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Prof, E. Horsford 



"A knowledge of the commonplace, at least, of Oriental litei-ature, philo- 
sophy, and religion is as necessary to the general reader of the present day 
as an acquaintance with the Latin and Greek classics was a generation or so 
an-o. Immense strides have been made within the present century in these 
branches of learning ; Sanskrit has been brought within the range of accurate 
philology, and its invaluable ancient literature thoroughly investigated ; the 
language and sacred books of the Zoroastrians have been laid bare ; Egyptian, 
Assyrian, and other records of the remote past have been deciphered, and a 
group of scholars speak of still more recondite Accadian and Hittite monu- 
ments ; but the results of all the scholarship that has been devoted to these 
subjects have been almost inaccessible to the public because they were con- 
tained for the most part in learned or expensive works, or scattered through- 
out the numbers of scientific periodicals. Messrs. Trubner & Co., in a spirit 
of enterprise which does them infinite credit, have determined to supply the 
constantly-increasing want, and to give in a popular, or, at least, a compre- 
hensive form, all this mass of knowledge to the worhV— Times. 

Second Edition, post 8vo, pp. xxxii. — 748, with Map, cloth, price 21s. 


By the Hon. Sir W. W. HUNTER, K.C.S.I., O.S.I., C.I.E., LL.D., 

Member of the Viceroy's Legislative Council, 

Director-General of Statistics to the Government of India. 

Being a Revised Edition, brought up to date, and incorporating the general 
results of the Census of 188 1. 

"It forms a vohime of roore than 700 pages, and is a marvellous combination of 
literary condensation aud research. It drives a com|ilete account of the Indian 
Empire, its history, peoples, and products, and forms tlie worthy outcome of 
seventeen years of labour with exceptional opportunities for rendering that labour 
fruittul. Nothing could be more lucid than Sir William Hunter'.i expositions of the 
economic aud political condition of India at the present time, oi- more inteiesting 
tuan his scholarly history of the India of the past." — The Times. 

-*> P '^ P 



Third Edition, post 8vo, cloth, pp. xvi. — 428, price 16s. 



Ey martin HAUG, Ph.D., 

Liite of the (Juiversities of Tiihingen, Gottiiigen, and Bonn ; Superintendent 

of Sanskrit Studies, and Professor of Sanskrit in the Poona College. 

Edited and Enlarged by Dr. E. W. WEST. 

To which is added a Biographical Memoir of the late Dr. Hadg 
by Prof. E. P. Evans. 

I. History of the Pesearches into the Sacred Writings and Religion of the 

Parsis, from the Earliest Times down to the Present. 
1 r. Languages of the Parsi Scriptures. 
III. 'J'he Zend-Avesta, or the Scripture of the Parsis. 
1 V. The Zoroastrian Religion, as to its Origin and Development. 

" ' Essays on the Sacred Language, 'Writiiigs, and Reliyion of tlie Parsis,' by the 
lute Ur. Martin liaug, edited by Dr. E. W. West. The author intended, on his return 
from India, to expand tlie ni-aterials contained in this work into a comprehensive 
account of the Zoroastrian religion, but tlie design w.-is frustrated by his untimely 
deatli. We have, however, in a concise and readable form, a history of the researches 
into the sacred writings and reli<;ion of tlie Parsis fmm the earliest times down to 
the present— a dissertation on the languages of tiie Parsi Scriptures, a translation 
of the Zend-Avest.i, or the Scripture of the Parsis, and a dissertation on the Zoroas- 
tri;in religion, with especial reference to its origin and development." — Times. 

Post Svo, cloth, pp. viii. — 176, price 7s. 6d. 



With Accompantiiiig Narratives. 

Translated from the Chinese by S. REAL, B.A., Professor of Chinese, 
University College, London. 

The Dhammapada, as hitherto known by the Pali Text Edition, as edited 
by FausboU, by Max Miiller's English, and Albrecht Weber's German 
translations, consists only of twenty-six chapters or sections, whilst the 
Chinese version, or rather recension, as now translated by Mr. Beal, con- 
sists of thirty-nine sections. The sttulents of Pali who possess FausboUs 
text, or either of the above named translations, will therefore needs want 
Mr. Beal's English rendering of the Chinese version ; the thirteen above- 
named additional sections not being accessible to them in any other form ; 
for, even if they understand Chinese, the Chinese original would be un- 
obtainable by them. 

" Mr. Beal's rendering of the Chinese translation is a most vahiable aid to the 
critical study of the work. It contains authentic texts gathered from ancient 
canonical books, and generally connected with some incident in the history of 
Buddha. Their great interest, however, consi.«ts in the light which they throw upon 
everyday life in India at the remote period at which they were written, and uijon 
the method of teachinij adopted by the founder of the religion. The method 
employed was principally parable, and the simplicity of tlie tales and the excellence 
of the morals inculcated, as well as the strange hold which they have retained upon 
the minds of millions of people, make them a very remarkable study." — Times. 

" Mr. Beal, by making it accessible in an English dress, has .added to the great ser- 
vices he has already rendered to the comparative study of religious history." — Academy, 

" as exhibiting the doctrine of the Buddhists in its purest, least adul- 
terated form, it brings theniodern reader face to face with that sini)ilecreed and rule 
of conduct which won its way over the minds of myriads, and which is now nominally 
professed by 145 millions, who have overlaid its austere simplicity with innumerable 
ceremonies, forgotten itsmaxims, perverted its teaching, and so inverted its leading 
principle that a religion wlicse founder denied a God, now worshii)S that founder as 
a god hin.sclf." — Scotsman. 


Second Edition, post 8vo, clotb, pp. xxiv. — 360, price los. Cd. 



Translated from the Second German Edition by John IMann, 1\I.A., and 
Theodok Zachakiae, Ph.D., with the sanction of tlie Author. 

Dr. BnHLER. Inspector of Schools in India, writes: — "When I was Pro- 
fessor of Oriental Languages in Elphinstone College, I frequently felt the 
want of such a work to which I could refer the students." 

Professor Co WELL, of Cambridge, writes: — "It will be especially useful 
to the students in our Indian colleges and universities. I used to long for 
such a book when I was teaching in Calcutta. Hindu students are intensely 
interested in the history of Sanskrit literature, and this volume will supply 
them with all they want on the subject." 

Professor AVhITNEY, Yale College, Newhaven, Conn., U.S.A., writes :— 
" I was one of the class to whom the work was originally given in the form 
of academic lectures. At their first appearance they were by far the most 
learned and able treatment of their subject ; and with their recent additions 
they still maintain decidedly the same rank." 

" Is perhaps the most comprehensive and lucid survey of Sanskrit literature 
extaut. The essays contained in the volume were originally delivered as academic 
lectures, and at the time of their first publication were acknowledged to be by far 
the most learned and able treatment of the subject. They have now been brought 
up to date by the addition of all the most important results of recent research."— 

Post 8vo, cloth, pp. xii. — 198, accompanied by Two Language 
Maps, price 7s. 6d. 



The Author has attempted to fill up a vacuum, the inconvenience of 
which pressed itself on his notice. Much had been written about the 
languages of the East Indies, but the extent of our present knowledge had 
not even been brought to a focus. It occurred to him that it might be of 
use to others to publish in an arranged form the notes which he had collected 
for his own edification. 

" Supplies a deficiency which has long been felt." — Times. 

" The book before us is then a valuable contribution to philological science. It 
passes under review a vast number of langiiages, and it gives, or professes to give, in 
every case the sum and substance of the oi^inions and judgments of the best-informed 
writers." — Saturday Review. 

Second Corrected Edition, post 8vo, pp. xii. — 116, cloth, price 5s. 



Translated from the Sanskrit into English Verse by 
Ralph T. H. Griffith, M.A. 

" A very spirited rendering of the Kumdrasambhava, which was first published 
twenty-six years ago, and which we are glad to see made once more accessible." — 

"Mr. Griffith's very spirited rendering is well known to most who are at all 
interested in Indian literature, or enjoy the tenderness of feeling and rich creative 
imagination of its author." — Indian Antiquary. 

" We are very glad to welcome a second edition of Professor Griffith's admirable 
translation. Few translations deserve a second edition better." — Athenaum, 


Post 8vo, pp. 432, clotli, price i6s. 




Late Professor of Hiudustani, Staff College. 

" T)ns not only forms an indispensable book of reference to students of Indian 
literatni'e, but is also of gi'eat general interest, as it gives in a concise and easily 
accessible form all that need be known about the personage?; of Hindu mytholoofy 
whose names are so familiar, but of whom so little is known outside the limited 
circle of snrant.t." — Times. 

" It is no slight gain when such subjects are treated fairly and fully in a moderate 
space ; ami we neeil only add that the few wants which we may hope to see supplied 
in new editions detract but little from the general excellence of Mr. Dowson's work." 
— Saturday lieview. 

Post 8vo, with View of Mecca, pp. cxii. — 172, cloth, price 9s. 


Translator of " The Thou.sand and One Nights ; " &c., <bc. 

A New Edition, Revised and Enlarged, with an Introduction by 

Stanley Lane Poolk. 

"... Has been lonx esteemed in this country as the compilation of one of the 
greatest Ariibic scholars of the time, the late Mr. Line, the well-known translator of 
the 'Arabian Nights.' . . . The present editor has enhanced the value of his 
relative's work by divesting the text of a great deal of extraneous matter introduced 
by way of comment, and prefixing an introdueti'in." — Time.-'. 

" Mr. Poole is both a generous and a learned biographer. . . . Mr. Poole tells us 
the facts ... so far as it is possible for industry and criticism to ascertain them, 
and for literary skill to present them in a condensed and i-eadable form." — English- 
iiian, Calcutta. 

Post 8vo, pp. vi. — 363, cloth, price 14s. 




Hon. LTi.D. of the University of Calcutta, Hon. Member of the Bombay Asiatic 

Society, Boden Pmfessor of Sanskrit in the University of Oxford. 

Third Edition, revised and augmented by considerable Additions, 
with Illustrations and a Map. 
" In this volume we have the thoughtful impressions of a thoughtful man on some 
of the most important questions connected witli our Indian Empii-e. . . . An en- 
lightened observant man, travelling among an enlightened observant people. Professor 
Hlonier Williams has brought liufore the pulilic in a pleasant form more of the mannei'S 
and customs of the Queen's Indian sulijects than we ever remember to have seen in 
any one work. He :iot only ileserves the thanks of every Englishman for this able 
contribution to the study of Modern India — a subject with which we should be 
specially familiar — but he deserves the thanks of every Indian, Parsee or Hindu, 
Buddhist and Moslem, for his clear exposition of their manners, their creeds, and 
their necessities." — Timest. 

Post 8vo, pp. xliv.^ — 376. cloth, price 14s. 



With an Introduction, many Prose Vei-sions, .and Parallel Passages from 

Classical Authors. 

By J. MUIR, CLE., D.C.L., LL.D., Ph.D. 

"... An agreeable introduction to Hindu poetrv." — Tiincs. 

"... A v(,lume whicli may be taken .is a fair illustration alike of the religions 
and moril sentiments and of the legendary lore of the best Sanskrit writers." — 
£dinbuiyh Daily lUriew. 


Second Edition, post 8vo, pp. xxvi. — 244, cloth, price los. 6d. 



Translated for the First Time into Prose and Verse, with an Introductory 
Preface, and a Life of the Author, from the Atish Kadah, 


" It is a very fair rendevlnir of the original." — Times. 

" The new edition has long been desired, and will he welcomed by :dl who take 
any interest in Oriental poetry. The Gulislan is a tyjjical Persian vurse-bouk of thii 
highest order. Jlr. Eastwick's rhymed translation . . . has long established itself in 
a secure position as the best version of Sadi's finest work." — Academy. 

" It is both faithfully and gracefully executed." — Tablet. 

In Two Volumes, post 8vo, jtp. viii. — 408 and viii. — 348, cloth, price 283. 




Late of the Bengal Civil Service ; Corresponding Member of the Institute ; Clievalier 
of the Legion of Honour ; late Britisli Mmister at tlie Court of Nepal, &c., &c. 

Section I. — On the Kocch, Bodo, and Dhinial Tribes. — Part I. Vocabulary. — 
Part II. Grammar. — Part III. Their Origin, Location, Numbers, Creed, Customs, 
Character, and Condition, with a General Description of the Climate they dwell in. 
— Appendix. 

Section II. — On Himalayan Ethnology. — I. Comiiarative Vocabulary of the Lan- 
guages of the Broken Tribes of Ne'pal. — II. Vocabulary of the Dialects of the Kiianti 
Language. — III. Grammatical Analysis of the Vayu Language. The Viiyn Grammar. 
— IV. Analysis of the Balling Dialect of tlie Kiranti Language. The Balling Gram- 
mar. — V. On the Viiyu or Hayu Tribe of the Central Himalaya. — VI. On tue Kiranti 
Tribe of the Central Himalaya. 


Section III. — On the -Aborigines of North-Eastern India. Comparative Vocabulary 
of the Tibetan, Bodo, and Garo Tongues. 

Section IV. — Aboi-igines of the North-Eastern Frontier. 

Section' V. — Aborigines of the Eastern Frontier. 

Section VI — The Indo-Chinese Borderers, and their connection with tlie Hiuia- 
layans and Tibetans. Comparative Vocabulary of Indo-Chinese Borderers in Arakan. 
Comparative Vocabulary of Indo-Chinese Borderers in Tenasserim. 

Sec:tion VII. — The Mongolian Affinities of the Caucasians. — Compai-ison and Ana- 
lysis of Caucasian and Mongolian Words. 

Section VIII.— Piiysical Type of Tibetans. 

Section IX. — The Aborigines of Central India. — Comparative Vocabulary of the 
Aboriginal Languages of Central India. — Aborigines of the Eastern Ghats. — Vocabu- 
lary of some of tlie Dialects of the Hill and Wandering Tribes in the Northern Sircars. 
— Aborigines of the Nilgiri.s, with Remarks on thiir Affinities. — Supplement to the 
Nilgirian Vocabularies. — The Aborigines of Southern India and Ceylon. 

Section X. — Route of Nepale-e Jlission to Pekin, with Remarks on the Water- 
Shed and Plateau of Tibet. 

Section XI. — Route from Kathmdndu, the Capital of Nepal, to Darjeeling in 
Sikim. — Memorandum relative to the Seven Cosis of Nepal. 

Section XII. — Some Accounts of the Systems of Law and Police as recognised in 
the State of Nepal. 

Section XIII. — The Native Method of making the Paper denominated Hindustan, 

Section XIV. — Pre-eminence of the Vernaculars ; or, the Anglicists Answered ; 
Being Letters on the Education of the People of India. 

" For the study of the less-known races of India Mr. Brian Hodgson's ' Miscellane- 
ous Essays ' will be found very valuable both to the philologist and the ethnologist." 


Third Edition, Two Vols., post 8vo, pp. viii.— 268 and viii.— 326, cloth, 

price 2 IS. 



The Ways to Neibban, and Notice on the Phongyies or Burmese Monks. 

By the Eight Rev. P. BIGANDET, 

Bishop of Ramatlia, Vicar-Apostolic of Ava and Pegu. 

"The work is furnished with copious notes, wnich not only illustrate the subject- 
matter, but form a perfect encyclopaidia of Buddhist lore." — Times. 

" A work which will furnish European students of Buddhism with a most valuable 
help in the prosecution of their investigations." — Edinburgh Daily Review. 

" Bishop Bigandet's invaluable work." — Indian Antiquary. 

" Viewed in this light, its importance is sufBcient to place students of the subject 
under a deep obligation to its author." — Calcutta Review. 

"This work is one of the greatest authorities upon Buddhism."— i)i'.6tin Review. 

Post Bvo, pp. xxiv. — 420, cloth, price i8s. 




Author of "China's Place in Philology," "Religion in China," kc, &c. 

"It contains a vast deal of important information on the subject, s<ich as is only 
to be gained by long-continued study on the sjiot. " — Athenaura. 

" Upon the whole, we know of no work comparable to it for the extent of its 
original research, and the simplicity with which this complicated system of jjhilo- 
sophy, religion, literature, and ritual is set forth." — British Quarterly Merieic. 

" The whole volume is replete with learning. ... It deserves most careful study 
from all interested in the history of the religions of the world, and expressly of those 
who are concerned in the propagation of Christianity. Dr. Edkins notices in terms 
of just condemnation the exaggerated praise bestowed upon Buddhism by recent 
English writers." — Record. 

Post 8vo, pp. 496, cloth, price los. 6d. 


Written from the Year 1846 to 1878. 


Late Member of Her Majesty's Indian Civil Service ; Hon. Secretary to 

the Royal Asiatic Society; 

and Author of " The Modern Languages of the East Indies." 

" We know none who has described Indian life, especially the life of the natives, 
with so much learning, sympathy, and literary talent." — Academy. 

" They seem to us to be full of suggestive and original remarks. " — St. James's Gazette. 

" His book contains a vast amount of information. The result of thirty-five ye;irs 
of inquiry, reflection, and speculation, and that on subjects as full of fascination as 
of food for thought." — Tablet. 

" Exliibit such a thorough acquaintance with the history and antiquities of India 
as to entitle him to speak as one having authority." — Edinburgh Daily Review. 

" The author speaks with the authority of personal experience It is this 

constant association with the country and the people which gives such a vividness 
to many of the pages." — Athenvum. 


Post 8vo, pp. civ.— 348, cloth, price i8s. 


The Oldest Collection of Folk-lore Extaut : 


For the fii-st time Edited iu the original Tali. 


And Translated by T. W. Rhys Davids. 

Translation. Volume I. 

"These are tales supposed to have been told by the Buddha of what he liad seen 
and heard m his previous births. They are probably the nearest representatives 
of the original Aryan stories from which sprang the folk-lore of Europe as well as 
India. The introduction contains a most interesting disquisition on the migrations 
of these fables, tracing their reappearance in the various groups of folk-lore legends. 
Among other old friends, we meet with a version of the Judgment of Solomon. " — Times. 

" It is now some years since Mr. Rhys Davids asserted his right to be heard on 
this subject by his able article on Buddhism iu the new edition of the ' Eneyclopaidia 
Britaunica.'" — Leeds Mercury. 

" All who are interested in Buddhist literatm-e ought to feel deeply indebted to 
Sir. Rhys Davids. His well-established reputation as a PaU scholar is a sufficient 
guarantee for the fidelity of his version, and the style of his translations is deserving 
of high praise." — Academy. 

" Xo more competent expositor of Buddhism could be found than llr. Rhys Davids. 
In the Jataka book we have, then, a priceless record of the earliest imaginative 
hterature of our race ; and ... it presents to us a nearly complete picture of the 
soci;d Ufe and customs and popular beliefs of the common people ot Aryan tribes, 
closely related to ourselves, just as they were passing through the first stages of 
civilisation."— St. James's Gazette. 

Post 8vo, pp. xxviiL — 362, cloth, price 14s. 




Compiled and Translated by PAUL ISAAC HERSHON, 

Author of " Genesis According to the Talmud," &c. 

"With Notes and Copious Indexes. 

" To obtain in so concise and handy a form as this volume a general idea of the 
Talmud is a boon to Christians at least." — Times. 

" Its peculiar and popular character will make it attractive to general readers. 
Mr. Hershon is a very competent scholar. . . . Contains samples of the good, bad, 
and indifferent, and especially, extracts that throw light upon the Scriptures." 
Briliih Quarterly Review. 

" Will convey to English readers a more complete and truthful notion of the 
Talmud than any other work that has yet appeared." — Daily A~eics. 

" Without overlooking in the slightest the several attractions of the previous 
volumes of the ' Oriental Series.' we have no hesitation in saying that this sui-passes 
them all in interest." — Edinburgh Daily Review. 

" Mr. Hershon has . . . thus given EngUsh readers what is, we believe, a fair set 
of specimens which they can test for themselves." — The Record. 

" This book is by far the best fitted in the present state of knowledge to enable the 
general reader to gain a fair and unbiassed conception of the multifarious contents 
of the wonderful miscellany which can only be truly understood — so Jewish pride 
asserts — ^by the life-long devotion of scholars of the Chosen People." — Inquirer. 

" The value and importance of this volume consist in the fact that scarcely a single 
extract is given in its pages but throws some light, direct or refracted, upon those 
Scriptiu-es which are the common heritage of Jew and Christian aUke."— /oAn Bull. 

" It is a capital specimen of Hebrew scholarship ; a monument of learned, loving, 
light-giving labour."— /«ci«A Herald. 


Post 8vo, jip. xii. — 228, cloth, price 7s. 6d. 


By basil hall CHAMBERLAIN, 
Author of " Yeigo Henkaku Shiran." 

" A very curious volume. The author has manifestly devoted much luViour to the 
task of studying the poetical literature of the Japanese, and rendering characteristic 
specimens into En_dish verse." — Daibi News. 

" Mr. Chamberlain's volume is, so far as we are aware, the first attempt which has 
been made to interpret the literature of the Japanese to the Western world. It is to 
the classical poetry of Old Japan that we must turn for indigenous Japanese thought, 
and in the volume before us we have a selection from tliat poetry rendered into 
graceful English verse." — Tablet. 

" It is undoubtedly one of the best translations of lyric literature wliich has 
appeared during the close of the last year." — Celestial Empire. 

" Mr. Chamberlain set himself a difficult task when he undertook to reproduce 
Japanese poetry in an English form. But he has evidently laboured co/t amore, and 
his efforts are successful to a degree." — London and China Express. 

Post 8vo, pp. xii. — 164, cloth, price los. 6d. 

THE HISTORY OF ESARHADDON (Son of Sennacherib), 

KING OF ASSYRIA, B.C. 681-668. 

Translated from the Cuneiform Inscriptions upon Cyliuders and Tablets in 
the British Museum Collection ; together with a Grammatical Analysis 
of each Word, Explanations of the Ideogr-aphs by Extracts from the 
Bi-Liugual Syllabaries, and List of Eponyms, &c. 


Assyrian Exhibitioner, Christ's College, Cambridge. 

" Students of scriptural archajology will also appreciate the ' History of Esar- 
haddon.' " — Times. 

" There is much to attract the scholar in this volume. It does not pretend to 
popularise studies which .are yet iu their infancy. Its primary object is to translate, 
but it does not assume to be more tlian tentative, and it offers both to the professed 
Assyi-iologist and to the ordinary non-Assyriological Semitic scholar the means of 
controlling its resxilts." — Academy. 

"Mr. Budge's book is, of course, mainly addressed to Assyrian scholars and 
students. Tuey are not, it is to be fe.ired, a very numerous class. But the more 
thanks are due to him on that account for the way in which he has acquitted himself 
in his laborious task." — Tablet. 

Post 8vo, pp. 448, cloth, price 21s. 


(Usually known as The Mesneviyi Sherif, or Holy Mesnevi) 



Book the First. 

Together with some Account of the Life and Acts of the Author, 

of his Ancestors, and of his Descendants. 

lUustriited by a Selection of Characteristic Anecdotes, as Collected 

by their Historian, 

Mevlana Shemsd-'D-Din Ahmed, el Eflaki, el 'Aeifi. 

Translated, and the Poetry Versified, in English, 

By JAMES W. REDHOUSE, M. R. A. S., &c. 

" A complete treasury of occult Oriental lore." — Saturday/ Hevieio. 

"Tliis book will be a very valuable help to the reader ignorant of Persia, who is 
de.iiruus of obtaining an insight into a very Important department of the literature 
extant in that language." — TuUet. 


Post 8vo, pp. xvi.— 280, clotli, price 6s. 


Illdstuating Old Tkuths. 

By Rev. J. LONG, 

Member of the Bengal Asiatic Society, F.R.G.S. 

" We regjird the book as valuable, and wish for it a wide circulation and attentive 
reading." — Record. 

" Altogether, it is quite a feast of good things."— ff^oie. 
" It is full of interesting matter." — Antiquary. 

Post 8vo, pp. viii. — 270, cloth, price 7s. 6d. 


Containing a New Edition of the "Indian Song of Songs," from the Sanscrit 
of the "Gita Goviuda" of Jayadeva ; Two Books from "Tlie Iliad of 
India" (Mahabharata), "Proverbial AVisdom " from the Shlokas of the 
Hitopadesa, and other Oriental Poems. 

By EDWIN ARNOLD, C.S.L, Author of "The Light of Asia." 

" In this new volume of Messrs. Triibner's Oriental Series, Mr. Edwin Arnold does 
good service by illustrating, through the medium of his musical English melodies, 
tlie power of Indian poeii-y to stir Kurupean emotions. The ' Indian Song of Songs ' 
is not unknown to scholurs. Mr. Arnold will have introduced it among popular 
Englisli poems. Nothing could be more gi-aceful and delicate than the shades by 
which Krishna is portrayed in the gradual process of being weaned by the love of 
' Beautiful Radha, jasmine-bosomed Radha,' 

from the allurements of the forest nymphs, in whom the five senses are typified." — 

" No other English poet lias ever thrown his genius and his art so thoroughly into 
the work of translating Eastern ideas as Mr. Arnold has done in his splendid para- of language contained in these mighty e\Acs." —Daily 2'elcgroph. 

" Tlie poem abounds with imagery of Eastern luxuriousness and sensuousni ss ; the 
air seems laden with the spicy odours of the tropics, and the verse has a richness and 
a melody sufiicient to captivate the senses of the dullest." — Standard. 

" The translator, while producing a very enjoyable poem, has adhered with toler- 
able fidelity to the original tent ."— Overland Mail. 

"We certainly wish Mr. Arnold success in his attempt 'to popularise Indian 
cla.ssics,' that being, .^ his preface tells us, the goal towards which he bends his 
efforts." — Allen n Indian Mail. 

Post 8vo, pp. xvi. — 296, cloth, price los. 6d. 




A Systematic Digest of the Doctrines of the Chinese Philosopher 


Translated from the Original Text and Classified, with 
Comments and Explanations, 

By the Rev. ERNST FABER, Rhenish Mission Society. 

Translated from the German, witli Additional Notes, 

By the Rev. A. B. HUTCHINSON, C.M.S, Church Mission, Hong Kong. 

" Mr. Faber is already well known in the field of Chinese studies by his digest of 
the doctrines of Confucius. The value of this work will be perceived when it is 
remembered that at no time since relations commenced between China and the 
West has the former been so powerful — we had almost said aggi'essive — as now. 
For those who will give it careful study, Mr. Faber's work is one of the most 
valuable of the excellent siries to which it belongs." — Nalurt. 

A 2 


Post 8vo, pp. 336, cloth, price i6s. 


By a. BARTH. 

Translated from the French with the authority and assistance of the Author. 

Tlie author has, at the request of the publishers, considerably enlarged 
the work for the translator, and has added the literature of the subject to 
date ; tiie translation niny, therefore, be looked upon as an eqidvalent of a 
new and improved edition of the original. 

" Is not only a valuable manual of the religions of India, which marks a distinct 
step in the treaiment of the subject, but also a useful work of reference." — Academy. 

"This volume is- a reproduction, with corrections and additions, of an article 
contributed by the learned author two years ago to the ' Eucyclopedie des Sciences 
Religieuses.' It attracted much notice when it first appeared, and is generally 
admitted to present the best summary extaut of the vast subject with which it 
deaXs."— Tablet. 

" This is not only on the whole the best but the only manual of the religions of 
India, apart from Buddhism, wliich we have in English. The present work . . . 
shows not only great knowledge of the facts and power of clear exposition, but also 
great insight into the inner liistory and the deeper meaning of the great religion, 
for it is in reality only one, which it proposes to describe." — Modern Review. 

" The merit of the work has been emphatically recognised by the most authoritative 
Orientalists, both in this country and on the continent of Europe, But probably 
tliere are few Indiauists (if we may use the word) who would not derive a good deal 
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II. — Report made to tlio Chief and Council of Balambangan, by Lieut. James 
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XXXIIL— Remarks on the Different Species of By L. Blyth. 

XXXIV.— Further Remarks. By E. Blyth. 





XXXV. — Catalogue of Mammalia inhabiting the Malayan Peninsula and Islands. 
By Theodore Cantor, M.D. 

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XL. — Note, by Major-Goueral G. B. Trenienheere. 

General Index. 

Index of Vernacular Terms. 

Index of Zoological Genera and Sub-Genera occurring in Vol. II. 

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Translated from the Sanskrit 


Rector of Eggesford, North Devon. 

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Author of "Elements of Pali Grammai-," "Translation of the 
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didactic stories, intended as a guide to such matters of every-day life as 
form the character of an individual and influence him in his relations to his 
fellow-men. Treatises of this kind have been popular in all ages, and have 
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Translated and Abridged by E. H. WHIXFIELD, M.A., 
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Original Sanskkit Text, with Critical Notes. 
Bv J. JOLLY, Ph.D., 

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AND ASTROLOGY (about a.d. 1031). 

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AVith a Preface containing an account of the Works of I-TsiNG. 

(Triu. Coll., Camb.); Professor of Chinese, University College, London; 

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Author of " Buddhist Recorils of the Western World,"' " The Romantic 

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When the Pilgrim Hiueii Tsiang returned from his travels in India, he 
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been constructed by tlie Emperor in honour of the Empress, Wen-te-hau. 
After Hiuen Tsiang's death, his disciple. Hwui Li, composed a work which 
gave an account of his illustrious Master's travels ; this work when he com- 
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previous to his death he revealed its whereabouts to Yen-tsung, by whom it 
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By R. N. oust, LL.D. 

Author of "Mo lern Languages of the I<]ast," " Modern Languages of 

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500— 1 1/3/89. ' 



'BaCantgne i?re3)8 











BY ■ 






[All rights reserved.] 

Cf . 





I HOPE that tliis book may be more or less useful to two 
classes of readers. 

Those interested in the general history of pliilosophy 
will find in it an account of a very early attempt, on 
the part of thinkers of a rude age and race, to form a 
cosmological theory. The real movement of philosophic 
thought begins, it is true, not in India, but in Ionia ; 
but some degree of interest may still be expected to 
attach to the procedure of the ancient Indian cosmo- 
logists. The Upanishads are so many " songs before 
sunrise," — spontaneous effusions of awakening reflec- 
tion, half poetical, half metaphysical, that precede the 
conscious and methodical labour of the long succes- 
sion of thinkers to construct a thoroughly intelligible 
conception of the sum of things. For the general 
reader, then, these pages may supply in detail, and 
in the terms of the Sanskrit texts themselves, a treat- 
ment of the topics slightly sketched in the third 
chapter of Archer Butler's first series of " Lectures 
on the History of Ancient Philosophy." The Upani- 
shads exhibit the pantheistic view of things in a naively 


poetical expression, and at the same time in its coarsest 

To readers specially interested in Indian matters an 
introduction to the Upanishads is indispensable, and 
these pages will help to supply a want hitherto unsup- 
plied. The Upanishads are an index to the intellectual 
peculiarities of the Indian character. The thoughts 
they express are the ideas that prevail throughout all 
subsequent Indian literature, much of which will be 
fully comprehensible to those only who carry with 
them a knowledge of these ideas to its perusal. A 
study of the Upanishads is the starting-point in any 
intelligent study of Indian philosophy. As regards 
religion, the philosophy of the Upanishads is the 
groundwork of the various forms of Hinduism, and 
the Upanishads have been justly characterised by 
Goldstlicker as "the basis of the enlightened faith of 

The Upanishads are treatises of various length, 
partly poetical, partly theosophical, which close the 
canon of Vedic revelation. The term Upanishad im- 
ports mystic teaching, and the synonymous term 
Vedanta means a final instalment of the Veda. The 
Upanishads are also called Vedantas, and the Aupani- 
shadi Mimansa or philosophy of the Upanishads, in 
its developed form, is known as the Vedantic system. 
Siaiti, the Vedic revelation, consists of two parts, of a 
lower and a higher grade, — the Karmakanda, or portion 
treating of sacrifices, immemorial usages, and theogony; 

^ " Wollen wir den sogenannten Pantheismus in seiner poetischen, 
erhabensten, oder wenn man will, krassesten Gestalt nehmen, so hat 
man sich dafiir in den morgenlandischen Dichtern umzusehen, und die 
breitesten Darstellungen finden sich in den Indischen." — Hegel. 

preface: vii 

and the Jnanakanda, or portion treating of the release 
of the soul from metempsychosis, by means of a recog- 
nition of its real nature as one with the characterless 
and impersonal Self. This impersonal Self, Brahman, 
as distinguished from the personal soul, the living, 
conscious, and migrating spirit, the Jiva or Jivatman 
or Vijnanatman, is also styled the Paramatman or 
highest Self. The mystic teaching in which the Yedic 
revelation culminates is relative to the nature of this 
highest and impersonal Self. The Karmakanda, or 
ritual portion of the Veda, is contained in the Mantras 
or hymns of the Rishis, the spontaneous effusions of 
primitive Indian nature-worship, and the Brahmanas 
or liturgic and legendary compilations of the specialised 
sacrificial functionaries. Theosophic teaching is present, 
in combination with liturgic and mythologic elements, 
in the Aranyakas, a portion of the Vedic aggregate 
intimately allied to the Brahmanas. This teaching 
is further segregated and explicitly set forth in the 
Upanishads, and forms the Jnanakanda or theosophic 
portion of the Vedic revelation. As compared with the 
relio-ion of sacrifices and ancestral rites, this teaching 
forms a higher religion, a more perfect way, for the 
recluses of the forest, — a religion which will be seen to 
be largely metaphysical. Treatises bearing the name 
of Upanishads are numerous. Those in highest esteem 
have always been the Chhandogya, Brihadaranyaka, 
Isa, Kena, Katha, Prasna, Munclaka, Mandukya, Aita- 
reya, Taittiriya, Svetasvatara, Maitrayanlya, and Kau- 
shitakibrahmana Upanishads. The date of the Upani- 
shads, like that of most of the ancient works of Sanskrit 
literature, is altogether uncertain. Any date that may 
have been assigned is purely conjectural ; and all that 

viii PREFACE. 

we can affirm in tliis regard is, that in relation to tliat 
literature they are of primitive antiquity, and the earliest 
documents of Indian religious metaphysics. 

The greatest of the expositors of the philosophy of 
the Upanishads is Sankara or Sankaracharya. A great 
part of the matter of this volume is extracted from the 
various writinos ascribed to him. He is said to have 


been a native of Kerala or ]\Ialabar, and to have 
flourished in the eighth century of the Christian era. 
He is generally represented as having spent the greater 
part of his life as an itinerant philosophic disputant 
and relio'ious controversialist. The Buddhists in his 


time were flourishing and widely predominant in India 
under the patronage of powerful Eajas, and we may 
presume that the great Vedantic doctor was thoroughly 
intimate with the tenets of Buddhist philosophy and 
religion. His exposition of some of these in his com- 
mentary on the aphorisms of the Vedanta is admirably 
perspicuous. The teaching of Sankara himself is the 
natural and legitimate interpretation of the doctrines 
of the Upanishads. It is known as Advaitavada, the 
theory of universal unity, abstract identity, or absolute 
idealism. The Advaitavadins or Indian idealists are 
therefore often styled the Sankaras or followers of 
Sankara. They represent Indian orthodoxy in its 
purest form. The commentaries on the Upanishads 
ascribed to Sankara are elucidated in the glosses of 
Anandajnanagiri, a writer to whom reference will be 
found from time to time in the following pages. The 
most illustrious of the successors of Sankara, and, next 
to Sankara, the greatest of the Indian schoolmen, is 
Madhava or Madhavacharya, known also by the sur- 
name of Sayana. He will also be referred to in this 


book. His great work is his series of grammatical and 
exegetic commentaries on the Vedas. In philosophical 
discussion his language is remarkably quaint and strik- 
ing. An opponent arguing in a circle is a man 
trying to stand on his own shoulders, and in refuting 
another he finds himself breaking a bubble with a 
thunderbolt.^ JMildhavacharya flourislied in the four- 
teenth century. 

This book is based upon a series of articles I con- 
tributed some years ago to the Calcutta Eevieiv. The 
first of these, intitled "Ancient Indian Metaphysics," 
was published in the number for October 1 876. This 
was followed by five articles on the " Philosophy of the 
Upanishads," the first of these appearing in January 
1878, and the last in April 1880. I beg to record my 
best thanks to Mr. Thomas Smith, the proprietor of the 
Revieiv, for his kind permission to me to utilise the 
materials of these articles in preparing the present 
work. The materials I have reproduced are for the 
most part the translations. These, already containing 
the most important texts of the Upanishads, were 
indispensable for any new presentation of primitive 
Indian metaphysics. They have in every case been 
rewritten, new matter has been added, and everything 
old is transformed and transposed, so that this book is 
not to be regarded as a reprint, but as a new work. My 
translations will be found to include the whole of the 
Mundaka, Katha, Svetasvatara, and Mandiikya Upani- 
shads, the greater part of the Taittirlya and Brihada- 
ranyaka, and portions of the Chhandogya and Kena, 
together with extracts from the works of the Indian 
schoolmen. The matter of the book has been taken in 

1 Cf. " ^^^lo breaks a butterfly upon a wheel ? "— PoPE. 


every case at first hand from original Sanskrit sources. 
Wherever the work is expository, I have studiously 
avoided interpolation, the purpose being to present the 
primitive Indian philosophy precisely as it is, in the 
terms of the philosophers themselves, and to leave the 
reader to form his own judgment about it. The San- 
skrit philologist has to work in a hard and unproduc- 
tive soil, and this judgment may not perhaps be very 
favourable. At any rate, I make no claim. There is 
nothing that a writer on ancient thought, and particu- 
larly on ancient Oriental thought, has to be more upon 
his guard against, than the vitium subreptionis, the per- 
mission to his own preconceptions to insinuate them- 
selves among the data he has to deal with. In every 
expository paragraph, therefore, every statement, every 
figure, and every simile is extracted from a Sanskrit 
authority. Most of these are to be found in any 
Sanskrit treatise on the Vedanta. They may all be 
found in the following works, which, with others, have 
furnished the matter of this book, — the various Upani- 
shads themselves, Sankara's commentaries on the 
Upanishads, Anandajnanagiri's glosses on these com- 
mentaries, Sankara's commentary on the Sarirakasiitra 
or aphorisms of the Vedanta philosophy, Govindananda's 
gloss on this commentary, the Vedantasara, the Vid- 
vanmanoranjinl, the SubodhinI, the UpadesasahasrI, the 
Padayojanika or commentary on the UpadesasahasrI, 
the Vivekachudamani, the Atmabodha, the Sarvadar- 
sanasangraha, the Sankhyatattvakaumudi, and the San- 

As this book is the outcome of a personal study of 
the Sanskrit originals, I may be permitted to point out 
the conclusions in regard to early Indian philosophy, 


which, thus far, I have arrived at for myself. These 
are: — 

First, That the earliest succession of cosmological 
conceptions in India was this — 

(i.) Brahmavada and Mayavada.the theory of the 
Self and the self-feigning world-fiction, 
afterwards developed into the Vedantic 
system : 

(2.) Siinyavada and Vijnanavada, the theory of 
the aborig;inal vacuum or blank, and of 
the sensational and fluxional nature of 
the world, presented in Buddhism : 

(3.) Purushabahutvavada and Pradhanavada, the 
theory of a plurality of Selves, and of 
the reality and independent existence of 
the world, presented in the doctrine of 
the Sankhyas or " enumerative " philo- 

Secondly, That Maya is part and parcel of the 
primitive Indian cosmological conception, as 
exhibited in the Upanishads themselves, and 
not, as Colebrooke imagined, and has led his 
successors to imagine, a later graft upon the old 
Vedantic philosophy. 

Thirdly, That as regards the alleged affinity between 
the Indian and the ISTeo-platonic philosophy, 
it is possible that a phrase or two, a simile here 
and there, of the Indian sophists, may have 
found their way into the Alexandrian schools, and 
influenced the work of Ammonius, Plotinus, 
and their successors ; but that the Neo-platonic 
philosophy, as a whole, has its virtual pre- 


existence in the earlier constructions of Hellenic 
thought, and naturally dcA^elops itself out of 

As regards this third conclusion, the general reader 
will be able to form his own opinion. I think he will 
pronounce that India had little intellectual wealth for 
exportation to the Alexandrian emporium. 

A. E. G. 

Marsham Hall, 


Juli/ 21, 1SS2. 






The scope of the work i 

Indian philosophy the Avork of a lower race, of mixed Negrito, 

Tatar, and Aryan blood 

The Aryan infusion scanty 4 

Low thoughts in high words the difficulty of the Orientalist 4 

Stationary and progressive order contrasted .... 5 

Indian philosophy an Oriental philosophy of inertion . . 6 

The social antecedents of Brahmanism and Buddhism . . 7 

Personification of elemental forces ...... 8 

The spiritual instinct languid. Absence of moral aspiration 10 
The Vedic worship becomes mechanical . . . .12 

First beginnings of cosmologic speculation in the Yedic hymns 1 3 

The Purushasukta ......... 14 

The Nasadlyasukta 15 

Climatic, ethnological, and religious degeneration in the 

Hindu pale 17 

The worship of Siva the typical Yogin iS 

Self-torture, thaumaturgy, ecstasy, Yoga . . . .18 

Revival of widow-burning 19 

Polyandiy 20 

Belief in the migration of the soul and the misery of every 

form of life 20 

No true help from the gods. Pain in paradise ... 22 
The intolerable prospect of life after life and death after 

death 23 

The belief in metempsychosis prevalent among the lower 

races of mankind 24 



Current in Egypt. Adopted by Empedocles, the Pythago- 
reans, and Plato 25 

Philosophy the release from metempsychosis in the Phajdon 26 

Asiatic and European pessimism 29 

Hume's picture of the miseries of life 29 

The similar picture of the Indian schoolmen . . . -32 



Fixity amidst the flux of things 

Repose and peace amidst the miseries of life . 

Unity amidst the plurality of experience 

These found at intervals in sleep Avithout a dream 

Permanently in union with the characterless Self, which is 

the object of the name and notion I . . . 

Brahman the impersonal Self ...... 

Etymology of the word Brahman ..... 

Brahman infinite 

Brahman incogitable and ineffable 

Brahman the light that irradiates the mental modes 
Brahman is pure thought, eternal and objectless . 
Brahman not to be confused with the personal absolute or 

Christian Deity 

Brahman the pure light of characterless knowledge 
Brahman that which being known all things are knoAvn, — 

the dpxv ......... 

Brahman the principle of reality. The co-eternal priucipl 

of unreality, Maya, the world-fiction 
Maya the illusion in everj'' individual soul 7 
ISIaya the illusion in all souls, the unreal emanatory principle 

of the world, co-eternal with Brahman 
Brahman and Maya eternally associated 
Brahman fictitiously limited by Maya is Isvara, and passes 

into seeming plurality 

Hierarchic emanations out of Brahman and Maya 
Isvara, the Demiurgus, world-evolving deity, or cosmic soul 
Lsvara omniscient, the giver of recompense, the internal ruler 
Isvara not a personal God, but the universal soul . 













Isvara the fust figment of the -world-fiction .... S3 

Hiranyagarhha, the spirit of dreaming seuticneies . . 54 

Viraj, the spirit of waking sentiencies 55 

Six things Avithout beginning 56 



Re-ascent to the fontal Self 58 

Purificatory virtues, renunciation, meditative abstraction, 

ecstatic vision, re-union 59 

The Vivekachudamani quoted 60 

Liberation in this life .61 

The S'dndilyavidya. The soul one ■svith the cosmic soul and 

Avith the Self . . 62 

denunciation, ecstasy, and liberation, as characterised in the 

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 63 

The perfect sage is subject to no moral law .... 65 

But Avill not therefore do evil 66 

The mystic syllable Om as an image of Brahman ... 67 

Invocation of Om in the Taittiriya Upanishad ... 68 
The Mdndiikya Upanishad. The import of Om. The four 

states of the soul ........ 69 

The waking state 69 

The dreaming state 70 

The state of dreamless sleep 70 

The state of the soul in union witli pure Self . . -71 

Literal analysis of Om ........ 72 

The doctrine of the five vestures of the soul as taught in the 

Taittiriya Upanishad 73 

The Brahmdnandavalll, the second section of the Taittiriya 

Upanishad ' • . ■ TZ 

The Self within the mind, inside the heart of every living 

thing 74 

The soul is the Self, but does not know itself to be the Self 75 
Procession of the five elements, and their progressiA^e concre- 
tion 75 

The first and outermost A'esture of the soul is the earthh- 

body 76 



Within the earthly body is the invisible body that clothes 
the soul throughout its migrations .... 

The second garment, the vesture of the -sdtal airs . 

The third garment, the vesture of the common sensory 

The fourth garment, the mental vesture 

The fifth and innermost garment, the vesture of beatitude 
This clothes the soul in its third state of dreamless sleep 

Brahman becomes Isvara and passes into seeming plurality 

The scale of beatitudes that may be ascended by the sage . 

The Bhriguvalll, the third section of the Taittiriya Upanishad 

Steps to the knowledge of Brahman. First step : the earthly 
body is Brahman 

Second step : the vital air is Brahman 

Third step : the common sensory is Brahman 

Fourth step : the mind is Brahman 

Fifth step : the bliss of dreamless sleep is Brahman 

Outward observances of the meditating sage, and their re- 

He is to meditate on the various manifestations of Brahman 

He strips off the five garments of the soul one after another. 
Acquires and exercises magical powers. Sings the song 
of universal unity. Is absorbed into the one and all 

The great text, That art thou 

The dialogue of Aritni and S'vetahetu from the Chhandogya 

Allegory of the sweet juices and the honey . . . . 

Allegory of the rivers and the sea 

Allegory of the tree and its informing life . . . . 

Allegory of the seed of the holy fig-tree 

Allegory of the salt in salt water . . ' . . . 

Allegory of the highwayman and the blindfold traveller 

Gradual departure of the soul at death 

Allegory of the fiery ordeal ....... 

Scholastic explanation of the great text. That art thou . 

















Tlie religion of rites and the religion of gnosis, the inferior 

science and the superior science 95 



The religion of rites prolongs the migration of the soul . . 96 
The religion of gnosis frees the soul from further migration . 97 
This religion or philosophy must he learned from an authorised 

exponent ......... 

Mundaka UjMnishad. First Mundaka, First Section . 
The 5iaSoxv ......... 

To know the Self is to know all things .... 

Simile of the spider 

Hume's misapprehension of this simile .... 
The Demiurgus and the -world-fiction .... 

First Mundaka, Second Section 

The rewards of the prescriptive sacra transient. The sage 

must turn his back upon them all . 
He must repair'to an accredited teacher 

Second ISIundaka, First Section 

Simile of the fir* and the sparks 

Purusha characterised as in the Purushasukta 

The vision of the Self within the heart is the only salvation 

Second Mundaka, Second Section 

Use of the mystic syllable Om 

The ties of the heart loosed by seeing the Self, the light of 

the world ......... 

Third Mundaka, First Section 

Allegory of the two birds on one tree .... 
Mental purity required of the aspirant .... 
A pure mind the only mirror that reflects the Self 

Third Mundaka, Second Section 

The Self manifests itself to the perfect sage . 

He loses himself in it as a river loses itself in the sea . 

Fichte quoted. Perfect peace from conscious participation 

in the divine life .11 



The storj' of Nachiketas and the regent of the dead . . 116 

Katha Upanishad, First Valli 117 

Yama tells Nachiketas to choose three gifts . . . .118 
The first gift, that he may return to his father . . . iiS 





xviii CONTENTS. 


The second gift, a knowledge of the Nacliiketa fire . .118 
Disquieting doubt of awakening reflection .... 120 
The third gift, a knowledge of the soul, and of its real nature 120 
This preferable even to the pleasures that the gods enjoy . 121 
Second Valli. The pleasurable and the good . . .122 

The liturgic experts are blind leaders of the blind . .122 

The seekers of the Si If are few 123 

Renunciation and P'oiitative abstraction the only path of 

safety 124 

The mystic syllable Om must be employed .... 124 

Antithetic epithets of the Self 125 

The Self manifests itself to the purified aspirant . . .126 
Third Valli. The individual soul and the cosmic soul . .126 
Allegory of the chariot . . . . . . . .127 

The goal is release from metempsychosis by re-union with 

the Self 127 

Tlie path of release is fine as the edge of a razor . . .128 
The liberated theosopbist wakes up out of this dream-world 129 

Fourth Valli 129 

The sage eludes the net of death, and has no fear . . .130 
It is illusion that presents the manifold of experience . . 131 

Purusha or Brahman is pure light 132 

Fifth Valli. Various manifestations of Purusha . . . 132 
Vedantic proofs of the existence of the Self . . . -133 

What becomes of the soul at death 134 

The Self is like a permeating fire or pervading atmosphere . 134 
Simile of the sun unsullied by the impurities it looks down 

upon 134 

Everlasting peace for them only that find the light of the 

world in their own hearts 135 

Sixth Valli i35 

The world-tree and the seed it springs from . . . .136 
The Self to be seen only as mirrored on the purified mind . 137 
Ecstatic vision and recovery of immortality .... 137 
Apathy, vacuity, and trance the steps of access to the Self . 138 
The soul's path of egress and ascent to the courts of Brahma 139 
The allegory of the chariot compared with the Platonic figure 

in the Phajdrus 140 






Dialogues of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 
Ajatasatru and Balaki ....... 

Ajatasatru teaches Bahlki the doctrine of the three states of 

the soul and of the Self beyond 147 

Yajnavalkya and Maitreyi 150 

Things that are dear are dear for the sake of the Self . . 1 50 

It is the Self that must be seen 150 

All tilings one in the Self, as partial sounds in a total sound 152 
The Vedas an exhalation of the Self . . . • .152 
No more consciousness for the liberated sage . . • I53 

The duality of subject and object is unreal .... 154 
The disputation at the sacrifice of Janaka . , . -155 
Yajnavalkya takes the prize without waiting to dispute . 155 
Asvala challenges him to explain the symbolic import of the 

several factors of the sacrifice . . . . . .156 

Artabhaga to enumerate the elements of sensible experience 157 
The mind and senses of the liberated sage are dissolved at 

death 158 

The soul of the un philosophic man enters a new body . .159 
Bhujyu examines him on the reward of the horse-sacrifice . 160 
Ushasta demands an ocular demonstration of the Self. The 

Self is the unseen seer 161 

Kahola questions him about the one Self in all things living 161 
The visionary sage is the true Brahman . . . .162 

GargI questions him. What is the web of the world woven 

over? . . . . . . . . . . 162 

Uddalaka questions him on the nature of the thread soul, 

Hiranyagarbha 164 

On the nature of the cosmic soul or Demiurgus . . .165 
The Demiurgus is the internal ruler or actuator. He informs 

and animates the elements . . . . . .166 

He informs and animates all living things . . . .167 

The Demiurgus is Brahman manifested in the world . .168 
GargI questions him. What is the Aveb of the world-fiction 

woven across? ......... 169 

It is woven over the Self, the principle that gives fixity and 

order to the world 170 



The Self is uniform, characterless vision and thought . . 171 
Vidagclha questions him. All things full of gods . . .172 
Vidagdha fails to answer in turn, and perishes . . -174 
Yajnavalkya's paraUe. INIan is a forest-tree : Avhat root does 

he spring from again when cut down ? . . . .174 
The sum of the whole matter. Ecstatic union is the goal . 175 
Yajnavalkya's visit to Janaka. Tlieir conversation. Tlie 

passage of the soul through the five vestures to the Self 

beyond all fear . -175 

Yfijnavalkya visits Janaka again. Tlieir conference. What 

is the light of man ? . , 177 

The true light is the light within the heart . . . -179 

The three states of the migrating soirl 179 

In sleep the soul creates a dream-world ..... 180 

Simile of the fish 181 

Simile of the falcou ........ i8i 

Liberation is perfect satisfaction, and exemption from all fear 182 
All differences vanish in the unitary indifference of the Self. 1S2 




Tlie doctrine of the bhxnk. Tlie original nothingness of the 

Buddhists 183 

This doctrine as old as the Upanishads. It is the primitive 

antithesis to the thesis of the Self and the world-fiction 1S5 

The Buddhist teaching 185 

The inner light moonshine, the Self zero .... 1S6 

All things momentary and fluxional. All consciousness is 

sensational ......... 186 

Sankaracharya's statement and refutation of Buddhist nihilism 1 87 

Sankarachilrya's statement of Buddhist sensationalism . 190 

His refutation of this sensationalism . . . . .192 

Is he self-consistent ? Relative and provisional reality of the 

world 197 

The philosophy of the Sankhyas. A real and independent 
principle of emanation, Pradhana. A plurality of Puru- 

shas or Selves . . 198 



The Sankhyas pervert the plain sense of the Upanishads . 199 
Prakriti in the Upanishads equivalent to Maya or Avidya . 200 
Saukaracliarya disallows the Sankhya appeal to the Katlia 

I'panishad 201 

The "undeveloped" principle of the Katha Upanishad not 

rradhana, but Maya, the cosmic body .... 202 
Sankavacharya disallows the Sankhya appeal to the Svetas- 

vatara Upanishad 203 

The Sankhyas deny the existence of Lsvara, the cosmic soul, 

or world-evolving deity 204 

Sankaracharya maintains against them the existence of lsvara 206 
The migrating souls, not lsvara, to blame for the inequalities 

of their lots 207 

The world has had no beginning. Souls have been in migra- 
tion from eternity 208 

The Sankhya doctrine of real modifications counter to the 

Vedantic tenet of fictitious emanations .... 209 



This Upanishad teaches the same doctrines as the other 

Upanishads . 

The Sankhya originally a new nomenclature, not a new philo 

sophy ......... 

S'vetdsvatara Upmiishad, First Section .... 

AU things emanate out of Isvara's Sakti or iVlaya, i.e., out of 

the power or fiction of the cosmic soul 
lsvara the cycle of the universe ..... 
The river of metempsychosis ...... 

The triad based on Brahman 

Maya or Prakriti the genetrix ingcnita .... 
Maya or Prakriti the handmaid of the Demiurgus 
Meditation leads to exaltation to the courts of Brahma, an 

to extrication from metempsychosis 
Ptepetition of Om reveals Brahman, as friction elicits fire 
Second Section. Invocation of the sun-god, by the aspirant 

about to practise Yoga ...... 

Fixation of the body and withdrawal of the senses 

















Signs of approaching ecstatic vision 219 

The vision unites the soul with the world-pervading Self . 220 

Third Section. Glories of Rudra, the cosmic soul . . 220 

Antithetic epithets of Purusha or Brahman .... 222 

Fourth Section. The world is a manifestation of Brahman . 223 

Allegory of the two birds on one tree ..... 223 

Prakriti is illusion, and Isvara the illusionist . . . 224 

Isvara, the cosmic soul, present in every heart . . . 225 
In the Self there is neither night nor day . . . .225 

Invocation of Rudra for aid in meditation .... 226 

Filth Section. Knowledge and illusion ..... 226 

Kapila, the founder of the Sankhya, extolled . . . 226 

isvara spreads the net of metempsychosis .... 228 

Sixth Section. The world is an exhibition of Isvara's glory 230 

Isvara the divine spider -231 

The Self is the light of the Avorld 232 

Knowledge alone saves from the miseries. of repeated lives . 233 



The world dissolves itself in the view of the meditating Yogin 235 
The current opinion untenable, that the tenet of Maya is an 

innovation 237 

Colebrooke the author of this opinion 237 

Maya a vital element of the primitive Indian cosmical con- 
ception 238 

Part of Colebrooke's statement a glaring error . . . 238 

The Sutras of tlie Vedanta are in themselves obscure . . 239 

Texts of the Upani-^hads teach the unreality of the world . 240 

This doctrine present in a Vedic hymn ..... 240 

Present in the Brihadaraiiyaka Upanishad .... 241 
Which allows only a quasi-existence to everything else than 

the Self 243 

!Many names given in the Upanishads to tlie principle of 

unreality 244 

The duality of subject and object has only a quasi-existence 245 
The unreality of the world taught in the Chhandogya Upani- 
shad 245 

CONTENTS. xxiii 


The Mniulaka Ui);inisliad speaks of daily life and N'edic 

worsliip as an illusion . 246 

Tlic Katlia Upauisliad contrasts tlic life of illusion -with the 

life of knowledge ... .... 246 

The unreality of the world implied in the sole reality of the Self 247 
The unreality of the world taught in the ajdiorisms of the 

Vedfuita 248 

Duality only a distinction of everyday experience . . 249 
The manifold only "a modification of speech, a change, a 

name " 250 

The variety of life is like the variety of a dream . . . 250 
The migrating .soul as such is a mere semblance . . -251 

Sankara emphatic in proclaiming the unreality of the world . 251 

The world is as fictitious as an optical illusion . . . 253 

Falsity of the many, truth only of the one .... 254 

The world is a dream, the sage awakes to the truth . . 255 

The cosmic body and the cosmic soul alike fictitious . . 256 

ThesourceofColebrooke's error the as.sertion of Vijnanabhikshu 258 

This assertion altogether baseless 260 

The ocean of metempsychosis reflects the sun of Self . . 260 
Recapitulation. The philosophy of the Upanishads a new 

religion for the recluses of the jungle .... 262 
The old religion left valid for the many. The three paths of 

the passing soul ........ 264 

Purificatory value of the old religion 264 

The old religion a conformity to immemorial pieties. The 
new religion an effort to rise above mental and corporeal 

limitations to re-union with the one and all . . . 265 

The new religion no more spiritual than the old conformity . 266 
Xo aspiration towards the true and the good, but only a 
yearning for repose. Yet the highest product of the 

Indian mind 267 





" The one spirit's plastic stress ' 
Sweeps through the dull dense world, compelling there 
All new successions to the forms they wear ; 
Torturing the unwilling dross that checks its flight 
To its own likeness, as each mass may bear ; 
And bursting in its beauty and its might, 
From trees and beasts and men into the heavens' light." 

— Shelley. 

" Alors j'ai essay^ de traverser la scene mobile du monde pour pen^- 
trer jusqu'au fond immuable, au principe indpuisable de la vie univer- 
selle. Lk, je I'avoue, j'ai eu un moment d'eblouissement et d'ivresse ; 
j'ai cru voir Dieu. L'etre en soi, I'etre infini, absolu, universal, que 
peut-on contempler de plus sublime, de plus vaste, de plus profond ? 
C'est le dieu Pan, ^voque pour la confusion des idoles de I'imagination 
et de la conscience humaines. Mais ce Dieu vivant, que d'imperfec- 
tions, que de miseres il ^tale, si je regarde dans le monde,''son acta 
incessant ! Et si je veux le voir en soi et dans son fond, je ne trouve 
plus qua l'etre en puissance, sans lumiere, sans couleur, sans forma, sans 
essence ddterminee, abime tendbreux oh I'Orient croyait contempler la 
supreme verity, at ou I'admirabla philosophie grecque ne trouvait que 
chaos et non-etra. Mon illusion n'a pas tenu contra I'evidence, contre 
la foi du genre humain. Dieu ne pouvait etre oh n'est pas le beau, le 
pur, le parfait."— Vachekot. 

It is the purpose of the follo-vs^ing pages to present the Chap. I. 
earliest types of Indian thought in the terms of the The scojie of 
thinkers themselves, and in relation to the popular 



Chap. I. medium in which they had their life. The reader will 
be conducted along the first and only important stages 
of the history of Indian philosophy. The data are such 
that this history can only be worked out by looking at 
the form of the several cosmical conceptions, and find- 
ing out how they rise one out of another in the process 
of conflict and supersession. The earliest Indian notion 
of the totality of things is given in the Upanishads. 
These, the earliest records of Indian speculation, pro- 
pound the miseries of metempsychosis, and the path of 
release from these miseries by recognition of the sole 
reality of the Self, and the unreality of the world and 
of all the forms of life that people it. They retain the 
popular religious imagery, and prescribe the purification 
of the mind, the renunciation of the world, the practice 
of rigid and insensible postures of the body, and pro- 
longed meditative abstraction to reach the unity of 
characterless thought, as the several stages towards the 
recognition of the one and only Self, and ecstatic vision 
of, and re-union with it. This is the safe starting- 
point from which to follow the logical movement. The 
further progress of the history of Indian philosophy 
will rest on probabilities. Certainty as regards the 
chronological succession is beyond the reach of the 
Orientalist, and he has to be content with approxima- 
tions to it. When everything is done, and the history 
of Indian philosophy has been fairly traced, the work 
will always remain little more than a preliminary and 
outlying portion of the general history of the human 
mind. The work will be an exhibition of the thoughts 
of thinkers of a lower race, of a people of stationary 
culture, whose intellectual growth stands almost apart 
from the general movement of human intelligence, 
sophy the A Writer on the history of Indian philosophy has to 

lower race, of deal witli the mental produce of an unprogressive por- 
Negri to, Tatar, tion of mankind, Negroid aborigines, Tatar hordes, 
wood'.'^'*'^ and successive Aryan swarms have severally contri- 


buted their blood to mould the Brahman theosophist. Ciur. i. 
Like every other thinker, lie is limited by the type of 
nervous mechanism he has inherited, by the ancestral 
conditions of his life, and by the material and spiritual 
present which environs him. It is under these limita- 
tions that he is to make himself what he is. As regards 
the limitations of race and hereditary nature, the greatest 
confusion has been introduced into the popular study 
of Indian matters by the term Aryan. This word has 
been fertile in every variety of fallacy, theoretical and 
practical. Before the work of thought begins in India 
the invadinfj Arvan tribes have become Indo-Arians 
or Hindus. They have been assimilated to and absorbed 
into the earlier and ruder populations of modified Negrito 
and Tatar type, whom they at first fought against as 
the dark-skinned Dasyus, and made to till the soil and 
drudsje for them as Siidras. 

As Professor Huxley says, " The old Sanskrit litera- 
ture proves that the Aryan population of India came 
in from the north-west at least three thousand years 
ago. In the Veda these people portray themselves 
in characters that might have fitted the Gauls, the 
Germans, or the Goths. Unfortunately there is no 
evidence whether they were fair-haired or not. India 
was already peopled by a dark-complexioned people, 
most like the Australian aborigines, and speaking a 
group of languages called Dravidian." These races 
were Negroid indif^enes recruited with Tatar blood. 
" They were fenced in," he proceeds, " on the north by 
the barrier of the Himalayas ; but the Aryans poured 
in from the plains of Central Asia over the Himalayas 
into the great river basins of the Indus and the Ganges, 
where they have been in the main absorbed into the 
pre-existing population, leaving as evidence of their 
immigration an extensive modification of the physi- 
cal characters of the population, a language, and a 


Chap. I. 

The Aryan 




Low tl; oughts 
in high worua 
the difficulty 
of the Orien- 

Following Dr. Latham and Mr. IsTorris, Dr. Carpenter 
points out that it is only by an error that the ordinary 
Hindu population are supposed to be the descendants of 
this invading branch of the Aryan stock. " The influ- 
ence," he says, " of the Aryan invasion upon the language 
and population of Northern India was very much akin 
to tliat of the Norman invasion upon those of England." 
This analogy, it must be remarked, is superficial, and 
fails in a most important point. The Norman invaders 
were not of a higher stock than the English, the Saxons, 
and the Anglo-Danes ; the Aryan immigrants into India 
underwent a progressive deterioration through climatic 
influences and intermixture with low and melanous 
races akin to the Bhils, the Kols, and Sonthals of the 
present day. " The number of individuals of the invad- 
ing race was so small in proportion to that of the indi- 
genous population as to be speedily merged in it, not, 
however, without contributing to an elevation of its 
physical characters ; a large number of new words hav- 
ing been in like manner introduced, without any essential 
change in the type of the original languages," the vari- 
ous dialects of Northern India. " And thus the only 
distinct traces of the Aryan stock are to be found in 
the Brahmanical caste, which preserves, though with 
great corruption, the original Brahmanical religion, and 
keeps up the Sanskrit as its classical language. It is 
certain, however, that this race is far from being of pure 
descent, having intermingled to a considerable extent 
with the ordinary Hindu population." 

In treating of Indian philosophy, a writer has to deal 
with thoughts of a lower order than the thoughts of 
the everyday life of Europe. Looking at the language 
he inherits and the general medium of intelligence in 
which he lives, the thoughts of the European are rich 
with the substance of Hebrew, Greek, and Christian 
culture. It is to be noted also that such rudiments of 
philosophic tliought as are to be found in the Indian 


cosmologies are embedded in masses of religious imagery Chap. i. 
of a rude and inartistic kind. We are treadin;]: the 
rock-cut temples of Ellora, not the Parthenon. The 
great difficulty lies in this, that a Iom^ order of ideas 
lias to be expressed in a high order of terms, and that 
the English words suggest a wealth of analysis and 
association altogether foreign to the thoughts that are 
to be reproduced. Translation from a lower to a higher 
language is a process of elevation. However vigilant 
he may be, a writer on Indian philosophy will find it 
hard to say neither too much nor too little, — to present 
the facts as he finds them without prejudice and with- 
out predilection. It is all but impossible to place one- 
self in the position of the ancient Indian sages, — to see 
things as they saw them, and to name them in the 
names they gave them. The effort is nothing less than 
an endeavour to revert to a ruder type of mental struc- 
ture, to put aside our hereditary culture, and to become 
for the time barbarians. 

