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India the Mother . 1 

'The Present Position of Woman . . 7 

Lambs among Wolves . .... 39 

The Swadeshi Movement , 74 

The Last of Pous : An Indian Study 88 

The Hindu Sacred Year 92 

^he Relation between Famine and Population . 99 
The National Significance of the Swarni 

Vivekananda's Life and Work .... 128 

The First Citizen of Bengal ... . 141 

Revival or Reform ? . ... 146 
Note on Indian Historic Pageants . .158 
Aggressive Hinduism 

L The Basis . ... 164 

II The Task Before Us .... 171 

III The Ideal ... . 184 

The Task of the National Movement in India . . 190 

"What Books to Read .... . 197 

The National Idea . .... 205 

The Underlying Unity' of Indian Life . 209 

The Future Education of the Indian Woman . . 222 


Appreciations of Sister Nivedita 

By I -Mrs, J. C Bose 234 

IL-J.F. Alexander , . 243 

III. A J. F. Blair ....'.. S53 

IV.-Novalis 60 

V.S. K. Rttcliffe . . . , 868 


1. India the Mother. 

2 Sister Nivedita 

3, Swami Vivekananda 

4. Bamakrishna Paramahamsa. 

All Rights Rewrned.] [Pnce -Ee.1- 8. 




Author of Web of Ind^an Life^ Cradle- 
Tales of Hinduism, Kali The Mother, 
The Master as I saw Him, Indian 
Study of Love and Death , etc. :: 


Foreword by Mr. A. J. F. Blair 
Editor, "Ihnpire" 




MARGARET NOBLE " The white flower of nobility " 
Nivedita V dedicated ". Whether we think of h^c 
by her English or her Indian name, was ever human 
being more appropriately called? High-souled purity 
and infinite devotion are the thoughts that ever 
spring to mind at the very mention of her name. 
To those who knew her she was an embodied con- 
science. As her clear eyes searched one through and 
through, so did the white flame of her moral fervour 
burn out and wither up all the baser elements 
in one's nature. No man or woman ever faced 
that scrutiny without emerging from it purified and 

She was a Vriter of extraordinary range, eloquence 
and power. The collection of essays in the present 
volume, comprehensive as it is, exhibits her tireless 
literary productivity in a mere fragmentary form. 
The crown and summit of her work is undoubtedly 
the "Web of Indian Life,*' to read which is not 
merely to enter into the Indian holy of holies, but to 
drink deep of the meaning and inspiratipn of the 
author's own life,. 


Like all great souls, however, she towered above, 
and dominated, all her works. She was far greater 
than they. The influence of her life and personality 
was a ad is a perpetual inspiration, which lives as 
long as those on whom it once rested, to be thence 
transmitted (let us hope) to those who follow. 

Unselfish, brave, white-souled, dowered so nobly 
with mental, spiritual and physical graces, who can 
express in words what she was to those who loved 
her, or gather up the measure of their loss? 

10th November 1911 A. J. F. B. 



IT is not always those events which are most loudly 
talked of that are really most important, and I for 
one have no hesitation in ranking far above most 
things that have happened during the past month, tho 
appearance of Mr. Abanindra Nath Tagore's picture of 
' The Spirit of the Motherland,' published recently 
in the Bengalee periodical, Bhandar. We see in 
Mr* Tagore's drawing, which is reproduced here, some- 
thing for which Indian art has long been waiting, the 
birth of the idea of those new combinations which 
are to mark the modern age in India. For if nation- 
ality, and the civic ideal, and every form of free and 
vigorous co-operation for mutijal service and mutual 
aid, are indeed to be the distinguishing marks of ttie 
new era, then it is clear that we must have definite 
symbols under which to think of them, and with the 
ereation and establishment of, such symbols Indianf 
art .will be occupied, for these many decaclas, or evert 
it maty be, fot centuries to come. 

f hare long thought that if I wwe an 
Prince I would, save my surplus 


foremost for the promotion of civic and historic paint- 
ing. To this end I would open competitions and 
announce prizes, and establish picture-printing presses 
for cheap reproduction of coloured pictures. Here, 
in our dusty lanes, - 1 would like to build open 
verandahs, running round three sides of a square, and 
bearing on their inner surfaces great mural pictures 
some in pigments, some in mosaics, and some after 
the fashion of old Indian art, carved in stone in low 
relief of the mighty scenes of the civic and national 
past. We have suc^i things already in Indian temples. 
I have seen at Conjee veram a long frieze of Ramayana 
subjects, and elsewhere glimpses from the Maha- 
bharata and Puranas. But the buildings of which I 
speak should be civic temples, or temples may be of 
the national spirit. There, no mythic scenes sho.uld 
be allowed. Instead Asoka sending forth his 
'missionaries ; Kanishka seated in council ; Vikra- 
maditya offering the Asvamedh ; the twelve crowned 
victims of Oheetore the Coronation of Akbar ; the 
building of the Taj ; the funeral of Aurangzebe ; the 
sati of the Queen Janhobi of hill Tipperah these, and 
such as these, should be the subject here displayed, 
and every woman on her way to the river-ghat, 
and every labourer going to ancU from his work, 
should be made familiar with the idea of India, 
and the evolution of India throughout four thousand 


In visiting the English House of Parliament, as all 
the world is free to do, in London on Saturday morn- 
ings, nothing is so startmgly impressive and memor- 
able as the array of mural pictures in the two lobbies, 
and the selection of subjects, sounding the different 
notes of aristocratic and democratic pride in the 
history of England, according as we find ourselves 
on the threshold of the Lords or the Commons. 
Similarly, in the Manchester Town Hall, the walls 
are covered with the painted story of early Manches- 
ter and mediaeval Manchester, and the spectator is 
likely to feel that there is little fair in human life or 
human hope that is not indicated there. But the 
difficulty in both these cases is the same. These 
frescoes are inside buildings, and their enjoyment 
is necessarily confined, therefore, to those who are 
more or less wealthy and already educated. In the 
b'eautiful Indian climate, however, there is no 
necessity for such shutting up of the means of educa- 
tion! Wide overhanging eaves to protect pictures and 
visitors from rain and direct sun-light, and no iftore 
is necessary. The lane itself is become a University, 
and the picture is more than a thakoor, it is a school, 
a library, an, epic poem. Necessarily the man who 
would initiate such a fashion must be born a prince. 
But' in modern times cheap colour-printing offers an 
easily Available, substitute for mural painting. It* 
remote farm-houses and' in bazar verandahs alike* 


one comes upon such pictures of the gods and god- 
desses, made for the most part in Germany and sadly 
inaccurate. It is here, in the preparation of Swadeshi 
substitutes for these posters, as we might perhaps 
call them, that the present generation of art-students 
might do admirable work. And certainly first and 
foremost of the series I would place this wonderful 
Bharat-Mata of Mr. Tagore. In this picture which 
would need to be enlarged and printed, for the pur- 
pose of which I speak, in two or three bright but 
delicate colours we have a combination of perfect 
refinement with great creative imagination. Bharat- 
Mata stands on the green earth. Behind her is the 
blue sky. Beneath the exquisite little feet is 
curved line of four misty white lotuses. She has the 
four arms that always, to Indian thinking, indicate 
the divine power. Her sari is severe, even to puri- 
tanisin, in its enfolding lines. And behind the noble 
sincerity of eyes and brow we are awed by the 
presence of the broad white halo. , Shiksha-dik&ha- 
anna-bastra the four gifts of the Motherland to her 
children, she offers in her four hands. 

From beginning to end the picture is an appeal, in 
the Indian language, to the Indian heart. It is the 
first great masterpiece in a new style, I would re- 
print it, if I could, by tens of thousands, and scatter 
tft broadcast over the land, till there was not a pea- 
sant's cottage, or a craftinan's hut, between 3eder 


Nath and Cape Comorin, that had not this present- 
ment of Bharat-Mata somewhere on its walls. Over 
and over again, as one looks into its qualities, one is 
struck by the purity and delicacy of the personality 
portrayed. And it is a wonderful thing surely, that 
this should be the quality that speaks loudest in the 
first picture of India the Mother that an Indian man 
makes for his people. 

This is not the first fine thing that its creator has 
done. But for my own part every former achievement 
of his appears to rank beside this as the construction 
of written characters ranks beside the first poem in- 
scribed in them. Up to this time, Mr. Tagore has 
been creating his language, creating his style. Now 
he has begun to write poems. May he never cease 1 
and may there follow thousands after him to write 
more, in the language that he by his unaided efforts 
has created for them, and will teach to them Indian 


IT would be useless to attempt any 
study of human institutions, apart from the ideals 
of which they are the expression. In every social 
evolution, whether of the modern American, the 
Hottentot, the Semitic or the Mongolian, the dynamic 
element lies in the ideal behind it. For the student 
of sociology, the inability to discover this formative 
factor in any given result constitutes a supreme 
defect. To assume, as is so often done, that one 
people has moulded itself on a moral purpose, clearly 
perceived, while in the minds of others the place for 
such purpose is blank, and they are as they have 
happened to occur, is purely anarchic and pre* 
scientific. Yet some such conception is only tod 
common amongst those writers to whom we are 
compelled to go, for the data of racial sociology. This 
is an unfortunate consequence of the fact that, for 
the most part, we are only impelled to the interna- 
tional service of .humanity, by a strong acc^siou of 
sectarian ardour, 


Another error, to be avoided in comparative 
statement, is that of endowing the more or less 
antithetic ideals and tendencies which we do dis- 
entangle, with a false rigidity and distinctiveness. It 
is easy to argue backwards, from institutions to ideals, 
in such a way as to tabulate whole realms of poetry 
and aspiration inexorably closed to certain peoples. 
But ideals are the opportunity of all, the property 
of none ; and sanity of view seems to demand that 
we should never lose sight of the underlying unity 
and humanness of humanity. Thus, nothing would 
appear at first sight more fixed, or more limiting, than 
the poiyandiy of Thibet. We might well assume, a 
priori that to look for ceiiain standards and percep- 
tions amongst a populace so characterised were vain. 
That such a view would be untrue, however, is shown 
at once by Sven Hedin, in his Decent work, Trans- 
Himalaya, where he tells of a Thibetan gentleman 
imploring him never to shoot the wild geese, for these 
-birds are known to bave human hearts. Like men, they 
mate but once ; hence, in killing one, we may inflict on 
another a long life of perpetual sorrow. This one inci- 
dent is sufficient to remind us of the high potentialities 
of the human spirit everywhere, however unpromising 
may be the results of a superficial glance. Again, we 
$,11 know something of the marvels of constructive and 
Belf^or^anising power shown by modern Europe. 
When we look behind the symptom for the cause, we 


may feel impelled to the opinion that the master-fact 
in this regard is the influence of the genius of ancient 
Rome, acting first in the Empire, then in the Churcll, 
and lastly seen in the reaction of nationalities to-day* 
But of that fundamental Roman genius itself, it is 
increasingly difficult to make any statement that 
does not almost immediately commend itself to us, 
as equally applicable to China as the great leader of 
the Yellow Races. The actual differ enqe between 
Europe and Asia, in spite of the analogy between 
Rome and the people of Han, may perhaps be found 
explicable on the basis of the differing place and 
materials on which these two instincts had to work. 
Perhaps the very foundation-stone of sociological 
truth lies in that unity of humanity, which such 
considerations illustrate. 

And lastly, we have to remember the widely dif- 
fering values of different classes of evidence* It is 
important always, if possible, to make a people ^speak 
for themselves. Identical material may be opposite- 
ly handled, as all will admit, by different persons, 
but we cannot go far wrong, in demanding that in 
all ca^es original evidence shall have a wide prefer- 
ence, over the report of his personal observations and 
opinions, made by a foreigner. It would also be well 
to stipulate for the same rights of scrutiny, over even 
original evidence* as would be exercised by compe- 
tent persons in weighing testimony, with regard, say* 


to' physical experiments or a case in a court of law. 
Statements made, even by, the natives of a given 
country, with the direct intention of witnessing or 
ministering to some partisan position, will not, on 
the face of it, have the same value as if it can be 
shown that they were made with 110 idea of a parti- 
cular question having arisen. For instance, we may 
refer to the matter of the position of the Chinese 
woman in marriage. We are assured by most 
modern writers of authority that this is most depress- 
ing. In theory, the wife is completely subordinated* 
while in fact, the man always exploits to the full the 
opportunity thus given him. That marriage can be 
brutalised is doubtless as true in the case of China as 
in that of England. All that we have a right to ask 
is, whether it has also the opposite possibility, and in 
what degree and frequency. I assume that we are 
all familiar with the relation between the general 
development of a society, and its impulse 'to recog- 
nise an individual poet, and accord him fame. Bear- 
ing this relation in mind, we shall be able to measure 
the significance of a couple of little poeins translated 
by Kt&rtin, in -his tiny posthumous work La Femme 
on Chtne. " Of these, one may be given here. It is 
by the poet Lin-Tchi to his wife. 

We are living under the same roof, dear comrade of my life, 

We shall be buried m a single tomb 

And our commingled ashes will eternalise our union. 

With*vtfhat good will hast thou shared my poverty, 

And strfven to aid me by thy toil 1 


What ought I not to do to make our names illustrious *% my 
wisdom * '*' ?. 

Thus rendering glorious thy noble example and thy good 

But my tenderness and my respect have told thee this every 
day." 1 

It is not true that one geniune utterance from tlie 
heart of a people, is testimony that outweighs a 
whole volume of opinions, however honest, about 
them? The historical process, as manifested in 
different countries, may have let to the selection of 
various ideals as motives of organisation, but ah 
open examination of data will make us very doubtful 
of statements that would deny to any nationality a 
given height of spirituality or refinement. 


The first point to be determined in dealing vitb 
the -proper subject of this paper, the present positicJh 
of the civilised women, is the principle of classi- 
fication to be followed. We might divide womea 
mto Asiatic and European ; but if so, the American 
woman must be taken as European par excellence* 
And where must we place the woman of Japan ? 
The terms Eastern and Western are too vague, and 
Modern and Mediaeval too inexact. Nor .can, we 
afford to discard half of each of these generalisa- 
tions, and classify woman as, on the one hajad, 

1 Pans. Sandoz and Prisohbacher, 1876. 


Western whether Norse, Teuton, Slav, or Latin 
and on the other Mongolian, Hindu, or Mussalman. 
Such a system of reference would be too cumbersome. 
Perhaps the only true classification is based on ideals, 
and if so, we might divide human society, in so far 
as \voman is concerned, into communities dominated 
by the civic, and communities dominated by the 
family, ideal. 


tender the civic ideal imperfectly as a particular 
women may feel that this has yet been realised both 
men and women tend to be recognised as individuals 
holding definite relations to each other in the public 
economy, and by their own free will co-operating to 
build up the family. The civitas tends to ignore the 
family, save as a result, like any other form of produc- 
tive co-operation, and in its fullest development rfiay 
perhaps come to ignore sex. In America, for instance, 
both men and women are known as ' citizens '. No 
one asks. * Are you a nat^ve or a subject, of America ? ' 
but always, "Are you an American citizen?" The 
contemporary struggle of the English woman, for 
the rudiments of political equality with men, is but 
a single step in the long process of woman's civic 
evolution. It is significant of her conscious accept- 
ance of the civic ideal as her goal. The arrival 01 
this moment is undoubtedly hastened by the very 


marked tendency of modern nations towards the 
economic independence of woman ; and this process* 
again, though born of the industrial transformation 
from Manual to Mechanical, or Mediseval to Modern, 
is indirectly accelerated, amongst imperial and 
colonising peoples, by the gravitation of the men of 
the ruling classes towards the geographical confines 
of their racial or political area. One factor, amongst 
the many thus brought into play, is the impractica- 
bility of the family as their main career for some of 
the most vigorous and intelligent of women. These 
are thrown back upon the dwtas for the theatre of 
their activities, and the material of their mental and 
emotional development. Such conditions are much 
m evidence in the England o to-day, and must have 
been hardly less so in Imperial Rome. Nero's assas- 
sination of his mother might conceivably be treated as 
the 'Roman form of denial of the suffrage to woman. 
Regarding the civic evolution of woman as a pro- 
cess, it is easy to see that it will always take place 
most rapidly in those communities and at those epochs 
when political or industrial transformation, or both, 
ate most energetic and individuating. The guiding 
and restraining influences which give final sMfepe to 
the results achieved are always derived from tfee 
historical fund of ideals and institutions, social, aesthe- 
tic and spiritual. It is here that we shall derive 
most advantage from remembering the very 


and approximate character of the differentiation of 
ideals. The more extended our sympathies, the more 
enlarged becomes the area of precedent. If the 
Anglo-Saxon woman rebelling in England, or organ- 
ising herself into great municipal leagues in America, 
appears at the moment to lead the world in the 
struggle for the concession of full civic responsibility, 
we must not forget the brilliance of the part played 
by women in the national history of France, Nor must 
we forget the Mediaeval Church, that extraordinary 
creation of the Latin peoples, which as a sort of civitas 
of the soul, offered an organised super-domestic career 
to women, throughout the Middle Ages, and will pro- 
bably still continue, as a fund of inspiration and 
experience, to play an immense part, even in her 
future. Nor must we forget that Finland has out- 
stripped even the English-speaking nations. Nor can 
we, in this connection, permit ourselves to overlook 
the womanhood of the East The importance of wo- 
man in the dynastic history of China for example, 
during the last four thousand years, would of itself 
remind us, that though the family may dominate the 
life of the Chinese woman, yet she is not absolutely 
excluded from the -civic career. Again, the noble 
protest of his inferior wife, Tchong-tse, to the Emperor 
in 556 B.C. against the nomination of her own son 
as heir to the throne, shows that moral development 
has been known in that country to go hand in, hand 


with opportunity. " Such a step," she says, " would 
indeed gratify my affection, but it would be contrary 
to the laws. Think and act as a prince, and not as 
a father ! " This is an utterance which, all will agree, 
for its civic virtue and sound political sense, to have 
been worthy of any matron of Imperial Rome. 

But it is not China alone in the East, that can fur- 
nish evidence to the point. In India, also, women 
have held power, from time to time, as rulers and 
administrators, often with memorable success. And 
it is difficult to believe that a similar statement might 
not be made of Muhammadanism. There is at least 
one Indo-Mussalman throne, that of Bhopal, which 
is generally held by a woman. Perhaps enough has 
been said to emphasise the point that while the 
evolution of her civic personality is at present the 
characteristic fact in the position of the Western 
woman, the East also has power, in virtue of her 
history and experience, to contribute to the working 
out of this ideal. To deny this would be as ignor- 
antly unjust as to pretend that Western women had 
never achieved greatness by their fidelity, tender- 
ness, and other virtues of the family. The antithesis 
merely implies that in each case the mass of social 
institutions is more .or less attuned to the dominant 
conception of the goal, while its fellow is present, 
T)ut in a phase relatively subordinate, or perhaps 
even incipient* 


The civic life, then, is that which pertains to the 
community as a whole, that community whether 
of nation, province, or township whose unity tran- 
scends and ignores that of the family, reckoning its 
own active elements, men or women as the case may 
he, as individuals only. Of this type of social 
organisation, public spirit is the distinctive virtue ; 
determined invasion oi the freedom of welfare of the 
whole, in the interest of special classes or individuals, 
the distinctive sin. The civic spirit embodies the 
personal and categorical form of such ideals as those 
of national unity, or corporate independence. Its 
creative bond is that of place, the common home 
as distinguished from blood, the common kin that 
common home, whose children are knit together to 
make the civitas, the civic family, rising in its largest 
complexity to be the national family. 

The characteristic test of moral dignity -and 
maturity which our age offers to the individual is 
this of his or her participation in civic wisdom and 
responsibility . Our patriotism may vary from jingoism 
to the narrowest parochialism but the demand for 
patriotism in some form or other, we all acknowledge 
to be just. Different countries have their various 
difficulties in civic evolution, and these are apt to 
bear harder on that of the woman than of the man. 
The study of woman in America where society ha$ 
T^een *budded, so to speak, from ' older growths and 


started anew, with the modern phase, in a virgin 
soil, is full of illustrations. It would be a mistake to 
attribute the regrettable tendency towards disintegra- 
tion of the family, which we are undeniably wit- 
nessing in that country to-day, to any ardour in the 
pursuit of civic ideals. High moral aims are almost 
always mutually coherent. Weakening of family- 
ties will not go hand in hand, in a modern communi- 
ty, with growth of civic integrity. Both the pro- 
gressive idea of the civitas, and the conservative idea 
of the family, are apt to suffer at once from that 
assumption of the right to enjoyment which is so 
characteristic of the new land, with its vast natural 
resources, still imperfectly exploited. Various 
American states exhibit a wide range of institutions ; 
domestic and political. Some have long conceded 
the right of female suffrage, while in others th$ dis- 
solution of marriage is notoriously frivolous. But- 
we may take it as an axiom that the ethics of civitas 
and of family, so far as woman is concerned are 
never really defiant of each other ; that neither 
battens on the ' decay of its fellow ; but thstt both 
alike suffer from the invasions of selfishness, luxury 
and extravagance ; while both are equally energis- 
ed, by all that tends to the growth of womanly 
honour and responsibility in either field. Even that 
movement, of largely American and feminist origin, 
which we may well refer to as the New Mon^sticisiu 


the movement of social observation and social 
service, finding its blossom in university settlements 
and Hull Houses is permeated through and through 
with the modern, and above all, with the American, 
unsuspiciousness of pleasure. It is essentially an 
Epicurean, movement always remembering, as did 
Epicurus, that the higher pleasures of humanity 
include pain not only ,in the effort it makes to 
brighten and enliven poverty and toil, but also in the 
delicate and determined gaiety of spirit of those 
engaged in it, who have never been heard to admit 
that the hairshirt of social service, with all its anxie- 
ty and labour, affords them anything but the keenest 
of delight to don. 


The society of the East, and therefore necessarily 
&s womenhood, has moulded itself from time im- 
memorial on the central ideal of the family. In no 
Eastern country it may be broadly said the positive 
apirit of China, and the inter- tribal unity of Islam to 
ibe contrary notwithstanding has the civic concept 
ev&r risen into that clearness and authority which it 
holds in the modern West. As a slight illustration 
of this, we have the interesting question of the 
sources amongst different peoples of their titles of 
honour. In China, we are told, all terms of courtesy 
are derived from family relationships. The same 


statement is true of India, but perhaps to a 
less extent; for there a certain number of titles 
are taken from the life of courts, and also from 
ecclesiastical and monastic organisations. The 
greatest number and variety of titles of honour, 
however, is undoubtedly to be found amongst 
Mussalman nations, who have been familiar from 
the beginning with the idea of the alien, but 
friendly tribe. In all countries, as well! in Asia as 
in mediaeval Europe, individual women, owing to 
the accidents of rank or character, have occasionally 
distinguished themselves in civil and even in militai*y 
administration. If France has had her saintly 
queen, Blanche of Castile, China has had a sovereign 
of talents and piety no less touching and memorable 
in Tchang-sun-chi, who came to the throne in AJX 
626 as wife of Tai-tsoung : and military greatness 
and heroism have more than once been seen in 
Indian women. In spite of these facts, the civitas, 
as the main concern of women, forms an idea which 
cannot be said ever to have occurred to any Eastern 
people, in the sense in which it has certainly 
emerged during the last hundred years amongst 
those nations which inherit from Imperial Rome. 

In the West to-day there are large classes of 
unmarried women, both professional and leisured, 
amongst whom the interests of the civic life has 
definitely replaced that of the domestic life. The 


East, meanwhile, continues to regard the Family 
as woman's proper and characteristic sphere. The 
family as the social unit determines its conception 
of the whole of society. Community of blood and 
origin, knitting the kinship into one, becomes all- 
important to it, as the bond of unity. The whole 
tends to be conceived of in Eastern countries, as 
the social area within which marriages can take 
place. That combination of conceptions of race and 
class which thus comes into prominence, constitutes 
caste, rising in its multiplicity into the ecclesia or 
Samaj. Throughout the art of Eastern peoples we 
can see how important and easily discriminated by 
them, is the difference between mean and noble 
race. The same fact comes out, even in their 
scientific interests, where questions of ethnology 
have always tended to supplant history proper. And 
in geography their attention naturally gravitates 
towards the human rather than the economic aspects 
of its problems. As a compensating factor to the 
notion of birth, the East has also the more truly 
civic idea of the village community, a natural norm 
for the" thought of nationality. But left to them- 
selves, undisturbed by the Apolitical necessities en- 
gendered by foreign contacts^ Oriental communities 
would probably have continued, in the future, as in 
the past, to develop the idea of a larger unity, along 
the lines of family, caste, samaj, and race, the 


culmination being the great nexus of classes, sects, 
and kinships bound together by associations of 
faith and custom for the maintenance of universal 
purity of pedigree. The West, on the other hand, 
though not incapable of evolving the worship of 
blood and class, tends naturally to the exaltation of 
place and country as the motive of cohesion, and 
thus gives birth to the conception of nationality, as 
opposed to that of race. 

Racial unity tends to modification, in the special 
case of the Mussalman peoples, by their dependence 
on a simple religious idea, acting on an original 
tribal nucleus, as their sole and sufficient bond of 
commonality. Islam encourages the intermarriage 
of all Mussalmans, whatever their racial origin. But 
it would be easy to show that this fact is not really 
the exception it might at first appear. The race has 
here, in an absolute s'ense, become the church, and 
that church is apostolic and proselytising. Thus the 
unit is constantly growing by accretion. It remains 
fundamentally a racial unit, nevertheless, though 
nearer than others to the national type. In the case 
of Chinese civilisation, again, the race-idea would 
seem to be modifiable by Confucian ethics, with their 
marvellous common-sense and regard for the public 
good, creating as these do, a natural tendency 
towards patriotism and national cohesion- Yet it is 
seen in the importance of ancestor- worship a the 


family-bond. The sacrament of marriage consists m 
the beautiful ceremony of bringing the bride to join 
her husband, in the offering of divine honours to his 

Amongst Hindus the same motive is evidenced in 
the notion that it is the duty of all to raise up at 
least one son to offer ceremonies of commemoration 
to the ancestors. The forefathers of an extinct 
family go sorrowful and may be famine-stricken in 
the other world. In my own opinion, this is only an 
ancient way of impressing on the community the need 
for maintaining its numbers. This must have been 
an important consideration to thoughtful minds 
amongst early civilised peoples, faced as they were by 
the greater numbers oi those whose customs were 
more primitive- Only when a man's place in his 
community was taken by a son, could he be free to 
follow the whims of an individual career. 


The family is,, in all countries and all ages, the 
natural sphere for the working-out of the ethical 
struggle, with its results in personal development. 
The happiness of families everywhere depends, not on 
the subordination of this member or that, but on the 
mutual self -adjustment of all. In the large house- 
holds*and undivided families of Eastern countries this 


necessity is self-evident. The very possibility of such 
organisation depended in the first place on the due 
regimentation of rank and duties. Here we come 
upon that phenomenon of the subordination of woman, 
whose expression is apt to cause so much irritation to 
the ardent feminists of the present da>. Yet for a 
permanent union of two elements, like husband and 
wife, it is surely essential that one or other should be 
granted the lead. For many reasons, this part falls to 
the man. It is only when the civic organisation has 
emerged, as the ideal of unity, that husband and wife, 
without hurt to their own union, can resolve them- 
selves into great equal and rival powers, holding a 
common relation to it as separate individuals. The 
premier consideration of family decorum involves the 
theoretical acceptance, by man or woman, of first 
and second places respectively. In the patriarchal 
family and the matriarchate is now exceptional 
and belated the, second place is always taken by 
woman ; but the emphasis of this announcement is in 
proportion to the resistance offered to its first 
promulgation. That is to say, the law was formulat- 
ed at the very birth of -patriarchal institutions* 
when it sounded as if it were nothing more than a 
paradox.' It is this fact, and not any desire to insult 
or humiliate women as such, that accounts for the 
strength of Eastern doctrines as to the pre-eqplnen-ea 
of man. Semitic institutions, and especially the 


characteristic polygamy of Mussalman peoples, are a 
testimony to this enthusiasm for fatherhood at the 
moment of the rise of the patriarchate. To a fully 
individualised and civilised womanhood, the position 
of wife in a polygamous family, might well seem 
intolerable. Such an anomaly is only really com- 
patible with the passionate pursuit of renunciation as 
the rule of life, and with the thought of the son, 
rather than the husband, as the emotional refuge and^ 
support of woman. Polygamy, though held permis- 
sible in India and China, for the maintenance of the 
family, does not receive in either country that degree 
of sanction which appears to be accorded to it 
in Islam. It is at once the strength and the weak- 
ness of Islamic civilisation that it seems to realise 
itself almost entirely as a crystallisation of the 
patriarchal ideal, perhaps in contrast to the matri- 
archal races by whom early Semitic tribes were 
surrounded. In the spontaneous Islamic movement 
for progressive self-modification, which our time is 
witnessing under the name of Babism, or Behawsm 
great stress is laid on the religious duty of educating 
and emancipating woman as an individual. 


Chinji, though seemingly less dependent on the 
supernatural for the sources of her idealism than 


either India or Arabia, appears to have an intellect- 
ual passion for the general good. She appreciates 
every form of self-sacrifice, for the good of others, 
but is held back apparently, by her eminently ration- 
al and positive turn of mind, from those excess of the 
ideal which are to be met with in India. She judges 
of the most generous impulse in the light of its 
practical application. As an example, her clear con- 
ception of the importance of perfect union between 
a wedded couple, never seems to have led her to 
the practice of child-marriage. The age of twenty 
for women, and thirty for men, is by -tier considered 
perfect for marrying. 1 Nor has any inherent 
objection ever been formulated in China, to the 
education of wpmen. On the contrary, the National 
Canon of Biography, ever since the last century B.C., 
has always devoted a large section to eminent 
women, their education and their literary productions. 
Many famous plays and poems have been written by 
women. And as a special case in point, it is interest- 
ing to note that one of the Dynastic Histqries, left 
unfinished on the death of its author, was brought to 
a worthy conclusion by his accomplished sister . a 

The fact that a woman shares the titles of her 
husband, and receives with him ancestral honours, 
points in the same direction, of respect and courtesy 

' MartiA. 

2 Prof, Giles, Lecturer at Columbia University* 


to woman as an individual. We are accustomed to 
hear that filial piety is the central virtue of Chinese 
life, but it is essential that we should realise that 
this piety is paid to father and mother, not to either 
alone witness in itself to the sweetness and soli- 
darity of family-life. I have heard a translation of 
a long Chinese poem on the discovery of the vina, or 
Oriental violin, in which we see a maiden sigh over 
her weaving, and finally rise from the loom and don 
man's attire, in order to ride forth, in place of her 
aged father, to the wars in the far north. It is on 
her way to the seat of action, that she comes across 
the instrument which is the soul of song, and sends 
it back to her father and mother, that its music may 
tell how her own heart sighs for them day and night ! 
All writers seem to agree in admitting that the devo- 
tion of children to parents here extolled is fully 
equalled by the love of Chinese parents of their 

The essential part of the ceremonies of ancestral 
worship must be performed, in a Chinese family, by 
the sons. Woman may assist, it seems, but can never 
replace man, in this office. In the year 1033, the 
Dowager-Empress, in the office of Regent, as a protest 
against the exclusion of women, insisted on herself 
performing the state worship to the ancestors, render- 
ed necessary by the advent of a comet. This bold 
innovation proved, 'hpwever, merely exceptional. 


Again, the rule that a child shall be born in its 
father's house is one of unbending rigour, m spite of 
the great liberality with which women are often 
allowed, after marriage, to revisit the paternal roof. 1 
These facts mark the memory of an energetic transi- 
tion from Matriarchate to Patriarchate, which has 
failed nevertheless to obliterate all traces of the 
earlier. Chinese society ascribes the end of the 
Matriarchate, that * is to say, the institution of 
marriage, to the mythical emperor Fou-hi, some two 
and a half millenniums before the Christian era. In 
confirmation of the tradition, this Emperor himself 
is said to have been of virgin birth, that is to say, 
his mother was unwedded, a common characteristic 
of the ancient Chinese saints and heroes. 2 A similar 
persistence of the memory of the Matriarchate, is 
seen in Southern China, in the prevalence of the 
worship of goddesses, and notably of Kwan-Yin, 
Qupen of Heaven. It should be said that throughout 
Asia, the worship of goddesses is vastly older than 
that of gods, and may be held one of the best means 
of studying the Matriarchate. The Chinese ideo- 
graph for clan-name is a compound of woman and 
birth, a distinct relic of the period wheji descent was 
reckoned* through the mother. And finally, the. 
persistance of matriarchal influence is seen, not only 

1 Pr, Arthur Smithy Village life m China 
'* Giles 


in the frequent political importance of the Dowager- 
Empress, or Queen-Mother, but also in humbler ranks 
of society, by the vigilance which seems to be ex- 
ercised by the woman's family, and even by her 
native or ancestral village, over the treatment 
accorded to her in marriage. According to Dr. Arthur 
Smith, it is this which is Affective in staving oft 
divorce as long as possible, and in punishing cruelty 
or desertion. Thus woman's kindred enjoy a remark- 
able unwritten power, as a sort of opposite contracting 
part in the treaty of marriage, and exlercise a 
responsibility and care unexampled in Europe. 

Nor is pure idealism altogether unrepresented in 
the life of Chinese women. / This is seen in the ten- 
dency of girls to take the vow of virginity, in the 
respect felt for women who marry only once, and in 
the public honours accorded to such as, before sixty 
years of age, complete thirty years of faithful 
widowhood. Both Buddhism and Tao-ism include 
orders of nuns, amongst whom the Tao-ist com- 
munities are said at present to enjoy the greater social 
prestige. A regrettable feature of these ideals 
which may play a part however in impelling Chinese 
society forward upon the exaltation of the civic life 
for women is the fact that girls sometimes band 
themselves together, under a secret vow of suicide in 
commqta, if any of their number, should be forced 
into marriage. Writers on the subject attribute this 


reverence for the idea of virginity to the percola- 
tion of Indian thought, into China, and such may 
possible be its origin. But it is easy to understand 
that it might have arisen spontaneously, from those 
high conceptions of womanly honour that are 
inseparable from the stability of patriarchal institu- 
tions, joined to that historic commemoration of the 
heroic women of the matriarchate which has already 
been mentioned. 


In India, as in China,, the perpetuation of the 
family is regarded as the paramount duty of the 
individual to the commonwealth. There is a like 
desire for male posterity, made universal by a similar 
rule that only a son can offer the sacraments of the 
dead to the* spirits of his forefathers. But the practice 
of adoption is very frequent, and the intervention of 
a priestly class, in the form of domestic chaplains* 
makes this element somewhat less central to the 
Hindu system than to the Chinese, amongst whom 
the father is also the celebrant. 

As throughout Asia, the family is undivided, arid 
in the vast households of this type, domestic matters 
are entirely in the governance of women* Servants 
are few in the inner or women's apartmenis, and 
even women of rank and wealth give more time, and 


contribute more personal energy, to the tasks of 
cooking, nursing, and cleansing, than we should 
think appropriate. Child-marriage, which, though 
decreasing, is till more or less the representative 
custom, renders the initial relations of the young 
bride to her husband's people, somewhat like those of 
a Western girl to her first boarding-school. But it is 
not to be forgotten that the women shares in the 
rank and titles of her husband, hence the path of her 
promotion to positions of honour and priority, is 
clearly marked out from the biginning. The advent 
of motherhood gives her an access of power, and this 
recognition culminates in the fact that in the absence 
of sons she is her husband's heir, and always the 
guardian of her children during their minority. As 
a- widow, she has also the very important right of 
adoption. Personal property of a mother goes to her 

Anything more beautiful tlian the life of the 
Indian home, as created and directed by Indian 
women, it would be difficult to conceive. But if there 
is on r e relation, or one position, on which above all 
others the idealising energy of the people spends 
itself, it is that of the wife. Here, according to 
Hindu ideas, is the very pivot of society and poetry. 
Marriage, in Hinduism, is a sacrament, and indis- 
soluble. The notion of divorce is as impossible, as 
the remarriage of the widow is abhorrent. Eveti in 


Orthodox Hinduism, this last has been made legally 
possible, by the life and labours of the late Pundit 
Iswar Chunder Vidyasagar, an old Brahminicai 
scholar, who was one of the stoutest champions of 
individual freedom, as he conceived of it, that the 
world ever saw. But the common sentiment of the 
people remains as it was, unaffected by the changed 
legal status of the widow. The one point that does 
undoubtedly make for a greater frequency of widow- 
remarriages, is the growing desire of young men for 
wives whose age promises maturity and companion- 
ship. A very pathetic advertisement lately, in one 
of the Calcutta dailies, set forth such a need on the 
part of a man of birth and position, and added, " Not 
one farthing of dower will be required ! " Probably 
this one social force alone will do more than any 
other to postpone the age of marriage, and ensure 
the worthy education of woman. It is part of the fact 
that Hinduism sees behind the individual the family, 
3,nd behind the family society, that there is no 
excuse made for the sin of abandoning the husband, 
and deserting the burdens and responsibilities of 
wifehood. If one does this, the East never plays 
with the idea' that she may have fled from the 
intolerable, but gravely makes her responsible for all 
the ensuing social confusion. There was indeed a 
movement of religious revivalism in the fift^nth 
century a sort of Hindu Methodism which asserted 


the right of woman as equal to that of man, to a life 
of religious celibacy. But ordinarily, any desertion 
of the family would be held to be unfaithfulness to 
it. And all the dreams of the Indian people centre 
in the thought of heroic purity and faith in wif ehood. 
There is a half-magical element in this attitude of 
Hindus towards women. As performers of ritual 
worship they are regarded as second only to the 
professional Brahmin himself. I have * even seen 
a temple served by a woman, during the temporary 
illness of her son, who was the priest ! Our prejudice, 
in favour of the exclusive sacramental efficacy of 
man, instinctive as it may seem to us, is probably 
due to Semitic influences. Even Rome had the 
Vestal Virgins ! In the non-Brahminical community 
of Coorg, the whole ceremony of* marriage is per- 
formed by women, and even amongst brahmins 
themselves, the country over, an important part of 
the wedding rites is in their hands, A woman's 
blessing is everywhere considered more efficacious 
than a man's in preparing for a journey, or beginning 
an undertaking. Women are constituted spiritual 
directors, and receive the revenues and perform the 
duties, of a ' domestic chaplaincy, during the incum- 
bent's minority, without the matter even exciting 
comment. A little boy is taught that whatever he 
may^ do to his brothers to strike his sister would be 
sacrilege. A man is expected to love his mother 


above any other created being. And the happiness 
of women is supposed to bring fortune in its train. 
The woman-ruler finds a sentiment of awe and 
admiration waiting for her, which gives her an 
immense advantage over a man, in the competition 
tor enduring fame. These facts are of course partly 
due to the intense piety and self-effacement of the 
lives led by women at large ; but still more to the 
dim memory of a time when they were the matri- 
archs and protectors of the world. There is no free 
mixing of the sexes outside the family, in any one 
of the three great Asiatic societies Chinese, Indian, 
or Islamic. But the degree of women's cloistered 
seclusion varies considerably in different parts, being 
least in those provinces of India where the communal 
institutions of primitive society have been least 
interfered with by contact with Muhatnmadanism, 
and at its strictest, probably, amongst the Mussalman 


Even a cursory study of the position of women is 
compelled to include some mention of her economic 
standing. In societies where the family furnishes 
her main career, she is generally of necessity in a 
position of dependence, either on father or husband* 


Amongst Hindus, this is mitigated by a dot, consisting 
of jewels, given at marriage and after. This pro- 
perty, once given, becomes the woman's own, not to 
be touched even by her husband, and in case of 
widowhood, if there is no other fund, she is supposed 
to be able to sell it and live on the interest. Amongst 
Muhammad ans, a dower is named, and deeds of 
settlement executed by the husband at marriage. It 
is said that every Mussalman cabman in Calcutta 
has undertaken to provide for his wife a dower of 
thousands of rupees. To pay this is obviously im- 
possible, yet the institution is not meaningless. In 
case he wishes for divorce a man can be compelled 
to pay to the uttermost, and God Himself, it is said, 
will ask on the Day of Judgment where is the 
amount that he left in default. It is easy to see 
how this is calculated to protect the wife. The cus- 
tota gives point also to the beautiful story of Fatima : 
daughter of Mohammed and wife of Ali, who was 
asked, by her father what dower she would wish 
named, and answered, "The salvation of every 
Mussalman ! " Leaving her own future thus unpro- 
tected in the risks of marriage, God Himself would not 
, be able to refuse her dower on the day of Judgment. 
I have not been able to discover what provision is 
made by the Chinese, for a woman, in case of a long 
and lonely widowhood. Doubtless, in China as in 
India, the most substantial part of her provision lies 


in the solidarity of the family as a whole. If her 
husband's relatives cannot support her, a woman falls 
back upon her own father or brothers. As long as 
either family exists, and is able to support her, she 
has an acknowledged place. If she has sons, both 
she and they must remain with the husband's people. 

