Sunday, August 24, 2014


    The Sanskrit literature, it has often been remarked, is an arid waster in respect of fiction cultivated as an attempt to give artistic form to a true sequence of things, as a useful miniature for mirroring the ever varying, but single, human tale. The talent, it is also urged, displayed by at least some of the practitioners of the form distinctly great, did not reach even a promising condition. The productions of Valmiki and Bhavabhuti are considered to be no better than mere tales of terror and "Minerva Press" inanities. The lack of pure fiction, many might reasonably fancy, has led to the correlative atrophy of a very important limb of literature and one-sided development of Sanskrit poetry in all its branches so as to have embraced within its every-expanding fold even works of science, treatises on mathematics, and books dealing with medicine and surgery. To it we should trace the utter paucity of conversational literature in Sanskrit such as that we meet with in "Realmah" "Friends in Council" and the like, the want of cultivation of Rhetoric and Oratory as distinct departments of intellectual activity unlike the Greeks and the Romans, and the absolute extinction of Sanskrit as a spoken tongue. Just on the very threshold of our discussion, we may pause to reflect whether there was anything inherent in the language itself that deterred it from perfecting a good literary prose. A glance at the colossal scholia of some of the Upanishads, at the volumes of glosses written on some of the Nyaya works, at the vociferous disputations around some cruxes or knotty enigmas of Brahma-Sutras would not fail to profoundly impress one with the virulent facility and majestic marc of "Scholastic" Sanskrit prose. One that is able to wield such a caustic weapon could, by no means, be deemed a despicable controversialist but, ought to be a positively dreadful hand at polemics. The language is so fiery and violently nervous, the expressions so supple and so forcible, the prose informed with so much of gusto and bedecked with so little of labored varnish, that everything seems natural and vivacious in the extreme. The ponderous and sonorous prose of Patanjali is only equaled by his minuteness of analysis and closeness of ratiocination. His Mahabhashya with its Miltonic jingle and leviathan-movement, and the half-metric solemn prose of the Brahmanas are the primary vestiges of earlier and decided efforts at prose composition. Coming down to purely classical levels, the sort of Sanskrit prose we get here, in point of terseness and grace, simplicity and vigor, remind us of Thackeray and George Eliot. It is clarified melody to hear a Mallinatha, or a Katayaverma in their luscious Sanskrit prose, with the quaint aroma of cultured elegance breathing from it, discoursing upon on the sense of some abstruse passages of a Magha or a Kalidasa and making them as limpid and transparent as a gentle cascade that washes down a rock-boulder. The names of a few authors like Bana and Dandin, Subandhu and Vishnusharma must be remembered by every student of Sanskrit Literature as they were the last in essaying to revive the moribund body of systematic literary prose. Though their efforts in their respective generations seemed to augur complete success, the reaction was only too destructive at the next step. When we look at the vicissitudes of Sanskrit prose even in this skimming fashion, when we bestow some thoughts on the varying aspects of the Sanskrit style, the notion enchains our attention that the craggy prose of Carlyle with its piercing angularity and jolting movement, the sober and elaborate rhythm of DeQuincey with its ornate eloquence, the over-jeweled language of Macaulay with its opalescent sheen, the sinewy vigor and adamantine hardness of Mathew Arnold, the orient splendor of Ruskin with its streaming iridescence, the lark-like sweetness of Keats have all had their embryonic fountainheads in Sanskrit literature. The ingenious marshalling of ideas, the rhetorical grouping of all minor thoughts round one principal theme and the poignant verbal quibbles have struck the shrillest note in the gamut in works of, and scholia on, Nyaya. There has been nothing in the genius of the language to deter the development of an organic and graceful prose. On the other hand the weight of evidence that goes to assure us about the perfect success, the Sanskrit prose as a flexible instrument of thoughtful expression would be enjoying at this moment, if we had followed the lead of such paramount masters of Sanskrit style as Bana in vitalizing and rejuvenating the famishing strength of Sanskrit prose, is simply overwhelming. But Sanskrit as a means of conversation is entirely out of the question to consider, since, Panini to be recognized as the most immediate grammarian to govern the speech of Sanskritists, and the religious use of verbal paradigms, to be made the only channel to denote all the nicest shades of time, would only be to end, and excel, in acrobatic feats of no common order, even in the case of most learned Pundits, if they were asked to speak fine and racy Sanskrit. While Sanskrit as a cultured and literary language, as an ornate prose of excellent fiction would have been quite possible if we had heard the warning voice of Bana. There can be suggested another reason for the dominance of poetry, rather versification, in Sanskrit apart from the apathy of the soil on which fell the seeds from Bana's hands. The ancient times when alphabet was yet to be invented, the enthusiastic attempts of the unlettered old Hindus to make memorial verses as the first step in mnemonics, suggested by the ready pleasure the ear derived in hearing the accents struck at regular intervals, and the rhythm fall in an even manner, the days when the ear, to the total exclusion of the eye, was the sole channel for literary instruction, may account for the initial progress of Sanskrit poetry. This may have biased the mind of the ancient "Aryans" (I don not use the term in the sense of the English Philologists) towards the inception of poetry to the entire negligence of prose. Even when the primary cause that necessitated the exclusive adoption of poetry was removed or remedied, things took their once-wonted course. And so, when poetry ought to have gone back to some distance to give room to its legitimate partner, prose, so far from what we might expect, the ill-starred prose grew jejune and died an ill-deserved death, while poetry flourished unmolested and supreme. Poetry grew into such literary favor with people as to bring prose into positive bad odor in India. With the rapid widening of the poet's limits and influence, prose-writing was deemed flaccid and vapid, and the use of flowers of fancy or ornamental glitter was never thought compatible with prose composition till Bana showed to what sublime poetic heights prose might soar.

    The ineptitude of Sanskrit Prose as a vehicle of thought have become a very common enough idea, after almost a death-still silence of a long number of years, Bana appeared on the literary horizon in meteoric suddenness, freshness and splendor, with his full-voiced dispassion, to show to the dazed Sanskrit world, what an excellent instrument Sanskrit really was, whether or not it was destined to, or could, advance cheek by jowl with Sanskrit poetry, and, after a time, eclipse it. The delicious rural scenes of Hall Cine, the vivid realism and minuteness of details of Thomas Hardy, the intensity of feeling and fervid passion of George Eliot, the mystically bald and rancorous admonitions of George Meredith, the bland serenity of Kingsley, the godly and devotional tone of Mrs. Humphrey Ward, even "the new Hedonism" of Grant Allen appear in gorgeous tints and with consummate maturity in Bana's Kadambari. True romance, genuine love-thrills, the recalcitrant sweet heart and the submissive spark, the hazardous flirtations of the drab, the go-betweens making up a rendezvous between people of quality, lovely landscapes and balmy wood-land avenues, the flower-bespangled meadows with birds making music and choosing mates over them, the roseate east in the early morning, the crimson after-glow in the west at sun-set are in lavish profusion. We have in Kadambari, Chandrapida and their respective retinues, the counterparts of the English Monarch and his fawning valet, the coy maiden really vain of her charms gently rebuked by her chaperon in the presence of her worshipper, the smile of the blushing bride, the titter and giggle of her companions. The lubberly Dravidian hermit, the waggish girls in the full bloom of their bewitching heyday in Kadambari's boudoir, are very unctuous to an imaginative soul. Bestmen and bridesmaids are hardly less common. We have all the humor and naïve sarcasm of Thackeray, all the chivalry described in Scott's novels, all the homely caressing in Jane Austen, and the heart-melting sentimentalism of a Charlotte Bronte well brought out in Bana's Novel. In rank portraiture of sensualism M. Zola may without loss of dignity take long lessons from Bana. In preaching abstinence, resignation and the other Indian virtues, Bana's romance our-does the teachings of Bhagavat Gita. The only imputation that could be cast on Bana is that he at the same breath not only commits prurient outrages to decency with the impudence of "Laus Veneris" of Swinburne's, but also preaches the awe-inspiring sermon that surpasses the trained pulpit-eloquence of Archdeacon Farrar or Cardinal Newman. He is all-comprehensive, all-universal. His information is encyclopedic and his language the music of the flute. The linked sweetness of Bana proved after all to be "a pearl before the swine" in the case of Professor Weber. The learned German Professor has no words sufficiently contemptuous for the clumsy invention of Bana in whom he is not prepared to admit a single merit. Weber, rare and delicate critic as he is, is yet too profoundly out of sympathy with Sanskrit prose to be able to judge it at all! English criticism has been far more just to the claims of Bana, and Professor Peterson, in particular, has given him praise in some places which to an Indian ear sounds excessive. Bana's Mission was not to idealize any single moral trait, nor to accentuate any foible of human nature, but he came to point out what genuine function prose was meant to fulfill, how the noblest thoughts of a writer could be enshrined in rhythmic yet fragrant prose, how the various modern divisions of fiction down to the latest "local novel" and "the novel of adventure" were possible in the ancient language of Bharatavarsha. He has taught how to paint the best landscapes in nature, how to picture sylvan retreats fuming with altar-smoke and odorous with sacrificial butter, how to study humanity, what the delineation of human heart means, how its emotional nature can be deified, how its amorous tendencies refined into a pure and unspotted love and knit into a delicate but strong knot of gossamer-web which cannot be untied either on earth below or in Heaven above, how a tube can be dramatized, how to analyze the various passions, emotions and softer affections human-kind is capable of, what the various qualities of mind and heart are that adorn human nature, and what the grand lesson is we are to learn from the fleeting play of human action and destiny. He was the last man who came to speak unto us in encouraging tones of the future capabilities of Sanskrit prose as a vehicle of fiction in every sense of the term, but his extant works, quite surprisingly, became a death knell to inform us that the regal grandeur, and gay march of the elaborate Sanskrit prose with its flowing periods was becoming a matter of the hoary past. So that the interest which Bana has for us, is one of intense melancholy, and all the more so when we reflect that he was crying in the wilderness, and with his death we have sung the requiem, along with his son, for the faded glory of Sanskrit prose,

