Theosophical University Press Online Edition
VOL. I., No. 12 - SEPTEMBER, 1880
Our Second Year
The Spread of Buddhism in Western Countries
Address of the President of the Ionian Theosophical Branch at Corfu
Inaugural Address before the Bombay Theosophical Society
A Wooden God
The Medal of Honor.
Nanga Baba of Gwalier
Puzzles for the Philologists
The Decadence of Protestant Christianity
Notes on the Beej Mantras.
Number Seven and our Society
A Treatice on the Yoga Philosophy
How They Fast in India
Official Report upon a Scorpion Poison Antidote
Dr. Tanner and the Vedic Doctrine about Fasts
It is evident that the THEOSOPHIST will offer to advertisers unusual advantages in circulation. We have already subscribers in every part of India, in Ceylon, Burmah, and on the Persian Gulf. Our paper also goes to Great Britain, France, Germany, Hungary, Greece, Russia, Constantinople, Egypt, Australia, and North and South America. The following very moderate rates have been adopted:
First insertion . . . . 16 lines and under . . . . 1 Rupee
For each additional line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Anna
Space is charged for at the rate of l2 lines to the inch. Special arrangements can be made for large advertisements, and for longer and fixed periods. For further information and contracts for advertising, apply to MESSRS. COOPER & CO., Advertising Agents, Booksellers and Publishers, Meadow Street, Fort, Bombay.
The Subscription price at which the THEOSOPHIST is published barely covers cost — the design in establishing the journal having been rather to reach a very wide circle of readers, than to make a profit. We cannot afford, therefore, to send specimen copies free, nor to supply libraries, societies, or individuals gratuitously. For the same reason we are obliged to adopt the plan, now universal in America, of requiring subscribers to pay in advance, and of stopping the paper at the end of the term paid for. Many years of practical experience has convinced Western publishers that this system of cash payment is the best and most satisfactory to both parties; and all respectable journals are now conducted on this plan.
Subscribers wishing a printed receipt for their remittances must send stamps for return postage. Otherwise, acknowledgments will be made through the journal.
The THEOSOPHIST will appear each month. The rates, for twelve numbers of not less than 40 columns Royal 4to to each, of reading matter, or 480 columns, in all, are as follows: — To subscribers in any part of India, Rs. 6 per annum; in Ceylon, Rs. 7; in the Straits Settlements, China, Japan, and Australia, Rs. 8; in Africa, Europe, and the United States, £ 1. Half year (India) Rs. 4; Single copies annas 12. Remittances in postal stamps must be at the rate of annas 17 to the Rupee to cover discount. The above rates include postage. No name will be entered in the books or paper sent until the money is remitted; and invariably the paper will be discontinued at the expiration of the term subscribed for. Remittances should be made in Money-orders, Hundis, Bill cheques, (or Treasury bills, if in registered letters) and made payable only to the PROPRIETORS OF THE THEOSOPHIST, 108, Girgaum Back Road, Bombay, India.
AGENTS: London (Eng.), Bernard Quaritch, 15 Piccadilly, W.; New York, S. R. Wells & Co., 787, Broadway; Boston, Mass., Colby and Rich, 9, Montgomery Place; Chicago, Ill., J. C. Bundy, 92, La Salle St. American Subscribers may also order their papers through W. Q. Judge, Esq., 71, Broadway, New York.
Ceylon: Issac Weeresooriya, Deputy Coroner, Dodanduwa: John Robert de Silva, Colombo.
BOMBAY, SEPTEMBER 1st, 1880.
The Editors disclaim responsibility for opinions expressed by contributors in their articles. Great latitude is allowed to correspondents, and they alone are accountable for what they write. Rejected MSS. are not returned.
THE OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER ISSUES OF THIS JOURNAL having been reprinted, new subscribers, who wish to have their year begin with the October number, will now be charged annas eight additional to cover the extra cost of the republication. Those, who order their subscriptions to date from the December or any later issue, pay Rs. 6 only.
OUR SECOND YEAR.
