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INDIA AND THE WEST 
WITH A PLEA FOR TEAM-WORK AMONG SCHOLARS 1 

Charles Rockwell Lanman 
Harvard University 

It is a curious reminiscence of a journey to India of thirty 
odd years ago, that no less than two pamphlets were given me 
discussing the religious right of a Brahman to cross the ocean. 
Remote indeed must be the corner of India in which that question 
is now debatable. Railways, electric motors and lights, tele- 
graphs and telephones, a successful flight from Europe to 
Karachi, — such things must make it clear to any Hindu, whether 
learned or illiterate, that the old order is past and gone, and with 
it the possibility of maintaining the old-time caste-restrictions, 
and the isolation that they fostered. 

Postered, not effected. For India has never been wholly 
isolated. Thither, for conquest and gain, Alexander led an 
army, and upon the observations of his generals and followers 
rest the Greek and Latin accounts (such as those of Megas- 
thenes), which it is a fascinating study to test upon the touch- 
stone of native Hindu records (such as those of Kautilya). — 
Thither, again, came the Chinese pilgrims to the Holy Land of 
Buddhism, — their purpose, to get the authentic records of Bud- 
dha's teaching and carry them home to China. Of all foreign 
visitors to India, none challenge our sympathy and admiration 
more splendidly than do these stout-hearted men who braved 
the awful perils of the Sand-desert, the Sha-mo, upon so exalted 



1 Presidential address delivered before the American Oriental Society at 
Ithaca, April 6, 1920. — In it are embodied a few statements already made 
by the author in print elsewhere, — in official documents 'not published,' or 
in books of very restricted circulation. 

Tor the sake of readers who live outside of the world of American sports, 
be it said that 'team-work' means 'work done by the players of a team 
collectively, for example, by the players of a foot-ball eleven.' These must 
do each his best for the success of his team as a whole. To this end, they 
must be free from the slightest feeling of personal jealousy, and must not 
allow the hope of personal advantage to influence any thought or act. The 
application of the term 'team-work' to the scholarly co-operation as between 
India and the West which we here have in mind, is obvious. 
15 JAOS 40 



226 Charles B. Lanman 

an errand. — And thither,. again, came 'visitors' of a very differ- 
ent stripe, invaders, beginning in 1001, who in long succession, 
from Mahmud of Ghazni to the Moguls, set up foreign rule in 
India. Of the Moguls, the greatest and best was Akbar, and 
the time of his life (1542-1605) accords very nearly with that of 
Queen Elizabeth, as does also the time of his reign of nine-and- 
forty years. It was on the very last day of the sixteenth century 
that Elizabeth gave a charter to ' The Governor and Company of 
Merchants of London trading into the East Indies. ' 

This marks the beginning of a new era, the era of British India. 
The isolation of India, so far as it concerns India and the West, 
has been, upon the whole, pretty complete from the days of Alex- 
ander to those of the Company. To Horace, India was the land 
whose forests were 'lapped by the storied Hydaspes.' And more 
than a hundred years before Elizabeth's Charter, Columbus set 
out, in 1492, to seek India by sailing to the west. And five years 
later, Vasco da Gama started from Lisbon to reach the same 
fabled goal by sailing in general to the east. It was in May, 
1498, after a voyage of nearly eleven months, that the intrepid 
Portuguese captain cast anchor off the coast of Malabar, near Cal- 
icut. On returning, he bore a letter from the Prince of Calicut 
to the King of Portugal: 'In my kingdom there is abundance 
of cinnamon, cloves, ginger, pepper, and precious stones. What 
I seek from thy country is gold, silver, coral, and scarlet.' 
Portuguese, Dutch, French, Danes, even Prussians, strove in 
vain for a permanent foot-hold in India. It was reserved for 
the unconquerable persistence and self-restraint of the English, 
and for their loyalty to far-sighted principles through two hun- 
dred and fifty years, to establish the greatest colonial empire of 
human history. 2 

Modern scientific knowledge of India in the Occident is often 
said to begin with Sir "William Jones and Henry Thomas Cole- 
brooke. These are the most illustrious names on the earliest 
bead-roll of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, founded by Sir Wil- 
liam in 1784. But even a hundred years and more before that, 
two remarkable observers had written books to which I should 
like to call attention. One is ' The Open Door to hidden heath- 
endom, or truthful description of the life and customs, religion 

2 See Imperial Gazetteer of India, Oxford, 1908, ii. 446-469. 



India and the West 227 

and worship of the Bramins on the coast of Coromandel and 
lands thereabouts. By Dominus Abraham Rogerius, in his life, 
Minister of the Holy Gospel on the same coast,' published in 
Dutch at Leiden in 1651. A German translation was published 
a dozen years later, at Niirnberg, in 1663. The Dutch original 
is of extreme rarity, and has accordingly just been republished 
by our colleague, Professor "W. Caland of Utrecht, at The Hague, 
in 1915. — The other work is the 'Truthful detailed description 
of the famous Bast Indian coasts of Malabar and Coromandel 
and the island of Ceylon. By Philip Baldaeus, sometime Minis- 
ter of the Divine Word in Ceylon,' published in German at 
Amsterdam in 1672. I have long been the fortunate possessor 
of a copy of the Niirnberg Rogerius, and of a copy of Baldseus 
(both destined for the Harvard Library), and Rogerius has just 
been laid on the table before you. 

The 'visitors' in India, to whom brief allusion has been made, 
are typical. On the one hand are the conquerors and traders, to 
whom cinnamon and ginger, coral and scarlet, mean much. On 
the other are the pilgrims and missionaries, seekers for the things 
of the spirit. But notice how these latter represent two exactly 
opposite types. The Chinese pilgrims go to learn. The men 
from the West go to teach. And the purpose of each type is 
clearly reflected in the mental attitude of each towards what 
there is to see. The work of Baldaeus has for a sub-title ' Heathen 
Idolatry,' Abgotterey der Heyden, and its pages have many 
descriptions and pictures of abominations. For contrast, let 
me read a bit from Fa-hien, the concluding paragraph of his own 
record of his pilgrimage to India (399-414 A. D.). 

After Fa-hien set out from Ch'ang-gan,* it took him six years to reach 
Central India; stoppages there extended over (other) six years; and on his 
return it took him three years to reaeh Ts 'ing-chow. The countries through 
which he passed were a few under thirty. From the sandy desert westwards 
on to India, the beauty of the dignified demeanour of the monkhood and of 
the transforming influence of the Law was beyond the power of language 
fully to describe. 

