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wholly speculative, make known' a method of abstraction, to assist ascetics in obtaining deliverance from mortal birth.
Udwůyanŭndŭ, a súnyasēē, and the compiler of the Essence of the Védantů,' says, “Brůmhŭ and life are one: that which, pervading all the members of the body, gives to them life and motion, is called jēēvů, life; that which, pervading the whole universe, gives life and motion to all, is Brůmhŭ ; therefore these two are one. Every kind of matter is without life; that which is created cannot possess life: therefore all life is the creator, or Brůmhủ; God is the soul of the world. This is the substance of the Védantů philosophy.'
Not only is God thus declared to be the soul of the world, but the writer of the above work affirms, that the world itself is God God expanding himself in an infinite variety of forms: "All things past, present, and to come; all that is in the earth, sky, &c. of every class and description; all this is Brůmhủ, who is the cause of all things, and the things themselves. Yet this writer, in another part of this work, seems to affirm, that the universe is the work of God:-The principle of life is Brůmhủ; that which is animated is the work of Brúmhŭ , who directs every thing, as the charioteer directs the chariot. Brůmhŭ is everlasting and unchangeable; the world, which is his work, is changeable.
This work represents Brůmhŭ, in his state of repose, as destitute of ideas or intelligence, and entirely separated from all intelligences. It describes this repose by comparing it to whatever may communicate the idea of undisturbed tranquillity; to the bosom of the unruffled ocean; or to the rest enjoyed in a deep sleep, in which there is an entire cessation even of the faculties of the mind.
an effect, as heat is an effect
b Or, as some writers explain it, exists of fire.
The Védantă writers add, that at certain revolutions of time, • Brůmhủ, awaking from this repose, unites to himself his own energy, and creates the universe"; that as soon as souls are uni-. ted to matter, they become impressed, according to their destiny, with more or less of three qualities d:-as 1st, with that which gives rise to excellence of character ;---2dly, with that which excites to anger, restlessness, worldly desire, &c.-and 3dly, that which leads to inactivity, ignorance, and such-like errors. The character is formed, and the future destiny regulated, by the preponderance of any one of these qualities. Krishnů is represented in the Shrēē-Bhagúvůtů-Gēētů as teaching Urjoonů, that, the man who is born with divine destiny is endued with certain qualities, [here follow a number of excellent qualities;] that those who come into life under the influence of the evil destiny, are distinguished by hypocrisy, pride, presumption, harshness of speech, and ignorance; that divine destiny is for eternal absorption into the divine nature; and that the evil destiny confineth the soul to mortal birth e.'
The soul then, by these writers, is considered as separated from the source of happiness when it takes mortal birth, and as remaining a miserable wanderer in various births and states, till it regain its place in the divine essence. A devotee, sighing for absorption, is described as uttering his feelings in words to this purport: 'When shall I be delivered from this world, and obtain God!'
c"When Brúmhŭ withdraws his energy, the destruction of the world succeeds; when he employs it, creation springs to birth.' The Véduntăsarů.
d The possession of more or less of any one of these qualities is owing to the balance of merit or demerit in the preceding birth. Many Hindoo philosophers, however, have no idea of accountability as the cause of reward or suffering : they suppose that all actions, good and bad, pro. duce certain natural effects, which ripen in a future birth ; as poverty, disease, and wickedness, or riches, health, and works of merit.
e See Wilkins's translation of this work.
In consonance with these ideas, a system of devotion has been formed, to enable men to emancipate themselves from the influence of material objects, and thus to prepare them for absorption. In the first place, the devotee is to acquire the right knowledge of Brůmhů, namely, that God and matter are the same; that Brůmhŭ is the soul of the world. “That errorf which excites earthly desires, and impels to worldly exertions, is destroyed,' says the writer of the work already quoted, by the knowledge of Brúmhủ.' The person possessed of these ideas of God is called the wise man,' Brůmhŭ gnanee ; and he who is destitute of this knowledge is considered as in a state of pitiable ignorance, like an insect incrusted with matter.
Further to enable him to subdue his passions, and renounce all natural desires, he is directed to retire from the world; to counteract all his natural propensities; and to confine himself to intense meditation on Brůmhủ, till he has thoroughly established in his mind this principle, that, “seeing every thing proceeded from Brůmhŭ, and that, at the end of the four yoogůs, when the universe shall be dissolved, every thing will be absorbed into him again, therefore Brůmhŭ is every thing.'
