By Ludo Rocher
The Ezourvedam, utilized by Voltaire between others, as sourcebook for the main old of religions, was once thereupon discovered to were a fraud. truly it used to be composed by way of a Christian – the textual content exhibits him to were a French Jesuit missionary, who didn't unavoidably understand Sanskrit – for you to convert Hindus to Christianity. the debate surrounding the spurious Veda maintains, related to a few students and missionaries really within the query of even if the Veda was once composed in Sanskrit or French. In tracing the background of the Ezourvedam Ludo Rocher provides a couple of issues, one being that the textual content was once certainly first written in French as a way to a later Sanskrit translation or, much more likely, to 1 of a number of sleek Indian vernaculars. This variation relies at the manuscripts of Voltaire and Anquetil du Perron, and, in particular, on a 3rd manuscript preserved on the Bibliotheque nationwide in Paris, wrongly catalogued there as Yajurveda. This version is therefor markedly diverse from the 1778 variation via the Baron de Sainte-Croix.
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Additional resources for Ezourvedam: A French Veda of the Eighteenth Century
37 As indicated earlier Paulinus repeats Sonnerat's statement on more than one occasion; yet, whereas all other writers explicitly or implicitly think of a Sanskrit original, Paulinus believes in an original Tamil text. Laouenan (1884:244) attributes the EzV to "a French Jesuit missionary, of the Pondicherry mission/' I have already referred to Less' identification of the author as "some European and French missionary," who either made it all up himself or distorted a true Indian book in such a way as to make it unrecognizable.
Vol. 3 (1850), p. 116. 44 Nathanael Southwell: Bibliotheca scriptorum Societatis lesu, Rome: de Lazzaris, 1676. 45 It is not clear to which notice Clauer refers here. He probably means the "Notice sur le P. Robert de' Nobili," in Proença's letter to the General Gosvin Nikel, dated Tiruchirapalli 1660, edited by Bertrand: op. cit, vol. 3, pp. 110-8. The list of works is on pp. 116-8. 42 Ezourvedam in this letter, has never been found; it definitely had nothing to do with the EzV (Saulière 1953:373; Bachmann 1972:81).
Missionaries Needless to say, the situation changed drastically after 1782, when the EzV came to be looked upon as a Christian composition rather than an authentic Hindu scripture. From now onward one could not avoid raising the question of the authorship of the original version. There were two possibilities: either the author was an Indian convert to Roman Catholicism, or he was a European missionary writing in India. The latter alternative has been given preference right from the beginning, and has found more adherents ever since.