The note of Sanscrit poetry is always aristrocratic; it has no answer to the democratic feeling or to the modern sentimental cult of the average man, but deals with exalted, large and aspiring natures, whose pride it is that they do not act like common people (prakrito janah). They are great spirits in whose footsteps the world follows. Whatever sentimental objections may be urged against this high and arrogating spirit, it cannot be doubted that a literature pervaded with the soul of hero worship and nobelesse elevate and strenghten a nation and prepare it for great part in history. It was as Sanscrit literature ceased to universally read and understood, that the spirits of our nation began to decline. And it is because the echos of that literature still lasted that the nation even in its downfall has played not altogether an ignoble part, that it has never quite consented to the degradation Fate seemed determined to impose on it, that it has always to struggled to assert itself, to live, to be something in the world or thought and action.
On the Mahabharata
On Junichiro Tanizaki's The Maids
6 months ago