It will be well to bear in mind the characters of an stationary and 
unprogressive as contrasted with the characters of a order con- 
progressive, variety of the human race. These are ten- 
dencies engrained in the nervous system, and transmitted 
from generation to generation. They are hereditary, 
inborn habitudes, and no one can foresee how far they 
will give wav before foreign influences, or be modified 
by them. The contrast between the lower and the 
higher human varieties, between the stationary and the 
advancing social orders, is instructively set out by the 
historian Grote. " The acquisition of habits of regular 
industry, so foreign to the natural temper of man, was 
brought about in Egypt and Assyria, in China and Hin- 
dustan, before it had acquired any footing in Europe ; 
but it was purchased either by prostrate obedience to a 
despotic rule, or by imprisonment within the chain of 
a consecrated institution of caste. Even during the 
Homeric period of Greece these countries had attained a 


Chap. I. certain civilisation in mass, without the acquisition of 
any high mental qualities or the development of any 
individual genius. Tlie religious and political sanction 
determined for every one his mode of life, his creed, his 
duties, and his place in society, without leaving any 
scope for the will or reason of the agent himself." 
Grote in the next place speaks of the Semitic races, 
the Jews, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, of their individual 
impulse and energy, as also of their strenuous ferocity 
of character, and then contrasts all tliese races with the 
"flexible, many-sided, and self-organising Greek, not 
only capable of opening, both for himself and for the 
human race, the highest walks of intellect and the full 
creative agency of art, but also gentler by far in his 
private sympathies and dealings than his contempo- 
raries on the Euphrates, the Jordan, or the Nile." And 
elsewhere he points out that in no city of historical 
Greece did there prevail either human sacrifices or 
deliberate mutilation, such as cutting off the nose, ears, 
hands, feet, and so forth, or castration, or selling of 
children into slavery, or polygamy, or the feeling of 
unlimited obedience towards one man ; all of these 
being customs which might be pointed out as existing 
among the contemporary Carthaginians, Egyptians, Per- 
sians, Thracians, and other peoples. 
Indian The Orientalist will have to look in the face this 

tropical phik,- fact of tlic inferiority of the hereditary type oi Indian 
tion. character. His work may be hard and unproductive, 

but at least it is necessary to a full and complete survey 
of the products of the human mind. He has much to 
do and little to claim as regards the value of his labours, 
and he will not demur to the judgment of Archer Butler : 
" It presents a fearful contrast to observe the refine- 
, ment to which speculation appears to have been carried 
in the philosophy of India, and the grossness of the 
contemporary idolatry, paralleled in scarcely any nation 
of the earth, as well as the degraded condition of the 


mass of the people, destitute of active energy, and for Chap. t. 
the most part without a shadow of moral principle to 
animate the dull routine of a burthensome and scru- 
pulous superstition. The aim of human wisdom is the 
liberation of the soul from the evils attending tlie mortal 
state. This object is attempted by one modification or 
other of that intense abstraction which, separating the 
soul from the bonds of flesh, is supposed capable of 
liberating it in this life from the unworthy restrictions 
of earthly existence, and of introducing it in the next 
to the full enjoyment of undisturbed repose, or even to 
the glories of a total absorption into the divine essence 
itself. In all this we may detect the secret but con- 
tinual influences of a climate which, indisposing the 
organisation for active exertion, naturally cherished 
those theories which represent the true felicity of man 
to consist in inward contemplation and complete quies- 

A few words must be said about the social state that The social an- 

tecedents of 

preceded the rise of Indian philosophy. In usmg the Brahmanism 

'^ ^ ^ \ , . . and Bud- 

word philosophy, it is to be taken loosely, as designatmg dhism. 

a large amount of pictorial conception covering an inner 
nucleus of rudimentary ideas. We are dealing with reli- 
gion as well as with metaphysics. In India religion and 
metaphysics have grown up in one promiscuous growth, V^ 
and have never had a separate life. They cannot be 
diseno-acfed from each other, and we can seldom point * 

to such and such an item in any structure as philoso- j 
phical, and such and such another item as religious. A 
few words only can be given to an explanation of the 
social order that preceded the rise of the Brahmanical 
and Buddhist forms of thought and faith, and the 
reader must refer for further information, if he needs 
it, to the writings of Professor Max Miiller and Dr. 
John Muir. Let us, then, station ourselves in the com- 
munities in which the Eishis lived, the seers that saw 
and fashioned the Vedic hymns. The Indian tribes 


Chap. 1, 

tion of ele- 

have already reached a settled state of order and pros- 
perity. They are gathered together in farms, in huts 
of sun-dried mud, and houses of stone, in hamlets and 
in fenced towns, under village chiefs and Eajas. The 
outward aspects of their life are not unlike those of the 
rural India of to-day. The same villages, the same 
thatched huts of the peasantry, with mud-walled yards 
for cattle, and the same square courts and stuccoed 
garden-houses of the village chiefs and princelets. 
There is the same silence, broken only by the creaking 
pulleys of the village well and the occasional bark of 
village curs, the same green mantle on the stagnant 
wayside pools, the same square tank; the sunlight 
glinting as to-day through the delicate foliage of the 
tamarind, the glossy leaves of the peepul, and the 
feathery tufts of the bamboo. There is the same over- 
powering glare upon the surface of the earth, and there 
are the same liquid depths of overarching blue over- 
head, but the horizon is fringed with jungle, and the 
levels are grassy and less arid than to-day, for the 
forests are dense and widely spread, and the rainfall is 
more abundant. In such surroundings, for the most 
part tranquil and dreamlike, but at times terrific with 
shocks of tropical storm and rain, the Indians of the 
Vedic age till their rice and barley, irrigate their fields 
with watercourses, watch the increase of their flocks 
and herds, and make a hard or easy livelihood as black- 
smiths, wheelwrights, boat-builders, weavers, leeches, 
soldiers, poets, priests. They live upon the produce of 
their cattle and of their fields, drink wine and moon- 
plant juice, and exercise their leisure in sacrificial feasts 
and in games and spectacles. 

The powers of nature present themselves to them as 
so many personal agents. Every striking and unex- 
pected change in the things around them is an extra- 
human volitional activity. They see God in clouds 
and hear him in the wind. They impute their whole 


self to all they see around them, anthropomorphising Chap. i. 
all nature. The environment is a divine community, 
in the midst of which the human communities have 
their life. To use the words of Archer Butler, " Man's 
early tendencies are constantly leading to a wide and 
vague application of his whole nature, to see himself in "^ 
everything, to recognise his will, and even his sensa- 
tions, in the inanimate universe. This blind analogy 
is almost the first hypothesis of childhood. The child 
translates the external world by himself. He perceives, 
for example, successions under the law of causality, but 
he adds to this causality his own consciousness of 
voluntary effort. He perceives objects under the law 
of extension, but he has little conception of an exten- 
sion which should overpass his own power of traversing 
it. The child personifies the stone that hurts him; the 
childhood of superstition, whose genius is multiplicity, 
personifies the laws of nature as gods ; the childhood 
of philosophy, whose genius is unity, makes the world 
itself a living, breathing animal, whose body nature is, 
and God the soul." 

Thus it is that to the communities in which the Rishis 
dwell a multitude of personalities manifest themselves, 
in rain, in fire, in wind, in storms, and in the sun. 
They stand above and round about the people, in 
ever-varying aspects, powerful to befriend or to injure 

Sky and Earth are the father and mother of gods 
and men. Aditi, the illimitable expanse, is the mother 
of chiefs and heroes. Mitra, presiding over the day, 
wakes men and bids them bestir themselves betimes, 
and stands watching all things with unwinking eye. 
Varuna, ruling the night, prepares a cool place of rest 
for all that move, fashions a pathway for the sun, sends 
his spies abroad in both the worlds, knows every wink 
of men's eyes, cherishes truth and hates a lie, seizes the 
evil-doer with his noose, and is prayed to to have mercy 


Chap. I. on the sinful. Youthful, lustrous, and beautiful, the 
Asvins go out in their golden car before the dawn, with 
health and wealth for man, Ushas, the Dawn, the 
daughter of the sky, untouched with age, but bringing 
age to men, dispels the darkness, drives away the 
lurking enemy, visits every house, wakes the sleepers, 
sends the labourers afield, and makes the birds to fly 
aloft. Agni, the fire-god, of manifold birth, the off- 
spring of the fire-drills, fed -with sacrificial butter, bears 
the oblation aloft to the gods, brings the gods to the 
sacrifice, and is generally internunciary between gods 
and men, Surya, the sun-god, proceeds through the 
sky in his chariot with seven mares, seeing: all things, 
looking down upon the good and evil works of men. 
Indra, ruling the firmament, overthrows Vritra, the 
enemy that obscures the brightness of the sky, splits 
up the clouds with his thunderbolt, sends down the 
rain upon the earth, restores the sun to the heavens, 
protects the Aryan colour, and destroys the dark and 
degraded Dasyus, godless, prayerless, uninformed of 
sacrificial rites. Parjanya, the thunderer, scatters 
showers from his waterskin, and fills the earth and sky 
with fatness, "The winds blow, the lightnings play, 
plants spring up, the sky fructifies, the glebe teems 
for the good of all, as Parjanya visits the earth with 
moisture." The Maruts, the personified dust-storms, 
armed with lightnings, clothed with rain, make dark- 
ness in the day, water the earth, and mitigate the heat. 
Soma, the mountain milk-weed, invigorates the gods, 
exhilarates mankind, clothes the naked, heals the sick, 
gives eyes to the blind. With Yama, the regent of the 
dead, the departed dwell in happiness with the fore- 
fathers of their tribes. 
The spiritual ThesB and manv others are the luminous beinfrs that 

instinct. Ian- " "^ ^ 

giiid. Absence stand around them, and require to be flattered with 

of moral . 

aspiration. hymus, to be fcd with butter, to be refreshed with 
soma-juice, that they may become friendly and fatherly, 


and may send rain, food, cattle, children, and length of Chap. i. 
days to their worshippers. As yet these worshippers 
feel themselves at one with the things around them ; 
roused to work or fifrht in the glare and heat of the 
long bright day, by the freshness of the dawn and 
the harsh notes of tropical birds ; resting as best they 
mav in the starlit night, seldom silent, for the most 
part resonant with monotonous croakings from the 
marsh, shrill with the crickets on grass and plant and 
tree, and not without peril from the violence of prowling 
savages from the adjacent jungle. There is little of 
moral or spiritual significance in this propitiation of 
the forces of nature. A sinner is for the most part 
nothing else than a man that fails to pay praise, and 
prayer, and sacrifice to the deities, often only the dark- 
skinned savage that infests the Indo-Arian village. 

The fjood man is he that flatters, feeds, and wins the 7 

favour of the eods. 


5cD/3a Oeovs ireidei, 5wp' alSolovs ^ao-fX^as, 

The gods eat the oblations, giving in return the good 
things of life, rain to the arid fields, food, cattle, chariots, 
wealth, children, health, a hundred years of life. Life 
is as yet no burden to them ; there is nothing of the 
blank despair that came in later with the tenet of 
metempsychosis and the misery of every form of sen- 
tient life. Pleasures are looked for in this world ; land 
is to be had for the conquest ; their harvests are enough 
for the wants of all ; their flocks and herds are many ; 
and pleasures are looked for again in the after-life in 
the body in the kingdom of Yama. As among other 
undeveloped races, the sacrifices are offered as propitia- 
tory presents, as compensations for liturgic errors, and 
as the necessary subsistence of the gods that enables 
them to watch over the well-being of mankind. This is 
the persuasion that prevailed into later times, and thus 
it appears in the Bhagavadgita : " Prajapati of old 


Chap. I. created beings with their rites of sacrifice, and said, 
Hereby shall you propagate yourselves : this shall be to 
you the cow of plenty. Sustain with this the gods, 
and let the gods sustain you : supporting each other in 
turn, you shall attain the highest happiness. Fed with 
sacrifice, the gods shall give you the food that you 
desire. He that gives them nothing and eats the food 
they give, is a thief indeed. The good who eat the 
leavings of the sacrifice are loosed from their guilt, but 
they that cook for themselves alone, and not for the 
gods, eat sin. Living things are made of food ; the food 
proceeds from rain ; the rain proceeds from sacrifice." 
TheVedicwor- This worsliip of the personified powers of nature 
mechanicS?^ with a vicw to material benefits gradually hardened 
into a series of rites to be performed by the priest- 
hood. Each sacrifice came to operate in a blind and 
mechanic way towards the production of a specified 
result. The sequence of the fruit upon the performance 
of the function presented itself as part of the fixed suc- 
cession of events. Minute rules were framed for every 
step of the sacrificial procedures, and explanations in- 
vented to give to every implement and every act its 
several symbolic import. Expiatory formulas were 
provided to make up for inadvertences and omis- 
sions which might otherwise frustrate the purposes of 
the initiated votary and the priestly experts he em- 
ployed. In this process lies the transition from the 
religion of the Mantras, the hymns, the spontaneous 
effusions of the primitive seers or Eishis, to the religion 
of the Brahmanas, the petrified ceremonial and formal 
symbolism of the liturgists. This later form of Vedic 
religion received the name of the Karmakanda, or ritual 
department of the Vedas. In the course of time it 
came to be held that the sacrifices performed without 
knowledge of their theologic import produced their 
desired effect — some material good, the birth of children, 
the prolongation of life, a series of successes in tribal 


feuds, and the like; leading the -worshipper at the Chap. i. 

highest by the lunar path to a sojourn in the paradise 

of the deities, to be followed by a return to a fresh 

embodiment. Performed with proper insight into their 

theologic significance, they raised the votary after death 

along the solar path into the mansion of the supreme 

divinity, the sphere of Brahma, there to reside till the 

close of the passing seon. 

But in the midst of this life of the primitive Hindu First begin- 
nings of cos- 
in communion with the gods of nature, there are dis- moiogicspecu- 

. (• J3 • /~\ • lation in the 

cernible the first stirrmgs of renection. Questions vedic hymus. 
begin to be asked in the hymns of the PJshis in regard, 
to the origin of earth and sky. Sometimes they said 
they were made by the gods, or by one or other of the 
sods, working after the fashion of a human artificer. 
At other times they said the gods begot them. One of 
the Ptishis asks about the earth and sky, "Which of 
these was first, and which was later ? You wise, which 
of you knows ? " Another asks, "What was the forest, 
what the tree, they cut the sky and earth out of, that 
abide and wear not out, while the days and many dawns 
have worn away ? " ^ In one hymn earth and sky are 
the work of Visvakarman. In another it is Hiranya- 
garbha, the Golden Germ, that arose in the beginning, 
the lord of things that are, that establishes the sky and 
the earth, that is the giver of life and breath. In 
another it is Varuna, either alone or associated with 
Mitra, who fixes the heavens, measures out the earth, 
and dwells as ruler in all the worlds. Agni is some- 
times the son of Earth and Sky; at other times he 
is said to have stretched out the earth and sky, to 
have inlaid the sky with stars, and to have made all 
tiiat flies, or walks, or stands, or moves. In other 

^ Rigveda x. 31, 7. The ques- was the forest, Self the tree from 

tion is answered in the Taittirlya- which they cut out the earth and 

brahmana ii. 8, 9 : Brahman— the sky. See Muir's Sanskrit Texts, 

Self that permeates and vitalises vol. v. p. 32. 
all things and all forms of life — 


Chap. I. places it is India that has begotten the sun, the sky, 
the dawn; that has set up lights in the sky, that up- 
holds the two worlds, the waters, the plains, the hills, 
and the sky. 

" What poet now, what sage of old, 
The greatness of that god hath told. 
Who from his body vast gave birth 
To father sky and mother earth 1 
Who hung the heavens in empty space, 
And gave the earth a stable base, 
Who framed and lighted up the sun, 
And made a path for him to run." ^ 

Elsewhere it is Soma, the deified moon-plant, that 
generates the earth and sky, that puts light into the 
sun, and stretches out the atmosphere. In another 
^ hymn Aditi, the endless visible expanse, is all that is : 

" Aditi is sky, Aditi is air, Aditi is mother, father, son. 
Aditi is all the gods, and is the five tribes of men. 
Aditi is whatever has been born, Aditi is whatever 
shall be born." The five tribes of men are the Brah- 
mans, Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas, the priestly, military, 
and agricultural orders, more or less of Aryan extrac- 
tion, the SUdras, or indigenous serfs and slaves grafted 
into the Hindu communities, and the Nishadas, or tribes 
of unreclaimed barbarians outside the Hindu pale. 

In Eigveda x. 72, 2 we read : " Brahmanaspati has 
forged these births of the gods, as a blacksmith fans his 
flame : in the primal age of the gods entity came forth 
out of nonentity." 
ThePurusha- In the Purushasiikta, Eigveda x. 90, the world is 
made, — the Eik, the Saman, and the Yajush, the three 
Vedic aggregates, the Brahman, Eajanya, Vaisya, and 
Sudra, the four orders of people in the Hindu pale, are 
produced, — out of Purusha, the highest deity, the per- 
sonality that permeates all living things, offered up by 
the gods, the Sadhyas and the Eishis, as a sacrificial 

^ Muir's Metrical Translations from Sanskrit Writers, p. 173. 



victim. Here the idea of the emanation of the world Chap, i 
from a divine spirit internal to all embodied sentiencies 
is presented in a form gross, obscure, and almost unin- 
telligible to the modern mind. " Purusha has a thousand 
heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet. He compasses 
the earth on every side, and stands ten fingers' breadth 
beyond. Purusha is all this; he is that which has been, 
and that which is to be : the lord also of immortality, 
and the lord of that which grows up with food. Such 
is his greatness, and Purusha is more than this : one 
quarter of him is all existing things, three-quarters that 
which is immortal in the sky." It will be hereafter 
necessary to return to this hymn, as it contains a por- 
tion of the mythologic imagery of the subsequent Vedic » 
philosophy of the Upanishads, and to exhibit its natural 
interpretation in accordance with that philosophy by 
Sayana, or, as he is otherwise known, the schoolman 

Meanwhile, to proceed to another hymn. The effu- The xasadiyc 
sions of awakening reflection reach their highest energy ^^ 
in the celebrated Nasadlyasiikta, Eigveda x. 129. It is 
in this hymn that is first suggested the primitive type 
of Indian thought, the thesis of all the Upanishads, 
viz., the emanation of the world and of all the forms of 
life that successively people it, out of the sole reality, 
the Self that permeates and vitalises all things, through 
the agency of the unreality that overspreads it, the self- 
feigned fiction, the cosmical illusion, Maya. " It was 
not entity, nor was it nonentity," says the Eishi. The 
cosmical illusion neither is nor is not; it is a self-feisfned 
fiction, a spurious semblance of being, for it is Self 
alone that is. And yet it is not merely nothing, for 
then the world of experience would not be here and 
everywhere, for living souls to pass through. " No air 
was then, no sky above." In the state of things in 
which the various spheres of experience and the sen- 
tient lives that inherit them have not yet reappeared 


Chap. I. from their last disappearance into the fontal, spiritual 
essence, in the infinite series of seons, there is as yet 
nothincr thinkable, nothing^ nameable. " What shrouded 
all ? where ? in the receptacle of what ? Was it water, 
the unfathomable abyss ? " Water, be it noted, became 
in the later philosophy of the Brahmans one of the 
many names of the inexplicable principle of unreality, 
the world-fiction. "Death was not then, nor immor- 
tality." These are things that have no meaning in the 
sole life of the undifferenced Self. " There was no dis- 
tinction of day or night. That One breathed without 
afilation, self-determined : other than, and beyond it, 
there was naught." This one, the all, is the sole reality, 
the aboriginal essence, the undifferenced Self, the Brah- 
man or Atman of the later Hindu quietist. " Darkness 
there was, wrapped up in darkness. All this was un- 
differenced water. That one that was void, covered with 
nothingness, developed itself by the power of self- 
torture. Desire first rose in it, the primal germ : this 
sages seeking with the intellect have found in the heart 
to be the tie of entity to nonentity." The Self in its 
earliest connection with the cosmical illusion becomes 
the creative spirit, the Isvara of the philosophy of the 
Upanishads. The creative spirit is said in the Taittirlya 
TJpanishad to perform self-torture, to coerce itself, as 
the scholiasts say, to rigorous contemplation, to a pre- 
vision of the world that is to be, and this prevision is 
its desire to project the spheres, and to part itself illu- 
sively into all the innumerable forms of life that are 
to pass through them. " The ray stretched out across 
these, was it above or was it below ? There were erene- 
rating forces, there were mighty powers; a self-deter- 
mined being on this side, an energy beyond. Who 
indeed knows? who can say out of what it issued, 
whence this creation ? The gods are on this side of its 
evolution : who then knows out of what it came into 
existence ? This creation, whether any made it, or 


any made it not ? He that is the overseer in the highest chap. i. 
heaven, he indeed knows, or haply he knows not." 

Thus there is in the Vedic hymns a second line of The hymns „f 

... rertectidii lead 

movement, and this leads us to the primitive type of "p to the pi, i- 
Indian philosophy as it develops itself in the'Upani- upumshads. 
shads. The hymns made in generation after generation 
by the Eishis, fashioned by them as a car is fashioned 
by a wheelwright, or fabricated or generated by the 
gods, were transmitted by memory from age to age, till 
they became of inscrutable origin and authority, of no 
mere personal authorship, but timeless revelations com- 
ing forth afresh in each successive seon. The period of 
the hymns or Mantras was followed, as has been seen, 
by the period of the ritual and legendary compilations 
known as the Brahmanas. Of these Brahmanas, parti- 
cular portions, to be repeated only by the recluses of 
the forest, were styled Aranyakas, and to the Aranyakas 
were attached the treatises setting forth as a hidden 
wisdom the fictitious nature of the religion of rites as 
part and parcel of the series of mere semblances, the 
world-phantasmagory, and the sole reality of the all- 
pervading and all-animating Self, or Brahman. This 
hidden wisdom, the philosophy of the Upanishads, in 
contradistinction from the Karmakanda or ritual por- 
tion, received the name of Jiianakanda, or gnostic por- 
tion, of the Sruti, or everlasting revelation. There were 
now virtually two religions, the Karmamarga, or path 
of rites, for the people of the villages, living as if life 
with its pleasures and pains were real, and the Jnana- 
marga, or path of knowledge, for the sages that had 
quitted the world and sought the quiet of the jungle, 
renouncing the false ends and empty fictions of com- 
mon life, and intent upon reunion with the sole reality, 
the Self that is one in all things living. 

After this brief notice of the period that preceded climatic, eth- 
the rise of philosophy in India, it will be necessary, in reiigiou's'dege- 
the second place, to point out certain modifications of Hiudupaie. 



Chap. I. tlie primitive forms of faith, which followed the clima- 
tic degeneration of the Indo-Arian tribes, and the de- 
gradation of the race through intermixture with and 
assimilation to the melanous indigenes. 
The worship The worship of Siva or Mahadeva is towards the 

'>f S iva. the in 

typical Yogin. closc of this period introduced from the mountains of 
the north, the new deity being identified with the 
Rudra of the Vedic poets, the howling god of tempests, 
the father of the Maruts. In Hindu mythology Siva 
often appears as the divine pattern of the fasting 
devotee, intent upon the attainment of ecstatic and 
magical powers through savage self-torture and self- 
induced vacuity, apathy, and trance. In this character 
he is the lord of Yogins, the great typical ascetic, living 
in the solitude of forest and mountain, sittinfj motion- 
less, with matted hair and body smeared with ashes, 
with breath suppressed, with vision withdrawn from 
all outward things, with every thought and feeling 
crushed within him. The practice of self-torture is 
alien to the cheerful spirit of the Vedic worshipper, 
aspiring to health and wealth and length of days, and 
an after-life in the realms of Yama amidst the fore- 
seif-torture, fathers of mankind. It was from the semi-savage 
^.'J^^ecstasy, races, with M'hich they were coalescing, and which they 
were elevating, that they now adopted the practice of 
fixing the body and the limbs in statue-like repose, 
and inducing cataleptic rigidity and insensibility, as a 
higher state than the normal state of human life, — the 
practice known as Yoga, — union, ecstasy, the melting 
away of the consciousness into a state of characterless 
indetermination. The process seems to be accompanied 
with intervals of morbid nervous and cerebral exalta- 
tion, in which the self-torturer loses all distinction 
between perception and imagination, and appears to 
himself and others to be invested with superhuman 
powers. He becomes enabled to raise up the fore- 
fathers of the tribes before him by a mere act of will, 


to animate a plurality of bodies at the same time, to Chap. i. 
control the elements, to walk through the air, to enter 
into the earth with the same ease as into water, to 
remain unhurt in fire, dry in water, and so forth. 
" Among the lower races, and high above their level, 
morbid ecstasy, brought on by meditation, fasting, nar- 
cotics, excitement, or disease, is a state common and 
held in honour among the very classes specially con- 
cerned with mythic idealism."^ "Throughout the 
lower civilisation men believe, with the most vivid and 
intense belief, in the objective reality of the human 
spectres which they see in sickness or exhaustion, 
under the influence of mental excitement or of narcotic 
drugs. One main reason of the practices of fasting, 
penance, narcotising, and other means of bringing on 
morbid exaltation, is that the patients may obtain the 
sight of spectral beings, from whom they look to gain 
spiritual knowledge, and even worldly power." ^ 

To the close of this period also, and through inter- Revival of 
mixture with the ruder indigenes, may probably be mg. 
referred the revival of the ancient rite of burning the 
widow upon the funeral pile together with the corpse 
of the husband. The actual incremation formed no 
part of the ancient Vedic ritual, which directs that the 
widow be placed upon the pile by the side of the 
deceased husband, and then led down again by the 
brother-in-law, by an adopted son, or by an old servant, 
and bidden to return to the living world. The bow, or 
the sacrificial implements of the deceased, are to be burnt 
together with the corpse. The fact that the widow 
thus ascended the pile is taken by Mr. Tylor to indi- 
cate the actual practice of the immolation of widows 
before the Vedic age, a practice that outlived the pre- 
cept for its suppression, and came to a public revival 
under later influences. With climatic degeneration, 
and with degradation through absorption of semi-savage 

1 Tylor's Primitive Culture, vol. i. p. 277. - Ibid., 402. 



Chap. I. 


blood, probably came the relapse into the primitive 
Aryan rite of widow-sacrifice. Funeral human sacrifice 
was a general rite of the Aryan nations while yet in a 
rude and barbarous condition. " The episodes of the 
Trojan captives laid with the horses and hounds on the 
funeral pile of Patroklos, and of Evadne throwing her- 
self into the funeral pile of her husband, and Pausanias' 
narrative of the suicide of the three Messenian widows, 
are among its Greek representatives. In Scandinavian 
myth Baldr is burnt with his dwarf foot-page, his 
horse, and saddle : Brynhild lies on the pile by her 
beloved Sigurd, and men and maids follow after them 
on the hell- way. Old mentions of Slavonic heathendom 
describe the burning of the dead with clothing and wea- 
pons, horses and hounds, and, above all, with wives." ^ 

Other marks of degradation are the polyandry of 
Draupadi, the fierce blood-thirst of Bhima, and other 
savage incidents in the Mahabharata. Polyandry is one 
of the usages of the ruder races the Indo-Arians en- 
croached upon, and received as serfs, as subjects, and 
as neighbours, prevailing in Tibet, in the Himalayan 
and sub-Himalayan regions under Tibetan influence, in 
the valley of Kashmir, and in the far south of the 
peninsula among the Tudas of the Nilgiri hills, the 
Coorgs of Mysore, and the Nayars of Malabar. 

But of all the marks of this degradation of national 
type, the most noteworthy is the growing belief in me- 
ever^form of tcmpsychosis, and the assertion of the misery of every 
form of sentient life, — a belief and assertion with which 
later Indian literature is replete to saturation. It is 
this expectation of a renewal of a life of misery in body 
after body, in age after age, and aeon after eeon, and the 
feverish yearning after some means of extrication from 
this black prospect, that is, as will be seen, the first 
motive to Indian speculation. The sum and substance, 
it may almost be said, of Indian philosophy, is from 

^ Primitive Culture, vol. i. p. 419. 

Beliefs in the 
migration of 
the soul, and 


first to last the misery of inetempsycliosis, and the Chap. i. 
mode of extrication from it. Of this fact the student 
of Indian philosophy should never for a moment lose 
sight, or he will lose his way in what will then seem to 
him a pathless jungle of abstractions. 

The doctrine of transmigration formed no part of tlie 
faith of the earlier Vedic worshipper. The ancient 
poets had looked forward to a second life in the body, 
among the fathers of their tribes, and in the realms of 
Yama, As to punishments in a future state they are 
silent. In the later period of Vedic religion,^ the period 
of petrified forms already referred to, a passage of the 
Satapathabrahmana relates how Bhrigu, the son of 
Varuna, visiting the four uttermost parts of the world, 
saw men cut into pieces and eaten by others. The 
eaters being asked the meaning of this by Bhrigu, said 
that they were revenging upon their victims the wrongs 
they had suffered at their hands in the former world. 
This marks the first beginning of the expectation of 
penal retribution in a future state of being. The doc- 
trine of metempsychosis, a belief widely spread among 
the lower races of men, coming slowly and surely to 
lay hold of the Hindu mind, this penal retribution 
came to be expected in a series of embodiments in 
vegetal, animal, human, and extra-human shapes. Each 
living soul was to pass from body to body, from grade 
to grade, from sphere to sphere of life, in obedience to 
a retributive operation by which suffering followed 
evil-doing with the blind and fatal movement of a 
natural law. As the life has been, such will the next 
embodiment be in the series of lives, the present and 
the future with their pains and transitory pleasures 
being the outcome of what the soul has done in its 
anterior embodiments. The series of lives has had no 
beginning, and shall have no end, save to the perfected 
sage finally resolved into the fontal essence of the uni- 

^ See Muir's Sanskrit Texts, vol. v. p. 322. 


Chap^ I. verse. A life of such and such experiences follows 
from works of such and such a nature, good works 
sending the soul upwards in the scale of embodiments 
into a life human, superhuman, or divine, and evil 
works sending the soul downwards into bestial, insect, 
vegetal, penal, embodiments in this world, or in a 
nether v/orld of torture. In this world, above, below, 
there is no place of rest ; paradises and purgatories are 
but stages in the endless journey. In every state there 
is nothing to expect but vanity, vexation, and misery, 
Omnis creatura ingemiscit. There is nothing to look for 
but grief and pain, broken at best with pleasures them- 
selves fleeting, empty, and unsatisfying: nothing to 
look for but sickness, decay, the loss of loved ones, 
death, and the fatal recurrence of fresh birth, through 
an endless succession of embodiments. Each present 
suffering, intolerable as it is, is the precursor to another 
and another, through lives without end. The very 
No true help merit that wins a sojourn in a paradise or the rank of 
Pain in para- ' a diviuity must soouer or later be exhausted, for the 
bankrupt soul to descend to a lower sphere. The plea- 
sures of the paradise themselves are tainted with the 
fear of their expiry, and with the inequalities of the 

inmates of the paradise. 

" The happier state 
In heaven, which follows dignity, might draw 
Envy from each inferior." 

The soul floats helpless along the stream of lives, like 
a gourd on the surface of a river. A stream of lives, 
wave upon wave — 

" Labitur et lahetur in omne volubilis sevum." 

There is now no longer for the Hindu the cheerin^ 
prospect of an after-life with his fathers, but the dreary 
vista lies before him of death after death, to be born 
that he may suffer and may die, to be born again that 
he may suffer and may die again, and this to endless 
ages, — to die and go he knows not whither, perhaps 


into an ephemeral insect life, perhaps into penal fire, Chap. i. 
perhaps into a higher life, but every life alike transitory, 
and with another death beyond it. A fitting concomi- 
tant to the practice of savage self-torture is this belief 
of metempsychosis, with its attendant horror and de- 
spair. " The rich, their children round them, are filled The intoier- 
\yith anguish at the hour of death, and like theirs is the of iife after 

^n ^i • T .^ ■ (. , 1 • life and death 

sorrow or those m a paradise upon the expiry or their after death, 
merits. At the hour of death great is the anguish of a 
thriving prince, and like his is the sorrow of those in a 
paradise upon the expiry of their merits. In the para- 
dise itself they are dependent, and cannot help them- 
selves. The sorrow of the celestial sojourners at the 
loss of their merits, is like the sorrow of the rich at the 
loss of their riches. In the performance of rites there 
is pain, in the fruition of the recompense of those rites 
there is pain, upon the expiry of the recompense there 
is the direful pain of fresh birth into the world. For 
what shall the living soul pass into on its return from 
paradise ? shall it pass into a high, a middle, or a low 
embodiment, or shall it be born into a place of punish- 
ment ? " 1 The series of lives of misery is without 
beginning no less than without end, and no one knows 
what he has done in the far past and laid up for the ' 

future. Birth from works and fresh works from new 
birth, as plant from seed and seed from plant, and who 
shall assign the priority to either ? In the never-ceas- 
ing onward flow of things there is no longer anything 
more than a seeming perpetuity for the gods themselves, 
and many thousand Indras are said to have passed 
away as aion has followed peon. The Hindu looks to 
the flow of lives through which he has passed, to the 
flow of lives through which he has to pass, till he can 
find no fixity or stability in any kind of world. All 
things are passing, and passing away ; and what re- 
mains ? anything or nothing ? Here we have, as will 

^ Atmapurana xvi. 91-95. 


Chap. I. be shortly seen, the first point of transition to the 
metaphysical era. Something must be found that shall 
be fixed and changreless in the midst of all this change ; 
some place of rest must be provided to limit this vista 
of restless misery and migration. 

In tlie Upanisbads the tenet of transmigration is 
already conspicuous. Thus in the Chhandogya we 
read : " Whatever these creatures are in this world, 
lion, or wolf, or boar, or worm, or moth, or gnat, or 
mosquito, that they become again and again." And 
again : " Those whose life has been good will quickly 
attain a new embodiment — embodiment as a Brahman, 
a Kshatriya, or a Vaisya. Those whose life has been 
evil will quickly pass into an evil embodiment — em- 
bodiment as a do", or a ho^^, or a Chandala." In the 
post-Vedic literature the nature of the retributive em- 
bodiments is treated of in minute and fanciful detail. 
Thus, in the twelfth book of the laws of the Manavas, 
it is said : " The greatest sinners, after passing through 
terrible regions of torture for long periods of years, pass 
into the following embodiments : The slayer of a Brah- 
man enters into the body of a dog, a boar, an ass, a 
camel, a bull, a goat, a sheep, a stag, a bird, a Chandala, 
or a Pukkasa, according to the proportion of his guilt ; 
a Brahman that drinks stroncf drinks shall enter into 
the body of a worm, an insect, a moth, of a fly that 
feeds on ordure, or of a noxious animal. A thievish 
Brahman shall pass thousands of times into the bodies 
of spiders, snakes, chameleons, crocodiles, and of malig- 
nant vampires."^ And then follows a long series of 
other penal states of life, proportioned to the guilt of 
the agents that are to pass through them. 
The belief in Mr. Tylor^ has shown how widely the belief has 
amol^^thT^ prevailed among semi-savage tribes, of the passage of 
lower races of thc human soul iuto the trunks of trees and the bodies 


1 Manavadharmasastra xii. 54, sqq. 

^ Primitive Culture, vol. ii. pp. 6, sqq. , 




of animals. The Sonthals are said to believe the souls Chap. i_ 
of the good to enter into fruit-bearing trees. The 
Powhattans believed the souls of their chiefs to pass 
into particular wood-birds, which they therefore spared. 
The Tlascalans of Mexico thought that the souls of 
their nobles migrated after death into beautiful singing- 
birds, and the spirits of plebeians into beetles, weasels, 
and other insiiznificant creatures. The Zulus of South 
Africa are said to believe the passage of the dead into 
snakes, or into wasps and lizards. The Dayaks of 
Borneo imagine themselves to find the souls of the 
dead, damp and bloodlike, in the trunks of trees. The 
belief in the passage of the soul into trees, and animals, 
and fresh human bodies having no place in Vedic 
literature prior to the Upanishads, it is reasonable to 
suppose the Hindus to have taken it from the indi- 
genes, in the course of their absorption of indigenous 

It is well known that metempsychosis was one of current in 
the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians in regard to the ted in Greece 
destination of the soul. The tenet connects itself with cies, the Py- 
a belief in the fore- as well as the after-life of the and piato. ' 
sentient and thinking principle. From the Egyptians 
it is adopted at intervals into the Greek philosophy. 
It first appears in the teaching of Pythagoras. Empe- 
docles fancies that the blood he has shed in an earlier 
form of life is crying out against him in this, and that 
he is to be a fugitive and a wanderer upon the earth 
for thirty thousand years. Exiled from the presence 
of the gods, divine though it be, his soul is to pass 
through a succession of penal embodiments, until it 
regains its purity. It is to enter into the shapes of 
plants and trees, of fishes and birds, and other animals, 
some of these shapes being higher than others, as the 
laurel among trees, the lion among the beasts. From 
the Pythagoreans the doctrine is taken up by Plato, 
as in unison with his belief of the pre-existence and 




Ch-ap. I. 

pjj.- losophy 


e release 

^ rom metem- 
psychosis in 
the Phaedon. 

post-existence of the soul, and as explanatory of the in- 
equalities of human fortune. Thus in the Phaedon : — 

" Are we to suppose, says Socrates, that the soul, 
an invisible thing, in going to a place like itself, in- 
visible, pure, and noble, the true Hades, into the 
presence of the good and wise God, whither, if God 
will, my soul is also soon to go, — that the soul, I say, 
if this be her nature and origin, is blown away and 
perishes immediately on quitting the body, as the many 
say ? It is far otherwise, my dear Simmias and Cebes. 
The truth is much more this, that if the soul is pure at 
its departure, it drags after it nothing bodily, in that it 
has never, of its own will, had connection with the 
body in its life, but has always shunned it, and gathered 
itself unto itself; for this avoidance of the body has 
been its constant practice. And this is nothing else 
than that it philosophises truly, and practises how to 
die with ease. And is not philosophy the practice of 
death ? 

" Certainly. 

" That soul, I say, itself invisible, departs to a world 
invisible like itself — to the divine, and immortal, and 
rational. Arriving there, its lot is to be happy, released 
from human error and unwisdom, fears, and wild pas- 
sions, and all other human ills, and it dwells for all 
future time, as they say of the initiated, in the society of 
the gods. Shall we say this, Cebes, or say otherwise ? 

" It is so, said Cebes, beyond a doubt. 

" But do you think the soul will depart in perfect 
purity if it is polluted and impure at the time it quits 
the body, as having always been the companion and 
servant of the body, in love with and fascinated by it, 
and by the bodily desires and pleasures, until it comes 
to think that nothing is true but that which has a 
bodily shape, which a man may touch, and see, and 
eat, and drink, and gratify his sensuality upon ; and if, 
at the same time, it has been accustomed to hate, and 


fear, and shun the intelligible world, which is dark and Chap, i. 
invisible to the bodily eye, and can be attained only by 
philosophy ? 

" It cannot possibly, he replied. 

" It is encrrossed by the corporeal, which the continual 
companionship with the body, and constant attention to 
it, have made natural to it. 

" Very true. 

" And this, my friend, may be conceived to be that 
ponderous, heavy, earthy element of sight, by which 
such a soul is weighted and dragged down again into 
the visible world, because it is afraid of the invisible 
and of the world below, and prowls about tombs and 
sepulchres, in the neighbourhood of whicli certain 
shadowy apparitions of souls have been seen, souls 
which have not departed clean and pure, but still hold 
by the things of sight, and are therefore seen them- 

" That is likely enough, Socrates. " 

" Indeed it is likely, Cebes ; and these must be the 
souls, not of the good, but of the evil, who are necessi- 
tated to haunt such places in expiation of their former 
evil way of life ; and they continue to wander until the 
desire of the bodily element which still cleaves to them 
is gratified, and they are imprisoned in another body. 
And they are then most likely tied to the same natures 
which they have made habitual to themselves in their 
former life. 

" What natures do you mean, Socrates ? 

" I mean to say that men who have followed after 
gluttony, and wantonness, and drunkenness, and have 
had no thought of avoiding them, would put on the 
shape of asses and animals of that sort. What do you 
think ? 

" What you say is exceedingly probable. 

" And those who have preferred the portion of injus- 
tice, and tyranny, and violence will put on the shape 


Chap. I. of wolves, or hawks and kites ; or where else should 
we say that they would go ? 

" No doubt, said Cebes, they pass into shapes such 
as those. 

"And it is pretty plain, he said, into what bodies 
each of the rest would go, according to the similitude 
of the lives that they have led. 

" That is plain enough, he said. 

" Even among them some are happier than others ; 
and the happiest in themselves and in the place they 
migrate to, are those who have practised the social and 
civil virtues that men call temperance and justice, 
which are acquired by habit and exercise, without 
philosophy and reflection. 

" Why are they the happiest ? 

" Because they will be likely to pass into some gentle 
social nature like their own, such as that of bees or 
ants, or even back again into the form of man, and 
moderate men would spring from them. 

"That is possible. 

" But none but he who is a philosopher or lover of 
learning, and altogether clean and pure at departing, is 
permitted to reach the gods." 

In this place Plato approaches more nearly than in 
any other passage in his Dialogues to the Oriental tenets 
of the migration of the soul from body to body, and the 
sole efficiency of supersensible thinking in disengaging 
the soul from these successive lives of sense. For 
Socrates, in the Phaedon, it is philosophy alone that 
can purify the soul, detach it from the body, and lift 
it up into communion with the eternal and unchanging 
archetypes. But the Platonic abstraction is a contem- 
plation of the eternal ideas, the patterns after which 
the visible world was moulded, the universal verities 
discernible through the things of sense ; not a Hindu 
meditation on formless being, on the characterless Self, 
nor a Buddhist meditation on the vacuity into which 


all tinners are resolvable ; and the Platonic after-life of Chap. i. 
the free intelligence is a positive exercise of intellec- 
tion, neither a Hindu absorption into the fontal essence, 
nor a Buddhist extinction into the aboriginal nothing- 
ness of things. 

The thesis of universal misery is a natural sequel Asiatic and 
of the doctrine of the migration of the soul. In his pessimism. 
Dialogues concerning Natural Eeligion, Hume has 
painted for us the miseries of life in dark colours, but 
these are not nearly dark enough for the Hindu. For 
him, the miseries of his present life, hunger, thirst, and 
faintness, weariness, care, sickness, bereavement, dying 
pangs, are to repeat themselves in life after life, and 
death after death, in endless iteration. The morbid 
reverie of the hypochondriac is gaiety by the side of 
this Indian pessimism, and this pessimism is the ever- 
present thought, the very motive power of Indian 

" The whole earth, believe me, Philo, is cursed and pol- Hume's pic- 

' . . ' ' '^ ture of tlie 

luted. A perpetual war is kindled amongst all living miseries of 

creatures. Necessity, hunger, want, stimulate the strong 

and courageous ; fear, anxiety, terror, agitate the weak 

and infirm. The first entrance into life gives anfruish 

to the new-born infant and to its wretched parent : 

weakness, impotence, distress, attend each stage of that 

life ; and it is at last finished in agony and horror. 

" Observe too, says Philo, the curious artifices of 
nature in order to embitter the life of every living 
being. The stronger prey upon the weaker, and keep 
them in perpetual terror and anxiety. The weaker, 
too, in their turn, often prey upon the stronger, and 
vex and molest them without relaxation. Consider 
that innumerable race of insects, which either are bred 
on the body of each animal, or, flying about, infix their 
stinfjs in him. These insects have others still less than 
themselves which torment them. And thus, on each 
hand, before and behind, above and below, every ani- 


Chap. I. mal is surrounded with enemies, which incessantly seek 
his misery and destruction, 

" Man alone, said Demea, seems to be an exception 
to this rule. For, by combination in society, he can 
easily master lions, tigers, and bears, whose greater 
strength and agility naturally enable them to prey 
upon him. 

" On the contrary, it is here chiefly, cried Philo, that 
the uniform and equal maxims of nature are most ap- 
parent. Man, it is true, can by combination surmount 
all his real enemies, and become master of the whole 
animal creation ; but does he not immediately raise up 
to himself imaginary enemies, the demons of his fancy, 
who haunt him with superstitious terrors and blast every 
enjoyment of life ? His pleasure, as he imagines, be- 
comes in their eyes a crime ; his food and repose give 
them umbrage and offence ; his very sleep and dreams 
furnish new materials to anxious fear; and even death, 
his refuge from every other ill, presents only the dread 
of endless and innumerable woes. Nor does the wolf 
molest more the timid flock, than superstition does the 
anxious breast of wretched mortals, 

" Besides, consider, Demea, this very society by which 
we surmount those wild beasts, our natural enemies, 
what new enemies does it not raise to us ? what woe 
and misery does it not occasion ? Man is the greatest 
enemy of man. Oppression, injustice, contempt, con- 
tumely, violence, sedition, war, calumny, treachery, 
fraud ; by these they mutually torment each other, and 
they would soon dissolve that society which they had 
formed, were it not for the dread of still greater ills 
which must attend their separation. 

" But though these external insults, said Demea, 
from animals, from men, from all the elements which 
assault us, form a frightful catalogue of woes, they are 
nothing in comparison of those which arise M'ithiu our- 
selves, from the distempered condition of our mind and 


body. How many lie under the lingering torment of Crap. i. 
diseases ? Hear the pathetic enumeration of the great 
poet — 

' Intestine stone and ulcer, colic pangs, 
Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy, 
And moonstruck madness, pining atrophy, 
Marasmus, and wide-wasting pestilence. 
Dire was the tossing, deep the groans : Despair 
Tended the sick, busiest from couch to couch. 
And over them triumphant Death his dart 
Shook, but delayed to strike, though oft invoked 
With vows, as their chief good and final hope.' 

" The disorders of the mind, continued Demea, 
though more secret, are not perhaps less dismal and 
vexatious. Remorse, shame, anguish, rage, disappoint- 
ment, anxiety, fear, dejection, despair; who has ever 
passed through life without cruel inroads from these 
tormentors ? How many have scarcely ever felt any 
better sensations ? Labour and poverty, so abhorred by 
every one, are the certain lot of the far greater number ; 
and those few privileged persons who enjoy ease and 
opulence, never reach contentment or true felicity. All 
the goods of life united would not make a very happy 
man, but all the ills united would make a wretch indeed ; 
and any one of them almost (and who can be free from 
every one ?), nay, often the absence of one good (and who 
can possess all ?) is sufficient to render life ineligible, 

" Were a stranger to drop on a sudden into this world, 
I would show him, as a specimen of its ills, a hospital 
full of diseases, a prison crowded with malefactors 
and debtors, a field of battle strewed with carcases, 
a fleet foundering in the ocean, a nation languishing 
under tyranny, famine, or pestilence. To turn the gay 
side of life to him, and give him a notion of its plea- 
sures, whither should I conduct him ? To a ball, to an 
opera, to court ? He might justly think that I was 
only showing him a diversity of distress and sorrow." 


Chap. I. The Indian schoolmen produce a very similar list ^ 
Thesi^ar 0^ human ills. The miseries that await the soul 
Fn^duln s^chooi- ^^ ^^^ migration from body to body, are threefold in 
™'''*- their nature. Death itself is no release from suffer- 

ing, and the prospect is unending. There are first 
the personal afflictions that attach to the body and 
the mind, pains of the body arising from disordered 
temperament, and pains of the mind proceeding from 
lust, anger, avarice, fear, envy, stupefaction, despon- 
dency, and severance from all the soul would fain cling 
to. The whole head is sick and the whole heart faint. 
These are the ills that, in the words of Hume, " arise 
within ourselves, from the distempered condition of the 
mind and body." Next, there is the series of miseries 
that spring from the environment, injuries at the hands 
of men, and evils from beasts and birds and snakes 
and other creeping things, and hurts from plants and 
trees and stocks and stones. These, in the list of Hume, 
are the " external insults from animals, from men, from 
all the elements." Thirdly, there is the train of ills 
proceeding from supernatural agency, the terrors of evil 
beings and demoniacal possession. These are the 
" imaginary enemies, tlie demons of man's fancy, that 
haunt him with superstitious terrors." 

To recapitulate : the period in which Indian philo- 
sophy had its rise, is the period in which the original 
worship of the forces of nature has given place to the 
mechanical repetition of prescriptive usages and sacred 
formulas. Side by side with the decay of living faith 
in the personified elemental powers there has gone on 
a degeneration of the Indo-Arian tribes, partly from 
climatic influences, partly from intermixture with 
the rude indifienes. This degradation of the national 
type marks itself in the worship of the terrific Siva, 

1 The list is given as in the Sanskrit ddhyfitmiha, ddhibhau^ 
Sankhyatattvakanmudi. The tika, and ddhidaivika. 

three series of miseries are in 


and in the practice of savage self-torture, and the pro- ciiap. i. 
duction of morbid cerebral conditions; in the revival 
of the primitive Aryan rite of widow-immolation ; in 
the polyandry and Kshatriya savageries pictured in the 
^Mahabharata ; and finally, and above all, in the ever- 
active belief in the migration of the soul, and in the 
misery of every form of sentient life. 




" A presence that disturbs him with the joy 
Of elevated thoughts ; a sense sublime 
Of something far more deeply interfused, 
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns, 
And the round ocean, and the living air. 
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man ; 
A motion and a spirit that impels 
All thinking things, all objects of all thought, 
And rolls through all things." — WoKDSWOKTH. 

" Nature itself plainly intimates to us that there is some such abso- 
lutely perfect Being, incomprehensible to our finite understandings, by 
certain passions which it hath implanted in us, that otherwise would 
want an object to display themselves iipon ; namely, those of devout 
veneration, adoration, and admiration, together with a kind of ecstasy 
and pleasing horror." — CuDWORTH. 

Chap. II. LOOKING behind them and before them, the Indian 
FixitTamidst sagBS, meditating in the solitude of the jungle, find that 
thfngs.^ °^ the series of lives through which each sentient thing is 
passing is flowing forward without a pause, like a river. 
Is the river to lose itself at last in the sea ? The sum 
of all the several series of lives, and of all the spheres 
through which the living soul proceeds, is also in per- 
petual flow. The sum of migrating forms of life, and of 
the spheres through which they migrate, is the ever- 
moving world. Everything in it is coming into being 
and passing out of being, but never is. The sum of 
lives and of the spheres of living things is not real, for 
it comes and goes, rises and passes away, without ceas- 
ing, and that alone is real that neither passes into being 


nor passes out of being, but simply is. To be is to last, Chap. ii. 
to perdure. "What is there that lasts ? 

Every one of the countless modes of life that per- Repose ana 

,,". ,,. J, n • peace ainiilst 

petually replace each other is a new rorm or misery, the miseries 
or at best of fleeting pleasure tainted with pain, and " 
nothincr else is to be looked for in all the varieties of 
untried being. In every stream of lives there is the 
varied anguish of birth, of care, hunger, weariness, 
bereavement, sickness, decay, and death, through em- 
bodiment after embodiment, and through seon after 
?eon. Evil thoughts, evil words, and evil deeds push 
the doer downward in the scale of seutiencies, and into 
temporary places of torment. Good thoughts, good 
words, and good deeds push the doer upwards into 
higher embodiments, and into temporary paradises. It 
is the same wearisome journey above and below, miseries 
and tainted pleasures that make way for new miseries, 
and no end to it all. Good no less than evil activity is 
an imperfection, for it only prolongs the stream of lives. 
Action is the root of evil. Is there nothing that rests 
inert and impassive, untouched with all these miseries 
of metempsychosis ? 

Again, the scenes through which the sage finds him- unity amidst 
self to be migrating are manifold and varied, and present of experience. 
themselves in a duality of experience, — the subject on 
the one side, the object on the other. The more he 
checks the senses and strives to gaze upon the inner 
light, when he sits rigid and insensate seeking ecstasy, 
— the more this plurality tends to fade away, the more 
this duality tends to melt into a unity, a one and only 
being. A thrill of awe runs through the Indian saoe as 
he finds that this pure and characterless being, this 
light within the heart, in the litrht of which all things 
shine, is the very Self within him, freed from the 
flow of experiences for a while by a rigorous effort of 
abstraction. A perfect inertion, a perfect abstraction, 
have enabled him to reach the last residue of all abstrac- 


Chap. ii. tion, tlie fontal essence, the inner light, the light beyond 
the darkness of the fleeting forms of conscious life. 
These are Times there are, moreover, when he wakes from sleep 

vais'in sleep ' unbroken with a dream, and is aware that he has slept 
dream"!-* at ease, untouched for a space with the miseries of 
metempsychosis. Dreamless sleep, like ecstasy itself, 
is a transient union with the one and only being that 
perdures, and does not pass away as all things else are 
passing, that is inert and untouched with the miseries 
of migration, that is beyond the duality of subject and 
object, and beyond the plurality of the things of experi- 
ence. Dreamless sleep is, like ecstasy, an unalloyed 
beatitude; it is a state in which all differences are 
merged, and for the sleeper the world has melted away. 
His very personality has passed back into the imper- 
sonality of the true Self; and if only this state could be 
prolonged for ever, it would be a final refuge from the 
miseries of life. 
Theyarefonnd Thus, then, that wliicli ouly is, wliile all things else 

riermanently , , j_i j, i • i • 

in union with come aud go, pass, and pass away; that which is un- 
lei Self,'''' ''^' touched with the hunger, thirst, and pain, and sorrow 
that wait upon all forms of life ; that which is one 
while all things else are many; that which stands 
above and beyond the duality of all modes of conscious- 
ness, is the Self, the one Self within all sentiencies, 
the spiritual principle that permeates and vitalises 
all things, and gives life and light to all things 
living, from a tuft of grass up to the highest deity. 
There is one thing that is, and only one — the light 
within, the light in which these pleasures and pains, 
these fleeting scenes and semblances, come and go, pass 
into and pass out of being. This primordial light, this 
light of lights, beyond the darkness of the self-feigned 
world-fiction, this fontal unity of undifferenced being, 
is pure being, pure thought, pure bliss. It is thought in 
which there is neither thinker nor thing; bliss without 
self-gratulation, bliss in which there is nothing that re- 


joices and nothing rejoiced at ; the unspeakable blessed- Chap. ii. 
ness of exemption from vicissitude and misery. " All 
things live upon portions of its joy." " Wlio could 
breathe, who could live, if there were not this bliss 
within the ether in the heart ? " It is not an empty 
abstraction; that the Indian mystic in his hour of ecstasy 
knows well. It is positive and self-affirming ; for, says 
Sankaracharya, the last residuum of all abstraction is which is the 
not nonentity but entity. It is the object 1 of the notion*'' 1."° 
notion " I," and is present to every soul. It is above 
and beyond^ all modes of conscious thought. " Words 
turn back from it, with the mind, not reaching it." It 
can only be spoken of as " not this, not that," spoken 
of in negatives, and by unsaying what is said. " It is 
thought," says the Kena Upanishad, " by him that thinks 
it not ; he that thinks it knows it not ; it is unknown to 
them that know it, known to them that know it not." 
It is at once necessitated to thought and withheld from 
positive conception : cognoscendo ignoratur et ignorando 

Such is the Brahman, the ultimate spiritual reality Brahman, the 
of primitive Indian philosophy, out of which, in its seir*^^"""^ 
everlasting union with its counterfeit, Maya, the self- 
feigning world-fiction, proceeds the phantasmagory of 
metempsychosis. Avidya, Maya, Sakti, the illusion, the 
fiction, the power that resides within the Self as the 
future tree resides within the seed,^ — it is out of this, 
overspreading the one and only Self, that all things 
living, from a tuft of grass to the highest deity, with 
all the spheres through which they migrate, have ema- 
nated to form a world of semblances. They are all 
alike figments of this inexplicable world-fiction, the 
cosmical illusion.* Personal souls and their environ- 
ments are fleeting and phantasmagorical, the dreams of 

^ Ahampratyayavishaya, aham- '' Vatakanihdyam rata iva, San- 

padapratyayalaJcshitdrtha. kara. 

- Sarvabuddhipratyaydtlta. * Viivamdyd, vUvajananl saJctiJi. 



Etymology of 
tlie word 

Chap. II. tlie spirit of the world ;i and being siicli, they may be 
left behind, if by any means the sage can wake to their 
unreality, and find his true being in the original essence, 
the one Self, the only light of life. If only he knows 
it, he is already this Self, this Brahman, ever pure, 
intelligent, and free.^ Pure as untouched by the world- 
fiction, passionless, inert; intelligent as self-luminous, 
giving light to all the movements of the minds of living 
things ; free as unembodied, exempt from the miseries 
of metempsychosis. 

The original idea of the term Brahman is indicated 
in its etymology. It is a derivative of the root hrih, to 
grow, to increase. Thus the scholiast Anandagiri, with 
reference to a passage in which Brahman is identified 
with one of its manifestations, the breath of life, says, 
" Brahman is from hrih, to grow, and every one knows 
how the body grows by respiration and other functions." 
And in another place, in his gloss on Sankara's com- 
mentary on the Taittirlyaka Upanishad, " The term 
Brahman comes from hrih, to grow, to expand, and is 
expressive of growth and greatness. This Brahman is 
a vastness unlimited in space, in tim.e, and in content, 
for there is nothing known as a limit to it, and the term 
applies to a thing of transcendent greatness." Perhaps 
the earliest sense of the term was the plastic power at 
work in the process of things, viewed as an energy of 
thought or spirit, a power present everywhere unseen, 
that manifests itself most fully in vegetable, animal, 
and human life. The cause of all changes in the order 
of metempsychosis, it is itself unchangeable. It has 
nothing before it or after it, nothing within it or without 
it.^ It transcends space and time, and every kind of 
object.* It is the uncaused cause of all, but in its real 
nature, and putting the world-fiction and its figments 


^ Jagadcitman, i.e._, Brahman 
manifesting itself in Isvara. 
2 Niti/asuddhabuddhamukta. 

' Tad etad hralimd'puri-am ana- 
2iarani anantaram avuhyam. 
■* Deialcdlavishaydtiiartin. 


out of view, it is, in the phrase of Sankara's commentary Chap. ii. 
on the Svetasvatara Upanishad, " neither cause nor not 
cause, nor both cause and not cause." 

" It is," in the words of the Kena Upanishad, " other Brahman in- 
than the known and above the unknown." To quote iueffaUe. ' 
the scholium of Anandagiri, that which is other than 
the knowing subject is either known or unknown, and 
thus the text, by denying in regard to Brahman both 
the known and the unknown, identifies Brahman with 
the Self of the knowing subject. 

" The eye reaches it not, speech reaches it not, thought 
reaches it not : we know not, we understand not, how 
one should teach it : it is other than the known, above 
the unknown. Thus have we heard of the ancients, 
who proclaimed it to us. 

" That which is not uttered by the voice, that by which 
the voice is uttered : know thou that that only is the 
Self, and not that which men meditate upon as such. 

" That which is not thought by the thought, that by 
which the thought is thought : know thou that that 
only is the Self, and not that which men meditate upon 
as such." 

" Thought," says Sankara in his exposition of this 
text, "is the internal organ, mind, intelligence. Thought 
is the inward sense or faculty that co-operates with all 
the several organs of sense and motion. Thus the text, 
' Desire, volition, doubt, faith, patience and impatience, 
and shame, and thought, and fear, — all this is that 
inner sense.' The inner sense presents itself only in 
the form of desire, volition, and the other modifications, Brahman the 
and therefore a man cannot recognise with his inward dfates tL"^"^^" 
sense the intelligential light that gives light to those ^^^ * ^° ^^' 
modifications. This pure light actuates the inner sense 
by irradiation ; and as this pure light or Self transcends 
all objects of outer and inner sense, the inward sense 
is incompetent to approach it. The inward sense can 
only operate when enlightened by the intelligential 


Chap. II. light within, and therefore it is that the expositors of 
Brahman speak of the mind and its modifications as 
permeated and objectivised by the Self within." In 
plain words, when we are told that it is the Self that 
thinks the thought, we are to understand, in the lan- 
guage of the Indian mystics, that it is the Self that 
gives the light to the mental modes in which they 
shine — that is, it is the Self that causes the otherwise 
unconscious modes to become the conscious modes of 
mind. To return to the text of the Kena Upanishad. 

" That which one sees not with the eye, that by 
which the eyes see : know thou that that only is the 
Self, and not that which men meditate upon as such. 

"That which one hears not with the ear, that by which 
the ear is heard : know thou that that only is the Self, 
and not that which men meditate upon as such. 

" That which one breathes not with the breath, that 
by which the breath is breathed : know thou that that 
only is the Self, and not that which men meditate upon 
as such." ^ 

Similarly in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad : — 

" This same imperishable is that which sees unseen, 
hears unheard, thinks unthought, and knows unknown. 
There is no other than this that sees, no other than 
this that hears, no other than this that thinks, no other 
than this that knows. Over this imperishable the 
expanse is woven woof and warp.^ 

" As in dreamless sleep the soul sees, but sees not this 

or that, so the Self in seeing sees not ; for there is no 

intermission in the sight of the Self that sees ; its vision 

Brahman is IS One that passes uot away ; and there is nothing 

etTrna]!°and^' sccond to that. Other than that, apart from that, that it 

objectless. ^-^^^^^^ ^^^y 

What is meant here is that the thought or intelli- 
gence with which the Self is one, is something beyond 

^ The expanse is here a synonym for Maya, the self -feigning world- 


the relation of subject and object ; ^ it is, in the words of Chap. ir. 
Eamatlrtha's commentary on the UpadesasahasrI, an 
eternal objectless cognition.- The Self is said to be 
omniscient, but the reader must not be misled ; this 
only means that it is self-luminous, that it gives light 
to all thinfrs, and to all the modifications of the minds 
of sentient beings. "Withdraw the light of the Self, 
the Indian sages say, and the whole process of things 
will lapse into blindness, darkness, nothingness. The 
omniscience of the Self is its irradiation of all thin^s.^ 


To cite Anandagiri,* " It is not literally, but by a figure 
that the Self is said to be all-knowing. The cognitions 
of the everyday thinker in the sensible world pre- 
suppose faculties and organs; the knowledge that is 
the essence of the idea or Self does not presuppose 
faculties and organs, for in that case it could not exist, 
as it does exist, in the state of dreamless sleep, in which 
the functions of the faculties and organs have ceased," 

It will be well here to point out once for all that we Brahman not 
are to tread warily among these epithets of Brahman, with the per- 

K, ,11 £ T? 1-11 soiial absolute, 

we are to use the language or iiuropean philosophy, or christian 

we must pronounce the Brahman of the Upanishads to ^^ ^' 
be unconscious, for consciousness begins where duality 
begins. The ideal or spiritual reality of Brahman is 
not convertible with conscious spirit. On the contrary, 
the spiritual reality that, according to the poets of the 
Upanishads, underlies all things, has per se no cogni- 
tion of objects ; it transcends the relation of subject 
and object ; it lies beyond duality. It is true that these 
poets speak of it as existence, intelligence, beatitude. 
But we must be cautious. Brahman is not intelliQ;ence 
in our sense of the word. The intelligence, the thought, 
that is the Self and which the Self is, is described as 
eternal knowledge, without objects, the imparting of 
light to the cognitions of migrating sentiencies. This 

^ Jndtrijneyablidvdtirikta. ^ Sarvdvahhdsakatva. 

* Nityam nirvishayam jndnam. ■* Sarvajnam hrahniopacharyate. 



Chap. II. thought is characterless and eternal; their cognitions are 
charactered, and come and go. Brahman is beatitude. 
• But we must a^ain be cautious. Brahman is not beati- 
tude in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a bliss 
beyond the distinction of subject and object, a bliss the 
poets of the Upanishads liken to dreamless sleep. Brah- 
man per se is neither God nor conscious God ; and on 
this it is necessary to insist, to exclude the baseless ana- 
lodes to Christian theology that have sometimes been 
imagined by writers, Indian and European. Be it then 
repeated that the Indian philosophers everywhere affirm 
that Brahman is knowledge, not that Brahman has 
knowledge ; that this knowledge is without an object 
known, and that omniscience is predicable of Brahman 
only by a metaphor. If we were to misinterpret such 
knowledge by the word " consciousness," we should 
still have to say that Brahma is consciousness, not that 
Brahman has consciousness or is a conscious spirit. 

To return to the text of the Brihadaranyaka. 

" As in dreamless sleep the soul hears, but hears not 
this or that, so the Self in hearing hears not ; for there 
is no intermission in the hearing of the Self that hears; 
its audition is one that passes not away ; and there is 
nothing second to that, other than that, apart from that, 
that it should hear. 

" As in dreamless sleep the soul thinks, but thinks 
not this or that, so in thinking the Self thinks not ; for 
there is no intermission in the thought of the Self that 
thinks; its thought is one that passes not away; and 
there is nothing second to that, other than that, apart 
from that, that it should think. 

" As in dreamless sleep the soul knows, but knows 
not this or that, so in knowing the Self knows not; for 
there is no intermission in the knowledge of the Self 
that knows, for its knowledge is one that passes not 
away ; and there is nothing second to that, other than 
that, apart from that, that it should know." 

Brahman the 
imrc light of 


"When overspread with the self-feigning world-fiction, Chap. ii. 
the Self is that ont of which all things and all forms 
of life proceed. It is, in the words of the Mundaka 
Upanishad, that on knowing which all things are 
known ; in the words of the Chhandogya, that by in- 
struction in which the unthought becomes thouirht, 
and the unknown known. As the Indian scholiasts 
sav : If we know Brahman we know all things : if we 
know what clay is, we know what all the variety of 
pots and pans are, that the potter fashions out of clay ; 
if we know what gold is, we know what all the varieties 
of earrings, bracelets, and other trinkets are, that the 
goldsmith fashions out of gold. Thus, to quote the 
Chhandogya Upanishad : — 

" Svetaketu was the grandson of Aruna. His father Brahman that 
Aruni said to him : Svetaketu, thou must enter on thy known, aii 
sacred studentship. None of our family, my dear son, known,— the 
is unstudied, a Brahman only in lineage. Svetaketu "'''^''' 
therefore at the age of twelve repaired to a spiritual 
preceptor, and at the age of four-and-twenty came home 
after going through all the Vedas, conceited, pedantic, 
and opinionated. His father said to him : Svetaketu, 
tell me, my son, since thou art so conceited, pedantic, 
and opinionated, hast thou asked for that instruction 
by which the unheard becomes heard, the unthought 
thought, the unknown known ? 

" Holy sir, how is that instruction given ? 

