiberal and intolerant in matters
of social conduct." In a recent pamphlet[68] an Anglo-Indian civilian
gives his evidence clearly, if too baldly, of the fixity of practice and
the mobility of belief. "The educated Hindu," he writes, "has largely
lost his belief in the old myths about the gods and goddesses of the
Hindu pantheon, and has learned to smile at many of the superstitions of
his uneducated countrymen. But Hinduism as a religion that tells a man
not only what he shall eat, what he shall drink, and wherewithal he
shall be clothed, but tells him how to perform innumerable acts that men
of other nations never think have anything to do with religion at all,
Hinduism as an intricate social code, stands largely unaffected by the
flood of Western education that has been poured upon the country. He
instances a brahman, one of his own subordinates, college-bred and
English-speaking, who, when away from home with his superior officer,
had to cook his food for himself, because the brahman servant he had
with him was of a lower division than his own, and he could not afford
to hire a man of his own status among brahmans."

[Sidenote: Thought independent of act.]

We ask again for the cause of this progress in thought and stagnation in
practice. In India, creed and practice go their own way; thinking is
independent of acting. Listen to the naive standpoint assumed in the
Confession or Covenant of a Theistic Association established in Madras
in 1864. We read in article 3 that the person being initiated makes this
declaration: "In the meantime, I shall observe the ceremonies now in
use, but only where indispensable. I shall go through such ceremonies,
where they are not conformable to pure Theism, as mere matters of
routine, destitute of all religious significance--as the lifeless
remains of a superstition which has passed away." And again in article
4: "I shall never endeavour to deceive anyone as to my religious
opinions." In the revision of 1871, both articles were dropped, but in
the earlier form there was no attempt to disguise that thought was
independent of act. The familiar figure of Buddha in meditation, seated
cross-legged and motionless, with vacant introspective eyes, oblivious
of the outer world, is a type of the separation of thought from act that
seems natural to India or to the Indian mind, type also of the
independence of each thinker. The thinker secludes himself; "the mind is
its own place." To become a thinker signifies to become an ascetic
recluse; even modern enlightenment often removes an Indian from
fellow-feeling with his kind.

[Sidenote: No Theological Faculties.]

How is it so? I say nothing of the climate of tropical India as a
contributory cause. The way in which Hindu learning was and is
transmitted, is itself almost sufficient explanation of the independence
and the fluidity of religious doctrine. Hinduism has no recognised
Theological Faculties as training schools for the priesthood. _Buddhist_
monasteries of the early Christian centuries we do read of, institutions
corresponding to our universities, to which crowds of students resorted,
and where many subjects were taught; but the _Hindu_ lore is transmitted
otherwise. Beside or in his humble dwelling, the learned Hindu pandit
receives and teaches and shares his poverty with his four, five, or it
may be twenty disciples, who are to be the depositaries of his lore, and
in their turn its transmitters. Such an institution is a Sanscrit tol,
where ten to twenty years of the formative period of a young pandit's
life may be spent. Without printed books and libraries and intercourse
with kindred minds, there may be as many schools of thought as there are
teachers. And all this study, be it remembered, has no necessary
connection with the priesthood. Tols have no necessary connection with
temples, or temples with tols. Hereditary priests are independent of
Theological Schools. Recently, indeed, in Bengal these tols have been
taken up by the Education Department, and their studies are being
directed to certain fixed subjects.

[Sidenote: The twofold priesthood--religious teachers and celebrants.]

[Sidenote: How doctrine moves independently of ritual.]

Another feature of the organisation of Hinduism, hitherto insufficiently
noticed, has a still closer connection with this freedom of thought and
fixity of practice. The Indian mind is open to new religious ideas,
while the religious customs of India remain almost unaffected, _because_
the priesthood of Hinduism is two-fold. One set of priests, called
purohits, are merely the celebrants at worship and ceremonies; the
second set, called gurus, theoretically more highly honoured, are or
were the religious teachers of the people. Among Mahomedans there is a
somewhat similar two-fold priesthood, although among them doctrine is
not divorced from religious worship and ritual. But in Christianity we
have not specialised so far. A Christian clergyman, as we know, holds
both offices; he is both the religious teacher and the celebrant at
sacraments, etc. In Hinduism, with these two sets of priests entirely
separate, it is evident that a change may take place in the creed
without the due performance of the Hindu ritual being affected. A
striking instance of the divergence of guru from purohit is given by Sir
Monier Williams in another connection. In India, he says, no temples are
more common than those containing the symbol of the God Siva--there are
said to be thirty million symbols of Siva scattered over India--yet
among gurus there is scarcely one in a hundred whose vocation is to
impart the mantra (the saving text) of Siva.[69] It has already been
explained how the creed of Hinduism is dissolving while its practices
remain; to restate the fact otherwise now--The hereditary purohits
continue to be employed many times a year in a Hindu household, as
worship, births, deaths, marriages, and social ceremonies recur, but the
hereditary gurus as religious teachers have become practically
defunct.[70] Literally, the _one_ duty of a guru has come to be to
communicate once in a lifetime to each Hindu his saving mantra or
Sanscrit text; periodically thereafter, the guru may visit his clients
to collect what dues they may be pleased to give. The place of religious
teacher in Hinduism is vacant, and Christianity and modern thought are
taking the vacant place. The modern middle-class Hindu is in need of a
guru. For mere purohits, as such, he has a small and a declining
reverence; but holy men, as such, his instinct is to honour--one of the
pleasing features of Hinduism. We can understand it all when we remember
how in the Christian Church, in a crisis like that from which the Church
is now emerging, many come to be married by the clergyman who have
practically lapsed from the faith.



CHAPTER XIV

THE NEW THEISM

    "The idea of God is the productive and conservative principle
    of civilisation; as is the religion of a community, so will be
    in the main its morals, its laws, its general history."

    _Vico_ and _Michelet_ (Prof. Flint's _Philosophy of History_).


[Sidenote: Polytheism receding before Monotheism.]

In some measure, then, we understand how Hindu polytheism, theism, and
pantheism are related to each other; we realise in some measure the
openness of the Indian mind, and we now ask ourselves how far the
Christian doctrine of God has impressed itself upon that open mind. Of
the polytheistic masses it has already been pointed out that intelligent
individuals will now readily acknowledge that there is truly one God
only. Further, that the polytheistic idolatry which is now associated
with the masses once extended far higher up the scale, is evident to
anyone reading the observations made early in the nineteenth century.
Early travellers in India, like the French traveller Tavernier of the
seventeenth century, speak of the Indians without distinction as
idolaters, contrasting them with the Mahomedans of India. In the
_Calcutta Gazette_ of 1816, Raja Rammohan Roy, the learned opponent of
Hindu idolatry, the Erasmus of the new era, is called the _discoverer_
of theism in the sacred books of the Hindus. Rammohan Roy himself
disclaimed the title, but writing in 1817, he speaks of "the system of
idolatry into which Hindus are now completely sunk."[71] Many learned
brahmans, he says in the same pamphlet, are perfectly aware of the
absurdity of idol worship, indicating that the knowledge belonged only
to the scholars. His own object, he said, was to declare _the unity_ of
God as the real thought of the Hindu Scriptures. Across India, on the
Bombay side, we find clear evidence of the state of opinion among the
middle class in 1830, from the report of a public debate on the
Christian and Hindu religions. The antagonists were, on the one side,
the Scottish missionary Dr. John Wilson and others, and on the other
side two leading officials of the highest Government Appellate Court,
men who would now rank as eminent representatives of the educated class.
One of these demanded proof that there was only one God.[72]

[Sidenote: The beginning of the nineteenth century.]

[Sidenote: Monotheistic belief a broadening wedge between pantheism and
polytheism.]

Returning to Bengal, it would seem from Rammohan Roy's evidence that in
1820 the standpoint of the learned at that time was exactly what we have
called the standpoint of an intelligent individual among the masses
to-day, namely, a plea that the multitude of gods were agents of the one
Supreme God. "Debased and despicable," he writes, "as is the belief of
the Hindus in three hundred and thirty millions of gods, they (the
learned) pretend to reconcile this persuasion with the doctrine of the
unity of God, alleging that the three hundred and thirty millions of
gods are subordinate agents assuming various offices and preserving the
harmony of the universe under one Godhead, as innumerable rays issue
from one sun."[73] Turning to testimony of a different kind, we find
Macaulay speaking about the polytheistic idolatry he knew between 1834
and 1838. "The great majority of the population," he writes, "consists
of idolaters." Macaulay's belief was that idolatry would not survive
many years of English education, and we shall now take note how in the
century the sphere of idolatry and polytheism has been limited. At the
beginning of the nineteenth century, we may now say that Indian Hindu
society consisted of a vast polytheistic mass with a very thin, an often
invisible, film of pantheists on the top. The nineteenth century of
enlightenment and contact with Christianity has seen the wide acceptance
of the monotheistic conception by the new-educated India. The founding
of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j or Theistic Association in 1828 by Rammohan
Roy has already been called the commencement of an indigenous theistic
church outside the transplanted theism of Indian Christianity and Indian
Mahomedanism. Strictly rendered, the divine name _Brahm[=a]_, adopted by
the Br[=a]hmas, expresses the pantheistic idea that God is the _One
without a second_, not the theistic idea of one personal God; but what
we are concerned with is, that it was in the monotheistic sense that
Rammohan Roy adopted the term. To him Brahm[=a] was a personal God, with
whom men spoke in prayer and praise. As a matter of fact the pantheistic
formula, "One only, no second," occurs in the creeds of all three new
monotheistic bodies, Br[=a]hmas, Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jists, and
[=A]ryas, but in the same monotheistic sense. The original Sanscrit of
the formula (Ekam eva advityam), three words from the Chh[=a]ndogya
Upanishad, is regularly intoned (droned) in the public worship of
Br[=a]hmas. Like a wedge between the polytheism of the masses below and
the pantheism of the brahmanically educated above, there came in this
naturalised theism, a body of opinion ever widening as modern education
enlarges its domain. It is one of the _events_ of Indian history. Now,
pantheistic in argument and polytheistic in domestic practices as
educated Hindus still are, they never call themselves pantheists, and
would resent being called polytheists; they call themselves theists.
"Every intelligent man is now a monotheist," writes the late Dr. John
Murdoch of Madras, an experienced observer.[74] "Many" (of the educated
Hindus), says a Hindu writer, "--I may say most of them--are in reality
monotheists, but monotheists of a different type from those who belong
to the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j. They are, if we may so call them, passive
monotheists.... The influence of the Hindu environment is as much
perceptible in them as that of the Christian environment."[75] Professor
Max Müller and Sir M. Monier Williams are of the same opinion. "The
educated classes look with contempt upon idolatry.... A complete
disintegration of ancient faiths is in progress in the upper strata of
society. Most of the ablest thinkers become pure Theists or
Unitarians."[76] That change took place within the nineteenth century, a
testimony to the force of Christian theism in building up belief, and to
the power of the modern Indian atmosphere to dissipate irrational and
unpractical beliefs. For, in contact with the practical instincts of
Europe, the pantheistic denial of one's own personality--a disbelief in
one's own consciousness, the thought that there is no thinker--was bound
to give way, as well as the irrational polytheism. Very unphilosophical
may have been Lord Byron's attitude to the idealism of Berkeley: "When
Bishop Berkeley said there was no matter, 'twas no matter what he said."
But that represents the modern atmosphere which New India is breathing,
and it is fatal to pantheism.

[Sidenote: The spread of monotheism traced.]

It is interesting to note how monotheism spread. The Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j
of Madras was founded in 1864, theistic like the mother society, the
Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j of Bengal. Three years later the first of similar
bodies on the west side of India was founded, the Pr[=a]rthan[=a]
Sam[=a]jes or Prayer Associations of Bombay. Their very name, the
_Prayer_ Associations, implies the dual conception of God and Man, for
the pantheistic conception does not admit of the idea of prayer any more
than it admits of the other dualistic conceptions of revelation, of
worship, and of sin. These movements, again, were followed in the United
Provinces and the North-West of India by the founding of the _[=A]rya
Sam[=a]j_, or, as I have called it, the Vedic Theistic Association, also
professedly theistic. Polytheism and pantheism alike, the [=A]ryas
repudiate. For the gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon, the founder
of the [=A]ryas declared there was no recognition in the Vedas.
Demonstrable or not, that is the [=A]rya position. The rejection of
pantheism by such a body is noteworthy, for pantheism is identified with
India and the Vedanta, the most widely accepted of the six systems of
Indian philosophy, and the [=A]rya Sam[=a]j is nothing if not patriotic.
It is above all pro-Indian and pro-Vedic. Their direct repudiation of
pantheism may not be apparent to Western minds. [=A]ryas predicate three
eternal entities, God, the Soul, and Matter,[77] and this declaration of
the reality of the soul and of matter is a direct denial of the
pantheistic conception, its very antithesis. One pantheistic formula is:
"Brahma is reality, the world unreality" (Brahma satyam, jagan
mithy[=a]). The Pantheist must declare, and does declare in his doctrine
of Maya or Delusion, that the soul and matter are illusions.

[Sidenote: The progress of monotheism seen in the _Text-book of Hindu
Religion_.]

A very striking illustration of the present insufficiency of the
pantheistic conception of God and of the movement of educated India
towards theism is to be found where one would least expect it--in
connection with the Hindu Revival. In 1903 an _Advanced Text-book of
Hindu Religion and Ethics_ was published by the Board of Trustees of the
Hindu College, Benares, a body representing the movement for a revival
of Hinduism. It was a heroic undertaking to reconcile, in the one
Text-book, Vedic, philosophic, and popular Hinduism, to harmonise all
the six schools of philosophy, to embrace all the aspects of modern
Hinduism, and lastly to satisfy the monotheistic opinions of modern
enlightened Hindus.

[Sidenote: What is Pantheism?]

To appreciate the testimony of the Text-book, we must enter more fully
into the orthodox Hindu theological position. Pantheism, or the doctrine
that God is all and all is God--what does it imply? Pantheism is a
theory of creation, that God is all, that there are in truth no
creatures, but only unreal phantasies appearing to darkened human minds,
because darkened and half-blind. As such, its nearest Christian analogue
would be the thought that in every phenomenon we have God's fiat and
God's reason, and that "in Him we live and move and have our being."
Pantheism is a theory of spiritual culture, that our individuality is
ours only to merge it in His, although on this line, the Christian soon
parts company with the Indian pantheistic devotee, who seeks to _merge_
his consciousness in God, not to train himself into active sonship.
Pantheism is a theory of God's omnipresence, and may be little more than
enthusiastic feeling of God's omnipresence, such as we have in the 139th
psalm, "Whither shall I go from Thy presence? and whither shall I flee
from Thy spirit?" That Oriental mysticism and loyalty to an idea we can
allow for. It is in that aspect that pantheism is in closest contact
with the belief of the new educated Hindu. But in brahmanical
philosophy, pantheism is nothing else than the inability to pass beyond
the initial idea of infinite preexistent, unconditioned, Deity. To the
pantheist, let us remember, there is Deity, but there are no real
deities; there is a Godhead, but there are no real persons in the
Godhead. In the view of the pantheist, when we see aught else divine or
human than this all-embracing Deity or Godhead, it is only a
self-created mist of the dim human eye, in which there play the
flickering phantasms of deities and human individuals and things. "In
the Absolute, there is no thou, nor I, nor God," said Ramkrishna, a
great Hindu saint who died in 1886.[78] In Hindu phraseology, every
conception other than this all-comprehending Deity is _Maya_ or
delusion, and salvation is "saving knowledge" of the delusion, and
therefore deliverance from it. The perception of _manifoldness_ is Maya
or illusion, says a modern pro-Hindu writer. And again, "To India, all
that exists is but a mighty curtain of appearances, tremulous now and
again with breaths from the unseen that it conceals."[79]

[Sidenote: Maya is implied in Pantheism.]

[Sidenote: The outcome of Maya.]

The doctrine of Maya is, of course, a postulate, a necessity of
Pantheism. Brahma is the name of the impersonal pantheistic deity. First
among the unrealities, the outcome of Maya or Illusion or Ignorance, is
the idea of a supreme _personal_ God, Parameswar, from whom, or in whom,
next come the three great personal deities, namely, the Hindu Triad,
Brahm[=a] (not Brahma), Vishnu, and Siva,--Creator, Preserver, and
Destroyer respectively. These and all the other deities are the product
of Maya, and thus belong to the realm of unreality along with
Parameswar.[80] Popular theology, on the other hand, begins with the
three great personal deities.

[Sidenote: The Hindu Text-book transforms Pantheism into Monotheism.]

Now come we again to the Text-book. Rightly, as scholars would agree, it
describes the predominant philosophy of Hinduism as pantheistic. The
Text-book, however, goes farther, and declares all the six systems of
Hindu philosophy to be parts of one pantheistic system.[81] The word
pantheism, I ought to say, does not occur in the Text-book. But here is
its teaching. "All six systems," we are told, "are designed to lead man
to the One Science, the One Wisdom which saw One Self Real and all else
as Unreal." And again, "Man learns to climb from the idea of himself as
separate from Brahma to the thought that he is a part of Brahma that can
unite with Him, and finally [to the thought] that he is and ever has
been Brahma, veiled from himself by Avidy[=a]" (that is, Ignorance or
Maya). Our point is that the _Text-book of Hindu Religion_ is
professedly pantheistic, and the above is clearly pantheism and its
postulate Maya. But in the final exposition of this pantheism, what do
we find? To meet the modern thought of educated India, the pantheism is
virtually given up.[82] Brahma, the One and the All, becomes simply _the
Deity Unmanifested_; who shone forth to men as _the Deity Manifested_,
Parameswar; of whom the Hindu Triad, Brahm[=a] and Vishnu and Siva, are
only three _names_. Maya or Delusion, the foundation postulate of
pantheism, by which things _seem_ to be,--by which the One seems to be
many,--is identified with the creative will of Parameswar. In fact,
Pantheism has been virtually transformed into Theism, Brahma into a
Creator, and Maya into his creative and sustaining fiat. The _Text-book
of the Hindu Religion_ is finally monotheistic, as the times will have
it.

[Sidenote: A Parsee claiming to be a monotheist.]

As further confirmation of the change in the Indian mind, we may cite
the paper read at the Congress on the History of Religions, Basel, 1904,
by the Deputy High-priest of the Parsees, Bombay. The dualism of the
Zoroastrian theology has hitherto been regarded as its distinctive
feature, but the paper sought to show "that the religion of the Parsees
was largely monotheistic, not dualistic."

The theistic standpoint of the younger members of the educated class of
to-day is easily discoverable. The word _God_ used in their English
compositions or speeches, plainly implies a person. The commonplace of
the anxious student is that the pass desired, the failure feared, is
dependent upon the will of God--language manifestly not pantheistic.
Religious expressions, we may remark, are natural to a Hindu.

[Sidenote: The conception of the Deity as female has gone from the minds
of the educated.]

