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Hindu Mythology, Vedic and Puranic, by W.J. Wilkins, [1900], at

p. x

p. xi


As a large edition of this work has been sold out, and a new one called for, an opportunity is presented of adding a few words to what was said eighteen years ago. The reception given to it both in India and in England was most gratifying, practically the only serious condemnation of it being that I had not pronounced judgment on much that I had quoted from the Hindu sacred books. This was a task that I distinctly disavowed in my preface. I set out with the intention of rigidly abstaining from comment, commendatory or condemnatory. I feel that a mere statement of much that was written in books professedly inspired by God, carried its own condemnation. And at the same time it was a pleasure to indicate how, amid much evil, there was also much good. The sages of India were not in complete darkness. As we examine the earlier writings, the light was bright indeed contrasted with what came later. It is most instructive to notice the marked deterioration in the quality of the teaching, deities as described by the earlier sages being vastly better than their successors declare them to be. "Non-Christian Bibles are all developments in the wrong direction. They begin with some flashes of true light, and end in darkness." As Max-Müller says, "The more we go back, the more we examine the earliest

p. xii

germs of any religion, the purer I believe we shall find the conceptions of the Deity."

In this edition there is some added matter. Errors have been corrected, and an attempt made to render certain passages more clear that were somewhat obscure. Substantially the book remains the same. An account of the ordinary worship and the festivals of these gods will be found in another work—"Modern Hinduism."

W. J. W.


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