Max Müller – A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

A Christian missionary in disguise, with a mission to eradicate Hinduism

DONATE HERE – Support Hindudvesha Mission

Max Müller was a German-born Orientalist who spent most of his professional career at Oxford University in Britain and wrote many scholarly works on the subject of Indology.  He is particularly known for his pioneering work translating Rig Veda and other ancient Hindu scriptures from Sanskrit to English, a body of work that has received much praise from many Indian thinkers, including Swami Vivekananda. Muller’s other major work is the postulation of the Aryan Invasion Theory – a thoroughly discredited hypothesis on the civilization history of India.

However, Max Müller’s outsized reputation as a Sanskrit scholar has deterred a serious debate on the totality of his work and has prevented a critical inquiry into the real motivation for his life’s work.

Fortunately, Müller has left behind a long trail of personal letters and other writings, which offer an unimpeded view into his thinking and helps us understand the real intention behind his work. A recent article by “Bhaartiya” has tapped into these resources to probe deeply into Müller’s inner thinking on Hindu scriptures, Hinduism, and India. These writings have helped the author build a credible case of Müller as little more than a Christian missionary whose true intent was the total eradication of Hinduism and the conversion of all Hindus to the Christian faith. The article also points out the great damage Müller has done to India’s civilization history, with devastating consequences for Indian society.

In the sequel, we share some illustrative excerpts from this article.

Arbitrary Dating of Vedas

In his 1865 lecture on the Vedas [1], Müller postulated the age of Vedas, as a little over a thousand years BCE merely on the basis of the purported dating of Sāyaṇācārya’s commentary, without any scientific evidence:

What I had to do, first of all, was to copy not only the text but the commentary of the Rig-Veda, a work which when finished will fill six of these large volumes. The author or rather the compiler of this commentary, Sâyana Âkârya, lived about 1400 after Christ, that is to say, about as many centuries after, as the poets of the Veda lived before, the beginning of our era. 

In other words, since he was unable to trace back the antiquity of the Veda beyond 1500 BCE, he simply assumed 1500 BC as the approximate creation date of the Veda! With such a compressed timeline, it became nearly impossible to fit the historic works such as Ramayana and Mahabharat into the chronology. As a consequence, these historical epics are now assumed to be mere mythological fiction.

A Stealth Missionary

In a series of lectures on his theory of “The Science of Religion,” Müller articulated his views on why a comparative study of non-Christian texts and religions is essential from the context of Christianity itself.

The Science of Religion will for the first time assign to Christianity its right place among the religions of the world; it will show for the first time fully what was meant by the fulness of time; it will restore to the whole history of the world, in its unconscious progress towards Christianity, its true and sacred character. …. The Science of Language has taught us that there is order and wisdom in all languages and that even the most degraded jargons contain the ruins of former greatness and beauty. The Science of Religion, I hope, will produce a similar change in our views of barbarous forms of faith and worship; and missionaries, instead of looking only for points of difference, will look out more anxiously for any common ground, any spark of the true light that may still be revived, any altar that may be dedicated afresh to the true God.[2]

(Editor’s note: The “One true God” is a concept rooted in the Christian belief that human birth itself happens due to sin, and only the true God and/or His son Jesus Christ can liberate human beings from that sin.)

In Life and Letters of Max Müller [3], he enthusiastically wrote about the conversion of Indians to Christianity:

India is much riper for Christianity than Rome or Greece were at the time of St. Paul. The rotten tree has for some time had artificial supports, because its fall would have been inconvenient for the Government. But if the Englishman comes to see that the tree must fall, sooner or later, then the thing is done, and he will mind no sacrifice either of blood or of land. For the good of this struggle, I should like to lay down my life, or at least to lend my hand to bring about this struggle.

A letter written in December 1866 to his wife [4], makes it abundantly clear that Müller’s real intent was to uproot unsuspecting Hindus from their belief system, and thus prime them for conversion to newer faith(s):

I hope I shall finish that work, and I feel convinced, though I shall not live to see it, that this edition of mine and the translation of the Veda will hereafter tell to a great extent on the fate of India, and on the growth of millions of souls in that country. It is the root of their religion, and to show them what that root is, is, I feel sure, the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3,000 years.

In an 1867 letter written to Dr. Milman, the Dean of St Paul’s [5], he further reaffirmed his intent, while discussing strategies to support new converts so they in turn can continue the mission.

I have myself the strongest belief in the growth of Christianity in India, There is no country so ripe for Christianity as India, and yet the difficulties seem enormous.”

As to religion, that will take care of itself. The missionaries have done far more than they themselves seem to be aware of, nay, much of the work which is theirs they would probably disclaim. The Christianity of our nineteenth century will hardly be the Christianity of India. But the ancient religion of India is doomed—and if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?”

Father of the Aryan Invasion Theory

Müller was the first to postulate the now-debunked Aryan Invasion Theory [6], where Aryans descended supposedly from central Asia and with the help of warlike gods like Indra, pushed the native aborigines down to the south. He called these Aryans “Southern Aryans” in contrast with their “Northern Aryan” brothers who supposedly inhabited Europe, mainly Germany and other Slavic regions.

We see the Aryan tribes taking possession of the land, and under the guidance of such warlike gods as Indra and the Maruts, defending their new homes against the assaults of the black-skinned aborigines as well as against the inroads of later Aryan colonists.

Indra is the leader in battles, the protector of the bright Aryans, the destroyer of the black aboriginal inhabitants of India.

(Editor’s note: AIT has had a devastating effect on the Indian civilizational narrative by (a) reinforcing the self-assigned supremacy of the white race, (b) propagating the myth that India’s cultural and civilizational heritage is a gift from the white race, (c) severing the exclusive claim of Indians to their ancestral land (i.e., waves of invaders have been coming and conquering this land throughout history), and (d) creating artificial fault lines between the so-called dark native aboriginal “Dravidians” and the conquering fair-skinned Aryans settled in the north. These fault lines continue to haunt Indian politics to this day.)

Brahman Bashing

Müller was among the first Westerners to blame Brahmins for all the ills in the society:

But the priests only were allowed to chant these songs, they only were able to teach them, and they impressed the people, with a belief that the slightest mistake in the words, or the pronunciation of the words, would rouse the anger of the god. Thus they became the masters of all religious ceremonies, the teachers of the people, and the ministers of kings. Their favor was courted, their anger dreaded, by a pious but credulous race. … For a long time, the three upper classes continued to consider themselves as one race, all claiming the title of Ârya, in contradistinction from the fourth caste, or the Sûdras.[6]

Unfortunately, this Brahmin bashing trend [7] continues to this day and has resulted in immeasurable atrocities, such as the genocide of Maharashtrian Brahmins of 1948 [8]. Brahmin bashing, in the guise of protesting against the so-called Brahminical patriarchy [9], is actually one of the top trends on Twitter, with even the ex-CEO Jack Dorsey indulging in it [10].

Closing Remarks

Max Müller has been held in high esteem by Indian thinkers for his supposedly great service to Hindu thought. As a result, his literary work has never been subject to a thorough and critical review from the Indian perspective. This article has made a valiant attempt to daylight the real intention behind his life’s work and has demonstrated, with strong evidence, that Müller did not deserve the accolades showered on him by Indian society. On the contrary, the article shows that he was little more than a Christian missionary in the guise of a Sanskrit scholar whose ardent desire was to see Indian society in the Christian fold.

In other words, a true wolf in sheep’s clothing!


  3. Life And Letters Of The Right Honourable Friedrich Max Muller Vol.2 : Muller, Friedrich Max : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
  4. ibid
  5. ibid