In the new theism of educated Indians we may note that the conception of
the deity as female is practically gone. Not so among the masses,
particularly of the provinces of Bengal and Gujerat, the provinces
distinctively of goddesses. The sight of a man in Calcutta in the first
hour of his sore bereavement calling upon Mother Kali has left a deep
impression upon me.[83] Be it remembered, however, what his cry meant,
and what the name _Mother_ in such cases means. It is a honorific form
of address, not the symbol for devoted love. The _goddesses_ of India,
not the gods, are the deities to be particularly feared and to be
propitiated with blood. It is energy, often destructive energy, not
woman's tenderness that they represent, even according to Hindu
philosophy and modern rationalisers. We may nevertheless well believe
that contact with Christian ideas will yet soften and sweeten this title
of the goddesses.

[Sidenote: The new theism is largely Christian theism--God is termed
Father;]

[Sidenote: Or Mother.]

The new theism of educated India is more and more emphatically Christian
theism. Anyone may observe that the name, other than "God," by which the
Deity is almost universally named by educated Hindus is "The Father," or
"Our Heavenly Father," or some such name. The new name is not a
rendering of any of the vernacular names in use in modern India; it is
due directly to its use in English literature and in Christian preaching
and teaching. The late Keshub Chunder Sen's _Lectures in India_,
addressed to Hindu audiences, abound in the use of the name. The
fatherhood of God is in fact one of the articles of the Br[=a]hma creed.
In his last years, the Brahma leader, Keshub Chunder Sen, frequently
spoke of God as the divine _Mother_, but we are not to suppose that it
expresses a radical change of thought about God. Keshub Chunder Sen's
last recorded prayer begins: "I have come, O Mother, into thy
sanctuary"; his last, almost inarticulate, cries were: "Father,"
"Mother." Where modern Indian religious teachers address God as
_Mother_, it is a modernism, an echo of the thought of the Fatherhood of
God. The name is altered because the name of Mother better suits the
ecstasies of Indian devotion, where the ecstatic mood is cultivated. A
case in point is the Hindu devotee, Ramkrishna Paramhansa, who died near
Calcutta in 1886. "Why," Ramkrishna Paramhansa asks, "does the God-lover
find such pleasure in addressing the Deity as Mother? Because," his
answer is, "the child is more free with its mother, and consequently she
is dearer to the child than anyone else.[84] Another instance we find in
the appeal issued by a committee of Hindu gentlemen for subscriptions
towards the rebuilding of the temple at Kangra, destroyed by the
earthquake of 1905. The president of the committee, signing the appeal,
was a Hindu judge of the High Court at Lahore, a graduate from a Mission
College. "There are Hindus," thus runs the appeal, "who by the grace of
the Divine Mother could give the [whole] amount ... and not feel the
poorer for it."[85]

[Sidenote: The [=A]rya Sam[=a]j and the name Father.]

[Sidenote: The Hindu College, Benares, and the name _Father_.]

The [=A]rya Sam[=a]j, on the other hand, seems set against speaking or
thinking of God as the Father. Specially present to their minds and in
their preaching is the thought of God's absolute justice; and they hold
that His Justice and His Fatherhood are contradictory attributes. Virtue
_will_ have its reward, they assert, and Sin its punishment, both in
this and the following existences. We recognise the working of their
doctrine of transmigration, perhaps also the effect of a feeble
presentation of the Christian doctrine of the Father's forgiveness of
sin. Nevertheless, we may note in a hymn-book published in London for
the use of members of the [=A]rya Sam[=a]j resident there, such hymns as
"My God and Father, while I stray," and "My God, my Father, blissful
name," as if the name were not explicitly excluded. We also read that
the very last parting words of the founder of the [=A]ryas himself were:
"Let Thy will be done, O Father!"[86] The heart of man will not be
denied the name and the feeling of "God who is our home." Turning again
from the [=A]ryas to the new citadel of Benares, and Hinduism, the Hindu
College, Benares, we find that along with the Text-book already
mentioned, there was published a _Catechism in Hindu Religion and
Morals_ for boys and girls. One question is, "Can we know that eternal
Being (the "One only without a second," or "The All," _i.e._ pantheistic
Deity)? The answer is, "Only when revealed as Ishwar, the Lord, the
loving Father of all the worlds and of all the creatures who live in
them." That idea of the loving Father, of divine Law and Love in one
person, is new to Hinduism. The law of God may be only imperfectly
apprehended, but the loving Fatherhood of God, the approachable one, has
become manifest in India--one of Christianity's dynamic doctrines.
Strangest confirmation of all, a Mahomedan preacher of Behar a few years
ago was expounding from the Koran the Fatherhood of God. The name and
thought of the divine Father established, we may leave name and thought
to be invested with their full significance in the fulness of time.

"It is with Pantheism, not Polytheism, that a rising morality will have
to reckon," says Sir Alfred Lyall.[87] The result of all our observation
has been different. Pantheism is melting out of the sky of the educated,
and if nothing else take its place, it will be a selfish materialism or
agnosticism, not avowed or formulated yet shaping every motive, that the
new morality will have to reckon with.



CHAPTER XV

JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF

    "Tandem vicisti, Galilaee"

    --said to have been uttered by Julian, the Apostate emperor.


[Sidenote: Pantheism does not lead to belief in "the Son of God."]

Pantheism, it has been said, lends itself to the lead to belief idea of
avatars or incarnations of deity, and Hinduism, therefore, is familiar
with avatars. Observation contradicts this _à priori_ reasoning, nay, it
justifies a statement almost contrary. To the philosopher who is
thinking out a pantheistic system, or to the ascetic who is seeking
after identity of consciousness with the One, the Hindu Avatars are only
a part of the delusion, the Maya, in which men are steeped. To a
pantheist, holding that his own consciousness of individuality is
delusion, born of spiritual darkness and ignorance, the conception of an
avatar or concrete presentation of deity as an individual is only still
grosser delusion. "The name of God and the conventions of piety are as
unreal as anything else in Maya," writes a modern British apostle of
Hinduism, while advocating the realisation of Maya as our salvation.[88]
It does not seem to me justifiable to say that through Pantheism the
Indian mind can approach the thought of Christ the Son of Man and the
Son of God. But pantheism, with its allied doctrine of transmigration,
may encourage the thought that our Lord was a great jogi or religious
devotee, the last climax of many upward transmigrations, and that Christ
had attained to the goal of illumination of the jogi, namely, identity
of consciousness with deity, when he felt "I and the Father are one."
That statement about Our Lord is sometimes made in India.

[Sidenote: The avatars of popular theology.]

It is not through the pantheism of the brahmanically learned and of
religious devotees that the Indian mind has come within Christ's sphere
of influence, but rather through the beliefs of the multitude and the
new education of the middle class. And how, we ask, has Christ been
introduced to India by association with the popular beliefs--how,
rather, has the attempt been made to do so? The theology of the people
begins, as has been already stated, with the Hindu Triad, the three
great personal deities, namely, Brahm[=a], Vishnu, and Siva,--Creator,
Preserver, and Destroyer respectively. From these and other deities, but
particularly from Vishnu, the Preserver, there descended to earth at
various times and in various forms, human and animal, certain
avatars.[89] Best known of these avatars of Vishnu, the Preserver, are
Ram, the hero of the great epic called after him, the R[=a]m[=a]yan; and
secondly, Krishna, one of the chief figures of the other great Indian
epic, the Mah[=a]bh[=a]rat; and thirdly, Buddha, the great religious
teacher of the sixth century B.C. Ram and Krishna have become deities of
the multitude over the greater part of India. Buddha, latest in time of
these three avatars, and unknown as an avatar to the multitude, has not
yet been lost to history. Such is the genealogy of certain of the Hindu
gods and their avatars, and the object of setting it forth is to enable
us to see how Jesus Christ has presented Himself or been presented to
the Hindu people.

[Sidenote: Parallels in Christian and Hindu theology.]

When Christian doctrine was presented to India in modern times, the
Christian Trinity and the Hindu Triad at once suggested a
correspondence, which seemed to be confirmed by the coincidence of a
Creator and Preserver in the Triad with the Creator and the Son, Our
Saviour, in the Trinity. The historical Christ and the avatars of Vishnu
would thus present themselves as at least striking theological and
religious parallels. "On the one hand, learned brahmans have been found
quite willing to regard Christ himself as an incarnation of Vishnu for
the benefit of the Western world."[90] On the other, Christian
missionaries in India have often preached Christ as the one true
avatar.[91] The idea and the word _avatar_ are always recurring in the
hymns sung in Christian churches in India. Missionaries have also sought
to graft the doctrine of Christ's atonement upon Hinduism, through one
of the avatars. A common name of Vishnu, the second member of the Triad,
as also of Krishna, his avatar, is _Hari_. Accepting the common
etymology of _Hari_ as meaning _the taker away_, Christian preachers
have found an idea analogous to that of Christ, the Redeemer of men.
Then the similarity of the names, _Christ_ and _Krishna_, chief avatar
of Vishnu, could not escape notice, especially since Krishna,
Christ-like, is the object of the enthusiastic devotion of the Hindu
multitude. In familiar speech, Krishna's name is still further
approximated to that of Christ, being frequently pronounced _Krishta_ or
_Kishta_. In the middle of the nineteenth century the common opinion was
that there was some historical connection between Krishna and Christ,
and the idea lingers in the minds of both Hindus and Christians. One is
surprised to find it in a recent European writer, formerly a member of
the Indian Civil Service. "Surely there is something more," he says,
"than an analogy between Christianity and Krishna worship."[92]

Much has been made by the late Dr. K.M. Banerjea, the most learned
member of the Indian Christian Church of the nineteenth century, and
something also by the late Sir M. Monier Williams, of a passage in the
Rigveda (x. 90), which seems to point to Christ. The passage speaks of
Purusha (the universal spirit), who is also "Lord of Immortality," and
was "born in the beginning," as having been "sacrificed by the Gods,
Sadyas and Rishis," and as becoming thereafter the origin of the various
castes and of certain gods and animals. A similar passage in a later
book, the _T[=a]ndya Br[=a]hmanas_, declares that "the Lord of
creatures, Prajapati, offered himself a sacrifice for the devas"
(emancipated mortals or gods). Of the parallelism between the
self-sacrificing Prajapati, Lord of creatures, and the Second Person in
the Christian Trinity, propitiator and agent in creation, we may hear
Dr. Banerjea himself: "The self-sacrificing Prajapati [Lord of
creatures] variously described as Purusha, begotten in the beginning, as
Viswakarma, the creator of all, is, in the meaning of his name and in
his offices, identical with Jesus.... Jesus of Nazareth is the only
person who has ever appeared in the world claiming the character and
position of Prajapati, at the same time both mortal and immortal."[93]

[Sidenote: These parallels ineffective.]

[Sidenote: Christ Himself attractive.]

But it must be confessed that these parallels, real or supposed, between
Christianity and Hinduism have not brought Christ home to the heart of
India. In themselves, they only bring Christianity as near to Hinduism
as they bring Hinduism to Christianity. Uneducated Hindus feel that the
two religions are balanced when they have Krishna and Christians have
Christ. Educated Hindus, as we shall see, are employing some of these
very parallels to buttress Hinduism. Far be it from me, however, to
depreciate the labours of scholars and earlier missionaries who have
thus established links between Hindus and Christians, and have thus at
least brought Christ into the Hindu's presence. To Indian Christians
also such reasoning has often been a strength, furnishing as it were a
new justification of their baptism into Christianity; for looking back
they can perceive the finger of Hinduism itself pointing the way. But
had no other influence been exerted on the Indian mind, one could not
say what I now say, that Christ Himself is the feature of Christianity
that has most powerfully moved men in India. The person of Christ
Himself has been the great Christian dynamic. I am now speaking of
educated India, the India that is not dependent solely upon the preacher
for its religious ideas and feeling.

[Sidenote: Christianity identified with Britain and therefore
unpopular.]

[Sidenote: The anti-foreigner instinct.]

The grand new political idea in India is the idea of nationality, and
one of its corollaries is the championing of things Indian and
depreciation of things British. The strong anti-British bias among the
educated is one of the noteworthy and regrettable changes in the Indian
mind within the last half-century. It is not surprising then that all
over India the influence of Christ and of Christianity is lessened from
the identification of Christianity with the British. For a native of
India to accept the British religion is to run counter to the prevailing
anti-British and pro-Indian feeling; it is unpatriotic to become a
convert to Christianity. "Need we go out of India in quest of the true
knowledge of God?" wrote a distinguished Indian littérateur a few years
ago.[94] All that feeling is of course in addition to the instinctive
hostility to things foreign that has been nowhere stronger than in
self-contained India--self-contained between the Himalayas and the seas.
The exclusiveness of caste is based upon that feeling. The statement of
the late Rev. M.N. Bose, B.A., B.L., a native of Eastern Bengal,
regarding his youth [1860?] is: "I had a deep-rooted prejudice against
Christianity from my boyhood.... At this time I hated Christianity and
Christians, though I knew not why I did so."[95] We find the instinctive
hostility more bluntly expressed in China in the cry that drops
spontaneously from the opening lips of many Chinamen, as their greeting,
when they unexpectedly behold a European. The involuntary ejaculation
is: "Strike the foreign devil."

[Sidenote: Christ reverenced; Christians disliked.]

In the first part of the nineteenth century, along with the great
development of modern missions, and of modern education, we may say that
Christ came again to India. The national and anti-British feeling had
not then arisen to interpose in His path, but, coming as an alien, His
name evoked great hostility. The popular mood was _Christianos ad
leones,_ as many incidents and witnesses testify. Now, in spite of the
old anti-foreign hostility and the new currents of feeling, a remarkable
attitude to Christianity--far short of conversion, no doubt--is almost
everywhere manifest. There is a profound homage to its Founder, coupled
with that strong resentment towards His Indian disciples. Christ Himself
is acknowledged; His church is still foreign and British. Resentfully
ruled by a Christian nation, but subdued by Christ Himself, is the state
of educated India to-day. In spite of His alien birth and in spite of
anti-British bias, Christ has passed within the pale of Indian
recognition. Indian eyes, focused at last, are fastened upon Him, and
men wonder at His gracious words. Again I direct attention to a
significant event in Indian history--the incoming of an influence that
will not stale, as mere ideas may. "Is there a single soul in this
audience," said the Brahmo leader, the late Keshub Chunder Sen,[96] to
the educated Indians of Calcutta, mostly Hindus, "who would scruple to
ascribe extraordinary greatness and supernatural moral heroism to Jesus
Christ and Him crucified?"

"That incarnation of the Divine Love, the lowly Son of man," writes
another, even while he is rejoicing over the revival of Hinduism.[97]



CHAPTER XVI

JESUS CHRIST THE LODESTONE

    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men
    unto myself."

    --ST. JOHN'S GOSPEL, xii. 32.


[Sidenote: Instances of Indian homage to Christ, and dislike of His
Church.]

[Sidenote: Bengal.]

[Sidenote: Bombay.]

[Sidenote: Madras.]

Interesting phases of that divided mind--homage to Christ, resentment
towards His disciples--may be found on opposite sides of the great
continent of India. In Bengal, a not-infrequent standpoint of Br[=a]hmas
in reference to Christ is that _they_ are the true exponents of Christ's
spirit and His teaching. Western Christian teachers, they say, are
hidebound by tradition; and the ready-made rigidity of the creeds of the
Churches is no doubt a factor in the state of mind we are describing.
Looking back as far as to 1820, we see in _The Precepts of Jesus_,
published by the founder of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, that standpoint of
homage to Christ and dissent from accepted views regarding Him.
Illustrative of that Br[=a]hma standpoint, we have also the more recent
book, _The Oriental Christ_, by the late Mr. P.C. Mozumdar, the
successor of Keshub Chunder Sen. But the attitude is by no means limited
to Brahmas. "Without Christian dogmas, cannot a man equally love and
revere Christ?" was a representative question put by a senior Hindu
student in Bengal to his missionary professor. In South India,
Mahomedans sometimes actually describe themselves as better Christians
than ourselves, holding as they do such faith in Jesus and His mother
Mary and His Gospel. The case of Mahomedans is not, of course, on all
fours with that of Hindus, since Mahomedans reckon Christ as one of the
four prophets along with their own Mahomed. In Bombay province, on the
other side of India from Bengal, we find Mr. Malabari, the famous
Parsee, pupil of a Mission School, doubting if it is possible for the
Englishman to be a Christian in the sense of _Christ's Christianity_,
the implication being that an Indian may. What element of truth is there
in the idea, we may well ask? From Indian Christians, be it said, we may
indeed look for a fervency of loyalty to Christ that does not enter into
our calculating moderate souls; and from India, equally, we may look for
that mystically profound commentary on St. John's Gospel which Bishop
Westcott declared he looked for from Japan. But to return. About Mr.
Malabar! himself, his biographer writes: "If he could not accept the
dogmas of Christianity, he had imbibed its true spirit," meaning the
spirit of Christ Himself. "The cult of the Asiatic life" is the latest
definition of Christianity given by a recent apologist of Hinduism, one
of a small company of Europeans in India officering the Hindu revival.
Crossing India again and going south, we find the late Dr. John Murdoch,
of Madras, an eminent observer, adding his testimony regarding the
homage paid to the Founder of Christianity. "The most hopeful sign," he
writes, "is the increasing reverence for our Lord, although His divinity
is not yet acknowledged."[98] And of new India generally, again, we may
quote Mr. Bose, the Indian historian. "The Christianity [of
North-western Europe] is no more like Christianity as preached by Christ
than the Buddhism of the Thibetans is like Buddhism as preached by
Gautama." Take finally the following sentences from a recent number of a
moderate neo-Hindu organ, the _Hindustan Review (vol._ viii. 514):
"Christ, the great exemplar of practical morality ...; the more one
enters into the true spirit of Christ, the more will he reject
Christianity as it prevails in the world to-day. The Indians have been
gainers not losers by rejecting Christianity for the sake of
Christ."[99]

[Sidenote: Desire to discover Christian ideas in Hindu Scriptures.]

[Sidenote: Christ and Krishna set alongside.]

Another phase of that same divided mind, acknowledging Christ and
resenting Indian discipleship, may be perceived in the willingness to
discover Christian ideas in Hindu Scriptures, and Christ-like features
in Hindu deities and religious heroes. To express it from the Indian
standpoint,--they see Christ and Christianity bringing back much of
their own "refined and modernised." In a sense, as a Bengali Christian
gentleman put it, Christ and Christianity have become the accepted
standards in religion.[100] Again we quote from the same page of the
_Hindustan Review_: "A revival of Hinduism has taken place.... It
[Christianity] has given us Christ, and given us noble moral and
spiritual lessons, which we have discovered anew in our own Scriptures,
and thereby satisfied our self-love and made our very own." We have
mentioned how missionaries used to find the doctrine of the atonement in
the name of the Indian God Hari; the argument has now in turn been
annexed by Hindus, and employed as an argument in their favour. Within
the last twenty years, there has been a great revival of the honouring
of Krishna among the educated classes in Bengal and the United
Provinces. Krishna has set up distinctly as the Indian Christ, or as the
Indian figure to be set up over against Christ. A Krishna story has been
disentangled from the gross mythology, and he has become a paragon of
virtue,--the work of a distinguished Bengali novelist. I mean no
sarcasm. From the sermon of a Hindu preacher in a garden in Calcutta in
1898, I quote: "The same God came into the world as the Krishna of India
and the Krishna of Jerusalem." These are his words. From the catalogue
of the Neo-Krishnaite literature in Bengal, given by Mr. J.N. Farquhar
of the Y.M.C.A., Calcutta, it appears that since 1884 thirteen Lives of
Krishna or works on Krishna have appeared in Bengal. Many essays have
appeared comparing Krishna with Christ. There have been likewise many
editions of the Bhagabat Gita, or Divine Song, the episode in the
Mahabharat, in which Krishna figures as religious teacher. It may be
called the New Testament of the Neo-Krishnaite. Perhaps the most
striking of these Neo-Krishnaite publications is _The Imitation of
Sri-Krishna_, a daily-text book containing extracts from the Bhagabat
Gita and the Bhagabat Puran. The title is, of course, a manifest echo of
"The Imitation of Christ," which is a favourite with religious-minded
Hindus. The _Imitation of Buddha_, likewise we may observe, has been
published. About "The Imitation of Christ" itself, we quote from a
Hindu's advertisement appended to the life of a new Hindu saint,
Ramkrishna Paramhansa. "The reader of 'The Imitation of Christ,'" it
says, "will find echoed in it hundreds of sayings of our Lord
Sri-Krishna in the Bhagabat Gita like the following: 'Give up all
religious work and come to me as thy sole refuge, and I will deliver
thee from all manner of sin.'" The notice goes on: "The book has found
its way into the pockets of many orthodox Hindus."