" His father said : My son, as everything made of 
clay is known by a single lump of clay, being nothing 
more than a modification of speech, a change, a name, 
while the clay is the only truth : 

" As everything made of gold is known by a single 
lump of gold, being nothing more than a modification 
of speech, a change, a name, while the gold is the only 
truth : 

" As everything made of steel is known by a single 
pair of nail-scissors, being nothing more than a modi- 


Chap. II. fication of speech, a change, a name, while the steel is 
the only truth : 

" Such, my son, is that instruction." 
Brahman is, as has been already seen, said to be 
" existent, thought, bliss." In the Taittiriya Upanishad 
the Self is said to be " truth, knowledge, infinity." 
Sankaracharya's remarks on this passage of the Tait- 
tiriya will serve also to illustrate the foregoing extract 
from the Chhandogya. " Self," he says, " is truth ; Self 
is knowledge ; Self is infinity. A thing is true if it is 
neither more nor less than it is taken to be. It is false 
if it is more or less than that. Hence every form of 
derived or emanatory existence is fictitious, nothing 
more than a modification of speech, a change, a name, 
and the clay is the only truth. That which is being 
found to be the only truth, the words ' the Self is truth' 
negative all modification of the Self. It follows that 
Brahman is the cause or fontal essence. It operates as 
such, because it is the reality. Lest it should be sup- 
posed that Brahman being that of which all things are 
made, it must be unspiritual, like the potter's clay, the 
text proceeds to say that the Self is knowledge. The 
term knowledge is abstract, standing as an epithet of 
Brahman together with truth and infinity. If know- 
ledge meant here a subject knowing, the epithet would 
be incompatible with the other two. If Brahman were 
a knowing subject, it would be modified in its cogni- 
tions, and how then could it be the truth ? A thing is 
infinite when it cannot be limited at any point. If the 
Self were a knowing subject, it would be limited by the 
cognita and the cognitions. Another text says: That is 
the infinite in which nothing else is known, and that is 
the finite in which one knows something else. As pre- 
dicated of the Self along with truth and infinity, know- 
ledge is thus an abstract term. The words ' Self is 
knowledge ' are intended at once to deny agency and 
action, and to deny that the Self or Brahman is an 


iinspiritiial thing such as the potter's clay in the fami- Chap. ii. 
liar example. The same words ' Self is knowledge ' 
might be imagined to imply the finitude of Self, foras- 
much as all the cognitions of everyday life are limited 
t>v finite. The epithet ' infinite ' is added to exclude 
this idea of finitude. The term infinite is negative, 
refusing the presence of limits ; the epithets truth and 
knowledge are positive, giving a sense of their own. 
The knowledcre of Brahman is nothinej else than the 
essence of the Self itself, like the light of the sun, or 
the heat of fire. It is the eternal essence of the Self, 
and does not depend on conditions foreign to itself, as 
our experiences do." 

These remarks must suffice for the present in regard Brahman the 
to Brahman. The several elements of the cosmical reality. The 
conception of the poets of the Upanishads are so closely principle of un- 
interfused, that it is not possible with any ingenuity thtworid^^**' 
altogether to separate them for convenience of exposi- 
tion. So far as may be, however, these elements must 
be exhibited in successive order, proceeding from Brah- 
man to Maya ; from Maya to the union, from before all 
time, between Brahman and Maya ; from this union to 
the resultant procession of migrating souls and of the 
spheres of their migration, and the hierarchic emanations 
Isvara, Hiranyagarbha, and Viraj, severally representing 
the sums of living things in the three several states of 
dreamless sleep, of dreaming sleep, and of waking con- 
sciousness ; and finally reverting to the " fourth," so 
called in contradistinction to the three states or modes 
of life, that is, to the original unity of characterless 
being or Brahman. Brahman per se is the principle 
of reality, the one and only being; Self alone is, and all 
else only seems to be. This principle of reality, how- 
ever, has been from everlasting associated with an 
inexplicable principle of unreality ; and it is from the 
fictitious union of these princijDles, the one real, the 
other only a self-feigned fiction, that the spheres and 


Chap. ii. tlie migrating forms of life, the external and internal 
world, proceed, 
jiayathemu- Mava mav be regarded both in parts and in the 

sion in every ^ ./ o r ^ ■'"■ «'■">-' 

individual whole. Viewed in parts, it is the particular illusion 
that veils from each form of life its own true nature 
as the one and only Self. Under its influence every 
kind of sentient being is said to identify itself, not with 
the Self that is one and the same in all, but with its 
counterfeit presentment,! the invisible body that accom- 
panies it through its migrations, and the visible bodies 
that it animates successively. Thus every living thing 
is a fictitiously detached portion, an illusive emanation 
of Brahman. Maya overspreads Brahman as a cloud 
overspreads the sun, veiling from it its proper nature, 
and projecting the world of semblances, the phantas- 
magory of metempsychosis. For every form of life, 
from the lowest to the highest, from a mere tuft of 
grass up to the highest deity, its own proper nature is 
veiled, and a bodily counterfeit presented in lieu of it, 
by the primeval illusion or self-feigning fiction, Avidya 
or Maya. Hence all individual existences, and the 
long miseries of metempsychosis, in the procession of 
the aeons without beginning and without end ; for the 
world is from everlasting, and every genesis of things 
is only a palingenesia. The procession of the ceons is 
often likened to a succession of dreams. The world is 
often said to be the mind-projected figment of migrating 
souls.2 It is, says Sankaracharya, only an emanation 
of the internal sense of sentient beings, and this is 
proved by the fact that the world is resolved back into 
their inner sense in their intervals of dreamless sleep.^ 
As emanating from such illusion, the world of me- 

^ Technically styled its upadhi. dram era jagat, manasy em sush- 

The totality of Maya is the upadhi upte pralayadarsandt. Elsewhere 

of Isvara. Portions of Maya are the phrase manovijhrimbhitam. 

the several upadhis of the jivas or ^ Prupanchasya ' mdyayd vid- 

migrating souls. yamdiiatvam, iia tu. vadutcam. 

^ Sarvam hy antahlcaranavik- 


tempsychosis has an existence, but this existence is Chap. ir. 

Llava, viewed as a whole, is the cosmical illusion, the Maya the iiiu- 
self-feigning world-fiction, that is without beginning.^ souL"tho un- 
it is said to be " neither entity nor nonentity, nor both principle of"''' 
in one, inexplicable by entity and by nonentity, ficti- ete™a'4ito' 

-, . , 1 • • )) Ti • i_ Brahman. 

tious, and without beginning. It is not a mere 
nothing, but a 7iescio quid. It is an illusion projected 
by illusion, an unreal unreality, the three primitive 
elements of pleasure, pain, and indolence 2 in co- 
equality, overspreading the one and only Self from 
everlasting. It is the sum of the illusions of all indi- 
vidual souls, as a forest is an aggregate of trees. It is 
the power, cognitive and active, of Isvara, the artifex 
opifexque mundi deus, the Archimagus, or Demiurgus, 
who is the first emanation of Brahman. It is his power 
of illusory creation, the power out of which proceed all 
migrating souls and all that they experience in their 
migrations. Brahman, or Self per se, is changeless, 
but in union with Maya becomes^ fictitiously the basis 
of this baseless world, and underlies the world-fiction 
out of which the ever-changing figment- worlds proceed 
in seon after seon. From the reflection upon Maya, 
the world-fiction, of Brahman, the one and only Self, 
proceeds the first and highest of all emanations, Isvara, 
the cosmic soul, the Demiurgus. Maya* thus pre- 
exists with Brahman, but Brahman is not thereby any 
the less the one and only being, in like manner as the 
possibility of the future tree pre-exists in the seed of 
the tree, without the seed becoming any the less a one 
and only seed. Maya is the indifferent aggregate of all 
the possibilities of emanatory or derived existences, 
pre-existing together with Brahman, as the possibility 

1 Visvanidya, anadimdya. ' Vivartyopdddna. 

2 Trigundtmikd mdyd, gunatra- * BhdvivatarriJcshaiuktimad m- 
vasdmyam mdydtattvam, sukJia- jam srakiktyd na sadvitlyam kat- 
duhkhamohdtmakdiesha;prapancha- hyate, tadvad Irahmdpi na mdyd- 
rupd mdyd. saktyd sadvitlyam. 


Chap. II. of the tree pre-exists in the seed, Maya is the ancil- 
lary associate of the Archimagus. Maya, though un- 
conscious, is said to energise in the evolution of the 
world through its proximity to the inert and impassive 
Brahman, as the unconscious iron is set in motion 
through its proximity to the loadstone. Maya is that 
out of which, literally speaking, the world proceeds ; it 
is said, by a figure of speech, to emanate from Brahman. 
Maya is the literal, Brahman the figurative upadana, or 
principle out of which all things emanate. 

It is Maya^ that presents the manifold of experience. 
The world, with its apparent duality of subject and 
object, of external and internal orders, is the figment 
of this fiction, the imagination of illusion. All that 
presents itself to the migrating soul in its series of 
embodiments, lies unreally above the real ; like the 
redness or blackness of the sky, which is seen there 
though the sky itself is never red or black, like the 
waters of a mirage, like the visions of the dreaming 
phantasy, like the airy fabric of a daydream, like the 
bubbles on the surface of a stream, like the silver seen 
on the shell of a pearl-oyster, like the snake that the 
belated wayfarer sees in a piece of rope, like the gloom 
that encircles the owl amidst the noonday glare. All 
the stir of daily life, all the feverish pleasures and 
pains of life after life, are the phantasmagory of a 
waking dream. For the soul that wakes to its own 
nature these things cease to be, and, what is more, 
have never so much as been. 
May™t"mauy Brahman and Maya have co-existed from everlasting, 
co-existeut ^^^ their association and union is eternal. Apart from 
Avidya or Maya, Brahman is purely characterless and 
indeterminate,^ and is not to be regarded as the prin- 
ciple from which things emanate, and again, is not to 
be regarded as not that principle; nor is it to be 
affirmed to be both that principle and not that prin- 

^ Ndndtvapratyiipastliajnlca ^ridi/d. 

2 Sankaracharya on Svetasvatara Upanishad i, 3. 


ciple at once, nor is it to be denied to be both. Self Chap. ii. 
jpcr se is neither prmcipuim nor princijnata. When 
the world is said to emanate from Brahman, we are 
always to understand that it proceeds, not from Brah- 
man per se, but from Brahman reflected upon Maya/ or 
fictitiously limited by the limitations of the world- 
fiction. Maya, in its totality, is the limitative coun- 
terfeit of Brahman,2 qj. the power of Isvara, the Brahmapcu^ 
Mayavin, or Archimagus, or Demiurgus. The limita- ^y^^g\^^^ 
tions of the illimitable Brahman are derived from this passes into 

v±'^x±^j v/i ^^l.l^> ^ seeming plu- 

limitative counterfeit — its limitations through which raiity. 
it manifests itself as god, and man, and animal, and 
plant, and so forth. It is through this union from 
before all time with this inexplicable illusion, that 
the one and only Self presents itself in the endless 
plurality and diversity of transient deities, of migrating 
spirits, and of the worlds through which they migrate. 
It is through this union that the one and only Self is 
present in every creature, as one and the same ether 
is present in many water-jars, as one and the same sun 
is mirrored on countless sheets of water. It is through 
this union that the one and only Self permeates and 
animates the world. In the words of Sankara:^ " The 
image of the sun upon a piece of water expands with 
the expansion, and contracts with the contraction, of 
the ripples on the surface ; moves with the motion, and 
is severed by the breaking, of the ripples. The reflec- 
tion of the sun thus follows the various conditions of 
the surface, but not so the real sun in the heavens. 
It is in a similar manner that the real Self is reflected 
upon its counterfeits, the bodies of sentient creatures, 
and, thus fictitiously limited, shares their growth and 
diminution, and other sensible modes of being. Apart 

1 Tad eva cJiaitanyam mdyd- and sometimes to limit Brahman 
prativimpitarupena kdranam hha- fictitiously. - Upadhi. 

vati. Anandagiri on the Mun- ^ In the introduction to his 

daka Upanishad. Maya is some- Commentary on the Svetasvatara 
times said to reflect _ Brahman, Upanishad. 



Chap. II. from its various counterfeits, the Self is changeless and 
unvaried." The one and only Self is present in the heart 
of every living thing, as one and the same face may be 
reflected upon a succession of mirrors.^ Such are some 
among the many images employed by the ancient 
Indian philosophers, to illustrate the presence of one 
spiritual essence in all the innumerable forms of living 
things. Others will be met with in the sequel. With 
almost the same imagery Plotinus speaks of the one life 
in all things living, like the one light shining in many 
houses, as if itself many, and yet one and undivided; the 
one life shining into and vitalising all bodies, project- 
ing pictures of itself, like one face seen upon a multi- 
tude of mirrors. Elsewhere he says that we are one in 
God, and again other than God, as the solar rays are one 
with the sun and other than the sun. And with a like 
simile Fichte : " In all the forms that surround me I 
behold the reflection of my own being, broken up into 
countless diversified shapes, as the morning sun, broken 
in a thousand dewdrops, sparkles towards itself." 
The hierarchy Maya, then, has fictitiously associated itself to Brah- 
out o'/'Brah-'^^ man from everlasting. In the series of seons, without 
Maya*^*^ beginning and without end, the forms of life have at 
the be^innincf of each seon emanated in the following 
hierarchic succession, 
is'vara, the First appears Isvara, the Mayin or Mayavin, the 
worid"evorv-°'^ arch-illusiouist, the world-projecting deity, himself a 
umverla^'soul figment of the cosmic fiction, himself an unreality ; 
an unreality for the philosopher intent on the one and 
only truth, relatively a reality for the multitude, to 
whom the world exists with all its possibilities of pain. 
The totality of illusion is the body or counterfeit pre- 
sentment of the Archimagus, out of which all things 
emanate.2 Illusion, the world-fiction, may be viewed 

^ AdarsasthamuJcham iti yadvat. emanate, the principle of emana- 
^ Kdranaiarlra = the cosmic tion. 
body, the body out of which things 


ill its several parts in the miuds of the migrating Chap. ii. 
sentiencies, or in its totality as the sum of pleasures, 
pains, and indolences. The Demiurgus, then, is the 
Self with the totality of illusion as its counterfeit 
presentment ; the Self proceeding into fictitious mani- 
festation, as the worlds and the migrating sentiencies 
that pass through them. The illusion of each of these 
sentiencies veils from it its true nature as the one and 
only Self; the illusion of all sentiencies taken together 
veils from them all their true nature as the one and 
only Self. The Demiurgus is identified with the sum of 
sentiencies in the state of dreamless sleep. His body, 
the principle of emanations, as the sum of the bodies 
of living things in the state of dreamless sleep, is the 
beatific vesture.^ The Demiurgus is one, the sentien- 
cies are manv, as a forest is one and as the trees in it 
are many ; as a piece of water is one and as the drops 
of water in it are many ; and the one Demiurgus and 
the many dreamless, sleeping sentiencies are one and 
the same being, viewed now as whole, and now as 
parts. The same Brahman, the one and only Self, is 
present wholly in the Demiurgus, and present wholly 
in each dreamless, sleeping sentiency ; as the same ether, 
one and undivided, is present to the whole forest and 
present to each and every tree ; or as the same sky, one 
and undivided, is reflected upon the whole watery sur- 
face and on each portion of that surface. 

The Archimagus is said to be omniscient, as being isvaraoimi- 

n ■'^ T f ^ t ^^ t • • e n • i. ■'"Cient, the 

the Witness of ail lifeless and all living forms or exist- giver of ret om- 
ence. As ruling all migrating souls, and as giving to teraai rukr. 
each its dole of pleasures and pains in conformity with 
the retributive fatality inherent in the process of things, 
he is Isvara, the lord. As setting all souls in motion, 
and thus acting through them, he is the actuator. As 
dwelling in the heart of each and every living soul, and 

^ Anandamai/aJcosha,thewT3i,'p'peT sists of the undifferenced beati- 
of the migrating soul, that con- tude of dreamless sleep. 


Chap. II. fashioning its every mental mode, he is the internal 

" The lord of all, himself through all diffused, 
Sustains and is the life of all that live." 

In this last character the Demiurgus, the highest 
emanation of Brahman, is described in the Brihadar- 
anyaka Upanishad : — 

"That which dwells in earth, inside the earth, and 
the earth knows not, whose body the earth is, which 
actuates the earth from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in water, inside the water, and 
the water knows not, whose body the water is, which 
actuates the water from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in fire, inside the fire, and the fire 
knows not, whose body the fire is, which actuates the fire 
from within, — that is thy Self, the internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in air, inside the air, and the 
air knows not, whose body the air is, which actuates 
the air from within, — that is thy Self, the internal 
ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in wind, inside the wind, and 
the wind knows not, whose body the wind is, which 
actuates the wind from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the sky, inside the sky, and 
the sky knows not, whose body the sky is, which 
actuates the sky from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the sun, inside the sun, and 
the sun knows not, whose body the sun is, which 
actuates the sun from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

"That which dwells in moon and stars, inside the 
moon and stars, and the moon and stars know not, 
whose body the moon and stars are, which actuates the 


moon and stars from within, — tliat is tliy Self, the Ciiap. tt. 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in all living things, inside the 
living things, and all living things know not, whose 
body all living tilings are, which actuates all living 
things from within, — that is thy Self, the internal 
ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells within mind, inside the mind, 
and the mind knows not, whose body the mind is, 
which actuates the mind from within, — that is thy 
Self, the internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which sees unseen, hears unheard, thinks un- 
thought upon, knows unknown ; that other than which 
there is none that sees, none that hears, none that 
thinks, none that knows, — that is thy Self, the internal 
ruler, immortal." 

It must be observed that this conception of the is'vara not a 

•y^. ,, .. ,.. ,.. personal God 

Uemiurgus or world-projecting deity is not theistic. tut the uni- 

■.^— ^"^ VGrs3,l soul 

He is nothing else than the totality of souls in dream- 
less sleep, present in the heart of every living thing ; 
himself only the first figment of the world-fiction, is'vara the 
resolved into the characterless unity of Brahman at of the^rw- 
the close of each age of the world, and issuing out of 
that unity at each palingenesia in the eternal proces- 
sion of the seons. He is eternal, but every migrating 
soul is co-eternal with him, a co-eternal and only 
equally fictitious emanation of the one and only Self. 
He can hardly be conceived to have any separate per- 
sonality, apart from the souls he permeates and vivifies ; 
and his state is not one of consciousness, but that of 
the pure bliss of dreamless sleep. One with the sum 
of living beings in that state, he is yet said to allot to 
each of them their portion of weal and woe, but only 
in accordance with their merits in prior forms of em- 
bodied existence. Isvara is feared by the many, as the 
deity that retracts them into his own essence at the 
close of each seon, and that casts the evil-doer into 


Chap. II. places of torment ; but the perfect sage learns that 
Isvara is unreal, and passes beyond all fear of him. 
Isvara is no less unreal than the migrating soul ; he is 
the first figment of the cosmical illusion ; and both 
Isvara and the soul are only so far existent as they are 
fictitious manifestations of the one and only Self. 
Hiranyagar- The ucxt emanation in the order of descent is 

bha, the spirit _ _ _ 

of dreaming Hiranvagarbha, Prana, Sutratman, the Golden Germ, 
the Breath of Life, the Thread-spirit. This divme 
emanation is the totality of migrating souls in the state 
of dreaming sleep, the sum of the dreaming conscious- 
ness of the world. His body is the sum of the invisible 
bodies, the tenuous involucra} clothed in which the 
soul passes from body to body in the long process of me- 
tempsychosis. These invisible bodies are made up of 
three vestures one upon the other, the cognitional, the 
sensorial, and the aerial garments of the soul. Within 
these, as its first and innermost garment, the soul, as 
one with the Archimagus, is clad with the beatific 
vesture already spoken of ; and outermost of all it has, 
as we shall presently see, its fifth and last garment, the 
nutrimentitious vesture, the visible and tangible body 
of the world of sense, which is born and dies and passes 
back into the elements, the muddy vesture of decay. 
Three, then, of these five wrappers clothe'^ Hiranya- 
garbha. He is called the Thread-spirit, as stringing 
together all dreaming souls clothed in the invisible 
bodies that accompany them in their migrations, as 
pearls are strung upon a thread to form a necklace. He 
is the sum of souls that illusively identify themselves 
with their tenuous involucra. It is thus that a place is 
provided in the cosmical conception of the poets of the 
Upanishads for the Hiranyagarbha of the ancient Eishis, 

^ Lingaiarira, sukslimaiarlra. vijiidnamayaJcosha, the manomaya- 

- The five wrappers of the mi- hosha, the prdnamayakosha (these 

grating soul are styled successively three are the lingaiarira) ; and the 

in Sanskrit the unandamayak-osha annamayakosha (this is the sthu- 

(this is the kdranasarlra) ; the lasarlra). 


the Golden Germ that arose in the beginning, the lord Chap. ti. 
of things that are, the establisher of the earth and sky, 
the giver of life and breath. 

The third and lowest of the progressive emanations viraj, the' 
is Viraj, Vaisvauara, Prajapati, or Purusha, His body inrseutilu- 
is the whole mundane egg, the outer shell of the visible "*^" 
world, or the sum of the visible and perishing bodies of 
migrating souls. He is identified with the totality of 
wakinsc consciousness, with the sum of souls in the 
waking state, and the sum of their gross, visible, and 
tansrible environments. In this divine emanation a 
place is provided by the poets of the Upanishads for 
the Purusha of the ancient Kishis, the divine being out 
of whom, offered up as a sacrificial victim by the gods, the 
Sadhyas, and the Ptishis, the visible and tangible world 
proceeded. He is the sum of souls that illusively 
identify themselves with their outer bodies, and thus 
suffer hunger, thirst, and faintness, and all the other 
miseries of metempsychosis. 

The nature of spiritual entity unmanifest and mani- 
fest, in its fourfold grades, is set forth in the following 
lines taken from Sankaracharya's exposition of the 
Aitareya Upanishad : — 

" rirst,*".there is the one and only Self, apart from all 
duality, in which have ceased to appear the various 
counterfeit presentments or fictitious bodies and en- 
vironments of the world of semblances ; passionless, 
pure, inert, peaceful, to be known by the negation of 
every epithet, not to be reached by any word or 

" Secondly, this same Self emanates in the form of 
the omniscient Demiurgus, whose counterfeit present- 
ment or fictitious body is cognition in its utmost purity ; 
who sets in motion the general undifferenced germ of 
the worlds, the cosmical illusion; and is styled the 
internal ruler, as actuating all things from within. 

" Thirdly, this same Self emanates in the form of 


Chap. II. HiranyagarLlia, or the spirit that illusively identifies 
itself with the mental movements that are the germ of 
the passing spheres. 

" Fourthly, this same Self emanates in the form of 
spirit in its earliest embodiment within the outer shell 
of things, as Viraj or Prajapati. 

" And finally, the same Self comes to be designated 
under the names of Agni and the other gods, in its 
counterfeit presentments in the form of visible fire and 
so forth. It is thus that Brahman assumes this and 
that name and form, by taking to itself a variety of 
fictitious bodily presentments, from a tuft of grass up 
to Brahma, the highest of the deities." 

Anandagiri, in his gloss on this passage of Sankara- 
charya, adds that the Self fictitiously manifests itself in 
human and other sentiencies, as well as in the gods, and 
is thus, illusively, the sum of life. 

Brahman per se, apart from fictitious manifestation, 
is the Nirgunam Brahma of Indian philosophy ; that is 
to say, the Self free from the primordia. Self apart from 
pleasures, pains, and indolences, the three factors of the 
world-fiction, the three strands of the rope that ties the 
soul to the miseries of metempsychosis. 

Brahman in its hierarchic emanations as Isvara, 
Hiranyagarbha, and Viraj, is the Sagunam Brahma or 
Sabalam Brahma of Indian philosophy ; that is to say, 
the Self as fictitiously implicated in the pleasures, pains, 
and indolences that make up the world-fiction, and are 
experienced by migrating souls. 
Six things To six things there has been no beginning: souls 

ginning. " have been passing from body to body, through aeon 
after seon, from eternity; the Demiurgus has co-existed 
with and in them from eternity ; there has been a dis- 
tinction between the souls and the Demiurgus from 
eternity ; the pure intelligence, the undifferenced Self, 
has existed from eternity; the distinction between the 
Demiurgus and that Self is from eternity; Milya, the self- 


feigning world-fiction, has feigned itself from everlasting, Chap. ii. 
and the union of Maya with Brahman is itself eternal. " 

The mifrratincr souls are nothincr else than the one and 
only Self fictitiously limiting itself to various individual 
minds, these individual minds being various emanations 
of the cosmical illusion. Self is true ; the ever-moving 
world is false ; and the migrating souls that seem to be, 
and do, and suffer, are nothing else than that one and 
only Self, clothed in the five successive vestures or 
involucra, the beatific, the cognitional, the sensorial, the 
vesture of the vital airs, and the nutrimentitious ves- 
ture or visible body in the world of sense. To him 
that sees the truth, all these bodies and their environ- 
ments will disappear, merging themselves into that 
fontal essence ; and the Self will alone remain, a fulness 
of unbroken and unmingled bliss. 




" To them I may have owed another gift 
Of aspect more sublime ; that blessed mood 
In which the burthen of the mystery, 
In which the heavy and the weary weight 
Of all this unintelligible world 
Is lightened ; that serene and blessed mood 
In which the affections gently lead us on, 
Until the breath of this corporeal frame, 
And even the motion of our human blood 
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep 
In body, and become a living soul : — 
While with an eye made quiet by the power 
Of harmony and the deep power of joy, 
We see into the life of things." — WoRDSWOETH. 

" Moriturus Plotinus ad Eustochium dixit, se in eo esse ut quod in 
se haberet divinum Tvpb^ r6 tv rt^i iravTi 6clov adduceret." — Fabricius. 

Chap. III. The sum of being, as pictured by the poets of the 

Re-ascent to Upauishads, may be retraced in the regressive order, 

beif.°^ ^ from the outermost to the innermost vesture of the 

soul, from the outermost to the innermost body, and 

beyond to the spiritual reality that alone abides for 

. ever. The lowest grade of life is that of the soul in 

this visible and tangible world, passing from body to 

body, through sphere after sphere of being, through 

seon after eeon. The migrating soul is the one and only 

Self fictitiously limiting itself to this or that individual 

mind ; and each individual mind is nothing more than 

one of the innumerable emanations of the cosmical 

illusion. To this migration there has been no begin- 


ning, and it is hard to find the end. At every stage, Chap. hi. 
above and below, it is the same wearisome journey, 
miseries and tainted pleasures that give place to fresh 
miseries, to new care, hunger, thirst, bereavement, sick- 
ness, and decay. It would be intolerable to think that 
this never-ceasing iteration of pains is real, for then it 
could not be made to disappear ; but to a true insight 
ic is not real ; it is but a fiction, for it comes and goes, 
passes into being and passes out of being; and that 
alone is real that neither comes nor goes, neither passes 
iuto being nor passes out of being, but simply is. To 
be is to last, — to perdure ; but what is there that lasts ? 
There is, they say, but one thing that lasts : the light 
within, the light in which these pains and tainted plea- 
sures, these shifting scenes and semblances, come and 
go, pass into, and pass out of being. This primordial 
light beyond the darkness of the world-fiction, this 
fontal unity of characterless being, beyond the duality 
of subject and object, beyond the plurality of the phan- 
tasmagoric spheres of metempsychosis, is pure being, 
pure thought, pure' bliss. This alone it is that permeates 
and vitalises all thinsjs, (living light and life to all that 
live. It is through its connection from before all ages 
with Avidya, Maya, the self-feigning world-fiction, that 
this light, this Self, passes into the semblances of dual- 
ity and plurality, and in the shape of innumerable 
living beings passes through successive spheres of trans- 
migratory experience, as through dream after dream. 
To wake from his dreams, to extricate himself from 
metempsychosis, the sage must penetrate through the 
unreal into the real, must refund his personality into 
the impersonalitv of the one and only Self. The way Purificatory 

virtues rG"* 

to this is a process of purificatory virtues, that may be nunciation. 

. . , . J. p meditative 

the work of many successive lives ; a renouncement 01 abstraction, 
family, home, and worldly ties ; the laying aside of the re-union, 
five successive vestures of the soul by the repression 
of every feeling, every desire, and every thought ; the 
practice of apathy, vacuity, and ecstasy. A rigorous 


Chap. Ill, process of abstraction melts away the nutrimentitious 
vesture of the soul into the vesture of the vital airs, 
this into the sensorial vesture, this into the coo;nitional 
vesture, this into the beatific vesture of the soul in 
union with the Demiurgus. And after this, it is only a 
yet more perfect inertion and yet further abstraction 
that can enable him to reach the last residue of all 
abstraction, the light within the heart, the spiritual 
unity of undifferenced being. After he has stripped off 
the successive vestures of his soul, and has reached this 
last, this highest mode of being, the intuition of the 
Self, nothing remains but that this intuition itself, as 
itself a mental modification, pass away, vanishing into 
the pure light of characterless being ; that this light, 
this undifferenced unity, may alone remain, the isolated, 
only reality. The sage to whose inner faculties this 
vision is present lives on in the body, till the expiry of 
the merits that have procured his present embodiment. 
At last his body falls away, and his soul re-enters the 
one and only Self, returning to its proper state of per- 
fect indetermination, to abide in itself as characterless 
being, pure intelligence, undifferenced beatitude. 

" The one remains, tlie many change and pass ; 
Heaven's light for ever shines, earth's shadows fly ; 
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass, 
Stains the white radiance of eternity." 

Thevidve- On the liberation of the sage, to use the language 

quoted."*™"^^ of the Vivekachiidamani, all things visible melt away 
into the original Self, as the darkness faints and melts 
away before the rising sun. Its fictitiously limiting 
mind with all its modes has been dissolved, and the 
soul is the Self again ; the jar is broken, and the ether 
that was in it is one with the one and undivided ether, 
from which the jar once seemed to sever it. The sage 
has seen the Self, and passed into oneness with it, lost 
like a water-drop in water. His implication in metemp- 
sychosis, and his extrication from it, have been but 


figments of the cosmic fiction ; unreal as the snake that Chap, hi, 
appears and vanishes in place of the piece of rope, to 
the eyes of the belated traveller. He has had life after 
life from time without beginning, but these were but a 
series of dreams. At last he is awake, and his dream- 
lives are nullities. In pure verity it is only the Self 
that ever is or has been. The world has neither come 
into being nor passed out of being. There has been 
no fatal migration of the soul, no worshipper seeking 
recompense or mental purity, no sage yearning after 
liberation, and no soul has been liberated. These things 
were phantasmagoric figments, a play of semblances, a 
darkness, an absence of light. Now the light is veiled 
no more, and remains a pure undifferenced light, and 
is in truth the only thing that ever has been, and 
ever is. 

This is the end of the knowledge of the divine Self, 
the consummation of theosophy. 

Thus liberated from metempsychosis, but still living Liberation 
in the body, the sage is untouched by merit and de- jivanmukti. 
merit, unsoiled by sinful works, uninjured by what he 
has done and by what he has left undone, unimplicated 
in his actions good or eviL Good works, no less than 
evil works, and equally the Demiurgus that recom- 
penses them, belong to the unreal, to the fictitious plu- 
rality of the world of semblances. As Sankaracharya 
says, in his introduction to the Svetasvatara Upanishad, 
" Gnosis once arisen needs nothing farther for the reali- 
sation of its result; it requires suhsidia only that it may ' 
arise;" and Anandagiri says, " The perfect sage, so long 
as he lives, may do good and evil as he chooses, and 
incur no stain ; such is the efficacy of a knowledge of 
the Self." 

How the individual soul is to recognise and, recover 
its unity with the universal soul, and thus with the one 
and only Self, is taught in the following verses of the 
Chhandogya Upanishad, known as the Sandilyavidya, 
or doctrine of the sage Sandilya. These verses are of 


Chap. III. very frequent citation in the works of the Vedantic 

schoolmen : — 
The s'ii^^ii/a- <c ^^ ^j^^g ^QrM is the Self. It arises out of, returns 

■vidya, Cnnan- 

dogyaupani- j^^q breathes in, the Self. Let the wise man be still, 

shad 111. 14. ' ' 

The soul is one ^nd meditate upon the Self. 

with the cos- ^ 

niic soul and « ^\^q gQ^l jg made of thouirht, and as its thought has 

with the Self. o ' o 

been in this life, such shall its nature be when it departs 
out of this life. The wise man, therefore, must think 
thus : 

" The universal soul ^ is operative in the inward 
sense, embodied in the vital air ; ^ it is the pure light, 
the unfailing will, the ethereal essence, out of which 
all creations, all desires, all sweet sounds, and all sweet 
tastes proceed. It pervades all things, silent and un- 

" This universal soul is my soul within the heart, 
smaller than a grain of rice, a barleycorn, a mustard- 
seed, a grain of millet, or the kernel of a grain of millet. 
This is my soul within the heart, greater than the earth, 
the air, the sky, greater than these worlds. 

" Out of this universal soul all creations, all desires, 
all sweet sounds, and all sweet tastes proceed. It per- 
meates all things, speechless, passionless. This is my 
soul within the heart. This is Brahman. As soon as I 
depart out of this life I shall win re-union with the Self. 

" He that has this faith has no more doubt. These 
are the words of Sandilya." 

"When Brahman is viewed as in union with Maya, 
Brahman becomes Isvara, the cosmic soul, the world- 
evolving deity ; and Maya is the cosmic body, the body 
of the Demiurgus Isvara. Sandilya teaches that the 
soul realises and recovers its unity with the cosmic 
soul, and with the characterless Self beyond and above 
the cosmic soul, by meditative ecstasy. 

^ The universal soul is Isvara, ^ IMigrating along with the 

the Self in manifestation as the invisible body or tenuous involu- 

creative spirit and soul of the cruni through a succession of 

world, the vlsvakariri and ja'ja- visible bodies. 


Eenunciation, ecstasy, and the liberation of the soul Chap. hi. 
are spoken of as follows in the Brihadaranyaka Upani- 
shad : — 

" Invisible is the path, outspread, primeval, that I Renunciation. 
have reached, that I have discovered ; the sages, they fibcrat'i'on"as 
that know the Self, travel along that path to paradise, in thTHri-^'^ 
liberated after this embodiment. tptlfS* 

" They that follow after illusion enter thick darkness ; 
they that satisfy themselves with liturgic knowledge, a 
thicker darkness still. 

" Those spheres are joyless, overspread with thick 
darkness ; — to those go after death those infatuated men 
that have no real knowledsfe. 

"If a man know himself, that he is this universal spirit, 
what can he want, what can he crave, that he should 
go through the feverishness of a fresh emb9diment ? 

" He whose soul is found, is gazed upon by him, 
amid this wild of troubles, — he is the maker of all 
things, the maker of the w^orld; the world is his, for he 
is the world. 

" Being here, we know this, and if we did not know 
it, it would be a great perdition : 

" They that know this become immortal, others pass 
on again to misery. 

" When he sees this Self aright, the luminous essence, 
the lord of all that has been, all that shall be, there is 
nothing that he shrinks from. 

" That outside of which, day after day, the year rolls 
round, — that the gods adore, as the light of lights, as 
length of life undying. 

" That over which the five orders of living things,^ 
and over which the ether is outspread, — that do I know 
to be myself, the universal Self, — even I the sage im- 

" They that know the breath of the breath, the eye 
of the eye, the ear of the ear, the thought of the thought, 

^ The five tribes of men. See above, p. 14. 


Chap. III. — they have seen the Self primeval, that has been from 
all time. 

" It is to be seen only with the mind : there is no- 
thinsj in it that is manifold. 

" From death to death he goes who looks on this as 

" It is to be seen in one way only, it is indemon- 
strable, immutable. The Self is unsullied, beyond the 
expanse,^ unborn, infinite, imperishable. 

" Let the patient Brahman know that, and learn 
wisdom. Let him not learn many words,^ for that is a 
weariness of the voice. 

" This is indeed the great unborn Self. This has the 
form of conscious life, amidst the vital airs, dwelling in 
the ether in the heart; the ruler of all things, lord of all 
things, king^ of all things. It becomes no greater by 
good works, no less by evil works. This is the lord of 
all, the lord of living things, the upholder of living 
things. This is the bridge that spans the spheres, that 
they may not fall the one into the other. This it is 
that the Brahmans seek after in reciting the Veda. 

" By sacrifice, by almsgiving, by self-inflicted pains, 
by fasting, if he learns this, a man becomes a quietist. 
This it is that the holy mendicants long for, in setting 
out upon their wanderiugs. Yearning after this it was 
that the wise men of old desired no offspring, saying. 
What have we to do with children, we to whom belongs 
this Self, this spiritual sphere ? They arose and for- 
sook the desire of children, of wealth, of worldly exist- 
ence, and set out upon their life of wandering. For 
the wish for children is the wish for wealth, and the 
wish for wealth is the wish for worldly existence, and 
there are both of these desires. 

" This same Self is not this, not that : it is impal- 

^ The expanse is a synonym for - Words = hymns and liturgic 

Maya, the self-feigning world- formulas. 


pable, for it cannot be handled ; undecaying, for it cuat. hi. 
wastes not away; unattached, for it has no ties ; invul- 
nerable, for it is not hurt by the sword or sh\in. Things 
done and things left undone cross not over to it. It 
passes beyond both the thought that it has done evil, 
and the thou-iht that it has done good. That which it 
has done, and that which it has failed to do, afflict it 

" Therefore it has been said in a sacred verse : This, 
the eternal greatness of the sage that knows Brahman, 
becomes not greater by works, and becomes not lesser. 
Let him learn the nature of that greatness. He that 
knows it is no longer sullied by evil acts. Checking 
his senses, quiescent, passionless, ready to suffer all 
things, fixed in ecstasy, he sees within himself the Self, 
lie sees the universal soul. Imperfection crosses not 
over to him, he crosses beyond imperfection, he burns 
up all his imperfections. He that knows Brahman 
becomes free from imperfections, free from doubt, en- 
sphered in Self. 

"This same great unborn Self is undecaying, un- 
dying, imperishable, beyond all fear. The Self is 
beyond all fear. He that knows this becomes the Self 
beyond all fear." 

The imperfections beyond which the sage of perfect J^^'g']fg^[-,*ggt 
insi<Tht, livincc in the body but already free from fur- to no moral 
ther transmigration, has passed, are ment and dement, 
the fruits of good and evil works, which serve alike 
only to prolong metempsychosis. Good works as well 
as evil are, from the higher point of view, an evil to be 
shunned, as they protract the migrations of the soul. 
It is not exertion, but inertion, and a perfect iuertion, 
that is the path to liberation. The sage is beyond all 
fear, as already one with the one and only Self, and 
free from the fear of misery in new embodiments. He 
may, as we have seen that Anandagiri says, do good 
and evil for the rest of his days, as he pleases, and 




Chap. III. incur no stain. Everything that he has done and 
everything that he is doing, all his works, save only 
those that are resulting in his experiences in his pre- 
sent body, are burnt up in the fire of spiritual intuition. 
And therefore in the Taittiriya Upanishad we read, 
" The thought no longer tortures him, "What good have 
I left undone, what evil done ? " And in another pas- 
sage of the Brihadaranyaka : " Here the thief is a thief 
no more, the Chandala^ a Chandala no more, the 
Paulkasa ^ no more a Paulkasa, the sacred mendicant 
no more a sacred mendicant : they are no longer fol- 
lowed by good works, they are no longer followed by 
evil works. For at last the sage has passed through 
all the sorrows of his heart." At the heif^ht reached 
by the self-tormenting sage, at last arrived at insight 
into and re-union with the one and only Self, there is 
no longer any distinction of personality ; and at this 
height of insight and re-union, saint and sinner, the 
holy Brahman and the impure alien and the degraded 
outcast, are all one in the unity of characterless 
being. The objection is obvious that this doctrine is 
immoral, and the objection has been foreseen and met. 
The reply is that the theosophist has had to go through 
a process of initiatory virtues, in order to purify his 
mind for the quest of reality and escape from further 
misery, and that after he has attained his end, and is 
one with the one and only Self, these virtues will ad- 
here to him as habits, so far as others are concerned, 
for to himself they are unrealities like all things else 
excepting Brahman. This is the reply of Nrisimhasa- 
rasvati towards the end of the Subodhini, an exposition 
of the Vedantasara. 

" Some one may urge: It will not surely follow from 
this that the living yet liberated sage may act as he 

We cannot allow this to be urtred. It can- 
to him as ^ . . ^ '-' 

babita. not be denied that the perfect sage may act as he 

But will not 
therefore do 
evil, for the 
virtues adlicre cllOOSCS. 

Dsgraded indigenes or outcasts from the Hindu pale. 


pleases, in the presence of such texts, traditions, and chap. iir. 
arguments as the following: — 'Not by killing his 
mother, nor bv killing? his father.' ' He that does not 
mistake not-Self for Self, whose inner vision is unsul- 
lied, — he, though he kills these people, neither kills 
them nor is killed.' ' He that knows the truth is sul- 
lied neither by good actions nor by evil actions.' ' If 
he sees the unity of all things, he is unaffected alike 
whether he offer a hundred horse-sacrifices or kill hun- 
dreds of holy Brahmans.' ' Sages act in various ways, 
good and bad, through the influence of the acts of for- 
mer lives now at work in shaping their acts and their 
experiences in their present embodiment.' If then you 
say that we teach that a perfect sage may do what he 
likes, it is true we do teach this, but as these texts are 
only eulogistic of the liberated sage, it is not intended 
that he should act at random. As a great teacher says, 
' Ignorance arises from evil-doing, and wilful action 
from ignorance : how can this wilful action, this doing 
as one likes, result from good works, when the good 
works pass away ? ' The preliminary acquirements of 
the aspirant to extrication from metempsychosis, his 
humility, sincerity, tenderness towards every form of 
sentient life, stick to him like so many ornaments, even 
after the rise of this spiritual intuition." 

The repetition of the sacred syllable Om is said to The mystic 

1 f 1 • 1 1 J • syUable Cm 

conduct the slow aspirant to a gradual and progressive as an image 
liberation from metempsychosis. Om is a solemn affir- 
mation. Yes. It is regarded by the Indian sages as made 
up of the three letters A, u, M, in euphonic combina- 
tion. This mystic syllable Om is said to be the nearest 
similitude of Brahman ; ^ it is an image of the Self, 
as the black ammonite serves instead of an image of 
Vishnu.^ It is said to include all speech, and as names 
are in some way one and the same as the things they 
name, it is one with all things, one with Brahman. In 

^ Brahmano nedishtham prattJcam, * S'dlagrdma, 


Chap. Ill, the Prasna Upanishad the great teacher Pippalada says, 
" This syllable Om is the higher and the lower Brah- 
man." That is to say, Om is Brahman as uncondi- 
tioned, and Brahman in fictitious manifestation as the 
Demiurgus. In their exposition of this passage the 
scholiasts say that the Self, as characterless and super- 
sensible, cannot be made an object to the thinking 
faculty, unless this faculty be previously purified by 
meditation on the mystic Om, taken and devoutly iden- 
tified with Brahman, as a man may take an image and 
devoutly identify it with Vishnu. Upon the mind 
thus purified the Self shines of itself, undiiferenced. 
The following verses of the Taittirlya Upanishad are 
an invocation of this sacred utterance : — 
Invocation of " May that Indra, Om, that is the highest thing in 
Taittirlya the Vcdas, that is all that is immortal, above the im- 
^""'^ • mortality of the Vedas, may that divine being strengthen 
me with wisdom. 

" Let me, god, become a holder of immortality. 
Let my body become able, my tongue mellifluous. Let 
me hear much with my ears. Thou art the sheath of 
Brahman, only obscured by earthly wisdom. Preserve 
in me what I have heard. That prosperity which 
brings, and adds, and quickly provides raiment and 
cattle and meat and drink at all times, — that prosperity 
bring thou to me. "Wealth woolly with flocks : Svaha.^ 
Let sacred students come to me : Svaha. Let sacred 
students repair to me : Svaha. Let me become a glory 
among men: Svaha. holy one, let me enter into 
thee : Svaha. In thee, with thy thousand branches, let 
me become pure : Svaha. 

" As the waters flow downwards, as the months pass 
away into the year, even so let the sacred students 
come to me. maker, let them come in from every 
side : Svaha. Thou art the refuge. Give me thy light. 
Pieceive me into thyself." 

^ Svalid is an exclamation made in invocations of the deities. 


The mystic import of Om, and the nature of the three Chap. tii. 
states of the soul, above which the aspirant to extrica- 
tion is to rise, and the fourth or undifferenced state of 
the Self one and the same in all souls, into which he is 
"to rise, are set forth in the Mandiikya Upanishad, one 
of the Upanishads of the Atharvaveda, This Upanishad 
is as follows : — 

" Om. This syllable is all. Its interpretation is that The Mandok- 
which has been, that which is, and that which is to be. The import of 
All is Om, and only Om, and whatever is beyond trinal states of the 

, , ^-. "^ soul, in wak- 

time IS Om, and only Om. ing, dreaming, 

" For all this world is Brahman, this Self is Brahman, sieep, and lu 
and this same Self has four quarters. pure seii. 

" The first quarter is the soul in the waking state, The -waking 
externally cognitive, with seven members, with nineteen 
inlets, with fruition of the sensible, the spirit of waking 
souls, Vaisvanara." 

In the ascending order the first state of the Self, after 
it has passed into a fictitious plurality of migrating 
souls, is its waking state in the gross body, in which it 
stands face to face with outward things. Vaisvanara 
or Purusha, the spirit that permeates all living bodies, 
is said to have seven members ; the sky is his head, the 
sun is his eye, the air is his breath, the ethereal ex- 
panse is his body, the food-grains are his bladder, the 
earth is his feet, the sacrificial fire is his mouth. The 
nineteen inlets of the waking soul are the five organs 
of sense, the five organs of motion, the five vital airs,^ 
the common sensory, the intellect, the self-assertive, 
and the memorial faculties. The individual embodied 

^ The five organs of sense are organs are the common sensory, 

those of hearing, touch, sight, manas ; the intellect, buddhi ; the 

trvste, and smell. The five organs self-assertive, ahankdra ; and the 

(jf motion are those of speech, memorial, chitta. These organs 

handling, locomotion, excretion, are made up of the elements as 

and generation. The five vital yet in a supersensible condition, 

airs are that of respiration, the the elements becoming sensible 

descending, the permeating, the only after a process of concretion, 

ascending, ^and the assimilative technically known as quintuplica- 

■ vital airs. The four internal tion, panchlkarana. 


Chap. III. soul is termed Visva, the sum of embodied souls Vais- 

Jtute^^^*"'^^' "T^® second quarter is the soul in the dreaming 
state, with seven members, with nineteen inlets, with 
fruition of the ideal, — the dreaming spirit." 

In the dreaming state, Sankaracharya says, the senses 
are at rest, but the common sensory proceeds to work, 
and the images, painted upon it like pictures on a canvas, 
simulate the outward objects of the waking experiences. 
The common sensory is set in motion in this way by 
the illusion, the desires, and the retributive fatality, 
which cling to the soul through all its migrations. 
The individual sleeping soul is styled Taijasa, the sum 
of sleeping souls in their invisible bodies is Hiranya- 
dretmil's^^ " I^i'samless sleep is that state in which the sleeper 
Bleep. desires no desire and sees no dream. The third quarter 

is the soul in the state of dreamless sleep, being one in 
itself, a mass of cognition, pre-eminent in bliss, with 
fruition of beatitude, having thought as its inlet, and 
of transcendent knowledge." 

In dreamless sleep the soul is said to be one in itself, 
the unreal duality of the waking and the dreaming 
consciousness having melted away into unity. The 
soul is, in this state, also said to be a mass of cofrnition, 
as it for the time reverts to its proper nature as undif- 
ferenced thought. All things become one, as in a dark 
night the whole outlook is one indistinguishable blur. 
The soul is now pre-eminent in bliss, as no longer 
exposed to the varied miseries that arise from the ficti- 
tious semblances of duality, yet it is not yet pure bliss 
itself, for the state of dreamless sleep is not abiding. 
The individual soul in this state is styled Prajna, trans- 
cendent in knowledge, and the sum of such souls is 
Isvara, the arch-illusionist, the world-projecting deity. 
The involucrum of the soul at this stage is the beatific 
vesture, and the counterfeit presentment or body of 


Isvara is the body out of wliicli all things emanate, the Chap. hi. 
cosmical illusion. The soul is not yet at rest. As 
Anandafriri savs, " It cannot be adniitted that in this 
dreamless sleep the transcendently cognitive soul is in 
perfect and unmingled bliss, for it is still connected 
with the -world-fiction. If it were not so, the sleeper 
would be already released from further migration, and 
he could not rise up again as he does to fresh experi- 
ences." The soul is not at rest till it has reached its 
final extrication from metempsychosis. To return to 
the Mundukya. 

" This Self is the lord of all, this the internal ruler, 
\his the source of all things ; this is that out of which 
all things proceed, and into which they shall pass back 

"Neither internally cognitive nor externally cogni- The state of 
tive, nor cognitive both without and within; not a ^'Jh°pui''e^ °"* 
mass of cognition, neither cognitive nor incognitive, ^®"' 
invisible, intangible, characterless, unthinkable, un- 
speakable ; to be reached only by insight into the 
oneness of all spirits ; that into which the world 
passes away, changeless, blessed, above duality; — such 
do they hold the fourth to be. That is Self. That is 
to be known." 

To cite a few remarks of the scholiasts. The pure 
Self, the fourth and only real entity, is that in the 
place of which the fictitious world presents itself to the 
uninitiated, as the fictitious serpent presents itself in 
place of a piece of rope to the belated wayfarer. There 
is something that underlies every such figment ; it is 
the sand of the desert that is overspread by the waters 
of the mirage, it is the shell that is fictitiously replaced 
by seeming silver, it is a distant post that in the dusk 
is mistaken for a man, and so on. Thus illusion every- 
where points to a reality beyond itself. The three 
so-called quarters of Brahman previously spoken of, 
only fictitiously present themselves in place of the sole 


Chap. III. reality, the fourth. They are principles that emanate, 
and out of which other principles emanate. Maya, 
the world-fiction, is the seed, and its figments, the ele- 
ments and elemental products, are the growing world- 
tree. The fourth, the Self, does not emanate from 
anything, nor does anything (save fictitiously) emanate 
from it; it is neither seed nor tree. It is unthinkable 
and unspeakable, to be enounced only in negations.^ 
It is absolute. The world does not emanate from, but 
fictitiously presents itself in place of, Brahman. 
Literal anaiy- " This Same Self is exhibited in the mystic syllable. 
Om is exhibited in letters. The quarters are the letters, 
and the letters are the quarters, — the letter A, the letter 
U, and the letter M. 

" The first letter, the letter A, is Vaisvanara, the spirit 
of waking souls in the waking world, because it per- 
meates all utterance, because it has a beginning. He 
that knows this attains to all desires, and becomes the 
first of all men. 

" The second letter, the letter u, is Taijasa, the spirit 
of dreamincT souls in the world of dreams, because this 
letter is more excellent, or because it is the intermediate 
letter. He that knows this elevates the train of his 
ideas, becomes passionless ; there is none in his family 
that knows not Brahman. 

" The third letter, the letter M, is Prajha, the spirit of 
sleeping and undreaming souls, because it comprehends 
the other two, because the other two proceed out of it. 
He that knows this comprehends all things, and becomes 
the source of things. 

" The fourth is not a letter, but the whole syllable 
Om, unknowable, unspeakable, into which the whole 
world passes away, blessed, above duality. He himself 
by himself enters into the Self, — he that knows this, 
that knows this." ^ 

^ Nishedhadvdraiva tarmirdesah "The repetition here as elsewhere 

sambhavati, Anandagiri. marks the close of the Upanishdd. 


The Mandukya Upanishad is thus an exposition of Chap. hi. 
the significance of the sacred syllable Om, of the three Thed^iue 
nnreal states, and of the one real state of Brahman. vestureJ'of 
The several vestures or involucra of the migrating souls taug'ht'iu'thc 
in the ascending order; the mode in which they and upanh!had. 
their spheres of migration emanated out of Brahman 
overspread with Maya ; and the scale of beatitudes by 
which the soul may re-ascend to its fontal essence, the 
one and only Self, are the themes of the second and 
third sections, the Brahmanandavalll and the Bhriguvalll 
of the Taittiriya Upanishad, This Upanishad belongs, 
as its name imports, to the so-called Black Eecension of 
the Yajurveda. From the first section, the Sikshavalll, 
treating of the initiation and purification of the aspirant 
to release from metempsychosis, the hymn to Om has 
been already presented to the reader. The scale of 
beatitudes the soul may mount by, is given in the 
same words also in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. 
The second and third sections of the Taittiriya are not 
so engaging and impressive as many portions of the 
Upanishads are ; but as they contain many of the texts 
of most frequent occurrence in the records of Indian 
philosophy, a translation is subjoined. One of these 
texts occurs in the opening lines of the second section, 
the Brahmanandavalll, which is as follows : — 

"Hari.^ Om. May he preserve us both, may he riie Brahman- 
reward us both. May we put forth our strength to- seootTd sJitiou 
gether, and may that which we recite be efficacious. tmVa u^ni- 
May we never feel enmity against each other, Om. ^^^^' 
Peace, peace, peace," 

This is an invocation on the part of the teacher and 
his disciple, to remove any possible obstacles to the com- 
munication and acquisition of the traditional science 
of Brahman, The preserver and recompenser is the 
universal soul or Demiurgus. 

'•' He that knows Brahman attains the ultimate reality. 

^ Hari is a name of Vishnu. 



The Self is 
within the 
rnind, inside 
the heart of 
every living 

Chap. III. Therefore this sacred verse has "been pronounced : Truth, 
knowledge, infinite, is Brahman. He that knows this 
Self seated in the cavity in the highest ether, hcfe fruition 
of all desires at one and the same moment by means of 
the omniscient Self." 

The scholiasts tell us that the word ether is here 
another name for the world-fiction, as it is also in the 
text of tlie Brihadaranyaka : " Over this imperishable 
principle the ethereal expanse is woven warp and 
woof." The cavity is the mind, so called because 
knowledge, the subject knowing and the thing known, 
are contained in it, or because implication in metemp- 
sychosis and extrication from it depend upon it. The 
migrating soul is nothing else than the one and only 
Self fictitiously limiting itself to this or that individual 
mind; every individual mind being, equally with its 
successive environments, an emanation of the cosmical 
illusion; He that sees through the illusion the Self 
within his mind, enters into the fulness of undifferenced 
beatitude. He has every form of happiness at one 
and the same moment, not a succession of pleasures 
through this or that avenue of sense ; such pleasures 
are mere products of the retributive fatality that pro- 
loners the mifjration of the soul. The highest aim of 
all is to pass beyond such experiences to the further 
shore of union with Brahman, the fulness of bliss ; to 
refund the personality of the migrating soul into the 
impersonality of the Self exempt from the experiences 
of metempsychosis. The aspirant to release from misery 
must learn that he and all other individuals are but par- 
ticular and local manifestations of the universal soul ; 
and that the universal soul, the Jagadatman, is the one 
and only Self veiled beneath the self-feigning world- 
fiction, and thus conscious of a seeming twofold order 
of subjects and objects. The world-fiction is made up 
of the sum of pleasures, pains, and indolences, the three 
jprimordia rerum of Indian cosmology. As soon as he 


recognises his true "nature he shall repossess it, and on Chap. ill. 
the rise of spiritual intuition the world of semblances Thos'^stiic 
shall dissolve and pass away. The soul is already the iu.t know it-"* 
characterless being, the pure thought, the undifferenced ^^^^^° ^'^ ^^° 
bliss — how can it be said to regain it, to recover that 
which it already is ? It recovers it by seeing it, by 
knowing it. In its everyday life the soul has lost 
itself by identifying itself with what it is not, with 
its temporal vestures, its fictitious envelopments. 
iSTrisimhasarasvatl teaches us that the soul seeking 
to find itself in the impersonal unity of the Self, is 
like a man looking for a necklace he thinks that he 
has lost and suffers from the loss of, the necklace 
beinir all the time about his neck. Terrified at the 
miseries that await his soul in its migrations, he is 
only trembling at his own shadow, for these miseries 
are unreal. His affliction ceases as soon as he learns 
what he truly is ; his fears cease as soon as he learns the 
unreality of everything that only seems to be. To the 
highest point of view won by abstraction pursued to 
its last limit, the implication of the soul, and its re- 
lease, in and from metempsychosis, are unreal, mere 
figments of the cosmic fiction. To return to the text : — 

" Out of this same Self the ether rose, from ether air. Procession of 
from air fire, from fire water, from water earth, from ments, and 
earth plants, from plants food, from food the germ of plication or 
life, from the germ of life man. This is man as made conwetioL! 
up of the extractive matter of food." 

Such are the five elements in their progressive con- 
cretion as they emanate from Brahman overspread with 
Maya. Ether comes first with its single property of 
sound ; it is the soniferous element, and in it all finite 
things exist. From ether the atmosphere proceeds, 
with the property of ether and with a superadded pro- 
perty of its own, namely, tangibility. Thus air has two 
properties. From air comes fire with the properties 
of ether and air, sound and tangibility, and with a 


Chap. III. superadded property of its own, nafiielv, colour. Tims 
fire has three properties. From, fire proceeds water 
with the properties of ether, air, and fire, and with a 
superadded property of its own, namely, taste. Thus 
water has four properties. From water emanates earth 
with the properties of ether, air, fire, and water, and 
with a superadded property of its own, namely, odour. 
Thus earth has five properties. It is Brahman as iUu- 
sively overspread with Maya, that manifests itself in 
this progressive concretion of the elements and of 
elemental things ; and it is into Brahman that by a 
regressive process of ahstraction the wliole series may 
be made to disappear. Man in his visible and earthly 
body is made up of the materials of food. Man here 
stands for the whole scale of animal life, as being the 
highest representative, and, alone capable of the worship 
of the gods and the knowledge of the sole reality that 
The first and is Veiled bcueath the world. The earthly body is the 
vestu^'of\he hrst of the five vestures of the soul in order of ascent 
earthiVbody. ^0 the foutal esscucc : it is the nutrimentitious involu- 
crum. Each lower is to be resolved into each higher 
garment of the soul, by a progressive insight into the 
fictitious nature of them all, till the aspirant passes 
through the last, the so-called beatific vesture, to the 
Self within. We are told that he is to strip every 
wrapper off himself one by one, as he might peel off 
the successive shells of a grain of rice. The several 
portions of the outermost shell of the soul, the eartlily 
body, are next described in grotesque similitude to the 
parts of a bird : — 

" Of this, this head is the head, this right arm is the 
right wing, this left arm the left wing, this trunk is the 
body, this nether part the tail, the prop. Therefore there 
is this memorial verse : It is food that living creatures 
spring from, all they that dwell upon the earth. They 
live by food, and at the last they pass into food again. 


for food is the earliest of creatures. Therefore food is Ciup. in. 
called tlie panacea." 

The body dies and restores its elements to the earth, 
out of which they reappear in fresh vegetable forms, 
to supply food again to animals and men — an ludian 
statement of the circulation of matter. 

" See dying vegetables life sustain, 
See life dissolving vegetate again : 
All forms that perish other forms supply, 
By turns Ave catch the vital breath and die ; — 
Like bubbles, on the sea of matter borne, 
They rise and break, and to that sea return." 

Food, Sankaracharya says, is called the panacea., as 
quenching the burning of the body,^ that is, as repair- 
ing the waste of the system. It is a standing rule of 
Indian philosophy that everything passes back into 
that out of which it came. The body came out of, was 
made out of food, and it passes back into the form 
of food. To proceed with the text. Every item of 
knowledge is promised its proportionate reward, and 
so we read : — 

" They that meditate upon food as Brahman obtain 
all kinds of food. For food is the earliest of created 
things, and it is called the panacea. From food all 
creatures are born, and after birth they grow by food. 
It is eaten by them, and it eats them, and therefore it 
is called food." 

Animals are said to be eaten by food, in one of the witMn the 
rude metaphors so frequent in the Upanishads, because is the invisible 
the elements of their bodies after dissolution enlfer into dotLsthe 
the forms of vegetable life. The aspirant is now sup- ouutsm^fra- 
posed to have seen into the unreality of the food-made *'""" 
body, and to have made it to disappear by an effort of 
abstraction. He is now called upon to dissolve the 
vesture next within, the so-called vesture of the vital 

^ SarraushadJuim, sarvaprdninaTn, dehaduJLaprasamanam annam 



Chap. III. airs. This vesture is invisible, and one of the three 
factors of the invisible migrating body, the tenuous 
involucrum, the other two being the sensorial and the 
cognitional vestures. The body has been got rid of, 
the vesture of vital airs must next be put away. 
The second " Within this Same body made of the extractive 

vesture'of the matter of food, there is another and interior body, made 

vital airs. .. .,. ^ . , . , .... 

01 the Vital airs, and with that the outer body is filled 
up. This interior body is also in the shape of man, 
fashioned after the human shape of the outer body. 
Of this interior body the breath is the head, the per- 
vading air is the right win':^, the descendimr air is 
the left wing, ether is the trunk, and earth is the tail, 
the prop. Therefore there is this memorial verse : 
It is breath that gods breathe, and men, and cattle, 
for the breath is the life of living things. Therefore it 
is called the life of all. They that meditate upon 
breath as Brahman live the full life of man. This 
body of vital air is embodied within the food-made 

Animals, and men, and gods live in the outer body 
by virtue of an inner body made of the breath of life. 
To this inner body there is another, the sensorial body, 
which fills it up ; to that another, the cognitional ; to 
that another, the beatific. They are all alike permeated 
and animated by the universal Self, their true being, 
everlasting, unchanging, beyond the five vestures. 
Meditation upon the vesture of vital air is rewarded 
with length of life, according to the maxim that the 
votary is assimilated to that manifestation under which 
he meditates upon the Self. This second wrapper being 
opened and laid aside by meditative abstraction, the 
sage proceeds to the third or sensorial vesture of his 
The third ves- " Within this same body of the airs of life there is 

ture, the ves- 
ture of the another inner body made of the common sensory, and 

coinmoii sou- 

Bory. with this the vesture of the vital airs is filled. This 


also is in the shape of man, fashioned after the human Cuap. III. 

shape of the vesture of vital airs. Of this sensorial 

body the Yajush is the head, the Rik is the right wing, 

the Saman the left wing, the Brahmanas the trunk, 

and the Atharvangirasa the tail, the prop. Therefore 

there is this memorial verse : From which words turn 

back with the thinking faculty, not reaching it; he 

that knows the bliss of the Self is for ever free from 

fear. This sensorial body is embodied in the body of 

vital airs." 

After stripping off this wrapper in his quest of the 
reality hidden within, the aspirant proceeds to the 
fourth vesture of the migrating soul, its garment of in- 
tellect or cognition. 

'•' Within this same sensorial body there is another The fourth 

•• 111 1 • L^ 1 • 1 vesture, the 

interior body, the cognitional body, and with this the meutai or 
sensorial body is filled. This also is in the shape of vesture, 
man, fashioned after the human shape of the sensorial 
vesture. Of this cognitional body faith is the head, 
justice the right wing, truth the left wing, ecstasy the 
trunk, the intellect the tail, the prop. Therefore there 
is this memorial verse : It is knowledge that lays out 
the sacrifice and performs the rites. All the gods 
meditate upon knowledge as the earliest manifestation 
of the Self, If a man learn that knowledge is the Self, 
and swerves not from that, he has fruition of all desires 
after leaving his imperfections in the body. This same 
cognitional vesture is embodied in the sensorial body." 

The aspirant, after laying aside the first wrapper, is 
free from the body ; after laying aside the second, third, 
and fourth, he is free from the invisible body, the tenuous 
involucrum, which clothes the soul in its migration 
from body to body. Passing beyond the visible and 
the invisible body, he arrives at tlie last vesture of the 
spirit, the beatific involucrum, that clothes the sleeping 
but undreaming soul. 

" Within this same cognitional body there is another, 


Chap. III. an inner body, the blissful body, and "U'ith this the 

The fifthand cognitional body is filled. This also is in the shape of 

vestiIS°the man, fashioned after the human shape of the cognitional 

beatuud°e. body. Of this blissful vesture tenderness is the head, 

the souf?nits joy is the light wing, rejoicing the left wing, bliss the 

luteof dr^et^- tiunk, and Brahman is the tail, the prop. Therefore 

less Bleep. there is this memorial verse : If a man think that the 

Self is not, he becomes as if he were not : if he knows 

that the Self is, then they know that he is indeed. 

This same blissful vesture is embodied in the cogni- 

tional body." 

This blissful vesture of the soul reposing in dreamless 
sleep is not Brahman, but it has Brahman beneath it 
as its prop or basis. In this vesture the soul that 
sleeps without dreaming is for the time at one with 
Brahman, and all the duality projected by illusion is 
for the time at an end in the pure unity of the Self. 
This is the last vesture to be laid aside in order to 
reach the ultimate truth within. 

So far the doctrine of the five vestures of the 
migrating souP has been propounded in the text of 
this Upanishad, A similar tenet makes its appearance 
in the philosophy of the neo-Platonists. Thus Proclus 
teaches that even before it comes into the world the 
soul must have animated a body, just as the daemons 
and deities are embodied souls. This body is imma- 
terial and ethereal, and emanates, like the soul itself, 
out of the Demiurgus. Proclus places between this 
immaterial body and the earthly body a series of other 
invohicra, which come with it into the world, clothe it 
after death, and accompany it in its migrations so long 
as it remains in the phenomenal order of things. 

The Brahman andavalll proceeds to represent the 
disciple as asking his teacher who it is that is to 
attain to re-union with the one and only Self. The 
emanation of elements and elemental things from 

^ Pancltalcoshavidyd. 


Brahman and Mayil, and the five wrappers of the soul, chap. hi. 
are matters that relate to the ordinary man and to the 
sage alike : is the re-union with the fontal essence open 
to both alike ? The text proceeds : — 

" After this arise the questions : Does a man without 
knowledcre c;o after death to that veritable world ? or is 
it only he that has knowledge, that has fruition of that 
veritable world ? " 

The sequel of the Upanishad is the reply to these 
questions. It is he only that surmounts the general 
illusion and sees the Self within by spiritual intuition, 
that shall pass into the Self never to return. Tlie 
text first speaks of the creation of the world at the 
opening of each a^on in the infinite series of aeons, by 
the fictitiouslv-conditioned Brahman,^ the cosmic soul, 
or Archimagus. 

