Müller is mainly interested in the historical importance of the ancient Sanskrit text, the Veda, and the lessons it can teach Europeans and Hindus about their own past. For Müller, the Veda is significant not so much for its own worth as for the light it is seen to shed on a supposed common ancestry, that is, the Aryan race to which he sees Indians and Europeans as belonging. He draws attention to this new discovery in his address to the young British civil servants. The Veda, he states,
can teach us lessons which nothing else can teach, as to the origin of our own language, the first formations of our own concept, and the true natural germs of all that is comprehended under the name of civilization, at least the civilization of the Aryan race, that race to which we and all the greatest nations of the world, – the Hindus, the Persians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Slaves, the Celts, and last, not least, the Teutons, belong.