Rawlinson, H. G. Intercourse between India and the western world from the earliest times to the fall of Rome

(Cambridge :  University Press,  1916.)



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India and the West                 171

these visitors to the great centre of Greek learning.
It certainly appears probable that Neo-platonism
was affected by Oriental philosophy, though it
is difficult to distinguish its borrowings from
Pythagoreanism and Buddhism respectively. But
perhaps the coincidences between Pythagorean
and Buddhist beliefs lent them enhanced credence.
Thus the tract Hept a7ro)(^9 roiv kyj^vyoiv con¬
tains the famous description (already quoted)
of a Buddhist monastery. Hence we may suppose
that the doctrines it inculcates,—abstinence from
flesh, subjection of the body by asceticism,
and so on,—are derived from Oriental sources.
In the case of the earlier Greek philosophers, we
were driven to conclude that the resemblances
between their tenets and those of the Indian
sages were coincidences, because the evidence for
intercourse was entirely lacking. In this case
the links in the chain are supplied. In one point,
we find a resemblance between Neo-platonic and
Indian teaching, absent in Pythagoreanism. The
Neo-platonist strives by meditation to free his
soul from the body, and to attain union with the
Supreme. This is the Yoga doctrine of Patafijali.
Pythagoras, while teaching rebirth, " remem¬
brance " {aM6.\wr)cni), and abstention from flesh,
says nothing about the end or aim—Mukti or
Emancipation, which is the cardinal Hindu doc¬

Did Christianity owe anything to Hindu and
Buddhist thought ?     Many rash statements, which
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