Sunday, February 24, 2013




    Like bread cast upon the waters there now return the responses of mentalists from many nations, kindred's and races of men. When writing my new book: "Within the Mind Maze" in the stillness, silence and solitude of this mountain astronomical observatory up here on this summit of the Sierra Madre range, in California, U.S.A; even in the midst of witching hours of night, apparently among the stars, an enchanting effect of perspective in pure mountain air, I used the word – mentoid. Since then I have published everywhere, that it was with misgivings and hesitation that I finally published the book containing this compound word made up of parts of two words in the Greek and Latin languages. The intention was to print a word having the meaning of thought-body, thought-form; mind-model, mental-image, thought-pattern, thought-design; and in the language of architects, thought-specification. Now all of these forebodings, and fears that the word would not be well received have vanished. Letters from mentalists are now coming from many parts of the world praising the use of the expressive and impressive word, mentoids. All fears of its non-reception have been dissipated; and now, as I write in the intense silence of a far and away peak in the negative or night side of Nature, I here and now write, state and assert that only two entities exist, namely,


    The words are written in capital letters: they go to the Siddhanta Deepika Magazine to be published to the world, let the consequence be what they may. The entire Sidereal Universe does not contain any entities whatever but these two. Mind created Electrons, and from these formed all things in existence. Electrons are absolutely pure Electricity; and their diameters are so excessively short that if a row of them side by side in contact could be made, then the row one in their length, would contain 12,700,000,000,000. Hydrogen atoms are the lightest bodies of matter known to chemists but one atom of this rare gas is 2000 times more massive than one electron. A row of electrons however cannot be forced into contact by man, as they repel each other. The isolation and weighing of one electron by Professor Millikan of the University of Chicago, was an achievement so transcendently sublime, difficult and arduous, that it at once elicited the admiration of the entire scientific world, and ranked with the equally arduous and difficult work of measuring the distance of a star from the Earth. Electrons quiescent are not matter; but when they revolve around each other, the motion, number of electrons revolving, the diameters of their orbits, and directions of revolution, with high but varying specific speeds, determine what atom of a chemical element shall form and appear in Cosmic space. All of the near 90 places of matter, elements now known are composed in their varying atomic structures of rapidly revolving electrons. This motion is the life of all matter. And the very ancient philosophers of India, the Aryan, scholars were aware of the existence of such ultimate's and motions. These electrons and naught beside, were created by the Master Mind. Since their creation, they have been directed into myriads of forms by the Master Positive Creative Mind. And they are negative to positive Mind. Mentoids are the only manifestations of primordial Creative Mind. No object whatever expressed in matter, anywhere in the Sidereal Universe, can appear without a preceding mentoids or thought form. These models are filled out with electrons, atoms, Molecules. And this basic fact of all that exists is made exceeding clear in my new book. It is a rigid law of Nature; and the sooner all mentalists adopt it the better for themselves and mankind.

Professor Larkin's "Mentoids and Electrons"


    Professor Edgar Lucien Larkin's article on "Mentoids and Electrons" has caused me to think and reflect a good deal. The learned Professor's book "Within the Mind Maze" I have not yet read for the simple reason I have not seen it. But this new creation "mentoid" like another invention of a President of the Psychic Research Society "Meta psychic", or super-psychic shows how the inquiring and investigating genius of the West is slowly but surely climbing up the steed and inaccessible heights of thought and sense perceptions into the ethereal atmosphere of pure thought. The West has for long been wedded to the idea of chemical atom as the simplest and irreducible element of matter. The discovery of electrons and the further discovery of trions clean dislodged the Western scientific world from the apparently impregnable position it has taken behind the chemical atom. A French Professor, who was President of the Psychic Research Society found the necessity of inventing a word like "Meta-psychic" to commemorate "the crossing of the rubicon" of thought-perception like that of sense perception which was described by the term meta-physical. The meta-psychical transcended thought-perceptions as the meta-psychical transcended sense-perceptions. Now Professor Larkin has found the necessity of inventing the word "mentoid" to describe the first "and only manifestations of primordial Creative Mind."

    One has to perform 'Nama-dharana' i.e., fix the apperceiving power of "the Original Creative Mind" on the name or Nama, to perceive what the thing is, which it is intended to denote or indicate. At first it was a little confusing to follow the learned Professor because of the conventional meaning which has come to be attached to the words thought-form, thought-body, etcetera by the new vocabulary of the Theosophists. But the words "Mind-model" "thought-designs" and "thought specification" gave me a clue to get at what Professor Larkin was aiming to express and my fixing the attentions on his idea and performing yoga-samyama on that idea led me to an understanding of the truth which he was endeavoring to convey to his readers. This is my exposition of what I have been able to apperceive in the process adopted by me to fix at what he means by "mentoids"

    I take it that "Mentoids" are nothing more nor less than the first operations of the primordial Creative Mind. We call it Tejo manas and Unmanas – the first being the negative, and the second, the positive aspect of the Original Creative Mind. The Sruti indicates it very well. In the cavity of the heart known as Anahata is a sound, sabdha, the vibrant waves of which form the Akasa or ethereal space which pervades all-through, including electrons, trions and what not. The sum-total of its variations in octave is 21,600 in one 'One' stands for the unit of primordial sound or sabdah. Within this unit of primordial sound known as Anahata sabdah (the eternal non-passive or creative sound), is the tone of the sound called Dhvanih. This dhvanih represents the motif or the Unit of Dynamic force which sets the vibrant particles of the primordial self-creative sound in motion.

    Within this dhvanih or the unit of Dynamic force is what is called Jyotih – "the Light" – the primordial form of that creative light which is the cause of all material creation from trions and electrons to sun, moon and stars. Even thought-forms are composed of this light. It is from this "light" the original Creative Mind makes all things that are made. All forms, be they subtle thought-forms or grosser forms of matter are made of varied and varying vibrations of this "light" and are ultimately reducible to its primordial origin. This Jyotih or "the creative light" is the Vital Elexir or secret store of Energy which performs all wonders. The inexhaustible energy of the Sun as well as the comparatively inexhaustible light of the radium are both drawn from this storehouse of Universal Energy/ It is the unit of vital Energy as the "horse" is used as the unit of mechanical energy. It is a combination of the positive and negative aspect of the Original Creative Mind, as the potter's clay is the combination in due proportion of the hardening substance 'clay' and the softening substance 'water'. 'Clay' is symbolical of matter and 'water' symbolical of the original creative Positive Mind which reduces all to a state of fluidity before impressing the hardening substance with its name and form.

    The Positive aspect of the Original Creative Mind is Spirit. Its negative aspect of Matter. And the latest definition of matter according to Advanced Science in the West is "Matter is mode of motion" And all rhythmic, regulated motions are spiral in form. Otherwise we cannot have that infinitude in the modes of motion which we find actually exists and is necessary for the onward progress of the World through evolution and involution.

    Within this creative light or Jyotih is the original Self-creative Mind which is the origin and cause of this Universe and all there is on it. The Sruti says that this original mind is capable of all the three-fold acts of creation viz., that of creating, sustaining and destroying all forms. And yet what is this all powerful Mind? It is only a Name! It is Anirvachaneeya – a thing of which nothing definite, such as it exists or its exists not, can be positively asserted. For if one comes to perceive it by the Higher Intelligence which merely uses it as the potter uses his wheel to fashion pots of various forms it is realized as nothing more than the Law of Polarity which sets the opposite poles in action to move towards each other and rushing into one another's arms as the lover and the beloved rush to realize the light of joy; and causes repulsion when they are not oppositely mated. It is the unmanifest cause of attraction and repulsion and as a consequence, of the Law of Attunement. But this Original Creative Mind, this divinity which manifests itself as the Law of Polarity and Law of Attunement is not eternal though comparatively so and long lasting. For, it merges in its own cause "the Magnetic Center" of infinitude "which is the Magic Circle of My Holy Mother whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere."

    The Sruti says: "Tan mano vilayam yate tat Vishnu Paramam Padham." That in which this self-active, self-creative mind merges that is Vishnu (the All-pervasive), the Supreme State.

    It will thus be seen that the first operations of the Original Creative Mind are three-fold in action, as all things perfect are three-fold. It creates, sustains and destroys and itself merges in a cause indicating that it is both producer and product. While it produces the universe it is itself the product of something which is higher, greater and more powerful than it is. What Professor Larkin designates 'mentoids' therefore are but single aspect of the Original Creative Mind whose first operation are three-fold. And all creative acts are three-fold in action.

    Professor Larkins 'mentoids and electrons' it would appear are confined to what is called three dimensioned space. But there is a fourth dimension of space which pervades all through its other dimensions, length, breadth and depth, which I would here take leave to describe as the magnetic center of space whose magic circle is all center without a delimiting circumference. The first operations of the Original Creative Mind (which abides and works within 'the creative light' or Jyotih as the potter lives and works in the midst of the clay which he fashions into all shapes and forms), is in the four dimensioned space and not-the three-dimensioned space. The comparison of the original creative mind to the potter is in one respect misleading for the Original Creative Mind is not the efficient cause as the conceiving potter is. It is only the co-efficient cause as the hands of the potter and the wheel which he uses to fashion his wares are. This distinction must be carefully borne in mind if Professor Larkin's "mentoid" is not to lead one to further confusion.


    Of all the blessings of life, the greatest is considered to be health. Health is said to be Heavenly bliss. Health is even said to be wealth. Health consists in the normal state and harmonious relations of the human constitution-Mental and Physical. But how few know, rather, but few of us realize that this great blessing is not a mere accident or the free gift of nature, but the result of patient attention to small things and a great deal of care bestowed on minutiae. The tendency for health might be inherited so also might be the tendency for disease. The greatest thing that parents could do for their progeny is to see that they do not communicate or transmit any diseased mental moral or physical propensity to it. This is a great responsibility and parents who are conscientious ought to remember it. Those that violate the laws of health-might well ponder over the fact that the effects of their violation might be inherited by their children or their children's children. Environment makes or mars the inherited tendencies. Human effort must be directed not only to create a healthy stock but also to place it in a healthy environment. Health is said to be wealth and yet who would consider the latter merely a gift from others and would not exert himself to get it. Every stone is patiently turned, every hardship cheerfully borne, every privation willingly undergone and every enterprise boldly undertaken when there is even a remote chance of getting a fortune. Economic success means scrupulous attention to small things, taking care of pies and toiling, hard day and night. But who takes such trouble about health? Yet is it not the best form of wealth one could possess on earth? The whole fabric of our health depends on the due attention we pay to several trifling things in life. Moderation in food and drink, regularity in rest and activity, work and play properly adjusted, mental, moral, and physical activities duly and carefully regulated, the avoidance of excesses, the faithful adoption of the rule of the golden mean, these are some of the many small things one has to pay scrupulous attention to if one should desire to enjoy good health in life. The span of human life depends on the health it enjoys during its pilgrimage on this planet of ours. If we are not healthy and strong we will be a burden to our kith and kin.
    "If I am not well, strong and happy,
    I am thrice a debtor first to myself;
    Second to every human being,
    And third to the cosmos of the universe."
                            --- Sidney A. Weltmer.
    Our labors are of no avail if we cannot maintain a healthy life here. Health deserves careful consideration – as an able writer remarks, "the first requisite to success in life is to be a good animal." An expression used by a Roman poet has been called the golden rule of education – a sound mind in a sound body. The ignorant suppose that health is beyond their control. It is true that we are yet unacquainted with the origin of some diseases, but undoubtedly more than half the sickness in the world is owing to the disregard of certain known laws of nature. The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, the raiment we put on our bodies, practically sum up all the most important conditions of our existence, - our health and our physical development – Let me deal with them under their respective headings:-
    The air we breathe. This is the first requisite. We can live several days without food, but we die in two or three minutes if kept without air. The evil effects of overcrowding are, to a considerable extent, due to foul air. Many are rendered feeble and sickly for want of fresh air. Every time we breathe we inhale a part of the air which supports life and give out a poisonous kind of gas. The air we breathe out should therefore be allowed to escape and fresh air should be admitted. Most Indian houses are badly ventilated. Bed rooms are often small, frequently they have only one little window. It is also a common practice to crowd bed rooms with boxes and other articles still further diminishing the capacity of the room and thus lessening the quantity of air. Many persons when they go to sleep wrap a cloth over their heads, which impedes breathing.
    If we wish to be vigorous we must secure a sufficient supply of fresh air. The average house in India, it is said is built cold proof, in fact more air-tight than the most air-tight house ever built in England. Free ventilation, large houses with wide open windows are most essential to get a fresh supply of air.
    The water we drink:- A great deal of sickness is caused by drinking impure water, people often bathe and wash clothes in tanks, whose water is used for drinking purposes; even cattle are allowed to go into them. The water of tanks which dry up or get very low in the hot season is unwholesome. Decaying vegetation is a fruitful cause of fever. Trees and bamboos should not be allowed to overhang tanks and wells, as their leaves fall into the water and render it unwholesome. Water on which the sun does not shine is generally not good.
    Bath and its uses:- The art of bathing is one of the precious assets for which modern civilization is indebted to antiquity. The desire for cleaning the body by washing seems to be the discovery of the human instinct. The more civilized the people are, the more alive they become to the necessity of bathing in order to keep the body clean. So bathing, they say, might be considered a test of civilization in the modern world. In regard to baths one has to take into consideration the climate of the country also, because the cooler the climate is, the less inclined the people will be for frequent baths. Cleaning of the skin is particularly necessary in hot climates when the amount of watery sweat and solid excretion and desquamation from it is considerable, the skin performing a part of the function which belongs to the kidney's and lungs in colder climates. In hot climates a daily bath becomes a necessity, whereas, in a cold climate it might be a luxury. From the scientific point of view, baths could never become a luxury. For baths have a double function to perform. The first and the foremost of the two is to keep the body clean and the other to regulate the temperature of the body. Looked at from both points of view, a daily bath becomes a necessity in any climate, be it hot or cold.
    A great many people, as for that, many educated and cultured people who should know better, take for granted that what is wanted for a bath is to get into water and come out of it with an occasional scrubbing of the skin. This might satisfy the conscience of a ceremonious puritan, but the medical man is too scrupulous to reckon such a process under the category of baths. The human skin contains minute openings on its surface. Besides these the skin contains many glands which secrete oil or sweat into these pores. The sweat contains water, salt and many deleterious matters generated in the body. It is essential that the pores be open so that the sweat might easily pass out through them freeing the body of its poisonous substances. Frequently dust accumulates on the skin and blocks the pores. This blocking of the pores prevents the free exit of the sweat. The poisonous matter in the body, being prevented an escape through the skin, attempts to escape through the lungs and the kidneys thus throwing too much work on these organs. So it would now appear how important it is to have the pores of the skin clean. Every effort should be made to remove the dust as soon as it gathers on the skin, to prevent its blocking the pores. Water has the property of dissolving dirt. Hot water is reputed to have better solvent properties than cold water. But the only substances on the surface of the skin need also be dissolved and removed. Hence arises the necessity for using soap. Some good soaps contain an excess of alkaline substances, which possess a remarkable affinity for oily or fatty substances found in the body and elsewhere. So when soap solution is applied to the skin and the latter scrubbed thoroughly, there is every chance of the dirt and oil being removed completely from the skin, and the pores permit a free exit of copious perspiration. These baths that are not calculated to remove the dust and fat from the skin do not deserve to be called baths from the scientific point of view. Business people who frequently get out must realize how important it is for their health that they should bathe frequently and efficiently. Mere pouring of water over the body serves no useful purpose. Some fat dissolving substances like soap must become a prerequisite of baths. The other most important function of baths is to regulate the temperature of the body. In cold weather, bodily warmth might be preserved and even increased by having recourse to hot water baths. In hot weather nothing is more efficacious in cooling down the heat of the body than cold baths. "Our life," it is said, "is a simple process constantly needing attention to simple things". It may be a surprise to many to realize to what great extent their health and well-being depend on the proper performance of a simple act, like their daily bath.
    The food we eat:- The importance of food seems to be so obvious that any attention drawn to it might be considered needless. "But often the most important aspects of life are those that are most neglected and what is everybody's business is generally nobody's. Expectation often fails where most it promises and the simpler a thing is the more frequently it evades our grasp, because it is so simple" are the words of an eminent doctor. Cooked food has many advantages over raw food, the most important of them being that it is more palatable and is more easily digested. The great majority of fruits do not need cooking, for when they ripen, they usually attain the most digestive consistency, besides possessing the most tempting flavor.
    Women seem to take to cooking instinctively all the world over, but man does so through sheer necessity. In the rush and haste of modern life there is danger of underrating the importance of food and considering it only a necessary evil. Ignorance is not the only cause for the consumption of bad food. While the physical development of the race depends on both the quantity and quality of the food it consumes, still greater emphasis should be laid on the latter. There is no law more frequently broken in life than that of temperature as regards quantity of food we eat. We generally forger that we eat to live, and behave as if we believe the converse proposition. Our digestive organs are very sensitive and their functions have therefore to be studied and honored. Particular attention must be paid to the quantity and quality of food we eat. It should neither be too little nor too much. In the former case emaciation and weakness ensue, whereas the danger in the latter case is indigestion, dyspepsia and the ultimate physical and mental breakdown of the human organism. The quality of the food should be neither too rich nor too poor. It is difficult to say at the outset what the kind and the amount of food a man or a woman needs. They are relative to the ages, conditions and occupations of the people. Hard physical exertion needs rich food, food that is capable of giving flesh and bone; mental work needs easily assailable food, food that increases energy and brain power. The fewer the meals taken and the longer the interval between the meals the better it is for health. The most important thing in diet is to see that the diet allowed for each day contains the proper proportion of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, Cereals, cheese, nuts, eggs and oat meal contain proportionately great quantities of proteins; butter and cheese of fats; Rice, potatoes, etc., of carbohydrates. Fruit and animal food in three or four hours. One may construct a table of diet for oneself, according to one's age, sex, occupation, present condition of health and environment.
    It is strange that men should take to poisoning themselves with poisonous and crave forming foods and drugs which they know to be deadly, and in spite of this knowledge be quite unable to resist the temptations to take them. Health, wealth, position, fame and family happiness are all sacrificed one after before the poison crave. Men who once were reasonable beings become in the course of years mere self-indulgent sots, furious wild animals or finally dangerous and unrestrainable lunatics.
    This is the characteristic of all stimulation either through food or drug.
    Meat the unnatural food is a stimulant and once having begun stimulation men were forced to go on and to constantly increase the dose. After a meat diet one feels vigorous for some time.
    But a diet consisting of cereals, fruits, nuts, vegetables, milk, honey and such natural and humane diet will give us a cleaner body, a healthier mentality and a higher morality. The use of the 3'F's i.e., flesh, fish and fowl as food is unhygienic, unnatural. Purity, Humanitarianism, and Temperance in all things, make us sensible, right, decent, stronger, healthier, happier, and clear-headed.
    Adequate sleep:- Sleep is defined as the process of resting with the voluntary exercise of the powers of mind suspended. The difference between a man who is sleeping and the man who is awake depends upon the fact that the former is bereft, for the time being, of all voluntary action. Sleep is intended to give both mental and physical rest. Those that do mental work need longer hours of sleep than those whose daily avocations of life involve merely physical strain. In sleeping one ought to study the posture of the body during sleep. Also one must try to give rest to as many muscles of the body as possible by bringing them in contact with the bed. To sleep on the right side is considered scientific and on the left side unscientific, as it embarrasses the action of the heart. The night is usually the best time for sleep. It is a popular conception that one ought to sleep before midnight. As regards the length of time one should sleep, it is needless to say any definite rules. But it must be clearly understood that idle lying in bed is not sleep and therefore cannot do much good. The harder one's work is and the greater one's activities are, the longer should one sleep. In cold climate people usually sleep eight hours at one stretch. In hot climates one needs longer sleep; at all events, not less than eight hours sleep should be the rule. After all sleep is a means but not an end, so it is best to keep it under control. This is the sagest maxim to remember when one wishes to live a healthy life to sleep so long as to feel quite refreshed when waking up in the morning. It is better to sleep a little longer than not. Cutting short the hours of sleep, whether it be for work or pleasure, is a penny –wise and pound foolish policy.
    Clothing, its uses and purposes:- Clothing has two objects in view, the one that it keeps in the body its own heat and the other being that it prevents the speedy conduction to it of external warmth or cold. Loosely flowing robes allow the free entrance of air between the skin and the robes and therefore they would not let the air conduct away the warmth from the body or communicate to it external heat or cold. The quality of clothing also influence its conductivity. Silk and wool are reputed as very bad conductors. The latter keeps the body warm in cold season, because it preserves the heat of the body and does not conduct it away rapidly. The former is very useful in summer because it is such a bad conductor, of external warmth to the body. Silk being a bad conductor, it would not conduct away rapidly the warmth of the body either. So even in cold season silk might serve the purpose of wool. It has again one greater advantage over wool, and that is the soft and agreeable feeling created when it comes in contact with the skin. It might not be out of place here to remark that those who have to wear flannel next to the skin in hot weather might with great comfort replace it with silk without much fear of serious consequences. Cold climates necessitate more clothing than warm climates. The object of clothing being protection, decency and ornament. Modern convention and dame Fashion often prescribe clothing which is neither beautiful nor hygienic. One ought, therefore, to get the courage to say nay to fashion, should its claim clash with those of science and one could get the courage to do it only when one understands the scientific basis of clothing.
    Clothing must above all be clean and comfortable. Scrupulous cleanliness of the undergarments is most essential to health. They must frequently be changed and washed particularly when they are wet with sweat. In warm climate under-clothing should not be so tight-fitting as to interfere to any extent, with the ventilation of the body. The skin of the human beings needs light for its health, and clothing should not therefore interfere with either of them. The upper garments should be light and loose so as not to be uncomfortable in any posture of the body. It is best to protect the feet from venomous reptiles, like the snake and the scorpion, and also from disease germs. Care must be taken not to injure or crush the feet or toes by tight-fitting shoes or boots. To keep the feet warm is most important to health in cold countries. As regards head-dress, it should be such as not only to protect the head from the heat of the sun but also to shield the face, particularly the eyes, from the glare. In fact, scientific clothing should be according to the needs of the age, sex, occupation etc., of the individuals. Color as regards raiment is certainly not an unimportant matter. There is hardly any one that does not show partiality to some one color or other. The color of clothing has also its significance. White color is produced by the reflection of all the rays of light from the substance. So while clothing reflects all the rays of the sun's light that strike on it. Therefore there is very little absorption of heat and light by white clothing and it is on that account safely recommended as a scientific color for all warm and sunny countries. Again black color is produced by the substance which absorbs all the rays of light shed on it from the sun. There is no reflection of light from a black substance. Therefore black clothing absorbs light and heat. Yellow color has recently been noticed to be of great use in the tropics particularly for head-dress. Green colored clothes are very useful to the eye in countries where the glare of the sunlight is very great. Red color is reputed to have the power of producing excitement. It is needless to say that climatic considerations ought to influence the choice of the color of raiment, if one wishes to make oneself comfortable.
Physical Exercise.
    The importance of physical exercise can never be overestimated. To enjoy the conditions of modern civilization, a healthy body and a vigorous constitution are necessary. Physical exercise is necessary to regulate the blood supply of the body and to expel the waste products accumulated in the blood. Those who have much mental work daily need physical exercise as a recreation. The best form of recreation is to take an interest in games and sports. Games and sports, while affording physical exercise, engrosses the mind and helps to forget itself. The value of games is that not only are they trials of strength but, above all things, trials of skill. I need not mention here the moral and mental qualities one would acquire on the sporting field which would be of considerable individual value. Quickness of the eye, lightness of the step, nimbleness of the movement, calmness, patience and tact are developed to a wonderful degree on the sporting field. But there is always the danger of having too much of a good thing. Even physical exercises might be overdone. Over expenditure of energy must inevitably end in a speedy collapse. So one ought to guard against overdoing physical exercise and against cultivating an inordinate love for sports and games
    Temperance:- This virtue in its widest sense denotes moderation in the indulgence of every appetite, and it is our duty to be temperate in all things. Temperance is especially applied to moderation with regard to eating and drinking. Intemperance now usually denotes drinking to excess.
    Intemperance is a vice that ruins the body, the intellect and the moral character. A large number of medical men entirely forbid the use of alcohol in health and sickness, while those who consider it to be occasionally beneficial very strictly limit the quantity. We scarcely require the verdict of science to tell us the evil effects produced on the health by intemperance. We see those effects too often in the shaky hands and lack-lustre eyes of those who indulge in habitual excess. Alcohol shortens the lives of those who drink much, and insurance companies find that they can give policies for better terms to total abstainers than to those who are even moderate drinkers. The drunkard's brain becomes rapidly duller, his memory fails him and in extreme cases he is led by his favorite vice into the Lunatic Asylum. Nor does the general moral character remain unimpaired by the vicious indulgence that ruins the health and injures the intellect. Intemperance besides being a vice in itself, is the parent of other vices. Drunkards lose their self-respect, and do not shrink from degrading themselves by falsehood and dishonesty. They also lose the power of controlling their passions and so commit violent acts which they would never have done in their sober hours. It is scarcely necessary to add that intemperance is a great barrier to success in life. What impairs the power of body and mind must of course prevent a man from doing any work well. Charles Lamb thus describes the effects of intemperance:-
    "Twelve years ago, I was possessed of a healthy frame of mind and body. I was never strong, but I think my constitution (for a weak one) was as happily exempt from the tendency to any malady as it was possible to be. I scarce knew what it was to ail anything. Now except when I am losing myself in a sea of drink, I am never free from those uneasy sensations in head and stomach, which are so much worse to bear than anything definite pains or aches. At that time I was seldom in bed after six in the morning, summer and winter. I awoke refreshed and seldom without some merry thoughts in my head, or some piece of song to welcome the new-born day. Now, the first feeling which besets me, after stretching out the hours of recumbence to their last possible extent, is a forecast of the wearisome duty that lies before me, with a secret wish that I could have laid on still, or never awakened.
    "Life itself, my waking life, has much of the confusion, the trouble and obscure perplexity of an ill dream. In the day time I stumble upon dark mountains.
    "Business, which, though never very particularly adapted to my nature, yet has something of necessity to be gone through, and therefore best undertaken with cheerfulness, I used to enter upon with some degree of alacrity; it now wearies, affrights and perplexes me. I fancy all sorts of discouragements, and am ready to give up an occupation, which gives me bread, from a harassing conceit of incapacity. The slightest commission given me by a friend, or any small duty which I have to perform for myself, as giving orders to a tradesmen etc., haunts me as a labor impossible to be got through. So much the springs of action are broken."
    "The same cowardice attends me in all my intercourse with mankind. I dare not promise that a friend's honor, or his cause, could be safe in my keeping, if I were put to the expense of any manly resolution in defending it. So much the springs of moral action are deadened within me."
    "My favorite occupations, in times past, now cease to entertain me. I can do nothing readily. Application for even so short a time kills me. The noble passages which formerly delighted me in history or poetic fiction now draw only a few weak tears allied to dotage. My broken and dispirited nature seems to sink before anything great and admirable. I perpetually catch myself in tears, for any cause or none. It is inexpressible how much this infirmity adds to a sense of shame and a general feeling of deterioration."
    "TOTAL ABSTINENCE", to strive to the utmost, to check the ravages of a vice, to which already some of the brightest intellects have fallen victims. Such a course is demanded even by personal considerations. It has been well remarked "No reputation, no wisdom, nor hardly any worth, will secure a man against drunkenness". Total abstinence from all intoxicating liquors is the wisest and safest course.    
    Health, like happiness, comes not for the seeking. A great purpose – a mighty ambition – a divine longing only for such a motive is a clear brain and string body worth the getting.
    When you are worn out, resort to the woods. When you are worried, ponder on the calmness of the sea. When you are nervous and uncertain, stretch yourself prone on the ground in the moonlight and watch the stars for hours. The frailness of man is more than reinforced by the fullness of nature.
    A good for getter is health's right hand man. The name of the best forgetter is Hope.
    Health, like heaven, is within. Realize the strength of your own body – the power of your own mind – the beauty of your own spirit.
    Music is the quickest means of taking an invalid out of himself. Get a person interested in mastering an instrument or developing his voice, and you've done him a better service than doctor or nurse could muster.
    Man has no right to be ill. Man is made to be well and happy and useful. And if a person is happy, the probabilities are that he will be well; and in order to keep well he has to be useful. Health is the most natural thing in the world. Nature is on our side. Health is the norm, and all nature tends thitherward. All that the wise and good doctors can do is to put the patient in touch with nature. Nature heals, and all the healing forces of nature are perfectly natural.


Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Relation of Samkhya and Saiva Siddhanta.*

[* A Lecture delivered at Calcutta]


    While a widespread interest and a great attention animate the study of modern Vedanta – the Vedanta of Sankaracharya and other recent scholars and not the Vedanta of ancient Indian Sages and philosophers – much indifference and lack of real interest beset the study of either of Samkhya or of Saiva Siddhanta. This has been mainly due to the dangerous dogmatism and intolerant bigotry of certain class of people in our country. Whatever might be the attitude of our sectarian philosophies towards Samkhya and Saiva Siddhanta, learned European scholars were not to be deterred from their endeavors to seek after truth but having made an immense sacrifice of their time and comforts they have brought to light the complete system of Samkhya and a portion of Saiva Siddhanta by producing faithful translations of works on these philosophies and editing their original texts. Thanks to their inequitable services in this direction, for our eyes are now opened to see the hidden knowledge that had been jealously guarded for many centuries by our own countrymen for fear of losing their prestige and feigned supremacy in all that concerns our life.

    It is an acknowledged fact today that, of all the existing systems of thought, Samkhya is the earliest and the deepest fountain of philosophy from which all the numerous streams of knowledge took their rise and flowed continuously up to the present time acquiring in their long course additional supplies of newer ideas from other sources. From Samkhya arose the grandest and the sublimest teachings of Bhagavan Gauthama Buddha – the very essence of the Buddhist religion. From Samkhya was developed the peculiar mystic system of Soul-culture, afterwards elaborated by Patanjali into a perfect treatise on yoga. From Samkhya came into existence physical and metaphysical discussions as are seen in the Upanishads like Kena, Svetaswatara and Chandogya. And it was from Samkhya that the very teachings of Sri Krishna comprised in Bhagavad Gita, the widely read and highly venerated work, came into being. Not to say of the innumerable other cults that derived their fundamental from Samkhya in the medieval and modern periods, almost all the philosophic knowledge of ancient times drew their sustenance from the fertile source of Samkhya. Not alone in the ancient times but even at the present day a study of the Samkhya philosophy is considered to be of the utmost importance to a profound scholarship in the critical learning of Vedic Sanskrit. As for the great regard in which it was held by the sages of the remote past it would suffice to point out that "in the first book of Mahabharata, Narada is said to have taught the thousand sons of Daksha the doctrine of final deliverance from matter, the surpassing knowledge of the Samkhya, and he is reckoned as one of the Prajapatis, or first progenitors of mankind." And of the rationalistic value of this philosophy no one can better speak than Mr. John Davies, M.A., the able translator of the Samkhya Karika, who, touching on this point says: "The system of Kapila, called the Samkhya or Rationalistic, in its original form, and in its theistic development by Patanjali, contains nearly all that India has produced in the department of pure philosophy. Other systems, though classed as philosophic, are mainly devoted to logic and physical science, or to an exposition of the Vedas. It is the earliest attempt on record to give an answer from reason alone, to the mysterious questions which arise in every thoughtful mind about the origin of the world, the nature and relations of man and his future destiny."

    In addition to such opinions of impartial oriental scholars, I venture to lay before you subsequently certain facts and arguments for taking Samkhya as the only true philosophy amongst the other five systems – the Nyaya, the Vaisheshika, the Mimansa, the Yoga and the Vedanta. In the meanwhile, I wish to dwell a little upon a fact of great historical importance.

    Samkhya is the oldest philosophy in existence which records the nature and tendency of the people in the midst of whom it arose. To those of you who are acquainted with the critical works of such eminent critics as Prof. Dowden, Prof. Minto, Dr. Stopford Brooke and others, I need hardly say that the work of a great man is like a veritable mirror in which is reflected the nature and tendency of its times. In the same way Samkhya is the work of its times. Though the genius of Kapila gave an admirable setting and a definite shape to the Philosophic tenets that were current in his time, yet it cannot be said that they were freshly originated and given to the world exclusively by him. Many centuries before the time of Kapila learned men were occupied in investigating the nature and destiny of the universe and the mysterious relation in which the human beings stand to each other and to the world. Many centuries before, men of extensive knowledge and profound reflection were giving currency to the thoughts which they had matured in their secret dwellings in forests and mountain caves concerning the misery of humanity and the way in which to bring about an eternal deliverance of the soul from evil. These doctrines that were lying scattered here and there were brought into one coherent whole and made up into a complete system of thought by the great intellectual capacity of Sage Kapila. The old proverb 'that Rome was not 'built in a day' indicates the long and slow process through which a system must pass before it will reach its final completion. The philosophy of Samkhya must, likewise be considered as a typical mark of its time, as a monument constructed out of the crude materials supplied by the intellects of bygone ages. Professor Max Muller has, with great exactness of detail, spoken of the philosophic activity of the ancient day Indians in his last great works. 'The six Systems of Indian Philosophy' and I request you all to refer to it for an elaborate account of this point. Suffice it for my present purpose to say that Samkhya is the only system of philosophy which as a flaming torch throws a flood of light on the earliest mental condition of our forefathers and opens to our view the hitherto concealed secret of their head and heart. And to a right understanding of the ancient Indian thought nothing can help us better than the system of Samkhya.

    But many of us – nay even all of us – are prone to attach great importance to a particular religion or to a particular form of philosophy to which we have closely adhered from our young days and to view everything else from our own stand point in face of all difference and disagreement that exists between ours and that of others. Recently there has arisen a tendency in the modern Vedantists to reduce everything they come across in the realm of philosophy to the system of Sankaracharya or to treat them in utter disregard if they do not agree with their modern Vedantic thought. This spirit of antagonism or die prejudice on the part of our Indians is sure to lead us into errors of an irremediable character and impede the progress and onward growth of our intellectual faculty. To accomplish what other nations have achieved in the social, moral and intellectual conditions of life, it is absolutely necessary that we should cultivate that openness of mind to receive truth wherever it is found and that unbiased state of reasoning to carry on an interesting inquiry into subjects other than that we own.

    Now, as regards the tenets of Samkhya, it may briefly be stated that an inquiry of the world and an inquiry of the Self constitute its two important elements of study. The object of this study is to deliver the Soul from the clutch of misery, pain and evil, which arise as a natural consequence of its contact with matter.


    To take up first its interesting study of the nature and condition of the world or cosmos. This world which is an immediate object of our knowledge is in our experience perceptibly distinguished from soul by its being built up by particles, of a substance that has not got in it that particular kind of action called intellectuality. On an experimental study, this world, this entire phenomenon of the universe, reveals to our intellect two of its phases, of which, one is perceived by our five senses and the other is inferred to exist from correct methods of reasoning. Of these two phases, one that is perceived by the senses is called as Vyakta or manifested and the other that is inferred to exist as Avyakta or unmanifested state of Prakriti. And again, the one state forms the fundamental cause of the other.

    We know that this world both organic and inorganic is a conglomerated body of the five primary elements; ether, air, fire, water and earth. We know also by chemical analysis that every fragment of this material world is ultimately resolvable into substances of a much finer character. These finer substances are so minute in size that it is extremely difficult for our physical eyes to see them except with the help of a microscope. Sometimes these are not perceivable even with the aid of a microscope, since they attain to gaseous state. Unseen though they be, yet we arrive at correct conclusions with regard to their real existence. When a piece of sulphur is pulverized into the finest particles of dust and blown up into a large glass vessel, these particles do not become visible to our naked eyes unless we resort to the aid of a microscope. Again when the same sulphuric atoms are converted into an invisible gas, they are not seen even through the means of a magnifying glass; yet we are confident of their existence in the glass since we can know them by other means of ascertainment, namely, by weighing the whole in a balance before and after the experiment. There are still subtler and subtler states of sulphur than the gaseous one, which cannot be cognized even in this experimental way but of which we are certain from the law of indestructibility of matter, proved beyond doubt by the methods of experimentation. It would, therefore, be manifest that Sage Kapila was fully justified in attributing to matter two kinds of state of which one is ultimately subtlest, and the other a perceptibly grossest.

    Avyakta or the unmanifested state constitutes the primordial or first cause of this whole manifested universe. Both these Avyakta and Vyakta conditions are incidental to matter. I see much truth in the nebular hypothesis of western astronomers, and it is not difficult to see a nearer approach of it to the oldest conception of our Sage Kapila regarding the primitive condition of this world.

    Such a grand conception of the reality of the world whether manifested or unmanifested is as old as the civilization of our forefathers and we as their rightful descendants are bound to take it as the basic principle of all our succeeding processes of thought, especially when we find it corroborated by modern chemical experiments and scientific researches. But sadly we are not permitted to follow in their footsteps. In the medieval period, that is, in the eighth or the ninth century of the Christian era, when the Buddhist and the Jain religions had fallen into decay, a new reaction set it in the atmosphere of our Indian thought, and a newer and quite incorrect notion about the nature of the world sprang up upsetting the traditional accounts of our old philosophers. What is that new and fantastic notion? It is nothing but that which you are much acquainted with; nothing but the notion that this visible and tangible universe is purely of an illusory character; nothing but what we all see, hear, taste, touch and smell is a mere zero, a sheer phantasmagoria. The great Sankaracharya – great indeed he is – was the first, I presume the very first originator of this notion of illusion, this nothingness of the world and if I may be permitted to say, was the first to stop the wholesome current of ancient teachings at its middle and give them a new turn to run into a stagnant pool of muddled thought.

    So far as my knowledge is concerned, I could confidently say that there is not a single word, phrase, or sentence either in the whole range of the Vedas and the principal Upanishads or in the six systems of philosophy which represents the unreality of the world as has been taught by Sankara. On the other hand, they plainly note the eternal existence of matter as is seen in the Svetasvatara Upanishad "Jna Jnaou dva aja Isa anisa aja hyeka bhokthru bhogarta Yukta" where Prakriti is spoken of as unborn and ever-existent. And I can show you innumerable other passages from other Upanishads in support of my statement, but I leave them for fear of taxing your patience unnecessarily. As for the view which the other five systems take of the nature of the world, a mere cursory glance into them will be sufficient to convince you that they all take it as a substance of tangible reality, and that the very idea of illusion or falsity is quite foreign to them. Here, of course, it might be argued that the Vedanta Sutras of Badarayana do not accept the reality of matter but deny its very existence as is clearly elucidated in the commentary of Sankara. But when once the commentary of Sankara has been upheld as the highest and the only undisputed authority on the interpretation of the Vedanta Sutras, it becomes very difficult for us to know the real meaning of the Text to conceive that it is susceptible of being interpreted in another way. Most of the older commentaries written by Bhagavan Bodhayana, Tanka, Dravida, Kapardin and Guhadeva have not come to light, nor are the other commentaries of Nilakanta, Ramanuja, Madhva, and Somanatha studied critically side by side with the commentary of Sankara. So great is the prejudice on the part of our people that it is even deemed as a dire abuse to call in question the claim of Sankara as the only right interpreter of the Vedanta Sutras. Why one commentator should be chosen in preference to others without a proper and comparative study of all, does not seem to strike most of us in this country. But see how an European scholar Dr. Thilbaut in the critical essay prefixed to his able and accurate translation of Sankara's commentary on the Vedanta Sutras shows the incorrectness of Sankara's gloss and its inadequacy to bring out the real meaning of the Text. See how he declares that Sankara not only does not trace the meaning of the Sutras link after link in harmonious sequence in which the author's ideas connect themselves but mangles the texts and twists their meanings in such a manner as to make them suit his own views. See also how this conclusion to which Dr. Thibaut was driven by his critical deliberation had been openly embraced by Prof. Max Muller in his 'Life of a Ramakrishna' and 'Six systems of Indian Philosophy.' Again, some of you will be surprised to learn that Swami Vivekananda the able exponent of modern Vedanta, expressed in his 'Inspired Talks' a similar opinion that Sankara instead of following the meaning of the Sutras, had made the sutras follow his meaning, his own views. Why, any impartial man who makes a profound study of the original, uninfluenced, of course, by any sectarian prejudice, will find in the Vedanta Sutras the doctrines of Sankhya assimilated and expounded, not based upon reason alone as had been done by Kapila but based upon the various passages of the Upanishads. The difference between Sankhya and Vedanta is that, while the one attempting to investigate everything from a purely rationalistic point of view stops with matter and individual self, the other goes a step forward venturing to treat upon the plane of a Supreme Self which is beyond the reach of all our limited reasoning powers and defective individual experience. But for this difference both Sankhya and Vedanta are identical, inasmuch as the inquiries into the nature of matter and individual soul from the common property of the two. So far, it is as clear as day light that my position in maintaining a continual flow of liveliness for the oldest doctrines of Sankhya in all the posterior systems of thought that arose in succession one after the other up to the time of Sankara when it was sadly and suddenly stemmed in but for a temporary period, is not one of an untenable character. And from the time of Saint Meikandadeva and Ramanuja of the Tamil country that mighty current of Sankhya has commenced again to run on with a redoubled force.

    Now it might be asked what led Sankara to invent such a fanciful theory of illusion deviating farther and farther away from the plain and distinct track of the ancient Indian thought. I cannot venture to say anything definitely on what his real motive was, in the absence of any valid evidence to support it. Various explanations have been attempted to solve this problem, but unfortunately none of them gives satisfaction to my mind. It is possible that gross misconceptions might arise as a natural consequence of one's inability to apprehend certain finer shades of meaning which certain terms in the Vedas and Upanishads possess. Need we wonder that these finer meanings escape at times even the searching intellects of eminent scholars while they reveal themselves to others, when we consider of the imperfect and limited condition of the human mind? There are a few words – though a few yet very important to a correct apprehension of the root-principles of ancient philosophy – repeatedly used in the Vedas, Upanishads and six systems, which puzzle even the highly cultured minds. Some of them I shall now explain to the best of my ability and leave others to your careful study. From this, it is by no means to be construed that I think myself abler than our able commentators and philosophers. Far from it, without possessing as much scholarship and keen intellect as our old commentators and philosophers had, we are nevertheless enabled to detect their errors and defects by the easy resources of knowledge which are made accessible to us by the nature of the age in which we live. I believe you will not misunderstand me. With your kind permission I proceed to explain some of the few words just alluded to.


    At the outset I wish to take Sat and Asat – the two terms frequently used by Kapila to denote two different conditions of matter – because they gave rise to many misconceptions in after ages. Prior to the time of Kapila, these words had been used by the Vedic poets in the same sense in which Kapila used them. In the tenth mandala of the Rig Veda there is a verse which relates: "In the earliest age of the Gods Sat sprang from Asat." And in the tenth part of the Atha va Veda it is said that "both Asat and Sat exist within the God Skamba." The Taittiriya Upanishad also quotes a verse to the effect that "this was at first Asat; from that sprang Sat." "With Kapila and his exponents, Sat denotes the existence of things in the manifold forms of the external world, the Daseyn of Hagel, the Natura Naturata of Sphinoza, and Asat is the opposite of this, or the formless Prakriti." It is now plain to you from these that Sat means the manifested existence of this world and all material things and Asat the unmanifested existence of Prakriti or primordial matter.

    When the existence of an object is perceptibly known, we are certain of its being and entertain no doubt about it. But, when it disappears from our view, we become uncertain of what its real situation would be, although we may have no inclination to say that it has been reduced to nothing, to a state of annihilation. All our modern scientific knowledge tends to show that matter is indestructible. Although an attribution of this scientific knowledge to our Sages in the prehistoric past may seem thoroughly unwarrantable and incredible, yet somehow or other, perhaps quite intuitively, they came to apprehend of this invariable law as is evident from the philosophy of Sankhya.

    It is only in the primitive savage life that man can understand little of the disappearance of an object. His reasoning faculties were then in a latent condition and he was, therefore, not able to account for its disappearance nor had any means to guide him in the inferential process concerning its existence in an invisible form. So he knew nothing about it and probably believed that there was nothing beyond what he immediately perceived. There was no past nor future for him. Everything with which he was concerned was most intimately connected with his immediate needs and present requirements. This inability to comprehend what lies beyond was a necessary consequence of his undeveloped mental condition. But is it not strange that this form of savage life should repeat itself in the circles of materialistic and idealistic school of thinkers who assert that all except the present is a mere nonsense and that this world and all its contents are nothing but an outcome of pure illusion and idle fantasy? But our Vedic poets and philosophers were not as our present day materialists and idealists are. They were so far advanced in mental culture and correct methods of reasoning that with the help of the present they extended their vision of intellect far into the past and into the future and believed as the result of their careful observation as well in the unmanifested state of matter as in in its manifested state. The one they called Asat, because of its invisible form and subtle character, and the other they called Sat on account of its visible shape and palpable condition. While such were the meanings of the two terms as conceived by the Vedic poets and subsequent thinkers, Sankara and his followers mistook them in a sense quite contradictory to all received traditions. Evidently Sankara took the term Asat to mean non-existence in contradistinction to Sat which means existence, and concluded as a matter of course that all the visible phenomenon of the universe was an elusive outcome of a principle which had not got an independent existence of its own but was a simple nothing as it were. According to him that which is the product of a nothing is also nothing, and it follows from that that the complete system of cosmos is a falsely woven fabric of wrong thought.

    How anything can come out of nothing does not seem to strike him even for a moment, and he is swept away afar from truth by the torrent of his imagination. If before creation everything were null and void, which is quite inconceivable to a scientific mind, how are we to account for the vedic line "that both non entity and entity exist within the God Skamba"? How are we to account for the line in the Satapatha Brahmana that "in the beginning this universe was as it were and was not as it were"? Do not these sentences represent the manifested and the unmanifested states of matter. Do not these show that both cause and its effect are identical in so far as the existence of the one implies the existence of the other? This universe which is an effect of Prakriti and Prakriti which is the cause of this universe are so closely bound up together that the one necessarily and invariably involves the presence of the other. Hence the saying that "in the beginning this universe was as it were and was not as it were". 'This universe was' indicates that it did not exist then in the same orderly form in which it is seen at present. That this passage and the foregoing ones are not susceptible of being interpreted in any other way so as to suit the illusion theory of Sankara is now quite apparent to you; and I, therefore, need not dwell upon this point any longer. From all these it should have been clear to you that the sense in which Sage Kapila used Sat and Asat in his thoroughly scientific system of philosophy is much in consonance with the usage of these terms by the Vedic poets and old philosophers and that the new significance which had been attributed to them by Sankara is in every way not in harmony with their oldest meanings and usages.


    Now let us turn our attention for a while to another world of great philosophic significance – the word Advitiyam of the Vedic literature. In such passages as "Ekam Evadvitiyam Brahma" "Ekam eva Rudro nadvitiyayatdaste" this world has been taken by Sankara to mean the definite number one. The first of these two sentences as interpreted by him means that 'Brahman is one, one only.' In the Sanskrit language there is the word Ekam to denote the definite number one. And in almost all the languages of the world only one word is there to denote one single number and this law is not violated in the case of Sanskrit, for we have seen in it only one word Ekam for one, Dvitam for two, Tritham for three, Chaturtam for four and so on. But if we have to accept the meaning of Sankara, for the number one we shall have two words Eakm and Advitiyam instead of one quite contrary to the philological principle I have just pointed out to you.

    The term Advitiyam is a compound word; and how Sankara takes this term to mean one by the process of splitting it into two parts and tracing out the sense of the two ingredients is very amusing to note. Advitiyam is divided into na and dvitiyam and the prefix na is made to mean no and dvitiyam two. If by its parts it would mean no two, the term Advitiyam must necessarily mean the denial of the existence of two objects. After coming to this skillful conclusion it is easier for him to argue that if the sacred scriptures deny the existence of two objects by making a frequent use of the term Advitiyam, it becomes our bounden duty to believe in the existence and reality of one only Brahman and the non-existence and unreality of all others.

    But as it seems to me that this exposition of his contradicts the sense and spirit of all Vedic and Upanishad teachings I find it difficult to bring myself to believe in the correctness of his teaching and explanation. With all due deference to his greatness, we must, for the cause of truth, submit his meanings and arguments to a searching and critical examination. In the first place let us see whether he is correct in his etymological study of the term Advitiyam. I think he is not right in taking the prefix na in the sense of no, especially when it stands in union with numerals; because though that prefix may convey that meaning when it combines with other words denoting objects, it never signifies that sense when it stands in combination with numerals, but it clearly expresses another meaning of not. For example, when the prefix na is joined to the numeral Ekam which means one, the two become the compound word Anekam; and this term Anekam does not mean no one, but it means not one an equivalent of many. Similarly when the prefix na is united to the numeral Dvitham, the two must necessarily mean not no two but not two. But sadly this fact escaped the notice of Sankara. Does it not show the imperfect nature of the human mind that this simple fact of Sanskrit etymology eluded the intellectual grasp of so great a scholar as Sankaracharya?

    Further Dvitham and Dvithiyam are not identical in meaning. Dvitham means two and Dvitiyam a two-fold state. It follows from this that nadvitiyam ought to mean a not-two-fold state. The peculiar function of this term Advitiyam is to express the exact relation in which the Supreme Being stands with the Universe. God is an omnipresent Being. And this nature in Him makes Him one with the world and the individual minds. Without his immediate presence not even a single atom can move of its own accord; without his simultaneous help no living thing can stimulate itself into activity; and without His inmost advice no human being can live even for a moment. Hence to endue each and all with life and activity He pervades the entire system of cosmos and individual minds. Though H thus exists one with the universe yet is He essentially different from it. And therefore this peculiar relation of His with mind and matter cannot be called either one or two. If He were not different from them how could there be either mind or matter? Or if He were different from them how could they move, think or have their very being? If He alone existed the Vedic poet would have said omitting the word Advitiyam 'Evam eva Brahma' 'Brahma is the one only.' Or if He existed farthest away from mind and matter then would he have said putting the word Dvitham 'Dvitam eva Brahma' that Brahma and the rest are two only. But he has clearly stated 'Ekam evadvittyam Brahma' Ekam eva Rudro nadvitiyayam daste' thus adding the term Advitiyam and meaning there by that Brahman is the one only in a kind of not-two-state, that Rudra is one only and is in a kind of not-two condition. Why? The relation of God is neither one nor two but a kind of not-two state. To express accurately this interrelation, neither the word ekam meaning one nor the word Dvitham meaning two would serve the purpose of the Vedic poet; and so he resorted to the aid of a third word Advitiyam in order to bring into a clearer light what he conceived of the relation that subsists between God and the universe. Now you see what those line "Ekam evadvitiyam Brahma" "Ekam eva Rudro na dvitiyaya taste.' Indicated in the minds of the Vedic poets; that Brahman or Rudra who is one only without having a second being to be compared with it in any respect always exists with the universe in a kind of not-two relation is the real meaning of these Vedic texts. That this is the real meaning of the term advitiyam will be fully borne out by the etymological and philosophical expositions given of this word by saint Meykanda Deva of the Tamil country some six hundred years ago in his unique Tamil work of metaphysics-the Sivajnanabodha. That this passage and similar ones in which the word advitiyam occurs instead of lending any countenance to the illusion-theory of Sankara glitter like sharp sickles that cut down the very stalk of his doctrine at its root will be apparent to anyone who makes even a superficial study of the works of saint Meykandadeva and his disciples of the Saiva Siddhanta School. Nay anyone who enters upon a critical and comparative study of the oldest systems of philosophy, Upanishads and Vedas will see for himself that the term advitiyam itself establishes beyond all dispute the reality of matter and individual selves as was upheld by Sage Kapila in his thoroughly scientific system of Sankhya.


    The meager and very brief explanations that I have been able to lay before you regarding the Vedic terms Sat, Asat and Advitiyam would, I hope, be sufficient to call your attention to the highly important fact of fixing the real meanings of certain puzzling terms in the Vedas and Upanishads before proceeding to construct a system of philosophy out of them. Now I proceed to take up a much more important doctrine of Kapila – the doctrine of Individual Selves.

    According the Kapila the Individual Self is an eternal and integral entity distinct from primordial matter or Mulaprakriti and its effects. It is not a thing created out of nothing nor is it a hewn out fragment of Brahman or its reflection as is asserted by our modern Vedantin. Why is it nor so? Simply because nothing can be created out of nothing nor can the Omnipresent – unit of pure intelligence be cut off into limited parts of impure selves nor can it be made to reflect as so many miserable souls.

    But by some it is argued that the creative energy of the Supreme Being is so tremendously powerful that it can at will create anything out of nothing. But such an argument reveals on their part a want of clear notion concerning the nature of creative function. Creation as we understand it in our daily experience is the action of an intelligent agent bent upon molding an already existent object in accordance with the requirements of his earthly life. For instance, the life of a schoolmaster requires some such furniture as black-boards, benches, tables, chairs and so on and he, therefore, asks a carpenter to have them done for him. What does the carpenter do? He fetches a big teak-wood, cuts it up into several planks and different kinds of pieces and does all the necessary works of chiseling, smoothing, boring and uniting and creates in the end all that is required by the school master. Here without the fundamental part of teakwood the carpenter cannot proceed with his work however skillful may he be in executing that which he was required to do; but when once he obtains the teakwood, he immediately proceeds to change it into different size and shape and brings out all the required furniture in good time. Now apply this to the process of world-creation. The Individual Selves require the creation of bodies and the worlds. And the all graceful and all-merciful God acting upon the co-existing primary cause of matter Mulaprakriti evolves from it an infinite variety of corporal bodies and worlds and gives them to souls as temporary tenements. As with the carpenter so with the Lord. He cannot create this entire system of cosmos without its primordial cause the mulaprakriti; for creation means the law of causation, a continued succession of causes and effects. We can speak of creation with reference to matter, since every material effect has a substratum of its own material cause. But in the same sense we cannot speak of the creation of Souls as it is not possible to trace them to a common basic element of immaterial cause. The Selves are not blind, dead and unintelligent principles like matter, but they are distinctly different from it in being constituted of the essence of intelligence. You know perfectly well that intelligence is not a thing limited by space or time and that it is, therefore, not capable of being divided into parts and torn out into pieces. When it is assuredly impossible to limit intelligence and tear and divide it as if it were a bit of tangible matter how can you speak of the creation of souls as if they came out from a common source of intelligence?

    And it has been already shown that God could not have created the Souls out of nothing, for every effect necessarily requires an antecedent cause. But some may deem it as attributing defect of God to say that he is utterly unable to create anything out of nothing. But I suppose that this mistaken notion arises by not distinguishing between the human power and the divine power. The difference between them is not one of quality but is simply of quantity, because qualitatively all forces whether human or divine muse be alike in acting upon an object and producing in it a perceptible change. As regards the extent of difference between them in quantity it may be said that the Divine power is immeasurably and inconceivably greater than the other. If human power can only exert upon the little objects confined within this globe, the Divine power works upon the millions and billions of visible and invisible stellar worlds of which many are by countless degrees bigger than this earth-the Divine power the magnitude and illimitable extent of which man only imagine but cannot describe. No scientific mind can conceive of the difference between the two powers in any other way than that in which I have just explained. No intellect trained in the methods of correct reasoning can assent to the evidence-less assertion that God made the individual Souls out of nothing.

    Again, one of the different classes of idealists might come forward to assure us that the souls are not several things created out of nothing but they are so many phases of one and the same unit of intelligence, the Supreme Being. But Sage Kapila meets this ingenious argument by bringing into our deep consideration certain undeniable facts of our life as 'the separate allotment of birth, death and the organs, the diversity of occupations at the same time, and the different conditions of the three Gunas'. Do we not see before our eyes every day, nay every minute and moment that while one soul is given to birth another soul passes away from this mortal life; while one is born with all organs perfectly symmetrical in shape another is sent with defective organs such as the blind, the deaf, the dumb, the lame and so on? Do we not see that while one is a master another is a slave, while one is a father another is a son, while one is rich another is poor, while one is a king another is a subject? And do we not also see that a while one is notorious for heinous crimes, hardness of feelings and a cruel heart, another is remarkable for his sublime virtues, tenderness of feelings and a benevolent heart? If God be the only unitary principle of life that manifests itself as the whole of the animal and vegetable kingdoms, such an infinite variety as is seen in them cannot be expected to exist but all must be of one nature and of one kind. Such being not the truth, Kapila lays it down as a fact of indisputable and undeniable character the existence of numerous individual Souls each and every one of them retaining a distinct self-consciousness eternally different from Mulaprakriti, the primordial cause of matter. Great as is the opposition of the modern Vedantin against this philosophy of reason and experience, still we cannot afford to forego the truth for the sake of others the truth that lay imbedded in the Vedas and earliest Upanishads the truth that had been brought to light by Sage Kapila of Sankya and by Saint Meikandadeva of Saiva Siddhanta. I think that it is our bounden duty to preserve the oldest traditions and doctrines about the actual conditions of our life especially when they are seen corroborated and maintained by our modern scientific knowledge. I think that it is fair – nay even an uprightness of character – to have everything old freely discussed in our educated circles without stealthily sliding away our convictions about grand truths, for fear of our stern and just behavior affecting the reputation of a certain individual philosopher as Sankara. I thing that it would be our greatness of mind and high sense of duty to show our gratitude and admiration towards such of our old philosophers as Kapila, Patanjali and Meykandadeva who did their utmost to represent to us things in their true light and open our mental vision. And I think that it is absolutely necessary that we should always be on our guard so that our appreciation of certain great thinkers may not distract us from a strict pursuance of truth.


    So far In considered only the main doctrines of Sankhya leaving out of account its minute ones for fear of tiring your patience with a long discourse. Now let me proceed to state briefly the position of Sankhya amongst the other ancient systems of thought and the close relation which it bears towards Saiva Siddhanta and bring this lecture to a close.

    We know it for certain that in the whole range of his system of thought not even once did Kapila allude to the existence of a Supreme Being. This remarkable absence of any allusion to God led many an European Scholar to make Kapila an atheist. In the absence of any positive evidence, it is quite unfair on their part to have assumed that Kapila was an atheist. You remember I said in the preceding part of this lecture that the system of Kapila was based upon pure reason alone. Our faculty of reason performs its functions only upon the physical and intellectual planes which are within the reach of our experience; it can distinguish one from the other or liken one object to another object either in the sphere of mind or in the sphere of matter. And all beyond the limits of these regions of mind and matter do not come easy to the grasp of the reasoning faculty. Since the essential nature of God transcends all mind and matter and consequently all the reasoning powers of man, Sage Kapila left that question out of consideration dwelling simply on facts derivable from experience and solvable by reason. That God is beyond the comprehension of all finite intelligence is also of universal acceptance and even religions contradicting amongst themselves invariably admit this. Laid therefore under the difficult and impossibility of proving the existence and nature of God from reason alone, as Kapila went silently away without even touching on this extremely intricate problem, it is quite unsafe to advance any theory regarding his attitude towards that ultimate question. Further it would be an unwarranted assertion to say anything definitely on the religious inclination of Kapila, while we are in the dark having no means of ascertaining it. However it seems to me that Kapila maintained a position bordering on Agnosticism similar to that which is being held by some agnostics of recent times. Unlike the authors of other systems who based most of their arguments on the Vedic and Upanishad passages and wove their fabric of thought in strict union with their teachings, Kapila never recognized anything as authoritative except that which was comfortable to reason, never accepted the Vedas and Upanishads except in so far as they were in thorough agreement with reason. That is why his system alone is considered by the European scholars to be the true representative of the ancient Indian thought. That is why he alone is considered to be the true exponent of ancient Indian beliefs and a valuable repository of old traditional accounts.

    Now as regards the relation of Sankhya to Saiva Siddhanta I venture to say that in all and every important respect they are identical. In accordance with the correct methods of reasoning Sankhya states that this world of multifarious forms and shapes is for that very reason evanescent and transitory and after a long and indefinite period of constant change it will dissolve again into a formless and shapeless state of matter called Prakriti. And the Saiva Siddhanta too upholds the same view about the present condition of this tangible world and of the intangible condition of its primal cause.

    Then again the Sankhya maintains that the Avyakta or the unmanifested state of this primal cause is as much true as its Vyakta or manifested state. And the Saiva Siddhanta too speaks of these two states in much the same manner.

    Again the Sankhya dwells upon the twenty three tattvas or entities which evolve from Prakriti one after another in close succession with increasing coarseness of form. And the Saiva Siddhanta too deals with the evolution of twenty three tattvas in the same remarkable manner.

    Again the Sankhya reasons out a twenty-fifth principle as necessarily distinct from Prakriti and designates it as an intelligent Self possessing of clear individual consciousness. And the Saiva Siddhanta too closely argues the existence of an individual Soul different from matter and possessing of an eternal consciousness all its own.

    And lastly the Sankhya argues the ever existence of not one such individual Soul but innumerable ones. And the Saiva Siddhanta too maintains the same view of countless individual egos that have a perpetual existence.

