• Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis: 1. The Great Questioning

Not open for further replies.


Well-known member

Everyone of us is/will become a Seeker at some point of time in our long cycle of (pseudo-eternal) life of births, deaths and rebirths, bothered by the Who/What, How and Why of the Self, the World and our relationship with it.

Briefly, the Who/What is the sat (real and present nature) of our Self; the How is the chit (the action of the storage of our vAsanAs or past impressions); and the Why is the AnandA (the happiness and peace) we are seeking.

Who/What represents the ichChA shakti (power of desire), How the kriyA shakti (power of creation) and the Why the jnAna shakti (power of knowledge) in our manifest Self.

A number of other questions remain: What happens to me after death? Will I be reborn, cast into hell or enjoy the heavens for ever after death? What is death and why should I die? Is there a way I can be immortal and live happily forever? Why is there so much of difference in the teachings of various religions? What is the ultimate Truth? Is that Truth Advaita, Dvaita or Vishishtadvaita? Which is the true knowledge, Physical Science or Metaphysical Science? Looking at the lawful order of things in the manifest world, it should be Science after all; and looking at the life and harmony of Nature, it should be beyond Science too...

At the root of all such questioning is Desire: the desire to know, how to live forever, and live happily in peace. Desire for the knowledge of immortality and peace (happiness) coupled with the fear of annihilation drives all the quest of the seeker.

This was precisely what Nachiketa sought to know from Yama, the Lord of Death. The spirit of Nachiketa is immanent in us. With some knowledge from our own reading, we have an inkling that the answer to all our questions remains inside us, in our own Self, rather than in the outside World. As we progress, we seek the ultimate peace and happiness, even as we need to remain in this chaotic world and live the turmoil of this life.

Our scriptures, both shruti (heard, revealed) and smRti (written, remembered) show us ways to realize the Absolute Truth through the variety of chaos of the saMsAra (the World-Process). Since the scriptures approach the Absolute Truth in many angles, a seeker is often confused with their apparent contradictions.

Bhagavan Das (1869-1958) has authored a powerful work in the manner of a textbook on science that seeks to synthesize all the variety and chaos of the saMsAra and lead us to the Absolute Truth, by offering a way to reconcile the apparently contradicting statements in various Hindu texts. Titled The Science of Peace, this book also touches on the concepts of Western Philosophy and Physical Science and places them in their proper hierarchical context in the holistic 'Science of the Self'.

Honoured with the Bharat Ratna award in 1955, Bhagavan Das was born in VArANasI and became a scholar of Sanskrit. He joined the Theosophical Society in 1894, and with Annie Besant established the Central Hindu College, VArANasI, which later became the Benaras Hindu University. He wrote around 30 books, many of them in Sanskrit and Hindi. Some of his works include: A concordance dictionary to The yoga-sutras of Patanjali, Indian ideals of women's education, Krishna, a study in the theory of Avataras, The essential Unity of all Religions, The science of peace, The science of religion, The science of the emotions, The Science Of Social Organization, or, The Laws Of Manu In The Light Of Atma Vidya, and The superphysics of the Great War. A prominent road in New Delhi is named after him and a colony is also named after him in Sigra area of VArANasI as 'Dr. Bhagwan Das Nagar'.

The Science of Peace is a book of over 500 pages, that discusses the way to synthesize and reconcile the variety and chaos in the World-Process and understand them in a scientific way within the Unity and context of the Self. I have attempted a compilation of this rich and powerful book. Since the material is vast, I shall present my understanding of the discussions (quoting, elaborating and paraphrasing them as necessary) with some of my illustrations, through several conveniently related threads, under the title adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis.

This compilation can, however, serve only as an introduction to the great book, which is a must read for every seeker. (The book can be downloaded in PDF format at The Science Of Peace : Bhagavan Das. : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive - 23.1 MB).

The great question of Nachiketa

KaThA upaniShad illustrates the path to immortality with a beautiful story that is replete with hidden meanings. We discuss the story briefly here and about the great question Nachiketa asked Yama, without going into the hidden meanings of what is known as the Nachiketa vidyA.

With an eye on the heavenly pleasures, King VAjashravasa once performed a fire sacrifice. As part of the sacrifice he gave all his wealth in charity. He had a son, a young boy named Nachiketa.

The boy saw his father give away all useless things in addition, in the name of charity. Nachiketa was advanced in knowledge and knew that by givng useless things his father would also need to reside in painful worlds. So he gently accosted his father with the question, "Father, to whom wilt thou give me?" He asked his father this question three times.

His father got annoyed and said, "mRutyave tvA dadAmi (Unto death I offer you)." Though his father spoke the words in anger, they were commitment enough and thus Nachiketa reached the portals of Yama Dharma RAjA. Since Yama wasn't there, Nachiketa waited for three days. When Yama came back and received the boy, he offered three boons to the boy in return for making him wait for three nights, because a guest had to be treated on par with God.

The first boon Nachiketa sought from Yama was that his father should accept him (because he is returning from Yama in bodily form!). Yama readily gave the boon and said that his father would receive and accept his son as before and be happy that his son was released from the jaws of death.

Then Nachiketa spoke thus to Yama for his second boon:

1-I-12. There is no fear in heaven; nor art thou there; nor is there any fear from old age. Transcending both hunger and thirst and rising above grief, man rejoices in heaven.

1-I-13. O Yama, thou knowest the Fire that leads to heaven. Instruct me, who am endowed with faith, about that (Fire) by which those who dwell in heaven attain immortality. This I choose for my second boon.

Yama gave Nachiketa the details of performing the fire sacrifice that leads to heaven and said that henceforth the ritual will be known by the boy's name. Yama also indicated that the Agni to perform the sacrifice resided in the cavity of the heart. Thus the Nachiketa Vidya in essence means the inward sAdhanA (spiritual practice) rather than the outword yajnA (act of sacrifice).

The third boon

And then Nachiketa asked Yama for his third boon a question, that was amazing for a boy of his age:

येयं प्रेते विचिकित्सा मनुष्ये ऽस्तीत्येके नायमस्तीति चैके ।
एतद् विद्यामनुशिष्टस्त्वयाऽहम् वराणामेष वरस्तृतीयः ॥

yeyaM prete vicikitsA manuShye &stItyeke nAyamastIti caike |
etad vidyAmanushiShTastvayA&ham varANAmeSha varastRutIyaH ||

1-I-20. "The dread doubt that seizeth the beholders when a man passeth away, so that one sayeth, 'He still is,' and another, 'No, he is no more'. I would know the truth of this, taught by thee, O Yama! This I crave as the third of the three boons thou promised!'

Yama Dharma RAjA, the Judge of departed souls, shrank from the great task imposed on him and answered: "Even the gods have suffered from this doubt, and very subtle is the science that resolveth it. Ask thou another boon! Besiege me not with this. Take all the pleasures that the earth can give; take undivided sovereignty of it!"

But Nachiketa would not budge: "Where shall all these pleasures be when the end comes! The pleasures are no pleasures, poisoned by the constant fear of Thee! The gods too suffer from the doubt, for they are only longer-lived and not eternal; and that they suffer is but reason why I would not be as they. I crave my boon alone. Nachiketa asks not for another."

Other similar great questions

BRhad-AryaNyaka-upaniShad II.iv, speaks of a similar great questioning by MaitreyI to her husband YAjnavalkya: "If all this earth with all its gems and jewels were mine without dispute, should I become immortal?"

And YAjnavalkya answered: "No, thou couldst only live as the wealthy live and die as they. Wealth brings not immortality!" Then MaitreyI: "What shall I do with that which makes me not immortal? Tell me what thou knowest brings assurance of eternity."

So RAma also asks VasiShTha: "The books that say that BrahmA, ViShNu, and Mahesha are the three highest gods that rule our solar system, say also that they die. BrahmA, the highest-seated, falls; the unborn Hari disappears; and Bhava, the source of the existence of this world, himself goes into non-existence! How then may feeble souls like mine find peace and rest from fear of death and change and ending?" (YogavAsiShTha, vairAgya prakaraNa, xxvi,29.)

"To be dependent on another (to be at the mercy of another, to be subject to the relentlessness of death)--this is misery. To be Self-dependent--this is happiness." (Manu smRti, 4.160)

Spiritual distress that kindles the burning Fires

Thus JIva feels the terror of annihilation and struggles to escape from it, into the refuge of some faith or other, low or high, instinctively in the beginning, and consciously and deliberately at the stage when self-consciousness and intelligence are developed. Religion and philosophy begin in such struggles only.

When this fear of death of body and soul, this fear of loss and change and ending pervades the intelligent and self-conscious JIva:

• it destroys his joy in passing things;
• makes him withdraw from old accustomed objects of enjoyment;
• fills him with sadness and disguest for worldly pleasures that really hide pain inside them;

thus, left in solitude and sorrow, when the JIva yearns and pines for a way out of this vast slaughterhouse into the Permanent, the Eternal, the Restful, then is that searching soul passing through the fires

• of burning thought, reflection and discremination between the Transient and the Permanent;
• of passionate rejection of all personal and selfish pleasures and attachments in himself and in others;
• of the self-suppression, the intense quiescence and compassionate sadness, of utter renunciation;
• and of a consuming, ever-present, craving and travailing for the means of liberation, from that seeming slaughter-house, for himself and for all others.

These fires that the JIva passes through makes him worthy of ved-Anta, of that 'final knowledge' which he craves, and which alone can bring him peace and fit him for the work that lies before him.

Then is his consciousness, his individuality, his personal self, focussed into an infinitesimal point, and, thus oppressed with the feeling of its own extreme littleness, is it ready for the supreme reaction, ready to lose itself and merge into and realize the All-Consciousness of the Infinite and Universal Self.

Grasping and understanding the mystery of the World-Process and its underlying Unity of the Self can speed up the onset of this most fearful and most fruitful mood that leaves the JIva desperate in his search for immortality.


Well-known member
adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis: 2. The First and Second Answers

In thus doubting and asking for immortality, the JIva instinctively feels

• that the answer lies in a basic 'Unity' of some sort or other;
• that peace can never be found in an unreconciled and conflicting 'Many'.

This feeling conditions his search throughout for reasons inherent in him-Self and in the World-Process (as will appear later).

As the GItA (xiii. 27) says: "Only when the soul sees the Many rooted in the One and aiso branching out from that One, does knowledge become complete and perfect, does the Infinite become fulfilled and realized in that soul, does the soul identify itself with the All-Self, Brahman."

The First Finding: Creation by a Personal First Cause

The first answer that the soul shapes for itself to the great question, the first tentative solution of this overpowering doubt, is embodied in the view which is called the Arambha-vAda (footnote #1), the theory of a beginning, an origination, a "creation of the world by an agency external to the questioner and to the World".

From so-called fetish-worship to highest deism and theism, all may be grouped under this first class of answer.

Worship of the Creator

Instinctively or intelligently, the JIva sees that

• effects do not arise without causes;
• what is not effected by himself must be caused by another;
• he himself (as he then regards himself) is an effect, and that his cause must be another;
• whatever is the more permanent, the older, is the cause of the temporary, the younger;
• and he finally infers and believes that his well-being, permanence, immortality, lies in, is dependent on, his cause, his Creator.

From such working of the mind arise the multifarious forms of faith, beginning with belief in, and worship of, stone and plant and animal, and ending in belief in, and worship of, a personal First Cause.

The general form and meaning of worship is the same throughout: prayer for some benefit or grace.

The accompanying condition of worship is the same also: giving assurance of humility in order to evoke benevolence in the object of worship, by prostration and obeisance and sacrifice of objects held most dear, to prove (sometimes, with cruellest immolation of others or of self, though at others with a most beautiful and most noble self-surrender) that they are not held dearer than that worshipped object.

Moving away from the First Answer

This first answer is a religion as well as a philosophy, but the Jlva finds not rest for long therein as he soon discovers

• that the concrete material idols fail again and again, and so does the mental idol;

• the incompatibility of evil and suffering with a being who is at once omnipotent, omniscient, and all-good; (footnote #2)

• the unsatisfied need for an explanation why a personal being who is perfect should create a world at all;

• and how he can create it out of nothing as he must, if it is not to be coexistent with and so at least to some extent independent of him.

Such distressing doubts have always shaken faith, first in the power and goodness of the creator, then in his very existence. So the JIva is set adrift again a-searching.

The truth that underlies this first answer, in all its forms, he will discern again when he has obtained what he now wants so urgently.

The Second Finding: Evolution by the interplay of two co-eternal factors

His next haven of rest, the second answer, is the pariNAma-vAda, (footnote #3) or vikAra-vAda (of VedAnta-sAra), the theory of change, transformation, evolution and dissolution, by the interaction of two factors.

By a great generalisation he reduces all the phenomena of the universe to two permanent elements, present always, universally, under all circumstances, throughout all the changes that he sees and feels.

The materialism and agnosticism which believe in 'Matter and Force', and declare all else unknown; the ordinary sAMkhya doctrine of 'puruSha and prakRti', (or, rather, an infinite number of puruShas and one prakRti); 'Ego and non-Ego', 'Self and not-Self,' 'Subject and Object', 'Spirit and Matter'--all fall under this second category. Most of the philosophies of the world are here; the variations as to detail are endless, but the view that the universe is due to two finals, is common to them all.

Duality as religion and philosophy

At this stage if the duality is made the basis of a religion at all, the believer proclaims the factor of Good as superior to the factor of Evil, and assigns to it a final triumph, regarding God as prevailing over Satan, Hormuzd over Ahriman, puruSha over prakRti, Spirit over Matter, in a vague undefined way, sacrificing strict logic to the instinctive need for Unity, which, as said before, conditions the search throughout.

But where the two are seen as equal, as in the sAMkhya, religion vanishes, no practice corresponds to the theory. Thus, the sAMkhya system describes puruSha as 'lame,' and prakRti as 'blind', helping each other, apparently, for the purpose of (each feeling it-'self' alive, existing, in) the Play of the World-Process, but in reality opposed in nature. The struggle between the two weakens both; each factor neutralises the other. There is no worship in the absence of a One Supreme to worship. Only philosophy remains, a belief, wavering and satisfactionless.

Failure of the Second Finding

An explanation by two eternals, a plurality of infinites, each unlimited and yet not interfering with the unlimitedness of the other, though existing out of and independently of it; with, furthermore, their interplay governed by Chance--such an explanation is no explanation at all.

If it is said that these many eternals and infinites exist, not out of but, within each other, that they pervade and permeate each other, then the 'explanation' becomes yet more unintelligible. It is all a contradiction in terms; it is mere arbitrariness; there is no order, no certainty, no law, no reason in it. However correct it may be as a generalised statement of indubitable facts, viz., an endlessness of Spirit and an endlessness of Matter, those facts themselves remain unexplained, unreconciled, impossible to understand.

The truth that underlies this belief also will appear when the final answer is found.

The Arambha-vAda corresponds to what in modern psychology is called "the popular conception of causality". (Hoffding's Outlines of Psychology, VD).

Hoffding's own view may be described as the scientific notion of causality, corresponding to the pariNAma-vAda.

The final or Vedantic notion, including, yet transcending, the other two, known in SaMskRtam as vivarta-vAda, adhyAsa-vAda, and also as AbhAsa-vAda, may be described in modern terms as the metaphysical notion of causation, not yet recognised and accepted in the west; though some thinkers approximate. Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Bradley, Koyce, Green, Caird and others, catch different aspects of it.

vivarta-vAda is the 'doctrine of reversal, opposition', because the Changing World-Effect is the illusory opposite of the Changeless Consciousness-Cause; also, perhaps, because, while the sAMkhya concludes that Nature-Matter-prakRti is One, and Souls-Forces-puruShas infinitely Many, the VedAnta reverses the conclusion, and holds that the Spirit is One, and Matter Many; adhy-Asa is 'baseless im-post-ure, super-im-position, or sup-position', 'false imputation', of attributes and qualities which do not exist; A-bhAsa is 'illusory appearance'. The full significance of this third and last answer will appear, later on.

1. PanchAdashi 13.7.

AraMbhavaadinaH anyasmAt anyasya utpattim Uchire |

The vaisheShikas and others who support the doctrine of 'Arambha' admit other causes than those which produce results as the source from which they are produced: because yarn is seen to produce cloth. Verily yarn is quite distinct from cloth, its product; and their modifications and uses are different; no thread can be worn, but cloth is.

2. Shankara, sharIraka-bhAShya, 2.i.34.

No partiality and cruelty (can be charged against God) because of (His) taking other factors into consideration. For so the Vedas show.

3. PanchAdashi 13.8.

avasthAntaratA ApattiH ekasya pariNAmitA |
syAt kShIraM dadhi mRuit kumbhaH suvarNaM kuNDalaM yathA

"One and the same thing passing into a new state, as milk becoming curds; clay, pots, gold, earrings--this is 'parinAma'."


Well-known member
adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis: 3. Uncertainties

The English language, like SaMskRtam, is essentially spiritual, perhaps in most of its words, as the author has expertly highlighted in many of the keywords he has used in his work.

The author's title to this chapter--as the present stage of the JIva, ridden with uncertainties and doubts in the first two answers to his Great Question--is one such instance: uncertainties; uncertain-ties.

The Webster's English Dictionary defines that the word 'uncertainty' "ranges in implication from a mere lack of absolute sureness [uncertainty about a date of birth] to such vagueness as to preclude anything more than guesswork [the uncertainty of the future];

and 'doubt' implies such a lack of conviction, as through absence of sufficient evidence, that there can be no certain opinion or decision [there is doubt about his guilt].

The one goal

As the JIva realizes the insufficiency of the first two answers, he gets into a stage which is tentative, temporary, full of uncertainty and full of questioning. Now the JIva is

• baffled in his efforts to understand the saMsAra--World-Process, completely;

• barred out from a perfect religion-philosophy, a system of knowledge which would consistently and directly unify and guide his thought, desire and action (head, heart and limbs) in this and all lives to come;

• unable to rest peacefully in a mere incomplete knowledge, in a mere belief which remains outside of his daily life and is often coming into conflict with it.

So the JIva goes back again and again to the first two answers, which are a religion and philosophy, however imperfect. But each such going back is only the preliminary to a still stronger going forward. The JIva is now in the grasp of an indefeasible reflectiveness, of a craving of the intellect that may not be repressed (viveka, vichAra, kShama, dama--footnote #1). And so he progresses onwards to and then from the second stage, driven by doubts, harassed by heart-oppressing questions.

What is really sought by the soul, is the supremacy of a One, and that One, My-Self; for so alone can My immortality be assured.

Back to the first answer...

But the JIva has only begun seeking, and is fully conscious of its own weakness. It cannot at once leap to the knowledge and certainty of its own supremacy.

In the Arambha, the beginning, of its search, it can reach only the Arambha-vAda where he depends on the karuNA--compassion, of the Supreme One to confer Immortality on him.

But this first answer is not only intellectually illogical; it is also emotionally full of insecurity. It satisfies neither head nor heart and the JIva is pestered with doubts:

• Where is the ground for unshakeable Eternal Faith?

• How can I trust that this God, outside of me, different from me, will never be other than benevolent to me?

• His present conduct to all His creatures, all around is it not very cruel, very non-benevolent?

• This path makes me utterly dependent on the mercy of another. It completes my servitude.

• I have been created out of Nothing by Another, at His Will. I can be annihilated into Nothing by that Other, at His Will-full Caprice.

...and the second answer

The pariNAma, transmuted result of such critical scrutiny of the 'first answer', is the second, the pariNAma-vAda; but that also turns out, on similar close examination, to be no less devoid of certainty of knowledge and assurance of feeling.

Two even finite things cannot occupy the same space; much more, two Infinites; they would be constantly limiting, finit-ising, struggling to oust and abolish, each, the other.

The main object of the soul's quest is only this: "How shall I make sure of my Eternity?" "How shall I be freed from fear of death?" "How shall I obtain salva-tion, ab-solu-tion, from all ills?" The paths he has trodden in finding the first two answers might have given him temporary peace, but he finds them to be blind alleys, ending in blind unreasoning or ill-reasoning faith, or in agnosticism, assertion of the impossibility of final knowledge and the futility of all search. There must be one supreme solution that solves all other questions in relationship with and as contained in it (oneness and manyness--footnote #2).

Countless doubts and questions

The many doubts and questions which the JIva gathers and which all lead up to and merge in the one great question, are mainly these: (Why seek answer to so many questions?--footnote #3)

What am I? and Whence? and Whither bound? and Why? what is Spirit, Self, Ego, Subject? what are these other selves, JIvas, like and unlike myself? what is Matter, the World, Not-Self, Not-I, non-Ego, Object? what is Life? what is Death? what is Motion? what are Space and Time? what is Rest? what are Being and Non-Being? what is Consciousness? what is Unconsciousness? what is Pleasure? Pain? Mind? Body?

What are Knowledge, Knower, Known? Sensation? Senses? what are the objects sensed, the various elements of Matter? what is the meaning, use, necessity, of media of sensation? what is an Idea? what are perception, conception, memory, imagination, expectation, design, judgment, reason, intuition? what are Dreams, Wakings, and Sleepings? what are Abstract and Concrete? what are archetype, genus, and species? what are universals, particulars, and singulars? what is Truth? Reality? Illusion? Error?

What is Desire? what are the subjects and the objects of desire? what are Attraction and Repulsion, harmony, and discord? what is an Emotion? what are Love and Hate, pity and scorn, humility and fear? what is Will? what, it any, is Free-will?

What are Action, acted on, and actor? what are Organs? Organism? what is the meaning of stimulus and response, Action and Reaction? what is the real meaning and significance of power, might, ability, force, or Energy? what is Change, creation, transformation, evolution, dissolution? what are Cause and Effect, Accident and Chance, Necessity and Destiny, Law and Breach of Law, Possible and Impossible?

What is a Thing? what are Noumena and Phenomena? what are essence, substance, attribute, quality, quantity, number? what are One and Many, some and all, Identity and Difference? What is Thought? are thought and thing, ideal and real--are they same or different, and how and why?

What are Speech and Language, command, request, and narration, Social life and organisation? what is Art? what is the Relation between things and JIvas? individualities and group-souls?

What is Good and what is Evil? what are Sin and Virtue? Right and Wrong? Right and Duty? what is Conscience? what is Liberty? what are Order, Evolution, the World-Process? are JIvas bound and helpless, or are they free, and if not free, mukta--'liberated', how may they become so? how may sin and sorrow cease? what is the Cause of sin and sorrow? Why and How has this sinful and sorrowful world come into existence? how may, and why may not, joy, happiness, bliss, love, and beauty only pervade the universe? how may Salva-tion, Ab-solu-tion, be won? who can bestow it? is it any Other, or the Self itself?

Let the JIva not despair from these questions that harry and pursue him like foes. The intensity and stress of his vairAgya (vairAgya, mumukSha--footnote #4) will soon break up the shell of selfishness that limits consciousness in him into a personal-self-consciousness, and will transform it into the All-Self-Consciousness. Then that Inmost Mystery of the Universe, that is now hidden from his sight, shall stand revealed. The energy of that vairAgya will transform his hurrying feet into wings, on which he will rise high above the labyrinth of doubts and questions; and from that height he will be able to master all the foes that harried and pursued him so relentlessly (metaphysics covers everything--footnote #5).

NOTE: The sempiternal longing
Who am I, whence, how, whither, why?, this has been asked in the very same words, so to say, by Shankara of India and Bergson of France, to mention only two out of innumerable seekers. Omar Khayyam of Persia has put the question in the very same words also, in beautiful setting:

Into this Universe, and Why not knowing,
Nor Whence, like water willy-nilly flowing;
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not Whither, willy nilly blowing.

But he was not a seeker for the answer, but had satisfied himself that answer was impossible...

But the Indian questioners put before this question, the other question "how may pain be abolished," as the main motive for all philosophico-religious enquiry, and then take up the other as a consequent, abolition of pain ensuing ultimately on realisation of the true Nature of the Self, which Nature includes Relation with the Not-Self.

All the many questions stated in this chapter are only either the metaphysical, or the logical, or the psychological, or the ethical, pragmatical, practical, or the religious, aspects, forms, and derivatives, of this ultimate problem of all problems. Many of them are answered, from the standpoint of what is regarded here as the final answer to the main question, in the course of the present work; others are dealt with in the other works of the writer.

1. viveka, vicAra, kShama, dama

विवेक, viveka, ever-present discrimination between the Transient and the Permanent; and विचार, vichAra, ever-present reflection on the Why and Wherefore of things, whence arise the क्षम, kShama (patience, endurance), दम, dama (self-restraint, self-control), etc., which are part of the traditional qualifications of the seeker after truth, the student of VedAnta, the aspirant for the final knowledge (or, illumination, experience, including knowledge, emotion, will) and for mokSha, freedom (from doubt and error and all ills; for all ills, wants and pains and restlessness, are but the consequences of Primal Error, as will appear later on.)

2. oneness and manyness

Manyness is patent, all around. One-ness is not so evident. But the craving for a Unity which would enmesh all Multiplicity without destroying it, is inherent in the human soul because it is Itself the Final Unity, and yearns to regain what it feels it has lost. Search for assurance of this Final Unity is Meta-physics, 'beyond-physics'.

This same craving and search for unity, on limited, but ever larger and larger, scales, is manifest in all departments of human life, political, economical, social, educational, scientific, religious. But then forcing of unity, governed by the false self of separatist egoist individualism, destroys the multiplicity and eventually meets with revolt.

Only Metaphysics, which is Spiritual Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Keligion, all in one, can lead to the desired result, by teaching to Mankind at large, how the desired Unity should and can come willingly and eagerly from within, peacefully, creating world-wide Concord, instead of being imposed from without violently, whence world-wide Discord.

3. Why seek answer to so many questions?

For crowds of such questionings, see, eg., sarva-sAra and nirAlamba upaniShads, also shvetAshvatara upaniShad, Rg-veda 10.1.21. and Atharva-veda 10.2.

Why refer to so many other questions, when the one "that has to be directly dealt with, is "How can the JIva avoid sorrow and secure happiness?" Because whole and parts are interdependent; no part can be fully understood until all other parts are understood, and the relation of all to each and each to all, and of each and all to the whole and the whole to each and all, is understood, generally. In other words, until the whole is understood, nothing is understood, really.

To secure my happiness, I must find out the causes and conditions of my joys and sorrows, these are connected with 'objects, the objective world', and with other JIvas and their joys and sorrows. It becomes indispensable, therefore, for me to find out the exact nature of all these (which may all be classified under the three categories of the I or 'Subject', the not-I or 'Object', and the Relation between them, in order to secure my essential happiness. To prescribe properly for the disease of any one organ, the physician must have knowledge about all organs of the body, and their inter-workings), generally. Compare the current saying, "to know every thing about some one thing, and something about every other thing, is culture".

4. vairAgya, mumukSha
वैराग्य, vairAgya, is the passionate revolt from all limitation of the Self, from all selfishness, all selfish and personal attachments in himself as well as others, which constitutes the indispensable pre-requisite to a true, earnest, and fruitful enquiry into the origin and end of things, and is the counterpart of मुमुक्ष, mumukSha, the yearning for liberation from pain, the essential pain of bonds, limitations, doubts and fears and lack of the supreme and final Self-dependence.

The mystics' "Dark Night of the Soul", before it attains final certainty, the "Slough of Despond," are allied to, though they may not be quite the same as, vairAgya.

In order to lead successfully to the great realisation, the vairAgya must be sAtvika, benevolent, philanthropic, not rAjasa mere cynicism, or tAmasa, mere indifference, sloth. To see others in pain should be the greatest pain.

5. metaphysics covers everything

The expression employed here may appear a little too impassioned. This has been done purposely to show that metaphysic deals, not only with the single cold and sober department of intellect in life, but with the whole of life as manifesting in cognition, desire, and action, and has to pass through the travail of a rebirth that would encompass all these. The whole life of the true and earnest enquirer is put into such search, hence the mixture of science and emotion.


Well-known member
adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis: 4. Self and Not-Self
From now on, the chapters are voluminous, but surcharged with vital points and quotes for knowledge, discussion and contemplation. I shall therefore post the material under each chapter, spread across many posts. The quotes from Hindu texts are given as in the book in most cases, both in the main text and in notes (several notes are brought up to the main text by me), with minimum paraphrasing; the quotes from the Western sources, however, are paraphrased in the main text and minimized in the notes; interested readers may refer to the book.--saidevo

The Priliminaries of the Third and Last Answer: Self and Not-Self

The second answer, though wavering and satisfactionless, is a great advance in that it reduced the multifariousness of the world to a duality; but then explanation of the world, which is the sole purpose of philosophy, by means of two factors, can only be a tentative, and not a final, solution.

What the seeker wants, however, is a Unity; in this respect, the first answer was indeed better than the second, for it reduced all things to a unity, the will of an omnipotent being.

