Sunday, May 19, 2013


[* The chief events of the Conference held in the Wesleyan High School Hall, Mysore, on the 14th December 1910, are as epitomized in the following paper by Mr. A. Govindacharya of Veda Griham, Mysore, and sent to us for publication in this journal. - Ed. L.T.]


    Truth is ever a solid fact, above the accidents of space, time and circumstance. In other words truth is eternal; and yet to search for it, discover it bit by bit, put it together into a whole and bold fast to it thenceforward is a process which seems to require the forth putting of stupendous energy, and enormous periods of time, if not eternity itself. Of such truths, the truths of religion are much more conspicuous by their character demanding such output of energy and time, before they may be proclaimed as established on the broad basis of humanity and before they may be pronounced as satisfying the requisites of solidarity. Hence the never-ending enquiry after religious truths which anyone can detect by reading through the histories of world-religions. And now in this peaceful and enlightened age, you see how this enquiry is pursued with greater ardor and with a spirit not hostile, but friendly. If there is one characterization that can apply to modern civilization, it is this humanitarian spirit that pervades all investigation into religious truth. A new spirit is which broods and smiles on us all. That spirit seems to my mind the incarnation of God beating all other incarnational records of Him which have gone before. The best local proof of such spirit is the course of lectures inaugurated in Mysore by our Missionary brothers here, and we are all witness to the warmth, geniality and general welcome, harmony which have characterized the proceedings in this hall, month by month. A new age has certainly dawned on us, and is inviting us all to work all the more strenuously in the pursuit of truth lighted by the rays of that blooming dawn. We Hindus, are not wanting in that divine quality known as gratitude; and therefore permit me in your name to tender our heartiest thanks to all our Missionary brothers who have so lovingly and enterprisingly banded themselves together to egg on the most serious and solid inquiry after religious truth which can ever possess mankind. After performing this most pleasant duty, which by happy accident, I am glad, has fallen to my lot, I shall at once to my subject.

    To my mind there is no religion worth speaking of without the fundamental substrate of God. God is such a large subject that man may at various ages with his limited vision but sight a phase of him, but some conception of Him is a sine qua non for any religion. What is this conception according to the so called Hindu religion? I shall present it to you as I have known it so far and in doing so try to use the verbal instruments furnished by the English tongue of the modern scientific age.

    For any statement made, proofs are needed. That there is God underlying the cosmos is a statement; and proofs are demanded for it. The several kinds of proofs which may be adduced form a subject of inquiry by themselves. But today it is sufficient to bring to your notice that there are such proofs as the ontological, cosmological, teleological and historical.

    The ontological proof consists in its attempt to search for the source or trace, the root of the system known as the cosmos with which we stand face to face. The cosmological proof consists in its inquiry as to how the germ of the cosmos develops or evolves into manifoldness. The teleological proof consists in the investigation it institutes as to the final end or purpose of the cosmos. The historical proof is the process of discovering the providential expression of God in the incidents or events comprising the history of the world.

    Some may subsume these proofs under the label Natural Theology, and others may adduce Revelation as the safest ground on which to build all conceptions of God; but this vast enquiry need not interfere with our willingly accepting proofs from whatever source they may emanate.

    Referring to the ontological argument for God, which in a way is convertible into what is known as the argument of design, it points to a Designer at the back of all phenomena, who to our rationalistic sense ought to be Existent, Intelligent and Eternal; and this the Veda supports by the expression:-


    This does not mean a mere bundle of attributes, but attributes are employed to designate the real substance or substrate according to a conventional rule explained by Sri Vyasa in the Vedanta Sutra:


    The term Brahman ought to be understood. It is a name for God, which signifies that God is He who always ceaselessly expresses Himself, unfolds Himself, manifests Himself. And this Brahman is therefore not a lifeless stone, nor pulseless stock, but is existent, intelligent and eternal. And this Brahman is the source or seed of the cosmos, in both of its cardinal aspects which we are accustomed to group under the terms Objective and Subjective. A famous Upanishadic expression 'That thou art', Tat tvam asi, so often quoted, means that the great truth, whom we call God is the one Truth underlying both the Objective and the Subjective sides of the cosmos. So goes the ontological proof. The several proofs are not independent of each other, but are involved, the one in the other.

    The cosmological proof as said before is a consideration how the seed processes out into manifoldness. This process as we know has three main features; the origination, sustentation and dissolution, or if you prefer another set of terms, the processes of differentiation, duration and re-integration. This is also the argument of design; for in all the three processes, a wonderful design is evident, and therefore, behind the three-fold processes of cosmology there is God. As belonging to the school of Natural Theology, J. S. Mill's "Three Essays on Religion" may be read, and as pertaining to the School of Scriptural Theology, the summing up of the argument in the aphorism:


of the Brahma-Sutras of Sri Vyasa of revered memory, may be consulted. This Sutra briefly means: God is He from whom is all creation, by whom is all protection, and by whom is all dissolution. The term dissolution includes salvation. God is thus our Creator, Protector and Savior. According to the cosmological proof the, God is the causa causorium or the Primal Cause which protects the cosmos, and into which it is abstracted again and again. The cosmological proof is thus a statement of the great scientific Law of Causation, or the Law which postulates the inviolable relation which holds between Causes and Effects; and our Upanishat comes to support this by its pronouncement:


    Which means: 'God is the Cause and Lord of both the Non-conscient and the Conscient verities of the cosmos, having Himself no cause and no Lord above Him.'

    The teleological proof as said above professes to conduct an inquiry into the final purpose or aim of the world-process. The purpose, our Brahmanism tells us, is the education of the souls, so that they may finally attain to the fellowship of God. The soul is created as the image of God, and the image is in the end designed to fully reflect God Himself. The Upanishat again says:


    i.e. 'He, the soul, become like Himself, and Bhagavad-Gita assures:-


    i.e. 'They shall attain to My (i.e. God's) Estate.' It is this idea that is summed up by Sri Vyasa in the Sutra of the Uttara-Mimamsa, viz., Lokavat tu lila kaivalyam, i.e., God creates, not to sub serve any selfish motive but of His for the sake of others, i.e., for His creatures. This is the import of the word Lila, which translated by the English term 'sport' conveys to men a sense which places Brahmanism in a light so as to prejudice it in the minds of those who care not to seriously dive into the depths of Vedanta, though the term 'sport' is often used in the sense in which Brahmanism understands it, by Christian theologians themselves. To cite only one instance Thomas Taylor, in his Metamorphosis etc., of the Apuleius, (p. 43 note I) writes:-

    "Every providential energy of deity, about a sensible nature, was said, by ancient theologists and philosophers, to be the sport of divinity."

    To St. Clement, the whole history of the world was a divine drama (sport), enacted to prove a moral purpose of His; to evolve a flower and a fruit out of the grand tree of life."

    It is thus evident: how the legerdemain of one language conceals the ideas of another. The idea of one language becomes the language of another idea. Hence at this juncture, I must tell my missionary brethren how important it is for them to cultivate the Vernaculars of the land, that they may better appeal to the populace and that they may better understand us especially in the domains of philosophy and theology surcharged as they are with the technique, singular to their topics. Also I as earnestly ask them, as they ask us, to study Brahmanism is all its aspects, not from translations, but from original sources with competent Hindu scholars. The teleology of the cosmos is thus lila, or recreation, which means the self-expression of God in His aspect of Ananda or Bliss, for the Brahman conception of God is not only what all has hitherto been shown to be, but He is blissful, as the Upanishat tells us:


    God is essentially blissful, and being Brahma, i.e., always expressing Himself out, expresses His bliss as well. The expression of bliss is the marvelous tapestry of the cosmic display we perceive; and the purpose or teleology of it is to make every part of it to become like the whole; in other words to compass for all souls the estate of companionship eternal, with God Himself.

    The historical, in other words, the moral proof of God is best state in Max Muller's words. [p. 334. Anthropological Religion]:

    "It is this hunger (hunger and thirst after God), this weakness, if you like, this, this incompleteness of human nature, attested by universal history, which is the best proof, nay more than a proof which is the very fact of the existence of something beyond all infinite knowledge, call it by any name you like in all the numberless languages and dialects and jargons of the world. Those who maintain that this is a delusion, must admit at all events that it is a universal delusion, and a really universal delusion must be accepted as true, in the only sense in which anything can be true to human beings such as we are." Also Hegel closes his work: "The Philosophy of History" thus: "That the History of the World with all the changing scenes which its annals present is this process of development and the realization of spirit – this is the true Theodicea, the justification of God in History. Only this insight can reconcile spirit with the History of the World – viz., - that what has happened and is happening every day, is not only not "without God" but is essentially His Work". (p. 457. The World's Great Classics Series).

    Thus, Brahmanism in its earliest or Vedic period conceived God in outside or objective nature; in its Vedantic period conceived Him in the inside or subjective nature, and thirdly in the Puranic period conceived Him in History as the God of Providence.

    The conception of God according to Brahmanism is thus a complete conception. God to the Hindu is not only extra-cosmic, but intro cosmic; God is not only transcendent but the most intimate; not only sublime but the most gentle and meek as exemplified in the Avataras, in short, God is He who stands to the soul in every conceivable kinship which, is familiar language is grouped under the nine heads summed up in the verse:-

  1. Pitacha, (2) Rakshakas, (3) Seshi, (4) Bharta, (5) Jneyo Ramapatih, (6) Svamy, (7) Adharo, (8) Mamatmacha and (9) Bhokta ch-adya manuditah.

God to Brahmanism, to sum up, is the Infinite Person or the Personal Infinite; and, according to the Upanishadic dictum "Karanam tu-dhyehah" it is God the cause that is God to be prayed to. The one of the Nine relations formulated in the verse quoted is that subsisting between the Prayed and the Praying. There is no soul except it be prayerful, and there is no God except He be the Prayed.

