Knowledge (Vidya) and Ignorance (Avidya)
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"He who realizes the nature of Vidyaa -true knowledge
- and of Avidyaa - good moral life and Divine
contemplation - simultaneously conquers death by virtue
of Avidyaa and obtains Immortality by virtue
of Vidyaa." YAJUR VEDA. 40: 40.
1. "The false notion that the transient world and worldly
things (such as bodies) are eternal or in other words
that the world of effects, that we see and feel, has
always been existing and will continue to exist for
ever, and that by virtue of the power of yoga, the physical
bodies of godly men become imperishable, is the first
kind of ignorance (Avidyaa).
To regard impure things, such as lustfulness and untruthfulness,
as pure is the second kind of Ignorance (Avidyaa).
To believe that excessive sexual indulgence is a source
of happiness, whilst it really causes pain and suffering,
constitutes the third variety of ignorance (Avidyaa).
To consider dead material things as possessed of soul
is the fourth kind of ignorance (Avidyaa)." YOGA SHAASTRA
fourfold incorrect knowledge is called Avidya
or ignorance. The reverse of it , viz., to look upon
what is temporal as temporal; what is eternal as eternal;
what is pure as pure; what is impure as
pain as pain, pleasure as pleasure, what is soul-less
as soul-less, what is soul-possessing as soul-possessing,
is called Vidyaa or knowledge.
by which the true nature of things is known is not revealed
and, instead, a false conception of things is formed,
is called ignorance.
life and contemplation of God are called Avidyaa
(or not knowledge), because they are only bodily acts
and mental processes. They are not knowledge. Therefore,
it is said in the above mantra that without pure life
and contemplation of God no one can ever conquer death.
Virtuous acts, the worship of one true God and correct
knowledge lead to Emancipation, whilst an immoral
life, the worship of idols (or other things or persons
in place of God), and false knowledge are the cause
of the Bondage of the soul. No man can ever,
for a single moment be, free from actions, thoughts
and knowledge. Performance or righteous acts, as truthfulness
in speech, and the renunciation of sinful acts, as untruthfulness,
alone are the means of Salvation.
Who cannot obtain Emancipation?
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A.~ One who is in Bondage.
Who is in bondage?
One who is sunk in sin and ignorance.
Are Bondage and Emancipation natural to souls or acquired?
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A.~ Acquired, because if they be natural they would
"The soul being Brahma (God) is really neither ever
veiled by ignorance, nor born. It is neither in bondage
nor need it devise any means for its emancipation, neither
it desires to be emancipated nor is it ever emancipated.
How can it be emancipated when it was never in bondage?"
GAURPADIYA KARIKA, 2: 32. What is your answer to this?
This statement of the Neo-Vedaantists is not true, because
the soul being finite by nature is veiled and takes
on a body which is popularly called its birth. It is
also in bondage, because it suffers from the consequences
of its sins and thinks out means to escape from sin
and suffering and consequent bondage, and desires to
free itself from pain. Being emancipated it "sees" the
All-blissful God and thereby attains final beatitude
(i.e., obtains salvation).
The soul is pure and untainted.
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These are all the properties of the body and mind
- the internal organ of thought - not of the soul. The
soul is free from sin and virtue. It is merely a witness
of what the body and the mind do. Heat and cold are
felt by the body.
The body and mind - the internal organ of thought -
are material, hence dead and inert. They can never fell
heat or cold, nor therefore the consequent pain or pleasure.
It is conscious beings (who possess souls) such as men,
who feel heat and cold when a hot or a cold substance
comes in contact with their bodies. Even the praanas
- the nervauric forces - are devoid of consciousness.
can feel neither hunger nor thirst. It is the soul possess
of nervauric forces that feels the sensations of hunger
or thirst. Similarly, the manas - internal organ of
thought - is also devoid of consciousness. It can feel
neither sorrow nor joy, but it is through the manas
that the soul feels pleasure or pain, and joy or sorrow.
through the organs of sensations, such as the ears,
the soul receives different sensations, such as of hearing,
and consequently feels pleasure or pain, just according
to the nature of those sensations. It is the soul that
thinks, knows, remembers and feels its individuality
through the organs of thought, discernment, memory and
individuality. It is, therefore, the soul that enjoys
or suffers. Just as it is the man that uses his sword
to kill another who is punished and not the sword, similarly,
it is the soul that, by the use of such instruments
as the body, the bodily senses, the organs of thought,
the nervauric forces, does acts - good or evil - and
consequently it is the soul alone that reaps the fruits
thereof - joy or sorrow.
soul is not a witness of acts. It is the actual doer
that reaps the fruits of deeds done. The One Incomparable
Supreme Spirit alone is the Witness. It is the soul
that does acts and is, therefore, naturally engrossed
by them. The soul is not God and, consequently, it is
not the witness of acts (but the actual doer).
The soul is the image of God..
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..and just as when a mirror gets broken, the image
(in it) ceases to exist but it does in no way affect
the object (whose image it was), similarly, the soul
as the image of God lasts only so long as the antahkaran
(internal organ of thought - mind) - the reflecting
medium - endures, once that disappears, the soul no
longer in bondage is emancipated - Is it not so?
It is a childish idea, because before you can have an
image, you must have two things that possess form and
object and a reflecting medium - distinct from each
other. Take an example. The face and mirror are both
essential to the formation of the image of the face.
Both have form and are visible. They are also separate
form each other. Had they not been so, there would have
been no image. God being All-pervading and Formless
it is impossible for Him to have an image.
do you not see the all-pervading, formless ether reflected
in clear deep water. Similarly, God can be reflected
in a pure mind. Therefore, it is that the soul is called
chidaabhaas - the image of God.
This is again childish babble; ether being invisible
no one can ever see it. How can anyone see ether with
his eyes when he cannot even see air which grosser than
Is it not ether, then, that you see in the sky above,
blue and dusty?
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What is it then?
It is the fine particles of earth, water and Agni (in
the atmosphere). The blue colour is mainly due to the
particles of water in the atmosphere that come down
as rain, while the dusty appearance is due to the particles
of dust which is carried up from the earth and floats
about the air. It is these things that are seen and
reflected in water or in a mirror, and not ether.
Just as we find such terms as Ghataakaasha - the ether
enclosed by a pot - Mataakaaha - the ether enclosed
by a house - Meghaakaasha - the ether enclosed by a
cloud -, used to denote various parts of ether; and
after the pot, etc., are broken, the particular parts
of ether cease to exist, only the universal ether is
in the same way Brahma (God in Passive state) is I'shwara
(God in active state) or the soul according as He is
spoken of in relation to universe or to the antahkaran
- internal organ of thought.
This is also a foolish argument. The ether (of the pot
or the house, etc.) never perishes, nor is it ever shatttered
into pieces. It is the pot or the house that is broken
or pulled down and comes into pieces. You never hear
of a person saying to another "Bring me the ether of
a pot." He always says, "Bring me a pot." Your argument,
therefore, is not valid.
