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  • 8/13/2019 Brahma Darshanam


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    Digitized by the Internet Archivein 2011 with funding fromThe Library of Congress

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    Set up and electrotyped. Published September, 19:7.


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    2>e&tcate&to my friends and pupils

    in norway.Ananda,

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    PREFACEThese lectures were delivered in Christianiaduring the early spring of 1915. My aim wasto present Hindu ways of looking at the eternalverities of life in simple language before themind of the Norwegian public, with whosepoints of view, however, I was as utterly un-familiar as they were with mine. In this ratherventuresome undertaking, I was encouraged topersevere through an inner conviction of theuniformity, amidst a diversity of forms, of thephilosophical experiences of humanity all theworld over. At the same time I am persuaded,through a constant watching of the growth ofthe deeper life of students of many nationalities,both in the East and in the West, that themost efficient way of helping the student ofsoul-philosophy is not to give him any so-calledacademic philosophy at all, but to confer uponhim the privilege of a free hand, and allow him,

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    viii BRAHMADARSANAMinterference or compulsion from without, butonly a favourable spiritual and ethical stimulus,in the shape of affinity or real friendship withthe impersonal individuality of a living, histori-cal, and rational culture.To require of the student that he shouldswallow the pills of metaphysical theory andtheological dogma, without protest, were nobetter than to pour concentrated carbolic orsulphuric acid on the skin and then to expectthe unfortunate victim to keep quietThese lectures were given under the inspira-

    tion of such beliefs, formed partly from personalexperience in teaching, and partly derived fromthe wisdom of our Hindu Rishis and Gurus.Intended especially for beginners, and deliveredex tempore, they do not claim to be a systematictreatise; they will serve their purpose if theysucceed in persuading the reader that he and Iare of one blood and one life.

    Let me add that my sincere thanks are dueto Miss Hermione Ramsden, without whosewhole-hearted assistance these lectures wouldnever have been written down. ANANDA.

    Norway, July 9, 1916.

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    PAGEGeneral View-Points of Ancient Indian Philosophers 1

    The meaning of the word Darsana The six systemsof Indian philosophy The Buddha's teaching re-garding Nirvana European chronology Contrastbetween Indian and European philosophers.

    SECOND LECTUREDualism: Matter and Spirit 21

    Kapila's early training His philosophy and ethicsThree sources of knowledge Evolution of theuniverse Nature of the soul : its bondage and sal-vation.

    third lectureTheism: God and Man 40

    Controversy between science and religion Truth is

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    PAGHMonism: Man as Aspect of the Divine ... 70

    Aspects of consciousness Religious systems withouta GodPhilosophy of relationRamanuja's qualifiedmonism.

    FIFTH LECTUREMonism: The Absolute and the Cosmos . . . 104

    Psychological foundation of Advaita philosophy ofSankara State of subconsciousness ProgressiveYoga life Turiya and Samvit Avidya, the doc-trine of error Discipleship.

    SIXTH LECTUREMonism : Realisation of the Absolute Truth of Life 135

    The constituents of the universe Composition ofthe spirit, the soul, and the body The six circlesThe meaning of Maya Man's freedom Samkhyaversus Vedanta Consciousness identical with reality.

    Appendix 173General Bibliography 193Index of Sanscrit Terms 197


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    3.The Unmanifested (A vyakta)

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    Subject series.Mind, brain, perceptive andactive functional centres.


    Object series.Atoms, electrons,


    iIndividual substances subject to the law of evolution.Inorganic and organic substancesVegetable and animal organisms.

    The Twenty-Five Principles of Samkhya.1. Purushas 2. Prakriti (the unmanifested)

    (souls). 3. Mahat (the great reason).4. Ahamkar (the ego).

    5-9. The Tanmatras (the subtile elements).10-14. The Buddhindriyas (the faculties of know-

    ledge).15-19. The Karmendriyas (the faculties of action),20. Mind.21-25. The Maha-Bhutas (the gross elements).

    Tanmatras. Buddhindriyas.1. Sound medium Hearing (in the ear)2. Touch3. Colour4. Savour5. Odour

    Touching (in the skin)Seeing (in the eye)Tasting (in tongue)Smelling (in the nose)


    Karmendriyas.Speaking (in the

    tongue).Grasping (in hands).Moving (in feet).Secretion.Generation.

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    GENERAL VIEW-POINTS OF ANCIENTINDIAN PHILOSOPHERSThe meaning of the word Darsana The six systems of Indian

    philosophy The Buddha's teaching regarding NirvanaEuropean chronology Contrast between Indian andEuropean philosophers.

    India has been justly regarded as the homeof philosophy and religion. From the earliesttimes Indian thinkers have felt the necessityof basing religion upon philosophy, and ofbuilding society upon religion. In order toillustrate the fact that philosophy has been thedominant factor in the history of India, I willbegin by telling you a little fairy tale.There was once an Indian prince who was

    wandering among the mountains when he meta great sage, who told him that he would haveto pass through many misfortunes and wouldsuffer much trouble in the future. The prince

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    2 BRAHMADARSANAM iof golden hue, and told him that as long as hekept these three together in a safe place, hewould be preserved from all danger. The princetook the three gifts to his mother and explainedto her their magic properties, whereupon shecaused a room to be built of stone under a lake,and there in a steel box she placed the threetreasures.

    In the course of time the sage's words werefulfilled, and although the prince passed throughmany dangers, his life was preserved.It is in the same way that the life of the

    Hindus is preserved through the possession ofthree things : philosophy, morality, and religion.The milk-white leaf represents morality, thesilver-white bee stands for religion, and thebee of golden hue symbolises philosophy. Allthrough the history of India we find that thesethree have been regarded as sacred and treas-ured as the precious talisman that was to pre-serve the nation through all the vicissitudes ofits history.As you all know, India has passed throughmany changes during the last few centuries,

    but there are probably no people in the worldwho had been subjected to so much pressurefrom outside, and have yet managed to escape

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 3national government to safeguard the essentialsof Hindu life and religion.Far away from the sun-baked plains, the

    busy towns, and quiet villages, there lived abrotherhood of teachers who matured theirphilosophy in the solitude of the mountains andin the depths of the forests for the purpose ofguiding humanity. These teachers, who wereknown by the name of Sannyasins, were, andstill are, the real legislators, governors, andguides of the Indian people. These Sannyasins,trained in the science of self-knowledge and self-control, and renouncing the ordinary pursuitsof life, wander all over the country, live amongthe people, and teach them to live the life ofrighteousness.

    It would take too long to give an exhaustiveaccount of the influence exerted by Indianphilosophy on Indian life ; I will only touch ona few points. To begin with, it is extremelyimportant that I should explain the meaningof some technical terms of philosophy for whichthere are no English words which exactly corre-spond.The word Darsana is generally used assynonymous with philosophy, and is derived

    from the Sanscrit root dris which means tosee. If we trace the origin of the word, we

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 5as the father of Indian philosophy because,although philosophy in the sense of Darsanawas known to the Rishis even before his time,he was the first to place it on a rational basis.Now let us turn to the meaning of the wordSamkhya. Samkhya means that which can benumbered, classified, grouped. Kapila calledhis system the numbering system, but of courseit had nothing to do with arithmetic. It wasso called because he classified material phenom-ena under twenty-four heads, or principles.The other meaning of the word Samkhya isAtmanatmaviveka, which means the discrimina-tion of soul from nature, spirit from matter.The reason for separating or differentiating thesoul from matter is that we are conscious withinourselves of a principle, i.e. self-consciousness,which is quite different from the rest of theuniverse. You are aware within yourself ofyour own existence; I am conscious withinmyself of my own existence, and, going deeperstill, I find that I am conscious of my own exist-ence as the witness or seer of the thoughts andfeelings that pass within the mind and body,within which the soul appears to dwell. As thethoughts and feelings of each one of us differfrom the thoughts and feelings of others, Kapilaassumed the existence of a plurality of inde-

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    6 BRAHMADARSANAM iThe object of the Samkhya is to realise the

    distinction between matter and spirit, so thatthe latter can emancipate itself from the bond-age of the former; thus Samkhya teaches ushow to see the spirit which lies encased inmatter, therefore it is called a Darsana becauseit invites us to see the glory of the spirit as it isin itself.The second system of Indian philosophy was

    founded by Patanjali and is called the Yoga.The Yoga Darsana is not an independentDarsana, but has arisen out of the Samkhyaand may be said to supplement it. The wordYoga means self-concentration with a viewto see the soul as it looks when it is abstractedfrom mind and matter.

