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became devoted to the worship of Vishnu. His father, after trying various expedients to detach him from the hostile faith, at last becoming excessively enraged, commanded them to bind him with strong bands and cast him into the ocean. This being done,] “ as he floated on the waters, the ocean was convulsed throughout its whole extent, and rose in mighty undulations, threatening to submerge the earth.” [Then the king ordered them to pile rocks upon him. Accordingly they hurled upon him] “ponderous rocks, and piled them over him for many thousand miles; but he still, with mind undisturbed, thus offered daily praise to Vishnu.

Glory to that Vishnu from whom this world is not distinct. May he, ever to be meditated upon as the beginning of the Universe, have compassion upon me; may he, the supporter of all, in whom every thing is warped and woven, have compassion on

• glory to him who is all; to him whom I also am ; for he is everywhere, and through whom all things are from me.

I am all things; all things are in me, who am everlasting. I am undecaying, ever enduring, the receptacle of the spirit of the supreme. Brahma is my name ; the supreme soul, that is before all things, that is after the end of all.' — Thus meditating upon Vishnu, Prahlada became as one with him, . . he forgot entirely his own individuality, and was conscious of nothing else than his being the inexhaustible, eternal, supreme soul.

As soon as, through the force of his contemplation, Prahlada had become one with Vishnu, the bonds with which he was bound burst instantly asunder; the ocean was violently uplifted; the monsters of the deep were alarmed; earth with all her forests and mountains trembled ; and the prince, putting aside the rocks which the demons had piled upon him, came forth out of the main.”

Thus the whole duty of man, all philosophy, both practical and theoretical, is embraced in the single requirement of absolute Skepticism; a skepticism which does not doubt, but is absolutely certain of the unreality of all things; which recognizes only pure negation, and seeks only liberation from existence : —

Vishnu Pur., p. 658. “Liberation, which is the object to be effected, being accomplished, discriminative knowledge

When endowed with the apprehension of the nature of the object of inquiry, then there is no difference between it and supreme spirit ; difference is the consequence of the absence of true knowledge. When that ignorance which is the NO. IV.



cause of the difference between individual and universal spirit is destroyed, finally and for ever, who shall ever make that distinction between them which does not exist ?"

Vishnu Pur., p. 654. “ Until all acts which are the causes of notions of individuality, are discontinued, spirit is one thing, and the universe is another, to those who contemplate objects as distinct and various ; but that is called true knowledge, or knowledge of Brahma, which recognizes no distinctions, which contemplates only simple existence, which is undefinable by words, and is to be discovered solely in one's own spirit.”

Bhag. Gita, p. 55 et seq. 66 In wisdom is to be found every work without exception. Seek then this wisdom, which having learnt, thou shalt not again, O son of Pāndoo, fall into folly ; by which thou shalt behold all nature in the spirit ; that is, in me. Although thou wert the greatest of all offenders, thou shalt be able to cross the gulf of sin with the bark of wisdom. As the natural fire, 0 Arjoon, reduceth the wood to ashes, so may the fire of wisdom reduce all moral actions to ashes.

Children only, and not the learned, speak of the speculative and the practical doctrines as two. They are but one, for both obtain the self-same end.. That man seeth, who seeth that the speculative doctrines and the practical are but one.

Mankind are led astray by their reasons being obscured by ignorance ; but when that ignorance of their souls is destroyed by the force of reason, their wisdom shineth forth again with the glory of the sun, and causeth the Deity to appear.

Vishnu Pur., p. 251. “ Best of all is the identification of soul with the supreme spirit.

The knowl edge that this spirit, which is essentially one, is in one's own and in all other bodies, is the great end, or true wisdom, of one who knows the unity and the true principles of things.'

Ib. p. 139. .

“ That is active duty, which is not for our bondage ; that is knowledge, which is for our liberation : all other duty is good only unto weariness : all other knowledge is only the cleverness of an artist."

The object of creation, and the end of existence, is the exclusion and negation of the Outward. By relinquishing and casting off his false being, Man attains again his true state.

Ib. p. 649. “ The mind of man is the cause both of his bondage and his liberation : its addiction to the objects of sense is the means of his bondage ; its separation from the objects of sense is the means of his freedom.”

Vedas : (cited in Colebrooke's Essays, I., 237.)

66 Soul is to be known, it is to be discriminated from nature: thus it does not come again, it does not come again.” Sankh. Kär., LVI. et seq.

This evolution of nature, from intellect to the special elements, is performed for the deliverance of each soul respectively; done for another's sake as for self. As a dancer, having exhibited herself to the spectator, desists from the dance, so does nature desist, having manifested herself to soul. Generous Nature, endued with qualities, does by manifold means accomplish, without benefit (to herself) the wish of ungrateful soul, devoid as he is of qualities. Nothing, in my opinion, is more gentle than Nature ; once aware of having been seen, she does not again expose herself to the gaze of soul. Verily not any soul is bound, nor is released, nor migrates; but Nature alone, in relation to various beings, is bound, is released, and migrates. By seven modes Nature binds herself by herself; by one, she releases (herself) for the soul's wish. So, through study of principles, the conclusive, incontrovertible, one only knowledge is attained, that neither I Am, nor is aught mine, nor do I exist. Possessed of this (self-knowledge), soul contemplates at leisure and at ease Nature, (thereby) debarred from prolific change, and consequently precluded from those seven forms. He desists, because he has seen her; she does so because she has been seen. In this (mere) union there is no motive for creation. By attainment of perfect knowledge, virtue and the rest become causeless; yet soul remains awhile invested with body, as the potter's wheel continues whirling from the effects of the impulse previously given to it. When separation of the informed soul from its corporeal frame at length takes place, and nature in respect of it ceases, then is absolute and final deliverance accomplished.”