Like all other pleasant things, our first year's relations with the THEOSOPHIST'S subscribers are about to terminate. The present is the twelfth and last number to be issued under their contract with us. Thus every engagement, assumed by the proprietors of the magazine, have been honourably and literally fulfilled.
The case of the THEOSOPHIST calls for a word or two of particular comment. Even in any large city of Europe or America, it is a very rare thing for a periodical of this stamp to survive the natural indifference or hostility of the public for a whole year. Out of scores of attempts, made within our own recollection, the successes are so few as to be scarcely worth mentioning. As a rule, their term of existence has been in exact ratio with the lump sum their projectors have been ready to spend upon them. In India, the prospect was far worse; for the people are poor, cut up into innumerable castes, not accustomed to take in periodicals, and certainly not to patronize those put forth by foreigners. Besides, and especially, the custom has always been to give, two, three and even more years' credit to subscribers; and every Indian publication advertises its respective cash and credit terms of subscription. All this we knew, and both Anglo-Indian and Native journalists, of the largest experience, warned us to anticipate failure; under no circumstances, they thought, would it be possible for us to make succeed among so apathetic a people so strange a magazine, even though we should give unlimited credit. But, as our object was not profit, and, as the Society badly needed such an organ, we decided to make the venture. A sum large enough to pay the entire cost of the magazine for one year was set aside, and the first number appeared promptly on the day announced — October 1st, 1879. Believing that the credit system was absolutely pernicious, and having seen the universal adoption in America of the plan of cash payment in advance and its unmixed advantages, we announced that the latter would be the rule of this office. The results are already known to our readers: in the fourth month, the magazine reached, and before the half year was gone, passed that ticklish point where income and expenses balance each other, and its success was an assured fact. Many subscribers have been so anxious for our prosperity, that they have sent us their money to pay for the magazine two years in advance; and others have told us we may count upon their patronage as long as they may live.
It goes without saying that the projectors of the THEOSOPHIST have been inexpressibly delighted with the affectionate response to their appeal to the Asiatic people for support in an attempt to snatch from the dust of oblivion the treasures of Aryan wisdom. What heart, that was not made of stone, could be untouched by so much devotion as has been shown us and our sacred cause of human brotherhood? And it is our pride and joy to realize that all these friends have clustered around us, even when we were under the heavy burden of the suspicions of the Indian Government, because they have believed us to be sincere and true, the friends and brothers of the ardent sons of Asia. If our first year began in uncertainty, it closes all bright and full of promise. Where our magazine had one well-wisher then, now it has twenty, and, by the beginning of the third year, will have fifty. It has become a necessity to hundreds of young Aryan patriots, who love to know what their ancestors were, so that they may at least dream of emulating them. It has won a place in the regard of even Anglo-Indians, of which class many in influential positions take it. Its merits, as an Oriental magazine, have been acknowledged by a number of the first Orientalists of Europe, who have been by it introduced for the first time to some of the most learned of Asiatic priests, pandits and shastrees. In another place, in this number, will be found a few of the kind words that have been said to and about us, at this and the other side of the world. In short, the Theosophical Society, and its organ, the THEOSOPHIST, are now so firmly established that — entirely apart from the splendid results of the mission to Ceylon — every lover of truth may well rejoice.
Were we inclined to boasting, we might hold out very attractive inducements to subscribers for the second volume. We prefer to let our past performance stand as guarantee of what we will do in the future. We have engaged so many valuable articles by the best writers of Asia, Europe and America, that we have no hesitancy in promising that the THEOSOPHIST of 1880-81 will be still more interesting and instructive than it has been for 1879-80. Naturally, the Ceylon voyage, and the taking into the Theosophical Society of every Buddhist priest in the Island of any reputation for ability or learning, will lead to such a complete exposition of Buddhism in these columns, by the men best qualified to speak, as must arrest universal attention. No Oriental magazine in the world could ever point to such an array of learned contributors as the THEOSOPHIST may already pride itself upon.
There will be no change in the terms of subscription, as we wish to make it possible for even the poorest clerk to take the magazine. Our friends must not forget that the American plan embraces two features, viz., the subscription money must be in the manager's hands before any copy is sent; and the journal is discontinued at the expiration of the term subscribed for. These two rules are invariable, and they have been announced on the first page in every issue, as may be seen upon referring to the publisher's notices. The September number is, therefore, the last that will be sent to our present subscribers, except to such as have paid for a further term. And, as it takes time both to remit money and to open a new set of books, we advise all, who wish to receive the October number at the usual time, to forward their subscriptions at once. We must again request that all cheques, hundis, money-orders, registered letters and other remittances on account of the magazine, may be made to the order of "the Proprietors of the THEOSOPHIST," and to no one else.
As an inducement to friends to make special exertions to increase the circulation of our magazine, we hereby offer the two volumes of "Isis Unveiled," of the latest edition, as a prize for the person who shall, during the next six months, procure the largest number of subscribers at our advertised rates. The competitor must himself send us the names and money, or, if not the latter, then a certificate from each subscriber that he consents to have his name credited on the competitor's list.
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A GENTLEMAN, WHO IS CONSIDERED BY SOME of the London Theosophists to be better versed in the literature of Occultism than any fellow of our British branch, wishes: —
1. To purchase, a copy of the Madras Mahatma Giana Yogi's pamphlet on Raja Yoga;
2. A copy of Dr. Ballantyne's translation of the first two chapters of Patanjali's Aphorisms of the Yoga Philosophy;
3. That our contributors should give us some more interesting facts about the Dnyanshvari;
4. Trustworthy information about the "black Agra bhatteh, mirrors, whether they are of any real use in developing clairvoyant power and inducing "Samadhi." If so, are they procurable and at what cost?
We hope our brother's wishes may be realised, and request any one, having the desired information, to send it to these Head-quarters.
THE SPREAD OF BUDDHISM IN WESTERN COUNTRIES.
According to the Catholic Review, Buddhism is making progress in America, not as a mere philological study as in Europe amongst scholars of the present day, but, we are assured, as a religion. Buddhism, according to this authority, "is becoming quite fashionable, and in some circles it is considered in 'better form' than Ritualism." Further proof is afforded in the very large scale [sale?] that Mr. Arnold's "Light of Asia" (reviewed in our October number) has had, and the almost enthusiastic praise bestowed upon the character and teachings of the 'Hindu Saviour,' by the American press. There is not room for the slightest doubt that if some Buddhist orator, like "the silver-tongued Megittuatte" as Colonel Olcott dubbed him, should visit the United States with such a competent interpreter as Mr. Pannabokke, of Kandy, or Mr. Karurnaratue, of Panadure, and preach the pure and unadulterated doctrine of Buddha, he would win thousands of converts.
In our June issue appeared an appeal from a London philanthropist for the sending of Buddhist missionaries to England, and now, in a recent editorial discussion of the subject of Buddhism in Europe, the Pioneer says: --
"It is reckoned that, out of the eight hundred millions and odd who form the population of our planet, about four hundred millions profess the creed of Sakya Muni. One of the doctrines of that creed, as ordinarily professed, is Nirvana; in which it is implied that the life we lead in the world is so necessarily and irremediably bad, that the only happiness for man consists in leaving it. Not at our own pleasure; there is, it seems, a 'canon against self-slaughter;' but to be called away by a gentle summons, to be 'blown out like a lamp.' This doctrine is now extending beyond the confines of Asia. And it is one that must be distinguished from the passing moods and outcries of poets, and such frivolous persons us give vent, from time to time, to impatient murmurs and longings for rest when temporarily weary with the burden of life. Such occasional voices have been heard, from Sophocles with his
'Not to be born, surpasses all device,
But, having been, to go the quickest back
There whence we came, is far the second best,'
down to the sonnet in Peepul Leaves, objected to in the last Calcutta Review, where Mr. Keene says that
'None could bear the happiest human lot
But for death's cold light on the horizon shining.'
These spasmodic complaints are not true Buddhism. It was reserved for Schopenhauer and his successor, Von Hartmann, to reproduce Nirvana as a systemic object of aspiration in modern Europe; and to offer to the elite of recent progress the consolations that satisfy the ignorant multitudes of Ceylon and China. The idea is pursued in Germany with unrelenting vigour."
The Pioneer inveighs against this tendency in European contemporary thought, calling the doctrine of Nirvana pessimistic to the last degree, and regarding it as a mental disease. It may not be known to our respectable contemporary that the Buddhist priests themselves by no means agree that attainment of Nirvana implies the total annihilation of consciousness. More than one very active and learned controversy has been carried on upon this question, and to-day the opposing schools are led respectively by the Right Rev. Hikkaduwe Sumangala, for the affirmative, and the Rev. Potuwila Indajoti, for the negative. Buddhistic philosophy, in its refined esoteric aspect, differs very little from the creed of the Vedanta School, and still less from the secret doctrine that can be read between the lines of the Veda by one whose perceptions have been really awakened. In a future number, we will present the views of the two schools of Buddhists respecting Nirvana, and try to make the subject intelligible to our readers.
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE IONIAN THEOSOPHICAL BRANCH AT CORFU.
UPON PRESENTING THE CHARTER OF CONSTITUTION TO THE FELLOWS.
By Signor Pasquale Menelao, D. L., President of the Branch.
DEAR BROTHERS: Of the many and different meetings in which I have presided, in my life, this one is for me the most agreeable of all, because it has not for its object any worldly interest, or any political scheme. Nor is it for literary discussions that we have this day assembled together, but to see ourselves confirmed in the sacred and sublime office of confessors of progress, I dare not say of Truth, because it being located in an elevated site, it is not easily accessible, more especially to myself, who am powerless and void of merits.
Nevertheless, I see, my dear Brothers, that, in spite of the barriers and thorns by which we are surrounded in these places, we have progressed a step further towards our object, for we are here united in with the same faith the same determination of progressing, and, therefore, I trust that our object may be prosperous.
To crown our wishes, to satisfy our desires, the worthy Central Society has sent us the Charter, which I present to you, that it may be deposited in our archives.
If until now our Society had been vacillating and uncertain, let us trust that from this moment we may be fixed and settled and our duties be more assiduous, more positive and sincere.
It is true that the belief in One First Cause, in the individuality and immortality of the human soul, in its eternal progress, in the firm desire to ameliorate our own moral condition, in loving our neighbours as ourselves, in rendering ourselves useful to all humanity, in endowing our intellect, our faith and our belief, faith and belief which we feel as if born in us or brought with us from a previous existence, all this is true, I see it, I hear it at every moment repeated by you, I rejoice and heartily rejoice and feel happy for it; but this is not enough, great ideas must not only be felt, not only be loved, but we must exercise and develop them, we must make them evident, own them and teach them by word and in deed.
What are we, therefore, to do, in order to render ourselves worthy of the trust placed in us by our Central Society? How are we to act in order to be gradually initiated into the sublime knowledge of the Aryan Philosophy? How shall we hope to be allowed to penetrate the secrets of nature, which are in the power of those supreme beings called Adepts? How shall we be able to procure for ourselves the heavenly pleasure, as also the satisfaction of being useful to our fellow- creatures, not only with our moral, but also, with our natural means, availing ourselves of that power in Nature, which lies at our disposal.
Several of you, Brothers, have tasted and will taste the divine pleasure of healing or mitigating the infirmaties of your suffering brothers by mesmerism. I, too, without attributing it to my knowledge or to other merits (which I do not possess) have been and am happy whenever, by the simple laying of my hands, and imploring the help of the Author of the power of creation, have cured and do cure several, nay many, cases of dangerous fevers, wounds, hemorrhages and even some of cholera. But this is not the only power attainable by man; more occult, greater and deeper mysteries are yet to be unveiled, and the knowledge of these is likewise a favour which is not granted to the first comer. To dispose more or less of the force of nature, it is not given to all, because every one would not make good use of it. The heart of man is for the greater part prone to evil, clinging to the things of the earth, more than to the heavenly treasures, or, in better words, to terrestrial life rather than to spiritual things. What would happen if the occult sciences were in the hands of rogues? They would not use them to advantage, honour, and progress, but as instruments of vengeance, corruption, and iniquity.
If we will with a determined mind advance, if we wish to render ourselves useful to ourselves and our brothers, morally, intellectually and physically, we must propose to guide our actions, our thoughts, our will, in all and for all, and follow the precepts which our honorable Society prescribes to us. This obedience, however, must not be blind nor mechanic, but rational and dignified. We must obey so far as the orders, injunctions and counsels, agree with our reason and are proportionate to our moral and intellectual means. And no more is asked of us.
That, in order to approach the sublime and magnificent temple of Truth, it is necessary to consent to sacrifices, privations and efforts, every one will admit. In order to embellish the soul with truth, and enrich it with knowledge, zeal, diligence, and firm will, are necessary.
Allow me, my dear Brothers, to make to make myself an observation which I do not consider useless, which is, that however trifling a thing may be, yet it cannot be obtained here below without an effort.
This granted, is it ever possible for us to attain the notion of wisdom and truth without doing all that lies in our power to ascend to the summit of that mountain where they reside? Can ever the sun of justice and progress impart his benignant rays to humanity if we do not destroy vice, if we do not popularize virtue, if we do not disperse the gloom of ignorance, prejudice and superstition? Do we not see how many difficulties are conjured up against us in the official religion, in that science which immovable will stand still on its platform of matter, decked with rottenness, with doubt in its soul and with the hypocritical mask of bold certainly? Shall we be disheartened? Shall we be terrified or stopped by threats, by mockery, by scorn, or by sarcasm? No; a hundred times over, I say, no. Though our number is not now great, though our intellectual faculties be limited, though the part of action be restrained, we shall well make up this deficiency by being firm, immovable, compact, and united as the Romans were; and thus we shall render ourselves strong.
Let us bind ourselves together, therefore, morally, and if we wish to be something, let us have faith in the future of Humanity and in the necessary progress of it, and thus we shall render ourselves more worthy of the happy idea to which we have consecrated ourselves. Let us not be terrified at the sight of the fatigue, difficulty, hardship, privation and sacrifice. Let us call to mind the words of Dante in his chapter XXIV, of the Inferno: —
"Disse il Maestro, che seggendo in puma
"In fama non si vien, ne sotto coltre:"
Let us mirror ourselves in the example of the lovers of humanity. Let us imitate them. Let us follow their footsteps in their firmness, in their bravery, in their constancy in despising persecution, mockery, calumny, and torture.
It is true that we, and specially myself, are so insignificant that we are not worthy of the chance of being like those clever masters of progress, but, if we will, we may still do good. Let us make ourselves useful by spreading that light which is communicated to us. Let us not limit ourselves to words. Let us add to them the powerful teaching of facts, and, if we cannot be exemplary, let us not, at least, give cause for scandal. Let as begin by correcting our defects, by extirpating our evil tendencies from our hearts. Let us adapt ourselves to a life of temperance and activity.
Offended, let us forgive; offenders, let us ask pardon.
Let us love justice for ourselves as well as for others. Let us hate and combat every undeserved privilege in our own favor of others.
Let us promote popular education and make it obligatory, and particularly so among women, that we may emancipate them from the thraldom of priestcraft.
Let us protect the orphans: let us defend the interest of the weak and of the widow.
Let us shake off pride. Let us exclaim with a generous cry against prostitution, debauchery, ill-conduct — the consequences of materialism and superstition.
Let us fight against the death penalty and let us detest the infamy of war, and more so the right of the strongest. Let us join in defending those who protect us, controlling nevertheless the moderate exigencies of the demagogues and the revolutionists who behave in the way in which they do with bad motives.
Let us acknowledge the expansive and universal love, not only for humanity, but also for all creation, because all either by silent or expressed love (be what it may) tends to the unity of the Supreme Love. Let us place the brotherhood of nations as the first of our wishes (desires) and let us hasten that holy (blessed) moment when the whole of mankind will be gathered in one fold and will have but one shepherd.