As the fish and other marine creatures swim about in
the sea or as the birds fly about in air, so do all
antahkarnas move about in Brahma - truly conscious Being
Who is All-pervading like ether. They are by themselves
devoid of consciousness, but by virtue of Divine presence
in them they become conscious, just as a piece of iron
becomes hot by coming in contact with fire. The antahkarnas
like the fish and birds move about, whilst Brahma is
stationary like space. There can, therefore, be no harm
in believing that the soul in fact is Brahma (God).
Even this illustration of yours is not right, because
of the soul be the image or reflection of the All-pervading
Brahma in the antahkaran, why does it not possess such
attributes as omniscience? If you say that it is not
omniscient because of he limitations imposed upon the
soul by the limiting medium, is Brahma then subject
to obstruction, limitation and division or is He Indivisible?
If you say that He is Indivisible, no limiting medium
or veil can stand in His way. Why should not the soul
then be omniscient?
the other hand, if you say that the soul - which is
really no other than Brahma, - forgets its divine nature
and seemingly but not really moves about with antahkaran,
then part of Brahma which the antahkaran (organ of thought)
- veiling medium - gets to, will become subject to doubt,
and distrust, and destitute of true knowledge, whilst
that part, which it leaves behind, will become omniscient,
pure and blissfull. Thus this antahkaran will disturb
the whole universal Brahma, and consequently bondage
(ignorance) and emancipation (knowledge) would become
of momentary duration. Besides, if your assertion be
true, no one should be able to remember whatever one
had seen or heard in the past, because that Brahma who
had seen or heard it had
to exist (on account of the antahkaran being in a state
of constant motion and thus shifting form place to place.
It follows, therefore, that God (Brahma) can never become
the soul, nor can the soul become God. They can never
be one. They are always distinct from each other.
This is all adhayaropa..
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..(attributing the properties of one thing to another),
in other words, the substitution of on thing for another.
The substitution of the world and worldly objects for
Brahma, that is, to speak of them as if they were different
from Brahma, is simply meant to help a seeker after
truth to understand the subject with ease. In reality
everything is Brahma.
Who is it that makes this substitution?
What is the soul?
conscious entity limited by antahkaran.
Is it the same Brahma or something different?
The same Brahma.
Was it Brahma Himself then Who formed an erroneous conception
of the world (according to the Vedantis, there is really
no world, it is only delusion)?
Even if it be Brahma who did it, it can do Him no harm.
Why is not he who forms an erroneous conception of things
No, because whatsoever is conceived in mind or spoken
with the tongue is all false.
Is not Brahma, then - author of false ideas and false
speech - false and fallible?
Never mind that, let him be so, Our object is simply
to prove our position.
Oh, ye false Vedaantis ! You have made Brahma (God),
whose all desires and conceptions are truth, the author
of falsehood. Is it not the cause of your degradation?
In which Upanishad, aphorism or Veda is it written that
Brahma is untruthful in thought or speech? Your conduct
is like that of a burglar in the proverb
says, "A thief sitting in judgement on the magistrate."
It is right for the magistrate to punish a burglar but
it is unnatural and wrong if a burglar tries to punish
the magistrate. Similarly, you, who are untruthful both
in mind and speech, try in vain to lay your faults on
God. If a part of Brahma be untruthful in word, deed
or thought, the whole Brahma would be the same, because
He is uniform. His nature, knowledge and action are
in word, deed or thought is your failing but not of
Brahma. What you call knowledge is really ignorance,
and what you call your adhyaropa is also false, because
you call yourselves Brahma, when you are not Brahma,
and regard the soul as Brahma what is not Brahma. Now
what are these if not false ideas? He who is Omnipresent,
can never become subject to limitations, ignorance and
bondage. It is the soul that is limited by time and
space, finite in nature, knowledge and power, but not
the Omniscient, Omnipresent Brahma.
What is emancipation?
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A.~ That condition in which the souls are freed.
Freed from what?
What they desire to be freed from.
What do they desire to be freed from?
From pain ( or misery)
Being freed from pain what do they attain and where
do they live?
They attain happiness and live in God.
What re the causes of Bondage and Emancipation?
Obedience to the Will of God, dissociation from sin,
ignorance, bad company, evil influences and bad habits,
the practice of truthfulness in speech, the promotion
of public good, even-handed justice, righteousness and
the advancement of knowledge, worship of God - Glorification,
Prayer and Communion -in other words,
practice of yoga, study and tuition or instruction of
others, and advancement of knowledge by righteous efforts,
the employment of best means towards the accomplishment
of one's object, the regulation of one's conduct in
strict accordance with the dictates of even-handed justice
which is righteousness, and so on are the means of obtaining
Emancipation, whilst the reverse of these, disobedience
to the Divine Will and the like lead to Bondage.
Does the soul in the state of Emancipation keep its
individuality or is it absorbed (into God)?
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A.~ It lives and keeps its individuality.
does it live?
Where is God? And does an emancipated soul remain in
some definite place or go about just as it desires?
It remains its innate power, activity and attributes
but no physical body. It is said in the Shatapatha Braahmana:-
"An emancipate soul has no physical body or bodily organs
but it retains its pure natural attributes and powers.
By virtue of its innate powers, an emancipate soul has
the principle of hearing when it wants to hear, the
principle of touch when it wants to feel, the principle
of sight when it wishes to see, the principle of taste
when it desires to taste, the principle of smell when
it wants to smell, the principle of thought for thinking,
the principle of
for ascertaining truth, the principle of memory for
remembering, the principle of individuality for feeling
its individuality. It can possess this so-called - composed
of the principles of sensation and thought, etc., at
its will. Just as when the soul is embodied, it depends
upon its physical body and bodily organs to carry out
its will, so does it enjoy the bliss of Emancipation
through the use of its innate power.
What is the nature of this power, and of how many
kinds is it?
