To those who know thee not, no words can paint, And those who know thee, know all words are faint.
—HAN. MORE: Sensibility.
THE happy results of government depend chiefly upon the character of the naople. And what nation, ancient or modern, can show such high character as that of the ancient Hindus? Their generosity, simplicity, honesty, truthfulness, courage, refinement and gentleness are proverbial. In fact, the elements so mixed in them that nature might stand up and say to all the world, “ These were men.”
The first and highest virtue in man is truthfulness. As Chaucer says :—
Truth is the highest thing- that man may keep.
From the earliest times, the Hindus have always been praised by men of all countries and creeds for their truthfulness.
Strabo says: “They are so honest as neither to require locks to their doors nor writings to bind their a frreements.’”
Arrian (in the second century ), the pupil of Epietetus, says that “ no Indian was ever known to tell an untruth. “2 This, making a due allowance for exaggeration, is no mean praise.
Hioven.thsang, the most famous of the Chinese travellers, says: “The Indians are distinguished. by
Strabo, Lib. cv, p. 188 (ed. 1587).
-Indica, Cap. XII, G. See also McCrindle in ‘Indian An,tiroary,’
1876, p 92.
the straightforwardness and honesty of their character. With regard to riches, they never take anything unjustly; with regard’ to justice, they make even excessive concessions . . . straightforwardness is the leading feature of their administration.”‘
Khang-thai, the Chinese ambassador to Siam, says that Su-We, a relative of Fauchen, king of Siam, who came to India about 231 A.D., on his return reported to the king that “the Indians are straightforward and honest.”2
“ In the fourth century, Friar Jordanus tells us that the people of India are true in speech and eminent in justice.”3
Fei-tu, the ambassador of the Chinese Emperor Yangti to India in 605 A.D., among other things points out as peculiar to the Hindus that “ they believe in solemn oaths.”4
Idrisi, in his Geography (written in the 11th century), says: “The Indians are naturally inclined to justice, and never depart from it in their actions. Their good faith, honesty and fidelity to their engagements are well known, and they are so famous for these qualities that people flock to their country from every side.”‘
In the thirteenth century, Shams-ud-din Abu Abdullah quotes the following judgment of Bedi-ezr Zeman :—
‘Vol. II. p. 83.
-Max Muller’s India: What can it teach us? p. 55. 3 Marco Polo, ed. H. Yule, Vol. II, p. 354.
4Max Muller’8 India: what can it teach us? p. 275. 5Elliot’s History of India, Vol. I, p.
“ The Indians are innumerable, like grains of sand, free from deceit and violence. They fear neither death nor life.”‘
Marco Polo (thirteenth century) says “ You must know that these Brahmins are the best merchants in the world and the most truthful, for they would not tell a lie for anything on earth.”
Kamal-ud-din Tbd-errazak Sam arkand i (1413-1482), who went as ambassador of the Khakan to the prince of Calicut and to the king of Vidyanagar (1440-1445), bears testimony to “the perfect security which merchants enjoy in that country.”3
Abul Fazal says: “The Hindus are admirers of truth and of unbounded fidelity in all their dealings.”4
Sir John Malcolm says: “Their truth is as remarkable as their courage.”‘
Colonel Sleeman, who had better and more numerous opportunities of knowing the Hindu character than most Europeans, assures us “ that falsehood or lying between members of the same village is almost unknown.” He adds, “I have had before me hundreds of cases in which a man’s property, liberty and life has depended upon his telling a lie and he has refused to tell it.” “ Could many an English Judge,” asks Professor Max Muller, “say the Tiame?”6
What is the pivot on which the whole story of Ramayana, the book which even now exercises the greatest
‘India: What can it teach us? p. 275.
2Marco Polo, ed. H. Yule, Vol. II, p. 350. 3Notices des Manuscrits torn. xiv, p. 436.
4Tod’s Rajasthan, Vol I, p. 643.
}Mill’s History of India, Vol I, p. 523.
