A glimpse on the India Literature and it importance in the history of civilization, by Friedrich Max Muller a remarkable German Linguist who was a Deputy Taylorian Professor of Modern European Languages at the Oxford University and who died crowned with the most honors and Awards a scholar could ever aspire to have.
I was pondering recently on how in a country like India people happen to develop such a great sense of Self-discipline, knowledge and spirituality. Hence I did some diggings into the Library of the Gandhi Research Foundation, and here I found a book from a renowned Linguistic author Friedrich Max Muller born in Germany in 1823, talking about the country's literature and history.
His book, "India: what can it teach us?" was released in order to correct or at least to modify the misconception of why we should learn more of the India history and literature "the Sanskrit" than even the Greek, Roman among others.
Here, this is what comes out. He argues in his book about the "Sanskrit Literature" that if studied only in a right spirit, it is full of human interests, full of lessons which even Greek could never teach us. Taking the case of Language studies, he says that many have studied Languages but also the Science of language and is there any country in which some of the most important problems of this science with not only regard to words, but also to grammatical elements can be studied to greater advantage than among the Aryan, the Dravidian and the Munda inhabitants of India when brought in contact with their various invaders and conquerors the Greeks, the Yue-tchi, the Arabs, the Persians, the Moguls, and lastly the British.
He emphasized that when he speaks of India, it is not meant of India of today or the India of Calcutta, Bombay (Mumbai) or Madras, or the India of towns, rather he speaks of the village communities, the true India of the Indians. He adds also the following:
- If you care for geology, there is work for you from the Himalayas to Ceylon
- If you are fond of Botany, there is a flora rich enough for many hookers
- If you are interested in Ethnology, India is like a living ethnological museum
- If you are fond of Archeology, if you have ever assisted at the opening of a barrow in England and know how the delight of finding a fibula or a knife, a flint in a heap of rubbish, read only "General Cunningham's" Annual report of the archeological survey of India, and you will be impatient for your time to come
- I f you ever amused yourself with collecting coins, the soil of India teems with coins from Persian, Carian, Thracian, Parthian, Greek, Macedonian, Scythian, Roman to Mohammedan.
Also, he said that in the study of the history of Human mind, the study of ourselves, of our true selves, the country occupies a place second to no other country. Whatever sphere of Human mind you may select for your special study, whether it be Language, Religion, mythology, Philosophy, whether it be Laws or Customs, Primitive Art or Science, you have to go to India, because some of the most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of Human are treasured up there.
Some interesting facts discussed by Friedrich M. Muller concerning the study of History:
Why should we learn History? Why does it form a recognized part of our liberal education? Simply because all of us and every one of us ought to know how we came to be what we are so that each generation need not start again at the same point and toil over the same ground; but profiting of the experience of those who came before may advance toward highest points and nobler aims.
Following this view, he said everyone who carries a Watch owes to the Babylonians the division of hour into sixty minutes, this has come to us from Greeks and Romans and it came to them from Babylon. Everyone who writes a letter owes his alphabets to the Romans and Greeks, who in turn owed it to the Phoenicians and the Phoenicians learnt it from Egypt. Finally he said we owe to Persian at least the relation of silver to Gold in our Bi-metallic currency. This relation was no doubt first determined by Babylonians, but it assumed it practical and historical importance in the Persian Empire and spread from there to the Greek colonies in Asia, and thence in Europe where it has maintained itself with slight variation to the present day.
From this point, i hope this little narrative has helped you learn a bit more on India and it history, as well as it also opens ways for new explorations and discussion for all of us.
What do you think?