As a fact, some earnest seekers, having arrived at the second answer, but not satisfied, and unable to advance to the third, deliberately go back to the first, and take up the bhakti-mArga, 'the path of devotion' to a Personal God.

The case of those who have advanced to the third answer, yet also, deliberately, revive the touch of personal bhakti, is different; as that of VyAsa composing the bhAgavata after having compiled the mahAbhArata and written the brahma sUtras, or of Shankara, singing hymns to Vishnu, Shiva, Devi and establishing maThas (celibate-saMnyAsi-convents) and temples. In such cases the bhakti is consciously directed to a very high mukta soul, acting as a spiritual administrator of a department, globe, system, of the visible world.

देहबुद्धया तु दासोऽहं जीवबुद्धया त्वदंशकः ।
आत्मबुद्धया त्वमेवाहं, इति भक्तिश्रद्धा मता ॥

dehabuddhayA tu dAso&haM JIvabuddhayA tvadaMshakaH |
AtmabuddhayA tvamevAhaM, iti bhaktishraddhA matA ||

"Bhakti is threefold: As a physical body, I am Thy servant; as a soul, I am a piece of Thee; as Spirit, I am Thy-Self." -- Hanuman to Rama.

The unity by the will of an omnipotent being, however, is a false unity, because it has no element of permanence in it. Tenure of immortality at the will of another is a mockery and a contradiction in terms.

The penultimate and the ultimate duality

Therefore the JIva, however reluctantly, however painfully, has to give up that first unity, and search for a higher one. In this search, his next step leads him, by means of a close examination of the multiplicity which presses on him from all sides, to a duality which seems to him, and indeed is, at the time, the nearest approach to that higher unity that he is seeking.

The forms of this duality, wherein he is centred for the time being, beginning with rough general conceptions of Spirit (or Force) and Matter, end in the subtlest and most refined ideas of Self and Not-Self.

These, the Self and the Not-Self, are the last two irreducible facts and factors of all Consciousness. They cannot be analysed any further. All concrete life, in cognition-desire-action, and substance-attribute-movement, begins and ends with these. They are the two simplest constituents of the last result of all philosophical research.

Existence of Self: no one doubts it!

No one doubts "Am I or am I not". This has been said over and over again by thinkers of all ages and of all countries.

न हि जातु कश्चिदत्र संदिग्धे 'अहम् वा नाहम् वा' इति ।

na hi jAtu kashchidatra saMdigdhe 'aham vA nAham vA' iti |

says VAchaspati's bhAmatI (p.2) about the nature and existence of the Self.

"This (self) is known through indubitable, non-erroneous and immediate experience of the nature of "I," as distinct from the body, the organs, the mind, the intellect, their objects, (in short) from whatever may be designated by the term "this"; (this experience exists) in all living beings from the worm and the moth to gods and sages; hence the self cannot be the object of a desire to know. No one indeed doubts "Is this I or not-1?" or makes the mistake "this is not I at all". (Translation from The bhAmati chatussUtri by S.S.Suryanarya Sastry and C.Kunhan Raja. This book can be downloaded at: The Bhamati Catussutri : Suryanarayana Sastri S.S. : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive [25 MB]--sd)

Descartes' famous maxim, Cogito, ergo sum, 'I think, therefore I am,' reverses cause and effect. It would be truer to say, Sum, ergo cogito. The Bible logion, "I am that I am...I am hath sent me to you" (Exodus), should be noted.

The existence of the Self is certain and indubitable. It proves the existence of everything else that is provable. It is not and cannot be proven by anything else. The very instinct of language, in East and West, past and present, bears eloquent, insistent, irrefrangible evidence to the fact, in the words sva-tah-pramANa, self-evident, sva-yam-siddha, self-proven (the technical SaMskRtam name for the geometrical axiom), evident and proven in, by, and to it-Self, the finality of all testimony, on which alone the purely 'imaginary assumptions', 'metaphysical concepts', of even that so-called exactest and most certain of sciences, mathematics, in all its departments, are veritably and utterly founded.

Nature of Self: The changeless amidst the changing

The next question about it is: What is it? Is it black--white--flesh and blood and bone--or nerve and brain--or rocks and rivers, mountains, heavenly orbs,--or light or heat or force invisible,--or time or space? is it identical or coextensive with the living body, or is it centred in one limb, organ, or point or spot thereof?

The single answer to all this questioning is that "That which varies not, nor changes, in the midst of things that change and vary, is different from them";

तस्माद्वेषु व्यावर्त-मानेषु यद अनुवर्तते तत् तेभ्यो भिन्नम् यथा कुसुमेभ्यः ।

tasmAdveShu vyAvarta-mAneShu yada anuvartate tat tebhyo bhinnam yathA kusumebhyaH |

"Hence, that which is constant in whatever is variable, that is different from the latter, as a string from the flowers (strung thereon)."

-- VAchaspati's bhAmatI (p.3)

therefore the I Consciousness, which persists unchanged and one, throughout all the many changes of the material body and its surroundings, is different from them all. 'I' who played and leapt and slept as an infant in my parent's lap so many years ago, have now infants in mine own. What unchanged and persistent particle of matter continues throughout these years in my physical organism? What identity is there between that infantine body and this aged one of mine? But the 'I' has not changed. It is the same. ( for the persistent JIva-atom--footnote #1)

Talking of myself, I always name myself 'I', and nothing more nor less. The sheaths in which I am always enwrapping the 'I' thus: I am happy, I am miserable, I am rich, I am poor, I am sick, I am strong, I am young, I am old, I am black, I am white, I am a god in dreams, a very helpless human creature on waking--these are accidents and incidents in the continuity of the 'I'. They are ever passing and varying. The 'I' remains the same. Conditions change, but they always surround the same 'I', the unchanging amid the changing; and anything that changes is, at first instinctively, and later deliberately, rejected from the 'I', as no part of itself.

And as it remains unchanged through the changes of one organism, so it remains unchanged through the changes and multiplicity of all organisms. Ask anyone and everyone in the dark, behind a screen, through closed door-leaves: "Who is it?" The first impulsive answer is: "It is I." Thus potent is the stamped impress, the unchecked outrush, the irresistible manifestation of the Universal Common 'I' in all beings.

आमन्त्रितस् अहम् अयम् इत्येव अग्रे उक्त्वा, अथ अन्यन्नाम प्रब्रूते यदस्य भवति ।

Amantritas aham ayam ityeva agre uktvA, atha anyannAma prabrUte yadasya bhavati |

1.4.1: In the beginning, this (universe) was but the self (virAj) of a human form. He reflected and found nothing else but himself. He first uttered, "I am he". Therefore he was called aham (I). Hence, to this day, when a person is addressed, he first says, 'It is I,' and then says the other name that he may have. Because he was first and before this whole (band of aspirants) burnt all evils, therefore he is called PuruSha. He who knows thus indeed burns one who wants to be (virAj) before him.

--BRhadAraNyaka upaniShad, 1.4.1

The special naming and description: "I am so and so," follows only afterwards, on second thought. So real is the 'I' to the 'I', that it expects others (who really are not 'others') to recognise it as surely as it recognises it-Self.

Again, what is true of the 'I' with regard to the body, is also true of it with regard to all other things. The house, the town, the country, the earth, the solar system, which 'I' live in and identify and connect with myself, are all changing momentarily; hut 'I' feel myself persisting, unchanged through all their changes.

Beginning or ending of the 'I': never experienced

'I' am never, and can never be, conscious of myself having ever been born or of dying, of experiencing a beginning or an end...

Births and deaths of 'others' are always felt as only 'incidents' in our life, 'my' life, which is always felt as permanent, impossible to begin or end 'I' never realize that 'I' was born or shall die. 'I' can only 'see' in 'imagination', a tiny infant body being born, and a grown up one dying, and, in thought, connect the two with "my-self', 'me', 'I'. So I can, and do, see, with physical eyes, the bodies of 'others' being born or dying. We cannot realize that 'I' shall die.

That we 'fear death' is really only fearing the loss of enjoyment of our possessions, especially of our body, through which we enjoy the possessions, with which 'I' have identified my-self, by means of which I feel my separate individual 'self'-existence. We do not fear sleep, nay, we welcome it, in its due time, and stand in terror of insomnia, because, and only so long as, our body and possessions are not menaced by or during sleep.

मासाब्द युगकल्पेषु, गत् आगम्येष् वनेकधा ।
न उदेति, न अस्तम् एति, एका संविद् एषा स्वयं प्रभा ।

mAsAbda yugakalpeShu, gat AgamyeSh vanekadhA |
na udeti, na astam eti, ekA saMvid eShA svayaM prabhA ||

--panchAdashI i.7.

"In all the endless months, years, and small and great cycles, past and to come, this Self-luminous Consciousness alone ariseth never, nor ever setteth."

But as regards all the things other than 'I', that 'I' am conscious of, 'I' am or can become conscious also of their beginnings and endings, their changes.

"Never has the cessation either in time or in space of consciousness been experienced, been witnessed directly; or if it has been, then the witness, the experiencer, himself still remains behind as the continued embodiment of that same consciousness." (devI bhAgavata 3.32.15-16)

It may be objected "But this is only negative proof, show me positive proof, that the 'I'-Consciousness stretches through all time". The answer is: "First, it is not negative proof that is advanced here, but negation of negation of Consciousness, and two negatives make a positive. Second, in order that you may have positive proof of the kind you have in mind, i.e., witnessing the everlastingness of the 'I', you must watch it everlastingly, you can scarcely have direct positive proof of evcrlastingness compressed into a few seconds or a few minutes of answer to your query, can you?

Lack of memory of past births is no disproof of rebirth. Far the larger part of daily knowings, feelings, actings, is completely forgotten Yet nothing of them is wholly annihilated, it all remains buried in the sub- or supra-conscious; and is revivable under special conditions; as is proved by the work of hypnotists and psycho-analysts. How and why--the scientists admit they have no satisfactory purely physical or physiological explanation. The superphysical explanation, given by Indian and other yoga and mystic traditions, is that all, the minutest, details of experience are 'photographed' and 'phonographed' in the sUkShma sharIraM, subtle body, on which the successive physical bodies of the same soul are strung. The complete explanation is to be found in the metaphysical aphorism, sarvam sarvatra sarvadA, 'all is every where, every when, everyway or all-ways' (Yoga-Vasishtha IV.33.1--sd).

When-so-ever and where-so-ever I imagine myself, my consciousness, i.e., all Consciousness (for consciousness is always and only My consciousness), as ceasing, in that same act of imagination I see the subsequent time and the further space as devoid of Me--a contradiction in terms.

Every when and where, every then and there, every instant of time and point of space, at which I may try to imagine myself (i.e., the 'My-consciousness,' the consciousness which is Me, which is I, the subject, and not the body which is an object) as ending, is itself within me, in my imagination; I am all around and about and beyond it always and already. Thus may we determine what the 'I' is.

Omnis determinatio est negatio, "all determination is negation," is a well-known and well-established maxim (found in Spinoza’s letter to Jarigh Jelles dated June 2nd, 1674--sd). We determine, define, delimit, recognise, by change, by contrast, by means of opposites; so much so that even a physical sensation disappears entirely if endeavoured to be continued too long without change; thus we cease to feel the touch of the clothes we put on, after a few minutes.

Scrutinising closely, the enquirer will find that everything particular, limited, changing, must be negated of the 'I'; and yet the 'I', as proved by the direct experience of all, cannot at all be denied altogether. It is indeed the very foundation of all existence.

'Existence,' 'being', (using the two words roughly as synonymous at this stage), means nothing more than 'presence in our consciousness,' 'presence within the cognition of the I, of the Self, of Me'. What a thing is, or may be, or must be, entirely apart from us, from the consciousness which is 'I', of this we simply cannot speak. It may not be within our consciousness in detail, with its specifications; but generally, in some sort or other, it must be so within consciousness, if we are to speak of it at all.

1. The persistent JIva-atom

What truth there is in the view, that some one or more particles of matter persist with persistent consciousness (two forms of which view are the theosophical doctrine of the auric egg, JIva-koSha, and Weismann's theory of cell-continuity) may appear later. (See the chapter on JIva-atoms, infra.)
Last edited:


Well-known member
Immortality of the 'I': a logical follow-up

The third step, the immortality of the 'I', necessarily follows from, is part of, the very nature of the 'I'. What does not change, what is not anything limited, of which we know neither beginning nor end, in space or time, that is necessarily immortal and infinite, nitya, and vibhu; it cannot be created by and dependent on anything or anyone else.

As the Charaka (I.xi.), one of the principal works on SaMskRtam medicine, says

अनादेः चेतनाधातोर् न इष्यते प्रनिर्भितिः ।
परः आत्मा, स चेद हेतुर् इष्टाऽस्तु प्रनिर्भितिः ।

anAdeH cetanAdhAtor na iShyate pranirbhitiH |
paraH AtmA, sa cheda hetur iShtA&stu pranirbhitiH |

"The notion cannot be entertained that the beginningless 'Substance of Consciousness,' 'Conscious-stuff' has been created by another. If such another be said to be Atman, the Self, i.e., Consciousness itself again, then we are willing to agree."

Let us dwell upon these considerations; let us pause on them till it is perfectly clear to us that 'our' consciousness is the one witness to, the sole evidence and the only possible support and substratum of, all that we regard as real, of all 'our' world.

Let us make sure, further, that by eliminating the common factor 'our' from both sides of the equation, the proposition stands, and stands confidently, that "Consciousness is the only basis and support of the world."

This is so because, how can we distinguish between 'our' consciousness and 'another's' consciousness, between 'our' world and 'another's' world? That another has a consciousness, that another has a world, that there is 'another' at all, is still only 'our' consciousness!

For the story of Ribhu and Nidagha check: Wisdom Stories: Ribhu Gita

There is also a similar story in the Yoga VAsiShTha. "I am a character in your dream, and you are a character in my dream." Here, 'I' and 'your' and 'you' and 'my' are all in 'each' consciousness, and 'each'--the notion of 'many single ones' that is implied by 'each'--is also One and the Same consciousness. The vicious circle is solved by adding, "and I and you both are creatures of the dream of the Universal Self". A real, final, distinction between '1' and 'you' is impossible and 'unreal,' 'illusory' for both are in the I which is speaking.

That both are there, at the same time, in the same consciousness, negates the cruder forms of individualistic solipsism, but supports the Universahstic Solipsism which says, not that I, the individual self, know only my own modifications, or states, but that the Universsl Self experiences Its own (sup-posed and negated) modifications or states in an infinite number of individual-seeming selves.

And as this holds true for every one, at every point, does it not follow that all these 'every ones' are only One, that all these 'our' consciousnesses are only one Universal Consciousness, which makes all this appearance of mutual intelligence and converse possible? For it is really only the One talking to itself in different guises.

More may be said on this, later on, in dealing with Consciousness from the standpoint of the final explanation of the Worid-Process.

Thought and brain: senses unsensed

In the meanwhile, we need not be disturbed by any random statements that "thought (or the 'I'-consciousness) is the product of the brain as much as the bile is the product of the liver." This is fallacious logic because the brain and liver may be similar in constitution but the bile and thought are not!

Again, we know about our brain and liver because we see and feel them, but how are we sure that we see and feel? The eyes that see do not see themselves, the hands that touch do not touch themselves. We are sure of our seeings and feelings only because we are conscious of such things?

The word 'Consciousness' is used for brevity, it should be understood to mean 'the Principle of Consciousness', the 'Self's Awareness', 'which includes all States or kinds or degrees of Consciousness, waking, sleeping, slumbering, and all those varieties which psycho-analyst and other writers on psychology endeavour to distinguish minutely, as pre-, fore-, co-, sub-, supra-consciousness, hypno-pompic and hypnagogic consciousness, etc.

All these fall within the main three states, waking-dreaming-sleeping, in SaMskRtam terms, jAgrat-svapna-suShupti, or in Yoga technique, udara-tanu-prasupta, from a different point of view.

The one proof of all proofs

Argue as we may, we are always driven back, again and again, inexorably, to the position that Consciousness is verily our all in all, the one thing of which we are absolutely sure, which cannot be explained away; and that the Universal Self, the one common 'I' of all creatures (or the Universal, all-including 'We,' if that word is more significant to us, but it is One We, We as the Unified many I's) is our last and only refuge.'

यानि प्रमाणि अवलम्ब्य बहुलं वाग्व्यवहारास् तेषामेव प्रमाणां किं प्रमाणम्?

yAni pramANi avalambya bahulaM vAgvyavahArAs teShAmeva pramANAM kiM pramANam?

"What is the proof of our proofs"--Shri-harSha, Khandana-KhAdya

यैर् एव तावद इंद्रियैः प्रत्यक्षम् उपलभ्यते, तानि एव संति च अप्रत्यक्षाणि;

yair eva tAvada iMdriyaiH pratyakSham upalabhyate, tAni eva saMti cha apratyakShANi;

"the senses which sense, are themselves unsensed"; (pratyakSha is here used in the limited sense of 'sensation,' not the essential one of 'direct cognition')--Charaka, 1,11.

श्रोत्रस्य श्रोत्रं ... चक्षुश्चक्षुः ...

shrotrasya shrotraM ... chakShushchakShuH ...

"the Hearer of the ear, ... the Seer of the eye ... is the Self ...--Kena upaniShad

प्रत्यक्षपरा प्रमितिः

pratyakShaparA pramitiH--nyAya-bhAShya, 1.1.3.

"All proofs, all evidence, ultimately depends upon, all mental processes work back to, pratyakSha, or sensation," in the narrow sense; all experiences ultimately base upon experience, direct cognition, consciousness, in the larger sense, as in the following:

"As the ocean is the abiding place of all waters, so the proof of all proofs is pratyaksha, direct cognition--the adhi-akSha or overlord of each and all the senses, prati-akSha--vedana, feeling, anubhUti, experience, pratipatti, awareness, saMvit, consciousness; it is the JIva, it is the pumAn or puruSha, the 'person,' personality, of the nature of the I-feeling; and its saMvit-s, cognisings, modifications, states (which always involve the notion of 'another-than-I, though that notion is also within the I, and so a 'modification' of it) , are padArthas, 'things,' 'meant by words'."

Is Self only a series of experiences?

Perhaps, in our long-practised love of the concrete, we like to tell ourselves that the 'I' is only a series of separate experiences, separate acts of consciousness. We have then only explained the more intelligible by the less intelligible.

The separate experiences, or acts of consciousness, are intelligible as a series, only by pre-supposing a one continuous Consciousness, a Self. The acts or modifications are of and belong to the Self, not the Self to the former.

Wherever we see unity, continuity, similarity, there we see the impress of the Self, the One. The concrete is held together only by the abstract, the two being always inseparable, though always distinguishable.

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणात् स्वयम्भूः तस्मात्प्राङ् पश्यति नान्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चिद्धीरः प्र्त्यागात्मान्मैक्षत् आवृत्त चक्षुरमृतत्वमिच्छन् ॥

parA~jchi khAni vyatRuNAt svayambhUH tasmAtprA~g pashyati nAntarAtman |
kashchiddhIraH prtyAgAtmAnmaikShat AvRutta chakShuramRutatvamichChan ||

--KaThA upaniShad,2.1

"The Self-born pierced the senses outwards, hence the JIva seeth the outward and the concrete 'many'; not the inner Self. One seeker, here and there, turneth his gaze inwards, desirous of immortality, and then beholdeth the pratyag-Atma, the abstract Self."

This word pratyag-Atma, significant as it is, and made classical besides, by use in one of the most famous of the upaniShads, is somehow, notwithstanding, not much used in current Vedanta works. But it occurs often in the bhAgavata. See also Yoga-bhAShya, 1.29, and, further, 2.20, and 4.21, as regards "The Seer Ego is 'aware' of all mental functionings," and "To say that ideas cognise one another, is to say too much".

Ego-complex and Ego-simplex

The school of 'the New Psychology,' of psychoanalysis, speaks of the 'ego-complex'; it regards the notion of 'self' (as a concrete 'personality') as a 'complex' of many thoughts, feelings, sentiments, etc. But it fails to recognize that there must be a contrasting Simplex (the abstract 'I') also, to serve as background for the Complex, which background makes the complex possible.

Subject-I and Object-This

इदं बुद्धिस्तु बाह्यार्थे, अहं बुद्धिस्तु तथाडात्मनि ।

idaM buddhistu bAhyArthe, ahaM buddhistu tathADAtmani |
-- suta-saMhitA

"What is this 'I' that is neither this nor that?" Any definition of the 'I' as 'this' or 'that' is bound to fail because the very being of the 'I' is the negation, the opposite, of all 'not-I's', all that is 'object,' all that can be known as a knowable object by the knower subject 'I', all that is particular, limited, defined, all that can be pointed to as a 'This'. If we attempt to evade this inevitable conclusion by denying 'I' altogether, we will only stultify ourselves.

Let us ponder deeply on this for days and days, and weeks and months and years if necessary; as Indra did (for a hundred years and one), when trying to learn the secret of the Self from PrajA-pati, in the UpaniShat-story, till we see the pure, unique, universal, and abstract being of the 'I'.

We will do so if we are in earnest with our search; and when we have done so, more than half the battle is won. We have attained to the pratyag-Atma, the 'inward,' abstract and universal, Ego, and are now in sight of the param-Atma, the 'Supreme,' the 'Ab-sol-ute' Self, the Self 'solved,' loosed, freed, from all conditions, limitations, relations. This paramAtma is the 'whole', 'full', significance and Nature of the Self, so named for special reasons (explained at the end of chapter 8). It is the Brahman, final goal, and ultimate place of Peace.


Well-known member
The Infinite is not graded, not comparative

Perhaps we have difficulty in identifying the commonplace 'I' that everyone glibly talks about and acutely relishes every moment in life, with the mysterious, marvellous, and mystic vision of beatitude and perfection that we hoped for. "I that am so small, so weak, how can I be the unreachable, all-glorious, Supreme!"

We should be clear here about what we seek: suppose it is only a 'glorious vision' of something graded on to our present experience instead of immortality or for an enlargement of our powers and worldly possessions albeit of a subtler kind, and we are earnest in our efforts, we should sure acquire them, but then it would be far less than the final consummation. To realize the Self, to seek the Ultimate, we should, like Nachiketa, refuse such glorious states and want only immortality.

We do not, at present, seek for anything that is only comparative and circumscribed and limited by death at both ends. We want an immortality that is unlimited and uncomparative. Such can be found only in the Universal 'I'.

Thoughtlessness says, "This thing is commonplace and unimportant," only because it is familiar. Serious thought, on the other hand, perceives, in that same ever-and-everywhere-presence of the 'I'; in that familiar nearness and pervasion, by the 'I', of all life and all consciousness and all universal processes; the conclusive evidence of the Self's unlimitedness and true immortality and everlastingness.

This Pratyag-Atma declares its utter purity, transparency, transcendence of all limitations whatsoever, gross and glorious, through the mouth of KRShNa: "The 'I' is the origin, the middle, and the end of all the worlds. It is the womb, also the tomb, of all of them. There is nothing higher than the 'I', O thou who wouldst win the wealth of wisdom! All this multitude of worlds is strung together on the 'I', even as jewels on a thread."! (Bhagavad-gItA 7.6,7)

Vague versus clear, direct versus indirect knowledge

Perhaps we have a lurking doubt, "1 knew this 'I' indeed before I started on my quest!" We knew it then, it is true, but how vaguely, how doubtingly, bandying it about between a hundred different and conflicting hypotheses. Compare that knowledge with the utter all-embracing fullness of the knowledge of the nature of the 'I' that we have now attained to.

Indeed it is the law of all enquiry about anything and everything, that we begin with a partial knowledge, and end with a fuller one. None can turn attention to that of which he knows nothing at all; none needs to enquire about that of which he knows all already (YogavAsiShTha).

As everything in the universe is connected with everything else therein, so every single piece of knowledge is connected with every other; and therefore every JIva possessing any piece of knowledge is potentially in possession of all knowledge; and enquiry and finding, in the individual life, mean only the passing from the less full to the fuller, from the potential to the actual knowledge. In other words, the unfolding of the knowledge existing, but concealed within the JIva, appears as enquiry and finding.

"The heedless ones condemn the 'I' embodied in the human frame, unwitting of the supreme status of that 'I', as the Great Lord of all that hath come forth." (Bhagavad-gItA 9.11.)

In the concrete, material knowledge, as set down in books, there may be a difference between direct and indirect knowledge. Such difference will always hold good as regards things material, whether gross or subtle (even those loosely but not accurately called spiritual).

But as regards abstract principles, the universal 'I', and the abstract laws and subordinate principles that flow from the Nature of that 'I', directly, and are imposed by Its being as laws on the World-Process--in their case, knowledge and finding are one; there is no distinction between direct and indirect knowledge, intellectual cognition and realisation. In this respect, metaphysic is on the same level as arithmetic and geometry.

What the true significance is of the distinction currently made, between so-called 'mere intellectual cognition' of Brahman, and 'realisation' thereof; between knowledge which is parokSha, 'beyond sight,' and that which is a-par-okSha, 'not beyond sight'; will appear later (in the final pages of the book).

Metaphysics and mathematics

Indeed the level of metaphysics may well be said to be higher than that of mathematics. All the root-conceptions of mathematics are essentially metaphysical.


In Arithmetic, the mathematics of time:

• the only one that is not-a-many at the same time, which we know of, is my-Self: every sens-able one, is a many too;

• the only ratio, relation, that really comes home to us, is that of memory, expectation, reason, in which the principle of oneness or identity, working in the many, assumes the forms of relativity, causality, generalised law, invariable succession, proportion, etc.


In Geometry, the mathematics of space:

• the only point that we really know of as having position, posit-ing, but no definable magnitude, is again this same my-Self; all sens-able points have magnitude;

• the only length without breadth is the line of memory-expectation;

• the only surface without depth is imagination's;

• the only perfect sphere is the infinite One of the All-Consciousness, indicated by the logion which embodies the final answer to our questionings;

• the only perfectly equal radii are the number-less individual selves or souls;

• the only intelligible postulate is the free feel of the will. The first proposition of the first book of Euclid may well be interpreted as PuruSha and PrakRti interlacing, to give birth to the triple-functioned, triune-minded, 'equi-lateral' man; and other propositions similarly.


In Dynamics, the mathematics of force or energy:

• the only force or energy that we understand is that of 'my-will'.

It is in this sense that the Vedas, and their climax and essence, VedAnta, Brahma-vidyA, are svatah-pramANa, 'self-evident,' and a-pauru-Sheya, 'not the inventions of any particular persons, puruShas but universal (or, as they may be poetically called, divine) truths.

In this sense also are the Vedas, in their entirety, said to be infinite, anantAH vai vedAH. Science must be as infinite as the world-objects with which it deals.

The comparatively small texts, currently known as the four Vedas, are only an infinitesimal fragment of this Universal Science; but they apparently contain the fundamental laws and facts of the world-process, and at the same time constitute, it would seem, a manual of super-Physical science and art of a special kind, all ultimately based on metaphysics and psychology, and intended to give access to the more or less individualised forces, devas or shaktis, of the subtler worlds, particularly by means of 'sound' and 'fire'; either for the sake of the immediate joy of communion and intercourse with them; or for the sake of helping human life on earth, in respect of the elemental requirements of timely sun and rain, abundance of corn and cattle, physical and mental health and vigour, knowledge and long life, etc.

The Science of the Sacred Word, or The praNava-vAda of GArgyAyaNa should be perused by those interested in this line of thought; also H.P.Blatvatsky's The Secret Doctrine. (For praNava-vAda, check The Pranava Vada; Science of the Sacred Word)

Self and the pseudo-generalised Not-Self

Having thus necessarily abs-tract-ed and separated out from the World-Process, the true, universal, and unlimited One, out of which all so-called universals borrow their pseudo-universality, we equally necessarily find left behind a mass of particulars. And just as it is not possible to define the 'I' any further than by naming it the 'I', so is it not possible to define this mass of particulars otherwise than by naming it the 'Not-I', 'Not-Self', 'Non-Ego', 'This', 'mUla-prakRti', 'Root-Nature', 'Root- Matter' (sAMkhya-kArikA, 11.).

Take it at any point of space and moment of time, it is always a particular something which can be cognised as Object in contrast with the cognising Subject. As the characteristics of the 'I' are universality and abstractness, so are the characteristics of the 'Not-I' particularity and concreteness.

It is always a 'This', a particular something that is always, in ultimate analysis, limited and definable in terms of the senses. Its special name is the Many, nAnA, an-ekam, as that of the Self is the One, ekam. That it is generalised under the word 'Not-Self' is only a pseudo-generalisation, by reflection of the universality of the 'I'.

The word 'pseudo' is used to distinguish the universality of the One from that of the Other. It does not mean false in the sense of 'non-existent,' but only in the sense of 'apparent,' 'not real,' 'borrowed,' 'reflected'. The physical fact of the continuance and indestructibility of matter illustrates this distinction.

Because the 'I' and the 'Not-I' always imply each other and can never be actually separated, they are always imposing on each other, one another's attributes. The 'I' is always (becoming particularised into individuals, and the 'Not-I' is always becoming generalised into the elements and classes and kinds of matter, because of this juxtaposition of the two, because of their immanence within each other.

Further treatment of this point belongs to a later stage of the discussion. It is enough to show here that the searcher necessarily comes, at the last stage before the final finding, to these two, the Self and the Not-Self.

Unstable partial peace

It should be added that, at this stage, having traced his ego into the universal Ego, the JIva finds a partial satisfaction and peace. Seeing that the universal Ego is unlimited by space and time, he feels sure of his immortality, and does not yet feel any great care and anxiety precisely to define the nature of that immortality. He is, for the time being, content to take, it as a universal immortality, in which all egos are merged into one, without any clear distinction and specialisation; for he feels that such specialisation is part of the limited and perishing, and so incapable of such immortality as belongs to the Pratyag-Atma.

Later on, he will begin to ask whether there is any such thing as 'personal immortality' also; he will find that in the constitution of the material sheaths which make of him an individual ego out of the universal Ego, there is a craving for such personal immortality, for a continuance of existence as 'separate'; and he will also find that such is possible, nay certain, in its own special sense and manner. Just now, there is but one last remaining doubt that makes him feel that he has found but a partial peace and satisfaction in the finding of the universal Ego.

*** *** ***


Well-known member
adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis: 5. The Mutual Relation of the Self and the Not-Self
Seeing the unvarying continuity of the 'universal' Ego, the Pratyag-Atma, through and amidst the endless flux of 'particulars', of not-selves, we have 'abs-tract-ed,' separated, it out and identified ourselves with it, and so derived a certain sense of absence of limitation, of immortality. But the separation now begins to seem to us to be merely 'mental' and not 'real'.

The 'I' as we see it, continues unchanged through changing things, but then it does so only in these things and never apart from them; and if it must do so, is it not, after all, limited by some inherent want and defect, so that it is dependent for its manifestation, its existence in fact, upon these things, just as much as these things may depend upon it? So we come back to the old difficulties of two eternals-infinites.

We must reconcile these two eternals-infinites:

• indeed we must derive the one from the other;
• and also maintain, all the while, their coevalness, their simultaneity;
• for it is not in our power to deny the beginninglessness and endlessness of either.

How to perform this most impossible task, to combine all the statements of the first and the second answers, and also obviate all the possible objections to them?

How relate Self and Not-Self so that Self--'my-Self'--shall no longer feel bound, small, dependent, helpless, at the mercy of any Other-than-Self?

Change-less is why-less

We do not want to know how and why and whence the Self. When we come to a true eternal infinite One, further search for causes ceases. To ask for a cause of that which is unlimited and changeless is meaningless. None really and sincerely does or can do so.

'Whence' is asked for the limited in space; 'when', for that in time; 'how', for that in condition (motion); 'why', for that which is limited by and in purpose, design, desire.

We have found, by the thinking done so far, that the Self is not limited in or by space, time, condition, desire, change. Why is appropriate only when there is a change, a new event, concerned. 'Why has this happened?' 'Why do you wish this to happen?' Where there is no change, there can be no 'why'.

sAMkhya declares that the concrete-seeing, 'intelligence' and its 'argumentation' can never come to a finality, tarka-a-prati-shthAnAt. The reason is plain. All such argument starts with a limited datum; and with a limited datum, there must be an endless regressus and progressus of why's and how's, and because's and thus's, and why's and how's to these last two again.

But with an unlimited datum, unlimited in time and space, motionless, there is no further how and why; we have finality. The Self is such an unlimited finality; it is absolutely certain; it is the Absolute It-Self.

The difference between intellectuality and spirituality--various aspects of which are manas and buddhi-mahat of sAMkhya, buddhi and chitta of VedAnta, present cognition and memory, conscious and sub-and-supra-conscious, intelligence and intuition, patence and latence, willed attention and dormant tendency, knowledge and wisdom, individual and universal, understanding and reason, discrete and continuous, (personal) I and (all-personal) We or the 'I'--that difference is but this: that the former deals with the Limited and the latter with the Unlimited.

The same JIva, in one mood, is intellectual and limited, in another, Spiritual and Unlimited. It may be said that it is not impossible to ask: "Why does the Self exist?" But on scrutiny, it will be found that, if the questioner has any meaning behind his words, it is only this: 'Why has the Self come to be here, or why has it begun to exist." And the changes involved in these interpretations are obviously out of place in connection with the Self, motionless, spaceless, timeless, including all times, spaces, and motions within Itself, within Consciousness.

All enquiry starts with a certain standard; when we have found such and such a One, we shall toil and seek no further and no longer; and Uncausedness, Self-existence, is, on the very face of it, part of the standard of the enquiry after the Unlimited.

We do not want to engage in an endless pastime of asking "Why" after every answer, without considering whether the answer is, or is not, complete and final. What we want is to derive all and everything from One True, unchanging and unlimited something, which something shall be my-Self, our-Self. But we must do this and nothing less.

We must prove conclusively to ourselves

• that our Self is the true eternal and unlimited;
• that it is not based in any way on the Not-Self;
• but that from it is derived the Not-Self;
• and a countless, boundless, endless series too of not-selves.

We have to create everything, all things, out of the 'I', and not only everything and all things but an endless series of such.

We have to create, in a rational and intelligible manner, not only something but an infinite something, viz., the second of two co-infinites, and create it out of nothing;

or, which is the same thing, out of the first co-infinite, without changing this first infinite in the very minutest; for then, its unlimitedness is lost; it is subject to finiteness, to change, to beginning and end.

Impossible, truly, to all appearance! Yet until this so impossible task is done, there is no final peace, no final satisfaction.

The words infinite and eternal have been used, so far, from the standpoint of the enquirer who has not yet made the technical and profoundly significant distinction between the true eternal and infinite, on the one hand, and the merely in-numer-able, count-less, endless, on the other, which distinction will appear later on. This false or pseudo-infinite has been called 'spurious' and 'bastard' infinite, by Hegel...

Amass worldly wealth and glories, amass endless particulars upon particulars of science, amass occult knowledge and powers of high and low degree, for a thousand years, for a thousand thousand years, and do not this, set not at rest this doubt and there will be no peace for you. Secure this, and all else will follow in its proper time, serenely, certainly, and peacefully.

The gods have suffered from this doubt, as Yama said. Indra, king of the gods, found no pleasure in his heavenly kingdom, and, forsaking it, studied the Science of this Peace, adhyAtma-vidyA, the Science of the Self, for a hundred years and one, in all humility, at the feet of PrajApari. (ChAndogya-upaniShad, 8.) Even VishNu had to master it before he could become the ruler of a system. (Devi-BhAgavata, 1.15.)

Let us then set our hearts on mastering it.

The first result: Dvaita

The first result of this last effort is a return to the first answer on a higher level. The universal Self, the One-without-a-Second, by its own inherent power of Will-Desire, creates the Not-Self, at the same time dividing it-Self into many selves, assuming names and forms by combination with the Not-Self.

"It willed: May I become many, may I be born forth;" (ChAndogya-upaniShad, 7.2.3)

"Having created all this it entered thereinto itself." (TaittIriya-upaniShad, 2.6.)

Such are the first of the scripture-texts which seek to sum up the World-Process in one single act of consciousness, and bring it all within the Self.

This first result, corresponding to the Dvaita or dualistic form of the VedAnta, is only the theory of creation on a higher level, with a new, added, and important significance.

• Instead of a personal, extra-cosmical, separate God, the universal Self, immanent in the universe, has been reached.

• Instead of craftsman and knick-knacks, potter and pots, builder and houses, we have en-Soul-ing Life and Organisms.

• The world is, though vaguely, included in the being of the One; the sense of Unity is greater, and that of irreconcilable difference and opposition less.

• The universe, made up of countless world-systems, with their endlessly repeated beginnings and endings, is without beginning and without end, as much as the Self, and individual selves;

• and the karma of the latter is without beginning, but may have an end by "the grace of God".

Where the Dvaita is not satisfactory

As to what is the exact relation between that universal Self and the individual selves and living material organisms and so-called dead inanimate matter, there is, as yet, no really satisfactory idea.

The five kinds of separateness and relationship, referred to in the Dvaita-VedAnta, are:

jIva-jIvabheda (difference between JIva and JIva), jIva-Ishvarabheda (between JIva and Ishvara), jIva-jagadbheda (between JIva and the world or inanimate matter), jagad-Ishvarabheda (between the world and Ishvara), jaDa-jaDabheda (between inanimate matter and inanimate matter).

It appears in a general way, at this stage, that the three--God, individual spirits or 'Man', and 'Nature'--are all eternal, and ever distinct from each other, but yet that the latter two are entirely subordinate to the first, and that the relation between God and JIva is that of an indivisible conjunction, the individual JIva being unable to exist without the energising support of the universal Spirit, as the tree cannot live and subsist without its sap.

But this transmuted form of the theory of creation fails and falls short of final satisfaction, for reasons the same as those that demolish that theory:

• It explains the beginning of the World-Process as being dependent on, and the result of, the desire, the will, of the Self. It thus explains motion, change.

• But it does this by means of a mysterious Power which itself requires rational explanation. Also, there is no reason assigned for the exercise of such power.

• Finally, it does not explain and contain Changelessness. The Perfect, the Supreme, must be Changeless. What changes, desires, feels want, is imperfect, is limited, is less than the Supreme (sharIraka-bhAShya 2.1.32).

Our final search is for that which shall be Changeless, and yet shall explain and contain all the multiplicity of endless Change within itself.

The second result: VishiShT-Advaita

The next step, the second result of the last effort, is the VishiShT-Advaita form of the VedAnta: One substance, eternal, infinite, changeless, 'Ishvara', has two aspects, is animate and inanimate, chit and achit, conscious and unconscious, Self and Not-Self; and by its power, mAyA, shakti, this 'sove-reign Lord' causes interplay of the two, for its own high pleasure which there is none other to question, without any compulsion from without.

"It has two natures; one, Formless, the other Form; ... It became husband and wife; ... It is Being, also No-thing."

द्वे वाव ब्रह्मणो रूपे, मूर्तं चैव अमूर्तम् च

dve vAva brahmaNo rUpe, mUrtaM chaiva amUrtam cha;

"It has two natures; one, Formless, the other Form;"
--BRhadAraNyaka upaniShad 2.3.1

स वै नैव रेमे, तस्माद् एकाकी न रमते, स द्वितीयम् ऐच्चत्, आत्मानं द्वेधा अपातयत्; ततः पतिष् च पत्नी च अभवतां;

sa vai naiva reme, tasmAd ekAkI na ramate, sa dvitIyam aichchat, AtmAnaM dvedhA apAtayat; tataH patiSh cha patnI cha abhavatAM;

"He was not at all happy. Therefore people (still) are not happy when alone. He desired a mate. He became as big as man and wife embracing each other. He parted this very body into two. From that came husband and wife."
--BRhadAraNyaka upaniShad 1.4.3

सद् असच् च;

sad asach cha;

"This god is the gross and the subtle,"
--Prashna upaniShad 2.5

सद् असत् च अहं अर्जुन;

sad asat cha ahaM arjuna;

"I am also both the Sat and the Asat, O Arjuna!" --Bhagavad gItA 9.19

Such is the second series of scripture texts that correspond to this stage.

This second result, it is clear, is again only the second answer, the theory of transformation, on a higher level.

• Two factors are recognised, but subordinated to, made parts and aspects of, a third, which is not a third, however; and the two are thus rather forcibly reduced to a pseudo-unity.

• Instead of the complete separateness of seer and seen, instead of the sAMkhya doctrine of PuruSha and PrakRti, Subject and Object, as commonly understood, we have a complete pantheism of ensouling life and organism.

• The two are not only seer and seen, subject and object, desirer and desired, actor and acted on, but also soul (i.e., JIva or mind) and body, force and 'receiver', cause and instrument, knowledge and organ of knowing, desire and tool of desire, actor and means of action.

Where the VishiShT-Advaita is not satisfactory

But the objections to the original form of the transformation theory hold good, with only the slightest modifications, against this subtler form of it also.

• Why the need for, the want of, amusement and manifestation and interplay?

'Sir! Revered Teacher! how can specific qualities, attributes, actions, touch, appear in, the Supreme, Which is Changeless, Pure Consciousness, even in sport? Sport, Play, is the activity of children, who Wish to play with another or others, (for 'play' means playing with another or others); how can there be the action, the motion, of Play, in the Supreme, Which is always ever Self-Contained, Self-Content, Motionless, Actionless. eternally turned-away-from (negat-ive, repudiative, of) An-Other?' How the answer is hidden in the words of the question itself, how the Sport, lIlA, of the Supreme, is motionless, actionless, will appear later.--BhAgavata 3.7.3.

• Why so much evil and misery instead of happiness in the course of the manifestation?

• And what, after all, is the duality? Are there two, or are there not two? If two, and there must be two if there is interplay, as there self-evidently is, nothing has really been explained. Prove that one of the two is Not, Naught, Nothing, and then you will have said something!

• What is this mysterious mAyA, shakti, 'Might', which brings about the interplay? What is this unexplained secret?

• How am I, the individual enquirer, to feel the satisfaction of being the owner, possessor, master, not the slave, of that Power? How does this explanation assure me of my own freedom?

• Where is the law, the regular method, the reliable process, in all this manifestation and interplay and unrestrained power, which may assure me of orderliness and sequence, assure me against caprice, i.e., at least against all caprice other than My own, and also be in accord with what I see in the world around? I, as an individual, do not feel my assonance with this explanation.

• It does not yet lead me to the heart of the World-Process. It does not explain my life, in reference to and in connection with the world around me, systematically, satisfactorily.

• The laws of, karma and compensation, the law of rebirth, do not fit into it quite plainly.

• To say that I am (i.e., the 'I' is) feeling happy in a billion forms, and also feeling miserable in another billion, does not assimilate readily with the constitution of my being. I feel the statement as something external to me.

• In order to be satisfied, I must see the identity of the countless individual 'I's', including my 'I', not only in essence but in every detail and particular.

Such are the doubts and difficulties that vitiate the second result, and show it as of no avail. Such is the final Crux of philosophy--to reconcile the Changeless One, Self, Subject, with the Changeful Many, Not-selves, 'This-es', Objects; to explain the Relation between the Two; and in such a manner that the Two shall be One only.

He who will mount and surmount the Crux, the Cross, on which is sacrificed the 'small self', of egoism, to the 'Great Self, the Universal Self', of altruism and Universalism, shall win 'Christ'-hood, the full understanding that belongs to him who is 'anointed with wisdom.'



Well-known member
Dear Saidevo,

I am intrigued by the choice of the section you have made to post this series of articles, a section that allows one to "question(s) our current understanding of scriptures and existing practices". Yet, you have not attracted any questions on your presentation, at least not so far, which is steeped in religious doctrine/dogma.

Much of what you have written is above my little head, but I do know a thing or two about just one section, VA, and I shall present a few comments on it.

The second result: VishiShT-Advaita

The next step, the second result of the last effort, is the VishiShT-Advaita form of the VedAnta: One substance, eternal, infinite, changeless, 'Ishvara', has two aspects, is animate and inanimate, chit and achit, conscious and unconscious,...

This description is quite unsatisfactory. Let me give a brief synopsis. Vishita-advaitam asserts three tatvas (eternals, uncreated) and they are Chit (Jeeva), Achit (Jada), and Ishwara. The Chit and Achit have an inseparable relationship with Ishwara, like inseparable characteristics of an object, e.g. whiteness of milk. There are multitude of things, but they all depend on Iswara for their existence, sustenance, and are subjected to Ishwara's will -- this is the quintessence of body-soul relationship.

For VA, the mUrta-amUrta Brahmana is about the supremacy of both Dhivya Atma Swaroopam of Ishwara and the Dhivya Mangala Vighraham aka suba-ashrayam, and is also about limitlessness of Iswara/Brhman's auspicious qualities.

Leela is not the reason for creation, the sole purpose of creation is to give the jeevas the opportunity to perform parapatti for mOksham.

Ishwara's pass-time is leela rasam in the karmic world, and bhogya rasam in the eternal world, Sri Vaikuntam.

Where the VishiShT-Advaita is not satisfactory
On the one hand, all the points you have cited in this section are not correct, and on the other hand you have missed the most important lacuna.

Leela is not predicated upon a need, Ishwara is avapta-samasta-kaman. Leela is just the way Ishwara is supposed to spend his time, a time-pass if you will.

Evil and misery of Jeevas is due to their own karma based on the rules established by Ishwara himself. Having established these rules he follows it in a way that is by definition impartial and unbiased.

Maya is a screen that prevents jeevas mired in karma from seeing the truth. What it is, must be determined strictly in accordance with the scriptures, not personal choices.

The individual jeeva derives perfect bliss by serving the owner of everything, namely Ishwara, and this is determined by the inerrant words of the Vedas. This state of complete dependence on Ishwara ushers the jeeva into a state of perfect bliss, again Vedas are the pramana.

It is difficult to criticize VA from a religious or scriptural POV, their system is pretty tight. You need to come to my side, the side of rational thought, to be able to criticize VA.

What is unsatisfactory about VA is its claim that karma is anAdi. This is very convenient, what VA is unable to explain, is simply asserted as anAdi. Another problem is why an all powerful god, an ocean of compassion, wouldn't remove all the karma of all jeevas, suo motu, and take them all to Sri Vaikunta. Why predicate it upon the Jeeva performing prapatti? There is more, but I will stop here.



Well-known member
namaste Nara.

I am intrigued by the choice of the section you have made to post this series of articles, a section that allows one to "question(s) our current understanding of scriptures and existing practices". Yet, you have not attracted any questions on your presentation, at least not so far, which is steeped in religious doctrine/dogma.

The Science of Peace by BhagavAn DAs, IMHO, is a book that looks at the relationship between the Self and the Not-Self (Atman and anAtman) in the most logical way, with a treasure of quotes from scriptures. Since the original publication seems difficult to read due to its old style of presentation of facts (with a running main text and footnotes which sometimes occupy half the page), I have serialized most of this book, adding little by way of my paraphrase, and also leaving out the bulk of Western philosophy the author has quoted. This book, says the author, is based on an ancient text called 'praNava vAda' which seeks to extablish AUM, the praNava mantra as the ultimate truth behind manifest creation and unmanifest Brahman.

Since many of our members here are learned and progressive in outlook, I have posted the serialized text in this forum for discussion. Although as you say the text has attracted no discussion so far, I could sense by the view-count that many members are reading it. Perhaps some members are waiting to see how the chapters develop, before posting their opinions; perhaps some are being convinced by the author's POV. Either way, the book has much to gain for everyone, traditional or modern.

I certainly expected you to react for the author's view of VA and I am glad that you have done it. While I thank you for your views, you are also welcome to post your opinions on the other points and facts given by the author: that they are 'above your little head' is, as everyone knows here, is an understatement!


Well-known member
adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis: 6. The Mutual Relation of the Self and the Not-Self (cont.)
In this long chapter, the author gives a brief of the efforts of the Western philosophers in their attempts to discover the Absolute Truth. In doing so, the author indicates how the similar ideas and concepts are expounded with better felicity and finality in the Hindu Philosophical Systems. Since the information presented is very interesting and useful, I shall post it easy instalments for reading and understanding.--saidevo

It may perhaps be useful to the reader, especially the Western reader, if a rapid sketch of modern European thought on the subject is given here, showing how its developments stand at the same level, though necessarily with very great differences of method and details, as the second form of VedAnta above given in essence, and the current third form thereof also, viz., the A-dvaita, non-dual-istic (incorrectly understood as mon-istic). The nature of that A-dvaita view will also appear, comparatively, in the course of this sketch.

Motive of Philosophy

Indian thought--in all departments of research, in which we possess tangible results of it, in the shape of SaMskRtam and PrAkRtam works--has seldom lost sight of the fact that the end and aim of knowledge is, directly or indirectly, the alleviation of pain and the promotion of happiness.

दुःखत्र्याभिघातात् जिज्ञासा तदभिघात्के हेतौ ।
दृष्टे साऽपार्थ चेत्, न, एकान्तात्यन्ततोऽभावात् ।
ज्ञानेन च अपवर्गो ... व्यक्त-अव्यक्त-ज्ञ-विज्ञानात् ।

duHkhatryAbhighAtAt jij~jAsA tadabhighAtke hetau |
dRuShTe sA&pArtha chet, na, ekAntAtyantato&bhAvAt |
j~jAnena cha apavargo ... vyakta-avyakta-j~ja-vij~jAnAt |
--sAMkhya-kArikA 1.2.44

"Because triple pains of many kinds assail human beings, therefore, is there search for cause and remedy thereof; final remedy is knowledge of the real nature of the Subject and the Object, the Unmanifest and the Manifest, (and of the Relation between them, which inheres in that real nature)".

UpaniShad, Buddhist, and Jaina books, sAMkhya, Yoga, NyAya, VaisheShika, PUrva mImAMsA, and pre-eminently, VedAnta sUtras, Aphorisms, and earlier works, all have sentences to the same effect at their beginnings. (vyakta - manifest, avyakta - unmanifest, jnA - knowledge).

The end, aim, and sure and certain result, of the supreme knowledge, is expressly declared to be the alleviation of the supreme pain of the fear of an-other and of annihilation, and the promotion of the supreme pleasure of the assurance of Immortality and Self-dependence. The dominant motive of that thought, therefore, is ethico-religious. (Or "pragmatical" in the highest and most comprehensive sense it would perhaps be now called, in the West, see William James, Pragmatism.)

Even works on grammar and mathematics do not forget to state, at the outset, that they subserve the attainment of mukti, liberation, salvation, in some way or other. "What is the human need it will subserve?", "What is its prayojana, aim, motive?" Who is its adhikAri, i.e., for what manner and quality of student, for person of what qualifications, needs and requirements, is it intended?" these questions are answered at the outset of every recognised ancient classical work in SaMskRtam in every department of its literature.

Since it recognises the organic wholeness and unity of life and nature, the unbreakable connection between all departments of 'nature' and all aspects (corresponding to them) of 'man', soul, mind; therefore, SaMskRtam philosophy deals with all other questions as subordinate to the main question of the supreme need of the soul "How may the soul be freed from pain, how may misery be abolished, how may happiness be expanded and perpetuated infinitely?" the central motive which governs the whole of life.

Its answer, as will appear later, is, "By realisation of the true Nature of the soul as the Supreme Self." The exposition, of the essential features of that Nature of the Self, contains within itself, answers to all other and minor but connected questions.

Science, its use and misuse

Modern western thought, on the other hand, has, for various reasons, historical and evolutionary, become, during, and since, the nineteenth century, more and more disconnected with Dharma, Religion-Law, which, in its perfection and completeness, is the one Science of all sciences, knowledge pre-eminently directed to the achievement of desired happiness here and hereafter by means of appropriate action; Veda-Science, as it is named in SaMskRtam.

यतो ऽभ्युदय-निःश्रेयसिद्धिः सः धर्मः ।

yato &bhyudaya-niHshreyasiddhiH saH dharmaH |
--vaisheShika-sUtra 1.1.2

"Dharma (is) that from which (results) the accomplishment of Exaltation and of the Supreme Good." (The vaisheShika sutras of KaNAda by Nandalal Sinha--sd)

The mainspring of this modern western knowledge is mainly intellectual, knowledge for the sake of knowledge--at least as that mainspring is described by some of those in whose hands it has made progress, especially in science.

This fallacy--as it is, despite its brilliant results in science, including psychology also--has its own good reasons for coming into existence.

That it is fallacy may be inferred, in passing, even from the one single and simple fact that public common sense, public instinct, public need, have always declined to rest content with a mere subjective and poetical admiration of the scientific discoveries registered in bulky tomes and journals, but have assiduously applied them, and continue to apply them, with an ever-increasing eagerness and demand, to the purposes of daily life, for the assuagement of its pains and the enhancement of its pleasures; and this, with a success in the mechanical arts and appliances of peace and commerce, which makes modern western civilisation, the wonder, the envy, the exemplar to be copied, of the eastern peoples.

Unhappily, by the Law of Duality, Polarity, Action-and-Reaction, Thesis-and-Antithesis, which Law is inherent in (the) Nature (of the Supreme Self), Good, by Excess, has become Evil, Extreme has changed to Counter-Extreme;

mechanical arts and appliances have been converted into monstrous implements of internecine destruction, and science has been prostituted into the slave of horrible war, instead of being made the mother of peace and prosperity for mankind; especially since the beginning of the twentieth century after Christ;

and the western races, instead of becoming the friendly helpers and uplifters of weaker races, have first become the rulers and oppressors, and now the devastators, of those weaker races, and of themselves also by internecine war, out of excessive greed for lands, serf-labor, markets (called 'colonies' and 'dependencies' and 'mandated territories' in hypocritical diplomatic language).

If the scientists of the world had borne in mind, always, the awful dangers of misuse of science, they would, long ago, have taken due precautionary measures, and insisted on properly guaranteed international pacts, between Scientists and Statesmen, before publishing their discoveries;...

Epistemology vs Pragmatics

In the meanwhile, that Western thought has approached metaphysic proper, too, from the side of psychology or rather epistemology, the theory of knowledge, almost exclusively. (Gr.logos, word, logic, putting into words, of epi-steme, under-standing; the science of the origin, nature, and validity, of knowledge.)

It examines the nature of the Self and the Not-Self in their relation to each other as cogniser and cognised, subject and object, knower and known, rather than in their other relations to each other, of desirer and desired, and actor and acted on.

This predominantly intellectual outlook upon life has, as concomitants or consequences, the great development of the physico-material sciences as against spiritual science; the predominance given to the law of competition, of individualism, of struggle for existence, over the law of co-operation, of universalism, of alliance for existence;

the increase of egoism, ahamkAra 'I am superior' and 'I am at least as good as you'--as against mutual fraternal serviceability of elder and younger; the greater insistence upon one's rights rather than duties;

and the whole development of the mechanico-industrial civilisation 'of the titans' of the modern west, with its endeavour to control 'nature' by means of external machinery, as distinguished from the pastoral-agricultural civilisation 'of the gods' of the ancient world, with its endeavour to commune with 'nature' by means of internal living and subtler senses.

In the comprehensive theosophical phraseology, all these issue from the great development of 'the fifth principle' or manas in 'the fifth race': 'titans' and 'gods' being the same JIvas, taking turns, in different moods, and ages.

In other words, it at first confined itself, in metaphysic, mainly to one relation, that of jnAna, cognition, and did not take much more than incidental account of ichChA, desire, and kriyA, action. These, in their metaphysical bearing, it left for long entirely to theology, though, of course, the later thinkers have not been able to avoid a survey of the whole field of life from the standpoint they ultimately reached.

*** *** ***


Well-known member
Western Philosophers

Thus it has happened that Locke (born, 1632, in Britain) decided that what was called 'mind' was a tabulu rasa, a clean slate, had no 'innate ideas', and that all its contents were written on it by experience of the outer world of 'matter'; nihil est in intellectu quod non fuerit in sensu, there is nothing in the intellect which is not given to it by the senses.

Leibnitz (b. 1646, in Germany) swung back towards idealism, and pithily criticised Locke by adding these words nisi ipse intellectus, except intellect itself.

'Within' and 'Without'

The periodic cyclical duel, or rather duet, was repeated by Berkeley and Hume. Berkeley, (b. 1685), enquiring into the relation of knower and known, under the names of mind and matter, came to the conclusion that the very being of matter is its perceptibility by mind. Its esse is its percipi. What matter is, apart from its cognisability by mind, we cannot say; indeed, we may well say, it is nothing apart from mind. Thus, that which we have regarded so long as out of us, apart from us, independent of us, is in reality dependent on us, is within us; 'without is within' (J. H. Stirling's English translation of Schwegler's History of Philosophy, p. 419, Annotations).

Hume (b. 1711) came after Berkeley. He may be said to have shown with equal cogency that, if the being of matter is perceptibility, the being of mind is percipience; that if we do not know matter except as it is known--almost an Irishism, (Bishop Berkeley was an Irish Bishop!), but with a special fullness of significance--we also do not know mind except as it knows, and apart from what it knows. What is mind but something cognising something? Vacant mind, empty of all cognition, we know nothing about; therefore 'within is without.

Thus, then, between Berkeley and Hume, the status quo of the problem was restored, and the shopkeeper in his shop and the ploughman at his plough might well feel delighted that these two philosophers in combination were no wiser than they, though each taken separately might have appeared something very fearfully profound; that the, net product of these mountains in labour was that mind was that which knew matter, and that matter was that which was known by mind.

Yet something seemed to have been added to general knowledge. A very close and intimate tie, an unbreakable nexus, of complete interdependence between mind and matter now clearly distinguished, even as 'opposites' had been made apparent, as was not before apparent, to those who had not travelled along the paths of enquiry trodden by Berkeley and Hume, in their company, or in that of their elders and predecessors in the race of thinkers, or, it may be, by themselves and alone. The problem was therefore the richer for the labours of these philosophers, and had now a newer and deeper significance.


Kant (b. 1724) took it up at this stage. The tug-of-war between materialism (or 'sensism', which tends to pass into 'sensualism' on the ethical side), and idealism (or 'mentalism', which tends to grow, ethically and practically, into 'unpractical mysticism'), went on.

What is the nature, what are the laws, of this unbreakable bond between mind and matter? What are the two? How do they affect each other? 'Within is without' and 'without is within'--is all right enough: but this mutual absorption shows independence as well as interdependence. Two men may appear to be standing on each other's shoulders by bending, bowlike, in opposite directions; but even this can be only appearance; each, or at least one, must have a separate, open or secret, fulcrum, standing-ground.

After many years' hard thinking, Kant came to the conclusion that each did have such a separate standing-ground. Behind mind was a 'thing-in-itself,' and behind matter was a 'thing-in-itself'; and from these two noumena there irradiated and coruscated, spontaneously and by inherent nature, phenomena which entangled themselves with each other and produced what we know as mind and matter.

But, Kant added, the phenomena that issued from the mental thing-in-itself were few in number and took the shape of 'universal' laws and 'forms', 'categories', into which the far more numerous 'particular' phenomena that streamed from the material thing-in-itself as 'sensations' the 'matter' of knowledge, as opposed to its 'form', in technical language--fitted in exactly and helplessly; and so an organic whole of systematised knowledge was produced.

Eastern and Western ways of treating 'categories'

Compare the sva-1akshaNa, own-mark', of the sAMkhya and the Bauddhas. The SaMskRtam words, tat-tva, 'thatness' and tan-mAtra, 'that alone' or 'the nature, maker, measure, essential characteristic, of that', convey the same idea as 'thing-in-itself', but with a fuller and more real and substantial significance. sv-Atmaka, would be a literal translation of 'thing-in-itself', but is not justified by usage; and it is only a variation of sva-1akshaNa.

These words do not vaguely imply any such elusive will-o'-the-the-wisp wisp as Kant's 'thing-in-itself'; e.g., in sAMkhya, the eight forms of PrAkRtami are all tat-tvas, and the five sens-able qualities are all tan-mAtras. In the VedAnta, the expression Atma-tattva, 'Self-fact, Self-essence' is frequent.

A 'fact', 'essence', 'substance', having a specific. defining, demarcating, unique characteristic, is a 'that' or 'that-ness', tat-tva;

and the characteristic quality, in the case of the five sens-able substances or true 'elements' is the tan-mAtra, i.e., the sens-able qualities known as sound, touch, colour-form, taste, and smell.

BhAgavata 3.26, uses the expressions shabda-mAtra 'sound only, pure sound, sound-continuum', also sparsha-, rupa-, rasa-, gandha- mAtram, 'pure tact, color, shape, taste, odour only' i.e., continua, highest genera, of these.

Some further observations regarding western 'epistemologists'
Mind and Matter

It may be noted here that the Indian philosophies, Darshanas, 'Views' (of the Universe), 'Outlooks' (upon Life), do not approach the problem that occupied the above-mentioned western thinkers, in the manner of the latter. Indeed it may be said that they do not discuss that particular problem, in that particular form, at all.

They all, more or less, with slight variations, take it for granted, as undisputed and indisputable, and not needing discussion or enquiry, that the 'mind'-subject, JIva, chitta, vishayI, has three aspects or functions, is triune, knower-desirer-actor;

and that 'matter'-object, jaDa, chetya, viShaya, has also three aspects, is triune, known-desired-manipulated, or cognisability-desirability-movability. JIva-chitta, as a whole, is said to possess the faculty or function of 'memory', whence its name chitta, from chi, to gather, to store up.


The sAMkhya treatment of PuruSha--subject and PrAkRtami--object, may be said perhaps to be like the western philosophers' treatment of knower and known; yet is different; 'psycho-physical parallelism' is nearer to it. 'So many men, (bodies, faces), so many minds'; yet there is something in common, too, uni-ting them all; making some understanding possible amidst much misunderstanding; Unity in Multiplicity.

In sAMkhya, PuruSha-Spirit is Pure Consciousness, chin-mAtra; and all the details and particulars, that are commonly ascribed, some to 'mind', intelligence, understanding, reason, (as the words are ordinarily understood and used), for instance, the Kantian 'forms' and 'categories', and the rest to, 'matter'.

i.e., the multifarious congeries of countless sensations and sense-objects, the Kantian 'matter' or 'material', which the 'forms' are supposed to sort out and arrange all these are assigned to PrAkRtami-Nature(-Matter-Energy);

and relational laws-and-and-facts, 'forms-and-material', genera-and-species (from summa genera to in-fima species, individuals, singulars), universals-(generals)-and-particulars, all arise together; all are 'objects', seen in unbreakable, indivisible, connection;

though they are distinguishable, while inseparable, and though the seeing, the discerning, of the inseparability-with-distinctness, of both series, of facts and of relations, becomes clearer and clearer with the evolutionary growth of 'mind-body'; which evolutionary growth, in cycles, is fully recognised and declared at length in the PurANa-History, and also, much more briefly, of course, in the UpaniShads and VedAnta-works.


The 'categories' of Kant are dealt with as padArthas in vaisheShika-darshana; six are the main:

dravya (substance or substantiality),
guNa (quality, attribute, specificate, determinative),
karma (motility, activity)

as one triplet; and as another triad,

sAmAnya (universality or generality),
visheSha (particularity, or singularity, or individuality),
sam-av-Aya (inseparability), mutual inherence, togetherness.

(The last is specially noteworthy, for it seems to be absent from the list of Kant, and subsequent German philosophers have, apparently, not named it specifically as a distinct category.)

Later, 'modern' adherents and exponents of the system have added a seventh to the six, viz., a-bhAva (non-being, non-existence), distinguished into four sorts,

atyanta-abhAva (eternal, utter, non-being),
prAg-abhava (absence or non-existence before coming into existence and manifestation),
pra-dhvamsa-abhAva (non-existence after destruction and disappearance), and
an-yonya-abhAva (mutual non-existence, each being-not, not-being, what the other is;

Hegel's 'reciprocal negation', 'mutual determination', Spinoza's omnis negatio est determinatio, 'all determination is negation', seem to embody much the same idea). Under each of the other six, also, are grouped many subordinate ones (some of which are equivalents of those mentioned by Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, but not by Kant).


The 'laws of thought', the subject-matter of western 'logic' (in the common sense of the word, not Hegel's), and the triad of term-proposition-reasoning, or concept-(or notion)-judgment-syllogism, or (Hegelian) apprehension-judgment-reason (or notion), pada-vAkya-mAna, together with their subsidiaries, major premiss, minor premiss, conclusion, various forms of syllogism, etc., are dealt with in the NyAya; which is the science-and-art of correct thinking; as Vyakarana, Grammar, is that of correct speaking-and-writing, correct expression of thought.

But note that nyAya is not mere and wholly sterile deductive logic, as that logic, in strictness, must be; (as Hegel too recognises, see Wallace, The Logic of Hegel, p. 184, edn. of 1874); but is induction-deduction in combination; first induction, by the method of concomitant variations, agreement-and-difference, anvaya-vyatireka, and then deduction.

yoga and vedAnta

• Psychology, pure and applied, is the subject-matter of sAMkhya and yoga;

• Ethics, sin-and-merit, vice-and-virtue, right-and-wrong, good-and-evil, exertion-and-destiny, freewill-and-fate, self-dependence-and-other-dependence, are the Subject-matter of mImAMsA;

• Metaphysic, the ultimate problems of Being-and-Nothing, Unchanging-and-Becoming, Truth-and-Untruth, and Reality-and- Illusion, God-and-Nature, Spirit-and-Matter, Subject-and-Object, God-and-Man, Universal-Self-and-Individual-self, Param-Atma-and-Jiv-atma, Universal-and-Singular, Self-and-Not-self, and the Relation between these Pairs of Opposites, (dvam-dvam these are dealt with vedAnta.

Causes of Difference in the Darshanas

The other systems too have something to say on these ultimate questions; and, in this reference,

vaisheShika and nyAya are thought to favor what has been described before (pp.7-11) as Arambha-vAda;

sAMkhya and yoga, pariNAma-vAda;

mImAMsA and vedAnta Atma-vAda (as sva-karma-vAda, the supremacy of the Self's will-and-action), and vivarta-vAda;

but they are so thought, generally and popularly, not quite precisely and accurately; though 'popular' impressions and broad views are seldom wholly wrong, and often more correct and more useful than specialist's and expert expertist's minutiae and 'exactitudes'.

Subtle differences on minor points, mostly verbal, due to use of the same words in several, sometimes even opposite, senses, and consequent misunderstandings; due frequently to even mere controversial and quarrel-some 'cussedness'; or craving to pose as 'original' and 'superior'--such differences, for the pleasure of differing, are without end, in the later exponents of the six systems; also of the several schools of thought into which the original Buddhist and Jaina philosophies broke up. The primal vAsanas, sub-supra-conscious urges of ego-ism, are active in would-be philosophers also, in east and west alike.

The earlier sUtra-and-bhAShya writers of 'Aphorism-and-Commentary' differ seldom; and then they indicate that whatever difference ence there is, is due to difference of viewpoint and naming.

*** *** ***


Well-known member
Error and Correction

Wallace in his work The Logic of Hegel ('Prolegomena', pp. Iviii-lxi) observes:

• Locke as well as Kant began with an assumption based upon abstraction. This assumption led to a fatal flaw in their conclusions.

• Both took the understanding or reason to be some sort of thing or entity, however much they differed as to the peculiar nature of its constitution.

• Both confronted the mind to an external world, an object of knowledge existing apart by itself, and coming in certain ways and under certain forms into connection with the subject-mind, likewise existing apart by itself.

• In ibis state of absolute disruption, with two independent centres in subject and object, how was it possible to get from the one to the other? This was the common puzzle from Descartes to Spelling, Locke and Kant included ('but', the present writer would add, 'Fichte excluded').

• For its solution, all sorts of incredible devices have been suggested, such as pre-established harmony, divine interposition, and impressions with ideas. It has given rise to two opposite views, sometimes known as Idealism vs. Realism, sometimes as Spiritualism vs. Materialism." (Medieval Conceptualism, Nominalism, Realism, etc., ring changes on the same theme).

• But every true philosophy must be both idealist and realist. Realism asserts the rights of the several and particular existences; Idealism asserts the thorough inter-dependence of all that exists. (The former exhibits the Many; the latter, the One which includes and interweaves the Many).

• Neither mind nor so-called external world, 'subject' and 'object', are, either of them, self-subsistent existences.

• The objective world and the subject are really one; they spring from a common source, which Kant called the 'original synthetic unity of apperception' ... (In plain language, the original Unity of Self-Consciousness, which synthesises, interlinks, Self and Not-Self, against which Not-Self, by contrast to which Not-Self, by negation of which Not-Self, the Self eternally realises It-Self. Kant seems to have only glimpsed, very late, that the Self was the one and on(e)ly Thingin-it-Self, behind both outer and inner).

• The subjective world, the Mind of Man, is really constituted by the same force as the objective World of Nature. Hegel came to prove that God is the 'original synthetic Unity', from which the external world and the Ego have issued by differentiation, and in which they return to Unity." (Again, in plain words, 'God is the Supreme Universal Self, whose Unity synthesises, posits-and-negates, creates-(maintains)-destroys, all Multiplicity').

• The deepest craving of thought, the fundamental problem of philosophy, is to discover the Nature and Law of that Totality or primeval Unity, which appears in the double aspect of matter and mind.

It will have been noted by the reader that the fatal flaw referred to in the extract, is the flaw of extremism, as usual; by omitting the italicised words 'apart by itself', 'absolute', 'independent', the flaw disappears. As will be expounded in the subsequent chapters, VedAnta tells us that the Ab-sol-ute, solved, salved, from all limitations, Param-Atma, the supreme Self, is Pratyag-Atma, abstract Self, plus Mula-PrAkRtami, abstract Not-Self, which appear as mind-plus-matter, man-plus-nature, inner-plus-outer, JIvatma-plus-Jada.

Yet, the occurrence of the 'fatal flaw' has not been useless. It was inevitable, even desirable, that the 'philosophic mind' should have erred away for a while from the 'thesis' of Unity of Subject-Object, into the 'anti-thesis' of the 'disruption into two or Many', in order to re-cover, with fuller knowledge, the 'syn-thesis' of that primal Unity; in the terms of the Gita, EkatA, One-ness, thence Prthag-bhAva (vistAra), Separateness (Multiplication), then again Eka-stha-tA (re-establishment in One-ness), according to the Law of Duality, of contradictory opposites, appearing, and also balancing, neutralising, cancelling, each other, in the One. By Error and Correction, an enrichment of thought is achieved.

Many theories of many schools

But this was worse and worse. The shopkeeper and the ploughman might be excused for staring aghast. We had two difficulties to deal with before, viz., mind and matter; now we have four, viz., two (or, one for each mind?, and one for each material object, therefore countless), things-in-themselves, and two (or rather an endless number) of things-in-other-than-themselves!

What are these things-in-themselves? Some ran away with the idea that they were the unknowable ultimates of the universe.

Others, impressed by the stately technical harness and trappings, big unusual words, of the philosophy, but not caring to examine beneath those externals, took to themselves the belief that these things-in-themselves were knowable in some mystic state; unmindful that the very definition of 'thing-in-itself' excluded any such possibility of cognition; that, as soon as anything is cognised, it ceases, by that very fact, to be a thing-in-itself; that its thing-in-itself retires inwards, beneath and behind that which has been cognised and has therefore become an attribute and a phenomenon veiling the now deeper thing-in-itself.

Thus many theories and schools arose on the basis of the labours of Kant and under the shadow of his "critical philosophy" as it was called.

Law of Parsimony: one source of mind and matter

But the plain and patent objection to the conclusions of Kant was that instead of an explanation he had given us only an increase of confusion.

Another difficulty which seems to have been left unsolved by Kant is as to the number of these things-in-themselves. Is there only one thing-in-itself for all minds (or mind?) on the one hand, and all matters (or matter?) on the other; or one each for each person and each thing; and if the latter, how to define person and thing respectively?

Such objections to Kant's views have been taken by Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Stirling, Wallace, Caird, and other thinkers.

There was no superior law provided by Kant, as was most imperatively needed, to regulate and govern the fitting of sense-phenomena (the matter) into the so-called laws, (the forms) of mind, the mind-phenomena.

If there was something inherent in the sense-phenomena which guided them instinctively to close with the right laws, then that same instinct might well enable them to marshal themselves out into systematic knowledge too without the help of any of such mental laws.

On the other hand, if the mind-phenomena had something in them which would enable them to select the right sense-phenomena for operation, then they might also very well have in themselves the power to create such phenomena without the aid of any material thing-in-itself.

Kant himself seems to have felt these difficulties in his later days, and to have begun to see that the mental thing-in-itself was nothing else than the Ego, and that this Ego was the law and the source of all laws. Perhaps he had also begun to see that the Ego was not only thing-in-itself to mind, but also, in some way or other, thing-in-itself to matter too. Perhaps, also that all individual ego-s were somehow unified in the Supreme Universal Ego. But it was not given to him to work out and attain those last results in that life of his; and Fichte took up and onward the work left unfinished by Kant.

Law of Relativity: Hegel and Fichte

Fichte clearly saw the necessity, in the interests of mental satisfaction, true internal liberty, and respite from restless doubt, of deducing the whole mass and detail of the universe from a single principle with which the human JIva could find the inviolable refuge of identity; and he also saw therefore that this principle must be the Ego.

Fichte is the western thinker, who, of all western thinkers, ancient and modern, known to the present writer, appears to have come nearest the final truth, attained closest to the ultimate explanation of the universe.

He divides with Schelling and Hegel, in current public judgment, the high honour of leading a large number of thinkers in the West, away from the deadly pits of blind belief on the one hand and blind scepticism on the other, towards the magnificent health-giving mountain heights of a reasoned knowledge of the boundlessness and unsurpassable dignity of the JIva's life.

Some incline to place Hegel's work higher than Fichte's, especially Stirling, yet it may be said that, though Hegel's work was fuller in detail and more encyclopaedic in its comprehension of the sciences than Fichte's, the latter's enunciation of thef basic principle of the World-Process is more centre-reaching, more luminous--one would almost say wholly luminous, were it not for a last remaining unexplained difficulty--than Hegel's.

And, therefore, it may also be said that Fichte has gone a step further than Hegel. The man's noble and transparent personal life deserved too, that he should see more closely and clearly the nobility and transparence of the truth. Hegel's life does not seem to have been so selfless as Fichte's, according to the biographers of the two; therefore he probably saw the truth under a thicker veil.

To western philosophy and science, such considerations may seem irrelevant. Ancient metaphysic says that without ethical qualification of vairAgya, viveka, etc., VedAnta cannot be successfully studied; other sciences may be. The reason is: VedAnta is the Science of the Infinite; all others are sciences of the Finite.

To enter on this realisation of the Infinite, the 'individual' must have begun to turn from 'individualism' in its triple form of avidyA-kAma-karma clinging to the Finite, intellectually, emotionally, and practically, i.e., in thought, feeling, and action; and turn towards 'universalism' in its corresponding threefold form of jnAna-bhakti-virakti, i.e., recognition of the small self's identity with the Great Self, philanthropic altruism, and asceticism. Taint of selfish ego-ism dims vision of the True Self.

It may be that if Fichte had lived longer he would have explained the last difficulty that remains behind at the end of his work; he would then have applied a master-key to all the problems and the sciences that Hegel has dealt with, and opened up their hearts with a surer touch.

It may also be that if Hegel had lived longer, and not been suddenly cut off by an epidemic, he might have completed his system, (as Stirling suggests) which also suffers from a single but very vital, pervasive, and perpetual want, by means of Fichte's single principle, and so have done the same work that might have been done by Fichte.

But before taking up Hegel, a word should be given to Schelling, who has very much in common with Hegel. The two were contemporaries and associates of each other and partly of Fichte's also, both being greatly influenced by Fichte. But Schelling failed to make such a lasting impression on European philosophy as did Hegel, because of repeated radical changes in his views, and lack of such consistency, stringency, and rigour of thought and genetic construction as Hegel carried into effect.

The net addition made by Schelling to the stock of Western philosophy may be said to be a deeper and fuller view of the Law of Relativity, viz., the law that two Opposites imply each other. The point which Hegel emphasised so much does not seem to have occurred to him, that such opposites further inhere in a third something, which is not exclusively and wholly either the one or the other, but somehow includes and contains both, and is itself the summation of the two.

What Hamilton and Mansel of England derived from Schelling, and Herbert Spencer from them, is that as everything implies its opposite, so the whole of the world, the whole mass of relatives, of opposites, being taken together as one term which may be called the Relative this whole would necessarily imply its opposite, the Absolute. Hamilton and Mansel vaguely called this Absolute, God; Herbert Spencer called it the Unknowable. In one sense this conclusion is true; in another it is only a verbal quibble, so that critics have not been wanting to point out that the Absolute and the Relative make a new relation, a new pair of opposites, which also requires an opposite in a higher absolute, and so on endlessly.

*** *** ***


Well-known member
Hegel's Philosophy: Being, Nothing, Becoming: Where it fails

Hegel put a stop to this unfruitful and fatuous endlessness of higher and higher absolutes, which really explains nothing and is a contradiction in terms, by showing that when all opposites had been once heaped together under the Relative, no further opposite could be left outside of this mass in the shape of an Absolute; that if such a train of reasoning was to be followed at all, the logical conclusion should be that the Absolute was immanent in the mass of the Relative; that every thing contained its opposite within itself, and that the true Absolute would be complete when opposites had been resolved into each other, so that no further search for a higher Absolute was left to make.

Hegel's most important contribution to metaphysic accordingly seems to be a full development and application of the law that two opposites, two extremes, always find their reconciliation in a third something, a mean, which, as said before, is neither the one nor the other exclusively but both taken together.

Applying this principle to the World-Process in the mass, he first analyses it into two 'pure' opposites, 'pure' Being and 'pure' Nothing, and then proceeds to state that the collapse of these two into each other is 'Becoming', is the World-Process.

The fact that 'Becoming' is the conjunction of Being and Nothing, and that every particular combines and reconciles within itself two opposites; and the consequent law that the reconciliation of two extremes should be always sought for in the mean, and that extremes should always be regarded as a violent and unnatural disruption of the mean--this fact and this law are profoundly significant and very helpful to bear in mind in all departments of life.

But yet the mere statement of them, which is practically all that Hegel has done, leaves behind a sense of dissatisfaction. The why and the how are not explained; and the why and the how necessarily come up when we begin with two and not with one.

If we begin with One and can maintain it Changeless, then none may ask why and how. Merely to say that every change implies a falling of Being into Nothing and of Nothing into Being is perfectly true; but is true only as breaking down some old preconceived notions obstructive to further progress, true as a stimulus to further enquiry; it is not at all satisfactory in itself or helpful towards the solution of the final doubt.

It was declared long before Hegel, and declared a thousand times, and the fact is indeed so patent that he who runs may read and even with the eyes of the flesh, that the world of things is Being, sat, as well as Non-Being, asat; that it is both and that it is neither; but the statement remains dark, unlighted; the fact remains unintelligible. Where is the lamp to light it up and to make all clear at once?

Then this speaking in the third person, Being and Nothing, instead of in the first and second person, Self and Not-Self ('I' and 'you'--Shankara, Shariraka-Bhashya, the very first paragraph), re-invests the whole problem with the old strangeness which we were at so much pains to transform into the home-feeling that goes with the words Self and Not-Self.

Being means Self to us; and Nothing is nothing else than Not-Self (in the sense of a denial of the Self), if it is anything at all. To talk of Being and Nothing, after Fichte has spoken of Ego and Non-Ego, is to take a regressive rather than a progressive step.

Indeed, this may be said, in a sense, to be the greatest defect of Hegel's system. To speak in terms of 'pure universal notions,' of Being and Nothing, etc., instead of Self and Not-Self and their derivatives; to imply that 'Spirit' (in the sense of Self) is subsequent to 'pure immaterial thought'; this is to walk on the head instead of the feet.


Of course, it is clear that, if we would deal with psychology and metaphysic, we must intro-spect; we must look inwards, more or less; we must turn our eyes in a direction opposite to that in which we usually employ them in ordinary life; we must become 'introvert', rather than 'extravert', for the time. But, while our eyes are 'in-turned', or even closed, our hands have to be kept, however lightly, on the 'outer' also; we should not lose touch of and with the 'outer' World altogether; for, then, the 'inner' will vanish from consciousness also; 'inner and outer', 'abstract and concrete', both will fall asleep in Chaos, slumber.

As regards the difficulty of VedAnta, Metaphysic-Philosophy, the Science of the Infinite, and of the introspection needed for the study thereof, Katha Upanishad (II. i. 1) tells us:

न हि सुविज्ञेयः अणुरेष धर्मः ।

na hi suvij~jeyaH aNureSha dharmaH |
-- Katha Upanishad, 1.1.21

"Very subtle, not easy to be understood, is this highest 'Duty', (of achieving, this highest Knowledge of the Self)."

पराञ्चि खानि व्यतृणत् स्वयम्भूः, तस्मात् पराङ् पश्यति न अन्तरात्मन् ।
कश्चिद् धीरः प्रत्याग्-आत्मानं एक्षद् आवृत्त चक्षुर्, अमृतत्वं इच्छन् ॥

parA~jchi khAni vyatRuNat svayambhUH, tasmAt parA~g pashyati na antarAtman |
kashchid dhIraH pratyAg-AtmAnaM ekShad AvRutta chakShur, amRutatvaM ichChan ||
-- Katha Upanishad, 2.1.1

"The Self-born (appearing, illusorily, to be born in a body, a not-Self) pierced the senses out-wards; therefore the individualised self looketh out-wards, not in-wards, not to and at it-Self. One here, one there, desirous of Immortality, resolutely turning vision in-wards, saw him-Self, the Self."

We may therefore decline Hegel's invitation to stand on our heads; and may suggest to those of his way of thinking, that, instead, they may practice, what is known in Yoga as, the shAm-bhavI or vaishNavi mudrA, eyes nearly but not quite closed; attention turned in-ward to the Great Self behind the small self's workings; but not wholly oblivious of the out-ward, the Not- Self. VedAnta does not recognise 'absolute thought'--an expression of frequent recurrence in the English expositions of Hegel; it recognises the 'Absolute Self', behind and around all 'thought'; it is the same as Absolute Self-Consciousness, including all Not-Self, all not-selves, all 'this-es'; so that, ultimately, and eternally, Abstract and Concrete, Inner and Outer, all merge into the One which is Number-less.

'Pure-s' can't create 'particulars'

Moreover, while pure Being and pure Nothing might well be allowed to combine into pure Becoming, whence comes this endless multiplicity of particular becomings, or rather 'becomes', i.e., of special things that have become? Hegel does not seem to have explained this; although it seems necessary and even quite easy to do so from the standpoint of a true definition of the Absolute. A single word explains it. Has Hegel said that word? It does not appear that he has. If he has, then there is nothing more to be said against him on this score.

Yet the story goes that Krug once asked Hegel to deduce his particular writing quill from the general principle that Being and Nothing make Becoming, and that Hegel could reply with a smile only. Stirling talks of Krug's 'ridiculous expectation'; it seems to others that Krug's request was perfectly fair and legitimate. The arbitrariness of Krug's particular quill does require to be explained away.

Wallace says, "Hegel's system ... can only unveil what is, ... it has no vocation to say why it is, or how it can be so"; and Hegel himself says, "The idea of Nature, when it is individualised, loses itself in a maze of chance ... points of existence, kinds, distinctions, which are determined by sport and adventitious incidents; ... phenomena are regulated by no law, but depend upon arbitrary influences". Yet the why is vitally important to us, lest we become such chance-phenomena.

Hegel's 'petitio principii' (assuming the conclusion)

Again, Hegel's fundamental proposition, the very base and foundation of his system viz., that Being and Nothing are the same and yet opposite, and that their mutual mergence makes Becoming, which, he says, is the true Absolute--is wholly unsatisfactory.

It may be true, nay, it is true, in a certain sense, that Being and Nothing are the same and yet opposed; but it is not Hegel who tells us what that certain sense is. It may be true, nay, it is true, in a certain sense, that Becoming is the Absolute; but it is not Hegel who tells us what that sense is.

On the contrary, the general impression is that Hegel began with a violent petitio principii when he assumed that Being and Nothing, though opposite are the same, and so took for granted the very reconciliation of opposites which it was his business to prove. After assuming that the two most opposed of all opposites are identical with each other, it is truly easy to reconcile all other opposites that may come up for treatment later.

Then, what is meant by saying or implying that Becoming is the Absolute? If the word Becoming is taken to mean the totality of the World-Process from the beginning to the end ot beginningless and endless time, then of course an absolute may be meant, but such an absolute remains absolutely unilluminative and useless.

Hegel says (as summarised by Schwegler): "The absolute is, firstly, pure immaterial thought; secondly, heter-isation of pure thought, disruption of thought into the infinite atomism of time and space--Nature; thirdly, it returns, out of this its self-externalisation and self-alienation, back into its own self, it resolves the heterisation of nature, and only in this way becomes at last actual, self-cognisant, thought, Spirit."

Perhaps, then, he means, not the totality of the world-process, but, a growing, maturing, absolute; in the course of the growth of which, the cropping up of anything, of countless things, hetera, 'others', im-pure, concrete, out of the pure, abstract, remains a mystery, unexplained as ever.

But the absoluteness of an evolving, changing, thing or thought is a very doubtful thing and thought. Indeed, there should be no distinction of thing and thought in the Absolute; and this distinction is one of the very hardest and subtlest tasks of metaphysic to explain away.

The thirty-two thousand shlokas or two-line stanzas of the Yoga Vasishtha constitute the great and unique Epic, in SaMskRtama literature, of this particular Herculean labour.

The general impression left by Hegel is that the Absolute is an idea, which finds its gradual expression and manifestation and realisation in the things, the becomings, of the world-process; and that, consequently, there is a difference of nature between the idea and the things. But if there is any such difference, then the things fall outside of the idea and have to be explained, and the whole task begins again.

But even apart from this difficulty, which constitutes a separate doubt by itself, is the main difficulty of a changing absolute. The elementary Veda texts, which helped as temporary guides at an earlier stage of the journey, and which said that the Self multiplied it-Self into Many, had to be abandoned (for the time being at least) for want of sufficient reason and justification for the changing moods of a Supreme. We have been pining all along for changelessness, for rest and peace amidst this fearful turmoil. Hegel gives us an endlessness of change.