    The communion with God is also threefold; (1) communion with God as revealed in nature by the method of works (Karma-yoga) formulated by the Veda; (2) communion with God as revealed in consciousness, by the mode of knowledge (Jnana-yoga), as formulated by the Vedanta; and (3) communion with God as revealed in history, by the mens of love (Bhakti-yoga) as proved by the Puranas.

    I have therefore very little sympathy with those simple shallow folk, who thoughtlessly and recklessly permit themselves to be swayed by every whiff of religious wind, and, carried away by the freak of the moment and blinded by the impulse of a sentiment, which may be provoked for the occasion by any enthusiast globe trotter, allow themselves to be transshipped from one company of religious persuasion to another of a like dispensation, - for selfish consideration in all likelihood!

    There are such grand questions as the mystery of the Avataras, the most perfect divine characters of our Rama's and Krishna's in connection with that Avataric purpose, - here I ask you to read just one chapter in the Ramayana for Rama's character and just one in the Vishnu Purana for Krishna's character, - the inquiry into Evidences, the Personal God and so forth, which it is left to those for study in whom the sense of religion is sufficiently awake i.e., if man shall not live by bread alone; but I may say for their information that judging Brahmanism as embodied in the Sutras or Aphorisms of Vedanta by Sri Vyasa, there is no higher and lower Brahman or God, save that it means the fivefold hypostases of God as formulated in a recent treatise of mine, the Artha-Panchaka; the world is not unreal, nor is the individual soul identical with God as the passage Tat tvam asi is by some interpreted, and as I showed it already when speaking about the ontological proof. The Vedanta or Brahma-Sutras are composed of Four Parts. The First Part proves God by affirmatives, the Second Part by negatives or privatives. Here 'Neti Neti' of the Upanishat, 'not so, not so', has been much misinterpreted by prejudiced people. The affirmatives endow Godhood with every conceivable divine attribute, and the negatives show Godhood in contrast or antipolarity to every attribute which smacks of imperfection and depravity. Lionysius the Areopagite, quoted in James's 'Varieties of Religious Experience', pp. 416, 417, strikes the true key-note when he speaks thus – "Qualifications are denied to Divinity, "not because the truth falls short of them, but because it so infinitely excels them… It is super-lucent, super-splendid, super-essential…. super-everything that can be named." The Third Part is devoted to the Methods of Praying, and the Fourth shows the Object and Fruit of Prayer. Just reflect them what the Brahman conception of God is from such treatment? The First Two Parts show God to be Holy and Ethical, the Third Part proves His Grace to be the souls' ultimate refuge, by Prayer, God being hence very personal, and the Fourth part showing the summum bonum of souls' life to be salvation.

    I have no doubt that whatever labels or hall-marks several of us congregated here may bear, I feel sure they will join me when I pray:-

    'O heart, pour forth to your Mother, Father and Spouse, in praise, adoration and worship; O Soul! Flow forth to Her and Him for the eternal fellowship of Salokya, Sarupya, Samipya, Sayujya and Sarashti, whether the pouring forth or the flowing forth come by the thrill of joy or the stress of pain. Let the soul, illumed and penitent, ever murmur, in the inner most recesses of its silent being, its everlasting monotone of mental poise, and heart's bliss, amidst the mingled harmonies and dissonances of life, and let it ken the cosmos as the radiant garment of the inimitable and illimitable grace of the living God.'

    Brothers and Sisters, the subject of God is so vast that I have tried to compress it into as small a space as it is possible to compress the Infinite into the Finite, to confine the Absolute into the Relative, and show the nexus between the Infinite Personal and the Personal Infinite. Having thus in a way presented the Brahman conception of God, I believe there is very little for contrasts, as all men have more or less conceived God in some such manner.

    When I asked, I should next present you with a short paper on the Brahman conception of soul.

    Once more, let me thank in your name our Missionary friends and brothers for providing the Mysore people with an opportunity to exchange views on subjects of the most vital moment, and affecting the abiding interests of the soul. I also feel sure that such reciprocal amenities will bridge the gulf between the Eastern and the Western shores; and the bonds of love and grace shall be so cemented as shall no more give room to unrests, et hoc. I believe that there is a vast prospect of peace for our Christian brothers and sisters to reconnoiter if they only know the right ways to go about. I believe the Christian Missions in India are the best instruments to achieve this much desirable end, if they will only sympathetically, heartily, enter the field and understand us better by entering into our national instincts and feelings. The first step in this direction, let me repeat, is for them to sedulously cultivate the vernaculars, and if they can, our Mother Tongue, the Sanskrit. Without these requisites, I am afraid, salvation of any sort is far afield.

    For the third time, let me thank all the Missionary gentlemen, who banded themselves together to give a most interesting course of lectures in Mysore and if we did not thank immediately on the close of Rev. Thorp's closing discourse on Sunday evening last, it was because he stole an unconscious march over the time he should have left at our disposal. However let me assure you, my beloved Christian Brothers and Sisters! That if our thanksgiving was tardy, it was certainly not for want of appreciation.

  1. G.






Thursday, May 16, 2013


[* A lecture delivered recently at the Ananda College, Colombo, by Mr. P. Ramanathan, K.C., C.M.G., under the presidency of Sir Joseph Hutchinson, Chief Justice of the Ceylon Supreme Court, and specially communicated to us for publication. – Ed. L.T.]

    The subject of citizenship has been chosen by the members of the Literary Association, at whose instance the large gathering of all classes of people has met here together today. It is very creditable to their good sense and patriotism. They seem to appreciate the boon conferred upon them and their brethren by the King, and too long to know the responsibilities of their position. The boon conferred is the priceless gift of a share of the sovereign power, which as a whole is divisible into legislative, judicial, administrative and military powers. Great writers in ancient Greece and Rome, to whom modern Europe is so much beholden in politics and other departments of knowledge, have given us their views on the subject of citizenship, called in Greek politcia and in Latin civitas.

    Citizenship, according to Aristotle, consists in being a partner in the exercise of sovereign power, in the choice of high officers of State, in deciding cases on facts, and in the making of laws. Among the ancient Romans jus civitatis included, firstly jus publicum, civitatis in its two-fold aspects of jus suffragium and jus honoris, and secondly jus privatum
civitatis in its two-fold aspect of jus connubii and jus commercii.

    Today it is unnecessary to deal with the private side of citizenship, relating as it does to the right to marry and the right to carry on trade according to the laws of one's country. We should concern ourselves today with the higher form of citizenship, the public side of it, known as jus publicum civitatis, denoted by the famous expression suffragium et honores. Suffragium is the fragment of political power known as the right to vote as to the choice of high officers of State, and the right to absolve or condemn a person in a proceeding before courts of law as a judex or judger of facts; and honore, was that fragment of political power which a citizen enjoyed by virtue of his election, as a high officer of State. The manner of voting was by the tabella or voting tablet, which its voter had to mark with a punctum opposite the candidate's name.

    It will now be seen that according to the ancient Roman view citizenship, in its higher sense, is resolvable into the state of the elector and the state in the Government of the country means a power to choose a person for a high office, to decide cases on facts, and to sit as the people's representative in the National Council. These ancient ideas of citizenship still continue to govern us.

    The English people have not entertained other ideas of citizenship. Among them the work of having a share in the judicial administration of the country as judges of fact was cast out their shoulders centuries ago. That work was known as the work of grand juries and petty juries. The grand jury consisted of twenty-three good and true men, summoned to hear accusations brought against alleged offenders and to ascertain whether a prima facie case had been made out against them or not. If so made, they had the right by a majority of at least twelve, to forward the case to the high court for trial and determination. At the trial of both criminal and civil cases, the petty jury were put into requisition. It was their duty to decide upon all questions of fact and their judgment was final. Though the English had been partners with the king in the judicial administration of the country for many centuries as judges of fact, yet in regard to the Parliamentary Government they were not taken into partnership till 1832, just seventy-eight years ago. It was in that year that the first Reform Act was passed. Before 1832 Parliamentary representation was in a deplorable state. The countries and the great commercial towns alone could exercise freely the right of suffrage. Even then, the enormous expenses of contesting such constituencies left their representation in the hands of a few great local families. Pitt could not obtain a seat in Parliament except by purchasing a borough at the hands of the great borough-jobber, Lord Clive. Canning got into Parliament because he was a protégé of the Duke of Portland. Burke secured a seat through the help of Lord Rockingham, whose private secretary he was. Boroughs or chartered towns which had the right to send representatives to Parliament, were, many of them, "rotten" boroughs or "pocket" boroughs. Pocket or close boroughs were towns or villages, the representation of which was practically in the hands of some individual or family. Rotten boroughs were those towns or villages which had fallen into decay and had a mere handful of voters, but which still retained the privilege of sending members to Parliament. At the head of this list of rotten boroughs stood old arum, an abandoned town, the proprietors of which returned two representatives of their choice, though it did not contain a single inhabitant. These rotten and pocket boroughs were sold in the open market for varying sums from £4,000 downwards; and if a person of ability and ambition, standing outside the pale of certain noble and wealthy families, desired to enter Parliament, he had to buy one of these boroughs or seek the patronage of a borough owner. As early as 1766 Lord Chatham denounced the borough representation as the "rotten part of our constitution". He said: "This house is not the representation of the people of Great Britain. It is the representative of nominal boroughs and of ruined and exterminated towns; of noble families, wealthy individuals and foreign potentates."

    The Reform Act of 1832 swept away the nomination of rotten boroughs, and released 143 seats for distribution among the towns and countries requiring additional representation; created 43 new boroughs; increased country members from 95 to 159; established a £10 house-holder's qualification in boroughs; and extended the country franchise to lease-holders and to tenants-at-will paying a rent of £50 a year. Another Reform Act followed in 1867. There appears to be now in England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland 117 countries returning 283 members; 255 cities and boroughs, returning 360 members; and eight Universities returning nine members; making in all 380 electorates, 652 members, and nearly 3,000,000 electors on the register.

