[On Mr. Lillie’s “Buddha and Early Buddhism”]
Theosophist, May, 1883
We acknowledge, with thanks, the receipt of Mr. Lillie’s Buddha and Early Buddhism. The subject of the work being one to which the greatest interest is attached, it was sent by us for careful review to a Buddhist scholar, a gentleman who has thoroughly studied both the Southern and Northern systems of Buddhism, and who is the most fitted person to give an impartial view upon the vexed question that now divides such two eminent scholars like Mr. Rhys Davids and Mr. Lillie. We will not anticipate much the opinions of the learned Pandit by saying that those who think that the doctrines of the Lord Buddha do not form a system complete in themselves, but are a modification of Brahmanism—make a singular mistake. These doctrines are not a modification but rather the revelation of the real esoteric religion of the Brahmans, so jealously guarded by them from the profane, and divulged by the “all-merciful, the compassionate Lord,” for the benefit of all men. It is only the study of Esoteric Buddhism that can yield to scholars the real tenets of that grandest of all faiths.
[Note: for follow-up, see “Remarks and Thoughts on Buddha and Early Buddhism by Arthur Lillie,” a review by Dharani Dhar Kauthumi, The Theosophist, February, 1884, p. 125]