The whole Bast understands the need of a woman's 
having pin-money. In China, it is said, the proceeds 
of cotton-picking, and no doubt also what comes of 
the care of silk- worms ; in India, such matters as the 
sale of milk, cattle and fruit ; and among Muham- 
madans, eggs, chickens, and goat's milk, are all the 
perquisites of the mistress of the household. Like the 
French, the Eastern woman is often of an excessive 
thrift, and her power of saving, by the accumulation 
of small sums, is remarkable. That the women 
require, in the interests of the home itself, to have a 
store of their own, probably every man would admit. 
Of course where the circumstances of the family are 
'of a grinding poverty, this cannot be. 

It must be understood that the present age, in the 
East even more than amongst ourselves, is one of 
economic transition*. Fifty years ago there, as a 
hundred and fifty years ago amongst ourselves, the 
main occupation of all women, and especially of 
those of gentle birth, was spinning. I have met many 
a man of high education whose cjiildhood was gass- 
ed in dependence on the secret earnings of, say, a 


grandmother. Such a possibility no longer exists, 
and perhaps one of the saddest consequences, East 
and West, is the amount of unfruitful leisure that 
has taken its place. Instead of the old spinning and 
its kindred arts, W'estern woman, as we all know 
owing to the growth of luxury and loss of efficiency 
has become still more dependent on her husband 
than she was. The main economic advance of 
woman among ourselves, lies in the striking out 
of new professions and careers by unmarried woman. 
This is not yet a factor of great importance in the 
East. In India, we have a few women doctors and 
writers ; and a growing perception of the need of 
modern education, is raising up a class of teachers, 
who are training themselves to assist in the spread 
of instruction amongst woman. Besides this, in a 
lower social class, the old household industries are 
giving place to the factory-organisation, and in 
many places woman is becoming a wage-earner. 
This change is, of course, accompanied by great 
economic instability, and by the pinch of poverty in 
all directions. It is one of the many phases of that 
substitution of civilisations which is now proceeding. 
This substitution is a terrible process to watch. It is 
full of suffering and penalties. Yet the East cannot 
be saved from it. All that service can attempt, is to 
secijjre that institutions shall not be transplanted 
without the ideals to which they stand related. 


Accepting these, it is possible that Eastern peoples 
may themselves be able to purify and redeem the 
new, transforming it to the long-known uses of their 
own evolution. 


India, it should be understood, is the headwater of 
Asiatic thought and idealism. In other countries we 
may meet with applications, there we find the idea 
itself. In India, the sanctity and sweetness of 
family -life have been raised to the rank of a great 
culture. Wifehood is a religion ; motherhood a 
dream ot perfection ; and the pride and protective- 
ness of a man are developed to a very high degree. 
The Rama^ana epic of the Indian home boldly 
lays down the doctrine that a man, like a woman, 
should marry but once. " We are born once," said 
an Indian woman to me, with great haughtiness, 
u we die once, and likewise we are married once ! " 
Whatever new developments may now lie before the 
womanhood of the East, it is ours to hope that will 
constitute only a pouring of the molten metal of her 
old faithfulness and consecration, into the new 
moulds of a wider knowledge and extended social 

Turning to the West, it would appear that,, the 
modern age has not unsealed any new springs of 


moral force for woman, in the direction of the, family, 
though by initiating her, as woman, into the wider 
publicity and influence of the civic area, it has 
enormously increased the social importance of her 
continuing to drink undisturbed at the older sources 
of her character. The modern organisation, on the 
other hand, by bringing home to her stored and 
garnered maternal instinct, the spectacle of the 
wider sorrows and imperfections of the civic develop- 
ment, has undoubtedly opened to her a new world of 
responsibility and individuation. * The woman of the 
East is already embarked on a course of self- trans- 
formation which can only end by endowing her with 
a full measure of civic and intellectual personality. 
Js it too much to hope that as she has been content 
to quaff from our wells, in this matter of the exten- 
sion of the personal scope, so we might be glad to 
refresh ourselves at hers, and gain therefrom a 
renewed sense of the sanctity of the family, and 
particularly of the inviolability of marriage I Paper 
submitted to the First Universal Races Congress. 



" Behold I send you forth as lambs among wolves/ 1 
" Carry neither purse, nor scrip nor shoes." 
" Salute no man by the way." 
" Eating and drinking such things as they give'" 
" Freely ye have received, freely give." 
" Provide neither gold nor silver nor brass in your 
purposes, nor scrip for your journey, neither two 
coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves/' Early Christ- 
ian Mission Charges. 

THE line that says u The soul of Shakespeare 
could not love thee more," goes to the root of the 
matter. Another critic of human life so completely 
competent as William Shakespeare, has probably 
never been. And his tool, the instrument of his 
peculiar genius, was surely an abundant kindliness, 
such as we call love, which enabled him to put him- 
self behind each man's nature, so as to swim with 


the current of his life and not against it. Which 'of 
us would not have dismissed Hamlet in actual life 
contemptuously as a week-kneed dreamer ? Which of 
us would have distinguished between Othello and a 
vulgar murderer? But once handled by the vast 
reverence of the master, the shallowest dare not 
commit himself to such superficiality. It would seem 
as if the genius of the great dramatist has lain even 
more in his gifts of heart than in those of mind. 

To read the life and effort of foreign peoples truly, 
we stand in overwhelming need of this;Shakespearian 
nature. It is an accident of empire that the England 
which produced Shakespeare should require such per- 
sons more than any other country. It is fast think- 
ing that our great bard, who so nobly interpreted 
the sorrows and the indignation of the Jew, could 
have failed with his gentle vision to pierce the 
mask of the Chinaman, the Hindoo, the African or 
the red Indian, and to set them before us, clothed 
with universal humanity, men like ourselves, each 
less large than we in some points, but in others 
infinitely nobler. 

No gitt receives the homage of the East like the 
power of seeing transcendent oneness, where the 
senses tell only of diversity. The man who can do 
this in any great degree is called a rishi, or soul of 
perfected insight. Such perfected insight it ,was 
that distinguished Shakespeare. He had the gifts to 


have been, had he lived in the wider opportunity of 
to-day, the nshi of humanity, even as in our eyes 
he already is of human nature For to him custom 
and circumstance and manner of thought' were no 
more than a vast web through which the essential 
manhood of all men displayed itself in differing 

All important eras have left behind them their 
own poetry The wandering bards of the early ordei 
produced the great race epics The mediaeval Church 
sang itself through the lips of Dante With the 
dawn of the age of adventure Shakespeare sprang to 
birth The period of which a century has gone by 
is as great in its own way as any of these It sees 
life made universal Never was human power so 
high, never was the scope of the individual so 
extensive Is there then no prophecy appropriate to 
such an hour 9 Where are the wandering minstrels, 
where the Shakespearian sympathy, for the stirring 
self -utterance of our time ? 

If it be the destiny tSf England to contribute any- 
thing towards such a work, and if, perchance, one 
verse of her world-po^m be already written, we 
shall find it, I believe, in a book scarcely yet a three 
yj&ars old, Fielding's Soid of a people In the 
appearance of one such study more glory has been 
shed on our country than by unnumbered successes of 
tihe military and commercial kind Humanity needs 


hundreds of minds like that of the writer in question, 
and it needs them of all races, for the children 
of each nationality can see and express things 
that are hidden from the wise and prudent of all 
others. Un embittered disinterested witnesses to 
the facts of things are wanted and something 
also of revelation must be added. Something of the 
function of the poet who sees through and beyond 
the deed to its goal, through the idea to the ideal. 
It is only the first step in science to have noted 
correctly the line of hairs on the chickweed stem, 
or the spots of colour in the orchis. There must have 
been a need or a danger to be met by one as by the 
other. And when this is understood it still remains 
to demonstrate their place in the drama of life as 
a whole. 

What is true of flowers and beasts is not less true 
of man. Every one, however unlearned, has a right to 
demand three things in the traveller's story : (1) 
accurate statement of fact ; (2) careful elucidation of 
the meaning of fact; and (3) some attempt to 
perceive the law to which the fact and, its intention 
stand related. The demand will be answered, of 
course, with widely varying degrees of ability, but 
it ought to be impossible to receive credit for ap 
account that ignores N any one of these factors. 

The study that leads up to such work is by no 
meanS easy. Alone, amongst people of alien birth 


and culture until we come to a glowing personal 
enthusiasm for them at least very little things will 
wound us in proportion to our sensitiveness. Not 
only must we be able to forget this feeling, but we 
must find out the positive meaning of omission or 
commission. Society the world over hangs together 
in virtue of the good fellowship and unselfishness of 
its members, not through their antagonism and 
mutual indifference. Virtue exactly represents, on 
the moral plane, the force of cohesion on the physi- 
cal. To say, therefore that to any people gratitude 
or honesty or modesty is unknown, is simply to state 
an absurdity and prove ourself an incompetent 
witness. What is perfectly credible is that their 
way of expressing these instincts is unlike ours and 
follows a divergent line of intention. A trifling 
illustration occurs to me. As Indian languages 
contain no words for " please " or " thanks " it is 
very commonly held by English people that the 
courtesy of gratitude for little things has no places 
in Indian life, and I had felt, as others do, the irrita- 
tion of apparent negligence on such points, I learned 
my lesson, however, one day when a Hindu friend 
undertook to* do something for me that involved a 
sacrifice and I offered him warm thanks. I can 
never forget how startling was their effect ** You 
gave something back" he said, evidently deeply 
pained as he left the room. To-day, if any^Hindu 


said " please " or " thanks " to me, I should share the 
sensations of a mother whose children presented their 
compliments to her. The instance is small, but 
it represents hundreds of cases in which a little 
patience and faith in human nature would add 
unspeakably to our own wealth of expression and 
sympathy* This truth becomes important on a 
large scale. It is obviously absurd to constitute 
ones own national customs an ideal standard, 
against which every other country is to be measur- 
ed. Hindu and Muhammadan women are not 
seen much in public, either shopping or visiting ; 
we are, we enjoy our custom, and call it freedom. 
Does it follow that the Eastern woman's restrictions 
constitute a grievance ? Would it not be wise, in 
attempting to demonstrate this, to share as completely 
as possible the physical and emotional environment 
which have conditioned her habit ? It is conceivable 
that having done this we should conclude that even 
in the climate of India or Persia more muscular 
activity and greater social liberty would be of benefit 
to women ; but unless our judgment were fatally 
warped by prejudice we should at the same time 
reach tfie counter conviction that a corresponding 
power of stillness and meditative peace would be a 
vast gain in the West. 

But the argument supposes that our wandering 
minstrels have grown critical and did aetio. 


we are forced to the supposition for most of them 
now make pilgrimage from realm to realm with no 
notion of turning their harp and singing sweet 
songs in some strange lord's hall, thence to return, 
like St. Francis from the Soldan, with tales of fair 
welcome and hospitality, or with new songs in praise 
of the courtesy and large charity of the gentle 
heathen peoples. This is the tone indeed of Mrs* 
Flora Annie Steel, but this curious and unaccountable 
child of genius is not of the guild of the singers. 
Her stories are true instances of the spirit of min- 
strelsy sounding the note of a nature that loves 
because it must, and sings out of very gladness of 
the beauty of others. But Mrs. Steel is a strong poet 
from another time and class, To-day's bards have 
done as fathers did before them, turned missionary, 
and are devoting their best energies to forcing round 
pegs into square holes destroying in the process 
poetry and mythology and folk custom as well as 
rare and beautiful virtues that they are too ignorant 
to appreciate. The same thing happened long ago, 
when emissaries from Rome trampled out Irish 
culture lest it should make against the Faith. It 
happened again in the* past century when tbfe Scot- 
tish Highlands were rendered barren of the folk 
tales by the efforts of the Kirk now far too enlight- 
ened to countenance its own vandalism ; but the 
wild growths can never be replanted! n 


happened so completely in Scandinavia and in this 
fact probably lies the secret of the national vigour of 

For there can be no doubt that when all that ought 
to represent Art and refined pleasure and growth of 
imagination in a community turns puritan, yoking 
itself to the car of a single idea, and that foreign, 
tlie result 'is simply loss of culture, of course, the 
May Day Festival has fled before the face of steam 
factories and streets at right angles, and the Board 
School Inspector ! But the people whom it has left 
are less, not more well educated b^/ that fact. Lists 
of European capitals and their sites will never make 
up to them for live of Nature, and joy in beauty, 
and eye for form and colour. 

Not long ago, an acute critic, comparing visits to 
England thirty years ago and now, remarked on th 
number of types common then that have since dis- 
appeared. We should look in vain now for a 
Mr* Pickwick or a Mrs. Poyser. We have organised 
the national character till it is as an monotonous as 
its proto-types, the yard of calico and the daily paper. 
Those add, whimsical, lovable persons of a genera- 
tion ago, rich in unexpectedness full of human 
nature, with surprising mental areas of illumination 
^very now and then are gone. They belonged to a 
time* when every man was closer to life, and to the 
smell "of ploughed fields, than he is to-day: they 


could no more have reached their individuation in 
cities than could May Day or Midsummer's Night, or 
All Hallow's Elen. Are we glad or sorry for such a 
happening? shall we hasten to encourage the repeti- 
tion of the process elsewhere ? 


Surely, if missionaries realised, even in a general 
way, the "lie" of such social phenomena, they 
would make fewer mistakes in their dealings with 
their client and we should hear less of the so-called 
criticism which at the present disgraces the English 

A Hindu father told me how he had allowed his 
little daughter to attend a school kept by two Eng- 
lish women. At the end of eight or nine months he 
was examining the child as to her progress in read- 
ing, and found to his horror that she had acquired 
the use of a large number of impossible epithets 
which she employed freely in connection with the 
natnes of Rama and Krishna, two epic heroes who 
are regarded by most Hindus as Incarnations of tbe 
Divine Being in the same sense as Buddha or Christ, 
The man removed his child at once, and most of us 
will ffcel that the sense of loathing and distrust with 
which he henceforth regarded his English friends 
was richly deserved. For whatever may be thought 


of the worship of Rama and Krishna as divine per- 
sonages and our estimates of this practice will be 
as various as our own creeds we must at least 
recognise them as the national ideals, guardians of 
those assimilated treasures of aspiration and ima- 
gination that we call civilisation and morals. It is 
quite evident that were this function of the legendary 
heroes recognised, even a missionary would take the 
trouble to think out some theory of them as great 
men, which, like the Unitarian views of the Founder 
of Christianity, would leave much that they represent 
intact, and continue their service to social cohesion 
and amelioration. It is possible that in the particular 
case in question the fault did not lie with the English 
women in charge of the school, but with some low 
class Christian servant or Eurasian student. But if 
this were so, it is all the more clear that Christianity 
in India does not stand for social integration but 
rather the reverse. For it is one of the functions of 
religious sects to put their followers in touch with 
the great formative forces df life about them. What- 
ever its faults may be, the Salvation Army does this, 
amongst ourselves. The virtues which it applauds 
may be elementary sobriety, honesty ; cheerfulness 
for instance but they are virtues which we all 
recognise as such. The men and women to whom it 
introduces its recruits may be crude sometimes of type 
lacking many of the graces of the drawing-room but 


they are good and earnest, however limited in range 
and ideal and they make steadily for strong and 
hearty citizenship. On a very different plane, Com- 
tism fulfils a similar function. It binds its members 
into great cosmopolitan and cosmooeval groups sub- 
stituting world and race for the sect and party of a 
lower definition but taking ]ust their method of 
emphasising accepted virtues the high intellectual 
passion for Truth, and the widest reaches of human 
sympathy, this time and following them up to the 
characters and ideals in which they all converge. 

The sect that fails to do this, the religion that tells 
a man that all he has hitherto held to be right is 
really wrong, is bound to do social mischief, incal- 
culable social mischief, since , the learner is almost 
certain to infer that in like manner what he has 
hitherto held to be wrong is right. No wonder then 
that Christianity in India carries drunkenness in its 
wake, and that so many of those who can afford to 
choose will have any rather than a Christian servant. 

India has had her own great religious and social 
reformers, had them repeatedly, continuously, abund- 
antly. She has known no abuses which they have 
not laboured to remove, Ram Mohun Roy in the 
nineteenth century did not combat Sati more zealously 
than Nanak in the fourteenth, Mr. Benjamin Waugh 
amongst ourselves is no more eager a foe of infapti* 
cide than was the same teacher. Our 



friends do not work so unsparingly for equality as 
did Chaitanya of Nuddea in Bengal. And these men 
were no futile dreamers. Nanak founded the Sikh 
nation, and is a strong influence to this day. Chitanya 
did more to Hinduise non-Aryan castes than any 
other single man that ever lived. Do the Christian 
missionaries wish to take a place in line with these in 
the national development ? If so, while they stand for 
whatever regilious ideas please them, let them relate 
themselves organically to the life and effort of India. 
Let them love the country as if they had been born 
in it, with no other difference than the added nobility 
that a yearning desire to serve and to save might 
give. Let them become loving interpreters of her 
thought and custom, revealers of her own ideals 
to herself even while they make them understood 
by others. When a man has the insight to find and 
to follow the hidden lines of race-intentio$ for him- 
self, others are bound to become his disciples, for they 
recognise in his teachings their own highest aspira- 
tions and he ma^ call the goal to which he leads 
them by any name he chooses, they will not cavil 
about words. Indeed from such a standpoint, India 
is already Christian perhaps : but, her resistance to 
western propaganda, varied by her absolute indiffer- 
ence to it, is infinitely to her credit. 

It is strange to see those very disciples who were 
so solemnly warned when first sent out against 


taking money in their purse, or two coats a piece it is 
strange to see those not only enjoying all the com- 
forts of refined European life themselves, but hating 
and despising the people about them for their greater 
simplicity and primitiveness. It is the more extra- 
ordinary since their Master, if he were to reappear 
at their doors with all the habits and ideas of His 
Syrin birth about Him, would inevitably receive a 
wanner welcome, and feel more at home with their 
Indian neighbours than with themselves. What was 
He but a religious beggar, such as we see on the 
Indian roadsides every day ? How was He provided 
for? By subscriptions and endowments? Did He not 
rather wander from hamlet to hamlet, taking His 
chance at nightfall of the cottager's hospitality, 6r 
the shelter of some humble building? What had He, 
to do with the comforts of existence ? His were the 
long nights of prayer and meditation on the moun- 
tains and in the garden. We send our religious 
teachers to the East to spend days and nights of 
worldly ease and comfort in the midst of a people 
who actually do these things, and they have not the 
wit to rebogttise the fact, much less the devotion to 
emulate it. 

Nothing could be more significant of alHthis than 
th'e criticisms that we hear poured out at every mis- 
sionary meeting. Have we ever seen greatness of 
any kind that was not associated with the power $ 


recognising one's own kinship with all ? What made 
Charles Darwin ? The eye to see and the heart to 
respond to the great sweep of one infinite tide 
through all that lives, including himself* What 
made Newton ? The grasp of mind that could hold 
the earth itself as a mere speck of cosmic dust in the 
play of the forces that govern us. Even the warrior, 
whose whole business seems to be antagonism and 
separation, becomes distinguished on condition only 
of his sense of union with his followers. And the 
saint or the poet never yet was to whom all was not 
human and all more beautiful than myself. To such 
men condemnation is not easy, slander is impossible. 
An orgy of sensation provoked by libel, be it of 
individuals or of nations, whether at afternoon 
tea or from a church pulpit, would seem to them 
unspeakable vulgarity. * They could not breathe 
in such an atmosphere. Yet something of the 
saint, something of the poet, we might surely 
hope to 'find in those whose lives are given to 
spread a message of glad tidings in far-off lands. 
And surely there has been the sainthood of a 
good intention. Has there been that of a noble 
execution ? 

If therp has, why have emissaries so rarely, on 
their return, a good word to say for those amongst 
whom they have been? Why, to take explicit 
instances, do we never hear from them of the strength 


and virtues of Indian women ? Why only of their 
faults and failures ? 

Why have the missionaries created and left in 
tact, wherever people were ignorant enough to be 
imposed upon, the picture of the crocodile luncheon 
of babies served up by their mothers, along the 
Ganges banks ? Everywhere I have met people who 
believed this story, and I have never heard of a pro- 
fessed apostle of truth who tried bo set the impres- 
sion right. Infanticide occurs in India, under 
pressure of poverty and responsibility, as it occurs in 
all countries ; but it is not practised there any more 
than here, nor is -it lauded as a religious act ; nor is 
it perhaps anything like so common as amongst 
ourselves. There is no custom of insuring a baby's 
life for 5, when the funeral expenses are only 2, 
nor is there any infant mortality ascribable to the 
intemperance of mothers* in that country. "Why 
have we never heard from the missionaries of the 
beauty of Hindu home life, of the marvellous ideals 
which inspire the Indian woman, of the Indian 
customs teeming with poetry and sweetness ? 

Is the answer to be found in the preconceived idea 
which blinds the would-be observer, or is it the 
intellectual ignorance which keeps him unaware 
that there is anything to be observed? Or is it 
possibly a meaner motive still, the idea that if a 
true and lofty tone is taken, money will not be 


forthcoming to support his own career ? I have had 
the privilege of listening to the accounts of three 
classes of persons who were supposed to be warm 
religious friends of the Indian people ; educational 
missionaries, ^lady doctors, and modern occultists. 
Their statements were sincere and deliberate exposi- 
tions of the outlook they had been enabled to take on 
Hindu life. I listened in vain for one strong word 
of appreciation for the problems which Indian society 
has undoubtedly solved, or a single hint that they 
understood the positive ends for which that country 
was making. But in every case the conviction 
seemed to be, that the dignity and hope of the 
speaker's own gospel depended absolutely upon show- 
ing the hollowness and rottenness of other form of 
life* The last mentioned exposition was easily dis- 
po$ed of. It was confined to a discussion of sattee, 
infanticide, and thuggism as the most representative 
factors of Indian experience which could be discover- 
ed ; touched upon also the worst sides of caste, and 
propounded the theory that England's responsibility 
to the East would be fulfilled when she had persuad- 
ed Oriental people to " give up their ridiculous old 
habits " and take to ways which occultists would 
consider more rational. From lady doctors we hear 
of the medical and surgical darkness of the Indian 
village greater, if they are right, than th^t of 
parallel populations in England fifty years ago. One 


of the most offensive customs, to their minds, is that 
of the isolation of a woman at the moment of child- 
birth. Now, whatever this custom shows and it is 
not perhaps universally applied with the full consci- 
ousness of the reason that prompted it originally it 
does certainly indicate a very elevated state of 
medical culture at some past epoch in Hindu history. 
The room in which birth takes place must afterwards 
be broken up and taken away. Hence a simple 
mud-hut is built outside the house. When once the 
child is horn, for some days the mother may not be 
visited by any member of the household. She is 
attended only by an old nurse and whatever medical 
advice may be called. 

Is this treatment then so very inhumane ? Yet it 
is exactly what we blame the Hindu people for not 
adopting in cases of plague and other infectious 
diseases. It is, of course, easy to imagine that rules 
of such a nature may often be badly, even stupidly, 
applied ; but there can be no doubt that they demon- 
strate very clear and distinct ideas of bacteriology 
at their inception. All through the caste rules, and 
regulations for bathing, run similar scientific concep- 
tions which astonish competent observers by their 
hygienic desirability. It is, of course, a pity that 
medical science everywhere is not up to the twentieth 
century London level ; but in this respect India is 
not more degraded than England, Scotland and 


Ireland themselves. There is no country district, far 
from railways, strong in old traditions, and contain- 
ing persons who have not had the inestimable 
benefits of Board School instruction, where, at the 
same time, doctoring is not done that the city 
hospitals and the London physician would refuse to 
countenance. But this fact is a phenomenon of 
ignorance (or good sense, as the case may be) : it is 
not due to the wrong and vile nature of the Christian 
religion. It rouses sometimes our regret, occasionally 
our admiration, but never with any justice our con- 
tempt or hatred. One of the evils of our present 
organisation of skill is the complete inability induced 
by it to appreciate the value of tradition and mother 
wit. It is easy to point out flaws in Indian village 
medicine, midwifery, and what not ; but how do we 
account for the great dignity and suppleness of the 
general physical development, and for the marvel- 
lous freedom of the race from skin blemish of any 
kind ? This, too, in a country where the germ fauna 
is at least as dangerous as that other fauna of the 
jungle which includes the tiger and the cobra. In 
urging these points I am not denying that modern 
science can aid, but only .that it has no right to 
despise village lore. 

Every system, of course, mistrusts every other. 
This is the superstition of party. To this fact I trace 
the phenomenon, detailed by the medical missionary 


sometimes, of men of sufficient means saying, " If 
you can cure her for 20s. (probably ten rupees) you 
may do so " alluding to a wife or some other women- 
member of the speaker's household. The Christian 
charity of the lady doctor rushes immediately to the 
conclusion that his wife's or mother's health is a 
matter of complete indifference to her client. Ergo^ 
that most Hindu men are similarly careless. Ergo, 
the Hindu men hate and despise Hindu women. 

Supposing the anecdote to be the true, and I raise 
this doubt advisedly, could reasoning be more absurd ? 
It does not occur to the physican that her knowledge 
or honesty may be viewed with suspicion as against 
old and tried methods of treatment in which every 
one has confidence. 

It is impossible to deal at length with other and 
more wide reaching charges. Caste, in missionary 
eyes is an unmitigated abuse. They confine them- 
selves to an account of its negations and prohibitions, 
ignoring all its element of the trades guild and race 
protection type. And they say all this while every 
moment of their lives in India has been a ratification 
of that new caste, of race prestige which is one of 
the most striking phenomena of an imperialistic age. 
But if I were a Hindu I do not think that mission'- 
ary criticisms of caste would disturb ine much, I 
should realise that this was the form which the life 
of my people had assumed, that in it was 


all that the word honour connotes in Europe ; and 
that the critics in question has given no sign as yet 
of understanding either their own society or mine 
intelligently. The point that I should find seriously 
annoying would be their animadversions on the 
position of women in India. To prove that these 
can be very galling I need only say that in one 
speech to which I listened I heard the following 
thirteen statements made and supported : (1) That 
the Hindu social system makes a pretence of honour- 
ing women, but that this honour is more apparent 
than real 5 (2) That women, in India are deliberately 
kept in ignorance ; (3) That women in India have no 
place assigned to them in heaven save through 
their husbands; (4) That no sacramental rite is 
performed over them with Vedic texts ; (5) That 
certain absurd old misogynist verses, comparable to 
the warnings against " the strange women " in the 
Book of Proverbs, and representative of the attitude 
of Hindu men to their women folk in general ; 
(6) That a girl at birth gets a sorry welcome ; (7) 
That a mother's anxiety to bear sons is appaling, 
" her very wifehood depends on her doing so ; (8) 
That the infanticide of girls is a common practice in 
India ; (9) That the Kulin Brahman marriage system 
is a representative fact ; (10) That the parents un- 
able to marry off their daughters are in the habit of 
marrying them to a god (making them prostitutes) 


as an alternative (" The degradation of the whole 
race of Hindu women lies in the very possibility for 
any one of them of the life which a* temple girl must 
live ") ; (11) That Hindu wedding ceremonies are 
unspeakably gross ; (12) That the Hindu widow lives 
a life of such misery and insult that burning to death 
may well have seemed, preferable ; (13) That the 
Hindu widow is almost always immoral. To which 
in like manner -flie following replies may be made : 

(1) That the observer must have been incom- 
petent indeed. There are few great relationships in 
human life like" that between a Hindu man and his 
mother. Hindus cannot even excuse Hamlet for re- 
proaching Gertrude. " But she was his mother they 
exclaim, when all is said. And this little fact is 
very significant. 

(2) That the incompetence of the observer is evi- 
dent once more. It is clear that illiteracy is the form 
of ignorance referred to. It is not true that women 
are deliberately kept so; but if they were, is their 
knowledge of house-keeping and cooking of no value? 
Is their trained common sense worthless? Can a 
woman even be called illiterate when it is merely 
true that she cannot read and write, though at the 
same time she is saturated with the literary culture 
of the great Epics and Puranas ? It is interesting to 
note that the best-managed estate^ in Bengal, are in 
the hands of widows. Lawyers invariably respect 


their opinions Ahalya Bliai Rani was an instance of 
the same kind in the Maharatta country. 

(3) What this means I have been unable to find 
out. If it had been said that the husband had no 
place save through his wife it would have'been more 
intelligible. For the Vedic views made the man a 
responsible member of the religious community only 
after marriage and as long as both lived. 

The whole motive of Sattee, moreover, was that 
the wife's sacrifice might ensure heaven to the hus- 
band. Was the speaker perhaps thinking of Muham- 
madans ? Even on their behalf I would repudiate the 

This appears to be simply untrue. Some of the 
greatest teachers mentioned in the Hindu Scriptures 
are women. And it is now many hundreds of years 
since the Ehagavad- Gita was composed for the sake of 
bringing recondite truths to the knowledge of even 
unlearned persons, including women and the work- 
ing classes. 

(5) THe speaker does not mention that every 
Hindu husband names bis wife " my Lukshmi " or 
" Fortuna". 

(6) This may be true in some cases, as it is in 
England, and in all patriarchal societies. I know 
numbers of families in which the opposite is true, and 
such 'an attftude is unth ought of, as we expect to be 


(7) Generally speaking a Hindu woman's wife- 
hood no more depends on her bearing sons than an 
English woman's. The need of a son can always 
be met m India by adoption. 

(8) Infanticide of girls did occur commonly at a 
given period amongst certain Rajputs, and amongst 
these only. It is in no sense a common Indian 
practice, any more, if as much, as it is a common 
London pactice. 

(9) Another instance of the same kind. Kuhn 
Brahmans are a particularly high caste. If a marri- 
age cannot be made for a daughter of this caste, her 
father may give her to any man of sufficient rank 
and the marriage may be merely nominal, or may 
extend to making her once a mother. This is an 
abuse of caste. It concerns a very small number, 
however, and began to die the instant the modern 
organisation of information drew the attention of 
society to it. A leading orthodox Hindu, Iswar 
Chandra Vidyasagar, led the crusade against it. I 
should like to add that the custom is not, to my think- 
ing, an abuse of the worst type such as 1 the desire 
of parents to make eligible matches for their 
daughters may lead to in all countries since it 
is quite compatible with the physical vigour of 
the bride, and with her efficient discharge of 
whatever duties of motherhood may fall to her 


(10) The expression "marriage to a god" is 
nowhere in use in Northern India. The statement 
bears its regional birth mark on its brow. It is in 
Southern and perhaps Western in application. We 
touch here on a new class of social phenomena 
Indian prostitution customs. To say that it occurs to 
the respectable Hindu father to make his daughter a 
prostitute because he cannot find a husband for her, 
more easily than the same idea would present itself 
to an English gentleman, is utterly untrue. It is 
absurd on the face of it. The whole of caste is born 
of the passionate depth of the contrary sentiment. 
The chastity of women is the central virtue of Hindu 
life. " The degradation of the whole race of Hindu 
women lies in the very possibility for any one of 
them of the life which a temple girl must live." This 
is no more true of Hindu women than a correspond- 
ing statement would be of English women. There is 
a sense in which the pitfalls of life yawn before the 
most favoured feet. But it is a limited sense. If a 
Hindu woman once leaves her home unattended, with- 
out the knowledge and consent of her mother-in-law 
or her husband she may be refused re-entrance for 
ever. But this is a witness to the severity of the 
moral code, not to its laxity. 

(11) " That Hindu wedding ceremonies are un- 
speakably gross. They are not so, amongst people 
who are not gross. Like ihe Church of England 


Form for the Solemnisation of Matrimony, they may 
sound a note in the music of life more serious and 
responsible than is to the taste of an afternoon tea- 
party. Colebrook's " Essays " give all the details 
and translations which will enable the student to 
compare the two rites. All that I can say is that I 
have been present at many Hindu weddings, and 
have been deeply touched by the beauty and delicacy 
of all the proceedings. ^ There is a good deal of non- 
sense and teasing of the young bridegroom in the 
women's apartments. Not unlike such half-obsolete 
festivals as All Fools * and Saint Valentine's Days. 
On this occasion the youth makes friends with his 
tuture sisters-in-law. The fun is a little more 
exuberant than grave elders may enjoy, but it is one 
of the few opportunities of the kind which Hindu 
breeding -permits to boys and girls. It requires 
vulgarity of mind to read more serious offences 
into it. 

(12) As to the misery of Indian widows, it is not 
too much to say that every statement yet made by a 
Protestant missionary has been made in complete 
ignorance of the bearing of the facts, Hindus are a 
people amongst whom the monastic ideal is intensely 
living, In their eyes the widow, by the fact of her 
widowhood, is vowed to celibacy and therefore to 
poverty, austerity, and prayer. Hence her life be- 
comes that of a nun : and if she is a child her 


training must lead to the nun's life. It is not true 
that she is regarded by society with aversion and 
contempt/ The reverse is the case. She takes 
precedence of married women as one who is holier. 
We may regret the severity o the ideal, but we 
have to recognise here, as in the case of monogamy, 
that it indicates intensity of moral development, not 
its lack. It may bear hard upon the individual, but 
redress cannot lie in lowering of standard, it must 
rather consist of a new direction given to the moral 
force which it has evolved. 

(13) The last contention which I have noted is 
the most serious of all, and I have heard it repeatedly 
in England and America in the course of missionary 
descriptions. I need hardly say that I know it to be 
grossly untrue. 

It is interesting to note that these thirteen state- 
ments fall into three different groups, (a) statements 
which are absolutely and entirely false (1), (3), (?), 
(11), (13); (b) statements which are the result of 
misinterpreting or overstating facts (2), (5), (12) ; 
and (c) statements which may be true of certain 
limited localities, periods or classes, but to which a 
false colour has been given by quoting them as 
representative of Hindu life in the whole (4), (8), (9) 
and (10). 

The last group is the most important for two 
reasons ; in the first place it has an air of seriousness 


and security which goes far to give credibility to the 
whole argument, and in the second it furnishes a 
complete exposure of the method of making up 

In the case of (4), we have a quotation from an old 
catechism of many centuries ago : " What is the chief 
gate to hell? A woman. What bewitches like 
wine? A woman," etc., etc. ; made as if it were the 
most uptodate collection of modern Indian proverbs. 
We see the use of the thing the moment we look at 
it, but the missionaries continue to quote it with 
their accustomed gravity. One understands that in 
their eyes anything is justified that will warm the 
heathen of the error of his ways, but surely this poor 
little dialogue has been seriously over-worked. I 
have never read a missionary publication on the 
woman question in which it was not used, and I 
have never met with a Hindu, however learned, who 
would otherwise have known of it. On investiga- 
tion one discovers that sentiment of this kind was 
common in the monkish literature of the Buddhist 
period. It could probably be matched from the 
monastic writings of our own middle ages. In (8) 
we have an abuse which concerned one ^caste in th$ 
Rajput districts, used as if it were true of all castes 
all over India, and this in face of the* terrible 
tu quoque which might be retorted against the 
accuser* It cannot be too clearly understood that 


India is a continent, not a country and that to 
gather together the exceptional vices and crimes of 
every people and province within her borders and 
urge them against " India " or " Hinduism " is about 
as fair as to charge a Norfolk farmer with practising 
Corsican vendetta, on the strength of the latter's 
being a " European " custom. In (a) one more we 
have the sin of a small and high caste charged in a 
way to make it seem true of the whole country. 
Kulin Brahmans cannot be more than one in 1,000 
of the Bengali population, and they exist only in 
Bengal. We have also the deliberate ignoring of the 
way in which Hindus themselves have worked 
against the abuse. 

And in (10) we have the sweeping-in of prostitu- 
tion customs, without a word of warning* as if they 
were part of the respectable recognised life of the 
Indian people, and as if in the possession of such a 
class at all, the Indian people were incomparably " 
depraved. Do the missionaries really affect such 
innocence ? But if they do, at least let them observe 
the Indian fact accurately. In this custom of 
marriage to a god (or to a tree, as in Bengal); quaint 
as it sounds, there is a tremendous protecting fence 
thrown round girls. No Hindu man, however 
abandoned will outrage the unwedded maiden. Be- 
fore these poor victims, therefore, can take up the 
practice of their profession, they have to go through 


a form of marriage. Hence the device in question. 
Can we make as good a statement for ourselves ? 

If the outrage were on the other side, if Hindus 
had been in the habit of sending in their emissaries 
to convert us from the error of our ways, and if these 
emissaries on their return had grossly abused our 
hospitality ; had forgotten the honour of the guest 
and blazoned our family misfortunes to the whole 
world ; had made harsh criticisms on us as individuals, 
because they had been allowed the opportunity of see- 
ing us by the hearthside, when the formalities of 
public life were put aside, if in fact they had violated 
our confidence, what should we have felt? What 
should we have said ? Yet their doing so would have 
been comparatively insignificant, for power and 
influence are in our hand, not in theirs. Probably 
no single fact has tended to widen the distance 
between the races in India like that of missionary 
slander. Certainly nothing has so deepened our 
contempt. For, say what he will, the only class of 
Europeans who have been admitted to Hindu homes 
at all, and have made a business of reporting what 
they saw there, has been Protestant missionaries* 
medical and others. It seems as if to them nothing 
had been* sacred. In all lands, doctors and clergy- 
men see the misfortunes of the home, and professional 
honour keeps their lips sealed. But here all has 
besn put upon the market. Medical records 


unpleasant reading) have been detailed in public, 
from platform and pulpit. And the professional 
consideration. ;that ought to have prevented such 
dishonour only intervene, if at all, to forbid the use 
of speaker's names in connection with statements 
made by them in full publicity to large audiences. 

Another miserable fallacy remains. There are 
three classes of people whose opinions are quoted by 
missionaries in evidence of the sins and weaknesses 
of Hinduism. They are : (1) native reformers ; (2) 
Christian converts ; and (3) any exuberant fool who 
has been discovered. 

