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Hindus in Freemasonry

When Freemasonry was carried into India early in the Nineteenth Century the bearers of it in the majority of instances were military Lodges; and as they gave way to permanent, local Lodges the latter were composed almost w holly of English, Scottish, and Irish Brethren for in that period the so-called "color line" was strictly drawn; but after many years one Indian after another was admitted, some of them of the Hindu religion, some of them Mohammedans, with a sprinkling from any one of the other numerous Indian faiths. Masons from America, Britain, and Europe watched this experiment with an abiding interest; when the Fraternity of Anglo- Saxondom, which long had kept the Holy Bible on the altar, became admixed with Hindus, Brahmins, Mohammedans, Jains, Parsees, with believers in the Vedas, the Gita, the Tripitaka, etc., what would be the amalgam thus formed? Would Oriental Freemasonry become transformed out of recognition? Would it preserve its forms but lose its original substance? Not all the returns are in as yet, but aftel a half-century of the experiment there are a sufficient number of them to make clear at least one verdict: that Freemasonry is capable of becoming universal in the most literal sense without being altered in Landmarks or purposes. An ever-growing Masonic literature out of India attests that fact.

A representative of that literature which already is out-dated in India but would be new if it could be widely read in America is an extraordinary book: The K. 1V. Cama Masonic Jubilee Volume, Containing Papers on Masonic Subjects Written by Varuxus Freemasons in Honour of Bro. Kharshedji Rustaniji Cama on his completing 50 years of Masonic Life in the year 1904, edited by Jivanji Jamshedji Modi (Fellow of the University of Bombay); 1907; Bombay.

Bro. Cama was Made a Mason in Rising Star of Western India, No. 342, S. C., August 24, 1856, and to honor his many years of service in Craft work and to recognize his fame as an authority on Indian literature and also in Iranian literature, the Lodge proposed a banquet, but he demurred, and in lieu of it his Brethren prepared this volume in his honor. The volume consists of eighteen contributions, along with two or three poems. Among the authors are such names as Mills, Harley, Dover, co-mingled with such names as Wadia, Ghose, Dass; the concluding contribution is a paper on "Zoroaster and Euclid," by Bro. Jivanji Jamshedji Modi. American readers will be pleased to discover one of our own Brothers in this symposium, R.-. W. . William C. Prime, of the Grand Lodge of New York. (The translator has him a resident of the city of Tonkers instead of Yonkers. Yonkers is a large industrial city and Masonic center which would be known the world over were it not smothered by New York City.)

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