Posted on: 17 September 2015

Digital Rare Book :
The Hindu Pantheon (Sri Sarva Deva Sabha )
By Edward Moor
Printed for J.Johnson, London - 1810

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The Hindu Pantheon was a book written by Edward Moor, an early European scholar of Indian religion. The book was intended as an introduction to Hinduism for an English audience and was the first of its kind. It was published in London in 1810.

The Hindu Pantheon was illustrated with examples from Moor's own collection of Hindu artifacts, which are currently displayed in the British Museum. Many of the illustrations were engraved by William Blake.

The Hindu Pantheon is illustrative of the Enlightenment concept of education of foreign cultures and religions; it was significant as it sought to dispel any European preconceptions that Hinduism was a largely primitive pagan religion.

Edward Moor (1771–1848) was a British Indologist and a soldier for the East India Company, joining in 1782 as a cadet. He became a brevet-captain in 1796, having been wounded in 1791 at Dooridroog, a hill fort near Bangalore, and Gadjnoor (not Doridroog and Gadjmoor), as stated in the Dictionary of National Biography. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1806.

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Many engravings are by William Blake! That is enough of a reason for me to get the book. :)

Download link is not working

Starting invocation from your favourite book - Lady Fanny Parkes. Do note - " God of Prudence and Policy" . Note the overlap of Ganesha with JANUS , the Roman God of Good luck/beginnings. The reason why JANUary is the 1st month in the Roman calendar of 12 months. Edward Moor highlights the similarity between JANUS & GANESHA in the book. Many similarities - (1) Son of God ( 2) Knowledge - Past/ Future bridge (3) Auspicious for Start / Door-Opener (Key) to new beginnings (4) Big on Eating/Drinking/ Celebrations etc etc. European visitors to the Raj in the Victorian era easily related Ganesha to Janus, and this appealed to them. Infact the Elephant head replacing the two-head under one crown of Janus, only made the new found iconography to India/India-returned Europeans , that much more appealing. Before Moor, William Jones too had already noticed this Roman/Greek - Indian pantheon link. Fanny Parkes too ....

Blake's plates of the hindu pantheon appear to have the same errors as the ( great) Bernard Picart's plates. He didn't come down to visit India & see the iconography first-hand , did he ?

Thnaks Ratnesh! :)


Link for all the Illustrations in the Hindu Pantheon:

He didn't visit India, but he possessed such a great creative spirit. Similarly, how many of those who claim to be experts on Hinduism today know Sanskrit or have mastered the language?

JANUS , the Roman God of Good luck/beginnings. The reason why JANUary is the 1st month in the Roman calendar

Thanks Mr. Ratnesh Mathur for sharing a good Invocation.

very unattractive view of the Gods.