By Sir Charles Eliot
A examine of Hinduism and Buddhism, together with their origins, practices and legends by means of an identical British diplomat and colonial administrator who initiated the coverage of white supremacy within the British East Africa protectorate (now Kenya).** [C:\Users\Microsoft\Documents\Calibre Library]
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Extra resources for Hinduism and Buddhism, Volume 1: An Historical Sketch
The relations of religion to philosophy, to ethics, and to the state, as well as the relations of different religions to one another, are not the same as in Europe. China and India are pagan, a word which I deprecate if it is understood to imply Hinduism and Buddhism, Volume 1 31 inferiority but which if used in a descriptive and respectful sense is very useful. Christianity and Islam are organized religions. They say (or rather their several sects say) that they each not only possess the truth but that all other creeds and rites are wrong.
This conception of ritual prevailed in Egypt but in India there is no trace of it in Vedic literature and perhaps it did not come into fashion until Gupta times. Although the laity may be present and salute the god, such worship cannot be called congregational. Yet in other ways a Hindu temple may provide as much popular worship as a Nonconformist chapel. In the corridors will generally be found readers surrounded by an attentive crowd to whom they recite and expound the Mahabharata or some other sacred text.
Is it not at least equally reasonable to assume that there are many spirits, or many shapes taken by the superpersonal world spirit, with which the soul can get into touch? The worship of images cannot be recommended without qualification, for it seems to require artists capable of making a worthy representation of the divine. And it must be confessed that many figures in Indian temples, such as the statues of Kali, seem repulsive or grotesque, though a Hindu might say that none of them are so strange in idea or so horrible in appearance as the crucifix.