    So far you see that Sankhya and Saiva Siddhanta are one in taking a correct view of the world manifest and unmanifest and in making a profound psychological study of numerous individual egos each of which having an eternal, integral and indestructible self-consciousness all its own. And you also see from this identity of these two systems, that the doctrines of Saiva Siddhanta entitle it to a claim of as great an antiquity as the system of Sankhya has.

    Now the question would naturally occur to you what constitutes the difference between Sankhya and Saiva Siddhanta. You remember I have already told you that Kapila makes no mention of a Supreme Being in his Sankhya. But Saiva Siddhanta like the so called theistic Sankhya or yoga of Patanjali goes a step upward and maintains the existence of an all intelligent power from certain actual experiences of our inward life. To this great power it ascribes an invisible as well as a visible form of grace assumed by it not for its own sake but for the sake of sin-bound souls. By making his otherwise incomprehensible nature quite comprehensible to the souls through these forms of grace, the all-merciful Sivam delivers the souls from the bondage of ignorance, evil and misery and sets them forever in his unlimited bliss of supreme Love. Such are the main outlines that I have been able to draw of Sankhya and Saiva Siddhanta – the two most ancient cults of this vast continent of sages. It is my earnest hope that irrespective of all class and creed prejudices you would make a critical and comparative study of these two systems and bring more light from them than I have been able to do now. It is my earnest hope that being imbued with the knowledge of modern scientific culture you would be able to recognize and appreciate more than our orthodox scholars do the remarkable quest after truth which the two systems strenuously pursue in stringent logical and scientific methods, and that having recognized it you would stand against all temptations to lean on certain unscientific systems of thought that are current amongst the bigoted class of people. And it is my earnest hope that you would spread everywhere the principles of love and brotherhood, teach people to love God our eternal Father on a correct understanding of human life-ideals and actual experiences and illumine the darkest corner of the minds of our fellow countrymen by making them realize the glory of moral perfection and helping them to raise themselves to a level with the foremost nations of this globe. Om Sivam.




Sunday, February 10, 2013




    "The one vital duty incumbent on you, if you really love your religion, if you really love your country, is that you must struggle hard to be up and doing with this one great idea of bringing out the treasures from your closed books, and delivering them over to the rightful heirs."

    So says Swami Vivekananda in one of his learned addresses delivered in Ceylon, when he was on his way back to India after his Mission in the West. Every enlightened son of India and Ceylon, who feels proud of the precious treasures buried in the hoary books of the Hindus, should take to heart these words of earnest appeal, and act accordingly. Else, his less enlightened brethren, who cannot devote their time to study the many voluminous treatises on Hindu Philosophy and Religion will be left to grope in the dark.

    But the task assigned here is indeed difficult and enormous. It requires patient research, untiring perseverance, and keen intelligence to master the many subtle problems of Hindu Philosophy, to delve deep into its bottomless depths, and to bring to light its teachings and truths of inestimable value. Nor is it in every one to achieve success in such a laborious task. In a thousand, there can be but one Max Muller, one Pope, one Nallaswami Pillai or one Ramanathan. And these deserve the undying gratitude of the whole Hindu Community from Cape Comorin to the Himalayas. Nay, the whole humanity is indebted to them for all they have done to interpret the religious thoughts of the East to the West, and infuse into the minds of the latter an admiration and love for the religious ideals of the Hindus. Except for writers like these, the Hindu sacred books with all their wealth of Philosophy and religion would have remained unknown not only to the Westerners, but also to those of our own men, who, aping Western methods of thought and action, remain in blissful ignorance of their own mellifluous tongue and are therefore unable to read and understand the lofty and inspiring words of the Indian sages in the original. Hence, it is the manifest duty of every learned Hindu, who is capable of expounding religious thoughts to follow in the wake of these learned writers and contribute his mite to the unfolding of spiritual truths.

    Mr. S. Sabaratna Mudaliyar, Deputy Fiscal, Jaffna, is one of the few Hindus in Ceylon, who devote their time to the above cause. He does his noble work in more ways than one. It is a pleasure to find him, though in active Government Service, deliver public lectures, and contribute to the Siddhanta Deepika and other journals, learned articles worthy of his scholarship culture, and refinement. And his recent publication of "The Essentials of Hinduism" stands as a landmark of his religious activity, and places him high in the list of Hindu authors. This able work, written in elegant prose leaves nothing to be desired, as regards the logical arrangement of the subjects, the lucid presentation of the various philosophical and religious doctrines, the fair and equitable discussion of intricate problems, the summing up of scattered facts into illuminating essays, and the well-balanced stability of thought, earnestness of purpose, and sincerity requisite to the composition of religious books. In addition to being learned, well-arranged, well-written, and interesting, it contains in a nut-shell; the essentials of Hinduism, and presents them so clearly that it might serve as a text book not only to the beginners but also to the advanced students of Hindu Religion. It would be difficult to praise too highly the care, and ability bestowed by the author upon the preparation of this volume, which is the first of its kind published by a Hindu Author. Suffice it to say here that it deserves to be widely read and studied by everyone interested in the religion of one of the ancient and civilized races of mankind.

    The subjects dealt with in this book are:

    (1)    General aspect of Hinduism

    (2)    Hindu idea of God

    (3)    Soul

    (4)    Evil and its Origin

    (5)    Salvation

    (6)    Worship

    (7)    Religious Conduct

    (8)    Transmigration

    (9)    Fate

    (10)    Sacred Books

    (11)    Astrology

    (12)    Superstition

    (13)    Caste System, and

    (14)     Religious Investigation.

    Of these the author has devoted three excellent chapters to the discussion of the question of Transmigration, that question of questions, which is as old as the world itself. The reasons he has given in support of this theory and the arguments he has marshaled out to meet the objections commonly raised against it, cannot but he appreciated by the Hindus, to whom this theory is the Sine quarto of their faith. Just to show the nature and force of the arguments presented by the author, I shall quote here a few lines from the book under review. "We are all believers" he says, "in the existence of God, who, we further believe is just, merciful, and omnipotent" and again he pertinently asks, "How are we then to account for the various differences which we abundantly see in the creation of the great God." And having very lucidly pointed out the intellectual, temperamental, mental, physical, social, and other differences found among men, he says that "it would clearly follow that these differences were decreed by the great God in return for the actions of the respective souls in a previous existence and that the actions in our present existence will be rewarded in the same way in our next." He further adds that "when this conclusion is admitted the theory of Transmigration may be said to have been well established." He then states the various explanations that have been offered to reconcile the inequalities existing in this world with Divine Justice, and, having refuted them, one by one, says in the very beginning of the tenth chapter, "The inequality, which we abundantly see in this world, is satisfactorily explained by the Hindu Religion, which maintains that all these differences are the result of our Karma in a previous state of existence." The whole of this chapter is devoted to the exposition of the doctrine of Karma, a subject that is full of interest to Hindus as well as non-Hindus. The main objection, that is raised against this doctrine, is that it dispenses with the existence of a God. And here it will be instructive to note the view of our learned author. He says:- "There are again certain Karmas, that bear immediate fruit, while there are others that take a long time to produce their results. The same action when done by different people is found to produce its result at different intervals. This difference is mainly due to the non-exhaustion of the force of the previous Karmas of the different souls and it is therefore very clear that to regulate the counter action or the fruits of our Karma, an intelligent agent is required to be always at work; otherwise there will be a regular confusion by the force of one Karma clashing with that of another. It is therefore very clear that Karmas of themselves cannot be said to be capable of producing the results assigned to them, and the Hindu Siddhanta School, therefore, very aptly lays it down that the great God rewards our Karmas or actions. This rule of our God is so fixed and inviolable in itself, that the agency is forgotten, and the rule is considered the regulation of our destiny. In fact this rule of God is what we call Nature, and Nature nothing but the design planned by the great God in His sublime wisdom for the salvation of souls. This design, it must be understood, is the best possible means available for the purpose, in consideration of our nature and capacity, and God invented this design in his unlimited mercy towards us, with the sole object of delivering us from the bondage of Mala." The whole book is replete with such beautiful thoughts as contained in the above passage and bears ample evidence of the talented author being at once an earnest Hindu, clear thinker, and learned philosophy.

    In this review I have confined myself to "Transmigration." But no less interesting are the other subjects dealt with. Everywhere the author displays uniform skill, judgment and wisdom. He has in him the rare faculty of making his subjects so luminous as to create in the minds of the readers a love for the truth urged in his book. Even men of alien faith will do well to read and study this book. For says Valluvar, the sage:-

    "எப்பொருள் யார்யார்வாய்க் கேட்பினு

    மப்பொருள் மெய்ப்பொருள்காண்பதறிவு"


    In conclusion I should like to commend the book of the learned Mudaliyar to the earnest attention of those interested in the study of Saiva Siddhanta as the genuine production of one who has learnt the subject at the fountain-heads. Bacon says:- "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." It is the write's firm, opinion that "The Essentials of Hinduism" belongs to the class of books, that are to be chewed and digested."