We all know how much the first kind of evidence 
is worth. Just picture the "Woman's Rights" 
agitator comparing the positions of Eastern and 
Western women ! How does she receive the sugges- 
tion that the Oriental has points of right aifd of 
authority which she cannot emulate ? The idea is 
intolerable to her. Yet only an hour ago she may 
have been pointing out the bitter degradation of her 
own position, classed as she is in the voting lists 
with " criminals, lunatics, and paupers ". It is evi- 
dent that the anxious reformer uses languages 
amongst its equals that he would be very sorry to 
hear taken au pied de la lettre by the would-be 
interpreters of his country's customs. He would be 
<the first then to point out that the Expressions he 
had used had a purely relative value. 


Mtich more is this true of the utterances of the 
reformer who has lived for years blinded by the ink 
of his own gall. We know how in such cases there 
can be a growth of bitterness and perversity which 
isolates the thinker and makes his conclusion on 
social problems absolutely worthless. 

Christian converts in India are isolated by the very 
fact of baptism. And the present generation having 
been born Christian, have- often little more than the 
missionaries account, of it, for the life habits of t&eir 
own country people. 

It cannot be too widely understood that one writer 
like Mrs. Steel, or one disinterested student of Indian 
life like Fielding in Burma, is worth all that has yet 
been contributed from all missionary sources put 
together* And if it is too late to change the present 
generation of workers, surely it is only the more 
timely to demand on the part of English people such 
a standard of sympathy and culture that the mission- 
ary without a thorough and appropriate education for 
his task shall twenty years hence be a thing of the 


We have held up a double standard of the artistic 
opportunity open to the class we have been consider* 
ing, and of the obligation of professional discretion* 


When we hear the banker publicly discussing his 
client's accounts or the physician making known his 
patient's poverty and ignorance we conclude that at 
least these people are not held as human beings, 
since service of their need has no more bound the 
server to keep their confidence than it would bind 
ilhe veterinary surgeon or the dog. doctor. But it is 
not, at any rate conscious. The whole raison detre 
of the missionary's positions is a passionate impulse 
of human brotherhood. The idea that the souls of 
men are in eternal peril if they do not hear a certain 
tabulated historical statement may be true or false. 
It is sure that as long as such an idea appeals to 
conscientious people they are bound to make some 
missionary efforts. And the intention must approve 
itself to us as noble. But that sustained integrity 
which constitutes nobility of action is a vastly more 
difficult matter than this. And at this point the 
missionary is hampered by the tradition of his class. 
A certain given interpretation of caste, of zenana, 
of the native intellect, is imposed upon him at the 
utset, and few minds could break through such 
preconception even to the extent of fulfilling 
the first conditions of the disciplined student of 

- As artist and scientist then we must perhaps con- 
sider him lost. There still remains the ideal of the 
religious teacher. Why should he not succeed in 


this? It is a part that admits of sectarian bitter- 
ness, provided only it be backed up by holiness 
of personal life in some form that we can under- 
stand. It admits also of intellectual ignorance, 
provided there be spiritual insight. Was not the 
strongest empire that the world ever saw convert- 
ed by a few fishermen. The Apostle need* not be 
a scholar, he need not be an artist, he must be 
a saint. 

It is here that we come upon the most curious 
paradox of all. Preaching an Eastern religion to 
an Eastern people, the ideals of the East are for 
once perfectly in place. It is a golden moment 
Count Tolstoi may have difficulty in obeying the 
words of Christ literally, while fulfilling the demands 
of life. But in India the one teacher who would be 
understood would be he who possessed neither gold 
nor silver nor brass in bis purse, who had not two 
coats, neither shoes nor yet staves who saluted no 
man by the way being top much bent on the errand 
before him, and the repetition of the Name of God ; 
who would be absolutely indifferent to the conse- 
quences for himself personally, offering himself up in 
very truth as a lamb amongst wolves. Every door 
'in that country would swing upon before such a 
visitor even if- he railed against the family gods. 
The Christian ideal might be demonstrated success* 
fully in India now as it was in Italy, in the days 9t 


St. Francis. By the Begging Friars, for India has 
retained the ideal of such life even more completely 
than Italy ever had it. To the Individual Christian 
therefore who is willing to accept the charge laid 
upon him, the way is clear. Let him go forth to 
the gentle East strong in his mission filled with 
burning renunciation " as a lamb amongst wolves ". 
There will be no room here for marrying and bring- 
ing up of children ; no room for distinctions of 
rank or of race ; np room for anxiety about provision 
or gain. 

Is this the ideal that the Missionary follows ? If 
not, why not ? True it is not the only useful career 
that he may adopt. An educator who has deeply 
understood the problems of India, and is ready to 
help her to solve them in her own way is perhaps 
even more necessary. The poet who makes two 
races love each other and the country is worthy of 
all the admiration he excites. 

But has the missionary any right to claim the 
indulgence without the criticism of all these rolls ? 
Has he any right to be fanatical like the religionist 
withbut being ascetic like him ? To be wanting in 
common sense and accuracy like the poet, without 
contributing joy and beauty? To be in receipt of 
regular pay and live a comfortable life like the pro- 
fessional man, without any regard for the profes- 
sional man's honour ? 


And are the public, who have so long permitted, 
this thing to be, entirely without blame ? Let us 
demand something better, and something better 
must be offered. The appeal is to Csesar. West- 
minster Review. 


hope and enthusiasm into even the oldest workers. 
And there is no reason why the movement should 
fail in India. The fact that America could not 
maintain her own industries without a high protec- 
tive tariff, the fact that no Swadeshi movement, 
resting on a purely moi al and voluntary basis, could 
possibly succeed in any European country, is no 
argument against the success of such a movement 
amongst ourselves. To begin with, the man who 
has a choice of weapons by which to make his 
strength felt, may be indifferent to a particular kind, 
but tjae situation changes when that is all he has. 
His whole power of resistance, his whole impulse of 
self-preservation, is then concentrated on its use. 
And the Swadeshi movement is all* we have. In 
Western countries moreover, there is a certain 
minimum- line of comfort, below which people cannot 
go. But with us, there is no such line. The Indian 
power to abstain is without a limit. But there is 
even more in our favour. For, it cannot be denied, 
that while Eastern peoples have hitherto shown 
themselves to be weaker than Western in certain 
kinds of co-operation and self-defence, they have, 
throughout the whole course of human history/ 
proved themselves vastly stronger, in ability to unite 
tor the affirming of a given idea, in self-surrender 
to a moral impulse, in the power steadily to endure 
all the discomfort and deprivation or refusal for ttoe 


sake of right. Thus, the whole history of India fits the 
Indian people for a struggle in which there is no force 
to uphold the Dharma against the temptations of self- 
indulgence, of comfort, and of individual selfishness 
save that of the human will and the human consci- 
ence. It may be that no other modern country could 
succeed in this ordeal. Yet, even that would not 
condemn the holy land to fail. The Indian people 
have heard, so far, of nothing but their weaknesses. 
The time has now come when they should meditate 
on their own strength, and proceed to prove it* 
What about the wealth of self-contr6l and self-direc- 
tion, handed down by generations of austere and 
clean-living ancestors, and put out to interest in the 
steady routine of Hindu piety, day after day, and 
year after year? Besides, is it true that mankind 
always does the cheap thing? Is the human will 
really like water, always to be carried to the lowest 
available level, by its own momentum ? If this had 
been so, how should we explain that great transition, 
by which Hindus once upon a time, ceased to eat 
beef? They were accustomed to the food, and liked 
it. It was convenient to kill cattle and feed a house- 
hold, in times of scarcity. But an idea of mercy and 
tenderness, aided by the permanent economic inter- 
ests of the civilisation, came in, and to-day, where is 
the Hindu who will eat beef? The Swadeshi move- 
ment is the cow-protecting movement, of the present 


age. There will yet come a time in India when the 
man who buys from a foreigner what his own coun- 
tryman could by any means supply, will be regarded 
as on a level with the killer of cows to-day. For 
assuredly, the two offences are morally identical. 

Again, if it were true that man always took the 
easiest course, what society could ever hope to rise 
out of savagery ? All our higher instincts, like clean- 
liness, refinement, love of learning, have been built 
up of refiAals to go to the easy way, to take the 
cheaper of two results. Bather, is it true to say, that 
man is man in virtue of his inherent power to curb 
his grosser appetite and will, in favour of some finer 
and more remote purpose. l[an is man in proportion 
only as he does not live the blind instinctive life of 
his first impulse, his immediate convenience, his 
individual self-interest, but a higher life of struggle 
against these primitive desires and their supersession 
by others which are subtler, less self -regarding, and 
further reaching. It is precisely in a matter like the 
keeping of the Swadeshi vow that the Indian people* 
specially, can find an opportunity to show their 
true mettle. Their civilisation looks meagre enough 
and poor enough, beside the luxury and complexity 
of that of the West. But if it, with all its bareness, 
should prove to contain unsuspected moral potential- 
ities, if it should hide a power, unknown to others, 
of choosing right at any cost, then which will force 


the acknowledgment of its superiority, the magnifi- 
cence of Europe, or the poverty of the mother 

If we are told that no people will voluntarily buy in 
a dear market when they might buy in a cheap, we 
answer : this may be true of Western peoples, educat- 
ed in a system of co-operation for self-interest, and, at 
the same time, it may be untrue of the Indian nation, 
educated in a system of co-operation for self-sacrifice* 

I have spoken of this as a struggle oil behaff of 
Dharma. But is this true ? Is the Swadeshi move- 
ment actually an integral part of the National Right- 
eousness ? The Mother-Church at least, has spoken 
with no uncertain voice. Like a trumpet-call has 
gone forth the Renewal of Vows at the Ealighat, in 
Calcutta. Throughout the whole country has been 
heard the fiat issued at Puri. Henceforth it will be 
held sacrilege to offer foreign wares in worship. 
Here and there we learn of personal sacrifice, such 
as that of the poor purohits in the Eastern districts, 
who" volunteered to offer only gumtchas, or coarse 
towels, during the recent Pz</a, incases where country- 
cloth could not be had in the ordinary quantity, 
though to do so meant a year of proverty for them* 
But there is human proof forthcoming, also. In the 
commercial quarter of Calcutta, as soon as the 
Boycott began, it was found that the cry of " Pick- 
pocket ! " hitherto, alas, of hourly occurrence on the 


pavements of the Burra Bazaar! was no longer 
heard. It had actually become unfashionable for 
small boys to be constantly subjected to the harass- 
ing attentions of the police, and the jail as a school 
for our children was falling out of use ! On investi- 
gation the merchants concluded that the dexterous 
fingers of the little folk were now busily employed 
in rolling the leaf-cigarettes, or country biras, that 
had superseded the English, 

During the National Celebration of the 16th of 
October, a Bengali Muhammadan was heard address- 
ing a crowd of his fellows. " Brothers," he was 
saying, " a while ago, we could not earn four annas 
a day. You know that a man had to steal for his 
opium, and how many of us spend eight months of 
every year in prison, while our women ate outside 
their homes ! But now, how everything is changed ! 
Ten annas a day, with comfort and decency. No 
more stealing, no more prison, and our women cook 
for us and for themselves ! " Of Calcutta it may be 
said that in all directions small industries have 
sprung up like flowers amongst us. Here are whole 
households engaged in making matches. Somewhere 
else, it is ink, tooth powder, soap, note-paper, or 
what not. There, again, is a scheme for pottery, or 
glass, on a more ambitious scale. And this, without 
mentioning the very staple of the country, its cotton 
weaving. Where before were only despair 


starvation, we see- to-day glad faces, and feel an 
atmosphere of hope. 

Again, where people are habitually below the line 
of proper feeding, the first sign of a wave of prosperity 
must be the appearance of more food-shops. And in 
the Indian parts of Calcutta, these greet the eye on all 
sides, with a more varied assortment of better food- 
stuffs than of old. Hope has come to the people. 
A chance of self -help has dawned upon them. And 
we may lay a wager that when that season Arrives, 
the plague returns will show how hopeless is the 
siege laid against the citadel of a higher comfort. 
For the truest hygiene lies in being well nourished. 
The best medicine is sufficient food. 

Now what does all this mean ? Could there be any- 
thing more -pathetic than the joy of a confessedly 
criminal class at the cessation of a need for crime ? 
In Europe, who have to deal with men who will not 
woric, and commit crime, it is said, for the love of it. 
But -can this be said of our " little brothers " of the 
Indian lower classes? Surely, if thereby one could 
give an opportunity to such sweetness and honesty 
and child like purity of heart, as have revealed them- 
selves through the unconscious lips of a Muhammadan 
workman, if one could thereby protect them, and aid 
them their struggle on and up, one might be glad 
oneself to commit a thousand crimes and steep 
own soul in the lake of fire for evejr. Oh 


the Indian People, voice of the downtrodden, voice 
of the ignorant and helpless, speak louder yet, that 
we, your own flesh, may hear your cry, and know 
your innocent gladness, and join our hands and 
hearts with yours, in a common suffering and a 
common love : If it be true that by an attitude of 
of rigid self-control we can help to turn jail-birds 
into honest men, give to children, who are now 
forced into dishonesty by the poverty of their homes, 
an education in labour, and a sufficient provision for 
life, bring food to the starving, and hope to the 
despairing, and finally strengthen the people to with- 
stand the attacks of disease, is there any question as 
to the Swadeshi tapasya being Dharma? Let none 
talk nonsense about other lands!! On Indian men and 
women is laid the responsibility of caring for the 
Indian poor. And let there never be forgotten the 
curse of the Gita on the man who does another's 
duty instead of his own. " Better for a man is his 
owfl duty, however badly done, than the duty of 
another, though that be easy. The duty of another 
leaps into great peril. Let Manchester gd! Let 
London go ! It is for the Indian People to do t keif 
own duty. 

But let us turn to the rewards of this t t apasya> if 
successfully carried dut. First we must understand 
that no work was ever wasted. Every vibration of 
struggle brings its own result. When enough 


has gone out, victory is the return. Ultimately, 
there is no such thing as defeat. A clear will frus- 
trated, only becomes the clearer. Loss becomes then 
nothing but a gain delayed. Again, victory depends 
only on effort, never on talk. All India is watching 
to-day the struggle that is going on in Eastern 
Bengal. Scarcely a wo*d appears in the papers, yet 
the knowledge is everywhere. The air is tense 
with expectation, with sympathy, with pride, in 
those grim heroic people and their silent Strug- 
gle to the death, for their Swadeshi trade. Quietly, 
'all India is assimilating their power. Are they 
not a farmer people engaged in a warfare 
which is none the less real for being fought with 
spiritual weapons ? But let him who stands in the 
path of right, beware ! Clearer and clearer grows the 
will unjustly thwarted, Sterner and sterner become 
they who are taught to depend on their own strength, 
and in all history there comes an hour when the 
merciless man trembles, and cries out himself orf the 
mercy of God, to find it gone ! 

The first result of faithfulness to Swadeshi, is then, 
the power to be more faithful still. Here we find 
the value of our difficulties. It is only a fool or a 
coward who tamely submits to opposition. The 
.manly man feels that nothing else is so effective in 
forcing him to keep the fires of his own enthusiasm 


But the second result is much more tangible. The 
movement to-day is only in its initial stage. It 
cannot be allowed to end till it has stopped the whole 
of the commercial drain upon the country. Now if* 
the impoverishment of India is a matter of the 
amount of an annual drain put out at compound 
interest, which it is, it follows that the amount saved 
by the Swadeshi movement, so long as the level 
gained is maintained, is turned into prosperity at 
compound interest. Every pice circulated in India 
represents a value periodically added, in an accumu- 
lating ratio, to the Indian soil. If the Swadeshi 
movement, then, can only be adhered to with 
firmness, we may even begin to hear, from the 
politicians of the Congress of an economics of hope, 
instead of an economics of despair ! 

What, then, of the difficulties of the Swadeshi 
movement? Apart from political opposition, which 
is, as has been said, rather a spur than otherwise, it 
has several serious obstacles to overcome. Amongst 
these I do jiot count that slight ebbing of interest 
which comes sooner or later in some degree to all- 
things human, when the first eagerness of th# 
multitudes is overpast. On the whole, this movement 
is rooted so deep in the trained habits of our women 
and our priests, that the tidal ebb is an extraordinarily 
small factor in the sum of action. And the whole 
of this is to *be taken up and eliminated later, 


the advance of the sea upon the land shall wash away 
the very shores themselves. No, the serious difficulties 
of the Swadeshi movement lie in the two great fields 
of Production and Distribution. The obstacle offered 
by insufficient production is understood by all of us. 
Indeed, it has been the strong and spontaneous union 
of efforts to bring production up to the required level, 
in which has lain the dawning hope and joy of 
all the workers. In Distribution, however, we 
have a problem equally refractory to solve. For 
even when we know that a certain article is 
made in the country, we do not yet know 
where to obtain it. Or the shop at which it can 
be bought is apt to be inaccessible, or insufficiently 
supplied. The first Soap Factory started in Calcutta 
formed a notable exception to this rule* The sale of 
this soap was organised with as much care as its 
manufacture, with the result that it was immediately 
obtainable in the small quantities required for house- 
hold use, at plenty of well known plaqes in Calcutta. 
Its success, therefore, was great and immediate. The 
same is not the case, however, with jams and chut- 
neys, with Hindu biscuits, with ink, matches, note- 
paper, and other equally necessary commodities* 
Indeed, if the opportunity of purchasing some of 
these were a boon conferred on the consumer at as 
miich sacrifice to the manufacturer as parting with 
a trade secret, it could hardly be more effectually 


withheld ! Now this is extremely natural. It is only 
what was to have been expected. The channels of 
distribution, and the small shops which are the real 
distributing centres in every city have been so long 
in the hands of the foreign trade, that they require to 
be re-captured now, for their own. Above all, these 
small shops must be captured by the Swadeshi. For 
they take, to whole quarters, the place which the 
housewife's store-room plays to the family-mansion. 
The four-anna shop, or the four-pice shop, is the 
store-room of the poor. There the school-boy buys 
his ink, his stationery, and his pencils. There the 
housewife stops, on her road from the river, to 
purchase a gift or a utensil. It is here that our own 
soap, ink, paper, matches, toys, and the rest must be 
made to assail the eye in all directions. A place in 
the shop- window is the best advertisement. And 
only when this state of affairs has been brought 
about, can the Swadeshi movement really penetrate 
beyond the palace and the temple, into the remotest 
corners of villages and huts. 

For this to be done, it will be necessary, either 
that each small industry which is started shall em- 
ploy an agent for the special purpose of attending to 
the distribution of , its particular product, or that each 
town shall form a Swadeshi Committee, fco keep a 
register of all industrial undertakings, and of the 
shops at which the products can be found, and also 


to promote the sale of Swadeshi; rather than Bideshi 
articles at the local shops. There is so strong an 
inclination in this direction all over the country, 
that a little organised propaganda, and a little well 
directed effort, will go a long way in this direction. 
But we must be prepared to sustain those efforts. 
The system of commercial credit is such that the 
shops must be; assisted as far as possible to disentangle 
themselves from the foreign trade, and this will take 
time, patience, and a deeper enthusiasm than a 
movement can show. 

There is, however, another difficulty, which makes 
the organisation of such bureaus, and their issuing 
of lists of approved shops, necessary. This lies in 
the practice of trade forgery. Several articles have 
already appeared on the market, bearing marks and 
lables which have been affixed in India, while the 
goods themselves are of foreign make. To publish 
the names of these would, perhaps, constitute libeL 
Moreover, the offence will become more common. 
Obviously, the only way to defeat the fraud is by 
the publication of white lists, under the authority of 
trusted leaders of the Swadeshi movement. These 
leaders themselves, further, must be personally cog- 
nisant of the source of every article for which they 
vouch. It is our own fault if we cannot overcome 
so obvious a device as this. It can be overcome, but 
to do so needs patience and forethought. 


The clear sight that shows us -where to strike, and 
the strong love of our own people, the helpless, 
" the little children " of the Mother land, that is to 
make every blow tell, these, and these only, are the 
conditions that we want. Having these, we cannot 
fail. And we shall not fail. For all the forces of 
the future are with us. The Swadeshi movement 
has come to stay, and to grow, and to drive back for 
ever in modern ]jidia, the tides of reaction and des- 
pair. The Indian Review. 


IT is empty now, the place on my desk where the 
little ship of flowers has stood all day. But out on 
the chill edge of the Ganges, as darkness comes on, 
the tiny bark lies drifting hither and thither, scarce- 
ly determined yet betwixt ebb and flow, as we, with 
a few of the children, launched it an hour ago. It 
was early still, when we went down to the riverside, 
and as we turned away, but one worshipper had 
arrived besides ourselves a solitary girl of eleven or 
twelve to send her offering out to the Great Un- 
known. We stayed a while then and watched her 
as she carefully removed the sacramental food from 
her birch-bark vessel, and set m the stem the little 
light, and then floated it boldly on the waters. But 
after that, what could we do but stay and watch and 
watch with breathless ijiterest, as long as ever the 
star shone clear in the fragile craft, that we know, 
with the turn of the tide, would reach the main 
current and be carried far out to sea ? 

Ah, innumerable fleet of little nameless boats, 
floating on tanks arid rivers in all the villages of 


Bengal to-night, bearing each your twinkling lamp 
into the all-enshrouding dark, how like ye are to 
life, how like to death ! 

For this is the last day of the Bengalee month of 
Pous. 'It is the day for pilgrimage to Gangasakar 
the island where the river meets the sea. And more 
than this, it is the day of prayer for all travellers, all 
wanderers from their homes, and for all whose foot- 
steps at nightfall shall not lead to their own door. 
It was in a crowded street this morning, as I passed 
the end of a small bazaar, that I noticed the eager 
faces and hurrying feet of men and women, hasten- 
ing to carry to those at home their ships of flowers. 
They were rude enough, these little ships, that I too 
bought forthwith, to load with spoil of prayer and 
loving " thought Roughly pinned together, they 
were pf the shining white core of the plantain-stem 
and masted and arched from stem to stem with 
splinters of bamboo run through the hearts of yellow 
marigolds. Here and there the dealers had made 
attempts to imitate more closely with coloured 
paper, flags and string, the sails and cordage of the 
old country-boats. But for the most part they were 
mere suggestions, glistering vessels and bummg- 
hearted flowers. 

Mere suggestion truly, but of what ? Can we not 
see the quiet women, sitting absorbed before the 
symbol at their feet, loading it with offerings, 


leaves, flowers consecrated fruits and grain ; and 
praying, with each fresh gift, for some beloved life, 
that through the coining year it may go safe amidst 
whatever tide, that even now if peril somewhere 
threatens it, it may be brought safe back ? Have we 
not here to-day the perfect picture of humanity, 
man battling on the distant frontier-line of toilsome 
life, and women for love's sake, not for God's, hold- 
ing fast to prayer ? One thinks of the cry of the Jew, 
sonorous through the ages, the Jew, who loved not 
the sea, but lifted his eyes to the hills to find his 
help, and lost himself between " I " and " thee " in 
an inflood of blessedness. 

" The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy 
coming in, from this time forth, and even for ever- 
more." One thinks of the churches of Brittany and 
of the small model of a ship, barque de ma vie, that 
hangs before every altar and in every private 
oratory. And there comes back the echo of the 
sailor's cry, amidst surf and storm, 'Sainte Anne ! 
Sainte* Anne ' ! 

Here too, in Bengal, we have a maritim'e people, 
once great amongst the world's seafarers, and here 
on the last day of Pous we celebrate the old-time 
going forth of merchant enterprise and exploration. 
It was a traffic cut off from that of Phoenicia, and the 
well-omened people of the middle sea, but unmistak- 
ably great in the East, China and Japan, Cambodia 


and Burma have welcomed the coming of these mann- 
ers of Bengal to their ports, being glad thereby for gain 
of wealth and honour. Fa-Hian, Hiouen-Tsang and 
I-ching are but three names out of the countless host 
of pilgrims to whom they belonged, who sought the 
shores of India and left them in the name of the 
knowledge and impulse that she had power to send 
to other and less-favoured peoples. But why cast 
our memory^ so far back ? It is little more than a 
hundred years ago that Indian shipbuilding was 
famous through the world* And how should the 
seacraf t of India win renown, if her merchants and 
sailors had not the courage to dare and die ! 

All day long from the altar-shelf above my desk, 
the flaming marigolds, like a curved line of sanctuary- 
lamps have shone down upon me and stirred a maze, 
a multitude of dreams and memories in heart and 
brain. " The Lord bless the Lord bless going out, 
coming in and ever more ..." Hold we a 
moment ! Let others pray for the well-being of their 
beloved! But as for me and mine, we pray for 
nations. And to-night we load our ship with name 
and vision of a future glory, greater than that of the 
marigolds, greater than that of the past, the 
of Bengal that it is to be. Indian World. 


WHETHER or not it is true, as some have held, that 
all sacred years are built out of 'the wreckage of 
more ancient civil years, ;it is certain beyond any 
possibility of cavil or question, that behind the 
Hindu sacred year lies another, a weather-year, full 
of the most loving and delicate observation of 
Nature. Each great day as it comes round, is mark- 
ed by its own particular glinting of sunlight on the 
leaves, its own rare bite in the morning air, or its 
own dancing of the blood at noon. When, in the 
early autumn, the tiny joinquil-like flowers are found 
fallen at dawn, from the shefalika bushes, and the 
children pick them up blossom by blossom for 
worship, men say, with something of the gladsome- 
ness of childhood itself, " Mother is coming ! Mother 
is coming ! " for they remind them of the festival of 
Durga, by this sign near at hand. In spring-time 
when the asoka tree begins to adorn itself with its 
bunches of red flowers that are said never to bud till 
the tree has heard the footsteps of a beautiful 
woman, and the long slender buds of the leaf-almond 
begin to appear, the low castes are glad, for now 


is coming Holi, the Easter ot primitive peoples. On 
the birth-day of Krishna, late in the summer, it must 
rain, 'in memory of the night so long ago when 
the Lord of all was carried as a babe, by Vasudeva, 
through wind and storm. The Kali-puja, with its 
myriads of tiny open lamps, seems always to happen 
on the night of some marriage-flight amongst the 
insects, and always the little winged creatures suffer 
death by fire on these altars of the Mother. 

But there is no nature-festival to be compared with 
that of Rash. All through the growing moon of the 
beautiful month of Kartik^ the women have gone to 
the Ganges-side at evening, night after night, with 
flowers and lamps to offer vows. Now has come the 
full moon. It is the first of the cold weather. The 
winter flowers are beginning to bloom. The world is 
full of relief from the lessening of the long heat. The 
very trees seem to rejoice in the unwonted coolness, 
and this was the moment at which Krishna went 
with the cowherds to the forest. Throughout the 
rains, the cattle had been kept in the villages, and 
now they were taken to the distant pastures. Oh* 
the joy of the forests ! the long moonlight nights, 
the whispering trees, the enfolding dark, the presence 
of the Cowherd who is in truth the Lord Himself ! 
Iiv these temples which have the necessary buildings, 
the image' of Krishna is taken at evening out of its 
sanctuary, and conveyed in procession to a li 


Chapel of the Exposition, there to be worshipped 
publicly until the morning. Here for three days in 
the small hours of the night, when the moon has 
scarcely yet begun to wane, come the women to sit 
and worship, or to go round and round the altar in a 
circle, silently praying. And choirs of priests chant 
the while. And image-sellers drive a brisk, though 
almost silent, trade, and the precincts of the temple 
are thronged with life, imagining itself out in the 
forest amongst the cowherds, playing with the Lord. 
Every full moon has its own special morsel of lorfe. 
To-night, at some hour or other, the sweet goddess 
Lakshmi will enter the room, and we must on no 
account sleep, lest we miss her visit. Again, it is 
unlucky this month for the heads of the family to 
see the moon. Therefore they must not look out of 
the window, and this is well, for to-night is the 
.Orchard-robbing festival, when the boys of the village 
have right to enter the garden and carry off ripe 
fruit. What wonderful coincidence fixed it to fall 
just when the harvest of the jack -trees is ready for 
gathering I 

The whole of Hinduism is one long sanctification 
of the common life, one long heart, and relating of 
soul to the world about it, an<J love of pilgrimage 
and the quest of sacred shrines speak of that same 
desire to commune with nature as the village-feasts, 
The holiness of nature is the fundamental thought of 


Hindu civilisation. The hardships of life in camp 
and forest are called austerity. The sight of grass 
and trees is called worship. And the soothing and 
peace that come of a glimpse of a great river is held 
a step on the road to salvation, and the freeing of 
the souL 

How did this passion for nature become fixed and 
ritualised, in the series of the year's fasts and feasts ? 
Here opens out a field of most fruitful study. A 
fixed system of universal consent, in matters such as 
these, always presupposes some central authority, 
which persisted long enough not only to pronounce 
authentically on disputable matters, but also to radi- 
ate as custom what had been thus determined. This 
central authority existed in India, as the empire 
whose seat for nearly a thousand years was Patali- 
putra. By its rulings was Hinduism, in so far as it 
is universal throughout the country, shaped and 
determined, and in order to know exactly what this 
was in its daily working, it would be necessary to 
study in detail worships of Madras and the South, 
For here we have, more or less in its purity, tlie 
Hinduism which grew up, antithetically to Buddhism, 
during the Buddhist period. It differs in many wayn 
from that of Bengal since there the faith went 
through a much longer period of elaboration. Pata- 
liputra was succeeded by Gour, the <3hiptas by the 
Sens, and in the year A,D. 78 Adisur Sen, Emperor 


of the five Gours, as was his title, brought to his 
capital, and established there for the good of his 
people in matters of faith and scholarship, the cele- 
brated live Brahmins of Kanauj. And they made 
the face of Bengal to shine, which is a brief way of 
saying, probably, that this king established an 
ecclesiastical college of reference at Gour, which 
went on impressing its influence on the life of Bengal, 
long after the original five, and their king, had been 
gathered to their fathers. Even after the Hindu 
sovereigns had fallen altogether, and Muhammadan 
rulers had taken their place, this Brahminical influence 
went on living and working. It was in fact the 
Bengali form of the Papacy, and before we rebel 
against it too much, before we asperse it too bitterly 
for the cerecloths of orthodoxy which it bound upon 
the people, we ought to know what were the pro- 
blems that it had to solve. It gave continuity to 
the social development of the community, in face of 
the most appalling political revolutions. It made 
the faith a strong ground of taste and manners and 
gave it consciousness of its strength. It made the 
village into a true civic unit, in spite of complexity 
of caste and origins* It maintained the growth of 
the literature and the epic-making faculty. And 
above all, the supreme gift of Hinduism, it went on 
deepening and widening the education of the people 
by that form of mind-cultivation which is peculiar 


to India, the form that she knows not as secular 
schooling but as devotional meditation, the power to 
which she will one day owe her recovery, should it 
be given to her to recover her footing at all, in the 
world of nations. 

The power of the Brahmin was never broken in 
Bengal, till modern education brought new tests to try 
men by. Muhammadamsm had never touched it. The 
new religion of Chaitanya was not even defiant of 
it. Automatically, it had gone on working and grow- 
ing. The world is always ready to call any overthro- 
wal of the old by the name of reformation, because 
in anything long established there is always much 
that deeds overthrow. Pruning and weeding are a 
parable of necessary processes in thought and society 
also. But how can we call this a reformation unless 
we know what new ideals are to be substituted for 
the old ? That destruction has taken place is indis- 
putable, but does destruction alone constitute refor- 
mation ? In any case Bengal owes her own solidarity, 
her unity in complexity, her Hmduistic culture and 
the completeness of her national assimilation, more 
perhaps to Adisur and the Brahminical college that 
he established than to any other single fact of these 
many centuries. 

If this theory be correct, if the wider Hinduistic 
formalism was the work of the Guptas of Pataliputra, 
and th orthodoxy of Bengal more especially that of 
the Sen kings of Gour, a wonderful arnoufat of history 
lies in the study of the differences between the two. 


We shall in that case expect to find more ancient 
and less homogeneous fragments of the faith lying 
outside Bengal. We shall look moreover to study 
the development of the popular faith in parallelism 
with Buddhism, outside Bengal. For here <a long 
obscuring process has been superposed upon the other. 
Those elements of Hinduism in which it has marked 
affinities to the classical and pre-classical religions 
of Europe must for the most part, be sought ojitside, 
in distant provinces, and at the conservative 'centres 
of the great pilgrijpage-shrines. But for the potenti- 
alities of Hinduism, for its power to bind and unite, 
for its civilising and liberalising effect, we cannot do 
better than go to Bengal. Here we may disentangle 
gradually the long story of the influences that have 
made it what it is. Did the first image-makers come 
from China ? And when ? In what order were the 
main worships introduced ? What was the original 
place of the planetary deities, of snakes, and of trees 
in the scheftie of things ? Who were Satya-Pir and 
Staya-Narain ? These questions, and a thousand like 
them, have to be answered, before we can under- 
stand, and assign time and source to all the elements 
that have gone to the making of the sanathan 
dharma in Bengal. Yet wherever we go, north, east, 
or west, we shall always find that India herself has 
been the inspiration of Hinduism, and that the faith 
without the land is a name without a person, a face 
without soul, Hindustan Review. 




THE need of bread is the blackest incident of human 
life. Blackest, because simplest, easiest and most 
fundamental to overcome. The one success of which 
we are assured in the case of our own for-bears, 
every man and woman of them, up to a given year 
of life, has been food-snatching of some sort, from 
other men, or from the Earth. Uiiless this had been 
so, we had not been here, The present generation is 
the naturally -selected product of ages of food-victory. 

Yet famine remains. Sometimes it is the hunger 
of a man or a family. Sometimes starvation, like the 
arctic winter of tl\e glacial period, bursts its bounds, 
and sweeps over great territories of humankind. 

Obviously there are two factors in the problem* 
When a nation or a race starve to deajfti all together 
it -may be because climate and soil have combined 


against them to produce no food. The red man 
perished in North America when the white man drove 
the bison from their ancient feeding-grounds. Practi- 
cally, under these changed conditions, the race was 
wiped out. But when two or three individuals, or 
even two or three thousand, die of hunger, in the 
midst of a city that feasts and is merry, it is because 
something is wrong with the distribution of food, and 
something wrong too with those human relations 
that brought no hurrying footsteps with pity and 
help, to every sufferer over whom had fallen the 
shadow of despair. 

The modern world is such a city. Nowhere to-day 
is man so far from man that one has any right to die 
of want of food, while another lives. Nowhere. And 
yet they die. The two or three become many millions. 
The heedless city about them becomes the whole 
indifferent world. And the old drama is played out on 
the large scale. As want grows fierce in one place* 
luxury and waste increase in another. Here men are 
brutalised by starvation. There by gluttony, more 
men here, and more there. This is the change that- 
we call progress. One mother, mad with hunger, kills 
her child that she may not see it starve. An other, ab- 
sorbed in pleasure, has no time to see her own child eat* 
What one spends on her toilet, would lift the other out 
of hell. Surely this shows want of adjustment. But 


Why do some men die of hunger, for the food that 
others wasle? Why? 

The answers are manifold. All the outstanding 
age-old problems have had their changing age-inter- 
pretations. And hunger as a social phenomenon is 
one of these. But the theories proposed in era after 
era remain with humanity in a confused mass. We 
remember them all, only we do not relate them. We 
make no study of the circumstances out of which 
each rose. We do not analyse our own peiiod, to 
know whether or not a given interpretation could 
apply. Meanwhile, facts stare us in the face, with 
their perpetual question. We turn to one another 
"and ask it, and society returns one glib explanation 
after another, giving only more formulations of fact 
which the dominant classes in each age have found 
useful to themselves. Let us however put these in 
their proper sequence, and they may answer many a 
question for us. Instead of the feeblest alternatives 
for utter ignorance, they may become luminous 
enough, and. enable us to distinguish the essentials of 
the problem : Why do millions of people die of Jiunger 
in a world in which there is abundance of food ? 

The Age of Primitive man. In the forests, mar- 
shes, and caves of the primitive era, death was a 
constant feature of human experience- Possessed of 
few weapons, man had but little means of determin- 
ing his own chance in the hunt. It was not 


perhaps, till continuity of affection had made the 
grave remembered and beloved by women, that the 
seeding and growth of flowers were even noticed. 
There could not, therefore, be any agriculture. Wild 
roots and fruits, and animals of all kinds found 
dead, or killed in the chase or snared were the 
only food. Sometimes days of hunger and search* 
with constant exposure, would elapse, before prey was 
found. Terrible want would be succeeded by au 
equally terrible orgy. Of each, some members of the 
horde would die. Social feeling was probably im- 
mensely strong. Risks were shared. One brother 
would stand by another when he was down, for 
his protection. These things we see, even amongst 
successful animals, and man's great weapon of 
ascendency has been his superior social instinct. Yet 
dn spite of this, one overtaken by weakness or fever 
died, almost as certainly as he who was torn by the 
pangs of the prey. Risks to life, therefore, being: 
almost infinite, the on,e duty of woman was mother- 
hood. One pf the greatest tests of prosperity and 
strength of the Woreby-kmi community, as a commu^ 
nity, was either the largeness of its birthrate, or the 
physical fitness of its women. In this period, there- 
fore, we find the root of the idea that increase of 
population constitutes the well-being of a people. 

But this very importance of motherhood rendered 
inevitable the development of its emotional and 


ethical content. From a greater or less impermanence 
of all relations, one, that of mother and son, began to 
acquire stability. Enter the Matriarchal Period. 

The Matriarchate. The feelings and habits of 
woman had taken many centuries to dawn as a 
social force. They were essentially feelings and 
habits of forethought and protection. Secretly, lest 
her wild sons and impulsive companions should be 
rendered toQ indolent or too extravagant, she had 
experimented on the growth of seeds. The wife 
offering to the husband in the hour of need her secret 
hoard, is very old in the relations of man and 
woman ! It had even occurred to woman to snare the 
small game, and preserve it alive, as a permanent 
source of food. The domestication of plants and 
animals ai*ose, and became an absorbing occupation. 
Fire was discovered and later, tamed. Life grew 
more secure. But work multiplied. There were not 
hands enough for all that could be done, in that 
great humanising age. Therefore woman still shone 
$s the mother, and the commands to " be fruitful and 
multiply, and to replenish the earth " were regarded 
as one and the same thing. Famine occurred, bttt it 
tended to be less a personal chance, and more arid 
more a communal misfortune, arising when the hot 
winds swept in from the desert, and the scratched 
soil refused to bear; when a murrain broke out 
amongst beasts ; or when an insect blight fell on the 


apricot and the wild fig, and caused to them to shed 
their untimely fruit. And in this form, kindly 
housewife ways could do much for its mitigation. 
Throughout matriarchal nations, the habit of storing 
through years of plenty, against years of scarcity, 
obtained. And the oldest epic of India contains a 
- passage of a thousand lines in which we have the 
ripest wisdom of antiquity on this point actual 
receipts of the mother-craft handed on for kingly 

Every order contains the elements of its own 
decay. Side bj side with the vision of Seis and Biris, 
the Divine mother and son, grew up the outragje of 
the scarlet women. The chivarly of men defending 
the independence of the mother-house was now 
undone by the shrinking desire of woman to be won 
and retained. The matriarchate fell, and Babylon 
was remembered with a mystic horror amongst 
societies moulded on the patriarchal idea. 

