I am not sure if this claim is true. I often read in some online forums that our scriptures were tampered by the British when they invaded us.

One of the speculated reasoning while doing so was to Divide and Conquer a secular country.

Some links are:

So, my question is: Were the Hindu scriptures really tampered with by the British?
And were the original scriptures exported from India in some form? If so, is it possible to compare the two versions and see what the differences are?

  • There is a very good book that discusses this in detail - and how it is still going on. It is called "Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines" by Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan. He has several excellent books. Available at - rajivmalhotra.com/books His one book "Invading the Sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism Studies in America" is available for purchase on the webpage above. Oct 11, 2014 at 13:42
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    British have pushed the Indian historic dates to more modern times. For example, Indus Valley Civlization was pushed to 1200 BC.
    – Neel
    Jun 29, 2018 at 6:05

2 Answers 2


There is some evidence for British tampering with Hindu scriptures, though not direct evidence:

In 1784, the famous Indologist Sir William Jones wrote the following letter to Sir Warren Hastings, Governor General of India, confirming our suspicions that this was indeed part of their program:

“As to the general extension [spreading] of our pure faith [Christianity] in Hindoostan [India] there are at present many sad obstacles to it… We may assure ourselves, that Hindoos will never be converted by any mission from the church of Rome, or from any other church; and the only human mode, perhaps, of causing so great a revolution, will be to translate into Sanscrit… such chapters of the Prophets, particularly of ISAIAH, as are indisputably evangelical, together with one of the gospels, and a plain prefatory discourse, containing full evidence of the very distant ages, in which the predictions themselves, and the history of the Divine Person (Jesus) is predicted, were severally made public and then quietly to disperse the work among the well-educated natives.” (Asiatic Researches Vol. 1. Published 1979, pages 234-235. First published 1788)[1].

One such work suspected of British Tampering is Bhavishya Purana where Sanskrit verses about Jesus could have been inserted by the British.

More than tampering with scriptures they concocted false racial theories using deliberate misinterpretation of scriptures which is playing havoc even to this day. For example, "caste" was an invention of the European colonists. They corrupted Varna-Jati-Kula system into caste. Read more about it in this article. Also Aryan Invasion Theory was invented by misinterpretations of Rig Veda. The book "The Rigveda - A Historical Analysis" by Shrikant G Talageri points out some of these misinterpretations such as racially classifying Indian Jatis based on nasal index using a single word in Rig Veda, etc.

  • Certain thinkers, like Paramhansa Yogananda and Chinmayananda and other members of the Hindu Modernist movement, may reject the notion that Varna corresponds to caste by birth, but this is a controversial issue. Oct 11, 2014 at 5:29
  • I will like you to add 'Manusmriti', to it, these two books have only 200yr old existence currently, and are said were destoryed by the Britishers in their original form.
    – Mr. K
    Oct 11, 2014 at 12:35
  • @KeshavSrinivasan, I don't say Varna was not birth based. It was but it was different from the "rigid caste system" which is advertised today as a representation of Hinduism. That article in my link explains how Varna-jati-kula system is different from "caste" though similar.
    – Bharat
    Oct 11, 2014 at 15:07
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    hahaa, thats clear evidence of the intent to tamper! May 18, 2016 at 8:31
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    The rigid caste system as we knw it today is not more than 1500 years. The Varna-Jati-Kula system of Vedic Ages was strictly enforced by the Later Guptas from mid 6th Century CE. This is amply supported ny genetic studies on the various castes, and it was only from 6th Century CE, that intermingling of castes and inter-caste marriages were strictly segegated. Till then there was no restriction on marriage between different castes. Nov 3, 2017 at 8:20

Were the Hindu scriptures really tampered with by the British?

Yes. During colonial rule britishers tried to destroy the culture and religion of India. They appointed many peoples for this work in which the most famous was Friedrich Max Müller. I will provide proofs from his letters.

Max Müller was a British agent, especially employed (in 1847) to write the translations of the Vedas in such a demeaning way so that the Hindus should lose faith in them. His personal letter to his wife dated December 9, 1867 reveals this fact.1. TO HIS WIFE, OXFORD, December 9, 1867.

“…I feel convinced, though I shall not live to see it, that this edition of mine and the translation of the Veda will hereafter tell to a great extent on the fate of India, and on the growth of millions of souls in that country. It is the root of their religion, and to show them what that root is, I feel sure, the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3,000 years.”

Max Müller’s letters dated August 25, 1856 and December 16, 1868 reveal the fact that he was desperate to bring Christianity into India so that the religion of the Hindus should be doomed. TO CHEVALIER BUNSEN. 55 ST. JOHN STREET, OXFORD, August 25, 1856.

“India is much riper for Christianity than Rome or Greece were at the time of St. Paul. The rotten tree has for some time had artificial supports… For the good of this struggle I should like to lay down my life, or at least to lend my hand to bring about this struggle. Dhulip Singh is much at Court, and is evidently destined to play a political part in India.”

  • This was the example that came to my mind as well. Sanskrit translations have been a source of consternation for me as I dig deeper into the upanishads. While I enjoyed Easwaran's Gita, when I read his upanishads I found it rather bogged down with confirmation bias. You can interpret things from your own point of view, an objective viewpoint, or the view of the author. Which do you think is the most accurate? What if accuracy isn't your only goal??
    – Kauvasara
    Nov 1, 2019 at 18:26

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