    Patanjali says in his Yoga Sastra that whenthe soul is freed from distraction, ignorance, anddoubt, it stands face to face with God and isblessed with the vision of the All-holy. Thusit is quite clear that the object of the YogaDarsana is to teach us how the eye of the soulmay be opened so that we can see our God,through whose grace we are able to escape themiseries that are due to ignorance. The fruitof God-vision is perfection. Man can only besaved by Yoga, that is by the conscious unionof finite souls with the Infinite through the clearrecognition part the former of the

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 7called the Karma Yoga or by the absolutesurrender of all our hopes and aspirations, andour self also, to God, in the belief that His graceis our highest good. This is called Bhakti Yoga,or the realisation of God through love anddevotion. The highest form of Yoga is calledJnana Yoga, in which the finite soul does notsee itself except as infilled by, and identicalwith, the Absolute God.The third system of Indian philosophy is

    called the Nyaya which was delivered byGotama. He taught that the highest aim ofhuman life was to attain to a right understand-ing of God, soul, and nature. The word Nyayameans standard, or universal principle. ThisGotama lived long before Gautama the Buddhaand was the inventor of Hindu logic, physics,and metaphysics.The fourth system is called the Vaishesika

    and is also based upon Gotama's Nyaya ; it is,in fact, one of the great divisions of the latter.It teaches that Liberation is the reward ofDivine knowledge.The last two, the fifth and sixth systems ofIndian philosophy, are called the Mimamsaand the Vedanta, taught respectively by Jai-mini and Vyasa. Mimamsa means profoundthought, reflection, and is concerned chiefly

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    8 BRAHMADARSANAM ihighest truth that is revealed in the conscious-ness of humanity, and thereby to attain theHighest Goal of existence.Now I will briefly refer to some of the subjectstreated of in the different Darsanas, and thiswill enable you to form an idea of the scopeand object of Hindu philosophy. They are asfollowsThe origin and constitution of the universe.The nature of knowledge and its instruments(such as mind, etc.).The discrimination of the soul and its im-

    mortality.Thefuture state of the soul and its wanderings.The cause of our embodied existence.The cause of pleasure and pain.Moral law (Karma).Bondage and Liberation.Personal God and the Absolute, or the Im-

    personal God.One aim inspires the whole body of HinduDarsanas, and that is Liberation Mukti.As the waters of the ocean have only one

    taste, which is salt, so the Darsanas have onlyone aim, which is Liberation.Man wants to be liberated, to be free freefrom the imperfections of his own nature

    physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual. Thisaspiration is seated deep down in the very

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 9To attain to freedom means to be holy and wiseand perfect, as God is perfect, wise, and holy.Different philosophers have interpreted freedomin different ways ; for instance, Kapila says thatfreedom means the realisation of the indepen-dence of the spirit from the material principlein which it finds itself entangled. This stateof perfection means complete freedom from thevicissitudes of terrestrial existence, but thismay be taken in two ways : first, that the soulmay be completely extinguished, just as theflame of a candle is extinguished; or that thesoul may return to God from Whom it arose.The former teaching has been attributed tothe Buddha, while the latter emanates from theVedanta. I cannot enter into a discussion asto whether the Buddha meant by Nirvana thecomplete extinction of the soul, for the Buddhapreferred to be silent on questions relating tothe finality of things, and, as often happens, hisfollowers interpreted the sayings of the masteraccording to their own favourite views. 1 I canonly say that my personal opinion on the subjectof the Buddhist doctrine of Nirvana is that theBuddha meant, not the extinction of the im-mortal spirit, but of the lower ego which is theseat of all selfishness and imperfection. Thatthis is so seems probable from what he said

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    10 BRAHMADARSANAM iany other leaves besides these, to which AnandarepliedThe leaves of autumn are falling on allsides, and there are more of them than can benumbered.Then the Buddha said: In like manner Ihave given you a handful of truths, but besidesthese there are many thousands of other truths,more than can be numbered.The Buddha was of opinion that man mustbe taught to be moral first, then he will see the

    greater truths for himself.1The Vedantic conception of the soul is basedupon the essential unity of the soul and Brah-man. The Vedantin holds that the idea of anindividual soul existing apart from the Absoluteis mistaken logic. Man thinks that he is cutoff from the Infinite because of his ignorance.Liberation means the passing away for ever ofthis illusory sense of finiteness, and realising theeternal nature of the Soul.

    All philosophical speculation can be tracedin the Rig Veda, which is the oldest of all theVedas; there we find such passages as thefollowingThe poets and prophets discover God in

    their hearts. Beyond light and darkness, thereHe shines in His wonderful Majesty.The entire Vedic literature is filled fwith

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 11which at the present time there are only 108in number, are full of the loftiest poetry withregard to the immortality of the soul, theCreator of this universe, and the final liberationof man through the knowledge of the Godwho dwells in the cavity of the heart. Allthe philosophical speculations of the world canbe traced to the Upanishads, which are an in-exhaustible storehouse of scientific and philo-sophic ideas.The next body of literature are the Sutras,or aphorisms : all the Darsanas are written inthis form, and it is quite impossible to under-stand them without commentaries. These werewritten much later. The interpretation is inthe hands of Brahmanas and Sannyasins; theBrahmanas teach the lay pupils, and theSannyasins teach those who renounce thepursuits of mundane life and devote them-selves exclusively to the realisation of theAbsolute Brahman.

    It is exceedingly difficult, if not impossible,to settle the chronological order in which thesedifferent systems were given to the world.European scholars have a tendency to fix theage of Sanscrit literature at a much later datethan we do in India, basing their conclusions onvery superficial evidence. For instance, Wilson

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    12 BRAHMADARSANAM icomposed between the eleventh and twelfthcenturies a.d., for no other reason than thatIndia was invaded by the Mahomedans at thattime ; but the word Mlechchha refers to all non-Indians, and we know that Alexander the Greatinvaded India in the fourth century B.C., andthat after Alexander's time India was repeatedlyinvaded by Bactrian Greeks and Scythians.ButWilson gives no reason why Mudra-Rakhasashould not belong to the Alexandrian period.Again, Max Miiller thinks that the Vedas werecomposed between 1500 and 1000 B.C., and herefers the Sutra literature to a period extendingfrom 600 to 200 B.C., although there is hardlya single scrap of evidence to substantiate thisview.1We shall therefore leave the question of datesalone. It is certain that in very ancient timesthe real authors of the Vedas taught them totheir pupils, by whom they were afterwardshanded down to successive generations, whenthe teachings contained in them came to bewidely diffused. In later ages, these werereduced to writing and divided into differentsystems according to the subject matter, eachbeing ascribed to the celebrated Rishi throughwhom it was believed to have been revealed.With regard to Indian philosophy, it is im-

    possible to apply what is known as the ideal

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 13ment of the Darsanas. It is tolerably certainthat none of the six teachers whom I mentionedactually wrote the Sutras which pass undertheir name. Kapila, Kanada, Gotama, Jaimini,Patanjali, and Vyasa taught these Darsanas totheir pupils in systematic form, and manycenturies after their death the Sutras werewritten; but these great Rishis were not theoriginators, they were the conveyers of theDarsanas. It will be seen, therefore, that theseDarsanas passed through two stages in thecourse of their development, viz. the oral andthe written stage, the former being of coursethe more ancient.European historians and antiquarians firmlybelieve that their ancestors were savages and

    that they are far more enlightened than theirforefathers, but we in India believe exactly theopposite. We think that our ancestors weregods and Rishis, endowed with superhumanwisdom and holiness, and that we Indians ofthe present day are their unworthy descendants.The illusion of European historians consists injudging our history from a knowledge of theirown past. I should like to remind them thatthe law which they deduce from a study ofthe history of Europe after the fall of theRoman Empire cannot be held to account for the

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    14 BRAHMADARSANAM ivery unpromising beginnings, India looksback, while Europe looks forward to the GoldenAge.

    ^It is not every one who is called to the studyof the Darsanas; there are certain mental,moral, and spiritual qualifications that arenecessary, the first and most important beingthat the student should have fulfilled all hisduties towards the worlds among which areincluded, not only civic and household duties,but all the observances required of him towardsthe manes of his forefathers, as well as theoffering of sacrifices to the deities who presideover nature. Next, he must be able to controlhis senses, his mind and intellect. He mustcultivate what is called one-pointedness, notallowing his mind to wander ; he must be readyto forgive every injury that may be inflicted onhim; and he must be able to see God in all.When a man possesses all these qualifications,then he is allowed to study philosophy. Yetit must not be supposed that the mass of thepeople are kept in ignorance, for as in Europethere are only a few experts who devote them-selves to the higher branches of science, suchas mechanics, chemistry, medicine, etc., so inIndia it is only the few who may devote them-selves to the study of the Darsanas, while tothe populace philosophy is taught through the

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 15The circle of students who are privileged to

    study the Darsanas under qualified teachers isvery wide in one direction, and very narrow inthe other; for instance, it is wide because itincludes all the Devas x and the Pitris, 1 and thethree twice-born castes. It is narrow becauseit excludes the Sudras, or fourth caste, andwomen, unless they give up their worldly attach-ments and devote themselves completely to theunfoldment of the spiritual side of their nature.The sine qua non of the privilege of study in allcases is a real thirst for truth. 2

    In India the ideal of education is very high,and consequently its realisation implies a processcoeval with the progress of the soul throughinfinite time. As the summit of human per-fection cannot be attained within the brief spanof a single life, and as society is composed ofindividuals, each differing from the other intaste, inclination, capacity, and attainment,education was arranged in such a way thatall classes of men and women, from the bestand brightest minds to the most commonplace,should be afforded opportunities for receivinginstruction.The Rishis recognised that a fundamental

    contradiction exists between the requirementsof our spiritual and our earthly life, and that

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    16 BRAHMADARSANAM ithis can only be overcome by making the lattersubservient to the former. From this originatedthe institution of Asrams and castes. TheAsrams are the stages of life for receiving theeducation suited to each ; for instance, the firstperiod of a man's life ought to be devoted tothe acquirement of knowledge ; the next shouldbe devoted to the performance of the dutiesincidental to social life ; the third period shouldbe devoted to the acquisition of truths whichlie at the root of all things, such as the natureof God, the state of the soul after death, etc.,and the fourth period should be devoted to therealisation of the Highest ; but during this lastperiod of life men who have passed through thistraining are expected to give the fruits of theirexperience to the rising generation.So also with the caste system. It is based

    upon the fact that our capacities are to a greatextent inborn, and that the ends of a complexsociety can be best served by utilising theprinciples of heredity. Each caste has a particu-lar profession as well as duties and obligationsof its own. For this reason the education ofone caste differed from the education of theothers, and this difference is explained by thedesire of social legislators to produce the mostefficient citizen. But while paying attention tothe development of the practical faculties of

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 17one is to be taken by the hand and led step bystep to the Highest Goal.

    In Europe, philosophy is the favourite studyof those who are of a contemplative turn ofmind, it has never been the common propertyof the public; whereas in India, philosophy isas vital a need to all as the air we breathe orthe food we eat, it is not in the hands of ama-teurs or academical professors.European philosophy does not concern itself

    either with the foundation of religion or that ofmorality. The people, no less than the Church,never expected guidance from the philosopherin matters relating to the supersensuous. Butin India the teachers of the six systems ofphilosophy are also the teachers of religionand morality. Religious life was never divorcedfrom philosophical contemplation, nor was theculture of the Darsanas viewed with suspicionby religious people. The secret of the harmonybetween Darsanikas and Dharmikas (philoso-phers and religious men) is that the formerstarted with the assumption that the Vedaswere revealed to man by God. No Darsanikaevery questioned this supreme fact, hence thehappy blending of faith with reason, which isconspicuously absent in the history of thedevelopment of European philosophy.

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    18 BRAHMADARSANAM ihappy to a certain degree, he is not supremelyso, that his lot is a mixed one, while he continuallylongs for an unmixed state of blessedness. Theinvestigation into the cause of suffering leadsthe Indian philosopher to the conclusion thatall pain is due to our confusion of the immaterialspirit with the material body, and his finalteaching is that man can by means of know-ledge, and knowledge alone (Jnana) become,not only the master of his fate, but that he canisolate himself completely from the onslaughtof all evils, including death, even in this life.Hindu philosophers teach that the soul is

    a spiritual, conscious substance, perfect anduniversal, neither liable to birth, death, or pain,but that, owing to the power of a mysteriousagency, sometimes called Avidya, ignorance,and sometimes Aviveka, non-discrimination, orMithya Jnana, false knowledge, souls are tiedto subtile bodies and are made to pass throughpain and pleasure, birth and death. Souls sufferSamsara, or repeated births, owing to non-discrimination of the real from the unreal, i.e.the confusion of the Immortal Soul with theperishable aspects of personality. All worksborn out of this primitive non-discrimination,whether mental or physical, moral or immoral,are reproductive, i.e. they go on multiplyinguntil they are counteracted and destroyed by

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    i VIEWS OF INDIAN PHILOSOPHERS 19Karma can only be destroyed by the completeannihilation of ignorance, non-discrimination,and false knowledge.

    It is extremely difficult to picture in themind's eye the state of freedom which theIndian philosopher has in view. It must beremembered that he believes that all that wecall suffering, disease, and death, is, in thelast analysis, a state of feeling which does notcorrespond with reality. When Jnana * arises,all the apparitions which are called up by ourimagination and feeling will vanish away andnothing will remain except the Absolute I AM.This is called the highest stage, from the summitof which body, mind, and the whole universewill appear as mere shadows.Although this idea of Mukti, or liberation of

    the finite spirit through the knowledge of itsinfinite nature, is foreign to European philoso-phers, it must be said that, both in the Bibleand in the writings of early Christian mystics,the belief in the attainment of one-ness withGod through love is frequently to be met with.Again, although the idea of the infinite move-ment of the finite spirit in accordance with thelaw of moral retribution has not found any placein the discussions of European philosophers, itdoes not seem to have been unfamiliar to the

    / (

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    Sarvadarsana Samgraha, p. 85.Buddha, by H. Oldenberg, pp. 263-285.Dhammapada, pp. 427-445.Samyuttaka Nikaya.Malinda Panha.Rig Veda.Mr. Dhruva's paper, On the Age of the Veda.Mr. Tilak's Arctic Home of the Aryas and The


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    22 BRAHMADARSANAM nphilosophy was first taught in a systematic formby Kapila, and for this reason he is regardedas its founder. It was Kapila who systematisedit and placed it upon a rational basis ; he wasthe first to collect the different ideas that weretaught under the Samkhya system, and it washe who delivered it to the world. 1Very little is known regarding the facts of

    the founder's life. His father was a Rishi calledKardama, and his mother's name was Devahuti.It was from her that he learnt the rudiments ofphilosophy and all the varied teachings aboutthe soul, the life hereafter, and the Eternal God.

    Gradually the teachings of the mother pro-duced their results in him and he took to a lifeof contemplation; tradition says that in laterlife he destroyed the wicked sons of Sagara, thethen-reigning king, by means of his occult power.A likeness of Kapila has recently been found,sculptured in the rock, in a cave temple whichstill exists in the district of Anuradhapura inCeylon. It shows him sitting in his cave in anattitude of contemplation. He is said to havepassed the remainder of his days on an islandcalled Sagara which is situated at the mouthof the river Ganges, about ninety miles fromCalcutta, and every year, on the last day of theSanscrit month Magha, at the time when thesun begins its northerly course and passes from

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    ii DUALISM: MATTER AND SPIRIT 23and gave the fruits of his meditation to Asuri,his disciple. Thus the tradition of his life isstill kept up at the present day, and all Indians,especially the Hindus, worship his memory asa great saint and philosopher. 1As regards the date when he lived, accordingto Hindu tradition he flourished about fivethousand years from now, that is more thantwo thousand years before the birth of Buddha.2Mention of him has been found in manySanscrit books, and even those writers who areopposed to his doctrines allude to him with thegreatest reverence, which proves how great hisinfluence must have been in ancient India.The method followed in the Samkhya Sutra

    is pre-eminently logical. Kapila recognises threemodes of gaining knowledge : perception, in-ference, and revelation (Sabda) . The existenceof the world is proved by the testimony of thesenses, and the existence of the cause of the worldcan be proved by inference. The existence of thesoul is also proved by inference. Kapila regardsthe Vedas as revealed, and cites Vedic texts asan infallible authority in support of all his theses which are proved by perception and inference.By perception is meant the knowledge pro-duced through the contact of the understandingand senses with objects. Our intellect assumes

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    24 BRAHMADARSANAM n(1) The ink-pot is within the range of my

    vision, and(2) My intellect spontaneously assumes theform of the ink-pot.The soul becomes aware of the existence of theink-pot owing to the contribution of the form

    of the ink-pot by the intellect and the contribu-tion of the matter (colour, etc.) of the ink-potby the organ of sight. This is Kapila's theoryof perception (see Sutra 89, ch. viii.). Inferenceis preceded by perception. The knowledge byinference is due to the unconditional anduniversal association between two observedfacts; for instance, when we see smoke at adistance we infer the existence of fire. Why?Because we know from experience that fire isalways present where there is smoke. Thuswhenever we see an effect, we infer a cause,because, as Kapila says, out of nothing some-thing cannot arise. All perceptions are notlogically valid. A perception can be vitiatedin many ways, and as no inference is of anyweight unless drawn from correct perceptions,it is useful to be acquainted with those condi-tions which tend to invalidate perceptions.For instance, the observer must not be veryfar away from the object to be observed, and his

    senses must be in the normal state. Neithercan he obtain a correct picture of an object if

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    ii DUALISM: MATTER AND SPIRIT 25balance of the mental faculties no observer candraw truly scientific conclusions. Then, again,we sometimes fail to see a thing even with themost powerful microscope when the size of theobject is too small. It is for this reason thatthe atom is impossible of being observed. Theinterval of time is one of the most importantfactors in observation, and if the interval betoo long it is most probable that we shall nothave any knowledge of the object. For thisreason people hesitate to accept the theory ofthe origin of the nebular system or that of theorigin of species. Lastly, a certain amount ofwhat may be called pre-scientific intuition isnecessary in order that facts may be collectedand arranged with a view to bring them undera general principle. All great discoveries inscience have been made by those who startedtheir scientific career with a kind of intuition.Intuition creates the truths which the mindunderstands. Newton had the intuition ofuniversal attraction, and his mind brought forththe mathematical laws of the falling bodies inorder to confirm his intuitive conviction.

