The search for truth could not be served by superficially becoming a neo-Hindu just because there is great knowledge in the Vedas. Modern India is far from being a role model for the living truth of the Vedas, but there in simple lifestyles of it’s residents we nonetheless find the living remnant of a once great civilization that gave rise to much of world culture. And even more importantly, India is still repository of crucial knowledge that has not yet been totally revealed to the rest of the world.
Initially European interest in India centered exclusively upon trade. Marco Polo the thirteenth-century explorer gave Europeans their first authoritative information on East Asia and specifically described India as one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Later Christopher Columbus would examine the “ Travels of Marco Polo”, but his inspiration was somewhat different. Being a devotee of the Second Book of Esdras, a popular text in the early Christian Church, he believed that a future age would succeed the world order existing at the time the Romans conquered Jerusalem. He also learned a system of Earth from that scripture that would see the Earth round and set out in search of Far East.
In 1498 Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gama reached Southwest India, reestablishing direct economic link between Europe and Far East that ceased about one thousand years earlier. After the decline of the Roman Empire Arab rulers made the trade very dangerous and almost impossible. Upon their arrival the first European settlement in India began. They have encountered the Christians of St. Thomas and first professed friendship with them, but later forced them to accept the dominance of Rome, Latinized them and replaces native bishops with Portuguese.
Struggle for power in Europe would decide who would dominate the future of India: in 1580 Spain annexed Portugal, then 8 years later British defeated Spanish navy. Disappearance of Spanish fleet would let Dutch ventured to India, British and French followed. The British established their first trading post in India in 1600, defeated French and Portuguese, then Dutch and finally Indian army in 1752. The British Crown granted the British East India Company an official monopoly on rule and trade in India. Then by 1818 after removing all the rivals out of India the British Empire of India was pronounced.