« EelmineJätka »
In order to convey as distinctly as possible the ideas of this book, we shall notice what Christna, the Holy One, says of his power and glory. Speaking of himself, he says: I am the cause of the production and dissolution of the whole universe. There exists no other being superior to me. On me is all the universe suspended, as pearls on a string. . . I am the intellect of those beings who possess intellect, the strength of the strong. I do not exist in them, but they in me. I am dear to the spiritually wise beyond possessions, and he is dear to me. If any one worshipping with faith desire to reverence any personage, I make that faith of his constant. . . . They who worship me come to me. The foolish, ignorant of lofty incorruptible Supreme Being, think that I who am not manifested, am endowed with a manifest form. Surrounded by my magic illusion I am not manifest to everybody. This deluded world does not comprehend me, who neither am born nor die. I know all beings, past, present, and future, but no one knows me.
In another chapter he says : The divisible is every living being. . . . The indivisible is said to be that which pervades all. . . . But there is another, the highest spirit (Purusha), designated by the name of the Supreme Soul, which, as the imperishable master, penetrates and sustains the triple world. Since I surpass the divisible, and am higher also than the indivisible, I am therefore, celebrated in the world and in the Vedas as the highest Person. IIe who, not deluded (by the world), knows me to be thus the highest Person, knows all things, and worships me in every condition.---This is a much clearer declaration of identity with the Divine One than is made about Jesus in any part of the New Testament. Nothing would gladden the heart of the Trinitarian more than to discover similar words in the Gospels reported as uttered by him, but it cannot be; yet who can avoid perceiving that when the idea was adopted by the early Christians they were only imperfectly acquainted with its origin, and but badly supplied with the Ilindu forms of speech in which it was declared.
Returning to the early chapters, we find him saying: All beings fall into error as to the nature of the creation.* . . . He who, remembering me at
* Chap. vii, V. NEW SERIES, VOL. I.
I am easy
the moment of death, quits the body and comes forth, enters my nature. .
of access to that ever-devoted devotee who remembers me, with his thoughts never wandering to any other object, The great-minded who have recourse to me, reach the highest perfection. . . . All this universe has been created by me, embodied as the undeveloped principle. All things exist in me. I do not dwell within thein and yet things do not exist in me. Behold this my lordly mystery. My spirit, which causes things to exist, sustains existing things, but does not dwell in them. Understand that even as the mighty air, which wanders everywhere, always dwells within the ether, so all existing things exist within me. Under my superintendence, nature produces moveable and immoveable things. . . . The deluded despise me, when invested with a human form, not understanding my high existence, which is the lord of all things—vain in their hopes, their actions, and their knowledge; devoid of reflection, and inclining to the deluded nature of the Asuras. But the high-minded, inclining to the nature of the gods, worship me with their hearts turned to no other object, knowing me to be the imperishable principle of all things. Always glorifying me and striving with unbroken vows, anel prostrating themselves before me, they worship me, constant in devotion. . . . I am the same to all beings. I have neither foe nor friend. But those who worship ine with devotion, dwell in me and I also in them. Even if one who has led a very bad life worship mc, devoted to no other object, he must be considered as a good man; for he has judged aright. He soon becomes religiously disposed, and enters eternal rest. Rest assured, that he who worships me, never perishes. For even those who are born in sin take the highest path, if they have recourse to me. . . . He who is free from aversion, well-disposed towards all beings, and also compassionate, unselfish and unconceited, the same in pain and pleasure, patient, contented, always devotional, self-governed, firmly resolute, who directs his heart and thoughts to me (only), and worships me, is dear to me; and he from whom the world receives no emotions, and who receives no emotions from the world, who is free from the emotions of joy, envy, and fear, is dear
He who has no worldly expectations, who is pure, upright, unconcerned, free from anxiety, and from any interest in all his undertakings, and worships me, is dear to me. He who neither rejoices nor lates, nor grieves nor loves, who has 110 interest in good or bad, and is full of devotion, is dear to me. The man who is the same to a foe or a friend, in honour or ignominy, the same in cold or heat, pleasure and pain, and free from interests, alike in blame or praise, taciturn, and content with whatever may who has no home, who is steady-minde:l and full of devotion, is dear to me. But those who attend (at the banquets of) this sacred manifestation, as I have explained it, full of faith, intent on me and worshippers of me, are dear to me above all.
