2010 | 597 Pages | ISBN: 0511706898 | PDF | 11 MB
First published in 1875, this book reflects a growing nineteenth-century British interest in South Asian culture and literature. In it Monier Williams, the Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, outlines the patterns of thought and customs of the Hindu religion. He also describes the character and content of Sanskrit literature, which had not previously been attempted in English. According to Williams, Sanskrit literature holds the key to a full understanding of Hinduism. He makes it unequivocally clear that Britain’s colonial hold over India involves a particular responsibility and indeed opportunity to study the three religions confronting Christianity there, namely Brahmanism, Buddhism and Islam. Monier Williams writes about the Vedas (the sacred texts of Hinduism), the different traditions of philosophy and the five schools of Hindu law. He elaborates on the epic poems and the doctrine of incarnation embedded in them, and compares this ancient poetry with that of Homer.