[Sidenote: Christ and Chaitanya of Bengal.]

From Krishna we turn to Chaitanya, surname Gauranga, the fair, a
religious teacher of Bengal in the fifteenth century, who is also being
set up as the Christ of Bengal, in that he preached the equality of men
before God and ecstatic devotion to the god Krishna. A Christ-like man,
indeed, in many ways, Chaitanya was, and the increased acquaintance of
educated Bengal with Jesus Christ naturally brought Chaitanya to the
front. The new cult of Chaitanya and his enthronement over against Jesus
Christ are manifest in the titles of two recent publications in Bengal,
the first entitled, _Lord Gauranga, or Salvation for all_, and the
other, _Chaitanya's Message of Love_. Chaitanya and his two chief
followers, it should be said, were called the great _lords_ (prabhus) of
the sect, but the title "Lord Gauranga" is quite new, an echo of the
title of Jesus Christ. With regard to the new power of Christ's
personality, it should be noted that the author of _Lord Gauranga_
strongly deprecates the idea that his desire is to demolish
Christianity, or other than to extend the kingdom of Jesus Christ. He
declares that Jesus Christ is as much a prophet as any avatar of the
Hindus, and that Hindus can and ought to accept him as they do Krishna
or Chaitanya. This is in accord with the spirit of Hinduism--namely, the
fluidity of doctrine, and the free choice of guru or religious teacher,
as set forth in a previous chapter--although it is still an advanced
position for a Hindu to take up publicly.

[Sidenote: Eccentric manifestations of the power of Christ's
personality.]

Could we observe the course of evolution down which a species of animals
or plants has come from some remote ancestry to their present form, with
what interest would we note the specific characteristics gathering
strength, as from generation to generation they prove their "fitness to
survive"! The whole onward career of the evolving species would seem to
have been aimed at the latest form in which we find it. Yet quite as
wonderful phenomena as the species that has survived are the many
variations of the species that have presented themselves, but have not
proved fit to survive. One species only survives for hundreds of
would-be collaterals that are extinct. The religious evolution that we
have been observing is the growing power of Christ's personality in New
India; and now, as further testimony to its power, a number of
collateral movements, similarly inspired yet eccentric and hardly likely
to endure, attract our attention. In these eccentric movements the power
of Christ's personality is manifest, and yet it appears amid
circumstances so peculiar that the phenomena in themselves are
grotesque.

[Sidenote: The Punjab--two have set themselves up as Christ come again.]

[Sidenote: Hakim Singh.]

[Sidenote: Mirz[=a] Ghol[=a]m Ahmad.]

Three of these strange movements let us look at as new evidence of the
power of Christ's personality in India. All three occur in still another
province than those named, the Punjab, a province _sui generis_ in many
ways. Within a generation past, at least two men have arisen, either
claiming to be Christ Himself come again, or a Messiah superior to Him.
A third received a vision of "Jesus God," and proclaimed Him, wherever
he went, as an object of worship. Of the first of the three leaders, Sir
Alfred Lyall tells us, one Hakim Singh, "who listened to missionaries
until he not only accepted the whole Christian dogma, but conceived
himself to be the second embodiment [of Christ], and proclaimed himself
as such and summoned the missionaries to acknowledge him." It sounds
much like blasphemy, or mere lunacy; but in India one learns not to be
shocked at what in Europe would be rankest blasphemy; the intention must
decide the innocence or the offence. Hakim Singh "professed to work
miracles, preached pure morality, but also venerated the cow,"--strange
chequer of Hindu and Christian ideas.[101] The second case is the better
known one of Mirz[=a] Ghol[=a]m Ahmad, of Q[=a]di[=a]n, who sets up a
claim to be "the Similitude of the Messiah" and "the Messiah of the
Twentieth Century." As his name shows, he is a Mahomedan, but the
assumption of the name "Messiah" also shows that it is in Christ's place
he declares himself to stand. At the same time, his appeal is to his
fellow-Mahomedans; for he explains that as Jesus was the Messiah of
Moses, he himself is the Messiah of Mahomed. His superiority to Christ,
he expressly declares. "I shall be guilty of concealing the truth," he
says in his English monthly, the _Review of Religions_, of May 1902, "if
I do not assert that the prophecies which God Almighty has granted me
are of a far better quality in clearness, force, and truth than the
ambiguous predictions of Jesus.... But notwithstanding all this
superiority, I cannot assert Divinity or Sonship of God." He claims "to
have been sent by God to reform the true religion of God, now corrupted
by Jews, Christians, and Mahomedans." Doubly blasphemous as his claims
sound in the ears of orthodox Mahomedans, who reckon both Christ and
Mahomed as prophets, his sect is now estimated to number at least
10,000, including many educated Mahomedans. Whatever its fate--a mere
comet or a new planet in the Indian sky--it indicates the religious
stirring of educated India in another province, and the prominence of
Christ's personality therein. Mirz[=a] Ghol[=a]m Ahmad himself
recommends the reading of the Gospels. As to Christ's death, Mirz[=a]
Ghol[=a]m Ahmad has a theory of his own. The Koran declares, according
to Mahomedan expositors, that it was not Christ who suffered on the
cross, but another in His likeness. Mirz[=a] Ghol[=a]m Ahmad teaches
that Jesus was crucified but did not die, that He was restored to life
by His disciples and sent out of the country, whence He travelled East
until He reached Thibet, eventually arriving at Cashmere, where He died,
His tomb being located in the city of Srinagar.[102] According to the
latest report of this reincarnation, he now claims to be at once Krishna
come again for Hindus, Mahomed for Mahomedans, and Christ for
Christians.

[Sidenote: Chet Ram claimed to be an apostle.]

The third movement is that of the Chet Ramis, or sect of Chet Ram, whose
strange history may be found in _East and West_ for July 1905. Chet Ram
was an illiterate Hindu, a water-carrier and then a steward in the
Indian army that took part in the war with China in 1859-1860. Returning
to his native district not far from Lahore, Chet Ram, the Hindu, came
under the spell of a Mahomedan ascetic Mahbub Sh[=a]h, left all and
followed him as his "familiar" disciple. How this relationship between
Hindu and Mahomedanism is quite possible in India, we have already
explained on pages 163-4; Mahbub Sh[=a]h's strange combination of
religious asceticism with the consumption of opium and wine, it takes
some years' residence in India to understand. Then Mahbub Sh[=a]h died,
and the disciple succeeded the master. According to one account, Chet
Ram made his bed on the grave in which his master lay; according to
another, for three years his sleeping place was the vault within which
his master was buried. It was at this time that he had the vision of
"Jesus God," already referred to, between the years 1860 and 1865. Like
Caedmon, he has described his vision in verse--

  "Upon the grave of Master Mahbub Shah
  Slept Sain Chet Earn.

  A man came in a glorious form,
  Showing a face of mercy.

  Sweet was his speech and simple his face,
  Appearing entirely as the image of God.

  He called aloud, 'Who sleeps there?
  Awake, if thou art sleeping.
  Thou art distinctly fortunate,
  Thou art needed in the Master's presence.'

  'Build a church on this very spot,
  Place the Bible therein.'

  Then said that luminous form,
  Jesus, the image of Mary:

  'I shall do justice in earth and heaven,
  And reveal the hidden mysteries.'

  Astonished there alone I stood,
  As if a parrot had flown out of my hands.

  Then my soul realised
  That Jesus came to give salvation.

  I realised that it was Jesus God
  Who appeared in a bodily form."[103]

[Sidenote: The Followers of Chet Ram.]

[Sidenote: Their indefinite composite theology.]

Whence came the Christian seed of Chet Ram's vision? His master Mahbub
Shah was a Mahomedan, and Jesus Christ is reckoned one of the Mahomedan
prophets. But it is the Christ of Christianity, not of Mahomedanism,
that Chet Ram saw in his vision of the glorious form showing the face of
mercy, at once the dispenser of justice, the revealer of mysteries, and
the giver of salvation. Whatever the source of the vision, Chet Ram saw
and believed and began to hold up Jesus Christ before other men's eyes,
and Chet Ram himself thus became the guru or religious teacher of what
may be called an indigenous Christian Church. A moderate estimate
reckons the Chet Ramis at about five thousand souls, the religious force
of the sect being represented by the Chet Rami ascetics, who go about
making their gospel known and living on alms. Chet Ram himself died in
1894, and at the headquarters of the sect at Buchhoke, near Lahore, his
ashes and the bones of his master Mahbub Shah are kept in two coffins,
which the faithful visit, particularly on certain Chet Rami holy-days,
on which fairs are held. In keeping with the command of the vision,
several copies of the New Testament and one complete Bible were also on
view when the writer of the article in _East and West_ visited the
sanctuary in 1903. The _Census Report_ for 1901 sums the Chet Ramis up
by saying that "the sect professes a worship of Christ," and that is our
present point of view. But we cannot leave them without noticing also
how Indian they are in their unwillingness to define their thought, and
in their readiness to enthrone a holy man and his relics. Undefined
thought we see expressed in symbol. There are _four_ doors to the
sanctuary at Buchhoke,--the fakiri [Chet Rami ascetics'] door, the
Hindu, Christian, and Mahomedan doors--expressing the openness of the
Chet Rami sanctuary to all sects. Their theology is a corresponding
conglomeration. It includes a Christian trinity of Jesus Son of Mary
[the Mahomedan designation of Christ], the Holy Spirit, and God; and a
Hindu triad of the world's three potencies, namely, Allah, Parameswar,
and Khuda, a jumble of Hindu and Mahomedan names, but representing the
Hindu triad of the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer.

[Sidenote: Parallel between the nineteenth century in India and the
second, third, and fourth centuries in the History of the Church.]

[Sidenote: The Theosophists and the Neo-Platonists.]

[Sidenote: The Neo-Platonists and New India's homage to Christ.]

[Sidenote: The Neo-Platonists and the Hindu Revivalists.]

In respect of the phenomenon of the homage shown to Christ over against
the hostility shown to His Church, the second, third, and fourth
centuries in the history of the Church present a striking parallel to
the nineteenth century in India. Steadily in these centuries
Christianity was progressing in spite of contempt for its adherents,
philosophic repudiation of the doctrines of the _superstitio prava_, and
official persecution unknown in British India at least. Then also, as
always, Christ stood out far above His followers, lifted up and drawing
all men's eyes. Such in India also, in the nineteenth century, has been
the course of Christianity; parts of the record of these centuries read
like the record of the religious movements in India in these latter
days. Describing the Neo-Platonists of these centuries, historians tell
us that at the end of the second century A.D. Ammonius of Alexandria,
founder of the sect, "undertook to bring all systems of philosophy and
religion into harmony, by which all philosophers and men of all
religions, Christianity included, might unite and hold fellowship."
_There_ are the four doors of the Chet Rami sanctuary. There also we
have the Theosophical Society of India, professing in its constitution
to be "the nucleus of a Universal Brotherhood of Humanity, representing
and excluding no religious creed." Ammonius, founder of the
Neo-Platonists, was a pantheist like the present leader of the
Theosophical Society, Mrs. Besant, and like her too, curiously, had
begun as a Christian.[104] We recall that of Indian Theosophy in
general, in 1891, the late Sir Monier Williams declared that it seemed
little more than another name for the "Vedanta [or Pantheistic]
philosophy." Exactly like the earlier theosophists also, Ammonius, the
Neo-Platonist, held that the purified soul could perform physical
wonders, by the power of Theurgy. In its constitution the Theosophical
Society professed "to investigate the hidden mysteries of nature and the
psychical powers latent in man." Many can remember how, in the eighties,
Madame Blavatsky took advantage of our curiosity regarding such with
air-borne letters from Mahatmas in Thibet. Again Ammonius, we read,
"turned the whole history of the pagan gods into allegory." There we
have the Neo-Krishnaites of to-day. "He acknowledged that Christ was an
extraordinary man, the friend of God, and an admirable Theurgus." There
we have the stand point of the educated Indians who have come under
Christ's spell. For two centuries the successors of Ammonius followed in
these lines. "Individual Neo-Platonists," Harnack tells us, "employed
Christian sayings as oracles, and testified very highly of Christ.
Porphyry of Syria, chief of the Neo-Platonists of the third century,
wrote a work "against Christians"; but again, according to Harnack, the
work is not directed against Christ, or what Porphyry regarded as the
teaching of Christ. It was directed against the Christians of his day
and against the sacred books, which according to Porphyry were written
by impostors and ignorant people. There we have the double mind of
educated India,--homage to Christ, opposition to His Church. There also
we have the standpoint of Sahib Mirza Gholam Ahmad of Qadian. Some, we
read, being taught by the Neo-Platonists that there was little
difference between the ancient religion, rightly explained and restored
to its purity, and the religion which Christ really taught, not that
corrupted form of it which His disciples professed, concluded it best
for them to remain among those who worshipped the gods. There is the
present Indian willingness to discover Christian and modern ideas in the
Hindu Scriptures, especially in the original Vedas that the new [=A]rya
sect declare to be "the Scripture of true knowledge." The practical
outcome of the Neo-Platonic movement was an attempt to revive the old
Græco-Roman religion,--Julian the apostate emperor had many with him.
There we have the revival of the worship of Krishna in India, and the
apologies for idolatry and caste. The most recent stage of the
Theosophical Society in India reveals _it_ as virtually a Hindu revival
society. Finally, we read, the old philosopher Pythagoras, Apollonius of
Tyana, and others were represented on the stage dressed in imitation of
Christ Himself, and the Emperor Alexander Severus [A.D. 222-235] placed
the figure of Christ in his lararium alongside of those of Abraham,
Orpheus, and Apollonius. There we have the modern Indians who fully
recognise Christ alongside of their own avatars. The whole parallel is
complete.[105] In spite of the feebleness and, it may be, unworthiness
of His Church, through the force of Christ's personality, the Roman
history of the second, third, and fourth centuries has been repeating
itself in India in the nineteenth and twentieth, and unless the force of
Christ's personality be spent, the parallels will proceed.

From new reasonings about God, her new monotheism, New India has been
brought a stage farther to actual history. From theologies she has come
to the first three Gospels. New India has been introduced to Christ as
He actually lived on earth before men's eyes; and to India, intensely
interested in religious teachers, the personality of the Christ of the
Gospels, of the first three Gospels in particular, appeals strongly. To
the pessimistic mood of India He appeals as one whose companionship
makes this life more worth living; for Christ was not a jogi in the
Indian sense of a renouncer of the world. His call to fraternal service
has taken firm hold of the best Indians of to-day. Of the future we know
not, but we feel that the narrative of the first three Gospels naturally
precedes the deeper insight of the fourth.



CHAPTER XVII

INDIAN PESSIMISM--ITS BEARING ON BELIEF IN THE HERE AND HEREAFTER

  "How many births are past, I cannot tell:
  How many yet to come, no man can say:
  But this alone I know, and know full well,
  That pain and grief embitter all the way."

    (_South-Indian Folk-song_, quoted in _Lux Christi_, by Caroline
    Atwater Mason.)

    "When desire is gone, and the cords of the heart are broken,
    then the soul is delivered from the world and is at rest in
    God."


[Sidenote: Indian pessimism.]

Two commonplaces about India are that pessimism is her natural
temperament, and that a natural outcome of her pessimism is the Indian
doctrine of the transmigration of souls. The second statement will
require explanation; but as regards the former, there is no denying the
strain of melancholy, the note of hopelessness, that pervades these
words we have quoted, or that they are characteristic of India. In them
life seems a burden; to be born into it, a punishment; and of the
transmigrations of our souls from life to life, seemingly, we should
gladly see the end. All the same, as new India is proving, pessimism is
not the inherent temperament of India, and the hope of the end of the
transmigration, and of the lives of the soul, no more natural in India
than in any other land.

[Sidenote: Due to nature?]

Pessimism is natural in India, say such writers as we have in mind,
because of the spirit-subduing aspects of nature and life amid which
Indians live their lives. Life is of little value to the possessor, they
say, where nature makes it a burden, and where its transitoriness is
constantly being thrust upon us. And that is so in India. Great rivers
keep repeating their contemptuous motto that "men may come and men may
go," and by their floods sometimes devastate whole districts. Sailing up
the Brahmaputra at one place in Assam, the writer saw a not uncommon
occurrence, the great river actually eating off the soft bank in huge
slices, five or six feet in breadth at a time. Something higher up, it
might have been the grounding of a floating tree, had turned the current
towards the bank, and at five-minute intervals, it seemed, these huge
slices were falling in. Not fifty yards back from the bank stood a
cottage, whose garden was already part gone; a banana tree standing upon
one of these slices fell in and was swept down before our eyes. Within
an hour the cottage itself would meet the same fate, and the people were
already rushing in and out. Or pass to another aspect of nature. For a
season every year the unveiled Indian sun in a sky of polished steel
glares with cruel pitiless eye. The light is fierce. Then, arbitrarily,
as it seems, the rains may be withheld, and the hard-baked, heat-cracked
soil never softens to admit the ploughshare, and hundreds of thousands
of the cultivators and field hands are overtaken by famine. At one time
during the famine of 1899-1900, it will be remembered that six million
people were receiving relief. Or, equally arbitrarily, betokening some
unknown displeasure of the gods, plague may take hold of a district and
literally take its tithe of the population. At any moment, life is
liable to be terminated with appalling suddenness by cholera or the bite
of a venomous serpent.

With French imagination and grace, in his _Introduction to General
History_, Michelet describes the tyranny of nature--"Natura maligna"--in
India. "Man is utterly overpowered by nature there--like a feeble child
upon a mother's breast, alternately spoiled and beaten, and intoxicated
rather than nourished by a milk too strong and stimulating for it."[106]
One cannot help contrasting the supplicating Indian villagers--of whom a
University matriculation candidate told in his essay, how, when the
rains were withheld, they carried out the village goddess from her
temple and bathed the idol in the temple tank--with the English
fisher-woman of whom Tennyson tells us, who shook her fist at the cruel
sea that had robbed her of two sons. As she looked at it one day with
its lines of white breakers, she shook her fist at it and told it her
mind--"How I hates you, with your cruel teeth."