    "Yathe divam pithari thadvachasiva Sardham,

    Vicchedamapa bhuvi yasthu Katthaprabandhah."




Sunday, August 17, 2014


'Satyam Jnanam Anantam Brahma.' Tait. Up. ii. I

'Bliss is Brahman.' Tait. Up. iii. 6.

'There is one Rudra only, - they do not allow a second - who rules all the words by his powers.' - Atharva Siras. 'God is Love.'

We begin where we left off in our last; and in discussing the nature of Saguna and Nirguna God, we will discuss the article of the Rev. Father Bartoli on 'God, a Personal Being' which appeared in our last two issues, and the Editorial 'God and the Brahman' of the 'Brahmavadin' of 16th ultimo, and the lecture of Swami Vivekananda, published in the last November number of the same magazine. These two parties occupy positions which seem almost distant as the poles, and altogether irreconcilable. The Rev. Father asks, 'Why this mockery? Say with the fool that there is no God: that the existence of God is a sham, a bubble, a false show, a cheat, a day dream, a chimera: because an Impersonal God is all this.' The learned Svami on the other hand says "The monistic theory has this merit that it is the nearest to a demonstrable truth in theology we can get. The idea that the Impersonal Being is in nature, and that nature is the evolution of that Impersonal, is the nearest that we can get to any truth that is demonstrable, and every conception of God which is partial and little and Personal is comparatively not rational." In the editorial note on 'God and Brahman,' a novel and a very presumptuous and misleading distinction in the use of the words God and Brahman is attempted, and the article concludes by saying that the worship of God, in all truth and in all love will never lead one to Moksha. "God is for such, and the Brahman is for those whose goal is perfect rest in perfect freedom." The presumption is in supposing that all other religionists, except those of our learned brother's ilk, do not postulate a Brahman, and that their path, not being the 'Soham' path (Paramahamsa) will not lead one to Moksha; and it is also an unwarranted presumption in trying to restrict the use of the word God to what these people were till now calling the lower Brahman or Saguna Brahman or Personal God. The so-called Vedantists have an insidious way of recommending themselves to the favor of other people by bestowing judiciously, a panegyric here and a panegyric there, and, at the same time, they try to raise themselves above the shoulders of these others, and at the latter's expense.

They profess to be full of the milk of human kindness to professors of all creeds and sects, and would willingly take them under their folds, what for? Only, so that these people may see that what they profess to teach is the only true path containing the only truth, and that the other paths are - well - only no paths at all - only it will bring them to the same point of birth and death, containing a so-called - a phenomenal truth. And then what is the truth of these people worth after all? In itself, it is so shaky, or they maul it so badly in their attempt to please every body that their truth (substance) becomes indistinguishable from untruth (phenomena); and this is exactly what the Svami's Guru, the Paramahamsa, the Mahatman says. God - the Saguna - the Personal God is Maya or Sakti, indistinguishable as heat from fire and this God or Maya is as such one with Brahman, and so the distinction of Personal and Impersonal God is a distinction without a difference. (Prabhudda Bharata p. 109)!! It will be seen from a reading of the Rev. Father's article, and from how these words are used in the Brahmavadin and the Prabhudda Bharata, that all these parties use the word Saguna as fully equivalent to Personal, and Nirguna as equivalent to Impersonal Being; and a shade has never crossed these learned people's minds whether such rendering is quite the truth.

In our last we quoted a Swetasvatara Mantra in which the One God is called Nirguna. To-day we quote a Gita verse in which God is called Nirguna. "Beginingless, without qualities (Nirguna) the Supreme Self (Paramatman) Imperishable, though seated in the body, O Kaunteya, worketh not, nor is soiled." *And the whole of chapters 13 and 14 have to be read to know the precise meanings of Guna, Saguna and Nirguna. Verses 5 to 18 (chap. 14) define and describe the Gunas and their varieties - Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. The three Gunas are Prakriti born. (14. 5., and 13. 19) from which are all action, causes and effects (13. 23) and from where are all bodies produced (14. 20). Sattva is simply bodily (and mental) purity leading one to the desire of wisdom and bliss, (14.6), wisdom light streameth forth from the Sattvic Man; and when he dies, he goes to the worlds of the Gods (Vijnanaloka) and he rises upwards. The Sattvic Man is still clothed in the material (Prakratic) body, and is not yet released from his bonds, not a Mukta. He is simply what the world esteems as a wise and great man.

On the other hand Rajas engenders passion, engenders thirst for life and is united to action - greed, out-going energy, undertaking of actions, restlessness, desire - and he is again and again born among people attached to action. Tamas engenders ignorance, delusion, sloth, indolence, darkness, negligence &c., and he is born and enveloped in the vilest qualities. From this Prakriti and the three Gunas born of Prakriti, is distinguished the Purusha. † Prakriti is the cause of causes and effects and instruments; and Purusha is the origin of pleasure and pain i.e., experiences, and is attached to the qualities (guna) born of Prakriti, and by this attachment or Pasa undergoes birth and death. So the reason for its undergoing birth and death is its attachment to the Gunas, Sattva included.

[* Chap. xiii. 31,

In page 582. Brahmavadin, Purusha, Brahman, and Spirit are called synonymous terms. In page 247, Mr. Mahadeva Sastri's Gita translation, Sankara says, Purusha, Jiva, Kshetrajna, Bhokta, are; all synonymous terms. So Brahman and jiva are synonymous!!!]

And the only way, this Purusha (our Brahmavadin's Brahman),the Dweller in the body, can be freed from death unto everlasting life is by crossing over the three Gunas, (14. 20) and by realizing that all action and change is the result of the three Gunas, (14. 19), and that he himself (Purusha) is action less or flawless (13. 29) and that there is One higher than the three Gunas (Prakriti),, (14. 19), other than himself. The Highest Purusha, the Paramatman, He who pervadeth and sustaineth the three worlds, the indestructible Isvara, (15. 17). the Spectator, and Permitter, Supporter, Enjoyer, the Maheswara, and this Beginingless, Nirguna Paramatman cannot perish though he is also seated in the body, as the Purusha or Atma is seated, and is not attached to the three Gunas of which the bodies are created, and is not tainted nor soiled, as the Purusha was declared to be in verse (19, 20 and 21 of 13th chapter), just as Akasa is not soiled, though present in each and every thing.

The Purusha (the Brahmavadin's Brahman, and our Jivatma) has also to realize, for effecting his freedom, that he and Prakriti are all rooted in this One and proceed from it, (13. 30) and though the One is neither rooted in Prakriti nor Purusha, being their efficient cause (9. 5); This one God, the Svetasvatara says, (the passage will bear repetition) is "hid in every Bhuta, pervading all, the inner Atma of every atma, Inspector of all deeds (spectator) in whom every thing dwells, (the support), the Witness, the Pure Intelligence and Nirguna Being; The Isvara of Isvaras, the Mahesvara, the God Supreme of God's; the king of kings, the Supreme of the Supreme, the Isa of the Universe." "The eternal of Eternals, the consciousness which every being's consciousness contains, who, one, of many, the desires dispenses - The cause." "There shines not the sun nor moon and stars, nor do these lightnings shine, much less this fire. When He shines forth all things shine after Him; By Brahman's shining, shines all here below. "This same Being is described below as the all creator and protector, the refuge of all, who created Brahma himself and taught him his craft.