In the sixteenth chapter the Holy One describes the two classes of men, those who look to duty and those who turn to pleasure. Of the first he says: Fearlesness, purification of his nature, continuance in devotion through spiritual knowledge, almsgiving, temperance and study, mortification, rectitude, harmlessness, truth, freedom from anger, indifference to the world, mental tranquillity, straightforwardness, benevolence towards all beings, modesty, gentleness, bashfulness, stability, energy, patience, resolution, purity, freedom from vindictiveness and from conceit, these are (the virtues) of the man who is born to the lot of the Divine. There is very little to choose between this and what Jesus says, “ Ye have heard that it hath been
" said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say “ unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them " that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute
you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for “ He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on "the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what “l'eward have ye? do not even the Publicans the same ? And if ye salute “your brethren only, what do ye more than others ? do not even the Publicans so?
therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven " is perfect."
The difference is only verbal, and if a man be all that Christna describes, he will also be what Jesus demands.
Of the men of pleasure the Holy One says: Men of the infernal nature do not comprehend either the nature of action, or that of cessation from action. They possess neither purity, nor yet morality, nor truthfulness. They deny that the universe has any truth in it, or is really constituted, or possesses a Lord, or that it has arisen in certain succession, or anything else, save that it is there for the sake of enjoyment. Maintaining such a view, their sonls being ruine:l and their minds contracted, baneful in their actions and hostile to the world, they prevail for destruction. Indulging insatiable covetousness, filled with deceit, pride, and madness, in their folly they adopt wrong conceptions, and proceed, impure in their mode of life, indulging unlimited reflections that end in annihilation, considering the enjoyment of their desires as the highest object, persuaded that such (is life). Further on he describes these men as saying, 'I have now obtained this thing, and I • will obtain that pleasure. I possess this wealth, and that, too, I will yet possess. I have slain this enemy, and I will slay others also, I am sovel'eign, I am enjoyer (of the world). I am perfect, strong, and blessed. I am opulent, and of noble birth. Who else is like me? I will sacrifice, I will give arms, I will slay. This cannot fail to remind us of the passage in Matthew, “ Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet “ before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that “they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their “ reward." +
The following passages are almost identical : Those men who practise severe self-mortification, not in accordance with Holy Writ, being full of hypocrisy and egotism, and gifted with desires, passions, and headstrong will, torturing the collection of elementary parts which compose the body, without sense, and torturing me also, who exist in the inmost recesses of the body, are of an infernal tendency. Matthew reports Jesus as saying, “ Moreover “ when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance : for they “ disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say “ unto you, They have their reward.”
It is impossible to clo justice to this book by mere quotations, and, therefore, having appended a series of sayings, just as they caught the eye while reading, we shall quit this interesting and important subject. They are worthy of more than a passing thought. To a noble man, infamy is worse than death. .. Let the motive to action be in the action itself, never in its reward ; for, wretched are they whose impulse to action is in its reward. Whatever the most excellent practice other men imitate ; the world follows the example they set. Love or hate exist toward the object of each sense. One should not fall into the power of these adversaries. It is better to * Matthew, v. 43-48,
+ Matthew, vi, 2.
# Matthew, vi. 16.
do one's own duly, even though it be devoid of excellence, than to perform another's duty well. The heart is greater than the senses, and intellect is greater than the heart. . . . He who abandons all interest in the fruit of his actions, is always contented and independent. . . The sacrifice of spiritual knowledge is better than a material sacrifice. If thou wert even the most sinful of all sinners, thou wouldst cross over all sin’in the bark of spiritual knowledge. ... The man of doubtful mind enjoys neither this world nor the other, nor final beatitude. . . . He who can resist, even in this life, the impulse arising from desire and anger, before the liberation of the soul from the body, is a devotee and a happy man. .. Let man raise his soul by his own means ; let him not lower his soul, for he is his soul's friend, and also his soul's enemy. His self is a friend to the soul of that man who has subdued his self by bis soul. ... The soul which is devoted to devotion, perceives the Spirit existing in all things, and all things in the Spirit, regarding everything alike in everything. ... The heart is tickle and difficult to restrain ; but it may be restrained by practice and temperance. ... No one who acts uprightly goes to perdition. . . . When a man recognises the individual existence of everything to be comprehended in one, and to be only an emanation from it, he then attains to the Supreme Being. ... As one Sun illumines the whole of the world, so does one Spirit illumine the whole of matter. . . When a mortal reaches his dissolution and goodness is matured within him, he then approaches the spotless worlds of those who obtain the highest place. .. Those who remain in goodness go upwards ; those of the quality of badness remain in a middle state, those of indifference remaining in a state of the lowest qualities, go downward. .. That gate of hell, which causes the destruction of the soul is threefold-desire, coveteousness, anger. . . . He who neglecting the law of Holy Writ, lives after his own desires, attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor ihe higher walk. . . . Let Holy Writ therefore be thy authority for what should be done and what not. . . . Mortal man who is gifted with faith, is of the same nature as that being on whom he reposeth that faith. That sacrifice which is offered by those who regard its recompense, and also for the sake of deceiving by a false show of piety, is a bad one.