    It has been pointed out by writers on constitutional law that the most important function of the elected members who formed the House of Commons was to appoint the Government for the time being, that is, some forty or fifty high officers of state, to carry on the executive administration of the country. Mr. Bagebot says, "Chosen in name to make laws and vote suppliers, the House of Commons finds its principal business in making and in keeping an executive." The leading statesmen of the political party which has a majority in the House has a claim on their party to become members of the Cabinet and heads of departments. These are the honors and emoluments which draw some of the most hard-working, ablest and most brilliant men in England to undertake the burdensome duties of Parliamentary life. Without such honors and emoluments public citizenship will prove to be an unmitigated burden. Do you think that Parliamentary life in England will be so successful as it is now, if a person having the confidence of a majority of the House of Commons, has not the chance of becoming Prime Minister, or if other good and true men have not the chance of filling the other chairs in the Cabinet and the many other seats reserved for the heads of the departments outside the Cabinet? In Ceylon the elective principle has now been introduced to a limited extent. I hope the nominated seats mentioned in the ordinance now before the Legislative Council would, in the course of a few years, be all converted into elected seats. I hope still further that His Majesty the King would in a few more years grant to the elected Council the right to appoint at least a few of the Ceylonese to the high financial and legal offices which are now held by appointments made by the Secretary of State.

    The strength of citizenship consists in taking an abiding interest in the welfare of the public and in forming for ourselves, and helping to form in others, correct ideas on the public questions of the day. The organization of sound public opinion, that is, opinion on the public affairs of the country, is of vital necessity for citizenship. Each country must have its own methods of organizing public thought and public action, according to its needs and circumstances. It would be well for the citizens of Ceylon to know the different parts of the machinery which exists in England for the organization of sound public opinion. I would mention, first, the immense influence brought to bear upon Englishmen by the principals and professors of College. They are continually molding right thought in England, and President Hadley of Yale University in Connecticut observes, in a recent address, that millionaires and others will not be making their immense gifts to colleges and universities every now and then except for the fact that the universities and colleges of the United States of America are admitted on all hands to prepare students for the performance of the duties of citizens in as efficient a manner as possible. If a man is to have a share in the administration of a country, he shall be equipped for his work at the expense of the State, and therefore free education up to about the 18th year is the rule in America. The Government of Ceylon must now be prepared to spend much more than they are now spending upon higher education. When the King has graciously granted to the Ceylonese a share in the administration of the country, it will be foolishness in the highest degree to curtail the system of higher education now prevalent in the country. It is a matter deeply to be regretted that the Royal College is going to a converted into an industrial school, and that high literary training, so necessary to culture, is going to be circumscribed, if not suppressed. Carpentry is good in its own way, but it will not give to the country trained citizens. The policy of denying to the people the highest education which the country can afford is fraught with the gravest danger to the attainment of high aims and holy living. If we are not to have such an education, we shall soon lose the opportunities we have now, few as they are, of entering the Civil Services, or even the Bar, or Medical Service, with the result that we shall soon become a nation of artisans and mechanics only. Then will the country be flooded with office-seekers from aboard. Really and truly we ought to maintain our proper position in the country and live the life worthy of able citizens. The principals and professors of colleges in England are not the only forces engaged in organizing sound public opinion. There are distinguished public lecturers in all parts of England, working conjointly with numberless editors of, and writers of articles in, high-class magazines and newspapers. It is a pleasure to read the articles in these high-toned journals. They write freely, without any sign of fear or favor. In Ceylon, even editors are afraid to speak out what in their heart of hearts they believe to be right. The atmosphere in this country is so tainted that sound though and right action do not seem to find a congenial growth in it. Men in high places are so overbearing, when opposed even slightly, in the carrying out of what appears to them to be right, and are so unforgiving, that men who are able to lead the community wisely and well, are hushed into silence. Men of higher character and ability should never be irritated by criticism. They ought to be thankful for it, and weigh carefully everything that has been said against their own proposals. Unless we have an abundance of officials and unofficial of this frame of mind in high places, it will be impossible to develop easily the habit of right thought and right action in our midst. England is full of such noble characters, especially in the class of statesmen and lawyers who are on the look-out for wrong thought and for signs of tyranny and oppression, so as to save public opinion from being tampered with or gagged in any way. Broad-minded lawyers give tone and direction to public affairs in Parliament and in Municipal Councils, and are sought by the people as their natural advisors in all their difficulties, throughout the length and breadth of England. No one there dares to speak of them with disrespect, much less as a pest of the country. It would seem that in Ceylon they are to be likened unto the pestiferous snails* of Kalutara. [* Some of these are handsome rose labiate percolates and do immense credit to Ceylon as a fond habitat of land snails. - Ed. L.T.] Those of a learned, liberal and honorable profession must be greatly depressed to hear themselves compared to the slimy, destructive creatures which everybody longs to crush under his feet. The truth is that in Ceylon many a Chief Justice and other Judges of the Supreme Court have borne testimony publicly in court to the fact that without the aid of the Bar they cannot administer justice satisfactorily. The members of the Bar are the colleagues of Judges in the administration of justice, and the natural advisors of the country in all matters of law and legislation. They are devoted to the safety and well-being of the public, and how galling it is for these men to be spoken of so lightly. If a joke is needed to divert attention from the prevailing heat of the day, it need not be cracked at the expense of men who are doing their very best to serve the public under the direct supervision of the Judges of the Supreme Court.

    The rank and fashion of England called "Society", is another body of people who are devoted to the organization of sound public opinion. In the drawing rooms of the great mansions of these distinguished people, noted for their hospitality, all classes of leading men and women are drawn together in social intercourse for the purpose of enlightening each other and when the season in towns closes, there is an adjournment of the rank and fashion to the "country houses," where the same kind of liberal hospitality is kept up for the edification and amusement of different classes of citizens during what is called the hunting or shooting season. Last of all may be mentioned the great institutions known as clubs, which in London and other great cities resemble huge palaces. Some of them have as many as 5,000 or 6,000 members. It is an education in itself to enter one of these great clubs and to see the manifold activities engaging the attention of the members in its numerous halls and rooms and nooks. Incessant interchange of ideas on the topics of the day will be going on from hour to hour amongst the members coming in and going out, with their private friends. By this means error is eliminated and sound opinion formed and strengthened. Then follows action – effective action at the right moment, in the right direction. This is effected by committees of the club, or by caucuses. The term "caucus" was introduced from America, first into Birmingham, and was readily taken up by the other cities as a most useful contrivance for directing, and controlling, the affairs of citizens. A caucus is an association of rate-players or voters for the management of all the electioneering business of a party. It nominates candidates, overlooks the conduct of its members, gives them the right information at the right time, shows them what to do, and in fact it does everything that is necessary to be done to gain the good end it has in view. Such are the methods of conducting Parliamentary affairs in England.

    In Ceylon, the suffrage of absolving or condemning alleged offenders, called trial by jury, was introduced by the Ordinance No. 19 of 1844. It is the duty of the King to sit and hear the disputes between his subjects, and settle them as quickly as possible. As he cannot be here, there and everywhere, he has to depute his sovereign power in this respect to judges and jurymen. There is no grand jury in Ceylon. The functions of the grand jury have been vested by the King in the hands of the Attorney-General and Solicitor-General of Ceylon. But all questions of fact which have to be decided in the criminal cases committed for trial before the Supreme Court are decided by the special and common jurors, who shall have certain proprietary and educational qualifications. The right to sit as members of the Municipal Councils, and the right to vote for the election of such members, is conferred by the Ordinance No, 17 of 1865, and rests on a combination of household, income and educational qualifications. The bill now before the Legislative Council extends the suffrage to the choice of certain members of the Legislative Council. Neither the electors nor the elected have any voice whatever in the choice of the executive officers of the Government. Until this power of choosing some at least of the administrative officers is granted, work on the part of the elected members will be without the chief incentive for best work.

    There is hardly time left now for speaking about the responsibilities of the electors and the elected. Nevertheless, a few observations must be made. It is absolutely necessary to take as wide a view as possible of citizenship and its duties, if the boon conferred is to bear the good fruit it should. Citizenship must be looked upon as one of the most important instruments of culture offered to man by the Lord of all Mercies, for the uplifting of the spirit from the corruptions of selfishness and wickedness. How many such instruments are being desecrated in the world owing to an imperfect appreciation of their real value! Of the instruments of culture called the home, the school, matrimony, father-hood, mother-hood, profession, etc. I will have time to say only a few words about the home, to point the moral regarding citizenship. The home is obviously the scene of labor for the conversion of selfish love into neighborly love, and for developing reverence for man. The young members of most families are never taught this truth. They are therefore a prey to their respective likes and dislikes. Instead of learning to make sacrifices for each other and to regard each other with reverence, they become more and more selfish, lose esteem for each other, and being estranged at home, love to make friends abroad, out of doors, with persons who flattered them and agreed with them to gain their own ends. Owing to this condition of things at home, and to the difficulty of finding servants to help in domestic drudgery, it is getting to be the custom in the great cities of Western lands to break up the home and take apartments in hotels. This disruption of homes in the West is due to the erroneous idea that it is not worth the trouble of maintaining them. Had parents known that the home was the best training-ground for young souls in regard to habits of neighborly love, self-sacrifice and esteem for the virtue of each other, parents would not readily fly to the hotel for peace, If citizenship be regarded as an instrument of culture for broadening out the little neighborly love found in man's heart to the widest philanthropy, with its attendant peace and nobility of character, it will not be misused or prostituted for selfish purposes. According as the mind of the citizen serves his own aggrandizement or the welfare of the public, citizenship will be to him a curse or a blessing. If it proves a blessing to him in regard to the creation and growth of public spirit, it will be a blessing also to the community to which he belongs. There were men in Ceylon who were remarkable for their public spirit, whose lives are worth reading and meditating upon, like the late Lorenz, James de Alwis and Sir Kumarasvami. They were most pains-taking men in and out of the Legislative Council, devoted to the welfare of the public, staunch and independent, real leaders, who were not afraid to speak, who did not back-slide, and who maintained a high standard of work to the very last. Their example is worth copying.

