Saturday, December 12, 2009

Gleanings from the Katha Upanishad - Part 3

{English Works of Rammohun Roy - Vol.1 page 60}





IN pursuance of my attempt to render a translation of the complete
Vedant, or the principal parts of the Veds, into the current languages
of this country, I had some time ago the satisfaction of publishing a
translation of the Kuth opunishud of the Ujoor-ved into Bengalee ; and
of distributing copies of it as widely as my circumstances would allow,
for the purpose of diffusing Hindoo scriptural knowledge among the
adherents of that religion. The present publication is intended to
assist the European community in forming their opinion respecting Hindoo
Theology, rather from the matter found in their doctrinal scriptures,
than from the Poorans, moral tales, or any other modern works, or from
the superstitious rites and habits daily encouraged and fostered by
their self-interested leaders.

This work not only treats polytheism with contempt and disdain, but
inculcates invariably the unity of God as the intellectual Principle,
the sole Origin of individual intellect, entirely distinct from matter
and its affections and teaches also the mode of directing the mind to

A great body of my countrymen, possessed of good understandings, and not
much fettered with prejudices, being perfectly satisfied with the truth
of the doctrines contained in this and in other works, already laid by
me before them, and of the gross errors of the puerile system of idol
worship which they were led to follow, have altered their religious
conduct in a manner becoming the dignity of human beings ; while the
advocates of idolatry and their misguided followers, over whose opinions
prejudice and obstinacy prevail more than good sense and judgment,
prefer custom and fashion to the authorities of their scriptures, and
therefore continue, under the form of religious devotion, to practise a
system which destroys, to the utmost degree, the natural texture of
society, and prescribes crimes of the most heinous nature, which even
the most savage nations would blush to commit, unless compelled by the
most urgent necessity.

I am, however, not without a sanguine hope that, through Divine
Providence and human exertions, they will sooner or later avail them
selves of that true system of religion which leads its observers to a
knowledge and love of God, and to a friendly inclination towards their
fellow-creatures, impressing their hearts at the same time with humility
and charity, accompanied by independence of mind and pure sincerity.
Contrary to the code of idolatry, this system defines sins as evil
thoughts proceeding from the heart, quite unconnected with observances
as to diet and other matters of form. At any rate, it seems to me that I
cannot better employ my time than in an endeavour to illustrate and
maintain truth, and to render service to my fellow-labourers, confiding
in the mercy of that Being to whom the motives of our actions and
secrets of our hearts are well-known.

Rammohun Roy, Katha Upanishad, Yajur Ved, Brahmo Samaj, Brahmoism,

No comments: