The existence of such common ideas and their possible influence on the people of this country will arouse a varied interest.
If there is a vast distance between modern India on the one hand and modern Europe and America on the other as regards their modes of thought and life, a similar distance can also be traced in several important points between ancient and modern India itself. It is usual to speak as if the present generation of Indians were witnessing the fusion of the great civilization in the contact of the West with the East. If one can admit that, India herself has exhibited more than one phase of civilization, and that the phases presented by her in her ancient days were far different things from the phase she now presents, it will be more accurate to say that we are not only hammed in between the two civilizations of modern East and West, but that the awakenings of the far different ancient Indian civilization are also upon Its as a faird element of the fusion. If this last element differed in essential points from the modern Western civilization, it also agreed with it (as the above-mentioned common ideas will attest) in recognising some very vital principles of thought and life as being of the essence of Progress and Civilization, as for instance, when the Aitareya Brahmana defined the Satya Yuga as the Age of Action or Progress and the Kali Yuga as the Age of Sleep or Stagnation. One of the objects aimed at in this volume is so to lift the veil from this part of our literature and history as to show some of the lines of our ancient thought and life along with those of the West in modern times and to bring their converging points into prominence. For that may enable our readers, as representing a part of modern India, to realize what elements are likely to have a preponderating influence in the fusion of the three great civilizations brought by Providence to bear upon the life of our nation and combined by that same power to shape her destiny by their confluence.