A better understanding of what India and the people who live in it are really like, seems to be the necessary preparation for sympathy and work of any sort connected with that country; and to help, in however small a degree, to bring about this end is the object of this book. I have had unusually favourable and varied opportunities for getting to know intimately the inner side of Indian life and character during a somewhat long residence in this country. The contents of the book are exceedingly miscellaneous because the daily experiences have been equally so. Everything that is told is the[vii] outcome of my own personal observations amongst a people to whom I am deeply attached, and I have taken the utmost pains to record nothing of which I was not sure, and to verify everything concerning which I was doubtful.
belief. For instance, it will not do to discountenance the practice of making funeral offerings to deceased ancestors, although you have no faith in the immortality of the soul."
Mr P. T. Srinivas Iyengar is principal of a college in Vizagapatam. He writes:--"The evolution of religion in India has not provided the Hindus with any belief or practice common to all who now go by that name. The pre-Aryan tribes had their own religious beliefs and practices, on which were superimposed those of the Aryans. The Vedic age, the post-Vedic times, the Buddhist age, and the age of the Paranas, have each contributed innumerable ideas and customs. The religion of each one of us contains relics of all these strata, but not one of these can be called essential to the Hindu religion, because every belief or practice that is considered absolutely necessary by Hindus of one corner of India is unknown or ignored by some other corner. It is true that the various schools of Hindu philosophy agree in regarding a few fundamen
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