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A.~ Really it is of one kind, but it may be said to
consist of the following 24 varieties:-
1. Strength; 2. Energy; 3. Attraction; 4. Suggestion;
5. Motion; 6. Intimidation; 7. Analytic power; 8. Skill;
9. Courage; 10. Memory; 11. Discernment; 12. Desire;
13. Love; 14. Hatred; 15. Association; 16. Dissociation;
17. Dividing power; 18. Combining power; 19. Power of
sight; 20. Hearing; 21. Touch; 22. Taste; 23. Smell;
the help of these very powers the soul attains and enjoys
happiness even in Emancipation. If the soul, when emancipated,
were to be absorbed into Brahma, who would then enjoy
the bliss of emancipation. Those who regard the dissolution
of soul as emancipation are no doubt immersed in ignorance,
because the Emancipation of the soul consists in its
exemption from all sin and suffering and in the enjoyment
of perfect bliss in the All-pervading, All-blissful,
Infinite, Omnipotent God. Mark! What the Vedaant Shaastra
says on the subject:-
to Baadri the soul as well as the mind - the principle
of thought - is present in Emancipation." VEDAANT SHAATRA
4: 4, 10. In other words, Baadri, otherwise known as
Paraashar, the father of Vyaasa, does not believe in
the absorption of the soul ( into God) nor in its dissolution,
nor in that to the principle of thought in the state
of Emancipation. Similarly, the great teacher Jaimini
holds that "an emancipated soul possesses the principle
well as well as the spiritual or subtle body - the principles
of sensation, and the nervauric forces. The soul and
the principle of thought, etc., are not absent during
emancipation."VEDAANT SHAASTRA 4: 4, 11.
the sage Vyaasa believes "both in the presence and absence
of these powers in the state of emancipation, in other
words, he holds that the soul exists and retains all
its powers that are pure, whilst unholiness, sinfulness,
pain and ignorance and the like are absent." VEDAANT
SHAASTRA 4: 4,12
condition of the soul in which it possesses a pure manas
- principle of thought, the five principles of sensation,
and in which the deliberations of the principle of discernment
are true and constant, is called the supreme state or
Emancipation." KATHOPANISHAD, 2: 6, 10.
Supreme Spirit, Who is free from sin, decay and death,
pain and sorrow, hunger and thirst, Whose thoughts and
desires are the very essence of truth, should be sought
after. It is by contact with the Divine Spirit that
an emancipated soul attains to all the conditions it
wishes for, and realizes all its desires, and it is
through the knowledge of the Supreme Soul that it learns
the means of salvation and the ways of self-purificcation."
CHHAANDOGYA UPANISHAD, 8:7, 1.
this emancipated soul sees al through pure spiritual
eyes, and a pure manas and thereby enjoys extreme bliss.
The soul that rests in the All-Glorious, Supreme Being
- Omnipresent, Omniscient Spirit, the Inward Controller
of all - Whom all men of
imbued with piety and desirous of obtaining salvation,
worship and adore (by the practice of yoga), enjoys
the beatitude of emancipation. Verily it obtains all
its heart's desires and whatsoever worlds and states
it wishes to attain to. The emancipated soul leaves
off its mortal coil and roam about in space in the All-pervading
God by the help of the Spiritual body.
long as the soul is embodied, it can never be free from
worldly pains and sorrows. Prajapati said to Indra,
'Listen, O thou who art wealthy and worthy of great
respect! This physical body is mortal. It is in the
jaws of death very much like a goat under the jaws of
a lion (meaning that death can overtake this body at
anytime). It is the dwelling place of the formless and
immoral soul, which is, therefore, constantly afflicted
with pain or engrossed in pleasure, because an embodied
soul can never be free form worldly joys or sorrows.
On the other hand, the un-embodied, emancipated soul,
that lives in God, can neither be affected by joys nor
by sorrows. It continually enjoys perfect bliss.
Does the soul, once being emancipated, ever become
subject to birth and death again?
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is said in the Chhaandogya Upanishac:-
"The soul after being emancipated never comes back again
into this world." CHHAANDOGYA 8:7, 1.
it is written in the Vedaant Shaastras:
"The Veda declares there is no coming back, no coming
back declares the Veda."VEDANT SHAASTRA 4: 4, 33.
Gita also says:-
"That Supreme State from which it - the soul - never
falls back (into this world) is mine."
is clear from these quotations that that alone is called
(the state of) Emancipation from which the soul never
returns into this world. What is your view?
It is not true that the emancipated soul never returns
to this world because the Veda contradicts this view.
"Whose name should we hold sacred; Who is that All-glorious,
Resplendent Being Who is imperishable among all the
perishable things; Who having made us enjoy the bliss
of emancipation again invests us with bodies and thereby
gives us the pleasure of seeing our parents? It is the
All-glorious, Eternal, Immortal, All-pervading, Supreme
Being Whose name we should hold sacred. He, it is, Who
helps us to enjoy the bliss of Emancipation and then
bring us back into this world, clothes us with bodies,
and thereby gives us the pleasure of seeing our parents.
The same Divine Spirit it is Who regulates the period
of Emancipation and lords over all." RIG VEDA 1:24,
says the Saankhya Shaastra,
"Souls live in Bondage and Emancipation as they are
at the present time. There is no everlasting (Atyanta)
Bondage or emancipation." SAANKYA 1:159.
But the Niyaaya Shaastra says:-
"(Atyanta) Everlasting freedom from pain alone is called
Emancipation, because it is only freedom form false
ideas, ignorance, vices (such as covetousness) and from
engrossment in sensual gratification and contraction
of evil habits, and consequent immunity from birth and
pain, that brings about Emancipation which is everlasting.*
The word Atyanta does not necessarily always mean everlasting,
because we very often say that such a man is
* Even the word Everlasting in
English does not mean unending, it sometimes used to express
the same idea as atyanta, i.e., extreme - Tr.
atyanta pain or enjoys atyanta pleasure. Now here atyanta
means extreme. What we, therefore, mean is that that
man is in extreme pain or enjoys extreme pleasure. Similarly
the word atyanta in the above quotations means extreme,
not everlasting or etenal.
If the soul returns to this world form the state of
emancipation, what is the duration of Emancipation
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A.~ "The emancipated soul returns to this world from
the state of emancipation in the Omnipresent God till
after the end of the Grand-Dissolution (Mahaakalpa)
and, thereafter, parts with that bliss and is again
born into this world." MUNDAK UPANISHAD 3: 2, 6.
The period covered by Grand-Dissolution is calculated
is first divided into four yugas or cycles:-
Satyuga (Golden age)…………………………………..1,728,000 years.
Dvaaparyuga (Silver age)………………………………1,296,000 years
Tretaayuga (Bronze age)…………………………………864,000 years
Kaliyuga (Iron or dark age)………………………………432,000 years
………. 4,320,000 years
4,320,000 years make one Chaturyugi
Chaturyugi is 8,640, 000,000 years and is equal
to an Ahoratra (Day and Night)
Ahoratras equal one Maasa (month)
Maasas equal one Prantakal (Grand-dissolution).
the duration of Emancipation = 100 x 12x 30 x
2000 x 4,320,000 = 311, 040,000,000,000 years.
All others writers teach and all the world believes
that the emancipation is that condition from which no
souls returns to this world and becomes subject to births
This view can never be true. Firstly, when the powers
of the soul, its instruments (such as body and bodily
organs), and its means are all finite, how could the
reward extend over an infinite period? Secondly, the
soul does not possess infinite capacity, infinite means
and infinite activity to enjoy infinite bliss, how could
it then enjoy Everlasting happiness? How could the end
be eternal when the means to accomplish it are non-eternal?
Thirdly, if no souls came back from the state of emancipation,
the world should become bereft of them.
