Western Philosopher’s Thoughts About Veda

Early indologists wished to control & convert the followers of Vedic Culture, therefore they widely propagated that the Vedas were simply mythology.

Max Muller, perhaps the most well known early sanskritist and indologist, although later in life he glorified the Vedas, initially wrote that the “Vedas were worse than savage” and “India must be conquered again by education… it’s religion is doomed”

Thomas Macaulay, who introduced English education into India wanted to make the residents into a race that was: Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, in opinion, in morals, and in intellect.”


However, the German Philosopher
Arthur Schopenhauer stated that the Sanskrit understanding of these Indologists was like that of young schoolboys.

These early Indologists:

• Taught that the English educational system is superior

• They intentionally misinterpreted sanskrit texts to make the Vedas look primitive.

• And they systematically tried to make Indians ashamed of their own culture

Thus the actions of these indologists seems to indicate that they were motivated by a racial bias.

Although early indologists, in their missionary zeal, widely vilified the Vedas as primitive mythology, many of the worlds greatest thinkers admired the Vedas as great repositories of advanced knowledge and high thinking


Arthur Schopenhauer, the famed German philosopher and writer, wrote that: I “…encounter [in the Vedas] deep, original, lofty thoughts… suffused with a high and holy seriousness.”

The well-known early American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson, read the Vedas daily. Emerson wrote: “I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavat-Gita

Henry David Thoreau said: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita… in comparison with which… our modern world and its literature seems puny and trivial.”

So great were Emerson and Thoreau’s appreciation of Vedantic literatures that they became known as the American transcendentalists. Their writings contain many thoughts from Vedic Philosophy.

Other famous personalities who spoke of the greatness of the Vedas were: Alfred North Whitehead (British mathematician, logician and philosopher), who stated that: “Vedanta is the most impressive metaphysics the human mind has conceived.”

Julius Robert Oppenheimer, the principle developer of the atomic bomb, stated that “The Vedas are the greatest privilege of this century.” During the explosion of the first atomic bomb, Oppenheimer quoted several Bhagavad-gita verses from the 11th chapter, such as:

“Death I am, cause of destruction of the worlds…”

When Oppenheimer was asked if this is the first nuclear explosion, he significantly replied: “Yes, in modern times,” implying that ancient nuclear explosions may have previously occurred.


Lin Yutang, Chinese scholar and author, wrote that: “India was China’s teacher in trigonometry, quadratic equations, grammar, phonetics… ” and so forth.

Francois Voltaire stated: “… everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges.”

From these statements we see that many renowned intellectuals believed that the Vedas provided the origin of scientific thought.

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By Jura Nanuk