Volume 2 Page 198
[The Theosophist, Vol. I, No. 3, December, 1879, pp. 57-58, 70]
Our revered brother, the Swami Dayânand Saraswati, continues in this number his autobiographical narrative, which the whole Indian press has declared the most interesting portion of our journal. We hope the lesson of his self-sacrificing quest after divine knowledge—that true wisdom which teaches man the nature of his inner Self its source and destiny—will not be thrown away upon the youth of his country. Happy, indeed, would we feel if we could see the bright young men who are flocking into his Arya Samajes, emulating his conduct as well as reverencing his person. No Western reader need be at a loss to understand the interest that attends every movement in his preaching pilgrimage throughout India. And, object as our pandits may to his constructions of Vedic texts, not even the most orthodox can fail in respect for one who joins to a profound knowledge of Sanskrit literature an absolute purity
of motive and of life, and a fervid sense of duty never surpassed by reformers. For Theosophists of every nationality the account of his adventures among adepts of the secret (and sacred) science will have a peculiar charm.
Dr. Pandurang Gopal, G.G.M.C., a well-known surgeon-oculist and botanist, of Bombay, gives in the present number of our journal the first of a proposed series of articles upon the Indian Materia Medica. As little, or, indeed, we may say less, is known by Western science of this highly important subject than of other questions relating to the motherland of our race. With them all researches practically begin with the period of Greek learning; if we except the very recent data which the Egyptologists and Assyriologists have supplied from their excavations. Though common sense would teach them that men fell sick and were cured before the times of the Asclepiadae, the Pythagoreans, or the Galenites, the absence of translations from the Sanskrit has compelled modern medical writers to say, with the learned author of the article on “Medicine,” in Appleton’s New American Cyclopaedia: “In what beyond this consisted the medicine of the Egyptians, the Hindus, etc., is a matter of conjecture only.” To remove this necessity for blind guess-work, and show modern science what the Aryas knew of the infirmities to which mankind is liable, is the aim of our contributor and fellow Theosophist, Dr. Pandurang.
A WELL-PLACED PIETY.—The Charivari, deploring the growing infidelity of the day, gives as an instance of mediaeval piety the following letter, from the collection of autographs of Baron Girardot, which was recently advertised to be sold at auction. The mother of Cardinal Richelieu writes to a young married lady:—
“For years I was fervently praying God to send to my son
a mistress like you; one that has all the desired qualities. I now find that God Almighty was pleased to accept my humble prayer, since you have allowed my dear son to be your humble servant.”
Charming picture, forsooth, of mother, son, priest, church, and God!
Swâmi Dayânand Saraswati — the newest Reformer—likewise rejects direct divine revelation as an impossibility but claims inspiration for his primitive four Rishis.