6,Max Muller’s India: What can it teach us? p. 50.
influence in the formation of Hindu character throughout India, turns ?—To remain true, though life may depart, and all that is near and dear in this world may perish. What is the lesson taught by the life of the greatest character unfolded to view by the Mahabharata, Bheeshma Pitamah ?--To remain true and stedfast, come what may.
Professer Max Muller says: “It was love of truth that struck all the people who came in contact with India, as the prominent feature in the national character of its inhabitants. No one ever accused them of falsehood. There must surely be some ground for this, for it is not a remark that is frequently made by travellers in foreign countries, even in our time, that their inhabitants invariably speak the truth. Read the accounts of English travellers in France, and you will find very little said about French honesty and veracity, while French accounts of England are seldom without a fling at Per, Albion Pu
But it is not for truthfulness alone that the Hindus have been famous. Their generosity, tolerance, frankness, intelligence, courtesy, loyalty, gentleness, sobriety, love of knowledge, industry, valour and a strong feeling of honour are even now remarkable.
“Megasthenes2 observed with admiration the absence of slavery3 in India, the chastity of the women, and the courage of the men. In valour they excelled all other
‘Max Muller’s India: What can it teach us? p. 57.
2Hunter’s Gazetteer, “India,” p. 266.
3Rev..114. D. Maurice says that “the Sudras are not in any sense slaves, and never can have been such; the Greeks were surprised to find all classes in India free citizens.”—The Religions of the World, p. 43. Mr. Elphinstone says: “It is remarkable that in the Hindu dramas there is not a trace of servility in the behaviour of other characters to the king.”—History of India, p. 243,
Asiatics, sober and industrious, good farmers and skilful artizans, they scarcely ever had recourse to a law suit, and lived peaceably under their native chiefs.”
That acute observer, the historian Abul Fazal, says: “The Hindus are religious, affable, courteous to strangers, cheerful, enamoured of knowledge, lovers of justice, able in business, grateful, admirers of truth, and of unbounded fidelity in all their dealings.”‘ Colonel Dixon dilates upon “their fidelity, truthfulness, honesty, their determined valour, their simple loyalty, and an extreme and almost touching devotion when put upon their honour.”2
“The Indians,” says Neibuhr, “ are really the most tolerant nation in the world.” He also says that “they are gentle, virtuous, laborious, and that, perhaps of all men, they are, the ones who seek to injure their fellow-beings the least.”
The high character, the noble self-sacrifice, the unbounded love of a Hindu for those who are near and dear to him are well illustrated by the refusal of Yudhisthira to accept salvation, while his wife and brothers were outside Heaven. The Mahabharata says :-
“Lo, suddenly, with a sound that ran through heaven and earth, Indra came riding on his chariot and cried to the king, Ascend.’ Then indeed did Yudhisthira ,look back to his fallen brothers and spoke thus unto Indra with a sorrowful heart: Let my brother; who yonder lie fallen, go with me. Not even into thy heaven, 0 Indra, would I enter, if they are not to be
1 Tod’s Rajasthan, Vol, 1, p. 643.
-Colonel.Dixon was Commissioner of AjmerMerwara about1850 A.D.
there; and yon fairfacel daughter of a king, Draupadi, the all-deserving, let her too enter with us I.”
Sir Monier Williams says :1
“ Natives never willingly destroy life. They cannot enter into an Englishman’s desire for venting his high spirits on a fine day by killing game of some kind—’ live and let live is their rule of conduct towards the inferior creation.”
“The villagers,” says M r. Elphinstone,2 “ are inoffensive, amiable people, affectionate to their family, kind to their neighbours and towards all but Government, honest and sincere.”
In 1813 A.D., when evidence was given before the British Parliament, Mr. Mercer said: “They (Hindus) are mild in their disposition, polished in their general manners; in their domestic relations, kind and affectionate.”
Captain Sydenham said: “The general character of the Hindus is submissive, docile, sober, inoffensive, capable of great attachment and loyalty, quick in apprehension, intelligent, active; generally honest and performing the duties of charity, benevolence and filial affection with as much sincerity and regularity as any nation with which I am acquainted,”
Abbe Dubois says: “The Hindus are not in want of improvement in the discharge of social duties amongst themselves. They understand this point as well as and perhaps better than Europeans.”
