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A HERMIT IN THE HIMALAYAS
world. It certainly is more consoling than the idea that life is but a
lottery where prizes are few and pitfalls are many. There is a tide of
events which flows resistlessly above our personal wills. The higher
laws put themselves into execution; we need not worry. What is
unreasonable is the lamentable and listless hopelessness into which
the Indian people often fall, aided and abetted by the relaxing
enervating effect of tropical climate.
The futility of a merely physical view of things becomes more
apparent when this question of life's justice or injustice is reflected on.
We ignore the mental side of life as being of lesser importance when
all the time, in Nature's eyes, it is the causative side.
Nature certainly seems "red in tooth and claw", as the materi-
alists say. But Nature is our mother. What mother punishes her
children except educatively? Nature is as real and as living as any
human mother. For this planet has a directing Intelligence back of
it, as the slightest glance at the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms
will show. And what have we done to Nature that she should wish
to chastize us for other than educative purposes? And how could her
scheme of education be carried out with only a single earth-life?
Then what is Nature's aim in this scheme? Dare I say it? Is it too
far-fetched for the ears of flesh-framed minds? How can this all-too-
distant goal be described in words that shall make it seem at all
attainable and at ail rational?
Suffice to hint that Nature's effort is to detach us from entrap-
ment in the material world and to restore us to the primal places of
the spirit whence we have descended. Or, in Biblical allegory, to
admit us once again to the Garden of Eden.
If we have tied ourselves to this wheel of existence which Destiny
turns, we may also untie ourselves. That is Nature's desire and will
constitute our happiness. Our worldly worries may drag us back to
pessimism, but Nature draws us to peace. We must retire from the
periphery of this earthly case of ours to the centre, from complete
extroversion to a balanced introversion. But so long as we have not
found our centre, we lie ever at the mercy of coming events.
Those alone dwell upraised above care and fear who dwell in the
These words sound platitudinous. They are. Fors since the
world's earliest epochs, they have been l-epeated in some form or
another by every great Seer, every great Sage, and they will be so
repeated until the last day of the aeon. No other explanation of
Nature's aim has ever endured or can endure so long, because it is
the answer which she herself gives to those who know how to query
her aright. One fact is preferable to forty hypotheses; this is Nature's