Let us part with and forsake vanity, crime, and passions; may our views be serious, wise, humble, modest and dignified. Acting in this way, we may hope to live with a free conscience, confident (as we shall be) of having neglected nothing in our power to render ourselves useful.
Courage, brothers, let us push on. Let us begin by trying to purify our souls by restraining our passions. Let us subject brute to man, sense to reason, and interest to duty. Let us lay aside all hatred or rancours if there be any among us, or against any one of our other brothers in humanity, and, if we have done wrong voluntarily or involuntarily, let us compensate. Let us become the men of duty, and let us keep ourselves always on the right side of our rights. Let the sacred fire of Love be always burning in our hearts. Let us be worthy of it, and the Supreme Architect will recompense us according to the efforts we have made in trying to progress.
I conclude, my dear Brothers, by begging your kind forgiveness for the trouble I may have caused you with these few and poor expressions; supply my deficiencies with your intellect. Correct me freely on those points on which I may have gone astray, and I shall feel thankful to you.
Brothers, I shall not fail to be your interpreter before the Mother Society to express to her our gratitude, and in your name also I shall thank her for the high favour bestowed upon us and make the sincere vows for the prosperity of Humanity and for all the Branches of our Society.
NOTE BY THE EDITOR.
The inaugural addresses of the respective prevailing officers of the Ionian and Bombay Branches of the Theosophical Society, which appear side by side in the present number, so well illustrate its policy of mutual tolerance and confraternity, that we bespeak for each a careful reading. Here we see the Italian thinker moved by the same lofty aspirations for individual perfection and the happiness and enlightenment of mankind, as the Parsi thinker of Bombay. And though the one conceives of the First Cause, or Deity, quite differently from the other, whose ancestors from time immemorial have worshipped the Sun as a visible type of Hormazd, yet a common religious feeling moves the heart of each, and a common instinct makes him see the way upward towards the truth brighter and clearer by the light of Theosophy. Ours is not a atheistical Society though it does contain atheists; nor is it a Christian one, even though our brother Dr. Wyld, President of the British Theosophical Society, would have us accept Jesus as the most divine personage that ever appeared among men. Our Fellows are of the most varied opinions; and each has a right to claim respect for his ideas as he is bound to respect those of his brothers. We have presidents who are severally Christian, Deist, Buddhist, Hindu and Atheist; none dogmatizers, none claiming to be wiser or more infallible than the other, yet each taking the other by the hand, calling him brother, and helping him and being helped in the divine quest after knowledge. Nor are all, or even a large minority, students of occult sciences, for rarely is the true mystic born. Few, alas! have they ever been, who so yearned after the discovery of Nature's secrets as to be willing to pursue that hard and unselfish course of study: and our own century can show fewer than any of its predecessors. As to the secrets of the Theosophical Society, when we mention his masonic-like signs of recognition, and the privacy secured for the handful who do make their experiments in psychological science, all has been said. The Parent Society is, in one word, a Republic of Conscience, a brotherhood of men in search of the Absolute Truth. As was sufficiently explained in our opening October number, every one of us professes to be ready to help the other, whatever the branch of science or religion to which his personal predilections may lead him.
INAUGURAL ADDRESS BEFORE THE BOMBAY THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY.
By Khansedji N. Seervai, Vice-President, President, Pro Tem.
At the first meeting under our new Charter, when we enter upon our duties as members of the Bombay Theosophical Society, it seems necessary that we should begin with forming a clear idea, as far as possible, of what we are as Theosophists. All the members must have, at some time or other, set this question to themselves, and answered it more or less satisfactorily to themselves. In the first number of the THEOSOPHIST, two elaborate and highly learned articles were devoted to the two questions, "What is Theosophy," and "What are the Theosophists." But the vastness of the questions and the great learning, that is necessarily employed in answering them and above all their paramount importance to us, make it very desirable that we should have, at the outset of our course of studies, a free and patient discussion and criticism on the subject. I now lay before you what I understand. My views are of course not authoritative. I put them forward, as I have them, to be discussed and criticized, so that, in the end, each one of us may have a sufficiently clear and definite understanding as to what is Theosophy and what are the Theosophists.