Sir John Malcolm said: “From the moment you enter-Behar, the Hindu inhabitants are a race of men,
I Modern India and the Indians, p. 33. Elphinstone’s History of India, p. 199. Mill’s History of India, Vol, I., p. 523.
generally speaking, not more distinguished by their lofty stature and robust frame, than they are for some of the finest qualities of the mind—they are brave, generous, humane, and their truth is as remarkable as their courage.” At a subsequent examination, he said, with respect to the feeling of honour: “I have known innumerable instance of its being carried to a pitch that would be considered in England more fit for the page of a romance than a history. With regard to their fidelity, I think, as far as my knowledge extends, there is, generally speaking, no race of men more to be trusted.”
Sir Thomas Munro when asked if he thought the civilization of the Hindus would be promoted by trade with England being thrown open, replied: “I do not exactly understand what is meant by the ‘civilization’ of the Hindus. In the knowledge of the theory and practice of good government, and in an education which, by banishing prejudice and superstition, opens the mind to receive instruction of every kind, they are inferior to Europeans. But if a good system of agriculture, unrivalled manufacturing skill, a capacity to produce whatever can contribute to either luxury or convenience, schools1 established in every village for teaching reading, writing and arithmetic, the general practice of hospitality and charity amongst each other
1 “In Bengal there existed 80,000 native schools, though doubtless for the most part of a poor quality. According to a Government Report of 1835 there was a village school for every 400 persons. “—Missionary Intelligence’’, IX, p. 183-193.
Sir Thomas Munro estimated the children educated at public schools in the Madras Presidency as less than one in three”—Elphinstone’s History of India p. 205.
and, above all, a treatment of the female sex, full of confidence, respect and delicacy, are among the signs which denote a civilized people, then the Hindus are not inferior to the nations of Europe, and if civilization is to become an article of trade between the two countries, T am convinced that this country (England) will gain by the import cargo.”
Professor Max Muller says :—” During the last twenty years, however, I have had some excellent opportunities of watching a number of native scholars under circumstances where it is riot difficult to detect a man’s true character, I mean in literary work, and, more particularly, in literary controversy. I have watched them carrying on such controversies both among themselves and with certain European scholars, and I feel bound to say that, with hardly one exception they have displayed a far greater respect for truth, and a far more manly and generous spirit than we are accustomed to even in Et4rope and America. They have shown strength, but no rudeness; nay, I know that nothing has surprised them as much as the coarse invective to which certain Sanskrit scholars have condescended, rudeness of speech being, according to their view of human nature, a safe sign not only of bad breeding but of want of knowledge. When they were wrong they have readily admitted their mistake; when they were right they have never sneered at their European adversaries. There has been, with few exceptions, no quibbling, no special pleading, no untruthfulness on their part, and certainly none of that low cunning of the scholar who writes down and publishes what
‘India: What can it teach us? p. G.
he knows perfectly well to be false, and snaps his fingers at those who still value truth and self-respect more highly than victory or applause at any price. Here, too, we might possibly gain by the import cargo.
“Let me add that I have been repeatedly told by English merchants that commercial honour stands higher in India than in any other country, and that a dishonoured bill is hardly known there.”
The first Governor-General of India, Warren Hastings, said: “The Hindus are gentle, benevolent, more susceptible of gratitude for kindness shown to them, than prompted to vengeance for wrongs inflicted, and as exempt from the worst propensities of human passion as any people upon the face of the earth. They are faithful, affectionate,” etc. (Minutes of evidence before the Committee of both Houses of Parliament, March and April 1813)
Bishop Heber said: “To say that the Hindus are deficient in any essential feature of a civilized people is an assertion which I can scarcely suppose to be made by any who have lived with them.”] Again, “ they are decidedly by nature a mild, pleasing, intelligent race, sober and parsimonious, and, where an object is held out to them, most industrious and persevering’. . . They are men of high and gallant courage, courteous, intelligent, and most eager for knowledge and improvement, with a remarkable aptitude for the abstract sciences, geometry, astronomy, etc., and for imitative arts, painting and sculpture; dutiful towards their parents, affectionate to children, more easily affected by kindness and attention to their wants and feelings than almost any men I have met with.” 3
1Joarnal, II, p, 382; 2lbid, p. 329. sIbid, p, 869,
Again, “I have found in India a race of gentle and temperate habits, with a natural talent and acuteness beyond the ordinary level of mankind.”
