Swami Vivekananda’s Encounter With Prof. Max Muller

27 Apr

This year India is celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and with great regards to the superhuman among all the religious personality this article is dedicated to him.

While in England during his second visit in the year 1896 Swami Vivekananda was introduced with Professors Max Muller and Paul Deussen, the two great authorities on Indian Philosophy in foreign land as also the renowned philosophers of that time.

Friedrich Max Müller (1823-1900), Sanskrit scholar and philologist, was a pioneer in the fields of Vedic studies, comparative philosophy, comparative mythology and comparative religion. Müller was born on 6 December 1823 in Dessau, Germany, to the popular lyric poet Willhelm Müller and his wife Adelheid, the eldest daughter of Präsident von Basedow, the prime minister of the Anhalt-Dessau duchy.

Prof. Max Mueller, had written an article on Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa in a magazine named ‘Nineteenth Century’.

After reading that Swamiji was desirous of meeting Max Mueller from the beginning. As luck would have it, Swamiji’s ambition was fulfilled.

Prof. Max Muller was desirous of writing a biography of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. But he lacked the necessary material for it.  Swamiji have him the required material as a result of which he was able to write the biography of Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa. Both great men were highly pleased at meeting each other. Prof. Max Mueller was greatly impressed by Swamiji’s method of propagation of Vedanta. Swamiji was also impressed by Prof. Max Mueller’s knowledge of ancient India, Indian literature and philosophy. During the course of their conversation Swamiji asked him, “when are you coming to India? Indians would, no doubt, feel elated by the visits of a great man who has discussed about ancient Indian knowledge with utmost devotion.”

Hearing this there came a glow over the face of this old man. With tears in his eyes he said, “Most probably, after coming to India I would not be able to return back. You people will have to perform my last rites.”

Despite heavy rain and storm Prof. Max Mueller went over to the station to see off Swamiji. Unable to bear the pains taken by an old man Swamiji asked him, “Why are you taking so much pains?’

At this prof. Max Mueller answered, “Opportunity to meet the most worthy disciple of Sri Ramakrishna won’t come time and again.”

This meeting culminated in a strong friendship between the two. Though they never met again, they communicated with each other through letters.

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