" He desired : Let me become many, let me pass into Brahman be- 
plurality. He performed self-torture, and having per- and passer™' 
formed that self-torture, projected out of himself all piuraTit™^"*" 
this world, whatever is." 

The notion of the creative action of the Demiurc^us 
here exhibited, is the same as that in the Nasadlyasiikta, 
Rigveda, x. 129, presented to the reader in the first 
chapter of this work. As the Indian scholiasts say 
that the words, " It was not entity, nor was it non- 
entity," in that hymn refer to Maya, so they also hold 
that " the one that was void, covered with nothingness," 
which " developed itself by the power of self-torture," 
is Brahman in its earliest manifestation, the illusory 
creator, or Demiurgus, or soul of the universe. The 
passing of Brahman into the fictitious plurality of 
the phenomenal world, is frequently spoken of in the 
Upanishads as the self- explication of Brahman under 

^ We must be cautious not to Brahman fictitiously associated 

refer what is predicable only of with Maya, and thus the fictitious 

I.svara to Brahman per se. Isvara, creator of the fictitious world, 
the Demiurgus or Archimagus, is 


Chap. III. names and colours, that is to say, its manifestation 
under visible and nameable aspects.^ Brahman, the 
one and only Self, when mirrored upon Maya, the 
world-fiction, is that out of which the world ema- 
nates.2 The desires of this Demiurgus are the emana- 
tions of the world -fiction.^ "His self-torture is a 
figurative expression for his prevision of the world that 
is to be; and after this prevision he projects out of 
himself the world as it is to be experienced by migrat- 
ing souls, waking, dreaming, or in dreamless sleep, in 
space and time, in name and colour, — a world that is 
suitable to the residuary influence of the works of 
those souls in the last aeon." For it must always be 
remembered that the series of worlds is without begin- 
ning, and that every genesis is a palingenesia. To 
proceed with the text : — 

" Having evolved that world, he entered into it, and 
havino- entered it, he became the limited and the un- 
limited, the definite and the indefinite, the receptacle 
and not the receptacle, the living and the lifeless, the 
true and the false ; he became the true, for whatever is 
they call the true. Therefore there is this memorial 
verse: Non-existent was this in the beginning, from 
that the existent proceeded. That made itself, and 
therefore it is called self-made or holy.^ He is taste, 
for on receiving taste a mart becomes blissful. For 
who could live, who could breathe if in this ether there 
were not bliss ? For he gives bliss ; for when a man 
finds a safe footing in this invisible, incorporeal, unde- 
finable, ultimate principle, he arrives beyond all fear ; 
but when he admits even the smallest difference in 
that principle, fear comes upon him. That very prin- 
ciple is a fear to the sage that views such difference. 
Accordingly there is this memorial verse : In awe of 

1 Namarupavyakarana. ^ Sankaracharya's Commentary 

2 Mdydjirativimhitam hrahma on the Taittiriya Upanishad. 
jagatah kdranam, Anandagiri. * kiahrita. 


this the wind blows, in awe of this the sun rises ; in Chap. III. 
awe of this speed Agni and Indra, and the Death-god 
speeds besides those other four." 

The universal soul enters into the ether in the heart 
of every living thing, and there lodges in fictitious limi- 
tation to each individual mind, like the ether one and 
undivided in every jar and other hollow thing, or like 
the one sun reflected upon every piece of water. Thus 
lodged, it is many in the many that see, that hear, that 
think, that know. It is the life of all. In saying that 
this was non-existent in the beginning, the text does 
not deny that Brahman existed in the beginning, but 
only that it existed in the fictitious modes of the 
phantasmagoric world. The text now presents the 
scale of beatitudes in human and divine embodiments, 
through which the migrating soul may remount on its 
passage to the fontal unity of Self. 

"There is the following computation of beatitude : The ?caie of 
Let there be a youth, a good youth, versed in the Veda, that 'may be 
an able teacher, hale and strong, and let the whole theTal°j! ^^ 
earth, full of wealth, belong to him. This is one 
human bliss. A hundred of these human beatitudes 
are the one bliss of the man that has become a Gand- 
harva, and also of a sage learned in the Veda and un- 
stricken with desire. A hundred of these beatitudes 
of the man that has become a Gandharva, are the one 
bliss of the divine Gandharvas, and also of a sage 
learned in the Veda and unstricken with desire. A 
hundred of these beatitudes of the divine Gandhar- 
vas, are the one bliss of the forefathers of the tribes 
in their long-lasting sphere, and also of a sage learned 
in the Veda and unstricken with desire. A hundred 
of these beatitudes of the forefathers in their long- 
lasting sphere, are the one bliss of those born as gods 
in the sphere of the gods, and also of a sage learned in 
the Veda and unstricken with desire. A hundred of 
these beatitudes of those born as gods in the sphere of 


Chap. III. the gods, is the one bliss of those that have become 
gods, having gone to the gods by means of sacrifice, 
and also of a sage learned in the Veda and unstricken 
with desire. A hundred of these beatitudes of those 
that have become gods, is one bliss of the gods them- 
selves, and also of a sage learned in the Veda and 
unstricken with desire. A hundred of these beati- 
tudes of the gods is the one bliss of Indra, and also of 
a safje learned in the Veda and unstricken with desire. 
A hundred of these beatitudes of Indra is the one bliss 
of Brihaspati,^ and also of a sage learned in the Veda 
and unstricken with desire. A hundred of these beati- 
tudes of Brihaspati is the one bliss of Prajapati,^ and 
also of a sacre learned in the Veda and unstricken with 
desire. A hundred of these beatitudes of Prajapati is 
the one bliss of Brahma,^ and also of the sage learned in 
the Veda and unstricken with desire. It is the same 
universal soul* that is in the soul and that is in the sun. 
" He that knows this turns his back upon the world, 
passes through this food-made body, passes through 
this body of the vital airs, passes through this sensorial 
body, passes through this cognitional body, and passes 
through this beatific body. Therefore there is this 
memorial verse : It is the Self from which words turn 
back with the mind, not reaching it; he that knows 
the bliss of the Self no longer fears anything. He is 
no longer tortured with the thought. What good thinfT 
have I left undone, what evil have I done ? "When he 
knows this, these two, the good and the evil, strengthen 
his spirit, for both are only Self.^ These two only 
strengthen his spirit when he knows this. Such is the 
mystic doctrine." 

^ The spiritual teacher of the ^ That is, the good and the evil 

gods. things that he has done are now 

^ Prajapati is the same as Pu- seen by him to have been only 

rusha, Viiaj, or Vaisvanara. fictitious manifestations of the 

3 Brahma is Hiranyagarbha. one and only Self. 

* The Demiurgus. 


The aspirant on his way to liberation passes through ciiap. hi. 
and beyond all finite and local pliases of bliss, into the 
pure, undiflereuced beatitude, in which there is no 
longer the distinction of subject and object. He enters 
into the beatitude beyond duality ; and good and evil 
for him have lost their sting, the power of giving rise 
to the miseries of fresh embodiments. The Bhriguvalll 
opens and closes with the same invocation as that pre- 
fixed to the Brahmanandavalll. It treats of self-torture 
and of meditation on the five wrappers of the soul, as 
subsidiarv to the knowledge of Brahman. 

" Hari. Om. May he preserve us both, may he The Bhrigu- 

, ITT,/ J. 1 ^ valli, the third 

reward us both. May we put lorth our strength to- section of tho 
gether, and may what we recite be efficacious. May upanishad. 
we never feel enmity against each other. Om. Peace, 
peace, peace. 

" Bhrigu, the son of Varuna, approached his father 
and said. Sir, teach me about Brahman. His father 
said this to him : Food, breath, eye, ear, the thinking 
organ, speech." 

Varuna is said to be here enumerating the several 
avenues to the knowledge of Brahman, these being 
food, i.e., the outer body, the breath within, and within 
that the organs of sense and motion, which belong to 
the cognitional and sensorial vestures of the soul. 

"And again he said to him: Seek to know that out First step to 
of which these living things come forth, by which they of Brahman, 
live when they have come forth, and into which they body is Brah- 
pass again and re-enter : that is Brahman. Bhrigu prac- 
tised self-suppression, and upon performing it perceived 
that food is Brahman, in that all these living things 
arise from food, live by food when they have arisen, 
and pass back into and re-enter food. 

"After learning this he came again to his father second step. 

TI16 vitiil ^il* 13 

Varuna and said, Sir, teach me about Brahman. He Brahman. 
said to him. Seek to know Brahman by self-suppres- 
sion : self-suppression is Brahman. He practised self- 



Chap. III. 

Third step. 
The common 
sensory is 

Fourth step. 
The mind is 

Fifth step. 
The bliss of 
sleep is Bral.- 

suppression, and upon performing it perceived that 
vital air is Brahman, inasmuch as all these livimr 
things proceed from vital air, live by vital air, and 
pass back and re-enter vital air." 

Tlie self-torture^ or self-suppression prescribed as 
introductory to the knowledge of Brahman, is a pro- 
longed effort to annul the individual consciousness, to 
put away sense and thought, desire and will. It con- 
sists in the fixation of the muscles, the senses, and the 
intellect, with a view to rivetimr the senses and the 
thought upon one single object. 

" Upon learning this he again came to his father 
Varuna and said, Sir, teach me about Brahman. He 
said to him, Seek the knowledge of Brahman by self- 
suppression: self-suppression is Brahman. He prac- 
tised self-suppression, and on practising it learned that 
the common sensory is Braliman, inasmuch as all these 
living things issue out of, live by, and return into the 
common sensory. 

" After learnincf this he again came to his father 
Varuna and said. Sir, teach me about Brahman. He 
said to him. Seek the knowledge of Brahman by self- 
suppression : self-suppression is Brahman. He prac- 
tised self-suppression, and on practising it perceived that 
co2;nition is Brahman, inasmuch as all these living things 
issue out of cognition, live by it, and pass back into it. 

" Upon learning this he again came to his father 
A^aruna and said. Sir, teach me about Brahman. He 
said to him. Seek the knowledge of Brahman by self- 
suppression : self-suppression is Brahman. He prac- 
tised self-suppression, and on practising it perceived 
that bliss is Brahman, inasmuch as all these living 
things issue out of bliss, live upon it, pass back into it. 
This is the science that Varuna imparted and Bhrigu 
received, a science made perfect in the supreme ether 

^ Tapas. Tacli dm taj>o vahydn- chendriydndm. cliail-dgryani para- 
tahkaranasamddlidnam, manasas mam tapah, iiaukaracharya. 


in the heart. He that knows this is made perfect ; he Chap. hi. 
becomes rich in food, an eater of food ; he becomes 
great in offspring, in flocks and herds, and spiritual 
power ; he becomes great in fame. Let him never find 
fault with food : that is his observance. The vital air 
is food. The body is the eater of that food. The outward ob- 
body is based on vital air, and vital air is based on the themeditatinj? 
body, and thus food is based on food. He that knows rewarTs. 
this food based on food is made perfect ; he becomes 
rich in food, an eater of food ; he becomes rich in 
offspring, flocks and herds, and spiritual power; he 
becomes £;reat in fame. 

" Let him never despise food : that is his observance. 
"Water is food, light is the eater of that food. Light is 
based on water, and water is based on light, and thus 
food is based on food. He that knows this food based 
on food is made perfect ; he becomes rich in food, an 
eater of food ; he becomes rich in offspring, flocks and 
herds, and spiritual power, and rich in fame. 

" Let him make much of food : that is his observance. 
Earth is food, ether is the eater of that food. Ether is 
based on earth, and earth is based on ether, and thus 
food is based on food. He that knows this food based 
on food is made perfect ; he becomes rich in food, an 
eater of food ; he becomes rich in offspring, in flocks 
and herds, and spiritual power, and rich in fame. 

" Let him forbid no man to enter his house : that is 
his observance. Let him then store up food in what- 
ever way he can. They tell him that comes to the 
house that his food is ready. If the food is given at 
once, it shall be given at once to the giver ; if it be 
given later, it shall be given later to the giver ; if it be 
given only at the last, it shall be given only at the last 
to the giver. 

" Let Brahman be meditated on as that which is He is to medi- 
preservative in speech, as that which is acquisitive and Tarious mani- 

,. . ., T -, ^ T •, 1 • festations ol 

preservative m the ascending and descending vital airs, Braiiman. 


Chap. Ill, as work in the hands, as locomotion in the feet. These 
are the meditations on the Self in man. ISTow for its 
manifestations in the gods. It is fertility in the rain, 
mic;htiness in li^htninjir. It is wealth in flocks and 
herds ; in the stars it is light. It is offspring, immor- 
tality, beatitude. In the ether it is all that is. Let 
him meditate upon Brahman as the basis of all that is, 
and he shall be firmly based. Let him meditate upon 
it as greatness, and he shall become great. Let him 
meditate upon it as thought, and he shall become a 
thinker. Let him meditate upon it as that which 
overawes, and the things that he desires shall bow 
before him. Let him meditate upon it as powerful, 
and he shall become powerful. Let him meditate upon 
it as that into which divine things die away, and his 
enemies and rivals shall perish, and his brother's sons, 
if they displease him, shall die. It is the same uni- 
versal spirit that is in the soul and that is in the sun. 
He strips off " Hc that knows this turns his back upon the world, 
tureaofthe passes through this food-made body, passes through 
another. He this body of the vital airs, passes through this sensorial 
exercises ma- body, passcs through this cognitional body, and passes 
He'sin^rthe tlirough this bcatific body. Expatiating through these 
verfai'unu^, worlds, with food at will, and taking shapes at will, he 
sorbedln'to IS cver singiug this song of universal unity : wonder- 
t^eoneand £^|^ wonderful, woudcrful. I am food, I am food, I 
am food; I am the eater, I am the eater, I am the 
eater ; I am the transmuter of food into the eater, I 
am the transmuter of food into the eater, I am the 
transmuter of food into the eater. I am the first-born 
of creation, earlier than the gods, the navel of immor- 
tality.i He that gives me keeps me. I am the food 
that eats the eater. I stand above every world, with 
light as of the sun. He that knows this is all this. 
Such is the mystic doctrine. 

" Hari. Om. May he preserve us both, may he re- 

^ Hiranyagarbha. 


ward us both. May we put forth our strength together, Cuap. iir. 
and may what we recite be efficacious. May we never 
feel enmity against each other. Om. Peace, peace, 

In this song of universal unity the sage finds that he 
is one with every manifestation of Brahman, from the 
visible elemental things of the world of sense up to the 
divine emanations Purusha, Hiranyagarbha, and Isvara ; 
one also with the underlying reality, the one and only 
Self. At this stage he is said to possess magical powers; 
he can rancje at will from this world throucjh the several 
worlds of the deities, and assume what shapes he 
pleases, A trace of illusion^ adheres to him at times, 
so that he still sees the semblances of duality; he knows 
himself to be the Self that is in all things, and finds 
that he possesses the wonder-working powers of the 
Yogin or ecstatic seer ; he can take upon himself any 
shape, visible or invisible, from the least to the greatest, 
and go where he chooses among the worlds of men and 
gods, and is said figuratively to enjoy every form of 
pleasure at one and the same moment. Thaumaturgy 
is the gift of ecstasy. The epithets that Archer Butler 
bestows upon the philosophy of Proclus are applicable 
to the philosophy of ancient India. It is sublime and 
it is puerile. It is marked at once by sagacity and by 
poverty, by daring independence and by grovelling 

In the view of the Indian schoolmen, the greatest of The great text, 
all the texts of the Upanishads is the text That art ^ ^^ ""' 
thou, in the sixth Prapathaka^ of the Chhandogya 
Upanishad. This is pre-eminently the Mahavakya, the 
supreme enouncement. It is on the comprehension of 
this text that spiritual intuition^ or ecstatic vision rises 
in the purified intelligence of the aspirant to extrication 
from metempsychosis. This text is the burden of the 
instruction given by Aruni to his son, the pedantic and 

^ Anandagiri in loco. - Lecture. ^ Samyagdarsana. 



Chap. III. 

The dialogue 
of Aruni and 
from the 

Allegory of 
the sweet 
juices and the 

Allegory of 
the rivers and 
the sea. 

opinionated Svetaketn,. already mentioned in the second 
chapter of this work. 

" Rooted in the existent are all these created thing;s, 
built upon the real, based upon the real. It has been 
said already how these divine elements heat, water, 
earth, in man are threefold.^ When a man is dying, 
his speech passes into his inner sensory, his inner sen- 
sory into his vital breath, his vital breath into heat, his 
heat into the supreme divinity. All this world is ani- 
mated by the supersensible. This is real, this is Self. 
That art thou, Svetaketu. Hearing this, Svetaketu 
spoke again : Teach me further, holy sir. Be it so, my 
son, he replied, 

" As bees make honey, gathering into one mass, into 
unity, the sweet juices of various plants ; as those 
juices cannot distinguish themselves the one from the 
other, as the juices of this plant and that : so all these 
creatures, though they are one in the real, know not 
that they are one in the real. What they are severally 
in this life, lion, or wolf, or boar, or worm, or moth, or 
gnat, or musquito, that they become again and again. 
All this world is animated by the supersensible. This 
is real, this is Self. That art thou, Svetaketu, He 
said again : Teach me further, sir. Be it so, my son, 
he replied. 

" These rivers flow east and west, they are drawn 
from the sea east and west, and flow into the sea acrain.- 
They become sea and only sea. They know not there 
that one is this river and another that. And so with 
all these living things. They come out of the real, and 
do not know that they come out of it, and therefore they 

1 The threefold nature of the 
elements, as taught in the Chhan- 
dogya, is said by the scholiasts to 
imply the fuller doctrine of quin- 
tuplication, or the fivefold succes- 
sive concretion of the elements 
already described in this chapter. 

- " They are drawn up from the 
sea into the clouds, fall again in 
the form of rain, and in the shape 
of the Ganges and other rivers 
flow back into the sea, and be- 
come one with it again." — San- 
karacharya in loco. 


become in this life, as it may be, lion, or wolf, or boar, chap. iir. 
or worm, or moth, or gnat, or musqnito. All this world 
is animated by the supersensible. That is real, that is 
Self. That art tiiou, Svetaketu. He said_ again : 
Teach me further, sir. Be it so, my son, said Aruni. 

" Here is a great tree. If a man strike the root, it still AiioRory of 

tli6 tree tXiid 

lives, and its sap exudes. If he strike it in the trunk, it its iuformiug 
still lives, and its sap exudes. If he strike it at the top, it 
still lives, and its sap exudes. This tree, permeated by 
the living soul, stands still imbibing, still luxuriant.^ 
If the living soul forsake one of its branches, that 
branch dries up : if it forsake a second branch, that 
branch dries up : if it forsake a third branch, that 
branch dries up : if it forsake the whole tree, the whole 
tree dries up. Know this, my son, said Aruni. In- 
formed as it is by the living soul, it is this body that 
dies, the soul dies not. All this world is animated by 
the supersensible. That is real, that is Self. That aet 
THOU, Svetaketu. Hereupon Svetaketu spoke again : 
Teach me further, holy sir. Be it so, my son, said Aruni. 

" Take a fig from the holy fig-tree. Here it is, sir, AUegory of 

° . . .the seeds of ' 

said he. Break it open. It is broken open, sir. What the hoiy fig- 
dost thou see in it ? These little seeds, sir. Break 
open one of them. It is broken open, sir. "What dost 
thou see in it ? Nothing. His father said : From this, 
so small that thou canst not see it, from this minute- 
ness the great holy fig-tree grows up. Believe, my son, 
that all this world is animated by the supersensible. 
That is real, that is Self. That art thou, Svetaketu. 
He said again : Teach me further, sir. Be it so, my sou, 
said Aruni. 

"Take this lump of salt, and throw it into some AUegory of 

, , . . All, ttie salt iu salt 

water, and come to me again to-morrow. Svetaketu water. 
did so. His father said : Take out the lump of salt 
thou threwest into the water yesterday evening. He 

1 The tree is the body, the body. These are vitalised by the 
branches the constituents of the indwelling soul. 



Chap. III. 

Allegory of 
the highway- 
man and the 
blindfold tra- 

Gr.idual de- 
pirture of the 
soul at death. 

looked for it, but could not find it, for it was dissolved. 
His father told him to sip some water from the surface. 
What is it like ? It is salt, he answered. Taste it fur- 
ther down : what is it like ? It is salt. Taste it from 
the bottom : what is it like ? It is salt. Now thou 
hast tasted it, come to me, said Aruni. Svetaketu 
came and said : It remains always as it is. His father 
said : The salt is still there, though thou seest it not. 
All this world is animated by. the supersensible. That 
is real, that is Self. That art thou, Svetaketu. So 
Svetaketu said again : Teach me further, sir. Be it so, 
my son, he replied. 

" A highwayman leaves a wayfarer from Kandahar 
blindfold in a desolate waste he has brought him to. 
The wayfarer brought blindfold into the waste and left 
there, knows not what is east, what is north, and what 
is south, and cries aloud for guidance. Some passer-by 
unties his hands and unbinds his eyes, and tells him, 
Yonder is the way to Kandahar, walk on in that direc- 
tion. The man proceeds, asking for village after village, 
and is instructed and informed until he reaches Kan- 
dahar. Even in this way it is that in this life a man 
that has a spiritual teacher knows the Self. He is de- 
layed only till such time as he pass away.^ All this 
world is animated by the supersensible. That is real, 
that is Self. That art thou, Svetaketu. Then Sveta- 
ketu said again : Teach me further, sir. Be it so, my 
son, he replied. 

" His relatives come round the dying man and ask. 
Dost thou know me ? dost thou know me ? He recog- 
nises them so long as his voice passes not away into his 
thought, his thought into his breath, his breath into his 
vital warmth, his warmth into the supreme divinity. 
But when his voice has passed away into thought, his 

^ The sage liberated and yet 
living, the jivanmukta, has to wait 
only till his body falls away from 

him, to make his personality pass 
away for ever into the imperson- 
ality of the one and only Self. 


tlioiifrlit into breath, his breath into warmth, his warmth Chap. hi. 
into the supreme divinity, then at last he ceases to 
know them. All this world is animated by the super- 
sensible. That is real, that is Self. That art thou, 
Svetaketu. After this Svetaketu spoke yet once again : 
Teach me further, holy sir. Be it so, my son, said 

" Thev brinn- a man with his hands tied before the AUe-ory of 
Eaja, saying, He has carried something off, he has ordeai. 
committed theft. Heat the axe for him. If the man 
is guilty of the deed, but falsifies himself, intending 
falsehood, and screens himself with a lie, he lays hold 
of the red-hot hatchet and is burnt, and thereupon is 
put to death. If he is guiltless he tells the truth 
about himself, and with true intent, clothing himself 
with the truth, he lays hold of the glowing hatchet 
and is not burnt, and is not put to death. As he is not 
burnt in that ordeal, so is the sage unhurt in the fiery 
trial of metempsychosis. All this world is animated 
by the supersensible. This is real, this is Self. That 
ART THOU, Svetaketu." 

That art thou.^ The word that, in the first place, scholastic ex- 
denotes the totality of things in the whole, that is, the theVeat text, 
world-fiction, the Demiurgus or universal soul, and the 
characterless Self. These three fictitiously present 
themselves in union ; the universal soul and the ficti- 
tious universe being penetrated and permeated by the 
Self, as a red-hot lump of iron is penetrated and per- 
meated by fire. The word that, in the second place, 
points to the characterless Self apart from the fictitious 
universal spirit, and the fictitious universe which over- 
lies it. 

The word thou, in the first place, denotes the totality 
of things in the parts, that is, the various portions of the 
world-fiction, the various individual minds or migrat- 
ing souls to which these portions are allotted, and the 

^ This explanation is taken from Nrisimhasarasvati's Subodhini. 


Chap. III. characterless Self. These three also fictitiously present 
themselves in union ; the various phases of the world- 
fiction and the various migrating souls being penetrated 
and permeated by the Self as a lump of iron by fire. 
The word thou, in the second place, points to the 
characterless Self, the pure bliss, that underlies the 
various phases of the world-fiction and the various 
migrating souls. 

The sense of the text is therefore this : the individual 
soul is one with the universal soul, and the universal 
soul is one with the one and only Self. It is of this 
Self, through the operancy of the world-fiction, that all 
individual things and persons are the fictitious parts : — 

" Not all parts like, but all alike informed 
With radiant light, as glowing iron with fire." 

The differences that mark off thincr from thing and 
soul from soul are false, and shall pass away; the 
spiritual unity that pervades and unifies them is true, 
and shall abide for ever. 




" All are but parts of one stupendous whole 
Whose body nature is, and God the soul : 
That changed through all, and yet in all the same, 
Great in the earth as in the ethereal frame, 
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze, 
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees ; 
Lives through all life, extends through all extent. 
Spreads undivided, operates unspent ; 
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part. 
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart ; 
As full, as perfect, in vile man that mourns 
As the rapt seraph that adores and burns : 
To him no high, no low, no great, no small : 
He fills, he bounds, connects and equals all." — Pope. 

" And this deep power in which we exist, and whose beatitude is all 
accessible to us, is not only self-sufficing and perfect in every hour, but 
the act of seeing and the thing seen, the seer and the spectacle, the sub- 
ject and the object, are one. We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, 
the moon, the animal, the tree ; but the whole, of which these are the 
shining parts, is the soul. From within or from behind a light shines 
through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but 
the light is aU." — Emerson. 

It is said in a Yedic text that every Braliman ^ comes Chap. iv. 
into the world bringing with him three debts. These are The religion 
his debts to the Rishis of sacred studentship, that he the reugiou of 
may learn the primitive hymns by heart, and become ferioi- science 
able himself to teach them to pupils of his own to ensure ri^r science.^' 
their perpetual transmission ; his debt of sacrifice to the 
fjods ; and his debt to the Pitris or forefathers of the 

^ Jdyamdno vai hrdhmanas tr'tb- risJiiUhyo, yajnena devebhyaJi, pra- 
7dr rinavdn jdyate, brahmacharyena jayd pitribhyah. 


Chap. IV. tribes, of sons to offer the food and water to their 
deceased father and to their progenitors. The payment 
of these debts is incumbent on those living in the world ; 
and they must fulfil every prescriptive usage, and live 
in obedience to the religion of tradition and liturgic 
rites. Worship with its proper ritual is binding upon 
the multitude, and has its fruit in raising the wor- 
shipper to higher embodiments, or procuring for him 
• a sojourn in a paradise of the deities. This religion 
belomrs therefore to tlie world of fictions and semblances, 
to the phantasmagoric world of migrating souls and 
their spheres of recompense ; and has its reality only 
for the unpurified and unawakened spirit, for whom 
it is true that the miseries of metempsychosis are real 
enough. These immemorial rites and ordinances have 
their place; they are the religion of the many, and if 
followed with the understanding of their mystic import, 
and a knowledge of the deities invoked, may elevate 
the worshipper to the paradise of Brahma. This under- 
standino; and this knowledge are the " inferior science," 
apard vidyd. The worship of the deities and the ances- 
tral usages, however, bear also a higher fruit. The 
aspirant to extrication from metempsychosis may prac- 
tise them with a sole view to the purification of his intel- 
lect for the reception of higher truth. He turns his back 
upon the world, and upon the religion of the world 
and all its promises. He wishes for no higher form of 
life, for everv form of life is hateful ; he wishes for no 
paradise, for the pleasures of every paradise are tainted 
The reiiffion and fugitive. The religion of usages and liturgic rites 
longsTiie™' is a mode of activity, and, like every other mode of 
the'suui!" °^ action, tends to misery. Activity is the root of pain, 
for so long; as a livin^f beinfr acts so Ions; must he receive 
the award of his good and evil works, in body after 
body, in aeon after teon. The aspirant has already 
learnt, imperfectly as he may have realised it, that to 
the true point of view taught by the recluses in the 


jungle, the religion of rites and of immemorial usages, chap. iv. 
the sacrifices, and the gods sacrificed to, are alike un- 
real: for the sage made perfect they have no existence. 
There is no truth in things many, in things finite ; 
no truth where the thinker is other than the thincrs 
around him. A Vedic text says that he that medi- 
tates upon any deity as a being other than himself 
has no knowledge, and is a mere victim to the gods. 
As soon as a man turns his back on every form of 
life, and aspires to escape from all further embodi- 
ment, he is free from the debt of sacrifice to the 
deities, and the debt of progeny to the forefathers of 
the tribes. He may, if he will, leave these debts 
unpaid, and proceed at once from sacred studentship to 
meditation and self-discipline in the jungle. After his 
initiation into the Veda, the path of abnegation and 
knowledge is at once open to him. As there is no tlg religion of 
truth in the many, all truth is in the one ; and this the souUrom 
one that alone is is the Self, the inmost essence of all uou!^'^""'^^"'' 
things, that vivifies all sentiencies and permeates all 
things, from a tuft of grass up to the highest god, up to 
Brahma himself. This is the pure bliss, and it dwells 
within the heart of every creature, and to see this and 
to become one with it for ever is the highest end of 
aspiration. It is to be reached only by a never-failing 
inertion and a never-failing abstraction, by a rigid and 
insensible posture, by apathy, vacuity, and ecstasy. To 
see it, to become one with it, to melt away his per- 
sonality into its impersonality, a man must renounce 
all ties, must repair to the solitude of the forest, must 
crush every desire, and check every feeling and thought, 
till his mind be fitted to reflect the pure light of undif- 
ferenced being, to be irradiated with, till it pass away 
into, " the light of lights beyond the darkness." In the " 
course of this procedure the cosmic fiction gradually 
vanishes, and the Self shines forth as the sun shines 
out slowly as the clouds disperse. There is thus a 



Chap. IV. liigher religion for the few, to whicli the religion of the 
many is only the first step of preliminary purification. 
This hicjher religion, the knowledge of the Self, is the 
superior science, the para vidyd. The sacrifices, and 
the deities sacrificed to, and the recompenses, have a 
relative reality to the unawakened multitude. They 
have no reality to the already purified aspirant to 
liberation from metempsychosis ; he refuses reality to 
everything hut the one and only real, and renounces all 
things that he may find that one and only real, the Self 
within. His only business is with the spiritual intuition. 
Such is the subsumption of harmavidyd, the knowledge 
of rites, under hrahmavidyd, the knowledge of the Self ; 
and such is the absorption of the religion of usages 
into the religion of ecstatic union. The inferior science 
is a dharmajijndsd, or investigation of the several re- 
wards of the various prescriptive sacra; the superior 
science is a hrahmajijndsd, or investigation of the fontal 
spiritual essence. Brahman. 
This religion The kuowlcdgc of the Self or Brahman is not a pri- 
luust be learn- vate and pcrsoual thing, or attainable by an exercise of 
authorised the individual intellect. It is everywhere taught in the 
exponeu . XJpanishads that it was revealed by this or that god or 
other semi-divine teacher, and handed down through a 
succession of authorised exponents.^ It is only from 
one of these accredited teachers that the knowledge of 
the Self is to be had ; as we have already read, " A man 
that has a spiritual teacher knows the Self." All teach- 
ing that is out of accordance with the traditionary ex- 
position of the XJpanishads, is individual assertion and 
exercise of merely human ingenuity .^ 

These things premised, and with the information given 
in the preceding chapters, the reader is in a position to 
understand the Mundaka Upanishad. This is one of 
the XJpanishads of the Atharvaveda, and one of the most 

^ Achari/aparavipard, sampraddyaparamfcrd. 
* Svahuddhifjarikalpita, ut^rekshdmdtra. 



important documents of primitive Indian philosophy. Chap, iv. 
Explanations will be given from time to time from the 
traditional exposition of the scholiasts Sankaracharya 
and Anandacriri. The text is as follows : — 

I. I. " Om. Brahma was the first of the gods that M"?'?-''^^ 
emanated, the maker of the world, the upholder of the ist Mund^ika, 

. ■"- ist Section. 

spheres. He proclaimed the science of the Self, the 
basis of all science, to his eldest son, Atharvan. 

" Atharvan in ancient days delivered to Angis that The SiaSoxv- 
science of the Self which Brahma had proclaimed to him, 
and Angis to Satyavaha the Bharadvaja, and the Bharad- 
vaja transmitted the traditionary science to Angirasa. 

" Saunaka the householder came reverently to An- 
girasa and asked : Holy sage, what must be known that 
all this universe may be known ? 

" Angirasa replied : Those that know the Yeda say 
that there are two sciences that are to be known, the 
superior science and the inferior. 

" Of these, the inferior is the Eigveda, the Yajurveda, 
the Samaveda, the Atharvaveda, and the instrumental 
sciences, the phonetics, ritual, grammar, etymology, 
metrics, and astronomy. The superior science is that 
by which the imperishable principle is attained to. 

" That which is invisible, impalpable, without kin- To know the 

' . , , .' Selfistoknow 

dred, without colour, that which has neither eyes nor au things. 
ears, neither hands nor feet, which is imperishable, 
manifested in infinite variety, present everywhere, and 
wholly supersensible, — that is the changeless principle 
that the wise behold as the origin of all things. 

" The whole world issues out of that imperishable simiie of the 

• , . spider. 

principle, like as a spider spins his thread out of him- 
self and draws it back into himself again, or as plants 
grow up upon the earth, or as the hairs of the head 
and of the body issue out of the living man." 

Maya, the world-fiction, is, as has been already seen, 
the body of Isvara, the Archimagus, the first and highest 
of emanations, — the body out of which all things pro- 



Chap. iy. ceed, the Mranasarlra. Isvara projects all things and 
all migrating souls out of his body, and withdraws them 
into it again at the close of each seon, as the spider 
extends its thread out of its body and draws it back 
into it again. The simile of the spider occurs also in 
the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad. A curious misappre- 
Hume'sinism- hcnsion ou the part of Hume, or rather of some inform- 

terpretation of ■*■ 

this simile, ant of Hume, is noteworthy in reference to this image. 
It is to be found in his Dialogues concernino; Natural 
Eeligion : — " The Brahmins assert* that the world arose 
from an infinite spider, who spun this whole complicated 
mass from his bowels, and annihilates afterwards the 
whole or any part of it, by absorbing it again and resolving 
it into his own essence. Here is a species of cosmogony 
which appears to us ridiculous ; because a spider is a 
little contemptible animal, whose operations we are 
never likely to take for a model of the whole universe. 
But still here is a new species of analogy even in our 
globe. And were there a planet wholly inhabited by 
spiders, this inference would then appear as natural 
and irrefragable as that which in one planet ascribes 
the origin of all things to design and intelligence. 
Why an orderly system may not be spun from the 
belly as well as from the brain, it will be difficult to 
give a satisfactory reason." To return to the text : — 

" Brahman begins to swell with fervid self-coercion. 
Thence the aliment begins to unfold itself, and from that 
aliment proceed Prana, the internal sensory,the elements, 
the actions of living souls, and their perennial fruits. 

" This Brahman,^ Hiranyagarbha, and name and 
colour, and food, issue forth out of that bein<T that 
knows all, that knows everything, whose self-coercion 
is prevision." 

Here again we meet with the same idea as in the 
Nasadiyasiikta and in the Taittirlya Upanishad. The 

The Demi- 
urgus and 
the world- 

^ The sagunam, hrahma, or sa- 
balani hrahma, the divine emana- 

tion of Brahman and Maj'ii, the 
mdyopddhikam brahma. 


one, the Self, Ilraliman in association with Maya, Chip, i v. 
and thus already the creative Isvara, — that is to say, 
Brahman in the first quasi-personal manifestation or 
emanation as the Demiurfjus, — is said to encrag;e in 
self-torture,i self-suppression, or self-coercion. This 
self-torture of the Demiurgus is a meditation, a pre- 
vision of the world that is to be. The "aliment" is 
the cosmical illusion, developing itself in such a way 
that each migrating soul shall pass through successive 
lives appropriate to the residuary influences of its 
works in the last oeon. Prana or Hiranvacjarbha, the 
spirit of dreaming sentiencies, emanates out of Isvara, 
the all-knowing Demiurfrus. " Name and colour " is 
a constant phrase of the Upanishads for the outward 
world in its visible and nameable aspects. Food as 
the material of the earthly body, is the latest mani- 
festation of Brahman in the descending order of pro- 
gressive concretion. 

The text speaks, in the next place, of the matter of 
the two sciences. The inferior science, it says, has to 
do with metempsychosis, and with the usages and rites 
on the fulfilment or neglect of which higher and lower 
future states of life depend ; the superior science treats 
of the knowledge of the Self as the means of releasinfj 
the aspirant from further migration. 

I. 2. " This is the truth : The rites which the sages ist Mundaka, 
saw in the Mantras were widely current in the Tre- ""^ '^®<=*^*'"- 
tayuga or second age of the world. Perform them 
regularlv, you that wish for rewards. This is vour 
path to recompense in a higher embodiment. 

" When the fire is kindled, and its blaze is flickering, 
the sacrificer should throw the ofi"erinfT between the 
two portions of sacrificial butter, throwing it with 

" If the sacrifice upon the perpetual household fire 

^ Tapas, in this verse translated and at the same time with its usual 
in accordance with its derivation, sense, s.s fervid self-coercion. 


Chap. IV. "be not followed by the oblation at new-moon, by the 
The i^rds full-moon rites, by the Chaturraasya, and by the offer- 
scriptivrsacra iDg of first-fiuits ; if it be unfrequented -with guests; or 
TTiVsagemust i^ it be unaccompauied with the oblation to all the 
upon tbemau. deities ; or if it be presented with any error in the 
form ; the sacrificer forfeits the seven ascending worlds 
of recompense. 

" Fire has seven wavy tongues, — the black, the terrific, 
the thought-swift, the red, the purple, the scintillating, 
and the tongue of every shape, divine. 

" If a man offers his sacrifices while these toncrues of 
fire are flashing, and offers them in proper season, his 
very sacrifices become the solar rays to lead him up to 
the abode of the one lord of all the gods. 

" The shining sacrifices bear the sacrificer upward 
through the solar rays, crying, Come hither, come 
hither; greeting him with kindly voice, and doing 
honour to him, saying. This is your recompense, the 
sacred sphere of Brahma. 

" But these sacrifices with their ritual and its eicjhteen 
parts are frail boats indeed ; and they that rejoice in 
sacrifice as the best of things, in their infatuation shall 
pass on again to decay and death. 

" They that are infatuated, dwelling in the midst of 
the illusion, wise in their own eyes, and learned in their 
own conceit, are stricken with repeated plagues, and go 
round and round, like blind men led by the blind. 

" They are foolish, and living variously in this illu- 
sion, think that they have what they want : and since 
they that trust in sacrifices are too greedy of higher 
lives to learn the truth, they fall from paradise on the 
expiry of their reward. 

" In their infatuation they think that the revealed 
rites and works for the public good are the best and 
highest thing, and fail to find the other thing that is 
higher and better still. When they have had their 
reward in the body in some upper mansion in paradise. 


tliey return to a humau embodiment, or to a lower life Chap. iv. 

than that of man. 

" They among them that practise austerity and faith 

in the forest, quiescent, versed in the knowledge of the 

gods, and living upon alms, — these put away the stain 

of good and evil works, and go after death to the sphere 

of the imperishable deity, the abiding spirit, Hiranya- 


" Surveying these spheres won by works, the seeker He must re- 
pair to ar 



of Brahman should learn to renounce all thinfrs. No accredited 

uncreated sphere of being is to be gained by works 
Therefore he should take fuel in his hands, and repair 
to a sacred teacher, learned in the Veda, intent upon 
the Self, that he may learn the uncreate. 

" The spiritual guide, when he comes to him with 
reverence, with a humble heart and with his senses re- 
pressed, must truly expound to him the science of the 
Self, as he knows the uudecaying spirit, the sole reality." 

The aspirant to extrication from metempsychosis 
must turn his back upon every sphere of recompense, 
even upon the paradise of the gods that is won by 
sacrificial rites, and upon the paradise of Hiranyagarbha 
or Brahma, that is attained to by those that add to their 
outward worship a knowledge of the deities and of the 
import of the rites. These latter reside in the paradise 
of Brahma till the close of the aeon. All these spheres 
of fruition are transitory ; they reproduce each other 
like seed and plant ; they are empty and unsatisfying, 
perishing like a reverie or dream, like the waters of a 
mirage, like the bubbles and foam upon the surface of 
a stream. To return to the text. The first section of 
the second Mundaka treats of Brahman and the supe- 
rior science. 

II. I. " This is the truth: As its kindred sparks fly 2d Mundaka, 

,1 IP ^ ^ • n l^ • i^t Section. 

out m thousands from a blazmg nre, so the various simUe of the 
living souls proceed out of that imperishable principle, spark^. 
and return into it again. 


Chap. IV. " That infinite spirit is self-luminous, without and 
within, without origin, without vital breath or thinking 
faculty, stainless, beyond the imperishable ultimate." 

The imperishable ultimate is the cosmical illusion. 
Brahman is in truth untouched by the world-fiction. 
It is only fictitiously that this overspreads Brahman, 
as the waters of the mirage fictitiously overspread the 
sands of the desert. All living things are only the one 
Self fictitiously limited to this or that fictitious mind 
and body, and return into the Self as soon as the ficti- 
tious limitation disappears. As soon as the jar is 
broken the ether from within it is one with the ether 
without, one with ether one and undivided. The text 
next speaks of the several unreal effluences or emana- 
tions from the Self as illusorily overspread with the 
cosmical illusion. Each such emanation is false ; in the 
words of the Chhandogya Upanishad, " a modification 
of speech only, a change, a name." 

"From that proceed the vital breath, the thinkinf^ 
principle and all the organs of sense and motion, and 
the elements, ether, air, fire, water, and the earth that 
holds all things." 

Purusha or Yaisvanara, the universal soul that ema- 
nates from Hiranyagarbha, dwells in every living body, 
and every living body is made up of the elements just 
spoken of. The text accordingly proceeds to charac- 
terise this Purusha. The scholiast identifies him with 
Purusha char- " Firc is his head, the sun and moon his eves the 

acterised, as in ... J > ^ 

the Purusha- TCgions his ears, the open Vedas are his voice, the air 
is his vital breath, the whole world is his heart, the 
earth springs from his feet, for this is the inner soul of 
all living thimrs." 

The whole world is said to be the heart of Purusha, 
because it is all an effluence of the mind,^ into which it 
is seen to melt away in the state of dreamless sleep, 

^ AniahJcarana, the aggregate of buddhi, vianas, ahankdra, and chitta. 


and out of which it re-issues when the sleeper awakes, Chap. iv. 
as sparks fly up out of fire. The mind is in the heart. 
Purusha is the soul internal to all livincr thincrs, for in 
every living thing it is he that sees, hears, thinks, and 

" Fire proceeds from him, and the sun is the fuel of 
that fire. From the moon proceeds the cloud-god Par- 
janya ; from the cloud-god the plants upon the earth ; 
from these the crerm of life. Thus the various livinfj 
thincTS issue out of Purusha. 

" The Rik, the Saman, and the Yajush, the initiations, 
the sacrifices, the offerings of victims, and the presents 
to the Brahmans, the liturgic year, the sacrificer, and 
the spheres of recompense, those in which the moon 
purifies, and those in which the sun purifies the elevated 
worshipper, — all these things issue out of Purusha. 

" The gods in various orders, the Sadhyas, men, and 
beasts, and birds, the breath and vital functions, rice 
and barley, self-torture, faith, truth, continence, and the 
prescriptive usages, — all issue out of Purusha." 

The imagery of the Nasadiyasukta was reproduced 
in the first section of the first Munclaka, that of the 
Purushasukta is reproduced in these verses. The cos- 
mological conception of the poets of the Upanishads 
seems to have had its first beginnings in the later part 
of the Mantra period of Vedic literature. 

" The seven breaths proceed from him, the seven 
flames, the seven kinds of fuel, the seven oblations, the 
seven passages of the vital airs, the vital airs that reside 
in the cavity of the body, seven in each living thing. 

" It is from him that the seas and all the mountains 
proceed ; it is from him that the rivers flow in various 
forms ; it is from him that plants grow up, and their 
nutritious material by which the inner invisible body 
is clothed with the visible elemental frame. 

" All this world, with its sacrifices and its knowledge, 
is Purusha. Self is supreme, immortal. My friend. 



2d Mundaka, 
2d Section. 

Chap. IV. he that knows this Self that is seated in the heart of 
The Hilton of every living thing, scatters off the ties of illusion even 

the Self within •„ j.i • i. it j> 

the heart is m this present life. 

the^oniy saiva- rpj^^ second section of the second Mundaka sets forth 
the means of a fuller knowledge of Brahman. The 
aspirant is to meditate upon it as the characterless 
essence that shines forth in every mode of mind, the 
one and only Self illusorily manifested in the plurality 
of migrating souls. 

II. 2. " This Self is self-luminous, present, dwelling 
in the heart of every living thing, the great centre of 
all things. All that moves, and breathes, and stii's is 
centred in it. You know this as that which is and 
that which is not ; as the end of aspiration, above the 
knowledge of all living things, the highest good : 

" As bright ; as lesser than the least and greater than 
the greatest ; as that on which all the spheres of recom- 
pense are founded, together with the tenants of those 
spheres. This same imperishable Brahman is the vital 
air, the inner sensory, the voice. This same Brahman 
is true, this is immortal. That is the mark. Hit it 
with thy mind, my friend. 

" Let a man take the great weapon of the Upanishads 
for his bow, and let him fix upon it his arrow sharpened 
with devotion. Bend it with the thoughts fixed upon 
the Self, and hit the mark, the undecaying principle. 

" The mystic utterance Om is the bow, the soul the 
arrow, the Self the mark. Let it be shot at with un- 
failing heed, and let the soul, like an arrow, become 
one with the mark, 

" It is over this Self that sky and earth and air are 
woven, and the sensory, with all the organs of sense 
and motion. Know that this is the one and only Self. 
Eenounce all other words, for this is the bridge to 

" This Self dwells in the heart where the arteries 
are concentred, variously manifesting itself. Om : thus 

Use of the 
syllable Om. 


meditate upon the Self. May it be well with you that chap. iv. 
you may cross beyond the darkness. 

" This Self knows all, it knows everything. Its glory 
is in the world. It is seated in the ether in the irra- 
diated heart, present to the inner sensory, actuating 
the organs and the organism, settled in the earthly 
body. The wise fix their heart, and by knowledge see 
the blissful, the immortal principle that manifests itself. 

"When a man has seen that Self unmanifest and The ties of the 
manifest, the ties of his heart are loosed, all his per- loosed by see- 
plexities are solved, and all his works exhausted. SI light of' 

" The stainless, indivisible Self is in that last bright ^^^ ^'"'^'^■ 
sheath, the heart: it is the pure light of lights that 
they that know the Self know. 

" The sun gives no light to that, nor the moon and 
stars, neither do these lightnings light it up ; how then 
should this fire of ours ? All things shine after it as it 
shines, all this world is radiant wdth its light. 

" It is this undying Self that is outspread before. 
Self behind, Self to the right. Self to the left, above, 
below. All this glorious world is Self." 

The aspirant is bidden to renounce all other words. 
He is to renounce the inferior science, the knowledge 
of the gods and of the various rites with which they 
are worshipped ; for these things only prolong the series 
of his embodied lives. The knowledge of Brahman is 
said to be the bridge to immortality, as it is the way 
by which the sage is to cross over the sea of metemp- 
sychosis to reunite his soul with the Self beyond. The 
Self or Brahman is said to reside in the heart, in the 
midst of all the arteries. By this it is only meant that 
the modifications of the mind seated within the heart 
shine, or as we should say, rise into the light of con- 
sciousness, in the light of the Self. The mind is in 
the heart, and there receives the light of the one and 
only Self, that itself is everywhere, ubique et in nullo 
loco. It is onlv in semblance that the Self, which is 


Chaf. IV. everywhere, can be said to come and go, to dwell here 
or there. The indwelling of the Self is its manifesta- 
tion in the mental modes, A lotus-shaped lump of 
flesh in the heart is styled the Irahmcqmra, the abode 
of Brahman. It is here that the Self is said to witness, 
that is, to give light to, every feeling, thought, and pas- 
sion of the souL It is here that it sees unseen, hears 
unheard, thinks unthought upon ; but its vision, its 
hearing, and its thought are unintermittent and un- 
differenced. It does not see as we see, or hear as we 
hear, or think as we think, but as a pure light of char- 
acterless intellicrence. It jrives lifrht to all, and receives 
light from nothing. It is the pure light beyond the 
darkness of the world-fiction ; the pure bliss of exemp- 
tion from evil, pain, and weariness. All the things 
that present themselves in nameable and coloured 
phases seem to be, and this only is. 

The first section of the third Mundaka opens with 
the simile of the two birds upon one tree. They repre- 
sent the migratinfT soul and Isvara the cosmic soul, 
residing together in the body of each and every living 
thing. This section is said to treat of the qualifications 
required in an aspirant to liberation, before he can 
enter on the pursuit of ecstasy and intuition of the 
3d Mundaka, III. I. " Two birds alwavs together and united nestle 

ist Section. pi i p . « 

Allegory of upou the Same tree ; one of them eats the sweet iruit or 
on one tree, the holy fig-trec, the other looks on without eating. 

" In the same tree the migrating soul is immersed, 
and sorrows in its helpless plight, and knows not what 
to do ; but its sorrow passes as soon as it sees the adored 
lord, and that this world is only his glory. 

" When the sage sees the golden-hued maker of the 
world, the lord, the Purusha that emanates from Brah- 
man, he shakes ofi" his good and evil works, and without 
stain arrives at the ultimate identity." 

The body is a tree that bears the fruits of actions 


in a former life. The iniirratinfT soul, clothed in the Chap. it. 
tenuous involucrum, resides in the body, and eats the 
various fruits of its good and evil actions in earlier 
embodiments. Not so the Demiurgus, the golden-hued, 
that is, the self-luminous, universal soul, ever pure, 
intelligent, and free. He actuates all the migrating 
souls and all the spheres through which they migrate, 
but takes no part in the experiences they pass through. 
The soul, laden with illusions, and with cravings after 
temporal felicity, is fated to pass through all the varied 
anguish of hunger, thirst, faintness, sickness, partings, 
bereavements, decay, and death, in body after body in 
vegetal, animal, or human shape, through countless 
ases ; till at last the "ood works that it has done in a 
series of lives may bring it in a human embodiment 
into the presence of a spiritual guide, who shall teach 
it the way of release from further migration, through 
self-torture, ecstasy, and intuition in which it identifies 
itself, first with the universal soul, and then with the one 
and only Self. 

" This Isvara is the living breath that variously 
manifests itself in all livincr thinsrs. Knowing him, the 
sage ceases to speak of many things; his sport is in 
the Self, his joy is in the Self, his action is relative to 
the Self, and he is the best of those that know the 

"For this Self is to be reached by persevering truth- Mental purity 
fulness, self- coercion, precise intuition, and continence, the aspirant 
This Self, which ascetics behold after the annulment of 
their imperfections, is within the body, luminous and 

" It is truth that prevails, not falsehood. The road 
is laid out by truth, the divine path by which the 
Eishis free from all desire proceed to the treasure of 

" That Self is great and luminous, unthinkable ; it is 
supersensible beyond the supersensible, farther than the 



Chap. IV. 

A pure mind 
is the only 
mirror that 
reflects the 

farthest, and yet near, within the body, seated within 
the cavity of the heart of those that see it. 

" It is not apprehended by the eye, nor by the voice, 
nor by the other organs of sense and motion, nor by 
self-coercion, nor by sacrificial rites. He whose mind is 
purified by the limpid clearness of his knowledge, sees 
in meditation that undivided Self. 

" This supersensible Self is to be known by the mind, 
in the body in which the vital air has entered to its 
fivefold functions ; every mind of living things is over- 
spread with the vital airs, and when this mind is purified 
the Self shines forth. 

" He whose mind is purified wins whatever sphere of 
recompense he aspires to, and whatever pleasures he 
desires. Therefore let him that wishes for prosperity 
worship him that knows the Self." 

Truthfulness, the repression of the senses and the 
volitions, and continence, are part of the purification of 
the mind required in the seeker of spiritual insight and 
ecstatic union. They are among the qualifications of 
the aspirant. In its naturjil state the mind is stained 
with desires, aversions, and passions relative to external 
things, and like a tarnished mirror or a rufiied pool, is 
unprepared to mirror the Self that is ever present to it. 
The senses must be checked and the volitions crushed, 
that the impurity and turbid discoloration of the mind 
may be purged away, and that it may become an even 
and lucid reflecting surface, to present the image of the 
Self. This imacre of the Self ^ is itself a mode of mind, 
but it is the last of the modes of the mind, arising only 
when the mind is ready to melt away into the fontal 
unity of the characterless Self. As this mode passes 
away, the personality of the sage passes away with it 
into the impersonality of Brahman. The magical 
powers of the Yogin or ecstatic seer are again asserted. 
All that is promised to the follower of the prescriptive 

^ Phalitam hraJima. 


sacra, of the religion of tlie many, is promised to him, if Chap. iv. 
he desire it, before his re-absorption into the spiritual 
essence. The promise is intended as a fartlier incite- 
ment to the seeker of release from the miseries of 
metempsychosis.^ Here again, as elsewhere, the Mun- 
daka Upanishad is remarkable for the clearness with 
which it states the relation of the philosophy of the 
recluses of the forest to the religion of those living in 
the world. This religion is retained as part of the ficti- 
tious order of things ; real for the many, as bearing fruit 
in the unreal series of embodied lives, and unreal for 
the few that turn their back upon the world, and refuse 
reality to all things but the spiritual unity that per- 
meates them. The old religion, unreal as it is, is needed 
for the purification of the unreal mind, and has its 
place prior to the quest of the sole reality. It has its 
place and passes away : for the perfected sage it is a 

The last section of the Mundaka Upanishad is as 
follows : — 

III. 2. "He knows the supreme Brahman, the base 3d Mundaka, 

^ , , . . 2<i Section. 

on which the world is fixed, which shines forth m its 
purity. The wise that have put away desire and wor- 
ship this sage, pass beyond all further re-embodiment. 

" He that lusts after pleasures and gives his mind to 
them, is born by reason of them into sphere after sphere 
of recompense ; but if a man has already all that he 
desires and has found the Self, all his cravings melt 
away even in his present embodiment. 

" This Self is not attainable by learning, by memory, Theseif mam- 

ffists itsfilf to 

by much sacred study, but if he choose this Self it is the perfect 
attainable by him : the Self itself manifests its own 
essence to him. 

" This Self is not attainable by a man that lacks for- 
titude, nor without concentration, nor by knowledge 

^ Sagunavidyaphalam. api nirgunavidi/dstutaye prarochanditham uch- 
yate. Anandagiri. 


Chap. IV, without the renunciation of the world ; but if a sage 
exert himself with these appliances, his soul enters the 
abode of Brahman. 

"When they that have this inner vision, satisfied 
with knowledge, perfected in the spirit, their imperfec- 
tions passed away, their faculties quiescent, — when they 
have reached this Self, when they have fully reached 
the all-pervading principle, — with perfect insight and 
with spirits unified, they enter into the all of things, 

" All these quietists, familiar with the object of in- 
tuition in the Upanishads, purified in mind by renun- 
ciation and ecstatic union, are liberated in the hour of 
death, being one with the supreme immortal principle. 

" The fifteen constituents of their bodies re-enter 
their several elements ; their senses return into their 
several presiding deities; their works and their conscious 
soul are all unified in the imperishable Self. 
He loses him- " The sagc, quitting name and colour, enters into the 
rryer"iJses''it* self-lumiuous Spirit beyond the last principle,^ in like 
manner as rivers flow on until they quit their name 
and colour, and lose themselves in the sea. 

" He that knows that highest Self becomes that 
highest Self only. There is none in his family ignorant 
of the Self. He passes beyond misery, he passes beyond 
the taint of crood and evil works, he is released from his 
heart's ties, and becomes immortal, 

" Therefore it has been said in a memorial verse : 
Let a sa^e reveal this knowledge of Brahman to those 
only that have fulfilled the prescriptive rites, who know 
the Veda, intent on the Self, who sacrifice to that one 
Eishi, the fire-god Agni, and have duly achieved the 
self-torture of carrying fire upon their heads. 

" This true Self was proclaimed of old by Angiras the 
Rishi. Let none that has not undergone that discipline 
presume to study it. Glory to the great Eishis. Glory 

self in the sea. 

to the great Eishis." 

^ The world-fiction. 


They, says Sankaracharya, that rise to the ecstatic Chap. tv. 
vision become one in the unity of the one and only 
Self. The images of the sun are seen no longer when 
the watery surfaces evaporate. The jar is broken, and 
the ether that was in it is again one with the ether 
one and undivided. On the rise of the ecstatic vision 
all the difficulties of the sage are past; to raise fresh 
impediments is beyond the power of the gods them- 
selves. He has passed through the darkness into light. 
His personality passes into impersonality, his mortality 
into immortality. He has found himself, and is for 
ever one with the one and all. 

Fichte,^ in like but higher terms, rich with the FicMe quote t. 
thought of centuries, speaks of his recognition of his frorncoiScious 

n • 1 ■rj_j.- i!iT_ participation 

nature as one 01 the many maniiestations or tne one m the divine 
abiding spiritual essence, the life of which is the pro- in^aiifhiiigr 
gressive life of all things. " I have indeed dwelt in 
darkness during the past days of my life. I have 
indeed heaped error upon error, and imagined myself 
wise. Now for the first time do I wholly understand 
the doctrine which from thy lips, wonderful spirit, 
seemed so strange to me, although my understanding 
had nothing to oppose to it ; for now for the first time 
do I comprehend it in its whole compass, in its deepest 
foundation, and through all its consequences. Man is 
not a product of the world of sense, and the end of his 
existence cannot be attained in it. His vocation tran- 
scends time and space, and everything that pertains to 
sense. What he is and to what he is to train himself, 
that must he know : as his vocation is a lofty one, he 
must be able to lift his thoughts above all the limitations 
of sense. He must accomplish it : where his being finds 
its home, there his thoughts too seek their dwelling- 
place ; and the truly human mode of thought, that 
which alone is worthv of him, that in which his whole 
spiritual strength is manifested, is that whereby he 

1 Dr. W. Smith's Popular Works of Fichte, pp. 368, sqq. 



Chap. IV. raises himself above those limitations, whereby all that 
pertains to sense vanishes into nothing, — into a mere 
reflection, in mortal eyes, of the one self-existent 
infinite. Thou art best known to the childlike, de- 
voted, simple mind. To it thou art the searcher of 
the heart, who seest its inmost depths ; the ever- 
present true witness of its thoughts, who knowest its 
truth, who knowest it althou2;h all the world know it 
not. The inquisitive understanding which has heard 
of thee, but seen thee not, would teach us thy nature ; 
and as thy image shows us a monstrous and incon- 
gruous shape, which the sagacious laugh at, and the 
wise and good abhor. I hide my face before thee, and 
lay my hand upon my lips. How thou art and seemest 
to thy own being, I shall never know, any more than 
I can assume thy nature. After thousands of spirit- 
lives, I shall comprehend thee as little as I do now in 
this earthly house. That which I conceive becomes 
finite through my very conception of it; and this can 
never, even by endless exaltations, rise into the infinite. 
In the idea of person there are imperfections, limita- 
tions : how can I clothe thee with it without these ? 
Now that my heart is closed against all earthly things, 
now that I have no longer any sense for the transitory 
and perishable, the universe appears before my eyes 
clothed in a more glorious form. The dead, heavy 
mass which only filled up space is vanished ; and in its 
place there flows onward, with the rushing music of 
mighty waves, an eternal stream of life, and power, 
and action, which issues from the original source of all 
life, — from thy life, infinite one, for all life is thy 
life, and only the religious eye penetrates to the realm 
of true beauty. The ties by which my mind was 
formerly united to this world, and by whose secret 
guidance I followed all its movements, are for ever 
sundered ; and I stand free, calm, and immovable, a 
universe to myself. No longer through my affections, 


but by my eye alone, do I apprehend outward objects chap. iv. 
and am connected with them; and this eye itself is 
purified by freedom, and looks through error and defor- 
mity to the true and beautiful, as upon the unrufBed 
surface of water shapes are more purely mirrored in a 
milder light. My mind is for ever closed against em- 
barrassment and perplexity, against uncertainty, doubt, 
and anxiety ; my heart against grief, repentance, and 




" If the red slayer think he slays, 
Or the slain think he is slain, 
They little know the subtle ways 

I keep, and pass, and turn again. 
Tar or forgot to me is near. 

Shadow and sunlight are the same ; 
The vanished gods to me appear. 

And one to me are sham.e and fame. 
They reckon ill who leave me out, 

Me when they fly I am the wings ; 
I am the doubter and the doubt, 

And I the hymn the Brahman sings. 
The strong gods pine for my abode. 

And pine in vain the sacred seven ; 
But thou, meek lover of the good, 

rind me, and turn thy back on heaven." 

— Emerson. 

Chap. V. The reader is by this time becoming familiar with the 
ThestoTof general conception of the primitive Indian philoso- 
an^d 'toe^re^nt phers, and with the grotesque imagery and rude subli- 
of the dead, mity with which it is exhibited in the Upanishads. 
Epithet is added to epithet, and metaphor to metaphor, 
and sentence stands by sentence in juxtaposition, rather 
than in methodical progression, till we are at a loss to 
pass any judgment, and feel alternately attracted and 
repelled. The thoughts of these thinkers formed them- 
selves out of other antecedents, and other predisposi- 
tions, and in another medium, than any of which we 
have had experience. In the present chapter the work 
of exposition will proceed by the presentation of the 
Katha Upanishad, a perspicuous and poetical Upani- 


shad of the Yajurveda. This Upanishad opens with Cuap. v. 
the legend of the revelation of the hrahmavidyd, or 
knowledge of the one and only Self by Yama, the regent 
of the dead, to iSTachiketas the son of Vfijasravasa. 

I. " Vfijasravasa, with the desire of recompense, Katha upani- 
offered sacrifice, and gave all that he possessed to the First Vain. 
priests. He had a son named Nachiketas. 

" While the presents were in course of distribution 
to the priests and to the assembly, faith entered into 
Nachiketas, who was yet a stripling, and he began to 
think : 

" These cows have drunk all the water they will 
ever drink, they have grazed as much as they will 
graze, they have given all the milk that they will ever 
give, and they will calve no more. They are joyless 
spheres of recompense that a sacrificer goes to, who gives 
such gifts as these. 

" He therefore said to his father : Father, to whom wilt 
thou give me ? He said it a second time and a third 
time, until his father exclaimed : I cjive thee to Death. 

" Nachiketas thought : I pass for the first among 
many disciples, I pass also for the middlemost among 
many : what has Yama to do that he will do with me 
to-day ? " 

Seeing his father's reg;retful looks, and fearing that 
he would break his promise to the regent of the dead, 
Nachiketas begs him not to waver. 

" Look back and see how those of old acted, and how 
those of later days. Man ripens and is reaped like the 
corn in the field, and like the corn is born again." 

His father sends him to the realm of Yama. The 
death-god is absent, and Nachiketas is neglected. On 
Yama's return his wife and servants admonish him : 

" When a Brahman comes into the house he is like 
a fire, and therefore men offer him the customary pro- 
pitiation. Bring water for his feet, Vaivasvata.-^ 
^ A patronymic of Yama the son of Vivasvat. 



Chap. V. 

Yama bids 
Nachiketas to 
choose three 

The first gift, 
that he may 
return to his 

The second 
gift, a know- 
ledge of the 

"A Brahman that stays without eating food in the 
house of an inattentive host lays waste all his hopes 
and expectations, the merits that he has earned by 
intercourse with good men, by friendly speech, and by 
sacrifices and works for the public good,^ as well as all 
his children and his flocks and herds. 

" Hearing this, Yama said to ISTachiketas : Three 
nights hast thou lodged in my house fasting, thou a 
Brahman guest that shouldst be worshipped. Hail, 
Brahman, and may it be well with me. Choose there- 
fore three wishes, a wish for each such night. 

" Nachiketas said : God of death, I choose as the first 
of these three wishes that my father Gautama may be 
easy in his mind, that he may be gracious towards me, 
that his anger may be turned away from me, that thou 
send me back to him, and that he may know me again 
and speak to me. 

" Yama replied : Auddaliki,- the son of Aruna, by my 
permission shall be as tender towards thee as of old. 
He shall sleep peacefully at night, and his anger shall 
pass away when he sees thee released from the power 
of Death. 

" Nachiketas said : In the sphere of paradise there is 
no fear. Thou art not there, and there man fears not 
decay. A man passes beyond both hunger and thirst, 
leaves misery behind, and rejoices in the sphere of 

"Thou, Death, knowest the sacred fire that is the means 
of winning a sojourn in paradise. Teach me about it, for 
I have faith. They that are insphered in paradise par- 
take of immortality. I choose this as the second wish. 

" Yama said : I know the fire that leads to paradise, 
and tell it to thee : therefore listen. Know that that 
fire that wins the endless sphere for him that knows 
it, the basis of the world, is seated in the heart." 

^ Such as tanks, wells, roads, bridges, gardens. 
" A name of Vajasravasa. 


The fire the knowledge of "which is recompensed by Chap. v. 
a sojourn in Svarga, the paradise of the gods, is a figura- 
tive name for Vaisviinara, Purusha, or Viraj, the divine 
soul that dwells in all that live in earthly bodies. 
Yama proceeds to teach Nachiketas the nature of that 
divine Vaisvanara. The sage is to meditate upon him- 
self as one with that mystic fire ; the seven hundred 
and twenty bricks that form the sacrificial hearth are 
the days and nights of the year, and so on. He will 
then become one with Vaisvanara. 

" He revealed to him that fire, the origin of these 
spheres of migration, and what were the bricks, and 
how many, and how laid out, in building the sacrificial 
hearth ; and Nachiketas repeated everything after him 
as he had said it. So Death was pleased, and spoke again. 

" Feeling gratified, the large-minded Yama said, I 
give thee now and here another gift : this fire shall 
be called by thy name. Take also this necklace of 
gems of various colours, 

" He that thrice performs the Nachiketa fiery rite, 
taking counsel of three, — of his father, his mother, and 
his spiritual teacher, — and fulfilling the three observ- 
ances of sacrifice, sacred study, and almsgiving, passes 
beyond birth and death. He that knows and gazes 
npon the lustrous and adorable emanation of Hiranya- 
garbha, the divine being that proceeds from Brahma 
(or Isvara), passes into peace for ever. 