Of the labourers and workmen in the Calcutta mint in India, Professor Wilson says: “There was considerable skill and ready docility. So far from there being any servility there was extreme frankness, and I should say that where there is confidence without fear, frankness is one of the most universal features in the Indian character. In men of learning I found similar merits of industry, intelligence, cheerfulness, frankness. A very common characteristic of Hindus especially was simplicity, truly childish, and a total unacquaintance with business and manners of life; where this feature was lost it was chiefly by those who had been long familiar with Europeans. . . There can be no doubt that the native mind outstrips in early years, the intellect of the Europeans and, generally speaking, boys are much more quick in apprehension and earnest in application than those of our own schools. Men of property and respectability afforded me many opportunities of witnessing polished manners, clearness and comprehensiveness of understanding, liberality of feeling, and independence of principle that would have stamped them gentlemen in any country in the world.”2
Hindu children are more quick and intelligent than European. “The capacity of lads of 12 and 13 are often surprising.”
1.” The longer we possess a province, the more common and grave does perjury become.”—Sir G. Campbell, quoted by S. Johnson, Oriental Religions, India, p, 288.
Mill’s History of India, Vol, I, pp. 530-32.
Sir Thomas Munro, Mercer and others, quoted above, says Professor Wilson, were “men, equally eminent in wisdom as in station, remarkable for the extent of their opportunities of observation and the ability and diligence with which they used them, distinguished for possessing, by their knowledge of the language and the literature of the country, and by their habits of intimacy with the natives, the best, the only means of judging of the native character, and unequalled for the soundness of their judgment and comprehensiveness of their views.’
Professor Monier Williams says: “I have found no people in Europe more religious, none more patiently persevering in common duties.”
Mr. Elphinstone says :3 “ If we compare them (Hindus) with our own (English people), the absence of drunkenness and of immodesty in their other vices, will leave the superiority in purity of manners on the side least flattering to our self-esteem.” He adds, “ No set of people among the Hindus are so depraved as the dregs of our own great towns.”4
1 Mill’s History of India, Vol, 1, p. 523.
=Modern India and the Indians, pp. 88 and 128.
3Bistory of India, p. 202.
4Elphinstone’s History of India, pp. 375-81. The percentage of criminals in India is lower than in England. “By a series of reports laid before the House of Commons in 1832 (Minutes of Evidence No. 4, page 103) it appears that in an avenge of four years the number of capital sentences carried into effect annually in England and Wales is as 1 for 203.281 souls, and in the provinces under the Bengal Presidency 1 for 1,004,182 transportation for life, in England 1 for 67,173 and in Bengal, 1 for 402,010. The annual number of sentences to death in England was 1,232, in Bengal 59. The population of England is 13,000,000; the population of Bengal, 00,000,000.
“The cleanliness of the Hindus,” he says again, “is proverbial.’ They are a cleanly people, and may be compared with decided advantage with the nations of the south of Europe, both as regards their habitations and their persons. There are many of their practices which might be introduced even into the North with benefit.”
Mr. Elphinstone says :—” The natives are often accused of wanting in gratitude. But it does not appear that those who make the charge have done much to inspire such a sentiment: when masters are really kind and considerate they find as warm a return from Indian servants as any in the world; and there are few who have tried them in sickness or in difficulties and dangers who do not bear witness to their sympathy and attachment. Their devotion to their own chief is proverbial and can arise from no other cause than gratitude, unless where caste supplies the place of clannish feelings. The fidelity of our sepoys to their foreign masters has been shown in instances which it would be difficult to match even among the national troops in any other country.” He again says: “It is common to see persons who have been patronised by men in power not only continuing their attachment to them when in disgrace, but even to
The Hindu convict is a better man than the European. The great Darwin was struck with the Hindu convicts at Port Louis and he wondered that they were such noble-looking figures. He says: “These men are generally quiet and well-conducted: from their outward conduct, their cleanliness, and faithful observance of their strange religions rites it is impossible to look at them with the same eyes as on our wretched convicts in New South Wales.”---A Naturalist’s Voyage Round the World, p. 484.
‘Elphinstone’s History of India, p. 202.
their families when they have left them in a helpless condition.”‘
To the diet’ and the sobriety of living is due the greater healthiness of the Hindus. There are 3 insanes in every 10,000 persons in parts of India peopled by
1” A perfectly authentic instance might be mentioned of an English gentleman in a high station in Bengal who was dismissed and afterwards reduced to great temporary difficulties in his own country: a native of rank, to whom he had been kind, supplied him, when in those circumstances, with upwards of Its. 100,000, of which he would not accept repayment and for which lie could expect no possible return. This generous friend was a Mahratta Brahman, a race of all others who have least sympathy with other castes, and who are most hardened and corrupted by power.”—Elphinstone’s History of India, p, 201.
231r. J. H. Bourdillon, in his report on the Census of 1881, observes that the superior healthiness of middle-age among the Hindus is more strikingly shown, for out of each 100 living persons the number of those aged 40 years and over is among the—
Mu ham madans 19.81
As regards the diet of the Hindus, Mr. Buckle tells us: “In India the great heat of the climate brings into play that law (of nature) already pointed out, by virtue of which the ordinary food is of an oxygenous rather than of a carbonaceous character. This, according to another law, obliges the people to derive their usual diet not from the animal but from the vegetable world of which starch is the most important constituent. At the same time, the high temperature, incapacitating men for arduous labour, makes necessary a food of which the returns will be abundant, and which will contain much nutriment in a comparatively small space. Here, then, we have some characteristics which, if the preceding views are correct, ought to be found in the ordinary food of the Indian nations. So they all are. From the earliest period the most general food in India has been rice, which is the most nutritive of all cerealia, which contains an enormous proportion the Hindus, as compared to 30 insanes in every 10,000 in England and Wales.’
Mr. Ward says :—”In their forms of address and behaviour in company the Hindus must be ranked amongst the politest nations.”
Speaking of the inhabitants of the Gangetic ‘Hindustan, Mr. Elphinstone says: “It is there we are most likely to gain a clear conception of their high spirit and generous self-clevotton so singularly combined with gentleness of manners and softness of heart together with an almost infantine simplicity.”
Even honest writers, who have had no opportunities of studying the Hindu character, sometimes hastily generalize from stray instances of untruthfulness and dishonesty they happen to come across in life. In respect of such, Professor Max Muller says: “We may, to follow an Indian proverb, judge of a whole field of rice by tasting one or two grains only, but if we apply this rule to human beings we are sure to fall into the same mistake as the English chaplain who had once on board an English vessel christened a French child, and who of starch,. and which yields to the labourer an average return of at least sixty fold.”--/-listory of Civilization in England, VoLune I, page 64.
Neibuhr says: “Perhaps the Indian lawgivers thought it was for the sake of health absolutely necessary to prohibit the eating of meat, because the multitude follows more easily the prejudice of religion than the advice of a physician. It is also very likely that the law of the Oriental insists so strongly on the purification of the body for hygienic reasons.”
I See the comparative tabular statement on page 204 of the report on the Census of Bengal, Vol. I (1881).
remained fully convinced for the rest of his life that all French babies had very long noses.”
The physical structure of the Hindu is still as admirable as that of any other people on the globe.
Mr. Orrne says: “There is not a handsomer race in the universe than the Banians of Gujrat.” We read in Chamber’s Encyclopaedia that “ the body of the Hindu is admirably proportioned.”!
