THE THEOSOPHIST AND PANDIT SHRADDHA RAM
[The Theosophist, Vol. III, No. 1, Supplement, October, 1881, pp. 4-5]
In the August number of The Theosophist there appeared a short paragraph announcing the death of Pandit Shraddha Ram of Jallunder, Puñjab. Several friends and Theosophists of Lahore, among others, writing to the Headquarters to express their deep regret, asked the Editor to devote to the death of the late Pandit a few lines of notice. As the President-Founder and the Editor had known the deceased gentleman personally, during their stay at Lahore, where, it appears, he was much beloved by all the orthodox Hindus, their just desire was complied with, and the short obituary appeared. It was a small courtesy to show to one who had been a warm defender and preacher of his views during life, a sincere and fearless champion of what was to him sacred truth—Hindu or Brahmanical religion. Yet it was found fault with and strongly upbraided and criticized by the last person we would have ever thought of, in such a connection —a Theosophist and an Arya-Samajist!! On n’est jamais trahi que par les siens becomes truer than ever. We leave to the impartial reader to judge and decide which, the Editor or the “Critic,” is “bringing discredit” upon himself. The
criticism appeared in the Tribune of Lahore, August 13, and we now give it to our readers as it stands:
THE THEOSOPHIST AND PANDIT SARDHA RAM
To the Editor of The Tribune:
Sir,—It is curious to see in The Theosophist for August 1881 (page 245) that Pandit Sardha Ram, deceased, is trumpeted to have been a leader of Hindu religion and to have disseminated his opinions so boldly and eloquently that neither Brahmo nor Arya-Samajists ever ventured to cross him.
This is anything but true, and the Editor of that journal is greatly misinformed, and no doubt brings discredit upon herself by giving publicity to such trash and utterly incorrect information in the editorial columns of her paper, for everybody who knew Pandit Sardha Ram full well that he was innocent of having ever engaged himself in discussion with an Arya-Samajist, though challenged to do so many a time by them.
Indeed, he organized a society giving it the name of Hari-Gyan-Sabha, which is composed of a dozen of persons overwise for the present age, who are disinterestedly devoted to the secret cause of idolatry and superstition, which the Arya-Samaj ruthlessly attempts to sweep away by its sacrilegious act of disseminating Vedic knowledge through the length and breadth of the country.
True the Pandit was a leader of the Hindu religion, but only so far as the members of Hari-Gyan-Sabha are concerned; for without the pale of that Sabha no one ever thought him guilty of deep Sanskrit learnings and it is an acknowledged fact that he was not encumbered with Vedic knowledge in the least.
As regards the Brahmos it would be unjust to omit to state here that once the deceased held a discussion with Babu Nobin Chander Roy and suffered the game to be won by the Babu as is apparent from a pamphlet in which that discussion has been published. We would fain have refrained from criticism upon a dead man, but truth compels us to disabuse the public of a wrong notion which a note in The Theosophist from the pen of its Editor is calculated to create, and I, therefore, beg to request you, Mr. Editor, to insert these few lines in the next issue of your paper and oblige,
A THEOSOPHIST AND ARYA-SAMAJIST.
Aug. 11, 1881