“Numerous are the volumes preserved in Hindu convents, in which are recorded the proofs of their learning. To attempt to say whether these Gymnosophists were the real founders of magic in India, or whether they only practiced what had passed to them as an inheritance from the earliest Rishis – the seven primeval sages – would be regarded as a mere speculation by exact scholars.
“The care which they took in educating youth, in familiarizing it with generous and virtuous sentiments, did them peculiar honor, and their maxims and discourses, as recorded by historians, prove that they were expert in matters of philosophy, metaphysics, astronomy, morality, and religion”, says a modern writer.
They preserved their dignity under the sway of the most powerful princes, whom they would not condescend to visit, or to trouble for the slightest favor. If the latter desired the advice or the prayers of the holy men, they were either obliged to go themselves, or to send messengers.
To these men no secret power of either plant or mineral was unknown. They had fathomed nature to its depths, while psychology and physiology were to them open books, and the result was that science or machagiotia that is now termed, so superciliously, magic.”
H. P. Blavatsky