A strong opponent of the Hindus admires their physical agility. Mr. Mill says: “The body of the Hindu is agile to an extraordinary degree. Not only in those surprising contortions and feats which constitute the art of the tumbler do they excel almost all the nations in the world, but even in running and marching they equal, if not surpass, people of the most robust constitutions.”3
The Hindus were renowned for wisdom in ancient times.
“Wisdom, my father, is the noblest gift The gods bestow on man, and better far Than all his treasures,”
CC We are told by Grecian writers that the Indians were the wisest of nations.”
Mr. Coleman’ says: “ The sages and poets of India have inculcated moral precepts and displayed poetic beauties which no country in the world of either ancient or modern date need be ashamed to acknowledge.”
I On the effeminacy of the inhabitants of Hindustan, pp. 461-65.
2 Chamber’s Encyclopaedia, p. 539.
3 Mill’s India, Vol. I, p, 478.
4 See Introduction.
5 Mythology of the Hindus, p. 7,
Elphinstonel says that “the Greeks had a great impression of their (Hindus) wisdom.”
Mr. Burnouf says that the “Indians are a nation rich in spiritual gifts, and endowed with peculiar sagacity and penetration.”
It is the wisdom of the Hindus that invented the best and the greatest of indoor games, the game of Chess, which is now universally acknowledged to be of Hindu origin, the Sanskrit chaturanga becoming shaturanga in Persian.
Sir W. Jones says :2 “ The Hindus are said to have boasted of three inventions, all of which indeed are admirable; the method of instructing by apologues; the decimal scale and the game of Chess, on which they have some curious treatises.”
Professor Heerens says: “ Chess-board is mentioned in Ramayana, where an account of Ayodhia is given.”
Chess is thus proved to have been in use in India long before Moses and Hermes made their appearance in the world. Mr. J. Mill, however, with his characteristic prejudice against the Hindus, observes that “there is no evidence that Hindus invented the game, except their own pretentions.” On this, Professor Wilson says: “This is not true; we have not the evidence of their pretentious. The evidence is that of Mohamedan writers; the king of
History of India, p. 242,
2As quoted by Mill in his History of British India, Vol. II, p. 43. 3 Historical Researches, Vol. II, p. 151.
India is said, by Firdausi in the Shahnama—and the story is therefore of the tenth century at latest—to have sent a Chess-board and a teacher to Nausherawan. Sir W. Jones refers to Firdausi as his authority, and this reference might have shown by whom the story was told. Various Mohamedan writers are quoted by Hyde, in his Historia Shahiludii, who all concur in attributing the invention to the Indians’.”
“ The wisdom of Solomon “ is proverbial. But the story most frequently quoted to show his wisdom, itself stamps that wisdom as inferior to that of the Hindus. Says Professor Max Muller: “Now you remember the judgment of Solomon, which has always been admired as a proof of great legal wisdom among the Jews! I must confess that, not having a legal mind, I never could suppress a certain shudder when reading the decision of Solomon: ‘Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one, and half to the other.’ “2
“ Let me now tell you the same story as it is told by the Buddhists, whose sacred Canon is full of such leoends and parables. In the Kanjur, which is the Tibetan translation of the Buddhist Tripitaka, we read of two women who claimed each to be the mother of the same child. The King, after listening to their quarrels for a lona. time, gave it up as hopeless to settle who was the real mother. Upon this, Visakha stepped forward and said: ‘What is the use of examining and cross-examining these women. Let them take the boy and settle it among themselves.’ Thereupon, both women fell on the
1 Mill’s In hia, Vol. II., p. 41, footnote. 2Itings iii. 25..
child, and when the fight became violent, the child was hurt and began to cry. Then one of them let him go, because she could not bear to hear the child cry. That settled the question. The King gave the child to the true mother, and had the other beaten with a rod.