    Kapila teaches that in its phenomenal aspectsa thing changes, but in its causal aspect it isindestructible and eternal. The cause of thephenomenal world is indestructible, but the

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    26 BRAHMADARSANAM nKapila's philosophy is characterised by a deep

    moral sentiment. Perfection is the aim of life,and perfection is to be obtained through theknowledge of the soul as distinct from matter.Virtue is the road to perfection ; happiness andpeace are the rewards of a virtuous life; dis-content and misery are the result of a viciouslife. No act is mortal, no thought perishes.The progress of the individual is determined byhis actions : man becomes angel by noble deeds,and beast by ignoble ones, for our deeds accom-pany us to the world beyond after physicaldeath. Forgiveness is Divine; there is nohappiness higher than that which arises fromforgiving others. Dispassion is worthy of thehighest praise, and passion is to be condemnedbecause the offspring of attachment to thethings of the not-self is evil, while great goodarises from the philosophic virtues of dispassion,serenity, and contemplation.The transcendental grounds of Kapila's ethics

    are : (1) eternity of the soul ; (2) imperishabil-ity of human feelings, thoughts, and actions;(3) rebirth according to the law of Karma ; and(4) Liberation as the ultimate goal of man. Inproportion as man shuns evil and chooses good,as he knows his true self and renounces his falseself, as he realises freedom and ignores theshadowy pleasures of the senses, he approaches

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    ii DUALISM: MATTER AND SPIRIT 27Sutra 46, ch. v., and 147, ch. i.), he stronglyprotested against the authority of the priests.His great humanity led him to raise his voiceagainst animal sacrifices, and he also taughtthat no sensible man should perform sacrificeswith a view to entering into heaven after death,because, by the law of rotation, those who goto heaven must return to earth (see Sutra 6,ch. i.). The state of perfection cannot beattained by sacrifices, by offspring, or by char-ity, but only by renouncing that which by itsnature is not eternal.

    I believe that Kapila also instituted theSannyas, or monastic system. Certainly thetrend of thought in the fourth chapter of theSutras inclines towards the renunciation of theworld with a view to discovering the truths ofspiritual life in the solitude of mountain anddesert. He says that the Yogi ought not toassociate with many people, as such associationmay prove an obstacle to concentration. Henext goes so far as to say that the Sannyasin(one who has renounced) ought to live absolutelyalone. Even living with one companion onlyis regarded as injurious to the interests of thesoul (ch. iv. 10). All knowledge and all poweris contained in the soul, and its glory is revealedin silence and solitude. You are your own

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    28 BRAHMADARSANAM nI will now try to explain Kapila's teaching

    aboutthe originand development of theUniverse.Nothing is more difficult than to present oldideas in modern language, for, as Max Miillersomewhere says, ancient words are square andmodern words areround. The subject will appearvery complicated to you because the philosophi-cal technicalities of the Sanscrit language arequite different from the philosophical terms ofEnglish, French, German, or Norwegian. Evensuch words as mind, perception, immortality,and salvation have quite a different meaningin Sanscrit ; yet in order that you should under-stand the spirit of the Sanscrit Darsanas, it isabsolutely necessary that you should under-stand what each term connotes. The worth ofa philosophy depends upon the meaning at-tached to the words used by the philosopher.

    Kapila's philosophy is called the Samkhyabecause it attempts to comprehend the Universeas a sum total of 25 Tattvas, principles, cate-gories, substances. If you refer to the chartyou will understand how the world of phenom-ena has evolved out of the primal undifferencedMatter (Prakriti) . Kapila starts with the exist-ence of free spirits (Purusha), and an original,unmanifested substance called Prakriti, orNature, which was anterior to creation. Priorto evolution, the three Gunas (forces, substances,

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    ii DUALISM: MATTER AND SPIRIT 29as spirits come in touch with Prakriti. Bothspirit and nature are inactive but omnipresent,ubiquitous, and eternal only the former isconscious, the latter unconscious. The creativeactivity of Prakriti is not its own, but is due tothe approach of the spirit; just as a piece ofwhite glass appears red if a rose is placed nearit, so the very presence of Purusha* is the sinequa non of creation by Prakriti. Hence thereis no active will on the part of Purusha, neitheris there any conscious desire on the part ofPrakriti, to create the world. Action follows asthe result of the meeting of two eternal entities.

    Prakriti in its transcendental aspect is calledAvyakta (the Unmanifested), in its empiricalaspect Mahat, or the first Great Mind. Mahatis the evolution of the determinate from the in-determinate, the coming forth of the Idea, thePsyche, from the womb of its eternal ground,the manifestation of the cosmic reason from adisturbance in the equilibrium of the everlastingGunas. At this distance of time it is difficultto understand what Kapila really meant byMahat, the first development of Prakriti.A doubt arises as to whether Mahat is to betaken in the sense of a phase in thecosmic growth

    containing within it the potentialities of life,will, body, as well as of the material world, or

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    ii DUALISM: MATTER AND SPIRIT 31These motor and sensitive centres are not

    to be confounded with the organs of sight, etc.,and the organs of action, such as the hands,legs, etc. They are functions of mind con-joined to the nervous system. They are psycho-nervous senses. Kapila says that these centresare invisible, they are situated inside the brain.Mind is regarded as the central power or faculty,for receiving messages from the senses and fordirecting them to their respective objects. Outof the Tanmatras arise the gross elementsether, gas, heat, liquid and solid. These grosselements (Mahabhutas) appear to us as sky,atmosphere, light and heat, water and air. TheTanmatras are the media between senses andobjects, and their function is to act as excitantsof nerve centres, hence each Tanmatra differsin quality from every other Tanmatra; forinstance, the Tanmatra which excites the eyeto see the colour of an object is quite differentfrom the Tanmatra which excites the auditorycentre to perceive the distinction between con-tralto and soprano. The Mahabhutas (elements)have an extra-mental and extra-organic exist-ence, but the Tanmatras are like nerve and ethervibrations, interpenetrating matter and mindalike. This is Kapila's theory of the evolutionof the world.

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    32 BRAHMADARSANAM nevolution of matter and energy out of the soul.His theory is not materialistic, because he doesnot evolve soul out of matter. His philosophyis not a compromise between idealism andmaterialism, because he does not teach thatsouls and nature have come out of a commonsubstance, call it God or universal Mind. Hedoes not consider that it is philosophically rightto assume the existence of a God to account forthe creation of the world. Just as milk flowsfrom the udder of a cow at the sight of her calf,and just as the spider weaves the cobweb outof its own body, so does Nature create. ThusKapila's philosophy is known to Indian scholarsas atheistic; but if you consider the matterwell, you will not be able to class Kapila withordinary atheists. Kapila recognises the possi-bility of a personal God, along with the im-possibility of proving His existence accordingto the canons of perceptive and inferential logic.If God were perfect, says Kapila, He would notfeel the need of creating a world ; if He wereimperfect an imperfect being cannot be calledGod, neither would He have the power or in-telligence to create a world. Hence it followsthat Kapila's philosophy cannot be calledtheistic. But Kapila believes in the eternityof the soul, in the supremacy of Jnana (Divine

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    ii DUALISM: MATTER AND SPIRIT 33the assumption of the dimness of our religiousvision, the narrowness of our sympathies, theweakness of our reasoning faculty, and, aboveall, of our liability to sickness, pain, and death,must be stigmatised as pessimistic.

    All philosophers, whether theistic or atheistic,are in search of a wisdom which, by its all-mightiness and by its saving quality, shallraise humanity from the depths of sin, folly,and ignorance, to a level that is equal withthe perfection and freedom of God Himself.It is a part of wisdom to recognise the imper-fection of our human state; it is also a partof wisdom to hope for final liberation from allour limitations. Man is in reality Divine,though apparently human.

    Kapila teaches that although our terrestriallife appears to be full of sorrow, yet it is notour true destiny to suffer. We are, in essence,eternally free, eternally wise, eternally living, andeternally holy. All this suffering, this sickness,old age and death have come upon us as the re-sult of our Aviveka, or unwisdom, our Avairagyaor habitual attachment to sensual pleasures.We are the unwilling slaves of our phantomselves the self of ignorance and the self ofpassion those selves which are associated witha wrong notion of personality. Are we not quite

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    34 BRAHMADARSANAM nwhich you call yourself is a ghost; your trueself is far more beautiful, far more Divine.Realise your power and holiness, your inborngrandeur and your perfect wisdom. Your bodyshould be your slave, not you the slave of yourbody ; your mind is an instrument of the soul,let it not get the better of the soul.Ry ignorance is meant the belief that thesoul shares the fate of the body and is incapableof being independent of Karma (deeds), Daiva(natural forces), and Adrista (mysterious power).This ignorance flows like a perpetual streamdown the ages, dragging the soul to an unknownocean of mixed experiences. It is this ignorancewhich is responsible for our birth, old age, death,and rebirth ; it existed primarily as a formlessidea in Prakriti,and secondarily as a force actingthrough the various manifestations of nature.The association of soul with matter is the oppor-tunity for the unloosing of this strange demon ofignorance by tying the soul to the body, therebycausing it to undergo the pangs of rebirth.The soul, according to Kapila, is the King of

    Nature. Your feelings, your surroundings, theworld, and all the powers of the universe mustoffer up their homage, their secrets, to yourhighest spiritual need. Your real self has notonly the knowledge but also the power to

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    ii DUALISM: MATTER AND SPIRIT 35Karma, by which every thought, word, anddeed, like a seed thrown on fertile soil, producesits fruit in life after life, determining the qualityof the brain, affections, and impulses, is not halfas potent as the potency of self-knowledge.Ignorance is the mother of all our sorrows. Sinis ignorance, cruelty is ignorance, selfishness isignorance. Be not selfish, but be a knower ofthe self. A selfish man is he who is ignorantof his true self, but he who knows the self hasrealised the difference between the Eternal andthe temporal self, the real Self and the unreal.Self-knowledge is the source of blessedness;self-government gives supremacy; self-controlconfers contentment, and the vision of the Selfreveals the absolute I am.

    After its evolution from Avyakta (the un-differenced primal matter), Prakriti becomesMahat (the greatmonad, or intelligence) . Mahatis a substance which has eight attributes(1) righteousness, and its opposite (2) unright-eousness; (3) knowledge, and its opposite(4) ignorance ; (5) dispassion, and its opposite(6) passion; (7) supernormal power, and itsopposite (8) powerlessness.Mahat may be taken to mean the transcen-dental ground, or impersonal source, the meta-physical hypothesis, or inconceivable substratum

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    36 BRAHMADARSANAM nAhamkara is the second determination of the

    Primal Indeterminate. The diffused rays of theuniversal mind become concentrated and arenarrowed down to the limits of self-conscious-ness. As the Hindus teach that God becomesman to save the world, so Kapila teachesthat Mahat becomes Ahamkara the universalbecomes individualised. Ahamkara is thebelief that I am the conscious subject who isexperiencing the sensations of sound, light,heat, smell, etc.In order to understand the nature of Aham-

    kara, we must first understand the psychologyof perception. The ego is the centre to whichall perception is referred. All feelings of happi-ness or unhappiness, success or failure, areclaimed by the ego. Not only the pleasuresand pains of my own body, but also those ofother bodies, are superimposed upon the ego.A man becomes unhappy when his wife orchildren are ill. The ego claims all experience,whether spiritual or social, whether physicalor mental, as its own. The distinction betweensubjective and objective experience is due toAhamkara. The ego is this which I feel withinmyself, the non-ego is that which is outsidemyself ; everything has an individuality of itsown in this world. Water has an individuality

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    ii DUALISM: MATTER AND SPIRIT 37good, bad, or indifferent deeds; but this egois phenomenal and unreal, it is not our true andabiding self.The five Tanmatras arise out of the Aham-

    kara. What are these Tanmatras ? They are theessences, radicles, atoms, and fine forces whichare the causes of the grosser elements as well asthe causes of our perception of the externalworld. Hence the Tanmatras are the psycho-physical or neuro-physical waves which carrymessages from the sense centres to the mind.They are the intermediate links which connectthe ego with the non-ego, the subject with thepresentation. They are five in number becausethere are five senses : sight, hearing, smell,taste, and touch. Each Tanmatra differs inquality from the other ; the Tanmatra of soundis different from that of light, and so on ; butone Tanmatra is enough to account for thediversity within it, e.g. one Tanmatra of soundcarries all varieties of sound, such as the differ-ent musical notes : do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, si ; sowith light, heat, smell, etc.The Tanmatras are followed by the sixteenMikaras, or modifications, consisting of the fiveorgans of perception : the ears, skin, eyes,tongue, and nose, and the five organs of actionthe voice, hands, feet, the organ of excretion,

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    38 BRAHMADARSANAM nand sends them, the mind ascertains facts, andthe mind doubts.The five Mahabhutas, or gross elements, aresolid, liquid, heat, gas, and ether. They are alsonamed : earth, water, light, air, and ether. Earthhas five qualities : sound, touch, colour, taste,and smell. Water has four : sound, touch,colour, and taste. Light has three : sound,touch, and colour. Air has two: sound andtouch. Ether has one : sound.These are the 24 Tattvas, or principles,

    enumerated by Kapila to explain the evolutionof the universe. Purusha, or soul, is the 25thprinciple, and possesses the following character-istics : the soul is eternal, without end orbeginning, subtile and indivisible, uncreated;the soul is a seer, because it sees the evolutionof nature; it is transcendental, because it isabove space, time, and causality ; it is unaffectedby goodness and evil; it is unproductive, be-cause immaterial, and many, because infinitein number.The highest aim of life is to isolate the soulfrom nature, to raise it above the perception oftime and space, and to liberate it from the falseself. This aim can be realised by training thesoul by means of the discipline of dispassion,righteousness, superhuman power, and know-ledge. Nature is not a hindrance but a help to


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    Tattva Samasa.'Samkhyatattvaloka.SamkhyakaumudiPravachana Sutra with Vedanti Madhab's, Aniruddha's,

    and Vijnana Bhikshu's Tikas.Vyasa Bhasya on Yoga Sutra.Vachaspati Misra's Tattva Kaumudi.Srimad Bhagavata.Svetasvetara Upanishad.The Samhita of Astavakra.

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    Controversy between science and religion Truth is oneArguments in favour of theism by Gotama, Patanjali,Narada and Sankara The trend of science towardsmonism Hymn from the Rig Veda Agreement betweenmodern science and the Vedas.

    There is a sadness in the air, a sadness born ofdoubt. The present age is one of scepticism*Two mighty currents of opinion are sweepingover the plain of human thought; the first isthe current of faith, of sacerdotal authority, ofthe claims of revealed religion and of experienceslabelled spiritual. This river of religious beliefis fed by many tributary streams and rivuletswhich are known to the public through themedium of the press, the pulpit, and the plat-form, known by such names as Theosophy, Oc-cultism, Higher Thought, New Thought, Chris-tian Science, Bahaism, Spiritism. The aim of allthese is to establish man's faith in the Invisible.

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 41mediumship, belief in astral planes, subtilebodies, Karmaloka, 1 reincarnation, magnetichealing, and many such facts supposed to exerta direct influence upon our faith in the existenceof another order of experience and of a lifebeyond death, and an indirect influence towardsthe development of our sense of the Infinite.These many forms of thought are leading someto the fold of the Mother Church of Europe,while enabling others to read a new meaning intothe words of the Scriptures, and thus, in a sense,to re-establish the traditions of the ChristianChurch on a new foundation. It would be pre-mature at present to pronounce an opinion onthe ultimate issue of this first-named currentof thought.The second current of opinion is that ofpositive thought of science, both theoreticaland applied. The light of science has dazzledthe eyes of her votaries to such an extent that,like persons blinded by the sun, they can seenothing but mist and gloom outside theirlaboratories and observatories. The scientistdeclares, and there is an undeniable ring oftruthfulness in his tone, that he had dissectedthe body of man, that he has examined everymuscle and bone, every nerve and sinew, buthas not found the soul, that he has swept the

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    42 BRAHMADARSANAM mdream, a fantasy arising from the fumes of anill-digested dinner. God is the hallucination ofdisorganized brains and insane minds ; nothingwhich is not visible is counted worthy of ourcredence.The confession of the scientist of a generation

    ago shook religion to its very foundation.Positive science was, and to a certain extentstill is, in a statejof declared warfare with religion.Martin Luther (1483-1546) made man's faithindependent of the authority of the CatholicChurch, and Galileo (1564-1642) made man'sreason independent of his faith. In cases wherefaith conflicts with reason, we are told by thescientist to give preference to the verdicts ofreason. To the scientist, the claims of thenatural sciences based upon inductive andmathematical reasoning are paramount.

    This controversy between religion and sciencebegan in Europe in the sixteenth century. InEngland, Francis Bacon (1561-1626) began thereformation of science and philosophy. Gior-dano Bruno (1548-1600) was tried and sentencedto be burnt alive by the Inquisition at Rome in1600 for believing in the Copernican theory ofthe heavens, and in 1633 Galileo was forcedby the Church to retract his doctrine about theearth's motion on its axis. Ever since that dayscience has established her sovereignty over

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 43has not succeeded in reducing the inner sanc-tuary of faith.

    This controversy between faith and reason isnot new in the history of philosophy; it wasstarted on the banks of the Ganges and theIndus many thousands of years before the birthof Christ. When the true history of the philo-sophies of India comes to be written by her ownsons it will open up a new horizon of thoughtbefore the wondering gaze of Western humanity,and in that fairyland of metaphysics the studentwill discover fresh landscapes whose existencewas hitherto unguessed. An immense amountof pioneering work has already been done by alittle band of Indian and European savants whohave cut a path through the jungle, bridged overcrevasses, and made the way smooth for yetunborn travellers.

