A SINCERE CONFESSION
[Lucifer, Vol. VIII, No. 44, April, 1891, p. 150]
The following quotation taken from the Introduction [p. xv] to the Vedânta-Sûtras, translated by Thibaut and edited by Max Müller, is significant of the spirit which animates our Western Sanskritists.
But on the modern investigator, who neither can consider himself bound by the authority of a name however great, nor is likely to look
to any Indian system of thought for the satisfaction of his speculative wants, it is clearly incumbent not to acquiesce from the outset in the interpretations given of the Vedânta Sûtras—and the Upanishads—by Sankara and his school, but to submit them, as far as that can be done, to a critical investigation.*
The italics are ours, and the sentence will serve to mark the distinction between the Theosophist and the Sanskritist. The former seeks in the Vedânta and elsewhere for wisdom and for guidance; the latter merely to satisfy his intellectual curiosity. His own Western philosophy suffices amply for him, and all the deep researches of the almost infinite past signify nothing but a curious history of philosophy to be criticised and observed from a position which he thinks has far transcended them.
We believe that actuated by such a spirit our Western scholars will never learn the true significance of Eastern thought. On their own statement they do not want to; and the true pandit, the inheritor, not merely of the capacity to con Sanskrit manuscripts, but who also is master of the profound knowledge contained in them, will take these self-sufficient students at their word.