    I have lots more to say as to the concrete duties of electors and of elected members, weaving into this part of the subject my own experience of the great men whom I had the honor to work with, but I must now close, and it remains for me only to thank you all, for the attentive manner in which you have all listened to me. I have also to thank the Chief Justice for taking the chair, and showing in many other ways his great sympathy with the efforts of the people to uplift themselves, and live a life worthy of good and true citizens.

P. R.


Sunday, May 5, 2013


    I begin with an affirmative answer and shall show what makes me arrive at this conclusion. Hindu visitors had hitherto silently glided along Western Cities and most of them were enamor of buildings and streets and various other armories of Western civilization. But passing through the churches and cathedrals of London and meditating on the many semblances and traces of Saivaism that present before me in every nook and corner of England, it is impossible to think of England as anything else except a Saivite country.

    In the first place some references are made about England in the Bhuni Kanda of Padma Purana wherein "Svetadvipa" stands for England. Looking at the map it will be evident to the average observer that England resembles the lion's tail in appearance. Passing this evidence we again arrive at another expression "Sveta Dvipa" and this can be no other than the "White Island" (England), the chalk cliffs of Dover coating the whole Island white.

    The Puranic writers again speak of Sveta Samudra which stands for the present White Sea. There is a third expression called Breta in ancient Sanskrit literature which after many transformations, has been evolved into Britain. This is confirmed when one finds that there is no other derivation for the word "Britain."

    Even the river Thames was not omitted in the Puranas which was styled as the Thamsa. We, who are adherents of Saiva Siddhanta, cannot fail to perceive that "Thamsa" is the guna of our Lord Siva. These concurrent evidences in the Sanskrit literature conclusively go to prove that England was to a large extent influenced by our Saivite forefathers.

    When a country 7,000 miles away had been fully mentioned without the omission of even a minute detail there are reasons to suppose that India had a great deal to do with Britain even in the dim and distant past.

    It is natural in a nation that ancient feelings and sentiments often reverberate themselves even after a lapse of years, when general conditions and environments, may, perchance be changed. Like a never-failing stream that flows and overflows ceaselessly even though and centuries and ages have conjoined to exhaust its energy and characteristics imbibed in a nation, even at a primitive stage of its existence, always show themselves at every period of its history. This is exactly the case with England, for is spite of the havocs which Christianity and Western civilization have played, the Saivite trend in the people has not been killed. Even in St. Paul's Cathedral the most sacred place of worship in England there are real Saiva symbols.

    It is a different question whether the people of England yearned for them; but all the same the existence of these Lingas go to show the presence of Saivaism in the country.

    Perhaps unconsciously the people have built these Lingas, but to us, Saivites, the significance cannot be underrated. Every time I see these Lingas an almost sudden glow of thrill electrifies me and I am sure every Saivite will feel the same, if he happens to consider all these patent and potent evidences.

    England is mainly a Saivite country and the same tenet of Saivaism which our forefathers had inculcated in the minds of the English people have not yet been forgotten, and whether consciously or unconsciously, the people of England are worshipping Sri Saiva Svarupa and accord the holy symbol the best place in their sanctuaries.

    Beside the natural tendencies of the English people are exclusively Thamasic.

    As Lord Siva is the destroyer and reconstructor, and one who brings his Bhaktas from darkness into light, so also the English people have an inert and deep rooted tendency of creating new order of things after destroying old ones Raudraic Gunas.

    The glory of our Lord Siva is thus manifest even in this remote land and whether Christian fanatics accept this fact with good grace or refute it indignantly, the fact cannot be gainsaid that besides, evidences of nature, the tendencies of the English people are in common with those of the Saivites and thus Lord Siva's presence is more than testified by these significant phenomena.

    After the introduction of Christianity when the Missionaries have purposely smothered the least appearance of a noble spirit inherent in the people, even after the numerous historical transformations the country has passed through the original conception of Saivaism is unshaken in every part of the country, manifesting at times through Saivic symbols scattered hither and thither, but mostly revealing themselves through the particular characteristics appertaining to the English people in general and the average Englishman in particular.

    These facts establish, beyond the least possible shadow of doubt, that our Lord Siva is equally present in this Atrishtan (England) as he is in "Bharat Kanda." It is the duty, I believe of every ardent Saivite to bring this fact to light and show to the world at large that Saivaism is the only universal cult and Lord Siva the ruler of the Universe.

    I look upon these things with joy and hope, in a short time to come, under the kind patronage of Mr. J. M. Nallasvami Pillai, B.A., B.L., whose activities in this direction are well known to the readers, that a Siva Linga, duly sanctified, will be installed in the "Modern Babylon" and the message of Lord Siva will be carried too far off lands and the glad tidings ushered in every nook and corner of the globe.

    I hope and trust that fervent and enthusiastic Saivites will offer themselves to build a temple in this country where the Siva Rupa will be installed, with due pomp and sacredness befitting the holy symbol. This will not only place the Atristhan (mentioned in our holy scriptures as Punya Bhumi) in constant intercourse with Bharatakanda but also help to assist the English people in shaking off the gross bondage of Christian civilization and breaking the shackles of superstition and credulity. Every English heart throbs in earnest, unconsciously, to be relieved from the present barbarity and it behooves, us, Saivites, to reclaim and lead them on to the glorious path of our all-supreme Lord.

T. S. J. S.


15th March 1912.

Saturday, May 4, 2013



    The title of the serial was suggested to us by a request of a missionary friend of ours, who asked us if we could give him any connected account of the South Indian Devotional Writers, and we had to confess there was no such account, thought there were a host of such writers ancient and modern. Moreover, though we have preserved some of their writings, the accounts we possess of their lives are very meager indeed. However in this serial, we hope to collect such materials as are available and give such texts from their works which will illustrate their life, faith and philosophy. We would invite our friends to collaborate with us, and gather such materials as are available to them and contribute to this serial. We have numbered this paper as II, as the Life and Writings of the First Poet of the famous Third Sangam has already been summarized in these pages, and it will form the introductory paper of this series. We would suggest to our friends who would help us, to take up the authors of the ninth and eleventh Tirumurai to begin with, who are all very ancient writers and whose periods date from the first to the tenth century A.D.

    Fortunately for us, the life and incidents of Karaikal Ammaiyar is given in the Periyapurana of St. Sekkilar; and we follow the account as far as it goes. In the famous seaport Town of Karaikal* [*This is now a French possession, and at some distance from Negapatam.] inhabited by merchants noted for their virtue and veracity and wealth, there lived once a merchant by the name of Dandatta. As the result of his great tapas, he was blessed with a daughter who was named Punitavadiyar (the immaculate). From her earliest years, she developed instinctively a love of God and was given to the study of religious literature and the service of God's devotees. After she attained her proper age, the parents were casting about for a suitable match, and they had an offer from the neighboring town of Negapatam. This was approved, and Punitavadiyar was married in great pomp to Paramadattan at Karaikal. The parents were not willing to part with their only daughter, and they assigned a separate house and large property to the son-in-law, who agreed to live in Karaikal. While so, one day, Paramadattan received a couple of mangoes from his friends, and he sent them on to his wife. At home, a devotee of the Lord came and asked for food. Punitavadiyar had only cooked rice, and the vegetables were not ready, but she remembered she had the mango fruits, and thinking that nothing was too precious to be bestowed on God's bhaktas, she served him with one of the two fruits, and appeased his hunger. The bhakta left, and later, the husband returned about noon from his business, bathed and sat down for dinner, and Punitavadiyar served him with the other mango fruit. He found it sweet and asked to be served with the other. She went inside as though to bring it, and felt distressed and prayed to God who always succors those who think on him forgetting their self, and lo! a mango was placed in her hands. She took it to her husband, who eating it, wondered and said that this fruit surpassed anything in the three worlds and asked her where she had got it. On hearing this she was unwilling to declare the truth, as she felt that the manifestations of God's mercy was not fit to be disclosed, and she felt at the same time, that it was not right to tell an untruth to her husband. She then related what had actually occurred Paramadattan did not feel convinced, and asked her to procure another such fruit, if what was obtained previously was by the Grace of God. She went aside and petitioned to God that if He did not grant her another fruit, her words would be found to be untrue, and another fruit was surely in her hands. She presented it to her husband, and it vanished from his hands the moment after he held it. He was at once struck with fear and trembling, and he felt that his wife was no ordinary woman and she must be divine and secretly determined to leave her at the earliest opportunity. With this object in view, he fitted up a ship for trading and took all his wealth in it and left abroad, and after exchanging his merchandise, he arrived at a port in the Pandyan Territory and settled there, and soon after married a suitable girl, and he got female child by her whom he named after Punitavadiyar. The relations of Punitavadiyar heard about his whereabouts in course of time, and they determined to take his first wife to him, and they did so carrying her in a palanquin, and arriving in Paramadattan' s town, sent word to him of their arrival and mission. Greatly perturbed, he however determined to face the matter and taking his wife and child approached Punitavadiyar' s presence and fell prostrate at her feet. The relations wondered and asked how he could worship his wife. Paramadattan related all that took place before and how he named his own daughter after her, and they should all worship her also. Our Lady then prayed to God that that being her husband's view, she could no more bear the flesh and the beauty of her person which was solely for her husband, and she should be given the form of a demoness (பேய்) who could stand by God ever in prayer. She shed her flesh at once and bearing the bones alone became a demoness, by the grace of God. The gods showered flowers and the music of the heavens sounded; Devas and Rishis burst forth in praise, and the relations and others who stood there fell at her feet and worshipped and left.

    She then composed her first poem called arpuda-thiru-andadai, the wonderful Antadi, of 100 verses, and any one reading it could not but feel the wonderful beauty and pathos and love that permeates those verses. We have cried over them when reading in private, and even in public company, tears have gushed to our eyes when others recited them. Our civilized notions prevent us from doing any such effeminate thing, as shedding tears, at the recitation of some devotional poetry. But if this is civilization, let us part company from it at once. True Religion and Love is cast in a different mould. To the God-over-powered, there is no caste and company, shame and pride of etiquette.*

[* cf.
மலமில்லை மாசில்லை மானாபிமானம்

    குலமில்லை கொள்ளுங் குணங்களுமில்லை

    நலமில்லை நந்தியை ஞானத்தினாலே

    பலபன்னி யன்பிற் பதித்து வைப்போர்க்கே.


No sin, no dross, no shame, no pride,

        No caste no qualities nor good is possessed

        By those through Jnana by repeated praise

        Embed in their Love our Blissful One.


    அன்புள்ளுருகி அழுவன் அரற்றுவன்

    என்பு முருக இராப்பகல் ஏத்துவன்

    என்பொன் மணியை யிறைவனை ஈசனை

    தின்பன் கடிப்பன் திருத்துவன் தானே.


        Melting in Love will I cry and loudly sing

        Even my bones to melt, will I pray night and day

        My ornament of Gold, My God and My Lord

        Him will I prepare, eat and masticate.


                                - Tirumantra of Tirumular.    


    They roll in a world of their own, loving God, delighting in God, revelling in God, and rejoicing in God and really attain to Svaraj† [† Chandogya Up. VII, 7, 25, 2.] and not they who roll under the feet of their worldly rulers. They become mad of God and the world accounts them also mad. They become God-possessed and the world accounts them as Demon-possessed. Says Saint Tayumanavar.

        பாலரொடு பேயர் பித்தர் பான்மையென நிற்பதுவே

        சீலமிகு ஞானியர்தஞ் செய்கைபராபரமே.


        Like babes and demon-possessed and mad men

        Do the great Jnanis behave, Oh Lord of Lords.


    And truly enough, as our mother, moved about in her Demoness-form, the world fled from her presence, but what did she rack how she appeared to the truth-less world if she was accepted by the Lord of the worlds. She proposed to visit Kailas and travelled through many regions and approaching the out-skirts of the silver mountain, she was afraid to walk with her feet and travelled on her head. From where our Parents (Bhuvanesa Pitaram) were seated, our Mother Uma observed the lady and wondered what great love should have been possessed by her who was approaching on her head and with the bare bones for the body. Our Lord said that this mother was His devotee and had obtained this form purposely. And when she approached the Lord, He called out to her 'Mother' and she fell prostrate at His feet calling 'Father.' The poet exclaims here that the Lord uttered this one good word, so that the whole world may be saved. But how many do really understand all that is implied in this one word! all that love, and loving sacrifice and the love that finds no fault and bear all faults, that love that would save from all harm and would redeem from all sin, that Love in fact that is more typical of Divinity than humanity. Is not all this synonymous with this one word 'mother'? And when the prodigal son returns and is received into the bosom of the mother, the response 'mother!' how much does it not imply. It is the acknowledgement of this all-love, and one's own worthlessness and sense of joy and bliss which this acknowledgement brings about!

    She rose up and when asked what special prayer she had, she said she desired undying love, and deathlessness, and if she should be born, she should never forget Him, and she should ever dwell under His Dancing Foot ever singing His praise. The Lord granted her prayer and told her she would see His Ananda Tandava at Tiruvalankadu. She accordingly retraced her way to Tiruvalankadu in the same way, and sojourned there singing many Hymns, waiting for the day when God would fulfil her wish. She sang her last hymn and she saw the Lord's Dance and she was taken under His anklet-sounding Foot, with her own song ringing in the ear of the Lord. Such is the narrative as given by Sekkilar and it is replete with many lessons. It teaches us many domestic virtues, and above all that the worship of the flesh and beauty is of no use; and even if the world should reject us for our faith in God, this is alone what would land us in everlasting Bliss. We give below a selection from her verses, which would show their worth and beauty.

    பிறந்த மொழி பயின்ற பின்னெல்லாங்காதல்

    சிறந்து நின் சேவடியே சேர்ந்தேன் – நிறந்திகழும்

    மைஞ்ஞான்ற கண்டத்துவானோர் பெருமானே

    எஞ்ஞான்று தீர்ப்பதிடர்.


Ever since I learnt to lisp after my birth

My love to Thee increased, I reached Thy foot.

Oh God of Gods with throat of shining blue

When wilt Thou rid me of my pain?


    இடர்களையா ரேனு மெமக்கிரங்காரேனும்

    படருநெறி பணியா ரேனும் – சுடருருவி

    லென்பறாக் கோலத் தெரியாடு மெம்மானார்க்

    கன்பறா தென்னஞ்சவர்க்கு.


    Even though He frees me not from pain nor show

Me pity nor the path to go, my heart shall never

Cease loving Him whose flaming Person is

Adorned with skulls and who midst fire doth dance.


    அவர்க்கே யெழுபிறப்பு மாளாவே மென்று

    மவர்க்கே நாமன்பாவதல்லாற் – பவர்ச்சடைமேற்

    பாகாப் போழ்சூடு மவர்க்கல்லான் மற்றொருவர்க்

    காகாப்போ மெஞ்ஞான்றுமாள்.


Even to seven births am I His slave

Ever my love is fixed on him, naught else,

To Him whose coral braids are covered with buds

And to none else my service shall be due.


    இறைவனே யெவ்வுயிருந் தோற்று விப்பான்றோற்றி

    யிறைவனே யீண்டிறக்கஞ் செய்வர் – னிறைவனே

    யெந்தா யெனவிரங்கு மெங்கள் மேல்வெந்துயரம்

    வந்தாலது மாற்றுவான்.

    The Lord creates all life and creating

He destroys all in this here world. The same

Lord when we cry to Him 'Oh my mother'

Will rid us sure of our mortal sorrow.


    வானத்தா னென்பாரு மென்க மற்றும்பர்கோன்

    றானத்தா னென்பாருந் தாமென்க – ஞானத்தான்

    முன்னஞ்சத்தாவிருண்ட மொய்யொளி சேர்கண்டத்தா

    னென்னெஞ்சத்தா னென்பன்யான்.


'He dwells in Heaven' 'He dwells in Indra's World'

They are pleased to declare, I will let them do.

Wisdom Lord whose throat is with poison dark

Dwells in my heart I do declare.


அருகே யுலகெலா மாள்விப் பதீச

    னருளே பிறப்பறுப்ப தானா – லருளாலே

    மெய்ப்பொருளை நோக்கும் விதியுடையே னெஞ்ஞான்று

    மெய்ப்பொருளு மாவ தெனக்கு.


'Tis Isa's grace that rules the world,

'Tis Isa's grace that destroys birth,

'Tis with such grace I look at truth,

Let me be merged e'er in such Truth.


    எனக்கினிய வெம்மானை யீசனையா னென்று

    மனக்கினிய வைப்பாக வைத்தே – னெனக்கவனைக்

    கொண்டேன் பிரானாகக் கொள்வதுமே யின்புற்றே

    னுண்டே யெனக்கரிய தொன்று.


My Father own so sweet to me, My Lord

Him I treasured sweet in my heart always

Him as My Lord I owned and owning Him

My heart rejoiced. What is then rare to me?


    இனியேநா முய்ந்தோ மிறைவன்றான் சேர்ந்தோ

    மினியோ ரிடரில்லோ நெஞ்சே – யினியோர்

    வினைக்கடலி யாக்குவிக்கு மீளாப் பிறவிக்

    கனைக்கடலை நீந்தினோங் காண்.


Henceforth we have been saved, we reached God's Feet

Henceforth no more pain Oh my heart! Henceforth

The endless sea of births whence rise karma

We have crossed without doubt.



    காண்பார்க்குங் காணவாந் தன்மையனே கைதொழுது

    காண்பார்க்குங் காணாவாங் காதாலாற் – காண்பார்க்குச்

    சோதியாய்க் சிந்தையுளே தோன்றுமே தொல்லுலகுக்

    காதியாய் நின்றவரன்.


Him visible to Seers, He can be seen

By those who worship Him. If seen with Love,

He will appear within thy heart as Light,

Hara who stands as the old world's First cause.


    அறிவானுந் தானே யறிவிப்பான் றனே

    யறிவா யறிகின்றான் றானே – யறிகின்ற

    மெய்ப்பொருளுந் தானே விரிசுடர்பா ராகாச

    மப்பொருளுந் தானே யவன்.


He knows all future and He intuits everyone,

He the Intelligence that knows the present,

He is the Truth that knows. And he is all

This Earth and Akas and effulgent sun.


    அவனே யிருசுடர்தீ யாகாச மாவா

    னவனே புவிபுனல்காற் றாவா – னவனே

    யியமா னனாயட்ட மூர்த்தியுமாய் ஞான

    மயனாகி நின்றானும் வநது.


He is the fire, Akas, and the twin lights,

The earth and air and the water is He,

He is Ejaman and Ashtha-murti

And the Intelligence that transcends all.


    நூலறிவு பேசிநுழை விலாதார் திரிசு

    நீலமணி மிடற்றா னீர்மையே – மேலுலந்த

    தெக்கோலத்தெவ்வுருவா யெத்தவங்கள் செய்வார்க்கு

    மக்கோலத் தவ்வுருவேயாம்.


Let alone what fools with bookish lore declare

About the Nature of our blue-necked God

In whatever form and figure one worships

In that same form and figure He shows grace.





பிரானவனை நேர்க்கும் பெருநெறியே பேணிப்

    பிரானவன்றன் பேரருளே வேண்டிப் – பிரானவனை

    யெங்குற்றா னென்பீர்க் ளென்போல் வார்சிந்தையினு

    மிங்குற்றான் காண்பார்க் கெளிது.


If one desires the path leading to God

And wishes to deserve His grace and asks

Where He dwells sure – Even in the heart of those

Like my poor self, It is easy to find.


    அன்றுந் திருவுரு வங்காணா தேயாட்பட்டே

    னின்றுர் திருவுருவங் காண்கிலே – னென்றுந்தா

    னெவ்வுருவோனும்பிரானென்பார் கட்கென்னுரைக்கே

    னெவ்வுருவோ நின்னுருவமேது.