He says the Absolute-Universal realises itself, through Nature-Particular, in and into the Individual-Singular; i.e., the already supreme and perfect God developes into and finds himself in perfected man, self-conscious man, (typified by Jesus).

The element of truth in this view is to be found in the VedAnta doctrine of the JIvan-mukta, the Sufi's insan-ul-kamil, the Biblical phrase 'Sons of God', (Sons, in the plural, not only one 'Son' Jesus, who is on)y a typical JIvan-mukta of high quality, 'freed from egoism while still in the body'.

A doctrine unsatisfactory enough in the mouth of anyone, and much more so in the mouth of Hegel who knows nothing, or at least indicates nothing of the knowledge, of the vast evolution and involution of worlds upon worlds, material elements and JIvas, of the incessant descent of Spirit into Matter and Its re-ascent into it-Self, which is outlined in the Puranas.

What does Hegel say as to where and when the Absolute began its evolution and when it will complete and end it?

Has he anywhere entered into the question whether this actual self-cognisant spirit, this perfected individual, this perfected man, who has achieved that combination of reason with desire or will which makes the true freedom, the true internal liberty, moksha as altruistic synthesis and balancing of jnAna, bhakti, and karma, knowledge, selfless desire, selfless action--whether such an individual is completed in and arises at a definite point of time, or is only an infinitely receding possibility of the endless future?

Also, whether many such are possible at one time or not? There were millions of individualised human JIvas upon earth in the time of Hegel. Had the Absolute finished evolution in them or any of them, and if not, as it clearly had not, then why not?

Such are the legitimate questions that may in all fairness be put to Hegel. He does not seem to have answered them. Yet each and every one of them should and can be answered from the standpoint of a complete metaphysic.

It is not probable that Hegel in this birth, and in the life and surroundings of the period he lived and worked in, (1770-1831 CE), knew all the even partial and onesided details about kosmic evolution, which have since then become accessible to the human race in the West, not to speak of the complete outlines (though lacking in detail) which are sketched in the Puranas (and now in theosophical literature).

He ridicules the doctrine of rebirth, (in the article on Pythagoras in his work History of Philosophy)--Fichte, Schelling, Goethe, and many others, poets, writers, thinkers, even physical scientists, famous in the west, have believed in rebirth--and shows thereby, that he did not realise the full significance and extensive application of some of the metaphysical laws which he himself, or Fichte and Schelling before him, stated.

Yet these particulars of endlessly recurring cosmic evolution and dissolution, in smaller and larger cycles, as ascertained by masters of yoga, and embodied, in broad outlines, in the extant Puranas and other SaMskRtam and PrAkRtam writings (and in theosophical literature), are alone capable of providing a basis for a true and comprehensive metaphysic; for they, in the very act of pointing out the way to the final goal, explain how they themselves are inseparately connected with and derived from that goal.

And if Hegel was not acquainted with such details, it is no wonder that his metaphysic remains incomplete. It is, indeed, a wonder, on the contrary, that it is so full as it is.

*** *** ***


Well-known member
Fichte's Closer Approach

We see thus that, while Schelling and Hegel made a very close approach to the final explanation, they do not seem to have quite grasped it. Let us now examine what appears to have been in some respects a closer approach than theirs.

Fichte, as said before, realised and stated that the Ego is the only true universal, perfectly unconditioned in and by (sensuous) matter as well as in and by (intellectual) form (in the technical language of German thinkers); the certainty of which can not possibly be ruffled by any doubt.

And from this universal, he endeavoured to deduce the whole of the world-process. His deduction is usually summed up in three steps:

Ego == Ego
Non-Ego is not == Ego
Ego in part == Non-Ego and Non-Ego in part == Ego.

(See Adamson, Fichte (Blackwood's Philosophical Classics), p. 172, for explanation of the third proposition).

• There is first the thesis, the position of identity, 'I' is 'I';
• secondly, there is the antithesis, the op-position of contradiction, 'I' is not 'Not-I';
• lastly, there is the synthesis, the com-position, i.e., a reconciliation, of the opposites, by mutual limitation, mutual yielding, a compromise in which the 'I' becomes, i.e., takes on the characteristics of, the 'Not-I', and the 'Not-I' of the 'I'.

Ego, emperical & universal

And this is entirely and irrefutably in accordance with the facts of the world-process as they are there under our very eyes. No western thinker has improved upon this summary of the essential nature of the world-process; and it is difficult to understand how Stirling has failed to give due meed to this great work.

He says regarding Fichte: "What is said about the universal Ego ... is not satisfactory. Let us generalise as much as we please, we still know no Ego but the empirical Ego, and can refer to none other." (Stirling's Schwegler's History of Philosophy, p. 428.) Now, with the respect one has for Stirling's metaphysical acumen, one can only say that this statement of his is very difficult to understand.

For it is exactly equivalent to the entire denial of the possibility of an 'abstract', simply because we can never definitely cognise anything but a 'concrete' with our physical senses.

Ego, prius and also ultimus

As said before, in dealing with the process by which the nature of the universal Self is established,

• the mere fact of a diversity, of the 'many', of concretes and particulars, necessarily requires for its existence, for its being brought into relief, the support and background of a continuity, a 'unity', an abstract and universal.

The two, abstract and concrete, universal and particular, are just as inseparable as back and front; though, of course, it is not only possible, but is what we always actually do, viz., that we distinguish between the two, and attend more to the one, now, and more to the other, at another time.

• But looking for a highest uniersal and a lowest particular, we find that the extremes meet.

• The highest universal, (Self It-Self as) Being, sattA-sAmAnya, is also the most irreducible point, charama-vishesha, the 'singular' (Jlva or atom).

The universal Ego is also (the essence of) the individual ego (the so-called empirical ego); the universal Being and the anu, atom, of the Vaisheshika system of philosophy, correspond to the Pratyag-Atma and the ideal atom which, enshrining a self, is the Jlvatma.

Between these two limits, which are not two but one, the all-comprehending substratum of all the world-process, the Infinite which is also the Infinitesimal, "greatest of the great and also smallest of the small," there fall and flow all other pseudo-universals and pseudo-particulars; pseudo, because each falls as a particular under a higher universal (or general) and at the same time covers some lower particulars (specials).

The universal Ego is thus the only true, absolutely certain and final, universal.

"Hegel, in opposition to Fichte, ... held that it is ... not the Ego that is the prius of all reality, but, on the contrary, something universal, a universal which comprehends within it every individual." This is where the deviation from the straight path began. It began with Hegel.

And the results were: (1) that dissatisfaction with Hegel which Stirling confesses to again and again; and (2) a tacit reversion, by Stirling himself, to that impregnable position of Fichte (as shown throughout Stirling's work, What is Thought? in which he endeavours to make out that the double subject-object, 'I-me', is the true Absolute).

For if "we know no ego but the empirical ego, how much more do we know no 'being' but empirical and particular beings, no 'nothing' but empirical and particular non-commencements or destructions."

Compare the sankShepa-sharlraka:

आश्रयत्व विषयत्वभागिनी निर्विभागचितिरेव केवला ।

Ashrayatva viShayatvabhAginI nirvibhAgacitireva kevalA |

"Only this partless, indivisible, Consciousness is both subject and object at once."

Meaning of Being and Nothing

Ego and non-Ego we understand; they are directly aqd primarily in our constitution; nay, they are the whole of our constitution, essence and accidence, core and crust, inside and outside, the very whole of it.

• But Being and Nothing we understand only through Ego and Non-Ego; otherwise they are entirely strange and unfamiliar.

• Being is nothing else than pro-position, pre-positing, affirmation, by consciousness, by the 'I'; Non-Being is nothing else than op-position, contra-position, denial, by that same 'I'.

Stirling practically admits as much in What is Thought? Fichte's approach, then, is the closer and not Hegel's; and Stirling's opinion that "the historical value of the method of Fichte will shrink, in the end, to its influence on Hegel" (Stirling's Schwegler, p, 427) is annulled by his own latest research and finding.

The probability indeed, on the contrary, is that Hegel's work will come to take its proper place in the appreciation of students as only an attempt at a filling and completion of the outlines traced out by the earnest, intense, noble, and therefore truth-seeing spirit of Fichte.

Dr. J. H. Stirling, in a very kind letter to the present writer, said : "Dr.Hutchinson Stirling would beg to remark only that he is not sure that Mr.Bhagavan Das has quite correctly followed the distinction between Fichte's and Hegel's use of the Ego in deduction of the categories--the distinction at least that is proper to Stirling's interpretation of both; Stirling holding, namely, that Fichte, while without provision for an external world, has only an external motive or movement in his Dialectic, and is withal in his deduction itself incomplete; whereas Hegel, with provision for externality, is inside of his principle, and in his deduction infinitely deeper, fuller, and at least completer."

I give this extract from Dr. Stirling's letter with the view that it may help readers to check and correct any errors made in this chapter, in the comparative appreciation of Hegel and Fichte.

Professor J. E. McTaggart, of Trinity College, Cambridge, also isaid, in a letter to the present writer: "... I still maintain that Hegel has got nearer the truth than Fichte".

Description, not Examination

Hegel's work is a supplementation, by mere description, not at all a deduction or explanation, of the successive steps in mind-development, from simple sensuous perceptions to complex intellectual thinking or comprehending, in terms of abstract ideas and relations.

Darwinian evolutionism is similar; it is a description, not an explanation, of body-development; it assumes countless perpetual variations of environments, and corresponding ones in organisms, at every step; power of variation is assumed at every step.

By sheer force of intense gaze towards the Truth, Fichte has reached, even amidst the storm and stress of a life cast in times when empires were rising and falling around him, conclusions which were generally reached in India only with the help of a yoga-vision developed by long practice amidst the contemplative calm of forestsolitudes and mountain-heights. (Perhaps he had been a disciple in the home of an Indian sage, in a previous life, and done all the preliminary thinking there!)

Fichte's lecture on The Dignity of Man (pp. 331-336 of the Science of Knowledge, translated by A. Kroeger) is full of statements which might be read as meaning, on Fichte's part, a belief in the evolution of the JIvatma of the kind described in Vedantic and theosophical literature, in direct contrast to Hegel's statements.

Page after page of his work reads like translations from VedAnta works. Schwegler, apparently unmindful of their value and even disagreeing with them, sums up the conclusions of Fichte in words which simply reproduce the conclusions of A-dvaita-VedAnta as now current in India.

• Fichte's statement, quoted above, as to the transference of their characteristics to each other by the Ego and the Non-Ego, is the language of Shankara. (The opening lines of his commentary, the Sharlraka-Bhashya, on the Brahma-sutras.)

• His distinction between the absolute Ego and the individual or empirical ego is the distinction between the higher Atma and the JIva.

Abstract Ego & Absolute Ego

The words 'higher Atma' are used here, because one of the last defects and difficulties of the current A-dvaita-VedAnta turns exactly, as it does in Fichte, on the confusion (of the distinction without a difference) between Pratyag-Atma and Param-atma, the abstract universal Ego and the true Absolute ego.

Again, Fichte's view is thus stated by Schwegler: "The business of the theoretical part was to conciliate Ego and Non-Ego. To this end, middle term after middle term was intercalated without success. Then came reason with the absolute decision--'Inasmuch as the Non-Ego is incapable of union with the Ego, Non-Ego there shall be none.'"

This is to all appearance exactly the VedAnta method, whereby

• predicate after predicate is superimposed upon the Supreme,
• and then refuted, negated and struck away, as inappropriate,
• till the naked Ego remains as the Unlimited
• which is the Negation of all that is Not-Unlimited,

• and the searcher exclaims: "I am (is) Brahman," (Brhad-Aranyaka, I.iv.10) and "the Many is not at all," (Brhad-Aranyaka, IV.iv.19) as the two most famous Veda-texts, great sentences (in the SaMskRtama phrase, mahA-vAkyas) or logia, the foundation of the A-dvaita-VedAnta, describe it;

and the method of the world-process. The spirit is ions, electrons, atoms? No. It is gases, metals, minerals? No. Vegetables? No. Animals? No. Humans? No. Upa-devas, devas, Vishva-srjas? No. And so on.

World as dream of Brahman

The opposition between the specification-less Brahman or Atma or Ego, on the one hand, and the Non-Ego, on the other, is stated by the VedAnta thus: (The Atma is) That of which AkAsha (ether), air, fire, water, and earth, are the vi-vartas, opposites, perversions. (Bbamati, p.l)

The relation between them is indicated in a manner which comes home to the reader more closely than Fichte's: "Brahman dreams all this universe, and its waking is the reduction of it all to illusion." (Madhusudana Sarasvati's Sankshepa-Shariraka-Tika iii,shloka 240)

Thus we see that some of the most important conclusions of the current A-dvaita-VedAnta have been independently reached by this truly great German thinker.

And in seeing this, we have ourselves taken a step further than we had done, when we left the Vishishta-advaita system as the second result of the last endeavour to solve the supreme question of questions.

*** *** ***


Well-known member
Another Hitch

We have seen that the current A-dvaita-VedAnta is an advance upon the VishishtAdvaita. We have also seen that Fichte and Hegel are supplementary to each other.

For, while Fichte's dialectic is the more internal, starting with the Ego, and therefore the truer and less artificial, it follows out the world-process up to the end of two stages only, as it were, those of origination and preservation, i.e., the present existing order of things, a commingling of the Ego and the Non-Ego;

whereas Hegel's dialectic though external, starting with Being (returning however to thought and Self afterwards), and therefore the more artificial completes, in a way, the circuit of the world-process to the last stage, that of destruction, dissolution, or return to the original condition.

(The words 'in a way' have been used for want of the certainty that the full significance of this cyclic law and triple succession of origin, preservation, and dissolution of the kosmic systems which make up the world-process, and which law is reiterated over and over again in all SaMskRtama literature, was present to the minds of Fichte and Hegel.)

• We feel now that Hegel, Fichte, and current A-dvaita-VedAnta have come close to the very heart of the secret;

• we feel that it cannot now be very far off; we are face to face with the lock that closes the whole treasurehouse of explanations of all possible mysteries and secrets and confusions;

• we also hold in our hands the key which we feel is the only key to the lock;

• and not only do we hold the key, but in our struggles with the key and the lock we have, in the good company of the Indian Vedantis and the German idealists, broken through panes of the door leaves and almost moved the door away from its hinges, and obtained many a glimpse and even plain view of many of those treasures and secrets.

Why Maya? Why Dream

Yet the key will not quite turn in the lock. Some rust-stain somewhere, some defect of construction, prevents this.

The defect, some features of which have been already pointed out in treating of Hegel, is that we cannot deny altogether this Non-Ego.

We cannot quite convince ourselves that it is 'pure' Non-being, atyanta-asat. It seems both existent and non-existent, sad-asat.

Whence this appearance of existence in it? The last unexplained crux of the current A-dvaita-VedAnta is the connection between Brahman, the Absolute, and Maya, the Illusion of the World-Process.

As with Fichte's Non-Ego, so with the Vedanti's Maya, there remains behind an appearance of artificiality, of a deus ex machina, a lack of organic connection and spontaneity, in the working of the world-process into and out of the Ego, in the arrangement between Maya, on the one hand, and Brahman, on the other.

Why should Brahman dream? A hundred different ways of enunciation and illustration are tried by the ordinary vedanti. None is satisfactory. And therefore the current A-dvaita does not reach to the final stage of a true A-dvaita.

When pressed, it, like Fichte, falls back upon the position that Maya (Non-Ego, with Fichte) is wholly Non-being, instead of both existent and non-existent, and this we cannot quite bring home to ourselves.

Besides this difficulty, there is the process of change: the 'I' opposes to itself the 'Not-I', and reverts again to an original condition. Why? Our Absolute must be above change.

Again, there seems to be an artificiality and arbitrariness about the 'Not-I' in another way. Why any one particular 'Not-I'?

Fichte's deduction of the world-process is effected in a syllogism of three steps, three propositions, and even then it does not quite complete the process, but leaves it half-finished.

It ought to be complete in one proposition, one single act of consciousness; otherwise the difficulty of change in the Absolute remains unsolved.

Eternity vs Time

There are expressions and indications that to the mind of Fichte and other German thinkers, as to the mind of the Vedanti, there is present the distinction or rather opposition between Eternity, succession-less Timelessness, kAla-atIta-tA, transcendence of time, on the one hand, and successive time, kAla, even though endless, on the other.

In this opposition lies the clue to the whole of the secret; but it does not seem to have been utilised.

It is not properly utilised in the extant books on A-dvaita-VedAnta, although the fact that Brahman is beyond space and time, is reiterated incessantly.

Nor does it seem to have been put to effective use by Fichte or any other Western thinker, though it has been recognised by even such a non-metaphysical but extremely acute reasoner as J.S.Mill (In his Examination of Sir William Hamilton's Philosophy) as the distinction between the true and the false Infinite.

One hesitates to say positively that Fichte has left this last work unperformed; but from the accounts and translations of his writings available in English, this seems to be the case.

Yet the secret is there, all the time, among the ideas expressed in his writings, as much as in the better works of current A-dvaita-VedAnta. Just the one rust-stain has to be removed frprn the key, then it will turn, and will finally unclose the lock, and lay open before us what we want.

Dead Changelessness?

We want, as said before, That Which combines within itself Change as well as Changelessness, and will also be our own inmost Self.

• An infinity of change, even though it be a change of progress--a progress that has no self-contained and consistent meaning; that is without a definite final goal towards which it is a progress;

• an increasing progress which, there is reason to believe, may also be alternating with an everincreasing regress;

• a progress in a convolved spiral, which, if it turns upwards to ever greater glories of higher and subtler life, may also, by necessary correspondence, in accordance with the law of balance, compensation, action-reaction, thesis-antithesis, pass downwards too, through ever-increasing miseries of lower and grosser densities of matter;

such ceaseless, aimless, dual process, swing to-and-fro, or progress even, means not satisfaction, brings not happiness, but rather a desolate weariness.

Fichte has said (to quote again the words of Schwegler): "It is our duty at once, and an impossibility to reach the infinite; nevertheless, just this striving, united to this impossibility, is the stamp of our eternity." (Schwegler's History of Philosophy, p.270). Schelling has said the same
thing (in his What is Thought?, pp.397-398).

To the principle of this metaphysical 'deduction', corresponds the actual fact, ascertained by Yoga and occult science, and stated in the Puranas and other theosophical and Yoga-VedAnta literature, that there is endless evolution of JIvas, by birth after birth, in body after body and world after world.

Sisyphus & Tantalus

But this fact is not the whole truth; it does not stand by itself. If it did, then such a mere infinity of change, without a constant and permanent basis of changelessness and peace, would only add the horrors of Sisyphus to the agonies of Tantalus.

No soul, however patiently it now accepts--as many do--the doctrine of an endless progress, will long feel peace in it by itself. The longing, yearning, resistless and quenchless craving for Changelessness and Peace and Rest, for something final, will come upon it sooner or later.

Besides this emotional difficulty, this surfeit with unrest, which is now upon us, there is the intellectual difficulty, the impossibility of understanding the very fact of change.

The instinct of the intellect cries out, as the very first words of all logic, as the primary laws of all thought, that A is A, that it is not not-A, that Being is Being only, and never Nothing.

"The non-existent cannot be, and the existent cannot not-be." (Gita, ii.16; otherwise, I might become non-est also! The intellectual instinct too is emotional rebellion against that possibility.)

Yet every mortal moment of our lives, all around and above and below us, these much-vaunted laws of logic are being violated incessantly.

And in these textbooks of deductive logic themselves, most barefacedly! Solemnly declaring that A is A only and B is B only, they at once also say, A is B, B is C, therefore A is C! If A is A, B is B, and C is C, only, how can A ever be B, or B be C, or C be A? If A really is B. i.e., identical with B, then why two names for the same thing? Call it either A, or B.

SaMskRtam NyAya does not misapply these laws of Universal Thought, as if they were laws of individual and concrete thinking, for which the distinction between thing and thought, idea and reality, holds good.

It does not say A is B, and B is C, therefore A is C, but that A has C, because C goes with B, and A has B.

It does not artificially separate out an utterly sterile deductive or formal logic from the wholly useful inductive or real logic, but combines both, as is inevitable and natural.

The true and full significance of these laws of thought appears only in metaphysic, as laws of Being, i.e., Universal Thought, as will appear later on.

Deduction after Induction

Every infinitesimal instant, something, some existent thing, is becoming non-existent, and some non-existent thing is coming into being, is becoming existent.

We may say that it is only the form that behaves like this. But what is the good of saying so?

All that the world really means to us--sounds and sights, tastes, touches, and scents--all is included in the 'form' that changes.

Even weight, it is being attempted to prove by mathematical computations, will change, with change of position, from planet to planet. (See Scripture, The New Psychology; but Ostwald in his Handbook of Chemistry seems to think otherwise.)

And, finally, those mathematical laws themselves, on which such computations are based, can nolonger boast permanence; they, too, are being changed by mathematicians, and it is endeavoured to be shownthat parallel lines can meet and two things occupy the same space; though, on these points, it seems likely that exuberance of originality has led to exaggerations, and that the 'old order' will be restored.

We have an indestructible faith that matter is indestructible; this faith is not due to any limited facts we know, for limited data can never justify limitless inductions and inferences; it is only the unavoidable assignment by us, by the 'I', of a conjugal share in our own indefeasible eternity, to our undivorceable partner in life, the 'Not-I', matter.

The real secret of the unlimitedness of inductions and generalisations, as made, is that every single instance, every one, has in it the principle of infinity. Many cases, a number of cases, are not necessary to justify an induction. One case, but it must be a clear and unmistakeable case, is enough. Because in one, therefore in all ones which are the same; because once, therefore always, in the same conditions.

One school of NyAya puts the matter in a simple way; we have pratyaksha, direct perception, of a vyakti, a particular, and of its jati, species or genus, both, together, simultaneously; because particular-and-general are inseparably bound together by samavAya, co-inherence, mutual 'together-ness'. No 'induction' by elaborate observation and comparison of many instances would be necessary, and 'generalisation' could be arrived at straight off, from the very first observation, if it be sufficiently precise, accurate, unmixed; but, in practice, observation and comparison of many instances are needed, to eliminate irrelevant circumstances. In short, particular-perception and the connected general-perception (Kantian 'matter' and 'form') arise together in the observer's consciousness.

Common Logic vs Metaphysics

Such being the case, it does not help us in any way to say that only the form changes. The form is practically everything; and even if it were not so, even tthen it is something, it is an existent something at one moment.

And what is existent once, should be existent ever. How, why, does it pass into non-existence? We do not understand change. We do not understand the world-process.

If you would have us understand it, you must show that this world-process is not a process at all, but a rock-like fixity; that procession is illusion, and fixity the truth. Then only shall we be able to bring it into accord with the primary laws of thought.

Such is the difficulty of the exaggerated, yet also legitimate, demand of the reason, on the one hand.

On the other hand stands the difficulty of what may be called the demand of the senses. A doctrine of mere changelessness is incomplete; a mere assertion of it perfectly unconvincing. It explains nothing and is not a fact.

It is, as just said, denied by every wink of our eyes, by evsry breath of our lungs, by every beat of our hearts. We want that which will combine and harmonise both change and changelessness. We want to reduce each into terms of the other.

"I am That I am", but something more needed

Many have been the efforts to shut up the world-process into something which can be held in a single hand; which shall be but one single act of consciousness.

• Kant says, in his Kritik of Practical Reason, "to deduce all from a single principle, is the inevitable demand of human reason; we can find full satisfaction only in a complete systematic Unity of all the possessions of our reason"; but he himself failed badly to satisfy that demand.

• Fichte could not do it in less than three successive, unsimultaneous, and therefore change-involving steps, and then too but incompletely.

• The great mystic school of Rosicrucians has endeavoured to do so in one thought and Bible-text: "I am that I am"; but this propounds mere changelessness, and makes no provision for change.

• The Veda-texts belonging to the penultimate stage have exclaimed separately, as said before: "(The) I am (is) Brahman", and then: "The Many is not at all"; but these too are insufficient for our purpose; they too establish changelessness alone and explain not change;

• while other Veda-texts embody change only and not changelessness, as thus : "May I who am One become Many; may I be born forth and multiply," (Chandogya, VI.ii.3, and Taittiriya, II.vi.1), "It created that, and entered into that also." (Taittiriya, II.vi.1).

What we seek shall be obtained

• by compressing the three steps of Fichte into one;
• by combining the first two separate scripture-utterances into a unity;

a small change perhaps, at first sight, but almost as radical and important in result as an alteration of the mere order of letters composing a word, an alteration which makes a completely new word with an entirely new meaning.

(As regards the inquiries of many other philosophers not mentioned in the main text, as well as further comparision of the works of Hegel, Kant and Fichte and how they in turn compare with the Eastern thoughts, please read the book, pp.94-107--sd).

*** *** ***


Well-known member
adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis: 7. The Last Answer

सर्वे वेदा यत् पदम् अमानंति, तपांसि सर्वाणि च यद्वदन्ति ।
यद् इच्चन्तो ब्रह्मचर्यं चरन्ति, तत् ते पदं संग्रहेण ब्रवीमि--
औम् इति एतत् ॥

sarve vedA yat padam amAnaMti, tapAMsi sarvANi cha yadvadanti |
yad ichchanto brahmacharyaM charanti, tat te padaM saMgraheNa bravImi--
aum iti etat ||

YAMA, Lord of Death, Ruler of the next Vorld into which souls are 'born' after 'dying' out of this; than whom, as Nachiketa said, there could be no better giver of assurance against mortality, no truer teacher of the truth of life and death; gives this last answer:

"That which all the scriptures ponder and repeat; that which all the shining, glowing, burning, lights (ascetic holy souls) declare; that for which the pure ones follow Brahmacharya, life of virtue, study, sacri-fice to Brahman; that do I declare to thee in brief--it is AUM."

The above quote is from the kathA-upaniShad, 1.2.15. Besides the special significance of AUM, (pronounced as OM) expounded here, one of its ordinary meanings, as of its Arabic and English transformations, AMIN and AMEN, respectively, is 'yes', 'be it so'.

In GitA (8.11), the first line of the verse is replaced by,

यद् अक्षरं वेदविदो चदन्ति, विशन्ति यद् यत्यो बीतरागाः ।

yad akSharaM vedavido chadanti, vishanti yad yatyo bItarAgAH |

"the Imperishable One Whom the knowers of the Veda declare, Whom the passionless sinless self-controllers merge themselves into."

All-Including Aum

What is the meaning of this mysterious statement, repeated over and over again in a hundred ways, in all SaMskRta literature, sacred and secular? Thus:

The prashna-upaniShad says: "This, O Satyakama, desirer of truth, is the higher and the lower Brahman--this that is known as the AUM. Therefore, strong-based in this as his home and central refuge, the knower may reach out to anything that he deems fit to follow after, and he shall surely obtain it."

एतद्वै, सत्यकाम! परं चापरं च ब्रह्म यदोण्‍कारः ।
तस्माद्विद्वानेतेनैवायतनेनैकतरमन्वेति ॥

etadvai, satyakaama! paraM chAparaM cha brahma yadoN^kAraH |
tasmAdvidvAnetenaivAyatanenaikataramanveti ||

The ChAndogya says: "The AUM is all this; the AUM is all this."

औंकार् एवेदं सर्वमोंकार् एवेदं सर्वं ।

auMkAr evedaM sarvamoMkAr evedaM sarvaM | (2.23.3)

The taittirIya says: "AUM is Brahma(n); AUM is all this."

औमिति ब्रह्म, औमितीदं सर्वं ।

aumiti brahma, aumitIdaM sarvaM | (1.8)

The mANDUkya says: "This, the imperishable AUM, is all this; the unfolding thereof is the past, the present, and the future; all is AUM."

औमित्येदक्षरमिदं सर्वं, तस्योपव्याख्यानं,
भूतं भवद् भविष्यदिति सर्वमोंकार एव;

aumityedakSharamidaM sarvaM, tasyopavyAkhyAnaM,
bhUtaM bhavad bhaviShyaditi sarvamoMkAra eva;

The tAra-sAra repeats these words of the mANDUkya, and says again: "The AUM this is the imperishable, the supreme, Brahma(n); it alone should be worshipped."

औमित्येदक्षरं परं ब्रह्म तदेवोपासितव्यम् ।

aumityedakSharaM paraM brahma tadevopAsitavyam | (ii.1)

Patanjali says: "The declarer of It is the praNava; japa--litany of it is (not mere mechanical repetition of the sound, but) exploring, discovering, realising, its full significance."

