Written by London Swaminathan


Date:20 October 2017


Time uploaded in London- 7-48 am



Post No. 4318

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.




In a lecture on missions delivered in the nave of Westminster Abbey on December 3, 1873, Max Muller declares that “Brahmanism as a religion cannot stand the light of the day. The worship of Shiva, of Vishnu and of other popular deities, is of the same, nay, in many cases of a more degraded and savage character than the worship of Jupiter, Apollo and Minerva; it belongs to a stratum of thought which is long buried beneath our feet; it may live on, like the lion and tiger, but the mere air of free thought  and civilised life will extinguish it……..

“It is true that there are millions of women, men and children in India who fall down before the stone images of Vishnu with his four hands, riding on a creature half bird, half man or sleeping on a serpent; who worship Shiva, a monster with three eyes, riding naked on a bull, with a necklace of skulls for his ornament. There are human beings who still believe in a god of War, Kartikeya, with six faces, riding on a peacock, and holding bow and arrow in his hands, and who invoke a god of Success, Ganesha with four hands and an elephant’s head, sitting on a rat. Nay, it is true that in the broad day light of the Nineteenth century, the figure of the goddess Kali carried through the streets of her own city, Calcutta, her wild dishevelled hair reaching to her feet, with a necklace of human heads, her tongue protruded from her mouth, her girdle stained with blood. all this true; but ask any Hindu who can read, write and think, whether these are the gods he believes in and he will smile at your credulity. How long this living death of national religion in India may last no one can tell.”


Sir Monier Williams says of Brahmanism: “Its policy being to check the development of intellect, and to keep the inferior castes in perpetual childhood, it encouraged an appetite for exaggeration more monstrous and more absurd than would be tolerate in the most extravagant European fairy tales. The more improbable the statement, the more childish delight it was calculated to awaken. Time is measured by millions of years; space by millions of miles; and if a battle is to be described, nothing is thought of unless millions of soldiers, elephants, and horses are brought into the field.”



Lord Macaulay similarly says, “The Brahminical mythology is so absurd that it necessarily debases every mind that receives it as truth”.


Source: The Gods of India, Rev. E. Osborn Martin, London, 1914




Leave a comment


  1. Max Muller & Co lived at a time when the christian missionaries were denigrating other religions., in an atmosphere of imperial arrogance. They did not understand ( did not even try) the symbolism or inner meaning of mythology, especially when it came to non-christian mythology. It is very clear to any educated mind that many of the descriptions of gods are just figurative, and the incidents are mere cover for some truth or idea which it was thought not politic to reveal to all and sundry.. But when people choose to close their eyes, how can they appreciate sun light?
    But the irony is that even while denigrating others’ mythologies, they were promoting their own. Such hypocrisy has gone on unnoticed and uncountered in this country, even to this day.,

    However, there is greater and genuine appreciation of the nature and function of mythology in all cultures following the work of psychologists like Jung and interpreters like Joseph Campbell, and others. Thanks to Campbell’s works, our understanding of not only mythology but even epics stands enriched and deepened. For instance, Campbell says on Odyssey:

    ” All of the great mythologies and much of the mythic story-telling of the world are from the male point of view. When I was writing The Hero with a Thousand Faces and wanted to bring female heroes in, I had to go to the fairy tales. These were told by women to children, you know, and you get a different perspective. It was the men who got involved in spinning most of the great myths. The women were too busy; they had too damn much to do to sit around thinking about stories. […]
    In the Odyssey, you’ll see three journeys. One is that of Telemachus, the son, going in quest of his father. The second is that of the father, Odysseus, becoming reconciled and related to the female principle in the sense of male-female relationship, rather than the male mastery of the female that was at the center of the Iliad. And the third is of Penelope herself, whose journey is […] endurance. Out in Nantucket, you see all those cottages with the widow’s walk up on the roof: when my husband comes back from the sea. Two journeys through space and one through time.”
    Seen thus, the whole story assumes a different dimension!

    In the light of the psychological research that has accumulated since the last century, the words of people like Max Muller, Monier Williams. Macaulay sound little better than children’s prattle pr mad men’s rantings.

    However, it is a matter of regret that most English-educated Indians do not study and inquire into these things deeply, and with an independent mind- a mind uninfluenced by 18th and 19th century prejudiced and ill-informed European “scholarship”. Apart from Sri Aurobindo, no Indian has faced and countered these ill minds of Europe with scholarship and intellectual vigour.
    I feel excited in reading your articles on the subject as you bring in the necessary historical perspective and literary connections.

  2. Many thanks for bringing these statements out for all of us to read and ponder.(wonder)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: