You must yourself knock at the door of the inexhaustible store of truth from which the former ages drew their wealth. Go, go up to the Fountain-head of truth where no pilgrim meets with disappointment of any kind. Vyasa did it and obtained what he wanted. We have been advised to do so. Liberty then is the principle, which we must consider as the most valuable gift of God. We must not allow ourselves to be led by those who lived and thought before us. We must think for ourselves and try to get further truths which are still undiscovered. In the Bhagavat we have been advised to take the spirit of the shastras and not the words. The Bhagavat is, therefore, a religion of liberty, unmixed truth and absolute love.
These words found at the beginning of “The Bhagavat, Its philosophy, Ethics and Theology” were originally spoken by Bhaktivinode before an audience of Bengali intellectuals at Dinajpur in 1869.
– The start of the first chapter of the book “Hindu Encounter With Modernity” –