At the end of the work is added one more passage by an unnamed 
writer, Fa-hien 's host, who says : 



* In Shen-si, near the great bend of the Yellow River. Fa-hien speaks of 
himself in the third person. The Law or Great Doctrine means Buddha's 
religion. 



228 Charles R. Lawman 

It was in the year Keah-yin (414 A. D.) that I met the devotee Fa-hien. 
On his arrival, I lodged him with myself in the winter study, and there, in 
our meetings for conversation, I asked him again and again about his 
travels. The man was modest and complaisant, and answered readily accord- 
ing to the truth. I thereupon advised him to enter into details, and he 
proceeded to relate all things in order from the beginning to the end. He 
[Fa-hien] said himself, 

' When I look back on what I have gone through, my heart is involuntarily 
moved and the sweat breaks forth. That I encountered danger and trod 
the most perilous places, without thinking of or sparing myself, was because 
I had a definite aim, and thought of nothing but to do my best in simplicity 
and straightforwardness. Thus it was that I exposed my life where death 
seemed inevitable, if I might accomplish only a ten-thousandth part of what 
I hoped.' 

These words [of my guest, Fa-hien] affected me [his host] in turn, and 
I thought: — 'This man is one of those who have seldom been seen from 
ancient times to the present. Since the Great Doctrine flowed on to the 
East, there has been no one to be compared with Hien in his f orgetfulness of 
self and search for the Law. Henceforth I know that the influence of sin r 
cerity finds no obstacle, however great, which it does not overcome, and 
that force of will does not fail to accomplish whatever service it undertakes. 
Does not the accomplishing of such service arise from forgetting (and dis- 
regarding) what is (generally) considered as important, and attaching 
importance to what is (generally) forgotten?' 

Simple, straightforward, self-forgetting seeker for the truth, 
hoping all things, and yet daring death to do even a little part of 
what he hoped, and, above all, judging values not as the world 
judgeth! such was Fa-hien, The Illustrious Master (Hien) of the 
Law (Fa). For us, as scholars and as students of the East, 
where may be found a braver, a nobler, a wiser exemplar ? 



Fa-hien 's 'definite aim' was to seek and carry home the authen- 
tic records of Buddha's Teachings. But since these would be 
useless without a knowledge of the language of the originals, it 
follows that he must have recognized the fact that the first essen- 
tial for knowing Buddha 's religion was to know the language of 
its ancient sacred books. A similar fact with reference to Hindu 
jurisprudence was recognized fourteen hundred years later by 
Henry Thomas Colebrooke. Warren Hastings saw that if the 
Company's wise intentions of governing the Hindus by their 
own laws were to be carried out, those ancient laws must be 
made accessible to their European judges. As no one was found 
to translate them directly from the original Sanskrit into Eng- 



India and the West 229 

lish, they were in fact translated from Sanskrit into Persian and 
from Persian into English. The result was Halhed's Code of 
Gentoo Laws (1776). Colebrooke arrived at Calcutta in 1783, 
as a lad of eighteen. But he acquitted himself with such dis- 
tinction in the revenue service, that at thirty he was transferred 
to the judicial service, to a post in the Court or Adawlat of 
Mirzapore, near Benares. 4 

In 1787, Sir William Jones wrote home to Charles Wilkins: 
'You are the first European that ever understood Sanscrit, and 
will, possibly, be the last. ' 5 It was probably very soon after this 
date, perhaps in 1790, that Colebrooke took up Sanskrit. He had 
been seven years in Bengal, and his eagerness to acquire a 
knowledge of ancient Hindu algebra was what first moved him 
to study Sanskrit. The difficulties were so great that he twice 
abandoned the study. But the duties of his office, and the inade- 
quacy of Halhed's work, forced him to renew the fight. For, 
with the lack of help, and the constant pressure of official duty, 
it must indeed have been a fight. The result was his monumental 
Digest of Hindu Law, dated 1798. 

In a letter of January, 1797, to his father, Colebrooke 
announces the completion of his task of translating the Digest 
of Hindu Law, and his plan of working out a Sanskrit grammar, 
and the fact that 'types have lately been cast, in Calcutta, for 
printing the Sanscrit language in its appropriate character,' 
that is, in Nagari letters. The first Sanskrit book to be so 
printed was the Hitopadesa, with parts of Dandin and Bhartr- 
hari, and a copy of it lies on the table before you. Its editor was 
Carey, and it was printed at his press in Serampore in 1804, and 
with a preface by Colebrooke, saying that it was 'To promote and 
facilitate the study of the ancient and learned language of India 
in the College of Fort William.' It was followed in 1805 by 
Colebrooke 's Sanskrit Grammar. Of this also a copy lies before 
you. In a letter of 1801, Colebrooke says: 'My chief literary 
occupation now is a Sanscrit Grammar, which is in the press. 
I undertook it because I accepted the Professorship of Sanscrit 
in the College, but do not choose to deliver oral instruction to the 
students ; and I am expediting the publication, that this may be 

* See The Life of H. T. Colebrooke, by his son, Sir T. E. Colebrooke, Lon- 
don, 1873, for these and the following statements. 
"See JAOS 9, p. lxxxviii. 



230 Charles B. Lanman 

one of the valuable legacies of the College, if it do die the death 
to which the Court of Directors have condemned it.' And such 
a legacy indeed it is. It is based upon Panini, the greatest of all 
Hindu grammarians. But since the Hindu system of grammar 
is infinitely more difficult than the Sanskrit language itself, the 
work was unusable except as a sure stepping-stone for Cole- 
brooke's successors. 

We cannot realize how difficult were the beginnings of a 
scientific study of India for these brave pioneers. Wilkins, the 
Caxton of India, arrived in Bengal in 1770, and Halhed at about 
the same time. Sir William Jones and Colebrooke arrived in 
1783, and Carey in 1793. Carey, the learned shoemaker, estab- 
lished his mission at Serampore in 1800. He became a translator 
of the Bible, and justly earned the title of 'The Wyclif of the 
East.' Wilkins was the first to make a direct translation of a 
Sanskrit work into English. This was the Glta (London, 1785). 
Of it and of Wilkins, Colebrooke says : 

I have never yet seen any book which can be depended on for informa- 
tion concerning the real opinions of the Hindus except Wilkins' 'Bhagvat 
Geeta. ' That gentleman was Sanscrit-mad and has more materials and more 
general knowledge respecting the Hindus than any other foreigner ever 
acquired since the days of Pythagoras. 