Can this Indian aspect of nature, one wonders, be the true explanation
of the fierceness of her goddesses as contrasted with her gods, and the
offering of bloody sacrifices to goddesses only? Mother Nature is
malignant, not benign.

[Sidenote: Indian life estimated by the economic standard of life's
value.]

The value of life and the little worth of life in India may be gauged in
another way. In the language of the political economist, the value of
human life in any country may be estimated by the average wage, which
determines the standard of comfort and how far a man is restricted to
the bare necessities of bodily life. Again, judged by that standard,
life is probably in no civilised country at a lower estimate than in
India, where the labourer spends over 90 per. cent of his income upon
the bare necessities for the sustenance of the bodies of his household.

[Sidenote: Indian pessimism only a mood.]

[Sidenote: Humanlife is rising in value]

[Sidenote: Pessimism is declining]

All that is true, and yet the conclusion is only partly true. In spite
of all such reasoning, and acknowledging that the physical
characteristics of India have largely made her what she is, politically,
socially, and even religiously, I venture to think that the pessimism of
India is exaggerated. Not a pessimistic temperament, but a mood, a mood
of helpless submissiveness, a bowing to the powers that be in nature and
in the world, seems to me the truer description of the prevailing
"pessimism." At least, if it be the case, as I have tried to show, that
during the past century in India, human life has been rising in value,
the pessimistic mood must be declining. Let us observe some facts again.
In a Government or Mission Hospital, _there_ is a European doctor taking
part in the offensive work of the dressing of a coolie's sores,--we
assume that the doctor's touch is the touch of a true Christian
gentleman. To the despised sufferer, life is gaining a new sweetness,
and to the high-caste student looking on and ready to imitate his
teacher, life is attaining a new dignity. That human life has been
rising in value is patent. The wage of the labourer has been steadily
rising--in one or two places the workers are become masters of the
situation; the rights of woman are being recognised, if only slowly; the
middle classes are eager for education and advancement; the individual
has been gaining in independence as the tyranny of caste and custom has
declined; the sense of personal security and of citizenship and of
nationality has come into being. Whatever the merits of the great
agitation in 1905 against the partition of the Province of Bengal, and
inconceivable as taking place a century ago, it is manifestly the doing
of men keenly interested in the conditions under which they live. It is
a contradiction of the theory of an inherent Indian pessimism.
Self-respect and a sense of the dignity and duties of manhood are surely
increasing, and making our earth a place of hope and making life worth
living, instead of a burden to be borne. "The Hindus," says Sir Alfred
Lyall, "have been rescued by the English out of a chronic state of
anarchy, insecurity, lawlessness, and precarious exposure to the caprice
of despots."[107]

[Sidenote: Asceticism is declining.]

Best proof probably that pessimism is declining is the fact that
asceticism is declining. The times are no longer those in which the life
of a brahman is supposed to culminate in the Sannyasi or ascetic "who
has laid down everything," who, in the words of the Bhagabat Gita, "does
not hate and does not love anything."[108] The pro-Hindu writer often
quoted also acknowledges the new pleasure in life and the religious
corollary of it when she says that the recent rise in the standard of
comfort in India is opposed to the idea of asceticism. Desire, indeed,
is not gone, and the cords of the heart are not breaking. Says the old
brahman, in the guise of whom Sir Alfred Lyall speaks: "I own that you
[Britons] are doing a great deal to soften and enliven material
existence in this melancholy, sunburnt country of ours, and certainly
you are so far successful that you are bringing the ascetic idea into
discouragement and, with the younger folk, into contempt."[109] Welcome
to the new joy of living, all honour to the old ascetics, and may a
still nobler self-sacrifice take their place!

[Sidenote: Pessimism, asceticism, transmigration are allied ideas.]

For Western minds it is difficult to realise the close connection
between the doctrine of transmigration and the mood of India, rightly or
wrongly termed pessimism. _Our_ instinctive feeling is that life is
sweet; while there is life there is hope, _we_ say; "_healthy_ optimism"
is the expression of Professor James in his _Varieties of Religious
Experience_; it is "_more life_ and fuller that we want." In keeping
with this Western and human instinct, the Christian idea of the
Hereafter is a fuller life than the life Here, a perfect eternal life.
To the pessimist, on the contrary [and Hindu philosophy is pessimistic,
whatever be the new mood of India], the question is, "Why was I born?"
The Indian doctrine of transmigration comes with answer--"Life is a
punishment: it is the bitter consequence of our past that we are working
out; we must _submit_ to be born into the world again and again, until
we are cleared." "Yes, until your minds are cleared," the Indian
pantheist adds, "life _itself_ is a delusion, if you only knew it; life
itself, your consciousness of individuality or separateness, is a
delusion." But the pantheist's thought is here beside our present point.

[Sidenote: Transmigration the antithesis of eternal life.]

To the pessimistic Indian accepting the Indian view of transmigration,
it is therefore no gospel to preach the continuation of life, either
here or hereafter. "To be born again" sounds like a penance to be
endured. _Mukti_, commonly rendered _salvation_, is not regeneration
Here and eternal life Hereafter; it is _deliverance_ from further lives
altogether. If, however, we accept the statement that the value of human
life in India is rising, that life is becoming worth living, and that
the pessimistic mood is no ingrained fundamental trait, we are prepared
to believe that the hopeful Christian conception of the Here and the
Hereafter is finding acceptance. Rightly understood, the Christian
conception is at bottom the antithesis of pessimism and its corollary,
transmigration. To deny the one is almost to assert the other. The decay
of the one is the growth of the other. For the Christian conception of
the Here and the Hereafter--what is it? Life, eternal, in and through
the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. "God gave unto us eternal
life, and the life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath the
life."[110] Says Harnack in his volume _What is Christianity?_ "The
Christian religion means one thing, and one thing only--eternal life in
the midst of time by the strength and under the eyes of God." Not that
the new idea in India is to be wholly ascribed to Christian influence. A
marked change in Christian thought itself during the nineteenth century
has been the higher value of this present life. Christianity has become
a vitalising gospel for the life Here even more than for the Hereafter.
But assuming the truth of what we have sought to show, namely, that
within the past century the winning personality of Christ has come to
New India, a new incentive to noble life and service, we have at least a
further reason for believing that pessimism and transmigration are
fading out of Indian minds. The new Advent, as that at Bethlehem, is a
turning-point of time; the gloomy winter of pessimism is turning to a
hopeful spring.



CHAPTER XVIII

INDIAN TRANSMIGRATION AND THE CHRISTIAN HERE AND HEREAFTER

  "The dew is on the lotus. Rise, good sun!
  And lift my leaf and mix me with the wave.
        The sunrise comes!
  The dewdrop slips into the shining sea.

  If any teach Nirvana is to cease,
    Say unto such they lie.
  If any teach Nirvana is to live,
    Say unto such they err."

    (Buddha's teaching in Arnold's _Light of Asia_.)


[Sidenote: Over against Transmigration, Christian immortality is
continuity of the individual's memory.]

To appreciate the impact of the Christian idea of the Here and Hereafter
upon the Hindu idea of Transmigration and Absorption, the two ideas must
be more fully examined. Stated briefly, the Christian idea is that after
this life on earth comes an Eternity, whose character has been
determined by the life on earth. The crisis of death terminates our
bodily activities and renders impossible any further action, either
virtuous or sinful, and ushers the soul, its ledger closed, its earthy
limitations cast off, into some more immediate presence of God. If in
communion with God, through its faith in Jesus Christ, the soul is in a
state of blessedness; if still alien from God, the soul is in a state of
utter misery, for its spiritual perception and its recollection of
itself are now clear. That, at all events, seems a fair statement of the
belief of many Protestants, so far as their belief is definite at all.
But over against transmigration, what are the essential and distinctive
features of that Christian belief? Its essentially distinctive feature,
both in the case of the blessed and of the miserable, is a _continuity_
of the consciousness in the life that now is with that which is to come.
The soul in bliss or misery is able to associate its existing state with
its past. Even on earth, as the modern preacher tells us, heaven and
hell are already begun. Over against the Hindu idea of transmigration,
accordingly, we define the Christian idea of immortality as the
continuity of our consciousness, or the immortality of the individual
consciousness.

[Sidenote: Transmigration is essentially dissolution of the individual's
memory.]

Per contra, the distinguishing feature of the Hindu doctrine of
transmigration or rebirth is the interruption of consciousness, the
dissolution of memory, at the close of the present existence. In the
next existence there is no memory of the present.

  "The draught of Lethe" does "await
  The slipping through from state to state."

The present life is a member of a series of lives; there are said to be
8,400,000 of them, each member of which is as unconscious of the
preceding as you are of being I. As a seed develops into plant and
flower and seed again, so the soul in each new member of the series
develops a conscious life, lapses from consciousness, and hands on a
germinal soul for a new beginning again. As the seed transmits the type,
and also some variation from the type, so is the germinal soul
transmitted through unconsciousness, ennobled or degraded by each
conscious existence it has lived. At each stage the germinal soul
represents the totality, the net outcome of its existences, as in each
generation of a plant the seed may be said to do. So far, the doctrine
of transmigration is a doctrine of the evolution of a soul, a
declaration that in a sense we are all that we have been, that virtue
and vice will have their reward, that in a sense "men may rise on
stepping stones of their dead selves." It does not leave hard cases of
heathen or of reprobates to the discernment and mercy of God; it offers
them, instead, other chances in subsequent lives. A not unattractive
doctrine it is, even although the attractive analogy of the evolution of
a plant breaks down. For in the scientific doctrine of evolution,
individuals have no immortality _at all_; it is only the species that
lives and moves on. But in Hinduism, as in Christianity, we are thinking
of the continuity of the _individual_ souls.

[Sidenote: The end of transmigration is absorption into Deity.]

[Sidenote: The saint Ramkrishna's obliviousness of self.]

To proceed with the statement of the doctrine of transmigration. The
climax of the transmigrations is Nirvana or extinction of the individual
soul, according to the Buddhist, and union with or absorption into
Deity, according to the Hindu.[111] Buddhism has gone from the land of
its birth, as Christianity and even Judaism from Palestine, and I pass
from the Buddhist doctrine. The Hindu climax, of absorption into Deity,
is reached when by self-mastery personal desire is gone, and by profound
contemplation upon Deity a pure-bred soul has lost the consciousness of
separation from Deity. The distinction between _I_ and the great _Thou_
has vanished; the One is present in the mind not as an objective
thought, but by a transformation of the consciousness itself. The words
of Hindus themselves in the _Advanced Text-book of Hindu Religion_ are:
The human soul (the Jivatmic seed) "grows into self-conscious Deity."
Listen also to the words of Swami Vivekananda, in the Parliament of
Religions, Chicago, about his master, Ramkrishna Paramhansa's growing
into self-conscious Deity: "Every now and then strange fits of
God-consciousness came upon him.... He then spoke of himself as being
able to do and know everything.... He would speak of himself as the same
soul that had been born before as Rama, as Krishna, as Jesus, or as
Buddha, born again as Ramkrishna.... He would say he was ... an
incarnation of God Himself." Again Swami Vivekananda tells us: "From
time to time Ramkrishna would entirely lose his own identity, so much so
as to appropriate to himself the offerings brought for the goddess" (to
the temple in which he officiated). "Sometimes forgetting to adorn the
image, he would adorn _himself_ with the flowers."[112] Transmigration
is not necessarily bound up with the pantheistic view of the world, but
in _Hinduism_, transmigration is only a ladder towards the realisation
of the One.

[Sidenote: Contrasts--"Born again" and a spiritual aristocracy of long
spiritual descent.]

[Sidenote: Heaven and Hell not necessary ideas in Transmigration.]

Radical differences from Christian thought emerge. In the Hindu
conception, the acme is reached only by a spiritual aristocracy of long
spiritual descent; for the common multitude there is no gospel of being
born again in Christ, no guiding hand like that of Our Lord towards the
Father's presence. The upward path, according to the Hindu idea, is the
path of philosophical knowledge and of meditation, not the power of
union with Jesus Christ to make us sons of God. Most striking difference
perhaps of all--in the Hindu philosophical system there is no place for
even the conceptions of heaven and hell except as temporary
halting-places between two incarnations of the soul, which practical
necessity requires. For the soul, this world is the plane of existence;
union with omnipresent Deity is the climax of existence that the Hindu
devotee seeks to attain; yet not in a Hereafter, but as he sits on the
ground no longer conscious of his self. "The beatific vision of
Hinduism," says a recent pro-Hindu writer, "is to be relegated to no
distant future."[113] Heaven and Hell are mocked at as absurdities by
the new sect of the [=A]ryas in the United Provinces and the Punjab, who
retain the doctrine of transmigration.[114]

[Sidenote: Several heavens and hells in popular Hinduism.]

Hindus are divided as to the existence of these temporary halting-places
between the successive incarnations of the soul. The _Text-book of Hindu
Religion_, already referred to, speaks unhesitatingly about their place
in the Hindu system. The [=A]ryas, on the other hand, hold that the
instant a soul leaves its body it enters another body just born. The
soul is never naked--to employ a common figure. Of course in popular
Hinduism it is not surprising to find not merely the ideas of Heaven and
Hell, but even that each chief Deity has his own heaven and that there
are various hells. In the Tantras or ritual books of modern Hinduism,
there is frequent mention of such heavens and hells, and when the idea
of rebirths is also met with, the rebirths are regarded as stages
towards the reward or punishment of the _individual conscious_ souls. It
is the popular idea of heaven that has given rise to the common
euphemism for _to die_, namely, to become a deva or inhabitant of
heaven.

[Sidenote: Transmigration, associated with pessimism and pantheism, is
likewise yielding.]

We have observed the pessimistic mood of India yielding before the
improved conditions of life, and the brahmanical pantheism before the
thought of God the Father. Bound up as the idea of transmigration has
been with the pessimism and pantheism of India, we are prepared to find
that it too is yielding. Of that we now ask what evidence there is in
the ordinary speech and writings of educated India, apart from
controversy or professedly Hindu writings, in which the accepted Indian
orthodoxy would probably appear.

[Sidenote: Educated Hindus speak of the dead as if their former
consciousness continued.]

From the ordinary speeches and writings of educated Hindus regarding the
dead, no one would infer that their doctrinal standpoint was other than
that of the ordinary religious Briton, namely, that the dead friend has
returned to God or has been called away by God, or the like. A native
judge in Bengal, one of the most distinguished leaders of the Hindu
Revival, writes as follows: The beatitude which the new
Radha-Krishnaites aspire to "is not the Nirvana of the Vedantists, the
quiescence of Rationalism. Nirvana and quiescence are merely negatives.
The beatitude [of the new Radha-Krishnaites] is a positive something.
They do not aspire to unification with the divine essence. They prefer
hell with its torments to such unification."[115] A few years ago, at a
public meeting in Calcutta, the acknowledged leader of Hinduism,
speaking of a Hindu gentleman whose death we were lamenting, said: "God
has taken him to himself"--certainly not a Hindu statement of the
passing of a soul. Similarly, in 1882 we find one nobleman in Bengal
writing to another regarding his mother's death: "It is my prayer to God
that she may abide in eternal happiness in heaven."[116] Generations of
Hindu students I have known to find pleasure in identifying themselves
with Wordsworth's views of immortality:

  "Trailing clouds of glory do we come
  From God who is our home,"

and

  "The faith that looks through death."

[Sidenote: Transmigration now no more than a conventional explanation of
how misfortunes befell one.]

Somewhat dreamlike Wordsworth's views may be, but his belief is clearly
not in transmigration. To the educated Hindu, who may not consciously
have rejected the idea of transmigration, the doctrine is really now no
more than a current and convenient explanation of any misfortune that
has befallen a person. "Why has it befallen him? He must have earned it
in some previous existence. It is in the debit balance of the
transactions in his lives." Such are the vague ideas floating in the
air. Upon any individual's acts or plans for the future, the idea of
transmigration seems to have no bearing whatever beyond a numbing of the
will.[117] For in theory, the Hindu's fate is just. In strict logic no
doubt the same numbing effect might be alleged about the Christian
doctrine of predestination. Even when misfortune has overtaken an
educated Hindu, I think I am justified in saying that the more frequent
thought with him is now in keeping with the new theistic belief; the
misfortune is referred to the will of God. As already said, it is a
commonplace of the unfortunate student who has failed, to ascribe his
failure to God's will.

[Sidenote: Transmigration and Predestination more properly contrasted.]

[Sidenote: Illustration from actual fact.]

There is room for the Christian thought of the Hereafter, because in
reality, as theologians know, the doctrine of transmigration stands over
against the Christian doctrine of predestination rather than over
against the Christian doctrine of the Here and Hereafter. Transmigration
is a doctrine of what has gone before the present life rather than of
what will follow. Every educated Anglo-Indian whom I have consulted
agrees that in a modern Hindu's mouth transmigration is only a theory of
the incidence of actual suffering. Here is the doctrine of _karma_
(works), that is of transmigration or merited rebirth, in the actual
life of India--transmigration and the pessimistic helplessness of which
I have spoken? In the last great famine of 1899-1900, in a village in
South-western India, a missionary found a victim of famine lying on one
side of the village street, and not far off, upon the other side, two or
three men of the middle class. The missionary reproached them for their
callousness. What might be answered for them is not here to the point;
their answer for themselves was, "It is his _karma_." The missionary did
what he could for the famine sufferer, and then when repassing the group
could not forbear remarking to them, "You see you were wrong about his
_karma_." "Yes, we were wrong," they replied. "It was his _karma_ to be
helped by you." The same views of karma and of transmigration, as
referring to the past, not the future, are apparent in a recent number
of _The Inquirer_, a paper conducted in Calcutta for the benefit of
Hindu students and others. I take the following from the question
column: "Do Christians believe in the doctrine of reincarnation? If not,
how do you account for blindness at birth?" The questioner's idea is
plain, and the coincidence with the question put to Christ in St. John's
Gospel, chapter ix, is striking. Hindus thus have room for an idea of
the _future_ of the soul, as Christians, on their side, have for a
theory of the soul's origin.

[Sidenote: The idea of the Hereafter not dynamical with Christians at
present.]

The Christian idea of the Hereafter cannot, as yet, be called a strongly
dynamical doctrine of Christianity in the sense that the Person of Our
Lord has proved dynamical. Not that interest in the subject is lacking.
I have referred to questions put by educated Hindus in _The Inquirer_.
Out of fifty-seven questions I find eight bearing on the Christian
doctrine of the Hereafter or the Hindu doctrine of Transmigration. In
the _Magazine of the Hindu College_, _Benares_, out of fourteen
questions I find four bearing on the same subject. The want of force in
the Christian doctrine no doubt reflects its want of force for
Christians themselves in this present positive age. For even Tennyson
himself was vague:

  "That which drew from out the boundless deep
  Turns again home."

[Sidenote: The new sects and the doctrine of Transmigration.]

[Sidenote: The _Text-book of Hindu Religion_.]

[Sidenote: A European's place on the ladder of transmigration.]

