Written by Ibn Muhammad
A common complaint of neo-Hindutva fanatics against me is that I am using the translations of Max Muller and Ralph Griffith when I quote the Vedas. Hindtuvavadis give these scholars and their translations titles like ‘Christian agents’, ‘frauds’, ‘bogus translation’, ‘biased indologists’, ‘Mlecchas’, etc. Although I do not often quote their translations, it goes on to show the racial hatred of these Hindus for the rest of the world whom they consider impure.
One Hindu website writes
“Max Müller was a British agent, especially employed (in 1847) to write the translations of the Vedas in such a demeaning way so that the Hindus should lose faith in them.”
Another Hindu website writes,
“…the likes of Max Muller, Monier Williams and Weber who are hailed as great scholars of Sanskrit literature were actually Christian agents who have done greatest disservice to humanity by distorting Indian cultural and its intellectual heritage.”
Their accusations on Muller and Griffith are simply unfounded. Let me refute their jaundiced view through their own Swami Vivekananda who has called Max Muller as the reincarnation of Sayana Acharya (the commentator of the four Vedas).
Here is an extract from The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda.
“While our study had proceeded thus for a while, Swamiji raised the topic about Max Müller and continued thus: Well, do you know, my impression is that it is Sayana who is born again as Max Müller to revive his own commentary on the Vedas? I have had this notion for long. It became confirmed in my mind, it seems, after I had seen Max Müller.Even here in this country, you don’t find a scholar so persevering, and so firmly grounded in the Vedas and the Vedanta. Over and above this, what a deep, unfathomable respect for Shri Ramakrishna! Do you know, he believes in his Divine Incarnation! And what great hospitality towards me when I was his guest! Seeing the old man and his lady, it seemed to me that they were living their home-life like another Vasishtha and Arundhati! At the time of parting with me, tears came into the eyes of the old man.
Disciple: But, sir, if Sayana himself became Max Müller, then why was he born as a Mlechchha instead of being born in the sacred land of India?
Swamiji: The feeling and the distinction that I am an Aryan and the other is a Mlechchha come from ignorance. But what are Varnâshrama and caste divisions to one who is the commentator of the Vedas, the shining embodiment of knowledge? To him they are wholly meaningless, and he can assume human birth wherever he likes for doing good to mankind. Specially, if he did not choose to be born in a land which excelled both in learning and wealth, where would he secure the large expenses for publishing such stupendous volumes? Didn’t you hear that the East India Company paid nine lakhs of rupees in cash to have the Rig-Veda published?” Even this money was not enough. Hundreds of Vedic Pundits had to be employed in this country on monthly stipends. Has anybody seen in this age, here in this country, such profound yearning for knowledge, such prodigious investment of money for the sake of light and learning? Max Müller himself has written it in his preface, that for twenty-five years he prepared only the manuscripts. Then the printing took another twenty years! It is not possible for an ordinary man to drudge for fortyfive years of his life with one publication. Just think of it! Is it an idle fancy of mine to say he is Sayana himself?
[The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda; Volume 6; Conversations and Dialogues; Part IX, Pages 495-496 (Direct Link/Click Here)]
Following points are proved from this extract:
1) According to Swami Vivekananda, Max Muller is the rebirth of Sayana Acharya.
2) Sayana has taken birth again to revive his commentary on Vedas.
3) No scholar in India was of Muller’s calibre and Muller was firmly grounded in knowledge.
4) East India Company paid NINE LAKH (nine hundred thousand) rupees in cash to publish the Rig-Veda.
5) Vedic Pundits shamelessly took money from East India Company, the occupiers of India (Aryavarta).
Vivekananda hails Muller in a letter written to Mrs. Bull on 30th May 1896, as follows:
“…Day before yesterday I had a fine visit with Prof. Max Müller. He is a saintly man and looks like a young man in spite of his seventy years, and his face is without a wrinkle. I wish I had half his love for India and Vedanta. At the same time he is a friend of Yoga too and believes in it. Only he has no patience with humbugs” [ibid Page 362 (Direct Online Link)]
Vivekananda again praises Muller in the following words:
“But Paul Deussen — or as he prefers to be called in Sanskrit, Deva-Sena — and the veteran Max Müller have impressed me as being the truest friends of India and Indian thought.” [The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda; Volume 4; On Dr. Paul Deussen; Page 274 (Direct Online Link)]
So those who raise hue and cry about Muller and Griffith should know that there is no Hindu scholar in India to compete with Max Muller. If Muller was a British agent, then Vivekananda also becomes the same, and should not be hailed as a great person in India, but treated as a traitor. Simultaneously, Sayana Acharya should be declared a fraud because Muller only revived his commentary on the Rigveda and translated according to the same. In the same move, the commentaries of Mahidhara and Uvat must also be ridiculed.