Wilkins was very skilful with his hands and his pen. He had 
with his own hands designed and cut the punches and cast the 
types from which Halhed 's Bengali grammar was printed at 
Hoogly in 1778. And he taught his art to a Bengali blacksmith, 
Panchanan. The latter came to the Serampore Mission Press 
most opportunely. Carey was in sore need of Nagari types for 
his Sanskrit grammar and texts. Panchanan met the need. The 
excellence of his work you may see for yourselves from the 
beautiful volume before you, the Hitopadesa. His apprentice, 
Mohonur, continued to make elegant fonts of type for many 
Eastern languages for more than forty years. Rev. James Ken- 
nedy saw him cutting the matrices and casting the type for the 
Bibles while he squatted before his favorite idol, under the 
auspices of which alone he would work. Serampore continued 
down till 1860 to be the principal Oriental type-foundry of the 
East. 6 

8 The Life of William Carey, by George Smith, 2d ed., London, 1887. See 
especially pp. 217-8. 



India and the West 231 

Let me cite, from an essay 7 of a dozen years ago, some facts 
for which in part I was indebted to our confrere, Dr. Justin E. 
Abbott, formerly of Bombay. 

On the 'Bombay side' the case was similar. The first impor- 
tant press of "Western India was started by the American Mis- 
sion in 1816. A young Eurasian of that press, Thomas Graham, 
cut the first Marathi and Gujarati type. At this press were 
later employed also two young Hindu lads, one of whom, Javajl 
Dadajl, learned the art of printing from the Americans, and 
founded the Nirnaya Sagara Press, now carried on by his son 
Tukaram Javajl. The other, taught by Graham, is still living, 
and cuts all the beautiful Nirnaya Sagara type. 

Printing in India is therefore modern, and essentially un-In- 
dian in its origin ; but no sane man would refuse a Sanskrit text 
because it was printed, and insist on having one made by a Hindu 
scribe. The consideration of cost alone would utterly condemn 
such a preference. Meantime, Bombay and Poona and Calcutta 
are producing admirably printed Sanskrit texts; printed texts 
are beginning to come from such out-of-the-way places as Nag- 
pore; and from Kumbhakonam, the 'Oxford of Southern India,' 
they come in great numbers. Whether we like it or not, printing 
will ere long have ousted memorizing and copying as a means 
of handing down texts. In short, the ancient Hindus are no 
longer ancient ; like the rest of the world they too are moving on. 

The Sanskrit philology of the Occident is but little more than 
a century old. But its achievements are already great. The 
last work from the hand of our colleague, Ernst Windisch of 
Leipzig, is entitled History of Sanskrit philology, Part I, and 
goes down through the time of Christian Lassen. Whether Part 
II would have contained an outline of Sanskrit philology in India 
(manuscript-collections, text-editions, epigraphy, numismatics — 
the work of what Windisch calls his 'Fourth period'), I am not 
sure. But in this connection it is noteworthy that Sanskrit 
philology is in fact commonly taken to mean the work of Occi- 
dental scholars. 

What I especially desire to bring to your attention today is the 
great fact that it is only through the most whole-hearted co- 



7 Prefixed to J. Hertel's Panchatantra, Harvard Oriental Series, vol. 11, 
p. xxii. 



232 Charles B. Lanman 

operation of Indianists of the Occident with those of the Orient 
that we may hope for progress which shall be fruitful in good 
to West and to India alike. And there is a very peculiar pro- 
priety in emphasizing this fact just at this time. 

Almost three years ago, when we Americans were engaged in 
the stupendous work of fighting mighty nations separated from 
us by thousands of miles of land and sea, there appeared in 
India, at Poona, a splendid volume of Commemorative Essays 
presented to Sir Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar on the occasion 
of his eightieth birthday, July 6, 1917. It consists of forty essays, 
mostly in English, partly in Sanskrit and French, contributed 
by scholars of India and the West in token of their admiration 
for Dr. Bhandarkar as a scholar who has for decades combined 
Indie and Western learning, and so has been an example and an 
inspiration to us all. Thus in these dark days, — when inter- 
nationalism seems almost dead, when for the older generation the 
hope of reorganizing international effort for great undertakings 
seems faint, — comes this virile messenger from India, the Con- 
tinent of the Bharatans, to quicken our courage and our hope. 
I trust that it may be an added measure in the cup of gladness 
of Dr. Bhandarkar, who has been for thirty-three years one 
of our Honorary Members, to learn that here in distant America 
it is deemed worth while to pause and do honor to a life that 
has been devoted to the noble ideal of helping the West to under- 
stand his native India. 

And, before turning to the main subject which this volume 
suggests, let me add that to us, as Americans, it is a matter of 
satisfaction and pride that Dr. Belvalkar, who was a leading 
spirit in planning the volume and in organizing the Bhandarkar 
Oriental Research Institute of Poona, is a member of our Society, 
and that, although in the wide fields of Indian antiquities there 
is many a subject about which he knows as a matter of course 
vastly more than any American professor of Sanskrit can hope 
to know, he was nevertheless wise enough to devote two years to 
study in an American university. This last I mention with hope 
and with gladness. I am glad that a Hindu, well versed in the 
learning of his native land, should think it worth while to learn 
of the West. And I hope that his residence in America may 
make his Eastern learning far more fruitful for his countrymen 
and for us Occidentals than it ever could be, if he had not come 



India and the West 233 

hither to study our methods and to find out what lessons from 
his country's past may best be taught to us. 

The main thought which the stately Bhandarkar volume sug- 
gests is the happy one that Indianists of India are now joining 
hands with Indianists of the West in the great work of helping 
each to understand the other. The supreme folly of war is in 
the last analysis a failure — as between two peoples — to under- 
stand each other, and so to trust each other. It follows then 
that the business of us Orientalists is something that is in vital 
relation with urgent practical and political needs. The work 
calls for co-operation, and above all things else for co-operation 
in a spirit of mutual sympathy and teachableness. There is 
much that America may learn from the history of the peoples of 
India, and much again that the Hindus may learn from the 
"West. But the lessons will be of no avail, unless the spirit of 
arrogant self-sufficiency give way to the spirit of docility, and the 
spirit of unfriendly criticism to that of mutually helpful con- 
structive effort. Both India and the West must be at once both 
teacher and taught. 