This same Being is described by the Taittiriya Upanishad, as the only true and endless Intelligence, whose head is surely Love, joy His right wing. Delight his left; Bliss his very self; and who is other than the Atman whom we know to be also Sat, Chit and Ananda. The Gita expressly speaks of God as being other than Purusha and Prakriti. The Swetasvatara also does the same. The Vedanta sutras sum up the teaching of the Upanishats beyond all doubt in sutras 17 and 21 of first pada of first chapter; and in the preceding sutras, God is described as Love, Intelligence, the-inside-of (antas) of everything, the Light, the Person, the Powerful One. It is of Him, it is said by the Mundaka, that He perceives all, knows all, whose penance consists of knowledge; of whom the Svetasvatara and Gita speak of having hands and feet on all sides, eyes and faces on all sides. Now this is the God, Who is described as the creator, protector and destroyer and the refuge, the Truth, the Intelligence, and Love and Bliss, Who is described as the supporter, spectator, seer and person, and Who is declared at the same time to be Nirguna, transcending both Prakriti and Purusha and Gods and Ishwaras.

Now we will ask our Reverend Father Bartoli if he will accept this Nirguna Being as the true God or the Saguna God or Isvara (the lower one referred to in Mantra 7, section vi of Swetasvatara; whom we showed in our table as forming the Sakala jivas). And, in fact, the personal God whom our learned contributor defines and describes is in fact none other than this Nirguna Being. The Christian ideal of God is also that He is the Creator of heaven and earth, the only one Truth and Light and Intelligence and changeless Substance who loves and cherishes His creatures and who is the bridge to immortality and who is different from His creatures. The Personal God of the Christian Theology does not mean a Being who under goes change, is clothed in a material body as ourselves, who is born and dies (though they speak of one incarnation for all time to come) ever and anon, who has eyes, hands and senses as we have, and whose intelligence and will and power is finite and limited as ours is. Of course, we have to point out also, that we do not agree with those who falsely suppose that of the Nirguna Being, even Sachchidananda cannot be predicated (if so where is the Being itself and what remains of it at all, and all our Reverend Father's denunciations on the Impersonal God will apply even with greater force), that It is not Knowledge (consciousness) and Power (Jnana, Kriya Svarupam), and that It is not the author of creation and destruction and grace, and that this Nirguna God can neither know and love us ; nor can we love and know Him either.

All these and more are no doubt stated as an article of faith by the so-called Vedantists but the Editor of the Light of the East (a staunch Vedantist) ranks them as gross materialists and atheists; and we have quoted direct texts to show otherwise. Some of these so-called Vedantists also; claim to have reached the knowledge of the highest by merely learning to speak of God in the neuter, as 'It,' 'That' and 'Brahman' and by regarding Him as formless and nameless. Nothing can be a greater delusion than this. This 'It' of theirs is nothing but Jiva after all and one with the Universe. Says the Svami, "so the whole is the absolute, but within it, every particle is in a constant state of flux and change, unchangeable and changeable at the same time, Impersonal and Personal in one. This is our conception of the Universe, of motion and of God and this is what is meant by 'Thou art That." This may be what the Svami holds as true, but this is what we hold to be Pasa and Pasugnanam, Materialism and Anthropomorphism. The Svami glibly enough talks of the absolute and its particles and the unchangeable and changeable Brahman. But did he forget the Vedic mantra that God is "partless, actionless and tranquil." And the Svami's guru fitly enough talks of Maya and Brahman to be one.

And what is Materialism pray? And then what is this much vaunted attribute of Achala and Nirchala (unchangeability) worth, when its every particle is undergoing change? Man is seated and at perfect rest. Yet so many of his muscles and nerves are in the utmost active condition, and undergoing change and destruction, and the particles of his whole body are also undergoing change, destruction and reconstruction, and his thoughts may wander and wander and create waste in the animal tissues. A pool of water may be at perfect rest but a single breath of wind can cause motion in every particle, and we do not call water a stable element; and we do not aspire ourselves to the condition of rest and freedom described above. This is only a make-believe rest and stability. So, we must rate the Brahman (unchangeable and changing, of the Svami as only a being, (every chalana being undergoes rest at short or long intervals, out of sheer exhaustion) wilful, inconstant and unstable, the mere toy of every passing whim, every passing breath.

The Infinite and Limitless God whom the Brahmavadin portrays in such glowing colors to mislead the credulous few, whose throne is Space, and whose queen is Time, and who is limitless and infinite as space and time are limitless, must also share a similar ignoble fate. We never thought that we would have to correct our learned brother in regard to such a simple thing, as that, the very notion of time and space implies both limitation and finiteness. We have no need to turn over big treatises to find authorities for this statement. There is lying before us, a small and well written pamphlet of Dr. Peebles of America, entitled 'The Soul'. In the very opening paragraph, we find the following lines, we quote it only to what a trite notion it has now become. "All beginnings in show, time and space necessarily have their endings. A creature which has its beginning in time is incapable of perpetuating itself or of being perpetuated through eternity. A line projected from a point in space has a further limit which no logic can carry to infinity." We have, on another occasion, pointed out that Infinite space and limitless time are contradictions in words. The absolute can never involve itself in space and time. If it does, there is no use of calling it the absolute and unconditioned.

And our brother is quite right in saying that Knowledge of This Brahman is only a misnomer (a myth we should say). Then again (in the same page 587), our brother says that 'the Brahman (It) is formless, for all forms imply a boundary'.

Vainest of delusions! But, does formlessness imply no boundary? So many things in nature are invisible and have no form. If, by formless is meant unextended, such as mind &c., we know mind as a product of Maya is also limited. But by formless, they generally mean 'Arupi,' 'invisible'; and invisibility is no great attribute after all, as matter can also be formless and invisible. We have elsewhere pointed out the mistake of taking Form and formless as being respectively equivalent to Personal and Impersonal. To deny to God that he can take form is to deny his Omnipotence and limit his nature. The distinction is from our standpoint. When we begin to identify him with anything we know, from the lowest tattva to ourselves (Atma), then this is Anthropomorphic. The distinction does not rest on calling the supreme, as 'Siva', or 'Sivah or 'Sivam.' 'He,' 'She' or 'It.' God has form. The Srutis declare so. God is formless, so also the Srutis say. He has form and has no form. This is because, His body is not formed of matter, but is pure Chit, or Intelligence. It is when we make God enter a material body, and say that he is born and dies, then it is we blaspheme Him and humanize Him and our conception becomes Anthropomorphic. Some of the so-called Vedantists who are unable to distinguish between what constitutes God's real nature and Anthropomorphism and Hindu symbolism mistake the ideal of God according to Saiva Siddhanta. Do they care to understand why when describing God, they say He is neither male nor female nor neuter, neither he, she nor it, neither Rupi, Arupi nor Ruparupi, and yet when they address God,, He is called Siva, Sivah or Sivam, 'Rupam Krishna Pingalam,' and worshipped as the invisible air and Akas. Professor Max Muller points out how with bewildering perplexity the gender varies frequently from the masculine to the neuter in the Svetasvatara. Well, in the passage 'it has feet and hands everywhere, 'if the neuter Brahman can have feet, why could not the Being with the feet &c. be described as He also.

We describe all inanimate creation as it, and when we proceed to call the Supreme as It also, we transcend from Saguna to Nirguna!!! We have already cautioned against mistaking the Sakti of Saiva-Siddhanta to be Maya. It is this mistake that has been the fruitful source of all the degradation and vice of the northern Vamachara. This Sakti is called most frequently in Tamil 'Arul Sakti' (God's manifestation as Love or Grace) and the greatness of this 'Arul is thus beautifully described by Tirumular. –







"Who knows the Power of this Arul by which Omnipresence is secured?

Who understands that this Love transmuted Herself into tasteful ambrosia?

Who thinks that this Love - permeates subtly the five great operations (Panchakritya)?

Who knows that this Love has eyes on all sides (is Omniscient)?"


"அருளிற் பிறந்திட டருளில் வளர்ந்திட்டு

அருளி லழிந்திளைப் பாறி, மறைந்திட்டு,

அருளான வானந்தத் தாரமுதூட்டி

அருளாலென்னந்தி யகம்புகுந்தானே."