    Still the road which leads through the forestof Sanscrit literature is overhung with a densegloom and requires to be illumined. This workof illumination has to be done by none otherthan the children of ancient Ind, in whose veinsflows the blood of the Rishis, and who havebeen nursed on the breast of the Mother of allreligions. None but the Yogis of India under-stand the Indian Darsanas, for they are theperpetual guardians of the Wisdom of the East.

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    44 BRAHMADARSANAM mempire, but of the universe. They stand out-side time and are the guides of humanity.Truth is one. We approach it through di-

    verse ways. Religion and science both acknow-ledge the unity of truth in the abstract; theirdifference consists, first in the enunciation ofit, and secondly in the recognition of the instru-ments of knowledge. The enunciation of truth,given by scientists, religious mystics, and philo-sophers, differs according as their attention isfixed on (1) the visible phenomena, (2) theinvisible cause of visible phenomena, or, again,(3) upon that which is unrelated either to thevisible effect or the invisible cause.In the first case, Haeckel (1), whom I take to

    be the representative of modern scientific mon-ism, assumes the existence of a soul-cell to ac-count for the complex phenomena of intelligenceand the physical organism. As an illustrationof (2) take Sir Oliver Lodge, who assumes theexistence of a Mind guiding the visible universewithout either expending energy or coming intocontact with the mechanical order of the uni-verse ; (3) Hegel, who conceived of a pure Beingtranscendently unrelated to Becoming.Thus the man of science is impressed with

    the perceptible order of phenomena, and to himtruth means the co-ordination of either one phe-nomenon with another, or of a group of them

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 45instrument of knowledge. Induction aims atperceiving similarity in the midst of the diversephenomena of nature, and this aim is realisedby a means of observation and experiment,guided by a kind of guessing at the conclusionwhich is called hypothesis. This method ofinvestigation has proved so successful in thephysical sciences that induction has come tobe regarded as the magic key to Nature's secrets.At the same time the scientists accept nothingas truth unless it is verified, therefore they drawa line between verified and unverified hypoth-eses. For instance, the proposition, oxygensupports animal life, is a verified hypothesis.In fact, all the minor truths of chemistry andphysics may be regarded as verified hypotheses,while all the grander conceptions of science maybe regarded as unverified hypotheses. For in-stance, the nature of atoms, the existence andconstitution of the ether, the nature of energyand the mystery of its transformation into heat,light, and motion, the origin of life and organism, these are but a few among many examples ofunverified hypotheses.The attitude of the scientific mind towardsthe foundations of scientific thought is one ofindifference. The scientist is concerned withthe relations of phenomena, not with the deter-

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    46 BRAHMADARSANAM inmatters not if ether, matter, force, life, and mindremain undefined ; for science will progress, hesays, as long as scientific propositions are actu-ally verified to our satisfaction. He clings toperception and mathematical reasoning, i.e. acoordination of these two, continually checkingthe one by the other, a method which formsthe essence of induction.Here we see the limitation of scientific reason-

    ing, which consists in giving preference to apart over the whole of human experience; whyone part of experience should be favoured atthe cost of all others is never explained. Thescientist only believes in perception ; his beliefin inference is only very partial. He hassupreme faith in facts which can be demon-strated on the lecture table, but he never waxesenthusiastic over subjects which are inferred.A strict scientist does not really believe in ether,in atoms, or mind, or life ; and why ? Becausehe is not able to produce them by artificial meansin his laboratory, and so he dismisses the etherwith the remark that it is a suitable idea towork with What is most annoying is that thescientist denotes as real the contents of per-ception, and as imaginary the contents ofother parts of experience. Viewed in this light,not only the fundamental conception of scienceitself, but also the root idea of religion and

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    48 BRAHMADARSANAM inassumption of a universal standard of truth inthe mind of the professor of science as well asin that of his pupils, all science will be a chaos,the fantasy of a dream. 1

    This then gives us a clue as to how we shouldstart in judging the contents of our experience.It shows that we have to accept the revelationsof human consciousness in their entirety, or notat all. This consciousness is comprehensiveenough to include our knowledge of the sensibleas well as of the supersensible ; it includes thescientific, religious, and philosophical experi-ences of man. All these varied experiences canbe fitted into each other and harmonized withthe universal in the human, for if that whichis be really one and indivisible, there cannot beany contradiction between one order of experi-ence and another ; all that happens must yieldto a rational interpretation this is the greatteaching of the Vedanta.To the conscious soul all is experience,whether sensuous or supersensuous, positive or

    mystic, philosophic or logic. It is from this highaltitude of the soul, as conscious and absolute,that we have to look upon the variety of experi-ences like different parts of a great palace inwhich each apartment bears some relation tothe whole, and the plan of the whole cannot beproperly understood without taking into con-

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 49towards monism. (1) It has been said thatether is the source of all power, that matter andenergy are only different vibrations of that im-ponderable and ubiquitous substance, and thatheat, light, and electricity are manifestations ofthe same. (2) It has also been said that lifeis the source of all the life that circulates inanimal and vegetable organisms, and which,although different in quality from other formsof motion such as heat and light, etc., alsopossesses magnetic and electrical properties.Life may therefore be regarded as primal sub-stance, and motion as a secondary transforma-tion of it. (3) Mind has also been looked uponas the original substance, life as secondary, andforce as a tertiary development of mind, forwithout mind it is not possible to conceive ofeither life or force. Will is prior to the muscularexpenditure of energy. Mind is superior to life,because mind controls life and, through life,energy. It is, in fact, impossible to conceiveof a primal, fundamental substance without theattributes of mind, life, and energy.

    This is what Kapila taught when he said thatMahat (Intelligence) is the first evolution of theUnmanifested, and that in Mahat, sattva pre-dominates over raja and raja over tama. Thisis scientific monism ; it is also the teaching of

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    50 BRAHMADARSANAM inbut the existence of this substance cannot beproved by perception, it can only be imagined.Without imagination, which in this sense isclosely allied to intuition, or reason, it would notbe possible to conjecture the existence of some-thing which is prior to all experience, and whichis the soul of experience. It is this imagination call it what you like which gives to thereligious man his God, to the philosopher hisAbsolute, and to the scientist his Substance,Energy, or Ether. In the Scriptures of allreligions, intuition (i.e. imagination, reason)goes by the name of revelation ; in philosophyit appears as the synthetic activity of the soul,while in science it is called generalisation ; butin each case it is a vision a faculty of the soul.When the soul moves on the plane of the In-driyas (senses), it sees the play of the cosmic law.As the soul rises higher, above the universe ofchange and motion, it sees the One whose nameis Love, to dwell in Whom is to enjoy rest andpeace. The religious experience of humanityis full of lessons to the students of psychology.The revelation that comes to us through thegateway of worship is much more substantial,much more real than that which comes throughthe avenue of the senses.

    This idea, that the same Reality is knownto poets and philosophers, to theologians and

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 51realised that the truth of inner perception cannotbe uttered in words, hence each one in theendeavour to express Him will use the wordwhich to his mind is the most closely associatedwith all transcending attributes :Ekam sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti. AgnimYamam Matarisvanam ahuh.That which exists is One. Sages call it variously

    the Fire Substance, Providence, the breathing inSpace. 1

    This is the earliest utterance of the unity ofthe Godhead in the history of mankind. Allmonotheistic religions and all monistic philo-sophies are mere ramifications of this centralthought of the Rishis of the Vedas. This ideaof One Truth was revealed to the mind of theancient seers of India.

    It must be understood that the revelation ofOne God was anterior to the period of philo-sophical, theological, or scientific speculation.In those early days man's intuition was clearerthan it is now; God breathed the Truth intothe soul of the Rishis, as it has been beauti-fully expressed in the Rig Veda

    Anit avatam svadhya tat ekam, tasmat ha anyatna parah kim chana asa.

    That One breathed breathlessly by Itself, other2

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    52 BRAHMADARSANAM inTo him the knowledge of God is the breath ofGod. The reality of life consists in its lovingdependence on God. How can the glory of theBeatific Vision be communicated to othersthrough the medium of a string of words?Words yield meaning, but not Reality.The Vedic Age is the age of God-intuition.The many aspects of the one God, seen throughthe medium of many moods of many minds, areto be found in the hymns of the Sama and RigVedas. He has been called Prajapati, the Lordof all created beings ; Visva-Karman, the Makerof all ; Visvadeva, the God of all. The mono-theistic religion of the Vedic Rishis was followedby the monistic philosophy of the Rishis of theUpanishads. The early Vedic Rishis saw apersonal God who is all-good and all-wise andall-powerful Who established the earth andthe sky, who gives life and strength, Whoseshadow is immortality and mortality, Who isthe sole King of this breathing, slumberingworld, Whose greatness is reflected in the snowymountains and the seas, Who concealed thegenerating fire in the sap of the great waters,Who created heaven and earth, to Whom allmen bow with trembling minds, over Whom therising sun casts a mellow radiance, and Who isthe life of bright gods and righteous men. ,,To this God the Rishis offered their homage

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    54 BRAHMADARSANAM raThat One alone, unbreathing, lived ; with It the shadowy-

    veil subsisted (not Being nor non-Being) ; otherthan It there nothing was.