तस्य वाचक्ः प्रणवः; तज्जपः तदार्थभावनम् ।

tasya vAchakH praNavaH; tajjapaH tadArthabhAvanam |

The word pra-Nava is a name for the sound AUM; it means. etymologicaliy, 'that which makes new, rejuvenates' everything including mind's outlook. It is the life-breath of the universe. It has many names in SaMskRtam: tAraka or tAra, udgIta, sarva-vin-mati, sarva-jna, prAtibha, etc. Many of these have been collected, and the special etymological significance of each indicated, in my SaMskRta compilation, MAnava-Dharma-Sara.

The Mysterious Word-Sound, Its Intepretation

Such quotations may be multiplied a hundredfold. What is the meaning of these very fanciful-sounding utterances? Many profound and occult interpretations of this triune sound have been given expressly in the upaniShads themselves, also in gopatha brAhmaNa[/i], and in the books on tantra; but the deepest and most luminous of all remains implicit only.

The reader may feel inconsistency between the decrial of 'mystery-mongering' at p.104 supra (where the author refers to Hegel's "shallow, supercilious, self-conceited criticism of the VedAnta of bhagavad-gitA, and of Sufism"), and the reverence shown for riddle-like scripture-texts here.

The differentiating test is in the motive. Where there is wish to swindle, to gain money, or 'kudos' and blind worship, or both, from gullible followers, there we have the 'charlatan'. (It arouses mixed feelings to remember that the 'great philosopher' Schopenhauer calls the 'great philosopher' Hegel a 'charlatan'.

Where there is affectionate wish to arouse only deeper, more earnest, genuine curiosity and search for the highest and most consoling Truth, as in the case of loving parents and teachers, there the temporary mysteriousness is justified, nay, desirable, or even necessary; for the too easily gained is often not appreciated, is even equally easily thrown away; 'easy come, easy go'.

In the case of the Logion, here endeavoured to be expounded, this risk is really serious. Some will think, 'Mere tautology, truism, trash!'; others 'Only an ingenious juggle with words'. Few will ponder sufficiently deeply to realise its very great significance.

Therefore Yama wished to avoid the subject, when questioned by Nachikita (p.1. supra), and told him, 'Earnest seeker is even rarer than wise teacher; very subtle and evasive, difficult to seize, because so very simple, is the Truth; marvellous is it, therefore the speaker of it wouders, and the listener wonders more'.

But times and circumstances change; as explained in The Mahatma Letters and H.P. Blavatsky's writings, Spiritual Wisdom has itself to go out, at special junctures in human history, which recur periodically and cyclically, seeking worthy 'vessels', receptacles for itself, facing ridicule and rebuffs.

For if the above seemingly exaggerated statements are to be justified in all their fullness, then, in view of all that has gone before, AUM must include within itself, the Self, the Not-Self, and the mysterious Relation between them which has not yet been discovered in any of the preceding answers--that mysterious Relation, which, being discovered, the whole darkness will be lighted up as by the Sun; the Relation wherein will be combined Changelessness and Change.

If it does this, then truly is the Indian tradition justified that all knowledge, all science, is summed up in the Vedas, all the Vedas in the gAyatrI, and the gAyatrI in the AUM; then truly are all the Vedas and all possible knowledge there, for all the World-Process is there.

The Self, the Not-Self, and their mutual Relation--these three, the Primal Trinity, the root-base of all possible trinities, exhaust the whole of thought, the whole of knowledge, the whole of the World-Process.

There is nothing left that is beyond and outside of this Primal Trinity, which, in its Unity, its tri-une-ness, constitutes the Absolute which is, and wherein is, the Totality of the World-Process--the World-Process, which is nothing else than the Self or pratyag-Atma, the Not-Self or mUla-prakRti, and their lIlA or Interplay; the Three-in-One constituting param-Atma.
Last edited:


Well-known member

But how can these three be said to be expressed by a single word? The immemorial custom of summing up a series, or of expressing a fact, in a single letter, and then of joining letters, thus significant, into a single word of which many examples are to be found in the upaniShads gives the clue here. Each letter of this word must be the expression of a fact, and the juxtaposition of the letters must signify the relation between the facts.

This ancient method of expressing a profound truth by assigning to each of its factors a letter, and then writing down the letters as a word, meaningless, a mere sound, except for the meanings thus indicated, is perhaps not familiar to, and therefore may not commend itself to, modern thought.

These 'mystic words', of which so many are found in ancient writings, and, later, in Gnostic and Kabbalistic works, are regarded as jargon by the modern mind. Yet in these same words, ancient wisdom has imbedded its profoundest conceptions, and AUM is just such a word.

The method is known as akShara-muShti or akShara-mudrA, 'handful' or 'diagram-seal' of letters. (World-War II began in Sept. 1939 in Europe, and closed there in May 1945. with the surrender of Germany; it began in Asia in Dec. 1941, and closed in Aug.-Sep. 1945, with the surrender of Japan; it has created scores of such code-words, temporarily; thus, USOWI means United States Office of War information).

But OM as pure humming sound also, has deep significance; it is the primal sound-continuum of Nature, the first garment of God, the first sensuous manifestation of the Self; it is probably what is meant by 'the Word', in the Christian Bible, where it says that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God".

The first letter of the sacred word, A, signifies the Self; the second letter, U, signifies the Not-Self; and the third letter, M, signifies the everlasting Relation, the unbreakable nexus--of Negation, by the Self, of the Not-Self--between them.

According to this interpretation of the AUM, the full meaning of it, would be the proposition, Ego--Non-Ego--Non (est), or I--Not-I--Not (am), which sums up all the three factors of the World-Process into a single proposition and a Single Act of Consciousness.

The False Encircled by the True

A plain example of this method occurs in the Chandogya: "The name of Brahman is Truth, or the True, satyam, which consists of three letters, sa, ti, and yam. sa is the Unperishing; ti is the Perishing; yam holds, binds, Relates the two together."

एतस्य ब्रह्मणो नाम सत्यमिति ।
तानि ह वा एतानि त्रीणि अक्षराणि, स, ति, यं, इति ।
तद्यत्स तदमृतम्, अथ यत्ति तन्मर्त्यम्, अथ यद्यं तेन उभे यच्छति ।

etasya brahmaNo nAma satyamiti |
tAni ha vA etAni trINi akSharANi, sa, ti, yaM, iti |
tadyatsa tadamRutam, atha yatti tanmartyam, atha yadyaM tena ubhe yachChati |

• The 'unperishing' here means nothing else than the unlimited universal Self, pratyag-Atma;

• the 'perishing' is the endlessly perishing, ever-renewed and ever-dying, everlimited Not-Self or mUla-prakRti;

• the nexus, that which holds and binds the two together, is the unending relation of Negation by the One of the Many-Other, in which Relation, the two are constantly and inseparably tied to each other, in such a way that the two together make only the 'number-less' Absolute, in which the three, two, and even one, all disappear in the number-transcending and all-number-containing circle of the cipher.

A similar statement, again using almost the same words, is made in the BRhad-AraNyaka (5.5.1): "Truth, satyam, verily is Brahman. ... The gods contemplate and worship the truth, satyam, only. Three-lettered is this satyam; sa is one letter, ti is one letter, and yam is one letter. The first and the last letters, imperishables, are true; in the middle is the false and fleeting. The False is encompassed round on both sides by the True. The True is the more, the greater, the prevailing. He that knoweth this he may not be overpowered by the False."

सत्यं ब्रह्मोति सत्यं ह्येव ब्रह्म ।
ते देवाः सत्यमेवोपासते ।
तदेतत् त्र्यक्शरं सत्यमिति ।
स इत्येकमक्शरं, ति इत्येकमक्शरम्, यमित्येकमक्शरं ।
प्रथमोत्तमे अक्शरे सत्यं, मध्यतो अनृतं तद ’एतद’ अनृतं उभयतः
सत्येन परिगृहीतं सत्यभूयमेव भवति ।
नैनं विद्वांसमनृतं हिनस्ति ॥

satyaM brahmoti satyaM hyeva brahma |
te devAH satyamevopAsate |
tadetat tryaksharaM satyamiti |
sa ityekamaksharaM, ti ityekamaksharam, yamityekamaksharaM |
prathamottame akshare satyaM, madhyato anRutaM tada 'etada' anRutaM ubhayataH
satyena parigRuhItaM satyabhUyameva bhavati |
nainaM vidvAMsamanRutaM hinasti ||

Here sa, the first truth, is Being; and yam, the second truth, is Nothing, for both are imperishable; the middle is Becoming, the ever-fleeting and ever-false. In other words, the Self is reality; the Negation, of the Not-Self by the Self, is also reality; the Not-Self is not reality, it is only appearance, illusion.

How Know All at Once?

The DevI-bhAgavatam (1.15.51-52) says: "Why, by what means, from what substance, has all this world arisen? How may I know all at once, by a single act of knowledge?--Thus Mukunda-ViShnu pondered within himself, in the beginning. Unto him that sovereign Deity, BhagavatI, uttered that which giveth all explanations in a single half-verse, viz.: 'I, Not Another, is (i.e., am) alone verily this eternal all.'"

This, it seems, is the plainest statement available in the purANa literature, after the Veda, in which an endeavour is expressly made to sum up the World-Process in a single sentence.

And again (17.32.2), "'I (alone was, in the beginning)-Not-Another (i.e., no-thing-else,, O Lord of Mountains!)'--such is the form or nature of the Self, which is called Consciousness or Para-Brahma."

The Vishnu-bhAgavatam (2.9.32) (commonly known as shrImad bhAgavatam, or simply as bhagavatam) also has some verses in almost the same words:

The orthodox commentator, it is true, explains this as meaning: "I alone was in the prime of time, and nothing else, neither the existent, nor the non-existent, nor even prakRiti which is beyond both; I was afterwards also, and I am all this, and what remains behind, that also am I."

But the preceding and succeeding verses, saying: "This is the deepest and the highest secret, guhya and rahasya; knowing it you will not fail in spirit throughout the ages," seem to permit of a more 'secret' meaning and unusual interpretation, thus: 'I-(alone was in the beginning)-not-another (which might be existent or non-existent or other than both); in the end also I; i.e., after that which is known as This has been negated, that which remains, that am 1."

Elsewhere, the work repeats: ahamevAsmevAgre nAnyat kiMchAMtaraM bahiH | (6.4.47). The same purANa repeatedly describes the Supreme in phrases or by epithets which find their full significance only in the Logion expounded here, thus:

AtmA&anAnA-matyupalakShaNaH, "the Self whose character is 'the not-many consciousness', (3.5.23); or

tad brahmA tad hetuH ananyada ekam |, "It is Brahma(n), It is the Supreme Cause, the One, the Not-Another', (6.4.30); or

puruShaM yad rUpamanidaM tathA, "the Supreme whose form is not-This", (10.2.42) or

tvaM brahma pUrNaM ... avikAram ananyad ananyat, "Thou art the ever wantless, changeless Brahma(n), Not-Another, Other-than-all-This", (8.12.7).

The yoga-vAsiShTha says: "I, pure consciousness, subtler than space, am not anything limited--such is the eternal buddhi (idea) that freeth from the bonds of samsara, the World-Process."

akiMchinmAtra-chinmAtra-rUpo&sim gaganAd aNuH--
iti yA shAshvati buddhiH sA na saMsAraMbadhani |

--nirvANa-prakaraNa, pUrvardha 118.9.

The AntibhUti-prakasha-sar-oddhara has also a shloka (157) which describes Brahman as an-idam, Not-This:

ityevam anuidam rUpaM brahmaNaH pratipAditam |
nirnAmanastasya nAm etat satyam satyamiti shrutam |

an-Idam, Not- This, has been declared to be the form, the nature, of Brahman. Such is the name of that which is Nameless. Such is verily the truth. So have we heard."

Its Living Comprehensiveness

The yoga and sAMkhya systems describe the supreme consciousness of kevala-tA, kaivalyam, Soleness, One-ness, L-one-(li)-ness, On(e)li-ness, (their word for mokSha), as being of the nature of the awareness that puruSha (the Self) is other-than-sattva (i.e., prakRti, sattva being the finest representative thereof).

vivekakhyAtiH or satvapuruShaAnyatAkhyAtiH |

The 'great hymn' addresses the Supreme thus:

"Thou whom the dazzled scripture doth describe
As being Negation of what Thou art Not."

अतद्व्यावृत्त्या यं चकितमभिधत्ते श्रुतिरपि ।

atadvyaavRuttyaa yaM chakitamabhidhatte shrutirapi |
--shiva mahimnah stotram, verse 2

gItA also has a verse which may be literally translated: "Than the I anything Other is Not; in the I is all This woven, as gems are strung on a thread.'

मत्तः परतरं नान्यत् किंचिदस्ति, धनंजय ।
मयि सर्वमिदं प्रोतं, सूत्रे मणिगणा इव ॥

mattaH parataraM naanyat kiMchidasti, dhanaMjaya |
mayi sarvamidaM protaM, sUtre maNigaNA iva ||

Put into one sentence, such descriptions can take no other form than that of the logion, Ego-Non-Ego-Non (sum). (More texts are gathered together in a Note at the end of this chapter.)

Such are a few of the utterances of sacred literature that at once become lighted up when the light of this summation is brought to bear on them.

• Thus does the praNava, the AUM, the sacred word, embody in itself the universe;
• thus does it include all previous tentative summations;
• thus is it the very heart and essence of the scriptures;
• so only is the tradition justified that all the universe is in the praNava.

• Herein we find that what before were the parts of a machine, apart and dead, are now assembled, powerful, and active as an organism.
• Herein we find the two great scripture-texts combined into one statement, that gives a new and all-satisfying significance to them.
• Herein we see all Hegel, and far more; and the three propositions of Fichte compressed into one, which is a re-arrangement of his second.

See p.85, supra.

ahaM brahma asmi

"This (self) was indeed Brahman in the beginning. It knew only Itself as, 'I am Brahman'. Therefore It became all." --bRhad-ArANyaka upaniShad (1.4.10);

na iha nAnA asti kiMchana

"Through the mind alone (It) is to be realised. There is no difference whatsoever in It. He goes from death to death, who sees difference, as it were, in It." --bRhad-Aranyaka upaniShad (4.4.19);

kaThA 4.11. See also p.47 supra.

"It is difficult to find a single speculation in western metaphysics which has not been anticipated by archaic eastern philosophy. From Kant to Herbert Spencer, it is all a more or less distorted echo of the dvaita, advaita, and vedAtic." -- H.P.Blavatsky, The Secret Doctrine, I.49.

Pantheon of Philosophies

And it is not only a rearrangement of it, though that is important enough, but more. If the statement that "Being is Nothing" is not only external to us but unintelligible and self-contradictory, the statement that "Ego is not Non-Ego" is not yet quite internal, though certainly consistent and intelligible.

It does not yet quite come home to us. The verb 'is', and the order of the words in the sentence, make us feel that the statement embodies a cut-and-dried fact in which there is no movement, and which is there, before us, but away from us, not in us.

The negative 'not' entirely overpowers the affirmative 'is' and appropriates all the possibility of significance to itself, so that the rhythmic swing between the Ego and the Non-Ego, between us and our surroundings, which would be gained by emphasising and bringing out the force of the affirmative 'is' also, is entirely hidden out of sight, and only a bare, dead, negation is left.

'Is' Means 'Am'

But now we change the order of the words; and the spirit of the old languages, the natural law underlying their construction, comes to our help.

We place the Ego and the Non-Ego in juxtaposition, and an affirmative Relation appears between them first, to be followed afterwards by the development of the negative Relation, in consequence of the negative particle.

And, more than this, we replace the 'is' by 'am', the 'est' by 'sum', as we have every right to do; for, in connection with the Self, with I, aham, 'is' has no other sense than 'am'; and in place of Non-Ego, an-aham, we substitute 'This', etat, for we have seen their equivalence before (Ch.IV. p.38, supra) and will do so again later, in the section on mUla-pRakrti.

Our logion therefore now runs as "aham etat na", "I This Not (am)". In the saMskRta form the word corresponding to 'am', viz., asmi, is not needed at all, for it is thoroughly implied and understood.

But as soon as we have the logion in this new form, aham etat na, we see that there is a whole world more of significance in it than the dry statement of the logical law of contradiction, "A is not not-A", "Ego is not Non-Ego".

It is no longer a mere formal logical law of thought; it is Transcendental Log-ic, Supreme all-comprehending Law of all Being; Thought which is identical with All Reality. The one law of all laws, the pulse of the World-Process, the very heart-beat of all life is here, now. The rhythm between the Self and the Not-Self, their coming together and going apart, the essence of all Change, is expressed by it, when we take it in two parts; and yet, when we take the three constituents of it at once, it expresses Changelessness also.

Joy of Finding

As a man seeking for the vale of happiness, may toil for days and nights through a maze of mountain-ranges, and come at last to a dead wall of rock, and find himself despairing, and a sudden casual push of the arm may move aside a bush, or a slab of stone, and disclose a passage through which he may rush eagerly to the top of the highest peak, wondering how he had failed to see it all this while it looks so unmistakable now and may behold, spread clear and still before him, the panorama of the scenes, of his toilsome journey, on the one side, completed and finished by the scenes of that happy vale of smiling flowers and fruits and crystal waters, on the other such is the finding of this great summation. All the problems that bewildered him before, now receive easy solution, and many statements that puzzled him formerly, in the scriptural literature of the nations, begin to become intelligible.

After finding the truth of this great logion for himself, the enquirer will find confirmation of it everywhere in the old books, as well as in the world around him.


Well-known member
Note I: No 'Appeals to Scripture'

It should be noted here that the references to the upaniShads, purANas, etc., are not made with any idea of supporting the logion by 'appeals to scripture'.

Rather, the intention is to suggest a new way of working with the sacred books, which may be of use to some readers; for few will doubt that it is a great joy to find that what is dear to us has been and is dear to others too.

Whether any definite proofs will or will not be found by experts and scholars, that the logion was really meant by the AUM, to the ancients, does not affect its importance as an explanation and summation of the World-Process.

The logion came to the present writer first in 1887, as the needed explanation of the universe, in the course of his studies in Indian and Western philosophy. He then endeavoured to find confirmation of it in saMskRta works, but vainly, for thirteen years. Till the summer of 1900, when these chapters were first drafted, it remained for him only a guess and a possibility that the AUM meant the logion.

This guess was justified, for him, in the autumn of 1900, in a most remarkable manner, the story of which has now been told in the Preface to The Science of the Sacred Word, a summarised English version of the praNava-vAda of GArgyAyaNa, the three volumes of which were published respectively in 1910, 1911 and 1913, while the first edition of The Science of Peace was published in 1904. As to whether that 'remarkable manner' will prove convincing to others, is for the future to decide.

In the meanwhile, it should be repeated here that the logion should be judged on its own merits, and that the main purpose of quotiing from the upaniShads, etc., is to help on the thought of the reader, by placing before him the thought, embodied in those quotations, as at least working in the direction of the logion. To those interested in the method of thinking outlined here, the work will serve as an introduction to the praNava-vAda where they will find many illuminative details.

More Ancient Texts Stating the Logion

In view of the vital importance of the Logion as well as the strange-ness of it, some more texts are recorded below, in support.

VishNu purANa, 1.22.86

ahaM hariH sarvaM idam janArdano na anyat tataH kAraNa kArya jAtaM
IdRu~g mano tasya na bhUyo bhavAdRuvAH dvaMdva gadAH bhavati |

Literal translation would be : "I, Hari, all, this, JanArdana, not, other, from which, cause-effect-product, (mass, multitude) such, mind, whose, not, his, (i.e., to him), any more, Becoming-born (i.e., world-born), pair-ills, happen". The current commentary by Ratna-garbha summarily explains this as, "From the understanding that VishNu (Hari, Janardana) is all the world, there results cessation of saMsAra (process of births and deaths)".

If the reader is satisfied with this, well and good; if not, then he may give special attention to the words 'I', 'This', 'Not Other', and arrange the sentence (as he can, without any violation of saMskRta grammar) thus: "I not this-OtherI (is the Supreme Consciousness or Idea), from which (and in which, arises and proceeds all) the mass and multitude of causes and effects (which constitutes the World-Process)--he whose mind is (become identified with) such (Consciousness), for him there are no more any (mental) ills produced by the countless pairs of opposites that are born from (and make up the World-Process of) Becoming; (such) I (is) Hari (harvatiduHkham iti hariH, who destroys all sorrow), and Jan-Ardana (janam ardayati, ends all rebirth)."

Opposites conflict; conflict distresses; as Buddha said in his first sermon, on the Four Great Truths, "To meet what we dislike, causes misery; to lose what we like causes misery". Conflict of dual, polar pairs, is the root of all misery, k1esha.

anAnAtvaM AtmanH ... ahaM eva na matto&nyaH iti bhudyadvaM a~jjasA |
--bhAgavata, 11.13.22-24

na tatra shoko na jarA na mRutyuH ... yachchitto&daHkRupyA an idaM vidAM |
Op. cit. 2. 2. 27; also ChAndogya, 8.4.L

"('The Self is Not-Many') Not-Many-ness is the Self's ... Only I-Not-Other-than-I understand this well. ... There is no sorrow, no age-ing decay, no death, (i.e., no fear of these), in the heart, chitta , of those who, by the blessing of the Self, have realised (the Self as) Not-This."


yo vai bhUmA tatsukhaM nAlpe sukhamasti bhUmaiva sukhaM
bhUmA tveva vijij~jAsitavya iti bhUmAnAM bhagavo
vijij~jAsa iti ||

yo vai bhUmA tadamRuitamatha yadalpaM tanmarty (7.24.1)

"There is no Joy in the (or in being and feeling) small; only (the feel of) Utmost Greatness, bhUmA , is Bliss. Where (and when, the Self) sees Not-Another, hears Not-Another, knows No-Other (than It-Self), that is bhUmA , Maximus Ultimus, (In-fini-ty beyond compare).

Where (the small individualised personalised Self) sees, hears, knows, An-Other, (feels that there is An-Other, that there are Others, than it-Self, which is and are independent of it and limit it, hem it in, on all sides), that is (the feeling of being) small, (the finite). In-fini-tude, bhUmA, is Im-mortality; the small (the limited) is mortal."


AtmA eva idam agre AsIt puruShavidhas |
sas anuvIkShya na anyad Atmanas apashyat |
sas aham asmi iti agre vyAharat |
tatas ahaMnAma abhavat |

mad anyad na asti | (1.4.2)

"The Self al-one was, (and was aware of It-Self even) as a man, puru-Sha, person (is, and is aware). It looked round. It saw None-Other-than-Self. It said I am; Its name therefore became ah-am. It thought Non-Else-than-I (is there)."

bhagavad gItA

Let the reader carefully consider the meaning in the gItA, of an-anya-chetAH (8.14), ananyayA (8.22; 11.54), ananya-manas (9.13), ananyAH (9.22), ananya bhAk (9.30), ananyena (12.6), ananya yogena (13.10).

Of course there is the prima facie simple devotional meaning, 'whole-hearted devotion to KRShNa only and no other'. For the temperaments which are content with this, and seek no further, there is nothing more to say.

For the unsatisfied and further-enquiring spirits, there is the other meaning also, beneath the surface, implying the Logion. Let the reader reflect carefully whether this latter brings any special comfort to his questioning, arguing, intellect, his head, as well as to his (partly selfish and partly unselfish) heart.

Puzzle-Words of an upaniShad

Let the reader similarly dwell upon the puzzle-words of the kaThA upaniShad

ananyaprokte gatiratra nAsti (2.8) and
kastaM madAmadaM devaM madanyo j~jtumarhati (2.20)

ShankarAchArya, in his bhAShya, gives three or even four alternative and doubting explanations of the first sentence; he reads it with gatiH, and again with agatiH. After pondering on those, let the reader endeavour to see if the following interpretation throws any light into the obscurity:

"It is not unapproachable, approachable, not inapprehensible that Supreme Mystery, subtler than the subtlest atom; if It be described by (or as) Not-Another".

Our-Self must apprehend the Self; It must be seen with one's own eyes, not-with-another's; and It must be apprehended as I-Not-Another.

Shankara's plain, simple, straightforward explanation of the second sentence is, "Who other than I (Yama, who am instructing you, Nachiketa) is of sufficiently subtle intelligence, to know that God, Deva, who is the reservoir of all contradictions, who is mada, Elation, Pride, Joy, as well as a-mada, Non-elation, Depression, Sorrow, both at once?!"

Such a claim, such a challenge, seems to imply lack of due modesty, and plenitude of undue aggressiveness, which are not worthy of a teacher of VedAnta! One expects such to be benevolent and reverend! Yama could scarcely have been so conceited when dealing with such a solemn subject!

(It must be admitted, though, that some of the teachers of brahma-vidyA, in the upaniShads, behave very vulgarly and rudely, e.g., 'Raikva of the cart'; and YAjna-valkya, in particular by the descriptions of his doings in the upaniShads as well as the purANas, which descriptions cannot be explained 'mystically'--was a very aggressive and now and there even criminal person, though, no doubt, of great intellectual power and influence. yoga-bhAShya and bhAgavata and other purANas tell us that remnants of rajas-tamas persist for some time even after the vision of the all-embracing Self. Even after the supply of fuel has been cut off, embers continue to smoulder for some time. This is plain psychology; nothing mysterious; so long as the body lasts, the wisest and most self-controlled sage remains liable to fits of passion).

Let us translate this second sentence as follows: "Who Else-than-I can know that God who is mat (I)--A-(Not)--a-mat (Not-I); how otherwise than as I-Not-Another can that God be known?" The very out-of-place pugnacious challenge becomes transformed into the declaration of a profound truth.

Allegories and 'Blinds'

H. P. Blavatsky's The Secret Doctrine throws precious light into the dense darkness of many 'allegories' and 'blinds' of the Vedas and purANas, and also of the scriptures of other dead and living religions. She has indicated (op.cit. I,314-315; V,371, etc., and in her other great work, Isis Unveiled, and other writings also)

• that the works now going under the name of Shankara are not all written by the original first or Adi Shankara-acharya!;

• that much 'sacred writing' on 'occult' subjects has been withdrawn and hidden away, for historical reasons, by the custodians of maTha-s (abbeys, convents);

• that new compositions have been substituted by later Shankar-acharyas (the name has become the official designation of all the successive heads of a number of maTha-s, like 'Pope');

• and that even in the genuine writings, 'blinds' are often used to mystify the in-alert student, who is not in deadly earnest, is therefore easily thrown off the scent, does not question persistently, and even gives up the study in disgust as worthless twaddle.

The Secret Doctrine says that the first Shankar-acharya appeared eighty years after Buddha's disappearance. The list of successors maintained at the ShArada-pITham of DvAraka (Gujarat) supports this.

Let us pass on to other texts.

ahaM eva sukhaM na-anyat | -- varAha upaniShad, 2.7

"I al-one (am and is) bliss, Not-Another."

so ahaM eva na me anyo asti | -- mahA-bharata, anu-shAsana-parva, ch.168.

'That I on(e)-ly (is and am), there is Not-Another than I'.

Riddling NyAya-Aphorism

In terms of anyat, there is a very curious and remarkable, riddling, jingling, alliterative, abracadabra-like aphorism, in the nyAya-sUtras:

अन्यद अन्यवस्माद् अनन्यत्वाद् अनन्यद इत्यन्यता अभावः ।

anyada anyavasmAd ananyatvAd ananyada ityanyatA abhAvaH | (2.2.30)

The context, in which this is set down, is a discussion as to whether 'sound' is nitya, eternal, or a-nitya, non-eternal, temporal; and the authoritative commentary, VAtsyayana's bhAShya, tries to explain it very briefly in relevance to the context; but the obscurity is not lighted up, at least for the present writer.

Another interpretation is therefore suggested here, after putting a semi-colon after the first two words, and another after the next two: '(The Self is) Other-Than-Other, (i.e., the Self is Self alone, is not anything other than It-Self); because there is No-Other-Than-It, therefore is It (describable as) Not-Another; thus, there is Negation of Otherness (i.e, the Self is Negation of all Other-than-Self)'. In other words, the Self is 'I-this-Not'.

Compare this with a literal word for word translation: 'Another, than another, because of not-other-ness, Not-another, such, absence of other-ness'; or, if we read the last word as, not a-bhAva but, bhAva, then, in the translation, the last three words would read 'presence or being or existence of other-ness'.

mANDukya-kArikA and Buddha

The mANDukya-kArikA-s are 100 verses by Gauda-pAda. They expound the meaning of the mANDukya upaniShad. Gauda-pada was the guru of Govinda, who was the guru of the ShankarAcharya, (seventh or eighth century CE) whose bhAShyas on the kArikAs etc. are current. The last two verses belong, it seems, to the same class of 'mystical' utterances as the texts above dealt with. They are:

kramate na hi buddhasya j~jAnaM dharmeShu tAyinaH |
sarve dharmAstathA j~jAnaM naitad buddhena bhAShitaM || 99||
durdarshamatigambhIramajaM sAmyaM vishAradaM |
buddhvA padamanAnAtvaM namaskurmo yathAbalaM || 100||

Word-for-word translation is: "Steps (proceeds, moves successively step after step), not, Buddha's knowledge, in (or amidst) dharma-s (functions, attributes, properties, qualities), TAyi's, all, dharma-s, also, knowledge, Not, this, by Buddha, said; Difficult to see, very profound, unborn, same, skilful (proficient or famous), having known, the condition (state, status, pada), Not-Many-ness, salutation, we make, as our strength (is or allows)."