No, there can be no dearth of souls, because the emancipated
souls are replaced by new ones that God creates.
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if that be the case the soul would become non-eternal
(mortal), because a thing that is created must perish.
Therefore, according to your own view the soul even
on obtaining emancipation would perish, hence emancipation
in the place wherein emancipated souls live - otherwise
called Heaven - there will be a great deal of hustling,
crowding and jostling, as there will be no end of
increase in the population for the simple reason that
immigration will be so great, whilst emigration will
there can be no perception of pain. For example, you
would not know sweet taste from bitter or bitter from
sweet, if you would only taste one of them - sweet
or bitter - all your life-time, because it is only
by comparing the flavours of things possessing opposite
tastes that we form an idea of both. If a man were
always to eat and drink sweet things only, he would
not enjoy them so much as one who tastes all kinds
if God were to give the soul unlimited happiness as
the fruit if its actions that are limited (finite),
His justice would be destroyed. A wise man does not
put on his man's shoulders a load heavier than he
can carry. If a man can only carry a load of eighty
pounds and his master puts a weight of eight hundred
pounds on his head, he is certainly worthy of censure.
Similarly, it would not be right for God to load the
soul, possessed of finite power and finite knowledge,
with everlasting happiness.
if you say that God creates new souls, the material
out of which He creates them will eventually run short;
because a bank, however wealthy it may be that has
a constant drain on it, but has no income, is sure
to become bankrupt sooner or later. It follows, therefore,
that this arrangement
- viz., Emancipation and then return from it - is
the right one.
there is no man who would prefer life-imprisonment
(or hanging) to imprisonment for a shorter term. There
being no return from Emancipation, it differs from
life-imprisonment only in this respect that one has
not to work there.
regard to Emancipation as absorption into God (which
is the plea of salvation according to some people)it
is like death by drowning one-self into the sea.
The soul can enjoy eternal bliss..
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and be emancipated everlastingly just as God lives
in enjoyment of Perfect and Everlasting Bliss and is
Eternally free from worldly joy and sorrow, pleasure
God is infinite by nature, His essence, powers, attributes
are all infinite. He can, therefore, never be subject
to ignorance, pain and bondage, etc. The soul, even
when emancipated, remains, finite in knowledge, though
pure in nature. Its attributes, powers and activity
all remain finite. It can, therefore, never be like
This being the case, Emancipation is no better than
birth and death. It is useless, therefore, to endeavour
to obtain it.
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A.~ It is not like birth and death. The bliss of Emancipation
extends over the period of Creations and Dissolutions
for thirty-six thousand times. Is uninterrupted happiness
with perfect absence of pain extending over such a long
period trifling? You eat and drink to-day, though you
know you will be hungry again before the day is out.
Why do you try to appease your hunger and quench your
thirst then? If it is considered necessary to endeavour
to appease hunger and quench thirst, acquire worldly
possessions, and temporal power and fame, have a wife
and children and the like, why is it not the same for
emancipation? Though death is certain, yet we work in
order to live. In like manner, though the return from
emancipation is certain, still it is extremely desirable
that we should do our best to obtain it.
What are the means of obtaining Emancipation?
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A.~ Some of them have already been mentioned but the
special means are the following:-
him who desires emancipation be emancipated now in
this life. In other words, let him renounce all those
evil or sinful
such as untruthfulness in speech, that lead to misery
and pain. Let him, instead, always live a virtuous
life and do such good deeds (e.g., veracity in speech)
as lead to happiness. Let him, who wants to escape
from pain and enjoy happiness, abandon sin and practice
righteousness; because sin is the cause of pain
and suffering, whilst righteousness begets happiness.
him always associate with men of great learning and
piety, and thereby studiously know truth from untruth,
virtue from vice, and right from wrong.
him ascertain that the body comprises five systems
(koshas - also translated into Sheaths by some writers):-
(i) The Physical system which comprises all the tissues
and fluids of the body from bone to skin. It is the
gross physical body or system.
(ii) The Vital system which comprises the five
great vital or nervauric forces:-
 Praana or the Expiratory force which helps
to draw the air out.
 Apaana or the Inspiratory force which helps
to draw the air into the lungs.
 Samaana or the Solar-sympathetic force
which is situated in the center of the abdomen, and
serves to carry rasa, i.e., chyle -the essence of
food - and blood to all parts of the body.
Udaana or Glosso-pharyngeal force which
helps to draw the food down the throat into the stomach,
etc., and give rise to strength and energy.
 Vyaana or the Motor- muscular force which
helps the soul to move or do anything - the cause
The Mento- motor system which comprises the principle
of volition, the principle of individuality, and
the five principles of action, viz., articulation,
grasp, locomotion, reproduction and excretion.
The Mento-sensory system which comprises the principle
of judgement, the principle of memory, and the five
principles of sensation, viz., sight, hearing, taste,
smell and touch. It is through these that the soul
carries on such processes, as thinking and the like.(v)
The Spirituo-emotional system which comprises love,
cheerfulness, happiness - great or little. The elementary
matter called prakritiis the medium through which
the soul entertains these feelings.
above-mentioned five systems are the media through
which the soul acquires all kinds of knowledge,
carries on all the mental processes, and performs
all its actions.
him realize that there are three states or phases
of the soul:-
(1) Wakeful phase.
(2) Dreaming phase.
(3) Slumbering phase, sound sleep or sushupti in which
there is no consciouness of the outside world, nor
are there any dreams.
How many kinds of bodies are there?
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him know that there are four kinds of bodies:-
 The gross physical body which is seen and
The subtle (spiritual or astral) body which
comprises seventeen principles:- five nervauric
or vital principles, five principles of sensation,
and five physical principles such as Prithivi (solid),
apaah (air), agni (heat/electricity), etc., in subtle
form, and the principles of volition and discernment.
It also accompanies the soul in all its births and
deaths. It is of two kinds:-
a. Material which is derived from the fine particles
of subtle matter.
b.Spiritual or natural which comprises the natural
powers and attributes of the soul.
Both these remain with the soul in the state of
Emancipation, and it is through them that the soul
enjoys the bliss of emancipation.
The casual body (kaarana shrira) which consists
of the elementary matter - prakriti. It is all-pervading
and therefore, common to all souls. It is through
this that the soul enters into the state called
sound dreamless sleep.