" He that has performed three Nachiketa rites, and 
knows these three things, — the bricks, their number, 
and the arrangement of them, — he that thus piles up 
the Nachiketa fire, shakes off the ties of death before 
he dies, leaves his miseries behind, and rejoices in the 
sphere of paradise. 

" This is thy fire, Nachiketas, the knowledge of which 
wins paradise. This thou hast chosen as thy second 
boon, and men shall call this fire thine. Choose the 
third wish, ISTachiketas." 



Chap. Y. 

doubt of 
awaking re- 

The third gift, 
a knowledge 
of the Poul, 
and of its real 

Identification with Purusha or Yaisvanara, with its 
consequent exemption from personal experiences in 
body after body till the close of the seon, is the pro- 
mise to those that meditate on the allegory of the 
Nachiketa fire. In this there is no final release from 
metempsychosis, as the soul of the rewarded votary 
will have to enter afresh on its transit from body to 
body and sphere to sphere at the opening of the 
next seon. The third gift requested by Nachiketas is 
teaching relative to the renunciation of all things and 
the quest of the real and immortalising knowledge of 
Brahman. The form in which the request is preferred 
points to the existence of doubt and dissentiency on 
spiritual questions in the age of the Upanishads. A 
similar indication occurs in the second verse of the 
Svetasvatara Upanishad : " Is time to be thought the 
source of things, or the nature of the things them- 
selves, or the retributive fatality, or chance, or the 
elements, or the personal soul ? " Another occurs in 
the sixth Prapathaka of the Chhandogya Upanishad, 
with a reference to Buddhistic or pre-Buddhistic teach- 
inf? of the emanation of migrating souls and the 
spheres through which they migrate from an aboriginal 
void or blank : " Existent only, my son, was this in the 
beginning, one only, without duality ; but some have 
said : Non-existent only was this in the beginning, 
one only, without duality, and the existent sprang out 
of the non-existent ; but how could it be so, how could 
entity come out of nonentity ? " To return to the 
Katha Upanishad. 

" Nachiketas said : When a man is dead there is this 
doubt about him : some say that he is, and others say 
that he is no more. Let me learn how this is from 
thy teaching, and let this be the third boon." 

Some people say there is, and some say there is not, 
a Self 1 other than the body, the senses, and the mind, 

^ S'arlrend7'iyamanobuddhivyatirikto dclidntarasambandhy dtmd, San- 


that passes onward iuto another body. This is a matter Chap. v. 
that is beyond human observation and human reason- 
ing, and yet we must know it if we would know the 
highest end of man. 

" Yama said : The gods themselves have been puzzled 
about this long ago, for it is no easy thing to find out. 
This is a subtile nature. Choose another boon, Nachi- 
ketas, press me not ; but release me from this gift. 

" Nachiketas answered : As for thy saying, Death, 
that the very gods have been perplexed about this long 
ago, and that this is no easy thing to learn, — there is 
no other teacher to be found like thee, no other boon 
that shall be equal to this. 

" Yama said : Choose sons and grandsons gifted with 
a hundred years of life, many flocks and herds, ele- 
phants, and gold, and horses : choose a wide expanse 
of soil, and live thyself as many autumns as thou wilt. 

" If thou thinkest of any other gift as great, choose 
that. Choose riches and long life, and rule over a wide 
territory, and I will give thee the enjoyment of thy 

" Ask what thou wilt, ask for whatever pleasures are 
hardest to iret in the world of men. Ask for these 
nymphs, their heavenly chariots and heavenly music, 
for such as these are not to be won by men; have 
thyself waited upon by these, for I will give them; 
but ask me not about dying. 

" Nachiketas answered : These are things that may Tins prefer- 
or may not be to-morrow, and things that waste the the pleasures 
strength of all the faculties ; and every life alike is eujliy. ^ ^° ^ 
short. I leave to thee the chariots, and the singing 
and the dancing. 

" A man is not to be satisfied with wealth. We 
shall obtain wealth. If we have seen thee we shall 
live so long as thou rulest, but no more. The boon 
that I choose is preferable to this. 

" For what decaying mortal in this lower world, after 



Chap. V. 

Second Valli. 
The pleasur- 
able and the 

The litvirgic 
experts are 
blind leaders 
of the blind. 

coming into the presence of the undecaying and im- 
mortal gods, — what mortal that has knowledge, and 
that reflects upon the fleeting pleasures of beauty and 
love, would be enamoured of long life ? 

" Tell us, Death, about that great life after death 
that the gods are themselves in doubt about. Nachi- 
ketas chooses no other boon than this boon that pene- 
trates that mystery." 

So far Yama has tested the readiness of j^achiketas 
to renounce the pleasures of the world. Finding him 
ready to put away all ties, he judges that he is a fit 
disciple, and proceeds to contrast the two pursuits of 
men, the pursuit of the pleasurable, which prolongs 
the series of embodied lives, and the pursuit of the 
good, which leads to a final release from metempsy- 
chosis. Nachiketas has already chosen the pursuit of 
the good. 

II. " The good is one thing, the pleasurable another. 
Both these engage a man, though the ends are diverse. 
Of these, it is well with him that takes the good, and 
he that chooses the pleasurable fails of his purpose. 

" Both the good and the pleasurable present them- 
selves to man; and the wise man goes round about them 
both and distinguishes between them. The sage pre- 
fers the good to the pleasurable; the unwise man chooses 
the pleasurable that he may get and keep. 

" Thou, Nachiketas, hast thought upon these tender 
and alluring pleasures, and hast renounced them. 
Thou hast not chosen the path of riches, which most 
men sink in. 

" Far apart are these diverse and diverging paths, 
the path of illusion and the path of knowledge. I 
know thee, Nachiketas, that thou art a seeker of know- 
ledge, for all these various pleasures that I proposed 
have not distracted thee. 

1 " They that are infatuated, dwelling in the midst 

^ This verse occurs also in the second section of the first Mundaka. 
See above, p. loi. 


of the illusion, wise in their own eyes, and learned in Chap. v. 
their own conceit, are stricken with repeated plagues, 
and go round and round, like blind men led by the 

" Preparation for the hereafter does not suggest itself 
to the foolish youth neglecting everything in his infa- 
tuation about riches. Thinking that this life is, and 
that there is no life after this, he comes again and again 
into subjection to me. 

"The f^ood, the Self, is not reached by many that The seekers of 

° . p . , . the Self are 

they should hear it; and many liearmg of it know it few. 
not. Wonderful is he that teaches it, and wise is he 
that attains to it ; wonderful is he that knows it when 
he is taught by the wise. 

" This Self is not proclaimed by an inferior man ; 
it is not easy to know when variously thought upon. 
When it is taught by one that is one with it, there is 
no dissentiency about it. It is supersensible beyond 
the infinitesimal, and is unthinkable. 

" This idea of the Self that thou hast gained is not 
to be attained by the discursive intellect, but it is easy 
to know it when revealed by another, dearest disciple. 
Thou art truly steadfast. May I find another questioner 
equal to thee, Xachiketas ! 

" I know that the treasure of recompense is fleeting, 
for that lasting Self is not gained by transient works; 
and therefore I have piled up the Nachiketa fire, and 
have won with perishable goods a lasting sphere." 

There is an apparent inconsistency between the former 
and the latter portions of this last verse. The scholiast 
explains that the lasting sphere that Yama has attained 
by means of the Nachiketa sacrifice is the regency of 
the dead. This is said to be lasting, not as everlastin'f 
like the Self, but only as enduring throughout an seon 
until the next dissolution or collapse of all things into 
the aboriginal unity of Brahman. In the verse that 
next follows Yama commends Nachiketas for refusin'^ 


Chap. V. to be Satisfied with tlie sphere of the highest divinity 

already promised to his knowledge of the Nachiketa 

rite, and for insisting on the pursuit of a knowledge of 

Brahman, the one and only Self. 

Renunciation " Thougli thou hast seeu the consummation of desire, 

and medita- _ '^ 

tiveabstrac- the basis of the world, the lasting meed of sacrifice, the 

tion tlie only . 

path of safety, farther shore where fear is left behind, — great and 
glorious and wide-spread, a place to stand upon, — yet, 
Nachiketas, thou hast renounced it all, wise in thy 

" By spiritual abstraction the sage recognises the 
primeval divine Self, invisible, unfathomable ; put out 
of sight by things of sense, but seated in the heart, 
dwelling in the recesses of the mind ; and on recoguis- 
ing it he bids farewell to joy and sorrow. 

" When a mortal man has heard this, and grasped it 
on all sides, and parted Self from all that is not Self, 
and reached this subtile essence, he rejoices at it, for he 
has won pure bliss. I know thee, Nachiketas, to be a 
habitation open to that spiritual essence. 

" Nachiketas said : Tell me about that which thou 

seest, which is apart from good and apart from evil, 

apart from the create and the uncreate, apart from that 

which has been and that which is to be. 

The mystic " Yama Said : I will tell thee briefly the utterance 

syllable Om . i-i 

must be em- that all the Vedas celebrate, which all modes of self- 

ployed by the . j • ■ ^ ^ ■ ^ ^^ 

set-kerofthe cocrcion proclaim, and aspiring to which men live as 
celibate votaries of sacred science. It is Om. 

" This mystic utterance is Brahma, this mystic utter- 
ance is Brahman. He that has this has all that he 
would have. 

'•' This is the best reliance, this is the highest reliance ; 
he that knows this reliance is glorified in the sphere of 

The repetition of the mystic monosyllable and medi- 
tation upon it, is said to raise the less skilful aspirants ^ 

^ The mandddJukdrin and madhyamddhikdrin. 



to the paradise of Bralimii, the highest of the deities, Crap. v. 
the first emanation out of the divine Self. To the 
higher order of aspirants ^ it serves as a help on the 
way to knowledge of Brahman, and extrication from 
the miseries of metempsychosis, as being an image or a 
substitute for the characterless Self. 

" This Self is not born, and dies not; it is omniscient. 
It proceeds from none, and none proceeds from it ; it is 
without be:iinning and without end, unfailing from 
before all time. It is not killed when the body is 

" If the slayer think to slay, and if the slain think 
that he is slain, they neither of them know the Self 
that they are. This neither slays nor is slain, 

" Lesser than the least and greater than the greatest, Antitiietic 

1-0-.P- -,• IT T- epithetsof the 

this Self IS seated m the heart of every living thing, seif. 
This the passionless sage beholds and his sorrows are 
left behind ; in the limpid clearness of his faculties he 
sees the greatness of the Self. 

" Motionless it moves afar, sleeping it goes out on 
every side. Who but I can know that joyful and 
joyless deity ? 

" It is bodiless and in all bodies, unchanging and in 
all changing things. The sage that knows himself to 
be the infinite, all-pervading Self, no longer sorrows." 

The scholiasts remark that contradictory attributes 
are simultaneously predicable of the Self, as, on the 
one hand, it is the characterless Self per se, and as, on 
the other hand, it is the Self present in this or that 
fictitious embodiment. The Self may thus be likened 
to a colourless gem reflecting the various hues of the 
things that are nearest to it, or to a magic crystal,^ 
presenting to the spectator the various things he may 
choose to think about. The pure indifference alone is 
true, the differences are illusory, mere figments of the 
cosmical illusion. 

^ UUamddhikdrin. * Cliintdmani. 


Chap. V, ^" This Self is not attainable by learning, by memory, 
TheSdTniani- ^J mucli sacred study ; but if he chooses this Self it 
tiTe purified'' ^s attainable by him : the Self itself manifests its own 
:ispirant. esseuce to him. 

" Neither he that has not ceased from evil, nor he that 
ceases not from sensations, nor he that is not concen- 
trated, nor he whose mind is not quiescent, can reach 
this Self by spiritual insight. 

" Who in this way knows where that Self is, of 
which Brahman and Kshatriya are the food and death 
the condiment ? " 

All personal distinctions are merged in the cha- 
racterless impersonality of the Self. Brahman ^ and 
Kshatriya, and death itself that swallows all, are 
swallowed up and reabsorbed into it, at the close of 
every aeon. To return to the text. 
Third vaiii. III. " The universal and the individual souls residing 
souVandthe" iH the cavity, in the ether of the heart, in the same 
^^ol\d.^^^ body, drink in the recompense of works. Sages that 
know the Self, householders that keep up the five 
sacred fires,^ and worshippers who have thrice per- 
formed the Nachiketa rite, — alike pronounce that these 
imiversal and the individual souls are like shade and 

Properly speaking, it is only the individual soul that 
has fruition of its works in body after body. The 
visible body is the place of pleasures and pains.* The 
universal soul, or Isvara, abides together with it in the 
heart, the regulator of its actions and witness of its 
experiences, as is set forth in the simile of the two 
birds in the first section of the third Mundaka. The 
individual soul differs from the universal as shade from 

^ This verse occurs also in the each fralaya or period of uni- 

second section of the third Mun- versal collapse. 
daka. See above, p. no. _ •* The five fires known as An va- 

^ Brahman, manifested as Is- haryapachana, Garhapatya, Aha- 

vara, is here spoken of as the vii- vaniya, Sabhya, and Avasathya. 
vasamhartri, as ■ retracting all * Sukltaduhkhdyatana, bhoga- 

things into its own essence at yatana. 


sunshine, the individual soul migrating from body to chap. v. 
body, and the universal soul being free from such 

" We know and can pile up the Nachiketa fire, tlie 
bridge that leads the sacrificers to the sphere of the 
highest deity; and we also know the undecaying, 
highest Self, the farther shore beyond all fear for those 
that will to cross the sea of metempsychosis." 

There now follows the celebrated simile of the cha- 
riot.^ The migrating soul is compared to a person in 
a chariot; the body is the chariot, the mind is the 
charioteer, the common sensory or will the reins, the 
senses the horses. The soul drives in this chariot 
either along the path of metempsychosis, or along the 
road of liberation from further embodiments. 

" Know that the soul is seated in a chariot, and that Aiiegory of 
the body is that chariot. Know that the mind is the ^ '^ '*"° " 
charioteer, and that the will is the reins. 

" They say that the senses are the horses, and that 
the thin<Ts of sense are the road. The wise declare 


that the migrating soul is the Self fictitiously present 
in the body, senses, and common sensory. 

'• Now if the charioteer, the mind, is unskilful, and 
the reins are always slack, his senses are ever unruly, 
like horses that will not obey tlie charioteer. 

" But if the charioteer is skilful, and at all times 
firmly holds the reins, his senses are always manageable, 
like horses that obey the charioteer. 

" If the mind, the charioteer, lacks knowledge, and 
does not firmly hold the will, and is always defi- 
cient in purity, the soul fails to reach the goal, and 
returns to further transmigration. 

"But if the charioteer has knowledge, and firmly The goal is r 
holds the will, and is at all times pure, the soul then metemp^- 
arrives at the goal, and on reaching it is never born again. un*ion witb^" 

" The soul whose charioteer is skilful and holds ^^^ ^^"• 

^ Baiharupaka. 


Chap. y. firmly the reins of the will, reaches the further term of 
its migration, the sphere of Vishnu the supreme. 

" For their objects are beyond and more subtile than 
the senses, the common sensory is beyond the objects, 
the mind is beyond the sensory, and the great soul 
Hiranyagarbha is beyond the mind. 

" The ultimate and undeveloped principle^ is beyond 
that great soul, and Purusha,^ the Self, is beyond the 
undeveloped principle. Beyond Purusha there is 
nothing ; that is the goal, that is the final term. 

" This Self is hidden in all living things, it shines 
not forth ; but it is seen by the keen and penetrating 
mind of those that see into the supersensible. 

" Let the sage refund his voice into his inner sense, 
his inner sense into his conscious mind ; let him refund 
his mind into the great soul, and let him refund the 
great soul into the quiescent Self. 
The path of " Arise, awakc, go to the great teachers and learn, 
"^s theVdge'o'f The wise affirm this to be a sharp razor's edge hard to 
walk across, a difficult path. 

" When a man has seen the Self, inaudible, intan- 
gible, colourless, undecaying, imperishable, odourless, 
without beginning and without end, beyond the mind, 
ultimate and immutable, — when he has seen that, he 
escapes the power of death. 

" The sage that hears and recites this primeval nar- 
rative that Death recited and Nachiketas heard is 
worshipped as in the sphere of Self. 

" If the purified sage rehearse this highest mystery 
before an assembly of Brahmans, or to those present 
at a Sraddha ceremony, it avails to endless recompense, 
it avails to endless recompense." 

Self is said to be hidden within all living things, as 
lying veiled beneath those fictitious presentments of the 
senses that make up the experience of common life. 

^ Maya, Avidya, the world-fiction, the cosmical illusion. 
^ Purusha is here synonymous with Brahman. 


a razor. 


The aspirant to extrication from metempsychosis is to Chap. v. 
melt away the visible and nameable semblances that 
hide it from him ; to cease to see the figments, and to 
see only that which they replace ; as a man may cease 
to see the waters of the mirage, and may come to see 
the sands of the desert in place of which they have 
fictitiously presented themselves to his illusive vision. 
The varied phases of fictitious life, and the varied 
elemental environments of migrating souls, are to be 
set aside bv progressive abstraction aud ecstatic vision ; 
they are like so many webs of finer and finer tissue 
woven across and across the Self, and veiling it from 
heedless eyes. In the descending order each successive 
manifestation is more and more concrete; in the ascend- 
inf^ order each is more and more simple, fine, or subtile. 
In the progress of abstraction each later is melted 
away into each earlier manifestation ; the mind of the 
aspirant rises to more and more subtile and supersen- 
sible emanations, until he arrives at that which lies 
beyond them all, the Self that emanates from nothing, 
and cannot be melted away into any principle from 
which it has emanated. In a new metaphor he is then xiie liberated 
said to have awakened from his dreaming vision of the wakes up out 
fi<jments of the world-fiction to the intuition of his woridlnt^'*'"' 
true nature as one with the characterless and imper- '"^''^ ^"'^" 
sonal spiritual essence. To return to the text. 

IV. "The self-existent Isvara has suppressed the Fourth vam. 
senses that go out towards the things of sense. These 
senses then go out, not inwards to the Self. Here and 
there a wise man with the craving for immortality has 
closed his eyes and seen the Self. 

" The unwise follow after outward pleasures and enter 
into the net of wide-spread death ; but the wise, who 
know what it is to be immortal, seek not for the imper- 
ishable amidst the things that perish." 

Tiie net of death is metempsychosis, the endless suc- 
cession of birth and death, decay and sickness. To be 



Chap. V. immortal is not to be as the gods are, who live till the 
close of a period of evolution, but to be at one with 
the transcendent Self. The state of the gods is said to 
be a relative immortality:^ they are implicated in me- 
tempsychosis until they liberate themselves by self- 
suppression and ecstatic meditation. 

" What is left over as unknown to that Self by which 
the soul knows colour and taste and smell and sound 
and touch ? This is tliat." 

This is that, this is the imperishable principle in 

man, as to the existence of which the gods themselves 

are said to have been puzzled, the principle about 

which Nachiketas has inquired, the spiritual reality 

that manifests itself in the world of semblances. 

The sage " He that kuows that this living soul that eats the 

of"dlTth^and* boney of recompense, and is always near, is the Self, and 

has .10 fear. ^^^^^ i|- jg ^]^g Jq^.^j ^f ^^ ^-^^^^ ^11 that has been and all 

that is to be, no longer seeks to protect himself from 
anvthins^. This is that." 

The sage that knows that his true nature is imperish- 
able, and that his bodily life is only a source of misery, 
is exempt from fear, and there are no longer any perils 
against which he can seek to protect himself. He has 

won — 

" A clear escape from tyrannising lust, 
And full immunity from penal woe ; " 

and is one with the universal soul, the deity that makes 
the world, and one with Brahman. 

" He sees the Self who sees Hiranyagarbha, that 
emanated from the self-coercion of Is vara, that came 
forth before the elements, that has entered into the 
cavity of the heart, and there abides with living crea- 
tures. This is that. 

" He sees the Self who sees Aditi, one with all the 
gods, who emanated out of Hiranyagarbha, and has 

^ ApehsliiJcam amritatvam. Ahhutasamplavam avasthanam amrita- 
tvam hi bhdihyate. 


entered into the cavity of the heart, and there abides Chap. v. 
with liviniT creatures. This is that. 

" A<:[ni, the fire that is hidden in the fire-drills as the 
unborn child within the mother, to be adored day by 
day by men as they wake and as they offer their obla- 
tions, — this is that." 

Agni the fire-god, worshipped in the Vedic sacrifices, 
is here identified with Hiranyagarbha, as also the fire 
within the heart meditated upon by the self-torturing 
mvstic or Yocrin. Hiranvatzarbha is said to be one with 
Brahman, as an earring is one with the gold of which 
it is made. 

" All the gods are based upon that divine being 
Hiranvaciarbha, out of whom the sun rises, into whom 
the sun sets. No one is beyond identity with that 
divine being. This is that. 

" What the Self is in the world, that is it outside the 
world ; and what it is outside the world, that it is in 
the world. From death to death he goes who looks on 
this as manifold." 

The Self manifested in every form of life, from a tuft Jt if illusion 

•^ that presents 

of crrass up to the highest deitv, and passing in sem- nie manifow 

o r o •'' •iioiip 01 experience 

blance from body to body, is the same with the Self 
outside the world. Brahman per se, the characterless 
thought beyond the fictions of metempsychosis. He 
that sees in his individual soul an entity apart from 
the universal soul, and other than the one impersonal 
Self, retains his fictitious individuality, and must pass 
from body to body so long as he retains it. Let a man 
therefore see that he is one with the one reality, the 
characterless thought, that is, like the ether that is 
everywhere, a continuous plenitude of being. It is 
only illusion^ that presents the variety of experience, a 
variety that melts away into unity on the rise of the 
ecstatic vision. The many pass, the one abides. 

" It is to be reached only with the inner sense ; there 

^ Kdndtvapratyupasthdpikd 'vidyd. 


Chap. V. is nothing in it that is manifold. From death to death 
he goes who looks on this as manifold. 

" Puriisha, the Self, is within the midst of the body, 

of the size of a thumb, the lord of all that has been and 

of all that is to be. He that knows this seeks no longer 

to protect himself. This is that. 

Purushaor « Purusha, of the size of a thumb, is like a smokeless 

brahman is ' 

pure light. lirrbt, the lord of all that has been and of all that is to 
be. This alone is to-dav and is to-morrow. This is 

" He that looks upon his bodily manifestations as 
other than the Self, passes into them again and again, 
as rain that has fallen on a hill loses itself among the 

" The soul of the sage that knows the unity of souls 
in the Self, is like pure water poured out upon a level 

The Self is figuratively said to be of the size of a 
thumb, inasmuch as it is manifested in the mind, and 
the mind is lodged in the cavity of the heart ; in the 
same way as the ether within a hollow cane may be 
said to be of the same size as the hollow, whereas in 
propriety this ether is one with the ether present every- 
where, one and undivided. The soul of the sage that 
sees the unity of all things is compared to pure water 
upon a level surface, as having returned to its proper 
nature of pure undifferenced thinking. It is a unifor- 
mity of thought in which every particular character of 
thought has been suppressed. 
Fifth Vaiu. V- " The sage who meditates upon his body as an 

eleven-gated city for the Self, without beginning, and 
of changeless thought, ceases to sorrow, is already 
liberated, and liberated once for all. This is that. 
Various mani- " ^his is the all-pcrmeating Self; it is the sun in the 
Purushaor°^ fimiauient, the air in middle space, the fire on this 
Brahman. earth as its altar ; it is the guest in the house ; it 
dwells in men, it dwells in the gods, it dwells in the 


sacrifices, it dwells in the sky ; it is born in the waters Chap. v. 
in the shapes of aquatic animals, it is bom on the earth 
as barley, rice, and every other plant, it is born in the 
sacrificial elements, it is born on the mountains in the 
form of rivers. It is the true, the infinite. 

" It impels the breath upwards, it impels the descend- 
ing air of life downwards. All the senses bring their 
offerincfs to this adorable being seated in the midst of 
the heart. 

" When the spirit that is in the perishing body is 
parted from it, what is left of the body ? This is that. 

" No mortal lives by his breath or by the descend- 
ing vital air. They live by another principle in which 
these vital airs reside." 

The scholiasts remark of the last three verses that vedantic 
they srive the proofs of the existence of the Self. These existence of 
proofs are these : — The activities of the vital airs (on 
which, in Indian physiology, the functions of the viscera 
are said to depend), and the functions of the senses and 
the muscles, are for the sake of some conscious prin- 
ciple ulterior to themselves; the activity of unconscious 
thinsTS beinsr instrumental to the ends of conscious 

o o 

beings, as the activity of a chariot is instrumental to 
the ends of the person driving in it. Again, the body 
implies a conscious tenant, as it loses all sense of 
pleasure and pain on the departure of that tenant. 
Again, the body is composite, and everything composite 
exists for the sake of something ulterior to itself, — a bed 
for the sake of the sleeper, a house for the sake of the 
inmates, and so forth. That there is an ultimate prin- 
ciple of reality beyond the plurality of experience, is 
proved by the fact that the last residuum of all abstrac- 
tion is entity. After all differences have one by one 
been thrown away, the mind remains to the last filled 
with the idea of being. And this ultimate reality is 
proved to be spiritual, by that power of intuition to 
which the aspirant to extrication may rise even in this 


Chap. V, life. He comes to see the light within the heart, the 

~ light of consciousness in which the modes of mind are 

manifested. He puts away the duality of subject and 

object as the fictitious outflow of the world-fiction,^ and 

recovers the characterless bliss of unity, the fulness 

of joy that is the proper nature of the soul as Self. 

Every phase of happiness ^ in everyday experience is 

only a fictitious portion of that total blessedness, and 

everything that is dear to us is dear only as it is one 

with us in the unity of the beatific Self.^ To return to 

the text. 

What becomes " Lo, Gautama, I will again proclaim to thee this 

death. mvstcry, the everlasting Self, and how it is with the 

Self after death. 

" Some souls pass to another birth to enter into 
another bodv, and some enter into vegetable lives, 
according to their works, and according to their know- 

" The spirit that is awake in those that sleep, fashion- 
ing to itself enjoyment after enjoyment, — this is the 
pure Self, this is the immortal ; on this the spheres of 
recompense are based ; beyond this none can pass. This 
is that. 
The Self isiike " As ouc and the Same fire pervades a house and 
fire! OT^ikTa sliapcs itsclf to the shape of everything, so the one Self 
mo'i'phere!''*" that Is in all living things shapes itself to all their 
several shapes, and is at the same time outside them. 

" As one and the same atmosphere pervades a house 

and shapes itself to the shape of everything, so the one 

Self that is in all living things shapes itself to all their 

several shapes, and is at the same time outside them. 

Simile of the " As the sun, the eye of all the world, is unsullied by 

bytheirnpuri- visiblc cxtcmal impuritics, so the one Self that is within 

tics it looks 
down upou. 

' Niraste 'vid)/dl-rite vishayavis- ^ Lauliho hy dnando brahman- 

hayivihlidge vidyayd svdhhdvil-ah andasj/aira mdtrd. 

parlpurna eka dnando ^dvaite bha- " * Atmaprltisddhanatvdd gaunt 

vati. anyatra prltih. 


all livincr thinirs is not soiled by the miseries of migra- chap. v. 
tion, and is external to them. 

" The wise see within their own heart the one and 
only lord, the Self that is in all living things, that makes 
its one form to become many ; and everlasting bliss is 
for them and not for others 

u Tl 

The wise see within their own heart the one thing Everlasting 

, . peace is for 

that perishes not in all things that perish ; the one thnig them only 
that fives li^-ht in all things that have no light; the one iightof the 

o ° '^ , world iu then 

'='=-' , world in tli 

beino- that gives the recompense to many ; ana peace own hearts 
eternal is for them and not for others. 

" This is that, so think they ; this is the unspeakable, 
the bliss above all bliss. How shall I come to know 
that bliss ? does it shine forth, does it reveal itself ? 

" iThe sun gives no light to that, nor the moon and 
stars ; neither do these lightnings light it up ; how then 
should this fire of ours ? All things shine after it as it 
shines, all this world is radiant with its light. 

"VI. This everlasting holy fig-tree stands with roots sixth Vuiii. 
above, with branches downwards. Its root is that pure 
Self, that immortal principle. All the spheres of recom- 
pense have grown up upon it, and no man can pass 
beyond it. This is that. 

" All this world, whatever is, trembles in that living 
breath; it has come forth and stirs with life. They 
that know this, the great awe, the uplifted thunderbolt, 
become immortal. 

"-In awe of this, fire gives heat; in awe of this, the 
sun scorches; in awe of this speed Indra and Vayu, 
and the Death-god speeds besides those other four. 

" If a man has been able to see this in this life before 
his body falls away from him, he is loosed from future 
embodiments. If not, he is fated to further embodi- 
ments in future ages and future spheres of recompense. 

1 This verse occurs also in the " A similar verse occurs in the 

second section of the second Mun- Taittiriya Upanishad. See above, 
daka. See above, p. 106. p. 82. 


Chap. V. " This Self is seen in the heart as in a mirror, in the 
sphere of the forefathers as in a dream, in the sphere of 
the Gandharvas as on a watery surface, in the sphere 
of Brahma as in lioht and shade." 
The world-tree Brahman, it has been seen, is the seed of the world- 
irom which it tree, and Maya is the power of growth residing in the 
spimgs. seed. Here Brahman is said to be the root of the 

world-tree. The world of semblances is a tree, and may 
be cut down with the hatchet of ecstatic vision. It 
grows up upon Brahman as its root, out of the world- 
fiction Maya as its seed. Hiranyagarbha is the sprout- 
ing seed. It is watered by the cravings of migrating 
souls, whose actions through the law of retribution pro- 
long the existence of the spheres of metempsychosis. 
Its fruits are the pleasure and pains of living things. 
The spheres of recompense are the nests in which 
deities and migrating souls dwell like birds. It rustles 
with the cries, the weeping, and the laughter, of the 
souls in pain or for the moment happy. It is like a 
holy fig-tree in constant agitation, tremulous to the 
breeze of emotion and of action. Its pendulous branches 
are the paradises, places of torment, and spheres of 
good and evil recompense. It is in constant growth 
and change, varying from moment to moment. It is 
unreal as the imagery of a reverie, as the waters of a 
mirage, and vanishes away in the light of intuition of 
the one and only truth, the Self beyond it. The Self 
in its earliest manifestation as Isvara is the great awe ; 
the being in fear of whom the sun and moon and stars, 
and all the powers of nature, perform their never-ceasing 
ministrations. The sage is urged to strive with all his 
force to rise to the intuition of the Self, before he quits 
his present body. In this life he can see the light 
within his heart in the polished mirror of a puritied 
mind. In the sphere of the Pitris or forefathers of the 
tribes, to which the soul of the worshipper of the deities 
proceeds, he can see it faintly and dimly only as in a 


dream, for in that sphere the soul is engrossed in the chap. v. 
enjoyment of its reward. In the sphere of the Gand- 
harvas, he can see it only fitfully reflected as on a 
ruffled sheet of water. In the sphere of Brahma, the 
highest deity, it may indeed be seen as a thing is seen 
in the sunlight and in the shade, hut this sphere is 
promised only to tlie rarest merit, and the sage may 
fail to win it. To return to the text. 

" The wise man knows that the senses are not him- 
self, and that they rise and set as they have severally 
issued forth, and knowing this he grieves no more. 

" The inner sensory is beyond the senses, the mind 
is higher than the inner sensory, the great soul Hiran- 
vao-arbha is hifdier than the mind, and the undeveloped 
principle ^ is higher than that great soul. 

" Tne supreme Purusha ^ is beyond the undeveloped 
principle, pervading all things, characterless; and the 
mi^ratino' soul that knows this Purusha is loosed from 
metempsychosis, and passes into immortality. 

" Its form is not in anything visible: no man has seen The seif is to 

•^ ^ . J . , be seen oiilv 

this Self with his eyes: it is seen as revealed by tne as mirrored on 

..... rni 1 the purified 

heart, the miud, the spiritual intuition, liiey tiiat mind <.f the 

' . aspiraut. 

know this Self become immortal. 

"When the five senses and the inner sense are at 
rest, and when the mind ceases to act, they call this 
the highest state. 

"Thev account this motionless suspension of the senses Ecstatic 

•^ . . vision, and 

to be the ecstatic union. This is tlie unintermitteut the recovery 

1 1 • J '^^ immor- 

union, for union has its furtherances and hindrances. taiity. 

" The Self is not to be reached with voice, or thought, 
or eye. How shall it be known otherwise than as he 
knows it who says only that it is ? 

" It is, — only thus is the Self to be known, and as 
that which is true in both that which is and that which 
is not. Its real nature reveals itself only when it is 
known as that which is. 

1 Maya. ^ Brahman. 


Chap. V. " When all the desires that lie in his heart are shaken 

off, the mortal becomes immortal, and in this life rejoins 

the Self. 

" When all his heart's ties already in this life are 

broken off, the mortal becomes immortal This is the 

whole of the sacred doctrine." 

Apathy, The aspirant must become passionless. If he de- 

vacuity, and . 1 • 1 -n • 1 • • c 1 

trance, the Sire anything he will act to get it, and action is loi- 

steps of access , ,, ... . „ ,, ,,, 

to the Self, lowed by recompense in this or m a future body. All 
desire arises from the illusion by which a man views 
his animated organism as himself. Action, good and 
evil alike, serves only to prolong the miseries of migra- 
tion, by giving rise to retributive experience. The 
aspirant must learn the falsity of plurality, the ficti- 
tious nature of the duality in experience, and the sole 
reality of the supersensible and unitary Self. He must 
crush every sense and suppress every thought, that his 
mind may become a mirror to reflect the pure, charac- 
terless being, thought, and bliss. Its everyday expe- 
rience is a dream of the soul, and it is only by sup- 
pressing this experience that it awakes to its proper 
nature. It is true that the Self is not to be reached by 
desire or thought; but if it be argued that it is not, 
for if it were it would be reached, the reply, says San- 
kaiacharya, is as follows. The Self is, for it may be 
reached as the ultimate principle from which all tilings 
have emanated. Refund by progressive efforts of ab- 
straction each successive entity in the w^oiid of sem- 
blances into the entity out of which it emanated; 
ascend through the series of emanations to the more 
and more rarefied, the less and less determinate ; do 
this, and you will find, at the end of this process, the 
idea of bein<T. The final mode of mind is not uon- 
entity but entity.^ The mind, after thus resolving all 
things into the things from which thev came, is itself 

^ Yaddpi vishayapravildpanena pravildpyamdnd buddhis taddpi sd 
satpratyayagarbhaiva villyate. 


resolved ; yet as it melts away it melts away in the Chap, v. 
form of existence and full of the idea of being ; and 
the mind is our only informant as to what is and is 
not. Again, another reply is, that if non-existence were 
the root of the world, all the things of the world that 
have successively come into manifestation would mani- 
fest themselves us non-existent. This is not the case ; 
these thinors manifest themselves as existent, as an 


earthenware vessel manifests itself as made of earth. 
It is only as apart from that which underlies them 
that these things are non-existent, " a modification of 
speech only, a change, a name." The Self is " true in 
both that which is, and that wliich is not," it is true in 
its proper nature as the fontal characterless essence, 
and true underneath the figments of the world-fiction 
that illusively overspread it. The desires are said to 
lie in the heart. The feelings, passions, thoughts, and 
volitions are modes of mind, and the mind is lodged in 
the heart. When these modes are blown out like a 
lamp, the personality passes away into the imperson- 
ality of Brahman. To proceed with the text. 

" There are a hundred and one arteries to the heart, The sours 

, /^ • path of egress 

and one of these issues up through the head. Cromg and ascent t., 

tns courts ot 

upwards by that artery a sage ascends to immortality. Brahma. 
The other arteries proceed in all directions." 

The coronal artery, sushumna, is the passage by which 
the soul of the aspirant to extrication from metempsy- 
chosis ascends to the sphere of Brahma, there to sojourn 
till it wills its reabsorption into the pure spiritual 
essence Brahman. The other arteries are the passages 
through which the soul issues out to new embodiments. 

" Of the size of a thumb, the Purusha, the Self within, 
is ever seated in the hearts of living things. The sage 
should patiently extract it from his body, as he might 
extract the pith out of a reed ; and he should learn that 
that Self is pure and immortal, pure and immortal. 

" Thus Nachiketas received this gnosis revealed by 


Chap. V. the god of death, together with all the precepts for 
ecstatic uniou ; he reached the Self, and became free 
from good and evil, and immortal ; and so will any 
other sage become who thus knows the fontal spiritual 

" May he preserve us both, may he reward us both. 
May we put forth our strength together, and may that 
which we recite be efficacious. May we never feel 
enmity against each other. Om. Peace, peace, peace. 
Hari. Om." 

The formula with which the Katha Upanishad closes 
has already several times occurred in these pages. It 
is intended to secure the co-operation of the universal 
soul or Demiurgus, and the safe tradition and recep- 
tion of its doctrines of gnosis and ecstatic vision by 
teacher and disciple. 
The allegory Oue of the most Striking passages in this Upanishad 

of the chariot ., ,, ., ,..,,., . „,, 

.•ompared IS the ailcgory 01 the chariot m the third section. Ihe 
toni^, figure m migrating soul is said to be seated in the body as in 
a chariot. The mind is the charioteer, the will is the 
reins, the senses are the horses, and the journey is 
either towards fresh embodiments or towards release 
from metempsychosis. This allegory of the chariot 
has often been compared with the Platonic figure in 
the Phsedrus, in which the souls of gods and of men in 
the ante-natal state are pictured as a charioteer in a 
chariot with a pair of winged horses. The charioteer 
is the reason. In the chariots of the gods both horses 
are excellent, with perfect wings ; in the human chariot 
one of the horses is white and fully winged, the other 
black and unruly, with imperfect or half-grown wings. 
The white horse typifies the rational impulse, and the 
black violent and rebellious horse represents the sen- 
sual and concupiscent elements of human nature. In 
these chariots gods and men ascend to the vision of 
the intelligible archetypes of things, men for ever 
slipping down again to intercourse only with the things 


of sense, to feed upon opinion, and no longer upon Chap. v. 

" Now the winged horses and cliarioteers of the gods 
are all of them good and of good breed, while those of 
men are mixed. We have a charioteer who drives them 
in a pair, and one of them is excellent and of excellent 
origin, and the other is base and of base origin; and 
necessarily it is hard and troublesome to manage them. 
The teams of the gods, evenly poised, glide upwards in 
obedience to the rein; but the others have a difficulty, 
for the horse that has evil in him, if he has not been 
thoroughly broken in by the charioteer, goes heavily, 
inclining towards the earth, and depressing the driver." 
The gods ascend to the heaven above the heavens, 
the place of pure truth, and there contemplate the 
colourless and figureless ideas. " This is the life of the 
o-ods, but of the other souls that which follows the gods 
best and is likest to them lifts the head of the charioteer 
into the outer region, and is carried round in the revo- 
lution of the worlds, troubled with the horses, and 
seeino- the ideas with difficultv. Another rises above 
and dips below the surface of the upper and outer region, 
and sees and again fails to see, owing to the restiveness 
of its team. The rest of the souls are also longing 
after the upper world, and they all follow ; but not 
being strong enough, they sink below the surface as 
they are carried round, plunging, treading on one an- 
other, striving to be first. There is confusion, and 
conflict, and the extremity of effort, and many of them 
are lamed or have their wings broken through the ill- 
driving of the charioteers ; and all of them, after a long 
toil, depart without being initiated into the spectacle 
of being, and after their departure are fain to feed upon 
the food of opinion. The reason wliy the souls show 
this great eagerness to see the field of truth is that 
pasturage is found in that meadow suited to the highest 
part of the soul, and to the growth of the pinions on 


Chap. V. which the soul flies lightly upwards. And the law of 
Xemesis is this, that the soul which, in company with 
the gods, has seen something of the truth, shall remain 
unharmed until the next great revolution of the world, 
and the soul that is able always to do so shall be un- 
harmed for ever. But when a soul is unable to keep 
pace, and fails to see, and through some mishap is filled 
with forgetfulness and vice, and weighed down, and 
sheds its plumage, and falls to the earth beneath the 
weight, the law is that this soul shall not in its first birth 
pass into the shape of any other animal, but only into 
that of man. The soul that has seen most of truth 
shall come to the birth as a philosopher, or lover of 
beauty, or musician, or amorist; that which has seen 
truth in the second deforce shall be a righteous kins, or 
warrior, or lord ; the soul that is of a third order shall 
be a politician, or economist, or trader ; the fourth shall 
be a lover of hard exercise, or gymnast, or physician ; 
the fifth shall have the life of a soothsaver or hiero- 
phant ; to the sixth the life of a poet or some kind of 
imitator will be suitable ; to the seventh the life of an 
artisan or husbandman ; to the eighth that of a pro- 
fessor or a people's man ; to the ninth that of a tyrant. 
In all these varieties of life he who lives righteously 
obtains a better lot, and he who lives unrighteously a 
worse one." The soul of him that has never seen a 
glimpse of truth will pass into the human form, but 
into some lower form of life. " The intellect of the 
philosopher alone recovers its wings, for it is ever 
dwelling in memory upon those essences, the vision 
of which makes the gods themselves divine. He is 
ever being initiated into perfect mysteries, and alone 
becomes truly perfect. But as he forgets human inte- 
rests and is rapt in the divine, the many think tliat 
he is beside himself and check him ; they fail to see 
tliat he is inspired." 




" The thing visible, nay the thing imagined, the thing in any ■way- 
conceived as visible, what is it but a garment, a clothing of the higher 
celestial, invisible, unimaginable, formless, dark with excess of bright. 
This so solid-seeming world, after all, is but an air-image over Me, the 
only reality ; and nature, with its thousand-fold production and de- 
struction, but the reflex of our own inward force, the phantasy of our 
dream ; or what the earth-spirit in Faust names it, the living visible 
garment of God : — 

" In being's flood, in action's storm, 
I walk and work, above, beneath. 
Work and weave in endless motion, 
Birth and death. 
An infinite ocean ; 
A seizing and a giving 
The fire of living : 
Tis thus that at the roaring loom of time I ply. 
And weave for God the garment thou seest him by." 

— Caeltle. 

Many of the most impressive utterances of the primi- chap. vi. 
tive Indian philosophy are to be found in the Brihad- 
aranvaka Upanishad, a long treatise on the science of 
Brahman, forming the last portion of the Satapatha- 
hrahmana, the legendary and liturgic dissertation an- 
nexed to the Yajasaneyisamhita, or so-called White 
Eecension of the Yajurveda. A passage treating of 
renunciation, ecstasy, and the liberation of the soul 
has been already laid before the reader in the third 
chapter of this work. The present chapter will present 
the greater part of the narratives and dialogues of this 
Upanishad that relate to the revelation of the Self, 


Chap. VI. with a few words of explanation from the scholiasts 

interposed from time to time. 

The Brihatinr- The earlier part of the Brihadaranyaka TJpanishad, 

suad. * ^*"' setting forth the mystic significance of the Asvamedha 

or horse-sacrifice, and relating the generation of the 

world by Prajapati or Purusha, may be passed over. 

The first extract selected is the dialogue between 

Gargya and Ajatasatru. It is as follows : — 

Diaiocnie of " Oiice upon a time there lived the proud son of 

and the Gar- ijalaka, a Uargya, an able reciter or ancient learning. 

On a particular occasion he visited Ajatasatru, the 

Paja of Kasi, and said : Let me expound Brahman to 

you. Ajatasatru replied : I will give you a thousand 

head of cattle as a return for your instruction, for 

people go about with the idea that a liberal man is the 

best disciple. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Puruslia, the 
divine spirit that is in the sun, as the Self. Ajatasatru 
said : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as that. I 
meditate upon the Self as that which stands beyond, 
the head of all things, the king of all thinrrs. He that 
meditates upon the Self in this manner stands beyond, 
the head of all things, the king of all thinjrs." 

The being that the Gargya identifies with the Self 
is his own individual soul, Brahman as it is manifested 
in the sun and in the eye, and that through the eye 
has entered into the hearts of living things, and seems 
to know and act and suffer in the world of semblances. 
He finds the Self in his om'u body and senses. 
Ajatasatru at once rejects this presentation of the Self 
as inadequate ; he himself already meditates upon the 
Self in a higher manifestation. ^It is a Hindu maxim 
that a man rises to that grade of being under which he 
meditates upon Brahman. The Gargya proceeds to 
enumerate a variety of other manifestations under 
which he meditates upon the sole spiritual essence. 

^ Yathd yatho 'paste tad eva bhavati. 


As ill the first instance he found Brahman in the sun Chap. vi. 
and in the organ of vision, of which the sun-god is the ~~ 
tutehiry deity, so next he finds Brahman in the moon 
and in the inner sense or common sensory, of which 
the moon-god is the tutehiry deity. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 
divine being that is in the moon, as the Self. Ajatasatru 
said : Nav, never teach me of such a Self as that. I 
meditate upon the Self as the great, white-robed Soma, 
the king. If a man meditate upon the Self in this 
wise, his soma libation is pressed out and poured forth 
day by day, and his food does not fail. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 
divine being that is in the lightning, as the Self. 
Ajatasatru said : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as 
tliat. I meditate upon the Self as the glorious being. 
He that meditates upon the Self in this wise becomes 
glorious, and his progeny becomes glorious. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 
divine being that is in the ether, as the Self. Ajatasatru 
said : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as that. I 
meditate upon that which fills all things and is inopera- 
tive as the Self. He that meditates upon the Self in 
this wise has the fulness of offspring and of flocks and 
herds, and his posterity is never cut off in this world. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 
divine being that is in the air, as the Self. Ajatasatru 
said : Nav, never teach me of such a Self as that. I 
meditate upon the Self as Indra the unassailable, and 
as the never-vanquished host of the Maruts. He that 
meditates upon the Self in this wise becomes an in- 
vincible victor, the vanquisher of the aliens. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, 
the divine being that is in fire, as the Self. Ajatasatru 
said : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as that. I 
meditate u})on the Self as the sustainer. He that 
meditates upon the Self in this way becomes a sus- 



Chap. VI. tainer of things, and his posterity become sustainers of 


" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 
divine being that is in water, as the Self. Ajata^atru 
replied : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as that. I 
meditate upon the Self as that which is in conformity 
with prescriptive ordinances. If a man meditate upon 
the Self in this wise, the fruit of such conformity 
accr.ues to him, and a religious son is born to him. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 
divine being that is seen upon a mirror, as the Self. 
Ajatasatru said : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as 
that. I meditate upon the Self as the shining being. 
If a man meditate upon the Self in this way, he shines, 
his children shine, and he outshines all men that he 
meets with. 

"The Gargya said: I meditate upon the sound of 
my footsteps as the Self. Ajatasatru said : Nay, never 
teach me of such a Self as that. I meditate upon the 
Self as the breath of life. If a man meditate upon the 
Self in tliis wise, he lives out his whole life in this 
world, and his breath does not fail him before his day. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 
divine being that is in the regions of space, as the Self. 
Ajatasatru said : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as 
that. I meditate upon the Self as the companion that 
never leaves me. If a man meditate upon the Self in 
this way, he has friends, and his friends are never 
parted from him. 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 
divine being that is my shadow, as the Self. Ajatasatru 
said : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as that. I 
meditate upon death as the Self. If a man meditates 
upon the Self in this way, he lives out all his days in 
this life, and death does not come to him before his 

" The Gargya said : I meditate upon the Purusha, the 


divine being that is in the mind, as the Self. Ajfitasatru Chap. vi. 
said : Nay, never teach me of such a Self as that. I 
meditate upon the Self as that winch has peace of mind. 
If a man meditate upon the Self in this manifestation, 
he has peace of mind in this life, and his children have 
peace of mind. After this the Gargya held his peace." 

Balaki the Gargya knows the Self in its particular 
and local manifestations, as it presents itself fictitiously 
in the shape of the gods, in the forces of nature, and in 
the hearts and minds of living things. He does not know 
the Self as it is in its own nature, the Self per se, the 
Self unmanifested, the nirgunam irahma, the mukhyam 
brahma; and Ajatasatru the prince, finding that the 
Gargya is put to shame and has nothing more to say, 
has to instruct the Brahman in his own Brahmanic 

" Ajatasatru asked, Is this all you have to say ? The 
Gargya replied, It is all Ajatasatru said : The Self is 
not learnt by anything you have said so far. The 
Gargya said : Let me wait upon you as your disciple. 

" Ajatasatru said : It is preposterous that a Brahman AjaWatru 

" JT i teaches the 

should come to a Kshatriya to be taught about theo^rgyathe 

•' ^ doctrine of the 

Self, but I will teach you. So he stood up and took three states of 

■' the soul, and 

him bv the hand, and they went to a place where a of the seu be- 

" mi -r> • n 1 1 • 1 1 vond those 

man was lying asleep. The Kaja called to him by the states. 
names. Great white-robed King Soma, but he did not 
rise. He patted him with his hand and woke him, 
and the man stood up. 

" Ajatasatru said : When this man was fast asleep 
where was his conscious soul, and wh.ere has it come 
from back to him ? The Gargya did not know what to 

" Ajatasatru said : When the conscious soul was 
asleep within him, it was in the ether in his heart, 
and had withdrawn into itself the knowledge that 
arises from the intimations of the senses. When the 
soul withdraws these into itself, it is said to sleep in 


Chap. VI. the dreamless state ; its sense is withdrawn into itself, 
its speech is withdrawn, its sight is withdrawn, its 
hearing is withdrawn, its inner sense is withdrawn. 

" But when the soul enters into the dreaming state 
the retributive experiences present themselves, and the 
man seems to himself to be, it may be a great Eaja, or 
it may be a great Brahman, or he passes into bodies 
hio-her or lower than those of man. If he seems to be 
a great Eaja, he seems to have his subjects, and to live 
as he pleases in his kingdom. In this way it is that 
he has withdrawn the outer senses into the inward 
sense, and lives as he wills within his- own person. 

" But when the soul returns to dreamless sleep and 
is no longer cognisant of anything, it retires by way of 
the seventy-two thousand arteries that proceed out of 
the heart and ramify throughout the body, into the 
body and reposes in it. It passes into the state of 
highest bliss and sleeps at peace like a child, like a 
great prince or Biahman. It is thus that the spirit 
rests in dreamless sleep. 

" All the senses, all the spheres of recompense, all 
the gods, and all living things proceed in all their 
diversity out of this Self, in like manner as a spider 
issues out of itself in the form of its threads, and as 
the little sparks fly on all sides out of a fire. The 
mystic name of this Self is the true in the true : the 
senses are true, and the Self is tlie truth of them." 

Ajatasatru thus teaches Balaki that Brahman is 
the one and only Self, that manifests itself in the 
seeming plurality of souls in their three states of 
dreamless sleep, dreaming sleep, and waking experi- 
ence. The peaceful state of the undreaming sleeper, 
in which the duality of subject and object has for the 
time melted away, is the highest manifestation of the 
one divine life that lives in all things. In this state 
the soul recovers its native purity ; it is like water that 
has been purified from previous discolorations. To 


sleep without dreaming is to be released awhile from Chap. vi. 
the miseries of metempsychosis. To be for ever in 
such a state would be final peace and blessedness, the 
devoutly-to-be-wished-for consummation. In the state 
of dreamless sleep the Self is said to permeate the 
whole body, as fire penetrates and permeates a redhot 
mass of iron. In the state of dreaming sleep the 
senses are withdrawn through the arteries into the 
mind ^ within the heart, and the inner sensory ^ pre- 
sents a series of images that simulate the objects of 
perception. On awaking, the organs of sense and 
motion are sent out of the mind to their several sta- 
tions in the bodv throucrh the network of the arteries. 
In dreaminsf and in waking the modes of the mind 
shine, that is, rise into consciousness, in the light of 
the Self that dwells in the heart. In dreamless sleep 
there are no modes of mind to be lighted up, for the 
mind is for the time melted away. The Self is said at 
that time to permeate the body, only in the sense that 
it is ready to reillumine the mind so soon as it shall 
reappear. Brahman is said to be the true in the true. 
Brahman is that out of which all things arise, that 
upon which they abide in false presentment, and that 
into which they disappear again. All things are the 
five elements, or made of the five elements, in their 
supersensible or their sensible manifestation. The 
mind and the senses are themselves made of the super- 
sensible elements. The elements are designated name 
and colour; name and colour are said to be the true, 
and Brahman is that which is true in this true. 

The next dialogue in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 
is that between the Rishi Yajhavalkya and his wife 
Maitreyi. Yajnavalkya is on the point of quitting the 
ties of home to become a religious mendicant, that he 
may be able to ponder on the emptiness of life and 
to seek reunion with the one and only being, the im- 
personal Self. 

^ Buddhi. ^ Manas. 



Chap. VI. 

Dialogue of 
and bis wife 

Things that 
are dear are 
dear for tlie 
sake of the 

It is the Fclf 
that, is to be 

" Yajnavalkya said : Maitreyi, I am atout to leave 
tliis home-life ; come, let me divide the property be- 
tween thee and my other wife, Katyayanl. 

" Maitreyi said : If all this earth were mine and full 
of riches, should I be any the more immortal ? No, 
replied Yajnavalkya ; your life would be like the life 
of other wealthy people ; but as for immortality, there 
is no hope of that from riches, 

" Maitreyi said : What am I to do Math a thing that 
will not make me immortal ? Tell me, holy lord, the 
thing that thou knowest, Yajnavalkya said : I love 
you indeed, and I love what you now say ; come, sit 
down, and I muII tell you, and you must think deeply 
about what I say. 

" He said : A husband is loved, not for love of the 
husband, but the husband is loved for love of the Self 
that is one within us all. A wife is loved, not for love 
of the wife, but a wife is loved for love of the Self. 
Children are loved, not for love of the children, but 
children are loved for love of the Self. Wealth is 
loved, not for love of wealth, but wealth is loved for 
love of the Self. The Brahmanic order is loved, not 
for the love of that order, but for the love of the Self. 
The Kshatriya order is loved, not for the love of that 
order, but for the love of the Self. The spheres of re- 
compense are loved, not for the love of those spheres, 
but for the love of the Self. The gods are loved, not 
for the love of the gods, but the gods are loved for love 
of the Self. Living things are loved, not for love of 
the living things, but for love of the Self. The world 
is loved, not for love of the world, but the world is 
loved for love of the Self that is one in all things. Ah! 
Maitreyi, it is the Self that one must see, and hear 
about, and think about, and meditate upon. All this 
world is known by seeing the Self, by hearing about it, 
thinking about it, meditating upon it." 

These expressions look strange and not very lucid, 


but the words must be taken to represent a nascent Cuap. vi. 
feeling that there is a universal and impersonal element 
in every form of interest, attachment, love, and worship, 
and that in these the individual rises above his usual 
limitations. All other love, say the scholiasts, is im- 
perfect ; the love of the Self that is one in all things, 
alone is perfect ; all other love has fictitious limitations, 
the love of the Self alone is illimitable. And therefore 
it is that the Self is what one has to see, and that the 
aspirant must turn his back on all things that he may 
come to see it. First he is to hear about it in the 
teaching of his spiritual guide and in the words of 
revelation ; next it is to be thouscht about in the exer- 
cise of the understanding ; next it is to be meditated 
"upon in prolonged ecstasy; and, last of all, the inner 
vision rises clear within tlie purified mind, so soon as 
all the semblances of the world have been melted awav 
into their fontal unity by a never-failing effort of ab- 
straction. Then and not till then he shall have reached 
the only satisfying love and blessedness. The words, 
It is the Self that one must see, and hear about, and 
think about, and meditate upon,^ form one of the texts 
of highest importance and most frequent citation in the 
philosophy of the Upanishads. To return to the text. 

" The Biahmanic order would reject any one who 
should view the Brahmanic order as elsewhere than in 
the Self. The Ksliatriya order would reject any one 
who should regard the Ksliatriya order as elsewhere 
than in the Self. The spheres of recompense would 
reject any one who should regard the spheres as else- 
where than in the Self. The gods would reject any one 
who should view the gods as elsewhere than in the Self. 
All living things would reject any one that should view 
the living; thimrs as elsewhere than in the Self. All 
things would reject any one that should view all things 
as elsewhere than in the Self. This Brahmanic order, 

^ Atmd vWre drashtavyah irotavyo mantavyo nididhydsitavyah. 


Chap. VI. this Kshatriya order, these spheres, these gods, these 
living: thincfs, this all, are the Self. 
All things are " All various things are the one and only Self, in the 

one in the Self, i ^ i i j i 

as partial Same manner as when they beat a drum a man cannot 
"total sound, as catch the various external sounds, but the one total 
conch-sireiifa souud is caught by listening to the drum or to the 
beatinfj of the drum ; 

" In tlie same manner as when they blow a conch- 
shell a man cannot catch the various external sounds, 
but the one total sound is caught by listening to the 
conch-shell or to the blast upon the shell; 

" In the same manner as when they touch a lute a 

man cannot catch the various external sounds, but the 

one total sound is caught by listening to the lute or the 

performance on the lute. 

TheVedasare " SmolvC issues forth ou everv side from a fire laid 

an exhalation . ..-, I'^-n- i-rr- 

of the Self. With moist luel. iiiven so the Kigveda, Yajurveda, 
Samaveda, Atharvangirasa, the legendaries, the sayings 
of the ancient sages, the theogonies, the sacred texts 
and memorial verses of the Upanishads, the aphorisms, 
the explanations of the texts, — rise as an exhalation 
out of that great being. All these are exhalations of 
that Self. 

" The Self is that into which all things pass away, 
even as the ocean is the one thing into which all waters 
flow ; as the touch is the sense in which all modes of 
tactual feeling meet ; as the sight is the sense in which 
all feelings of colour meet ; as the hearinf^ is the sense 
in which all feelings of sound meet; as the common 
sensory is the organ in which all the volitions find 
their unity; as the heart is the place where all the 
modes of mind are unified; as the hands are the organs 
in which all forms of manual activity are at one; as 
the feet are those in which all modes of locomotion are 
centred; as the voice is the organ in which all repetitions 
of the Veda are at one. 

" A lump of salt thrown into water melts away into 


the water, and uo one can take it out, but wherever any Chap. vi. 
one takes up the water it is salt. Even so, Maitreyl, 
is this great, this endless, impassable being a pure in- 
difference of thouglit. A man comes out of these No more con - 

. , sciousness for 

elements, and passes back into them as tliey pass away, the liberated 
and after he has passed away there is no more con- ' 
sciousness. This is what I have to tell you, Maitreyl, 
said Yajnavalkya." 

This dialogue of Yajnavalkya and Maitreyl is repeated 
with variations farther on in the Brihadaranyaka, and 
the last verse is there : " This Self has nothing inside 
it or outside it, in the same way as a lump of salt has 
nothing inside it or outside it, but is one mass of savour. 
The Self is a pure indifference of thought. A man rises 
from these elements, and passes back into them again 
as they pass away, and there is no consciousness after 
he has passed away." The figure of the salt and the 
salt water is one of the commonplaces of the philosophy 
of the Upanishads, and has already occurred, as the 
reader will recollect, in the dialogue between Aruni 
and Svetaketu in the Chhandogya Upanishad. The 
body, the senses, and the mind are said to be emana- 
tions of the sensible and of the supersensible elements. 
Everv individual soul is the Self itself in fictitious 
limitation to such and such a mind and body. At the 
end of everv aeon the bodies and the minds of all livimj 
things, as well as their environments, are dissolved and 
return into Maya, and their souls return into unity with 
Brahman. Every personality melts away into the im- 
personality of Brahman, as the lump of salt is lost in 
the uniformitv of the salt water. All livincr things are 
bubbles and foam that return to the water they issued 
from. All the bodies and minds of livinf^ things are 

o o 

like pools that reflect the sun ; the pools disappear, and 
the sun alone remains. Or, to reproduce another Indian 
simile, they are like flowers of various hues, that impart 
their own colour to the pure and colourless crystal of 


Chap. VI. the Self ; the flowers are withdrawn, and the crystal is 
pure and colourless again. There is no consciousness 
for the soul freed for the time or freed for ever from 
the body, the senses, and the mind ; there is only the 
state of characterless bliss beyond personality and 
beyond consciousness, unthinkable and ineffable. To 

" Maitreyi said : Holy sir, thou hast bewildered me 
by saying that there is no consciousness after one has 
passed away. Yajnavalkya answered her : I have said 
nothing bewildering, but only what may well be under- 
Theduautyof " For wlicre there is as it were a duality, one sees 

subject and .•■ n ^i i i 

object is un- another, one smells another, one hears another, one 
speaks to another, one thinks about another, one 
knows another; but where all this world is Self alone, 
what should one smell another with, see another 
with, hear another with, speak to another with, think 
about another with, know another with ? How 
should a man know that which he knows all this 
world with ? Wherewithal should a man know the 
knower ? " 

The dialogue of Yajnavalkya is followed by the Mad- 
huvidya or allegory of honey, in which the following 
verses may be noticed : — 

" The body is the honey of all living things, and all 
living things are the honey of this body ; and this same 
luminous immortal Purusha that is in the body and 
this same luminous immortal Self are one. Purusha 
is Self. This is immortal, this is Brahman, this is all 
that is. 

" This same Self is the lord over all living things, the 
kingj of all living things. All living things, all the 
gods, all the spheres, all the faculties, all souls are con- 
centred in the Self, as the spokes of a wheel are all 
fixed in the axle and the felly. 

" This is the honey that Dadhyach the son of Atharvan 


proclaimed to the Asvins. Seeing tins, the Rishi has Chap. vi. 
said: This Self shaped itself after the shape of every- The no- 
thing, that it might unfold its essence. India ^ appears uiusfvei^lnto 
multiform by his illusions, for his horses are yoked, 8,,'u\g'"andw'J- 
hundreds and ten. This Self is the horses (the senses), IZT'""'^"^ 
this is the ten (organs of sense and motion), this is the 
many thousands, the innumerable (living souls). This 
same Self has nothing before it or after it, nothing inside 
it or outside it. This Self is Brahman and is omniscient. 
Such is the doctrine." 

The fourth book of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad ' 

introduces us to a public disputation on the import of 
various elements of sacrificial worship, and on the know- 
ledge that liberates the soul, between the Rishi Yajha- 
valkya and the Brahmans present at a sacrifice offered 
by Janaka, the Raja of Videha or Tirhut. The ceremony 
was thronged with visitors, who came either at the invi- 
tation of the prince, or of their own accord, to see the 
spectacle, some Brahmans having come from the lands 
of the Kurus and Pan cL alas in the distant north. The 
story is as follows : — 

"Janaka, the Raja of Videha, performed a sacrifice, Thedisputa- 
and gave numerous gifts to those that came to it. sacrifice ceie- 
Brahmans from the countries of the Kurus and Pan- janaua, the 
chalas had come to be present at it. A desire arose in ba.''^ a drove 
the mind of Janaka to know which of all these Brah- th^priTe!^ 
mans was the most proficient in the repetition of the 
sacred text. He accordingly had a thousand head of 
cattle driven into a pen, the horns of each being over- 
laid with ten measures of gold.^ 

" He said : Holy Brahmans, let him that is most Yajfiavaikya 

+ o It p q til p 

learned of you all drive off these cattle. Not one of prize without 

them took upon himself to do so. Yajhavalkya said to the disputa- 

■• Indra is Kvara. Isvara ap- proceed out of the elements that 

pears in a fictitious plurality of emanate from Maya, 
forms, by illusively entering into - Cf. Odyssey, iii. 426 ; TibuUus 

and identifying himself with the Eleg., iv. i, 15. 
plurality of bodies and minds that 


Chap. VI. liis disciple, Good Samasravas, drive these cattle to 
my house ; and the youth did as he was bid. The 
Brahmans were angry, thinking, Why should this man 
think himself more learned than any of us all ? Now 
Janaka had a Hotri priest named Asvala, and Asvala 
asked Yajnavalkya, Yajuavalkya, art thou more learned 
than any one of us ? He answered, I offer my profound 
obeisance to the most learned, but I must have the 
cattle ; and thereupon Asvala took courage to put ques- 
tions to him. 
AsVaia dial- " Yajiiavalkya, he said, thou knowest how all these 
explain the sacrificial elements are pervaded by death and under 
im^orVof'the the dominiou of death : what shall the sacrificer es- 
orth?sacri°'^^ cape beyoud the reach of death withal ? He replied : 
He shall escape beyond death by seeing that the Hotri 
priest and the voice are one and the same with Agni, 
tlie god invoked by means of them. It is the voice 
that is the Hotri priest at the sacrifice, and this same 
voice is the fire-god Agni, and is the Hotri priest. This 
is the escape, this is the escape beyond death. 

" Yajiiavalkya, he said, thou knowest how all these 
sacrificial elements are things that exist in dav and 
night, and under the dominion of day and night : what 
shall the sacrificer escape beyond the reach of day and 
night withal ? He replied : He shall escape beyond 
day and night by seeing that the Adhvaryu priest and 
the eye are one and the same with Aditya. It is the 
eye that is the Adhvaryu priest at the sacrifice, and 
this same eye is the sun-god Aditya, and is the Adh- 
varyu priest. This is the escape, this is the escape 
beyond day and night. 