Commentary to Sankh. Kār., LVI. « Nature is like a utensil; having fulfilled soul's object it ceases."

Bhag. Gita, p. 106. “ They who, with the eye of wisdom, perceive the body and the spirit to be thus distinct, and that there is a final release from the animal nature, go to the Su

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In this all-absorbing nihilism we have the first attempt at speculation. It cannot be called the earliest philosophical system, for it does not get as far as a system ; but it is the earliest distinct endeavour to grasp the idea of the Universe.

The antithesis of Thought and Being, of the Mind and Nature, about which all philosophy turns, first presents itself in a one-sided form, one or the other factor being neglected. If we consider Being alone, or principally, then Reality is to us contained in the Outward ; and as we do not see its true relation to Thought, it is an uncomprehended something, the highest attribute of which is Being; a pure abstraction of the Outward, and thus altogether unideal, rude, - Matter. This is the natural position of the Occidental mind.

The Orientals, on the other hand, are prone to consider Reality as pure Thought. The highest Reality to them is Mind, from which all trace of the Material is removed, abstract Soul. The most important theological dogma to us is that God exists. But to the Hindoos the highest description of God is as the One Soul which does not admit of incarnation, and to whom Existence is the illusive show with which He disports himself. The Deity is here pure introversion ; mere homogeneousness and equality with himself, that is, pure, abstract Thought. This is the earliest and the simplest conceivable form of speculation, and it must be acknowledged that these writings display an earnestness and intensity of abstraction that would seem to indicate a great depth of philosophical genius.

There is something irresistibly commanding in the terrible simplicity of this Idealism ; partially typified, also, in the colossal sculptures of Ellora and Elephanta. But like its opposite, Materialism, it rests on an extreme abstraction, and is thus altogether one-sided and incomplete ; and although as speculation it stands higher than Materialism, since it demands a comprehension of the relation of Nature to the mind, — yet, on the other hand, it cuts off the solution of the problem, by a mere negation, which does not dispose of Nature, but merely forbids any further consideration of it.

The Hindoo Idealism might seem at first sight the most thoroughgoing possible ;- yet such is not the case. The reality of the Outward, of Nature, is denied, yet it remains, as an existing unreality. It is actual existence, only not the existence of God. But, then, whence does it derive its power to exist ? The answer is, from God, who created and sustains it as an unreality, an illusion. Then Soul, the One Principle, which is Reality, does not embrace the whole Universe, but there is, moreover, something unreal and material, which is yet existent, and created by God — who, how

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ever, is identical with the One Soul, and thus pure Reality. Evidently, therefore, a qualification of the principle is necessary. Soul is no longer pure soul, but also material : Reality not purely real, but also, in some relations, unreal; namely, as to Man. So also the Material is no longer pure negation, but qualified. It is nothing as to God, but something as to Man. Nor is this to be avoided by saying that Man is an unreality, and his supposed knowledge, the relation of Nature to his mind, mere deception. For the illusion by which he is deceived

ust be real, else it is no illusion, and then our knowledge is real. In other words, the relation between the mind and Nature being established by God, must be a reality, and thus our perception a reality also, - whether we perceive correctly or not; a subjective reality, at least, though, perhaps, not objective.

In spite of all, then, Nature remains something, which, according to the principle, it should not. It is something unspiritual, and, though created by God, foreign to him,

existing properly only in the minds of created beings, not in his own. This is Evil, Impurity, that which ought not to be, but is.

It is interesting to observe in passing, the resemblance of this view to Fichte's, in whose system also Nature is merely the Unspiritual and Evil. In the Hindoo view, as in his,

. moreover, Nature, though mere negation, is yet necessary, as the pièce de résistance, by the negation of which its opposite is affirmed.

Skepticism, then, is here possible only as to the reality of things in themselves, out of our perception of them — (Kant's and Fichte's Dinge an sich); whether, apart from the phenomenal and perceptible world there be a super-phenomena reality in nature, distinct from God. This skepticism, therefore, does not apply to all belief in existence — to Nature as presented to the senses — but only to a dogmatic conception of Nature as an independent supersensuous reality. Matter is an independent reality to the senses, because the senses partake of its nature, and thus do not transcend it. Sensuous perception is a relation established by God, and thus that which is perceived is independent of the finite mind. To God, however, or the mind unencumbered by personality, Matter is only this relation, and in itself, apart from this relation, it is nothing. An illusion is the substitution of an idea, formed in one's mind, for an outward reality. Creation, therefore, may be called a Divine illusion, since in it what was contained in

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