The Patriarchal Age. One great advantage of 
patriarchal over matriarchal society, ,lay in its 
superior nobility. Civilisations in which woman 
was really central would always tend to remain in 
the river valleys. Those to which man gave 
permanence and form could cross even the mountains, 
the wilderness, or the seas. The seasonal imigration 
of herds to summer pastures, and the fact that 
herdsmen and women would go together, may have 


produced some of its deepest and earliest 
merits for pastoral and nomadic peoples are typically^ 
patriarchal. In any case, the patriarchal organis- 
ation must by degrees have included all occupations, 
with their burying ideals. And in all alike, the 
notion of family-increase was associated with 

To the shepherd, this could hardly fail to be a re- 
flection from the habit of his work. To the peasant, 
the advantage of more hands to dig and sow, not 
only for present use, but also for future contingencies, 
was a long established ideal. 

In all simple states of society, where a man had 
the fruits of his own labour assured jfco him, the power 
of the earth to produce food, clothing, and shelter, 
would impose the only limit on the desirability of 
population. And even now, wherever there is abund- 
ance of food, patriarchal societies retain the old 
prejudice in favour of the birth of children knowing 
that each person added means an increment of 
wealth to the community, above the individual power 
to consume. The only exception to this is in the case 
of un-fathered children, against whom patriarchal 
societies will assume a characteristic attitude of 

Whether, however, increase of population is in- 
variably a sign of prosperty in the more complex 
developments of this form of society, remains to b$ 


tested and observed throughout historic periods, by 
the question of its relation to the food-supply 

Mediaeval Europe. The Middle Ages offer us a 
long period of very varying conditions. Under 
Feudalism, the condition of the people was indeed 
hard. War, poverty, and serfage, with the constant 
possibility of epidemics, were more or less established 
features of life. Obviously, a certain margin of 
births over food-productivity was essential to the 
maintenance of communities subjected to such exces- 
sive risks. 

The Church set her face to steady encouragement 
of the family. She was influenced no doubt by some 
perception of the economic fact. Also there was 
the desire, in a world where public relations were so 
productive of misfortune, to bring about a predomin- 
ance of elements of joy and humanisation. Besides 
these general considerations, she had the more techni- 
cal idea of increasing the number of her baptised 
members. And doubtless there was also the sincere 
democratic impulse to add to the number and power 
of the burdeli-sharers. 

In the rise of the Cistercians, Dominicans, 
and Franciscans, the Church proved her power 
to assert the ideal and apply the check of celibacy, 
whenever she chose, and in the case of the first two 
orders, to direct the labour of the celibate clas 
to high communal ends. The fact that she had 


this power, moreover, would make her fearless of 
over-population. The idea, therefore, that growth 
of numbers is on first principles a sign of well- 
being, has the old sacerdotal authority on its 

Throughout the straggles of the middle ages, how- 
ever, we perceive the evolution of two classes, with 
conflicting interests. Obviously, the more men Wat 
Tyler could lead, or John Bull inspire, the better for 
that class, and the worse for the class they oppossed. 
It becomes no longer possible, then, to discuss the 
question of advantage as if this were evenly distri- 
buted. Henceforth we must distinguish between the 
advantages of class and class. Further, there are 
degrees of distance from famine in each case. A 
population that lives on wheat can change its diet 
for a less sufficient many times before reaching 
grass and bark. A population which already has 
nothing but potatoes, cannot. Remembering this r 
our enquiry must include the question * is increase 
of population a sign of prosperity amongst those who 
are already close to the famine-line? Do added 
numbers *tend to produce more food than they con- 
sume, w to consume more than they produce? 
According to our decision on these points, must our 
estimate of the advantages, or disadvantages, of an 
increasing density of inhabitants on a given area, 
be varied* 


Evidently, the question is largely one of place. 
Up to a certain point of fertility, land will repay 
labour spent on it, in an accelerating ratio. Where 
one man cannot efficiently work his farm at all, two 
men co-operating can more than double its powers 
of production. Evidently, however, this process 
cannot be continued indefinitely. When a certain 
density is reached, it will become increasingly 
difficult to add another inhabitant to the area. The 
law of diminishing returns will now begin to take 

A good deal of the flood and thunder of the 
Middle Ages is the play of contending portions of 
the feudal classes, while agriculture and the burghs 
are steadily progressing towards their limit of 
advantage. But the fact that increase of population 
is in this case associated with growing prosperity, is 
not to be taken as establishing a universal principle. 
It is obviously a phenomenon which is special to the 
age and conditions of mediaeval development. 

The devolution. With the invention of steam 
machinery, we enter on the industrial revolution. In 
all the theories born of this age, the man to be bene- 
fitted is the man who holds the machinery, the 
capitalist. To him, quantity of production becomes 
the aim. Every labourer more means increase of 
quantity, and a percentage more even, if popula- 
tion should increase beyond the point of demand- for 


labour, an increasing percentage on your man him- 
self. For where numbers are few and work 
abundant, A gets high wages : when numbers are 
great, and demand for stuff remains the same, he 
gets little. Hence the actual interests of employer 
and employed may at this point come into conflict 
the growth of population being to the advantage of 
the capitalist, and to the actual disadvantages of the 
labourer. This point is commonly obscured, of 
course, by the fact that we hear only the employer's 
point of view. 

Meanwhile, the flow of wages goes on. The flow of 
production goes on. The elementary conditions of 
well-being are met. The labourer finds bread plenty 
and clothing plenty. There may be no real progress y 
no increased mastery of conditions, no additioti to 
intellectual resources. People* who have not yet 
learnt the need of these, proceed the hurl themselves 
back ,into the poverty from which they have just 
emerged, by increasing their marriage-rate with the 
fall in the price of bread. 

Population grows and the Manchester School of 
Economists utters its poem of thanksgiving for the 
so-called progress of Lancashire- It is the joy of the 
capitalist over a large material for exploitation 
and the labouring-classes, with the characteristic 
inhumanity of the period, become the proletariat, 
the breeders. 


Essentially, the industrial revolution does not 
mean increase of production so much as concentra- 
tion of labour. And even if the growth of Lan- 
cashire cities had constituted progress, it would 
probably have entailed loss elsewhere. In whose 
hands was the making of cotton heretofore? And 
BTQ there still work and food for these ? 

Again, what 5 does it mean to fasten the attention 
of a people on this function, of increasing population. 
It means that human beings become domesticated 
animals the live stock on the capitalistic farm 
and follow the same biological laws as others. One 
of these is that excessive reproduction causes 
degeneration of race. Woman is exhausted as an 
individual. Man spends what ought to have been 
surplus energy in routine drudgery. Feeble cere- 
bration and accelerating physical deterioration 
ensue. "The industrial revolution, therefore, only 
betokens as oscillation of the centre of prosperity, 
not absolute progress, and a rapidly-increasing 
population, even where based on the abundance of 
food, is more apt, other things being equal, to signify 
squalor and degradation, than prosperity and progress. 

But increase of population does not always pro- 
ceed from a fall in the price of bread. That the 
more you feed (up to excess) the more you breed, is 
true. But the opposite affirmation is also true* 
The more you starve, the more you breed. The fact 


is, extraordinary conditions in either direction act 
first in stimulating this activity. 

The Age of Empire. The excessive productivity 
of the Age of Revolution gives place to the Age of 
Empire everywhere always. It may he the 
empire of the city over the Country side. It may 
be the empire of London over the Antipodes. Force 
must he employed in its interest. The rich struggle 
to acquire the territory of the poor. One race 
struggles for supremacy over another. 

In the latter case, all the complex machinery of 
Government and army has to be maintained. The 
expense is great. It must be met by taxation. The 
larger the population, as long as the means of produc- 
tion are capable of extension, the larger the imperial 
harvest to be gathered. The less, too, is the incidence 
per head. Increase of population will thus always be 
quoted by a ruling class as a sign of prosperity, even 
though it be accompanied by famine. It is the sign 
and means of the ruler 's prosperity. The inferiors, 
moreover, being squeezed to the utmost, are thrust 
back upon this acivity as their only relief. Thus it 
becomes true that the more you starve (within limits 
of complete physical inanition), the more you breed* 

And the proof is that the poorest populations have 
everywhere the largest birth rate. The slum swarm- 
ing with little children, and the comfortable middle- 
class street with its few well-tended and provided for. 


form a contrast true also as of nation against nation, 
and city against city. Degradation of type to Less 
human and more gorilla forms is the inevitable result. 
The Age of Finance. The organisation of Empire 
produces the Age of Finance. That is to say, the 
estimates of the banker and the Mint-master now be- 
come the popular theory of life. People lose all sense 
of the relation between money and things. They 
mistake riches for wealth. They forget that gold 
and diamonds must be measured in terms of corn and 
bread, not vice versa. The plain fact that if rice be 
taken from a country, less rice remains there, has no 
meaning for them. They are confussed by the fact 
that money goes back in exchange. 

Judgment now goes by the standpoint of the share- 
holder. That a railway must increase prosperity as 
long as it pays a dividend, is supposed to be obvious. 
People f assume as self-evident that railways bring" 
food into a country. They leave other considerations 
out of the question, such as that stamped coin is given 
for food, and is brought from cities that obviously,, 
therefore, railways take coin into a country, and corn 
out of it. And coin is not food. 

It is under the spell of the characteristic ideas of 
this age that we hear seriously of a " money famine.** 
A superstitious reverence associates itself with trade 
and the stability of finance, and no consideration 
justifies tampering with these- In the Russian 


Famine of 1895, M. Hilkoff, Minister of the Interior, 
1 stopped the trains of wheat on their way to Odessa, 
and ran them into the famine -stricken districts. To 
this good man it seemed obvious that what hungry 
people needed was bread. The British in India, on 
the contrary, shrink with horror from any act so 
calculated to ruffle the composure of the merchant. 
They venture on no remedy that would disturb the 
operations of commerce. The correct theoretical 
relation between man, money, and food must be 
observed at all costs, even if only in resemblance. 
And in this way they arrive at the startling paradox 
that what a hungryman needs is work ! 

It is interesting to note, however, that one order 
produces, for a given brain, both God and the Devil. 
For while financial considerations now supply the 
* supreme object of reverence, it is also held in all good 
faith by minds of this class that famines are produced 
in India by the habit of " engrossing," selfishly prac- 
tised on the part of local shopkeepers for their own 
profit. It is difficult to persuade a man who is capable 
of entertaining this theory, that while it would 
account for a few trade credits and debits, it would 
never account for the famine itself, the actual occasion 
of the said losses and gains. 

The Financial Age accepts the conclusion of its 
progenitor, the age of Empire, that increase of popu- 
lation shows general prosperity, because this is not a 



problem that belongs to its own form of research. It 
is not, therefore, called to any individual opinion on 
the point. If it were, however, a budget and a list of 
Post Office savings would furnish its main store of 
facts, and it would be found capable of arguing that 
a country in which sixty million people were being 
seriously affected by loss of harvests was growing 
steadily richer. 

As a matter of fact, we must, in considering such 
questions as the increase of population or the causes of 
famine, distinguish carefully between the imperial or 
financial theories of the thing, and the actual facts 
themselves. We must determine what constitutes 
prosperity from the people's point of view, and see 
whether this is aided by growth of population or the 
reverse* Also we must consider special cases of famine, 
and determine what are the essential facts of each. 


Man's individual hope has always lain along the 
line of the effort to perfect some special process. But 
in doing this, as we saw behind all the raising of 
castles and hurling of arrows in the Middle Ages, he 
has subserved a larger function, his collective activity, 
that of earth-remaking, the technical and geotechnic 
processes. Combined with these, and overwhelming 
them, is their common resultant, the evolutionary or 


man-making tendency. In these three, technics, 
geotechnics and evolution, is summed up the signifi- 
cance of every period. 

The industrial arts of the Middle Ages were pro- 
gressively s^ nthetised and applied in the spread of 
agriculture and the growth of the burghs This was 
earth-remaking. But the ultimate meaning of even 
a phenomenon so imposing as this must be sought 
outside itself, in the manner of men and nations 
which it produced. 

In the same way, the revolution is based on a 
renewal of processes. But the needs of extended pro- 
ductivity* compel an empire. Again the value of 
empires will be estimated finally by their effect on 
the humanity which they involve. And here, incon* 
testably quality will supersede quantity. 

We cease then to be able to applaud a mere growth 
of population. We cannot even be congratulatory 
when we have assured ourselves that this was due 
to a fall in the price of bread. We are still less - 
complacent when it is accompanied by scarcity of 
the elements of physical well-being. In either case 
the result tends to be the same, degradation of type 
followed by famine or famine followed by degrad- 
ation of type. 

Facts. So far we have been establishing a theory. 
We have laid down considerations which should 
guide us in determining the value of certain 


phenomena, in regard to famine and excessive popula- 
tion. Let us proceed to the examination of actual facts 
of famine. With regard to Ireland in 1846, it is no 
uncommon thing to hear the remark, " it was a 
money-famine." This expression, in itself, has no 
meaning, since men cannot eat money. But what 
the speaker really intends to convey is the fact that 
there was grain enough in Ireland in that year, and 
food of the best kinds enough to have fed a popula- 
tion many times greater than actually died of want. 
What the dying people needed was money to arrest 
the export which was steadily proceeding Jbhe while. 
It was not the loss of quantity which affected the 
country so disastrously, but unevenness of distribu- 
tion. It does not need Sir Robert Ball's delightful 
story, to convince us of the importance of distribution 
'as a factor in provisioning. The astronomer has 
been explaining to the young man from Manchester 
how a succession of eight month winters and four 
month summers had produced the Glacial Period of 
.Northern Hemisphere. But the young man was hard 
to convince, " I do not see," he remarked, " how 
that could be since you say that the total amount 
of heat in the year was always the same. How 
could a mere change of distribution make any 
difference?" Sir Robert eyed his man. "Do you 
keep a horse ? " he said. " Yes." " What do you give 
him ? " "A stone of oats a day." " Well," said the 


astronomer gently, " just try two stones a day for 
six months, and then other six months give him 
nothing and see what * mere ' re-distribution will 
do ! " So with the Irish Famine. It was merely the 
distribution of food that was at fault. The story has 
been put on record by eye-witnesses, of the carts 
leaving the villages laden with butter and cheese 
and farm produce, and passing to the coast along 
roads where every now and then men, women and 
children lay dying or dead for want of food. 

The fact is, in every country there is a caste-system 
of food stuffs. In Ireland, the highest classes live on 
wheat, flesh, milk and eggs. A lower rank consumes 
oatmeal, herrings and buttermilk. Still further down 
comes the population that lives on the protato. And 
after them is nothing save the grass and bark of 
famine. Obviously, if the wheat-crop fail/ the class 
that depended on it heretofore will fall back on other 
foods, including the oatmeal of the next caste, for an 
equal bulk of consumable material. The lower caste 
will have recourse to the potato which will conse- 
quently rise in price, and the lowest class will find 
food scarce. The heaviest incidence of the scarcity 
will fell on them even when it is not their own crop 
which has failed. But there are mitigating circufaa* 
stances in this case* In the first place the whole 
society feels the pinch at the same time. There is a cer- 
tain lightening of the social bond, with;a possibility 


of guaging the extent of the need by the price 
of the commodity. Secondly, although the potato 
rises in value, it is not wholly withdrawn from its 
consumers. An equal bulk of potatoes for the wheat 
withdrawn, is not of equal value as nourishment. 
Moreover, as the potato-eater has received money for 
his sale, it is possible to make a commercial re- 
adjustment, which for his own shake, he will affect 
as rapidly as possible. Obviously, under failure of 
the wheat-crop the lower classes do not remain 
unaffected, but they are not necessarily affected to 
the degree of famine. 

What happened in 1846 was somewhat different. 
The potatoes rotted in the field. The experiments of 
certain biological workers on reproduction by fission 
have established a law which enables us to recognise 
this phenomenon as perfectly natural and calculable 
for the future. But in 1846 it came as a surprise. 
And it fell heavily on no class save that which 
depended on the crop for its staple article of diet. 
It selected these out and killed them, as soon as their 
power of living on grass and bark was exhausted. 
The fact that other commodities were almost undis- 
turbed in value, and that export went on amongst 
the exporters as usual, has given rise to the fallacy 
that the Irish famine was a "money famine," It 
fell on those who are always suffering from " money 
famine," but it was itself an added burden of loss of 


even such food as is possible under similar financial 
distress. We see, therefore, what is meant by this 

Let us turn to the present Indian famine. 1 Sixty 
or seventy millions of people are being affected by 
what is, we are loudly assured, the act of God. Five 
or six millions of those who have reached the depth 
of starvation are on the relief works. What is the 
meaning of this ? 

In the first place, the act of God, as it is called, 
undoubtedly exists. There has been failure of crops 
in a certain part of central India, caused by want of 
rain for some years in succession. This must be 
admitted. The evidence assures us that such are the 
facts. But in pase of natural disaster there is always 
a second factor to considerand that is the resistance 
which the country is able to oppose to it. 

We al*e continually assured that India is in a state 
of growing prosperity under our rule. Is her inability 
to meet the persent crisis a, sign of her growing pros- 
perity ? Let us look at the facts fairly. 

The arguments put forward in proof of the bene- 
ficence of our rule are two-fold, (1) the increase of 
population, (2) the spread of the railway system, the 
control of the forests, and the cutting of canals. A$ 
to the advantage of the last-named public works 
there can be no doubt. If we could turn all our 

These lectures were delivered m the year 1900. 


energy to canal-making, we should be sure of 
improving the country in one respect at least. 

As to the control of the forests, there is .some 
question whether we are not largely responsible for 
a change of climate in Central India, by our own 
waste of forests, which is directly behind the present 
catastrophe. On both these points of irrigation and 
afforestation, there is a distinctly constructive policy 
open to the English Government, which needs 
further development and indefinite multiplication 
of strength. 

But when we come to the spread of the railway 
system, we include a more doubtful feature amongst 
our geotechnic activities. The railway adds nothing 
to the productivity of the soil ; it merely aids re- 
distribution. As a matter of fact, this re-distribution 
always acts by centralising markets. The goods of 
the country are eaten in the city. The peasant who 
can now only sell his commodities in a certain 
given place may not be richer ultimately for the 
power to get there. The fare may absorb his margin 
of profit. Therefore the fact that railways are 
much used does not prove anything about their use- 
fulness. That could only be established as a general 
thesis by a careful series of observations in various 
qountries during < a term of years. It is our personal 
conviction that such observations would lead to the 
conclusion that they are destructive of prosperity 


rather than the reverse. And that Central India is 
as exact proof of this as Siberia or Russia caii furnish, 
we have no doubt. Since the point is so disputable* 
therefore, we cannot accept railways as an evidence 
of the good wrought by English rule, and the growth 
of population, as we have seen, is rather a sign of 
misery than of a flourishing condition. 

It is indeed an evidence of the pre-social unscienti- 
fic state of our thought on such subjects that we can 
offer arguments such as these in all good faith. 
Obviously, Empire is designed primarily for the good 
of the ruler, and could accrue to the advantage of 
the governed only if conducted in a spirit persistent- 
ly generous and illumined by pientific knowledge of 
the most real kind. It would be too much to claim 
that either of these characteristics is ours. The 
utmost that we can do at present is to assert a dogged 
honesty on the part of European races in facing 
truth, however disagreeable, and putting an end to 
our own misconceptions. 

But what have been the causes of the Indian 
Famine ? Partly natural, catastrophe, no doubt ; partly 
social and political, certainly ; but exactly what, as 
yet undetermined, Yet some few ^points with regard 
to famine in general are settled* First, growth of 
population is not , in itself, any sign of national pros- 
perity. Secondly, to say that a famine such as we 
are now witnessing is the result of the tricks of local u 


grain -merchants is foolish ; and if it were true, we 
have the remedy in our own hands, immediate 
stoppage of grain-export at the ports. This would 
disturb the natural course of trade, however, and we 
are under the superstitions of the Age of Finance, so 
we do not venture on such a step. And thirdly, it is 
surely evident that relief ought to be organised on a 
progressive basis, and that it is not at present so 

-There is something diabolical in the account which 
an honest English traveller recently gave of a visit 
to India. He had spoken with the greatest enthusiasm 
of the administration, and being asked what had so 
impressed him by its munificence, jnade this extra- 
ordinary reply " They are tackling the problem of 
the famine," he said, " and I am especially delighted 
with this, because for a whole day's work they are 
not paying a whole day's wages, and thereby they 
avoid disturbing the course of trade." 

True Tests of Progress. What are then, the true 
tests of a growing prosperity ? This question is easily 
answered. In the first place, are processes being 
developed ? Other things bein& equal, that country 
which is ceasing to export manufactures, and taking 
entirely to raw material is becoming impoverished. 
Certainly that country which is ceasing to produce 
manufactured goods to meet its own requirements, 
and beginning to import the necessaries of life, is 


being essentially impoverished. But it is not enough 
that men should continue to meet their own needs, 
nor even that they should progressively modify the 
means by which they do this. This is little better 
than a stationary condition. They must remake their 
country. Most of the European landscape is entirely 

Heather is as much of man's ordering on a Scottish 
moor as wheat in an English field. It is easy to 
admit that the scenery of Berkshire or of Normandy 
is not Nature but Art. The geotechnic test, then, is 
fairly to be applied to all places for which a claim of 
progression is made. How far is Siberia a land of 
fields and cities, of quarries anxi hedges ? How far is 
the growth of human habitations intelligent and 
beautiful ? How far are the forces of nature at the 
bidding of man ? In the Tropics what is being done 
for re-afforestation, for irrigation ? Who is taming 
the desert ? Who is improving the milking cow who 
is enriching the wheat ? The French in Algeria are 
engaged on oasis-making. This is one of the noblest 
activities of our epoch. It is one of an endless 
possible series, pointing to a^i ultimate transforma- 
tion of the Sahara into a renewal of the earthly 
Paradise. In the same way the dessication of 
Asia is a problem, which ^engages the earnest 
attention of geographers and geotechnists, for 
the scope which it affords to future activity of this 


order. There is no reason why the rivers should con- 
tinue to run into the sea. They may well be 
harnessed to the plough of Agriculture, and drawn 
aside from their original outlet. Other and vaster 
functions can be discovered for the waterfalls which 
shall substitute a new beauty for the old. This is 
enough to suggest the immense possibilities of 
industrial development which our planet contains. A 
few centuries hence, wlien man's outlook upon life is 
better informed and organised than at present, 
society will look back with amazement upon a period 
when crowds of starving unemployed assailed the gates 
of rich people whose fortunes were devoted to the 
production of pate defoie gras * for private consump- 
tion. The point of view that saw nothing to be done 
for the increase of the food supply in the 19th century 
will be inconceivable to the minds of that generation, 
and they will survey calmly $ long series of French 
Revolutions by which such a mental confusion will 
have been eliminated, as something beneficial in the 
main to the human race. 

Perhaps the most civilised countries in the world, 
feom this geotechnic point of view have been ancient 
Egypt and modern China and Flanders. Paris occu- 
pies the corresponding place amongst modern cities* 
And in the case of the Frencfct population we come 

1 An epicunan delicacy consisting of the morbidley -fattened 
of the goose. 


upon what ought to be a hint of one of the great 
evolutionary consequences of this creative collabora- 
tion the moralisation of marriage, leading to self- 
regulation of numbers which will arise with the 
heightening of the sense of moral and social respon- 
sibility. Because this is a necessary characteristic 
of a further evolved humanity, we do not need to 
fear that future progress will be simply a climbing of 
the hill to find the same problems begin over again 
at its top. First, improved methods of raising crops ; 
second, only the best crops and plenty of them. Some- 
thing like these are the immediate step in the line of 
advance. But they necessitate and imply the third. 
If the soil of a country be bettered by making of its 
people a race of slaves, there is no gain. The more 
human beings are raised to the human level, the 
more the Messianic hope is kneaded to into common 
man, so much the greater is our civilisation. This 
and no other, must be its ultimate test. Where 
standards conflict this consideration must have the 
casting vote. Not New Zealand, but the land where 
provocation to the highest life is greatest, will, after 
all, stand first. By its influence not simply on 
national prosperity, but on national man and woman 
making through prosperity must the work of a 
country be judged at last. 

Conversely, we cannot establish any quantitative 
standard of progress whatever. This is an age of 


the improvement of transport. The world is being 
centralised by railways, telegraphs and electrical 
machinery. Unless all this adds to the fitness of the 
earth for man on the one hand, and to the manhood 
of man on the other, it is no advance but rather a 

Not the rapid multiplication of consumers, but the 
extension of the best crops is the programme before 
us. We have once more to set to work to make the 
herth a fit dwelling place. Forests, canals, improved 
varieties of wheat and rice these things are gains 
in geotechnics, and to use them we do not want 
more men, but better men, men of greater wisdom, 
strength, and mastery than heretofore. For the 
bringing down of the Messianic hope to common 
life is th*e end of all things. The nations live 
on in the hope of the childhood that shall be* 
First, the physical basis, and then the moral and 
intellectual ideal, such are the lists that must 
be fulfilled* This can only be achieved in proportion 
as we substitute vital for wasteful activities in any 
given area. We must know that the provision of 
sound education for the people is a greater proof 
of our beneficence than any increase of revenue; 
that justification of conquest lies in multiplication 
of careers for the ruled, not the ruling classes, 
that no nation could be rich that spent its money 


In this way are produced royal races like the 
ancient Greeks. Genius is created and conserved, 
as in modern France. Practical problems find a 
national solution, as in China. And last of all per- 
haps, the hope and philosophy that it has taken 
centuries to gain, are given to the world at large, to 
form a historic faitli, as ancient India to modern 
Europe, Arabia to Africa, and it may be, India to 
the humanity of the future. 

[As in honour bound, I have reported the teach- 
ings which I heard in Paris in the year 1900 from a 
group of sociologists of European reputation, as I 
conceive that they intended them. For the benefit 
of my readers, however, I would point out, that even 
scholars find it difficult to be altogether disinterest- 
ed. To the Indian youth it ought not to be a 
question as to what the French do or do not do in 
Algeria, or what the English do in India. The 
question is, what is he himself prepared to do for 
his own country? Foreign organisers may be re- 
minded of one of the basic truths of educational 
science that * when we do for a learner what the 
learner might have done for himself, we injure acid 
cannot boast of benefiting him.'] Hindustan 



OF the * bodily presence of him who was known to 
the world as Vivekananda, all that remains to-day is 
a bowl of ashes. The light that has burned in 
seclusion during the last five years by our river side, 
has gone out now. The great voice that rang out 
across the nations is hushed in death Life came 
often to this mighty soul as storm and pain. But the 
end was peace. Silently, at the close of evensong, 
on a dark night of Kali, came the benediction of 
death. The weary and tortured body was laid down 
gently and the triumphant spirt was restored to the 
eternal samadhi. 

He passed, when the laurels of s his first achieve- 
ments weje yet green. He passed, when new and 
greater calls were ringing in his ears. Quietly, in 
the beautiful home of his illness, the intervening 
years with some few breaks, went by amongst plants 
*apd animals, unostentatiously training the disciples 
who gathered rounAh!m, silently ignoring the great 
fame that had shone upon his name. Man-making 
was his own stern brief summary of the work that 



was worth doing. And laboriously, unflaggingly, 
day after day, he set himself to man-making, playing 
the part of Guru, of father, even of schoolmaster, by 
turns. The very afternoon of the day he left us, had 
he not spent three hours in giving a Sanskrit lesson 
on the Vedas ? 

External success and leadership were nothing to 
such a man. During his years in the West, he made 
rich and powerful friends, who would gladly have 
retained him in their midst. But for him, the 
Occident, with all its luxuries, had no charms. To 
him, the garb of a beggar, the lanes of Calcutta, and 
the disabilities of his own people, were more dear than 
all the glory of the foreigner, and detaining hands 
had to loose their hold of one who passed ever onward 
toward the East 

What was that the West heard in him, leading so 
many to hail and cherish his name as that of one of 
the greatest religious teachers of the world ? He made 
no personal claim. He told no personal story. One 
whom he knew and trusted long had never heard that 
he held any position of distinction amongst his Guru- 
bhais. He made no attempt to popularise with 
strangers any single form of creed, whether of God or 
Guru. Bather, through him the mighty torrent of 
Hinduism poured forth its cooling waters upon the 
intellectual and spiritual worlds, fresh from its secret 
sources in Himalayan snows* A witness to the vast 



religious culture of Indian homes and holy men he 
could never cease to be. Yet he quoted nothing but 
the Upanishadas. He w taught nothing but the 
Vedanta. And men trembled, for they heard the 
voice for the first time of the religious teacher who 
feared not Truth. 

Do we not all know the song that tells of Siva as 
he passes along the roadside, " Some say He is mad. 
Some say He is the Devil. Some say don't you 
know ? He is the Lord Himself ! " ? Even so India 
is familiar with the thought that every great per- 
sonality is the meeting-place and reconciliation of 
opposing ideals. To his disciples, Vivekananda will 
ever remain the arch-tybe of the Sannyasin. Burning 
renunciation was chief of all the inspirations that 
spoke to us through him. " Let me die a true 
Sannyasin as my Master did," he exclaimed once, 
passionately, " heedless of money, of women, and of 
fame ! And of these the most insidious is the love of 
fame ! " Yet the self -same destiny that filled him 
with this burning thirst of intense vairagyam 
embodied in him also the ideal householder full of 
the yearning to protect and save, eager to learn and 
teach the use of materials, reaching out towards the 
reorganisation and re-ordering of life. In this 
respect, indeed, he belonged to the race of Benedict' 
and Bernard, of Robert de Citcaux and Loyola. It 
may be said that just as in Francis of Assissi, the 


robe of the Indian Sannyasin gleams for a moment 
in the history of the Catholic Church, so in Vivekan- 
anda the great saint, abbots of Western monasticism 
are born anew in the East. 

Similarly, he was at once a sublime expression of 
superconscious religion and one of the greatest 
patriots ever born. He lived at a moment of national 
disintegration, and he was fearless of the new. He 
lived when men were abandoning their inheritance, 
and he was an ardent worshipper of the old. * In 
tarn the national destiny fulfilled itself, that a new 
wave of consciousness should be inaugurated always 
in the leaders of the Faith. In such a man it may 
be that we possess the whole Veda of the future. 
We must remember however, that the moment has 
not come for gauging the religious significance of 
Vivekananda. Religion is living seed, and his sow-* 
kng is but over. The time of his harvest is not yet* 
"But death actually gives the Patriot to his- 
country. When the master has passed away from 
the midst of his disciples, when the murmers of hi& 
critics are all hushed at the burning-ghat, then the 
great voice that spoke of freedom rings out un- 
challenged and whole nations answer as one m&iu 
Here was a mind that had had unique opportunities 
of observing the people of many countries intimately* 
East and West he had seen and been received by 
the high and low alike. His brilliant intellect 


had never failed to gauge what it saw. " America 
will solve the problems of the Sudra ; but through 
what awful turmoil ! " he said many times. On a 
second visit, however, he felt tempted to change his 
mind, seeing the greed of wealth and the lust of 
oppression in the West, and comparing these with the 
calm dignity and ethical stability of the old Asiatic 
solutions formulated by China many centuries ago. 
His great acumen was yoked to a marvellous 
humanity. Never had we dreamt of such a gospel 
of hope for the Negro as that with which he rounded 
on an American gentleman who spoke of the 
African races with contempt. And when, in the 
Southern States he was occasionally taken for " a 
coloured man," and turned away from some door as 
such (a mistake that was always atoned for as soon 
as discovered by the lavish hospitality of the most 
responsible families of the place), he was never 
known to deny the imputation. " Would it not have 
been refusing my brother ? " he said simply when he 
was asked the reason of this silence. 

To him each race had its own greatness and shone 
in the light of that central quality. There was no 
.Europe without the Turk, no Egypt without the 
development of the people of the soil, England had 
grasped the secret of obedience with self-respect* 
To speak of any patriotism in the same breath with* 
Japan's was sacrilege. 


What then was the prophecy that Vivekananda 
left to his own people ? With what national signi- 
ficance has he filled that gerrua mantle that he 
dropped behind him in his passing? Is it for us 
perhaps to lift the yellow rags upon our flagpole, and 
carry them forward as our banner ? Assuredly For 
here was a man who never dreamt of failure. Here 
was a man who spoke of naught but strength. 
Supremely free from sentimentality, supremely 
defiant of all authority (are not missionary slanders 
still ringing in our ears ? Are not some of them to be 
accepted with fresh accessions of pride ?) he refused 
to meet any foreigner save as the master. " The 
Swami's genius lies in his dignity," said an 
Englishman who knew him well, "it is nothing 
short of royal ! " He had grasped the great fact 
that the East must come to the West, not as a 
sycophant, not as a servant, but as Guru and teacher, 
and never did he lower the flag of his personal 
ascendancy. ** Let Europeans lead us in Religion ! '* 
he would say, with a scorn too deep to be any- 
thing but merry. " I have never spoken of revenge," 
he said once* "I have always spoken of strength* 
Do we dream of revenging ourselves on this drop of 
sea--spray ? But it is a great thing to a mosquito ! " 

To him, nothing Indian required apology. Did 
anything seem, to the pseudo-refinement of the alien, 
barbarous or crude? Without denying, without 


minimising anything his colossal energy was immedi- 
ately concentrated on the vindication of that parti- 
cular point, and the unfortunate critic was tossed 
backwards and forwards on the horns of his own 
argument. One such instance occured when an English- 
man on boardship asked him some sneering question 
about the Puranas, and never can any who were 
present forget how he was pulverised, by a reply that 
made the Hindu Puranas, compare favourably with 
the Christian Gospels, but planted the Vedas and 
Upanishads high up beyond the reach of any rival. 
There was no triend that he would not sacrifice without 
mercy at such a moment in the name of National 
Defence. Such an attitude was not, perhaps, always 
reasonable It was often indeed frankly unpleasant. 
But it was superb in the manliness that even enemies 
must admire. To Vivekananda, again, everything 
Indian was absolutely and equally sacred "This 
land to which must come all souls wending their way 
Oodward ! " his religious consciousness tenderly 
phrased it. At Chicago, any Indian man attending 
the Great World Bazaar, rich or poor, high or low, 
Hindu, Muhammadan, Parsi, what not might at 
any moment be brought by him to his hosts for 
hospitality and entertainment and they well knew 
that any failure of kindness on their part to the 
least of these would immediately have cost them his 



He was himself the exponent of Hinduism, but 
finding another Indian religionist struggling with 
the difficulty of presenting his case, he sat down and 
wrote his speech for him, making a better story for 
his friend's faith than its own adherent could have 
done 1 

He took infinite pains to teach European disciples 
to eat with their fingers, and perform the ordinary 
simple acts of Hindu life. " Remember, if you love 
India at all, you must love her as she is, not as you 
might wish her to become" he used to -say. And it 
Vas this great firmness of his, standing like a rock 
for what actually was, that did more than any other 
single fact, perhaps, to open the eyes of those aliens 
who loved him to the beauty and strength of that 
ancient poem the common life of the common 
Indian people. For his own part, he was too free 
from the desire for approbation to make a single 
concession to new-fangled ways. The best of every 
land had been offered him, but it left Kim still the 
simple Hindu of the old style, too proud of his 
simplicity to find any need of change. "After 
Ramakrishna, I follow Vidyasagar ! " he exclaimed, 
only two days before his death, and out came the 
oft-repeated story of the wooden sandals coming 
pitter patter with the chudder and dhoti, into 
the Vice-regal Council Chamber, and the surpris- 
ed "But if you didn't want me, why did you 


ask me to come"? of the old Pundit, when they 

Such points, however, are only interesting as 
personal characteristics. Of a deeper importance is 
the question as to the conviction that spoke through 
them. What was this ? Whether did it tend ? His 
whole life was a search for the common basis of 
Hinduism. To his sound judgment the idea that 
two pice postage, cheap travel, and a common 
language of affairs could create a national 
unity, was obviously childish and superficial. 
TJiese 'things could only be made to serve 
old, India's turn if she already possessed a deep 
organic unity of which they might conveniently 
become an expression. Was such a unity existent or 
not ? For something like eight years he wandered 
about the land changing his name at every village; 
learning of every one he met, gaining a vision as 
accurate and minute as it was profound and general* 
It was this great quest that overshadowed him with 
its certainty when, at the Parliament of Religions* 
he stood before the West and proved that Hinduism 
converged upon a single imperative of perfect freedom 
so completely as to be fully capable of intellectual 
aggression as any other faith/ 

It never occurred to him that his own people were 
m any respect less than the equals of any other 
nation whatsoever. Being well aware that religion 


was their national expression, he was also aware 
that the strength which they might display in that 
sphere, would be followed before long, by every 
other conceivable form of strength. 

As a profound student of caste his conversation 
teemed with its unexpected particulars and paradoxes ! 
he found the kev to Indian unity in its exclusive- 
ness. Muhammadans were but a single caste of the 
nation. Christians another, Parsis another, and so on ! 
It was true that of all these (with the partial exception 
of the last), non-belief in caste was a caste distinction. 
But then, the same was true of the Brahmo Samaj 
and other modern sects of Hinduism. Behind all 
alike stood the great common facts of one soil ; one 
beautiful old routine of ancestral civilisation ; and the 
overwhelming necessities that must inevitably lead 
at last to common loves and common hates. 

But he had learnt, not only the hopes and ideals of 
every sect and group of the Indian people, but their 
memories also. A child of the Hindu quarter of 
Calcutta, returned to, live by the Ganges-side, one 
would have supposed from his enthusiasm that he 
had been born, nojv in the Punjab, again in the 
Himalayas, at a third moment in Rajputana, or 
elsewhere. The songs of Guru Nanak alternated 
with those of Meera Bai and Thana Sena on his lips. 
Stories of Prithvi Rai and Delhi jostled against those 
of Cheetore and Pratab Singh, Siva andUma/JEtadha 


and Krishna, Sita-Ram and Buddha. Each mighty 
drama lived in a marvellous actuality, when he w^s 
the player. His whole heart and soul was a burning 
epic of the country, touched to an overflow of mystic 
passion by her very name. 

Seated in his retreat at Belur, Vivekananda received 
visits and communications from all quarters. The 
vast surface might be silent, but deep in the heart of 
India, the Swami was never forgotten. None could 
afford, still fewer wished, to ignore him. No hope 
but was spoken into his ear no woe but he knew it, 
and strove to comfort or to rouse. Thus, as always 
in the case of a religious leader the India that he 
saw, presented a spectacle strangely unlike that 
visible to any other eye. For he held in his hands 
the thread of all that was fundamental, organic, 
vital; he knew the secret springs of life; he 
understood with what word to touch the heart of 
millions. And he had gathered from all this 
knowledge a clear and certain hope. 

Let others blunder as they might. To him, the 
country was young, the Indian vernaculars still un- 
formed, flexible, the national energy unexploited. 
The India of his dreams was in the future. The new 
phase of consciousness initiated to-day through pain 
and suffering was to be but first step in a long 
evolution. , To him his country's hope was in herself. 
Never *in the alien. True, his great heart embraced* 


the alien's need, sounding a universal promise to the 
world. But he never sought for help, or begged 
assistance. He never leaned on any, what might be 
done, it was the doer's privilege to do, not the 
recipient's to accept. He had neither fears nor hopes 
from without. To reassert that which was India's 
essential self, and leave the great stream of the 
national life, strong in a fresh self-confidence and 
vigour, to find its own way, to the ocean, this was 
the meaning of "his sannyas. For his was pre- 
eminently the sannyas of the greater service. To 
him, India was Hinduistic, Aryan, Asiatic. Her 
youth might make their own experiments in modern 
luxury. Had they not the right? Would they not 
return ? But the great deeps of her being were moral, 
austere and spiritual. A people who could embrace 
death by the Ganges-side were not long to be 
distracted by the glamour of mere mechanical 

Buddha had preached renunciation, and in two 
centuries India had become an Empire. Let her but 
once more feel the great pulse through all her veins, 
and no power on earth would stand before her newly 
awakened energy. Only, it would be in her own life 
that she would find life, not in imitatiop. ! from her 
own proper past and environment that she would 
draw inspiration, not from the foreigner. v For he 
who thinks himself weak is weak : he who believes 


that he is strong is already invincible. And so for 
his nation, as for every individual, Vivekananda had 
but one word, one constantly reiterated message : 
" Awake ! Arise ! Struggle on. 
And stop not till the 
G-oal is reached ! " The Hindu. 