" Yajiiavalkya, he said, thou knowest how all these 
sacrificial elements are things that exist in the waxincj 
and the waning of the moon, and under the dominion 
of the waxing and the waning of the moon: what 
shall the sacrificer escape beyond the reach of the 
waxing and the waning of the moon withal ? He 


replied : He shall escape beyond the two semi-lunations Chap. vi. 

by seeing that the Udgatri priest and the vital breath 

are one and the same with Vayu. The vital breath is 

tlie Udgatri priest at the sacrifice, and this same breath 

is the wind-god VayU; and is the Udgatri priest. This 

is the escape, this is the escape beyond the periods of 

the waxing and the waning of the moon, 

" Yajnavalkya, he said, thou knowest how yonder 
sky seems unsupported. By what ascent shall the 
sacrificer ascend to the paradise that is his recom- 
pense ? He replied : He shall ascend to paradise by 
seeing that the Brahman priest and the inner sense are 
one with Chandra. The inner sense is the Brahman 
priest at the sacrifice, and this same inner sense is the 
moon-god Chandra, and is the Brahman priest. This 
is the escape, the escape beyond the sky. Such are 
the modes of liberation, and the preparations at the 

Asvala's questions relate to the mystic significance 
of the various persons and things employed in the great 
sacrifice of Janaka. They are questions in the kind of 
knowledge which may be added to the performance of 
the time-hallowed ritual ; and the ritual, and the know- 
ledg;e of this kind added to it, mav elevate tlie wor- 
shipper to higher and higher spheres of recompense, 
but they are of no avail towards the highest end of 
all, the final escape from metempsychosis. The next 
interrogator, Artabhaga, proceeds to examine Yajna- 
valkva on the nature of the bondao-e of the soul, its 
implication in metempsychosis. The soul is in bondage 
so long as it attributes reality to the objects of its 
sensible experience, and the nature of its experience is 
determined by the senses and the things of sense. 

" Xext Artabhaga the Jaratkarava began to question Artabhaga 
him. Yajnavalkya, he said, how many organs of sense to enumerate 
and motion are there, and how many objects of those oftentibi" ex- 
organs ? Y'ajnavalkya replied: There are eight such ^'^'"'^'^'^'^' 


Chap. VI. organs and eight such objects. He asked : What are 
the eight organs, and what are the eight objects ? 

" Yajnavalkya said : Smell is an organ, and the ex- 
haling substance is its object; for a man is sensible 
of odours by the sense of smell. 

" The voice is an organ, and the utterable word is its 
object ; for a man utters words by means of the voice. 

" The tongue is an organ, and the sapid thing is its 
object ; for a man is sensible of taste by means of the 

" The eye is an organ, and colour is its object ; for a 
man sees colours with the eye. 

" The ear is an organ, and sound is its object ; for a 
man hears sounds with the ear. 

" The common sensory is an organ, and the pleasur- 
able is its object ; for a man lusts after the pleasurable 
with this sensory. 

" The hands are an orf^an, and the thincj handled is 
the object; for a man handles things with the hands. 

" The skin is an organ, and the tangible is its object ; 
for a man is sensible of touch by means of the skin. 
These are the eight organs and the eight objects of the 

" Yajnavalkya, he said, thou knowest how all this 
world is food for death, what divine being: is death the 
food of ? Yajnavalkya replied : Fire is the death of 
death, and fire is the food of water.^ A man may over- 
come death. 
The mind and " Yajiiavalkya, he said, when the sage that has won 

senses of the , . ^ . , . 

liberated sage release trom metempsychosis dies, do his organs issue 

are dissolved , . ,^ ^ ■\ n tt- • 

atdeutii. , upwards to pass into another body or not? Yajnaval- 
kya replied : They do not ; they are melted away at the 

^ All things in the spheres of the soul, as imperishable, may be 

recompense, the world of metemp- disengaged from them, and may 

sychosis, may be destroyed by fire ; overcome death, that is, may 

fire itself again may be destroyed, achieve its extrication from me- 

that is, extinguished, by water. tempsychosis. 
All these things being perishable. 


moment of his death. He is inflated, and swells, and Chap. vi. 
lies a swollen corpse. 

'•' Yajuavalkya, he said, when the liberated sage dies, 
what is it that does not leave him ? The Rishi replied : 
His name ; his name is endless : the Visvadevas are 
endless, and therefore he wins an endless recompense. 

" Yajnavalkya, he said, where does a man that has 
not won this release go when he dies, and his voice 
passes back into fire and his vital breath into the air, 
his eves into the sun, his common sensorv into the 
moon, his ears into the regions of space, his body 
into the earth, the ether in his heart into the ether 
without, the hair of his body into plants, the hair of his 
head into trees, and his blood into water ? Yajnavalkya 
said : Give me thy hand, good Artabhaga ; we will find 
out the answer to thy question, but this is no matter 
to discuss in public. So they went out and conferred 
toEjether, and said that it was the law of retribution Thesouiofthe 

o ' ^ _ unphilosojihic 

that they had been speaking of, and pronounced it to man enters a 

*' ■'■ o ' i ^ j^g^ body in 

be this law that sent the soul from body into body, obedience to 

the law of re- 

A man becomes holy by holy works, and unholy by tribution. 
unholy works in previous lives. 

" Hereupon Artabhaga the Jaratkarava held his 

At the death of an ordinary man his several organs 
of sense and motion, as forming part of the tenuous 
involucrum of his soul, pass out and enter into a new 
body, and he is born again. At the death of the perfect 
sage they sink back into the original unity of Brahman, 
as waves sink back into the sea. The answer to the 
question, "Where does the soul that has not M'on its 
release go after the dissolution of his present body ? is 
that it goes into some new embodiment, higher or lower 
in the scale according to its works in former lives. By 
the law of retribution the soul becomes holy, that is, is 
born into higher grades of life, by good works, by con- 
formity to the prescriptive sacra ; and it becomes un- 


Chap. VI. holy, that is, is born into vegetal, animal, or other lower 
grades of life, by unholy works, that is, by neglect of 
immemorial usages. The reader must beware of attach- 
ing to the text a higher moral and spiritual significance 
than properly belongs to it. 
Bhvijyu exa- " I^Gxt Bhujvu, the graudsou of Lahya, began to ques- 
vaikya on the tiou liim, Yajnavalkya, he said, when we were itmerat- 
the hOTse-^*^ "^ ing as sacrcd students in the country of the Madras, we 
came to the house of Patanchala the Kapya. He had 
a daughter possessed of a spirit more than human, a 
Gandharva. We asked the Gandharva who he was, 
and he said that he was Sudhanvan, an Angirasa. In 
talking to him about the uttermost parts of the world, 
we asked what had become of the descendants of Parik- 
shit. Now I ask thee, Yajnavalkya, what has become 
of the Parikshitas? 

" Yajnavalkya said : They have gone to the sphere 
to which they go who have celebrated an Asvamedha 
or sacrifice of a horse. Bhujyu asked : And where do 
the celebrants of an Asvamedha go ? This world, said 
Yajnavalkya, is equal to thirty-two daily journeys of the 
sun-god's chariot. Tins is surrounded on every side by 
a laud of twice that size. That land again is surrounded 
by a sea twice as extensive. Beyond this sea there is 
an ethereal space of the width of a razor's edge or a mos- 
quito's wing. There Indra, taking the shape of a bird, 
conveyed the Parikshitas to the air, the air holding the 
Parikshitas within itself forwarded them to the sphere 
where all former celebrants of an Asvamedha reside. 
The Gandharva therefore revealed to vou that it was 
the air through which the Parikshitas passed. Air is 
each and every thing, and air is all things. He that 
knows it as sitcli overcomes death. 

" Hereupon Bhujyu Lahyayani was silent. 
" Next Ushasta Chakrayana began to question him. 
Yajnavalkya, he said, tell me plainly what that present 
and visible Brahman is, that is the Self within all living 


tilings ? Yajnavalkya replied : The Self that is thine is Chap. vi. 
the Self within all living things. What Self, Yajna- ushastacaiis 
valkva, is in all things ? Yajnavalkya answered : That "nTc uiaT de- 
which breathes with the breath is the Self that is thine, oTthlsV"'' 
and that is in all living things. That which descends ""t the seif 
with the descending air of life is the Self that is thine, ^^*n"""'"" 
and that is in all living things. That which circulates 
with the circulating air of life is the Self that is thine, 
and that is in all living things. That which ascends 
with the ascending air of life is the Self that is thine, 
and that is in all living things. This is thy Self that is 
in all things that are. 

" Ushasta Chakrayana said : Thou hast only taught 
me as a man might say a cow is so and so, a horse is 
so and so. Point out to me plainly what that present 
and visible Brahman is, that is the Self within all living 
things. Yajnavalkya replied again. The Self that is 
thine is the Self within all living things. Ushasta 
asked again. What Self is in all things ? Yajnavalkya 
answered him : I cannot point it out. Thou canst not 
see the seer of the sight ; thou canst not hear that that 
hears the hearing ; thou canst not think the thinker of 
the thouirht ; thou canst not know the knower of all 
knowledge. This is thy Self that is in all things that 
are, and everything else is misery. 

" Hereupon Ushasta Chakrayana ceased from farther 

So far, says Sankaracharya, the text of this dialogue 
has treated of the bondage of the soul, its implication 
in metempsychosis, and has taught that the migrating 
soul is, if only it be truly viewed, the Self itself. The- 
text now proceeds to treat of the renunciation of all 
things and spiritual intuition, as the means by which 
the soul may win its release from further transmigration. 

"Next Kahola Kaushltakeya began to question him. Kaboiaques- 

, - , . tions him 

Yajnavalkya, he said, tell me plainly what that present about the one 
and visible Brahman is, that is the Self within all living things uvmg. 



Chap. VI. things. Yajnavalkya said, This Self of thine is the 
Self that is within all things. What Self, Yajnavalkya, 
is in all things ? Yajnavalkya answered him : The Self 
that is beyond hunger and thirst, and grief and stupor, 
and decay and death. Knowing the Self to be such, 
Brahmans have risen and laid aside the desire of chil- 
dren, the desire of wealth, and the desire of spheres of 
recompense, and have wandered forth as sacred mendi- 
cants. For the desire of children is the same as the 
desire of wealth, and the desire of wealth is the same 
as the desire of the spheres of recompense ; for there 
are both of these kinds of desire. Therefore ^ let a 
Brahman learn wisdom, and stand fast in the power of 
wisdom ; and having made an end of wisdom and the 
power of wisdom, let him become a quietist ; and when 
he has made an end of quietism and non-quietism, he 
The visionary shall bccome a Brahmau, a Brahman indeed. AYhat- 
trulBrillman. ^ver kind of a Brahman he may have been, he becomes 
a veritable Biahman now. 

" Hereupon Kahola Kaushltakeya held his peace. 
Gargiqnes- " Next GargI the daughter of Vachaknu be^an to 

tioiis uim. ... 

Over what is qucstion him. Yajnavalkya, she said, thou knowest 

tlie cosmic ^ . o j ' ' 

•web woven? how all this cartli is woven upon the waters warp and 
woof ; what are the waters woven upon warp and woof ? 
Upon the air, Gargi, replied the Rishi. What is the 
air woven upon warp and woof ? Upon the regions of 
middle space, GargI. What are the regions of middle 
space woven upon warp and woof ? Upon the spheres 
of the Gandharvas, Gargi. What are the spheres of 
the Gandharvas woven upon warp and woof ? Upon 
the solar spheres, GargI. What are the solar spheres 
woven upon warp and woof ? Upon the lunar spheres, 

^ The translation of this part as a child ; and after renouncing 

of the verse follows the gloss of learning and a childlike mind, let 

Sankaracharya. (.Quitting the tra- him become a quietist ; and when 

ditional explanation, the words he has made an end of quietism 

might be translated, " Let a Brfih- and non-quietism, he shall becon)e 

man renounce learning and become a Brahman, a Brahman indeed." 


Gargl. "What are the lunar spheres woven upon wavp Chap. vi. 
and woof ? Upon the starry spheres, Gargi. What are 
the starry spheres woven upon warp and woof ? Upon 
the spheres of the gods, Gargl. What are the spheres 
of the gods woven upon warp and woof ? Upon the 
spheres of Indra, Gargl. What are the spheres of Indra 
woven upon warp and woof ? Upon the spheres of 
Prajapati, Gargl. What are tlie spheres of Prajapati 
woven upon warp and woof ? Upon the spheres of 
Brahma, Garci. What are the spheres of Brahma woven 
upon warp and woof ? He said to her : Gargl, push not 
thy questioning too far, lest thy head fall off. Thou 
goest too far in putting questions about the divine 
being that transcends such questioning ; push not thy 
questioning too far. 

" Hereupon Gargl the daughter of Vachaknu ceased 
to speak." 

Here as elsewhere in the Upanishads, the various 
spheres of recompense through which the soul has to 
go up and down in its migrations in obedience to the 
law of retribution, are said to be woven warp and woof, 
like so many veils of finer and finer tissue, across and 
across the one and only Self. The whole world of 
semblances is only a vesture that hides from the soul, 
the underlying spiritual essence of which it is only 
one of the innumerable fictitious emanations. 

The soul is one of the countless sparks of the fire, 
one of the countless wavelets of the sea, one of the 
countless images of the sun upon the waters ; and it is 
only the inexplicable power of the illusion that exer- 
cises itself from before all time, that hides from it its 
pure and characterless nature, its unity with the pri- 
mitive essence, thought, and bliss. The true Self is 
hidden from the eyes and thoughts of living souls by 
veil after veil of illusory presentation, by sphere after 
sphere of seeming action and suffering ; the successive 
figments of the primitive world-fiction, the principle of 


Chap. VI. unreality that has unreally associated itself from before 
all seons with the principle of reality. 

So far the various speakers in the dialogue have 
talked about the spheres of recompense lower in ascent 
than the sphere of Hiranyagarbha. Beyond Prajapati 
or Purusha, beyond the souls in the waking state, is 
Hiranyagarbha, the Siitratman, the spirit that per- 
meates all dreaming souls ; and beyond Hiranyagarbha 
and the dreaming souls is Isvara, the internal ruler, 
the spirit that is present in all souls in tlieir dreamless 
sleep, that directs every movement of every living 
thin" and metes out to the migrating sentiencies their 
varied lots from the lowest to the hic^hest, in accord- 
ance with the law of retribution. Accordingly the 
dialogue proceeds to treat of the thread-soul Hiranya- 
garbha, and the internal ruler Isvara within the thread- 
uddaiaka " Next Uddalaka the son of Aruna began to question 

questions him \^{^-^^ Yaiuavalkya, he said, we once lived in the coun- 

on the nature •' •> ' ' 

of the thread- ^rv of the Madras, in the house of Patanchala the 

soul Hiranya- '' 

garbha. ' Kapya, studying the nature and import of sacrificial 
rites. He had a wife possessed of a spirit more than 
human, a Gandharva. We asked the Gandharva who 
he was, and he said, I am Kabandha the son of Athar- 
van. He also said to Patanchala the Kapya, and 
to us liturgists : Kapya, dost thou know what the 
thread is by which this embodiment and the next em- 
bodiment and all living things are strung together ? 
Patanchala the Kapya said, I do not know it, venerable 
spirit. He said again to Patanchala the Kapya, and to 
us liturgists: Kapya, dost thou know that which actuates 
this embodiment and the next embodiment and all 
living things from within ? Patanchala the Kapya 
said. Great spirit, I know it not. The Gandharva said 
again to Patanchala the Kapya, and to us liturgic 
students : Kapya, he that knows that thread and that 
internal actuator within the thread-soul, knows Brah- 


man, knows the spheres of recompense, knows the Chap. vi. 
gods, knows the Vedas, knows all living things, knows 
the Self, knows all things. He revealed the thread- 
soul and the internal actuator that is within it to us, 
and I know them. Now if thou, Yiijnavalkya, hast 
driven away the cattle that are the prize of the most 
learned Brahman, without knowing that thread-soul 
and that internal ruler, thy head shall fall off. Yajria- 
valkya said, Gautama, I know that thread-soul and 
that internal ruler. Uddalaka rejoined, Any one can 
say, I know them ; tell me what thou knowest. 

" Yajnavalkya said : Gautama, the air is that thread- 
soul. This embodiment and the next embodiment and 
all living things are strung- tocjether by the air. It is 
for this reason that they say of a dead man that his 
limbs are unstrung, for his limbs are strung together 
by the air as by a thread. Just so, Yajnavalkya, said 
Uddalaka ; now tell me about the internal actuator." 

Sankaracbarya tells us that the air is here a me- He questions 
tonym for the supersensible rudiments, or elements in nature of the 
their primitive state, as yet uncondensed by progres- Demiurgus. 
sive concretion. It is out of these supersensible ele- 
ments that the tenuous involucra, or invisible bodies of 
micjrating souls, are formed. These invisible bodies 
clothe the soul in its transit from body to body, and 
the retributive influences of the good and evil works 
of former lives adhere to them. Yajnavalkya proceeds 
to answer Uddalaka by a description of the Demiurgus, 
the universal soul that permeates and vivifies all 
nature and all migrating personalities. This cosmic 
soul is the first manifestation of Brahman ; it is Brah- 
man itself in its first illusory presentment, as ficti- 
tiously overspread with Maya, or, as it is otherwise 
said, with the whole world-fiction as a body, the cosmic 
body out of which all things lifeless and living eman- 
ate. It is in virtue of the presence and light of this 
universal soul within them that the deities of earth. 


Chap. VI. and water, and fire, and other natural agents, pass 
from rest to motion and from motion to rest again. 
This universal soul is also present in every living 
thins:, from the grass below the feet to Brahma the god 
high over all ; and it is in virtue of his presence and 
his light that they pass from rest to motion, and from 
motion back to rest. He is invisible, and vision is his 
being; unknowable, and knowledge is his being; as 
heat and lio-ht are the beinf: of fire. As the universal 

o o 

soul he is exempt from the varied experiences of me- 
tempsychosis, which are the modes of individual life, 
and which he allots, in conformity always with the 
law of retribution, to the innumerable mifrratiusr souls. 
TheDemiur- " Yajiiavalkya said: That which dwells in earth, 
wnal ruieror Inside the earth, and earth knows not, whose body the 
firsthand ^ oartli is, wliich actuates the earth from within, — that 
feftauonof^*" IS thy Self, the internal ruler, immortal. 
He irTforms " That whicli dwcUs in water, inside the water, and 
the element the Water kuows not, whose body the water is, which 
actuates the water from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in fire, inside the fire, and the 
fire knows not, whose body the fire is, which actuates 
the fire from within, — that is thy Self, the internal ruler, 

" That which dwells in air, inside the air, and the 
air knows not, whose body the air is, whicli actuates 
the air from within, — that is thy Self, the internal 
ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in wind, inside the wind, and 
the wind knows not, whose body the wind is, which 
actuates the wind from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal, 

" That which dwells in the sky, inside the sky, and 
the sky knows not, whose body the sky is, which 
actuates the sky from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 


" That which dwells in the sun, inside the sun, and chap. vi. 
tlie sun knows not, whose body the sun is, which 
actuates the sun from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the regions of space, inside 
the regions, and the regions know not, whose body the 
regions are, which actuates the regions from within, — 
that is thy Self, the internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the moon and stars, inside 
the moon and stars, and the moon and stars know not, 
whose body the moon and stars are, which actuates the 
moon and stars from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the ether, inside the ether, 
which the ether knows not, whose body the ether is, 
which actuates the ether from within, — that is thy 
Self, the internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in darkness, inside the darkness, 
which the darkness knows not, whose body the dark- 
ness is, which actuates the darkness from within, — 
that is thy Self, the internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in lifrht, insidfe the liffht, which 
the light knows not, whose body the light is, which 
actuates the light from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

"Such are the elemental manifestations of the internal 
ruler ; now for his manifestations in animated nature. 

" That which dwells in all living things, inside all He informs 
living things, which no thing living knows, whose body l\i it^^^ 
all living thincrs are, which actuates all thincrs. living "^^' 
from within, — that is thy Self, the internal ruler, im- 

" That which dwells in the breath of life, inside the 
breath, which the breath knows not, whose body the 
breath is, which actuates the breath from within, — that 
is thy Self, the internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the voice, inside the voice, 

1 68 


Chap. VI. which the voice knows not, whose body the voice is, 
which actuates the voice from within, — that is thy 
Self, the internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the eye, inside the eye, which 
the eye knows not, whose body the eye is, which 
actuates the eye from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the ear, inside the ear, which 
the ear knows not, whose body the ear is, which 
actuates the ear from within, — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. 

" That which dwells in the inner sense, inside the 
inner sense, which the inner sense knows not, whose 
body the inner sense is, which actuates the inner sense 
from within, — that is thy Self, the internal ruler, 

" That which dwells in the sense of touch, inside the 
touch, which the touch knows not, whose body the 
sense of touch is, which actuates the sense of touch 
from within, — that is thy Self, the internal ruler, 

" That which dwells in the consciousness, inside the 
consciousness, which the consciousness knows not, 
whose body the consciousness is, which actuates the 
consciousness from within, — that is thy Self, the inter- 
nal ruler, immortal. 

" That which sees unseen, hears unheard, thinks 
unthought upon, knows unknown ; that other than 
which there is none that sees, none that hears, none 
that thinks, none that knows ; — that is thy Self, the 
internal ruler, immortal. Everything else is misery. 

" Hereupon Uddalaka the son of Aruna ceased from 

From Brahman as manifested in the form of the 
Demiurgus or universal soul that permeates and ani- 
mates all things, the dialogue next passes to Brahman 
as beyond manifestation, the present and visible Brah- 

The Demiur- 
gus is Brah- 
man mani- 
fested in the 


man within the heart of every living thing, the pure Chap. vi. 
light, the characterless fontal essence. 

" Next Gargl the daughter of Vachaknu spoke again : cargi cx.v 

,_ T-niji- j_ i- mines him 

Eeverend Brahmans, I will ask this man two questions, again. 
If he can answer them, no one of you all can outvie the weh of the 
him in exposition of the Self. They said, Ask him, woveu?*^ '"" 

" Yajiiavalkya, said Gargl, I rise to put two ques- 
tions to thee. I rise as some Eaja of Ka^i or Videha 
micfht rise to encounter thee, a father of heroes, with 
liis bow strung, and with two sharp threatening arrows 
of cane in Ids hand. Answer me these questions. 
Yajiiavalkya said, Put the questions to me. 

" Yajiiavalkya, she said, across what is that principle 
woven warp and woof, which they say is above the sky, 
below the earth, and within which this earth and yonder 
sky exist, and all that has been, is, and is to be ? 

" Yajiiavalkya said : That principle that they say is 
above the sky, below the earth, and within which this 
earth and yonder sky exist, and all that has been, is, 
and is to be, — is woven warp and woof across and 
across the ethereal expanse.^ 

" Gargl said: Glory to thee, Yajiiavalkya, that thou 
hast answered this my first question; now prepare 
thvself to meet the second. He said. Put it to me, 

" She said : Y'ajhavalkya, across what is that principle 
woven warp and woof, which they say is above the sky, 
below the earth, and witliin which this earth and 
yonder sky exist, and all that has been, is, and is 
to be? 

" Yajiiavalkya answered her again : That principle 
that they say is above the sky, below the earth, and 
within which this earth and yonder sky exist, and all 
that has been, is, and is to be, — is woven warp and 
woof across and across the ethereal expanse. And I 

^ Ethereal expanse is here a synonym of Maya. 


Chap. VI. pray, said she, across what is the ethereal expanse 

woven warp and woof ? 

Tt is woven " Yajnavalkva said: Brahmans say that that across 

the pri'ndpie which the ethereal expanse is woven is the imperish- 

ity^-md^orcfer" ^^^^ principle, neither great nor small, neither long nor 

to this moving gj^Qpf neither glowinfr like fire nor fluid like water, 

shadowless, without darkness, neither aerial nor ethereal, 

without contact with anything, colourless, odourless, 

without eves or ears or voice or inward sense, without 

light from without, without breath or mouth. It has 

no measure ; it has nothincr within it or without it. It 

consumes nothing, and is consumed of none. 

" Under the dominion of this imperishable principle, 
GargI, the sun and moon stand fixed in their places; 
under the governance of this imperishable principle the 
earth and sky stand fixed in their places. 

" Under the dominion of this imperishable principle, 
Garfjl, the moments and hours, and davs and nio;hts, 
and fortnio-hts and months, and seasons and vears, 
stand fixed in their periods ; under the governance of 
this imperishable principle, Gargi, some of the rivers 
flow eastward from the snowy mountains, some west- 
ward, and others in other directions. 

" Under the dominion of this imperishable principle 
men praise those that give freely; the gods are depend- 
ent on the sacrifices, and the ancestral spirits upon the 
obsequial offerings. 

" If a man presents oblations and sacrifices or tortures 
himself for many thousand years in this life, and knows 
not this imperishable principle, his recompense is one 
that has an end. If, Gargi, a man quits this life 
without knowing this imperishable principle, he is 
helpless; but if he knows this principle he is indeed a 

" This same imperishable principle, Gargi, is that 
which sees unseen, hears unheard, thinks unthought- 
upon, knows unknown ; there is no other than this that 


sees, no other than this that hears, no other than this Chap. vi. 
that thinks, no other than this that knows. It is across 
this imperishable principle, Gargi, that the ethereal 
expanse is woven warp and woof. 

" Then GargI exclaimed : Venerable Brahmans, you 
may think it a great matter if you can save yourselves 
by making obeisance to this Rishi. Never will any 
one of you all outvie this Rishi in the exposition of the 

In the words of Sankaracharya, the Self is unseen, The seif is 
inasmuch as it cannot be made an object, but it is that characte'riesa 

... . 1 -.L • 1 • i- vision and 

which sees, inasmuch as it is a pure and unceasing act thought. 
of vision itself. Elsewhere ^ he tells us that the Self is 
the object of the notion and the name " I." It cannot 
be heard, but it is that which hears, being a pure and 
unceasing act of hearing. It cannot be thought upon, 
but it is that which thinks, being a pure and unceasing 
act of thought. It cannot be known, but it is that 
which knows, being itself the pure and unceasing act 
of knowledge. It sees with a sight that does not come 
and pass away, like our sight, but with a sight that 
always is, a sight that is its being, as the sun shines for 
ever with a light that is its own being. It is the Self 
that sees through the eyes, hears through the ears, 
thinks through the thought, knows through the mind, 
of all living things. This is the present and visible 
Brahman, present in the heart of every creature, visible 
to the purified soul of the ecstatic seer. This is the 
Self that seems and only seems to act and suffer in the 
acting and suffering souls, as the moon seems to move 
as the clouds scud past it. This is the one and only 
Self beyond the hunger, thirst, and misery of metemp- 
sychosis, and over this the world-fiction and all the 
figments that issue out of it are woven warp and woof. 
This is the goal, the final term. This, ever-present 

^ As in the Sarirakamimansabhashya, i. i . i, and the Vivekachudamani, 
verse 127. 


Chap. VI. though it be, it is veiled from the hearts and eyes of the 
multitude, and reveals itself only to the spiritual vision 
of the perfect sage. He alone can find himself one 
with the universal soul, and one with the impersonal 

The dialogue now proceeds to point out how the gods 
are all of them onFy local and particular manifestations 
of the one life that lives in all things. It is one and 
the same divine being that fictitiously presents itself 
in every living being, to fulfil a variety of functions 
under all the variety of name and form and attribute 
and power. 
vidagdha " Next Yidagdha the son of Sakala began to question 

AifthTngs are' him. Yajnavalkva, he said, how many gods are there ? 
and gods' are Yiijnavalkya answered him according to the following 
manifesta- Nivid or euumcrative text. There are, he said, as many 
^lons o t e ^g ^j,g enumerated in the Nivid of the Yaisvadevasastra, 
three and three hundred, and three and three thousand. 
Even so, said Yidagdha; how many gods are there then, 
Yajnavalkya ? Three and thirty, replied the Rishi, 
Even so, said Yidagdha ; how many gods are there 
then, Yajnavalkya ? Six, he replied. Even so, said 
Yidagdha ; and again, how manv gods are there then, 
Yajnavalkya ? Three, he said. Yes, said Yidagdha ; and 
how many gods are there then, Yajnavalkya ? Two, he 
said. Yes, said Yidagdha ; and again, how many gods 
are there, Yajnavalkya? One and a half, he said. Yes, 
said Yidagdha; how many gods are there, Yajnavalkya ? 
One, he answered. Yes, said Yidagdha ; and what are 
those three gods and three hundred gods, and those 
three g-ods and three thousand gods ? 

" Yajnavalkya said : The glories of these are three 
and thirty. Which are those thirty-three ? asked the 
son of Sakala. The eight Yasus, replied the Rishi, the 
eleven Rudras, and the twelve Adityas are thirty-one, 
and Indra and Prajapati make thirty-three. 

" Who are the Yasus ? Eire, the earth, the air, the 


welkin, the sun, the skv, the moon, and the stars, are chap. vi. 
the Yasus. In these all places of recompense are con- 
tained, and therefore thev are called the A^asus. 

"Who are the Eudras ? These ten organs of sense 
and motion in tlie living soul, together with the com- 
mon sensory which is the eleventh organ. When 
they issue upwards out of this mortal hody they make 
men weep, and for this reason they are called the 

"Who are the Adityas ? The twelve months of the 
vear are the Aditvas, for these take all thincrs to2:ether 
with them in their course ; and for the reason that they 
take all things with them they are called the Adityas. 

" Who is Indra, and who is Prajapati ? Indra is the 
thunder, and Prajapati is the sacrifice. What is the 
thunder ? The thunderbolt. What is the sacrifice ? 
The sacrificial victims. 

" Who are the six gods ? They are fire, earth, air, 
welkin, sun, and sky. They are six, for all things are 
these six. 

"Who are the three gods? They are these three 
worlds, earth, air, and sky ; for all these gods are in 
these three. Who are the two gods ? They are food 
and vital air, or Purusha and Hiranvagarbha. Who 
is the god that is one and a half ? The wind that 

" Hereupon they cried out: This wind that is blowing 
seems to be one, how sayest thou that it is one and 
a half? Yajnavalkya replied: It is one and a half 
{adhyardha) because everything grows up {adhyardh- 
noti) in it. Who is the one god ? asked Vidagdha. 
Yajnavalkya said : It is the breath of life. It is the 
Self. They call it That. 

" He who knows that Purusha, that livinc? beinjr, 
whose body is the earth, whose eye is fire, whose inward 
sense is light, in whom all are one who live in the body, 
he indeed has knowledge. Yajnavalkya, said the son 


Chap. VI. of Sakala, I know that Purusha, in whom all that live 
in the body are one, about whom thou speakest : it is 
this very living soul that is in the body. Tell me then, 
son of Sakala, said the Rishi, what is the divinity^ of 
that embodied soul ? It is the assimilated portion of 
food, said Vidagdha." 

Vidagdha puts question after question to Yajnaval- 
kya, till the Rishi again proclaims that all things in the 
world, and the ethereal expanse, or world-fiction, out of 
which they proceed, are woven web upon web across 
the one underlying reality, the spiritual essence. Brah- 

" This Self is not this, not that: imperceptible, for it 

cannot be perceived; indiscerptible, for it cannot be 

parted asunder ; illimitable, for nothing can be placed 

beside it ; inviolable, for it cannot be hurt or injured. 

Vidagdha fails Xovv I ask thee what is that Purusha, that spiritual 

in turn, and'^ essence, rcvealcd in the mystic doctrines, that trans- 

pens es. ccuds thosc Other Purushas or embodied sciils; and if 

thou canst not tell me, thy liead shall fall off. The son 

of Sakala did not know that Purusha, so his head fell 

off; and as his disciples were carrying home his bones 

to burn them on the funeral pyre, thieves stole them, 

taking them to be some other thing. 

" Meanwhile Yajnavalkya said : Holy Brahmans, any 

one of you who wishes may question me, or you may 

all of you put questions to me ; or I will put questions 

to any one of you that you may choose, or to all of you. 

But the Brahmans had no heart to answer him. 

Yajfiavaikya's " So Yajnavalkva put a question to them in these 

fsTforest-tre^ vcrsBS. Man, lic Said, is indeed like a tree of the forest; 

(k.wn. whar*" tis hair is the leaves, his skin the outer bark. The 

root has he to i^Iqq^ tricklcs from his skin, as the sap trickles from the 

bark ; wound him, and the blood will flow like sap from 

a tree that is split open.. His flesh is the inner bark, 

' Divinity here means inform- saj's that the body is built up out 
ing or plastic prirci} le. Vidagdha of materials assimilated from food. 

prow again 


the flesh about his bones is the membrane about the Chap. vi. 
woody fibres, his bones are the wood within, and his 
marrow is the pith. The tree is cut down, and the tree 
grows lip anew from its root; a mortal is cut down by 
death, but what root has he to grow up from anew ? 
Say not from procreation, for that comes not from tlie 
dead but from the living. The seed-sprung tree that 
has seemed to die springs up again apace, but if they 
tear up the tree by the roots it cannot grow again. 
Man is cut down by death, what root has he to grow 
again from ? You may say that he is already born 
again, but this not so; who then can again beget 
him ? " 

The Brahmans were unable to answer Yajnavalkya, 
not knowing that the soul, as it passes from body to 
body, has one continuous life, as being one with, and 
only in fictitious semblance severed from, the one and 
only Self that is the root of the world. After thus 
putting his s'^-ccessive opponents to silence, and over- 
awing the whole assembly, the Rishi remains in undis- 
puted possession of the prize, the thousand head of 
cattle. He sums up the whole matter in the following 
words, which close the discussion : — 

"The Self is thought and bliss, the wealth of the The sum of the 
sacrifice, the final goal of the sage that knows it, and Ecs'tati^mr.ou 

. , • • • ,.\ • •- >' is the goal. 

perseveres in ecstatic union with it. 

In the next book of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad 
we have an account of two later interviews between 
the Rishi Yajnavalkya and the Raja Janaka. Princes 
are frequently mentioned in the Upanishads as taking 
a leading part in theosophic discussions. 

"Janaka of Videha was sitting giving audience, and Yajnavalkya 

"Visits Jiiiilci 

Yajnavalkya came before him. He said: Yajiiavalkya, Their conver- 

what have you come for ? Do you want more cattle, passage 

or do you want subtle disputations ? He said: I want vl-turesof ihe 

T . , J 1 • >> " soul to the 

both, great king. Self beyond 

Yajnavalkya proceeds to question Janaka about tie 


Chap. VI. instruction he has received from his various spiritual 
directors, and points out how each of them has only 
taus^ht him about the Self in some one or other of its 
local and particular manifestations, a knowledge of 
which leads only to transitory recompenses, not to 
extrication from metempsychosis. 

" Then Janaka of Videha came down from his seat 
and said : Glory to thee, Yajnavalkya ; teach me more. 
The Rishi said : Great king, thou art thoroughly 
equipped with these mystic instructions that thou hast 
received, as is a man who has provided himself with a 
carriage or a boat, being about to start on a long jour- 
ney. Great and rich, versed in the Yedas and informed 
of mystic doctrines as thou art, when thou quittest this 
life whither wilt thou go ? I do not know, said Janaka, 
where I shall go. Then I will tell thee where thou wilt 
go, said the Rishi. Say on, holy sir, replied the prince. 

" This Purusha that is in the ri^rht eve is named 
Indha, but for the sake of mystery men call him Indra ; 
for the gods love mystery and hate familiarity. 

" The Purusha in the left eye is his wife Viraj. 
Their meeting-place is the ether in the heart, their 
nourishment is the blood within the heart, their coverlet 
is the network of arteries in the heart, their path of 
transit is the artery that goes upward out of the heart. 
The arteries, minute as a hair split a thousand times, 
converge into the heart, and the food proceeds along 
these ; so that the tenuous involucrum has a more refined 
kind of nutriment than the body. 

" When the sage has passed through the body to the 
tenuous involucrum, and through the tenuous involu- 
crum to the beatific vesture in the heart, the forward 
vital air is the eastern quarter, the vital air to the left 
is the south, the hinder vital air is the west, the upward 
vital air is the north, the upper vital air is the space 
above, the nether vital air is the space below. The 
vital airs are the regions of space." 


In the beatific vesture and in the state of dreamless Chap. vr. 
sleep the sage returns to unity with the vital air, that 
is, with the universal soul. In the state of ecstasy 
he makes this universal soul to disappear into the 
characterless Self, of which Yajnavalkya proceeds to 

" This same Self is not this, not that ; imperceptible, 
for ic cannot be perceived ; indiscerptible, for it canno 
be parted asunder ; illimitable, for nothing can be placed 
beside it; inviolable, for it cannot be hurt or injured. 
O Janaka, thou hast reached the point where there is 
no more fear. Janaka of Videha said : May this salva- 
tion come to thee also, Yajnavalkya, for teaching me 
about this spiritual reality that is beyond all fear. 
Glory to thee : here is this kingdom of Videha, and 
here am I, and both are thine." 

The text, Janaka,^ thou hast reached the point 
where there is no more fear, is one of those most fre- 
quently quoted in -the works of the Indian schoolmen. 
The point beyond all fear is the pure spiritual essence. 
Brahman, on reaching which there is no further fear of 
birth and the miseries of life and death. The Rishi 
has lifted the veil of illusion, and thus enabled Janaka 
to see the sole reality, the one and only Self, and to 
recognise, and by recognition recover, his own unity 
with it. The story of Yajnavalkya's next interview 
with Janaka is as follows : — 

'■' Yajnavalkya went again before Janaka, the Eaia Yajnavalkya 

visits Janaka 

of Videha, and thought as he went that this time he again. Their 
would not say anything. Janaka of Videha and Yajna- what is the 
valkya had, however, formerly talked together at a '^ ° °^*"' 
sacrifice to the fire -god Agiii, and Yajnavalkya had 
promised Janaka to grant the next request that he 
might have to make of him. Janaka now chose as his 
request permission to ask any question he liked, and 
Yajnavalkya granted it. Tiie Eaja first asked him : — 

^ Ahhayam, vai Ja7ial:a prdpto 'si. 



Chap. VI. " Yajnavalkya, what light has man? The light of 
the sun, great king, said the Rishi. It is by the light 
of the sun that he sits down, or goes about and does his 
work, and comes home again. The Eaja said : It is as 
thou sayest, Yajnavalkya. 

" But when the sun has set, Yajnavalkya, what light 
has man ? The light of the moon, the Rishi answered. 
It is in the light of the moon that he sits down, or goes 
about and does what he has to do, and comes home 
again. It is as thou sayest, Yajnavalkya, said the Eaja. 

" But, Yajnavalkya, when the sun has set and the 
moon has set, what light has man ? A fire, he an- 
swered, is his light. It is by the light of a fire that he 
sits down, or goes about and does what he has to do, 
and comes home again. The Eaja said : " It is as thou 
sayest, Yajnavalkya. 

" But, Yajnavalkya, when the sun has set, and the 
moon has set, and the fire has gone out, what light has 
man? The voice,i he answered, is his light: it is by 
the light of the voice that he sits down, or goes about 
and does what he has to do, and comes home again ; 
for when a man cannot see his hand before him, he 
walks in the direction that a voice is heard in. The 
Eaja said : It is as thou sayest, Yajnavalkya. 

" But, Yajnavalkya, when sun and moon are set, and 
the fire is out, and all sounds are hushed, what light 
has manl He answered: The Self within him is his 
light : it is by the light of the Self that he sits down 
or goes about, does what he has to do, and comes home 


In explanation of this last verse, Sankaracharya says : 
" In every state the mind has some light to act in, a light 
that is other than the body and the senses. In the 

1 " In a cloudy night in the he hears about him, or it may be 
rainy season a man cannot see his by the barking of a dog. the bray- 
hand before him. He is guided ing of an ass, or other signs of 
in his movements by the voices village life." — IS'ankarddidrya. 


wakinfT state it acts throiifrh the bodily orcrans in the Chap. vi. 
light of sun, or moon, or fire. In the dreaming state, 
in the state of dreamless sleep, and in the waking state, 
when there is neither sun nor moon nor firelight to 
guide it in its actions, it still continues to act, and does 
so in some light that is incorporeal and immaterial. 
In dreaming a man sees himself meeting with or part- 
ing from his friends, and on waking from sleep without 
a dream he still is conscious that he has slept in peace 
and without a cognisance of anything. This immaterial 
liirht is the li<j;ht of the Self, which is other than the 
body and the senses, and illumines them like the ex- 
terior light, and itself requires no light from outside 
itself. This is the li^ht within." To return to the 

" What Self is that? asked the prince. The Rishi The true iigiit 
said : It is this conscious soul amidst the vital airs, the within the 
light within the heart. This Self, one and the same in 
every mind and every body, passes through this life 
and the next life in the body, and seems to think and 
seems to move. The same Self, entering the dreaming 
state, passes beyond the world of waking experience, 
beyond the varied forms of metempsychosis. 

" This self-same Self is born, and as it enters into a 
bodv is involved in the good and evil deeds that attach 
to the members and the senses; it passes up at death 
out of the body, and leaves them behind. 

" This same Self has two stations : any given present The three 
embodiment, and the embodiment that is next to fol- migrating 
low. And there is a third place : the state intermediate dreaming, ami 
between the two — the place of dreams. Standing in sleep. 
the place of dreams, it sees both these stations, this 
embodiment and the embodiment next to come. In 
the place of dreams it steps on to the path it has made 
itself to the next embodiment, and sees the pains and 
pleasures that have been in earlier lives and are to be 
in after-lives. When it proceeds to dream, it takes to 


Chap. VI. itself the ideal residues of its waking experience in 

former lives ; it lays aside the hody ; it fashions for 

In sleep the itself an ideal bodv, and dreams in its own lioht, and 

soul crftitfis ^ *^ 

dream-world, then the Self is its own lioht. In the dreaming; state 
there are no chariots, no horses, no roads ; but it pre- 
sents to itself chariots, horses, and roads. There are 
in that state no pleasures, no joys, no raptures; but it 
creates for itself pleasures, joys, and raptures. There 
are no houses, no pools, no rivers ; but it projects 
before itself houses, pools, and rivers, for it is still in 

" Therefore there are these verses. In sleep it lays 
aside the body, and itself unsleeping looks upon the 
visions of its sleep. It takes its radiant imagery with 
it, and again enters the place of waking experience, for 
it is the luminous Self, the one spirit that is ever pass- 
ing onward. 

" Keeping alive with the vital air its vile nest the 
body, it soars beyond its nest : it goes where it lists, 
the immortal, luminous Self, the one spirit that is ever 
passing onward. 

"In the place of dreams^ it passes upward, passes 
downward, in its own light : it projects a variety of 
shapes before itself, dallying with women, laughing, 
or it may be seeing perils. 

" Men see the garden - that it strolls in, but no man 
sees the Self itself. They say they cannot rouse it 
when it is asleep. 

" That part of the body to which this does not come 
back again is hard to heal ; it is blind, or deaf, and 
lifeless. Some, indeed, say that the place of dreams is 
not an intermediate position, but the same as the place 
of waking experience, because it sees the same things 

1 In its dreams the soul rises to ticipation of a future one, higher 

the position of a god, or descends or lower, as it may be, than its 

to the state of one of the lower ani- present human embodiment, 

mals. This it does in reminiscence - The dream-world, 
of a former embodiment, or in an- 


in its dreams as it sees when awake ; but this is not so. chap. vi. 
In dreaming, the Self is its own light. Janaka ex- 
claimed : Holy sir, I will give thee a thousand kine. 
Teach me again, that I may be liberated from metem- 

" Yajuavalkya said : This same Self, after rejoicing 
and expatiating in its dreams, and seeing good and evil, 
passes into the peaceful state of dreamless sleep ; and 
thence again flits back into the place of dreams it came 
from, back to other dreams. It is not followed by the 
good or evil that it sees itself do in its dreams, for the 
Self is not really in union with the bodily organs. It 
is as thou sayest, Yajnavalkya, said the prince. Holy 
sir, I give thee a thousand kine. Teach me again, that 
I may be liberated. 

" Yajnavalkya said : This same Self, after rejoicing 
and expatiating in the waking state, and seeing good 
and evil, flits again into the place of dreams. 

"This Self passes from dreams to waking life, and simiieof the 
from waking life back to dreams ; in the same way as a ^ ' 
fish swims from one bank of a river to the other, from 
riverside to riverside. 

"This Self passes into the state of dreamless sleep, simiie of the 
and in that state desires no pleasures and sees no dreams ; 
in the same way as a kite or falcon, tired of flying about 
in the firmament above, folds its wings and cowers in 
its nest. 

" There are in man arteries thin as a hair split a 
thousand times, filled with fluids white, blue, yellow, 
green, and red." 

These ramify in all directions through the body, the 
tenuous involucrum is lodged in them, and the ideal 
residues of the experiences of former embodiments 
adhere to the tenuous involucrum, and accompany it in 
its passage from body to body. These ideal residues 
furnish the imagery of dreams, and dreams point back 
to the former lives of the soul, or forward to its future 

1 82 


Chap. VI. 

Liberation is 
perfect f atis- 
faction, and 
fiom all fear. 

All diflferences 

vanish in the 
unitary indif- 
ference of the 

lives. The tenuous involucrum is the body of the sleep- 
ing soul. 

" Now whatever peril a man sees when he is awake, 
he may also see in his sleep. Enemies kill him or take 
him captive, or a wild elephant chases him, and he 
falls into a pit. 

" Whatever peril he sees awake, he sees asleep through 
the force of illusion ; but when, in the same way as in 
his dreams he had seemed to be a god or a king, he 
comes to know that he is all that is, — this is his highest 

" This intuition of his oneness with all that is, is his 
state of exemption from desire, and freedom from the 
good and evil that prolong the migration of the soul ; 
his state in which there is no more fear. The soul in 
the bosom of the Self is conscious of nothing within or 
without him, even as a man in the arms of his beloved 
wife ceases to be conscious of anything within him or 
without him. This oneness with all that is, is the state 
of the fulfilment of all desires, the state of satisfaction 
in oneself and of exemption from desires, the state in 
which there is no more sorrow. 

" In this state a father is no more a father, a mother 
is no more a mother, the spheres of recompense are no 
longer spheres of recompense, the gods no longer gods, 
the Vedas no longer Vedas. Here the thief is a thief 
no more, the Chandala a Chandala no more, the Paul- 
kasa no more a Paulkasa, the holy mendicant no more 
a holy mendicant, the anchorite an anchorite no more. 
He is no longer followed by his good works, no longer 
followed by his evil works ; for now at length he has 
passed beyond all the sorrows of his heart." 




" Suppose yourselves gazing on a gorgeous sunset. The whole western 
heavens are glowing with roseate hues. But 3'ou are aware that in 
half-an-hour all the glorious tints will have faded away into a dull 
ashen grey. You see them even now melting away before your eyes, 
although your eyes cannot place before you the conclusion that your 
reason draws. And what conclusion is that ? That conclusion is that 
you never, even for the shortest time that can be named or conceived, 
see any abiding colour, any colour which truly is. Within the millionth 
part of a second the whole glory of the painted heavens has undergone 
an incalculable series of mutations. Before any one colour has had 
time to be that colour, it has melted into another colour, and that other 
colour has in like manner melted into a third, before it has attained 
to any degree of fixedness or duration. The eye indeed seems to 
arrest the fleeting pageant, and to give it some continuance. But the 
senses, says Heraclitus, are very indifferent witnesses of the truth. 
Reason refuses to lay an arrestment on any period of the passing scene, 
or to declare that it is, because in the very act of being it is not ; it 
has given place to something else. It is a series of fleeting colours, no 
one of which is, because each of them continually vanishes in another." — 

So far the primitive thesis of Indian philosophy has Chap. vii. 
been presented to the reader ; it is time to present the The doctrine 
primitive antithesis, and also the new position taken the to^t ami- 
up by a later school of Indian tliinkers with the purpose onvinai no-* 
of superseding this antithesis, and of gaining a firmer the'suddhSts. 
footing by means of a cosmology approacliing more 
nearly the convictions that work unrecognised in the 
popular mind. As has been said already, in the absence 
of historical data, the only methodical exposition of 
early Indian philosophy that is possible, must be the 
presentation of theses and antitheses that in their 
succession made up its process. 


Chap. VII. The primitive thesis, the original Indian cosmological 
conception, is that of the fictitious nature of the world, 
and of the various forms of life that migrate through 
it in body after body, in age after age, and of the 
sole reality of the one impersonal Self. The primitive 
antithesis is that there is no such impersonal Self, nor 
spiritual reality underlying the world of passing sem- 
blances. Sensations and the ideal residues of sensations 
are the only things that are ; and these are only sem- 
blances or fleeting shows, that come out of and pass 
back into a fontal nullitv, void, or blank. The things 
of sense are fictitious presentments, but not fictions that 
replace at the same time that they conceal, a reality 
beneath: the mirage of life is an aerial vision that 
covers no expanse, unless it be an expanse of nothing- 
ness. The things of sense are only sensations variously 
assorted, rising and passing away at every moment 
like the shifting colours of a sunset cloud.^ All things 
are in unceasing flow, and the soul itself is only a series 
of sensations and ideal residues of sensations. There 
is no inner light, no perduring Self within ; the sensa- 
tions and ideas flit by lit up with their own light, and 
each several stream of these is a migrating soul. The 
soul in every successive life has nothing but misery to 
look forward to ; and the highest end of aspiration is a 
lapse into the void, a return to the primeval nothing- 
ness, a final extinction. In the philosophy of the 
Upanishads, the mind of the perfect sage is said to be 
blown out like a lamp as he returns to union with the 
one and only Self. In the philosophy of the Indian 
sensational nihilists, the successive mental modes are 
the mind, and the mind is the only soul. This mind 
or soul is extinguished as the sage returns to the 
aboriginal nothingness of things. The liberation 
promised in the Upanishads is a return to the pure 

^ This simile occurs in the second chapter of Madhavacharya's Sarva- 
darsanasaugraha, to which the reader may refer for further details. 


state of the sonl as characterless being, thought, and Chap. vii. 
blessedness. The liberation promised by the Indian 
nihilist is a return to tlie void beyond the miseries of 
the phantasmagory of metempsychosis. It is Nirvana, 
extinction, return into tlie fontal nullity. All things 
have come out of nonentity, and shall pass back into 
nonentity ; and as soon as it has fully learnt its un- 
reality, the soul shall pass back into the primordial 

This doctrine of the emanation of migrating souls The doctrine 

d, 1 , p J p • ■ 1 of the emana- 

the spheres or recompense out or an original non- tionof the 

entity, is as old as the Upanishads, and appears in a XlriginT ^^ 
text of the sixth lecture of the Chhandogya Upani- asthJvp°m- 
shad : " Existent only, my son, Mas this in the begin- the pHmiti^e^ 
ning, one only, without duality. Some indeed have the'doctrine 
said, jSTon-existent only was this in the beginning, one fro^fhe or^ 
only, without duality, and the existent proceeded out ^^""^ ^'^^^• 
of the non-existent. But how should this be so ? how 
should entitv emanate out of nonentitv ? This then 
was existent only in the beginning, one only, without 

Tlds passage refers either to philosophical forerunners 
of the Buddhists, or to the Buddhists themselves. It 
is easy to see how the teaching of the primitive Brah- 
nianical philosophers would at once provoke opposition. 
In the earliest and the rudest age, as in the latest and 
richest in hereditary culture, there will always be 
people that fail to see tlie necessity of linding a posi- 
tive reality at the root of things, and mistake a shallow 
wit for a deeper wisdom ; to whom the light within is a 
piece of transcendental moonshine. These primitive The BuddUst 
Indian sensationalists have so far the advantage over '^'°^' 
the sensationalists of the present day, that they do not 
tacitly substantialise their sensations, or invent such 
strange abstractions as a background of permanent 
possibilities of sensations, to replace the realities they 
seek to explode. In this Indian proclamation of an 


Chap. VII. aboriginal vacuum or blank, which either already was 
Thei^ or afterwards became Buddhism, the inner light, the 
sSne.1;[re°seif impcrsoual Self or Brahman, is replaced by zero. The 
^''^^''- pessimism, metempsycbosis, and Maya, Avidya, the 

primitive world- fiction, are retained. There is the 
same dread of every future state of life, and the same 
teaching that inertion, not exertion, is the path of 
extrication ; and that the sage must loose himself from 
every tie, turn his back upon the world, and make all 
things disappear by a prolonged effort of abstraction, 
by a rigid and insensible posture of body, and by 
apathy and vacuity of mind. The phantasmagory of 
metempsychosis is a series of sensations and ideas, 
reproducing each other like plant and seed and seed 
and plant. The successive scenes present themselves 
that the migrating souls may find the recompense of 
their good and evil works, in higher and lower embodi- 
ments through eeon after aeon, in conformity with the 
law of retribution. The mi^ratincr souls are themselves 
as unreal as the spheres through which they pass. The 
souP is identified with the mind 2 of the Brahmanical 
. philosophers ; and the mind is said to exhibit itself 
illusively in the twofold aspect of subject and object of 
consciousness. The process of things is thus pictured 
as so many series of sensations variously grouped, pre- 
senting themselves to so many migrating seutiencies ; 
these sentiencies themselves being in turn only so many 
series of sensations and ideal residues. Everything is 
All things mo- momentary, everything is fluxional, like the fugitive 
™uxionai.^" colours of a sunsct cloud. The sensations and ideas 
sMnein^heir pass ou, lit up with their own light; and beyond them 
aiT conlci^ous-' thcrc is nothing but the void, the primordial nothing- 
tio'Sii! ^^^^*" ness. There is no longer any real Self to be clothed 
upon with the successive involucra of the Brahmanical 
philosophy. The investitures of the Self, the Koshas 
of the Upanishads, become the aggregates of experien- 

^ Atman. - Buddhi. 


tial elements, the Skandhas of the Buddhist philosophy. Chap. vir. 
Bu'^ Miism is the philosophy of the Upanishads with 
Braiiman left out. There is no light of lights beyond 
the darkness of the world-fiction. The highest end and 
final hope of man is a return into the vacuum, the 
aborio-inal nothincjiiess of thini^s. This is Nirvana, the 
extinction of the soul ; and the path to it is the path of 
inertion, apathy, and vacuity. 

This then is the primitive antithesis. Asadvdda, 
Sunyavdda, the theory of the unreality of all things, the 
tenet of the void or blank, is set up in opposition to 
Brahmavada, the doctrine of the f ontal spiritual essence. 
Tlds antithetic doctrine of the emanation of all things 
out of nonentity, is explained and redargued by Sanka- 
lacharya in his gloss on the aphorisms of the Vedanta.^ 
The Vedanta is the philosophy of the Upanishads in its 
later and systematic shape. The Upanishads are them- 
selves often called Vedantas, or final portions of the 

" The Buddhists," he says, " try to prove that what s'ankara- 

"^ . ^ chary a's state- 

is comes out of what is not, according to a formula they ment and 

1 1 1 • T p , 1 . refutation of 

have that nothing that comes out of another thing can Buddhist 

. . . , , . . nihilism. 

come out 01 it without the previous suppression of that 
thing. Thus it is only from a seed that has already 
ceased to exist that a plant begins to germinate ; only 
from milk that has ceased to exist that curds are pro- 
duced; only from a piece of clay that has ceased to 
exist that a pot is made by the potter. They say that 
if things emanated out of an imperishable principle 
such as the impersonal Self, anything might emanate 
from anything ; there being no particularity, as there is 
no limit to the power of such a principle. The plant, 
the curds, and the pot come into being out of the 
already non-existent seed, milk, and clay. They hold , 

then that entity emanates out of nonentity. 

" The reply we make is that entity cannot emanate 

^ Sarirakamimansabhashya, ii. 2, 26. 


Chap. yii. out of nonentity ; what is cannot come out of what is 
not. If every cause is alike already non-existent, it is 
senseless to talk of particular things only emanating 
out of other particular things. Grant the seed, the 
milk, the clay, and so forth, to be already nonentities, 
being suppressed to make way for the plant, the curds, 
the pot that come into being out of them, and there will 
be no difference between these several nonentities, they 
being all characterless alike ; just as there is no dif- 
ference between the horns of a hare, the flowers in the 
sky, and the like pieces of absurdity. Thus the Bud- 
dhist plea that everything in particular must emanate 
out of something in particular, the plant out of a seed 
and nothing but a seed, and so on, comes to nothing, If 
things can come out of a characterless nullity, the plant, 
the curds, the pot, and so forth may come out of such 
mere nullities as the horns of a hare and the flowers 
in the sky, and every one sees that this is not the 

" If, on the other hand, the Buddhist contends for a 
difference between this, that, and the other nullity, just 
as this, that, and the other lotus differ, this being blue, 
that red, and the other white ; his nothings M'ill become 
somethings, as much as the lotuses themselves are 
somethings. A nothing cannot give birth to a some- 
thing,for the very good reason that a nothing is a nothing. 
The horns of the hare and the flowers of the sky are 
nothings, and as nothings they give birth to nothing. 

" If entity came out of nonentity, every entity that 
has come into being would be nonentitative, and this is 
not the case, for every one can see that each and every 
entity is entitative in its own particular modes of being. 
Everything is of the same nature as that out of which 
it has had its origin. Ko one imagines the pots that 
have been made of clay, and retain the nature of clay, 
to have been woven out of threads, or imagines textile 
fabrics to have been fashioned out of clav. Everv one 


is sufficiently aware that earthenware things are only Chap. vii. 
new forms of earth. 

" As for the Buddhist assertion that things that are 
come out of things that are not, nothing coming into 
being prior to the suppression of the thing it came out 
of, — this is false. Every one sees that things can only 
be made out of things that continue to exist ; bracelets 
out of gold that continues to have its being in the 
bracelets, and so on. If you suppress the proper nature 
of the seed, the power of germination and the future 
plant are suppressed along with it. The plant pro- 
ceeds just out of those elements of the seed that have 
not perished, but which go on existing in the plant that 
grows up out of them. This tenet, then, of the emana- 
tion of the existent out of the non-existent is inadmis- 
sible ; inasmuch as we see, on the one hand, that entity 
does not issue out of nonentity, — you cannot make a 
bow out of a pair of hare's horns, or a garland out of 
sky-flowers; and, on the other hand, that entity does 
issue out of entity, as golden trinkets are made out of 
existin^r g-old, and other things out of things that are." 

It is thus that Sankaracharya refutes the Asadvdda, 
Sunyavdda, or nihilism of the Buddhists. Elsewhere he 
points out that the last residuum of abstraction car- 
ried to its highest point is not nonentity, but entity. 
The entity thus reached is, of course, a pure indeter- 
mination of being; and the principle of movement to 
account for the existence of all the vaiiety of life is 
found in Maya. All differences are figments of illu- 
sion ; the pure indifference of being, thought, and bliss 
alone is true. 

Let us now see how the great Indian schoolman 
states and refutes the Vijndiiavdda or sensationalism 
of the Buddhists. The statement and refutation of this 
theory also are taken from his gloss on the aphorisms 
of the Vedanta.^ 

^ Sarirakamimansabhiishya ii. 2, 28. 


Chap. VII. " The theory of the sensationalists proposes to account 
s'ankl^ for the whole world of everyday life, with its cognitions 
me^ut of Bud-^' ^^^ cognisablc objects, as something internal, as only a 
^onlii^m''''' ^0^™^ taken by the mind of the migrating sentiency. 
They say that even if there were things outside the 
mind, the distinction between the perceptions and 
the things perceived could only be furnished by the 
mind itself. If you ask, they say, how it can be known 
that all the things of daily life are internal to the mind, 
and that there are no outward things, it must be re- 
plied that external things are impossible. The external 
things you plead for, they continue, must be either 
atoms, or masses made up of atoms, such as posts and 
pillars and the like. Now, atoms cannot present them- 
selves as posts and pillars, for there is no presentation 
of an atom ; nor, again, can masses of atoms present 
themselves as posts and pillars, for you could not say 
whether these posts and pillars were the same or not 
the same as the atoms. In the same way it may be 
shown, they say, that the external things are not uni- 
versals, or qualities, or actions." 

We do not know that the post is a mass of atoms, 
because we do not know that the several atoms, each of 
which is beyond all perception, can come together in 
such a way as to form a mass that can be seen and 
handled. Again, if the posts and pillars and other 
outward things are not atoms, or made up of atoms, 
they cannot be placed under the category of substance. 
The sensationalist is represented as employing the lan- 
guage of the Naiyayikas and Vaiseshikas, and requir- 
ing to find some one or other of their categories under 
which to place the outward things which are under 
dispute. They cannot be placed under the head of 
substance, for substances are, in the Naiyayika and 
Vai^eshika philosophies, atomic aggregates. The sen- 
sationalist proceeds to try wdiether they can be placed 
under either of the three categories of universality, 


quality, or action, there being no other category under chap. vii. 
which they could possibly be ranked. He finds that they 
cannot, for every universal, every quality, and every 
action is either one with the thinsr to wliich it belonfjs 
or not one with it. If it is one with it, the thing is a 
thing no more ; if it is not one with it, it cannot stand 
to it in any other relation than tliat of an independent 
thing outside it, and such an independent thing it 
cannot be. Such appears to be Auandagiri's explana- 
tion of this obscure argument. 

"Further, they say, the particularisation of the 
several cognitions as they succeed each other in the 
mind, in such a way that this is a cognition of a post, 
that of a wall, this of a water-pot, that of a piece of 
cloth, and so on, — this particularisation supposes some 
distinction in the cognitions themselves, and you must 
admit that the cognition has the same form as the object 
cognised. This once admitted, the hypothesis of the ex- 
istence of external things is gratuitous ; for the forms of 
the objects are not without but within the cognitions. 

"Again, as the perceptions and the percepts are 
always presented simultaneously, and as if one be not 
presented the other is not presented, they are insepar- 
able. They would not be inseparable if they were not 
really one in nature; for if they were two different things, 
there would be nothing to prevent the presentation of 
the one in the absence of the other. There is there- 
fore no external world. 

" The nature of external perception is similar to 
that of a dream. The presentments we call posts and 
pillars and so forth, appear to us in our waking expe- 
rience in a relation of subject and object; precisely in 
the same way that the presentments of a dream, of an 
illusion, of a mirage, or of a reverie, appear to us in the 
relation of subject and object; and in each state equally 
in the absence of any things external to us. In each 
state the presentments are alike presentments. 


Chap. yit. " If yoii ask US, they proceed, how to account for all 
the variety of the presentments of the senses, in the 
absence of external things to give rise to that variety ; 
it may be replied that this variety proceeds from the 
variety of ideal residues of past sensations. There has 
been no beginning to the process of the aeons ; and thus 
there is no reason to deny that sensations give rise to 
ideas and ideas to fresh sensations, in the same way 
that the seed produces the plant and the plant the seed 
in endless progress, and thus give rise to all the variety 
that is around us. You, they say, no less than we our- 
selves, teach that in dreams and reveries the variety of 
the consciousness arises from the variety of residual 
ideas or mental images, and there is proof enough that 
variety of ideas is followed by variety of presentments, 
and want of variety in the ideas by want of variety in 
the presentments. We do not allow that the variety 
in perception is due to the action of external things. 
And thus again we assert that there is no external 

Such is Sankaracharya's statement of the Buddhist 
theory of sensationalism. His refutation of that theory 
proceeds upon an appeal to the primitive convictions 
of the human race. The reader will be interested in 
remarking to how great an extent the arguments of 
Eeid and his successors are anticipated by the Indian 
schoolmen perhaps more than eleven hundred years 
ago. The refutation is as follows : — 
s'ankara- " To all this we reply that external things do exist. 

SuS?ofsef,sa- ^^ is iuipossible to judge that external things have no 
tiouaiism. exlsteuce, and why ? because we are conscious of them. 
In every act of perception some one or other outward 
thing is presented to the consciousness, be it post or 
wall, or cloth or jar, or whatever else it may be ; and 
that of which we are conscious cannot but exist. If a 
man, at the very moment he is conscious of outward 
things through his senses, tells us that he is not con- 


scious of them, aud that they have no existence, why chap. vii. 
shoukl Me listen to him, any more than we should 
listen to a man who, in the moment of eating aud 
enjoying, told us that he was not eating and was not 
enjoying what he ate ? 

" Perhaps you will reply that you do not say you are 
not conscious of any object, but only that you are not 
conscious of an object external to the consciousness. 
Yes, it is true that you say this, but you say it in the 
plenitude of your self-conceit, and you say nothing 
that you can prove. The consciousness itself certifies 
to us that the thing is external to the consciousness. 
No one is conscious of the post and the wall as forms 
of perception, and every plain man knows that the post 
and the wall are the objects of perception. It is thus 
that all ordinary people perceive things. The sensa- 
tionalists repudiate external things and at the same 
time talk about them freely, as when they say that the 
percept is internal and that it only appears to be ex- 
ternal. They are all the while dealing with a percep- 
tion that all the world knows to be external ; and as 
they insist on refusing an external world, they say the 
external thing only seems to be external. If there be 
nothing external, how can anything seem external, that 
is, be like an external thing ? No one says, Vishnu- 
mitra looks like the son of a childless mother. If we 
are to accept the truth as it is given to us in our expe- 
rience, we must affirm that the thing perceived is pre- 
sented externally, not only that it is presented like an 
external thing. 

" I suppose you will rejoin that you decide that the 
thing perceived is like an external thing, because it is 
impossible that anything should really be external. 
This is no fit decision, for the possibility and impossi- 
bility of things are to be learned in the exercise of the 
faculties ; and the exercise of the faculties is not to 
follow any preconception about the possibility or im- 


Chap. VII. possibility of things. A thing is possible, if it is cog- 
nisable in perception or in the exercise of any other 
faculty. A thing is impossible, if it is incognisable to 
each and all the faculties. How can you say that an 
external world is impossible, on the strength of diffi- 
culties in the shape of the positive and negative infer- 
ences you adduce, if the existence of tliis external 
world is at the same time presupposed in the exercise 
of every faculty ? 

" Again, you cannot argue that there are no outward 
objects, on the ground that the perception takes the 
form of the outward object ; for if there were no out- 
ward object in existence, the perception could not take 
the form of an outward object. You will have to admit 
then that the reason that the perception and the object 
perceived are always presented simultaneously, is not 
that the object is one and the same with the act of 
perception, but that the object is the occasion of the 

" Again there is the perception of a jar, and there is 
the perception of a piece of cloth. Here the difference 
lies not in the perception, but in the things perceived, 
the jar and the cloth ; in the same way as there are 
white cows and black cows, and these differ, not in 
beincc cows, but in being the one white and the other 
black. So, further, there is the perception of a jar and 
the memory ©r representation of a jar, and in this case 
the difference lies in the acts of presentation and repre- 
sentation, not in the jar perceived and represented ; in 
the same way as the smell of milk and the taste of milk 
differ as smell and taste, and not in respect to the milk 
smelt and tasted. 