Shankara puts in supplementary words to fill up gaps, and construes the verses in his own way, which is not clear and satisfactory to the present writer. He winds up by saying that "Buddha has not said this, which has been expounded here (by Gauda-pada, and which is the genuine VedAnta), which Buddha has only come near but did not quite attain."

Shankara avoids the fact that one technical designation of Buddha, in MahayAna Buddhism, is TAyi. The word is explained by prajna-kara-mati, in his commentary, panjikA, on ShAnti-deva's Bodhi-charya-vatara (3.2). It means 'Spreader of knowledge (from Skt. tAy, to spread, protect, preserve), who does not actually enter into the NirvANa or Pari-nirvANa state, though able to do so, but continues to keep in touch with the human world in order unremittingly to help souls and guide them on the Upward Path.'

The Maha-yAna tradition is that, for this purpose, Buddha wears a body of subtle ethereal matter, formed by his own will-and-ideation, nirmANa-kAya; (Secret Doctrine, V.364 et seq.); and gives the needed help mostly by spiritual thought-force, shubha-anu-dhyAna; sometimes by over-shadowing and inspiring a specially qualified human being, Avesha, and 'spreading knowledge' through him; rarely, by actually taking birth in a human body, avatAra.

Gauda-pada may well have had access to some of the lore subsequently lost, in the turmoil of foreign invasions, and by changes in the public's tastes and interests. One school of VedAntins says that TAyi means 'thief', and Buddha is called so because he stole the esoteric knowledge from his brAhmaNa gurus and published it to the world; (Secret Doctrine, ibid.). The word tAyu occurs in the Veda in the sense of thief.


Well-known member
It will be remembered that the word 'Buddha' means 'enlightened with spiritual wisdom', 'wise', 'he who has known', generally; and also Gautama, 'the wise one', 'the enlightened one', specially. Shankara explains 'Buddhasya tAyinaH', of the first line, in the general sense: 'The knowledge of the wise man who has seen the Highest, does not move to other dharmas , but remains fixed in its own dharma, as light in the sun'; (the man in the street would think that the light of the sun does nothing else than spread to all quarters and to far distances!); 'it is tAyi, continuous, like AkAsha, space. tAyinaH, which means santAna-vataH, may also mean pUjA-vataH, or it may mean prajnA-vataH; i.e. it may mean 'spreading', or receiving or giving honor and worship, or possessing subtle intelligence and insight or intuition'. Such are Shankara's explanations of the first line, various, alternative, doubtful. But he cannot avoid taking 'Buddhena' of the second line in the special sense.

To the present writer, the 'mystical' and real and consistent sense of the verses seems clear, if attention is fixed on the words na-etat and a-nAna-tvam, 'Not-This' and 'Not-Many-ness':

"The Awareness, the Consciousnes, of the enlightened soul, as of Buddha the TAyi, is moveless, un-moving, does not move in successive functionings, na dharmeshu kramate, (as the personal mind does, experiencing cognitions, emotions, volitions or actions, one after another). Buddha declared that (the Consciousness, 'I-Am-) Not-This' includes, once for all, all functioning, all knowing.

Such is the very subtle, very profound, Truth, very difficult to see--the Truth of the Unborn, Undying, Self-luminous, Ever-the-Same-ness. It is the High State of Being whose sole all-comprehending characteristic is the Consciousness "(the One I is and am) Not-Many (i.e. not these countless This-es)". Unto that Supreme State of Consciousness, we make reverent salutation, and we direct and open our minds to It with all our power of concentration and devotion".

Logion in the 'The Secret Doctrine'

Mme.H.P.Blavatsky does not appear to have made anything like a specific mention of the Logion, but hints of the Idea are to be found scattered here and there in The Secret Doctrine. Thus she quotes (IV,197) a reference made in a Hebrew mystic book, to "the Negatively Existent One". The only way to bring home to ourselves, the sense of this sense-less-seeming expression, seems to be to interpret it as 'the One Self, I, who exists, i.e., realises Self-Existence, by Negating Not-Self.'

A Word Surpassing AUM?

It has been repeatedly indicated before, that the firm and clear apprehension of the nature of, and of the distinction between, succession-less Eternity and succession-full Time (past-present-future), is utterly indispensable for the comprehension of the Logion.

H.P.B. has some very significant sentences which clearly suggest this; "It must not be supposed that anything can go into NirvANa which is not eternally there; but human intellect, in conceiving the Absolute, must put it as the highest term in an indefinite series. ... Those who search for that highest must go to the right source of study, the teachings of the upaniShads, and must go in the right spirit." (V,533).

As the upaniShads say brahma eva san brahma bhavati |. Being already Brahma, he becomes Brahma. To become Brahma, to attain mokSha, is only to remember what had been forgotten, that one is Eternally Brahma, is Eternally Free; or, in terms of Time, that one has always been, is now, will always be, 'Naught-Else than Brahma', Free from all limitations."

Incidentally, H.P.B. writes (V,395): "He (a brahm-Atma) alone could explain the meaning of the sacred word AUM. ... But there existed, and still exists to this day, a Word for surpassing the mysterious monosyllable, and which renders him who comes into possession of its key, nearly the equal of Brahman."

It is difficult to make sure whether this is to be taken literally; and what the last word 'Brahman' means, whether BrahmA or Brahma.

It is well known that H.P.B. was fond of quizzing, mystifying, testing, her followers and questioners. It is not impossible that she casually threw out the idea of "a Word far surpassing" etc., to see whether her readers had steadiness enough to secure and make sure of what was within reach, and would study the upaniShads to find 'the highest'; or would fickle-mindedly run off after a 'far surpassing' will-o'-the wisp.

There are sects in India today which teach their followers that their deity is fourteen degrees higher than the VedAnta's para-Brahma. The upaniShads make no mention of any such word 'far surpassing AUM'.

Of course, as merely sound (an intensification, modulation, of this same primal 'seed'-sound, so to say), there may be another sound, more 'powerful' for purposes of producing practical effects, as the roar of a steam-siren is more powerful than the hum of a bee. But so far as metaphysical significance is concerned, Tri-Une AUM is exhaustive and Supreme, once for all.

Outside the Infinite Eternal Changeless sole Subject, the pseudo-infinite ever-continuingly temporal changeful multitudinous Object, and the affirmative-negative Relation between them--outside these, there is nothing left to know. But, of course, the details of particular subjects and objects and relations are endless, exhaustless; they require the totality of in-numer-able physical and super-physical (both Material-and- Psychical) sciences and un-count-able able Time and im-measur-able Space, to master and exhaust.

*** *** ***


Well-known member
Buddha and Esoteric Science

Buddha, shortly before passing, said to Ananda: "I have preached the truth without making distinction of exoteric and esoteric. In respect of truths, I have no such thing as the closed fist (baddha-muShTi) of those teachers who keep something back"; Maha-pari-nibbana Suit Suita, 32.

But, on an earlier occasion, "While staying at Kosambi in a grove of trees, he asked his disciples: Which are the more, these leaves which I hold in my hand, or those on the trees in the whole of the grove?" They answered: "Of course, those on the trees are immensely more." Then he said: "So too is that much more which I have learned and not told you, than that which I have told you. And I have not told you because it would not profit you; would not increase your moral purity, self-control, self-effacing philanthropy; would not conduct you to of selfishness". Samyutta, v.437

The reconciliation is that what Buddha taught openly was the fundamental principles of Metaphysics and of the Ethics issuing out of that Metaphysics--Unselfishness because of the Universality of the Self the principles most indispensably and vitally needed for righteous individual and social life; he did not thus publicly teach the details of any 'occult' sciences and arts of yoga-siddhis, which were taught only to these few who had been tried and tested and prefected in virtue.

Should the ethico-philosophical principles and practices of good citizenship be taught broadcast, or the methods of making 'atom-bombs'?

The Logion in 'Charaka'

Let us now examine another old text--this time an utterly plain and direct statement of the Logion. It occurs in the great work of Ayur-Veda Medicine, charaka, so named after its author.

The current tradition, (much disputed by orientalists), is that Patanjali (born in the north-west of India, in 2nd century BCE), began as a brAhmaNa follower of the Veda-dbarma; and, as such, wrote his mahA-bhAShya, 'Great Commentary', on PANini's Aphorisms of Grammar, and also re-arranged and renovated the old yoga-sUtra-s, Aphorisms of Yoga; and then, discarding Vedic ritualism, became a follower of Buddha, and, under the name of Charaka, 'the wanderer', wrote the great work on medicine, largely utilising pre-existing material. ('Charaka' has other meanings also).

In charaka, as also in the equally famous, equally classical, equally honored and studied, but much older work on Medicine, SushRuta, the principles of sAMkhya-yoga (almost a synonym for VedAnta in those days, vide gItA) are made the basis of the principles and practice of Medicine; because mind and body, psyche and physique, are inseparable, and act and react on each other constantly. Charaka utilises the psychological and metaphysical principles of sAMkhya-yoga-vedAnta, which were only refreshened by Buddha, who had studied sAMkhya with Alara Kalama, and Yoga with Rudraka or Uddaka Ramaputra.

We find these two very remarkable verses in charaka:

sarvaM kAraNavad duHkhaM, asvaM, cha anityaM eva cha;
na cha AtmakRutakaM tad hi; tatra cha utpadyate svatA,
yAvan na udpadyate satyA buddhir, 'na etat ahaM' yayA,
'na etat mama' iti vij~jAya j~jaH sarvaM adhitiShTate |

Translation, in accord with the standard commentary of ChakrapANi is: "All this world, which appears and disappears, which is born and dies, all this is a perpetual series of causes and effects. All that results from a cause has a beginning and therefore an ending; being limited at one end, it has a limit at the other end also; and, being transient, is painful, is inseparable from misery; it is Not-Self, a-svam; it is non-Eternal: it has not been created by the Self, which is only a Spectator and not an actor, which is only a Witness of the Show. A feeling of identification with this phantas-magoria, a feeling of its being 'I' and 'Mine', svatA, arises through a-vidyA, Primal Error; and it (the feeling) persists only so long as the buddhi the vidyA, the right knowledge, does not arise, viz., the Consciousness 'I-am-Not-This', na-etat-aham', and 'This-is-Not-Mine', na- etat-mama, by means of which Consciousness, i.e., having recovered which Consciousness, the Knower, jnaH, transcends, rises superior to, becomes sovereign overcoming This'. In other words, his Inner Peace cannot be exhaust any more by the turmoil of the 'world', a-midst which his body lives; in his mind, heart, soul has become free, emancipated, from all doubts and he, is a jIvan-mukta, and is no longer enchained, bound by, subject to, the 'This', i.e., this 'object'-world, or anything in it.

'charaka' and sAMkhya-yoga

The first of the two verses above quoted, is only a version in slightly varied words, of aphorism 2.5, of yoga-sUtra.

anitya-ashuchi-duHkha anaatmasu nitya-shuchi-sukha-atmakhyAtir avidyA |

"The khyAti (awareness, feeling, sense, notion, thought, idea, consciousness), belief, that the perishing-impure-miseryful-Non-Self (body) is the Eternal-Pure-Blessed-Self this is a-vidyA, Ne-Science, Primal Error, Original Sin".

Another aphorism, very germane to the subject under treatment, is,

tArakaM sarva-vShayaM sarvathA-viShayaM akramaM cha iti viveka-jaM j~jAnaM |

The authentic comment can be studied in VyAsa's bhAShya. Without contradicting it, the following rendering may perhaps be found to throw some more light upon it:

"The Awareness, the knowledge, that results from Discrimination, viveka, (between puruSha and prakRti, I and This, i.e., from negation of the latter by the former), is devoid of succession is a-krama, and comprehends at once, all objects and all ways (i.e., manners, methods, of the workings of all objects) that knowledge is tAraka, deliverer, emancipator, which carries the soul across (the ocean of doubts and fears and miseries)".

tAraka is one of the many names of the praNava, AUM; (see fn., p. 109 supra). There are a fair number of quite technical words (and, of course, ideas) which are common to yoga-sUtra and bhAShya and books of MahAyAna Buddhism, and some of these latter throw much light upon the obscure sentences of the former. That it is so, is natural, after Buddha's studies, mentioned before, of sAMkhya and Yoga.

yoga vAsiShTha repeats again and again,

na ahaM deho, na me dehaH |

'Not-I-(This-) Body, Not-Mine, (This) Body.'

The Logion Declared by Buddha

Finally, we find, in Buddha's own words, the origin of the Charaka-verses. In a discourse to his BhikShu-s, in the town of Shravasti, Buddha says:

I had noted down long ago, on the margins of my personal copy of The Science of Peace, 2nd edn., p.110, the English translation from some book; but had inadvertently omitted to note down the name of the book and the pages. My very worthy friend, Acharya Narendra Deva, very learned in Buddhist Pali and Sanskrt literature (Principal of the non-official National College, KAshi Vigya-PITha, of Benares, and member of the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces, who has spent many years in jail as political prisoner, and has been released only in June 1945), has very kindly hunted up, at very short notice, and supplied me with, the original Pali texts and Skt. translations.

rUpaM, bhikkhave, anichchaM; yad anichchaM taM duHkhaM; yaM duHkhaM tad anattA;
yad anatthA taM netaM mama, nesohamAsmi, na meso attAti |

--Samyutta Nikaaya, Pt.Ill, Khandha-Vagga, pp.22-23; repeated in the same words at pp.44-45.

The saMskRta form of these PAli words is:

rupaM, bhikShavaH, anityaM; yad anityaM tad duHkhaM; yad duHkhaM tad anAtmA;
yad anAtmA tat na etan-mama, na eShaH ahaM asmi, na mai saH AtmA iti ||

(eShaH is the masculine, etat is the neuter form of the same word).

'BhikShus!, form is not-eternal; the not-eternal is the painful; the painful is the Not-Self; the Not-Self is Not-This-Mine, I-This-Not; This-is-Not-My-Self'.

Buddha Misunderstood

Buddha has, for some centuries now, in bis own homeland, and therefore naturally in the west, been debited with the absurd view that the Self is only a stream of sensations, etc.; that there is no Supreme Eternal Self; and that NirvANa means complete annihilation; (see fn. pp.33-34, supra).

William James seems to have propounded the same view, in modern times, viz., that the Self is only a stream, as a challenging jeu d'esprit, rather than seriously; his own firm belief in a permanent ultimate Self has been proved above by his own words; (pp. 122-3, supra).

Careful orientalists are now beginning to see the light, and to understand that what Buddha 'denied' even as VedAnta 'negates', is the small self, the ever-changing personality.

Mrs. Rhys Davids, in the new edition of her Buddhism (1934, H.U.L, series), has candidly admitted the mistake of her earlier view; has well explained the causes which gave rise to the extraordinary misunderstanding in India and passed thence to the west; has shown that Buddha always tacitly assumed, as undeniable and indisputable, the Being of the Universal Self, Brahma of the upaniShads; and has ably propounded the right view, that, to Buddha, NirvANa meant only the annihilation of the small selfish-self, i.e., of selfishness; (see especially, her pp.198-210). What element of truth there is in the very human craving for, and belief in, 'personal immortality', will be discussed in a later chapter.

Besides these causes there was another and far worse cause. This was the wicked and wilful perversion of Buddha's teachings, under the stress of bestially sensualist appetites, by some sects of his followers. The worst and most infamous of these is the Vajra-yAna sect; its professions, i.e., theories, are much the same as those of the chArvaka-materialists, 'there is no soul, no life after death, no right and no wrong, no sin and no merit, therefore eat, drink, and be merry as you best can, while you are alive'.

Such a theory is obviously indispensable to justify the sect's practice, which is the same as that of the VAma-mArga tAntrikas, the 'Black Magicians of the Left-hand Path'; vide the guhya-samAja-tantra or TathA-gata-guhyaka, (Baroda Oriental Series).

Such sects have grown up within the pale of every religion, dead or living, even as darkness gathers, under the lamp. Accumulation of immense wealth in the vihAra-s, maTha-s, (Christian) abbeys, 'Vatican'-s, (Muslim) Khaaniqaah-s, dargaah-s, etc., has always led to such foul consequences in religious 'palaces', even as in secular.

Orientalists' Confession

As to the Self, which his later sensualist followers denied, Buddha is reported to have said, on one occasion: 'The material form is not your-Self, not the Self; sensations are not the Self; conformations and predispositions are not the Self; the consciousness is not the Self'; (Vinaya, 1. 23). The word Self, repeated so often, is specially noteworthy; the word 'consciousness' here means particular consciousness of particular things.

Elsewhere, again, Buddha says na ... piyataraM attanA kkachi; Samyutta Nikaaya, 1.75, (Udaana, 47). In Sanskrit, na priyataraM AtmanA (AtmanaH) kachit (kiMchit); 'there is nothing anywhere which is dearer than the Self'. This is only what the upaniShad said much earlier:

Atmanastu kAmAya sarvaM vai priyaM bhavati; Atmaiva shreShTashva |
--BRhad-AraNyaka upaniShad (2.4.5)

'All that is dear, is dear for the sake of the Self; the Self is the Best and the Dearest'.

George Grimm, in his book, The Doctrine of the Buddha--The Religion of Reason (pub: 1926, by Offizin W. Drugulin, Leipzig) describes SAriputta as saying to Yamaka (pp.166,167):

"All corporeal form whatsoever, ...all sensation, ...all perception, ...all activities of the mind whatsoever, ...all consciousness, is not Atma, the Self; the correct view, the highest knowledge, is: 'This is not mine; this am I not; this is not my Ego, Atma'..."

Grimm does not mention references; but the first part of the translation seems to be of a text of Samyutta NikAya, Pt.Ill, op. cit., from the Dialogue of Saariputta and Yamaka, p.115; and the second part is a translation of the Buddha's words, quoted before.

The two seem to have been mixed up by Grimm; not surprising, since the first part is also only a repetition by Saariputta of what he had heard from Buddha. The vital words (italicised by me) 'This I am Not' are there; so too 'the highest knowledge'; but did Grimm realise the Infinite significance that blazes up in those very same words if we read them with capital initials and arranged as 'I-This-Not (am)'?

Buddha Re-taught True VedAnta

On pp. 500-502 of his book, Grimm writes: "The Buddha has not become untrue to Indian thinking; rather is his doctrine the flower of Indian thought. He is ' the true Brahmin' (brAhmaNa) who has completely realised the upaniShads ... What would it mean to deny the Atta (Atma), to deny thereby my-self, me (My-Self, Me), the primary fact which alone I cannot doubt? For am I not the most real thing of all for my-self (My-Self), so real that the whole world may perish, if only I, this all and one (A11-and-One, All-One, Al-One) for every single individual, remains unaffected by the general ruin?" This is all good and sound. It indicates the new trend towards the true interpretation of Buddha's 'view', darshana, as identical with that of the upaniShads.

The battle between vidyA and avidyA, Truth and Error, gods and titans, angels and devils, cor-rect-ors and per-vert-ors, is ever-lasting. When the Not-Self threatens to black out the Light of the Self altogether, the Self shines out strongly in KRShNa-s and Buddha-s and Shankara-s, and Negates and brushes aside the Not-Self.

Buddha's Last Words

Many verses of the Dhamma-pada relating to ths Atma, read almost like translations of gItA-verses. One famous counsel to his BhikShus, uttered on other occasions also, is said by tradition to have been repeated by him, as his last words, just before his Immortal Atma cast away Its mortal frame, to those who gathered round him at that time. With that great laudation of the glory of the Suprerne Self, and also, repudiation of the Not-Self, of all Other-Than-Self, this note may properly be closed.

attadIpA, bhikkhave! viharath, attasaraNA, dhammadIpA, dhammasaraNA, ana~j~j-saraNA |
--Samyutta Nikaaya, ibid., p.42; MahA-pari-nibbaana Sutta, 2.26.

In Sanskrit:
AtmadIpAH, bhikShavaH! viharatha, Atma-sharaNAH, an-anya-sharaNaH; dharma-dIpAH, dharma sharaNAH, an-anya-sharaNaH |

'Go to the peoples of the earth, my mendicant missioners!, doing the duty of your mission, gently persuading men and women into the blessed eightfold Path of Virtue! Be your One Light, the Self; be your Sole Refuge, the Self; let No-Other than the Self be your Refuge. Be Dharma, which is Brahma-in-Practice, Theory-at-Work, Principle-in-Application, be such Dharma your Lamp; be such Dharma, your Refuge; be Naught-Else your Refuge. Be ye Self-reliant; Not-Other-dependent.'

NirvANa is the extinction of selfishness, and of all doubts and fears, all evil thoughts and passions, which all inevitably spring from selfishness, from clinging to the body, only. It is the extinction of all restlessness and discontent of mind. It is attainment of inner reposefulness, equ-animity, equ-ability, serenity, undisturbable calm.

In the living Emancipate, still wearing a body, it has degrees; it grows more and more towards perfection; therefore the books speak of brahma-vid, brahma-vid-vara, brahma-vidvariShTha, 'knower of Brahma', 'better knower of Brahma', 'best knower of Brahma'.

NirvANa is not power to perform any so-called miracles, to 'see' what is going on in Sirius or Canopus, or make a continent sink beneath the ocean by a mere fiat, any more than it is to make an aeroplane rush 500 miles per hour, or blast a whole town with a single atom-bomb.

NirvANa is recognition of, realisation of, reliance on, the Universal Self, brahma, param-Atma, which pervades and includes all selves; and the consequent or rather simultaneous recognition of, reliance on, and steady pursuit of the Dharma which is the 'active' aspect of the 're-cognition', viz., the constant endeavour to serve all, and help all to the same realisation of Brahma and Dharma. Hence, 'Be Atma and Dharma your Light and your Refuge; and Naught-Else'.



Well-known member
adhyAtmavidyA in Synthesis: 8. Brahma Or The Absolute--The 'dvandv-AtItam'

LET us see now if this summation will give us all we want, if it will withstand and resolve all doubts and queries and objections, even as the rod of power wielded by VasiShTha swallowed up and made nought of all the weapons of VishvAmittra. Let us test it with questions the most wild and weird and fanciful. If it fails to answer one, it fails to answer all, and we must seek again for another summing up.

1. The distinction between brahma (ending with an unaccented short 'a'), and brahmA (ending with an accented long 'a') should be borne in mind. The former (in the neuter gender, nominative singular) is the same as param-AtmA, Supreme Universal Self (including Not-Self and Negation). It is also often named para-brahma; to make unmistakable its distinction from brahmA; and also to indicate that It is para, Ultimate, Highest, or rather Beyond compare, Transcendent.

brahmA (masculine, nominative singular) means the Individualised Ideating and Regulating Mind, the Personal God, of a world, a globe, a solar system, etc. brahmA is to brahma as individual to Universal, particular to General, singular to Total, part to Whole, whirlpool to Ocean; one focus, among pseudo-infinite foci, of space-filling Boundless Energy. The un-inflected base of both words is brahman.

In Samskrta script:

brahma is .... ब्रह्म
brahmA is .... ब्रह्मा
brahman is ... ब्रह्मन्

The word brahma has other meanings also:

(a) Veda, knowledge, science, learning,
(b) the class-caste of brAhmaNa-s, the clergy, the learned profession, the men of learning,
(c) the vital seed with potency of infinite multiplication; etc.

There will be no occasion to use the word in these senses in this work. They are dealt with in The Science of Social Organization.

2. द्वंद्वातीतं--dvaMdvAtItaM--beyond the pairs, i.e. transcending the Relative.

The splendid chapter on 'The Perception of Reality', pp. 283-324, of William James' Principles of Psychology, II, may be read in this connection; and the claims made for the Logion, here, may be tested by the requirements of "the perfect object of belief" laid down there. The rest of the present book should be open to the same test, since the writer has essayed to build it all upon the basis of the Logion, to derive and deduce it all therefrom.

Two quotations from James are subjoined. "Our own reality, that sense of our own life, which we at every moment possess, is the ultimate of ultimate for our belief"; p. 297.

(Cf. pp.22-23 supra Shankara, sharIraka bhAShya, on which VAchaspati Mishra's bhAmatI is the most respected commentary, says: 'Everyone believes I am; none I am not'--1.1.1).

At p.317, James says: "The perfect object of belief would be a God or Soul of the World, represented both optimistically and moralistically if such a combination could be and withal so definitely conceived as to show us why our phenomenal experiences should be sent to us by Him in just the very way in which they come".

In other words, the perfect object of belief should satisfy our logical and intellectual requirements, our emotional cravings for happiness achievable in morally virtuous ways, and our volitional urges for activity which would not harm others.

Changeless Change and Un-Conscious Consciousness

aham etat na--this logion, in its entirety, represents with the greatest accuracy that it is possible for words to attain, the nature of the Absolute, the Absolute which so many names and words endeavour to describe--the Unlimited; the Unconditioned; the Transcendent; Consciousness that includes Unconsciousness; the compactness, solidity, Plenum of Cognition (knowledge or thought), of Being, and of Bliss; the Supreme; the Indescribable; the Unknowable.

Some such descriptive words in saMkRtam are:

anavachChinnaM--unlimited; parA saMvit--unconditional; atItaM--transcendent; jnAnaghanaM--concentrated knowledge; chiddhanaM--wealth of consciousness and intelligence; saddhanaM--true wealth; AnandaghanaM--concentrated bliss; paraM--ultimate; anirdeshyaM--indefinite; anirvachanIyaM--undefinable, indescribable; avijneyaM--unknowable.

(Only words given by the author, so meanings are collected by me; members may change/improve them where they are in error.--sd)

This timeless thought, this spaceless idea, taken as a whole, changelessly constitutes and is the nature of Brahman. So taken,

• it is one thought, one knowledge,
• one omnisciently rounded cognition of all 'this' that is possible to know,
• one omnipotently fulfilled and surfeited desire for all 'this',
• one omnipresently completed action of self-assertion and 'this'-(other)-denial,

one single psychosis or mood or act of Consciousness, in which there is no particular content, but which yet contains the totality of all possible particulars;

• it is unbroken, pieceless; there is no motion in it, no space, no time, no change, no shifting, no unevenness, but all equality, an all-complete condition of balance and repose, pure, stainless and formless.

Some such descriptive words in Sanskrit are:

ekAkAraM--living alone, solitary; unchanging form;
anavarataM jnAnaM--uninterrupted, continual knowledge;
nirviShesaM--without attributes or distinction;
akhaMDaM--undivided, indivisible, not fragmentary, whole, entire;
niShkiyaM--immeasurable in time, space or value;
kAlAtItaM--beyond time;
deshAtItaM--beyond space;
nirvikAraM--unmoved, unchanged, without transformation;
samaM, sAmyaM--homogeneous, uniform;
shAntaM--peace, tranquillity;
niraMjanaM--flawless, unstained;

(Only words given by the author, so meanings are collected by me; members may change/improve them where they are in error.--sd)

We can call it Unconsciousness also, the absence of thought or cognition or desire or action or any mood at all. For where the This is the whole of the Not-Self, and even that is negated, the consciousness that is left may well be called Unconsciousness, as that of the state of sound slumber; it is clearly not any particular consciousness, such as that wherein the particularity of the This, as a this, a that, defines both the subject Self and the object Not-Self. And yet it includes the totality of all such particular consciousnesses, for the Not-Self includes all particular this-es.

Rotating Wheel of Life

Taken in two parts, the same thought gives:

1. aham etat, I-This, i.e., I am this something other than I, a piece of matter, a material or physical body; and

2. (aham) etat-na, (I am) not this thing which is other than I, this piece of matter, this material or physical body.

(See foot-note 2, p.84. The incessant lIlA, Pastime, of the Self is the playful endeavour to define the undefinable It-Self; 'Am I this mineral?', 'Well, I am this mineral'. 'But no, I am not this mineral.' And so with all possible pseudo-infinite kinds of minerals, vegetables, animals, humans, sub-and-super-humans, and all other kinds of things and beings.)

Here, in these two sub-propositions, inseparable parts and constituents of the one logion, we have, as we shall see later in details, the whole process of samsAra.

samsAra means a process, (Skt. sR, to slide on, move on) a movement, of rotation, for it is made up of the alternation of opposites: birth and death; growth and decay; inbreathing and outbreathing; waking and sleeping; acceptance and rejection; greed and surfeit; pursuit and renunciation; evolution and involution; formation and dissolution; integration and disintegration; differentiation and re-identification; emergence and re-mergence.