“ This seems to me, if not the more primitive, yet the more natural form of the story, showing a deeper know-
- ledge of human nature and more wisdom then even the wisdom of Solomon.”‘
Mr. Elphinstone speaks of the Hindu character in misfortune in glowing terms, “ When fate,” he says, “ is inevitable, the lowest Hindu encounters it with a coolness that would excite admiration in Europe.”2
The national character of a people necessarily suffers from unsympathetic domination of a less civilized people. Successful falsehood, says Bentham, is the best defence of a slave; and it is no wonder that the character of the Hindus deteriorated under the Moslem rule. The wonder is their character is still so high. Professor Max Muller says :--” I can only say that after reading the accounts of the terrors and horrors of Mohamedan rule, my wonder is that so much of native virtue and truthfulness should have survived.”3 He also says :
“ When you read of the atrocities committed by
‘India: What can it teach us? p. 11.
2 Elphinstone’s History of India, pages 198-499. Of the great
grandfather of the present Maharaja of Jodhpur, Colonel Tod says: “The biography of Man Singh would afford a remarkable picture of human patience, fortitude and constancy never surpassed in any age or country.”—Rajasthan, Vol. II, p, 711.
3Max Muller’s India: What can it teach us? 72.
the Mohamedan conquerors of India after that time (1000 A.D.) to the time when England stepped in and, whatever may be said by her envious critics, made, at all events, the broad principles of our common humanity respected once more in India, the wonder, to my mind, is how any nation could have survived such an Inferno, without being turned into devils themselves.”‘
‘Max Muller’s India: What can it teach us? p. 54.
It must not be supposed from the condemnatory language used in more than one place in this book with regard to the treatment of the Hindus and their literature by some of the Mussalman invaders and rulers of India, that the history or those reigns is one continuous record of cruelty and oppression, unredeemed by any humanitarian considerations or sympathetic treatment. As Sir Arther Helps observes, no dark cloud is without its silver lining. There are instances on record which show a chivalrous and generous regard displayed. by some of the Mohamedan Kings for the Hindus. It is related that when, during the reign of Rana Bikramajit, son of Rana Sanga of Chitor, who was at the time in Haravati, Mewar was invaded by Bahadur, King of Gujrat, and Chitor was invested by the combined armies of Gujrat and Malwa, Maharani Karnavati, the mother of the infant son of Rana Sanga, who was in the fortress, appealed for help to Ilnmaynn, whom she had adopted as her Rakhiband Mai (bracelet-bound brother). Humaynn, like a true cavalier that he was, accepted the obligation laid on him by the laws of chivalry and honour, to come to her aid, and abandoning his conquests in Bengal, hastened to answer the call of her adoptive sister, the dowager Maharani of Chitor. “ He amply fulfilled the pledge, expelled the foe from Chitor, took Mandoo by assault and, as some revenge for her king’s aiding the King of Gujrat, he sent for the Rana Bikramajit, whom, following their own notions of investiture, he girt with a swordlin the captured citadel of his foe.”
Nor should it be forgotten that it was a Mussalman who preserved the Kingdom of Marwar at the most critical period of its history. Not satisfied with the blood of Jaswant and of his eldest son, Pirthi Sineh, the unrelenting tyrant (Aurangzeb) carrying his vengeance towards the
When, however, centuries of foreign ( Moghul ) domination have left the people as virtuous, truthful axed refined as any free people to be found anywhere in the world, what further evidence is necessary to prove the high national character of the ancient Hindus, whose lives were regulated by ethical principles of the highest order I
Maharaja of Marwar even beyond the grave, commanded that his infant son, Ajit, should be surrendered to his custody. “Aurang offered to divide Marco (Marwar) amongst her nobles if they would surrender their prince, but they replied our country is with our sinews, and these can defend both it and our lord.’ With eyes red with rage they left the Am-ekhas. Their abode was surrounded by the host of the Shah,” A fearful battle ensued. The first care of the Rajputs was to save the infant prince, and to avoid suspicion, the heir of Marwar, concealed in a basket of sweetmeats, was entrusted to a Moslem, who rigorously executed his trust and conveyed him to the appointed spot, where he was joined by the gallant Durga Das and his Rajputs, who had cut their way through all opposition,