" If you say that the thing we are conscious of is the 
perception, you should more properly say that the ex- 
ternal thing is that of which we are conscious. You 
will no doubt rejoin that the sensation, as you call the 
perception, shines in its own light like a lamp, and that 


we can be conscious of it, and that the supposed ex- chap. yii. 
ternal thing does not shine in its own light, and that 
we cannot be conscious of it. The irradiation of the 
perception by itself, M'hich you propose, is extremely 
absurd ; it is as if you said that a fire burned itself. 
At the same time, you are such a great philosopher 
that you will not allow the clear and plain belief of 
plain people, that the external thing is presented to con- 
sciousness by a perceptive act that is not the thing itself. 
It is of no use to urge that a sensation, which is not an 
external thing, presents itself to the consciousness, for 
to say that a thing acts upon itself is an absurdity. 

"I foresee that you will rejoin that if the sensation 
is to be apprehended by something not itself, that 
something must again be apprehended by something 
not itself, and so ad infinitum. You will also rejoin 
that if there is to be a fresh cognition to cognise the 
perception, the perception already shining of itself like 
a lamp, the cognition and the perception being both 
alike, the one cannot be supposed to shed its light upon 
the other ; and thus it is an idle hypothesis that makes 
the sensation or perception one thing, and the con- 
sciousness of the sensation or perception another thing. 
Both your rejoinders are null, for there is no need to 
suppose a consciousness of that which is conscious, viz., 
of the Self that witnesses or irradiates the perception ; 
and we only suppose a consciousness of the perception, 
not a consciousness of a consciousness of the percep- 
tion. There is no fear of an infinite regression. And 
as regards your second rejoinder: the witness or Self 
that irradiates the perception and the perception that it 
irradiates are essentially different, and may thus be 
held to stand to one another in the relation of thing 
knowing and thino- known. The witness or Self is self- 

O O 

posited, and cannot be repudiated. 

" When you talk about a sensation, incognisable to 
any faculty, shining of itself with nothing ulterior to 


Chap. VII. give the light of consciousness to it, a sensation that 
there is no sentient being to cognise, you might as well 
say that there are a thousand lamps shining inside such 
and such an impenetrable mass of rocks, but that there 
is no one to see them. You are talking nonsense. 

" The philosopher who denies the existence of external 
things asserts that the presentments of posts and walls, 
and pots and pans, and so forth, in the waking experi- 
ence, arise in the absence of all external things, like the 
things seen in a dream ; the presentments being present- 
ments alike, and nothing more, whether we wake or 
dream. This we deny. The perceptions of the waking 
state differ from the presentments of a dream ; the per- 
ceptions are not negated, and the presentments of sleep 
are negated. On waking out of his sleep, a man denies 
the reality of what he saw in a dream. He says, for 
example, that he had a false presentation of an interview 
with a great man, but that no such interview took place, 
only his inward sense was dull and sleepy, and thus the 
illusion arose. Eeveries, hallucinations, and the like 
states are all negatived, each in its proper mode of 
subhation ; but the thing perceived in the waking state, 
be it post or pillar, or what it may, is never nega- 
tived in any later state of mind. The visions of a 
dream are representations, the visions of the waking 
experience are presentations ; and the distinction be- 
tween perception and memory, or presentation and 
representation, is self-evident. In perception the thing 
is present, in memory it is absent. When I recollect 
the son I am missing, I do not perceive him, but only 
want to perceive him. It is of no avail for you to 
assert that the presentations of the waking experience 
are as false as the presentments of a dream, in that both 
are alike presentments and nothing more ; for you are 
all the time yourself conscious of the difference between 
presentations and representations." 

Sankaracharya's arguments will at first sight appear 


inconsisteut with his doctrine of the unreality of all Chap, vil 
things save the one and only Self. Has not he told us iss'a^a- 

1 ~ . If 

himself that the world is only a series of dreams, through coMfstent? 
which the soul is fated to wander until it recover its wwid^'i's^oiiiy 
unity with the sole reality, the fontal spiritual essence ? 'y^ovilioLnf 
The inconsistency will he seen to be less than it ap- '"''''^• 
pears, if we remember that the external things in his 
philosophy, the philosophy of the Upanishads, are as 
real as the minds that perceive them. This degree of 
reality they have, and the presentments of a dream 
have not. Individual souls and their environments are 
true for the many ; they have an existence sufficient 
to account for all that goes on in daily life ; they are 
real^ from the standpoint of everyday experience. The 
visions of a dream are false from this standpoint. In- 
dividual souls and their environments are false for the 
reflective few ; their existence disappears in the higher 
existence, to be won by abstraction and spiritual intui- 
tion; they are unreal- from the standpoint of meta- 
physical truth. So long as a man is engaged in the 
avocations of common life, the things he has to deal 
with are real enough for him. If neither he nor they 
have the true and real being ^ that belongs to Self 
alone, they have their own conventional existence,* an 
existence that is enough to account for all we are and 
do and suffer. If we use the language of metaphysical 
truth, we must say that the existence of the soul and 
its environment, apart from the Self, is only enough to 
account for all we seem to be and do and suffer ; that 
it is spurious, fictitious, mere semblance ; that it may 
be negatived by spiritual intuition or ecstasy. But 
such an existence is very different from the merely 
apparent existence ^ of the presentments of the dream- 
ing phantasy, which are negatived by the ordinary 
experience of the unphilosophic man. This conven- 

^ Lauhikavyavalidratah. ^ Paramdrthatah. ^ Puramdrthikl sattd. 

* Yydaihdrikl sattd. ^ Prdtihhdsikl sattd. 


Chap. VII. tional existence of souls and their environments is an 

apparent existence for the philosopher; not an apparent 

existence for the many; for them it is real enough. They 

at least find no lack of truth in the miseries they have 

to go through. Beyond the apparent existence of the 

images of a dream there is a lower depth of unreality, 

the unreality that belongs to such mere figments of the 

imagination as the horns of a hare, the flowers of the 

sky, the son of a childless mother. These things are 

the nonsensical pure and simple.^ Now the world- fiction 

and its figments, souls, and the things they see and do 

and suffer, are not pure and simple nonsense ; not things 

that have a merely apparent existence even for the 

many ; but things that have a conventional existence 

for the many, and an apparent and fictitious existence 

only for the philosophic few, who have attained to an 

insight into the one high verity, the sole existence of 

the characterless Self. 

Thepiiiio- Judging the succession of Indian systems by the 

sankhy'L*'' A nature of the notions they exhibit, and there is no 

dependei!" other Way to judge it, the system that follows next will 

emanation ^ bc the philosophy of the Sankhyas. In this philosophy, 

Prakrui'^ A witli the purpose of presenting a firmer front against 

PimishZs or ^^^^ Buddliists, a still higher degree of reality is assigned 

Selves. ^Q |-]^Q mind and its environments, to the world at large, 

than in the primitive Indian philosophy, the philosophy 

of the Upanishads. The world is said to have a sej^a- 

rate and independent origin or principle of emanation ; 

it comes out of Prakriti or Pradhana. This Prakriti or 

principle of emanation is the equilibrium of the three 

jprimordia rerum of Indian philosophy, pleasure, pain, 

and indolence or indifference. These are the basal 

sensibility out of Avhich, on an impulse^ given by the 

law of nemesis that upsets their equilibrium, mind,^ as 

yet unconscious, emanates; from mind personality^ pro- 

^ TuchcJthamdtra. ~ Gnnalshohha, Pralcritikshohha. 

^ Baddhi. ■* Ahankdva. 


ceeds, and from personality the as yet imperceptible Chap. vil. 
rudiments of the world, and so on. The world is thus 
a reality, no illusion, not a figment-world even for the 
philosopher. It is real for him, as well as for the 
multitude. This is the first step the Sankhyas, or 
enumerative philosophers, take in the direction of 
common sense. They take a second step in the same The sankhyas 

. 1 1 J. J. 1 pervert the 

direction, at the expense, it must be expressly stated, plain sense 
of their ingenuousness, by pretending that the term upamshads. 
Brahman in the Upanishads is only a collective term - 
for a plurality of Selves or Purushas. They say that 
the texts of the Upanishads that teach that all souls 
are one in the unity of the one and only Self, merely 
assert a common nature in all souls. There are many 
Selves, they pretend, and their unity is generic, not 
numerical. This is a mere tour de force on the part of 
the Sankhyas, as must be evident enough to any atten- 
tive reader of the preceding chapters of this work. 
They further say that when Brahman is said in the 
Upanishads to be the principium, the origin of the 
worlds, the term Brahman is only a synonym for Pra- 
kriti or Pradhana : a perfectly monstrous assertion. 
They allow full reality to the Purushas or Selves, and 
a lower but still true and independent reality to the 
minds and bodies and environments of the Purushas. 
These minds, bodies, and environments are emanations 
out of Prakriti, and are said by the Sankhyas to have 
a practical or conventional existence, inasmuch as they 
are in unceasing change, and never at a stand. The 
world is not negatived for them, not sublated, by a per- 
fect knowledge, as it is in the primitive philosophy of 
the Upanishads, but the Purusha is detached from it. 
The mind ceases to mirror its ceaseless modes upon 
that Purusha or Self on which a perfect knowledge has 
been reflected. Mind is reflected or mirrored on the 
Purushas, and the Purushas give light to mind, the 
light of consciousness. A soul is extricated from 



Chap. VII. metempsychosis as often as one of the Puruslias is 
separated from the mind, so soon as the world ceases to 
cast its reflections upon it, and to shine in its light. 

In support of their thesis that the world has an 
independent and real principle, Prakriti or Pradhana, 
the Sankhyas bring forward in particular two passages 
of the XJpanishads, one from the Katha and the other 
from the Svetasvatara. A translation of the Svetasva- 
tara will he given in the next chapter. It is necessary, 
before giving it, to discuss the position of the Sankhya 
philosophy, as the Svetasvatara Upanishad has been 
sometimes thought to lend countenance to Sankhya 
teaching, or to be in fact a Sankhya Upanishad. 
In the Before looking at the passages the Sankhyas insist 

Prakruiis^ upou as teaching their views, it must be noted that 
for^AyTdyHr Prakriti is often used in the philosophy of the Upani- 
^^'''^'^' shads and the Vedanta precisely as a synonym for 

Avidya or Maya, the self-feigning world-fiction, and 
that Purusha is also often used as a precise equivalent 
for Brahman the one and only Self. In fact, if we pay 
attention to the strictly Vedautic teaching of the Svetas- 
vatara Upanishad and the Bhagavadgita, and to the 
Sankhya language in which that teaching is couched, 
as also to the references they make to Kapila and 
Jaimini, the reputed authors of the Sankhya and Yoga 
or demiurgic Sankhya systems, the only conclusion 
that we can form is that the Sankhya was originally 
nothing more than a nomenclature for the principles 
of the philosophy of the Upanishads ; and that the 
distinctive tenets of the subsequent Sankhya school, 
viz., the independence and reality of Prakriti and the 
plurality of Purushas, are later developments. In its 
origin the Sankhya appears to have been nothing more 
than a series of terms to note the successive emanations 
from Prakriti or Maya. It was only in later times that 
it became a separate philosophy. It is beyond all doubt 
that the teaching of the Svetasvatara Upanishad and 


of the Bhagavadglta, notwithstanding their Sfinkhj-a Cuap. vii, 
phrases and Sankhya references, is as purely Vedautic 
as that of any Vedantic work whatever. 

The passage of the Katha Upanishad which the San- ^jg"i[^^^°th7'' 
khyas produce in support of their peculiar tenets is as ^;g'",\^/^^^P" 

follows : J^atha Upani- 


" For their objects are beyond and more subtile than 
the senses ; the common sensory is beyond the objects, 
the mind is beyond the sensory, and the great soul is 
beyond the mind. 

" The ultimate and undeveloped principle is beyond 
that great soul, and Purusha the Self is beyond the un- 
developed principle. Beyond Purusha there is nothing ; 
that is the Q;oal, that is the final term." 

The Sankhyas hold that the undeveloped principle 
of this passage is their own Prakriti or Pradhana, the 
independent principle out of which the world proceeds, 
and that the mind here mentioned is their own second 
principle, the first emanation out of Prakriti. Sankara- 
charya examines this view in the beginning of the fourth 
section of the first book of his commentary on the 
aphorisms of the Vedanta, and undertakes to prove from 
the context that the undeveloped principle is not the 
Pradhana of the Sankhyas, but the world-fiction Maya, 
which is the body of Isvara,^ the body out of which all 
things emanate. The great soul mentioned in this pas- 
sage is, he says, either the migrating soul, or the divine 
emanation Hiranyagarbha. The text is the immediate 
sequel of the allegory of the chariot. " The text," he 
says, " does not indicate any such independent prin- 
ciple of emanation as the Pradhana of the Sankhya 
tradition. The word undeveloped is merely a negative 
term, the negative of the developed. It applies there- 
fore to something imperceptible and inscrutable, but 
it is not to be taken as a special name of a special 
thing. It is not the current name of an entity. It is 

^ The cosmic body, the kdranaiarlra. 


Chap. VII. true that the term is one of the technicalities of the 
Sankhyas, and with them a synonym of their Pradhana, 
but in explaining the sense of the Vedic text it is not 
to be taken as the specific name of the principle of 
emanation. The order of enumeration is similar to the 
order in which the Sankhyas enumerate their principles, 
but that is no proof that the things enumerated are the 
same. No one in his senses on finding an ox in a 
horse's stall would pronounce it to be a horse. We 
have only to look at the allesory of the chariot, which 

The imdeve- . "^ '- '' 12 i i 

loped prill- immcdiatelv precedes the words of the text, to find that 

ciplecfthe "^ ^ . , _^ , ' . , , 

KathaUpani- the Undeveloped principle is not the Pradhana invented 

shifi not ij-i- __ 

Pradhana but by the Sankhvas, but the cosmic body, the body of Is vara, 

Maya, the o ^ • ^ "^ ^^ 1 • XT' 11 J.1 

COS,, lie body, out of which all things emanate, in tins allegory tne 

the body of ,. . t ^^ ^ ^ • l^ !• 

is'vara.the soul IS Seated lu a chariot, and the body is the chariot. 

" Know that the soul is seated in a chariot, and that 
the body is that chariot. Know that the mind is the 
charioteer, and that the will is the reins. 

" They say that the senses are the horses, and that 
the thincrs of sense are the roads. The wise declare 
that the migrating soul is the Self fictitiously present 
in the body, senses, and common sensory." 

If the senses are not held in check, the soul pro- 
ceeds to further migrations. If they are held in check, 
it reaches the farther limit of its journey, the sphere 
of Vishnu the supreme. The sphere of Vishnu the 
supreme is shown to be the one and only Self, the 
farther limit of its journey, as being beyond the senses, 
and the other things enumerated in the text. Sounds, 
colours, and other sensible objects, the roads along 
which the horses run, are beyond the senses. The 
common sensory is said to lie beyond these sensible 
objects, because the operation of the senses upon their 
objects is determined by the common sensory. The 
mind is said to be beyond the common sensory, be- 
cause every mode of pleasurable and painful experience 
accrues to the migrating soul only through the mind. 


The great soul said to be beyond the mind is the Chap. yii. 
migrating soul, the occupaut of the chariot. It is said 
to be great because it is the possessor. Or the great 
soul may mean the soul of Hiranyagarbha, the first 
emanation out of Isvara, great as being the sum of all 
individual minds. The body, then, is the only thing 
left to be accounted for in the allegory of the chariot, 
and it follows that the body is the undeveloped prin- 
ciple. It will be asked how the body, a visible and 
tangible thing, can be spoken of as the undeveloped. 
The undeveloped is surely something invisible and in- 
tangible. It must be replied that the body here spoken 
of is invisible and intangible, the cosmic body, the body 
of Isvara, out of which all things emanate. This body 
is the world-fiction ; and thus the undeveloped principle 
in the text is the potential world of name and colour, 
the world before it has come into being, as yet name- 
less and colourless, the power of the seed of the world- 
tree not yet passing into actuality." 

The second of the texts of highest importance to the The sankhya 

. T ' _ appeal to the • 

pretensions of the Sankhyas, is a verse of the Svetasva- s'vetas'vatara 

. , . Upanishad 

tara Upanishad. disaUowed. 

" There is one unborn being, red, white, and black, 
that gives birth to many offspring like herself. One 
unborn soul lingers in dalliance with her, another leaves 
her, his dalliance with her ended." 

The Sankhyas contend that the one birthless pro- 
creant, red, white, and black, here spoken of, is Prakriti 
or Pradhana, the independent originative principle of 
the world, the equipoise of the three primordia rerum ; 
pain being spoken of as red, pleasure as white, and 
indifference as black. One Purusha lingers with her, 
passing from body to body; another leaves her as soon 
as he has passed through the pains and pleasures of 
metempsychosis and attained to liberation. Sankara- 
cliarya urges that this text by itself is insufficient to 
prove that the doctrine of Pradhana has any Vedic war- 


Chap. VII. rant.^ The text must be interpreted in accordance 
with the context, and in harmony with a similar pas- 
sage in the Chhandogya Upanishad: "The red colour of 
fire is the colour of heat, white is the colour of water, 
and black the colour of earth." The plain indication 
of the context is that the unborn one is Maya or Sakti, 
the fiction of the Archimagus or power of the Demiur- 
gus, or Isvara, the universal soul or world-projecting 
deity. The Chhandogya Upanishad teaches how this 
creative power, the potentiality of name and colour, is 
developed into heat, water, and earth, out of v/hich the 
bodies of plants, and animals, and man are fashioned. 
The unborn souls in the text are not the Purushas of the 
Sankhya philosophy, but the Jivas or migrating souls 
of the Vedanta. The birthless procreant is explained 
also in Sankaracharya's commentary ^ on the Svetas- 
vatara Upanishad to be the Maya or Sakti, the fiction 
or the p)Ower of the Demiurgus, that develops into heat, 
water, and earth. The Maya or Prakriti of the Vedanta 
is often described in the same way as the Pradhana or 
Prakriti of the Sankhyas, as the union of the three 
primordia rcrum, triguncttmikd mciyd. The Vedantins 
have therefore no interested motive in identifying the 
red, white, and black with the colours of light, water, 
and earth, rather than with pain, pleasure, and indolence. 
Sankaracharya's exposition is certainly the natural, no 
less than the traditional and authoritative, interpretation 
of the text. In fact, the teaching of the Svetilsvatara is 
precisely the same as that of the other Upanishads, 

The Sankhyas Auothcr poiut at issuc bctwcen the Sankhyas and the 

deny the exis- _ n i-\ c i i m i i> i tt 

fence of Vedautius, or followers of the philosophy of the Upani- 
cosmic'soui, shads, should be noted. This is that the Sankhyas deny 

or world- . „,= . T T • i_ 

evolving the existence or the Isvara, JJemmrgus, or world-project- 

" ^' ing deity, proclaimed in the Upanishads. The Sankliya 

teaching in this matter may be given in the words of 

1 Sarirakamimansabhrishya, I. " Svetasvataropanishadbhashya, 

4, 8, and 9. iv. 5. 


Vficliaspatimisra in bis Sriukliyatattvakaumudl, or eluci- Chap. vii. 
dation of the Sankhya principles. " The unconscious," 
lie says, " is seen to operate towards an end ; the uncon- 
scious milk of the cow, for example, operates towards 
the growth of the calf. It is in the same way that 
Prakriti, the principle of emanation, unconscious as it is, 
acts with a view to the liberation of Purushas or Selves. 
A Vedautin may urge that the operation of the milk is 
not solely the work of an unconscious thing, the milk 
operating under the supervision of Isvara. But this 
plea is useless, for every intelligent being acts either 
from self-interest or from beneficence, as we see in the 
life of the present day. Neither self-interest nor bene- 
ficence can have had any part to play in the evolution 
of the world, and therefore the world has not an intelli- 
gent author. A creator who has already all he can 
desire can have no interest in creating anything ; nor 
can he be imagined to operate from a motive of bene- 
ficence. Prior to a fresh creation or palingenesia of the 
world there is no misery, as the migrating souls have 
neither bodies, senses, nor environments. What is 
there, then, that the tenderness of the Demiurgus could 
wish to extricate them from ? If you say that the 
beneficence of the Demiurgus has reference to the 
misery of the souls to come as soon as he has made the 
world or projected the spheres of recompense, this plea 
implies a logical circle you will not be able to get out of ; 
the act of creation will proceed from the beneficence 
of the world-projecting deity, and his beneficence will 
proceed from the act of creation. What is more, a 
Demiurgus actuated by beneficence would not create 
sentient beings under disparate conditions, but in a 
state of co-equal happiness. Disparity of conditions, 
you rejoin, proceeds from disparity of works in former 
lives. If so, away, say we, with this superintendence 
of works, and the recompense of works by a supreme 
intelligence. It is easier to suppose that the blind and 



Chap. VII. 

charya's de- 
fence of the 
teaching of 
tlie philo- 
sophy of the 
In regard to 

fatal operation of the law of retribution sets Prakriti at 
work in evolving the spheres of recompense ; for there 
would be no misery at all but for the evolution of 
bodies, senses, and environments out of Prakriti by the 
law of retribution." 

Sankaracharya undertakes to refute this tenet of the 
Sankhyas, and to maintain the existence of the Isvara 
or Demiurgus proclaimed in the philosophy of the 
Upanishads. His refutation is as follows : ^ — 

" It is arQ-ued that the Demiurgus cannot be the 
principle out of which the world emanates, and why ? 
because he would be unjust and cruel. He makes 
some living beings extremely happy, as the gods ; 
others extremely miserable, as the lower animals; to 
others, as to men, he assigns an intermediate position. 
If the Demiurgus creates so unequal a world, he must 
have the same preferences and aversions as one of our- 
selves, and there will be an end to the purity and other 
divine attributes given to him in revelation and tradi- 
tion. Nay, he must be pitiless and cruel to a degree 
that even bad men would reprobate, as first involving 
his creatures in misery, and then retracting them all 
into himself, to be projected out of himself again. The 
Demiurgus, then, is not the principle of origination of 
the world. To this we reply, that injustice and cruelty 
do not attach to the Demiurgus, and why ? because he 
acts with reference to something beyond himself. He 
would be indeed unjust and cruel, if he acted altogether 
of himself in evolving this unequal world ; but it is not 
of himself but with reference to something farther that 
he projects the spheres of recompense. You ask in 
reference to what. In reference, we reply, to the good 
and evil that the migrating souls have done in their 
former lives. The world is a world of inequalities, 
because of the various works that have to be recom- 
pensed to the migrating souls that are projected anew 

^ Sarlrarakamlmansabhashya, ii. i, 34-36. 


at the beginning of each aion, and the Deniiurgus is not Chap. vii. 
to blame. The Demiurgus may be likened to a rain- The migrating 
cloud. The cloud is the one cause alike of the gTowth i^.^n^aro to 
of rice, barley, and other kinds of grain ; and the pecu- [nequaii'tVof 
liar possibilities of the various seeds are what make the t'leu-iots. 
one to grow up as rice, the other as barley, the others 
as other kinds of CTain. The Demiurcjus is in like 
manner the one common principle of the evolution of 
gods, men, animals, and other creatures ; and the pecu- 
liar works, good and evil, of the several migiating souls 
give rise to their different embodiments, divine and 
human, and the rest. The Demiurgus is not guilty of 
injustice or cruelty, inasmuch as he operates in crea- 
tion in conformity to the law of retribution. You ask 
how we know that he acts in conformity to this law in 
producing these higher, middle, and lower spheres of 
recompense. "We know it because Vedic revelation 
teaches it in the texts, — If he wishes to raise up a soul 
into a higher embodiment, he makes it do good works, 
and if he wishes to lead a soul down into a lower em- 
bodiment,he makes it do evil works; and, A man becomes 
holy by holy works and unholy by unholy works in pre- 
vious lives. Tradition also teaches tliat the favour 
and disfavour of the world-projecting deity are propor- 
tionate to the good and evil works of the migrating 
souls, in such words as, — I receive them just as they 
approach me. 

" You will aro'ue against all this that there is no 
distinction in things prior to creation, and that there- 
fore prior to creation there is no law of retribution 
to account for the inequalities of the world that is to 
be, the Vedic text saying, Existent only, my son, was 
this in the beginning, one only, without duality. You 
will say that we involve ourselves in a logical circle, in 
saying that the law of retribution is a result of the 
variety of embodiments produced in the creation, and 
the variety of embodiments again is a result of the law 


Chap. VII. of retribution. You will further say tliat the Demi- 
urgus operates in creation with reference to a law of 
nemesis that follows after the variety of embodiments, 
and that the first creation in the series of creations 
must have been one of pure equality, there not having 
yet arisen any such retributive fatality in consequence 
of a prior variety of embodiments. In all this, we 
reply, you produce nothing to disprove our theory of 
The world has ^^^^ Dcmiurgus. The series of creations has had no 
niif/^souu " beginning. Your plea would be good if the series had 
raig^a^tion '" ^ beginning, but it has none ; and consequently there is 
from eternity, nothing to gaiusay the position that the law of retribu- 
tion and the inequalities of life produce and reproduce 
each other, like seed and plant and plant and seed. 

" You will next ask us how we know that the series 
of creations has had no beginning. Our reply is this, 
— that if the series had a beginning, something must 
have come out of nothing; and if something can come 
out of nothing, even liberated souls may have hereafter 
to return to metempsychosis, and to suffer miseries that 
they have done nothing to deserve. There would no 
longer be anything to account for the inequalities of 
happiness and misery in the world. This consequence 
would be as repugnant to your principles as it is to 
ours. The Demiurgus then is not the author of the 
inequalities of life. The cosmical illusion in and by 
itself is not the source of these inequalities, being- 
uniform. The world- fiction becomes the source of 
these inequalities only by reason of the law of retri- 
bution, latent in it owing to the residue of good and 
evil works as yet unrecompensed. There is no logical 
circle implied in the statement that retribution leads 
to bodily life, and bodily life to retribution, for the 
process of metempsychosis is one that has had no 
beginning, and that produces and reproduces itself like 
seed and plant, and plant and seed." 

Another point of difference between the philosophy 


of the Upanishads and the philosophy of the Sankhyas Chap. vii. 
must be marked. In both philosophies alike things The sal^hya 
are said to pre-exist in the things they emanate out of. re-a modmca- 
In the pliilosophy of the Upanishads the successive tliTuc to^the 
emanations are fictitious things^ that present themselves J^e^fetoflicti- 
in the place of the one and only Self as it is overspread ^j"^'^ emana- 
with illusion. In the philosophy of the Sankhyas 
the successive emanations- are real modifications of a 
real and modifiable principle, Prakriti. The doctrine 
of fictitious emanations is stated in the followimr 
passage of Nrisimhasarasvati's SubodhinI, a commen- 
tary on the Vedantasara or Essence of the Upanishads : 
" All the figments of the world-fiction may be made to 
disappear in such a way that pure thought or the Self 
shall alone remain, in the same manner as the fictitious 
serpent seen in a piece of rope may be made to dis- 
appear, and the rope that underlies it may be made to 
remain. The rope was only rope all the time it falsely 
seemed to be a snake. The fictitious world may be 
made to disappear as the fictitious snake is made to 
disappear, and this is its sublation.^ Anything that 
exists in its own proper mode of existence, may pass 
into another form in either of two ways — the way of 
real emanation, and the way of fictitious emanation. 
Eeal emanation takes place when a thing really quits 
its present mode of being and assumes a new mode ; as 
when milk ceases to be pure milk and emanates in the 
new form of curdled milk. Fictitious emanation takes 
place when a thing remains in its own mode of being, 
and at the same time fictitiously presents itself in an- 
other mode ; as the piece of rope remains a piece of rope, 
but presents itself as a snake to the belated wayfarer. 
In the Vedanta the world of semblances that veils the 
Self, is not allowed to be a modification or real emana- 

1 Vivarta. This doctrine is called Vivartavdda. 

^ Parlnama. This doctrine is called Farindmavdda. 

^ Apavada, hddha. 


Chap. VII. tion of the Self ; for if the Self were modifiable and 
mutable, it would not be, as it is, perduring and eternal. 
But in the true doctrine that the world is a false pre- 
sentment or fictitious emanation that presents itself in 
the place of the Self, the Self remains unmodified and 

In reference to this same Sankhya tenet of real 
emanations Sankaracharya says : " It is of no use to 
raise the question how the variety of creation can arise 
without the Self's forfeiting its pure and characterless 
beincr; for it is said in the sacred text that a varied 
creation arises in the one and only Self in the dreaming 
state of the soul. There are no chariots, no horses, no 
roads, but it presents to itself chariots, horses, and roads, 
and there is in this creation no suppression of the pure 
and characterless being of the Self." ^ And again : " The 
Self does not lose its pure and simple nature, for the 
variety of name and colour is only a figment of the 
world-fiction, a modification of speech only, a change, 
a name. Vedic revelation, in teaching that all things 
issue out of the Self, does not teach that things are real 
emanations or modifications of the Self ; the very pur- 
pose of this revelation being to teach that the Self is 
the fontal spiritual essence, free from all that is, and 
all that is done and suffered, in the lives we live."^ 

^ Sarirakaiuimansabhashya, ii. " SarirakaniTmansabhashya, ii. 

I, 28. I, 27. 




" The fakirs of India and the monks of the Oriental church were 
alike persuaded, that in total abstraction of the faculties of the mind 
and body, the purer spirit may ascend to the enjoyment and vision of 
the Deity. The opinion and practice of the monasteries of Mount 
Athos will be best represented in the words of an abbot who flourished 
in the eleventh centu^3^ ' When thou art alone in thy cell,' says the 
ascetic teacher, ' shut thy door and seat thyself in a corner ; raise thy 
mind above all things vain and transitory ; recline thy beard and chin 
on thy breast ; turn thy eyes and thy thoughts towards the middle of 
thy belly, the region of the navel, and search the place of the heart, 
the seat of the soul. At first all will be dark and comfortless ; but if 
you persevere day and night, you will feel an ineffable joy ; and no 
sooner has the soul discovered the place of the heart, than it is involved 
in a mystic and ethereal light.' " — Gibbon. 

" Hypatia did not feel her own limbs, hear her own breath. A light 
bright mist, an endless network of glittering films, coming, going, 
uniting, resolving themselves, was above her and around her. Was 
she in the body or out of the body ? The network faded into an abyss 
of still clear light. A still warm atmosphere was around her, thrilling 
through and through her. She breathed the light and floated in it, as 
a mote in the midday beam." — Kingsley. 

The perusal of the Svetasvatara Upanishad will satisfy Chap. viii. 
the reader that its teaching is the same as that of Thes'^asVa- 
the other Upanishads, the teaching that finds its fnll shadSL 
and legitimate expression in the system known as the trinet™s tlT 
Vedanta. Notwithstanding Sankhya phrases, and re- shads ^^*°^' 
ferences to the Saukhya philosophy and its reputed 
founder, Kapila, this Upanishad, like the other Upani- 
shads, teaches the unity of souls in the one and only 
Self ; the unreality of the world as a series of figments 
of the self-feigning world-fiction ; and as the first of 
the fictitious emanations, the existence of the Demi- 


Chap. VIII. urgus or universal soul present in every individual 

soul, the deity that projects the world out of himself, 

that the migrating souls may find the recompense of 

their works in former lives. The Svetasvatara Upani- 

shad in Sankhya terms propounds the very principles 

that the Sankhya philosophers make it their business 

The Sankhya to subvert. The inference is that the Sankhya was 

nomTnciature Originally only an enumeration of the successive emana- 

c?pies^oFthe tious out of Maya or Prakriti, a precise series of terms 

theupani^" to uote the primitive philosophy of the Upanishads, 

^^''^^' and that the distinctive tenets of what is now known 

as the Sankhya philosophy are later developments. 

The most important of these later tenets are, as has 

been seen, the reality and independence of Prakriti or 

Pradhana, the reality of the emanations of Prakriti, 

the plurality of Purushas or Selves, and the negation 

of an Isvara or world-projecting deity. 

The Svetasvatara Upanishad is an Upanishad of the 
Taittiriya or Black Eecension of the Yajurveda. This 
Upanishad is marked by several peculiarities. It em- 
ploys Sankhya terms, and refers to Kapila, the first 
teacher of the Sankhya philosophy ; a philosophy that 
seems to have been in its earliest form only a fresh, 
clear statement of the emanation of the world out of 
Maya ; Prakriti being a precise equivalent of Avidya or 
Maya, and Purusha of Brahman, the one and only Self. 
Its language is compressed and at times a little obscure, 
but its teaching is full and explicit, and it is very 
frequently referred to by the Indian schoolmen for the 
purpose of enforcing and illustrating their doctrines. 
It is particularly insistent on the practice of Yoga, or 
the fixation of the body and limbs in a rigid and 
insensible posture, and the crushing of every feeling, 
desire, and thought in order to rise to the ecstatic 
vision of and re-union with the Self. The Demiurgus 
or world-projecting deity is in this Upanishad iden- 
tified with Eudra, Kara, or Siva. It will be remem- 


bered that Siva is the divine self-torturer, the typical Chap. viii. 
Yogiu, and that the worship of this deity is supposed 
to have been adopted from the indigenous tribes of the 

The ^vetai^vatara Upanishad is as follows : — 

I. " Om. The expositors of Brahman say, What is s'vetas'vatara 
the origin of all things ? Is it the Self ? What do we First secUon. 
come out of, what do we live by, and what do we pass 
back into ? Tell us, you who know Brahman, what we 
are actuated by as we continue amidst the pleasures 
and pains of life. 

" Is the source of things to be held to be time, or 
the nature of the things themselves, or the fatal retri- 
bution, or chance, or the elements, or the personal soul ? 
The aggregate of these is not the origin of things ; for 
that aggregate exists not for its own sake, but for the 
sake of the soul. The soul again is not competent to 
be the origin of the world, for there is some further 
cause of the pleasures and pains the soul goes through." 

" Sages pursuing ecstatic union by fixing the thoughts ah things 

^ ., P , -^ ,^ , ° emanate out 

upon a smgle point have come to see that the source of the s'akti 

t ■,, ■, . .-, i> 1 T • ••11°'' Maya of 

01 all things is the power of the divme spirit,^ the is'vara, the 
power that is hidden beneath the things that emanate fiction of the 
out of it. It is that one deity that actuates and con- 
trols all those proposed principles of emanation, in- 
cluding time and the personal soul." 

It cannot be the migratins soul itself that makes the 
vision of the world, for this soul is subject to the law 
of retribution, and has no choice in regard to the 
spheres of recompense it is to pass through. It is not 
the Self as it is in and by itself that is the source of 
the world ; Brahman per se is neither the origin nor not 
the origin of things. Brahman, as fictitiously over- 
spread by the world-fiction, becomes the first of 
manifested and unreal beings, the Archimagus, the 
arch-illusionist, the world-evolving deity. All things 
^ The Sakti of Isvara. 



Is'vara is the 
cycle of the 

Chap. VIII. originate out of his illusion, his creative power, Maya, 
Sakti, Prakriti; and this power of the divine spirit or 
Demiuro-us, is veiled from all eyes beneath the sue- 
cessive emanations that proceed out of it and make up 
the world of mifrratincr souls and their environments. 

" We meditate upon that deity, the Demiurgus, as 
the wheel with one felly and three tires, with sixteen 
peripheries, with fifty spokes and twenty wedges to fix 
the spokes, a wheel that is multiform, with one cord, 
with three diverse paths, and with one illusion pro- 
ceeding from two causes." 

The creative spirit, Isvara, is the Brahmachakra, 
the wheel of Brahman, or maze of metempsychosis. 
The one felly is the cosmical illusion. The three tires 
are the three primordia rerum, the tliree Gunas, Sattva, 
Eajas, and Tamas, pleasure, pain, and indolence. The 
sixteen peripheries are the five elements, the five senses, 
the five organs of motion, and the common sensory. 
The fifty spokes are fifty varieties of mental creation 
enumerated by the Sankhyas. The twenty wedges are 
the five senses, the five organs of motion, and the objects 
of each. The one cord is desire. The three several paths 
are the path of obedience to the prescriptive sacra, 
the path of neglect of these, and the path of gnosis.^ 
The two causes of illusion are the good and evil works 
that prolong the migration of the soul through spheres 
of recompense, so long as it fails to find its real nature. 

" We meditate upon that deity as the river with five 
streams from five springs, the river swift and winding, 
with the organs of motion as its waves, with the five 
senses and the common sensory as its fountain-head, 
with five eddies, swollen and rapid with fivefold misery, 
with five infirmities as its five reaches." 

Tlie five streams are the five senses, and the five 
springs are the five elements. The five eddies are the 
five objects of sense. The five miseries are the misery 

^ Dharma, adharma, jndna. 

The river of 


prior to birth, and the pains of birth, decay, sickness, chap. viir. 
and death. The five infirmities are those of the Sankhya 
enumeration, illusion, mistake of the not-self for self, 
desire, aversion, and terror. These are the five reaches 
of the river of metempsychosis. The common sensory, 
manas, is said to be its fountain-head, because every 
phase of experience is a modification of this sensory. 

" The mi'n-atinn- soul wanders in this wheel or maze 
of Brahman, in which all things live and into which 
they shall return, so long as it thinks itself separate 
from the deity that actuates it from within ; but it goes 
to immortality as soon as it is favoured by that deity. 

" This Self is sung as the supreme Brahman. Upon The triad— the 
it is the triad; it is the firm base of all things, and is dividual souis, 
imperishable. They who in this world know the Self, soui— is based 
so soon as they know it and meditate on it alone, are ""^ 
merged in the Self, and freed from future births." 

The triad that fictitiously overlies, or presents itself 
in the place of Brahman, is the migrating soul, their 
environments, and the universal soul or Demiurgus. 
These are alike unreal, mere figments of the world- 
fiction, and Brahman alone is, and is unchanging and 

" The powerful Demiurgus upholds the world, both 
its principle and its manifested forms, the imperish- 
able principle and perishable forms, the undeveloped 
principle and the developed forms. The soul is power- 
less, and is in bondage that it may receive the recom- 
pense of its works; but when it comes to know the 
divine Self it is loosed from all its ties. 

" There are two things unborn without beginning, the Maya or 

. >j tj Piakriti a 

knowing deity and the unknowing soul, the powerful bmhiess be- 
deity and the powerless soul. There is also the one bifth'to la^^ 
unborn genetrix without beginning, energising that the ^''°'^' 
migrating souls may have the recompense of their 
works. Further there is the infinite Self that is mani- 
fested under every form, and that does nothing and 


Chap. VIII. suffers nothing. As soon as he finds out the nature of 
these three, the sage is one with all things, one with 

The soul and the world-evolving deity are alike 
fictitious presentments, that take the place of Brahman, 
the underlying verity. In the vision of the perfect 
theosophist, both his own particular soul and the uni- 
versal soul or deity within him fade and melt away 
into the unity of the characterless Self. The soul is 
individual, the deity within is universal, the soul within 
all souls. The soul is powerless, the deity all-powerful. 
The soul has little knowledge, the deity knows all 
things. The soul is unsatisfied in its desires, the deity 
is satisfied in every desire. The soul is in a single 
body, the deity is present in every soul and every body. 
The soul migrates and suffers misery, the deity is ex- 
empt from migration, and lives in the perfect bliss that 
the soul shares only at times in dreamless sleep. And 
yet the differences between soul and soul are fictitious ; 
they are all one in the universal soul or deity ; and the 
differences between the soul and the deity are also ficti- 
tious ; they are both one in the unity of the impersonal 
Self. All things are one, and their variety in semblance 
is due to the operation of the inexplicable Prakriti or 

Maya the Mava, the qenetrix inqenita, the handmaid of the Archi- 

liauamaid of •' ' ^ J ' 

the Demi- majjus. The sao-e finds out the nature of these three, 

urgus. . 

the soul, tlie deity, and his illusive power ; learns that 
they are alike fictitious semblances ; and enters into the 
fulness of bliss beyond the veil of semblance. The 
cessation ^ for him of the operancy of the world-fiction 
is his liberation from metempsychosis. 

" The perishable is Pradhana, the principium. The 
immortal and imperishable is Hara. The one divine 
being rules the perishable principium and the perishable 
individual souls. There is often at last a cessation of 
the cosmical illusion through meditation upon the im- 

1 Viivamdyanivritti. 


perishable Self, through union with it and entrance Chap. viii. 
into its being. 

" On knowing the divine being there is a falling away Meditation 

. ^ „ . . leadstoexalta- 

of all ties. As soon as the mnrmities are put away tion to the 
there is an escape from births and deaths. A third uraiima, and 
state arises from meditation on the deity as soon as the from metem- 
body is left behind — the state of universal lordship. ^^^^ °'*'^' 
The saire that after this state reaches a state of isolation, 
has all that is to be desired." 

The theosophist can, if he will, ascend after death to 
the paradise of the supreme divinity, the Brahmaloka. 
This paradise, in which he is to possess everything that 
he can desire, lasts only till the close of the seon in 
which he ascends into it. He must, therefore, when he 
is exalted there, complete the process of extricating 
himself from metempsychosis by the knowledge of 
Brahman. This is the only final rest and satisfaction 
of the soul. 

" This Self is to be known as everlasting, as abiding 
in itself, for there is nothing beyond the Self that can 
be known. The migrating souls, their environment, and 
the deity that actuates them from within, — these three 
are revealed to be the Self. 

" The Self is to be made to shine forth in the body The repetition 
by repetition of the mystic Om ; in the same way as fire syiiabirom *^ 
is unseen so long as it is latent in the fire-drills, and so manias fru.-' 
long as its latency is not put an end to, and is seen the"fir7utent 
as often as it is struck out of the fire-drills that it dl-jjiL! ^'"'' 
resides in. 

" Let the sage make his body the nether, and the 
mystic syllable the upper fire-drill ; and by the pro- 
longed friction of meditation let him gaze upon the 
divine Self that is concealed within him. 

" This Self is to be found within himself by the sage 
that seeks it with truthfulness and with self-coercion ; 
like the oil that is in the oil-seeds, the butter within 
the cream, the water within the rivers. 



Chap. VIII. " He finds the Self that permeates all things, the 
fount of spiritual insight and of self-coercion, within 
his bodv, as the curds are within the milk. That is 
the Self in which the fulness of bliss resides." 

The next section opens with a prayer that Savitri, 
the sun-god, may irradiate the faculties of the aspirant. 

II. " May Savitri, fixing first my inward sense and 
then my senses, that I may attain to the truth, provide 
for me the light of Agni and lift me up above the 

"We strive with all our might, with concentrated 
mind, and by the grace of Savitri, to attain to blessed- 

" Fixing the senses with the inward sense, may 
Savitri produce in us senses by which there shall be 
bliss, and which shall reveal the divine being, the great 
light, by spiritual intuition. 

" Let the sages that fix the inner sense and the 
senses, give great praise to the great, wise Savitri, who 

Second Sec- 
tion. Invoca- 
tion of the 
s\in-god by 
the ;is|iiraut 
about to prac- 
tise Toga. 




appointed sacrificial 


" I meditate with adorations on that primeval Self 
that ye reveal. My verses go along their course like 
suns ; and all the sons of the immortal who dwell in 
celestial mansions hear them." 

After this invocation to the sun-god and the other 
gods that preside over the various faculties of the mind 
and body, the sage is supposed to ofier a libation of 
Soma to Savitri. 

" The mind is fixed upon the rite, the fire is struck 
out, the air is stirred, and the Soma-juice flows over. 

" Let the sage worship the primeval Self with a 
libation of Soma to Savitri, thou that wilt perform 
ecstatic meditation upon the Self ; for thy former rites 
no longer bind thee to metempsychosis." 

His former works and sacrifices will no longer affect 
the aspirant to liberation ; they will be burnt up like a 


bundle of reeds in the fire of spiritual knowledge. His Chap. viii. 
libation to Savitri is a final rite for the purification of 
his mind before entering upon the practice of Yoga, 
the rules for which are next prescribed. The aspirant 
is to fix his body and limbs in a rigid and insensible 
posture, and to crush every thought and feeling, that 
he may rise to the ecstatic vision of the Self, the light 
Avithin the heart. 

" Fixing his body immovably with the three upper Fixation of 
portions erect,^ and fixing his senses with the inward witiidrawai of 
sense upon the heart, let the sage cross over all the fro^m'thr^ 
fear-bringing streams of metempsychosis in the spiri- se'n"f ! ° 
tual boat, the mystic Om. 

" He must check his breath, and stop every move- 
ment, and breathe only through the nose, with his 
inward sense repressed ; he must with unfailing heed 
hold fast the inward sense, a chariot with vicious 

"Let him pursue the ecstatic vision in a level spot 
free from fire, from pebbles and from sand, amidst 
sweet sounds, and water, and leafy bowers, in a place 
that soothes the mind and does not pain the eyes. 

"First a frost, then a smoke, then the sun, then a signs of the 
fire, then a hot wind, then a swarm of fireflies, then fhe ecstatk; 
lightning, then a crystal moon, — such are the shapes '"''°'^' 
that precede and usher in the manifestation of the Self 
in the ecstatic vision. 

" When the fivefold nature of Yoga has been re- 
alised,^ when the earth, water, light, fire, and ether 
have arisen, there is no further sickness, decay, or pain, 
for him that has won a body purified in the fire of 

" Lightness, healthiness, freedom from desires, clear- 
ness of complexion, a pleasant accent in speaking, a 

^ The chest, the neck, and the beyond the consciousness of the 

head. properties of the five elements, in 

- Apparently this means, when his process of abstraction. 
the sage has passed through and 


Chap. VIII. pure odoiir, and diminution in the excretions, announce 

the first success in Yo2;a. 

"As an earth-stained disk of metal is bright and 

shines as soon as it is cleaned, the embodied soul that 

has gazed upon the spiritual reality has reached its end, 

and its miseries are left behind. 
This vision " As soou as the visionary sage has seen the spiritual 

unites the soul .,,. , ,.,.., 

with the one reality With his own soul as a lamp to light liim, he 

and only Self , ,. . r^ i ^ i • i t j^ ■^ 

that per- kuows the diviue Self that is not born and never tails, 

nieates and ,-,^ . -^., , „ 

animates the uutouchcd by all the cmauations ; and he is loosed irom 


every tie. 

" For this divine Self is towards every quarter ; it is 
the first that passes into being. This it is that is in 
the womb ; this is that which is born and that which 
shall be born. It stands behind all living things ; it 
has faces everywhere. 

"The deity that is in fire and in the waters, that 
permeates all the worlds, that is in plants and trees, — 
to that deity be adoration, adoration." 

Tlie third section treats of the first emanation from 

Brahman, the Isvara, Demiurgus, or world-evolving 

deity, in language similar to that of the Purushasiikta. 

Third Section. III. " There is One deity that holds the net,^ who 

Rudraw^^ ° rulcs witli his powers, who rules all the spheres with 

8'iva, identi- t ■ ■, ■ ,, -,1 ■ ■ , • 

fied with his powers, wlio is one and only one m the origination 
cosmic'soul and manifestation of the world. They that know this 
become immortal. 

" For there is only one Eudra, sages allow no second 
thing, who rules these spheres with his powers. He 
stands behind and within all living things ; and after 
he has projected and sustained the spheres, he retracts 
them into himself at the close of the aeon. 

" He has eyes everywhere, faces everywhere, arms 
everywhere, feet everywhere. He incloses all things 
with his arras, his wings ; he is the one deity that gives 
birth to sky and earth. 

^ The cosmical illusion in which migrating souls are ensnared. 


" He is the origin of the gods, the divine power of Chap. viir. 
the gods, the lord of all things, Rudra, the great seer, 
he that in the beginning begot Hiranyagarbha. May- 
he endow us with a lucid mind. 

" Rudra, who dwellest in the mountains, look down 
upon us, not in thy fearful aspect, but with that form 
of thine that is auspicious, that reveals holiness, that is 
most blessed. 

" Thou that dwellest in the mountains, protector of 
the mountains, make propitious that dart thou boldest in 
thv liand to throw. Hurt not man, nor hurt the world. 

" There is an infinite Self that is beyond this world, 
the Self that is hidden in the several bodies of all 
things living, and that encompasses the world, the lord 
of all ; and they that know this Self become immortal. 

" I know this great Purusha, sun-bright, beyond the 
darkness. He that knows it passes beyond death. 
There is no other path to go by. 

" Beyond this is nothing. There is nothing lesser, 
nothinnf greater, than this. It stands fast in the 
heavens like a tree, immovable. All the world is filled 
with that Self, that Purusha. 

"That which is beyond this world is colourless, is 
painless. They that know this Self become immortal, 
and others go again to misery. 

" All faces, all heads, all necks are its faces, heads, 
and necks. It abides in the heart of every living thing. 
That deity permeates all things, and is everywhere and 
in perfect bliss. 

" Purusha, the deity that actuates the mind from 
within, is a great lord. He has in his power the re- 
covery of the purity of the soul, he is luminous and 

" Purusha is of the size of a thumb. It is the Self 
within, ever lodged within the hearts of living things, 
ruling the thoughts in the heart, manifested in the 
inward sense. They that know this become immortal. 



Chap. VIII, 

epitliets of 
Purusha or 

" Paruslia has a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a 
thousand feet. He compasses the earth on every side, 
and stands ten fingers' breadth beyond. 

" Purusha is all this ; he is that which has been and 
that which is to be, the lord of immortality, and the 
lord of that which grows up by food. 

" He everywhere has hands and feet, everywhere 
eyes and heads and faces, everywhere he has ears. He 
dwells in the body and permeates it all." 

It is not always easy to mark the transitions in this 
Upanishad from Brahman per se to Isvara or Brahman 
as manifested in the world, from the impersonal Puru- 
sha to the divine Purusha or Archimagus. The trans- 
lation here offered to the reader follows the intimations 
of the scholiast Sankaracharya. Wherever Purusha is 
spoken of as a person we are to understand Isvara. 

" It has no organs, but manifests itself in every mode 
of every organ and faculty. It is the lord, the ruler of 
the world, the great refuge of the universe. 

" The Self becoming the migrating soul moves out- 
wards to the perception of external things. It is the 
actuator of all the world, of things that move, and 
things that move not. 

" It has neither hands nor feet, but moves rapidly 
and handles all things. It sees without eyes, and hears 
without ears. It knows all that is to be known, and 
there is none that knows it. This, they say, is the 
great primeval Purusha. 

" The Self seated in the hearts of living things, is 
lesser than the least and cjreater than the greatest. 
He that by the favour of the creating deity ^ sees this 
undesiring Self, this mightiness, this lord, has left all 
miseries behind. 

" I know this Self of all souls, unchanging, from 

^ Dhdtuh prasdddt may be 
translated either <as in the text, 
" by the favour of the creating 
deity," that is, by the favour oi 

the Demiurgus ; or "by the 
purity of his senses," the senses of 
the visionary sage being pure as 
withdrawn from external things. 


before all time, present everywhere, and everywhere Chap. viii. 
diffused, which the expositors of Brahman declare to 
have had no genesis, and which they say shall have no 

" IV. That divine being, one only, of no race or Fourth sec- 
colour, feigns a purpose and evolves a variety of races 
in virtue of the variety of his powers, and withdraws 
them into himself at the end of the seon. The world 
is in him in the beginning. May he endow us with a 
lucid mind. 

"That Self only is fire; it is the sun, it is the wind, it The universe 

, ... . . , , . . is a varied 

is the moon, it is the stars, it is liiranyagarbha, it is manifestation 
the waters, it is Prajapati. 

" Thou art male and thou art female ; thou art youth 
and thou art maiden ; thou art decrepit and totterest 
along with a staff; thou comest to the birth ; thou hast 
faces everywhere. 

" Thou art the dark bee, thou the red-eyed parrot ; 
thou art the thunder-cloud, thou the seasons, thou the 
seas. Thou art without beginning, thou pervadest all 
things ; from thee proceed all the worlds. 

" There is one unborn being,^ red, white, and black, 
that gives birth to many offspring like herself. One 
unborn soul ling;ers in dalliance with her, another 
leaves her, his dalliance with her ended. 

Two birds,- always together and united, nestle upon Aiiegoryof 
the same tree ; ^ one of them eats the sweet fruit of the oroiie°tree. ^ 
holy fig-tree, and the other looks on without eating. 

" In the same tree the misratinw soul is immersed, 
and sorrows in its helpless plight, and knows not what 
to do ; but its sorrow passes as soon as it sees the adored 
lord, and that this world is only his glory. 

" That Self is the supreme expanse that passes not 
away; in it are the Richas, the hymns of praise; in it 

^ The world-fiction, Maya or and the universal soul, Demiurgus 
Prakriti. See above, p. 203. or Is vara. See above, p. 108. 

'■^ The migrating soul or Jiva, ^ The body. 


Chap. yiii. dwell all the gods. What shall he that knows not this 
do with hymns of praise ? They that know it, they 
are sped, 

"That Self is proclaimed by the hymns, the sacri- 
fices, rites, and ordinances, by the past and by the 
future, and by the Vedas. It is out of this Self that 
the arch-illusionist projects this world, and it is in that 
Self that the migrating soul remains entangled in the 

The Self is veiled beneath illusion, and with illusion 
as a fictitious counterpart or body,^ manifests itself in 
its first emanation as Isvara, the Archimagus, or world- 
projecting deity. The Self is in and by itself the un- 
conditioned, but in virtue of the self-feigning world- 
fiction, the principle of unreality that has co-existed 
with it from everlasting, it presents itself as the ficti- 
tious creator of a fictitious world. 
Prakriti is " Let the sage know that Prakriti is Maya, and that 

isVamls the Mahcsvara ^ is the Mayin or arch-illusionist. All this 
sionist.^' shifting world is filled with portions of him. 

" He alone presides over emanation after emanation : 
the world is in him, and he withdraws the world into 
himself. He that knows that adorable deity, the giver 
of the good gift of liberation, passes into this peace for 

" He is the origin and the exaltation of the gods, the 
ruler over all, the great seer Eudra. See how he passes 
into fresh manifestation as Hiranyagarbha. May he 
endow us with a lucid mind. 

" He is lord over all the gods ; upon him the worlds 
are founded ; he rules all living things, two-footed or 
four-footed. Let us offer an oblation to the divine 

" He is more supersensible than the supersensible ; 
he dwells in the midst of the chaos of illusion, the 
multiform creator of the universe, the one soul that 

^ Upadhi. ^ Isvara, Rudra, Hara, or Siva. ' Prajapati. 


encircles all things. He that knows this Siva passes chaf. viii. 
into peace for ever. 

"He is the upholder of the world throughout the 
8eon, the lord of all, hidden within all living things. 
Holy sages and gods have risen to union with him. 
They that know him cut the cords of death. 

"He is hidden in all living things, like the filmy 
scum upon ghee, the one divine soul that encompasses 
the world. He that knows this Siva is extricated from 
all bonds. 

" This divine being, the maker of the world, the uni- J^'J,'^™^*',;^^ 
versal soul, is ever seated in the hearts of living things, 'g^^^^^'^^^Vt 
and is revealed by the heart, the intellect, the thought. 
They that know this become immortal." 

The universal soul, or maker of the world, is present 
in the ether in the heart of every living creature, mir- 
rored upon its mind, as the sun is reflected upon an 
infinite variety of watery surfaces. He is revealed in 
the thought that all things are one ; in the vision in 
which all things lose their differences and melt away 
into their original unity. The semblances of duality 
and of plurality in the waking and the dreaming states 
are illusory. The soul rises above them into the pure 
bliss of dreamless sleep and of meditative union with 
Isvara. He is to rise above this union with Isvara to 
the vision of the characterless Self. The three states 
of the soul are the darkness of the world, through which 
the theosophist is to rise into the light of spiritual 

" When there is no darkness, there is neither night J" thf divine 

'-' Self there is 

nor dav. There is neither existence nor non-existence, neither night 

. . nor day, but 

but pure and blissful being only. That is imperishable, ouiyamm- 

that is adorable even to the sun-god himself, and from blessedness. 

it proceeds the eternal wisdom. 

" Xo man has grasped this, above, below, or in the 

midst. There is no image of this, and its name is the 

infinite glory. 



Chap. VIII. " His form is present in no visible spot, and no man 
sees him with the eye. They that know him thus with 
heart and mind become immortal. 

RudrT^foTaid " Now and then a sage, in fear of the miseries of 

in meditatiou. metempsychosis, turns towards him because he is with- 
out beginning. Rudra, save me for ever with thy 
right, thy gracious, countenance. 

" Harm us not in child or grandchild, or in cattle or 
in horses, nor slay our servants in thy anger. We 
have the sacrificial butter, and invoke thee at our holy 

Fifth Section. " y_ Kuowledgc and illusion, these two, are laid up 

Knowledge ~ ' ' jr 

and illusion, aud hlddcu in the imperishable and infinite Self above, 
and in it are as yet unmanifested. Illusion passes, but 
knowledge is undying. He that dispenses knowledge 
and illusion is other than they. 

" There is one being who actuates phase after phase 
of being from within, all colours, and all emanations. 
He fosters with knowledge the Rishi Kapila, that arose 
in the beginning, and beheld him coming into being." 

Kapila, the This being is the immortal internal ruler, the uni- 

founder of the <^ _ ^ 

sankhyaphi- versal soul. Or Isvara. The colours referred to are the 

losophy, is i> r> ^ ^ • 

lauded in the red colour of firc, the white colour of water, and the 
uiianishad black colour of earth, as in the fourth Khanda of the 
gavadgita, sixtli Prapathaka of the Chhandogya. Sankaracharya 
tic works. explains that Kapila is either a metonym for the golden- 
hued Hiranyagarbha, the divine being that emanates 
out of Isvara, or the Rishi Kapila, the founder of the 
Sankhya philosophy. ■ In the Bhagavadglta (x. 26), 
Krishna, in that poem identified with the Demiurgus, 
says, " Among perfect sages I am the Muni Kapila." 
Kapila is not in this place identified with Hiranya- 
garbha by either Sankaracliarya or by Siidharasvamin, 
the chief scholiasts of the Bhagavadglta ; nor do they 
attempt to explain the eulogy of the founder of the 
Sankhya philosophy in this purely Vedantic work. 
In the second chapter of the Bhagavadglta (ii. 39) 


vre read : "This view has been prochiimed to thee Chap. viii. 
according to the Sankhya doctrine." Here Sankarfi- 
charya and Srldharasvaniiu interpret Sankhya by 
" spiritual reality," the object of Sankhya, i.e., tlie 
spiritual intuition or ecstatic vision of the fontal 
essence. They would therefore construe the text: 
" This view as regards the Self or spiritual reality 
has been explained to thee." In the third verse of 
the third chapter Krishna says, " I revealed in the 
becrinninfT of the world that there are two modes of 
life, that of the Sankhyas in the pursuit of knowledge, 
and that of the Yofjins in the observance of sacred 
rites," Sankaracharya and Sridharasvamm say that 
the Sankhyas of this passage are the theosophists 
versed in the teaching of the Upanishads and intent 
upon the ecstatic vision of the Self; and that the 
Yo^-ins are those that follow the immemorial ordi- 
nances with a view to the preliminary purification to 
the mind. Again in the fourth verse of- the fifth 
chapter Krishna says, " It is the foolish, not the wise, 
that say the Sankhya and the Yoga differ." Here 
again Sankaracharya and Sridharasvamin explain the 
Sankhvas to be the sages that have renounced all 
things in quest of the knowledge that leads to extri- 
cation, and the Yogins to be those that follow the 
prescriptive sacra in order to purify their minds for 
that quest. In the twenty-fourth verse of the thir- 
teenth chapter Krishna says, " Some gaze upon the 
Self by meditative ecstasy, some see the Self by the 
mind purified with meditation, others by Sankhya 
meditation, and others by Karmayoga." Sankaracharya 
and Sridharasvamin in this place take the term San- 
khya to mean the philosophy of the Sankhyas, the 
recognition of the differences between Prakriti, or the 
three pTiiiiordia rerum, and Purusha ; but they cer- 
tainly intend Prakriti and Purusha to be taken in the 
Vedautic sense, as precise equivalents of Maya and 


Chap. VIII. Brahman. Ivarmayoga they explain, as before, to be 
the following of the prescriptive pieties. The teaching 
of the Bhaijavadfiita is throusjhout the same as that 
of the Upanishads ; and the only explanation of the 
references to Kapila and the Sankhya philosophy in 
this poem, as also in the Svetasvatara Upanishad, would 
seem to be that the Sankhya was originally a more 
precise set of terms for the enumeration of the emana- 
tions out of Prakriti or Maya, and of the differences 
between Maya and Purusha or Brahman. The diver- 
gence of phraseology must subsequently have led to a 
divergence of views ; and thus the Sankhya philosophy 
formulised itself, with its repudiation of Isvara, and its 
position of the reality and independence of Prakriti, of 
the reality of the duality and plurality of the world of 
experience, and of the plurality of Purushas or Selves. 

To return to the text of the Svetasvatara Upanishad. 

is'vara spreads " xhis ouc deity Spreads out his net in many modes 

tempsychosis for cvcry one in this field of illusion, and draws it in 

of illusion. acrain. Thus the great lord again and again evolves the 

Prajapatis, and exercises dominion over all things. 

" He shines like the sun, irradiating all spaces above, 
below, between. Thus this potent and adorable deity 
alone presides over the various origins of things. 

" He is the origin of the world ; he ripens the nature 
of each thing, and develops all things that can be 
developed. He alone presides over this universe, and 
variously disposes the primordia. 

" That Self is hidden in the Upanishads, which are 
hidden in the Vedas. That Brahma (Hiranyagarbha) 
knows to be the source of the Veda. The gods and 
Rishis that of old have known that Self, have become 
one with it, have become immortal." 

The text now proceeds to speak of the various forms 
of life in which the one and only Self illusively presents 

" This is followed from life to life by the influence of 


former works ; this is tlie doer of works tliat shall be chap. viii. 

recompensed ; and this is the soul that has the recom- 

pense of that which it has done. This in all the variety 

of its forms migrates from body to body according 

to its works, associated with the three primordia, 

travelling along three paths/ the ruler of the vital 


" It is of the size of a thumb, yet splendid as the 
sun. It takes to itself volition and personality, to- 
jrether with the mental modes and the functions of the 
body. In its individual manifestation it is seen to be 
of the size of the point of a goad. 

" The livino- soul is to be known as the fraction of the 
point of a hair a hundred times divided, and at the 
same time it is of infinite extension, 

" It is neither male, nor female, nor sexless. It is 
preserved in every various body that it assumes. 

" The embodied soul, desiring, touching, seeing, 
illuded, passes into form after form, in sphere after 
sphere of recompense, in accordance with its works ; 
even as the body has a continuous growth by the 
assimilation of food and drink. 

" The embodied soul invests a variety of bodies 
supersensible and sensible with the lasting influence 
of its works in earlier embodiments ; and, according to 
the nature of its works and the nature of its bodies, is 
united with some fresh body, and seems to be another. 

" The deity is without beginning and without end ; 
in the midst of the illusion ; the creator of the world, 
manifold in its manifestations ; the only spirit that en- 
compasses the universe. He that knows him is loosed 
from every tie. 

" They free themselves from the body who know the 
divine being that is cognisable to the purified mind; 
that has no body, that makes things to be and not to 

1 The path of dliarma or religion, the path of adharma or irreligion, 
and the path oljndna or spiritual knowledge. 



Chap. VIII. be ; free from the cosniical illusion ; the maker of the 

elements of the orcranism. 
Sixth Section. "VI. Some sages say that the nature of things is 
an e^.ibitio^n the Originating principle, others that it is time. This 
of the De'mi- they say in their confusion, but it is the glory of the 
deity that keeps the wheel of Brahman, the cosmic 
cycle, still revolving. 

" It is the all-knowing author of time, all-perfect, by 
whom this world is eternally pervaded. The retri- 
butive fatality is set in motion by him to produce 
form after form of spurious being, to be viewed as 
earth, water, fire, air, and ether. 

" He makes that work and pauses ; and again and 
again brings the underlying spiritual reality into union 
with some emanation, with one, or two, or three, or 
eight emanations, and into union with time and with 
the invisible functions of the mind." 

The eiirht emanations of Prakriti or Maya here re- 
ferred to are earth, water, fire, air, ether, the common 
sensory, personality, and mind. 

" If the sa^e resolves all these emanations, together 
with the three primordia and also all his mental modes, 
into Isvara the creative deity, these things cease to 
exist for him, and he puts away his good and evil 
works. As soon as his works are annulled, he passes 
forward, separate from those emanations. 

" But before this he must have meditated upon the 
adorable deity that is present in his mind, and mani- 
fests itself in every various form, the essence of all 
that is. This deity is the origin of all things, the 
source of the illusions that give rise to the successive 
embodiments of the soul ; beyond the present, past, and 
future, unlimited by time. 

" That deity is beyond the appearances of the world- 
tree and the presentments of time ; and this manifested 
world proceeds out of him in its revolutions. He 
that knows this lord of glory, that brings righteousness 


and puts away all imperfections, within his mind, ini- Ciiap. viir. 
mortal, the substance of the universe, — passes beyond 

" "We know that deity to be the god above all gods, 
the lord above all lords, beyond the world-fiction, the 
adorable ruler of the spheres of recompense. 

" He has no body and no organs, and none is equal 
to him or greater than he. His various power is 
revealed to be above all things, and this power is his 
essence, an energy of knowledge and of action. 

" There is no lord or ruler over him in this world, no 
mark of his existence. He is the origin of all things. 
He is the lord above the deities that preside over the 
organs of sense and motion. There is none that beerets 
him, and none that is lord above him. 

"This deity, essentially one, is like a spider, and covers isVarathe 
himself with threads drawn from Pradhana. May he ^^^ spmer. 
grant us a passage back into the Self. 

"He is the one deity veiled in every living thing, the 
soul that is in every soul. He permeates every form 
of life, recompensing the works of every creature, and 
making his habitation in them, as the witness within, 
the light within, isolated, apart from the primordia. 

