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Caste: Its Supposed Origin: Its History; Its Effects: The Duty of Government, Hindus, and Christians with Respect to It; And Its Prospects (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Caste: Its Supposed Origin: Its History; Its Effects: The Duty of Government, Hindus, and Christians With Respect to It; And Its Prospects

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Excerpt from Caste: Its Supposed Origin: Its History; Its Effects: The Duty of Government, Hindus, and Christians With Respect to It; And Its Prospects

Most Indians have very erroneous ideas of the ancients. They look upon those who lived thousands of years ago as very old and very wise while the present generation are compared to children. The very contrary is the case We are the ancients. The world is now older by thousands of years; those who lived long ago are like the children. We ought also to be the wiser.

It is granted that institutions and customs, especially those of long standing, should not be condemned or changed without careful consideration and sufficient reasons. The object of the present Paper is to seek to lead Hindus to make this inquiry. When books were comparatively few, existing only in manuscript or Shrouded in Sanskrit, any examination of the question was very difficult. Now the principal works bearing on the subject have been printed, and several of them translated into English. Any intelligent person having access to them is able to form his own opinion.

An all-devouring credulity is an attribute of the uneducated Hindu or even one of the Pundit class. The greatest self-contra dictions, the wildest tales, do not awaken his common sense. The following remarks are intended only for men trained to weigh evidence and to reason logically. As a rule, authorities are quoted, and, where practicable, the Opinions of eminent scholars are given on each point.

The Brahmans have devised a way for the Maharaja of Travancore. He is made a twice-born by passing through a golden cow or lotus. The cow is of the same weight as himself, and is afterwards cut into pieces and distributed among the Brahmans. Probably the same plan would be efficacious in other cases, if people were willing to bear the expense. The Maharaja afterwards cannot eat with the members of his own family but he is admitted to the high privilege of seeing the Brahmans enjoying their meals, and of eating in their presence.

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