Of the sects of recent origin, only the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j or Theistic
Association rejects the doctrine of transmigration avowedly. We have
already said that the [=A]rya Sam[=a]j or Vedic Theists of the United
Provinces and the Punjab hold strongly to the doctrine. It is noteworthy
that _they_ should do so, the Vedas being their standards wherewith to
test Modern Hinduism, for the doctrine of transmigration is scarcely
hinted at in the Vedas, and in the oldest, the Rigveda, there is said to
be no trace of the doctrine.[118] It appears in the later writings, the
Upanishads, and is manifest throughout the Code of Manu (c. A.D. 200).
Mrs. Besant, chief figure among the Indian Theosophists, now virtually a
Hindu Revival Association, preaches the doctrine, and, in fact, lectured
on it in Britain in 1904. At the same time, transmigration is no part of
the Theosophist's creed. As might be expected, the _Text-book of Hindu
Religion_, of the Hindu College, Benares, gives the doctrine of
transmigration a prominent place, although the explicitness with which
it is set forth is very surprising to one acquainted with the way the
doctrine is generally ignored by the educated. I quote from the _Hindu
Text-book_, published in 1903, that Westerns may realise that in dealing
with transmigration we are not dealing simply with some old-world
doctrine deciphered from some palm-leaf written in some ancient
character. After describing--here following the ancient philosophical
writings, the Upanishads--how the Jivatma or Soul comes up through the
various existences of the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms until it
reaches the human stage, the Text-book proceeds to describe the further
upward or downward process. It is declared that the downward movement
(from man to animal) is now much rarer than formerly--that concession is
made to modern ideas--but the _law_ of the downward process is as
follows: "When a man has so degraded himself below the human level that
many of his qualities can only express themselves through the form of a
lower creature, he cannot, when his time for rebirth comes, pass into a
human form. He is delayed, therefore, and is attached to the body of one
of the lower creatures as a co-tenant with the animal, vegetable, or
mineral Jiva [life], until he has worn out the bonds of these non-human
qualities and is fit to take birth again in the world of men. A very
strong and excessive attachment to an animal may have similar results."
Where modern ideas reach in India, one can understand such ideas as
those melting away. A second passage from the Text-book is interesting,
as showing the compiler's idea of the place of a life in Europe in the
chain of existences, although in this case also the statement is made
only about "ancient days." "The Jivatma [soul] was prepared for entrance
into each [Indian] caste through a long preliminary stage _outside_
India; then he was born into India and passed into each caste to receive
its definite lessons; then was born away from India to practise these
lessons; usually returning to India to the highest of them, in the final
stages of his evolution." In other words, people of the outer world, say
Europeans, are rewarded for virtue by being born into the lowest Indian
caste, and then, after rising to be brahmans in India, they go back to
Europe to give it the benefit of their acquirements; and finally crown
their career by reappearing in India as a brahman philosopher or jogi.
Surely we may laugh at this without being thought unsympathetic or
narrow-minded. We recall Mrs. Besant's assertion that she had a dim
recollection of an existence as a brahman pandit in India. According to
the spiritual genealogy of the _Hindu Text-book_, she may hope to be
born next in an Indian child, and become a jogi possessed of saving
knowledge of the identity of self with Deity.

[Sidenote: The women of the middle class and transmigration.]

I asked a lady who had been a missionary in Calcutta for many years, how
far a belief in transmigration was apparent among the women of the
middle class. She could recall only two instances in which it had come
to her notice in her talks with the wives and daughters of educated
India. Once a reason was given for being kind to a cat, that the
speaker's grandmother might then be in it as her abode, although the
observation was accompanied with a laugh. On the second occasion, when
the lady was having trouble with a slow pupil, one of the women present,
sympathising with the teacher, said, "Do not trouble with her; perhaps
next time when she comes back she will be cleverer." The general
conclusion, therefore, I repeat: Transmigration is no longer a living
part of the belief of educated India; the Christian conception of the
Hereafter is as yet only partially taking its place.



CHAPTER XIX

THE IDEAS OF SIN AND SALVATION

    "Conscience does make cowards of us _all_."

    --SHAKESPEARE.


[Sidenote: Recapitulation.]

[Sidenote: The new Theism.]

In the new India, as fish out of the water die, many things cannot
survive. We have seen the educated Hindu dropping polytheism, forgetting
pantheism, and adopting or readopting monotheism as the basis of his
religious thinking and feeling. For modern enlightenment and Indian
polytheism are incongruous; there is a like incongruity between Indian
pantheism and the modern demand for practical reality. Likewise, both
polytheism and pantheism are inconsistent with Christian thought, which
is no minor factor in the education of modern India. Further, the theism
that the educated Hindu is adopting as the basis of his religion
approaches to Christian Theism. The doctrines of the Fatherhood of God
and the Brotherhood of Man have become commonplaces in his mouth.

[Sidenote: Homage to Christ Himself]

Likewise, the educated Hindu is strongly attracted to the person of
Jesus Christ, in spite of His alien birth and His association with Great
Britain. There is a sweet savour in His presence, and the man of any
spirituality finds it grateful to sit at His feet. That familiar
oriental expression, hyperbolical to our ears, but ever upon the lips in
India to express the relationship of student to trusted professor, or of
disciple to religious teacher, expresses exactly the relationship to
Jesus Christ of the educated man who is possessed of any religious
instinct. To such a man the miracles, the superhuman claims, the highest
titles of Jesus Christ, present no difficulty until they are formulated
for his subscription in some hard dogmatic mould. Then he must question
and discuss.

[Sidenote: Transmigration forgotten.]

Again, the educated Hindu finds himself employing about the dead and the
hereafter not the language of transmigration, but words that convey the
idea of a continuation of our present consciousness in the presence of a
personal God. For life is becoming worth living, and the thought of life
continuing and progressing is acceptable. This present life also has
become a reality; a devotee renouncing the world may deny its reality;
but how in this practical modern world can a man retain the doctrine of
Maya or Delusion. It has dropped from the speech and apparently out of
the mind of the educated classes.

[Sidenote: The ideas of Sin and Salvation by faith in Jesus Christ not
yet dynamical.]

I have suggested that those features of Christianity that are proving to
be dynamical in India will be found to be those same that are proving to
be dynamical in Britain. The converse also probably holds true, as our
religious teachers might do well to note. The doctrines of Sin and
Salvation through faith in Jesus Christ do not yet seem to have
commended themselves in any measure in India. Positive repudiation of a
Christian doctrine is rare, but the flourishing new sect of the
North-West, the [=A]ryas, make a point of repudiating the Christian
doctrine of salvation by faith, although not explicitly denying it in
their creed. Over against it they set up the Justice of God and the
certainty of goodness and wickedness receiving each its meed. One can
imagine that salvation by faith in Jesus Christ, the outstanding feature
of Christianity, may have been unworthily presented to the [=A]rya
leaders, so that it appeared to them merely as some cheap or gratis kind
of "indulgences." The biographer of the Parsee philanthropist, Malabari,
a forceful and otherwise well-informed writer, sets forth that idea of
salvation by faith, or an idea closely akin. He is explaining why his
religious-minded hero did not accept the religion of his missionary
teachers. "The proud Asiatic," he says, "strives to purchase salvation
with work, and never stoops to accept it as alms, as it necessarily
would be if faith were to be his only merit." The unworthy presentation
of "salvation by faith" may have occurred either in feeble Christian
preaching or in anti-Christian pamphlets. Neither is unknown in India;
and anti-Christian pamphlets have been known to be circulated through
[=A]rya agencies.

[Sidenote: The ideas of sin incompatible with pantheism.]

To appreciate the attitude of the Hindu mind to the doctrines of Sin and
Salvation, we must return again to the rough division of Hindus
into--first, the mass of the people, polytheists; secondly, the educated
classes, now largely monotheists; thirdly, the brahmanically educated
and the ascetics, pantheists. It is only with the monotheists that we
have now to deal. As already said--to the pantheist the word sin has no
meaning. Where all is God, sin or alienation from God is a contradiction
in terms. The conception of sin implies the _two_ conceptions of God and
Man, or at least of Law and Man; and where one or other of these two
conceptions is lacking, the conception of sin cannot arise. In
pantheism, the idea of man as a distinct individual is relegated to the
region of Maya or Delusion; there cannot therefore be a real sinner.
Does such reasoning appear mere dialectics without practical
application, or is it unfair, think you, thus to bind a person down to
the logical deductions from his creed? On the contrary, persons denying
that we can sin are easy to find. Writes the latest British apostle of
Hinduism, for the leaders of reaction in India are a few English and
Americans: "There is no longer a vague horrible something called sin:
This has given place to a clearly defined state of ignorance or
blindness of the will."[119] I quote again also from Swami Vivekananda,
representative of Hinduism in the Parliament of Religions at Chicago in
1893. It is from his lecture published in 1896, entitled _The Real and
the Apparent Man_. His statement is unambiguous. "It is the greatest of
all lies," he says, "that we are mere men; we are the God of the
Universe.... The worst lie that you ever told yourself is that you were
born a sinner.... The wicked see this universe as a hell; and the
partially good see it as heaven; and the perfect beings realise it as
God Himself. By mistake we think that we are impure, that we are
limited, that we are separate. The real man is the One Unit Existence."
Such is the logical and the actual outcome of pantheism in regard to the
idea of sin, and such is the standpoint of Hindu philosophy.

[Sidenote: Sankarachargya, the pantheist's, confession of sins.]

Or if further illustration be needed of the incompatibility of the ideas
of pantheism and sin, listen to the striking prayer of Sankarachargya,
the pantheistic Vedantist of the eighth century A.D., with whom is
identified the pantheistic motto, "One only, without a second."[120] It
attracts our attention because Sankarachargya is professedly confessing
sins. Thus runs the prayer: "O Lord, pardon my three sins: I have in
contemplation clothed in form thee who art formless; I have in praise
described thee who art ineffable; and in visiting shrines I have ignored
thine omnipresence."[121] Beautiful expressions indeed, confessions that
finite language and definite acts are inadequate to the Infinite, nay,
contradictions of the Infinite, expressions fit to be recited in prayer
by any man of any creed who feels that God is a Spirit and omnipresent!
But in a Christian prayer such expressions would only form a preface to
confession of one's own _moral_ sin; after adoration comes confession.
Whether, like Sankarachargya, we think of the Deity objectively, as the
formless and literally omnipresent Being, the _pure Being_ which,
according to Hegel, equals nothing, or whether like Swami Vivekananda we
think of man and God as really one, all differentiation being a delusion
within the mind--there is _no second_, neither any second to sin against
nor any second to commit the sin.

[Sidenote: The masses and the sense of sin.]

[Sidenote: Prescriptions for sinners.]

For the ignorant masses, the sense of sin has been worn out by the
importance attached to religious and social externals and by the
artificial value of the service of a hereditary monopolist priesthood.
These right, all is right in the eyes of the millions of India. When one
of the multitude proposes to himself a visit to some shrine or sacred
spot, no doubt the motive often is some divine dissatisfaction with
himself; it is a feeling that God is not near enough where he himself
lives. But what is poured into his ears? By a visit to Dwaraka, the city
of Krishna's sports, he will be liberated from all his sins. By bathing
in the sacred stream of the Ganges he will wash away his sins. All who
die at Benares are sure to go to heaven. By repeating the Gayatri (a
certain verse of the Rigveda addressed to the sun) a man is saved. "A
brahman who holds the Veda in his memory is not culpable though he
should destroy the three worlds"--so says the Code of Manu. The Tantras,
or ritual works of modern Hinduism, abound in such prescriptions for
sinners. "He who liberates a bull at the Aswamedika place of pilgrimage
obtains _mukti_, that is salvation or an end of his rebirths." "All sin
is destroyed by the repetition of Kali's thousand names." "The water of
a guru's [religious teacher's] feet purifies from all sin." "The man who
carries the guru's dust [the dust of the guru's feet] upon his head is
emancipated from all sin and is [the god] Siva himself." "By a certain
inhalation of the breath through the left nostril, and holding of the
breath, with repetition of _yam_, the V[=a]yu Bija or mystical spell of
wind or air, the body and its indwelling sinful self are dessicated, the
breath being expelled by the right nostril."[122] And so on _ad
infinitum_. Superstition, Western or Eastern, has no end of panaceas. We
recall the advertisements of "Plenaria indulgenzia" on the doors of
churches in South Italy. Visiting Benares, the metropolis of popular
Hinduism, the conception of salvation everywhere obtruded upon one is
that it is a question of sacred spots, and of due offerings and
performances thereat.

[Sidenote: The signification of sacrifices to the Indian masses.]

[Sidenote: Description of animal sacrifice.]

What to the masses is _sacrifice_ even, the word which to western ears,
familiar with the term in our Scriptures, suggests acknowledgment of sin
and atonement therefor? It is a mistake to regard sacrifices in India as
expiatory; they are gifts to the Deities as superior powers for boons
desired or received, or they are the customary homage to the powers that
be, at festivals and special occasions. Animal sacrifices are
distinguished from the offerings of fruits and flowers only in being
limited to particular Deities and pertaining to more special occasions.
An actual instance will show the place that sacrifices hold. In a letter
from a village youth to his father, informing him how he had proceeded
upon his arrival at Calcutta, whither he had gone for the University
Matriculation Examination, he reports that he has offered a goat in
sacrifice in order to ensure his success. What he probably does is this.
In a bazaar near the great temple of Kalighat, near Calcutta, the
greatest centre of animal sacrifices in the world, he buys a goat or
kid, fetches it into the temple court and hands it over to one of the
priests whom he has fee'd. The priest puts a consecrating daub of red
lead upon the animal's head, utters over it some mantra or sacred
Sanscrit text, sprinkles water and a few flowers upon it at the actual
place of slaughter, and then delivers it over again to the offerer. Then
when the turn of the offerer, whom we are watching, has come, he hands
over the animal to the executioner, who fixes its neck within a forked
or Y-shaped stick fixed fast in the ground. With one blow the animal's
head is severed from its body. The bleeding head is carried off into the
shrine to be laid before the image of the goddess, and become the temple
perquisite. The decapitated body is carried off by the offerer to
furnish his family with a holiday meal. With his forehead ceremonially
marked with a touch of the blood lying thick upon the ground, the
offerer leaves the temple, his sacrifice finished. Such is animal
sacrifice; if the description recalls the slaughter-house, the actual
sight is certainly sickening. Yet, far as a European now feels from
worship in such a place, and thankful to Him who has abolished sacrifice
once for all, there is no doubt religious gratification to those who go
through what I have described. Our point is that, as Sir M. Monier
Williams declares, in such an offering, "there is no idea of effacing
guilt or making a vicarious offering for sin."[123]

[Sidenote: The educated classes and the idea of sin.]

[Sidenote: The brahma monopoly of nearness to the Deity broken down.]

The educated classes, breathing now a monotheistic atmosphere, although
in close contact with polytheism in their homes and with pantheism in
their sacred literature, have reached the platform on which the idea of
sin may be experienced. A member of that class, a pantheist no longer,
is in the presence of a personal God, a Moral Being, and is himself a
responsible person, with the instincts of a child of that Supreme Moral
Being, our Father. With his education, he knows himself to be
independent of brahmanical mediation in his intercourse with that Being.
As confirmation, it is noteworthy how many of the religious leaders of
modern times, like Buddha of old, are other than brahman by caste. In a
previous chapter the names of a number of these non-brahman leaders were
given. Even the Hindu ascetics of these latter days are more numerously
non-brahman than of old, for in theory only brahmans have reached the
ascetical stage of religious development. Whatever the reason, the
brahmanical monopoly of access to and inspiration from the Deity is no
longer recognised by new-educated India.

[Sidenote: The worship of the new sects--its significance.]

In like manner, the new religious associations seem to feel themselves
directly in the presence of God. Congregational worship, a feature new
to Hindus, is a regular exercise in the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j or Theistic
Association of Bengal, the Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes or Prayer
Associations of Western India, and the [=A]rya Sam[=a]j or Vedic
Theistic Association of the United Provinces and the North-West of
India. When Rammohan Roy, the theistic reformer, opened his church in
Calcutta in 1830, he introduced among Hindus congregational worship and
united prayer, before unknown among them and confessedly borrowed from
Christian worship.[124] The public worship in all these bodies is indeed
not unlike many a Christian service, consisting of Prayer to God, Praise
of God, and expositions of religious truth. In a small collection of
hymns, "Theistic Hymns," published some years ago for the use of members
of the [=A]rya Sam[=a]j, we find many Christian hymns expressive of this
personal relationship to God. We find "My God, my Father, while I
stray," and "O God, our help in ages past." Neither of these hymns,
however, it must be noted, contains confession of sin. Curiously
incongruous to our minds is the inclusion among these hymns of poems
like "The boy stood on the burning deck," and "Tell me not in mournful
numbers," and "There's a magical tie to the land of our home," etc.[125]
Even among the Hindu revivalists, judged by that test of the incoming of
public worship, we perceive the growth of the idea of personal
relationship to God. A recent publication of that party is "_Songs for
the worship of the Goddess Durga_." One of them, we may note in passing,
is the well-known hymn, "Work, for the night is coming." All such
personal relationship, we again repeat, is incompatible with pantheism,
and almost equally so with the popular sacerdotalism. Not without
significance do the new theists of Western India call their associations
the Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes or Prayer Associations, and give to the
buildings in which they worship the name of Prayer Halls instead of
temples. Let not men say that religion and theological belief belong to
separable spheres.

[Sidenote: The idea of sin naturally accompanies the new monotheism.]

Once more, the public worship and prayer attendant on the new monotheism
of the new religious associations are the signs that the stage has been
reached where sin will be felt and confessed. As yet, however, it cannot
be said that the thought of sin is prominent. In the creeds of the
[=A]rya Sam[=a]j and the Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes, the word _sin_ does
not occur. What we find in the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j is as follows. From
the creed of the Southern India Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, of date about 1883,
we quote paragraph 7: "Should I through folly commit sin, I will
endeavour to be atoned _[sic]_ unto God by earnest repentance and
reformation."[126] From the "Principles of the Sadharan [Universal or
Catholic] Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j," set forth in the organ of the body, we
quote a paragraph 8: "God rewards virtue and punishes sin, but that
punishment is for our good and cannot last to eternity." From a
publication by a third section of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, the party of
Keshub Chunder Sen, we quote: "Every sinner must suffer the consequences
of his own sins, sooner or later, in this world or in the next; for the
moral law is unchangeable and God's justice irreversible. His mercy also
must have its way. As the just king, He visits the soul with _adequate
agonies_, and when the sinner after being thus chastised mournfully
prays, He as the merciful Father delivers and accepts him and becomes
reconciled to him. Such reconciliation is the only true atonement."[127]
Even in the last quoted, the expression "adequate agonies" shows its
standpoint regarding salvation from sin to be salvation by repentance,
and not the standpoint of St. Paul, "I live, and yet no longer I, but
Christ liveth in me."



CHAPTER XX

THE IDEA OF SALVATION

  "The slender sound
  As from a distance beyond distance grew,
  Coming upon me--O never harp nor horn
  Was like that music as it came; and then
  Stream'd thro' my cell a cold and silver beam,
  And down the long beam stole the Holy Grail."

    TENNYSON.


[Sidenote: Hinduism superseded Buddhism because it offered salvation,
not extinction.]