"Born in Love, Bred up in Love,

Changing, and resting in Love,

Fed in the Supreme ambrosia like Love,

The Nandi entered me as Love."


    He says elsewhere that none knows that Love and God are the same. To go and identify this Supreme Love of God, which, like the emerald, covers everything with Her own Love, and imparts to each and every one its own peculiar beauty and power and grace and will, to Maya which, like darkness, plunges everything into ignorance and death, is real blasphemy and prostitution indeed. We will stop here the discussion so far as Saguna and Nirguna is concerned, and glance at the controversy as regards Personal and Impersonal God, It is not very easy to get at the precise definition of these terms, and the quarrel seems to be more often a quarrel over words. One author for instance says that by Personality is implied and involved mortality, corporeality (material,) human volitionality. Another says that personality involves limitation. Is this so, and is this the proper connotation and denotation of the word? If so, nobody need pause that God cannot be personal. But eminent men like Emerson and others say that it does not mean any such thing.

To quote again Dr. Peebles, "Personality in its common and outward acceptation is usually associated with appearance and outward character; but to such writers as Emerson, James Freeman Clarke, Frohschammer, Elisha Mulford, Lotze etc., Personality has a far deeper meaning. The Latins used Person to signify personating, counterfeiting or wearing a mask. But personality in the sense in which Emerson employs it, signifies true Being both concrete and spiritual. It alone is original Being. It is not limited. Personality is that universal element that pervades every human soul and which is at once its continent and fount of Being. Distinction from others and Limitation by them results from Individuality, not Personality…….

Personality therefore pertains to the substance of the soul and individuality to its form. And the Rev. J. Iverach also controverts very ably in his work, 'Is God knowable' the idea of personality as at first stated, and argues that to say that the absolute and the unconditioned Being is personal, is not a contradiction in terms, such as a round square, but that it will be true, as when we say, a white or crimson square. "When we speak of the absolute, we speak of it as a predicate of Pure Being, and what we mean simply is that the absolute is complete in itself, it has no conditions save the conditions contained in itself. When we speak of personality, we ascribe to it, Being, regarded as pure spiritual Being; and we simply mean that absolute personal being is and must be self-conscious, rational and ethical; must answer to the idea of spirit. Why may not the absolute Being be self-conscious? To deny this to Him would be to deny to Him, one of the perfections which even finite beings may have?" And Saint Meykanda Deva asked the same question several centuries before. (Sivajnana-both-am, XI. Sutra I b). And our Saint Tirumular also states the question in similar terms.

"நானறிந்தன்றே யிருக்க்கின்ற தீசனை

வானறிந்தா ரறியாது மயங்கினர்

ஊனறிந்துள்ளே உயிர்க்கின்ற வொண்சுடர்

தானறியான் பின்னையாரறிவாறே."


"That day I knew my God; the same was not understood by the Devas. The Bright Effulgence, lighting inside my body and soul, it is said, does not know. Who else can know them?"

We will stop here for the present. We accept the view of Personality as set forth by Emerson and others, in which case we must reject the notion of an impersonal, unintelligent and unconscious, unknown, unknowable, unloveable, and unloving nothing. The Christians and Mahomedans (there are some Sagunavatis among them also) have no need to fall shy of the Nirguna conception, though the Ramanujas and the Madhwas whose God being identified with Prakriti itself (Vasudeva Para Prakriti) never rise above the Saguna Sattvic conception. Some of the Vedantists halting between two stools contrive to fall most miserably, and their view of a God, both Nirguna and Saguna, Personal and Impersonal is what, we have no good language to describe. None need be ashamed to proclaim truth, if it is truth. Why undertake the trouble of praising Krishna and his teaching to the skies, to say, after all, that Krishna (the late Mr. T. Subba Rao stated more plainly that he cannot be the incarnation of the absolute) is only for such who wish to be born again and again, and who consider the service of God as their Highest Felicity, and Brahman is for those whose goal is perfect rest in freedom. These very people will raise a howl, if the Saiva were to state the same truth, which by the way was stated long ago by Sri-Krishna himself that worship of Siva or Sivam alone would secure Sayujya (Moksha) and the worship of other gods (Isvara, Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, &c.), would only secure their respective worlds (Pada). There are some more questions which arise out of this discussion, and we reserve them for a future occasion.


    We refer to an article entitled 'Wisdom and Worship' in an issue of the Brahmavadin dated 5th June 1897. The first paragraph is devoted to the statement and exposition of the two postulates of existence, according to the Sankhyas, namely Nature and Souls, and the next paragraph shows how untenable this theory is, in the view of the Vedantin, and the article proceeds in its first half to expound the view of the Vedantin, on the same subject. As the article deals with some of the most fundamental questions connected with Hindu Philosophy, we proceed to-day to examine some of these statements contained in the first part of the article only, leaving the question of worship to be discussed hereafter. According to Sankhya, there is Nature (Pradhana), which changes and manifests all phenomena, and there are an infinite number of Souls, which being simple cannot change, and must, therefore, be different from Nature. Nature works out all phenomena for the liberation of the Soul, and Liberation consists in the Soul discriminating that it is not nature (Pradhana). The Soul is omnipresent also. The Vedantin answers that this is not a perfect system. If Nature is simple, and the Soul is also simple, there will be two simples, and the Soul being omnipresent, Nature must be omnipresent also, and then Nature will be beyond time, space and all causation, and no change is possible as such in Nature. There is thus an impossibility of having two simples and two absolutes. How does the Vedantin solve this problem? His solution is this: - "Because, according to the Sankhyan there must be a Soul apart from Nature, for the reason that Nature in all her modifications, from gross matter up to chitta, or the intellect, is simply insentient (even the mind-stuff being insentient), so, there must be some sentient being as the motive-power behind Nature, making the mind think and Nature work. Now, says the Vedantin, this sentient being, which is behind the whole universe, is what we call God, and consequently this universe is not wholly (the italics are ours) different or apart from Him. It is but Himself, Who has some how (the italics are ours) become this universe. He is not only the instrumental cause of the universe, but also the material cause thereof. A cause is never altogether different from its effect, and an effect is but its own cause reproduced in another form." All Vedantins accept these propositions, it is stated, namely first, that God is both the instrumental and material cause of this universe and that everything that exists is He; and secondly, that Souls are also part of God, sparks of that Infinite Fire, and an Upanishat Text is quoted in proof of this. No, it is said further down, it is no spark, but the burning log itself, in as much as Brahman can have no parts. 'Then how can there be so many souls?' We are led into another simile, the oft-repeated simile of the Sun and its myriad reflections in different particles of water: "so all these Souls are but reflections of Brahman and are not real. They are not the real ' I,' the One undivided Being; men, women, brutes are mere reflections of Him, and are unreal." There is but one Infinite Being, and he appears as 'you' and 'me', and the appearance of distinctions, is all a delusion. This apparent division of Him is caused by looking at Him through the net-work of time and space and causation. The Ego is He, the Non-Ego is He. They are not part of Him, but the whole of Him. "It is the Eternal Knower Who stands behind all phenomena; He Himself is the phenomena. He is both the subject and object, He is the Ego and the Non-Ego." Here we might pause, before we proceed to the rest of the paragraphs.

In the first place, we must beg leave to state that the criticism of the Sankhya proceeds on a mere word-quibble; the word that is translated 'simple' is, we believe, 'Avyaktam,' that source of fruitful dispute between a number of learned heads, like the late Mr. T. Subba Rao, the Light of the East, the Thinker and the Brahmavadin itself etc., etc., i. e., where the word occurs in the Gita. The whole mistake is, no doubt, due to not remembering that this word, and others like Prana, Purusha, Atma, Kshetra, etc., are used in the older works in a number of acceptations, and any argument based on such a verbal semblance, is sure to end in fatal error. Now in regard to this word 'Avyakta', it is used in the 10th sutra of the Sankhya-Karika, to distinguish Mulaprakriti from its own products; and the Commentator no doubt says that the distinction might apply to the Soul also. The word might itself be applied to the Soul, but then it only means, 'uncaused' and 'causeless'. And Colebrooke translates it as 'undiscrete'. The 3rd Sutra makes clear this distinction in the very beginning, "Nature is no production; seven principles are productions and productive; sixteen are productions (unproductive). The Soul is neither a production nor productive." Herein lies all the difference, between the Soul as Avyakta and Nature (Pradhana) as Avyakta, and the mental and sensory planes.