The whole spiritual and material background of the life of 
India differs so completely from that of the West that neither can 
ever understand the other from a mere study of the other's liter- 
ary monuments. Such study is indeed inexorably necessary, and 
it must be fortified by broad and rigorous training in the many- 
sided methods of today. But that is not enough. An Occi- 
dental who would faithfully interpret India to the West must 
also know the life of India from actual observation and expe- 
rience, and must be able to look at it from the Eastern angle of 
vision. Accordingly, for example, the Sanskrit professor of the 
next generation must have resided in India, have mixed (so far 
as possible) with its people, and have mastered one or more of 
the great modern vernaculars, such as Marathi or Bengali. 
And, on the other hand, since the Hindus themselves are already 
actively engaged in interpreting the Bast to the West, it is 
needful also that they visit us, not merely to learn our way of 
doing things, but also to look at life as we look at it, and thus to 
find out what things— such, let us say, as repose of spirit or the 
simple life— the West most needs to learn of the East. 8 



S C. R. L., in a Note prefixed to S. K. Belvalkar's Soma's Later History, 
Harvard Oriental Series, vol. 21, page xiii. 



234 Charles B. Lanman 

Colebrooke, in a letter of 1788 to his father, says: 'Never 
mixing with natives, an European is ignorant of their real 
character, which he, therefore, despises. "When they meet, it 
is with fear on one side, and arrogance on the other.' And I 
must confess that I have myself in India seen that the basis of 
Colebrooke 's charges had not become wholly a thing of the past. 
Sir William Jones and Colebrooke are ideal instances of the 
spirit and methods that were and are and must ever remain 
exemplary. They went to India, they learned of the Hindus, 
and to the task of making India known to the West they gave, 
with heroic devotion, all that they had to give. And ever since 
their day, the business of the East India Company or of the 
Imperial Government has taken men to India who have proved 
to be not only men of lofty personal character and faithful 
officials, but also Indianists of large achievement. 

To Prance belongs the honor of establishing the first professor- 
ship for Sanskrit upon the Continent of Europe. This was at 
the College Royal de Prance, and a copy of the inaugural address 
of the first incumbent, de Chezy, delivered Monday, January 16, 
1815, lies before you. In the second third of the last century, 
.there arose men who, like de Chezy 's successor, Eugene Burnouf, . 
or like the lexicographers, Bohtlingk and Roth, accomplished 
great things without ever visiting the Land of the Rose-apple. 
As late as Carey's day, it took about half a year to go from Eng- 
land to India. Just before the World War, letters often came 
from Bombay to Boston in three or four weeks. And now 
appears Sir Frederick Sykes before the Royal Geographical 
Society, announcing the projects of Great Britain for the devel- 
opment of commercial aviation. Egypt must for a long time be 
the 'Hub' or the 'Clapham Junction' of the aerial routes to 
India, Australia, and Cape Town. Between Egypt and India 
weather-conditions are found to be stable on the whole; and 
whereas the normal time for the sea-voyage from Port Said to 
Bombay is nine days, that traject is made through the air in four 
days, flying only in the day-time. When I was a graduate 
student at Yale, it was not even suggested that I should go to 
India; and an occasional letter of scientific interest from India 
was deemed worthy of publication in Weber's Indische Studien 
or in our Journal. 



India and the West 235 

But soon, when a letter can be transmitted from Boston to 
Bombay in ten days, and the writer can be carried by ship and 
train in a fortnight, it is evident that the increased opportunities 
will bring — as always — increased obligations, and that for pro- 
fessed Indianists in America a period of residence and study in 
India — preferably, perhaps, at such a place as Poona or Benares 
— will become rather a matter of course. Meantime, it may be 
added, the development of the discipline of tropical hygiene will 
tend to reduce to a minimum the dangers to health from living 
in an unwonted climate. 

The time is ripe for instituting a system of international 
exchange-scholarships as between the universities of India and 
America. This will encourage and promote the tendency to 
inter-university migration, which is already well under way. 
Scores of students from India and the Far East are now listed in 
the Harvard Catalogue. Within the last two years I have had 
upon my rolls a recent Harvard graduate who has returned from 
Burma to complete his preparation for a professorship in Jud- 
son College, another American back from a long residence in 
China, two young Chinese students, one of extraordinary 
promise, and Hindus to whom it was an especial delight for me 
to explain their sacred Upanishads. It would be an entirely 
legitimate use of the Harvard Sheldon Fellowships (which are 
intended for non-resident students) to award them to men who 
propose to study in India, and I am glad to make this fact known. 

Political and economic conditions are just now such as to 
make it a peculiarly unpromising time to move for the establish- 
ment of chairs for Oriental philology in the United States. But 
things have their ups and downs — utpadyante cyavante ca, say 
the Hindus — and it is for us in these dark days to do the best 
we can in the way of leaving works which (all in good time, it 
may be after we are gone) shall bear fruit by substantially pro- 
moting an understanding between India and the West. 

I must not quit this theme without mentioning that the Indian 
Government has already recognized the value of these exchanges 
by sending young men on government stipends to pursue their 
studies in Europe and America. They are of course especially 
numerous in the fields of the technical sciences. But men of 
notable excellence in the things of the spirit are also not lacking. 



236 Charles B. Lanman 

Young Todar Mall was a pupil of Macdonell of Oxford, and had 
accomplished valuable work upon Bhavabhiiti, when death dis- 
appointed his hopes and ours. An elaborate study of Kalidasa 
as he appears in the Hindu writers upon rhetoric or Alankara 
has recently been published in French and Sanskrit by Hari 
Chand, a pupil of Sylvain Levi of Paris, now of Strassburg. It 
is a significant book, which no one could produce who had not 
had thorough training in these difficult writings. Such training 
is hardly to be had outside of India. No one in America even 
offers to expound them, and the offer would be vain even if made. 
On the other hand, professors of Oxford and Cambridge have 
recently presented to the Secretary of State for India a memo- 
randum advocating the establishment of a few fellowships to 
enable young British scholars to study in India the classical lan- 
guages and antiquities of India, and such related subjects as 
could be pursued to better advantage there than in Europe. 
Although the memorial has not yet gained its immediate object, 
it has gained public recognition of an important fact. 

