Please tell Maganlalbhai [Gandhi’s nephew] that I would advise him to read Emerson’s essays. Mahatma Gandhi, letter to his son, 25 March 1907While Emerson has often been viewed as the most American of writers — formulator of such a reputedly distinctive American ideal as self-reliance — it is important to recognize that he was at the same time an unprecedentedly cosmopolitan thinker, drawing on a far-flung range of sources, Eastern as well as Western.Tags: Business Proposal Financial PlanBend It Like Beckham Cultural EssaysNo Essay Scholarships 2014Ways To Start A Narrative EssayHelp Writing A Research College PaperChamber Of Commerce Business Plan
It is surprising and at the same time good news that Digital Library of India has a very good collection of Sanskrit biographies of Indian Saints and Heroes like Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Samartha Ramadas, Guru Gobind Singh, Sivaji, Gandhiji, Rana Pratap, Prithviraj Chauhan, etal.
Though it is said that Sanskrit lags in the genre of biography, I could find plenty of books in this genre at the DLI.
To such Romantic thinkers, India in particular came to be viewed as the cradle of Western civilization, despite what they considered the decadence of many contemporary Hindu customs.
For the sake of convenience, we might date the beginning of this renaissance to the founding in 1784 of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, a scholarly association composed initially of some thirty British civil servants working in Calcutta under the auspices of the East India Trading Company.
The Society’s grand ambition was to discover everything that could be known about the human and natural history of the vast Indian subcontinent and to propagate that knowledge for a wider English and European readership.
Within a few years, a torrent of translations, monographs, and articles on a wide range of subjects issued from the Society’s press totally transforming European knowledge of several Asian civilizations, past and present.
For many centuries, the rich heritage of Asian civilizations had been effectively closed to the European West as a result of the vigorous expansion of Islam in the seventh century, the dominion of the Islamic Caliphates from the seventh through the twelfth centuries, and the rise of the Ottoman Empire in the fifteenth century.
But with Vasco da Gama’s circumnavigation of the Cape of Good Hope in 1498, and the subsequent opening of the Indian and East Asian spice trade, barriers to intercultural exchange between Asia and Europe were once again lifted, inaugurating a period of cultural renewal in Europe that the French scholar, Edgar Quinet, referred to as the “Oriental Renaissance.” For many European scholars and artists of the Romantic period, news of the long forgotten and, to many, unsuspected cultural richness of India and China came as an intellectual windfall.
One of the first Sanskrit texts he chose to translate was the ancient Hindu legal code, the Manu-smṛti or “Laws of Manu”— a choice dictated as much by legal and political considerations as by his own scholarly interest.
His groundbreaking translation, which he entitled Although Emerson was arguably the first American to embrace Asian religious and philosophical traditions as an important complement and corrective to biblical traditions, his interest in Asian civilizations was not wholly unprecedented in earlier American colonial history.