Salvation does mean something to every class. The huge fabric of
Brahmanism does not continue to exist without ministering to some
wide-felt need of the masses. It was in obedience to some inward demand,
however perverted, that children were cast into the Ganges at Saugor,
that human sacrifices were offered and self-tortures like hook-swinging
were endured. These have been put down by British authority, but there
still remain many austerities and bloody sacrifices and strange devices
to satisfy the clamant demand of our souls. Even may we not say that,
along with other reasons for the disappearance of Buddhism from India,
some response more satisfying to the human need must have been offered
by the rival system of Hinduism. Hinduism has deities and avatars;
Buddhism had none. Two of the most interesting spots in India, the most
sacred in the world to Buddhists, are Budh-gaya, where under the bo tree
Buddha attained to enlightenment, and S[=a]rn[=a]th, where he began his
preaching. Yet the worship at neither place to-day is Buddhist. At the
scene of Gautama's enlightenment, where he became Buddha or Enlightened,
one of the conventional statues of Buddha is actually marked and
worshipped as Vishnu, the Hindu deity, the Preserver in the Hindu triad.
Even at that most holy shrine of Buddhism, Hinduism has supplanted it,
for popular Hinduism offered salvation, while Buddhism offered
extinction. Turning from the masses to the philosophical ascetic--when
he cuts himself off from family life with all its variety of pleasure
and interest, not to speak of the self-torture he also sometimes
inflicts, he too has some corresponding demand, some adequate motive to
satisfy. His is the resolute quest for salvation of the higher, older
type. But we are dealing with modern, new-educated India, and now we ask
ourselves: What does the modern, new-educated Indian mean by salvation?
Why does the thought of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ fail to reach
his heart?

[Sidenote: Three ways of salvation in Hinduism: more strictly, three
stages.]

[Sidenote: 1. Saving knowledge]

[Sidenote: Or now Beatific Vision.]

The acute Indian mind, with its disposition to analyse and its
tenderness towards all manifestations of religion, has noted three
different paths of salvation, or more strictly three stages in the path.
The last only really leads to salvation, the other two paths are
tolerant recognition of the well-meaning religious efforts of those who
have not attained to understanding of the true and final path of
salvation. For convenience sake we may roughly designate the three ways
as Saving Works, and Saving Faith, and Saving Knowledge, placing the
elementary stage first. One of the Tantras or ritual scriptures of
Modern Hinduism, the Mahanirv[=a]na Tantra, thus explains the three
stages in the path and their respective merits: "The knowledge that
Brahma alone is true is the best expedient; meditation is the middling
[= the means?]; and (2) the chanting of glories and the recitation of
names is the worst; and (3) the worship of idols is the worst of the
worst.[128] Of the pantheist's "saving knowledge," perhaps enough has
been said. But again, it is the piercing of the veil of Maya or Delusion
which hides from the soul that God is the One and the All. It is the
transformation of the consciousness of "I" into that of the "One only,
without a second." It is the ability to say "Aham Brahman," _i.e._ I am
Brahma. In the _Life of Dr. Wilson_, the Scottish Missionary at Bombay,
we read that in 1833, Dr. Wilson went with a visitor to see a celebrated
jogi who was lying in the sun in the street, the nails of whose hands
were grown into his cheek, and on whose head there was the nest of a
bird. The visitor questioned the jogi, "How can one obtain the knowledge
of God?" and the reply of the jogi was, "Do not ask me questions; you
may look at me, for I am God." "Aham Brahman," very probably was his
reply. That is pantheistic salvation, _mukti_, or deliverance from
further human existences and their desires and delusions. At last the
spirit is free, and the galling chains of the lusting and limited body
are broken. But as pantheism is declining, such cases are growing fewer,
and for the educated Hindus, now largely monotheists, the saving
knowledge is rather a beatific vision of the Divine, only vouchsafed to
minds intensely concentrated upon the quest and thought of God, and cut
off from mundane distractions. This is the union with God which is
salvation to many of the modern monotheistic Hindus.

[Sidenote: The quest of the beatific vision still implies the
dissociation of religion and active life.]

[Sidenote: An unproductive religious ideal.]

What concerns us here is that in the conception of the beatific vision,
we still find ourselves in a different religious world from
ours--religion exoteric for the vulgar, and religion esoteric for the
enlightened; religion not for living by, but for a period of retirement;
a religion of spiritual self-culture, not of active sonship and
brotherhood. Far be it from me to say that at this point the West may
not learn as well as teach, for how much thought does the culture of the
spirit receive among us? How little! However that may be, this
conception of the religious life is deeply rooted in educated India. The
impersonal pantheistic conception of the Deity may be passing into the
theistic, and even into Christian theism; the doctrine of transmigration
may be little more than the current orthodox explanation of the coming
of misfortune; the doctrine of Maya or the illusory character of the
phenomena of our consciousness, it may be impossible to utter in this
new practical age; and Jesus Christ may be the object of the highest
reverence; but still the instinctive thought of the educated Hindu is
that there is a period of life for the world's work, and a later period
for devotion to religion. When dissatisfaction with himself or with the
world does overtake him, instinctively there occur to him thoughts of
retirement from the world and concentration of his mind, thereby to
reach God's presence. Very few spiritually minded Hindus past middle
life pass into the Christian Church, as some do at the earlier stages of
life. Under the sway of the Hindu idea of salvation, by knowledge or by
intense intuition, they withdraw from active life to meditate on God,
with less or more of the practice of religious exercises. Painful to
contemplate the spiritual loss to the community of a conception of
religion that diverts the spiritual energy away from the community, and
renders it practically unproductive, except as an example. Once more we
recall as typical the jogi, not going about doing good, anointed with
the Holy Ghost and with power, but fixed like a plant to its own spot,
and with inward-looking eyes. Time was that there were jogis and joginis
(female jogis) in Europe; but even of St. Theresa, at one period of her
life a typical jogini, we read that not long after her visions and
supernatural visitations, she became a most energetic reformer of the
convents.

[Sidenote: The jogi, not the brahman, is the living part of present-day
Hinduism.]

That quest for the beatific vision or for union with God, is the highest
and the most living part of present-day Hinduism, whether monotheistic
or pantheistic. Not the purohit brahman (the domestic celebrant), or the
guru brahman (the professional spiritual director), conventionally
spoken of as divine, but the jogi or religious seeker is the object of
universal reverence. And rightly so. The reality of this aspect of
Hinduism is manifest in the ease with which it overrides the idea of
caste. In theory brahmans are the twice-born caste, the nearest to the
Deity and to union with Him. A man of lower caste, in his upward
transmigrations towards union with God or absorption into Deity, should
pass through an existence as a brahman. In the chapter on Transmigration
we found that the upward steps of the ladder up to the brahman caste had
been clearly stated in an authoritative Hindu text-book. The word
_br[=a]hman_, the name of the highest caste, is itself in fact a synonym
for Deity. But as a matter of fact, men of any caste, moved by the
spirit, are found devoting themselves to the jogi life. "He who attains
to God is the true br[=a]hman," is the current maxim, attributed to the
great Buddha.

[Sidenote: Saving Faith, or Bhakti.]

[Sidenote: Bhakti implies a personal God.]

[Sidenote: Bhakti a genuine feeling because it may override caste.]

[Sidenote: Bhakti not fit to cope with caste.]

This brings us to the second of the three paths of salvation, the middle
portion of the upward path to the mountain top of clear, unclouded
vision of the All, the One Soul. In Hindu theory, at this second stage
man is still amid the clouds that cling to the mountain's breast. For
easy reference I have named it _Salvation by Faith_, although the
English term must not mislead. The extract from the Mahanirv[=a]na
Tantra, already quoted, describes this inferior stage as the method of
"chanting of glories and recitation of names" of gods. The Sanscrit
name, _Bhakti_, is rendered devotion, or fervour, or faith, or fervent
love; and in spite of alien ideas associated with bhakti, bhakti is much
more akin to Faith than are many of the features of Hinduism to the
Christian analogues with whose names they are ticketed. For example,
bhakti practically implies a personal god, not the impersonal
pantheistic Brahma. Intense devotion to some personal god, generally
Vishnu the preserver, under the name Hari, or either of Vishnu's chief
incarnations, Ram or Krishna, is the usual manifestation of bhakti. In
actual practice it displays itself in ecstatic dancing or singing, or in
exclaiming the name of the god or goddess, or in self-lacerations in his
or her honour. Lacerations and what we would call penances, be it
remembered, are done to the honour of a Deity; they are not a discipline
like the self-whipping of the Flagellants and the jumping of the Jumpers
of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. "Bhakti," says Sir Monier
Williams, "is really a kind of 'meritorious work,' and not equivalent to
'faith' in the Christian sense."[129] Bhakti is the religion of many
millions of India, combined more or less with the conventional externals
of sacrifice and offerings and pilgrimages and employment of brahmans,
which together constitute the third path of salvation, by karma or
works. That ecstatic adoration is religion for many millions of India,
although the name _bhakti_ may never pass their lips. We judged the idea
of salvation by knowledge, or by intense concentration of mind, to be
_genuinely_ felt, because it could override the idea of caste. Applying
the same test here, we must acknowledge the genuineness of feeling in
bhakti. Theoretically, at least, as Sir Monier Williams says, "devotion
to Vishnu supersedes all distinctions of caste"; and again, "Vishnavism
[Vishnuism], notwithstanding the gross polytheistic superstitions and
hideous idolatry to which it gives rise, is the only Hindu system worthy
of being called a religion."[130] In actual practice the repudiation of
caste no doubt varies greatly. In some cases, caste is dropped only
during the fit of fervour or bhakti. At Puri, _during_ the celebrated
Juggernath (Jagan-nath, Lord of the world) pilgrimage, high caste and
low together receive and eat the temple food, afterwards resuming their
several ranks in caste. As a matter of fact it was found at the census
of 1901, that with the exception of a few communities of devotees, all
the professed Vishnuites returned themselves by their caste names. Hindu
bhakti, like Christianity, is in conflict with caste, and bhakti has not
proved fit to cope with it.

[Sidenote: Bhakti in other religions.]

[Sidenote: In Christian worship.]

Bhakti, then, is simply the designation for fervour in worship or in
presence of the Deity, as it appears in Hinduism. For fervour is not
peculiar to any religion, even ecstatic fervour. We see it among the
Jews in King David's dancing before the ark of the Lord, and we see it
in the whirling of the dervishes of Cairo, despite Mahomedans' overawing
idea of God. May we not say that the singing in Christian worship
recognises the same religious instinct, and the necessity to permit the
exercise of it. Many of the psalms, we feel we must chant or sing;
reading is too cold for them--the 148th Psalm for example, "Praise ye
the Lord from the heavens; praise Him in the heights: praise ye Him, sun
and moon," and so on.

[Sidenote: Bhakti a natural channel for religious feeling, now being
reconsecrated.]

We pass over the extravagances and gross depths to which bhakti,
devotion or faith or love, may degenerate in the excitement of religious
festivals--_corruptio optimi pessimum_. Even, strange to say, we find
the grossness of bhakti also deliberately embodied in figures of wood
and stone. Passing that over, we repeat that in bhakti or devotion to a
personal God, or even only ecstatic extravagant devotion to a saint or
religious hero semi-deified, we have a natural channel for the religious
feeling of Indians, a channel that in these days is wearing deep. I
speak of the middle classes, not of the ignorant masses, and my point is
that the middle classes and the new religious organisations including
the Indian Church are reconsecrating bhakti. Here is a portion of a
bhakti hymn of one of the sections of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j:

  "The gods dance, chanting the name of Hari;
  Dances my Gouranga in the midst of the choral band;
  The eyes full of tears, Oh! how beautiful!
  Jesus dances, Paul dances, dances Sakya Muni."

[Sidenote: Bhakti in the Indian Church.]

Between singing the song and acting it while singing, the distance in
India is little. The explanation of a recent Hindu devotee, Ramkrishna
Paramhansa, is: "A true devotee, who has drunk deep of divine Love, is
like a veritable drunkard, and as such cannot always observe the rules
of propriety."[131] Manifestations of bhakti we would soon have in the
Indian Christian Church were the cold moderating influence of Westerns
lessened; and as the Church increases and becomes indigenous, we must
welcome bhakti in measure. Every religious procession will lead to
manifestations of bhakti. In the Church of Scotland Magazine, _Life and
Work_, for November 1904, we are told of a convert at Calcutta: "She
kept speaking and singing of Jesus.... She appeared to the Hindu family
to be a Christ-intoxicated woman." Again, in the _Indian Standard_ for
October 1905, we read of a religious revival among the Christians of the
hills in Assam, where the Welsh missionaries work. We may contrast the
concomitants of the revival with those attending the late revival even
among the fervid Welsh. At one meeting, we are told, "the fervour rose
at times to boiling heat, and scores of men were almost beside
themselves with spiritual ecstasy. We never witnessed such scenes;
scores of people literally danced, while large numbers who did not dance
waved their arms in the air, keeping time, as they sang some of our
magnificent Khassie hymns."

[Sidenote: Saving knowledge naturally superseded by Bhakti in the new
monotheism.]

[Sidenote: An object of bhakti needed for educated India.]

[Sidenote: Buddha, Krishna, Chaitanya.]

[Sidenote: Jesus Christ, the supereminent object of bhakti.]

If what I have frequently repeated in these chapters be correct--that in
the nineteenth century educated India has become largely monotheistic,
it is in keeping therewith that the prevailing conception of religion
should have changed, alongside, from the quest of Saving Knowledge to
that of Bhakti or enthusiastic devotion to a person. Direct confirmation
of that inference, a recent Hindu historian supplies. In a different
context altogether, he declares: "The doctrine of bhakti (Faith) now
rules the Hindu to the almost utter exclusion of the higher and more
intellectual doctrine of gnan (Knowledge of the Supreme Soul)." The
conception of the all-comprehending impersonal Brahma has, indeed, lost
vitality; for the educated also the externals of the popular religion
have lost their significance and become puerile. But for them also, the
objects of popular bhakti, Ram and Krishna, are as much epical as
religious heroes. Hinduism needs an object of bhakti for her educated
people. The fact explains several of the novel religious features of the
past half-century. The great jogi, Buddha, although not a brahman, was
rediscovered as a religious hero for Hindus; at the commencement of the
century he was a heretic to the brahmans. "The head of a sect inimical
to Hinduism," the great Rammohan Roy calls him. So Sir Edwin Arnold's
_Light of Asia_ had a great vogue some twenty years ago. Then Krishna
has had his life re-written and his cult revived--purged of the old
excesses of the Krishna-bhakti. More recently, Chaitanya, the religious
teacher in Bengal in the fifteenth century, has been adopted by certain
of the educated class in Bengal as an object of bhakti. Here, it seems
to me, is found the place of Christ in the mind of educated India. They
are fairly familiar now with the story of the New Testament, and Jesus
Christ stands before them as the supereminent object of bhakti; and I
venture to say is generally regarded as such, although comparatively few
as yet have adopted the bhakti attitude towards Him. The _Imitatio
Christi_, however, is a well-known book to the spiritually minded among
the educated classes. India has advanced beyond the cold, intellectual,
Unitarian appreciation of Jesus Christ that marked the early Br[=a]hma
and Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]j movements and manifested itself in their
creeds in express denial of any incarnation. For Br[=a]hma worship, I
have seen the hymn, "Jesus, lover of my soul," transformed into "Father,
lover of my soul." Hindus of the newer bhakti attitude to Christ would
find no difficulty in singing the hymn as Christians do, provided the
doctrinal background be not obtruded upon them. Sober faith has dawned,
and will formulate itself by and by.



CHAPTER XXI

CONCLUSION

  "Draw the curtain close,
  And let us all to meditation."

    SHAKESPEARE, _Hen. VI_. II.


Sailing, say to India, from Britain down through the Atlantic, close by
the coast of Portugal and Spain, and then, within the Mediterranean,
skirting the coast of Algeria, and so on, one is often oppressed with a
sense of his isolation. We can see that the land we are passing is
inhabited by human beings like ourselves; and those houses visible are
homes; and signs of life we can see even from our passing vessel. What
of all the tragedies and comedies that are daily being enacted in these
houses--the exits and the entrances, the friendships and the feuds, the
selfishnesses and self-sacrifices, the commonplace toil, the children's
play, that are going on the very moment we are looking? We are out of
it, and our affections refuse to be wholly alienated from these
fellow-beings, although the ship of which we form a part must pursue her
own aim, and hurries along.

The Briton's tie to India and Indians is of no passing accidental
character. Our life-histories are not merely running parallel; our
destinies are linked together. Christian feeling, duty, self-interest,
and the interest of a linked destiny all call upon us to know each other
and cherish mutual sympathy. Not that the West has ever been without an
interest in India, as far back as we have Indian history, in the Greek
accounts of the invasion of India by Alexander the Great in 327 B.C.
Writing in the first century B.C. and rehearsing what the earlier Greek
writers had said about India, Strabo, the Greek geographer, testifies to
the prevailing interest in India, and even sets forth the difficulty of
knowing India, exactly as a modern student of India often feels inclined
to do. "We must take with discrimination," he says, "what we are told
about India, for it is the most distant of lands, and few of our nation
have seen it. Those, moreover, who have seen it, have seen only a part,
and most of what they say is no more than hearsay. Even what they saw,
they became acquainted with only while passing through the country with
an army, in great haste. Yea, even their reports about the same things
are not the same, although they write as if they had examined the things
with the greatest care and attention. Some of the writers were
fellow-soldiers and fellow-travellers, yet oft-times they contradict
each other.... Nor do those who at present make voyages thither afford
any precise information." We sympathise with Strabo, as our own readers
also may. The interest of the West was of course interrupted when the
Turks thrust themselves in between Europe and India and blocked the road
Eastward overland. But the sea-road round the Cape of Good Hope was
discovered, and West and East met more directly again, and Britain's
special interest in India began. Judged by the recent output of English
books on India, the interest of Britons in things Indian is rapidly
increasing, and, _pace_ Strabo, it is hoped that this book, the record
of the birth of New Ideas in India, will not only increase the knowledge
but also deepen interest and sympathy. For even more noteworthy than the
number of new books--since many of the new books deal only with what may
be called Pictorial India--is the deepening of interest manifest in
recent years.

That self-glorifying expression, "the brightest jewel in the British
crown," has grown obsolete, and India has become not the glory of
Britain, but the first of her imperial responsibilities. The thought of
Britain as well as the thought of new India has changed. To the extent
of recognising a great imperial responsibility, the mission efforts of
the Churches and the speeches of statesmen and the output of the press
have converted Britain. India, what her people actually are in thought
and feeling, what the country is in respect of the necessities of life
and industrial possibilities--these are questions that never fail to
interest an intelligent British audience. In this volume, the aim has
been to set forth the existing thoughts and feelings, especially of
new-educated India, and to do so on the historical principle, that to
know how a thing _has come to be_, is the right way to know what it is
and how to treat it. The history of an opinion is its true exposition.
These chapters are not speculations, but a setting forth of the progress
of opinion in India during the British period, and particularly during
the nineteenth century. The successive chapters make clear how wonderful
has been the progress of India during the century in social, political,
and religious ideas. The darkness of the night has been forgotten, and
will hardly be believed by the new Indians of to-day; and ordinary
Britons can hardly be expected to know Indian history beyond outstanding
political events. Not, however, to boast of progress, but to encourage
educated Indians to further progress, and to enlighten Britons regarding
the India which they are creating, is the hope of this volume. Further
progress has yet to be made, and difficult problems yet await solution,
and to know the history of the perplexing situation will surely be most
helpful as a guide. What future is in store for India lies hidden. It
would be interesting to speculate, and with a few _ifs_ interposed, it
might be easy to dogmatise. What will she become? is indeed a question
of fascinating interest, when we ask it of a child of the household, or
when we ask it of a great people rejuvenated, to whom the British nation
stands in place of parent. In the history of the soul of a people, the
century just ended may be but a brief space on which to stand to take
stock of what is past and seek inspiration for the future, to talk of
progress made and progress possible.