I did not know thy form the day I was Thy own,

Nor do I know it now. Of what form is Thy Lord,

They ask. To them what reply shall I give?

Which is Thy form, what is It, Oh my Lord!


    ஏதொக்குமே தொவ்வாமே தாகுமே தாகா

    தேதொக்கு மென்பதனை யாரறிவார் – பூதப்பால்

    வில்வேடனாகி விசயனோ டேற்றநாள்

    வல்வேடனான வடிவு.


What form will fit and what will not

What It will be, what It will not

Who will know? That form that became

The bowman strong whom Arjuna met.


    கண்டெந்தை யென்றிறைஞ் சிக்கைப் பணியான் செய்யேனே

    லண்டம் பெறினுமது வேண்டேன் – துண்டஞ்சேர்

    விண்ணாளுந் திங்களாய் மிக்குலக மேழினுக்குங்

    கண்ணாளா வீதென் கருத்து.


If I cannot see Thee and serve and pray

I will not care to dwell even in Heaven

Oh Moon, Lord of skies and the seven worlds

Oh my dear! This is my sole desire.


    பணிந்தும் படர் சடையான் பாதங்கள் போதா

    லணிந்து மணிந்தவரை யேத்தத் – துணிந்தென்று

    மெந்தையார்க்காட் செய்யப்பெற்ற விதுகொலோ

    சிந்தையார்க் குள்ள செருக்கு.

Bowing, adorning with flowers the Feet

Of the Lord with spreading braids and uttering His praise

With constant devotion fixed on my Father true

Is this not what makes His devotee proud?


    காலனையும் வென்றோங்கடு நரகங்கை கழன்றோ

    மேலையிரு வினையும் வேரறுத்தோங் – கோல

    வரணார விந்தழிய வெந்தீயம் பெய்தான்

    சரணார விந்தங்கள் சார்ந்து.


We conquered death. We lost our hold on Hell.

The roots of Twin karma we did tear up

When we did reach the lotus Feet of Him

Who with fiery dart the Triple forts did shoot.


    நாமாலை சூடியுநம் மீசன் பொன்னடிக்கே

    பூமாலை கொண்டு புனைந்தன்பாய் – நாமோ

    ரறிவினையே பற்றறினாலெற்றே தடுமே

யெறிவினையே யென்னுமிருள்.


With garlands of words and flowers

If we adorn the golden Feet

Of our Isa with love and one mind

How will the karmic darkness afflict?


அவன் கண்டாய் வானோர் பிரானாவானென்று

மவன் கண்டா யம்பவளவண்ண – னவன் கண்டாய்

மைத்தமர்ந்த கண்ட்த்தான் மற்றவன் பானன்னெஞ்சே

மெய்த்தமர்ந்தன்பாய் நீ விரும்பு.


Behold He is the God of Gods

Behold He is the coral-Hued

Behold He is the Blue-necked One

Desire Him Oh mind with True Love!



J. M. Nallasami Pillai, B.A., B.L.    

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


R.R. GUNARATNAM, B.A., Jaffna.

    The immortality of the soul is a subject of very long antiquity. It is as old as the world itself coeval with its beginning and co-existence with all the stages of its evolution. It forms one of the most fundamental tenets of religion and embodies in itself a conception handed down from generation to generation and rightly regarded as the commonest heritage of mankind. Along with another sublime conception – the belief in the existence of God – it exerts mighty influence upon man and given rest to the soul that longs for an eternal abode of peace and joy.

    Says Thayumanavar,    

    "சொல்லும் பொருளு மற்றுச்சும்மா யிருப்பதற்கே

    அல்லும் பகலு மெனக்காசை பராபரமே."


    "ஆணவத்தோட்த்துவிதமானபடி மெய்ஞ்ஞானத்


    Says St. Paul. "So when this corruption shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory."

    How this belief originated and how it is developed are questions that concern the anthropologists more than the theologian. And yet the student of history knows that the primitive inhabitants of the world with their nakedness, barbarism and superstition were not alien to this belief. They worshipped the objects of nature and adored the departed spirits of their ancestors with offerings and sacrifices, thinking thereby that they could join them, when they themselves pass away from this world. 'Hiawatha' the most original of Longfellow's poems illustrates our point, when it expresses the religious genius of the American-Indians.

    "There he returned and saw the strangers

    Cowering, crouching with the shadows;

    Said within himself, 'who are they?

    What strange guests has Minnehaha?

    But he questioned not the strangers

    Only spake to bid them welcome

    To his lodge-his food-his fire side.


    *    *    *    *    *    *

    Then the shadows ceased from weeping

    Ceased from sobbing and lamenting

    And they said with gentle voices

    'We are ghosts of the departed

    Souls of those who once were with you

    From the realms of Chibiabos

    Hither have we come to try you

    Hither have we come to warn you.'"


    There is no nation on the face of the earth that is without belief in a future state of existence.

    The Egyptians taught that endless blessing awaits the righteous and punishment the wicked. In "The book of the Dead" we read "If this chapter be known by the deceased, he shall come by day, he shall rise up and walk upon the earth among the living and he shall never fail and come to an end – never, never, never…" And again in Weedemann's Egyptian doctrine of Immortality. "The soul indeed, as such did not die, although personal annihilation was the lot of the evil doer in whom it had dwelt."

    The Greeks like the Hindus believed in the transmigrations of the souls. In the Timaeus of Plato it is said "He who lived well during his appointed time was to return to the star which was his habitation and there he would have a blessed and suitable existence. But if he failed in attaining this in his second generation he would pass into a woman, and should he not desist from evil in that condition he would be changed into some brute who resembled him in his evil ways." The whole structure of the teachings of Plato rests on immortality. "The soul, the immaterial part, can it be" he asks in his Phaedo "as soon as it is separated from the body be dispersed into nothing and perish? Oh, far otherwise! If it takes its departure in a state of purity, then it will enter into the region of the divine and there be happy in a state of perfect bliss and comfort."

    When we turn to Hinduism we find the same sublime thought running through the poetry and philosophy of the Hindus. Death is not viewed with any terror. It is only Yama's kind messenger who takes people to the home where their ancestors have gone before them. Somewhere beyond the grave in the regions where the gods dwell the departed spirits assemble under the scepter of Yama. This celestial abode abounds in peace and joy. Here I quote a hymn addressed to Soma in which the longing for immortality is clearly set forth.

    "To the world where unfading light, where

        Sunshine itself hath its home

    Thither bring me, O Soma, where no harm

        And no death ever come

    Where wishes and longing abide, where the

        Sun ever beams in his glory

    Where bliss that can satisfy dwells, O! let

        Me dwell there an immortal."


    Such is the type of heavenly existence set forth in the Vedic literature of Ancient India.

    Throughout the old testament we find expressions conveying the idea of the immortality of the soul. In the Pentateuch we read frequently of rewards and punishments following obedience and sin. The prophets announce in most forcible language that blessings will follow righteousness and punishments sin; and retribution still more personal is found in the Book of Psalms. In Daniel we read of a time to come when, "many of them that sleep in the dust shall awake, some to eternal life and some to shame and some to eternal abhorrence." Moreover the death and resurrection of Christ is adduced as indisputable proof of this belief.

    But in spite of this argument taken from the moral and religious factor of mankind to prove the future state of existence we are often asked whether there is any scientific reality behind it. The mere will to believe in immortality accounts for its universality, and hence the well-known line of the English poet "who wishes life immortal proves it too" But this argument, if argument it might be called, has been attacked by skeptics like Huxley and Hume. They say that belief is desecrated when given to untested and unproved statements for the solace and comfort of the individual believer. While admitting their test that subjective beliefs and experience do not always correspond to objective reality, I do not think they are justified in bringing this belief in immortality under the category of individual belief. The belief in immortality is no less social than personal for as Bishop Weldon has plainly pointed out, "We desire immortality, because without it the false of others more than our own leaves a feeling of dissatisfaction, as if the plan of which we have been allowed to see its outlines should lack its completion forever." Thus the belief in immortality is a postulate like the postulate of the uniformity of nature arising out of man's need and sustained by the power of his emotion and volition. It is a postulate without which, the destiny of man and the meaning of life with its emphasis on moral and religious activities would remain inexplicable.

    But even though it is a postulate we are at the same time bound to inquire whether we can adduce any positive evidences for this belief. Theology, Metaphysics and Ethics have been squeezed out for evidence, but they give us only probable proofs. Science stands aloof saying "it is a subject that cannot be proved by the ordinary methods of observation, experiment and reasoning." Where then lies the proof? Certainly it lies in that very science which deludes the half-hearted, and opens its treasures to the true and faithful devotees. Modern scientific researchers have proved beyond any shadow of doubts the immortality of the soul. Science traces the origin of certain supernatural phenomena known under the various names of hypnotism, motor-automatism, telepathy, clairvoyance medium ship, etc., and from them deduces the assurance of a future life by means of the same method by which we arrive at physical truths

    But in tracing out the origin of these phenomena, it thoroughly repudiates the materialistic idea of soul and its assumption that the life of man ends with his grace. It will not be out of place here to examine whether materialism is in accordance with the science of psychology. The materialist asserts that mental life if the product of matter and that the psychical phenomena of which we are conscious – reason, memory, volition, emotion, etc., are but peculiarly conditioned manifestations of the indwelling force which under other conditions appear as heat or light or magnetism or electricity. But the study of modern psychology with the aid of physics and molecular physiology argues strongly against this view. It tells us that during this life, although thought and life are always manifested with a peculiar form of matter yet, by no possibility can thought and feeling be in any sense the product of matter. It is not even correct to say that thought goes on in the brain, for what goes on in the brain is an amazingly complex series of molecular movements with which thought and feeling are in some unknown way correlated not as causes or effects, but as concomitant. Thus the materialistic position is found faulty and is exploded once and for ever.

    To disprove the arguments of Materialism and assert the reality of a life beyond, Philosophy and Religion have done their best in ways of their own. But in the present essay I have nothing to do with them. I lay aside with the greatest reverence the Paley's and Butlers of theological fame and would discuss the question purely on the ground of observation and experiment. For the question of immortality to be of scientific value should be discussed on no other ground than such as are appealed to in other matters for clear objective proof.

    What then has science to say on this question? Science admits that there is some power in man by which he can assert himself without sensory agency. Thus fact was known to the Indian sages before it was even dreamt of by any of the Western nations. And the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali teach us how this power can be realized by a steadying of the mind. There is sufficient evidence to believe that by steadying the mind in the ways prescribed by Patanjali, great and wonderful powers can be achieved. Says Svami Tayumanavr:

        "கந்துகமதக்கரியை வசமாய் நடத்தலாம்

        கரடிவெம் புலிவாயையும்

        கட்டலாமொருசிங்க முதுகின்மேற்கொள்ளலாம்

        கட்செவி யெடுத்தாட்டலாம்

        வெந்தழலினிரதம் வைத்தைந்துலோகத்தையும்

        வேதித்து விற்றுண்ணலாம்

        வேறொருவர்காணாம லுலகத்துலாவலாம்

        விண்ணவரை யேவல்கொளலாம்

        சந்ததமுமிளமையொ டிருக்கலாம் மற்றொரு

        சரீரத்தினும் புகுதலாம்

        சலமேனடக்கலாம் கனல்மேலிருக்கலாம்

        தன்னிகரில் சித்திபெறலாம்."


*    *    *    *    *

    Says Svami Vivekananda in his Raja Yoga, a book that never fails to create in those that read it a deep interest in the Yoga Philosophy. "The mind can exist on a still higher plane, the super-conscious. When the mind has attained to that state which is called Samadhi – perfect concentration, super-consciousness – it goes beyond the limits of reason and comes face to face with facts which no instinct or reason can ever know. All these manipulations of the subtle forces of the body, the different manifestations of Prana, if trained, give a push to the mind and the mind goes up higher and becomes super-conscious and from that plane it acts."

    Many of the sages of India have lived in this 'super-conscious' plane and exerted their influence over everything, animate and inanimate. Among such sages, Agastya, Visvamitra, Kapila, Kasyapa, Vyasa, Narada, Valmiki, Buddha, Ramakrishna and hundreds of others can be mentioned. Even today there can be seen many of the above type near the Himalaya mountains.

    The fact that there is some power in man by which he can do wonderful things is now recognized in the Western countries, and one phenomenon after another of those discovered by De Puysegur, Esdaile, Elliotson and others has passed into orthodox science. The researchers of the Psychical Society who have brought to the light of day many of the hitherto-considered-occult phenomena, and the learned editor of the "Review of Reviews" whose Julia's Bureau is destined to connect this world with the next, deserve the thanks of every one interested in their researches. And it is hoped the time is not far distant when one and all will be convinced of the reality of their researches which mark a distinct period in the growth of Western philosophy.

    But, whether it is due to the want of philosophical instinct in their nature or their training along materialistic lines, some even of the cultured intellects of the West are inclined to discredit the researches of the Psychical Society and throw cold water on the spirit of their inquiry. In the January number of the "Nineteenth Century" (1909) Prof. Newcomb has boldly asserted in an article on "Modern Occultism" that "nothing has been brought out by the researches of the Psychical Society * * * * * - except what we should expect to find in the ordinary course of Nature." But in the whole of that otherwise learned article the Professor has not shown one instance of careless observation or random speculation on the part of the researchers of the Psychical Society. That he has not even read their reports is evident from the way he has treated the subject. Such well-known psychologists as M. Ribot and M. Mariller in France, Prof. William James of Harvard in America, and Prof. Sidgwick of Cambridge in England who have contributed much to the researches of the Psychical Society are men who can be safely depended on for accurate observation and systematic thinking. The Professor quotes an instance of spirit communication from "Occultism and Common sense" (by Beckles Wilson) which runs thus: "One week ago, last Tuesday at eleven o'clock, my wife who had just retired to bed upstairs called out to me 'Arthur! Arthur' in a tone of alarm. I sprang up and ran upstairs to see what was the matter. The servants had all gone to bed. 'Arthur' said my wife 'I have just seen mother' and she began to cry. 'Why!' I said 'Why! Your mother is in Scarborough.' 'I know, she said 'but she appeared before me just there (pointing to the foot of the bed) two minutes ago as plainly as you do.' Well, the next morning there was a telegram on the break-fast table – 'Mother died at eleven last night' – now, How do you account for it." The professor has accounted for it, and given it a summary dismissal in these words, "I would not be at all surprised, could the facts be made known, if the wife had said something of the kind to her husband every day or night for a week especially if the mother were known to be very ill." Let the professor be not surprised. Let him only devote his learned leisure to a more careful study of the subject to find more things than are dreamt of in his philosophy. These prophetic lines


"Star to star vibrates light, may soul to soul

    Strike through some finer element of her own?"


which the professor has learnt in his school days in the beautiful but pathetic story of Leolin and Edith may serve as a keynote to begin his inquiries afresh. The reply to Prof. Newcomb by Sir Oliver Lodge, F. R. S., published in the next number of the same magazine has clearly shown the unsoundness of the professor's arguments, his bliss, and his inability to grasp any fact that lies beyond the phenomenal world. From which able and instructive reply I quote the following, which have an important bearing on our subject.

    Says Sir Oliver Lodge:

    "For at the present time, telepathy has become almost a sort of bug-bear, which constantly obstructs our view and increases our difficulties, because it is a vera causa which we feel bound to stretch to the utmost as a working hypothesis before advancing to some further and more questionable hypothesis."

    "Men of letters and distinction are now willing to discuss our results, and presently even the courts of orthodox science will be open to receive communications on this subject even as they have at last had to recognize hypnotism in spite of its alien appearance."

    "I assert therefore much more strongly than Prof. Newcomb can deny, that direct experiment has established the possibility of an immediate kind of thought transference between individuals."

    Telepathy, hypnotism, thought-transference and other kindered phenomena, which Western Science has accepted as facts have been explained in different ways. Professor Lombroso, an eminent Italian savant considers these phenomena to be due to transmission of energy in the form of "brain-waves" from one mind to another. According to him these "brain-waves" are analogous to ether waves, and this vibratory energy to other modes of motion. This is purely a materialistic hypothesis, and is able to explain only those phenomena wherein psychical activity and cerebral activity correspond with each other. But even here psychologists have not been able to state mathematically the concomitance between "psychosis and neurosis"; while there are other phenomena of a more complex nature which the materialistic hypothesis cannot cover, such as the projection of a phantom in the mind of another, when the person whose image is projected, is asleep, or is dying, or is in a comatose condition. It is generally supposed that a rapid flow of blood through the brain is necessary for vigorous psychical action. But dying men have been known to produce telepathic effects on their dear ones, who are at a distance and are ignorant of their sickness, just during the last moments of their lives when cerebral activity will be at its lowest ebb. Psychical actions of the above kind seem to vary inversely, rather than directly, with cerebral activity. Here, therefore, Professor Lombroso's explanation cannot hold water.

    How, then, is this puzzle to be solved? The best solution of it afforded by western philosophers, is contained in the theory of "the subliminal consciousness". This theory is greatly made use of by Sir William Hamilton in his theory of "the unconscious mental modification", and by Hartman in his "Philosophy of the Unconscious Mind" But to Frederic W. H, Myers is entirely due the credit of having brought it to bear upon higher issues in his "Survival of Personality". To quote his words:- "The conscious self as we call it, the supraliminal self as I would prefer to say, does not constitute the whole of consciousness or of the faculty within us. There exists a more comprehensive consciousness, a profounder faculty which for the most part remains potential only so far as regards the life of man in this earth but reasserts itself in its plenitude after the liberating change of death". This theory can be illustrated by the phenomena of iceberg. The portion of the iceberg, which floats above the water and is but a small fraction of the whole mass, corresponds to the normal activities of man, and the larger portion which lies concealed under the water, corresponds to the subliminal consciousness. And, as when wind or rain disturbs the equilibrium, the iceberg rises in the sea and reveals more of the submerged ice, so, in moments of rising activity, when the level of normal consciousness becomes disturbed, the mind reveals extraordinary exhibitions of mental activity.

    Of all such exhibitions, the phenomena of hypnotism afford the best instance of the influence of the subliminal self. A skillful hypnotist can inhibit a man's pain, restore the deficiency of the senses, intensify the delicacy of sense perception and control the voluntary and unvoluntary muscles. This is not all. The hypnotist may discern some picture of the past, and retrace the history of any object which he holds in his hand, or he may wander in spirit over the habitable globe, and bring to his knowledge facts discernible by no other means. Again, there is the post-hypnotic suggestion. A person is hypnotized, and is told that, after the lapse of twenty thousand, one hundred and twenty minutes from the moment of the suggestion, he will make a cross (for instance), which he does at the exact moment, even though he has no remembrance whatever of the order, after recovering from the trance. Experiments like these show that, below the normal consciousness, hypnotic consciousness persists, and is able to express itself at the proper time.

    The theory of the "subliminal consciousness" which I have considered above, is regarded by our Indian sages as something more than a theory – a plain fact requiring little demonstration. The Yoga-Sutras of Patanjali which in the third book, Vibhuti-Pada, prescribe the methods of acquiring supernatural powers by ascetic exercises, presuppose that the mind is capable of infinite expansion. So do the other schools of philosophy in India. However much one school may differ from another, the fact that the mind is a vast storehouse of energy, is, with all of them, an axiomatic truth.

    Now the theory of the "subliminal consciousness" affords a very strong presumption in favor of immortality. If there are elements in our nature which do not receive their full realization in this world, if there are abysmal depths of personality which do not reveal themselves in normal consciousness, if there are undeveloped capabilities of intelligence, energy and love which are like seeds without fruits, then, certainly, they point to a state where alone they can realize their full development. But this world of ours is both finite and limited, and the latent capabilities in man demand infinite time for their full development. Hence, it follows that man, having capabilities susceptible of infinite development, must have infinite time for realizing them. Where then lies this infinite development, where this infinite time? Not in the present state of existence, not in the seventy, eighty or even the hundred years assigned to man, but in the spiritual world, in the future state of existence, in the infinite eternity, in the unthinkable aeons which evolutionise the nature of man in his endeavors to follow that Infinite Ideal, the Sat-Chit-Ananda of the Hindus, or the Christ of the Christians.