THERE is no son or daughter of India who will not 
take the untimely loss of Mr. A. M, Boseasan 
irreparable bereavement. To many it will serve like 
a personal loss, for he had a gift, far above the 
common, of giving himself closely and entirely to 
those who sought his counsel or asked his service. 
And these were innumerable. Indeed, to some of 
those who knew him best it may seem as if a less un- 
tiring helpfulness, a more discriminating generosity 
in giving himself, might have kept him longer in our 
-midst The fruit was ripe, it is true, but might it 
not have hung longer on the tree ? And full ten 
years too soon, we have lost one of the noblest sons 
of the motherland. 

Mr. A, M. Bose's public career and its distinctions 
are known to all of us. They are in all men's 
mouths ; and if a measure of his ability is needed, 
we may find it, in the words of Mr, Fawcett,the 
blind Postmaster-General of England, who, after 
having seen Mr- Bose to conduct a political meeting 
for him exclaimed* " If that man would only stay in 
England, he might try to he Prime Minister ! ** But 


brilliant as was his mind, the supreme value of his life 
to his own country lies in the fact that his character 
towered high above it. Gifted with the full Hindu 
measure of the capacity for sainthood, he nevertheless 
set his face freely towards the realisation of citizen- 
ship instead. His whole mind was concentrated on 
his country, and even more than his mind, his heart. 
This was so much the case indeed, that in the years of 
illness which have now ended fatally, his thoughts 
were constantly upon public affairs, and this fact was 
felt by his family as a serious difficulty in nursing 
him. He would weep as he read the news of the day, 
and no personal sorrow seemed to touch him like those 
magnified and extended tragedies which to-day are 
so closely associated- with the name of India. It is 
the love and incorruptibility of such souls as this that 
form the best promise of the present for the mourning 
Motherland. I write as a disciple of a movement 
which feels that his devotion and disinterestedness 
were not the only things for which we, the followers 
of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, will do well to 
honour the name of A. M. Bose. 

Over and above this, his was the realisation of that 
universality of sympathy, that Catholicity of heart, 
which to us are as a watch-word. His was the posi- 
tion of President in the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj, of 
which the Swami Vivekananda, as a young mau, 
was a formal member. He belonged, in fact, to a 


sect, and in a sense to a rival sect to that of the 
disciples of Ramaknshna. Yet his was the first 
hand shake of welcome to greet our great leader when 
he landed in Calcutta on his return from the West. 
The Swami Vivekananda never forgot this fact. 
" All fight between us was forgotten," Mr. Bose also 
used to say, " and all he could remember was that 
an Indian had done something ' " This was not, 
probably, either the first or the last time that Mr. A- 
M. Bose showed such large-heartedness. For it was 
no effort to him, but came freely and spontaneously. 
Indeed he could not have imagined feeling or acting 
differently. But on this occasion, he met with one 
as generous as himself to understand the rarity of 
such brotherhood. 

A stern sense of justice and inflexible integrity 
were Mr. Bose's characteristics in dealing with 
authority. He never let things slide or called lazi- 
ness by the name of mercy. He withdrew his name 
from the University Text-Book Committee, when it 
framed rules that he felt honest men could not con- 
done. And the most pitiful feature of the Senate 
of the Calcutta University, under the new Act, was, 
in Bengali eyes, its attempt to constitute itself with* 
out his presence. Of his connection with the cause 
of nationality, it is needless to speak ! such devotion 
as his makes of it a religion. Those who Kere pre- 
sent at the burning-ghat, on the morning of the 21st 


August, saw in that place on the heart where the 
men of more favoured countries might have worn 
their sovereign's decorations, in that place where 
the Sadhu might have held his Gita and his beads, 
in that place where many of us carry the Ishtam, 
nothing more than a scrap of embroidered silk bear- 
ing the inscription. . . Bande mataram. Nor does 
any one need to be reminded of the great ceremony, 
of the 16th October, last year in which the foundation- 
stone of the Federation Hall was laid in his name 
and in which his presence and his part will for ever 
assure that the spot shall be looked upon as an altar, 
the day as a sacred anniversary. Whenever he 
passed that place afterwards, he said to some one, 
he made a silent salutation. For verily, he could 
not but regard it as the most sacred of all the 
temples of the Motherland. He had come there 
from his death-bed, he told the people, and his words 
have proved to be only too true. But now that this 
first of our standard-bearers has fallen, shall not a 
thousand leap forward to carry into the fire of 
battle those colours he held so high ? 

The permanance of a movement, said the Swami 
Vivekananda, is a question of the character it repre- 
sents. Let us who are called by a religious name be 
the first to acknowledge that the great civic ideal 
which A. M. Bose, and the men standing round him 
and owning his influence, have built up amongst us, 


when judged by this test, promises a mighty future. 
Let us take this life, so unspotted in its record, so 
noble in its achievement, and, by loving imitation, 
let us make it our own. It is possible for Indian 
men to be great citizens and loyal sons of India, for 
here is one who has done it. May he be but the first 
of a great new order. 

Aveel vale ! Hail and farewell ' So said the Latin 
peoples to their honoured dead. But for us, here 
there shall be no vale ! Rather in each civic and 
national hero of the future shall we feel that we 
have a right to greet once more the departed 
greatness of Ananda Mohan Bose. For he went 
first along that road, where to follow him, in the 
after-time, there shajl be many millions. 

Let us make our own his incorruptibility, his 
chivalry for the defenceless and unknown, and, above 
all, his stern passion for righteousness. And we may 
rest assured that if we can make of ourselves such 
characters, there is no power on earth that can defeat 
us. For freedom cannot be achieved without free 
hearts and free minds, nor, to men who have these, 
can it be long refused. Blessed are these, for they 
'force open the Kingdom of Heaven, and all the world 
enters in their wake. 

And, so in the beautiful words of the Hindu bene- 
diction, may it 'be unto him "Peace ! Peace ! Peace P* 
and -may he attain the fulfilment of his heart's desire. 
* Inditm World, 



How did the ' Pope go to Avignon ? says a Euro- 
pean proverb. ' En-protestant ' as a protestant. 

EVEN the Pope, then, in face of an usurper, may, 
till he is reinstated, act the part of a protestant. 
Even a Hindu, in a similar place, may call himself 
a reformer. It would be sad, however, if the Pope, 
in love with the attitude of a protestor, were 
permanently tinged with the originality and dis- 
content of that character. The great church of 
which he is the head, divided thus against herself, 
could no long stand intact under the blows that 
would then be dealt her by her chief pastor. And 
similarly of the reformer. The work of reform is 
always limited in any given direction, and nothing 
can be more mischievous than the temper of the 
professional reformer. One reform there indeed is, 
which may ,be pursued day and night, in season and 
out of season, but this is the reform effected by pure 
ideas. The same unifterisality does not belong to 
reform proper, that is to say to the displacement of 
one institution by another. Never, for instance, can 


we sufficiently realise, never can any sufficiently aid 
us to realise, the highest ideal of faithfulness in 
woman. But who could presume to dictate to 
another the form in which this should be pur- 
sued ? Picture the folly of one who tried to force 
the exclusive imitation of the Blessed Virgin on un- 
willing followers in the East, or that of Sita on 
equally reluctant disciples in the West ! Imagine the 
disastrous removal of all familiar exemplars in order 
to spread submission to the ideal of the preacher. It 
is clear that the result would be moral and social 
chaos. Only the pure idea, the concept of faith and 
purity itself, can be universal. The form must 
always be of localised application. Only the cru- 
sader of the ideal, then, can claim passports without 
limitation. The rights of the reformer of institutions- 
are definite, and have a beginning and an end. 

It follows that the ideal itself binds together both 
reforming and unreformin-g. For if it be universal, 
it must be common to these two. In the great ends 
of human striving, the orthodox and the modern are 
at one. Both alike are struggling to reach the 
ideal; Both alike recognise good as good and evil as 
evil. We may take it, however, that the reformer! 
often onei 1 who understands the reality of a need to 
"Which the rest of his society is blind* The members 
of the Arya'Samaj for instance, are admirably san^ y 
in their attitude towards the waters of baptism., It 


would be well if Orthodox Hinduism could see as far. 
How shall they, in whose veins flows the blood of the 
rishis be permanently contaminated by a Christian 
ablution ? It is perhaps strange that those who talk 
most of the rishis should attribute least of saving 
efficacy to their kinship. Orthodox Hinduism will 
lose a . great deal, in this hour of a deepening 
nationalism, if she can find no 'way to take back her 
christianised children, who seek reconciliation with 
their own mother. 

We are usually one-sided in our perceptions. All 
the world must prostrate itself in admiration before 
women who were capable of performing suttee. But 
Ram Mohan Roy was indubitably right when he 
took any means that lay to his hand to forbid women 
in future that liberty. The patriot admires the heroic 
wifehood and admires also the lion-hearted reformer. 
Hinduism has appropriated, in this matter, the 
labours of the agitator. Hindus know well that his 
stern prohibition must be eternally enforced. They 
hold only that in his person, original as was his 
impulse, national as was his whole upbringing it 
should be recognised that a Hindu and not fereigners, 
put an end to custom. 

Ram Mohan Roy's was the apostolate. The 
response of his own people was the sanction, All 
that foreigners contributed was the assistance of the 
police, on definite occasions. 


This is indeed tine mode of all social progression. 
Custom grows rigid or becomes exaggerated. Protest 
arises in the person of seer or saint or teacher, and 
society opens her arms, embraces her rebel son, and 
takes her stand henceforth on that wider basis which 
his work has built for her. 

Or to put it otherwise, a healthy reform group 
represents anr -experiment in the laboratory of social 
growth. The Brahmo Sarna] in Bengal may be 
looked upon as a community segregating itself from 
Orthodox Society for the purpose of working out 
certain results that were requisite to that society 
itself. It was desirable to show that Hinduism was 
capable of offering' all that Christianity could ofifetf 
in the religious life and organisation, without 
de-nationalism. The tragedy of Christianity in 
India is its imperialistic character. It may be quite 
true that the under-dog is not always in the right, 
still, no self-respecting under-dog will wag his tail 
over the upper dog's statement of his own ideals ! 
But congregational worship, the weekly sermon, the 
Sunday-School and the mutual aid of sectarian 
organisation, were undoubtedly valuable contribu^ 
tions to the social side of reKgious activity. 

On the purely human side, again by opening 
society to women, 'Brahmoism silently made the 
important assertion that men stand or fall by their 
obedience to as high a moral standard as is required 


of their wives and sisters. Henceforth, in fine 
Indian Society, men must be ashamed to associate 
even with men, if these should be unfit for the finer 
tests imposed by the company of good women. The 
beautiful old reverence of the orthodox for woman- 
hood was not lost; the exquisite reserve of the 
Indian householder, guarding the privacy of his 
home, remained. Only for those who were proved 
worthy of the honour, there was now opened a social 
sanctum where fine men might meet good women 
and make an exchange of courtesy and thought. 

Freedom as to food and marriage did not mean 
the transcending of all social limitations. The 
Brahmo appears to the outsider to be as much a 
man of his own 'class as any other. But wherever 
he may have come from, belongs to a caste now, 
that is determined by its education, and any 
newcomer may join it, by reaching the required 

Work and citizenship, meanwhile were being 
< realised as religious avocations. Only in some such 
way could a great public life be built up. New types 
were being prepared and channels opened at the 
same time for their social activity. The Brahmo 
who has travelled far to find knowledge is invited, 
on his return, to share his treasure with his own 
people, and amongst Indian religious sects I know 
of no other in Calcutta who can invite every 


distinguished stranger who visits the city to come 
and tell his tale of knowledge to a full house. 

The Pope went to Avignon as a protestant. True. 
But he came back. And when he did return, it 
was as good Catholic, glad to be at home, in 
familiar places, glad to be freed from the neces- 
sity of protesting against anything. So of re- 
forms in general. A good deal of dust is stirred 
up by their inception. A good deal of antagon- 
ism and mutual conflict is required at first, partly 
to weed the ranks of recruits who might not 
be, helpful. But in the end there assuredly comes a 
time when the pioneer stage of the labour is ended. 
Then a new duty arises on both sides. On society it 
is incumbent to appropriate consciously all that the 
social experiment has achieved and evolved. On the 
reformers it is desirable to draw closer the bonds that 
unite them to the old fold, and to sum themselves 
once more in those communal thoughts and senti- 
ments from which, for a while, they were necessarily 

Then arise fresh and still more living ideals. The 
divided consciousness of conservatism on on& side 
an4 new-moulding on the other gives place to the 
seaase of a great task of upbuilding to be performed 
irt'conoznoxL Men realise that they are after all but 
the chiWren of their own fathers ; that, could they 
reach th^ fullest significance of their own institution^ 


the achievements would be tantamount to the most 
perfect reform. The radical sees that his own moral 
fervour and love of integrity were handed down to 
him from his orthodox forbears, who must have been 
to the full as good men as himself. The orthodox 
man, on his side, realises that a mer^ religion of the 
kitchen could never represent Dharma. Instead of 
casting stones at others for their errors of sympathy* 
it is his duty to widen his own, activity. The Brahnio 
is no longer to be blamed for abandoning the 
ancient forms of caste, and neither is the orthodox 
to rest content with his own petrifaction of custom* 
For Nationality has arisen, as the goal of all sections 
of society alike, and side by side must work brothers 
of all shades of opinion, of all forms of energy, for 
the recreating of the Dharma, for the building anew, 
in the modern world, of Maha-Bharata, Heroie 


Our watchword, then, is no longer * reform i In 
its place, we have taken the word l construct ! ' We* 
have to re-create the Dharma. We have to build 
again the Maha-JBharata. It was said that the 
church and its protestants, society and the reformer^ 
are now to exchange achievements and become fused 
once more. For, after all, Humanity is greater tham 


any church. Society was made for man, not man 
for Society. 

But even reunion must have a principle of unity 
clearly seen, deeply and definitely followed out. As 
long as this is lacking, schism and reconciliation 
alike are but vague driftings, erratic, unreliable. 
Even the most comprehensive group must have ite 
impulse, its reasons, its goal. The modern sects have 
shown by facts how useful are the four walls of the 
congregation to its members. The world of modern 
India is a tournament, and many are the knighte 
who tilt in it. True. But each one of them began in 
some smaller world, as part of a limited society. Here 
he trained himself, first as page, and then as horse 
and swordsman. And here, too in some higher 
reach of it, he kept vigil all night over his future 
arms, and received the accolade and spurs that were 
to fit him for the contents of the wider world without* 
Where did each of those men who belong now to the 
whole Indian world find the smaller play-ground of 
his preparation? This man, undoubtedly, in school or' 
college ; another yonder, in village, estate, or 
kingdom ; still a third in the office or at professional 
work ; a fourth amongst his fellows in religion, A 
society or a nation is rich morally or socially in 
proportion to the number of institutions it possesses, 
which .offer distinct and well-graduated steps of 
evolution to their aspirants. A country or a race that 


is robbed of all chief appointments in Government* 
in railway organisation, in administration of great 
offices and departments, in the activities of shipping 
and transport, that has no trading organisation of 
her own, available for her most educated classes, a 
country or a race that is not consciously making 
experiments, and coining to conclusions of its own, 
in agriculture, in commerce, in literature, in art, in 
science, in public works, in private comfort and 
utility, in social amelioration, such a country, such a 
race, is by this fact deprived of thousands of schools 
of manly character and human development. 

It is essential then, that a rich efflorescence of 
such opportunities be produced. It is essential that 
the best brains of the race be set to the task. Every 
industry created, every factory established, however 
insignificant it may appear in itself, is a school of a 
manhood, an academy where shrewdness and res- 
ponsibility and integrity are to be studied in the 
lesson-book of experience, an ashrama where young 
souls may ascend the first steps of the ladder towards 
rishihood. The task is the creating of a nation to 
take possession of its country. The men are to be 
produced by hard experience* The method is to be 
unity. But where is this unity to be learnt f The 
reformers have taught us the value of the fixe]d 
congregation that takes a pride in the achievements 
of its own members. But it could not be expected, 


it could not even be desired, that the body of the 
orthodox should drift into the camp of the heretics. 
How, then, can they appropriate the results of their 
experiments ? It could not be asked that the reform- 
ers should return to ,the city from which for con- 
scientious reasons they set out, and abandon in the 
eyes of the world all for which, in the past, they 
have fought. Where, then, are the two parties to 
meet and confer together ? Where are they to attack 
the common problem in common ? Where and what 
standard are they to assert their unity ? The answer 
is simple. They are to meet on the common ground of 
place. For rebuilding the Maha-Bharata, the village 
is to be the work-room. The city is the factory. The 
whole country is the site of the new building. Jn all 
that concerns the interests of India the neighbours are 
Indians, willing to avail themselves of all that can 
be learnt, from far or near, ready to obey any one, 
whatever his personal convictions on other subjects, 
who has the strength and wisdom necessary to lead* 
Nor is this any despairing counsel of perfection,. To 
an enormous extent it is true in India that good 
neighbourhood creates good feeling. The visito|* 
coming to the city is received and entertained by 
$presentatives of all factions and all opinions. This 
is true, of India as perhaps of no other country, in the 
world* So far from there being any colour of truth 
in the statement that she has been ^ hopelessly, 


divided and sub-divided for thousands of years," the 
very reverse is the case. We do not regard the 
garden as divided against itself, because the flowers 
in it are of many different hues. Nor Is India divided. 
She has, on the contrary, unfathomed depths of 
polsentiahty for common civic organisation, for united 
corporate action. But she must understand that she 
has this power. She must look at her own strength* 
She must learn to believe in herself. The power of 
steam is not a whit greater to-day, though it drives 
the railway engine and the ship, than it was of old, 
when it merely made the cover rattle over the pot 
where the rice was cooking. Steam is not more 
powerful than it was. But man has recognised its 
power. Similarly, we may stand paralysed in all our 
strength for ages, all for want of knowing that we 
had that strength. After we have faced the fact, 
there still remains the problem of how to control' and* 
use it. And long vision is not given in this kind to 
any of us. Only now and then, for hard prayer and 
struggle, do the mists blow to one side a little, letting 
, us for a moment, catch a glimpse of the mountain 
path. Yet, without recognition of our strength* 
there can be ( no possible question of using it. 
Without right thought, there cannot possibly be right 
action, To us, then, the recognition; to us, the- 
thought. India is not divided and sub-divided to 
any effective sense of those words. She is not divided 


in any way that could possibly hinder the working 
out of a great common nationality. We are working 
comrades, not because we speak the same language 
or believe the same creeds. Should I cease to be the 
brother of my own mother's son because he went 
abroad and learnt a foreign tongue, or took up the 
worship of Mahadev instead of that of Vishnu or 
Parthasarathy ? We are working comrades on no 
basis so limited as that of creed or language, which 
after all, would limit us geographically to a province 
and spiritually to a single line of development. We 
are working comrades because we are Indians, children 
of a single root tree, dwellers around one bamboo 
olump. Our task is one, the rebuilding of Heroic 
India. To this every nerve and muscle of us tingle 
with response. Who so foolish as to imagine that 
a little political "petting and pampering can make 
half a nation forget its kinship with the other half? 
Nonsense! We are one! We have not to become 
one. We are one. Our sole need is to learn to 
demonstrate our unity. Indian World. 


NEWS comes by the present mail of the Warwick 
1 Pageant. " The Scenery,'* says one who was pre- 
sent, u consisted of grass and trees and sky with the 
River Avon behind. The spectators on each day 
numbered some five thousand and the performers 
fifteen hundred at least. The whole began with a 
procession of fifty Druids, old men clad in white* 
green and blue with long white beards, carrying the 
golden sickle and the misleto-bougL Then these 
took their places behind and remained throughout 
the performance as chorus. As Queen Eliza-beth was 
rowed down the Avon in her state-barge, words fail 
to tell how impressive was the scene. When shall 
we have the history of India represented thus ? " 

When Indeed? Nothing could be imagined which 
ould better give actuality to the geat progression 
of Indian history. And a national consciousness ex- 
presses itself through history, even as a man realises 
himself by the memorie^ and associations of his own 
life. Already the historic drama is proceeding apace 
amongst us, and our city is realising that the theatre 
riiay have the greatest and noblest of all tasks, that of 


visualising and spreading a world-changing idea. For 
some time a further notion has been agitated amongst 
some of us, namely that of living pictures, or 
tableaux, of Indian historic cities. A group might 
easily be arranged, for example, to symbolise Delhi,, 
or Cheetore, or Benares, or Amritsar or Poona. The 
costumes would be almost as valuable an element in 
such pictures as the dramatic character of the 
groups themselves. Thus in a picture of Delhi, red 
must predominate, in one of Agra, white, and so on. 
After a series of these symbolic scenes, it might be 
feasible to have a grouped scene representing the 
cities of a given period. And finally, by way of the 
fifth act, as it were, a group, with Delhi high in the 
centre, representing the historic cities of modern 
India, first, as they now are, second, as we may yet 
hope to recreate them. 

But the idea of the Historic Pageant is much sim- 
pler than this. India is the land of civic pageants. 
Every wedding, every puja, involves its procession 
through the lanes, the bazaars, and along the Ganges- 
side. And in every such procession we find the, idea 
of the pageant in embryo. Here, as in so many other 
directions also, it needs only that under the master- 
impulse of nationality, the elements in which our life 
is already rich shall be swept up and organised, for 
the expression of a great purpose. Nor need it be 
supposed that the presence of women is essential to 


this. In the days of Shakespeare in England, and in 
the Greek drama of a -^Eschylus the place of women 
on the stage was always taken by boys. Woman 
has never been seen amongst the actors, when drama 
was at its greatest. There is no reason whatever, 
therefore, that such pageants as are here spoken of 
should be any source of controversy on this much- 
disputed point For the whole thing can be organised 
and carried out by students, would indeed be best done 
by their means. 

Nor ought we to urge the rudeness and simplicity 
of the means at our disposal. It is not costume, nor 
scenery, that makes drama great, but its power of 
dramatic suggestion. A play acted in a village barn, 
if there be present an actor of genius, may be far 
more impressive than anything London or Paris can 
show. If we in India are ever to reach the power to 
make a Warwick Pageant, it must be by beginning 
where we can. No matter how simple the first 
attempt, the imagination of the people once at work 
on the matter, the historic procession will carry itself, 
eacl; year will see it become more perfect, each 
occasion will find us more competent to organise it, 
But from first to last, it will be the intensity of the 
historic suggestion speaking through it that will make 
the pageant great and successful. We would like to 
see it taken up irj every village, in every school-rooin 
and play -ground* We want the children and the 


uneducated to play and pose and group themselves 
spontaneously, in realisation of their country's 
history. If this sort of thing could become a 
passion, like the imitation of the Ram Lila: 
among the children and peasants of the Punjab, like 
the mourning of the Mohurrum amongst the Shiahs 
of the North West, like the Virasthomi Procession in 
the Hindu Native States and like that of Janmas- 
tomi Day at Dacca, then we might hope that great 
memories "would indeed stir effectively in the minds 
and hearts of those who are called of the Mother's 
voice to make themselves once more a mighty nation. 
For in order that nationality may become a reality, 
it is essential that the history of the country should 
become a direct mode of consciousness with all her 

It is proposed then, that for the celebration of the 
16th of October All India Day in this and suc- 
ceeding years, while the religious ceremony will 
always of course be the JRakhi bondhon, the tying of 
the JRakhi, there should also be a civic ceremony 
consisting of a historic pageant by the students 
through the streets. It is proposed that the cart or 
dais so much used in marriage processions should 
here be employed for the historic groups* Before 
each dais or cart will go the s&onfc-blowers and 
heralds of 'that scene and after it will come musi*- 
dans and banners* There might be from twelve ife 


twenty scenes altogether. But in the last, modern 
India should be depicted mourning. The procession 
might take place by day-light, or at night by torch- 
light. In the latter case, it might also be lighted 
up occasionally by coloured fire. But it must be 
remenlbered that few things are so grand an element 
in processions, as rough torches, with their leaping 

It is desirable that only strictly historical scenes 
should at first be included in these pageants. There- 
fore it would probably be well to begin with the 
reign of Chandragupta or if prior ages were to be 
indicated at all, it would be better to do this by 
means of a scene from the forest-ashramas of the 
Upanishads, or the fire-sacrifices of the Vedas, than by 
entering upon the too complex matter of the Maha- 
bharata and Ramayana. It is the History of India ? 
that we want to concretise, not the memories of the 
faith. A very beautiful element in such festivals 
would be added, if Mohammedan students would 
arrange to contribute those pictures which repre- 
sented their own heroes and emperors; but while 
such assistance would be welcome, such co-operation 
wholly delightful, it ought not to be regarded as 
essential. The students of the city, whether Hindu or 
Mohammeden ought in every case, as citizens, make 
themselves responsible for the due representation and 
glorification of the past. Calcutta, having but little 


local history, has the advantage of being able to 
yield herself up to the history of India as a whole. 
Cities like Lucknow, Benares, Bankipore and Poona, 
on the other hand would have a strong view of their 
own to add to this, and would thus be comparable 
to Warwick itself, for that city portrays its local 
history, for the world's delight. 

It is clear that we have here not an entertainment 
merely, but a great new means of culture. Pro- 
grammes printed in the vernacular and distributed 
broad cast, will give the name of each scene, with a 
brief explanatory note. Roofs, verandahs and pave- 
ments will furnish spectatorium, and in every house- 
hold of women there will be present some man in his 
capacity of protector and household guardian, who can 
answer eager questions and make meanings still more 
clear. Thus, during the hours of the procession, a 
whole city will be, as it were, at school, but at school 
with its heart, as well as with its head* Indian 



"The true Hinduism that made men work, not 

. J. a BOSE 

ONE of the most valuable generalisations of the 
modern era is that which was first arrived at, just 
about the time of the French Revolution, that the 
individual^ in his development, follows the race. Each 
man and woman, that is to say, when perfectly 
educated, becomes. an epitome of the history either 
of Ms or <her own race, or of Humanity as a whole. 
This great perception made itself felt as a definite 
element in a new scheme of education, through 
PESTALOZZI, the saint and guru of teachers in the 
twentieth century West. Pestalozzi saw that, were 
there ever to be hope for the people, it must be 
through an education at once modern, that is liberal, 
psychological, that is founded on a knowledge of 
mental laws, and in accordance with the historic 
development of man. 


The problem which the young student Pestalozzi, 
son and lover of the people, had to face at the end of 
the French Revolution, in Switzerland, was of trifling 
magnitude, compared with that which confronts the 
son and lover of India to-day. And yet, in their inner- 
most nature, the two are identical. Fcr this, like 
that, consists in the difficulty of opening up the 
human field to a new thought-harvest, while at the 
same time avoiding the evils of mere surface-culture. 
The soil that has brought forth the mango and the 
palm, ought not to be degraded to producing only 
gourds and vetches. And, similarly, the land of the 
Vedas and of Jnana Yoga has no right to sink into 
the role of mere-critic or imitator of European Letters. 

Yet this is the present condition of Indian culture, 
and it appears likely to remain so, unless the Indian 
mind can deliberately discipline itself to the historic 
point of view. To do this is like adjusting oneself to 
a n3w dimension. Things which were hitherto merg- 
ed in each other, all at once become distinct. That 
which till now was instinctive, is suddenly seen to 
Jbave a goal, which is capable, in its turn, of clear 
definition. The social and the religious idea, under 
Hinduism as under Islam, were, in the past, indis- 
tinguishable. Philosophically, of course, every tyro 
ould detach one from the other : in practice, how- 
ever, they were one, and could not be separated. For 
religious reasons as was supposed, we must eat in a 


certain way, wear specified clothing, and fulfil a 
definite scheme of purification. Suddenly, through 
the modern catastrophe, the sunlight of comparison, 
contrast, and relativity, is poured over the whole 
area, and we discover that by living up to custom, 
we have been not accumulating pious merit, but 
merely approximating to that ideal of absolute 
refinement, cleanliness, and purity, which is the 
dream of all fine human life, and which may as well, 
or better, be achieyed, by some other canon, as by 
our own. Seeing the goal thus clearly, we become 
able to analyse and compare various methods, to add 
to our own conduct the virtues of others, and to 
eliminate from it the defects of all. Above all we 
find out how to distinguish effectively between the 
social idea, and religion. It is thus that it becomes 
possible to talk of " an aggressive Hinduism ". 

Aggression is to be the dominant characteristic of 
the India that is to-day in school and classroom, 
aggression, and the thought and ideals of aggression* 
Instead of passivity, activity ; for the standard of 
weakness, the standard of strength ; in place of a 
steadily -yielding defence, the ringing cheer of the 
invading host. Merely to change the attitude of the 
mind, in this way, is already to accomplish a 
revolution. And the inception of some such change 
will have become evident to us all within a dozen 


But before the first step can be taken, there must be 
clear thought about essentials. The object of all 
religious systems is the formation of character. Theo- 
cratic systems aim at the construction of character 
through the discipline of personal habit. But at bot- 
tom it is character and not habit, that they desire to 
create. No one will dispute that her ideals are a still 
prouder , fruit of Hinduism than her widespread 
refinement. It is true that India is the only country 
in the world where a penniless wanderer may sur- 
pass a king in social prestige. But still grander is 
the fact that the king may be a Janaka, and the 
beggar, a Suke Deva. 

Let us, then, touch on the comparative study of 
the value of habit as a factor in the evolution of 
character. We find in India that society watches a 
man all the years of his life, ready to criticise him 
for the hour at which he bathes and eats and prays, 
the mode of his travel, the fashion in which, per- 
haps, he wears his hair. To attempt a serious 
innovation on social custom, in such directions &s 
marriage or education, seems to horrified public 
opinion not merely selfish, but also sacrilegious. 
And this kind of criticism becomes more and more 
powerful over the individual, as the villages empty 
themselves into the cities. For the man who might 
have had the courage to make his mark in the 
smaller community, would think it presumptuous id 


go his own way, in the larger. Hence the aggrega- 
tion of men tends to become the multiplication of 
their weaknesses and defects. It is the mean and 
warped judgment that gains fastest in weight. 

But let us look at a community in which active 
ends and ideals are energetically pursued. Here, a 
certain standard of personal refinement is exacted of 
the individual, as rigidly as in India itself. But 
public opinion, being strong enough to kill, does not 
stoop to discuss such points. The learning of the 
method is relegated to the nursery, where it is 
imparted by women. Having * passed through this 
stage of his education, it is not expected that the 
hero will fall short in future, of its standards ; but if 
he did so, society would know how to punish him, 
by ignoring his existence. Both he and society, 
meanwhile, are too busy with other efforts, to be 
able to waste force on what is better left to his own 
pride. For a whole new range of ideals has now 
*x>me in sight. From the time that a Western child 
steps out of the nursery, it is not quietness, docility, 
resignation, and obedience, that his teachers and 
guardians -strive to foster in him, so much as 
strength, initiative, sense of responsibility, and power 
of rebellion. Temper and self-will are regarded 
by Western educators as a very precious power, 
which must by no means be crushed or destroyed, 
though they must undoubtedly be disciplined 


subordinated to impersonal ends. It is for this reason 
that fighting is encouraged in our playgrounds, the 
only stipulation being for fairplay. To forbid a boy to 
undergo the physical ordeal, means, as we think, 
undermining his sincerity, as well as his courage. 
But for -him to strike one who is weaker than himself 
is to stand disgraced amongst his equals. 

That is to say, a social evolution which in Asia has 
occupied many centuries is in the West relegated 
to, at most, the first ten years of a child's upbringing, 
and he tfcen passes into the period of chivalry. 
Indeed if, as some suppose, the ten Avatars of Vishnu 
are but the symbol of a single perfect life, India her- 
self has not failed to point this lesson. For after the 
stages of fish, tortoise, boar, and man -lion, are all 
safely and happily passed, and the child has become 
" a little man," it still remains for him to be twice a 
Kshatriya before he is able to become a Buddha. 
What is this, but the modern generalisation, that the 
individual in his development follows the race? And 
in the last sublime myth of Kalki, may it not be that 
we have the prophecy of a great further evolution, 
in which Buddha-hood itself shall plunge once more 
into a sovereign act of redeeming love and pity, and 
initiate, for every individual of us, the triumph 
oi active and aggressive ideals ? 

Let us suppose, then, that we see Hinduism no 
longer as the preserver of Hindu custom, but as the 


creator of Hindu character. It is surprising to think 
how radical a change is entailed in many directions 
by this conception. We are no longer oppressed 
with jealousy or fear, when we contemplate en- 
croachments on our social and religious consciousness. 
Indeed, the idea of encroachment has ceased, because 
our work is not now to protect ourselves, but to 
convert others. Point by point, we are determined, 
not merely to keep what we had, but to win what 
we never had before. The question is no longer of 
other people's attitude to us, but, rather, of what we 
think of them. It is not, how much have we kept ? 
but, how much have we annexed ? We cannot afford, 
now t to lose, because we are sworn to carry the 
battle t&r beyond our remotest frontiers. We no 
longer dream of submission, because struggle itself 
has become only the first step towards a distant 
victory to be won. 

No other religion in the world is so capable of this 
dynamic transformation as Hinduism. To Nararjuna 
and Buddhaghosha, the Many was real, and the Ego 
unreal. To Sankaracharya, the One was real and 
the Many unreal. To Ramakrishna and Viveka- 
nanda, the many and the One were the ^me Reality, 
perceived differently and at different times by the 
human consciousness. Do we realise what this 
means? It means that CHARACTER IS SPIRIT- 
UALITY, It means that laziness and defeat are not 


renunciation. It means that to protect another is 
infinitely greater than to attain salvation. It 
means that Mukti lies in overcoming the thirst 
for Mukti. It means that conquest may be the 
highest form of sannyas. It means, in short, that 
Hinduism is become aggressive, that the trumpet of 
Kalki is sounded already in our midst, and that it 
calls all that is noble, all that is lovely, all that is 
strenuous and heroic amongst us, to a battle-field on 
which the bugles of retreat shall never more be heard. 


" Forgiveness, if weak and passive is not good : fight 

is better 

Forgive, when you can bring legions of angels to 
an easy victory." VlVEKANANDA. 

It is small wonder if, in the act of transition from 
old form to new, from a mode of thought some 
centuries venerable, to one untried, and at best but 
modern, it is small wonder it, in the throes of so 
great a crisis, India should have passed through a 
generation or two of intellectual confusion. Tht 
astonishing phenomenon is rather the speed and ease 
of her re-adjustment. Within fifty years to have assi- 
milated a new language, and that of an unforeseen 
type, and to have made changes at almost every rung 
in the ladder of ideal culture, is this a little thing ? 


Is it a fact that could be duplicated anywhere ? To 
speak, in reply, of Japan, is mere foolishness. The 
problem of Japan, when midway through the nine- 
teenth century, could hardly be compared with that of 
India. A small and compact people, of single origin 
inhabiting island, and strong in their sense of insula- 
rity could naturally mobilise themselves in any 
direction they pleased. The number of people in 
India to-day who speak English fluently woulc^ 
people two or three Japans more than once. And in 
spite of all efforts to prevent it, the knowledge of 
English will go on spreading. 

The trouble hitherto has been that the people were 
-as passive to modern culture as to ancient. In a 
land where the segregation ~of the soul has been the 
-aim of the highest thoilght and life, for thousands 
of years, it has not been easy to turn every energy 
suddenly in the direction of activity and mutual co- 
operation. At bottom, however, there is strength 
enough in India, and in spite of the demoralisation of 
hunger and baffled hope, her people are about to set 
foot on the threshold of a new era. The ebb of the 
tide has already reached its utmost. The reaction of 
fortune is about to commence. That this is so, is due 
to the fact that at the beginning of the twentieth 
century the Indian people can take a bird's-eye view 
of their past history, and are able to understand 
their true position. 


There is a saying in India that to see through Maya 
is to destroy her. But few realise how literally this 
is true. The disaster or difficulty that has ceased to 
confuse and bewilder us, is about to be defeated. 
The evil about which we can think and express our- 
selves clearly, has already lost its power. To measure 
our defeat accurately, is to reverse it. When a people, 
as a people, from the highest to the lowest, are 
united in straight and steady understanding of their 
circumstances, without doubt and without illusion 9 
then events are about to precipitate themselves. Dis- 
crimination is the mark of the highest spirituality, 
Spirituality is the only irresistible force. Like the 
fire that wraps a forest in flame, is the power of the 
mind of a whole nation. 

From the year 1858 onwards, there has been no 
possible goal for the Indian people but a complete 
assimilation of the modern conscioiisness. At that 
point the Mediaeval order was at an end. Prithvi 
Rai and Shah Jehan, Asoka and Akbar were mingled 
in a common oblivion. Only the soil they had loved* 
only the people they had led, remained, to addres^ 
themselves to a new task, to stand or fall by their 
power to cope with a new condition- Sharp as the 
contrast between the Ghinga and the Jumna w#s* 
the difference between the Mediaeval and the Modem* 
Invincible as the resistless current of the Bhagfrathi* 
is that new India, that is to be born of both. 


Up to the present, however, in the exhaustion of 
the transition, it has not been possible for the nation- 
al mind to envisage the problem, so as to see or state 
its terms clearly. To-day this first stage is over. 
The Indian mind is no longer in blind "collapse. It is 
awaking to fresh strength, and about to survey both 
past and present, that by their means it may deter- 
mine and forecast its future. 

What are the differentia, what is the precise pro- 
blem of this modern age ? Definitions are proverbial- 
ly rash, but it is not difficult to state some facts and 
considerations bearing on this subject, with great 
precision. The outstanding fact about the modern 
period has been, undoubtedly, the geographical dis- 
covery of the world as a whole. The one charac- 
teristic of the modern mind, that make it unlike the 
mind of any other age, is the completeness with 
which it is able to survey and define the surface of 
the planet Earth. The discovery of steam, with the 
consequent invention of railways and steamboats, 
has undoubtedly been the efficient cause of this ex- 
ploration, and out of the consequent clash of faiths 
and cultures, has come the power to make the per- 
sonal or mythological equation ; to cancel, more or 
less to one's own satisfaction, all the elements of 
local prejudice in a given problem ; and from thisi 
again has been bom the ideal of modern science, of 
modern culture, generally, the attempt to extract the* 


rootfact from all the diversity of phenomena in 
which it clothes itself. 

In this way, the intellectual and spiritual dis- 
covery of the world has followed hard on the physi- 
cal or geographical. In culture, a new era has been 
proclaimed. It is no longer enough to know one 
thing well. It is also incumbent upon us to under- 
stand its place amongst other things, and its relation 
to the scheme of knowledge as a whole. 

The pioneers of modernism, meanwhile, have been 
dominated by the ideal of the machine, to which they 
have owed so much of their success. To this fact 
we may trace our present-day standards of order 
and efficiency. A large house of business, with its 
staff, is simply a human machine of an intricate 
kind. It has been said that the Oriental regards 
his servants as personal attendants, the Western as 
so many hidden machines. Nothing could be more 
true. The Oriental is in every case an agricultural- 
ist, accustomed to the picturesque disorder of seed- 
time and harvest, cowshed and barn, and far from 
irritated by it. Every thought and habit of /the 
Western, on the other hand, is dominated by the 
notion of mechanical accuracy and efficiency, and by 
the effort of the mechanician to achieve a given end 
by the most economical possible means. 