  "Where lies the land to which the ship would go?
  Far, far ahead, is all her seamen know.
  And where the land she travels from away?
  Far, far behind, is all that they can say."[132]

But the past century is all the experience of India we Britons have, and
we are bound to reflect well upon it in our outlook ahead.



[Footnote 1: The Senate and People of Rome--Senatus Populus-que
Romanus.]

[Footnote 2: In the Hindu College at Benares, affiliated to Allahabad
University, certain orthodox Hindus also objected to sacred texts being
read in the presence of European professors and teachers. Think of it,
in that college preparing students for ordinary modern degrees!--Bose,
_Hindu Civilisation, I_. xxxiii.]

[Footnote 3: One of the Zoroastrian Persians who fled to Western India
at the beginning of the eighth century A.D. At the census of 1901 they
numbered 94,190. They are most numerous in the city of Bombay.]

[Footnote 4: _Asiatic Studies_, I.]

[Footnote 5: _Ibid_., I. iii.]

[Footnote 6: _Quinquen, Report on Education in India_, 1897-1902.]

[Footnote 7: For an apparently contrary view, see _Census of India,
1901, Report,_ p. 430: "Railways, which are sometimes represented as a
solvent of caste prejudices, have in fact enormously extended the area
within which those prejudices reign supreme." The sentence refers to the
influence of the fashion of the higher castes in regard to child
marriage and prohibition of the marriage of widows.]

[Footnote 8: Sir W.W. Hunter, _England's Work in India_.]

[Footnote 9: The manifold origins of castes are fully discussed in the
newest lights in the _Census of India Report_, 1901.]

[Footnote 10: Miss Noble [Sister Nivedita], finds herein an apology for
caste. "The power of the individual to advance is by this means kept
strictly in ratio to the thinking of the society in which he lives."
_(The Web of Indian Life_, p. 145.)]

[Footnote 11: Sir A. Lyall, _Asiatic Studies_, I. v.: "A man is not a
Hindu because he inhabits India or belongs to any particular race or
state, but because he is a Brahmanist." Similarly _Census of India_,
1901, _Report_, p. 360: "The most obvious characteristics of the
ordinary Hindu are his acceptance of the Brahmanical supremacy and of
the caste system."]

[Footnote 12: _Harvest Field_, March 1904; _Madras Decen. Missionary
Conference Report,_ 1902.]

[Footnote 13: Introduction to _Translation of the Ishopanishad_.]

[Footnote 14: _Benares Hindu Coll. Maga_. Sept. 1904.]

[Footnote 15: _Karkarin: Forty years of Progress and Reform_, p. 117.]

[Footnote 16: _Census of India_, 1901, _Report_, pp. 496, 517, 544.]

[Footnote 17: Miss Noble [Sister Nivedita], _Web of Indian Life_, p.
133.]

[Footnote 18: _Report, Census of India_, 1901, p. 163.]

[Footnote 19: _Census of India_, 1901, _Report_, p. 163.]

[Footnote 20: _Census of India_, 1901, _Report_, p. 522.]

[Footnote 21: _Lux Christi_, by C.A. Mason, p. 255. 1902.]

[Footnote 22: In Italy, in 1891, the sexes were almost equal, being
males 1000 to females 995.]

[Footnote 23: _Census of India_, 1901, _Report_, p. 115.]

[Footnote 24: A case of Suttee is reported in the _Bengal Police Report_
for 1903.]

[Footnote 25: _Report, Census of India_, 1901, pp. 442, 443.]

[Footnote 26: Justice Amir Ali, _Life and Teaching of Mohammed_.]

[Footnote 27: Sister Nivedita, _Web of Indian Life_, p. 80.]

[Footnote 28: _Church of Scotland Mission Record_, 1894; _East and
West_, July 1905.]

[Footnote 29: Trotter, _India under Queen Victoria_.]

[Footnote 30: P. 428.]

[Footnote 31: _Hindu_ was originally a geographical term referring to
the country of the River Indus. It is derived from the Sanscrit
(_Sindhu_), meaning _river_, from which also come _Indus, Sindh, Hindu,
Hindi,_ and _India_. The names _Indus_ and _India_ are English words got
from Greek; they are not Indian, terms at all, although they are coming
into use among educated Indians.]

[Footnote 32: _Hindi_ is also used as a comprehensive term for all the
kindred dialects of Hindustan. See R.N. Cust, LL.D, _Oecumenical List of
Translations of the Holy Scriptures_, 1901. The above account follows
that given in the _Census Report_ for 1901.]

[Footnote 33: The correct form, _brahman_, not _brahmin_, is employed by
the majority of recent writers.]

[Footnote 34: Quoted in _Census of India_, 1881.]

[Footnote 35: _The Web of Indian Life_, pp. 101, 298.]

[Footnote 36: I. xvi.]

[Footnote 37: _Ancient Geography of Asia_, by Nibaran Chandra Das.]

[Footnote 38: For other testimony to the new national feeling, see
_Decen. Missionary Conference Report_, 1902, p. 305, etc.; Sister
Nivedita, _Web of Indian Life_.]

[Footnote 39: This may not be so in the extreme south-west, where there
have been Christians since the sixth century.]

[Footnote 40: _The Indian National Congress_, by John Murdoch, LL.D.,
1898. (Christian Literature Society, Madras.)]

[Footnote 41: _Karkaria: Forty Years of Progress and Reform_, 1896, p.
94.]

[Footnote 42: _The Indian National Congress_, by John Murdoch, LL.D., p.
95. (Madras Christian Literature Society.)]

[Footnote 43: _The Indian National Congress_, by John Murdoch, LL.D.
(Madras Christian Literature Society), p. 142, etc.]

[Footnote 44: _Asiatic Studies_, I. iii., II. i.]

[Footnote 45: _The Indian National Congress_, by John Murdoch, LL.D., p.
153. (Madras Christian Literature Society.)]

[Footnote 46: Smith, _Life of Alexander Duff_, 1881, Chapter V.]

[Footnote 47: _Asiatic Studies_, II. I. 7, 37.]

[Footnote 48: _Report of Madras Decennial Missionary Conf_., 1902, p.
311.]

[Footnote 49: Acts iv. 33.]

[Footnote 50: Acts xvii. 18, 32.]

[Footnote 51: _Statistical Atlas of India_, 1895.]

[Footnote 52: Census of 1901.]

[Footnote 53: _Hinduism and its Modern Exponents_, by Rev. C.N. Banerji,
B.A.]

[Footnote 54: Monier Williams, _Brahmanism_, etc., p. 18.]

[Footnote 55: Monier Williams, _Hinduism_, p. 38.]

[Footnote 56: Youngson, _Punjab Mission of the Church of Scotland_, p.
27.]

[Footnote 57: "The Arya Samaj," by Rev. H.D. Griswold, D.D., _Madras
Decen. Mission. Conference Report_; "The Arya Samaj," by Rev. H. Forman,
_Allahabad Mission Press_, 1902; _Biographical Essays_, by Max
Müller--"Dyananda Saraswati"]

[Footnote 58: For another explanation of the separation, see Lillie,
_Madame Blavatsky_, chap. vii.]

[Footnote 59: 62,458,077 Mahomedans at Census of 1901.]

[Footnote 60: _Census of India_, 1901, _Report_, pp. 371-73.]

[Footnote 61: Disguised as _Necharis_ in the _Report, Census of India_,
1901, p. 373. See Youngson, _Punjab Mission of the Church of Scotland_,
p. 14; _Madras Decen. Miss. Conf. Report of_ 1902, p. 341.]

[Footnote 62: _Asiatic Studies_, I. 1.]

[Footnote 63: Guru-prasad Sen in _Introduction to the Study of
Hinduism_, quoted in _Madras Decen. Miss. Conf. Report_, p. 280.]

[Footnote 64: Sister Nivedita, _Web of Indian Life_, pp. 175, 179.]

[Footnote 65: Cf. _Philosophic Hinduism_, p. 27, Madras, C.V.E.S.]

[Footnote 66: Amy W. Carmichael, _Things as they are in South India_.]

[Footnote 67: Monier Williams, _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, p. 54.]

[Footnote 68: _Indian Missions from the Outside_.]

[Footnote 69: _Hinduism_, p. 88. _Things as They Are_, iv. by Amy W.
Carmichael.]

[Footnote 70: _Intellectual Progress of India_, P. Mitter, p. 5.]

[Footnote 71: _Defence of Hindu Theism: Appeal to the Christian Public_
(II. 91).]

[Footnote 72: Smith, _Life of Dr. Wilson_.]

[Footnote 73: Rammohan Roy, _Appeal to the Christian Public_.]

[Footnote 74: _Vedic Hinduism_, (Madras C.V.E.S.) 1888.]

[Footnote 75: Bose, _Hindu Civilisation during British Rule_, i. 95.]

[Footnote 76: Monier Williams, _Modern India_, 1878, p. 101.]

[Footnote 77: Plato in the _Timæus_ teaches the eternal existence of
matter as a substance distinct from God. See also p. 134.]

[Footnote 78: Max Müller, _Ramakrishna_, p. 48.]

[Footnote 79: Sister Nivedita, _The Web of Indian Life_.]

[Footnote 80: Monier Williams, _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, p. 25, etc.]

[Footnote 81: For the Yoga System, see pp. 127, 128, 134.]

[Footnote 82: _Text-book of Hindu Religion_, etc., p. 60.]

[Footnote 83: See _also Life of Rev. J.J. Weitbrecht_, 1830, p. 318.]

[Footnote 84: Max Müller, _Ramakrishna_, p. 8.]

[Footnote 85: _Weekly Statesman_ (Calcutta), 14 IX. 1905.]

[Footnote 86: Rev. Dr. Griswold in _Madras Decen. Missionary Conf.
Report_, 1902, p. 317.]

[Footnote 87: _Asiatic Studies_, II. i. 11.]

[Footnote 88: Sister Nivedita, _The Web of Indian Life_, pp. 191, 287.]

[Footnote 89: Avatar=a descent.]

[Footnote 90: Lillie, _India and its Problems_.]

[Footnote 91: Smith, _Life of Dr. John Wilson_, pp. 63, 65.]

[Footnote 92: Lillie, _India and its Problems_, p. 130.]

[Footnote 93: _Biographical Sketch of K.M. Banerjea_, p. 79. K.M.
Banerjea, _Christianity and Hinduism_, pp. 1, 2, 11. Monier Williams,
_Hinduism_, p. 36, etc; _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, pp. 4, 14, 17, 33.
Compare Hebrews i. 2, 3.]

[Footnote 94: _Hinduism and its Modern Exponents_, Rev. C.N. Banerjea,
B.A. Calcutta, 1893.]

[Footnote 95: _Sketches of Indian Christians_ (Madras C.L.S.), 1896.]

[Footnote 96: _Lectures in India_.]

[Footnote 97: P.N. Mitter, _Intellectual Progress of Modern India_.]

[Footnote 98: _U.F. Church of Scot. Mission Report_ for 1903; _Madras
Decen. Missionary Conference Report_, 1903, pp. 310, 311.]

[Footnote 99: Farquhar, _The Future of Christianity in India_ (Chr. Lit.
Soc).]

[Footnote 100: K.C. Banurji, Esq., M.A., B.L., Registrar of Calcutta
University.]

[Footnote 101: _Asiatic Studies_, I. v. 143.]

[Footnote 102: _Madras Decen. Miss. Conf. Report_, 1902, p. 345.]

[Footnote 103: Translated by Rev. J.L. Thakur Das, of Lahore.]

[Footnote 104: J.N. Farquhar, M.A., in _The Future of Christianity in
India_, Madras C.L.S.]

[Footnote 105: For a fuller statement, see Farquhar, _The Future of
Christianity in India_. C.L.S., Madras.]

[Footnote 106: Flint, _Philosophy of History_.]

[Footnote 107: _Asiatic Studies_, I. i.]

[Footnote 108: Bhag. Gita, v. 3, quoted by Max Müller in _Ramakrishna_,
p. 3.]

[Footnote 109: _Asiatic Studies_, II. i. 35.]

[Footnote 110: John v. 11.]

[Footnote 111: The term _Nirvana_ is not used by ordinary uneducated
Indians: it is known only to the educated.]

[Footnote 112: Max Müller, _Ramakrishna_.]

[Footnote 113: Sister Nivedita, _The Web of Indian Life_.]

[Footnote 114: Rev. H. Forman, _The Arya Sarm[=a]j_, Allahabad.]

[Footnote 115: _Madras Decen. Missionary Conf. Report_, 1902, p. 276.]

[Footnote 116: Hastie, _Hindu Idolatry and English Enlightenment_.]

[Footnote 117: "The tendency of the doctrine of Karma has been to
promote contentment."--Bose, _Hindu Civilisation_, I. lix.]

[Footnote 118: Sir M. Monier Williams' _Brahmanism and Hinduism_.]

[Footnote 119: Sister Nivedita, _The Web of Indian Life_, p. 198.]

[Footnote 120: Taken from the Chh[=a]ndogya Upanishad.]

[Footnote 121: Lilly, _India and its Problems_.]

[Footnote 122: K.S. Macdonald, _Sin and Salvation ... in the Tantras_,
Calcutta Methodist Publ. House.]

[Footnote 123: _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, pp. 25, 24; _Hinduism_, p.
39.]

[Footnote 124: Monier Williams, _Brahmanism and Hinduism_.]

[Footnote 125: _The [=A]rya Sam[=a][=i]_, by Rev. Henry Forman.
Allahabad, 1887.]

[Footnote 126: _Religious Reform_, Part IV. Madras C.V.E.S., 1888.]

[Footnote 127: _Religious Reform_, Part IV. Madras C.V.E.S., 1888.]

[Footnote 128: K.S. Macdonald, _Sin and Salvation ... in the Tantras_.
Calcutta Methodist Publ. House.]

[Footnote 129: Monier Williams, _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, p. 63.]

[Footnote 130: Monier Williams, _Brahmanism and Hinduism_, Chap. V.]

[Footnote 131: Max Müller, _Ranuikrishna Paramahansa_, p. viii.]

[Footnote 132: A.H. Clough. Quoted by Lord Curzon at Simla, September
1905.]



INDEX


Absorption into Deity, 153, 223, 226, 230.

Agnosticism, 183.

Agra, 2, 67, 82.

Ahmad, Mirza Gholam, of Qadian, 202-4, 210.

Ahmad, Sir Syed, 146.

Akbar, 13, 95.

Allah, 3, 207.

Allahabad, 13.

Ammonius, the Neo-Platonist, 208-9.

Anglo-Indians, viii, 51-2, 67, 88, 89, 91, 100, 101, 105, 114, 123, 124,
160.

Anti-British feeling, ix, xi, 88-95, 101, 137, 144-5, 190, 192, 240.

Anti--Christian feeling, 137, 191-2, 241.

Anti-foreign feeling, 128, 191-2, 240. _See_ Indian bias.

Army. _See_ British soldiers.

[=A]rya Sam[=a]j, 30, 36, 46, 56-7, 64, 122, 132-40, 143-5, 149, 169, 172,
181-2, 210, 228-9, 241-2, 250-2.

Aryans, 32, 70, 78, 134, 139, 156

Ascetics, 12, 47-9, 107, 157, 184, 219, 249, 255.

Asoka. 77-8.

Assam, 35, 214, 265.

Aurangzeb, 3, 14, 77.

Avatars (descents or incarnations), 184-8, 200, 211.

Avidya (ignorance). _See_ Delusion.

Awakening, Intellectual, 19, 76, 118. _See_ New.


Banerjea, K.M., 46, 94, 188-9.

Banyan tree, 12-3.

Baroda, 26, 35, 54, 58.

Beef, 18, 136.

Benares, 3, 13, 54, 132, 142, 246.

Benares, Hindu College, 25, 142-3, 155, 173, 182, 234-5.

Bengal, v, 8-9, 35-6, 47-8, 54, 60, 64, 69, 75, 81-2, 84, 106, 127, 129,
130, 138, 145, 163, 168, 178, 191, 194-5, 198-9, 218, 230-1, 250, 267.

Bentinck, Lord W., 25.

Besant, Mrs., 31, 38, 140-2, 208, 237.

Bhagabat Gita, 96, 198-9.

Bhakti (enthusiastic devotion), 187, 261-8.

Bible, 111, 194-8, 205-6, 211-2, 233. 247, 253, 263-4, 267.

Blavatsky, Madame, 31, 140-1, 209.

Bombay, 2, 44, 46, 54, 69, 75, 81, 84-6, 96, 130-1, 138-9, 167, 172,
195, 257.

Bose's _Hindu Civilisation_, etc., 75, 160, 170, 196.

Brahma, 70, 169, 175-7, 256-7, 261, 266.

Brahm[=a], 70, 176-7, 185.

Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, 30, 36, 56-7, 62-4, 71, 122, 125-31, 143, 145-6, 148,
169-71, 179, 192, 194-5, 234, 250, 252, 264, 267-8.

Brahman privileges, 6-7, 16-7, 24, 42, 60, 245-6, 249.

Brahmanism, 69-70, 255.

Brahmans, 7, 21, 23, 26, 30, 35, 38-9, 49, 60, 68-9, 128, 151, 158, 167,
219, 237, 249-50, 260, 262.

Breath, Ritual management of the, 246.

Britain and India. _See_ India.

British Government, 2, 8, 14, 25, 33-6, 53, 55, 73-6, 79, 92-4, 106,
144, 208, 217-9.

British Government, a theological illustration, 154, 157.

British Government, Acts of, 14, 53-5, 72, 254.

British Government and caste, 33-6.

British influence, vii, ix, 4-5, 14-15, 42-4, 61, 106, 272-3.

British merchants, viii.

British soldiers, 2, 15.

Brotherhood of man, 102, 239.

Buddha or Sakya Muni, 161, 186, 196, 199, 223, 227, 249, 260, 264, 267.

Buddhism, Buddhists, 66, 70, 77, 141, 196, 226, 254-5.


Calcutta, 2, 17, 25-6, 36, 43, 45-8, 63, 72, 79, 85-6, 99, 122, 125-6,
181, 192, 198, 230, 232, 247-8, 250.

Calcutta University, 6, 49, 68, 134, 247.

Capital in India, 92-3.

Cashmere, 204.

Caste, 22, 39, 46, 48, 56, 75, 95, 128, 132, 135, 137, 142-3, 158, 190,
211, 218, 260, 262-3.

Caste declining, 16-8, 35, 37-8, 218.