*** *** ***


Well-known member
Such is the essence and the whole of the World-Process, at whatever point of space or time we examine it, in whatever aspect we look at it, animate or so-called inanimate, chemical, or mechanical, physical, biological, psychological, or sociological, in the birth and death of an insect and also each rhythmic wing-beat of that insect, or the birth and death of a solar system and also each vast cyclic sweep in space and time of that system. Why the logion has to be taken in parts and also as a whole, will appear when we study further the nature of the 'This'.

Swing of Opposites

Indeed every science and every school of philosophy deals with one important aspect of, and gives its own characteristic names to, the alternately predominating terms of the 'pairs' of the World-Process. Thus:

physics ==> action and reaction;
chemistry ==> composition and decomposition;
biology ==> anabolism and katabolism;
physiology ==> secretions and excretions;
medicine ==> growth and atrophy, health and disease;

mathematics ==> addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, prolongation and bisection, composition and resolution, the static and the kinetic;

civics ==> competition and co-operation, or individualism and socialism;
law ==> right-and duty;
politics ==> aristocracy and democracy;
poetry ==> optimism and pessimism, l'allegro and il penseroso;

history ==> war and peace:

'war' (between human beings), abnormality, greater and greater differentiation, excess of love-hate born of primal ab-err-ation (out of which proceeds the bulk of the multifarious events and complications which make up the subject-matter of history), and of 'peace,' normality, greater and greater approach to the 'perfectness' and 'completeness' of homogeneity, serenity, restfulncss (which has no history, for 'no news is good news'; since the arts of peace are mostly arts of war with 'nature'; 'war' and 'peace' being used here in the usual comparative sense, with a hint of the ultimate metaphysical sense in which every sRShti, every manifestation in the World-Process, is by a disturbance of the primal equilibrium of tho Three);

psychology ==> reminiscence and obliviscence, waking and sleeping, aroused and focussed attention and dormant and diffused sub-con-consciousness, manas--presentation and buddhi--memory;

philosophy, too, ==> (progressive and regressive) change and absolutist changelessness;
and finally,
religion, ==> the worship of Shakti--Power and of Shiva--Peace.

For the 'pair' names used by various saMskRta philosophies and sciences, see The Science of Religion, or sanAtana vaidika dharma, pp.64 67, and The Science of Social Organisation, or The Laws of Manu 1,32-35.

A work like Rogers Thesaurus shows how the whole mental life of man, and all the corresponding vocabulary that he uses, is made up of thousands upon thousands of such antithetic pairs.

The principle, law, or fact of dvam-dvam, 'Two-and-Two' is so fundamental, so pervasive of all departments, all aspects, of Nature, is, indeed, so essentially the very 'nature' of Nature, that some more examples of the more important 'pairs of opposites' may not be unwelcome to the student. They all arise, of course, from the Primal Opposition of 'I' and 'Not-1', 'This' and 'Not-This'.

Temperamental types are, first and foremost, of which all others may be regarded as varieties,

• feminine and masculine, pRkrti-(strI) and puruSha;
• then, tender-minded and tough-minded (William James);
• romantics and classics (Ostwald);

• introverts and extroverts (Jung); antar-mukha and bahir-mukha. in Skt., i.e., in-faced and out-outfaced, in-turned and out-turned, introspective and extro-spective, (yoga-vedAnta;

• inhibitive and exhibitive, nirodha-chitta and vyutthA-chitta (ditto);

• precocious dement and hysteric (psycho-analysis);
• abstractionist artist and sympathetic artist (Warringer);

• Dionysius and Apollo (Nietzsche), sentimental and naive (Schiller), passive voice and active voice, in language (Finch);

• centripetal and centrifugal (Jung), abstract and concrete;
• con-centric and ec-centnc;
• steady and unstable, equilibrated and unbalanced;
• credulous and sceptical;
• habit-ruled and inventive;
• agricultural and nomadic;
• peace-loving and warlike, realist and nominalist (reconciled in the conceptualist);
• spiritualist-idealist and materialist-realist (reconciled in the pantheist);
jnAni--gnostic and bhakta--pietist (reconciled in the 'practical mystic');
• severe (style of writing) and flowery;
• synthetic and analytic, general and special, poetic and scientific;

• causalistic (dwelling on past causes as explanatory) and finalistic (emphasing the final cause or end, aim, future purpose);
• determinist and vitalist, i e. necessitarian or predestinarian and libertarian, or fatalist and free-will-ist (reconciled in the 'illusionist');
• Will-to-live (Freud, Jung) and will-to-power (Adler).

It will be seen that the two terms of each of these pairs often and readily change places, with difference of situation and standpoint; because non-Ego has borrowed the qualities of the Ego, and vice versa, Man is part Woman, and Woman is part Man.

Fuller understanding of the cult of Shakti--Power (as distinguished from the cult of Shiva--Peace) in India and Thibet, is likely to be helped by psychoanalytic literature, and vice versa; (see, e.g., ch. xxxiii. 'Psycho-path pathic Consequences', of The Sexual Crisis, by Crete Meisel Hess, translated by Eden and Cedar Paul; pub.1917, by the Critic and Guide Company, New York).

Cerebral energy and sex energy go together, as the two poles of the one magnet Energy. The complete exhaustion or suppression of either one of the two, means complete loss of the other also; whence the aphrodisiac quality of Ayur-vedic and other tonics for the cure of neurasthenia.

But the two energies are as the ends of a see-saw; physically reproductive energy, (generated primarily by food, which stands for primal Vital Energy, whence both sexual and cerebral energies), has to be continually sublimated into mentally and superphysically reproductive energy, by the person who would become urdhva-retas yogi, 'whose seminal energy always streams upwards'.

In connection with socialism, G.M.Hess notes the simultaneous rise of two opposed pairs, "(1) the woman emancipated from sex, i.e., the de-sexed, versus the woman emancipated for sex i.e., the very highly sexed who yet wants to be free; and (2) Ascetics versus Aesthetes." (among men). Amazon and hetaira were the correspondents in old Greece.

Renunciants of the world and pursuants of it, among men as well as women, are to be found everywhere, throughout history. The many aspects of DurgA-AnnapUrNA, destructive martial power and constructive food-and-life-giving power, and of KAlI-GaurI, 'Dark'-and-'White', 'Hate'-and-'Love', blood-thirsty sadism and meek masochism, are similar pairs of opposites.

J.Langdon Davies' A Short History of Women is full of illustrations of how, age after age, country after country, 'Woman' has been alternately worshipped as supreme goddess (Ishtar, Astarte, seems to be only another form of the Skt. word strI, woman), and maltreated as slave; how every step forward in her emancipation has been followed by a step backward in the shape of some corresponding bond of disability.

Such is the case with the freedom and the bondage of men also. So, J.M.Robertson's A Short History of Christianity shows, principally in the case of the Christian religion, of course, but incidentally in that of others also, how growth and spread, and then decline and decay, are marked throughout, period after period, phase after phase, sect after sect, by one gain and one pain, one advantage and one disadvantage.

It comes as a great surprise, now and then, and is very informing, to see how Christian priests and rulers made converts, and suppressed pagans and heathens, and even mere dissidents belonging to other sects of Christianity than their own, with the help of the Bible as well as of 'fire and sword', at one time, under the stress of one kind of fanatical motive; and, at another time, under the stress of another kind of motive, political or economic or both, deliberately avoided making converts and positively checked the spread of Christianity. Similar has been the history of the spread of Aryan Vedism (how could this be?--sd), and of Islam and other religions.

It is patent that the consequences of every important scientific discovery and invention are similarly dual, good as well as evil, because of the two-fold nature of the human being; witness, the two World Wars of the first half of the 20th Century CE, and the chain of their causes and consequences; viz., awful misuse of science by the greed, pride, lust, jealousy, mutual fear, and hate, of the leaders, teachers, rulers, and propagandist-hypnotisers of the nations; thence, vast destruction of life and property and enormous mis-employment and waste of labor; and, again, more virulent la revanche.

Emerson's classical 'Essay on Compensations' is only a very brief study of the 'balancings' of Nature. The vast and ever-growing literature of science in every department of it, including that of Sex, provides instances at every step. Many very striking illustrations are to be found in H.G.Wells' The Science of Life and Outline of History, of the Law of Polarity, Duality, Two-and-Two, which pervades the World-Process and constitutes its very heart-beat.


Well-known member
Inclusion of All Opposites, Im-position and de-position

This single logion thus includes within itself both Changelessness and Change. It includes the fullness of the Absolute-Consciousness or Un-Consciousness, from the all-embracing timeless and spaceless standpoint of which, the Self is seen to have eternally negated, abolished, annihilated the Not-Self, in its totality, without remainder, and so has left behind a pure strifelessness of complete balance, utmost repose, Perfect Peace.

It also includes the pseudo-eternal, the pseudo-infinite, the in-de-finite, and, technically, the illusive, mAyAvic, endlessness of incessant identifications and separations, on the smallest and the largest scales, of the Self and the Not-Self;

• each identification being immediately balanced up by a separation;
• each separation at once neutralised by an identification;
sarga, creation, and pra1aya, dissolution, following each other in untiring and ceaseless motion of rotation, chakra, 'cycling', 'circling';

in order to imitate and show out in time and space, in an ever-futile and ever-renewed endeavour, that which is complete, always and at once, in the Eternal and Infinite Absolute.

Thus it comes about that the method of true VedAnta,
• repeated super-im-position, adhy-Aropa, of an attribute upon the Supreme (object of enquiry and definition),
• and then de-position, refutation and striking away, apa-vAda, of it, till all particular attributes have been struck away
• and the Supreme remains defined as the Un-de-fin-able;

is also the method of all thought,
• (sup-position--op-position--com-position)

and the method of the World-Process,
• which is the embodiment of incessant endeavour to impose material Attributes upon the Attributeless throughout all time and space, endless at-tempt to de-fine Spirit in terms of Matter.

All Space-Time-Motion within Self

aham etat na--this transcendent samvit, thought, consciousness, awareness, idea, thus,

• timelessly, spacelessly, and changelessly, constitutes and is the sva-bhAva, 'own-being', Nature, of the Absolute, which Nature and which Absolute i.e., which Absolute-Nature is also, therefore, identical with the totality of the World-Process;

such totality being attained,

• not by endless addition of parts and pieces of moving things in time and space as outside of us;
• but by grasping of the Whole of the Not-Self, with all time and space and things moving therein, as within us;
• so that Past and Future, Behind and Before, collapse into Now-and-Here, and all relative parts are summed up, by abolition, in the Absolute Whole.

All Questions Answered At Once!

• What merits and qualifications, or absence of merits and qualifications, that may rightly be sought in and required of the Absolute, without which the Absolute would not be what its name implies, are missing from this?

• Is not that the Thought which is Independent of all Else?
• Does it not contain all in It-Self?

• The Absolute is the Unconditioned. What condition limits this perfect cognition, this Complete Idea, which is its own end and looks to no end beyond It-Self, which is also its own means and seeks no means out of It-Self for its realisation?

• It is One single act of Consciousness, which looks not before or after, to past or future, but is complete, and complete now, in the Eternal Moment, complete here, in the Infinite Point.

The 'I', holding the whole of the 'Not-I' before It-Self,

• denies, in one single moment which includes all time, at one single point which exhausts all space, in one single act which sums up the whole of the World-Process in It-Self, the whole of that 'Not-I';

• denies that It-Self is anything Other-than-I; a mighty truism which abolishes and yet covers all possible details of knowledge, for all possible 'not-I's' that may be known, are summed up in the 'Not-I' so denied.

• All possible conditions of space, time, causation, desha, kA1a, nimitta, are within this Absolute idea.

• All contradictions are within it: sarva-vRddha-dharmaNAM tatra samAveshaM darshayatIti | (tatparya-prakasha tikA on yoga-vAsiShTha, 6, pUrvArdha, 36.10.)

• All the Relative is, and all relatives are, within it.

• Yet it is not opposed to them or outside of them; for it indeed is the very substratum and possibility of them; nay, it is them, in their entirety; for, so taken all together, they counter-balance and abolish each other wholly, and leave behind only the Numberless Zero, out of which all plus-and-minus numbers emerge, and into which they merge back again.

• All divisions are within it; yet it is unbroken, un-divided, consistent, partless and numberless, the beyond number, for the One and the Many are both within it; addition neutralising subtraction, subtraction nullifying addition, multiplication counteracting division, and division completely balancing multiplication.

All Opposites, Parts within Whole

All possible opposites that constitute the factors of samsAra, are present in it, in equation and equilibration. It is the reconciliation of all opposites.

It is nir-guNam, attribute-less. It is guna-bhuksa-guNam, taster, eater, container of all attributes, also.

Being is in it; Nothing or Non-Being is in it too. It is beyond Being and Nothing. It is Being; it is Nothing; it is both; it is neither.

नासदासीन्नो सदासीत्

nAsadAsInno sadAsIt

"In the beginning there was neither the unmanifest nor the manifest;"

नासन्न सन्न सदसन्न महन्न चाणु

nAsanna sanna sadasanna mahanna chANu
--Hymn by Shankaracharya (DhanyAShTakam)

"He is indeed blessed, who is not good nor bad, nor great,..."

Yet it is there, within us, around us, unmistakable. It is the whole, and also the constant process, of our daily life.

"It moveth and it moveth not, far is it, yet 'tis near; it is within the heart of all and yet apart from all."

तदेजति तन्नैजति तद् दूरे तदु अन्तिके,
तद् अन्तरस्य सर्वस्य, तद् उ सर्वस्य अस्य बाह्यतः ।

tadejati tannaijati tad dUre tadu antike,
tad antarasya sarvasya, tad u sarvasya asya bAhyataH |

--Isha-upaniShad, 5

A few more scripture-texts to the same effect may be cited:

एतं संयद्वाम इति आचक्षते; एतं हि सर्वाणि
वामानि अभिसंयन्ति एष हि सर्वाणि वामानि नयति ।

etaM saMyadvAma iti AchakShate; etaM hi sarvANi
vAmAni abhisaMyanti eSha hi sarvANi vAmAni nayati |

--ChAndogya 4-15-2

'The Self is known assamyad-vAma, because all contraries inhere in It; It leads forth, It is the commander of, all contradictory pairs.'

यस्मिन् विरुद्ध-गतयो हि अनिशं पंतति ।
विद्यादाऽयो विविधशत्तक्यः आनुपूर्व्या ॥

yasmin viruddha-gatayo hi anishaM paMtati |
vidyAdA&yo vividhashattakyaH AnupUrvyA ||

--bhAgavata, 4.9.16

तस्मै समुन्नद्ध-विरुद्ध-शक्त्तये, नमः परस्मै पुरुषाय वेधसे ।

tasmai samunnaddha-viruddha-shakttaye, namaH parasmai puruShAya vedhase |
--bhAgavata, 4-17-28.

'Salutation, adoration, to the Supreme Self, parama-puruSha, Sovereign and Law-Giver of Nature, within Whom contrary energies, shakti-s, are revolving day-and-night, a(har)-nisham; Who spurs on as well as reins in these opposite-leaping forces (with sure hand)'.

यद् अविध्या च विध्या च, पुरुषस्तु उभय आश्रयः ।

yad avidhyA cha vidhyA cha, puruShastu ubhaya AshrayaH |
--bhAgavata, 2-6-10.

'Error, False Knowledge, and Wisdom, True Knowledge--the Reservoir of both is the Supreme puruSha.'

The metaphysical reason Why, of the psycho-analyst's 'ambivalence', heaven-and-hell, sub-conscious under-world of selfish hate devilish thoughts, devils, and supra-conscious upper-world of unselfish love, angelic thoughts, angels, is to be found here.

For further texts from scriptures of vaidika dharma as well as other religions, declaring the inherence of utterly antagonistic qualities in the Supreme, the reader may look into The Essential Unity of All Religions, index-references 'Duality', 'Opposites', 'Good', 'Evil'.

It is the all. All is in it. Assertion by it, and in it, gives existence to an-AtmA, the Not-Self: rejection and denial by it, and within it, imposes non-existence on that same an-AtmA.

It sayeth: I (am) This; and the This, the Not-Self, is.
It sayeth: (I this) Not-Self (am) not; and the Not-Self is no more.
But it sayeth both these things in the same breath, simultaneously!

What is the result? This Endless Process that is ever coming out of nothing into being, and vanishing out of being into nothing.

We see it plainly, yet may not describe it adequately. Truly indescribable, a-nir-vachanIya, has it been called; as also has been called the World-Process which is It.

It is the Vacuum, shUnya, of the shUnya-vAdI, when Self and Not-Self are regarded as having neutralised each other in mutual Negation. (shUnya-vAdi is one who holds the doctrine that all is Nothing, a mere Vacuum, shUnya, or that all arises from and goes back into Nothing, Emptiness.)

It is the Plenum, ghanam, of the ghana-vAdI, which is ever full of both, in the Affirmation that ever lies implicit and hidden in the heart of the Negation. (A Ghana-vadi is one who holds that all is one ghana, Density, Plenum.)

*** *** ***


Well-known member
Pseudo-Eternal within Eternal, All Relatives within the Absolute

Two eternals are here in this Absolute, eternal 'I' and pseudo-eternal 'Not-I', eternal Being and pseudo-eternal Nothing; yet they do not limit or restrict each other in any way, for there is only one eternal, and the other eternal is pseudo, is not.

Beyond space and time are they yet, and therefore beyond limits; and neither limits the other, but rather each necessarily fits into the other, or, yet rather, the other is entirely lost in the one.

None can take objection to the eternity of a pure Nothing beside the eternity of pure Being; yet they are within, opposed and not identical; and yet also both inhere in and make up the Absolute.

If we are inclined to feel that 'I', holding up to itself and denying 'Not-I', implies a duality, let us remember what 'Not-I' is, essentially, and what this denial of it by 'I' amounts to. 'Not-I' is the Negation of 'I', and this denial of it is the Negation of a negation of itself by the 'I'. [This seems similar to the case of +1 and -1 adding upto zero, where the plus and minus attributes of +1 the saguNa brahman and -1 the pRkriti dissolve into the attributeless zero of the nirguNa brahman.--sd]

What objection can there be to the statement that "I am not Not-I", "I am nothing else than I"? Is it not purely equivalent to the statement "I am only I"? And if so, where is duality in it?

A difficulty seems to arise when we vaguely feel that pure 'Not-I' cannot be equivalent to the totality of all particular 'Not-I's'. This difficulty will be dealt with, later, in a further endeavour to show that pure 'Not-I' is equivalent to the totality of all particular 'Not-I's'.

Compare the saMskRta expressions
अन्यद् अन्यस्माद्--anyad anyasmAd, 'other than other', i.e., other than-not-I; and
अनन्यत्वाद् अन्यत्--ananyatvAd anyat, 'not other than other', i.e., including the other or not-I within Itself.
These expressions, occur in the footnote on p.125 supra. See also f.n.s on pp.113,114,121.

Meaning of 'Indescribable'

Such, then, is the In-de-scrib-able of which the Totality of the World-Process is the Endless Description. Exact, rigorous, scientific description here perforce becomes a hymn, which may seem 'mystic' to the unscrutinising observer, yet is strictly accurate, 'rational', 'practical' also.

The indescribability of the Absolute Brahman is not the result of a powerlessness of thought, but of thought's completion. It is indescribable if we will use only one of the two sets of thought-counters, terms of Being or terms of Nothing, such as are used in dealing with things relative and limited; but it is fully describable if we will use both sets at once.

But not in the way of Hegel, see ch.vi, supra. After going through the considerations of this chapter, the reader will have realised that Hegel should have said, not that 'Being is Nothing,' but that 'Being is not-Nothing,' or 'Being is no-Thing', or 'Being is no-particular-thing';

also that, instead of saying this last, he should have said 'Ego is not non-Ego'; and instead of that, that '1 is not not-I'; and instead of that, again, he should have said that 'I am not not-I'; and, finally, he should have said that 'I am not This', i.e., 'I-This-Not'.

From pratyag-Atma to param-Atma

Many are the names of this Absolute, as said before.

From the manu smRti:

एतम् एके वदन्ति अग्निं मनुम्, अन्ये प्रजापतिम् ।
इन्द्रं एके, परे प्राणम्, अपरे ब्रह्म शाश्वतम् ॥

etam eke vadanti agniM manum, anye prajApatim |
indraM eke, pare prANam, apare brahma shAshvatam ||

12.123. Some call him Agni (Fire), others Manu, the Lord of creatures, others Indra, others the vital air, and again others eternal Brahman.

प्रशासितारं सर्वेषाम् अणीयांसम् अनोर् अपि ।
रुक्म-अभं स्वप्नधीजम्यं विद्यात् तं पुरुषं परम् ॥

prashAsitAraM sarveShAm aNIyAMsam anor api |
rukma-abhaM svapnadhIjamyaM vidyAt taM puruShaM param ||

12.122. Let him know the supreme Male (puruSha, to be) the sovereign ruler of them all, smaller even than small, bright like gold, and perceptible by the intellect (only when) in (a state of) sleep (-like abstraction).

To fix the nomenclature and prevent confusion, the English term used to describe it in future in this work will ordinarily be the word Absolute, and the saMskRta Brahman. Para-Brahman is the same word as the last, with only the intensive and eulogistic para, i.e., Supreme, added.

One other common and significant saMskRta name for it, which should be specially noted here, is param-Atma the Supreme Atma, Supreme Self. In strictness, the Absolute is as much the whole of Not-Self as Self; but it is given the name of the 'Supreme Self' especially, because the human jIva, as will be apparent from what has been said in Chapters IV and V,

• arrives first at the pratyag-Atma, the 'inward' or 'abstract' and universal Self;

प्रत्यागात्मा परमात्मा माया चेति कथम् ।

pratyAgAtmA paramAtmA mAyA cheti katham |
--sarva-sAra upaniShad

"What is the pratyagAtman (Inner Self), what the paramAtman (Supreme Self), the Atman, and also mAyA?"

• and being established there, it then includes the pseudo-universal Not-Self within itself;

• and thus realises ultimately its identity with the Absolute, which it then calls the param-Atma--the Supreme Self, because it is first seen, through and as the universal Self, though now seen also to contain the Not-Self; and because the Self is the element, the factor, of Being in the triune Absolute.

bhAgavata says:

केचित् कर्म वदन्ति एनं, स्वभावम् अपरे जनाः ।
एके कालं, परे दैवं, पुंसः कामम् उत् अपरे ॥

4.11.22: kechit karma vadanti enaM, svabhAvam apare janAH |
eke kAlaM, pare daivaM, puMsaH kAmam ut apare ||

"Some explain that karma [or being divided in fruitive action] as arising from one's particular nature or as brought about by others, o protector of men; some say it's due to Time, others refer to fate, while still others ascribe it to the desire of the living entity."

एष भूतानि, भूतात्मा भूतेशो भूतभावनः ।
स्वशक्त्या मायया युक्तः, सृजति, अत्ति च, पाति च ॥

4.11.26: eSha bhUtAni, bhUtAtmA bhUtesho bhUtabhAvanaH |
svashaktyA mAyayA yuktaH, sRujati, atti cha, pAti cha ||

"This Supersoul, controller and maintainer of all beings, making use of the force of His own external energy, brings forth, devours and fosters."

(bhAgavata translations from the Website: SRIMAD BHAGAVATAM (Bhagavata Purana); the story of Krishna --sd)

Rg-veda says:

इन्द्रं मित्रं वरुणम् अग्निम् आहुः अथो दिव्यः सः सुपर्णो गरुत्मान् ।
एकं सद् विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति, अग्निं यमं मातरिश्वानम् आहुः ।

indraM mitraM varuNam agnim AhuH atho divyaH saH suparNo garutmAn |
ekaM sad viprA bahudhA vadanti, agniM yamaM mAtarishvAnam AhuH |

"They hail Him as Indra, as Mitra, as VaruNa, as Agni, also as that divine and noble-winged GarutmAn.
It is of the One Truth that the wise ones speak in diverse ways, whether as Agni, or as Yama, or as MAtarishvAn."

(See The Essential Unity of All Religions, pp.139-140. et seq., for translation of the above, and many more such names, in vaidika dharma as well as in other religions and languages; also pp.96, et seq., for equivalents in the scriptures of other religions, of the Logion 'I-This-Not'.)


Well-known member
Here are samples of the author's inter-religious quotes that he perceives to be "equivalents of the Logion 'I-This-Not', from his book The Essential Unity of All Religions. (Some captions mine):

(This book can be read online at: Essential Unity of All Religions - Google Books)

We as God

Bible, John 10:29-38
"Is it not written in your laws, I said, 'Ye are gods?' ... I am the son of God."

Bible, 1 Corintihians 3:16
"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the spirit of God dwelleth in you?"

Bible, Luke 17:20-21
"Behold, the kingdom of God is within you."

Bible, The Epistle Of Paul The Apostle To The Ephesians, ch.4:6
"One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."

bhagavad gItA, 7.7
mattah parataram nanyat
kinchid asti dhananjaya

"There is No-Other-thing-than-I in truth!)

Whispered Knowledge

The word 'upaniShad' implies that the guru whispers the sacred secret knowledge to the earnest disciple, who listens to it with rapt attention, for the 'psychic miracle' to occur. The purport of the Arabic-Persian phrase ilm-i-sinah, 'knowledge which is passed from heart to heart', 'the doctrine of the heart' is the same.

Among the Jews the 'Essences' were such. "Silence or secrecy was frequently employed by the early Rabbis in their mystical exegesis of Scripture. A typical illustration is the following, from Midrash Rabba (a Hebrew commentary on Genesis iii.(B): "...The sage said this in a whisper... The other asked, Why dost thou tell this in a whisper, seeing that it is clearly taught in a scriptural verse? The sage replied, Just as I have myself heard it whispered unto me, even so I have whispered it unto thee..." --J.Abelson, Jewish Mysticism, (1913),18-23.

Incidentally, it may be noted that the derivation and meaning of the word 'Essences' is in doubt; see Enc. Britt. art. 'Essences'. 'Buddhist influence' is mentioned; also 'gymno-sophists'; but no western scholar seems to have thought of saMnyAsis in this connection. 'Gymno-sophists' were met with, and some taken away also, by Alexander; one named Kalanos (KalyANa) is specifically mentioned by Greek writers. The word seems compounded of 'gymnast' and 'sophist', meaning hatha-yogi plus rAja-yogi, 'holy men' versed in various bodily as well as mental disciplines. Jesus is said to have lived and studied among the Essences.

Logion in Third Person

The Quran also says:
"I am in your own souls! Why see ye not?
In every breath of yours am I, but ye
Are blind, without true eyes, and see Me not."

Sufis have sung:
"Although the great glad news of Thee is writ
Plainly upon the Quaran's holy page:
'Nearer am I to thee than thy throat-vein'--
My eyes blinded with selfishness, saw not!"

The well-known Kalemaa of faith, the mahA-vAkya, the Logos-word, of Islam, is in terms of the third person, viz.,
La ila(a)h il-Allah, (Q)
"There is no god but God."

bhAgavatam 11.13.24
aham eva na matto (a)nyad
iti buddhyadhvam anjasA

"I, only I, Naught-Else-than-I at all'--
This is the whole truth, understand it well."

bhagavad gItA (18.63,64
18.63: iti te jnAnam AkhyAtam guhyAd-guhyataram mayA |
18.64: sarva-guhyatamam bhUyaH SRNu me paramam vacaH |
18.65: man-manA bhava mad-bhakto mad-yAjI mAm namas-kuru |
18.65: mAm-evaishhyasi satyam te prati-jAne, priy-osi me ||
18.66: sarva-dharmAn pari-tyajya mAm ekaM sharaNaM vraja |
18.66: ahaM tvAM sarva-pApebhyo mokShyayishhyAmi mA shucha! ||

(Meanings from the Website: http://www.freewebs.com/srimadgeeta/chap18.html --sd)

18.63: "Thus, the knowledge more secret than all sectets has been imparted to you by Me. Reflect on it fully and then act as you wish."

18.64: "Hear again My Supreme Word, the most secret of all. You are exceedingly dear to Me, therefore, I shall tell it for your good."

18.65: "Fix your mind on Me, be devoted to Me, worship Me, prostrate before Me and you shall come to Me only. Truly this is My promise to you for you are dear to Me."

18.66: "Abandoning all duties, take refuge in Me alone, for I shall liberate you of all sins,-- grieve not."

*** *** ***
Not open for further replies.
Thank you for visiting TamilBrahmins.com

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.

We depend on advertising to keep our content free for you. Please consider whitelisting us in your ad blocker so that we can continue to provide the content you have come here to enjoy.

Alternatively, consider upgrading your account to enjoy an ad-free experience along with numerous other benefits. To upgrade your account, please visit the account upgrades page

You can also donate financially if you can. Please Click Here on how you can do that.

I've Disabled AdBlock    No Thanks