Sir Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar was the first great Indian- 
ist of India to combine the native learning in which they must 
ever excel us, with the knowledge of the Occidental methods 
which give us in some ways important advantages over them. It 
is futile to make invidious comparisons of Hindu and Occidental 
scholars and scholarly results. Far better it is to take them all, 
gratefully or modestly as the case may be, for what they are 
worth, and make the most of them for further progress. The 
recent pamphlet of the Bhandarkar Institute concerning the new 
edition of the Maha-bharata, inviting suggestions from "West- 
ern scholars, shows how generously ready Hindu scholars now 
are to adopt Western methods and ideas, so far as serviceable and 
applicable. Shankar Pandurang Pandit, the editor of the great 
Bombay quarto edition of the Atharva-veda, had the utmost 
respect for our illustrious Whitney — a feeling that he made plain 
by deeds. And I have often wondered whether there is any old- 
time shrotriya still left in India, whose learning and memory 
would enable him even distantly to compete with the achieve- 
ments possible for a Western scholar armed with Bloomfield's 
wonderful Vedic Concordance. And I say this without fear of 
offence to my Hindu friends and colleagues. We must, as Yusuf 



India and the West 237 

Ali in his Copenhagen lectures of 1918 rightly says, 9 recognize 
the actuality and importance of the modern spirit in Indian life. 

Let me cite a case or two which have been a part of my own 
experience, as showing the openness of mind of our colleagues in 
the Orient. The oblong Bombay edition of 1889 of the Maha- 
bharata exhibits some very substantial and valuable and practical 
improvements over that of 1878. I am under the impression that 
they are due to suggestions from Occidental sources. Once 
more, on June 24, 1910, Mr. Simon Hewavitarne of Colombo 
wrote me of his plan of publishing a complete text of the Bud- 
dhist sacred books in Cingalese characters. I have the carbon 
copy of a memorial which I addressed to him on July 25, 1910, 
in which I discussed the choice of the texts to be published first ; 
the use of Cingalese authorities for a Cingalese edition; the 
importance of the native commentaries for the projected Pali lex- 
icon ; the urgent need of having not only a Cingalese title-page, 
but also (for Occidental librarians) an English one as well; the 
extreme inconvenience and wastefulness of issuing large texts in 
many small parts (as is so often done in the East) ; the impor- 
tance of the native divisions of the texts, and (at the same time) 
of possibly other, but truly convenient, means of citation; the 
need of practical and intelligently made indexes; the great 
importance of clear typography and other externals. Not long 
after, Mr. Hewavitarne passed away; but the administrators of 
the 'Simon Hewavitarne Bequest' are now issuing most beauti- 
ful and practical and scholarly volumes, one after another, 
which are certain to be of immense help for the progress of Bud- 
dhist studies. 9 " 

Before passing on, I must call to your notice a letter from 
Mr. N. B. Utgikar, Secretary of the Maha-bharata Publication, and 
Professor P. D. Gune, Secretary of the Bhandarkar Institute in 
Poona, sent with the prospectus of the new edition of the Maha- 



9 See JSAS for 1919, p. 277. 

"* A brief extract from the preface to my memorial may here be given: 
"The first thing that I would urge upon you is the tremendous usefulness 
and importance of co-operation — untrammeled by any petty personal jeal- 
ousies. If you can secure for your undertaking, genuine and true-hearted 
scholars who are imbued with the true spirit and precepts of The Exalted 
One, half the battle will be won. ' ' 



238 Charles B. Lawman 

bharata already mentioned, and asking for suggestions regarding 
the work undertaken and the methods of preparing the edition as 
outlined in the prospectus, and for advice on other relevant mat- 
ters which the prospectus may not have noticed. The most 
eminent authority among us, Professor Hopkins, has already 
responded — as I am glad to learn. In a multitude of counsellors 
there is wisdom. Any colleague who has often vainly wished 
that the old editions might have been made more conveniently 
usable, will find pleasure and honorable satisfaction and, I 
believe, also profit in accepting this most kind invitation. 

One brief corollary to this I should like to draw in passing. 
And that is, that there is now very much that is distinctively 
Indian, which will very soon have passed away. Western 
scholars must go to India, and go speedily, if they are to make 
the observations and records which must be made soon or never. 
A remarkable illustration of this point is that remarkable book 
of Sir George Grierson's, Bihar Peasant Life. A large part of 
the edition was destroyed, so that the book is of extremest rarity 
and worth its weight in silver and more. While he was in active 
service, he conceived the idea of photographing the natives as 
engaged in their various industries and using their primitive 
implements, often so like those of centuries ago that the precious 
volume is frequently an illustrated commentary upon books one 
or two thousand years old. The introduction of modern agri- 
cultural and other machinery into India will soon make an under- 
taking like that of Grierson too late, if indeed it be not so already. 

Or, to take another case, when I was in Benares, beautiful 
lithographed texts of the Upanishads with the commentaries of 
Illustrious Sankara were offered to me, which fortunately I pur- 
chased. (A specimen, the Kena, lies on the table.) I do not 
think that such works can be picked up now. Recent Hindu 
pupils have told me that they have never even seen such books. 
And for accuracy and general excellence they are of large prac- 
tical value. They are doubtless the work of old-time Benares 
pandits quite innocent of Occidental learning, who were at once 
competent Sanskritists and skilful lithographers. 