In a society in which the highest knowledge 
fulfils the twofold test of order and synthesis, the 


great sin is provincialism. And here the new world 
differs from the old, in which the tastes of aristo- 
crats were supreme, and mortal crime lay in vul- 

But while the great intellectual and social failure of 
to-day lies in provincialism, no serious mind assumes 
that the world-idea is to be arrived at easily. Only 
the tree that is firm-rooted in its own soil can offer 
us a perfect crown of leaf and blossom. And simi- 
larly, only the heart that responds perfectly to the 
claims of its immediate environment, only the charac- 
ter that fulfils to the utmost its stint of civic duty,, 
only this heart and mind is capable of taking its place 
in the ranks of the truly cosmopolitan. Only the fully 
national can possibly contribute to the cosmo- 

And this is understood to-day by cultured persons, 
all the world over. The cheap superciliousness of 
the young man who, on leaving his village in Kamsr 
chatka or Uganda, has been initiated into the habits 
and manners of the European democracy, and takes 
himself for this reason as an exalted and competent 
critic of hi$ own people, only evokes a smile. No 
one desires his acquaintance, for he has nothing to 
add to the thought-world of those with whom he is 
so proud to have been associated. Every act, every 
movement, writes large across his forehead the word 
44 snob ". 


On the other hand, to take one's stand persistently 
on the local prejudices of the village in Kamschatka 
or Uganda, is, though infinitely more manly and 
self-respecting, almost as futile. It is better to be 
provincial than to be vulgar, for our horror of vul- 
garity is the longer-grown. But both miss the 
effective achievement. What the time demands of 
us is that in us our whole past shall be made a part 
of the world's life. This is what is called the reali- 
sation of the national idea. But it must be realised 
everywhere, in the world-idea. In order to attain a 
large power of giving, we may break through any 
barrier of custom. But it is written inexorably in 
the very nature of things that, if we sacrifice custom 
merely for some mean or selfish motive, fine men 
and women "everywhere Will refuse to admit us to 
their fellowship. 

Cosmo-na;tionality of thought and conduct, then, 
is not easy for any man to reach. Only through a 
perfect realisation of his own nationality can any- 
one, anywhere, win to it. And Cosmo-nationality * 
consists in holding the local idea in the world-idea. It 
is well known that culture is a matter of sympathy, 
rather than of information. It would follow that 
the cultivation of the sense of humanity as a whole, 
is the essential feature of a modern education. But 
this cannot be achieved by mere geographical know- 
ledge. The unification of the world has emancipated 


the human mind to some extent, and we now 
understand that a man's character is the sum of his 
assimilated experiences ; in other words, that his 
history is written in his face. And what is true of 
persons we see also to be true of countries. The very 
landscape is a key to the hopes and dreams of men. 
Their hopes and dreams explain to us the heritage 
they have left. History, then, is as essential to the 
modern consciousness as geography. It is the second 
dimension, as it were> of TRUTH, as we now seek it, 
naked and dynamic. 

Our changed attitude changes all our conceptions. 
We make a new survey of our knowledge, and are 
no longer content to view dog as dog and cow as 
cow, but must needs learn all the links and develop- 
ments between them. Their very differences are 
now regarded by us as a guarantee of their funda- 
mental community of origin. We break open the 
rocks and scour the waste places of the earth, that 
we may find forms which will explain to us the 
divergence of horse-hoof from cow-hoof, reptile from 
fish, and bird from both. 

Or we turn to the study of art and letters. Here 
again, our scrutiny has entered on the comparative 
stage. If we investigate the records of Baghdad, we 
must understand also those of Moorish spain It is 
not enough to follow the course of chivalry in 
France, unless we also assist at its birth in German 


forests. Our idea of unity has become organic, 
evolutionary, and some picture of the movement and 
clash of the world as a whole is an overmastering 

Yet even the finest mind is limited by its own 
ignorance. What a painful blank in modern 
culture, whenever we come upon the word ' China ' ! 
How little has it been possible to say about India to 
which any cultivated Indian can give more than a 
pitying smile ! And how utterly misunderstood is the 
Mahommadan world ! The world of culture, be it 
remembered is not tainted by political corruption* 
Race-prejudice has no place in the ideal aspiration 
after knowledge. Why then should a silence, 
almost political, pervade the spaces that ought to 
be filled with Oriental interpretation, in modern 
thought ? 

The reason, as regards India, is easy enough to find. 
The Indian mind has not reached out to conquer and 
.possess its own land as its own inalienable share and 
trust, in the world as a whole. It has been content, 
even in things modern, to take obediently whatever 
was given to it. And the newness and strangeness 
of' the thing given, has dazed it The Indian people 
as a whole, for the last two generations, have been 
as men walking m a dream, without manhood, 
without power to react freely against conditions, 
without even common-sense. 


But to-day, in the deliberate adoption of an aggres- 
sive policy, we have put all this behind us. Realis- 
ing that life is struggle, we are now determined that 
our wrestling with the powers that are against us, 
shair enable us to contribute to the world's sum of 
culture, not merely to make adaptations from it* 
Our part henceforth is active, and not passive. The 
Indianising of India, the organising of our national 
thought, the laying out of our line of march, all 
this is*to be done by us, not by others, on our behalf. 
We accept no more programmes. Henceforth are 
we become the makers of programmes. We obey no 
more policies. Henceforth do we create policies. We 
refuse longer to call by the name of f education,' the 
apprenticeship necessary for a ten-rupee clerkship. 
We put such things in their true place. We ordain 
ourselves intellectually free. * What, then, is the 
task before us ? 

Our task is to translate ancient knowledge into 
modern equivalents. We have to clothe the old 
strength in a new form. The new form without that 
x>ld strength is nothing but a mockery; almost equally 
foolish is the savage anachronism of an old-time 
power without fit expression. Spiritually, intellec- 
tually, there is no undertaking, but we must attempt it. 

Great realms of the ideal open for our exploration. 
New conception of life and duty, and freedom ; new 
ideas of citizenship ; untried expressions of love and 


friendship ; into all these we must throw ourselves 
with burning energy, and make them our own. 

We must create a history of India in living terms. 
Up to the present that history, as written in English, 
practically begins with Warrren Hastings, and 
crams in certain unavoidable preliminaries, which 
cover a few thousands of years, and, troublesome as 
they are, cannot be altogether omitted ! All this is 
merely childish and has to be brought to the block. 
The history of India has yet to be written for the 
first time. It has to be humanised, emotionalised 
made the trumpet-voice and evangel of the races 
that inhabit India. And to do this, it must be re- 
connected with place. Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay, 
are the present view-points ! Surely the heroes that 
sleep on ancient battle-fields, the forefathers that 
make for themselves the wide- walled cities, th^ 
scholars that left behind them precious thought and 
script, have laughed sometimes when they have not 
wept to see from high heaven the grotesque docility 
of their descendants ! The history of India consists in 
truth, of the strata, of at least three thousand years. 
Ocean-bed and river-sands, forest and marsh, and 
ocean-floor again, lie piled one upon the other and in 
each period some new point is centre. Ayodhya and 
Hastinapura, Indraprastha and Pataliputra, Ujjain 
and Delhi, Conjeevaram and Amaravati, what of the 
vanished worlds of which ill these were born ? There 


is no evangel without worship. Throw yourselves, 
children of India, into the worship of these and your 
whole part. Strive passionately for knowledge. 
Yours are the spades and mattocks of this excavation. 
For with you and not with the foreigner, are the 
thought and language that will make it easy to un- 
earth the old significance. India's whole hope lies 
in a deeper research, a more rigid investigation of 
facts. With her, encouragement, and not despair, is 
on the side of truth ! 

Great literatures have to be created in each of the 
varnaculars. These literatures must voice the past, 
translate the present, forecast the future. The 
science and the imagination of Europe have to be 
brought, through the vernacular, to every door. India 
cannot afford to imitate foreign institutions Neither 
can she afford to remain ignorant of foreign ideals. 
The history of the past has to be re-written, in simple 
terms. True hope for the time to come must fill all 
hearts, like a nation's Common Prayer. On the crea- 
tion of such vernacular literatures, depends the 
effective education of women. 

Art must be re-born. Not the miserable travesty 
of would-be Europeanism that we at present know. 
There is no voice like that of art, to reach the people. 
A song, a picture, these are the fiery* cross 1 that 

1 " A rough cross of charred wood used to be passed from clan to 
clan m the Scottish Highlands, as the call to war. We all know the 
folded chapathy of the Indian villages. 


leaches all the tribes, and makes them one. And art 
will be re-born, for she has found a new subject, 
India herself. Ah, to be a thinker in bronze and 
give to the world the beauty of the Southern Pariafa 
as he swings, scarce-clad, along the Beach-Road at 
Kadras ! Ah to be a Millet, and paint the woman 
worshipping at dawn beside the sea ! Oh for a pencil 
that would interpret the beauty of the Indian Sari ; 
the gentle life of village and temple ; the coniing 
ard going at the Ganges side ; the play of the 
children ; the faces, and the labours, of the cows ! 

But far more, on behalf of India herself, do we 
netd artists, half poets and half draoaghtsmen, who 
car wake in us the great new senses: -We want men 
of ihe Indian Blood, who can portray for us the men 
of :>ld, Bhishma and Yudhirasthira, Akbar and 
Sher Shah, Pratap Singh and Chand Bibi in such 
fashbn as to stir the blood. We want through these 
to fed out, as a people, towards the new duties of the 
time t> be- Not only to utter India $o the world, but 
also, 10 voice India to herself, this is the mission of 
art dhine mother of the ideal when it descends to 
clothe tself in forms of realism. 

At e<,ch step, then, the conquest must be twofold* 
On this side something to be added to the world's 
knowledge, and on- that, an utterance to be given for 
the first tme, for India to herself. This is the battle 
that opeis before the present generation. On our 


fighting a good fight, the very existence, it may be, 
of the next depends. Our national life is become, 
perforce, a national assault. As yet the very outworks 
of the besieged city are almost unstormed. Here- 
with then let us sound the charge. Sons of the Indian 
past, do ye fear to sleep at night-fall on your shields? 
On, on, in the name of a new spirituality, to con- 
mand the treasures of the modern world sack ! On, en, 
soldiers of the Indian Motherland, seize ye the battle- 
ments and penetrate to the citadel ! Place garrison 
and watch within the hard-won towers, or fall, tlat 
others may climb on your dead bodies, to the height 
ye strove to win. 



"Be what thou prayest to be made." 
The adoption of the active or aggressive atitude 
,of mind changes for us all our theories. Wf sight 
now nothing but the goal. Means have Jecome 
ends, ends means. The power to count the c)st and 
hesitate, is gone for ever. We seek great objects and 
created them, scorning small hopes. The Inda about 
us has become "Maha Bharata," " Heroic India ". 
The future offers wider chances of sacrificgthan the 
past. We look to make our descendant greater 
than our ancestors. 


Words have changed their meanings. Karma is no 
longer a destiny, but an opportunity. Do I behold 
injustice ? Mine the right to prohibit oppression, and 
I do it. Before the honest indignation of one fearless 
man, the whole of Maya trembles and departs. 
Destiny is passive before me. I triumph over it. 
Strength is the power to take our own life, at its 
most perfect, and break it, if need be, across the knee. 
This strength is now ours, and with it we conquer 
the earth. No one is so invincible as the man who 
has not dreamt of defeat, because he has a world 
beyond victory, to achieve. 

Our desires have grown immeasurable. But they 
are desires to give, not to receive. We would fain 
win, that we may abandon to those behind us, and 
pass on. For that which is dearer to us than self, we 
long greatly to throw away our life, and this defeat- 
ed sacrifice transforms all our work with energy. The 
whole of life becomes the quest of death, 'those that 
are close to us become associated with ourselves in 
our risks and defiances. We learn to realise that in 
this fact lies their beatitude. Buddha did not sacrifice 
Yasodhara when he left her. He conferred on her 
the glory of renouncing with him. 

Or is it brahmacharyat This is not only for the 
monk. Nor is it wholly of the body. " Abstinence/* 
says one, u without a great purpose, is nothing. It 
is only the loss of another power". But even 


brahmdcharya has to be made aggressive. Celibacy, 
here, is only the passive side of a life that sees human 
beings actively as minds and souls. Marriage itself 
ought to be, in the first place, a friendship of the mind. 
Exchange of thought and communion of struggle, is 
far beyond the offering of comfort, and the one need 
not exclude the other. The brahmacharya of the hero 
makes marriage noble, for it seeks the good of another 
as an end in itself. In true brahmacharya is involved 
the education of women, for a radiant purity 
comes to its perfect fruition in thought and know- 
ledge, and assimilation of experience, and there 
is a brahmacharya of the wife, as well as of the 

In the life of tapasya is constant renewal of energy 
and light. Every task becomes ealy to the worship- 
per of Sarasvati. He spurns ease. Daily and hourly 
does the impersonal triumph in him over the personal. 
His ideal aspires upward, like a rising flame. Each 
circle reveals fresh heights to be gained. The wife 
shares in the ideals of her husband. She protects 
them, as if they were her children, even against him- 
self. She urges him on towards them, when, alone, 
he might have flagged. She measures their common 
glory by the degree of this realisation. Her woman- 
hood is grave and tender, like some sacrament of the 
' eternal. * Not this, not this,,' is the cry ever in the 
ears of both. Counting happiness for self a little 


thing, each gives it to the other, in seeking to bestow 
it on the world around. 

Sannyasit again, is a word charged with new signi- 
ficance. It is not his gerrua cloth, but his selflessness,, 
that makes a monk. There may be monks of science 
and learning, monks of art and industry, monks of 
the public life and service, and monks for the defence 
of the defenceless. Great is the impulse of renuncia- 
tion : greater is the sustained self-sacrifice of a heroic 
life. In the soul ol the maha-purusha, it is difficult, 
sometimes, to tell whether soldier or Sannyasi is pre- 
dominant. He combines the daring of the one, with 
the freedom of the other. Years leave no mark on 
the aggressive life. It is as ready to cast itself down 
from the palm-tree's height, in old age, as it was in 
youth. Or more. For the spiritual will has grown 
stronger with time. Nothing is measured by person- 
al hope or fear. All is tested by the supreme pur- 
pose, as making an end in itself. Self ceases to be a 
possible motive. The hand once put to the plough* 
it grows there, and the man would not know how 
to turn back. The Sannyasin cannot be touched 
by misery. For him defeat is merely a passing- 
phase. Ultimate victory is inevitable. He is light- 
hearted in failure, as in success. 

Obedience to the Guru becomes eager fulfilment 
*of an idea, and a seeking out of new ways in which 
to bring about fulfilment. Every act of attainment 


is now understood to be a spiritual achievement, 
and there is no rest without the handing on of each 
realisation, as to disciples. At the same time, the 
standard of discipleship has grown inexorable. There 
is no passing of the spurious coin as genuine. < The 
aspirant must serve, because without much service 
there is no germination of truth. He must worship, 
because without loyalty there is no manhood. But 
one stain of insincerity, one blemish of self-interest, 
and the Guru must recognise though to do so be 
like going maimed for life that this is not that 
chela for whom all Gurus seek. 

Love and hatred are now immense powers. Love, 
when no longer personal, when all strength, becomes 
rousing, invigorating, life-giving. Hatred is the 
refusal to compromise. It cuts off meanness and 
falsehood, root and branch. Love, now, finds unity 
of intention behind everything that is sincere. Pride 
is too proud to found itself on a lie. The man is 
silent until he has first acted. Nor dare he boast 
himself of the deeds of his ancestors or the achieve- 
ments of his fellows. A fierce humility mingles 
with all his ambition and tells him that praise from 
unworthy lips is sacrilege. 

And finally the life's purpose has become a con- 
suming fire. The object is desired for its own 
sake. Like Shivi-Rana, whose whole soul was set 
on sacrifice, the left side weeps that to the right 


alone it is given to suffer. Like Myer the German 
chemist, who had an eye and an arm torn bff in the 
discovery of nitrogen compounds, the soul kneels in 
the midst of agony, to give thanks in an ecstasy 
that enough is still left to continue the search for 
knowledge. The vibration, of the word "Work" 
when uttered by such workmen, carries the thrill of 
Jnana to other hearts. 

Strong as the thunderbolt, austere as bramacharya 
great-hearted and selfless, such should be that 
Sannyasm who has taken the service of other as his 
Sannyas, and not less than this should be the son of 
a militant Hinduism. Indian Review, 


YOUNG India is fascinated by the political spectacle 
in European countries : fascinated, and also perhaps 
hypnotised by it, She imagines, perhaps, that until 
she can reproduce the bear-garden of opposite parties, 
she has failed to emulate the vigour and energy of 
Western patriotism. This, at least, is the only excuse 
for that evil fashion which has made its appearance 
amongst us, of mutual recrimination, and mutual 
attack. Those who are fighting on different 
parts of the self -same field are wasting time and 
ammunition by turning their weapons on each other, 
instead of on a common foe. The fact is, young 
India has yet to realise that hers is not a movement 
of partisan politics at all, but a national, that is to 
say, a unanimous progression. There is no difference 
of opinion on national questions, amongst honest 
men, in India. Put Hindus and Mahomedans together 
on a Legislative Council Have they not always to 
be reckoned with as a single opinion? Who cares 
the Brahmin eats, or whom he invites to his 


dinner parties? Do he, and the Kayasth, or the 
Vaidhya, or the Kshattriya, make opposite demands 
on the University Senate ? As citizens, in the Muni- 
cipality, is the good of one the good of the others, or 
not ? It is wonderful how long dust can be thrown 
in men's eyes, by talk that absolutely contradicts 
facts. It is wonderful how far the hounds can be 
drawn on a false scent. A large amount of misdirect- 
ed activity and confused political thought arises in 
India, from the mere fact that the political method 
here is largely imitative, and is apt to imitate the 
wrong things. 

The one thing that strikes a first-time visitor to 
the Congress, for instance, a visitor who goes with 
a determination to ignore precdftceptions and judge 
as far as possible from facts, is the extraordinary 
agreement of all the members, from extreme right to 
extreme left* An old man in this corner considers it 
so ill-advised to make a certain pronouncement that 
he will retire from the body if its enunciation be 
insisted on. A youngster over there pooh-poohs this 
over-caution, and challenges the old man to express 
his disbelief in the principle asserted. As likely as 
not, the young man is in the right. But these are 
the disagreements, ye gods, over which young India, 
looking on, is like to lash itself into a fury of vitu- 
peration and despair ! It is clear to every outsider 
meantime that there is here no stuff of difference. 


whatsoever, and that, at such a computation the ship 
of the national movement in India must be manned 
by educated India, solid. 

Thus the Congress represents, not a political, or 
partisan movement, but the political side 6f a national 
movement a very different thing. It is successful, not 
In proportion at it sees its debates carry weight in 
high quarters, not in proportion as its views are 
officially adopted, but in proportion to the ability 
and earnestness with which it conducts its own 
deliberations, in proportion to the number which it 
can call together and make efficient in political 
methods, and in proportion to the information it can 
disseminate throughout the country on questions of 
national significant. If these fundamental facts be 
once clearly understood, it will matter very little 
thereafter what form the resolutions take in Con- 
gress, matters very little about an act of politeness 
more or less, or about the number of adjectives in a 
given sentence. For it will be understood that the 
real task of the Congress is that of an educational 
body, educating its own members in that new mode 
of thinking and feeling which constitutes a sens of 
nationality ; educating them in the habit of prompt 
and united action, of political trustiness of communal 
open-eyedness ; educating itself, finally, in the know- 
ledge of a mutual sympathy that embraces every 
member of the vast household which dwells between 


the Himalayas and Cape Comorin, between Manipur 
and the Arabian Sea. 

This implies, however, that the main body of the 
army is not in the Congress, that the Congress as a 
whole is merely one side, the political side, of an 
incomparably vaster, though less definitely organised 
host. And by the antithesis, not opposition, between 
the efforts of the two; progression is secured. Thus, 
corresponding to the Congress, the National Move- 
ment must have another, and non-political limb, as 
it were. But at the same time, it is clear that this 
non-political must have greater difficulty than the 
political element in defining to itself its own 

And yet a programme, not a rigid platform but a 
suggestive immanation is almost a necessity to it. 
What are the tasks that the National Movement has 
to face and in what order ? 

The task of all alike is one, the education of the 
whole nation, in all its parts, in a common sentiment 
of unity with each other and with their soiL But it 
is a mistake to think that this education will in 
every case come scholastically. Reading and writ- 
ing will facilitate it, but it will not wait for the 
schoolmaster. Already we have seen the women 
expressing themselves through the Swadeshi tapasya. 
In national and civic existence this cause has given 
them a step onward and upward that will never be 



retraced. But while the appeal made to them sym- 
pathises so effectively by this cry of the Home-land, 
when made to the people themselves the inarti- 
culate, un-educated helpless masses it must be by 
means of the industrial reconstruction which the 
Swadeshi Vow has necessitated. Practice first, theory 
afterwards. First, mutual love and loyalty, and 
secondly, all that ideas, all that instruction can do to 
give to that new-born consciousness of brotherhood, 
intellectual depth and steadiness. What the National 
Movement as a whole has to do them as to nationalise 
and vocalise two great areas of moral force that are 
at present nationally almost mute. These areas 
consist of the women and the peasants. Let every 
ten students in the City Colleges band themselves 
together and take a vow to maintain one missionary 
for this purpose. Let the missionary, travel with 
the magic lantern, with collections of post cards, 
with a map of India and with head and heart full of 
ballads, stories, and geographical descriptions. Let 
him gather together the women, let him gather 
together the villagers, let him entertain them in the 
gar4en, in the courtyard, in the verandahs, beside 
the well, and under the village tree with stories and 
songs and descriptions of India ! India ! India ! 

We love that which we think of, we think of that 
which we know. First then we must build up a 
clear conception, and afterwards love will come of 


itself, ahd thus through the length and breadth of 
our vast country will go the thrill of the great 
thought " this and no other is our Motherland ! We 
are Indians every one ? " 

Here then we have one extreme of the task of 
nationalisation, to be carried out by that immense 
body of nation-makers to which every student and 
every educated man and woman in India belong by 
natural right. At the far end of this line are those 
whose task it is to carry the national colours to 
higher ground. Here are the original workers in 
science, in history, in art, in letters, sworn to let 
never a European pass them in this race for excel- 
lence, vowed, whatever be their task, to conquer in 
it or to die. The question which arises heire as to 
the nature and duties of the pioneer intellect is quite 
different from a similar question as applied to 
workers of the second generation. The great majo- 
rity of the nation-making generation bear to mission- 
aries and architects of that consciousness the same 
relation that the ordinary grihasta bears to the sadhu, 
They cannot live that life themselves, yet by their 
sympathy and silent support, they make the life a 
possibility. It is important then, that these should 
realise that the motto for the age is, " Mutual aid, 
self-organisation, co-operation ! " 

The Grihasta wants a little of the courage of the 
martyr in vowing himself, not to a battle of the 


spirit but to a determined worldly success. He wants 
perhaps a little of the venom of the cobra in under- 
taking and in financing national defence associa- 
tions, farmers' aid organisations, co-operative credit 
enterprises. But first and last and above all, he 
needs to understand that it is by these movements, 
these undertakings, these studies, that education will 
actually be carried far and wide and that the move- 
ment for Indian Nationality will gradually trans- 
form itself into the Indian Nation. Mysore Review. 


TO girls and boys alike, I would say : Revel in the 
books that come from the childhood of the world. 
Read your Mahabharata and Ramayanaif possible, 
till you know pages of them by heart. Read trans- 
lations of Homer and stories from him. Read the 
Norse Heimskringla if you can get it, the German 
Sagas, the Finnish Kalewala and even long-fellow's 
Hiawatha. These are the foundation of literature for 
humanity, and there is no law of psychology more 
universally true, than that which tells us that the 
individual in his development follows the race. 

Three elements then there are in a completed cul- 
ture of the modern kind, (a) an idea of the phases 
through which the world has become what it is, that 
is to say, the History of Humanity ; (6) an idea or 
picture of the world itself as it actually is, that is to 
say, Natural Science ; and (c) a clear notion of our 
own part in the whole and this may be represented 
at least for us who are gathered here as the 
Study of India. The last represents our moral aim. 
And we must remember that all the facts in the 
world do not convey knowledge* We must remember 


that the moral life is a man's fulcrum-point. We 
must clearly understand that without a strong and 
noble purpose in life learning or knowledge of books 
is mere useless pedantrv, and not an ornament to a 

Now, when we have once got a clear hold of these 
principles of reading, the question of what books to 
'read becomes very easy indeed. By any means that 
offer themselves, by hook or crook, arrive at some 
mental picture of the Past of Humanity. Read any- 
thing and everything that will help you to this end. 
But do not cease to remember the end itself. Visit 
museums. Find out all you can about pictures and 
sculptures. Make a mind-picture of every country in 
turn. Work hard till you know something about 
ancient Egypt, about Assyria, about China, about 
Greece. Read translations of Homer, that you may feel 
the life of that old Mediterranean World, whose heart 
he uttered, that world of which " Ethiopia," wherever 
that was, Phoenicia, Egypt, Carthage, even ancient 
Ireland, all formed part. Seek for new expressions of 
these eras. If you lived in London, I would beg you 
to go to the British Museum and read the Book of the 
Dead and thus know more of the inwardness of 
Egypt than all the books in the world about it could 
tell you. But read the stories of the nations if you 
will, in order to see what to read* Read all Scott's 
novels. Read Dante but only when you have 


grown curious regarding him. Read the old romances 
of mediaeval Europe but read also Don Quixote and 
think it out. Read the French chronicles of the 
Crusades and historical novels and solid history. 
Neglect none of these. But with all your reading, 
do not forget to dream. Cultivate intellectual long- 
ing ; refrain from intellectual surfeit. Only by re- 
verence towards our own questions, only by listening 
to our own hearts, can we arrive at any great thing 
in the world of knowledge. There are few things 
that bring greater delight to myself than the Index 
to Gippon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 
and always as I read it, I remember that day in 1764 
when he sat dreaming amongst the Roman ruins, 
listening to the chanting of vespers by Christian 
monks in what had been a pagan temple, and when 
there suddenly came before his mirxd's eye the vision 
of the whole world's history for fifteen hundred 
years, as centring in this spot where he sat and he 
conceived the idea of writing the story of Rome 
Rome no longer civic, but planetary in her signifi- 
cance, the focus-point of Europe, Asia and Africa. It 
is this of which the Index to the History gives one 
the key this vastness of intellectual panorama, this 
concentrated intensity of love. And then as one 
turns here and there, to the pages of the -wjork itself, 
as one fe'els the peculiar combination of insight and 
blindness in this mind, one asks in wonder how was 


such a feeling for a city born in a man's heart ? One 
is tempted to account for Gibbon by the beautiful 
Eeastern myth of reincarnation, and to fancy the 
immortal work as the crown and blossom of many 
lifetimes spent in loving and studying "Rome. Twenty- 
five years it took Gibbon to complete that vision of 
an evening in 1764, twenty-five years of incessant 
labour and tireless reading. But how to form the 
key to twenty-five years of work ? Have we any 
such dreamers here this evening? Are there any 
lives amongst us waiting like pent-up floods to pour 
themselves out in sustained devotion, the instant 
some word or some touch shall pierce the barricade 
of rocks and let the light play in them air a single 
point ? 

But the idea of humanity, half geographic, half 
historic forms only part of the longing of the 
modern mind There is another longing, which is 
quite as real. The longing to survey nature and 
account for her the craving for science. 

And hare there are, two impulses, the impulse of 
synthesis and the impulse of specialism. By the 
impulse of synthesis mankind at large is given a 
clear idea of the broad outlines of the labours of 
scientific workers. Certain immortal books of the 
last 150 years sum up most of this necessary picture 
for us. The " Origin of Species" for instance, is so 
necessary to the ordinary educated man that with 


all its details it has come very close to being a po- 
pular book. Sir Charles Lyall on Geology: Hux- 
ley and Tyndall in popularising Biology and Physics ; 
La Place on Astronomy ; Herbert Spencer on Socio- 
logy; Ruskin on Crystals, your own Bose on the 
relation of organic and inorganic, all these are 
amongst the historic writers on scientific subjects, who 
present, through the toil of the specialist, something 
that the whole world can understand. Perhaps all 
but the very latest, however, will be gradually sup- 
planted in the eyes and ears of generations not their 
own, by articles "in encyclopaedias and by thorough 
education in the principles of the sciences themselves. 
Yet remember, these books of science stand for 
critical moments in the history of culture. They 
utter that passion for common things which is also 
expressed in the novels of George Eliot, in the'poethy 
of Wordsworth, in the utterances of Walt Whit- 
man, and which is, as I believe, potential to an 
extraordinary degree in the Indian people. With 
books that deal with pre-historic man, the realm of 
science merges into the realm of humanity. Lubbock, 
Tylor, Cloud, Spencer and a hundred others, furnish 
us here with the conceptions we seek. They are 
conceptions which are specially necessary to the 
Indian consciousness. For no true history of India 
can ever be written by a man who does not under- 
stand something of the common conceptions of 


science regarding pre-historic races and societies. 
That history will have to begin with chapters that 
will enable us to rightly regard and take into our 
nationality warmly, the little elder brothers of the 
forests* and the hills, the Bhils and Santhals and 
Uriyas. And it will have to go on to survey that 
great early and contemporary history of Asia, to 
which India actually belongs. And only lastly will 
it be free to take up the question of the origin and 
making of India herself. We come at last then to 
what is perhaps the most essential element in all our 
regarding, the Study of India. Here there are a 
thousand directions in which we may specialise. 
We may study India with a view to understanding 
races, or minerals, or agriculture or industry, or 
history, or literature or philosophy, or any one of an 
infinite number of subjects, but from one thing we 
have to emancipate ourselves and that is, from the 
idea that very much is yet known on the subject. 
We have to study the origin of the reports which 
reach us rather than those reports themselves. Those 
reports are, for the most part mere resumes turned 
out with political intention and mechanical life-* 
lessness, and no true history was ever written in that 
way. The histories written by generals and residents 
between 1750 and 1850 are, indeed, of value. Price, 
Skrine, Chalrners, Cunningham, even Grant Diaff, 
and Elphinstone wrote history of a very different 


order from that which is common in the cram books 
of the present day. But high above all others, even 
of this period, ranks one book. Todd's Annals of 
Rajasthan, which has been the source of national 
ideas to Indian readers ever since literacy became 
general, ought now to be known by heart by every 
Indian boy and girl in the vernacular. Translation 
of Persian memoirs, district reports and archgeo- 
logical surveys, all these constitute sources of history 
rather than history itself, and to the study of these 
I would commend you. If there 'is one English 
book which is more valuable than another for the 
student or would-be writers of Indian history, it is 
Fergusson's History of Indian Architecture. For 
when we study cities and buildings you must re- 
member that we are face to face with facts : when 
we read books we may be absorbing ourselves in 
speculations. About the age of a building we can 
be sure from the testimony of our senses. And the 
date of a battle is vastly less important. 

I have left no time for speaking of books of the 
personal life, favourite books of which everyone 
must have some. For we HVB the life of literature 
much in the fashion of a journey. We determine 
our starting-point, our goal and our route, but of 
what fellow-travellers we shall meet or overtake, 
what decision we shall make, or what events or 
scenes we shall specially note by the way of all this. 


we know nothing. It is as God or Destiny shall 
will. Amongst personal books then, all of you, I 
trust, would place the Gita and some no doubt would 
count the Bible or Koran. Many would place the 
Imitation Christ and I, for my own part, include 
Church's translation in the Golden Treasury Series 
of The Trial and Death of Socrates, and Maeterlinck's 
Life of the Bee. They are two books out of different 
world the very worlds of humanity and Nature of 
which we have been talking at some length, and 
with a couple of extracts from these I propose to end 
my talk. Maeterlinck's book is a study of Nature 
and, at the same time, a prophecy for Humanity. 
Listen then to a few sentences : 

"Where is the fatality here, save in the love of 
the race of to-day for the race of to-morrow ? This 
fatality exists in the human species also, but its 
extent and power seem infinitely less. Among men 
it never gives rise to sacrifices as great, as unani- 
mous, or as complete. What for seeing fatality 
taking the place of this one do we ourselves obey? 
We know not, as we know not the being, who 
watches us, as we watch the bees." Extract from 
a lecture delivered at Calcutta in opening the Chai- 
tanya Library. 


THE dominating fact in human destiny is Place. 
We are just what our share of Mother Earth has 
made us. We see what she shows. We know 
ultimately only what she tells. Mystic, sacra- 
mental, all compelling is the bond that knits 
together man and soil. 

This influence of place on humanity works itself 
in two directions at the same time those of labour 
and of thought. That daily life and toil are the 
products purely of the region in which a people 
dwell is jnot indeed difficult to see. The task of 
Sicilian vine-dressers is conditioned by the volcanic 
soil of their island. The work of the Cossack herds- 
man is a consequence of the vast treeless plains over 
which he roams. These are facts that no one could 
dispute. But it is less easy to see, and yet equally 
true, that the moral and intellectual life of a com- 
munity is also the outcome of the report which his 
senses make to man regarding all that lies within 
that circular horizon of which he is himself the 
centre. Christianity, for instance, is what it is 


to-day, because, three thousand years before Christ, 
the Desert of the Sahara abutted on the valley of the 
Nile. For, like the marriage of Humanity with 
Earth is, in its turn, the union of spiritual and 
material in the life of man. Thought is wedded 
eternally to work. The ideal rises out of the deed, 
and fresh deeds are born again of the new ideal. 

Stick facts as these make of every country geogra- 
phically distinct, the cradle of a nation. Neither race, 
language, nor religion can divide essentially those who 
are made one by the supreme organic condition of 
Place. Even the human element of family and 
society, comes second only in the list of evolutionary 
influences. But all these, we must remember, are 
like ourselves, or like the whole of the community to 
which we belong, themselves the product of the 
birthland. Their spiritual influence upon us is the 
result of her spiritual influences upon them, even as 
the food that they gave us in our babyhood is the 
result of the toil that she made possible to them. 

It is the nation, rather than the individual, that 
derives from the land its characteristics, even as 
others are sealed by other regions with another 
impress. It is with the products of the national 
energy, products of field and canal, of road and 
town, that she is Jgarbed. To her calm wisdom, to 
her serene maturity, the quarrels of sects and partiep 
do not 


This law is fundamental and imperative, that the 
enrichment of the land itself be the whole object of 
the wealth that is drawn from it, and for him who 
disobeys there waits the doom of the outraged soil. 

The geographical area is thus the first and incom- 
parably the most important condition of national 
unity, and a common economic experience makes 
that unity complete. When a common hunger is fed 
by common harvests ; when common death is meted 
out by common famines ; when a single wail is heard 
in the terror of rains withheld ; when need is one, 
and h,ope is one, when fear is one, and love is one, 
how are men to dream long that there are barriers 
dividing them? Those whom truth joins, how are 
human hypnotisms to divide ? 

Nations like individuals, find self-expression. The 
characteristic arts and architecture of a people are at 
bottom the direct outcome of their worship of place. 
The work-life and the thought-life have united to 
form the priceless mela of great cities, and these in 
their turn reveal to the world the national ideal of 
beauty, the national taste. Again the community 
that will be fed must lay out its pastures, preserve 
its forests, and carry out works of irrigation and 
tillage ; and every clod of earth that is turned up, 
every branch that is pruned, utters the peasant's love 
|nd hope. Thus man inherits the earth and remakes 
it. The map of a country ought to suggest to us the 


untiring energy of that great corporate individuality 
by which, it has been brought into being. The work 
of communities lies in technical processes. By 
coalescence of industrial communities, we obtain im- 
provements and new applications of processes. Thus, 
in s\nn, we arrive at geotechnics, the science of 
earth-making. Half, mother of the folk she sustains 
and feeds : half, offspring herself of the racial energy 
the Home-land ! the Home-land ! The mystic com- 
rade of man ! Indian World. 


India, encircled as she is by seas and mountains, is 
indisputably a geographical unit, and, as such, is 
rightly designated by one name. Her type of 
civilization, too, has many features which differ- 
entiate it from that of all other regions of the world, 
while they are common to the whole country, or 
rather continent, in a degree sufficient to justify its 
treatment as a unit in the history of human, social, 
and intellectual development Vincent A. Smith, 
M. A., (Dubl.) M. R A, 8., F. R N. 8., I. 0. 8., 
(Retired) in his Early History of India, p. 5 (second 
edition, 1908). 

The diversity of social phenomena in India is a 
fact visible on the surface. But the ground-work on 
which that diversity is traced the underlying uni- 
formity of life from the Himalayas to Cape Como- 
rin is often lost sight of. The unity of Indian life, 
however, is not confined to those points which it 
shares in common with the rest of the world* All 
its infinite variety hangs on a common thread of a 
somewhat distinctive Indian colour. It is the failure 
to grasp this elementary fact that leads to so much 
heart-burning, jealousy, and antagonism among the 
different sections of the Indian population. Where 
they do co-operate, they find that there is much in 
their ideas that is harmonious, if not identical But 
the power of labels and shibboleths, is strong itt 
eastern countries and can only be reihoved by a 



careful study of the ideas that lie, in substance, 
behind differing names and institutions. Nor has 
the point escaped those Europeans who (like Mr. 
Vincent Smith) have an intimate practical acquaint- 
ance with life and thought in Modern India. 
Abdulla Yusuf-AJi, M. A., L. L. M. f (Cantab.), L C. S. f 
Bar-at-Law, in his Life and Labour of the People of 
India, pages 305310 (1907). 

BEHIND and within the unity of humanity, there 
is a stratification of man which is to the full as 
interesting as the tale of the formation of the sedi- 
mentary rocks. To the full as interesting, but not, 
hitherto, so clearly visualized. Race over race, 
civilization over civilization, epoch upon epoch, the 
molten tides of immigration have flowed, tended to 
commingle, and finally superposed themselves. And 
systems of thought and manners have grown, by the 
Accreting of the burdens of one wave to those of 
another, and their blending into a whole, under the 
action of the genius of place. Behind ancient 
Egypt, how long an historical spelling-out of ele- 
ments there must have been ! What a protracted 
process of adding race-syllable to race-syllable took 
place, before that brilliant complexus first emerged 
upon the human mind ! Yet there was such a being 
as an Ancient-Egyptian, recognizable as a specific 
human unit, in contradistinction to his contemporary, 
the Phoenician, the Cretan, or the Babylonian. Or 
the same possibility may be seen in our own day in 


the fact that there is such a being as a Modern- 
American, diverse in his origins beyond any type 
that has ever heretofore appeared, and yet marked 
by certain common characteristics which distinguish 
him, in all his sub-divisions, from the English, the 
Russian, the Italian, who contributed to form him. 