    Before the birth of all things this world lay sleeping inthe womb of the Prime Cause, like gloom in darknesshidden,Each in the other merged, inseparate as sea from seaWhen by the potent majesty of Thought, pulsing withcreative purpose,

    This single, self-poised Whole from out its shroud ofnothingness broke forth.

    Ere yet all This arose, together with the One wasLove;And there lay floating an inchoate mass the seed oflife and matter

    Remnant of bygone creations, of hopes deferred andends unrealised.

    (In the light of their wisdom, musing in their hearts,thus have the poets seen loosing the Real fromits bond, the Unreal.)

    Out from them all shot scintillating lines of rays, all-spreading, swift, like cloud-born fiery flashes

    Whither flamed they forth? Athwart, above, below?Some were enjoyers, seed-showerers and reapers of the

    harvestSome, of vast power and magnitude, fields of enjoymentWhile some again the substance were of sustenance,

    nourishing the fathers and the gods.In order first evolved, and higher, those these later

    formed and lower.Who then knows in truth ? Who here may utter it ?Whence streams This forth? This manifold of life andmind, of what composed ? and whither moving ?The Devas, by the Word made manifest, after thisBursting-forth shone into being;

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    56 BRAHMADARSANAM mof the universe, and the Impersonal God. Allthe Darsanas have testified to the existence ofthis faculty, and the arguments which Indianphilosophers have used to prove the existenceof God appeal to us so forcibly because of theself-revelation of this faculty within ourselves.These arguments, which I am about to pass inreview, only serve to confirm the informationwhich we have already received from the lightof our own souls.Kapila acknowledged the existence of two

    kinds of free souls 5 ': the great and small;but he denied that the great souls would careto create a world ; he also denied the possibilityof proving the existence of a creator of theuniverse. This defect in Kapila's philosophywas supplemented by Patanjali who taught atheistic philosophy also called Yoga, in whichhe says that there are different grades of souls,one class higher in majesty than the other.There is a class of souls called the Devas (brightones) who are endowed with greater power andgoodness than human beings. Above the Devasthere are still higher beings, and the highest ofall in power, goodness, knowledge, and holinessis God, who is the Teacher of all superhumanand human beings. Patanjali claims that thisDivine Teacher can be seen in the light of our in-ward-turned thought, provided that all the

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 57echo in the heart of every great thinker, fromPlato downwards. Who is it who solves ourdoubts and perplexities ? Are we not consciousof an inner Monitor who chides us gently forour wayward thoughts and leads us to light andtruth? Every great poet, philosopher, andscientist would confess that the truth whichthey teach they found within, in some way notknown to themselves.

    Patanjali's argument for the existence of Godis not inferential but introspective. It is basedupon the fact of our inner development in theknowledge of the Divine. The Oversoul speaksto the soul, and those who seek for truth findthe answer in their hearts. There is also anotherand more objective ground upon which thisargument rests : Whence do the prophets andsages derive their knowledge, and where do theygo after passing away from this life ? We mustassume that after learning all that could belearnt on this earth, these great souls are stillprogressing in virtue and wisdom in a highersphere of existence. They are there, sitting atthe feet of masters who are greater than they,imbibing knowledge, the nature of which weare not able to conceive. Finally, the mostchosen spirits, the super-archangels, thoseKumaras, mind-born offspring of the Highest,

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 59rather, what is it that we really love ? We lovethe beautiful; in the depths of our hearts welong to escape from ugliness and to be with thebeautiful. This is true of the inner as of theouter life. We love the self because it is beauti-ful. A man's mind may be ugly, his body maybe deformed, but still he loves the self which ishidden behind the ego. Now we have to con-sider why it is that we love the self ; we havejust said that we love it because it is beautiful,but what does this beauty signify? It is notthe beauty of colour, the beauty of harmony,for that is not the property of the soul. It isperfection, it is goodness, it is glory, it is Eternity.These are the qualities of the Self, and Love isimmortal when it is given to this immortal Self.For, if you consider rightly, you will find thatthis self is the reflection of the Supreme Self,and in Yoga the reflection lapses to its original to God ; it goes back to the palace of theFather, and is lighted up by His radiance.Such love is equal to knowledge of the Divine,

    for love tells of the object upon which it bestowsits wealth. God is immeasurable, because mylove for Him is immeasurable. The Vedantinssay that love for God is God's love for Himself,because in true love there are no longer two, butonly One, lost in Its own light.

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    60 BRAHMADARSANAM inGod through duty, through worship, love Himas His servant, as friend, as lover, as child, loveHim through self-sacrifice and through identifi-cation. Let us not be separated from Him evenfor so short a time as the twinkling of an eye.The Rishis used to address God as the Poet

    of the Beautiful and the Fountain of De-light, and this is the experience of all devotees,of all worshippers, and of all mystics. This isthe universal testimony of religious conscious-ness, and is as valid as the generalisations ofscience, or the highest synthesis of philosophy.Narada says that God can be seen by man

    as an actual Presence when all thoughts, allwords, and all deeds are given up unto Him,and when the least forgetfulness of Him makesone intensely miserable for then love hasbegun.Gotama was the father of Indian logic. Itis not known when he lived, but there is no doubtthat he flourished thousands of years beforeGautama the Buddha. His argument is wellknown among Indian thinkers : he said thatit was impossible to prove the existence of theDeity by means of arguments based on percep-tion, inference, and revelation. Perception isuseless, because God is without form and istherefore beyond the reach of the senses. In-ference cannot prove Him, because there is no

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 61ing to Gotama, the Scriptures are not co-eternalwith God.But if the three instruments of knowledge,

    viz. perception, inference, and revelation, are ofno use, how then can we assert His existence?To this he replies that the world is an effect andmust therefore have a cause, for nothing can beproduced from nothing. God, in Whose Personare combined omnipotence and omniscience, isthe cause of the world. There cannot be anyquestion as to the cause of God, because He isSelf-caused and Eternal. Why does God create ?Because of His compassion. Gotama has usedanother argument. Every act of man, he says,produces its result, not by itself but throughthe superintendence of God. For instance, howcan the virtuous deeds of a man be rewarded,and the vicious ones punished, unless God con-joins the former with reward and the latter withpunishment ? The effect of moral and immoralaction must be guided by an All-holy and im-partial Judge.A law is made by a law-giver and enforcedby a judge so the moral law of retribution isenforced by the Divine Governor of the world.Gotama points out that all mankind agree inmaking a distinction between things real andeternal and things unreal and non-eternal. If

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    62 BRAHMADARSANAM rawe must please Him by doing our duty, and thenthrough His mercy we shall attain the salvationof our souls.There is reason to believe that Aristotle

    derived his idea of God as the Unmoved Moverof the Universe from Gotama. Like Gotama,he believes that God is not so much the builderas the governor of the world, because, accordingto both Gotama and Aristotle, atoms are eternal.Gotama's argument arises froman inner necessityof thought which compels him to see in Naturethe working of an all-knowing Mind and Will.

    I will now conclude this lecture by explainingSankara's arguments for the existence of God.Sankara is an uncompromising monist, for whomthere exists but One Truth, One Reality. Theworld has no existence at all by the side ofBrahman; but for all practical purposes weseemingly believe that it exists, and for creatingthe world a Creator is necessary. What isGod's motive in creating the world ? We can-not ascribe any motive to God, for that wouldlimit His self-completeness ; neither can we saythat He had no motive, for then creation wouldbe impossible. What can we say, then, aboutHis motive in creation? Sankara's answer isthat God created the world without any motive,purely for sport, just as a prince, or some richman, who has all that he requires, undertakesto do something purely for sport and pastime.

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 63world, is responsible for all the evil in it, Sankaraanswers that God does not act arbitrarily. Heacts with a view to bring about the fulfilment ofwhat each man has done in a previous birth;the world is a place where the soul passes throughexperiences according to its merits or demeritsin a previous life. The body is a plant whichgrows up from the seed and dies but not com-pletely, something is left behind, and the seedwhich is strewn in the soil of nescience bringsforth another plant. This seed is the soul'sKarma (works). The new birth varies accordingto the quality of the seed ; happiness and miserydepend upon the form of birth. In the growthof the plant from the seed, God's influence maybe compared to the influence of rain which causesthe plant to shoot, while the outward growthdepends upon atmospheric conditions, such asheat, light, moisture, etc. ; but the future ofplants depends, not upon outward conditions,but upon the nature of the seed itself theseed of wheat brings forth wheat, the seed ofmustard brings forth mustard, and so on.