Castes: Brahman. _See_ Brahman;
  Kayasth (Clerk), 5, 35, 48, 49;
  Kshatriya or Soldier, 35;
  Mahratta, 35;
  Nayar, 33;
  Pariah, 33;
  Shaha, 35;
  Soldier, 35;
  Sudras (the group of lowest castes recognised as within Hinduism), 6, 21.

Census of 1901, 5, 17, 33-6, 53-4, 57, 59, 61, 64, 106, 131, 154, 207,
263.

Central Provinces, 17.

Chaitanya or Gauranga, 22, 199-200, 264, 267.

Chet Ram, 204-8.

Chinese--Literati, 43, 113;
  Pilgrim, 13;
  Anti-foreign feeling, 191.

Christ. _See_ Jesus Christ.

Christian civilisation in India, xi, 4, 14.

Christian doctrine in contrast, 172, 174, 181, 186, 207, 221-34, 238,
241, 253, 261-2.

Christian influence, 146, 153, 156, 158-9, 169-71, 179, 197, 206, 222.

Christian religion, The, 221-2.

Christian worship, 117, 128, 187, 245, 250, 263, 264.

Christianity in India, xi, 14, 41, 44, 73, 80, 101, 105-9, 112, 115,
125-7, 133, 143, 148-9, 165, 182, 190, 196-7, 241.

Christians, 151, 163, 203-4, 233-4.

Christians, Indian, 5, 30, 32, 37, 45, 52, 56-7, 62-4, 66, 89, 122-5,
137, 143, 169, 190-2, 194-5, 264-6.

Citizenship, Idea of, 24, 72-3, 87, 101, 104, 218.

Civil Servants, vii-ix, 87, 160, 188.

Cochin, 33.

Colleges, Indian, x, 48-9, 74.

Common welfare, Idea of. _See_ Public.

Commons, House of, 102.

Company, East India, 99.

Comparative religion, 107-8.

Conflict of ideas, 4, 6, 7, 49, 117. _See_ Christian doctrine.

Congress, The--the All-India political association, 76-93, 133, 139,
144.

Conservatism, Indian, vi, 11-20, 46, 49, 83, 142, 158-165.

Coronation, Bengali representative at, 29.

Cow, Sanctity of the, 136, 151, 202.

Creator, 177, 186, 189.

Cremation and burial, 105.

Curzon, Lord, 15, 89, 93, 274.


Darjeeling, 18.

Daru-l-harb, 145-6.

Delhi, 2, 67, 68, 82.

Delusion, 153, 157, 173-7, 184-5, 220, 241, 243, 257-8.

Devotee. _See_ Jogi.

Digby, William, 92-3.

Doctors, Indian lady, 62.

Doctrine. _See_ Christian; Hindu.

Drink-selling, 18.

Dualistic conceptions, 172, 178, 242.

Dufferin Association, Lady, 62.

Durga, the Goddess, 251.

Dutt, Narendranath, B.A. _See_ Vivekananda.


Eating together, 81, 104, 160.

Educated Indians, The New, v, vii, ix, 44-5, 55, 58, 76, 83, 86-7, 89,
91, 97-8, 112, 115, 117-8, 124, 127, 132, 140, 143, 149, 155-6, 159-62,
167-71, 173-4, 178, 183, 185, 189-92, 196, 211, 222, 230-42, 250, 255,
258.

Education in India--
  Boys, 5, 43.
  Females, 5, 46, 55-6, 62.
  Influence of, 15, 39-49, 94, 101, 106, 115, 126, 132, 146, 160, 168.

Edward VII., 2, 29, 76.

Elphinstone, Mountstuart, 44.

English education. _See_ Education.

English-knowing Indians. _See_ Educated Indians.

English language, 14-5, 39-41, 44, 78, 81, 83.

English literature, 14, 23, 73, 179.

Esoteric religion. _See_ Knowledge.

Eternal entities, Three, 134, 172.

Europe, Voyages to, 26-9, 45, 48, 101, 127, 149.

Europeans. _See_ Anglo-Indians.

Evolution of India, v.

Extinction. _See_ Nirvana.


Family ties, Indian, 52, 60.

Famines, 2, 20, 74, 92-3, 94, 98, 106, 215, 232-3.

Farquhar, J.N., 197-8, 209.

Females. _See_ Education; Infanticide; Women.

Females fewer than males, 52-4.

Flesh-eating. _See_ Food.

Food forbidden, vi, 18, 26-7, 48, 105, 136-7.

Future of India, 41, 98, 116, 273-4.


Ganges, The, 17, 246, 254, 266-7, 272-3.

Girls. _See_ Education.

God, 134, 150, 154-7, 166-9, 172-5, 178-82, 184, 211, 221-2, 224-5, 230,
242-5, 250-1.

God, Fatherhood of, 116-8, 149, 179-82, 228-9, 239-40, 249-50.

Goddesses, 107, 178-9, 216, 227, 251.

Gujarat, 82, 178.

Gunning Lectures, v. xii.

Guru (religious teacher or spiritual guide), xi, 163-5, 200, 206, 246,
260.


Hari, the God, 187, 197.

Harnack, Prof., 209-10, 221.

Hastie, Rev. Dr., 48, 231.

Heaven and hell, Ideas of, 224, 228-30. _See_ Hereafter.

Hereafter, The, 117, 149, 213-38, 240.

Hindu, Hinduism, Definitions of, 24, 26, 66, 69-70, 78, 151-4, 169.

Hindu doctrines, 144-69, 200, 228.

Hindu exclusiveness, 6, 30, 47, 75, 80, 142, 149.

_Hindu Religion, Catechism of_, 182.

_Hindu Religion, Text-book of_, 38, 142-3, 173-7, 227, 229, 235-7, 260.

Hindu religious mood, 7, 180.

Hindu reverence for holy men, 165.

Hindu Revival, 38, 79, 122, 143, 155, 173, 193, 211, 230, 235, 251.

Hindu rites, 158-65, 245-9.

Hindu Triad, 70, 176-7, 185-7, 207 255

Hinduism, 7, 112-3, 133, 135, 138, 142-3, 145, 159-60, 163, 173, 182,
200, 202, 206-9, 228-9, 230, 246-7, 255, 260, 263, 266.

Hinduism and Christianity. _See_ Christian doctrine.

Hinduism regarded as local or racial, 40-1, 114-6.

Hinduism, Solidarity of, 17, 23-4, 75.

Hindus, 106, 128, 133-4, 140, 142, 144, 150, 178, 180, 204, 242, 250.

Hindus and Mahomedans, 3-4, 89, 137, 144, 204.

Hindustan, Hindustani, 66-8, 81.


Ideas, New. _See_ New.

Idolatry, 544-5, 48, 65, 127, 133, 135, 166-9, 171, 211, 256, 262.

Ilbert Bill, 88.

Illusion. _See_ Delusion.

Immortality. _See_ Hereafter.

Incarnation. _See_ Avatar.

India, Indians (meaning of), 65-6, 78.

India, Ancient, 139-41, 236.

India and Britain, xi, 2-4, 78, 91, 95-8, 236-7, 270-4.

India and Mahomedans, 145-6.

India, Features of, 158, 202, 204, 206, 212-17, 221.

India, New. _See_ Educated.

India ruled by Indians, 91.

Indian bias, 95-7, 128, 190.

Individual's rights, The, 21-5.

Infanticide, 53-4.

Interest in India, 1-4, 107, 270-4.


Japan, 89, 98, 113, 195.

Jesus Christ, 112, 117-9, 149, 184-213, 221-2, 227-8, 234, 240-1, 248,
253, 255, 258, 264-5, 267-8.

Jesus Christ and Chaitanya, 199-200.

Jesus Christ and Krishna, 187-9, 198-9.

Jesus Christ distinguished from Christians and Christianity, 192-7,
207-11.

Jews, 104, 151, 203, 263.

Joga philosophy (the system which specially instructs devotees), 127-8,
134.

Jogi (a devotee), 185, 212, 228, 237, 240, 257-60, 265.

John's Gospel, St., 195, 212, 233.

Juggernath, 263.

Justice, God's, 181, 241, 252.


Kali, the Goddess, 178, 246.

Kalighat, 108, 248.

Karachi, 82, 86.

Karma (works, or rebirth according to one's acts), 262. _See_
Transmigration.

Kayasth (clerk), caste. _See_ Castes.

Keranis (Christians), 137.

Knowledge, Saving, 175, 177, 220, 244, 256-9, 266.

Koran, 145, 182, 203.

Krishna, vi, 96, 186-9, 198-200, 204, 211, 227, 245, 261, 264, 266-7.

Krishnaites, Neo-, 198, 209, 230.

Kulin brahmans (Kulin signifies a recognised aristocracy within a
caste), 60.


Lahore, 122, 180, 204, 206.

Law, Profession of, 42, 62.

Legislative Councils, 73, 84-5.

Life, Economic value of, 216-8, 221.

London, 79, 93, 100, 126.

Lyall, Sir Alfred, 8, 24, 69, 94, 105, 151, 182, 202, 218-19.


Macaulay, 44, 99, 168.

Madras, 2, 46, 54, 69, 81-2, 84, 140-1, 152, 161, 170-1, 196.

Mahabharat, 186, 198.

Mahatmas (great spirits), 141, 209.

Mahomedanism, 36-7, 107-8, 128, 144-7, 169.

Mahomedans, 3, 37, 41, 50, 59, 61, 66, 68, 78, 80, 89, 96, 128, 137,
144-7, 151, 163, 182, 196, 202-4, 206-7, 263.

Mahomedans. _See_ Hindus and Mahomedans.

Mahrattas, 78, 82.

Malabari (a Parsee reformer), 7, 30, 46, 90, 195-6, 241.

Mantra (sacred Sanscrit text), 164, 248.

Manu, 143, 235, 246.

Marriage, 22-3, 26, 31-2, 55-61, 104, 135.

Marriage age for girls, 4, 14, 19, 46, 55-8.

Marriage of widows, 19, 26, 31, 45, 55, 57, 63, 135.

Mary, mother of Jesus, 195, 205, 207.

Masses, The, 43, 182, 228, 242, 245, 254-5.

Matter, 134, 172-3.

Maya or unreality of the objects of Sense and Consciousness. _See_
Delusion.

Merchants, British, viii.

Messiahs, Indian, 201-4.

Methodists, 111, 265-6.

Middle Class, New. _See_ Educated.

Mission College, 49, 142, 180, 195.

Missionaries, viii, 52, 54, 62, 99, 106, 123, 124, 158, 167, 187, 189,
191, 195-7, 202, 217, 232, 237, 241. _See_ Scotland.

Missionary Conference, Decennial, 106, 136.

Moghul empire and emperors, 2-4, 14, 67, 77.

Monier Williams. _See_ Williams.

Monotheism, 107, 117, 126, 127-8, 130, 134, 140, 150, 153-5, 161,
166-183, 239, 242, 252, 258, 260, 266.

Mosque, 3, 13-4, 50.

Mother (title of deities), 178-81.

Mozumdar, P.C., 30, 195.

Mukti, 40-1, 246. _See_ Salvation.

Müller, Max, 75, 136, 170, 175.

Municipalities, 86.

Murdoch, Rev. Dr. John, 81, 91, 93, 95, 170, 196.

Mutiny, The, 95.


Nanda-kumar, 25, 42.

Nationality, Idea of, 9, 24, 75, 95, 101, 104, 124, 129, 132, 134, 139,
190, 218.

Native States, 76, 95.

Nature, Tyranny of, 214-6.

Naturis, 146-7.

Neo-Platonists a religious parallel to New Indians, 207-12.

New Era, The, 1-10, 19, 76.

New ideas, v, vi, ix, xi, 4, 6-10, 15, 19, 49, 76, 165, 236.

New India. _See_ Educated.

New Testament. _See_ Bible; John; Paul.

Newspapers. _See_ Press.

Nirvana, 226, 230, 255.

Noble, Miss (Sister Nivedita), 22, 31, 32, 75, 153, 175, 185, 228, 243.

North-West, The, 82, 172, 241, 250.

Northern India, 2, 28-9, 37, 66-8, 77, 107, 130.


Pandit (learned man or teacher), xi, 31, 47, 134, 142, 162.

Pantheism, 107, 126-9, 140, 150, 153, 155-7, 166, 169-78, 182-5, 209,
220, 229, 239, 242-5, 249, 251, 256-8, 260-1.

Parameswar, 176-7, 207.

Paramhansa, Ramkrishna, 47, 48, 175, 199, 227, 265.

Pariahs. _See_ Castes.

Parliament of Religions, 30, 48, 128, 152, 227, 243.

Parsees, 7, 41, 66, 82, 138, 178.

Patriotism, 95, 116, 130, 132, 134-5, 141, 149, 172, 190. _See_ Indian
bias.

Paul, Saint, 111, 253, 264.

Pessimism, Indian, 212-22, 229, 232.

Philosophy, Hindu, 47, 70, 128, 172-6, 179, 220.

Physical changes, 120-2.

Pilgrims, 13, 245-6, 262-3.

Plains, The, 2, 66, 130.

Political activity, 20, 138.

Political criticism, Idea of, 7, 72-4, 76, 78.

Political Economy, 99, 216.

Political ideas, New, v, 7, 72-102, 104.

Political reformers, 83.

Polygamy, 55, 59-61.

Polytheism, 128, 133, 150, 153-6, 166-72, 182, 239, 242, 249, 262.

Poona, 97.

Post Office, 2, 34, 76.

Poverty, Indian, 20, 99. _See_ Famines.

Prajapati, 188-9.

Pr[=a]rthan[=a] Sam[=a]jes (Prayer Associations), 122, 130-1, 138, 169,
171-2, 250-2, 267.

Prayer, 128, 130, 244-5, 250-1.

Press, The Indian, 20, 26, 72, 73, 75, 88-9, 92, 99.

Priesthood, Hereditary, 7, 163, 245.

Priesthood twofold, 163-5.

Professions, Modern, 42, 144.

Progress, xi, 8, 52, 273.

Public meetings, 17, 113.

Public questions, Idea of, 16-7, 72.

Punjab, 36, 47, 84, 130, 132-3, 138, 201, 228, 234.

Purans or later Hindu Scriptures, 137.

Purohit (celebrant priest), 163-5, 260.

Purusha (the first embodiment of the Universal Spirit), 21, 188-9.


Qadian. _See_ Ahmad.


Race feeling, 88-95.

Railways, 2, 17, 18, 76.

Rajputana, 54, 58.

Ram, 77, 186, 227, 261, 266.

Ramabhai, Pandita, 46.

Ramayan, The, 77, 186.

Rao, Sir T. Madhava, 28, 46.

Reactionaries, 20, 46, 149, 243. _See_ Conservatism; Hindu Revival.

Reformers. _See_ Political, Religious, Social.

Reincarnation. _See_ Transmigration.

Religious ideas, Hindu, 7, 94, 104, 115, 117, 150.

Religious ideas, New, v, 8, 9, 103, 150.

Religious leaders not brahmans, 30-1, 249.

Religious reformers, 22, 45-6, 49.

Renaissance, Indian, 19, 104. _See_ New.

Responsibility, Moral, 156. _See_ Sin.

Resurrection, The, 110-1, 126.

Rigveda (earliest book of Aryan hymns), 135, 188, 234, 246.

Robertson Lectures, Alexander, v, xi. xii.

Roy, Rammohan, 16, 23, 26, 45, 54-5, 75, 125-7, 157, 167-9, 194, 250,
267.

Russia, 89, 98.


Sacred places, 3, 154, 244-8.

Sacrifice, 108, 133, 135, 179, 247-9, 262.

Salvation, 40-1, 108, 221, 239-67. _See_ Mukti.

Sankarachargya, 153, 244-5.

Sanscrit College, Calcutta, 5, 15, 35.

Sanscrit learning, 6, 15, 47, 128, 162.

Saraswati (Hindu Goddess of Learning), 192.

Saraswati, Dyanand, 30, 46, 134, 136.

Schools and Caste, 34, 39.

Schools, Secondary, 43.

Scotland Mission, Church of, 48, 99, 265.

Sea--voyages forbidden. _See_ Europe.

Self-government, 15, 86.

Self-torture, 107, 254-55, 257, 261.

Sen, Keshub Chunder, 8, 30, 46, 125, 130, 179-80, 192, 195, 252.

Serfdom, Indian, 27-9.

Shah, Mahbub, 204-6.

Shrines. _See_ Sacred places.

Sikhs, 37.

Sin, Idea of, 156, 172, 239-53.

Singh, Hakim, 202.

Sinnett, A.P., 92, 141.

Siva, the God, 14, 164, 176-7, 185, 246.

Sivaji, 96.

Social ideas, Hindu, 6-7, 21, 50, 104, 105. _See_ Women, Zenana.

Social ideas, New, v, 8, 21, 39, 98.

Social reformers, 22, 45-6, 49, 116.

Social usages rigid, Hindu, 159, 165.

Sorabjee, Miss Cornelia, 62.

Soul, The, 134, 172-3, 213-4, 224-5, 227-31, 235-6.

South India, 28-9, 33-4, 37, 106, 130, 156, 195, 232, 252.

Students, 41-5, 60.

Sudras. _See_ Castes.

Suttee or Widow-burning (_Sati,_ a chaste woman), v, 4, 45, 54-5, 127.

Swadeshi (boycott of all except _own-country_ products), 97.


Tantras, 229, 246, 256, 261.

Teachers, Indian, xi.

Tennyson, 14, 216, 234, 254.

Theatres, 63.

Theism. _See_ Monotheism.

Theosophists, 30, 38, 92, 122, 132, 138-43, 149, 208-9, 235.

Thibet, 89, 141, 196, 204, 209.

Tilak, Hon. Mr., 96-7, 99.

Tols, 162-3.

Transmigration, 31, 38, 108, 134, 153, 185, 213-4, 220-38, 240, 246,
258, 260.

Travancore State, 37.

Trinity, 186, 207.


Unitarians, 126, 171, 267.

United Provinces, 36, 46, 54, 84, 105, 130, 132-3, 145, 172, 228, 234,
250.

Unity of India, New, 75, 104, 116.

Universities, 43, 49, 89, 99-100, 216.

Upanishads, 170, 235.


Vedanta (the specially pantheistic system of Hindu philosophy), 6, 172,
209, 230, 244.

Vedas, 46, 135-7, 140, 210, 234.

Vedas do not sanction certain abuses, 47, 135.

Viceroy, 79, 85, 114.

Victoria, Queen, 2, 52.

Vidyasagar, I.C., 45, 63.

Vivekananda, Swami (Narendranath Dutt, B.A.), 30, 47-9, 128, 227, 243-5.

Vishnu, the God; or Hari, 176-7, 185-7, 197, 255, 261.

Vishnuism, 262.


Wahabbis, 145.

Western India, 8, 35, 54, 82, 138, 171, 251.

Widow. _See_ Marriage.

Williams, Sir M. Monier, 23, 70, 126, 154-5, 164, 170, 188-9, 235, 249,
262

Wilson, Dr. John, 167, 257.

Women, 151, 237.

Women, Social position of, 31, 37, 40, 50-64. _See_ Zenana.


Youngson, Rev. Dr., 135-6.


Zenana system (Zenana=the women's portion of a Hindu house), 52, 55,
61-3, 133.





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