These miracles 'of human unification are the work 
of PLACE. Man only begins by making his home. 
His home ends by remaking him. Amongst all the 
circumstances that go to create that heritage which 
is to be the opportunity of a people, there is none so 
determining, so welding, so shaping in its influence, 
as the factor of the land to which their children shall 
be native. Spiritually, man is the son of God, but 
materially, he is the nursling of Earth. Not without 
reason do we call ourselves children of the soil. The 
Nile was the mother of the Egyptian. The shores of 
the Mediterranean made the Phoenician what he 
was. The Babylonian was the product of river-plain 
and delta. And the Bengalee is literally the sou of 

In every case, however, this unity induced by 
place is multiplied, as it were, by the potentialities 
of confluent race-elements. Man learns from man. 
It is only" with infinite difficulty, by striving to re- 
apply our powers in terms of the higher ideals of 
some new circle, to which we have been admitted, 
that we raise the deeds of the future above 


attainment of the past. Water rises easily enough 
to the level once reached. How much force must be 
expended to carry it above this ! The treaty success- 
fully imposed on the world by some great statesman, 
serves only to remind his school-fellows of his old- 
time triumphs in playing-field or class-room. Many 
a brilliant general has been known to study his battles 
with the aid of tin soldiers. The future merely 
repeats the past, in new combinations, and in relation 
to changed problems. 

Tlius we arrive at the fundamental laws of nation- 
birth. Any country which is geographically distinct, 
has the power to become the cradle of a nationality. 
National unity is dependent upon place. The rank of 
a nation in humanity is determined by tlie complexity 
and potentiality of its component parts What any 
one of its elements has achieved in the past the nation 
may expect to attain as a whole, in the future. 
Complexity of elements, when duly subordinated to the 
nationalising influence of place, is a source of 
strength, and not weakness to a nation. 

India, at the present moment, in the throes of the 
passage from Mediaeval to Modern, out of a theo- 
cratic into the National formation, affords an 
excellent field for the study of these laws, Many 
observers aware that the Indian people to-day 
are proposing to themselves this transition see 
nothing before them but disappointment and defeat. 


" What," say they of this school, " Honeycombed as 
India is by diversity of languages ; ridden by the 
weight of customs that are alike in no two pro- 
vinces ; with a population drawn from races black, 
yellow, and white, and clinging with ]ealous persis- 
tence to the distinctive individuality of each element ; 
filled with types as different from one another as 
the Punjabee and the Bengalee ; divided at best 
into two, by the cleavage between Mahommedan 
and Hindu, to talk of unity, in this seething variety, 
is the merest folly ! The idea of an Indian National- 
ity is simple moonshine ! " Such opinions are, in fact, 
held by most Europeans who have t visited or resided 
in India: they are combined, moreover, with a 
genuine contempt for all who differ from them. Yet 
they may not be the only conclusions possible upon 
the facts, and it is generally granted that sentence 
is not well pronounced till both sides of a case have 
been heard. 

The question arises then, is there any unity of life 
and type perceptible amongst the Indian people, 
which might sooner or later serve as the foundation 
for a realised Indian Nationality ? It is perhaps true 
that the Bengalee is the Irishman of India ; the 
Mahratta, the Scot, the Panjabee, Welshman or 
Highlander, as we choose to name him ; but is there 
anything common to all these, and to others, that 
relates them to one another, as the central fact of 


Britonhood relates their Western counterparts ? On 
the existence or non-existence of such community of 
life and type must depend the ultimate reasonable- 
ness of Indian National aspirations. 

The first treasure of a nation, geographical dis- 
tinctness, India undeniably possesses, in an extra- 
ordinary degree. Around her feet the sapphire seas, 
with snow-clad mountain-heights behind her head, 
she sits enthroned. And the races that inhabit the 
area thus shut it, stand out, as sharply defined as 
herself, against the Mongolians of the North-East, 
and the Semites of the North-West. Within this 
land, Aryan ideals and concepts dominate those of 
all other elements. There is a self -organization of 
thought that precedes external organization, and the 
accumulation of characteristics in a single line, which 
this brings about, is what we mean by racial types. 
In India, the distinctive stock of ideas rises out of 
her early pre-occupation with great truths. Neither 
Jain nor Mahommedan admits the authority of the 
Vedas or the Upanishads, but both are affected by 
the culture derived from them. Both are marked, 
as strongly as the Hindu, by a high development of 
domestic affection, by a delicate range of social 
observation and criticism and by the conscious admis- 
sion that the whole of life is to be subordinated to 
the ethical struggle between inclination and con- 
science. In other words all the people of India show 


the result of education, under theocratic systems, for 
the concern of churches is ever primarily with the 
heart. When Egypt was building her Pyramids, 
India was putting a parallel energy into the memo- 
rising of the Vedas, and the patient elaboration of 
the philosophy of the Upanishads. The culture be- 
gun so early, has proceeded to the present day 
without a break, holding its own on its own ground 
and saturating Indian society with standards of 
thought and feeling, far in advance of those common 
in other countries. A profound emotional development 
and refinement is the most marked trait of Indian 
personality, and it is common to all the races and 
creeds of that vast sub-continent, from those of the 
highest civilization to those of the lowest and most 

Again, the key-stone of the arch' of family 
devotion, alike for Hindu and Mahommedan, lies in 
the feeling of the son for his mother. Whatever 
may change or fluctuate, here our feet are on a rock* 
There can be no variation in the tenderness nd 
intensity of this relationship. In it, personal affecv 
tion rises to the height of religious passion, Itis 
this fact at Eastern life that gives its depth to cut 
symbol of Madonnahood the child as the refuge 
and glory of woman, the mother giving ' sanctity 
and security to life. Very closely connected, bwt 
not identical with this, is the organic *part played 


in the life of the Eastern household by the aged. A 
gentle raillery, a tender gaiety, is the link between 
them and members in the prime of life. This is one 
of the most beautiful features of communal civiliza- 
tion, that the old are an essential factor in the 
family. There is here none of the dislocation of 
life that so often results, with us, Europeans, from 
the loneliness and informity of elderly persons. 
Their wisdom forms one of the most valued of the 
common assets, even while their playfulness ranks 
them with the children, and the burden of attendance 
is easily shared amongst the many younger women. 
India, with her memory of great leisure, is not 
easily vulgarised by the strenuous ideals that make 
a man feel himself useless, amongst us when his 
working days are over. She knows that only with 
the ending of activity can the most precious fruits 
of experience come to ripeness. Cooks and black- 
smiths may need the strength of youth, but states- 
men and bishops are best made at sixty. 

We have few classes in Calcutta who seem to us 
so rough and worthless as our ghari-wallahs or cab- 
drivers. They are Mahommedans for the most part, 
who have left their families in the country, and 
they are not noticeable, as a type, for self-restraint 
or steadiness of conduct. Yet it was one of these 
whom I met one day at the corner of my own lane, 
carefully, with an expression of ineffable gentleness, 


guiding an old Hindu woman through a dangerous 
crush of vehicles ! He had ]umped from his box, at 
sight of the blind and stumbling feebleness, and left 
his ghari in charge of its small footman, or syce. It 
was the Prophet of Arabia who said, " He who 
kisses the feet of his mother attains to Paradise." 
In devotion to the mother, and in chivalry for old 
age, Mahommedan and Hindu, high and low, in 
India, are absolutely at one. It is a mistake to 
suppose that even the religious demarcation between 
Hinduism and Islam has the bitterness that divides, 
for instance, Geneva from Rome. Sufi-ism, with its 
roll of saints and martyrs, contributes to Mahom- 
medanism a phase of development which matches 
Hinduism in its highest forms. The apostles of 
either faith are recognizable by the other. The real 
divergence between the two religions lies rather 
in the body of associated customs, than in doctrines, 
which are not philosophically incomprehensible. 

The Mahommedan derives his customs from 
Arabia, and from a period in which the merging 
of many tribes in a national unity was the great 
need : the Hindu bases his habits on his own past, 
and on the necessity of preserving a higher civiliza- 
tion from modification by lower. In other words, 
the difference between the two deals rather with 
matters of household and oratory, woman and the 
priesthood, than with thos'e interests out of which 


the lives of men, and activities, civic and national, 
are built. This fact is immediately seen wherever 
either faith is sovereign. Many of the highest and 
most trusted officers of a Hindu ruler will be 
Mahommedans, and, to take a special instance, I 
may say that I have nowhere heard such loyalty 
expressed for the Nizam of Hyderabad, as by Hindu 
members of his Government. In the region north 
of Benares, again, where Mahommedanism has been 
tranquil and undisturbed for hundreds of years, 
there is something very near to social fusion between 
the two. A significant indication of this lies in the 
names given to boys, which are often like Ram 
Baksh, for example compounded of roots Sanskritic 
and Arabic ! 

With the exception of the word magnetism, there 
is probably no single term so vaguely used as Caste. 
Taking this, however, as referring to a series of 
social groups, .each thoroughly marked off from all 
others, and united within itself by equality of rank, 
custom, and occupation, we shall quickly see that 
this institution is capable of proving rather favour- 
able than the reverse to solidarity of the public life. 
All over India to-day, as of old in Babylon or 
Thebes,* or Periclean Athens, the communal inter- 
course of streets and river-sides stands out in bold 
contrast against the cloister-like privacy of the home. 
This is partly due to climate, and partly to the 


persistence, in this one country, of conceptions and 
associations which appear to us as classical. In 
this communal unity, there is no demand for social 
uniformity. Such matters, concerning only the 
intimate personal life, are relegated to the sphere 
of the family and the care of woman and priests. 
Caste is no concern of the school, the bathing-ghat, 
or the town. On this side, indeed, the word con- 
notes little more than a rigid form of good-breeding. 
It defines the ground on which no outsider may 
intrude. To 'regard it as a barrier toco-operation 
would be about as relevant as to view in a similar 
light the fact th&t we may not ask a European 
woman her age. How absurd would be the state- 
ment that this rule of etiquette was any obstacle to 
united action ! Granted that in eating and wiving a 
man consorts with his own, he may do what he 
chooses, and , go where he will, in all other concerns 
of his life. Each caste is, in effect, to its own 
members, as a school of self -government ; and 
the whole institution provides an excellent frame- 
work for labour-organizations, and other forms of 
socio-political activity. These facts, indeed, are so 
obvious to the eye that views them with the neces- 
sary breadth, that it is difficult to see how any other 
impression ever gained currency. 

Many persons use the word unity in a way that 
would seem to imply that the unity of a 


with its monotonous repetition of segments and 
limbs, was more perfect than that of the human 
body, which is not even alike on its right and left 
sides. For my own part, I cannot help thinking 
that the scientific advance of the nineteenth century 
has enabled us to think with more complexity than 
this. I cannot forget a French working man, calling 
himself a Positivist, who came up to me some years 
ago, in a university-settlement in the West, and 
said, " Have the people of India any further proof to 
offer of the oneness of Humanity, beyond the fact 
that if I hurt you I hurt myself, and the other fact 
that no two of us are exactly alike ? " And then, see- 
ing perhaps a look of surprise, he added thought- 
fully, " for the fact that we are all different is, in its 
way, a proof of our unity ! " The conception thus 
indicated, I have come to think an exalted one. My 
friend spoke of the organic, as (distinguished from a 
merely mechanical unity, and for myself I find an 
overwhelming aspect of Indian unity in the fact 
that no single member or province repeats the func- 
tion of any other. 

Against the great common background of highly 
developed feeling, the Bengalee stands out with his 
suavity and humour; the Mahratta exhibits his 
grimness and tenacity. The one may glory in his 
imagination, the other in his strength of will. The 
Panjabee has the faultless courage, and also something 


of the child-likeness, of a military race. The 
Dravidian has the gravity and decorum of one 
whose dwelling is in the shadow of a church. The 
Mahommedan, wherever we meet him, stands un- 
matched for his courtesy and grandeur of bearing. 
And everyone of these, we must remember, responds 
to the same main elemental motives. With all 
alike, love of home, pride of race, idealism of 
woman, is a passion. With every one, devotion to 
India as India finds some characteristic expression. 
To the Hindu of all provinces, his Motherland is the 
seat of holiness, the chosen home of righteousness, 
the land of seven sacred rivers, " the place to which 
sooner or later must come all souls in the quest of 
God.'* To the son of Islam, her earth is the dust of 
his saints. She is the seal upon his greatest 
memories. Her villages are his home. In her future 
lies his hope. In both, the nationalising conscious- 
ness is fresh and unexhausted. That which Asoka 
was, seated, two hundred and fifty years before 
Christ, on the great throne of Pataliputra what 
Akbar was, at Delhi, eighf een centuries later that, 
in the sense of national responsibility, every Indian 
man must become to-morrow* For this is the age, 
not of thrones, but of democracies ; not of empires, 
but of nationalities; and the India that faces the 
sunrise of nations, is young and strong. Thfc 
Hindustan Review, 


HEBE in India, the woman of the future haunts us* 
Her beauty rises on our vision perpetually. Her 
voice cries out on us. Until we have made ready a 
place for her, until we throw wide the portals of our 
life, and go out, and take her by the hand to bring 
her in, the Mother-land Herself stands veiled and 
ineffective, with eyes lost, in set patience, on the 
Earth. It is essential, for the joyous revealing of 
1;hat great Mother, that she be first surrounded by the 
mighty circle of these, Her daughters, the Indian 
women of the days to come. It is they who must 
consecrate themselves before Her, touching Her feet 
with their proud heads, and vowing, to her their 
own, their Husbands', and their children's lives. 
Then and then only will she stand crowned before 
the world. Her sanctuary to-day is full of shadows. 
But when the womanhood of India can perform the 
great arati of nationality, that temple shall be all 
light, nay, the dawn verily shall be near at hand. 
From end to end of India, all who understand are 
agreed that the education of our women must needs, 


at this crisis, undergo some revision. Without their 
aid and co-operation none of the tasks of the present 
can be finally accomplished. The problems of the 
day are woman's as well as man's. And how idle 
were it to boast that our hearts are given to the 
Mother, unless we seek to enshrine Her in every one 
of our lives. 

Indian hesitation, however, about a new type of 
feminine education, has always been due to a mis- 
giving as to its actual aims, and in this the people 
have surely been wise. Have the Hindu women of 
the past ben a source of shame to us, that we should 
hasten to discard their old-time grace and sweetness, 
their gentleness and piety, their tolerance and child- 
like depth , of love and pity, in favour of the first 
crude product of Western information and social 
aggressiveness ? On this point India speaks with no 
uncertain voice. " Granted," she says in effect, 
*' that a more arduous range of mental equipment is 
now required by women, it is nevertheless better to 
fail in the acquisition of this, than to fail in the more 
essential demand, made by the old type of training^ 
on character. An education of the brain that up- 
rooted humility and took away tenderness, would be 
mo true education at alL These virtues may find 
different forms of expression in mediaeval and modern 
civilisations, but they are necessary in both. All 
education worth having must first devote itself to the 


developing and consolidating of character, and only 
secondarily concern itself with intellectual accom- 

The question that has to be solved for Indian- 
women, therefore is a form of education that might 
attain this end, of developing the faculties of soul 
and mind in harmony with one another. Once such 
a form shall be successfully thought out and its 
adequacy demonstrated, we shall, without further 
ado, have an era amongst us of Woman's Education, 
Each successful experiment will be the signal for a 
circle of new attempts. Already there, is longing 
enough abroad to serve the cause of woman. All 
that we ask is to be shown the way. 

Important to education as is the question of method, 
it is still only subordinate to -that of purpose. It is 
our fundamental motive that tells in the development 
we attempt to give our children- It is therefore the 
more urgently necessary that in the training of girls 
we should have a clearly-understood ideal towards 
which to work. And in this particular respect, there 
is perhaps no other country in the world so fortunate- 
ly placed as India. She is, above all others, the land 
of great women. Wherever we turn, whether to 
history or literature, we are met on every hand by 
those figures whose strength she mothered and re- 
cognised, while she ke^ps their memory eternally 


What is the type of woman we most admire ? Is she 
strong, resourceful, inspired, fit for moment of crisis ? 
Have we not Padmini of Cheetore, Chand Bibi, 
Mansi Rani ? Is she saintly, a poet, and a mystic ? 
Is there not Meera Bai ? Is she the queen, great 
in administration? Where is Ram Bhowani, where 
Ahalya Bai, where Sanhabi of Pipperah? Is it 
wifehood m which we deem that woman shines 
brightest? What of Sati, of Savitri, of the ever- 
glorious Sita ? Is it in maidenhood ? There is Uma. 
And where in all the womanhood of the world, shall 
be found another as grand as Gandhari ? 

These ideals moreover are constructive. That is 
to say, it is not their fame and glory that the Indian 
child is trained to contemplate. It is their holiness, 
simplicity, sincerity, in a word, their character. 
This, indeed, is always a difference between one's 
own and, an alien ideal. Impressed by the first, it 
is an effort that we seek to imitate : admiring the 
second, we endeavour to arrive at its results. There 
can never be any sound education of the Indian 
^woman, which does not begin and end in exaltation 
of the, national ideals of womanhood, as embodied, 
in her own* history arxd heroic literature. 

But woman must undoubtedly be made efficient. 

Sita and Savitri were great in wifehood, only as the 

fruit of that antecedent fact, that they were great 

women. There was no place in life that they did 



not fill graciously and dutifully. Both satisfied 
every demand of the social ideal. At once queen 
and housewife, saint and citizen, - submissive 
wife and solitary nun, as heroic combatant, both 
were equal to all the parts permitted them, in the 
drama* of their time. Perfect wives as they were, if 
they had never been married at all, they must have 
been perfect just the same, as daughters, sisters, and 
disciples. This efficiency to all the circumstances of 
life, this womanhood before wifehood, and humanity 
before womanhood, is something at which the edu- 
cation of the girl must aim in every age. 

But the moral ideal of the India of to-day has 
taken on new dimensions the national and civic. 
Here also woman must be trained to play her part. 
And again, by struggling towards these she will be 
educated. Every age has its own intellectual syn- 
thesis, which must be apprehended, before the ideal 
of that age can be attained. The numberless path- 
ways of definite mental concept, by which the 
orthodox Hindu woman must go to self -fulfilment, 
form, to the western mind a veritable labyrinth. So 
far from being really uneducated, or non-educated, 
indeed, as is so commonly assumed, the conser- 
vative Hindu * woman has received an education 
which in its own way is highly specialised, only 
it is not a type recognised as of value by modern 


Similarly, in order to achieve the ideal of efficiency 
for the exigencies of the twentieth century, a charac- 
teristic synthesis has to be acquired. It is no longer 
merely the spiritual or emotional content of a state- 
ment that has to be conveyed to the learner, as in the 
mythologico-social culture of the past. The student 
must now seek to understand the limitations of the 
statement, its relation to cognate ideas and the steps 
by which the race has come to this particular 
formulation. The modern synthesis, in other words, 
is scientific, geographical, and historical, and these 
three modes of knowing must needs since there is 
no sex in truth be achieved by woman as by man. 

Science, history and geography, are thus as three 
dimensions in which the mind of the present age 
moves, and from which it seeks to envisage all ideas. 
Thus the conception of nationality on which Indian 
efforts to-day converge must be realised by us, in 
the first place, as a result of the study of the history 
of our own nation, with all its divergent elements of 
custom, race, language, and the rest. The civic 
sense, in the same way, must be reached by a study 
of our oWn cities, their positions, and the history of 
their changes from age to age. 

Again, the nation must be seen, not only in rela- 
tion ,to its own past, and its own place, tut also, 
in relation to other nations. Here we come upon 
the necessity for geographical knowledge. Agaito, 


history must be viewed geographically and geography 
historically. A great part of the glory and dignity 
of the ideally modern woman lies in her knowledge 
that her house is but a tent pitched for a night on 
the star-lit world-plane, that each hour, as it passes, 
is but a drop from an infinite stream, flowing through 
her hand, to be used as she will, for benediction or 
for sorrow, and then to flow on irresistibly again. 
And behind such an attitude of mind, lies a severe 
intellectual discipline. But even the proportion 
which the personal moment bears to space and time, 
is not formula enough for the modern spirit. This 
demands, in addition, that we learn what is to it the 
meaning of the truth, or science, the fact in itself. 
This particular conception of truth is perhaps no 
more absolute than others current in other ages, but 
it is characteristic of the r times, and by those who 
have to pass the world's test, it has to be understood. 
Yet even this marked truth, thus thirsted after, has 
to be held as only a fragment of an infinitely 
extended idea, in which Evolution and Classification 
of the sciences play the parts of history and 

Nature, the Earth, and Time, are thus the three 
symbols by whose means the modern mind attains to 
possession of itself. No perfect means of using them 
educationally has ever been discovered or devised by 
man* The spirit of each individual is the scene of^a 


struggle for their better realisation. Every school- 
room embodies an attempt to communalise the same 
endeavour* Those who would transmit the modern 
idea to the Indian woman, must begin where they can, 
and learn, from their own struggles, how better to 
achieve. In the end, the idea once caught, the Indian 
^oman herself will educate Indian women mean- 
while every means that offers ought to be taken. 
The wandering Bhagabats or Kothuk, with the magic 
lantern, may popularise geography, by showing 
slides illustrative of the various pilgrimages. History 
outside the Mahabharata and Ramayana might be 
familiarised in the same way. And there is no 
reason wh;y simple lectures on hygiene, samitation, 
and the plants and animals of the environment 
should not also be given by the wandering teachers 
to the assembled community, with its women behind 
the screens. Pictures, pictures, pictures, these are 
the first of instruments in trying to concretise ideas, 
pictures^and the Mother-tongue. If we would impart 
a love of country, we must give a country to love. 
How shall women be enthusiastic about something 
they cannot imagine ? 

Schools large and small, schools in the home and 
out of it, schools elementary and advanced, all these 
are an essential part of any working out of the 
great problem. But these schools must be within 
Indian life, not antagonistic to it. The mind set 


between two opposing worlds of schools and home, 
is inevitably destroyed. The highest ambitipn of 
the school must be to give moral support to the 
ideals taught in the home, and the home to those 
imparted in the school the densest ignorance would 
be better for our women than any departure from 
this particular canon. 

In making the school as much an essential of the 
girl's life, as it has always been of the boys, we 
are establishing something which is never to be 
undone. Every generation as it comes will have to 
carry out the great task of the next generation's 
schooling. This is one of the constant and normal 
functions of human society. But much in the pro- 
blem of Woftian's Education as we to-day see it, is a 
difficulty of the time only. We have to carry our 
country through an arduous transition. Once the 
main content of the modern consciousness finds its 
way into the Indian vernaculars, the problem will 
have disappeared, for we learn more ffom our 
Mother -tongue itself, than from all our schools and 
schoolmasters. In order to bring about that great, 
day, however, the Mother Herself calls for vows and 
service of a vast spiritual knighthood* Hundreds of 
youngmen are necessary, to league themselves 
.together for the deepening of education in the best 
ways amongst women. Most students, perhaps^ 
might be able to vow twelve lessons in a year to, be 


given, either in home or village, during the holidays 
this should hardly prove an exhausting under- 
taking yet how much might be done by it. 

Others might be willing to give themselves to the 
task of building up the vernacular literatures. The 
book and the magazine penetrate into recesses where 
the teacher's foot never yet trod. The library, or the 
book-shelf, is a mute university. How are women to 
understand Indian history, if, in order to read about 
Buddha or Asoka, about Chandragupta or Akbar, they 
have first to learn a foreign language? Great will 
be the glory of those hereafter who hide their ambi- 
tion for the present, in the task of conveying modern 
knowledge in the tongues of women and the people ! 

Seeing ihat this first generation of pioneer work 
must, needs be done mainly by men, on behalf of 
women, there are some who would scoff at the pos- 
sibility of such generosity and devotion. But those 
who know the Indian people deeply cannot consent 
to this sneer. Life in India is socially sound. Civi- 
lization is organic, spiritual, altruistic. When the 
practice of sutee was to be abolished, it was done on 
the initiative s of an Indian man, Ram Mohun Rojk 
When monogamy was to be emphasised as ihe one 
ideal of marriage, it was again from a man, Vidya- 
sagar of Bengal, that the impulse came. In the 
East, it is not by selfish agitation, from within, that 
great reforms and extensions of privilege are brought 


about. It is by spontaneous effort, by gracious con- 
ferring of right from the other side. Or if indeed 
woman feel the pinch of some sharp necessity, some 
ill to be righted, is she not mother of man as well as 
of woman ? Can she not whisper to her son, in his 
childhood, of the task to which she assigns him ? 
And shall she not thus forge a weapon more power- 
ful than any her own weak hands could weild? 
Such a woman was the mother of Pandit Iswar 
Chandra Vidyasagar and such was the inspiration 
that made him the woman's champion. 

But one word there is to be said, of warning and 
direction to that young priesthood of learning, to 
whom this generation entrusts the problem we 
have been considering. Education can never be 
carried out by criticism or discouragement. Only he 
who sees the noblest thing in the taught can be an 
effective teacher. Only by the greatness of Indian 
life can we give a sense of the greatness of the 
world outside India. Only by the love o'f our own 
people can we learn the love of humanity and only 
by a profound belief in the future of the Indian 
woman, can any man be made worthy to help in 
bringing that future about. Let the preacher of the 
New Learning be consecrated to the vision of one 
who resumes into herself the greatness of the whole 
Indian past. Let him hope and most earnestly pray 
that in this our time, in all our villages, we are to 


see women great even as G-andhari, faithful and 
brave as Savitri, holy and full of tenderness as Sita. 
Let the past be as wings unto the feet of the future. 
Let all that has been be as steps leading us up the 
mountain of what is yet to be. Let every Indian 
woman incarnate for us the whole spirit of the 
Mother and the culture and protection of the Home- 
land. Bhwna Devi \ Goddess of the Homestead ! 
Bande Mataram ! Ceylon National Review. 



IT is just thirteen years that a young English woman 
a picture of health and vigourwith a face beam- 
ing with enthusiasm, called on me. She explained 
that her object was to serve our women not as one 
from outside but as one from within, and that she 
must therefore live their life, and be one of them. I 
could not help telling her of my misgivings know- 
ing full well the almost insurmountable barrier that 
stood in her way. 
It was not till a much later date, when I had been 

blessed with her friendship, that I came to know the 

n * 

strength that lay behind the life of Margaret 
E. Noble. How manifold were the blessings she 
conferred on all who came in contact with her and 
in how many directions she has effectively served 
our motherland, it is too early yet to speak- I can 


only give a few glimpses of that beautiful life which 
has so deeply impressed me. 

It was no accident that had shaped her life. Her 
father, an eloquent English clergyman of great 
promise, had ungrudgingly sacrificed his young life 
in the service of the poor in Manchester. A, great 
love existed between the father and the child. A 
friend of his, a preacher in India, had come on a 
visit. Being 'struck with the spiritual earnestness of 
the child's face, he had given her his blessings and 
said that one day the claim of India would touch 
her. This seemed prophetic of what was to come. 
Her father, too, before his death had told her young 
mother that he knew that one day a great call would 
come for the child and that the mother should then 
stand by her. Thus it was that she was consecrated, 
so that when the call did come, though the mother's 
heart was full of anguish at the thought of parting, 
the memory of her dead husband strengthened her. 
Henceforth India, the object of her daughter's 
devotion, became hers too ; and Indians always 
found a touch of home in her house at Wimbledon. 

The child gradually developed rare intellectual 
power. Even Huxley had been struck *by her 
Intellect. In time, she became the centre of a great 
educational movement, an outcome of which was the 
famous J3esaine Club. At the very time when there 
were' opened before her great possibilities in London 


for her splendid intellectual gifts, the call of India 
reached her. Swami Vivekananda was at that time 
preaching in London, and in response to this message 
of the East, she offered her lifelong services and 
immediately left for India. 

A few months after the interview in which I could 
hold out very little hopes for her success in her educa- 
tional efforts among our orthodox sisters, I was 
invited to her little house in Bosepara Lane. I was 
astonished. She had accomplished the impossible. 
Having secured a house in the midst of orthodox 
surroundings, at first no Hindu servant would serve 
her; but she went without any help rather than 
wound the feelings of her neighbours. Many a day 
passed when there could be no cooking, and she lived 
on fruits and on what some kindly neighbour would 
send her. After a time however the people about 
came to regard her as their own in so far that even 
the most orthodox and saintly women felt happy to 
live in the house as her guest. 

It is a wonderful story how little by little she 
completely won the heart of the * people by her 
p&tient love. At first the children of the neighbour- 
hood came. This led to the establishment of a 
kindergarten school. Their mothers were not to be 
left behind ; they too were drawn in and*a separate 
class for grown-up women came to be started. 
Orphans and widows found in her a sympathetic heart 


always ready to succour, arid they were taken in to 
be trained by her as teachers. In this way " The 
House of the Sisters " was established in the heart 
of the orthodox community. Her work in India 
became so widely recognized that some of the greatest 
men both of Europe and America came to see her and 
went back inspired with a great love for the country 
which she had adopted as her own. 

It was through her own writings, and the help of 
one in the West who came to regard her as her own 
daughter, that she maintained the house and the 
school. Those living in the neighbourhood know 
how by far the large portion of her income was used 
by her to help the needy and feed the starving, even 
depriving herself 6f many necessities. 

Her civic training soon found scope in keeping the 
Lane and its neighbourhood a picture of cleanliness. 
This was not easy, but she showed the way by sweep- 
ing the Lane with her own hand. It was about this 
time the plague broke out for the first time in 
Calcutta, Many will remember the wild panic that 
seized the people. Trains and steamers were crowded 
with fleeing people. When the terror was at jte 
climax, Margaret Noble was active in her errands of 
mercy. She organized a band of young men, with 
whose help she cleaned the most insanitary spots in 
the northern part of the town. She personally under- 
took the task of nursing plague patients, coritact with. 


whom was almost certain death. One little plague- 
stricken child, of humble parentage lay in her lap 
dying and clasped its little hands round her, taking 
her for its mother. 

It was this protecting motherhood that was so 
characteristic of her life. I remember how on one 
occasion, she gave her own warm cloak to her 
servant while she herself shivered with cold thinking 
that the poor servant's need was greater than hers. 
This is but a single instance of her depriving herself 
for others. She could never get accustomed to the 
privations and suffering of the people around her, 
and this was an abiding sorrow with her. 

During her first voyage to India, there was on 
board the steamer a young Englishman whom his 
parents must have found a difficult problem at home 
and so had packed him off to India. He was intem- 
perate and had made himself very obnoxious at 
table. While everyone else was annoyed at him 
and avoided him, her heart was touched with great 
sorrow and she trembled at the terrible fate that 
awaited him, cut off as he was from the influences 
aqd the restraints of home. She found occasion to 
see him, w and to give him the only valuable thing she 
possessed a gold watch, the birthday gift from her 
mother. She told him that he was on no account to 
pawn it but to keep it as a memento of those who 
belieyed In his being able to build up his life* A year 


ago a most touching letter came from the mother of 
this boy, telling her how her son had been helped 
through her to choose a new life and had remem- 
bered her even when he lay dying in South Africa. 

All the strength of that mother heart that would 
protect was now centred in India. The hardships 
she had to face, however, soon broke down her health 
and she lay a long time hovering between life and 
death. After her recovery she was specially warned 
by her doctor never again to endanger her health by 

The news of the famine in East Bengal now 
reached her. For her there could be no quiet or 
peaceful life when there was suffering in the land. 
She would go. And for may days she visited village 
after village in Barisal wading through flooded and 
sub-merged lands. The terrible picture she saw she 
delineated afterwards in her " Famine and Flood in 
East Bengal." But that was long afterwards. The 
swamps she had passed through, the strain she had 
undergone, resulted in her being attacked by a severe 
type of malaria. The sufferings of the fever 
ever were as nothing compared with the living 
again of that anguish she had witnessed. It was 
,fter a long time that she recovered sufficiently to 
resume her work, but she was never fulljpFree from 
its effects. Her dear friend in the West and medical 
friends here urged the absolute necessity of moviag 


to a healthier part of the town, but she would be 
true to that spot which had first given her shelter. 
" The Lane has adopted me and I must stay here 
and nowhere else." The little ones she had seen 
toddling about in the lane had grown up about her 
and they were her children. Many a struggling one 
had come to her here whose lives she had ennobled. 
It was not for her to choose but be true to that trust 
that had come to her. 

I am writing about her only as a woman, as I knew 
her in everyday life, full of austerity, and possessed 
with a longing for righteousness which shone round 
her like a pure flame. Others will know her as the 
great moral and intellectual force which had come to 
us in a time of great national need. Never have I 
known such complete self-effacement. I have seen the 
greatest thinkers in England, France, America, re- 
ligious leaders, social workers, politicians and 
scholars filled with admiration and reverence for her 
clear vision and keen intellect and noble personality. 
All the rare gifts that opened out a great career for 
her in the West, she laid at the service of our 
motherland. Not that she loved England less but 
she believed that England could only remain great 
through righteousness. She had so completely 
identifiedftaerself with us that I never heard her use 
phrases like " Indian need " or ** Indian Women," 
It was always Our need, Our Women. She was 


never as an outsider who came to help, but one of 
us who was striving and groping about to find ways 
of salvation. 

Little more remains to be said. She had been en- 
gaged in completing two great works of India which 
she had been commissioned to do by two eminent 
publishers in London and New York. Along with 
it she had been carrying out the exacting duties of 
her school. All these told on her health and it was 
thought that a change to the bracing climate of 
Darjiling might restore her. 

Years ago in a foreign land she had nursed me 
back to health ; my opportunity had now come. We 
were full of hope but she knew that it was ordained 
otherwise. There was to be no sadness. Every 
morning bright smile and brave words greeted us* 
She spoke only about the beloved work of her lif fe 
education of " our " women and how it was to be 
continued. All she had, all that might come from 
her books, everything was for the service of the 

All her life she had selflessly devoted herself to 
work, but in these last days it seemed to her that 
she had not effaced herself enough- Some one had 
onee spoken of her dominant personality. This 
must have come to her mind and she prayed that 
she might now be taken away so that there would 
be rQom for others to grow. 



A few days before she came to Darjiling she'had 
printed to send to her friends a daily prayer for the 
world which she had rendered into English from 
ancient Buddhism. Perhaps she knew that it was a 
word of final farewell from one whose life had been 
a constant prayer for freedom. She asked that this 
might be recited to her : 

Let all things that breathe, without enemies, with- 
out obstacles, overcoming sorrow, and attaining cheer- 
fulness move forward freely, each in his own path 1 

In the East and in the West, in the North, and in 
the South, let all beings that are without enemies, 
without obstacles, overcoming sorrow, and attaining 
cheerfulness, move forward freely, each in his own 
path 1 

To her the worst bondage was ignorance and her 
face shone with radiance as she recited 

From the Unreal lead us to the Real ! 

From Darkness lead us unto Light ! 

From Death lead us to Immortality! 

Reach us through and through ourselves. 

And evermore protect us, O Thou Terrible ! from 

By Thy sweet compassionate Face. 

The days had been full of cloud and mist, but 
tfiere was a little parting of the clouds on the morn- 
ing of he 13th October. She spoke of the frail boat 
that was sinking, but also that she was yet to ^ee 
the sunrise. The sun had just risen over the snows 
when a shaft of light came streaming in and the 


great striving soul went forth to wake up in another 

As I sat by her bedside the story that she herself 
had told of Uma Haimavati came vividly before me. 
This was the very season when she came to her 
Father's Home. Here, too, was another Uma, the 
fair daughter of the snows, who had after' a long 
parting come back once more to her Indian home. 
Had she to wait for this incarnation to know and be 
with her own ? Or is it that in our Father's Mansion 
there is no such thing as North or South, East or 
West ? Modern Review. 


In Memoriam 

The elements of nation-building that makes the 
new epoch or reinstil the national consciousness 
embody themselves in personalities; and tliese, in 
their time, can only be partly known or the meaning 
of their lives understood. Only in the distance do 
they loom upon the national horizon and then'pnly 
can we see them in their true relations* Their 


characters personify the national spirit in its effort 
to express itself and the ideals and ideas that parti- 
cularise it from other nations. 

In closely studying a national character we see, as 
it were, a composite of innumerable photographs of 
the personality of the nation, reflecting and 
experiencing in one soul the struggle of the myriads 
that make it. The national character is, of itself, as 
its life shows and its message reveals, impersonal, 
because of the multiple personality it synthesises 
within itself, and because of the uplifting it purposes 
to bring about for the masses whose cause and 
thought it represents. 

In a national character is witnessed the tempest 
of the nation for self-expression. At the time, it 
may be that even the nation does not understand 
but it eventually comes to know, as history attests, 
and with that knowledge is born, with irresistible 
vigour, the national consciousness. 

The India of To-day is a New-India, because with 

us have been national characters whose effort and 


whose realisation have made a great national self- 
ponsciousness which has spread over and been par- 
taken gf by the Indian world, as a whole. 

There have been several such characters within our 
midst of commanding influence. With the heart throb- 
bings of their purpose the pulse of the nation itself 
was quickened ; aye, and into the passing from 


mortal view of such souls, it stops, for the time, the 
spirit of the land plunging into that grief and sense 
of loss, out of the anguish of which heroes are born. 

In such a condition of thought and feeling, India 
finds itself with the passing away of the Sister 
Nivedita of Rk.-V., who expired at Darjiling on 
October the thirteenth. 

She stands out in bold relief against the back- 
ground of the national mind, a great personality 
carved by the unconscious desire of the people into 
their own image and likeness and into the living 
representation of their life and ideals. She con- 
sciously voiced the silent want and the voiceless need 
of millions and she uttered unto them that message 
which all the powers of her soul, even at the sacrifice 
of her own self, formulated as the national conscious- 

There has not been in the making of the modern 
Indian mind a personality with such a capacity for 
understanding its problems and with such inexhaust- 
ible energy in the direction of work. Day in and 
day out for more than fourteen years, she had made 
her spirit one with that of the land, penetrating into 
every nook and crevice of the Indian experience for 
evidences of its greatness as fewest have ever done, 
searching for the powers and the self -recreating spirit 
of India. The result and the realisation is the idea and 
the coinage of the term, the national consciousness. 


Strange beyond measure is her life and place in 
India, because, coming from a distant land, she had 
been able, through a process which probably she 
herself did not fully understand, to reshape every- 
thing she previously was in spite of the fact that 
her personality was intense and take rebirth into 
the Indian consciousness, becoming a patriot among 
patriots and a messenger among messengers to the 
Indian peoples. 

Studying the mission of the Sister Nivedita, one 
becomes aware of her life, not so much as of a single 
personality, as of the development, struggle and 
expression of a complex and representative mind, 
whose occupation was the moulding of the highest f 
intellectual illumination into channels of important 

Before coming to India, she had cherished dreams 
of a new method in education, and of a work which 
should enlarge the scope of learning from mere in- 
struction to a real awakening of mind. She had 
hoped much, and, it was her aspiration that woman- 
kind would enter new paths of life and develop the 
highest individualism of which it was capable. The 
newest moods of thought that occupied the leading 
minds of Europe were hers, and with a clear con- 
ception of a purpose of life, she turned the currents 
of her personal energy into founding and upholding 
the standard and the principles of a higher education 


and also of a new and expansive individualism for 

With this she was busily engaged when destiny 
put her into the path of Hinduism. In the fall of 
1895 the Swami Vivekananda, coming from his great 
success in preaching the Gospel of Hinduism in 
America, sojourned for sometime in London. The 
Sister Nivedita or as she was then known, Miss 
Margaet E. Noble was of that circle upon whom 
the Swami made a living and lasting impression. 

The full import of that impression, however, she 
herself did not become aware of, as she admits, until 
her coming to India. She had accepted the philo- 
sophy of the Hindus, as defined by the Swami, and 
even in those early days of her discipleship of 
Hinduism was foreshadowed that particular under- 
standing she later became fully possessed of and 
revealed, namely, that in India religion and society 
are one, that the national righteousness is equal to 
the righteousness that religion proposes the Highest 
Expression and the Highest Individualism of 

She saw that behind all human struggle and ex- 
pression and underlying all forms of human aspira- 
tion, whether in the sciences, or in religion, as a 
special form, was the Indomitable Determination of 
Man to reveal Himself and to find and express that 
Freedom of His Own Nature from the bondages and 


blunders to which his undeveloped consciousness 
is heir. 