The turya (superior) body is that through
which the soul is absorbed in the contemplation
of the All-blissful Supreme Spirit in the state
of samaadhi (superior condition) developed by the
practice of yoga and perfect concentration. The
energy born of this pure body - the product of the
pure influence of the superior condition - is of
great service to the soul in Emancipation.
soul itself is distinct from all the above-mentioned
systems, states, and bodies. That the soul is distinct
from states is evident from the fact that when a
man dies, everyone says that the soul has passed
out of the body. The soul alone is the prompter,
the possessor, the seer, the doer, and the reaper
of the fruits of its actions. Know him, who says
that the soul is not the doer nor the reaper, to
be ignorant and destitute of reason; because all
these bodies, etc., are by themselves dead and inert.
can never feel any pain nor pleasure, nor can they
do anything - good or evil , though it is true that
the soul in conjunction with them does sinful and
virtuous deeds and reaps the fruits thereof - pain
the senses come in contact with the external objects,
and the manas - the principle of attention - acts
on conjunction with the senses, and the soul with
the manas, it incites the mervauric forces into
action - good or evil, the soul is then said to
be directed outwardly, and at that very moment feelings
of happiness, cheerfulness and fearlessness spring
up in the mind from within when the act is good,
while those of fear, shame and distrust when it
is the voice of the Omnisicient Divine spirit -
the Inward Controller of all from within. Verily
he alone who follows this voice and acts accordingly
- enjoys the bliss of Emancipation. Whosoever goes
against the dictates of this voice suffers from
misery and pain - the result of bondage.
above constitutes the first means of Salvation.
Vairaagya is next. It consists in the practice
of truth and renunciation of untruth after carefully
discriminating right from wrong. In other words, it
consists in acquiring the knowledge of the nature, properties,
and characteristics of all things, from earth to Heaven
( literally God), in assiduously obeying God's commandments
and worshipping Him, in never going against His Will
and in making nature subservient to oneself.
Sampatti - the performance of six kinds of acts:-
consists in restraining one's soul and manas (mind)
from sin and temptation, and in always practising
consists in keeping the body and the senses aloof
from doing evil deeds, such as adultery, and in practising
self-control and living a chaste life.
consists in never associating oneself with the wicked.
consists in becoming deaf to all worldly applause
or censure, and indifferent to profit or loss, joy
or sorrow, and in throwing oneself heart and soul
into the pursuit of the ways and means of Emancipation.
is the concentration of mind.
Mumukshatwa is perfect devotion to and unflinching
love for nothing but emancipation and the means of obtaining
it like a hungry or thirsty man who desires nothing
else but food and drink. These are the four saadhanaas
or means of attaining Emancipation. Next come what are
called Anubandhaas (subsidiary means) so called
because they come after the saadhanaas or means.
(subsidiary means) are four in number:-
is the worthiness to become a recepticle unto the
is the thorough knowledge of the Veda and Shaastra
and of (the means of emancipation) - another name
for seeing God - explained therein, and the realization
is making the realization of God - the subject matter
of all Shaastraas - as the one object of one's life.
is the exemption from all misery and pain, and he
perfect enjoyment of the great bliss of Emancipation.
anubandhaas (subsidiary means) comes Shravana
Chatushthayaa. It is also four kinds:-
is to listen most attentively with calm mind to the
discourse or speech of a learned man and more so if
the subject be Divine science, because it is the most
abstruse and the subtlest of all the sciences.
is thinking over what one has heard in retirement,
and in removing doubts if there be any by questioning
the speaker. Questions may sometimes be asked even
in the middle of a discourse if the speaker and the
audience think proper.
When all doubts are cleared after hearing a discourse
and thinking over it, let the enquirer enter into
the superior condition and see for himself by the
help of yoga whether it is the same as he had heard
and reasoned out or not. This is called Nidhidhyaasana.
Karana is the resulting correct knowledge of the
nature, properties and characteristics of the desired
him ( i.e., the seeker after Salvation) always renounce
qualities and habits that are the result of the darkness
of mind (Tamoguna), such as anger, uncleanliness - both
physical and mental - indolence, and infatuation. Let
him also hold himself aloof from Rajoguna, i.e., passions,
such as jealousy, hatred, lust, conceit and restlessness
of spirit, and instead, acquire Satoguna, i.e., good
qualities, such as tranquility of mind, gently disposition,
purity, knowledge and ideas.
him be friends with the happy, kind to those who are
in pain and distress, love those who are good and virtuous,
but neither love nor hate those who are wicked. Let
the seeker after salvation always devote at least two
hours daily to meditation of devotional exercises and
mentally see all the subtle principles within the body,
such as the principle of thought, etc.
are conscious beings. Therefore, it is that we can acquire
and possess knowledge, and see exactly whatever state
the mind - the manas - is in, as for instance tranquil
or restless, happy or sorrowful. Similarly, we are conscious
of the doings of the senses, can remember what we have
seen before, are cognizant of different ideas and objects
at different times; attract and sustain others and yet
we are distinct from all of them; otherwise the soul
could never be a free-agent, nor the prompter and sustainer
of the principle of thought, the senses, the body and
the bodily organs.
this world there are five kinds of Klesha (pain):-
It has already been described (in the beginning of
is to regard the principle of discernment and soul
as one and the same thing.
is the love of pleasure.
is aversion to pain.
is the fear of death. All living beings have continually
the desire to live for ever and do not wish to die
every man free himself from these five kinds of klesha
( pain) by means of the practice of yoga and the acquisition
of spiritual knowledge, the realization of God, and
enjoy the supreme bliss of Emancipation.
The kind of salvation you believe in is quite different
from that of the rest of the world.
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Now the Jainees hold that salvation consists is going
to Shivapuri and sitting there quietly on a platform
called Moksha Shilla (the stone of salvation); the salvation
of the Christians consists in going to the fourth Heaven
themselves by singing, playing and putting on fine dresses,
and marrying and fighting; whilst the Mohamedans believe
that salvation consists in going to the seventh Heaven,
Vaama Maargis to Shripur, Shaivites to Kailaash, Vaishnavites
to Baikunth, and Gosaaeens to Golaka and enjoying life
by means of beautiful wives, pretty dresses and houses,
nice foods and drinks. The Pouraaniks ( the followers
of the Puraanaas0 believe in five kinds of salvation:-
We shall discuss the different kinds of salvation which
the Jainees, the Mohamedans, and the Christians believe
in the twelfth, thirteenth and fourteenth chapters, respectively,
of this book. The salvation of the Vaama Maargis, which
consists in nothing else but eating meat and drinking
wine, hearing love songs and enjoying themselves with
women, is no better than what you get in this world. They
look upon all men as Mahaadeva or Vishnu, and all women
as Paaravati or Lakshmi and enjoy themselves with each
in the same world with God.
with God as His younger brother.
like God in nature.
near God as a servant lives near his master.
union with God.
of all, the Vedaantis hold that salvation consists
in the absorption of the soul into God.
this is no better than what the princes and other wealthy
people do in this world except what they say that there
will be no disease in heaven and that you will always
remain young, which can never be true; because wherever
there is enjoyment of sensual pleasures, there is disease,
and wherever there is disease, there is old age. The
puraaniks should be told that their five kinds of salvation
are attainable even to animals, insects and worms without
any effort on their part.
for example, the first kind of their salvation. All
these worlds wherein all living beings exist are God's
Who lives in all of them, hence they live in the same
world with God. Salvation number (2) is also possessed
by the soul without any effort on its part; because
being smaller than God and both being conscious entities
it is like a younger brother to God. (3) As regards
the third kind of salvation, being a spirit and possessing,
and being pure in nature the soul is like God, but it
can never be like Him in infinite power, infinite activity
and infinite attributes. As regards salvation number
(4), God being Omnipresent all souls are near Him, hence
all of them already possess this kind of salvation.
