THERE is a good deal in a name, in spite of Shakespeare’s question, especially when it is used to designate a thing with which we are not familiar. An assumed name is usually deemed a necessary part of a criminal’s disguise. “Christian science” would no doubt have less attraction for minds in this country were it known as Hindu philosophy, which according to the well-known lecturer and authority on Hinduism, Pundita Ramabai, it really is. In a recent lecture she spoke of “Christian science” and of its fruits as she knew them in India, and what she said of it ought to be read and pondered by every person who is at all inclined to be drawn away in the line of its teachings. It is this:—
“I can tell you I have sounded the depths of that philosophy, and what did I find? I will give you an idea in my own language. It means just this:—
“You are to take the whole universe as nothing but falsehood. You are to think that it does not exist. You do not exist. I do not exist. When you realize that, that is philosophy. Can you realize it? There was once upon a time a great being called Brahma, and that person was no person at all, but something like air, full of joy and knowledge? I cannot understand it, but philosophy tells you that you have to believe that this being, full of joy and knowledge, without any personality, existed once upon a time. That being had no mind. It did not want to say anything or have anything near it, and therefore, of course, it did not understand anything. Then there came another being just like himself, and that being was nothing but darkness. It was all falsehood. Now this air united with that darkness and assumed personality. It became male and female, and as that person has formed all things, the logical inference is that everything is falsehood. The birds and beasts that you see do not exist. You do not exist. When you realize that you have no personality whatever, you have no life, no knowledge, nothing, then you have attained the highest perfection of what is called ‘yoga,’ and that gives you liberation and you are liberated from your body, and you become like him, without any personality. You draw on the blackboard zero, plus zero, minus zero, multiplied by zero, divided by zero, and its equals zero. It is just that and nothing more.
“And what has that philosophy done for the people of India? A tree is judged by its fruits. An apple tree cannot bring forth a pear, but it will bring forth its own kind. The grandeur and beauty of that philosophy must be judged by its fruit. You are a people of some feeling. Everything is real. You feel that when other people are starving, you ought to give them something to eat, but out in India they do not feel that. Men do not feel any sympathy for others. They do no feel for people who are starving or being killed in war. In our late famine our philosophers felt no compassion for sufferers and did not help the needy. For why should they help when they claimed the suffering was not real, neither were the dying children real. The first result then of the philosophy is the basest cruelty and selfishness; no compassion for sufferers, and supreme egoism.
“To study Hindu philosophy it is best to visit India  and experience it. Plenty of opportunities are afforded even if you go only to Bombay. That city is very large and it is very hot there; but that will make no difference to philosophers who never experience heat at all. The people of India and the philosophers who have studied with the learned men ought to feel alike toward all people and all beings; but they never show a particle of kindness to the women, and their lives are made so unbearable that they want to kill themselves. These philosophers have shown mercy toward all lower animals. They have established hospitals for animals, but they have never established hospitals for women. The preachers who have come over here to preach Buddhism to the American people have established a hospital for animals in Bombay. In that hospital there is a ward devoted to bugs, and a man is hired to feed those bugs on his blood every night. They never take any thought of the women who are dying under the weight of this philosophy, but they just show their charity toward the bugs. I recommend that hospital for the edification of American students of Buddhism. Let them stay one night in that bug ward. That will pay them for all their labors in studying that philosophy.”