Nature itself occupies a higher position, is more pervasive than the Intellect, and Intellect is more pervasive than the senses, and so on. That is to say, Intellect is omnipresent, and senses are not, when in relation to the senses themselves. But Intellect is not, when in relation to Pradana, and Pradana is omnipresent so far as regards its own productions, but its omnipresence is nothing when in the presence of the Soul, since the latter is the superintendent, the enjoyer, and the former ceases to exist when the Soul is in a state of abstraction. As such, the word 'omnipresence' itself is a relative term, as 'space' itself is, and it is absurd to conclude that since both are called simple and omnipresent, ergo, they must be two absolutes, and two such impossible things. We will explain ourselves more fully. Take, for instance, the five senses, the eye, the ear, etc. The eye covers a certain sphere in its operation, but it is limited; it cannot comprehend what the ear can perceive, and the ear cannot do what the nose can feel, and so on. Each sense, in fact, is limited and unpervading; but take the Intellect in connection with this. The Intellect is omnipresent. It both sees and hears and smells &c.

It covers a greater sphere, and all the spheres covered by its own productions, the senses. But take the intellect (Buddhi) itself in its relation to the Soul. The Soul is sentient and Buddhi is insentient. The latter is nowhere, when the Soul is in itself. As such, the Soul is more really omnipresent than Pradhana or Nature. That is to say, there are different planes of existence, and different grades of Vyapaka Vyapti. The one lowest is Vyapti, and the one higher is Vyapaka, and this higher itself is Vyapti when compared with something higher than itself, and so on, till we arrive at a Being, Who is most omnipresent and beyond Whom our thought and mind cannot penetrate. This view of the Sankhyan has no doubt not presented itself to the Vedantin, and what the latter has however in his mind is the old riddle, how can two things co-exist, and one be omnipresent? Like all such riddles, this is based on a fallacy, in not taking note of the facts above presented, about the essential difference between Pradana and the Soul. The riddle supposes that two things are of the same kind, of the same quantity, length, breadth, width and of the same density or tenuity &c. If they are so, no doubt it will be an impossibility.

But we contend that things of different densities and tenuities can fill and overlap one over the other, and much more so when one is sentient and Chit, and the other is non-sentient and Achit. For instance, there can be no two things so contrary in Nature as Light and Darkness. And do they co-exist or not, or are they one and the same? To the objection of the Vedantin, that darkness is no padartha, we have only to instance the recent discoveries of our own Hindu Scientist, I mean Dr. Bose, who could demonstrate the presence of invisible rays of light in a pitch-dark room by means of his instrument. What does this mean? The ray of light has been so thin as to be swallowed up in the grosser darkness. When a lamp is brought, it could dispel the darkness itself; but, only within a certain radius. Then a bigger light, a gaslight, an electric light of a vast number of candle powers; but all these pale away before the brilliant light of the Sun. There is, thus, such a merger of one, the less powerful, in one more tenuous: are not all these summed up in the simple sentence "Nachichchitsannithau" 'யாவையும் சூன்யம் சத்தெதிர்' 'In the presence of the Sat, every thing else is Sunyam (non-existent - non-apparent'?

Saint Meykanda Deva adds 'As before the Perfect and Eternal Intelligence, the imperfect and acquired intelligence (falsehood) is shorn of its light, it is therefore established that in the presence of the Sat, Asat loses its light." And the illustration implied in this, is amplified in the following verse, "Evil (Asat) ceases to exist before Him, as does darkness before the Sun." The term Asat has itself been the parent of many misconceptions, in the East and in the West, and different interpreters of Sankara explain it in different ways. Here is what a critic of Paul Deussen says, "Kant is mostly credited with having proved that there is something behind or beneath the "reality" of our senses, which these cannot fathom.
). The European scientists say sneeringly: What of that; if we cannot get at it, let us ignore it! And on the other hand, the Neo-Kantian Metaphysicians say: No, this is the only reality; therefore, all the rest is useless rubbish, only fit for momentary amusement: and that is all.

"That is the Western conception of the Indian term Maya (Asat), indeed a rubbish conception. And mistaken by this illusion, Western philosophers have declared that Eastern philosophy and particularly Vedantism and Buddhism, are 'Akosmism' i.e., they deny the existence of the universe altogether. An incredible absurdity! Is not the real meaning of Sankara easy enough to understand? Every one knows that there are different states of consciousness; that of an animal is different from that of a man, that of a savage different from that of a savant, that of a waking man different from that of a dreaming man, and all these are different from that of a sage in Samadhi. Now, it is a matter of course, that the 'reality' of a waking man is different from that 'reality' which he conceives as such when he is dreaming, and both are very different from that 'reality' or those different states of 'reality' of which he becomes conscious when he enters Sushupti and Turiya, and all these are, again, other 'realities' than that as which the Mukta 'realizes' Atman. Viewed from the standpoint of any of these different states of consciousness, all the other conceptions of 'reality' appear as Maya, as illusion or as unreal. The material scientist, together with most European philosophers, would even not hesitate a minute to declare the alleged realization of Atman an illusion, although he would not deny that this might be some state of consciousness."

And, by the way, he objects to translating Avidya as ignorance or nescience, but as not-Vidya or not-yet-wise or other-than-wise. That is, Asat does not mean non-existent, but not-Sat or other-than-Sat. This is Sankara's view according to Dr. Hubbe Schleiden; and this is the view we have taken trouble to expound above, and yet how many followers of Sankara hesitate before reading Maya as illusion and delusion, and Avidya as ignorance and nescience. In the very article under review, we read in one sentence that each soul is a spark, a part; in the next sentence, no, it is not a part, but the whole of Brahman. In the very next sentence, all these souls are but reflexions of the Brahman, and are not real. "Men, women and animals &c, are but reflections of Him, and are unreal in themselves." If they are mere reflexions, and unreal, how is it reconcilable with the statement, that each soul is not even apart but the whole of Brahman. The whole argument is made up by the use of similes and by not sticking to one, but by jumping from one into another, to meet the difficulty arising in the former.

Either the argument must proceed on simple facts and inferences, and without the use of similes, or, when it is attempted to be proved solely from figures, then no apology should be presented that it is only a figure, and it should not be strained. The simile was expressly used for demonstrating to the ignorant, how the thing is possible and conceivable, and when the ignorant man following the simile, asks if the same antecedents are present in the thing compared, to warrant the conclusion, what answer does the Vedantin give him? "This apparent division of Him (as 'you' and 'me' and the dog) is caused by looking at Him, through the net-work of time, space and causality." 'Looking at Him' indeed! When? And by whom? How is this 'looking at Him,' and this delusion possible, before the actual division itself? The operation of the division of Him into 'you' and 'me' and animal, must precede the operation of 'you' and 'me' &c, looking upon each other and Him delusively. Does the delusion come in before the evolution of 'Brahman' into 'you' and 'me' and 'animal,' or after such evolution? To any thinking being, it must occur that this delusion must have occurred before, and not after; and the Brahmavadin sees this, and states below that there will be in the universe a final duality, Atman and delusion (mark here and elsewhere the word delusion is simply used as a synonym for Maya), and this objection is brushed aside on the ground that delusion is no-existence, and that to call it otherwise is idle sophistry! And yet 'you' and 'me' and others, were all this while under a delusion! Were we or were we not? Is that a fact or a delusion itself? Is the evolution of God into men, women and animals, is that a fact or not? If a fact, is the question, 'how is this evolution brought about,' a possible question or an impossible question? If not a fact, why is the statement made in another paragraph, that there are perfect men and imperfect men, men like Christ, Buddha and Krishna, who have to be worshipped, and men, like ourselves, who have to worship them.

This evolution of God into man and animals, is put in one place on a possible and rational basis, in that God wants to know Himself, wants to see Himself and realize Himself by means of His reflexions (why and wherefore it is not stated), in as much He cannot know and see Himself otherwise, in the same way as we on earth cannot see our face, except in a mirror! Again, we ask, is the distinction between a perfect man and an imperfect man real or not? And does our learned brother contemplate the possibility of seeing his beautiful face distorted in a mirror? Whose fault was this? It was our brother's fault in not choosing a good mirror. And does he mean to attribute to the Most Intelligent such fault, in not choosing such a vessel in which He can see Himself and know Himself to the best advantage? The Perfect cannot seek to know Himself in the imperfect and the ignorant, the wicked and the sinful, the sorrowing and the suffering. If all this is a play of His and no such distinction, as the imperfect, the wicked and the sinful and the sorrowing and the suffering, exists, and all this is a hallucination, myth, non-existence (we use his own choice words), why should any man aspire to be a good man, a perfect man, a Jivan-mukta? Why should he realize his identity with the Absolute? God, in trying to realize Himself (for His sport or for what?), became man and woman and brute; and look at the bother of this man, woman or brute, doing good acts, acts without attachment, real tapas, yoga and jnana to realize his identity with the Absolute! What guarantee is there that, after all this bother, a Jivan-mukta may not again be differentiated from the Absolute into a man, woman or animal? How senseless and vain all these efforts seem, how ignoble, the purpose of creation and evolution? To the question why does the Perfect become the imperfect, which question our brother states in all its various forms, vulgar and highly philosophic, our brother's answer is that this question is an impossible one, and it should not be put at all! We have already pointed out how inconsequential this question and answer is.

