Lecture 1
The Diversity of India: Points of View


I. The Diversity of India

E.M. Forster, A Passage to India: the "hundred mouths" of India

A. The geographical, racial, linguistic and ethnic diversity of India.
B. The religious diversity of India: Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Zoroastrian, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jewish traditions.
C. The diversity of the Hindu tradition: Vaishnava, Shaiva, Shakta.

II. Interpreting the Diversity of India

A. Sir John Strachey: ". . . there is not and never was an 'India.'"
B. Jawaharlal Nehru: ". . that tremendous impress of oneness"
C. Rajmohan Gandhi: Revenge and Reconciliation, the Mahabharata and the Buddha

III. Diversity of Interpretations of India

A. Points of View: Two interpretations of Banaras. M.A. Sherring, Sacred City of the Hindus (1868) and Herman Keyserling, Travel Diary of a Philosopher (1914).
B. Orientalists: knowledge gathered in the enterprise of Empire
C. Romantics: knowledge shaped by spiritual yearnings of the West
D. Missionaries: The Abbe Dubois, Hindu Manners, Customs, and Ceremonies
E. Muslim Interpreters: Alberuni's Kitab al-Hind (11th century). E.C. Sachau, tr. Alberuni's India.
F. Chinese Interpreter: Fa-Hian (5th century) and Hsuan-Tsang (7th century). S. Beal, ed. Buddhist Records of the Western World.
G. The Greeks with Alexander: Strabo, Indika.