As further evidence of the modern spirit in India, must not be 
left unnoticed the activity recently shown in the organization of 
societies for co-operation in scholarly research. The Panjab 
Historical Society was founded in 1910 by scholars of the Panjab 



India and the West 239 

University, — doubtless not without the stimulus and help of Dr. 
Vogel, a distinguished pupil, and now the successor at Leyden, 
of the greatest Dutch Indianist, Hendrik Kern, himself once a 
professor at Benares. Thus Kern, being dead, yet speaketh. 
Another organization of promise is the Bihar and Orissa 
Research Society, which already has to its credit the edition of 
the great inscription of Kharavela, king of Kalinga. Strong and 
promising is the Hyderabad Archaeological Society, founded in 
1915, and with the resources of the Government of the Nizam 
behind it. 10 

These things show that the Indianists of India already realize 
the importance of turning to account the modern methods of 
organization and business efficiency, and the modern progress of 
the graphic arts. The value of organization, and of combining 
the labors of isolated scholars for well-considered ends, is 
splendidly illustrated by the Series called Kavya-mala of Bom- 
bay, and by the Anandasrama Series of Poona. As regards wide 
circulation and usefulness, complete works issued in such large 
groups or series as those, and in such form as only a strong and 
adequate printing establishment can give them, have an enor- 
mous advantage over works issued singly or in incomplete parts, 
and at some obscure and feeble press, and in a small edition. 
The work of eminent printers, such as the late Javaji Dadaji of 
Bombay, seems to me to be a very substantial service to science, 
and as such to deserve generous recognition from scholars. 

That India, with her great learning, is eager to adopt modern 
methods to make that learning available to her own sons and to 
us, and is ready to join hands with us of the West in order to 
make her spiritual heritage enrich our too hurried life, — this 
much is clear. It remains (of the few things that one may con- 
sider in so brief a time) to emphasize some of the tasks which 
seem to be most immediate and most pressing. 

And first may be said what I said years ago in one of the 
earliest volumes (vol. 4) of the Harvard Oriental Series : Make 
available to the West good Sanskrit texts and good English 
translations thereof. The labors of the last seventy years have 
given to the world of scholars editions of most of the really great 
works of the Indian antiquity — the Jaina texts excepted. Both 

10 See JSAS 1919, p. 631. 



240 Charles B. Lanman 

and Whitney, "Weber, Aufrecht, Max Miiller, von Schroeder, have 
given us the Vedas. The Hindus themselves, the Epos. Rhys 
Davids and his collaborators of the Pali Text Society, the texts 
of Buddhism. The World-war is perhaps the end of this pio- 
neering period. It is not the least disparagement to these brave 
pioneers to say that these first editions ought now to be regarded 
as provisional, and that the coming generation of Indianists must 
set to work to make new editions, uniform in general plan and 
in typography, and provided with manifold conveniences for 
quick and effective study, such as it would have been most 
ungracious even to expect in an editio princeps. To illustrate : 
Aufrecht has printed the text of the Rigveda as solid prose, like 
a German hymn-book. It is incontestable that hosts of critical 
facts which it needed the expert eye and mind of a Bergaigne to 
discover from Aufrecht 's or Miiller 's texts, would have been 
obvious almost to beginners from a Rigveda text printed so as to 
show its true metrical character. 10 * 

There still remain very important texts of which good editions 
and versions in Occidental style are a pressing need. Only two 
such will I mention, but they are texts of absolutely transcendent 
importance. One is Bharata's Natya-sastra, the oldest funda- 
mental work upon dramaturgy and theatric arts. This we may 
hope to receive from the hand of Professor Belvalkar. The 
other is the Artha-sastra of Kautilya, Chandragupta's prime 
minister, the greatest Indian writer upon the science of govern- 
ment. Considering the age, authorship, .scope, and intrinsic 
interest of the treatise, the future student of this science may not 
ignore it. It abounds also in discussions of most modern topics, 
such as profiteering, control of liquor-traffic and prostitution, 

10 * Rudolph Roth 's last letter to Whitney is dated Tubingen, 23 April, 1894. 
Roth says : ' ' An Lanman, der mir den Harvard Phormio als Gruss gesehiekt 
hat, habe ich heute eine Karte abgelassen und ihn gemahnt fur kiinftig 
aueh eine Ausgabe des Rigveda im Auge zu behalten. . . . Eine Ausgabe 
des Rigveda nach der Gestalt der Verse, wie unser Atharvaveda, ist absolut 
notwendig. Ich wundere mieh, dass andere nicht darauf gedrungen haben. 
Die Art Miillers und Aufrechts ist hungerleiderisch. Ieh selbst bediene 
mieh deshalb nie der Ausgaben, sondern nur meiner Abschrift, die richtig 
angelegt ist." 

The postal card I still have. In it Roth mentions his article, Rechtschrei- 
bung im Veda (ZDMG, vol. 48, p. 101), as relevant to the problems of a 
new edition. 



India and the West 241 

public stables and laundries, use of poison-gases, and so on. Of 
this, the learned Librarian of Mysore, R. Shamasastri, working 
in a most admirable spirit of co-operation with Fleet and Thomas, 
Jolly and Barnett, and other Western Indianists, has already 
given us an excellent provisional text and version. 

Other tasks I will not try to specify for the coming Indianists. 
But to them, by way of needed warning, one word! It is a 
deplorable misdirection of power to spend toil and money over 
the corrupt manuscript readings of third-rate ritual texts or over 
books of pornography, — so long as the Buddhist and Jaina scrip- 
tures are largely untranslated, so long as new texts and versions, 
or even well-revised and annotated ones, of the Vedic literature, 
of the treatises on medicine and law and philosophy, of the 
dramas and stories and epics, are still desiderata, — in short, so 
long as work of really first-rate importance still remains to be 
done. 

At present, for whatever causes, the future of humanistic 
studies does not look bright. Schools for advancing material 
progress flourish as never before. In devotion to the things of 
the spirit there is a falling off. For our future as a nation this 
is a very real danger. To meet it, we must awaken the interest 
of many young students. To this end, better elementary text- 
books are an indispensable means. And for this reason, I believe 
that the work of providing such books is at the present time more 
important than even the work of enlarging the boundaries of our 
science. I am convinced that one single year of Sanskrit study 
may, with proper books, be made so fruitful, that any one who 
intends to pursue linguistic studies — be he Latinist or Hellenist 
or Anglicist — may well hesitate to forego the incomparable dis- 
ciplinary training which it offers. 