The same may be said of salvation number (5). God being
All-pervading, He also resides in the soul. Hence the
latter is in intimate union with God.
disintegration of the body and the soul into their component
parts, which is called salvation (nirvaana) by some
atheists (Buddhists), is attainable even to dogs and
these kinds of salvation are no salvation at all. They
are really prisons, because all those people believe
their respective Heavens, such as Shivpuri, the fourth
Heaven, or the seventh Heaven, shripur, Kailash, Vaikunth
and Golaka, to be definite worlds or places (of residence).
Were their inmates to leave those places, they would
lose their salvation. They are, therefore, rather like
prisoners imprisoned in dark cells out of which they
dare not go.
true salvation or emancipation consists in this that
the soul should go about wherever it likes without any
let or hindrance, and should have no fears, doubts,
union of the soul with body is called its birth, while
the severance of this link is called death or dissolution.
emancipated souls are born again in the due course of
Do you believe in the unity or the plurality of birth
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A.~ In the plurality of births.
can the soul then remember what happened in its previous
births and deaths?
The soul is finite in knowledge and powers. It is not
the seer of the three periods of time - the past, the
present and future - it cannot therefore recall its
past. Besides, the manas - the principle of thought
and attention - by means of which the soul knows cannot
have tow ideas, i.e., of the past as well as the present
- at one and the same time. Let alone things that happened
in the previous life of the soul, can a man remember
all that happens in this very life form the time of
conception till, say, the age of five. We see and hear
so many different things while we are awake, and dream
of so many different things while in slumber, why can
we not recall
those things when we are in deep sleep? You could never
tell, if you were asked, for example, what you were
doing on the ninth day of the fifth month of the thirteenth
year of your life exactly at ten in the morning; which
way you were looking; what the position of your head
and hands was; whether your mouth was open or shut;
and what you were then thinking of? When such is the
case even in this life, how absurd then to question
the validity of the previous existence of the soul simply
because it cannot recall what happened in that life?
is a good thing too that the soul cannot remember its
past, otherwise there would have been no happiness for
it. It would have died of sheer pain and mental anguish
brought on by brooding over the terrible sufferings
and sorrows of it past lives. No man can ever know that
happened in his past lives even if he were to try to
do so; because the soul's power and knowledge are limited..
God alone can know that.
How can the punishment, that God inflicts on the soul,
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... when it cannot remember its past; because the
punishment could prevent it from committing any further
sins only if it were to know that such and such a punishment
was meted out to it for such and such a sin.
How many kinds of knowledge do you believe in?
Eight kinds, such as knowledge through direct cognition,
through Inference, through analogy, etc.
Why can you not then infer the existence of the previous
life of the soul form seeing different peple born and
brought up under different conditions in this world
such as affluence and poverty, happiness and misery,
talent and idiocy, etc. Suppose a physician and a layman
are taken ill. The physician at once finds out the cause
that brought on the disease on him, while the layman
cannot; because the former has studied Medical Science
while the latter has not. But even the layman knows
this much that he must have violated some law of nature
- dietetic or sanitary, etc., - to bring on the disease,
such as fever. Similarly, why can you not infer the
pre-existence of the soul by observing people afflicted
with pain and suffering, or endowed with pleasures or
joys of this world in unequal proportions - results
of their actions not in the present life? If you refuse
to believe in the pre-existence of the soul, how do
you think it to be consistent with the justice of God
bless some with riches, power, and talent, etc., while
afflict others with poverty, suffering, idiocy and the
like without their having done anything - good or evil
- in their previous lives to deserve them? God can be
just only when He gives the soul pleasure or pain according
to its good or evil deeds done in its previous lives.
The belief in the unity of birth is not inconsistent
with the justice of God. He is like a Sovereign Ruler,
whatsoever he does is just. He may also be likened to
a gardener who implants trees big and small in his grove,
some he trims, others he cuts down, others still he
protects (from wind and cattle, etc.), improves and
multiples. One can do whatever one likes with one/s
own. In like manner, God can do whatever He likes (with
His world). There is no one above Him who could punish
Him or whom He should fear.
God always desires justice and acts justly, therefore,
it is that he is Great and worthy of our homage and
adoration. He would not be God if He acted unjustly.
A gardener who plants trees aimlessly or promenades
or other places, cuts down trees that do not require
cutting, multiplies those that are fit to be multiplied,
and does not multiply those that are suitable for multiplying,
is worthy of blame.
like manner would God be blameworthy were He to act
without a reasonable cause. It is absolutely necessary
for God to act justly, because He is pure and just by
nature. Should He act like a madman? He would even be
beneath a good judge of this world, and would no longer
be honoured. Does not a judge, in this world, who punishes
the innocent and awards honour t those who have done
nothing to deserve it, merit blame and forfeit his honour?
God never does anything that is unjust. He, therefore,
God has pre-ordained all. He gives one or acts by
one whatsoever He had determined before-hand to give
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A.~ His determination is always in accordance with the
actions of the soul. Should it be otherwise, He would
be unjust and guilty.
All men have the same amount of misery and happiness.
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The great have great cares, whilst the small have
small troubles and cares. A rich merchant, for instance,
has a law suit, of say 100,000 rupees, in a Court of
law. He leaves his house in a palanquin
on the shoulders of men) for the Court on a very hot day.
The ignorant, when they see him thus passing through a
street, cry out "Behold the might of virtue land vice.
One is comfortably sitting in the palanquin, whilst the
others are bearing him on their shoulders bare-footed
with a burning ground underneath and a scorching sun over
head." But the wise know that as the Court is drawing
nigh, the anxiety of the merchant, his doubts and fears
are increasing, while the palanquin bearers are getting
easier at the prospect of being soon relieved from their
at last they get to the court, the merchant thinks of
going hither and thither. He soliloquizes thus "Shall
I go to see by counsel or shall I see the clerk of the
Court first? Shall I win or lose to-day? Oh! I wish
I knew what was going to happen" and so on. The palanquin
bearers, on the other hand, chat together, smoke, feel
happy, and enjoy their siesta. If the merchant wins,
he feels a bit happy, if he loses, he sinks into the
depths of misery, whilst the palanquin bearers are affected
neither one way nor the other.
remain just as they were before the case was decided.