    This idea of God's relation to the world pre-supposes the assumption that the world, andthe souls in it, are beginningless and endless.But the whole of this argument applies only tothe world of Maya, i.e. the world of form and

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    64 BRAHMADARSANAM raments ofPatanjali,Gotama, Narada, and Sankaraunless they are studied and compared with theirteachings on all other subjects. I do not thinkthey would have appealed to the minds of thelast generation of men and women, whose under-standings were perverted by the philosophy ofpositivism, whose moral senses were blunted bythe utilitarian school, and whose tastes werecorrupted by the doctrine of realism in art,poetry, and literature. But at present there aresigns of a new age, the heralding of anotherdawn, when we may hope to see the renaissanceof Idealism in a return to faith and knowledgein religion, to self-renunciation and fraternity inmorals, and to symbolism in art and literature.Already there are signs of these on the horizonof the West. Let us hope for great, noble, andmighty things of the soul.The Darsanas are eyes through which we see

    the Truth. All the arguments which have beenadvanced to prove the existence of the Deityare but so many attempts to express in wordsthat which we all feel within to be the onlyTruth. One aspect of the One is expressed inscience, while the other is embodied in the psalmsand hymns of religion. In the Gitd we find thehighest synthesis of religion and science; in itSri Krishna teaches that the Presence of theDivine, of which the worshipper becomes con-

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 65Some men by meditation, using contemplation

    upon the Self, behold the Spirit within, othersattain to that end by scientific and philosophicalspeculation, and others, again, by the practice ofvirtue and service of humanity.

    In the case of those who are not learned buthave heard about Him from others, who cleaveunto Him and worship Him ; even these, if assidu-ous only upon tradition and attentive to hearingthe Scriptures, even these pass beyond the gulf ofdeath. 1

    I think that the aim of science is to becomephilosophy, the aim of philosophy is to becomereligion, the aim of religion is to seek God, andthus the aim of humanity is to become Divine.The mind of man is endeavouring to find itssourcethroughmany-sided activities and specula-tionsall of which are different ways of worship.The progress of the soul has been beautifullyillustrated by Bhagavan Ramakrishna in aparable. A poor man once met a Sannyasin andasked him where he could get some wood. TheSannyasin replied, Go ahead The man actedaccordingly, and found some dry wood which hegathered together, sold in the market, and gotsome money. After some time he rememberedthe Sannyasin's advice and went out again, butthis time a little farther into the depths of the

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    66 BRAHMADARSANAM inlittle farther on the other side of the hill andsee what he could find there. The result of thisexpedition was the discovery of a gold mine.After the lapse of many years he thought thathe would try again and discover something yetmore precious. He did so; the result was adiamond mine, and he became a millionaire.

    This is also the case with the soul. Man'sfirst curiosity is to know the secrets of nature,and the result of this investigation is science.Then he begins to wonder about his own mindthe knowing power which he has within himself and he discovers philosophy. Very soon hebecomes dissatisfied, both with science and withphilosophy, which appear to his advanced mindas mere toys. Then it is that he longs to dis-cover his soul. Religion is knowledge of thesoul ; and here he rests, for the real soul is thereal God. Nothing but the true Reality cangive us rest and peace.

    This God-knowledge is man's salvation.Every day science is progressing towards God-knowledge. The visions of the ancient Rishisthe prophets of India have been re-echoed inthe works of Wordsworth, Tennyson, Browning,Whitman, and Edward Carpenter. The Akasaand Agni of the Vedas have risen again from theashes of time and have been made familiar tous as Ether and Electricity by Thompson and

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 67The animating principle or the vital spark

    within the physiology of animals possesses somany wonderful characteristics that we can inno way understand its function in terms ofmatter and force. The central idea of life isforethought, which Lodge happily calls guid-ance. By its very nature life seeks to guideand control, not only its immediate envelope,the body, but also its greater environment,the powers of nature. It can by its own natureproduce as much change on matter (and thisfor its own sake) as sunlight on a photographicplate, or radium emanation on gas.

    This conception of life as a guiding principleand not as a physical force was understood manycenturies ago by the Rishis, as will be seen fromthe following passage

    Sa yatha prayogya acharane yukta ebam ebayam asmin sarire prano yuktah.As an agent behaves for him who appoints him,

    so life guides the psycho-physical organism. 1

    Life in this passage is not considered as aphysical force, but as a directing agency guidingthe material forces of the body, as will be seenfrom Sankara's commentary, where he remarksthat as a car is drawn by horses or by oxen, or

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    68 BRAHMADARSANAM raThe new world is coming round to the wisdom

    of the old. Science is no longer atheistic as it ispopularly believed to be by those who have notkept themselves in touch with the changed out-look of modern scientific thought. No onerealises more the immensity of the Power behindnature, or feels more the inadequacy of thoughtand language to express it, than does the truescientist. No one feels the humiliation of thepride of intellect more than did that greatestrepresentative of science in our era, Sir IsaacNewton, when he said : I have been but as achild playing on the seashore ; now finding somepebble rather more polished, and now some shellrather more agreeably variegated than another,while the immense ocean of truth extended it-self unexplored before me.The real scientist does not deny God although

    he is silent about Him.Once a philosopher went to see a mystic.

    They sat side by side without speaking, andwhen they parted the mystic said to the philo-sopher, I feel all you think, and the philo-sopher replied, I cannot even think all thatyou feel.

    It is recorded that on one occasion Ruskinpaid a visit to Carlyle, and they spent the wholeafternoon together without exchanging a singleword, yet on parting the two friends shook one

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    in THEISM: GOD AND MAN 69names in Sanscrit is Nirab, the Silent. And itsometimes seems to me, when I watch theheavens in the silence of the night, as if the stars,in the profound silence of space, were listeningto the eternal music of the Divine.

    BIBLIOGRAPHYNarada Bhakti Sutra.Panchadasi, i. 8-13, xii. 23-30.Tarkasamgraha, xvii.Nyaya Sutra.Brahma Sutra, i. 4, 23-27.Sariraka, p. 490.Ramkrishna Kathamrta (translated as The Gospel of

    Sri Ramakrishna ).Chhandogya Upanishad.Sir Oliver Lodge's Works, especially Life and Matter/'

    p. 134.Atharva Veda, ii. 2-24, 1-16.Sandilya Sutra.Rig Veda, x. 82, 3 ; x. 129, 1 ; i. 59, 1 ; iii. 53, 8 ; i. 168,

    20 ; x. 72, 5 ; v. 62, 8 ; i. 89, 10 ; x. 90, 6 ; iii. 17, 4 )vi. 7, 4; vii. 4, 6; i. 31, 7; vi. 9, 5-6; vi. 8, 3; vi.7,7; iii. 20, 4.

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    DIVINEAspects of consciousness Religious systems without a God

    Philosophy of relation Ramanuja's qualified monism.The function of philosophy, strictly speaking,is the formulation of the relation between con-sciousness and the object presented to it. Whatconsciousness is in itself is indescribable, forthe subject of consciousness cannot know itselfwithout objectification. In the Upanishadsthe personal aspect of consciousness has beennamed Jnata, or the knower, one who knowswhile the non-personal aspect is called Jneya,the object known ; and the middle term thatwhich connects Jnata (subject) with Jneya(object) is termed Jnana, knowledge. Thefield of consciousness is trisected into (1) theknowing mind, (2) the presentation, and (3) theprocess of knowing. To use an illustration from

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    iv MONISM: MAN AS DIVINE 71counterpart of Jnata (knower) . Of these three,the eyes can see the picture and the light, butthe eyes cannot see themselves. Similarly, ifyou apply this imagery to the mind, you willunderstand that consciousness can comprehendthe presentation (Jneya) as well as the middleterm (Jnana), but not the Jnata (subject). AsYajnavalkya says, How can you see the seerof seeing, how can you hear the hearer of hearing,how can you understand the understander ofunderstanding? The nature of the knoweris unintelligible. At the same time we canpredicate two attributes : first, that it exists,and secondly, that its nature is knowledge. Themost mysterious point about the subject is that,as Sankara says, it can know other things, butit cannot make itself the object of its own know-ledge. I, who know, can never be my object,for in that case it ceases to be of the nature ofthe subject. Hence the Rishis used to say,It is different from what is known. It is alsobeyond what is not known. This principle ofconsciousness, this knower, this seer, is alsocalled Aksharam, the Imperishable.

    'This Imperishable is seeing, not seen;hearing, not heard ; understanding, not under-stood; knowing, not known; for outside It,there is no seer ; outside It, there is no hearer

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    72 BRAHMADARSANAM ivdaughter of Vacaknu, by Yajnavalkya. This isAksharam ; this Imperishable is the alpha andomega of the Upanishads. Let us call it theconsciousness of the Absolute.

    In the language of the Chhandogya Upani-shad, this is to be sought in the Dahar Akasain the inner space within the lotus chamber ofthe heart. Like a man standing on a piece ofground under which a treasure lies buried, butignorant of what is hidden there, so the intellectis unconscious of this Imperishable upon w