Of ' proper books, ' the first is an elementary Sanskrit grammar. 
Such a book I have long had in hand. But for the war, it might' 
already have been issued. The inflection and sound-changes of 
the Sanskrit are very far less difficult than is commonly supposed. 
The right metho.d of teaching Sanskrit is to separate the difficul- 
ties of the language from those of the writing. The reason why 
so many a beginner balks at the outset, is that these difficulties are 
not separated, and that he has to grapple with them all at once. 
Accordingly I am casting the elementary grammar into a form 
which employs only Eoman transliteration. The use of Roman 

16 JAOS 40 



242 Charles E. Lanman 

type makes clear to the eye, instantly and without a word of 
comment, countless facts concerning the structure of the lan- 
guage which it is utterly impossible to make clear in Nagari let- 
ters, even with a good deal of added comment. 11 Moreover, by 
combining ingenious typography with Boman letters, it is possi- 
ble, literally, to accomplish wonders for the visualizing memory. 
I have already succeeded in tabulating the paradigms of declen- 
sion and conjugation (always in parallel vertical columns) in 
such a way that even beginners admit that a real and speedy mas- 
tery of the common forms is an easy matter. 

This elementary grammar is to be very brief. I think that 
some fifty pages will suffice to give all the grammatical facts 
needed for the first year of reading of judiciously selected texts. 
Stenzler's famous grammar shows how easily it may happen 
that brevity is attained at the expense of clearness and adequacy. 
On one of his title-pages Joseph Wright cites the couplet, 'Nur 
das Beispiel fiihrt zum Licht ; Vieles Reden thut es nicht. ' This 
I too have taken to heart. The examples have been gathered and 
culled with extremest care, and are often combinations of such 
frequent occurrence as to be worth learning as a help in reading. 

The addition of explanatory or illustrative material to the sec- 
tions of a grammar in such a way as to interrupt the sequence of 
the descriptive exposition is a fatal procedure. This is proved 
beyond a shadow of doubt by the Sanskrit grammar of Albert 
Thumb. And yet the illustrative material, drawn from lan- 
guages usually familiar among us (English, Greek, Latin), is 

11 This is due to the fact that the Nagari writing is partly syllabic, that 
a consonantal character carries with it an inherent unwritten vowel a, unless 
that vowel is expressly negated by a subscript stroke or by some other and 
written vowel. Thus the one single character for ma means two sounds, 
m and a, of which the m may be the end of one word, and the a the initial 
of the next. I can cite nothing analogous from English but a line from the 
Whimsey Anthology of Carolyn Wells (New York, 1906), p. 52: 'I'm 
sorry you've been 6 o (=sick so) long; Don't be disconsol8.' Here the 
one character 6 (=six=sick s) designates sounds belonging in part to the 
word stcfc and in part to the word so. 

At first blush, the critic may say that the use of Boman letters is by 
itself enough to condemn this book, so far as Hindu learners are concerned. 
But a most intelligent Maratha pupil is of contrary opinion. I am not with- 
out hope that my paradigm-tables in Boman letters may prove so successful 
as to convince even Hindu teachers of their usableness with beginners. 



India and the West 243 

exceedingly helpful, and may even be made highly entertaining. 
For this reason I propose to give a running Cpmment on my 
Grammar, entirely separated from the Grammar, but bound up 
with it as an appendix between the same pair of covers, and 
with the section-numbers of the Comment corresponding through- 
out with those of the Grammar, so that reference from the one 
to the other is 'automatic' 

To make it easy to learn to read Sanskrit in Nagari characters, 
I am making a small, but quite separate volume. This is not to 
be taken up until the beginner has acquired a considerable vocab- 
ulary of common Sanskrit words, and such familiarity with the 
not too numerous endings and prepositional prefixes, and with 
the rules of vowel-combination, as shall enable him quickly to 
separate the confusingly run-together words. For this book, I 
believe that some of the salient facts of Indian paleography can 
be used to great practical advantage. One should, for example, 
never begin with the initial forms of the vowels, but rather with 
the medial forms in conjunction with a preceding consonant. I 
do not think that the historical identity of form between medial 
and initial u was ever suggested to me by either a book or a 
teacher in my early years, nor yet the relation of long u to short 
u. And even to this day, the form of r in groups beginning or 
ending with r is treated as an anomaly; whereas, in fact, it is the 
r that stands by itself which is anomalous (in appearance, at 
least: for the apparent anomaly is very easily explained). By 
printing this book about the Nagari alphabet at Bombay, at the 
Nirnaya Sagara Press, and with the rich and admirable type- 
fonts of that Press at command, it will be very easy to make 
scores of matters clear which are now stones of stumbling for the 
beginner. 

The way thus cleared for teaching quickly and effectively the 
essentials of Sanskrit grammar, and incidentally also the main 
structural features of our native English (of which even 
advanced students are now lamentably ignoranf), — it will then 
be in order to induct the beginner into the literature. At pres- 
ent, he reads, between October first and Christmas, usually about 
five chapters of Nala, or about seven pages of the big oblong 
Bombay edition of the Maha-bharata. This would be a pitiful 
showing, if it were possible to do better with books now avail- 
able,- but I fear it is not. The next step is then to prepare a 



244 Charles B. Lanman 

number of little text-books (they must be little books) from 
which the beginner can see for himself how exceedingly easy the 
easy epic texts are. These texts must be chosen with skill and 
common sense and good taste. They must be purged of long- 
winded descriptive passages. They must not be puerile. (This 
objection lies against many much-read fables of the Hitopadesa : 
these are quite proper for Hindu boys studying Sanskrit at the 
age of ten, but not for our students of twenty or more.) Above 
all, they must be in simple unstilted language, entertaining, full 
of rapidly moving action and incident. These requirements can 
all be met by an abbreviated text of the story of Nala. 

Some sixty years ago, Charles Bruce, a pupil of Roth, trimmed 
down the story from about a thousand quatrains to about the 
half of that. It can be reduced to even narrower compass, and 
without impairing the charm of the really beautiful story, and 
so that a beginner can easily read and understand and enjoy the 
substance of the entire poem in the first two or three months after 
the very start. To this end I propose to print the Sanskrit text, 
each quatrain in four octosyllabic lines, with suspension of the 
sound-changes at the end of the first and third, and with a simple 
English version in a parallel column at the right. 12 Thus 
divested of the wholly adscititious difficulties of the strange 
alphabet and of all avoidable running-together of the words, — it 
is simply amazing to find how easy a really easy and well-chosen 
piece of the great epic may be made for an intelligent young 
student who has mastered the principal inflections and sound- 
changes. 