Similarly, when a king lays himself down on his beautiful
and soft bed, he does not go to sleep quicker than a
labourer who falls asleep as soon as he stretches himself
on uneven earth covered with stones and pebbles. The
same is true of all other conditions seemingly unequal.
Only the ignorant can believe that all are equally happy
or miserable. If a rich merchant and apalanquin bearer
were asked to change their places with one another,
the merchant would never like to become a palanquin
bearer, while the latter would simply jump at the offer.
Had they been equally happy or miserable, the merchant
would never have refused to change his place with the
palanquiin bearer, nor, would the latter have liked
to become a rich merchant.
the difference between the happiness and misery of the
different people! One soul comes into the womb of the
queen of a great righteous and learned king, whilst
another in that of the wife of a poor miserable grass-cutter.
One is happy and well-cared for in every way since the
day of its conception, whilst the other suffers in a
hundred different ways. When one is born, he is bathed
with pure fragrant water, and his cord is carefully
cut. He is properly fed and cared for. When he is hungry,
he is given milk mixed
sugar and other necessary ingredients in proper proportions.
There are servants to wait upon him, toys for him to
play with, conveyances to take him out to pretty and
healthy places. He is well-loved, and is happy. The
other is born in a jungle, where not even water is to
be had to wash him. When he is hungry and wants milk,
he slapped on the face instead, cries most pitifully,
but no one attends to him and so on.
infliction of suffering or the awarding of happiness
to souls, without their having previously done acts
- sinful or virtuous - to deserve it, would disgrace
God. Besides, if we suffer or enjoy here in this world
without having previously done anything - sinful or
virtuous - our going to Hell or Heaven after d4ath ought
not to be dependent on our deeds done in this life,
because just as God has given us pleasure or pain her
without our having previously done sinful or virtuous
deeds, so would He send some of us to Hell, others to
Heaven just according to His pleasure.
should men then practice virtue. (If this logic be accepted)
all would become wicked and lead sinful lives; because
it is doubtful if virtue will bear any fruit. It all
rests with God. He would do just as it would please
Him. No one will thus fear sin which will consequently
multiply, whilst virtue will decay. It follows therefore
that the present birth of the soul is in accordance
with its deeds - sinful and virtuous - in the past,
whilst the future will be determined by its present
and past modes of life - righteous or unrighteous.
Are souls in the bodies of men and animals of the
same nature or different?
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A.~ They are all of the same nature, but are pure or
impure according as they are virtuous or sinful.
Do the souls of men go into bodies of animals and vice
versa; and do souls of men go into souls of women and
Yes, they do. When sin predominates over virtue in a
man, his soul goes into the bodies of lower animals
and the like when virtue predominates over sin in a
soul, it is born as a good and learned person. When
sin and virtue are equal, the soul is born as an ordinary
man. Sin and virtue being of three different grades
- superior, medium, and inferior - men can be divided
into three classes according as they are possessed of
superior, medium and
kind of material (bodies, bodily powers, mental capacities
and talents, etc.). When sin preponderates over virtue,
the soul suffers the consequences of its sin in the
bodies of lower animals and the like, till its sins
and virtues are equalized when it is invested with a
human body. Similarly, when it has enjoyed the excess
of virtue over sin, it is born as an ordinary man.
separation of the soul from the body is called death,
whist its union with the body is called birth. When
the soul leaves the body, it lives in the atmosphere
(yama), because it is said in the Veda, "Yama,is another
name for air." Thereafter the Great Judge - God - embodies
that soul according to the nature of its deeds done
in the previous life. Guided by God it enters the body
of some living creature with air, water, food, drink
or through any one of the openings of the body.
entered it, it gradually reaches the reproductive element,
the thereby establishes itself in the womb, and is thus
invested with a body and eventually born. It is clothed
with a male or a female body, just as it merits a male
or a female one; whilst a hermaphrodite is formed by
the union of the male and the female reproductive elements
in equal proportions at the same time of conception.
soul is continually chained down to this wheel of births
and deaths till by the practice of the highest virtue
and complete absorption into Divine contemplation and
the acquisition of the highest knowledge it obtains
Emancipation. By the practice of deeds of the highest
virtue, etc., it is born as a good and great personage
among men; and being freed from births and deaths and
the consequent pain and suffering, it enjoys perfect
bliss in Emancipation till the end of the Grand-Dissolution.
Can Emancipation be obtained in one life or in more
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A.~ In more than one; because it is said in the Upanishad:-
"Verily it is only when all the knots of its heart -
darkness, and ignorance - are severed, all its doubts
dispelled, and when it sins no longer that the soul
rest in that Supreme Spirit Who pervades it both within
and withou." MUNDAK 2: 8.
Is the soul in Emancipation absorbed into God or does
it retain its individuality?
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A.~ It retains its separate individuality, for should
it get absorbed into the Divine Spirit, who would then
enjoy the bliss of Emancipation. Besides, all the hardships
borne, all the efforts made and all the means employed
to obtain Emancipation would become useless. Absorption
of the soul into the Divine Spirit is not Emancipation
but its death or annihilation. It is only the soul that
obeys the will of God, follows the highest virtue, associates
with the good and the great practices yoga and employs
all the aforesaid means, that obtains emancipation.
Says the Upanishad:-
soul that knows the Supreme Spirit Who is All-truth,
All-knowledge and All-Bliss and resides in the very
interior of the soul and the principle of discernment,
finds rest in the Omnipresent Great God and thereby,
being in harmony with the Indefinite Omniscient Supreme
Being all its (righteous) desires are gratified. In
other words, whatever happiness it wishes for it obtains."
TAITREYA ANANDVALLI 1.
When the soul cannot enjoy worldly happiness without
a body, how could it then enjoy the bliss of Emancipation
without a physical body?
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A.~ We have answered this objection before, but will
add that the soul enjoys the bliss of emancipation through
God in the same way as it enjoys the worldly pleasures
through the body. The emancipated soul roams about in
the Infinite all-pervading God as it desires, sees all
nature through puree knowledge, meets other emancipated
souls, sees all the laws, of nature in operation, goes
about in all the worlds visible and invisible, sees
all objects that it comes across, the more its knowledge
increases the happier it feels.
altogether pure, the soul acquires perfect knowledge
of all hidden things in the state of Emancipation. This
extreme bliss alone is called Heaven (swarga), while
pursuit of worldly
and consequent pain and suffering are called Hell (naraka).
Swarga literally means happiness. The ordinary happiness
id called worldly happiness. Whilst the extreme happiness
born of the realization of God is called Extraordinary
happiness or Heaven (Swarga).
men naturally desire to obtain happiness and escape
form pain and misery. But as long they do not practice
righteousness and renounce sin, so long they cannot
obtain happiness and be freed from pain and suffering;
because the effect cannot perish as long as the cause
exists. It is said "All pain and suffering cease as
soon as sin is destroyed just as a tree perishes when
its root is cut away."
