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Henry David Thoreau On Greatness Of Hinduism

Henry David Thoreau (July 12, 1817 – May 6, 1862) was an American naturalist, essayist, poet, and philosopher. Here is a look at the few of his quotes on the greatness of Hinduism.

The Hindus are more serenely and thoughtfully religious. They have a purer, more independent and impersonal knowledge of God. Their religious books describe the first inquisitive and contemplative access to God.

The calmness and gentleness with which the Hindu philosophers approach and discourse on forbidden themes is admirable.

What extracts from the Vedas I have read fall on me like the light of a higher and purer luminary, which describes a loftier course through a purer stratum – free from particulars, simple, universal. It rises on me like the full moon after the stars have come out, wading through some far summer stratum of the sky

The Vedanta teaches how, ‘by forsaking religious rites,’ the votary may ‘obtain purification of mind.’

The Vedas contain a sensible account of God. One wise sentence is worth the State of Massachusetts many times over.

The civility and intellectual refinement and subtlety of the Hindus are amazing.

…are not we Hindus, the heirs of the Veda and Vedanta, Darshanas and Smritis, Itihasas and Puranas, fossilizing the true religion of Spirit contained in them by neglecting its spread and erecting all kinds of foolish barriers around it?

To live and not merely to vegetate, we must be able to give. No vigorous and healthy life is possible without giving. The highest gift in the world, spiritual knowledge, is in India’s keeping. Her sons and daughters have still the capacity of raising themselves to the height whence they can shower this blessing upon all.

Source - Comparison between Judaism and Hinduism by Thoreau, published in the Atlantic Monthly (February 1905).