A French Veda of the Eighteenth Century
The Ezourvedam, used by Voltaire among others, as sourcebook for the most ancient of religions, was thereupon found to have been a fraud. Actually it was composed by a Christian – the text shows him to have been a French Jesuit missionary, who did not necessarily know Sanskrit – in order to convert Hindus to Christianity. The controversy surrounding the spurious Veda continues, involving a number of scholars and missionaries particularly in the question of whether or not the Veda was composed in Sanskrit or French. In tracing the history of the Ezourvedam Ludo Rocher adds a number of points, one being that the text was definitely first written in French with a view to a later Sanskrit translation or, more likely, to one of several modern Indian vernaculars. This edition is based on the manuscripts of Voltaire and Anquetil du Perron, and, especially, on a third manuscript preserved at the Bibliotheque National in Paris, wrongly catalogued there as Yajurveda. This edition is therefor markedly different from the 1778 edition by the Baron de Sainte-Croix.