Two other little anthologies are called for : one of interesting 
brief stories from the Maha-bharata, and one from the Eamayana. 
From the former, the Sakuntala-story ought certainly to be read, 
as presenting the material of Kalidasa's famous play. The story 
of Yayati (1. 76-), the Gambling-scene (2. 60-), the wonderful 
Night-scene on the Ganges (15. 32-), in which the fallen heroes 
come forth and' talk with the living, the Great Journey (17), — 
these and many others are available as easy and readable and 
characteristic specimens of the Great Epic. 



a Specimens of this typographic procedure may be seen in the article on 
Hindu Ascetics in the Transactions of the Am. Philological Association for 
1917, vol. 48. 



India and the West 245 

As long as on the earth the hills 
Shall stand, and rivers run to sea, — 
So long the Tale of Kama's Deeds 
Throughout the world shall famous be. 

So says the Ramayana itself (1. 2. 36), in almost the very words 
of Virgil, In freta dum fluvii current, dum montibus umbrae, etc. 
There is, I think, no other more immediate way of acquainting 
the Occidental with the very spirit of the Hindu, than by famil- 
iarizing him with a reasonable number of episodes from the Tale 
of Rama's Deeds, the epic that has long been the Bible of untold 
millions and is so today. 

A similar volume of quatrains (variously called proverbs, 
Spriiche, epigrams), each complete in itself and with a real point, 
each in simplest language and meter, — would be useful as provid- 
ing matter for learning by heart. I am convinced that the 
student of Sanskrit should begin committing such stanzas to 
memory at the very first lesson, just as beginners in French are 
wont to learn LaFontaine. Such quatrains are easily culled 
from the Maha-bharata, or from the collections of Parab or Boht- 
lingk. A small anthology of passages illustrating the Hindu 
sense of humor would be very taking with beginners. Parab 
gives many such. 13 An occasional selection from the Maha- 
bharata, like the Jackal's Prayer (12. 180), might well be put 
with it. 

These little books are only four of a considerable number that 
the Indianists owe to the beginners. There should be one made 
up of extracts from the Ocean of the Rivers of Story or Katha- 
sarit-sagara. This should include characteristically diverse 
selections, such as Upakosa and the Four Gallants (4. 26-86), 
part of the Book of Noodles (61), and some of the Vampire- 
stories (75-99), such as the amusing tale of the Father who mar- 
ried the Daughter and his Son who married her Mother. 
Another should give extracts from the Puranas. Thus from the 
Vishnu, what could be more interesting for the man who reads 
of the achievements of modern astronomy, than the Hindu 
theories (6. 3-) of the evolution and dissolution of the universe? 
and what could be finer and more fit for the century of the World- 



M Subhasita-ratna-bhandagara, 2d ed., Bombay, 1886, p. 622. See also 
Bohtlingk, Suni drste, etc., ekona vinsatir naryah, etc. 



246 Charles B. Lanman 

war than the Earth-song (4. 24) ? At least four small volumes 
should be devoted to specimens from the Rigveda, the Atharva- 
veda, the Brahmanas, and the Upanishads. These last might 
well be entitled ' Theosophy of the Hindus : their doctrine of the 
all-pervading God.' 

Two Sanskrit dictionaries are greatly needed. The wonderful 
thesaurus of Bohtlingk and Roth was finished almost half a cen- 
tury ago, and (as the exploitation of the Artha-sastra, for exam- 
ple, and of other texts makes evident) needs now to be thoroughly 
revised and brought up to date. For this very purpose there is 
in London, at the India Office Library, a large amount of unpub- 
lished lexicographical material which came from Aufrecht and 
Cappeller. But who is to find the money for so large an under- 
taking ? and when and where may we look for two such giants as 
Bohtlingk and Roth to do that Herculean task ? — But not only is 
a revised lexicon on a grand scale a desideratum, — even more 
pressing is the need of a dictionary of moderate compass for the 
use of beginners. For this purpose Cappeller 's was good, and 
its price was small, but it is out of print. The second edition of 
Monier Williams's is full and accurate, but its price was 64 shil- 
lings before the war. All things considered, — typography and 
size 14 and scope and low price, — Macdonell's Sanskrit-English 
Dictionary, issued in 1893, is of incomparable excellence. But 
the copies were all sold by 1910, and the book has now been unob- 
tainable for ten years. All these three dictionaries were printed 
from type and not from electrotype plates. This was a very 
great and most unfortunate mistake. For a new issue cannot 
be made except by setting up the entire work from a to izzard, 
and at an expense which is now commercially almost out of the 
question. 

Dictionaries, like tables of logarithms, ought never to be 
printed except from electrotype plates. As for Macdonell's book, 
its whole life upon the market was only seventeen years, a period 
lamentably short when compared with the time (the time of 
an expert) which the author spent in writing it. Instead of a 
separate glossary for each of the little volumes of text mentioned 
above, it would be far better to have a small but adequate dic- 

14 Its weight is a trifle over 3 pounds; that of the St. Petersburg Lexicon 
is oyer 34. 



India and the West 247 

tionary like Macdonell 's. I am at a loss to know what course to 
suggest at this time, which is so critical for the maintenance of 
Indie studies. But as soon as the costs of production are lower, 
I think the best plan would be to reset Macdonell 's dictionary, 
even if it were practically unchanged, and to electrotype the 
work, so that a new issue of say five hundred copies could be 
struck off at any time as needed, and with small expense. 

As was just said, the present time is indeed a critical one in 
the history of Oriental studies. The war brought us to a height 
of moral elevation and of enthusiasm for the noblest ideals, 
which, on such a scale, was without precedent in human history. 
Among the signs of the unhappy reaction that has set in, are the 
fatal dawdlings of partisan politics and the wranglings for 
bonuses. Another is the feebler interest in things which, 
although not in a material way, do yet most truly enrich our life. 
But, with all the political and economic miseries that the war has 
brought us, it has also, for better or worse, brought the East 
nearer to the "West. With this hard fact we must reckon. 
Students of the Orient must so direct their work as to make it 
most effective in helping our countrymen to understand and 
respect our neighbors across the Pacific, and to deal justly and 
honorably with them. We must realize that their prophets and 
saints and sages have made great attainments in what is most 
truly 'the fulness of life.' And to make this fact clear to the 
Occident, we must faithfully devote ourselves to just such pro- 
saic tasks as those which I have outlined. If these are well done, 
done by teachers who themselves have the teachable habit of 
mind and never forget the broader bearings of their life-work, 
we may hope that Oriental studies will not fail to maintain their 
value and to justify the belief in their practical and political 
significance.