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PREFACE

TO THE SECOND EDITION.

THE

HE increasing interest felt in India and Indian litera

ture has led to such a demand for the present work, that it was found necessary to begin printing a second edition almost immediately after the issue of the first. I have, therefore, been unable to avail myself of the suggestions contained in the Reviews which have hitherto appeared. Nevertheless, a few unimportant alterations have been made in the present edition; and through the kindness of Professor W. D. Whitney, who lost no time in sending me some valuable notes, I have been able to improve the chapter on Astronomy at p. 180.

Being on the eve of quitting England for a visit to the principal seats of learning in India, I have for obvious reasons deferred addressing myself to the fuller treatment of those portions of Sanskrit literature of which I have merely given a summary in Lecture XV.

India, with all its immutability, is now making such rapid strides in education, that a Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, if he is to keep himself up to the level of advancing knowledge and attainments, ought to communicate personally with some of those remarkable native Pandits whose intellects have been developed at our great Indian Colleges and Universities, and who owe their eminence in various branches of learning to the advantages they have enjoyed under our Government.

In undertaking so long a journey my only motives are a sense of what is due from me to the Boden Chair, a desire to extend my sphere of work, a craving

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PREFACE

TO THE SECOND EDITION.

THE

p. 180.

HE increasing interest felt in India and Indian litera

ture has led to such a demand for the present work, that it was found necessary to begin printing a second edition almost immediately after the issue of the first. I have, therefore, been unable to avail myself of the suggestions contained in the Reviews which have hitherto appeared. Nevertheless, a few unimportant alterations have been made in the present edition ; and through the kindness of Professor W. D. Whitney, who lost no time in sending me some valuable notes, I have been able to improve the chapter on Astronomy at

Being on the eve of quitting England for a visit to the principal seats of learning in India, I have for obvious reasons deferred addressing myself to the fuller treatment of those portions of Sanskrit literature of which I have merely given a summary in Lecture XV.

India, with all its immutability, is now making such rapid strides in education, that a Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford, if he is to keep himself up to the level of advancing knowledge and attainments, ought to communicate personally with some of those remarkable native Pandits whose intellects have been developed at our great Indian Colleges and Universities, and who owe their eminence in various branches of learning to the advantages they have enjoyed under our Government.

In undertaking so long a journey my only motives are a sense of what is due from me to the Boden Chair, a desire to extend my sphere of work, a craving

for trustworthy information on many obscure portions of Indian religious literature not yet examined by European scholars, and a hope that on my return, should health and strength be spared to me, I may have increased my powers of usefulness within my own province, and be enabled to contribute more than I have yet effected towards making England and India better known to each other, or at least towards making Oxford an attractive centre of Indian studies, and its lecturerooms, museums, and libraries sources of accurate knowledge on Indian subjects.

Oxford, October 1875.

PREFACE

TO THE FIRST EDITION.

The present volume attempts to supply a want, the

existence of which has been impressed upon my mind by an inquiry often addressed to me as Boden Professor :-Is it possible to obtain from any one book a good general idea of the character and contents of Sanskrit literature ?

Its pages are also intended to subserve a further object. They aim at imparting to educated Englishmen, by means of translations and explanations of portions of the sacred and philosophical literature of India, an insight into the mind, habits of thought, and customs of the Hindūs, as well as a correct knowledge of a system of belief and practice which has constantly prevailed for at least three thousand years, and still continues

| The volume is founded on my official lectures.

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