[The Theosophist, Vol. V, No. 5 (53), February, 1884, p. 121]
May I be permitted to ask what Sanskrit and Buddhistic books, printed or manuscript, are of use to an archaelogical student, in conveying an exhaustive idea of the history, ethnology, and archaeology of India, from the earliest times down to the Mohammedan invasion in 1203 A.D. By archaeology I mean not only architecture but the ancient state of civilized life in every respect, such as religion, mode of warfare, style of coins, dress, geography, philology, industrial arts, etc.
What was the alphabet in use in ancient India generally, as also the languages? How many of them are still surviving and how many lost in our national shipwreck? Our Revered Buddha is said to have learnt sixty-four kinds of letters. Is there no means of learning and reviving them, and is it not possible to lithograph them for The Theosophist? In some former articles, mention was made of certain undeciphered inscriptions at Benares, &c. Would it not be good if somebody were to copy and publish them in The Theosophist, for the cause of historical truth? I shall be the first person to do so if a little light be given to guide me. I have enough of archaeological gropings in the dark. No unerring data have I found yet to aid me in my researches.
I beg to be excused for thus putting these important questions, which, I know, cannot be solved in a day. But I want to direct public attention to a subject, which is dear to me and ought to be dear to every patriot. From my very school-days, I have almost intuitively felt, while perusing works on India, that the true history has not yet been written. At least exoteric India is not aware of such a work. What we find is generally one-sided, fragmentary, and otherwise full of guess-work, fair or foul, mostly the latter.
Under these circumstances, I cannot describe what my mind feels when perusing books, that profess to treat on ancient India; a gush of hot breath, whose outer expression is a deep sigh, reverberates my inner system. And shall we continue in this miserable helpless state, when we have guiding angels in the background?
P. C. M., F.T.S.
Note.—Our Brother should not lose sight of the fact that the “guiding angels in the background” cannot work miracles. Admittedly, blind superstition, dogmatic scepticism and ignorant fanaticism reign supreme everywhere. Can these be dispelled in a few short years, when they are the outgrowth of numberless ages? The “Masters” have taken advantage of every possible opportunity to bring people to do their duty, by bringing the truth to light for them.
Let our brother read some articles in direct reference to his questions in the September, October and November Numbers of The Theosophist, headed “Replies to an ‘English F. T. S.'” There all that could be said with safety is given out.
They, who can look beneath the surface know that action and reaction being equal, no violent changes can be safely introduced, however beneficial they may appear to be. The utmost that can be done under these circumstances is to give now and then side glimpses, so that those who are capable of rising above the ordinary level and have developed their penetrating faculty may profit by them and thus become more useful to their fellowmen. It is now for such readers to judge whether in the articles already published in The Theosophist, they do not find sufficient data to work upon and thus ultimately arrive at a correct knowledge of archaeological facts. If the correspondent
will do his share of the work, the “guardian angels” may be counted upon to do theirs. But unfortunately too many people sit in silent expectation of a miracle or vainly talk a good deal but do nothing.