The most interesting characteristic of ancient India was the evolution of a social organism for preserving and protecting the heritage, adapting it to new conditions and transmitting it to posterity. The factors of this organism were bound to each other by the one consideration of service and self-sacrifice. The fighting classes ensured the defence of the cultural citadel of Dharma, developed their resources in its behalf, and shed their blood in its defence. The vast multitude tilled the soil, conducted the carrying trade and shaped nature’s materials to subserve the ends of man. In India they did not, as did similar classes elsewhere, turn themselves into unthinking machines of economic production. They were saved from such a catastrophe by the very system of their daily life, communal and domestic ceremonies, and social institutions. They co-operated in the building of the cultural edifice by sacrificing part of their material resources for the common weal, so as to relieve from working for daily bread the class of people consecrated to culture.
2002 / New Delhi : Cosmo / 6 vols., 1888pp. / HB
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