First Words on Gramophone - interesting!
First Words on Gramophone.....
Did you know this?
HMV Company had once published a pamphlet giving the history of
gramophone record. Gramophone was invented by Thomas Alva Edison in the
19th century. Edison, who had invented many other gadgets like electric
light and the motion picture camera, had become a legend even in his
When He invented the gramophone record, which could record human voice
for posterity, he wanted to record the voice of an eminent scholar
on his first piece. For that he chose Prof. Max Muller of Germany,
another great personality of the 19th century. He wrote to Max Muller
saying, "I want to meet you and record your voice. When should I come?"
Max Muller who had great respect for Edison asked him to come on a
suitable time when most of the scholars of the Europe would be
gathering in England.
Accordingly, Edison took a ship and went to England. He was introduced
to the audience. All cheered Edison’s presence. Later at the request of
Edison, Max Muller came on the stage and spoke in front of the
instrument. Then Edison went back to his laboratory and by afternoon
came back with a disc. He played the gramophone disc from his
instrument. The audience was thrilled to hear the voice of Max Muller
from the instrument. They were glad that voices of great persons like
Max Muller could be stored for the benefit of posterity.
After several rounds of applause and congratulations to Thomas
Alva Edison, Max Muller came to the stage and addressed the scholars
and asked them, "You heard my original voice in the morning. Then
you heard the same voice coming out from this instrument in
the afternoon. Did you understand what I said in the morning or what
you heard this afternoon?"
The audience fell silent because they could not understand the language
in which Max Muller had spoken. It was `Greek and Latin' to them as
they say. But had it been Greek or Latin, they would have definitely
understood because they were from various parts of Europe. It was in a
language which the European scholars had never heard.
Max Muller then explained what he had spoken. He said that the language
he spoke was Sanskrit and it was the first sloka of Rig Veda, which
says "Agnim Eele Purohitam." This was the first recorded public version
on the gramophone plate.
Why did Max Muller choose this? Addressing the audience he said, "Vedas
are the oldest text of the human race. And Agnim Eele Purohitam is the
first verse of Rig Veda. In the most primordial time, when the people
did not know how even to cover their bodies and lived by hunting and
housed in caves, Indians had attained high civilization and they gave
the world universal philosophies in the form of the Vedas.”
Such is the illustrious legacy of our country!
When “Agnim Eele Purohitam” was replayed the entire audience stood up
in silence as a mark of respect for the ancient Hindu sages.
This verse means:
"Oh Agni, You who gleam in the darkness, To You we come day by day,
with devotion and bearing homage. So be of easy access to us, Agni, as
a father to his son, abide with us for our well being."