" All this is One, she once remarked in this rela- 
tion in one of her unusual moments of insight and this 
which with some is only a self -satisfactory doctrine 
of metaphysics grew with every hour of her career 
as a motto and an inspiration for work in the con- 
crete. She drew the bars of an iron determination 
to understand and serve across the personal con- 
tentment and peace she might have gained had she 
sought solitude and like a " sannyasini," lived her 
life in contemplation on purely religious matters. 

That settled happiness she intentionally renounced. 
" .Emotion should only serve to colour thought," she 
insisted and so we find her speaking little of her 
personal feeling about the religion and land of her 
adoption, while on the other hand we s'ee her pour- 
ing her understanding of the needs and of the spirit 
of India, which she had gathered after much in- 
tellectual toil and pain, as molten gold into the 
forms and materials of a living nationalism. 

Patriotism with her was religion, and " jnana " to 
her was that understanding of the land which 
would inflame the individual to self-sacrifice and 
spirited endeavour for the masses. She had realised 
the urgent need of maintaining, in their purity and 
vigour, those characteristic ideals which make up 
the body of Indian society, as well as its religion* 


Therefore, she maintained that only in so far as 
India had perfect freedom of national expression 
could she keep in her vision, as a constant presence^ 
the company of ideals which specialise her among 
the nations of the world. 

Therefore, she insistently demanded that freedom 
at every turn and for that reason she formulated, 
announced and lived and died for the religion of the 
national righteousness. 

A survey of her life and work in India is likewise a 
survey of all the growth which the spirit of India has 
made during its present epoch-making period. Her 
thought had concerned itself with every form of the 
national awakening, Of ma$y forms she was, in- 
deed, the fountain-head and inspiration. It was she 
who took up the cause of the future of Indian 
Womanhood. Translating all her thought for the 
education, of womanhood in the land of her birth to 
the service of woman in this land, she opened and 
maintained a school for girls in the very heart of 
orthodox Calcutta. 

This was the most cherished of all her purposes. It 
was a passionate desire on her part and it inspire^ 
her to go through many hardships and live the.ascetic 
life of the Hindu Brahmacharini. The school was the 
temple of her work and of her hopes. It was the 
sanctuary of the truth she perceived and uttered 
concerning India. Here her life was spent among 


the women and the people, identified with their 
interests and their life. 

Wonderful, by itself, was that life she lived, even 
as a person a life of such constant renunciation that 
it would have told severely and in a short time upon 
one less gifted with the capacity for living in a world 
of deepest thought and unflinching purpose, Her 
life was a flame of intellectual and personal austerity. 

"Utterly oblivious of physical surroundings she lived 
as she was, a giant force of mind concerned with itself 
and accustomed to find companionship and peace, in 
its own activity, unawares, as it were, of the body. 
With her, life was a constant meditation upon the 
problems of India, broken only by the demands made 
upon her time and thought and service. 

Those whose fortune it was to know her, founcl 
themselves, when she spoke on those subjects she had 
nearest her will, transported into a world where 
ideals are realities and thought, a living power, 
Her's was an illuminated intellect. Her penetration 
into the world of ideas and intentions was such that 
what was previously in the mind only an intellectual 
Consciousness of some truth became, under the radi- 
ance pf her thought, an illumination and actual 

Her conversation itself was literature, but both the 
literature of her speech and the literature of her 
thought were the outcome of years and years of 


effort. " Work ! Work ! Work ! " was her motto. 
She had no time for theorists or sentimentalists. She 
dealt with living forms and detested idle speculations. 
Her ideal of perfection was in work that required 
effort without regard to time or personal sacrifice. 
"The man who built the Taj Mahal", she said, 
" knew, also, how to build a hut perfectly. Every 
perfect thing is a form of 'samadhi', or spiritual 
illumination." Such a perception of work she 
brought to the task of nation-making in this land. 

Like a blast of a trumpet to action was her 
message to the pioneers of Indian art, literature and 
civic life. Through her severe criticism of following 
foreign ideas in art and literature or life she turned 
the tide of tendency in these respects and awakened 
an original and national purpose that has since 
become instinct. Everywhere she found new mean- 
ings in old customs and great learning in old 
traditions and saw that running as a string through 
a necklace of pearls was the synthesis of the Indian 
consciousness amid a seemingly hopeless variety of 
history and culture. She saw that every event, 
circumstance and condition that has served to moujd 
the Indian mind in its historical experience is in- 
separably blended with every other and therefore 
she proclaimed on all occasions the historic and 
social oneness of the Mother-Heart, the Mother- 
Mind, the Mother-Church. 


In quest of learning and understanding for the 
larger quest to serve, she traversed the length and 
breadth of India, here and there to secure a connect- 
ing link in Indian art or history or to tap the deeper 
levels of Indian life or come into relation with the 
spiritual purport of the people. Everywhere she left 
the impression of a soul whose life was an onrush of 
sincerity, overwhelming power and vigorous effort 
in the redeeming of a national self-respect and of a 
national oneness. She preached these things through 
her literature and through her personality. Mascu- 
line-minded and masculine in will she brooked no 
meddling with or distorting of her convictions. 
Whatever convictions she had and they were many 
were the outcome of an earnest search and of a 
sincere intellect. She had nothing to gain and 
much to lose from some of the positions she took, 
but once her will was set it was immoveable. 

With her passes one of those few who have made 
Hinduism masculine and aggressive. She believed 
in a Hindu self-consciousness that should make 
active the potential powers of the people. She hoped 
tor an India united in civic purposes, with the 
aspiration to solve its own problems according to the 
understanding of an enlightened people, and to 
march boldly in the vanguard of the nations, justly 
realising the inestimable contribution it has made to 
the expeiience and civilisation of man. 


Her life affords the vision of a great soul, struggl- 
ing amidst adverse conditions to express the truth 
it had so clearly seen and to reflect in the thought 
of the nation the illumination it has seen concerning 
it. She was the apostle of a gospel which will at no 
distant time be the dharma of a new national life ; 
for a life such as hers cannot be lived in vain. 

Somewhere sometime it will burst as an effulg- 
ence upon the blindness that covers our eyes and we 
shall see what now we cannot see, but what she 
saw, and we shall hear to what now we are deaf but 
which she heard and we shall have entered a condi- 
, tion of realisation for which we hope but which now 
passes our understanding. Even now before the 
dawn of that day we are sensing the message of 
which she has been the seer and prophet, and when 
that day dawns it will be on an India over which 
the Sister Nivedita lingered in thought and in love. 
Modern Review. 


How can one begin to describe her ? As a woman, 
a friend or an enthusiast ? As a passionate votaress 
of beauty in art, in literature or in .life? As a 


religious mystic, or a political missionary of the fiery 
cross ? As an orator whose voice was like a trumpet 
with a silver sound, or a writer able to charm new 
and noble cadences from the English tongue ? As an 
interpreter between the West and the East, or a 
vehement champion of the East in all its aspects 
against the West ? As the earnest advocate of all 
that is best in the modern women's movement, or 
herself the proud and spotless sum of womanhood ? 

It will perhaps be best to deal simply with a sub- 
ject so vast as this transcendent personality. I go 
back then, to the Christmas afternoon in Calcutta 
nearly ten years ago, when I came face to face with 
Sister Nivedita for the first time. Long previously 
I had known her by reputation as a gifted " crank " 
a well-born English woman who preferred an as- 
cetic life in a lane of Northern Calcutta to the com- 
forts and luxuries of her Western home. That was 
how most English people thought of her that and 
nothing more. True I knew a little more about her. 
I had read some of the things she had written. I 
knew that she had stirred up the lethargic north of 
Calcutta to cleanse itself and so diminish its sus- 
ceptibility to plague. I was prepared therefore to 
find her something out of the common. 

I saw a tall, robust woman in the very prime of 
life* Her face in repose was almost plain. The 
cheeck bones were high and the jaws were square* 


The face at the first glance expressed energy and 
determination, but you would hardly have looked at 
it again but for the forehead and the eyes. The 
eyes were a calm, deep blue, and literally lit up the 
whole countenance. The forehead was broad rather 
than high, and was surmounted by a semi-Indian 
sari, fastened to the abundant brown hair. In ani- 
mation the face and its expression were transfigured, 
in sympathy with the rich, musical voice. 

I was surprised at her appearance, and analysing 
the reasons for this afterwards discovered that I had 
expected her to be dark. Enthusiasts are often dark. 

We met at a friendly tea table, and as I was the 
only other guest Sister Nivedita addressed herself 
directly to me. Our hosts knew what was coming, 
and chuckled quietly in their sleeves. I did not, and 
proceeded to indulge unsuspectingly in the amiable 
banalities which do duty for conversation at nine 
hundred and ninety -nine tea tables out of a 
thousand. The host and hostess, I am sorry to say, 
maliciously led me on. 

The tranquil enjoyment of the situation ended 
with startling abruptness. Sister Nivedita suddenly^ 
whipped out a metaphorical rapier, and was under 
my guard before I could utter a gasp. I* felt it 
to be a cowardly .attack, and looked appealingly 
at mine host for protection. But his unfeeling* 
griri conveyed the coldly comforting assurance that 


I was about to be carved up into small sections, and 
that he and his wife were preparing to survey the 
operation with the keenest enjoyment. 

Faint, and bleeding internally from my cruel and 
unexpected wound, I next appealed " ad misericor- 
diam " to my assailant. But she was inexorable, 
and followed up her first advantage so remorselessly 
bhat in five minutes I gave up the ghost. It was a 
rude awakening, if the metaphor is not too mixed. I 
thought her, an angel until she slew me. But I saw 
that she could be an angel without mercy. 

As for me the encounter roused the devil within 
me, I forgot that she was a woman, and thirsted for 
revenge. Rendered careless by her easy victory she 
presently gave me an opening of which I took 
advantage in her own pitiless fashion. She admitted 
that I was only paying her back in her own coin, 
and we became friends from that moment. That as 
a matter of fact, was the motive of her sudden 

Friendship with Nivedita was not a slow growth. 
It sprang to maturity at the first meeting, or not at 
all; and I do not know that any one -was ever 
privileged to know the depths of her womanly kind- 
ness without first being subjected to that mortal test- 
To be admitted to her friendship was to establish 
a claim upon an inexhaustible gold mine. She gave 
herself without reserve. She lived for her friends 


and her work. For them she would pour out all her 
wondrous eloquence, and her vast and curious know- 
ledge, she would travel any distance and would 
incur any labour and anxiety. Whatever she did, 
she did with all her might and she never did any- 
thing for herself. 

To her friends she would open her heart without 
the smallest reserve. She talked even more freely 
than she wrote and her conversation, rich spontane- 
ous, clear cut as a judicial utterance, threw new 
light upon art, literature and even science, and 
revealed her bold and fiery aspirations after Indian 

If this was not her religion it was certainly a large 
part of it. She threw herself into the politics of 
Bengal at a critical time, and it would be difficult to 
exaggerate her influence upon the national move- 
ment. That influence was, of course, vehemently, nay 
fanatically anti-British. She had both Scottish and 
Irish blood, and she hated the English with all the 
sentimental fervour which was commoner than it is 
both in Ireland and Scotland. With true feminine 
obstinacy, she refused to look upon the bright side of 
British rule in India. She modified her views a year 
or two ago, but at the critical period I am speaking 
of she was firmly convinced that the British Eaj was 
purely parasitic, ajid that India could not hope to 
recover herself until the noxious growth bad been 



torn, more or less violently, away. Nor did she 
shrink from the consequences of her theories. She 
looked on bloodshed with the mind of Krishna in the 
" Bhagavad-Gita." That is a mild way of indicating 
how she could talk although no kinder hearted 
woman ever breathed. 

She came to see afterwards, I think, that violence 
is no remedy for the state of India or for anything 
else. But ten years ago she was full of the revolu- 
tionary ideas which have since obtained so lurid an 
advertisement all over Asia. And as she was far too 
honest, to keep them to herself and as her influence 
over young Bengal was greater than most people 
have ever suspected, she probably did more to create 
an atmosphere of unrest than all the newspapers in 
the world. 

I myself heard her deliver a lecture in the Town 
Hall of Calcutta six or seven years ago, for which 
she would assuredly have been deported a few years 
later, its very title was seditious. And yet the plat- 
form from which she spoke was crowded with 
Europeans, while the body of the hall was a dense 
mass of young Bengalis, who listened to her as 
though she were inspired, , The address itself was in 
oratoriar " tour de force/' Dynamic Religion " was 
the theme in other words ** patriotism " and for an 
hour and a half Nivedita held the vast audience spell 
bound* >he spoke without notes in her strong 


melodious voice, and the upshot of it all was u No 
more words words words. Let us have deeds 
deeds deeds." The seed then sown fructified earlier, 
perhaps than she herself expected. 

Her best friends twitted her with being unpracti- 
cal. Of course she was. They say her " Web of 
Indian Life " presents us with a pictui'e idealized dut 
of all relation to the facts. So much the worse for 
the facts ! And so much the more wonderful that a 
Western genius should have pierced beyond the 
" flashy screen " to the exquisite ideals which lay 
behind. She is also charged with seeing India 
through a roseate haze. Indians themselves, we are 
told .fail to recognize their country as it is reflected 
in her magic glass. With all respect I submit that 
I this proves nothing. The sympathetic stranger may 
often see things to which familiarity has blinded 
the children of the land. It is true that she was 
a reactionary as well as a revolutionary. The 
inconsistency of the two positions did not trouble 
her in the slightest. As time went on the revolution- 
ary element grew weaker and the reactionary 
element ^grew stronger a not uncommon process f 

Of all the eccentricities for which she stood blame- 
able in European e^es the most outstanding was the 
perverseuess with which she eschewed European 
society, and lived " aP Indienne " in Bqsepara Lane, 


Bagh Bazaar. The reason was simply that she had 
undertaken an educational work for which that was 
the most convenient centre. Herein she was practi- 
cal enough. For the rest her spiritual nature found 
sustenance in the elaborate symbolism of the Hindus 
which was denied to less eager and less refined 
aspirants. 'Of her inner life it would not become us 
to speak. All that we can say is that it sustained 
and glorified her, leading her on with ever living 
zeal to fresh discoveries of beauty and harmony at 
every turn in her pilgrimage. It clothed her with 
the armour, of the Happy Warrior. 

" Whose high endeavours are in inward light That 
makes the path before him always bright." 

To those who loved her it is difficult to realize that 
this vivid, brave and gifted personality has vanished 
from our sphere. But one feels that there must have 
been something triumphant even about her death. 
That is all we can hope to know at present ! 


Out of the silence of months I emerge to pay a 
tribute of memory to one who has just crossed the 
borderland and passed on to the beyond from whence 
comes neither whisper ftor message to the land of 


the living. Margaret Noble Sister Nivedita is 
dead and her work has been accomplished. When it 
comes to be put together that work may not amount 
to much because the time vouchsafed unto her was so 
short and she had perhaps no premonition of the angel- 
wings that had been beating about hei: summoning her 

silently to where her Master had gone before her. 
# * # * 

The qualities that she brought to bear on the work 
she did, deserve to be remembered for seldom did a 
truer or more generous nature throw in its lot with 
a cause so hopeless as that pf India and with so 
much enthusiasm and hopefulness. One Anglo- 
Indian paper has called her love for India * a cr&ze ' 
and that is how other people will call it, for how 
many of them can fathom the depth of her nature 
or the passion that burned in her as a holy flame ? To 
the shallow critic and the causal observer she was 

only a crank gifted beyond doubt but only a crank. 

# # * * 

It is not for me however t6 attempt an appre- 
ciation of her work in this place. Mine as I have 
said is a tribute of memory, recalling her as I knew 
her in life. I saw her many times and talked with 
her for hours at a stretch and I shall here relate only 
incidents of actual happening, things and words as 
they may recur to the memory. 


It was at Srinagar, Kashmir, that I first met her. 
I was living in a house-boat close to a donga occupied 
by Swarm Vivekananda and we used to pass much 
of our time together. Our boats were moored close 
to the guest-house of the Maharaja. Some way up 
the river beyond the Residency was a boat in which 
there were three lady disciples of Swami Viveka- 
nanda, Nivedita being one of them. One morning 
as I came back from a stroll I stepped into Viveka- 
nanda's boat and found the three ladies there and 
introductions followed. Nivedita looked quite young 
and handsome. She had a full figure and a, high 
colour and though her eyes were very bright and 
vivacious she did not appear like a bluestocking or a 
very intellectual woman. But first appeai*ances are 

frequently deceptive. 

* # * , #- 

The Jhelum was flowing rippling below the keel of 
the boat. A cool, fresh morning breeze stirred the 
water into little wavelets flecked with fleeting foam. 
Over away in the distance towered Takht Sulernan 
with the pillar on the top. On the bank were poplars 
amd chinars and apple and pear trees laden with 
fruit. And so, half observant and half obvious of 
the glorious nature outside, we fell into animated 
conversation. Sister Nivedita had a musical voice 
and spoke with the earnestness of an enthusiast. She 
wanted information on a hundred subjects. Swami 


Vivekananda pointed his finger towards me and 
smiled, "Yes, yes, peck his brains. He will give 
you all the information you want." When leaving, 
one of the elderly ladies asked me to come and have 

tea with them the following afternoon. 

#- * # # 

After they had gone Swami Vivekananda told me 
a great deal about Sister Nivedita her great accom- 
plishments and range of knowledge, her passionate 
devotion to -India. Then he told a little story. They 
had just returned from Amarnath, the famous shrine 
among the snows. Vivekananda had walked with the 
other pilgrims. As a young ascetic he had tramped 
over the greater part of India. Sister Nivedita had a 
dandy. When they had proceeded only a few stages she 
noticed an old woman among the pilgrims and saw 
that she was walking painfully and laboriously with 
the help of a stick. Nivedita promptly got out of her 
dandy ; put the old woman in it and walked all the 
way out and back from the shrine. When I asked her 
afterwards about it she said, she had two blankets, 

slept on the ground andhad never felt better in her lif e* 
* & * ,# 

But I never saw her in Srinagar again, t received 
A letter which necessitated my immediate return to 
Lahore and I left the next morning asking Swami 
Vivekananda to make my excuses at the te^ party. 


A few days later I met her at Lahore. She was 
staying with the other two ladies at Nedou's hotel 
and we met almost every day. Sometimes we would 
keep on talking till late at night, one of the oth<er 
ladies quietly sitting by and listening to the be- 
wildering range of our conversation. There was 
hardly a thing relating to India that we did not 
discuss. She frequently praised the judicial balance 
of the cultured Indian mind and the passionlessness 
of its outlook. Everything about her was sincere, 
frank and pure while her unaffected modesty was as 
charming as it was admirable. And I saw that she 
was a woman with an extraordinary intellect, of 
extensive and accurate reading. She was intensely 
impulsive, but every impulse was generous and her 

earnestness of purpose was consuming. 

* * * # 

She wanted me to show her the city. Would she 
like to drive through the city ? No, she preferred to 
walk. A little slumming, I suggested, and she 
smilingly assented. So one fine morning we entered 
the city by the Lohari Gate and tramped for over 
two hours, passing through every street and lane in 
the city* She was greatly interested in everything 
she saw the children who started at her open- 
mouthed, the women veiled and unveiled, the men 
who lounged at street corners, the Brahminy bulls 
lapping the rock salt exposed for their use on the 


market stalls, the crowded houses. She took in 
everything and asked questions about everything, 
On coming out of the city we took a carriage and I 

drove her to the hotel. 

# # # * 

There were other experiences. The Ram Lila was 
going on. We drove out to see it. The other ladies 
stayed in the carriage but Sister Nivedita got down 
and wanted to go into the crowd. As I accompanied 
her a policeman on duty seeing an English woman 
began hustling the people and thrusting them aside 
to making a passage for her. In an instant Sister 
Nivedita's smiling demeanour changed. The blood 
rushed to her face, her eyes flashed indignant fire ; 
going up to the policeman she exclaimed, "What 
right have you to push these people? You ought 
to be run in for assault. She spoke in English 
because she did not know the language of the 
country. The policeman did not understand her 
words but there was no mistaking her gesture and 
look. The man turned to me helplessly for an 
explanation and when he got it he slunk away 
looking sheepish and crestfallen. When we cati^ 
out of the crowd I burst out laughing.. Sister/ 
Nivedita turned to me saying, u Why are you laugh- 
ing at me? " I explained to her that the sight of a 
policeman pushing people or even assaulting them 
was not a rare thftig in India* She would not 


believe it at first and became very indignant when 

I told her a few facts. 

* # * * 

I met her next in Calcutta and was startled by the 
change that had taken place in her appearance. All 
the high colour of her complexion had disappeared. 
She had grown pale and thin and her face looked 
both intellectual and spiritual. She wore round her 
neck a slender chain of rudraksha. She looked quite 
the Brahmacharini she was. For several weeks she 
had been living on a plantain and a slice of bread. 
She had taken a small house in the heart of northern 
Calcutta and was teaching a few Bengali girls on the 
Kindergarten system. Would not some Indian women 
dedicate themselves to the service of India as she had 
dedicated herself? That was why she had undertaken 
the instruction of Indian girls. She looked on every- 
thing Indian with the eyes of sympathy and love* 

* # # # 

Her interests were as varied as they were wide. She 
was deeply interested in Dr. J. C. Bose's scientific 
researches- I met her at the house of the American 
Qpnsul General in Calcutta in earnest conversation 
with a e well known Japanese thinker and writer. I 
heard her speaking in public. She was a most 
eloquent and fascinating speaker but her thoughts 
and language were far too high pitched for the com- 
mon audience. As a writer tfte charm of her style 


abides in her books. But I am thinking of the 
individual and not the writer the clear, strenuous 
purpose, the fervour of faith, the human sympathy, 
the transparent sincerity, MA selfless devotion to 


# * % * 

On one occasion accompanied by a friend I went to 
see her in her house in Calcutta We were told by 
another lady staying in the house that Sister Nivedita 
was seriously ill, suffering from meningitis. She was 
being treated by Dr. Nil Ratan Sircar, the famous 
Calcutta Physician* After several anxious days the 
crisis passed and the patient was pronounced out of 
danger- Her time had not yet come. On recovery 

she went to England to recruit her health. 

* # * # 

I saw her once again at Benares for a few minutes 
while the Indian National Congress was sitting in 


that city. We were bfith pressed for time and there 
was not much conversation. And now she has gone 
to her rest, to peace everlasting, but those who had 
the privilege of knowing her will never forget her 
her sweet yet forceful personality, her wonderfully 
pure; life, white and fragrant as a lily. 




IT is fitting perhaps that one who was especially 
favoured in having relations of close friendship with 
Sister Mvedita, both in India and in England, 
should at this time add a few words to the countless 
tributes paid to her memory by her Indian friends. 
All those who knew her will hope that some ade- 
quate record of her life and work may be prepared 
for publication. In -the meantime, it may be well 
to set down a few facts and personal memories. 

Margaret Noble was the daughter of the Rev. S R. 
Noble, and was born at Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, on 
October 28th, 1867, Her father was trained for the 
Congregational ministry at the Lancashire In- 
dependent College, and he' died at 34, leaving a 
widow and three young children, of whom Margaret 
was the eldest. She was trained as a teacher, being 
fortunate enough in her girlhood to become ac- 
quainted with some of the most enthusiastic apostles 

o the New Education then at work in London. 


Her owji training ip child-study was, I understand, 
extremely thorough. She was a close student of 
Frobel, and among her teachers was at least one of 
the mpst original English followers of Pestalozzi. 
Her practical experience was gained as 'teacher in 


various girls' schools, and in the beginning of the 
nineties she opened, at Wimbledon, a school of lier 
own in which she strove to give expression to her 
broad and vivid conceptions of education for girls. 
At Wimbledon she was the life and soul of an 
exceptionally interesting company of modern 
young men and women, eager enquirers into every- 
thing, discussing literature, society, and ethics with 
a furious and confident energy, and beginning in 
many directions work which has yielded fruit in the 
intervening years. Always, one gathers, it was the 
enthusiasm for new and free forms of education 
which was strongest with Margaret Noble, and she 
was one of the most active of the group which, 
nearly twenty years ago, established the Sesame 
Club, the first of those social centres for men and 
women in London which have since multiplied at so 
remarkable a pace. 

It was, as she has recorded in " The Master as I 
Saw Him," at a drawing-room meeting in November 
1895 that there befell the first meeting with Swami 
Vivekauanda, from which came the fundamental 
change in her life and aims. Tjhe Swami had 
appeared at the Parliament of Religions organised 
in counection with the Chicago Exhibition of 1893, 
He was the first missionary of Indian religion to the 
West *or, as Sister Nivedita expressed it, the first in 
the long period which separates > our own ago 


from the end of the Buddhist Missions inaugurat- 
ed by the Emperor Asoka. At Chicago the 
Swami's subject was " The Religious Ideas of the 
Hindus, 51 and his address came as a revelation to the 
American public and was the beginning of a singular- 
ly successful tour as lecturer and teacher. Leav- 
ing America for Europe in 1895, Vivekananda 
arrived in England during the following month and 
a few weeks later he was teaching in London, Miss 
Noble had only a few opportunities of hearing him 
before his return to America during the winter, but 
in April, 1896 he was back again in London, addres- 
sing meetings in the house of an English friend in 
St. George's Road, near Victoria Station. Miss 
Noble, who had become the Swami's devoted dis- 
ciple, accepted his suggestion that she should go to 
India and help him in carrying out hia plans for the 
education of Indian girls and women. He left Eng- 
land at the end of 1896, and a year later Margaret 
Noble .followed him. She arrived at Calcutta m 
January 1898, and took up her quarters with some 
American friends in a small house at Belur, on the 
river a few miles above the city, "syhere soon after- 
wards was established the Calcutta headquarters of 
the Ramakrishna Mission. From May to October of 
that year (1898) the Swarm, Miss Noble and three 
other Westerti women (one of whom* was the late 
Mrs. Ole Bull, widow of -the eminent Norwegian 


musician and Nationalist), travelled together in the 
North-West, in Kumaon and Kashmir. At the end 
of the tour Sister Nivedita, as she had now become, 
endeavoured to put into effect her scheme of an 
Indian school in Northern Calcutta. The experi- 
ment was attended with much difficulty, and some 
months later it was abandoned in order that new 
means and opportunities might be found. In June 
1899, accompanied by her Guru, she left Calcutta 
for Europe, arriving in England at the end of July. 
Shortly afterwards Vivekananda left England for 
America, and during the autumn he and his disciple 
were fellow-guests of some intimate American 
friends in a house on th& Hudson River. Later 
he wa's a visitor to her family at Wimbledon, 
and he returned to India at the end of 1900, Sister 
Nivedita remaining in England until the beginning 
<>f 1902, when she resumed her work in Calcutta 

tinder conditions far more favourable to success than 


which had attended its beginnings. Swami 
ivekananda died on July 4, 1902. A few months 
afterwards Sister Nivedita was joined by an American 
colleague, Miss Greenstidel (Sister Christine), and, 
they entered upon the work of the school in 
Para Lane, Bagh Ba#ar which in the years 
grew into a vital and momentous enter- 
prise , 4- dangerous illness in the early months of 
succeeded in 1906, by a severe protracted 


spell of malarial fever, the result of a visit of en- 
quiry and service paid during the rains of that 
year to Eastern Bengal, where the people were 
suffering miserably from famine and flood. The 
terrible strain of these two illnesses broke down 
her magnificent physique. Sister Nivedita was 
never the Sdtne again. The last few months of her 
life were divided between England and America, 
and she returned finally in the spring of the present 
year, to die at Darjeeling on October, 13th a fort- 
night before the close of her 44th year. 

I recall with a curious feeling the first occasion on 
which I met her. It was at the house of a European 
lady in London Street, in July 1902, a few days only 
after the death of Vivekananda. A number of 
English people, and Indians, the latter mostly mem- 
bers of the Brahmo Saxnaj, had been invited to meet 
Sister Nivedita, who seemed to me singularly out of 
her -element. She was asked to speak, and I recall 
her address as a deeply earnest tribute to the customs 
and ideals of Indian womanhood, such as her friends 
constantly heard from her, combined with a tren- 
chant attack upon the ruling race for its complete 
failur to understand the essentials of the society 
which its institutions were destroying- No one 
who knows the circumstances will be surprised to 
hear that the address was anything but a success as 
an adjunct to an Indo-European tea-party in 'the 


fashionable quarter of Calcutta ; but upon one 
auditor at least the personality and the message 
made a deep impression. I was then a new-comer, 
having joined the staff of The Statesman hardly two 
months before. The whole affair was strange the 
afternoon gathering, the meeting of West -and East, 
and this Western voice speaking to Europeanised 
Indians of the greatness and enduring beauty of the 
customs and ideals from which they had cut them- 
selves adrift. 

It seemed, as I look back upon it now, a far from 
promising beginning; but it led to a friendship 
which to me, as to my wife, must always 1 be the 
most valuable and revealing of all personal experi- 
ences. Sister Nivedita was living then, as always 
during the remainder of her Calcutta life, in the 
little house at Bagh Bazaar, with its two tiny court- 
yards and the exquisite simplicity of its ordering. 
Although entirely devoted to the school and its 
attendant activities, there were no rules of exclusion 
in the House of the Sisters, provided only that the 
privileged male visitor did not intrude during the 
hours given up to the orthodox Hindu ladies wjbto 
came for tuition in needle-work or English. And 
nearly always the Sundays were available, from the 
early breakfast, servSU with the extreme of simpli- 
city and with constant merriment on the little 
verandah, through long hours of earnest talk or 



eager discussion. Her house was a wonderful 
rendezvous. Not often did one meet a Western 
visitor, save at those times when an English or 
American friend would be making a stay in Calcutta ; 
but nowhere else, so far as our experience went, was 
there an opportunity of making acquaintance with 
so many and varied types of Indian character. Here 
would come Members of Council and leaders in the 
civic affairs of Calcutta and Bengal, men whose 
names and doings were daily canvassed m the news- 
papers ; Indian artists and men of letters ; teachers, 
speakers, journalists, students ; frequently a travelled 
member of the Order of Ramakrishna, occasionally a 
wandering scholar, not seldom a religious leader or 
public man from a far province. At one time, as I 
remember with peculiar pleasure, the most frequent 
visitor was an inimitable Bengali editor, full of keen 
sayings and sardonic laughter and wit that stimg 
like fine cords. And above all other occasions t^here 
stands out a morning of the cold weather, I think in 
1906/ when we had the pleasure of conducting 
Mr, William Jennings Bryan and his wife, then 
taking India on their way round the world, to a 
particularly joyous breakfast in Bagh Bazaar. 

At the time of which I speak, Sister Nivedita was 
writing hard, the daily labour of the school being 
left largely to her very efficient colleague. The 
publication in 1904, of " The Web of Indian Life " 


had made her work widely known in England and 
America, and she followed this up with constant 
contributions to the Indian monthlies in which she 
dealt, in the style that gained a hearing for evely- 
thing she wrote, with the ideals of Indian education 
and art, the new claims of the civic consciousness, 
the position of woman, and, as the basis of every 
theme * with the re-statement and interpretation of 
Indian ideas of conduct, character and society. 

I cannot speak here of her remarkable, and as 
some of us feel, qurte unique relation to and influence 
upon the student community. It will, I think, be 
agreed that within the last ten years a great change 
has come about in the character and demeanour of 
the Bengali student, a change which many regard 
with misgiving. Naturally I do not i*efer to those 
aspects of the subject which have caused disquietude 
among the authorities: they have nothing to do 
with the influence which went out, in ever-widening 
circles as the years passed; from Bose Para Lane* I 
refer to those developments in which whatever the 
shade of our political opinion, we cannot but rejoice. 
Many things have been operating to give the young 
Indian a new view of life and education aijd possi- 
bility ; but no one, I think, who knew Sister Nivedita 
and the things for which she stood can doubt that 
the growth in young Bengal of a stronger and finer 
sense of social and civic duty is due in an incalculable 


degree to her personal influence and to the force 
and eloquence of her written appeals. 

In the years which followed the return from the 
first of her long visits to the West (1902) Sister 
Nivedita seemed likely to develop into a regular and 
constant speaker. She lectured often, and not in 
Calcutta alone. I remember several notable lectur- 
ing tours especially one in the Madras Presidency 
in the cold weather of 1902-03, and one in Western 
India shortly afterwards. Latterly, however, for 
reasons obvious enough to her friends, she showed a 
disposition to confine her activities to writing and to 
direct personal contact with those who were making 
towards the New India of which she dreamed. And 
yet it has always seemed to me that public speech 
gave her the opportunity most adapted to the deli- 
very of her message. She varied greatly on the 
platform. Always rather at the mercy of a too 
difficult thesis, given to the use of socio-philosophic 
terms and a far too compressed method of exposition, 
she sometimes soared, far above the comprehension of 
her audience, and I have known her give an address 
wjiich to those who did not know the speaker and 
the utter sincerity from which the words came, must 
Jiave seemed, not only unintelligible but ruined by 
something for which I can find no better word than 
pretentiousness. And yet how far removed was 
anything of display frorrt that 'fine and nobly 


veracious mind. One thinks of her best (and nearly 
always she was so), addressing some crowded gather- 
ing in the years before her strength was broken and 
before there come upon her that sense of " the little 
done, the undone vast," in which latterly she seemed 
to abide. I recall, in especial, two occasions in Cal- 
cutta. The first was in the autumn of 1902, when 
she cut short as Sunday evening call by saying that 
she was due at a lecture. She allowed me to 
accompany her, and we went, if my memory is 
not at fault, to a Bengali school in Cornwalis Street. 
The quadrangle was densely crowded, with youths 
and men, and on the platform was seated, by the 
symbolic tulsi plant, a Kathak who as we entered 
began a recital from the Ramayana. For an hour 
or so he continued, declaiming and intoning, while 
his hearers listened enrapt. A friendly interpreter 
explained the episode to me I have forgotten which 
it was. When the recital was finished Sister 
Nivedita rose to speak, without any preliminary (she 
always disliked the instrusion of a chairman). She 
spoke, as always, from the feeling of the moment a* 
regards the form ; from long reflection as regards th 
substance. "She was I think, announced to speak on 
the Ideals of the Indian Student, and she began with 
the recital to which they had just listened pointing 
her moral swiftly and with most striking effect- 
Did they* think it was enough to learn and admire 


and repeat the Ramayana, to know the ancient 
stories and to glory in the ideals which had inspired 
the men and women of early India ? u Believe me, 
that is nothing. The Ramayana is not something 
that has come once for all frotn a society that is 
dead and gone ; it is something springing ever from 
the living heart of a people. Our word to the young 
Indian to-day is : Make your own Ramayana, not in 
written stories, but in service and achievement for 
the motherland." 

The other occasion, some two years later, was one 
in which, at the outset, she seemed extraordinarily 
'* out of the picture." The Dalhousie Institute was 
filled with a mixed audience. Mostly Indian, for as 
odd a purpose as could well be imagined in that 
country to hear a debate on Marriage versus 
Celibacy, The meeting was arranged, as an anni- 
versary -treat, by the committee of a well-known 
Bengali Library. The last of the Military Members 
of Council (Sir Edmond Elles) was in the chair The 
case for celibacy was stated by the late Sir Edward 
Law, the Viceroy's Finance Minister ; the case for 
marriage by an elderly Parsee member of the Civil 
Service ;then head of the provincial department of 
Excise. Both openers gave play to the easy facetio- 
usness which is commonly dee'med proper to the 
discussion of this and kindred subjects, and the affair 
was barely saved from disaster by the seriousness 


with which a prominent Indian judicial officer ex- 
pounded the traditional Indian view of marriage. 
Towards the end of the meeting Sir Edmond Elles 
called on Sister Nivedita, who was seated on the 
platform with an English woman friend. She began 
slowly, with a courteous half -humorous rebuke to 
the Chairman, and then in a few pointed and search- 
ing sentences outlined the, conception of wifehood 
as revealed in Eastern tradition. Developing this 
and incidentally answering some criticism by a 
previous speaker of the Western woman who makes 
a career for herself outside marriage she gave a 
brilliant little exposition of the contrasted and com- 
plementing views of the place of woman as mother 
and as individual. It was extraordinarily skilful, 
complete, convincing, and the whole thing occupied 
a short ten minutes. But what interested me even 
more than the perfection of the speech was the way 
in which the tone of the meeting was transformed by 
the touchstone of her dominating sincerity. 

Many times before and after that I heard her 
peak to groups of students, or in the Calcutta 
Town Hall, before a great audience, on her 
one ^absorbing theme the religion of Nationalism ; 
before English gatherings in hall ,or church or 
drawing-room. And I have thought, and still 
tliink, that her gift of speech was something which 
when fully exercised I have never known surpassed* 


so sure and faultless in form, so deeply impassioned, 
of such flashing and undaunted sincerity. 

I do not think that even the best of her books 
represents the strength and range of her intellect, 
notwithstanding the brilliant literary gift which was 
undoubtedly hers. "Kali the mother 1 ' (1900), the 
little volume into which she put the first-fruits of 
her Indian studies under Vivekananda, revealed 
something of her interpretative faculty, although its 
title and sentiment were startling to those English^ 
readers who knew only the ordinary European 
view of the " bloody goddess." Into "The Web 
of Indian Life " (1904) she put, as her friends knew, 
all the force of her mind and all the intensity 
of her faith. The result, fine and powerful as it 
is, has always seemed to me far below what might 
have been expected from her had she lived to write 
the interpretation of Indian domestic life and of the 
social structure of Hinduism to which she would un- 
doubtedly have devoted herself. She came, I feel 
sure, to realise this, and her two later books showed 
a great advance in mastery of style. It may be that 
"The Master, as I Saw Him" (1909) will never find 
a public much beyond the ranks of those, in India 
and the West, who have been captured by the mes- 
sage of Vivekananda, but one finds it hard to believe 
that the " Cradle Tales of Hinduism " will not reach 
an increasing circle with the passage of the years. 


Among the many comments on the life of Sister 
Nivedita evoked by her death, I have seen, up to the 
time of writing, only one in which there was a note 
of disparagement. An editorial article in a leading 
Calcutta daily (English of course) contained these 
words : 

" One can only surmise that a woman of her keen 
intellect and wide - reading must have felt herself 
stifled after a time in the narrow little world in 
which she strove to play at Hinduism. For it was- 

No one who knew that splendid and dauntless 
spirit could ever think it worth while to defend the 
actions of the aims of Sister Nivedita against a 
criticism such as this, even though it followed hard 
upon her death and appeared in a journal to which 
she contributed some of the ablest examples of her 
journalistic writing. But it is permissible, I think, 
to take up the challenge contained in the word 
" play " upon which the writer of the passage lays 
emphasis. We think of her life of sustained and 
intense endeavour, her open-eyed and impassioned 
search for truth ; the courage that never quailed, tte 
noble compassionate heart. We think of her tending- 
the. victims of plague and famine, putting heart into 
the helpless and defeated, royally spending all the 
powers of a rich intelligence and an over-flowing 
humanity in the service of those with whom she had 


cast her lot. And we sa&^If this was play, then 
may grace be given/^ f ^P?$b^play, the game. 
Modern Review. 

Printed "by J, R" Aria, at the Vasanta Presa, Adyar/ Madras.