But the same question has been put in, and answers, attempted by learned men who are of our brother's ilk; and these answers are various and conflicting in themselves. Of these, Svami Vivekananda gets most glory. His answer is 'I do not know.' Mr. Mukhopadhyaya replies that the Svami is wrong, and that the Perfect does not become the imperfect, God does not become man. Man is only a reflection and as such cannot be God According to the 'Brahmavadin' man is a reflexion, is unreal; but the unreality itself is unreal, and as such man is God. And so no question arises of the Perfect and the imperfect. According to Paul Deussen, the answer is, 'the never ceasing new creation of the world is a moral necessity, connected with the doctrine of samsara, "A moral necessity for Atman? What a contradictio in adjecto!" exclaims his critic*.

[* Dr. Hubbe Schleiden at page 227, January 1895, 'The Theosophist.']

[*We have seen in the Bangalore Palace of His Highness, The Maharaja of Mysore, a number of mirrors in which one's face is distorted in the ugliest and most horrible manner.]

"Atman as we all agree is that which is beyond all necessity and causality, that is, causality reigns or exists only in our manifested world, of individual consciousness of any sort." And the critic's own explanation is that existence is the manifestation of the will to exist, and this will is trishna, tanha, the desire for enjoyment. Well, whose will, we ask; who desires for enjoyment? The Absolute, the Sachchidananda, or any other? What, call this hell, an earth, an enjoyment for Him? We leave our learned Doctor to fight out Professor Deussen by himself, and proceed to state another learned lady's opinion. If we remember correctly, she said, Ishwara evolves into man and brute, to gather experience, to improve himself by means of his animal sheaths, and that there could be no perfect Brahman, at any time; it goes on improving itself, day after day. And that if the Veda repeats the cry that there is a Bourne from which there is no return, no return, it is a mere make-believe. And all these are learned expounders of Sankara's school, and who is right? Can we ask this question, or is our question captious? The Siddhanti's answer is the question itself is based on a fallacy, an assumption. The fact assumed is that the Perfect becomes the imperfect. Is this a fact proved? Does God really become man and brute? What is the proof of this, let alone Vedic
texts and the desire to reach a high-sounding philosophic unity? It is this fancied desire to generalize everything into one, that led the Greek philosophers to postulate number and water and fire, as the Final and Ultimate Cause of all things. Why not leave bad, good and evil as they are? Why should you refer the evil to the good, impure to the pure? Will not
silence in this respect be golden? Will not Mownam in be real Gnanam?

Well, we will here go back to our statement of what the Sankhyan meant when he postulated a Pradhana and a Soul or souls. The learned Editor of the "Light of the East" has evidently fallen into an error when, in his account of the Ancient Sankhya system, he opines that according to the ancient Sankhya and the Gita, there is only one Purusha and not many Purushas. The mistake is due to the fact that, in the enumeration of the padarthas, the singular only is used; a mere technical usage, as in such phrases, Jiveshwara Jagat, Chit Achit Ishwara, Pati-Pasu-Pasa. All the words used are in the singular, and it cannot mean that the respective schools mean to postulate only one Jiva, one Chit or one Pasa. In explaining each, the explanation will be given that the jiva or souls are many. In the same way, in the earlier sutras of the Sankhya, Purusha in the singular is used, but the subsequent sutras proceed to state that the Purushas are multitudinous. Pradana is real and it is the cause, and its effects, the phenomena, are also real, as the effect subsists already in the cause, and as our learned brother approvingly puts it, an effect is its own cause reproduced in another form; and we hope the following sentence from Dr. Brown's lectures, will equally meet with our brother's approval. "That the form of the body is only another name for the relative position of the parts that constitute it, and that the forms of the body are nothing but the body itself." If so, why should the cause be considered real, and the effect unreal, as against the view of Sankhyan by Vedantins? If the Maya is phenomen6n and effect, why should it be unreal, when the substance and cause is real? The relation of cause and effect has, however, to be kept separate from the relation of substance and phenomenon, and these two, from the questions of reality and delusion.

In the second paragraph, however, our brother identifies the Sankhya's Pradana with his own Maya and the Sankhya's Purusha with his own God or Brahman. If so, why attempt any criticism of the Sankhya? It is all a quibble about words. They practically postulate the same and mean the same things. Then, why is it that the Sankhya is called by Sankara, 'Nirishwara Sankhya' 'Godless or Atheistic Sankhya', and the Philosophy of the Gita as Seshwara Sankhya or the Theistic Sankhya. The word Sankhya meaning primarily number, meant with Kapila and Krishna a theory or philosophy. Compare for instance a similar change in the Tamil word 'எண்' meaning number, and in the distich 'எண்ணும் எழுத்தும் கண்ணெனத்தகும்' 'எண்' meaning logic and philosophy. The following quotation from the Gita itself, will explain the difference between the two schools.

"There are 'two Purushas' in this world, one destructible and the other indestructible, the destructible is Sarvabhuthani (all things), the indestructible is called the Kutastha." (Chapter XV. 16).

Well, look how this verse runs; it mentions only two Purushas, instead of mentioning three, as arising from the next verse; but there is a purpose in so mentioning two Purushas; it is seemingly to reiterate the accepted postulate of the Purvapatcha School, to enable it to state the siddhanta view, in the next verse which is:

"The 'Parama Purusha' is verily another, declared as the ' Paramatman', He who pervades and sustaineth the three worlds, the indestructible Ishwara."

Look again the steps that follow one upon another in the next verse.

"Since I excel the destructible (first Purusha), and am more excellent than the indestructible (second Purusha), in the world and in the Veda, I am proclaimed Purushothama" (third Purusha).

Be it noted here that the word Purusha simply means a category, a Padartha, as when we speak of the Thripadartha or Tatwatriyam. Note again how in verse 19, chapter 13, the first two Purushas are mentioned as (by its more appropriate names) Prakriti and Purusha; and the same definition of these two is given in verses 20 and 21, as by the Sankhya; and a further step beyond Kapila, is taken by Sri Krishna in postulating,

"A spectator and permitter, supporter and enjoyer, Maheshwara, thus is styled the Paramatman, in this body, the Paramapurusha."

And then a most beautiful passage about the distinction of these three Padarthas, and of the different Gnans, Pasagnan, Pasugnan, and Pathignan, occurs. The Lokayatha only knows his body, and has no knowledge of his own self or anything higher. According to the Nirishwara Sankhya or the Vedantin, there are or seem to exist only two things, Prakriti and Soul, Maya and Atman, and liberation consists in distinguishing his own self as different from a Prakriti or Maya (delusions). This is Pasugnan or Atmagnan. According to the Seshwara Sankhya, he sees and learns to distinguish Prakriti from his self, and his self from the Highest One (verse 29), as Akartha and Kartha, and knowing the nature of this One, he reaches Brahman-hood, (verse 30 of Chapter 13). It is also to be remarked particularly that in the whole Gita, in innumerable passages, as in the one cited above, the knowledge of the Supreme, the devotion wholly to Him, is put forward as the highest path of attaining Liberation, and not the Atmagnan doctrine that the knowledge of the individual self, as implied in the phrase 'know Thyself,' is the highest attainment.

We beg leave again to quote Dr. Hubbe Schleiden, simply to show how this latter theory is repugnant to the followers of Sankara. "Indeed there can be no more fatal error than to believe with those furthest advanced Western philosophers that Jnanam, or Moksha means nothing else but the intellectual conception, Monism (Advaita), nothing else but the intellectual enjoyment of a proud theory."

