Friedrich Max Muller

Year of birth : 1823
Parents : Wilhelm Muller, Adelheid Muller
Education : University of Leipzig


“ While the river of life glides along smoothly,

it remains the same river;

only the landscape on either bank seems to change. ”

“ Soon the child learns that there are strangers,

and ceases to be a child.” 

“ A flower cannot blossom without sunshine

and man cannot live without love. ” 

Books by the Master

" The science of language " ... " A Sanskrit Grammar for Beginners " ... " Râmakrishna : his life and sayings " ... " Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by the Religions of India: Delivered in the Chapter House, Westminster Abbey, in April, May, and June, 1878 " ... " Theosophy, Or, Psychological Religion: The Gifford Lectures Delivered Before the University of Glasgow in 1892 " ... " My Autobiography: A Fragment " ..." Physical Religion " ..." Chips from a German Workshop " ... " The Sacred Books of the East: The Bhagavadgîtâ with the Sanatsugâtîya and the Anugîtâ " ... " Lectures on the Science of Language, Delivered at the Royal Institution of Great Britain in 1861 [and 1863] " ... " Memories: A Story of German Love " ... " The Saddharma-Pundaraka Or the Lotus of the True Law " ... " A Sanskrit Grammar for Beginners, in Devanâgarî and Roman Letters Throughout " ... " The Sacred Books of the East Translated by Various Oriental Scholars (50 volumes)" ... " The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy " ... " Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas " ... " Introduction to the Science of Religion: Four Lectures Delivered at the Royal Institution in February and May, 1870 " ... A history of ancient Sanskrit literature so far as it illustrates the primitive religion of the Brahmans ... " My Indian Friends " ... Dhammapada, a collection of verses; being one of the canonical books of the Buddhists " ..." The six systems of Indian philosophy " ... " India: What can it teach us? A Course of Lectures Delivered before the University Of Cambridge " ... " Chips From A German Workshop - Volume I Essays on the Science of Religion " ... The Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana Doctrine " ... " Last essays by the Right Hon. Professor F. Max Müller " ... " Early German Classics from the Fourth to the Fifteenth Century " ... " WISDOM OF THE BUDDHA: The Unabridged Dhammapada " 


Friedrich Max Müller Sanskrit scholar and philologist, was a pioneer in the fields of Vedic studies, comparative philosophy, comparative mythology and comparative religion. Müller inherited an intense love of music from his mother and his godfather, composer C. M. von Weber. 

In 1841, Müller entered the University of Leipzig, concentrating on the study of Latin and Greek and reading Philosophy – in particular the thought of G. F. W. Hegel. He was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1843, at the age of 19, for his dissertation, ‘On the Third Book of Spinoza’s Ethics, De Affectibus.’ Müller travelled to Berlin in 1844 to study with Friedrich Schelling, whose lectures proved to be very influential to his intellectual development. Whilst in Berlin, he was also given access to the Chambers collection of Sanskrit manuscripts. At Schelling’s request, Müller translated some of the most important passages of the Upanishads, which he understood to be the greatest outcome of Vedic literature. Müller arrived in Paris in 1845 where he studied with the famous French Sanskrit scholar Eugene Burnouff, with whom he remained friends for many years. Burnouff encouraged Müller to undertake the preparation and publication of a full edition of the Rig Veda; this project proved to be his most significant and lasting contribution to scholarship.

He continued to work on his monumental Rig Veda, but most of his time was devoted to the preparation of books and lectures on comparative philosophy and mythology written with the public in mind. He delivered a series of very popular lectures at the Royal Institution, London, on the science of language in 1861 and 1863, which were quickly published and reprinted fifteen times between 1861 and 1899. 

After twenty-five years of service at Oxford, he formed a small society of the best Oriental scholars from Europe and India, and they began to publish a series of translations of the Sacred Books of the East. Müller devoted the last thirty years of his life to writing and lecturing on comparative religion. In 1873 he published Introduction to the Science of Religion, and he delivered lectures on the subject at the Royal Institution (1870) and Westminster Abbey (1873). He began his first course of lectures on the subject of ‘natural religion’. An audience of 1,400 attended his first lecture, including a large number of Glasgow professors, representatives of Glasgow churches and other members of the public. Müller gave an unsurpassed four courses, totalling 62 lectures, between 1888-92.

Müller’s other important project during those years was founding and editing of a series of English translations of Indian, Arabic, Chinese and Iranian religious texts. Müller translated selections from the hymns of the Rig Veda, the Upanishads, and the Dhammapada, a Buddhist text and also contributed to The Sacred Books of the East published by Oxford University Press. By 1900, at the time of Müller’s death, forty-eight translated volumes had been published in the series, with only one volume remaining to be published.

Müller’s health began deteriorating in 1898, but he continued his writing, publishing The Six Systems of Hindu Philosophy in 1899, only a year before his death. During this period he also produced several essays and material for his autobiography.