Sattvic, Rajasik & Tamasic - three-fold nature
of the mind.
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how Manu 12: 8, 9, 25, 33, 35-38. describes the
manifold course of sin and virtue:-
"Let a man thus know this three-fold nature (of
mind) - the highest, the mean, and the lowest degree
- cultivate the disposition of the highest kind
and reject the other two. Let him also bear in mind
that the soul has a reward - happiness - or a punishment
- pain and suffering - for his acts - mental through
mind, verbal through its organs of speech, and corporeal
through its physical body."
the corporeal sinful acts (such as theft, adultery
and killing or injuring the good) a man shall
assume a vegetable form; for verbal sinful acts,
the form of a bird or an animal; and for sinful
acts mostly mental, the lowest of human conditions."
quality that predominates in physical body renders
the embodied soul eminently distinguished for
possession of true ideas by the soul is declared
to be an indication of Sattva (Superior). Ignorance
betokens Tamas (lowest). Passion of love and hatred
signify Rajas (medium). These three attributes,
i.e., Sattva, Rajas and Tamas of the Prakriti
are to be found in all things."
a man feels that there is tranquility, peacefulness,
and contentment in his mind and also his soul
is pure as the purest light, let him know then
that the Sattva predominates; whilst the
Rajas and Tamas occupy a subordinate
the soul is unhappy, has no peace of mind, is
restlessly engaged in the pursuit of sensual objects,
let him then know that it is the Rajas
that predominates, whilst the Sattva and
Tamas are suppressed."
the soul and the manas - the principle
of thought - are engaged in the headlong pursuit
of worldly things, lose all sense of right and
wrong, are thoroughly infatuated with sensual
gratification and absolutely incapable of discussion
a subject, and are extremely dull of understanding,
let him understand that it is the Tamas
that predominates in him."
we shall describe at large, the various results
in the highest, mean and lowest degrees that proceed
from those three qualities."
of the Veda - source of all true knowledge
-, strict devotion to duty, the advancement of
knowledge, the desire for purity - corporeal and
spiritual, self-control, the practice of righteousness
and Divine contemplation verily betoken Sattva."
zeal, impatience, practice of unrighteous act,
and habitual indulgence in sensual gratification
are the signs of the
of Rajas and the comparative suppression
of the Tamasand Sattva."
covetousness - the root of all evils - extreme
indolence, stupidity and sleepiness, discontents,
cruelty, atheism, i.e., want of faith in God and
the Veda, distraction of mind, want of
mental concentration, and contraction of evil
habits should be looked upon by a wise man as
indications of Tamas. It is the Tamas,
then, that predominates whilst the Rajas
and Sattva are not markedly manifest."
whenever a man's soul feels shame, doubt and fear
in having done, in doing or in going to do an
act, let him know that the Tamas greatly
preponderates in him."
a man seeks great fame in this world, and does
not cease giving money to flatters, flunkeys,
and parasites: poor though he be, let him understand
that the Rajas preponderates in him."
a man's soul thirsts after knowledge, not matter
where it comes from, cultivates good qualities,
feels no shame in doing good actions at which
it greatly rejoices, in other words is always
desirous of practicing righteousness, let him
know then that the Sattva predominates."
craving for sensual gratification is an index
of Tamas, the desire for the acquisition
of worldly possession, or Rajas and the
of righteousness, of < b>. The last mentioned
is superior to Rajas, and that in its turn
is superior to Tamas. Now we shall describe
the conditions that each of these qualities -Sattva,
Rajas and Tamas - leads to:-
endowed with Sattava attain to the state
of the learned, godly men. Those, who are possessed
of Rajas, become men, while those immersed
in Tamas fall into the condition of lower
(as trees), worms and insects, fish, snakes, tortoise,
cattle, and deer, and like, are the forms which
the lowest degree of Tamas leads to."
horses, extremely stupid and dull persons, men
of dirty habits and uncouth speech and manners,
ferocious animals, such as lions, wolves and boars,
re the forms that proceed from the mean degree
beautiful birds, braggarts, cruel blood-thirsty
men, and those who drink wine and other intoxicants
habitually and are dirty in their habits, are
the conditions which proceed from the highest
degree of Tamas."
(cudgel players, etc.), gardeners, sailors, acrobats,
armed servants and those who are addicted to drinking
and gambling result from the Rajas of the
men of the governing class (statesmen, soldiers,
etc.), king's chaplains, controversialists, ambassadors,
*Those who make poetical
compositions, etc., in praise of other in order
to flatter them.
of the army and the like are occasioned by the
Rajas of the medium degree."
musicians, men of great wealth and resource, companions
or associates of the great and good men of vast
learning or those who wait upon them, and women
of great beauty and physical charms are caused
by the Rajas of the highest quality."
who are strictly devoted to their duties, truth
and righteousness, masters of their passions,
altruistic teachers of humanity - Sanyaasis,
teachers of the Veda, aeronauts, astronomers,
physicians or hygienist, i.e., those who devote
themselves to the science and art of the perfect
development of the human body, proceed from the
Sattva of the lowest degree."
seers of the Veda, godly learned men, great
scholars of the Veda, professors of the
science, of electricity, astronomy, geology, etc.
(literally, the science of time), those who possess
true knowledge and power which they use for the
good of others, and great Teachers result from
the Sattva of the medium degree.
of all four Vedas, masters of all the sciences
and arts, who invent (or construct) air ships
and such machines, those who are embodiments of
righteousness and wisdom, those who acquire control
over the elementary* result from the Sattva
of the highest degree."
ignorant, the basest among men who indulge in
their sensual appetites, renounce the practice
of righteousness and the performance of their
duties and lead sinful lives assume the basest
forms and thereby suffer various afflictions."
*Literally atoms and first
stage after their combination. -Tr.
whatsoever act a man sows by virtue of the Sattva,
Rajas and Tamas, the same shall he
reap. Those who are emancipated are beyond the
pale of these three qualities. Let every man,
therefore, endeavor to become great yogi (altruistic
teacher) by the practice of yoga, and employ
himself in the pursuit of those means that lead
a man restrain his mind from the doing of acts
that proceed from Rajas and Tamas
and thereafter even from those that result from
Sattva, and become imbued with purity and
such other good qualities."
Let him then withdraw his mind from the senses,
aim it at righteousness, and make it concentrate
on God. This withdrawal of the mind from all things,
and concentrating it on one point is called yoga."
the mind is withdrawn and concentrated, the soul
is centered in God - the Seer of all - and finds
rest in Him." YOGA I: 2, 3.
a man practice all the above described means of
Emancipation and understand that
"Exemption from pain which is of three kinds -
that from physical disorders, hunger and thirst,
etc., that from other living beings and that from
natural causes such as excessive heat or cold,
or excessive or deficient rain, or from the restlessness
of mind and the senses - and the consequent attainment
of Emancipation is the highest work." SAANKHYA