Saint Ved Vyas relating the Bhagwatam to Shukdeo (3100 B.C.)

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(37) Asiatic Researches group of people.

Asiatic Society of Calcutta

In 1784 the “Asiatic Society of Bengal” (Calcutta) was founded by Sir William Jones under the patronage of Warren Hastings. The Society was formed with thirty Europeans assembled on the invitation of Sir William Jones. In his inaugural speech he told the aims of the Society in the following words, “The bounds of its (Society’s) investigation will be the geographical limits of Asia, and within these limits its enquiries will be extended to whatever is performed by man or produced by nature.” All the thirty European men accepted the membership of the new Society. This included Sir Robert Chambers (1737-1803), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Sir John Shore (1771-1834) a high official of the government, H.H. Wilson, J.D. Peterson, H.T. Colebrooke, and F. Wilford, etc.

Inspired by the establishment and success of the Asiatic Society in Calcutta, Societie Asiatique was formed in Paris in 1822. A year later in 1823, Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland was formed in London. In 1842 the American Oriental Society was founded in the USA. In 1844 the German Oriental Society was formed. Branches of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland were also formed in Bombay, Ceylon, China and Malaysia.

Jones was made the President of the Asiatic Society of Bengal (Calcutta). He held the post until he died. The Society’s general meeting was held every year in the month of February. Jones used to deliver a speech on some topic. From 1784 -1793 he gave ten lectures.

One of the main activities of the Asiatic Society was to collect the old manuscripts of India. There was an enormous collection of Sanskrit manuscripts with the Society. By 1849 the Society had its own museum consisting of inscriptions in stone and metal, icons, old coins and manuscripts etc. The Society’s new building was inaugurated by S. Radhakrishnan, the President of India on February 2, 1965.

In 55 years a total of 20 volumes were published that contained the essays of its writers. Apart from that, since 1832 ‘Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal’ was published every year, and the Society has also published well-edited old texts of Sanskrit and Bengali etc. The Society’s Library today contains more than 200,000 volumes related to Indology.

Behind all those amazingly voluminous activities of the Asiatic Society there was a hidden aim of the English people which was expressed by Jones himself in the writings of his first essay of 1784. Accordingly, in that essay he condemned the Divinity of all the forms of Hindu God and tried to his fullest to destroy Their religious image. In his presidential speech of 1786 he tried to destroy the ancient supremacy of the Sanskrit language, and in his tenth speech of 1793 he tried to destroy the authenticity of the ancient history of the Puranas. Thus, trying to paralyze the total structure of the Hindu religion, he established certain fallacies which were made the guidelines for the activities of the Asiatic Society, its members and its associates. They wrote and worked in that specified direction while keeping an outside image that they were doing some kind of geographical and religious research.

A review of the translation of Vishnu Puran by H.H. Wilson

First published 1832. Printed in India by Nag Publishers, Delhi, in 1980, and reprinted in 1989.

In the preface of the Vishnu Puran, written by Mr. Wilson, he releases the stress of his heart by using all of his favorite words like, absurd, thieves, imposters, myth, fiction, barbarous, degraded, outcast, puerile and speculations etc., for all the Puranas, and all the scriptures. These are all the words of an English gentleman according to the standard of those days where Wilson criticizes the supreme Divinity of Krishn, disregards all the Puranas by calling them absurd, puerile and imaginative, and condemns the entire history by crushing and cutting the reigning period of all the dynasties of this manvantar (before the Mahabharat war and after the Mahabharat war) into a period of only 4,600 years which is actually 120.5331 million years. It is like cutting an extra large shirt and fitting it to a tiny doll and throwing the rest into the trash can. Now you can see what he writes.

He condemns the authenticity of all the Puranas.

“The facility with which any tract may be thus attached to the nonexistent original, and the advantage that has been taken of its absence to compile a variety of unauthentic fragments, have given to the Brahmanda, Skanda, and Padma, according to Wilford, the character of being the Puranas of thieves or imposters. Original copies don’t exist, thus all of them are made up and unauthentic.”