What we have said till now, will convince our readers that there is another side o these questions, and that they do not stand alone where the Sankhyans and the Vedantins left them. According to this view, the Sankhyans are correct, no doubt, so far as they go, in postulating Prakriti and Purusha, and the Vedantin is quite correct in his identification of these two with his Maya and Brahman. There is but a thin partition between the soul or man of the Sankhya, and the latter's Brahman. In fact, man is God. In such identification of man with God, what results is, that man's intelligence does not pass on to the postulating and realizing of a Higher Being than himself; and the Brahman of the Vedantin is only so in name. The third school postulates this third Padartha, differing from the soul or Atman of either school, whom the latter cannot know, except with the grace of the third Padartha, and though it might be correct to say that man cannot know himself, it will be blasphemous to say that God cannot know himself. This will be attributing a human imperfection to the most High and to limit His nature.

How do we know that He cannot know Himself, when we cannot know our own selves, nor Him, without His Grace. Consider the following passage from Saint Meykanda Deva. "When the soul unites itself to God, and feels His Arul (Love), God covers it with His Supreme Bliss and becomes one with it. Will He not know Himself, who is understood by the soul, through the intelligence of the soul? "The next passage we are going to quote will show clearly that God has not manifested His glorious Truth to one people, and in one clime alone. "Why may not the absolute Being be self-conscious?" asks a Christian Divine in almost the same words. "To deny this to Him, would be to deny to Him, one of the perfections which even finite beings may have."*

[* Rev. J. Iverach's 'Is God knowable?' page 225.]

The question remains, what then is the necessity for all this evolution and resolution. The answer is contained in a simple sentence in the first sutra of Sivajnanabodha, namely, 'மலத்துளதாம்.'
The second Padartha in our categories, and not the third, is imperfect, or more correctly, is shrouded by dross, which has to be removed like the colors on a crystal, so that, its own pristine purity may be apparent, and it can reflect and realize the Glory and Presence of God in all its brightest effulgence. This existence and resolution is due to the will of this lower being, Atman, to perfect itself, and the Will of the Highest comes into play, to enable the soul to work out its own salvation. The Ichcha, Gnana and Kriya Saktis of the Lord induces the Ichcha, Gnana and Kriya saktis of the individual soul, and herein is God's Grace and Love and Omnipotence manifested. The exercise of the Divine Will is not for enabling itself to exist free from samsara, not for perfecting itself, not for knowing, seeing, or realizing itself, not for its sport or pleasure, not fur no purpose, but it is simply to help and aid the poor soul in its attempt to effect all these things.

How well does our Saint Tayumanavar- realize this conception of God's great Beneficence in the following line.

"இமையளவும் உபகார மல்லால் வேறொன்று

இயக்காநிர்க் குணக்கடலாய் இருந்தவொன்றே."


This view postulates three Padarthas, and it may be called Dualism, or Dwaita or anything of the sort, but how this view is the strict Advaita also, true monism, we will demonstrate in a future article*.

[* See Paper on "Advaita according to Saiva Siddhanta."]



"ஆதியாய் நடுவுமாகி யளவிலா அளவுமாகிச்

சோதியாய் உணர்வுமாகித் தோன்றிய பொருளுமாகிப்

பேதியா யேகமாகிப் பெண்ணுமா யாணுமாகிப்

போதியா நிற்குந்தில்லைப் பொதுநடம் போற்றிபோற்றி."


O, Thou, the Beginning, the Middle, the Limitless Limit,

The Light, and the Wisdom, and All Things Manifest,

The Indivisible One, The Female and the Male.

Glory, Glory to Thy Dance in Tillai, The Intellectual Region of Universalism, Tillai.


"கற்பனை கடந்தசோதி கருணையே யுருவமாகி

அற்புதக் கோலநீடீ யருமறைச் சிரத்தின்மேலாம்

சிற்பர வியோமகுந் திருச்சிற்றம் பலத்துள்நின்று

னடஞ்செய்கின்ற பூங்கழல் போற்றிபோற்றி


O, Thou, the Light from which speech and thought turn back, The very Form of Grace,

The Wonderful Presence, The Crown resting on the rare Vedasiras,

In the beautiful Chit-Sabha of Chit-Para-Vyoma,

Thou dost dance delightedly. Glory, Glory, to Thy tinkling Foot.


"குன்றத மூவுருவாய் ஞானக் கொழுந்தாகி    

    யறுசமயக் கூத்துமாடி

நின்றாயே மாயையெனும் திரையை நீக்கி

    நின்னையா ரறியவல்லார் நினைப்போர்நெஞ்சம்,

மன்றாக வின்பக்கூத் தாடவல்ல மணியேஎன்

    கண்ணே மாமருந்தே நால்வர்க்

கன்றாலின் கீழிருந்த மோன்ஞான ம்மைத்த    

    சின்முத்திரைக் கடலே யமாரேறே."


O Thou Imperishable Triple Form, and Formless! O Thou Supreme,

Intelligence working steadfast in the six forms of Religion!

Who could know Thee after raising the curtain of Maya?

Thou dost dance in the hearts of Those who think of Thee,

Thou art the Priceless Jewel; I Thou my eye; Thou, the Supreme Panacea;

Thou the Ocean of Chinmudra Wisdom, Who didst teach the four ancient sons,

Mauna Jnana from under the Sacred Banyan Tree Thou, the Deva of Devas.

The first two verses we quote from Saint Sekkilar's Periyapuran and the last from Saint Tayumanavar, in praise of the famous Temple at Chidambaram and the sacred mysteries contained therein. We have elsewhere observed that even if we have lost our books on Veda and Vedanta, we could evolve the whole thing again from the symbols we possess, provided we had the tiny key to unlock these sacred mysteries. The hoariest and most ancient wisdom is thus enshrined in these unmistakable symbols, and when we understand them aright, we are enabled to test and know which is the true Philosophy and which is the true Religion, surrounded as we are to-day by a multitude of Religions and Philosophies conflicting in themselves and yet claiming to be the most ancient and the truest. It is the most unfortunate thing, in India and in Indian Religion, that the same books and the same texts furnish the authority and the sanction for every existing phase of belief and thought, and when this fact is coupled with such a blind ignoring of what is past and what is modern, and when the materials for applying such an historical test are not very considerable, the task of deciding which is the true interpretation and which is false, is rendered very difficult, though not impossible, and the value of a test as indicated above, cannot be lost sight of. In interpreting documents, the rule ought no doubt to be, that where the words are plain and unambiguous, the plain meaning of the words ought to be made to prevail, and no casuistry could be allowed to mar the effects of its plain meaning. It is only when the words are ambiguous, any interpretation as to its real meaning by other evidence is permissible at all. Then, again, when we begin to enquire into the truth of any particular custom and tradition, we find how difficult it is to arrive at an uniform conclusion, when we have to rely on mere oral evidence; and any documentary evidence (we use it in the strictly legal sense) if available, is of the utmost importance, and the older the document, the greater the value thereof. Then, again, consider the difference between the verbal accounts of a dozen people who witnessed a particular scene all at the same time, and the actual scene photographed by an ordinary Kodak. We might be sure to discover discrepancies and contradictions in the oral testimony, though it might be perfectly honest. Of course, there might be exceptionally trustworthy witnesses, as there might be untrustworthy cameras. The test we have proposed above, may, as such, be seen to possess all the elements of an old and ancient document, and a trusty camera. And the more so, when we know, as a matter of fact, that the written language of the primitive mankind consisted of pictures only. The most ancient Sumerian, the Chaldean, the Egyptian and the Chinese, were all pictorial languages; and it is well known that these were the people who have tried to leave their highest thoughts on religion and philosophy behind them, in pictures and statues and monuments.

In proceeding therefore to unravel the mysteries connected with our symbolism, we must confess that the task is not one which we can conscientiously think of adequately discharging. In attempting the impossible therefore, we have no other excuse than the one which Sage Sekkilar had before him:

"அளவு கூட வுரைப் பரிதாயினும்

அளவிலாசை துரப்ப வறைகுவேன்."


"Though impossible to reach its limits,

Insatiate love drives me to the task."