"He is the one being that energises freely in the many 
migrating souls that energise not at all. It is he that 
develops the germ of things into its variety of forms. 
Everlasting bliss is for those sages that see this deity in 
their own minds, within themselves, and for none be- 

The migrating souls are themselves inert. Their 
bodies and their senses act, but they do not act, and the 
actions of their bodies and their senses are produced by 
the Demiurgus. There is no individual liberty of action. 
Their bodies are mere puppets, and the Demiurgus 
pulls the strings. It is he that produces in them their 
good and evil works, and it is he that rewards and 
punishes the works that he has wrought in them. All 


Chap. VIII. that they seem to see and do and suffer, is the jugglery 
of this arcli-illusionist. 

" He is eternal in the eternal souls, conscious in the 
conscious souls ; he is the one soul that metes out weal 
and woe to many souls. He that knows this deity, the 
principle of emanation to be learned in the Sankhya and 
the Yoga, is loosed from every tie. 
The Self is the "The suu givcs no light to that, nor the moon and 
worid!^ *^^ stars, neither do these lightnings light it up ; how then 
should this fire of ours ? All things shine after it as it 
shines ; all this world is radiant with its light. 

"This is the one soul in the midst of this world. 
This is the fire that is seated in the midst of the water. 
He that knows this Self passes beyond death, and there 
is no other path to go by." 

The Self is a fire, for it burns up the world-fiction and 
its figments in the purified mind of the theosophist in 
ecstatic union with it. It is seated in the midst of the 
water, in the bodies of all living things, which emanate 
out of the world-fiction, one of the names of which is 
water, the " undifferenced water " of the Nasadiyasukta, 

"He is the maker of all things, and he knows all 
thino's. He is the soul of all and the source of all, the 
perfect and omniscient author of time. He is the sus- 
tainer of Pradhana, the priucipium, and of the migrating 
souls ; the disposer of the primordia, and the origin of 
metempsychosis and of liberation, of the preservation 
of the world and the implication of the soul. 

" Such is the immortal Demiurgus, residing in the 
soul, knowing all things, and present everywhere ; the 
sustainer of the world, who rules over the world for ever. 
There is no other principle that is able to rule over it. 

"Aspiring to extrication, I fly for refuge to that 
divine soul that is the light within the mind ; who at 
the beginning of an seon evolves Hiranyagarbha out of 
himself, and evolves the Vedas. 

" The Self is without parts, without action, and with- 


out change ; blameless and unsullied ; the bridge that Chap. viii. 
leads to immortality ; a fiercely burning fire. 

"When men shall roll up the sky like a hide, then oniyknow- 
and not till then shall there be an end to misery with- from th'J''' 

, T • CI 1 c miseries of 

out knowing the divine beii. reported uves. 

" Svetasvatara, the sage, through the efficacy of his 
austerities and through grace to know the Vedas, re- 
vealed to the recluses the high, pure Brahman that has 
been rightly meditated upon by many Rishis. 

" This highest mystery of the Upanishads, revealed in 
a former age, is not to be imparted to any man who is 
not a quietist, a son, or a disciple. 

" If he has unfeigned devotion to the deity, and to 
his spiritual teacher as to the deity, these truths thus 
proclaimed reveal themselves to the excellent aspirant. 
They reveal themselves to that excellent aspirant." 

Such is the Svetasvatara Upanishad. The reader 
will have seen that it teaches the same doctrine as the 
other Upanishads. Archer Butler is an admirable in- 
terpreter of the imperfect materials before him when 
he writes : " Tlie cultivators of practical wisdom in- 
cessantly labour for the possession of a supernatural 
elevation. Prolonged attitudes, endurance of suffering, 
unbroken meditations upon the divine nature, accom- 
panied and animated by the frequent and solemn repeti- 
tion of the mystical name Ora, are the means by which 
the Yogin, for perhaps three thousand years, has souglit 
the attainment of an ecstatic participation of God;^ 
and, half-deceiver, half-deceived, affects to have already 
soared beyond earthly limitations, and achieved hyper- 
physical power. Towards the complete consummation of 
this final liberation, the Vedas ^ proclaim that there are 
three degrees, two preliminary, — the possession of trans- 
cendent power in this life, that is, of magical endow- 
ments, and the passage after death into the courts of 
Brahma, — which are only precursory to that last and 

^ Rather of the divine Self. - The Upanishads. 


Chap. VIII. glorious reunion with the First Cause himself,^ which 
terminates all the changes of life in an identification 
with the very principle of eternity and of repose. 
Upon the mild sages of the Ganges these views probably 
produce little result beyond the occasional suggestion 
of elevated ideas, perhaps more than counterbalanced 
by the associations of a minute and profitless super- 
stition. But upon the enormous mass of the nation 
these baseless dreams can only result in the perpetua- 
tion of ignorance and the encouragement of imposture : 
to both of which they manifestly and directly tend, — 
to the former, by being unfitted for the vulgar mind ; to 
the latter, by countenancing pretences to supernatural 

^ Rather the first cause itself. 





" And, like the baseless fabric of a vision, 
The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces. 
The solemn temples, the great globe itself. 
Tea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve ; 
And, like an insubstantial pageant faded, 
Leave not a wrack behind. We are such stuff 
As dreams are made of, and our little life 
Is rounded with a sleep." — Shakespeake. 

" The sensible world must be called, as we have properly called it, and 
as Plato certainly meant to call, and sometimes did call it, the non- 
sensical world, the world of pure infatuation, of downright contradic- 
tion, of unalloyed absurdity ; and this the whole material universe is, 
when divorced from the element which makes it a knowable and cogit- 
able thing. Take away from the intelligible world, — that is, from the 
system of things by which we are surrounded, — the essential element 
which enables us, and all intelligence, to know and apprehend it, and 
it must lapse into utter and inutterable absurdity. It becomes more 
than nothing, yet less than anything." — Ferkiek. 

Let us recall to our mind the Yogin as the Upanishads Chap. ix. 
have pictured him to us, seated in a posture of body The world cUs- 

. ., ,. .,, .,,.„,. ,-, II- solves itself iu 

rigid and insensible, with his leeimgs crushed and his theviewoftiie 
thoughts suppressed. His senses are withdrawn from Yoghi^^"^^ 
the sensible things around him ; his inward sense is 
fixed upon a single point ; and he is intent upon reach- 
ing the pure indetermination of thought, the character- 
less being, that is the last residue of abstraction pushed 
to its furthest limit. In the progress of his ecstatic 
meditation, first his body and his visible and palpable 
environment fade away, recede, and disappear ; he passes 


Chap. IX. into the vesture of the airs of life ; he is conscious no 
longer of his surroundings and of his organism, but only 
of the vital functions. He has passed beyond the body 
into the tenuous involucrum of his soul. His vesture 
of the airs of life fades away, recedes, and disappears 
into his vesture of inward sense ; he is no longer con- 
scious of the vital functions, but only of the imagery 
within that simulates the things of sense. His vesture 
of inward sense fades away, recedes, and disappears 
into his mental vesture ; he is no longer conscious of the 
simulative imagery, but only of his mental life. And 
now his tenuous involucrum begins to melt away. His 
mental vesture fades away, recedes, and vanishes into 
the vesture of characterless bliss ; he is no longer con- 
scious of his mental life, but only of the surcease of 
every fear and care and sorrow, for his individuality is 
fast dissolving. Last of all, his vesture of character- 
less bliss fades away, recedes, and vanishes, and the 
li^ht of fontal being, thought, and bliss alone remains. 
This light is unwaverimr and unfailing. The whole 
world is a dissolving view that fines into paler and paler 
aspects, and finally disappears ; the light it shone in 
is still there, the light of the underlying Self, in the 
absence of which the world would lapse into blindness, 
darkness, nothingness. The ecstatic vision is the dawn 
before which the darkness of the figments of the world- 
fiction rolls away, and the Self rises more bright and 
glorious than the sun. The sage leaves the sorrows of 
his heart behind him, reaches the point where fear is no 
more, and is one with the light of lights beyond the 
darkness of the world-fiction. He is in the body, but 
is no longer touched by the good and evil that he does, 
but " free as the casing air." At last his body falls 
away from him, the feverish dream of life after life is 
over, and he is extricated from metempsychosis. His 
soul has returned into the Self, as water into water, 
light into light, ether into the ether that is everywhere. 


It has been often said that the doctrine that the in- Chap. ix. 
dividual soul and the world have only a dream-like and xbe c"^nt 
illusive existence, is no part of the primitive philosophy X "dTtrino of 
of the Upanishads, but a later addition of the Vedantins, Stion'^upou 
the modern representatives of that philosophy. This y^edaSua- 
is a statement that has been iterated by Orientalist *'>"^^i^- 
after Orientalist from the time of Colebrooke to the pre- 
sent day. The doctrine of Maya, or the unreality of 
the duality of subject and object, and the unreality of 
the plurality of souls and their environments, is the 
very life of the primitive Indian philosophy ; and it is 
necessary to prove that Colebrooke was mistaken in 
denying its primitive antiquity, and to point out the 
source of his error. It is the purpose of this chapter, 
therefore, to prove that the unreality of the world, as an 
emanation of the self- feigning world-fiction, is part and 
parcel of the philosophy of the Upanishads. The great 
Vedantic doctor, Saukaracharya, was right in holding 
it for such, and his philosophy is the philosophy of the 
Upanishads themselves, only in sharper outlines and in 
fresher colours. The Vedanta has a just title to be styled, 
as it is styled, the Aupanishadi Mimansa. 

In his essay on the Vedanta, read before a meeting of coiebrooke 

•' ' ^ theautborof 

the Pioyal Asiatic Society in 1827, Colebrooke said : this opinion. 
"The notion that the versatile world is an illusion 
(Maya), and that all that passes to the apprehension of 
the waking individual is but a phantasy presented to 
his imagination, and every seeming thing is unreal and 
all is visionary, does not appear to be the doctrine of 
the text of the Vedanta. I have remarked nothing 
which countenances it in the Siitras of Vvasa or in the 
gloss of Sankara, but much concerning it in the minor 
commentaries and elementary treatises. I take it to be 
no tenet of the original Vedantin philosophy, but of an- 
other branch, from which later writers have borrowed it, 
and have intermixed and confounded the two systems. 
The doctrine of the early Vedanta is complete and consis- 


Chap. IX. tent without tliis graft of a later growth." A statement 

false from first to last. 
Maya is a vital It must be already clear enoufrh to an attentive 

element of the . pip ■ ^ p ^ ■ ii 

primitive reader 01 tiie foregoing chapters of this work, that the 

Indian cos- .. ... , , , , 

micai coucep- Unreality of migrating souls and the spheres they 
migrate through, and the sole reality of the impersonal 
Self, is the very cosmic conception of the Upanishads. 
Any assertion, however, of Colebrooke carries with it 
so much weight, and his present assertion has been so 
often repeated by later Orientalists, that this denial of 
the primitive antiquity of the tenet of Maya must be 
refuted in extenso. The denial throws darkness over 
the wiiole progressive series of Indian cosmologies, and 
must be put aside in order to secure the first step 
of the historical exposition. The picture of things pre- 
sented in the Upanishads is the primitive Indian 
philosophy, the starting-point for any critical treatment 
of the successive systems. It is the basis on which 
any future historian of Indian philosophy will have to 
build. Part of Colebrooke's assertion is untrue on the face 
me"nt^'s'a'gtar-" 0^ i^- Hc says that he finds nothing in the gloss of 
ing error. Saukara to countenance the doctrine that the world is 
an illusion. Tliis part of his statement has already re- 
ceived its correction at the hands of Professor Cowell.^ 
" This is hardly correct as regards Sankara, since in his 
commentary on the Vedanta aphorisms (ii. i. g), he ex- 
pressly mentions the doctrine of Maya as held by the 
teachers of the Vedanta, and he quotes a sloka to that 
effect from Gaudapada's Karikas. Compare also his 
language in the opening of his commentary on the 
second book. There is also a remarkable passage in his 
commentary on the Aitareya Upanishad, i. 2. It may 
be remarked (this passage says) that a carpenter can 
make a house as he is possessed of material, but how 
can the soul, being without material, create the world ? 

^ In a note in his edition of Colebrooke's Essays, vol. i. p. 400. 


But there is nothing objectionable in this. The world Chap. ix. 
can exist in its material cause, that is, in the formless, 
undeveloped subject which is called soul (or Self), just 
as the subsequently developed foam exists in water. 
There is therefore nothing contradictory in supposing 
that the omniscient Demiurgus, who is himself the 
material cause of names and forms, creates the world. 
Or better still, we may say that as a material juggler 
without material creates himself as it M^ere another self 
going in the air, so the omniscient deity, being omni- 
scient and mighty in Maya, creates himself as it were 
another self in the form of the world." It is hard to 
understand how Colebrooke could have made such a 
mistake as regards the gloss of Sankara, Sankaracharya's 
commentary on the aphorisms of the Vedanta. A 
cursory inspection of the gloss is enough to find the 
tenet of illusion stated or supposed on every page. It 
is often expressly taught, as shall be proved by copious 

The mistake is excusable enough as far as regards The Sutras or 

ji PI -TT n- m- n it - t i ' apliorisms of 

the text of the vedanta or Sutras 01 Vyasa. in them- thevedanta 
selves, and apart from the traditionary interpretation, selves ob- 
the Siitras or aphorisms are a minimum of memoria 
tecJinica, and nearly unintelligible. Nevertheless it 
shall be shown that the doctrine denoted by the term 
Mava, if not the term itself, is to be found in the 
Siitras. Colebrooke himself cannot have attached 
much importance to what he supposed to be the nega- 
tive testimony of these aphorisms. He himself says : 
" The Sarirakasiitras^ are in the highest degree obscure, 
and could never have been intelligible without an 
ample interpretation. Hinting the question or its 
solution, rather than proposing the one or briefly 
delivering the other, they but allude to the subject. 
Like the aphorisms of other Indian sciences, they must 
from the first have been accompanied by the author's 

^ That is, the aphorisms of the Vedanta. 


Chap. IX. exposition of the meaning, whether orally taught by 
him or communicated in writing." This is most true, 
and let it be noted that Sankaracharya is the greatest 
of the prescriptive expositors of the Siitras of the 
Vedanta. The Indian systems were handed down in 
a regular line of succession,^ an unbroken series of ex- 
ponents. They were to be learned only from an autho- 
rised expositor, a recognised successor of the primitive 
teachers. Sankaracharya is in possession, with his 
doctrine of illusion. The burden of proof lies with 
those who assert that the tenet of Maya is an innova- 
tion on the primitive jDhilosophy of the Upanishads. 
Texts of the Bcforc proving the presence of the doctrine of Maya 

Upanishads. . ^^ „%-r- p' _,_ 

teach the un- m the Sutras of Vyasa and the gloss of Sankaracharya, 

reality of the . •^^ ^ ^•, ■ ■ ,, ^ ... 

world. it Will be well to point out again some of the primitive 

texts in which that doctrine is enounced. The Vedanta 
is only a systematic exposition of the philosophy of the 
Upanishads. Sankaracharya says that the Siitras of 
the Vedanta are a string on which the gems of the 
Upanishads are strung. The word Vedanta is itself a 
synonym of the word Upanishad, and the Vedanta 
system is itself often styled the Aupanishadi Mimansa, 
or philosophy of the Upanishads. 

This doctrine Asccuding pcrhaps higher than the Upanishads, we 

present in a .,. . _ 

vedic hymn, find this doctrine present in the celebrated Nasadlya- 
siikta, Eigveda x. 1 29. " It was not entity," says the 
Rishi, " nor was it nonentity." Putting aside the 
assertion of Colebrooke, which shall be shown to rest 
only on the statement of an antagonist of the Vedanta, 
there is no reason to question Sayana's interpretation 
of this hymn. Sayana's interpretation is the tradition- 
ary exposition, and is found in other Indian philoso- 
phical books, as, for example, in Eamatiitha's Padayo- 
janika or commentary on the Upade^asahasrl of San- 
karacharya, and in the Atmapurana. Say ana tells us 
that the Nasadiyasiikta describes the state of things 

^ Amndyaparampard, dchdryaparampard. 


between two ti^ous, the state technically known as the Cuw. ix, 
jpralaydmsthd. An earlier world has been withdrawn 
into the world-fiction Maya, out of which it sprang, 
and the later world is not yet proceeding into being. 
In this state of dissolution, says Sayana, the world- 
fiction, the principium of the versatile world is not a 
nonentity ; it is not a piece of nonsense, a purely chi- 
merical thing, like the horns of a hare, for the world 
cannot emanate out of any such sheer absurdity. On 
the other hand, it is not an entity, it is not a reality 
like the one and only Self. Maya, the principle here 
spoken of, is neither nonentity nor entity, but something- 
inexplicable, a thing of which nothing can be intelli- 
gibly predicated. No nihilistic teaching is intended, 
for it is said further on in the same hymn, " That one 
breathed without afflation." This one and only reality 
is the characterless Self. Eeal existence is denied not 
of the impersonal Self, but of Maya. Such is the tra- 
ditional interpretation of the first verse of the Nasadi- 
yasukta. It is a natural interpretation, and if we, with 
our thoughts fashioned for us by purely irrelevant ante- 
cedents, try to find another for ourselves, we are pretty 
sure to invent a fiction. The Nasadlyasukta seems 
then to be the earliest enouucement of the eternal 
coexistence of a spiritual principle of reality and an 
unspiritual principle of unreality. 

It is presumably already plain enough that the 
Upanishads teach the fictitious and unreal nature of 
the world. The fictitious character of the world of 
semblances is everywhere implied in the doctrine of 
the sole existence of the impersonal Self. It is not 
only implied, but stated, in the following passages. 
In the Brihadilranyaka Upanishad we read :— 

" Indra (the Demiurgus) appears multiform by his Present in the 
illusions (or fictions, or powers), for his horses are yoked, ylkf upaui- 
hundreds and ten. This Self is the horses (the senses), 
this is the ten (organs of sense and motion), this is the 



Ch.ip. IX. many thousands, the innumerable (migrating souls). 
This same Self has nothing before it or after it, nothing^ 
inside it or outside it." 

In another text of the same Upanishad very fre- 
quently cited by the Indian schoolmen : — 

" AVhat Self is that ? asked the prince. The Eishi 
said, It is this conscious soul amidst the vital airs, the 
. light within the heart. This Self, one and the same in 
every mind and every body, passes through this life 
and the next life in the body, and seems to think, and 
seems to move." ^ 

In another important passage of the same Upanishad 
the eternal objectless thought of the Self "^ is contrasted 
with the fleeting and evanescent cognitions of the soul ; 
and the real existence of the Self with the quasi-exist- 
ence of everything else than Self. This passage is : — 

" This same imperishable Self is that which sees 
unseen, hears unheard, thinks unthought-upon, knows 
unknown. There is no other than this that sees, no 
other than this that hears, no other than this that 
thinks, no other than this that knows. Over this 
imperishable principle the expanse is woven warp 
and woof. 

" As in dreamless sleep the soul sees, but sees not 
this or that, so the Self in seeing sees not ; for there 
is no intermission in the sight of the Self that sees, its 
vision is one that passes not away : and there is nothing 
second to that, other than that, apart from that, that 
it should see. 

" As in dreamless sleep the soul hears, but hears not 
this or that, so the Self in hearing hears not ; for there 
is no intermission in the hearing of the Self that hears, 
its audition is one that passes not away : and there is 
nothing second to that, other than that, apart from 
that, that it should hear. 

" As in dreamless sleep the soul thinks, but thinks 

^ Dhydyatlva Iddyatlva. " Nityara nirvishayam jndnam. 


not this or that, so the Self iu thinking thinks not; for Ciiai>. tx. 
there is no intermission in the thoufiht of the Self that 
thinks, its cogitation is one that passes not away : and 
there is nothing second to that, other than that, apart 
from that, that it shonld think. 

" As in dreamless sleep the soul knows, but knows 
not this or that, so the Self iu knowing knows not ; for 
there is no intermission in the knowing of the Self 
that knows, its knowledge is one that passes not away : 
and there is nothing second to that, other than that, 
apart from that, that it should know. 

" Where in waking or in dreaming there is, as it were, oniy a quasi- 
something else, there one sees something else than allowed to 
oneself, smells something else, tastes something else, else than the 
speaks to something else, hears something else, thinks 
upon something else, touches something else, knows 
something else." 

Mark the qualification " as it were," yatra vd 'nyad 
iva sydt. We might also translate, " Where in waking 
or in dreaming there seems to he something else." 
This allows only a quasi- existence, a fictitious presen- 
tation, to all that is other than the Self. 

In another passage of the same Upanishad we read : 

" This same world was then undifierenced.^ It dif- 
ferenced itself under names and colours (that is, under 
visible and nameable aspects); such a thing having such 
a name, and such a thing having such a colour. There- 
fore this world even now differences itself as to name 
and colour; such a one having such a name, and such 
a thing having such a colour. This same Self entered 
into it, into the body, to the very finger-nails, as a 
razor into a razor-case, or as fire resides within the 
fire-drills. Men see not that Self. That whole Self 
breathing is called the breath, speaking it is called the 
voice, seeing it is called the eye, hearing it is called 
the ear, thinking it is called the thought. These are 

^ Prior to its evolution at|.the beginning of an seon. 



Many names 
are given in 
the LTpani- 
sliads to the 

Chap. IX. only names of its activity. If then a man thinks any 
one of these to be the Self, he knows not ; for the Self 
is not wholly represented in any one of these. Let 
him know that the Self is the Self, for all things 
become one in the Self." 

All things quit their name and colour, lose their 
visible and nameable aspects, and pass away into the 
p'iTnc"ipiVof characterless unity of the Self. The principle of un- 
uniedij. reality that co-exists from all eternity with the prin- 
ciple of reality, is most frequently named in the 
Upanishads avijalcrita, the undifferenced, uncharac- 
tered, or unevolved ; and the process of the evolution, 
emanation, or manifestation of things is generally 
styled their differentiation under name and colour, 
or presentation in various visible and nameable aspects, 
ndmarupavydkarana. The principle of unreality has 
many other names in the Upanishads. It is the 
expanse, Maya, Prakriti, Sakti, darkness, illusion, the 
shadow, nescience, falsity, the indeterminate.^ 

In another passage of the Brihadaranyaka Upani- 
shad we read : — 

" They that know the breath of the breath, the eye 
of the eye, the ear of the ear, the thought of the 
thought, — they have seen the primeval Self that has 
been from before all time. 

" It is to be seen only with the mind : there is 
nothing in it that is manifold. 

" From death to death he goes, who looks on this 
as manifold. 

" It is to be seen in one way only, it is indemon- 
strable, immutable. The Self is unsullied, beyond the 
expanse, unborn, infinite, imperishable." 

The expanse is the cosmical illusion. In another 
passage of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad the seeming 

^ Avydhritam, aTcaiam, farama- anritam, avyaltam, Sankaracharya 
ryoma, mdyd, frcdritih, kildis, on Svetasvatara Upanishad i. 3. 
tamo, 'vidyu, chhdyd, 'jndnam, 


duality of subject and object is spoken of as disap- Chap. ix. 
pearing in the all-embracing unity of the Self. ■ 

" Where there is as it were a duality (or, where The duality of 

subject aud 

there seems to be a duality), one sees another, one object has 

^ 1 • T 1 i. f nly a quasi- 

smells another, one speaks to another, one thinks about existence, 
another, one knows another ; but where all this world 
is Self alone, what should one smell another with, see 
another with, hear another with, speak to another with, 
think about another with, know another with ? How 
should a man know that which he knows all this world 
with ? Wherewithal should a man know the knower ? " 

Mark again the qualification "as it were," yatra 
dvaitam iva hJiavati. The duality of subject and object 
is only quasi-existent, a fictitious presentment. 

The unreality of the world is taught with no less Tiie unreality 

. ^ m ^ - j of the world is 

plainness in the f ollowmg passage ot the Uhhandogya taught in the 

£; ° -^ Uhhandogya 

Upanishad : — upamshad. 

"As everything made of clay is known by a single are onl™"a^ 
lump of clay ; being nothing more than a modification of speech, "a 
of speech, a change, a name, while the clay is the only iiaml" ^ 
truth : 

" As everything made of gold is known by a single 
lump of gold ; being nothing more than a modification 
of speech, a change, a name, while the gold is the only 
truth : 

" As everything made of steel is known by a single 
pair of nail-scissors ; being nothing more than a modi- 
fication of speech, a change, a name, while the steel is 
the only truth : 

" Such, my son, is that instruction, by which the un- 
heard becomes heard, the unthought thought, the un- 
known known. Existent only, my son, was this in the 
beginning, one only, without duality." 

The Indian schoolmen are never tired of quoting this 
text, and proclaiming that the visible and nameable 
aspects of the world, as they fictitiously present them- 
selves in place of, and veil, the one and only Self, are 



Chap. IX. 

The Mundaka 
speaks of the 
order of daily- 
life and Vedic 
•worship as au 

The Katba 
contrasts tlic 
life of illusion 
with the life of 

nothing more than " a modification of speech, a change, 
a name." The reader may be reminded in the next 
place of the following verses of the Mundaka Upani- 
shad : — 

" They that are infatuated, dwelling in the midst of 
the illusion, wise in their own eyes, and learned in their 
own conceit, are stricken with repeated plagues, and go 
round and round, like blind men led by the blind. 

" As its kindred sparks fly out in thousands from a 
blazing fire, so do the various living souls proceed out 
of that imperishable principle, and return into it again. 

" That infinite spirit is self-luminous, without and 
within, without origin, without vital breath or thinking 
faculty, stainless, beyond the imperishable ultimate." 

The ultimate here spoken of is the undeveloped 
principle that develops itself into all the variety of the 
visible and nameable, the primitive world-fiction. In 
the following verses of the same Upanishad the same 
principle is spoken of under the name of darkness. 
The Self is the light of lights beyond the darkness : — 

" It is over this Self that sky and earth and air are 
woven, and the sensory with all the organs of sense and 
motion. Know that this is the one and only Self. 
Kenounce all other words, for this is the bridge to im- 

"This Self dwells in the heart where the arteries 
are concentred, variously manifesting itself. Om : thus 
meditate upon the Self. May it be well with you, that 
you may cross beyond the darkness. 

" The sage, quitting name and colour, enters into the 
self-luminous spirit, beyond the last principle, in like 
manner as the rivers flow on until they quit their name 
and colour, and lose themselves in the sea." 

In the Katha Upanishad we read : — 

" Far apart are these diverse and diverging paths, the 
path of illusion and the path of knowledge. I know 
thee, Nachiketas, that thou art a seeker of knowledge. 


for all these pleasures that I have proposed have not chap. ix. 
distracted thee. 

" For their objects are beyond and more subtile than 
the senses, the common sensory is beyuud the objects, 
the mind is beyond the sensory, and the great soul 
Hiranyagarbha is beyond the mind. 

" The ultimate and undeveloped principle is beyond 
that great soul, and Purusha the Self is beyond the un- 
developed principle. Beyond Purusha there is nothing; 
that is the goal, that is the final term." 

Here that out of which all things emanate is the 
undeveloped principle, avyaJcta. Avyakta is also called 
avydkrita, that which has not yet passed over into name 
and colour. This principle is the same as the expanse 
w^hich is said in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad to be 
woven across and across the Self. It is also the same, 
Sankaracharya says, as the sum of the powers of every 
organism and every organ that shall be, the germ of the 
spheres of recompense. 

Thus, then, we see that the Upanishads teach that The unreality 
there is only one thing that exists, the impersonal Self. Lpifed m the 
They teach also that there is a quasi-duality, a differ- thiYeli^eVery. 
entiation of something previously undifferenced into i^^t'beupani- 
visible and nameable aspects. They teach that the ^^^'^^' 
things of the world of experience are a modification of 
speech only, a change, a name ; that is, that apart from 
the underlying Self these things have only a nominal 
existence. The undifferenced, the source of name and 
colour, is called the expanse, and is said to be woven 
across and across the impersonal Self. It is the dark- 
ness, the darkness that must be passed beyond in order 
to reach the light. The order of things in which the 
follower of the prescriptive sacra lives, the sacrificers, 
the sacrifices, the works, and the recompenses of works, 
are all illusion, avidyd. They that live according to the 
immemorial usages, putting their trust in them, " dwel- 
ling in the midst of the illusion, wise in their own eyes, 


Chap. IX, and learned in their own conceit, are stricken with re- 
Ideated plagues, and go round and round, like blind men 
led by the blind." The Upanishads teach plainly that 
this order of things is unreal. " There is nothing second 
to that Self, other than that, apart from that, that it 
should know." 

The tenet of Maya is thus no modern invention. 
The thought, if not the word, is everywhere present in 
the Upanishads, as an inseparable element of the philo- 
sophy, and the word itself is of no infrequent occur- 
rence. The doctrine is more than implicit in the 
Upanishads, and explicit in the systematised Vedanta. 
No earlier Vedanta, such as Colebrooke supposes, could 
have been complete and consistent without this ele- 
ment, and it is no graft of a later growth. In fact the 
distinction between an earlier and a later Vedanta is 
nugatory. There has been no addition to the system 
from without, but only a development from within; no 
graft, but only growth. 

Thus far it has been shown that the unreality of the 
world is a datum of Indian thought earlier than the 
Sarlrakasutra or aphorisms of the Vedanta. The next 
task is to prove that the same doctrine is taught in the 
text of the Vedanta, these aphorisms themselves, and 
also in the fullest and plainest manner in the gloss of 
The unreality It has bccu already said that perspicuous statements 
taught in the are not to be looked for in the Siitras or aphorisms. 
the vedauta. As Colcbrooke says, they are in the highest degree 
obscure, and they could never have been intelligible 
without an ample interpretation. The aphorisms never- 
theless do testify to the unreality of the world. In the 
fourth section of the first Pada of the second Adhyaya 
of the Sarlrakasutra, we read about the various objec- 
tions raised against the doctrine that Brahman is at 
once the real basis underlying the world/ and the 

^ Upddana. 


principle that occasions it to come into being.^ The Chap. ix. 
reader will remember that Brahman is the reality in 
place of which the figments of the world-fiction present 
themselves; as the sand of the desert is the relative 
reality in place of which the waters of the mirage 
present themselves ; and also, though nnaffected by it, 
the principle that sets the world-fiction Miiya in mo- 
tion, as a loadstone itself unmoved sets any adjacent 
pieces of steel in motion. Brahman acts, or is said to 
act, in virtue of its presence at and its illuminancy of 
the cosmical illusion ; as a Eaja acts, or is said to act, by 
being present at and witnessing the exertions of his 
people. In reference to one of the objections to this 
doctrine it is said in the thirteenth aphorism, " If any Duality is a 

... -, . distinction of 

one object that on our doctrine there will be no dis- every-day ex- 
tinction of subject and object, as the soul will be one 
with its environment, we reply that the distinction will 
still exist just as we see it in every-day life." The 
opponent is supposed to argue that if the soul and its 
environment are alike unreal, and resolvable into ficti- 
tious emanations out of the one and only Self, the 
distinction of subject and object will altogether dis- 
appear, and that this is a distinction that refuses to 
be done away with, a distinction that persists in spite 
of every effort to negate it. The author of the aphorisms 
replies that the distinction w411 remain as it is, a dis- 
tinction of every-day experience. Sankaracharya in 
his comments on this aphorism remarks, " The distinc- 
tion will hold good in our teaching, as it is seen in 
common life. The ocean is so much water, and the 
foam, the ripples, the waves, and the bubbles that 
arise out of that water are alike one with it, and yet 
they differ among themselves. The foam is not the 
ripple, the ripple is not the wave, the wave is not the 
bubble ; and yet the foam is water, the ripple is water, 
the wave is water, the bubble is water. The distinction 

^ Nimitta. 



is only ' ' u 
of speech, a 
change, a 

Chap. IX. of subject and object is of a similar nature. The soul 
is not the environment, the environment is not the 
soul ; the soul is Self, the environment is Self." The 
Tiie manifold aphorism that immediately follows is, " That they 
are nothing else than that appears from the terms 
modification," &c. This refers to the text of the 
Chhandogya Upanishad : " As everything made of clay 
is known by a single lump of clay; being nothing 
more than a modification of speech, a change, a name, 
while the clay is the only truth," &c. This text means 
nothing else than that the many as many has only 
a nominal existence, reality residing in the one. True 
being is characterless and uniform. Saukarachaiya 
says in the course of his remarks upon this aphorism : 
" The whole order of subject and object, of migrating 
souls and of their fruition of recompenses, is, apart 
from the Self, unreal ; in like manner as the ether in 
this and that pot or jar is nothing else than the ether 
at large that permeates all things, itself one and un- 
divided ; and in like manner as the waters of a mirage 
are nothing else than the sands of the desert, seen for 
a while and vanishing, and having no real existence." 
The twenty-eighth aphorism of the first Pada of the 
The varietj' of secoud Adliyaya is : " And likewise in the Self there 
Hkelhe^vari- axc diversified objects." On this Sankaracharya re- 
etyofadrcam. j^^y],g. a j(^ -g ^f ^^ ^gg ^^ objcct, How cau there be 

a various creation in the one and only Self, unless it 
abolish its own unity in order to pass into plurality ? 
For there is a multiform creation in the one and only 
Self, in the dreaming state of the soul, without any 
suppression of its unitary nature. We read in the Bri- 
hadaranyaka Upanishad, There are no chariots, no 
horses, no roads, but it presents to itself chariots, 
horses, and roads. In the world of daily life gods 
and thaumaturgists are seen to create multiform crea- 
tions, elephants, horses, and the like, themselves mean- 
while remaining what they are. In the same way a 


manifold creation is competent to the Self, one thongli chap. ix. 

it be, without any forfeiture of its simple essence." 

Another aphorism to the point is the fiftieth Sutra of The migrating 

^ _ •'- _ soul IS as SUCH 

the third Pada of the third Adhyaya, — "And it is aamorcsem- 

•^ "^ . blance. 

mere semblance." This aphorism occurs ni the course 
of an exposition of the relation of the migrating soul to 
li^vara, the world-evolving deity or Demiurgus. The 
forty-ninth aphorism has already stated that there is 
no confusion in the retributive awards ; each migrating 
soul being linked to its own series of bodies, and thus 
taking no part in the individual experiences of other 
souls. The aphorism now before us goes on to say that 
the individual soul is, as individual, a mere appearance. 
" The individual soul," such is Sankaracharya's inter- 
pretation, " is only a semblance of the one and only 
Self, as the sun imaged upon a watery surface is only 
a semblance of the one and only sun in the heavens. 
The individual soul is not another and independent 
entity. The sun mirrored upon one pool may tremble 
with the rippling of the surface, and the sun reflected 
upon another may be motionless. In the same way 
one soul may have experience of such and such retri- 
butions, and another soul may remain unaffected by 

Surely in all this we have the tenet of the unreality 
of the world in the text of the Vedanta, and the full- 
blown do"-ma of illusion in the gloss of Sankara. What- 
ever maybe our respect for the authority of Colebrooke, 
it is time to see things with our own eyes, and to cease 
to let him see them for us. 

So much for the text of the Vedanta. We come now s'ankaia- 

, . ciiurya em- 

to the gloss of Sankara, and there can be no mistake as piratically 

° proclaims tlie 

recrards the character of his teaching. Here are some unreality of 

n ■ -, -rr. ^^ i-i ii_ the world in 

specimens of it.^ " If we allowed any independent pre- his cmmen- 
existence as the principle out of which the world eman- aphorisms of 
ates, we should be open to the charge of teaching 

^ Saiirakamimansabhashj'a i. 4, 3. 


Chap. IX. Pradhana as the Sanldiyas do. But the pre-existence 
or potentiality of the world which we maintain, is not 
independent like that asserted by the Sankhyas, but 
dependent on the Demiurgus. The potentiality we 
contend for must be conceded to us. It is indispens- 
able, for without it no account could be given of the 
creative operancy of the Demiurgus ; for if he had no 
power, no Sakti, he could not proceed to his creative 
energy. If there were no such potentiality the liberated 
souls themselves would return to metempsychosis ; for 
they escape out of metempsychosis only by burning 
away that germinating power in the fire of spiritual 
intuition. This power of the seed of the world-tree is 
illusion, Avidya, also called the undeveloped or unex- 
plicated principle, the world-fiction, the great sleep of 
the Demiurgus, in which all migrating souls must con- 
tinue to sleep so long as they wake not to their proper 
nature. This same undeveloped principle is sometimes 
spoken of as the expanse, as in the text of the Brihada- 
ranyaka Upanishad, — The ethereal expanse is woven 
warp and woof across the imperishable Self. At other 
times it is spoken of as the imperishable, as in the text 
of the Mundaka Upanishad, — Beyond the imperishable 
ultimate. At other times as Maya, as in the text of the 
Svetasvatara Upanishad, — Let the sage know that 
Prakriti is Maya, and that Mahesvara is the Mayin or 
arch-illusionist. This same Maya is unexplicated or 
undeveloped in that it cannot be described either as exis- 
tent or as non-existent. Hence it is said in the Katha 
Upanishad, — The undeveloped principle is beyond that 
great soul. If we take the great soul to be Hiranya- 
garbha, the great soul emanates out of the undeveloped, 
out of the world-fiction. If we take the great soul to 
be the migrating spirit, it may still be said that the 
undeveloped is beyond the great soul, for the migrating 
soul owes its individual life to the undeveloped principle. 
The undeveloped is Avidya, illusion, and all that the 


soul does and suffers, it does and suffers because it is ( u.w. ix. 
illuded." — 

A little further on Sankarricliarya says,^ " Until this 
illusion ceases the migrating soul is implicated in good 
and evil works, and its individuality cannot pass away 
from it. As soon as the illusion passes away, the pure 
and characterless nature of the soul is recognised in 
virtue of the text. That art thou. The accession and 
departure of this illusion makes no difference to the sole The world is a 
reality, the impersonal Self. A man may see a piece of .sentmontl^un- 
rope lying in a dark place, may mistake it for a snake, ticailiiusion' 
may be frightened, shudder, and run away. Another 
person may tell him not to be afraid, for this is not a 
snake, but only a piece of rope. As soon as he hears 
this he lays aside his fear of the snake, ceases to 
tremble, and no more thinks of fligjlit. And all the 
time there has been no difference in the real thing. 
That was a piece of rope, both when it was taken 
for a snake, and when the misconception passed 

In another place the same schoolman writes,^ " The 
one and only Self is untouched by the cosmic fiction,^ 
in the same way that a thaumaturgist is untouched at 
any moment, present, past, or future, by the optical 
illusion he projects, the illusion being unreal. A 
dreamer is unaffected by the fictitious presentments of 
his dream, these not prolonging themselves into his 
waking hours, or into his peaceful sleep. In a like 
way the one abiding spectator of the three states of 
waking, dreaming, and pure sleep, is unaffected by 
those successive states. For this manifestation of the 
impersonal Self in the three states is a mere illusion,* 
as much so as the fictitious snake that presents itself 
in the place of the rope. Accordingly a teaclier of 
authority has said. When the soul wakes up out of its 

1 Siirirakamlmansabhashja, i. 4, 6. - Saiirakamlmansabhashya ii. 1,9. 
'^ Sansuramdyd. •* MdydirMra. 



Chap. IX. sleep in the primeval illusion, it wakes up without 

beginning, sleepless, dreamless, without duality." 
Falsity of the lu auother passage Sankaracharya writes : " In the 
oniy^of the text of the Cliliandogya Upanishad, A modification of 
speech only, it is stated that every emanation is ficti- 
tious ; and truth or reality is astricted to the one and 
only highest principle^ in the text. All the world is 
animated by that, that is real. The words which fol- 
low. That is Self, that art thou, Svetaketu, teach that 
the individual, mifrrating soul is the Self. The oneness 
of the soul with the Self is already a fact, and not a 
thing that requires a further effort to bring about ; and 
therefore the recognition of the truth of the text is 
sufficient to put an end to the personality of the soul ; 
in the same way as the recognition of the piece of rope 
is sufficient to abolish the snake that fictitiously pre- 
sents itself in place of the piece of rope. No sooner is 
the personality of the soul negated than the whole 
spontaneous and conventional order of life is sublated 
along with it, to make up which the lower and plural 
manifestation of the Self fictitiously presents itself. 
As soon as a man sees that his soul is the Self, the 
whole succession of everyday life, with its agents, its 
actions, and its recompenses, ceases to have any further 
existence for him. This is indicated in the text of the 
Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Where the whole world is 
Self alone, what should one see another with ? It is 
not correct to assert that this non-existence of the 
world of daily life is true only in a particular state of 
the soul, viz., in its state of extrication from metemp- 
sychosis, for the words That art thou do not limit the 
oneness of the soul and the Self to any such special 
condition of the soul." 

The soul is never anything else than the one and 
only Self; and all that it is, and sees, and does, and 
suffers, is never anything else than a figment of the 
^ Ekam eva paramakdranam. 


world-fiction. Sankarilchfirya proceeds to enforce this Chap. ix. 
teaching by a reference to the allegory of the high- 
wayman in the Sixth Prapathaka of the Chhandogya 
Upanishad, which he has just quoted. This allegory 
is, the reader will remember, as follows : " A high- 
way man leaves a M-ayfarer from Kandahar blindfold in 
a desolate waste he has brought him to. The wayfarer 
left blindfold in the waste, does not know what is east 
or north or south, and cries out for guidance. A 
passer-by unties his hands, and unbinds his eyes, and 
points out the way towards Kandahar. The man goes 
on, asking for village after village, and finally arrives at 
Kandahar. In a like way a man is guided by a spiritual 
teacher in his progress towards the final goal, the one 
and only Self." Supposing the reader to be familiar 
with this allegory, he goes on to say, " The parable of the 
highwayman teaches that a man who lives for the fic- 
tions of everyday life is implicated in metempsychosis, 
and that a man who lives for the truth is extricated 
from it. In teaching this it teaches that unity alone is 
real, and that plurality is a figment of fictitious vision 
or illusion.^ The phases of everyday life have a kind The world is 
of truth prior to the knowledge that the soul is the Self, which the 
as the phases of a dream are true till the sleeper wakes sage awakes 
up out of his dream. No one becomes aware of the of the truth^ 
unreality of all that goes on in daily life, the fictitious 
nature of the soul, of the things around it, and of the 
recompenses of its actions, until he learns that his soul 
is one with the solely real Self. Until he learns this 
every one loses sight of his essential oneness with the 
Self, and supposes that the modes of manifested being 
are he and his. In this way the procedure of daily life 
and the religion of the Vedas are valid, until we wake 
to the truth that the soul is one with the characterless 
Self. It is as with a man in his dreams. He sees a 
variety of scenes and situations, and this is, until he 

^ MitliyCijndna. 


Chap. IX. wakes up, an assured perceptional experience, and not 
a mere semblance of perception. 

" Perhaps some one will say. If the world is a figment, 
the teaching of the Upanishads is a part of the world, 
and therefore itself a figment. How can any one learn 
from this teaching; the truth that the soul is the Self ? 
A man does not die of the bite of the snake he sees in 
a piece of rope, nor is he any the better for drinking the 
water of a mirage or bathing in it. This objection is 
null. Men have been known to die of drinking a bever- 
age merely imagined to be poison. When they sleep 
and dream they are bitten by unreal snakes, and bathe 
in unreal water. The objector will say that the snake- 
bite and the bath are unreal also. We reply that the 
snake-bite and the bathing of the dream are unreal, 
but the vision of them by the dreamer is a fact, for this 
apprehension is not negatived on waking up. As soon 
as the sleeper wakes he knows that the snake-bite and 
the bath were figments, but he does not judge his vision 
of them to have been a figment." 
The seif-feigu- A little furtlicr on he writes: ^"The omniscience of 

ing fiction is . . . . « . . i _ 

the body of the Dcmiurgus is relative to the evolution of Avidya, 

the cosmic *^ ... - 

soul or Demi- tlic oemi of uamc and colour, of the visible and name- 

ui'o'us. The 

cosmic soul able aspects of things. In such texts as, From this 

and cosmic nir-i i ' t- n ^ ^ ^ 

b..dy, apart samc bell tlic ether emanated, it appears that the world 
are alike un- ' coiues out of, is sustalucd by, and passes back into the 
Demiurgus ever pure, intelligent, and free, all-knowing 
and all-powerful ; not out of, by, and into Pradhana or 
any other unconscious principle. Name and colour, the 
figments of illusion, the body as it were of the omni- 
scient Demiurgus, not explicable as existent or as non- 
existent, the germs of the world of metempsychosis, 
are called in Sruti and in Srnriti the Maya, Sakti, or 
Prakriti of the world-evolving deity. The omniscient 
Demiurgus is other than tliese, as is said in the text, 
It is the expanse which unfolds itself into name and 

^ Sarirakamimansabhashya, ii. I, 14. 

1 0.ll. 


colour, and these are in the Self. The Demiurgus then Chap. ix. 
manifests himself in the fictitious forms of the names 
and colours presented by the cosmical illusion ; as the 
all-pervading ether manifests itself in fictitious limita- 
tion as in this and that pot or jar. In the domain of 
the ordinary, unphilosophic life, the Demiurgus pre- 
sides over all the innumerable migrating spirits or con- 
scious souls. These souls are identical with himself, in 
the same way as the ether localised in this or that jar 
is identical with the ubiquitous ether one and un- 
divided ; and they are individualised by attachment to 
the various bodies and organs fashioned out of the 
names and colours presented by the world-fiction. 
Thus, then, the Demiurgus is a Demiurgus, is all- 
knowing and all-powerful, only in relation to the limi- 
tations of his fictitious body, the cosmical illusion. In 
real truth this conventional order of things, with its 
presiding deity and the souls presided over, has no 
existence in the Self ; for the Self is a pure essence 
apart from all the fictitious limits of individual life. 
And therefore it is said. That is the infinite in which 
one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, and knows 
nothing else : and again, When all this world is Self 
and Self alone, what should one see any one with ? In 
such passages as these the Upanishads teach that, in 
the state of pure reality, every form of conventional 
existence, all that we are and do and suffer in this daily 
life, ceases to have any being." ^ Is vara, Sankaracharya 
means, is the first figment of the world-fiction. Sup- 
press the world-fiction, and Isvara is no longer I^vara 
but Brahman, for Isvara belongs to the world of every- 
day, conventional existence, not to the real world, the 
spiritual unity, into which the theosophist aspires to 

It would be easy to multiply proofs that the tenet of 
illusion is taught in the gloss of Sankara. But this is 

^ Paramdrthdvasthd = molshdvasthd. 



Chap. IX. needless : the passages already presented to tlie reader 
— prove that this tenet is taught as directly and unmis- 
takably in Sankaracharya's commentary on the apho- 
risms of the Vedanta as in any of his other works. 
There is as much to countenance it in the sutras of 
Vyasa and the gloss of Sankara, as in the minor com- 
mentaries and elementary treatises. It is no graft of 
a later growth, but a vital element of the primitive 
philosophy of the Upanishads. Sankara found this 
tenet in the Upanishads, and there we cannot fail to 
find it also. It is everywhere implied in the idea of 
the sole reality of the Self ; and not only so, but the 
reality of duality is expressly denied, and a principle 
of unreality is expressly announced, the undeveloped 
germ of the visible and nameable aspects of the world, 
the expanse that is woven warp and woof across the 
Self. That the world is a series of shows and sem- 
, blances that come and go and have no stay, is part and 
parcel of the earliest type of Indian philosophy. This 
philosophy has had its growth and development, but 
each later has had its virtual pre-existence in each 
earlier stage. What has been more implicit has be- 
come more explicit, but there has been no addition from 
without, no interpolation of foreign elements. The asser- 
tion of the Orientalists that the doctrine of Maya is a 
comparatively modern importation into the Vedantic 
system is groundless, and the hypothesis of a primitive 
Vedanta in harmony with the system known as the 
Yogadarsana or demiurgic Sankhya is untenable. 
The source of TMs brings us to the source of Colebrooke's error. 
er°ro?wa!fhfs His mistake arose from the acceptance of the polemical 
tSsmfon statement of an opponent of the Vedantins, Vijnana- 
biiikshu?an bhikshu, the celebrated exponent of the aphorisms of 
theTih'so- the Sankhya, the author of the Sankhyapravachana- 
upau^^t^ads. hhashya. According to Dr. Fitz-Edward Hall, Vijna- 
nabhikshu in all probability lived in the sixteenth or 
seventeenth century of the Christian era. In his com- 


mentary on the Saiikliya aphorisms, Vijiianabliikshu Cuap. ix. 
propounds a theory that the several Darsanas or sys- 
terns of Indian philosophy, are successive steps of 
ascent to the full truth of the demiurgic Sankhya or 
Yoga philosophy. This demiurgic Sankhya he holds 
to be identical with the primitive form of the Brah- 
mamimansa or Vedanta. Each system, he says, is valid 
for the instalment of truth which it conveys. Where 
any system negatives part of the truth, it does so 
because the portion of truth negatived is no part 
of the instalment of truth propounded in that particu- 
lar system. Thus, for example, he would treat the 
Sankhya denial of Isvara, the Demiurgus or world-evol- 
ving deity. Otherwise such a negation, he says, may be 
regarded as an audacious averment of private judg- 
ment. ^ Or again, he says, we may regard the untrue 
portions of any of the earlier systems as a test of faith 
designed to exclude from the full truth those that are 
unprepared to receive it ; a test to shut out the un- 
worthy aspirant from a release from metempsychosis. 
As a part of this attempt, his own personal effort, to 
treat the systems as successively complementary reve- 
lations, he tries to force the Vedanta, or philosophy of 
the Upanishads, into accord with the demiurgic San- 
khya. N'ow to this there are two great obstacles, the 
Vedantic tenet of the unreality of the world, and the 
Yedantic tenet of the unity of souls in the Self. 
Vijnauabhikshu accordingly pronounces that the doc- 
trine of Maya is a modern invention of persons falsely 
styling themselves Vedantins, but really crypto-Bud- 
dhists,- scions of the Vijnanavadins or Buddhist sen- 
sational nihilists. He appeals to a primitive Vedanta 
that teaches the two ruling tenets of the Sankhya, the 
reality of the world, and the plurality of Purushas 
or Selves. It has been proved in this chapter that such 
a primitive Vedanta never existed. Vijiianabhikshu's 

^ EJcadeslydndm praudhavadah . - Prachchhannahauddha. 



Chap. IX. 

sbu's state- 
ment is alto- 
gether base- 

The ocean of 

chosis is un- 
real, the Self, 
the sun that 
shines upon 
its waves, 
alone is real. 

assertion that the primitive Vedanta taught the plu- 
rality of Purushas or Selves has not deceived anybody : 
why should we admit the deception of his concomitant 
assertion that the primitive Vedanta taught the reality 
of the world ? The two statements are alike put forth 
in the teeth of all the facts, and are equally false ; 
though possibly his statement that the primitive 
Vedanta taught the plurality of Purushas is the more 
glaring falsity. It is true that Vijfianabhikshu cites a 
passage of the Padmapurana in which the tenet of 
Maya is said to be crypto-Buddhistic, and to have been 
proclaimed in the Kali age of the world, by Siva in the 
person of a Brahman, for the ruin of mankind. In the 
face of the plain teaching of the Upanishads this cita- 
tion fails to move us. At the most it can only prove 
that Vijnanabhikshu was not the first to stigmatise the 
doctrine of Maya as a piece of crypto-Buddhism. We 
have nothing to do but to look at the Upanishads and 
at the aphorisms of the Vedanta, to weigh the tradi- 
tionary and authoritative expositions of the Vedantic 
doctors, and to judge for ourselves. The Vedantic 
schoolmen, Sankaracharya and the rest, speak to us ex 
cathedra, and we have seen how natural and effortless 
their exposition is. We may set aside the mere asser- 
tions of their adversaries. Be it remembered, too, that 
Vijnanabhikshu's proposal to treat the several systems 
as progressive instalments of the truth, has no counte- 
nance in the works of Indian scholasticism. The sys- 
tems are in those works exhibited on every page as in 
open hostility against each other. Vijnanabhikshu's 
treatment of the philosophy of the Upanishads is false 
from first to last ; and Colebrooke's assertion falls with 
the fall of the assertion of Vijnanabhikshu. 

In the very beginning of Indian philosophy, in the 
teaching of the Upanishads no less than in the teach- 
infr of the Vedantic schoolmen, the world is an illusion. 
The migrating souls, their environments, their places of 


reward and punisliraent, the gods, the world-evolving Chap. ix. 
deity himself, are figments of a fiction that has feigned 
itself from all eternity. The one Self in all souls is the 
only true being. This Self shines in every mind, as 
one sun shines reflected upon innumerable waters. It 
shines on the ocean of metempsychosis, lighting up all 
its waves. " It seems to think, it seems to move," in 
the migrating souls that are its fictitious presentments 
in this fictitious world ; as the sun seems to move with 
the motion of the waves that reflect it. These waves 
are the mifrratinci: souls. The Self seems to act and to 
sufi'er, to be soiled with all the stains of earthly life ; and 
is all the time inert and impassive, a pure, unsullied 
brightness ; a sun that looks down upon the imperfec- 
tions of the world and is untainted by them. The 
reader may be reminded of the simile with which 
Ferrier illustrates the teaching of Xenophancs. The 
sensible world is for Xenophanes " a mere phenomenon, 
and possesses no such truth as that which reason 
compels us to attribute to the permanent one, which 
according to Xenophanes is God. His tenets on this 
point may be illustrated as follows : Suppose that the 
sun is shining on the sea, and that his light is broken 
by the waves into a multitude of lesser lights, of all 
colours and of all forms ; and suppose that the sea is 
conscious, conscious of this multitude of lights, this 
diversity of shifting colours, this plurality of dancing 
forms, would this consciousness contain or represent the 
truth, the real ? Certainly it would not. The objec- 
tively true, the real in itself, is in this case the sun in 
the heavens, the one permanent, the persistent in colour 
and form. Its diversified appearance in the sea, the 
dispersion of its light in myriad colours and in myriad 
forms, is nothing and represents nothing which sub- 
stantially exists ; but is only something which exists 
phenomenally, that is, unsubstantially and unreally, in 
the sea." 


Chap. IX. With tliis proof of the primitive antiquity of the 

doctrine of Maya, we may close this survey of the 

philosophy of the Upanishads. 

Recapituia- xiiis philosophy was a new religion with a new 

phiiosoi.i.y of promise, a religion not of the many but of the few. 

shads a new Xhc promise is no lons^er a promise of felicity in this 

religion, a-"^. . .^ ^ , "^ 

more perfect life Or in Q. higher life, but a promise of release from the 

way for the » i , % 

recluses of the sorrows of the heart, of a repose unbroken by a dream, 
of everlasting peace, in which the soul shall cease to be 
a soul, and shall be merged in the one and only Self, the 
characterless being, characterless thought, and character- 
less beatitude. 
It took the The primitive Yedic religion had already become a 

earlier vedic half-living form of words. The hymns of the Rishis, 
this lost its the daily observances, the liistrations and sacrifices 
as the b'eblfs wcrc Still handed down and repeated from age to age, 
\u>^"md\.hl as revered elements of the common life ; and the repeti- 
everjilrm of tion of thesc, and the hope of rising in this life or in an 
leprevaie . j^ff^gp.ijfg^ g^ju made up tlic religion of the multitude. 

This religion was not moral and emotional, but me- 
chanical ; each item of conformity carrying with it its 
promised item of reward. Wealth was to be accumu- 
lated for the winning of merit ; for the wealthy sacrificer 
might aspire to a place in a paradise, or the position of 
a deity. The gods were to be praised and fed with 
sacrifices, that they might send rain and feed their 
worshippers ; and the praises, prayers, and sacrifices 
were to be offered up in proper form by professional 

Upon this religion supervened the beliefs in the 
migration of the soul, and in the misery of every form 
of life, beliefs accruing from contact and intermixture 
with the melanous indigenes. A new estimate pre- 
sented itself of the value of the rewards of conformity 
with prescriptive usages, and of costly rites. The 
whole earth replete with riches will not make a man 
immortal. Death is still before the eves of the re- 


•warded worsliipper, and death is to bring no peaceful Chap. ix. 
sleep ; the dream of life will be followed by an after- 
dream, and this by another, in endless succession. The 
worshipper is deluded, and his reward is a delusion. 
Tlie pleasures the gods have, and may give him, are 
tainted and fugitive, as all pleasures are : they are things 
that may or may not be to-morrow. Care follows the 
recompensed conformist into the very paradise his 
merits win for him : he cannot stay there for ever, 
and he will see many there in higher places than him- 
self. The whole order of the popular religion, with , 
its rites and their rewards, is a darkness, an illusion, # 

and light and verity must be looked for somewhere 
else. The thirst for pleasure, and the craving for 
religious recompenses, are the springs of the actions 
of the soul, which implicate it in metempsychosis. 
This thirst and craving lie at the root of the world- 
tree. Volition ^ is the origin of evil. The aspirant to 
release from metempsychosis must refrain from every 
desire and every act of will. Good works, no less than 
evil works, are imperfections that must be put away. 
They lead .only to higher embodiments, to higher 
spheres indeed, but still to spheres tainted with misery ; 
for the pleasures even of a paradise are fleeting and 
unequally allotted. So long as the living being acts, 
so long must he suffer the retribution of his good and 
evil acts in body after body, in seon after aeon. The 
religion of immemorial usages and of liturgic rites be- 
longs to the people of the world, and, like every other 
form of activity, tends only to prolong the miseries of 
metempsychosis. From the true point of view taught 
to the initiated, in the philosophy of the Upanishads, 
action and passion, works and the recompenses of works, 
the religion of ancestral rites and usages, the sacrifices, 
and the gods sacrificed to, are alike unreal. They are 

^ Savlalparn rarjayet tasmdt sarvdnarthasya kuranam, Viveka- 
chtitiamani, v. 330. 


Chap. IX. figments of the world-fiction, and for the finished theo- 

sophist they have no existence. They belong to • the 

world of semblances, the dream of souls as yet un- 

The old reii- awakened. Nevertheless these things have their fruits 

gion left as . , . ? . - 

valid for the lu the phautasmagory 01 metempsychosis, and to taste 
three paths thcsc fruits tlic unawakcued soul must pass from body 
ing soul —the to body, from sphere to sphere, as through dream after 
path^of the ^ dream. They that live in the world and neglect the 
and^the path prcscriptlve pieties, pass along the evil path,^ again and 
o t e go s. g^gf^^Q ^Q ephemeral insect lives. They that live in the 
village in obedience to the religion of rites and usages, 
* ascend after death along the path of the progenitors ^ 

to the lunar world. There they sojourn for a while till 
their reward is over, and return to fresh embodiments. 
They that add a knowledge of the significance of these 
rites, and of the nature of the gods, to their conformity, 
ascend after death along the path of the gods^ to 
the solar world. There they proceed to the courts of 
Brahma, the supreme divinity ; to abide there till the 
close of the seou, and to be sent back into the world at 
The old reii- ^hc ucxt palingcnesia. These have followed the way 
highe^'^rJse in of works,* the religion of usages and rites, a religion 
mind^f ti.e'^ which has its higher use in purifying the mind of the 
uberatiun° votary, it may be in the course of many successive lives, 
untn he is ready to enter the way of knowledge,^ to be 
initiated into the religion of renunciation and ecstatic 
vision, the theosophy of the anchorites of the forest. 
Moral and religious excellence has its only true value 
in the preliminary purification of the soul, in so far as 
it tends to fit the mind for the pursuit of liberating 
light and intuition. This kind of excellence lies chiefly 
in conformity to the traditionary routine of life and 
Vedic ritual. The Brahman has come into the world 
with three debts to pay, — his debt to the Eishis to re- 
peat and transmit their hymns and the exposition of 

^ Kashthd gatih. " Pitriydna. ^ Devaydna. 

* Karmamdrga. * Jndnamdrga, hrahmavidyd. 


tlieir hymns ; his debt to the Pitris or ancestral spirits, Chap. ix. 
to beget children to offer cakes and water for them to 
live upon in the next generation ; and his debt to the 
gods, to make oblations to them for their sustenance, 
that they may be able to send the fertilising rain upon 
the fields. These debts belong, it is true, to the world 
of semblances : the Brahman may proceed straight from 
his sacred studentship to the forest, if he will ; and yet, 
in general, it is not till he has paid these debts that he 
is to retire to the jungle, to meditate at leisure on the 
vanities of life and the miseries of the procession of 
lives to come, and to strive to win release from further 
life in the body by self-torture, by the crushing of every 
thought and feeling, by rising to vacuity, apathy, and 
isolation, that he may refund his personality into the 
impersonality of the one and only Self. This is the riie om reii- 
new religion, a religion of cataleptic insensibility and one of confor- 
ecstatic vision for the purified and initiated few, that moriai pieties'. 
seek for final liberation. Not exertion, but inertion, is gionisanat- 
the path to liberation. There is no truth and no peace abo^fe bodViy^ 

iT T ^• , r • 1 , ^ i , and mental 

m the plurality 01 experience ; truth and peace are to conditions to 
be found only in the one beneath it and beyond it. re-tnlon." 
This one existent is the Self, the spiritual essence that 
gives life and light to all things living,^ permeating them 
all from a tuft of grass up to the highest deity of the 
Indian worshipper. This Self, this highest Self, Atman, 
Brahman, Paramatman, is being, thought, and bliss, 
undifferenced ; other than which nothing is, and other 
than which all things only seem to be. This one and 
only Self is near to all, dwelling in the heart of every 
living thing, present in the mind within the heart. 
The light within the ether of the heart is the lio;ht that 
lifrhtens all the world. Withdraw it, and all things 
will lapse into blindness, darkness, nothingness.^ To 
see it, to become one with it, to pass away into that 
light of lights beyond the darkness of the world-fiction, 

^ Sattdsphurtij>rada. ^ Tadabkdve jagaddndhyam prasajyeta. 


Chap. IX. is the only aspiration of the wise. This light is hidden 
from the unwise, who dwell in the midst of the illusions 
of the world ; they can no more see it than a blind man 
can see the sun. The wise man sees it as the cloud of 
illusion disperses, and the ecstatic vision dawns upon 
his mind. In order to see it the personality must be put 
away ; and it is only when this light within shall reveal 
itself to the pure intelligence, only when every thought 
and feeling and volition shall have melted away in the 
rigorous contemplation of it, that the personality of the 
aspirant shall pass away into impersonality and ever- 
lasting peace. Tiie darkness of the cosmical illusion 
passes, and the light remains for ever, a pure, un- 
difierenced light, a characterless being, thought, and 
blessedness. If a man will see this light, he must first 
loose himself from every tie, put away all the desires 
of his heart, part from his wife and children, and from 
all that he has, and retire into the solitude of the forest ; 
there to engage in a long course of self-torture, and of 
that suppression of every feeling, desire, and thought 
that is to end in catalepsy and ecstatic vision. 
The new theo- There is little that is spiritual in all this. The pri- 
spirituauhan mitivc Indian philosophers teach that the individual 
servance of Self is to bc annulled by being merged in the highest 
socTa.'^^ ^'^ Self. Their teaching in this regard has been so often 
mistaken and misstated, that it is important to insist 
upon the difference between the ancient Indian mystic 
and the modern idealist. The difference must have 
made itself plain enough to the reader of these pages. 
He will have seen for himself how the Indian sages, 
as the Upanishads picture them, seek for participation 
in the divine life, not by pure feeling, high thought, 
and strenuous endeavour, — not by an unceasing effort 
to learn the true and do the right, — but by the crushing 
out of every feeling and every thought, by vacuity, 
apathy, inertion, and ecstasy. They do not for a 
moment mean that the purely individual feelings and 


volitions are to be suppressed in order that the philo- Chap. ix. 
sopher may live in free obedience to the monitions of it is i^pira- 
a higher common nature. Their highest Self is little ergy towards 
more than an empty name, a caput mortuum of the thegoodrbut 
abstract understanding. Their pursuit is not a pursuit Sor^reposo 
of perfect character, but of perfect characterlessness. ierL*onift 
They place perfection in the pure indetermination of hfgheVt%^'o^- 
thought, the final residue of prolonged abstraction ; not ludLu mlud. 
in the higher and higher types of life and thought 
successively intimated in the idealising tendencies of 
the mind, as among the progressive portions of the 
human race. The epithets of the sole reality, the 
highest Self, are negative, or if positive they are unin- 
telligible. It is a uniformity of indifferent being, 
thought, and bliss. It is a mass of thought and bliss, 
as fire is a mass of heat and light. It is thought 
always the same and ever objectless, thought without 
a thinker or things to think of. It is a bliss in which 
there is no soul to be glad, and no sense of gladness. 
It is a light which lightens itself, for there is nothing 
else for it to lighten. This is the gain above all gains, 
a bliss above all other bliss, a knowledge above all 
other knowledge. It is no part of the spirit of the 
Indian sages to seek to see things as they are, and to 
help to fashion them as they ought to be, to let the 
power at work in the world work freely through them ; 
to become " docile echoes of the eternal voice, and 
pliant organs of the infinite will." This neither was 
nor could be the spirit of men of their race, their age, 
and their environment. The time, and the men for 
these things had not yet appeared. This is the spirit 
in which many a man now works, to whom philo- 
sophy is a name, and who would smile to hear himself 
called an idealist. It is not the spirit of the ancient 
Indian sage, Brahmanical or Buddhist. For these there 
is no quest of verity and of an active law of righteous- 
ness, but only a yearning after resolution into the 


Chap. IX. fontal unity of undifferenced being; or, in the case of 
the Buddhist, a yearning after a lapse into the void, a 
return to the primeval nothingness of things. The 
effort is to shake off every mode of personal existence, to be out of the world for ever, in the unbroken 
repose of absorption or annihilation. 

Such as they are, and have been shown to be, the 
Upanishads are the loftiest utterances of Indian intelli- 
gence. They are the work of a rude age, a deteriorated 
race, and a barbarous and unprogressive community. 
Whatever value the reader may assign to the ideas 
they present, they are the highest produce of the 
ancient Indian mind, and almost the only elements of 
interest in Indian literature, which is at every stage 
replete with them to saturation. 



Date Due 







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Library Bureau Cat. No. 1137 



3 5002 00014 7798 

Gou9h, Archibald Edward 

The philosophy of the Upan.shads and anc