MY VISIT TO ST PAUL’S CATHEDRAL TO SEE MANU SMRTI (Post No.5927)

Written by London swaminathan

swami_48@yahoo.com


Date: 13 JANUARY 2019
GMT Time uploaded in London –7-25 am
Post No. 5927


Pictures shown here are taken by London swaminathan. This is a non- commercial blog.

Sir William Jones who worked as a judge 200 years ago was a philologist. He translated several works from Persian and Sanskrit. He translated Manu Smrti with the help of Sanskrit scholars and published it. He is more famous for his comparative linguistic studies. He showed the world the relationship between Sanskrit and other European languages. He was one of the co- founders of Asiatic Society in Calcutta. He published many research articles in the magazines of the society and encouraged many people to write research works.

His statue is in St Paul’s Cathedral in London. This is the most famous cathedral in London frequented by thousands of tourists every week. The statue of Jones was sculpted with the Manu Smrti in his hand. The Sanskrit word Manu is visible. English spelling for Manu is given as Menu, probably that is the spelling he used in his publication.

The statue was sculpted by John Bacon in 1799 after Jone’s death. Jones died at the age of 47. William Jones was knighted in 1783 and died in 1794.

When I went to the Cathedral on 11 January, there was an entrance ticket priced at £20. So I wanted to make sure whether the statue of William Jones is inside the cathedral or outside. Nobody knew who he was. Many other statues of famous persons like Nelson and Samuel Johnson inside the cathedral are known to those people. But I bought the ticket and went inside and asked one of the staff. She was surprised when I asked for William Jone’s statue. She told me,

“It is strange that you asked for this man’s statue. He is the least known persons in the cathedral. Tell me about him”

 and then she showed me the statue.

I told  her about William Jones and said that he is one of the famous Indologists and even a stamp was released in India to celebrate his contributions to the study of Indian culture.

Though photography was not allowed inside the cathedral I asked her permission to take pictures of only that statue. She gave me the permission and I took the pictures from various angles (Please see the attached pictures).

St Paul Cathedral was seen by millions of people around the word when Charles and Diana married there in 1981. The cathedral has a chequered history. It  was burnt down several times and rebuilt in the past 1400 years. The last fire accident was in 1666, what is known as the ‘Great Fire of London’. The fire was raging for four days destroying the heart of London. Now the cathedral looks beautiful and it is one of the tourist attractions. It is huge like our South Indian Temples. Though £20 entrance ticket is too much, they need money to maintain such a beautiful architecture. I was happy when I took the pictures of William Jones with Manu Smrti in his hand.

–subham–

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