Thomas Rhys Davids

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Thomas William Rhys Davids (12 May 1843 – 27 December 1922) was a British scholar of the Pāli language and founder of the Pāli Text Society. He took an active part in founding the British Academy and London School for Oriental Studies.

Quotes[edit]

  • We should never forget that Gautama was born and brought up a Hindu and lived and died a Hindu. His teaching, far-reaching and original as it was, and really subversive of the religion of the day, was Indian throughout. He was the greatest and wisest and best of the Hindus.
    • T.W. Rhys-Davids: Buddhism, p.116-117, quoted in D. Keer: Ambedkar, p.522. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • [Gautama Buddha] ‘was the only man of our own race, the only Aryan, who can rank as the founder of a great religion’ [and that therefore] ‘the whole intellectual and religious development of which Buddhism is the final outcome was distinctively Aryan, and Buddhism is the one essentially Aryan faith’ (1896:185), [which] ‘took its rise among an advancing and conquering people full of pride in their colour and their race… ‘ (1896:187).”
    • Rhys Davids, Thomas William, 1896: Buddhism: Its History and Literature, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, London (American Lectures on the History of Religions, First Series, 1894–1895)., quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.

About[edit]

  • In his researches, Grünendahl (2012:194) has checked Rhys-Davids’ writings and discovered a telling example of how the racialist “NS” worldview was already present in Britain earlier: “However, a more important factor seems to me to be Rhys Davids’s racialist—or more precisely Aryanist—bias, documented, for example, in statements to the effect that Gautama Buddha ‘was the only man of our own race, the only Aryan, who can rank as the founder of a great religion’ and that therefore ‘the whole intellectual and religious development of which Buddhism is the final outcome was distinctively Aryan, and Buddhism is the one essentially Aryan faith’ (1896:185), which ‘took its rise among an advancing and conquering people full of pride in their colour and their race... ‘(1896:187).”
    • Grünendahl (2012:194) quoted in K. Elst in Western indology and its quest for power, 2017, Chapter 3, Dr. K.S Kannan_ Gopinath K_ Ashay Naik_ Koenraad Elst_ Naresh P Cuntoor_ Satyanarayana Dasa_ Jayaraman Mahadevan_ Meera H R_ Manogna Sastry - WESTERN INDOLOGY & ITS QUEST FOR POWER_ Proceedings of the... Chapter 3 Sheldon Pollock’s Idea of a “National-Socialist Indology”

External links[edit]

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