“There is nothing in all this to justify the application of the name. Whether a genuine Garuda Purana exists is doubtful.” (p. lii)

“The documents (the manuscripts of the Puranas) to which Wilford trusted proved to be in great part fabrications, and where genuine, were mixed up with so much loose and unauthenticated matter, and so overwhelmed with extravagance of speculation, that his citations need to be carefully and skillfully sifted, before they can be serviceably employed… legends apparently invented for the occasion renders the publication worse than useless.” (p. lxx)

“The Brahm Vaivart, as it now exists… the great mass of it is taken up with tiresome descriptions of Vrindavana and Goloka, the dwellings of Krshna on earth and in heaven; with endless repetitions of prayers and invocations addressed to him; and with insipid descriptions of his person and sports, and the love of the Gopis… the stories, absurd as they are, are much compressed to make room for the original matter, still more puerile and tiresome. The Brahmavaivartta has not the slightest title to be regarded as a Purana.” (p. xl, xli)

Condemns the description of brahmand as detailed in the Bhagwatam.

Mount Meru, the seven circular continents, and their surrounding oceans, to the limits of the world; all of which are mythological fictions, in which there is little reason to imagine that any topographical truths are concealed.” (p. lx)

Criticizes the supreme Divinity of Krishn.

“The fifth book of the Vishnu Purana is exclusively occupied with the life of Krshna.  They are the creations of a puerile taste, and grovelling imagination. These chapters of the Vishnu Purana offer some difficulties as to their originality.” (p. lxviii)

History: On p. lxii he describes that only 1,100 years passed between the Great War and Chandragupt (Maurya) whereas in the same book (Volume No. IV pp. 643-646) he relates a difference of 1,600 years. Moreover, he randomly fixes the date of Mahabharat war at 1400 BC, disregards all of our Divine records by calling them absurd, and crushes the entire history of all the dynasties of this manvantar (which is 120.5331 million years) into a period of about 4,600 years (1200 + 1400 BC + 1999 AD).

We will now take two verses, the very first one and the very last one, of the Vishnu Puran to show the shortcomings of Wilson’s translations.

The first verse starts like this:

Wilson translates it, “May that Vishnu, who is the existent, imperishable Brahm, who is Ishwar, who is spirit.” The actual meaning of the word puman is the personal form of God. Thus, the meaning of the above verse is, “The eternally existing absolute brahm Who is Ishwar (the creator and maintainer of the universe), has a personal form.” Wilson changed the meaning of the word puman from ‘personal form’ to ‘spirit,’ because the Bible describes God as ‘spirit.’

A line of the last verse is:

In this verse, roopam, prakritipar and atmmayam are the key words. Roopam means the form or the body of God. Prakritipar means beyond the realm and the effects of maya, the cosmic power. Atmmayam means that the form of God is the form of His own absolute Divine being. Material beings have soul and body configuration, not God. The body of the personal form of God is eternal (sanatan = eternal) and simultaneously omnipresent.

Thus, the meaning of the above sentence is: “The personal form (the Divine body) of God, Hari, is eternal, is beyond maya and is the form of His own absolute Divine being.” But Wilson translates it as: “Eternal Hari, whose essence is composed of both nature and spirit.”

How wrong and adverse these translations are, is an example in itself. These translations give the idea that God has no personal form and whatever God is, is only spirit and is of a mayic nature, which means fully materialistic. The God of Wilson, in the holy Bible, is said to be ‘spirit,’ and also it is said in the Revelation that God looks like ‘a jasper and sardine stone.’ Probably Wilson was trying to bring his ‘stone, and spirit’ God into the Puranas. That’s why he has translated the Vishnu Puran like this and has tried to destroy the Divine and the Gracious theme of the Vishnu Puran.



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