    To the argument which Psychology affords in favor of immortality can be added another equally strong one from Evolution. Evolution regards man as the final product of long and mighty cosmic changes, and finds in him, in addition to the action of Natural Selection whereby the physical frame of man has come to be what it is, the beginning of what may be termed Ethical Selection or selection by man of the true, the good, and the beautiful. According to this theory, man is not miraculously flung into the world as a finished product with such features of the body and mind, as we find described in the third chapter of Genesis, but is the slow outcome of innumerable births or stages of existence. He began the long and tedious journey of life as a 'protoplasm', and has, by his own exertions, his hard struggle for aeons, made himself "the roof and crown of things." To trace this slow and subtle process would take me outside the subject and demand volumes. But suffice it to say here that man is the rarest and highest product of Evolution, that his body presents the most beautiful of Evolution, that his body presents the most beautiful form possible in the nature of things, and that his mind contains the rudiments of becoming as perfect as even God himself. Avvai recognizes this importance when she says:-

    "அரிதரிது மானிடராவ தரிது

    மானிடராயினுங் கூன் குருடு செவிடு

    பேடுநீங்கிப் பிறத்த லரிது;

    பேடுநீங்கிப் பிறந்தகாலையும்

    ஞானமும் கல்வியுந் நயத்தலரிது;

    ஞானமும் கல்வியுந் நயந்தகாலையுங்

    தானமும் தவமுந் தாஞ்செயலரிது;

    தானமும் தவமுந் தாஞ்செய்வராயின்

    வானவர்நாடு வழிதிறந்திடுமே."


And Svami Tayumanavar echoes the same sentiments in the following lines:-    

    "எண்ணரிய பிறவிதனின் மானுடப் பிறவிதா

        னியாதினும் மரிதரிதுகா

    ணிப்பிறவி தப்பினாவெப் பிறவிவாய்க்குமோ

        வேதுவருமோ வறிகிலேன்."


*    *    *    *    *    *    *

These sages understood the term 'man' to mean not the body which turns to a handful of ash (பிடிசாம்பல்), but the 'inner man the soul which is incorruptible and everlasting; and when they speak of the birth of man as a rare phenomenon, they mean that only by being born a man with the power of deciding the right from wrong, it is possible for one to attain Mukti. That their opinions are well-founded is evident from the following words of John Fiske. Arguing that on the earth there will never be a higher creature than man, he says:-

    "No fact in nature is fraught with deeper meaning than this two sided fact of the extreme physical similarity and enormous physical divergence between man and the group of animals to which he traces his pedigree. It shows that when humanity began to be evolved an entirely new chapter in the history of the universe was opened. Henceforth, the life of the nascent soul came to be first in importance, and the bodily life became subordinated to it." In the subsequent paragraph, he adds "According to Darwinism the creation of man is still the goal toward which nature tended from the beginning. Not the production of any higher creature, but the perfecting of humanity, is to be the glorious consummation of Nature's long and tedious work. Thus we suddenly arrive at the conclusion that man seems now, much more clearly than ever, the chief among God's creatures.

    In his book on "The Destiny of Man" from which the above words are quoted, the author proves to the hilt that a higher creature of man lies not in the physical, but in the psychological and ethical plane. This is no doubt true. For Natural Selection, after it has produced in man a symmetrical shape and form, and endowed him with the potentialities of becoming humane, wise, and philosophic, has resigned its post in honor of Ethical Selection or selection by man. Hence we no longer see the action of Natural Selection in the highest product of Evolution, but only in the lower regions of organic life. But the process by which this elimination was effected was very slow and gradual. It has taken ages for man to throw off his brute-inheritance. In spite of all that the Church and the State have done towards his moral and spiritual advancement, there still lurks in him "the ape and the tiger," and it is difficult to say whether in this world or the world to come he will throw off the last vestige of his ancestry, and become "the lamb" of God to live with Him for ever and ever. That man must at one time or other throw off his brute-inheritance is a strong inference that follows from the theory of Evolution. He has in himself, as we have said before, the potentialities of making himself perfect in every way. And this is the meaning of that authoritative and inspiring command of Christ: "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." The progress man has made during the last thirty centuries has been immense indeed. From that naked state of ignorance and barbarism, when he behaved like the beasts of the field, and had no higher standard of morality than that of the kennel or poultry yard, he has gradually developed himself in intelligence and morality, so as to learn the secrets of nature, to master its various and discordant elements, and to build such institutions as a family, state or church. This progress is destined to go on in the future as it has done in the past till man completely realizes in himself his oneness with God. The creative energy that has been at work during the past will not fall asleep tomorrow, but will continue till it accomplishes its purpose. And it is in the way, this energy works, that we find a strong argument in favor of immortality.

    This energy works principally in two ways – Natural Selection and Ethical Selection or Selection by man. Of these, the first is blind, is confined to the lower regions of life and works through death; the second is intelligent, is found in the highest forms of life, and works through life. The former regards might as right and is the governing principle in the animal world, while the latter recognizes temperance, justice, righteousness, sympathy, love, and such qualities as the cardinal virtues of life, and builds on them the foundation of a complete and perfect life. Though these two Selections are diametrically opposed to each other, yet they are indispensable to the formation of the highest types of Evolution. The one lays the foundation and ends where the other begins. We shall briefly show here how they work.

    In the course of Organic Evolution it has been observed that certain functions are indispensable to the birth of higher functions, though in themselves they are not so, and become extinct after they have served the purpose required, and that there are certain functions, which remain ever useful, and are worthy of being fostered and cultivated. The first man, who in the formation of his body and the development of his mind resembled the orangutan of the Malay Peninsula, had in him more of animal nature than human or divine. And it was but necessary that it should have been so. Else it would have been difficult for him to get on in the world – nay even to live in it. For, if his animal nature had not been equal to that of his fellows, if he had been slow, soft or mild, he would have been kicked out of his place by the stout and the strong, and left in the lurch to die of starvation and want. On the other hand, if he had been as shrewd and strong as his fellows, he would have held his ground, and demanded "an eye for an eye, or a tooth for a tooth". Hence, for the mere sustenance of life, it was necessary that the first man should have had a good deal of animal nature in him. But with the gradual formation of the family, the tribe, the state, and the church, the animal nature in man become transformed into human or divine, and such qualities as courage, tenacity of purpose and love evolved out of selfishness, Jealousy and self-love. Our purpose here is not to trace the origin and development of morality and religion, but only to show the line in which Evolution works, and point out whither it tends and what message it gives us as to a future life.

    The conditions that prevailed during the primitive periods, when man wandered from place to place in search of food and shelter were such that he had to keep up a continual struggle for his existence. And his animal nature, as we have said before, was then indispensible to him. But as the conditions of living changed with the progress of society, peace and order became more useful than strife and confusion. Accordingly that man became healthy, active and prosperous, who settled down, cultivated his grounds and established a home, while his brother, who boasted of his physical strength, craftiness and pugnacity went to the wall. Natural Selection thus parts company with man, when he has risen above his animal nature, and Ethical selection takes its place. It is at this parting of ways that we rightly understand the words of Christ, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth." At the primitive state of mankind, this beautiful and meaningful statement would have been regarded as nothing but stuff and nonsense, even as it is regarded today by him whose spirit is over cloyed with materialism and worldliness. But he, who understands it rightly finds in it the goal towards which Evolution has been tending from the very first. The aim of Evolution has been not to produce Herculean stature and strength, selfishness, jealousy and hatred, though these were indispensable at its early stages, but to bring forth a sweetness of disposition, mildness, meekness, and love and make man enjoy perpetual joy and peace with his Maker. Prof. Henry Drummond puts it clearly in the following words:- "What is evolution? A method of creation. What is its object? To make more perfect living beings. What is Christianity? A method of creation. What is its object? To make more perfect living beings. Through what does Evolution work? Through love.* [* It might not appear on the surface that Evolution works "through love." At early stages, one cannot fail to observe destruction, slaughter and death on all sides. But though apparently it destroys, its purpose is to build. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." That Evolution works "through love" becomes evident when we look to its goal, which is the perfecting of humanity.] Through what does Christianity work? Through love. Evolution and Christianity have the same author." The same might be said of the other religions also. This, then, is the message of Evolution – "To make more perfect living beings."

    But in this planet of ours, we find no man who has reached the final goal of Evolution. Though here and there we see glimpses of partial perfection, yet such ideal perfection as is expected from Evolution no where do we find. Even the greatest Jnanis and sages to testify to their weakness and imperfection. Are we, then, to regard Evolution as having failed in its purpose? Has all the work it has done for yugas been done for nothing? I the man, whom it has developed through innumerable stages of growth, to disappear like a bubble that bursts? To these question the answer comes from John Fisk, of creative energy, and the chief object of divine care, is almost irresistibility driven to the belief that the soul's career is not completed with the present life upon the earth." This is a logical inference from Evolution which no one can gainsay. True it is that man cannot realize a complete perfection of his spiritual nature in this life as long as his soul is enshrouded by the perishable body, which Svami Tayumanavar call மலப்பாண்டம், the pot of filth. But, if it leaves the world after it has attained, the required spiritual development, it is bound to live with its father in heaven, and enjoy "that peace which passeth understanding."

    "Life is real, life is earnest,

    And the grave is not its goal.

    'Dost thou art, to dust returnest'

    Was not spoken of the soul".    


    The argument I have given in this essay from the theory of "the Subliminal consciousness" and "Evolution are the two strongest arguments in support of Immortality. To these might be added the forcible, but oft repeated, arguments from theology. And I leave them to the priests and the clergy.

    In my next essay I shall endeavour to prove that the animals also have souls.

R. R. G.