Before we do so however, we have to get clear of two sets of men, who pester us often with their cant. One of such will raise the cry of sectarianism, and the other, with the catch-word, revivalism. There are some very estimable people belonging to both these classes, we admit, as well as their sincerity, but with most it is all mere cant, pure and unmitigated cant. They believe neither in the one nor in the other; they have neither inclination nor wish to study and think, and pause and enquire into the truth of things. They are themselves sectarians, so blind that they will not acknowledge themselves to be such. They start with the inborn conviction that this is trash and they have no patience with those who will honestly differ from them, and they clutch at a word, a phrase, to kick up a dust, with the evident object of besmearing the other side. No doubt, there is a sort of skepticism which we prize much, a skepticism which will lead one to doubt and inquire into the truth of things and not to scorn and scoff at everything. And in our inmost heart, we do not wish to wound the feelings of a single person, of whatever shade of opinion he may be. And is not the present enquiry solely devoted to reach 'the region of universalism,' "பொதுமன்று"where, in the words of our Sage Tayumanavar,

"பகர்வரிய தில்லை மன்றுட் பார்த்த போதங்கு

என்மார்க்க மிருக்கு தெல்லாம், வெளியேயென்ன

எச்ச மயத்தவர்களும், வந்திறைஞ் சாநிற்பர்."?

every religionist comes and bows in adoration of the One Supreme, saying they see no symbols of any creed but all Akas? And he states in the previous lines that he reached this region, after looking in vain in every creed and in every path for that Pure Spirit which seeks to reconcile with the path of noblest knowledge, all the bitter conflicting creeds and religions.

"சன்மார்க்க ஞானமதின் பொருளாம் வீறு

சமய சங்கேதப் பொருளாந்தா னொன்றாகப்

பன்மார்க்க நெறியினிலும் கண்ட தில்லை."


And the place is worth a trial visit even today, for does not Tayumanavar record his experience, that his stony heart melted into love and bliss, the moment he saw the Holy Presence?

"கன்மார்க்க நெஞ்சமுள வெனக்கும் தானே

கண்டவுட னானந்தம் காண்ட லாகும்."


This has not been his experience only, of believers alone. Ages back, scoffers and atheists have felt the power of this Presence, and it is recorded of the great Atheist Guru, Jaimini, that when he approached, all his unbelief left him, and he composed his song of Vedapadastavam. And though there are thousands of temples all over the land, the heart of every true believer has always turned, with love and longing, to this centre-spot. And it is believed that Chidambaram occupies a central geographical position between the northern and southern extremes of India, including Ceylon. And corresponding to this position in the macrocosm, Arumuga Navalar observes that, in the human microcosm also, the place points to the region of Sushumna between Ida and Pingala nadis. There is another centre of heat and vitality and light in the human body, and that is the heart. And the heart is the most vital and delicate organ in the whole system. Every other organ requires its help for its nourishment and upkeep. It is saved and protected from many an ill, by its position, which every other organ is exposed to; but that is because that, whereas life can be prolonged even after injury to every other organ, life ebbs away the instant the heart is injured. And then, is not the heart, the seat of love, love pure and undefiled? Pity, kindness, mercy, grace, are all different shades of this one Love, அன்பு Bhakti, faith. Is there anything else that can compete with this Supreme Principle? Knowledge, you may exclaim, with its seat in the brain. We dare say, 'not.' The slightest injury to the heart completely paralyses the brain. And the pulsation in the brain itself rises and falls with the beat of the heart itself. It is the one organ in the body which is ever active, and knows no rest, when everything else, including the brain, undergoes rest. And in human nature also, what is there which love cannot quicken? It can give life to the despairing and the lifeless, strength to the weak, courage to the coward; and instances have not been wanting to show what extraordinary feats of intellect, love has been the cause of. The whole world is bound by the heart, much more than by the intellect alone. And Mrs. Humphrey Ward has portrayed in glowing words the difference between the man of the intellect and the man of the heart in her Robert Elsemere. There, the man of the intellect pines, in secret and in his pride, for that very touch which makes the whole world kin. And it is in this heart, all mankind have liked to build a temple for the Most High. And the only requisite is, that this heart be pure. And the moment this heart is pure, there the light from the Invisible Akas will shine, dispelling the darkness that blinds the eye, and enabling it to see.

"வெளியான நீஎன்மன வெளியூடு விரவினையா

வொளியாரும் கண்ணு மிரவியும் போனின்று லாவுவன் காண்."


"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." said the Lord Jesus. And the sage who composed the Taittiriya Upanishat sang long before him: "Satyam jnanam anantam Brahma, Yoveda Nihitam Guhayam Paramevyoman,"

"He who knows Brahman, which is Sat, which is Chit, and which is endless (Bliss), as hidden in the cave (of the heart) in the highest Akas, he enjoys all blessings as one with the Omniscient Brahman." And the most mystical and oldest of the Upanishats, the Chhandogya, also repeats the same instruction. "Would you like to know what that one, thing is, which you have to search for and to know? And when you have to search for it, how to know it? Hear! There is the Brahmapura (body), and, in it, the Dahara (palace) of the lotus (Pundarika) of the heart, and, in it, that Antar-Akasa. Now, what exists id this Akasa, that is to be sought after, that is to be understood.

"As large as this Akasa is, so large is that Akasa within the heart. Both heaven and earth are contained in it; both Fire and Air; both Sun and Moon; both Lightning and Stars; and whatever there is of Him in this world, and whatever is not, all that, is contained within it." (VIII, I. 123) In an earlier chapter, this Supreme Being is called "The Intelligent, Whose body is Prana, Whose form is Light (jyotis), Whose thoughts are true, Who is like the Akasa (omnipresent and invisible), from Whom all works, all desires, all sweet odors, and tastes, proceed; the Atma within the heart, smaller than a grain of rice, smaller than a grain of barley, smaller than a mustard-seed, smaller than a canary-seed, or the kernel of a canary-seed; also the Atma within the heart, greater than the Earth, greater than the Sky, greater than the Heaven, greater than all these Worlds." (III. 14. 223). In a later passage, the Upanishat says that "He who is called Akasa is the revealer of all forms and names; That within which these forms and names are contained, is the Brahman, the Immortal, the Atma." (VIII. 13. 1). The following verse occurs in the Katha (L 2. 20), the Svetaswatara (III. 20) and the Mahopanishad, and the same is reproduced in the Sivapurana.

"Smaller than small, yet greater than great, in the heart (Guha) of this creature, Atma or Isa doth repose: That, free from desire, He sees, with His grief gone, the Lord and His might, by His favor." In the Kaivalyopanishad, the same is reproduced, in the following words: "Beyond the heavens, yet shining in the heart (Guha) of his creatures, Him the sages, free from desire, reach." Sri Krishna also imparts this most secret of secrets to his pupil, "that Isvara dwelleth in the hearts of all beings, O Arjuna, by his maya, causing all beings to revolve, as though mounted on a potter's wheel," and importunes him to flee to Him to secure Supreme Peace by His Grace. The manner of occupying this seat or dwelling place is elsewhere referred to, in the 13th and 9th discourses, 32nd and 6th verses respectively, and these three or four verses bring out the whole of the Upanishat thoughts. "As the Omnipresent Akasa is not soiled, by reason of its subtlety, so, seated everywhere in the body, the Self is not soiled," "The support of beings, and not rooted in beings, my Atma is their efficient cause; as rooted in the Akasa, the mighty air moves everywhere, so, all things rest, rooted in me." This Supporter, Permitter, Spectator and Enjoyer, is styled Mahesvara, Paramatman and Parama-Purusha, in verse 22, chapter XIII. Another verse in the Chhandogya says that Gayatri is the body and the heart, because in it all the spirits are established. No wonder, therefore, that in almost every page of the Tamil Veda, and the writings of the later Tamil Saints, God's truest dwelling place, His house, His palace, His seat, is universally referred to as the human heart. "நினைப்பவர் மனம் கோயிலாக்கொண்டவர் "And so it is that the famous Shrine we are speaking of, is, by preeminence called "திருக்கோயில்" "The beautiful House," inasmuch as it is also called the "Pundarika Veedu" "புண்டரீகவீடு" "the House of lotus", or "Dahara Veedu" also. And, to-day, we will stop, after identifying this Golden Palace in Chidambaram with the "Human Heart" spoken of in the most ancient writings, and we will speak of the Great King and Lord, Who is the Dweller in this Palace and His characteristics, in a future issue.

[* It is interesting to note that the chief Temple in Mecca is called al Caaba,' literally meaning, ' The House' and the Hebrew word for the great Temple at Jerusalem also meant simply, 'The House,' "The House of God."]

Lotus of the Heart

If the real nature of the Lotus of the Heart is examined, its stalk will be the 24 tattvas, beginning with earth; its petals, vidya-tattvas and suddha-vidya; its pollen, the 64 kalas of Isvara and Sadasiva; its ovary, Sakti, the essence of kalas; its seeds, the 51 forms of nadam; and the arul-sakti of the Lord Siva rests on it (as fragrance).

(Sivajnanabodham IX. 3. c)