Curiously enough Christna and Jesus, agree in their theory, that their disciples are to be particularly careful in selecting proper persons unto whom to teach the doctrines they had given. The former says :-Thou must not reveal this (doctrine) to one who does not practice mortification, nor to any one who does not worship at any time, nor to one who does not care to hear it, nor to one who reviles me. This is very definite, but Dr. Thomson has no reason for saying that no such restrictions were placed upon the disciples, for what else does Jesus mean, in saying, “Give not that “which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest “they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”? Evidently the idea in the mind of each was that, not all, but only the better sort of men were to be chosen for the reception of his doctrines.
We shall turn to another section of this subject in our next. P. W. P.
NOTICE.--Next week will appear the concluding Article on “Confucius," and the following week we shall commence a series on " The Life and Teachings of Buddha,
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE REFORMATION.--XII.
"SAINT ” DOMINIC. Why did the Church persecute? Some, taking the effect for the cause, find the explanation and cause of the ages of persecution in the Crusades, which placed at the disposal of the priestly authority a large armed force to do its bidding. But although these did in some cases furnish the means, they do not explain the spirit which led the Church to use those means; although it may be true that the possession thereof may have led to their exercise in cases in which otherwise the Church would have been fain to submit. This seems to have been the case in the measures taken for the extirpation of heresy from Languedoc, but that the will and spirit would not have existed, even though the power had been absent, is a thing which cannot be admitted. Why, then, did the Church persecute? Because persecution was a logical necessity of the false idea upon which the Church had based herself. She had foisted a gigantic lie upon the world as truth, and when men came to sce that it was a lie, the Church felt that she must either silence them or submit to be herself destroyed. And perhaps the most melancholy part of the business is this, that thousands of good men enrolled themselves on the side of the Church in this affair of persecution. They assumed the Church to be in the right, to have the Divine sanction for the authority she sought to exercise, to be the sole authorised judge of what was true and what false. Starting with this assumption, nothing is easier than to prove the justice, nay, even the mercy of persecution. For what can be more just than to ' enforce a rightful authority against a wrong-headed opposition; if it were 'just for the State to punish rebels, how much more just for the Church to do the same? Moreover, the action of the Church was the act of God Himself, to whom all things are just. And what, too, could be more 'merciful than to take measures, even coercive measures, to prevent men
from running headlong to damnation ? That some amongst the persecutors honestly held these views we have no doubt, and for the sake of human nature we are willing to believe that some such excuse must have entered into the minds of most of those who were ready to burn and torture their fellows in the service of the Church, although it seems clear that after a time the basest passions were aroused by this system, and that some among the persecutors were fiends in the guise of human beings.
In the year 1170, at Calarnega, in Old Castile, was born Dominic de Guzman, the man who, as the inventor of the Inquisition and the founder of the order of Dominicans, may be taken to fitlicst represent the persecuting spirit of the Church. Prophecies and intimations of his career were received by his mother before his birth—at least, if we are to believe the accounts of the chroniclers. During her pregnancy, the Lady de Guzman is stated to have dreamt that she “ whelped a dog, holding a burnig torch in his mouth, “ wherewith he fired the world.” Ilis nativity was accompanied by many signs and portents; earthquakes and meteors, double suns and triple moons, were in after-times believed to have notified to the world at large the extraordinary character of the man-child then born into it. Of course, in all this we see but evidence of the feeling entertained for him by the men who believed these things of him. If they acknowledged him for a Saint, they also felt that he was a terrible kind of Saint.
The family of which Dominic came was one of the most noble in Spain