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.




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