The Védantů-sarŭ says, “There are four ways by which the knowledge of Brůmhŭ is perfected:- 1st, By that reflection, in which the person decides upon what is changeable and what is unchangeable in the world ;~2dly, By cultivating a distaste of all sensual pleasures, and even of the happiness enjoyed by the gods ;-3dly, By the following qualities, an unruffled mind, the subjugation of the passions, unrepenting generosity, contempt of the world, the rejection of whatever obstructs the acquisition of the knowledge of Brůmhủ ;-and 4thly, By unwavering faith in the shastrůs, added to the desire of absorption.'
f Error here refers to the false idea, that a man's self and spirit are different, as that I is any thing different from spirit. This idea of the separate existence of
leads to the idea of mine, and thus to every worldly desire.
· Krishnů, in his conversation with Urjoonů, makes the perfection of religion to consist in subduing the passions, in perfect abstraction from all objects of the senses, and in fixing the whole mind on Brůmhủ: I'extract a few paragraphs from Wilkins.- A man is said to be confirmed in wisdom, when he forsaketh every desire which entereth into his heart, and of himself is happy and contented in himself. His mind is undisturbed in adversity, he is happy and contented in prosperity, and he is a stranger to anxiety, fear, and anger. Such a wise man is called a sage.
The wisdom of that man is established, who, in all things, is without affection, and having received good or evil, neither rejoiceth at the one, nor is cast down by the other. His wisdom is confirmed, when, like the tortoise, he can draw in all his members, and restrain them from their wonted purpose.'
The wise neither grieve for the dead, nor for the living. The wise man, to whom pain and pleasure are the same, is formed for immortality. “The heart, which followeth the dictates of the moving passions, carrieth away the reason, as the storm the bark in the raging océan.' • The man whose passions enter his heart as waters run into the unswelling placid ocean, obtaineth happiness 8.' Even at the hour of death, should he attain it, he shall mix with the incorporeal nature of Brůmhů.'
-The man who may be self-delighted and self-satisfied, and who may be happy in his own soul, hath no interest either in that which is done, or that which is not done. “The learned behold Brůmhů alike in the reverend bramhŭn perfected in knowledge, in the ox, and in the elephant; in the dog, and in him who eateth of the flesh of dogs. Those whose minds equality, gain eternity even in this world. They put their trust in Brúmhủ, the eternal, because he is every where alike free from fault.' • The enjoyments which proceed from the feelings, are as the wombs of future pain. "To the yogēē, gold, iron, and stones, are the same.' The yogēē constantly exerciseth
& This is strange doctrine in the mouth of Krishnt, who spent his youth in licentious amours; and afterwards cohabited with Radha, the wife of Ayanŭ-ghoshủ, while he retained 1600 mistresses.
the spirit in private. He is recluse, of a subdued mind and spirit; free from hope, and free from perception. He planteth his own seat firmly on a spot that is undefiled, neither too high nor too low, and sitteth upon the sacred grass which is called kooshủ, covered with a skin and a cloth. There he, whose business is the restraining of his passions, should sit, with his mind fixed on one object alone, in the exercise of his devotion for the purification of his soul; keeping his head, neck, and body steady without motion, his eyes fixed on the point of his nose, looking at no other place around.' •The man whose mind is endued with this devotion, and looketh on all things alike, beholdeth the supreme soul in all things, and all things in the supreme soul.' He who having closed up all the doors of his faculties, locked
up his mind in his own breast, and fixed his spirit in his head, standing firm in the exercise of devotion, repeateth in silence Om! the mystic sign of Brůmhủ, shall, on his quitting this mortal frame, calling upon me, without doubt go the journey of supreme happiness." "He my servant is dear unto me, who is unexpecting, just, and pure, impartial, free from distraction of mind, and who hath forsaken every enterprize. He is worthy of my love, who neither requireth, nor findeth fault; who neither lamenteth, nor coveteth; and being my servant, hath forsaken both good and evil fortune ; who is the same in friendship, and in hatred, in honour and dishonour, in cold and in heat, in pain and in pleasure ; who is unsolicitous about the events of things; to whom praise and blame are as one; who is of little spirit, and pleased with whatever cometh to pass ; who owneth no particular home, and who is of a steady mind.' Wisdom is exemption from attachments and affection for children, wife, and home; a constant evenness of temper upon the arrival of every event, whether longed for or not; a constant and invariable worship paid to me alone; worshipping in a private place; and a dislike to the society of man.'
A most singular ceremony, called yogủ, is said to have been formerly practised by ascetics to prepare them for absorption. I