From the subjects that Theosophy deals with and criticizes, as far as we have the opportunity of observing, we see that it covers the whole ground occupied by Religion, Philosophy and Science. It has something to say by way of confirmation or correction to each of these. It is said nothing more than what Religion, Philosophy and Science teach us, Theosophy would be useless. But, as we will see in the sequel, it says a good deal more than each one of those embodiments of truths, or all of them, combined, tell us. Covering them all under its wings, it corrects the faults and errors of each one and leads them on far beyond their present position. We will, therefore, understand very clearly Theosophy as a whole, if we consider it separately in its relation with Religion, with Philosophy and with Science.
The question, therefore, that we have to begin with, is — What is Religion? No word seems to be more familiarly used than the word religion, and I should think no word is more indefinitely understood than this. If we look at the different systems which are known under the name of religion, and see what functions they are intended to perform, we find that, at the base of all the accumulation of rituals, ceremonials and observances, there is one avowed object common to all religions — whether they are claimed to be revealed or natural religions — they have all one object, viz., to convey the will of God to man. They tell what man should believe and do; and the only reason, advanced for what he is required to believe and do, is that God so wills. The religions, therefore, contain a code of morality which has the authority of the command of God, and give an authoritative declaration as to what God is and what is his relation to man and to the universe. In the infant state of the human mind such authoritative declarations are not questioned. Rather they are needed, are reverentially accepted and devoutly followed. Religion, therefore, at this stage of the human mind, serves an important purpose. But as the human mind grows to maturity, what was sufficient for its childlike capacity ceases to be so. It is disinclined to receive things at second-hand, if it can look at them directly and got at a rational conviction of their truth or otherwise. Instead of being content with receiving things on authority as it did in its feeble infant state, it begins to speculate and employ its reason for discerning whether things are as they are said to be and why they are so. Here is the beginning of philosophy. Herein is the first germ of scepticism. If religiousness means duty to hold beliefs on authoritative declaration, to hold them irrespective of facts whether reason supports them or not, in short to disallow to reason the right to judge of beliefs which religion inculcates, then we may say that with the beginning of philosophy, irreligiousness begins. The idea of religion, in the orthodox sense, coincides with the era of ignorance. For the thinking man, religion must be philosophized or for him philosophy is religion. This necessity is recognised by the heads and representatives of religious systems, as it has been felt by the free-thinking laymen. Some philosophers, like St. Augustine, construct a system of philosophy to confirm and establish the teachings of the religion they profess. Others, more independent, see insuperable difficulties philosophically to arrive at any knowledge about God, the soul, its existence and survival after death, the universe as a whole and its relation to God. As long as man believed what was taught to him, on what he considered the divine authority, these questions presented to him no difficulty. Not because his reason solved those difficulties, but because he cared not to employ his reason. He was satisfied to take for granted what was told to him; and there the matter ended. In such a passive state we might happily remain if our mind never emerged from this childlike state of contentment. But every day, that goes, carries us forward in the course of advancement. It is the characteristic of man to be inquisitive of all the subjects that come within the range of his thoughts. The successes, that he has achieved in some departments of knowledge, make him bold and confident of attaining success by following the same rational method of investigation in all directions. The man of science joins with the full free-thinking philosopher to wage war against the claims of religion. Accept on faith, says religion, the truths which philosophy cannot reach and science cannot penetrate. Nay, say philosophy and science, to accept truths upon faith is an unintelligible phrase. We are votaries of truth, but truth is not truth unless our understanding can accept it. While religion stands at one extreme, science in the heat of the controversy rushes to the other extreme. In its investigations in the material universe, science, day after day, makes wonderful discoveries and traces the uniform agency of constant laws in the midst of endless diversity. It views nothing as providential. All the phenomena in the universe it will trace to their physical causes. It forms mental science and moral science on the physical basis. It views religion as mere dogmatism, philosophy, in its transcendental speculations, as vague and dreamy; science alone can furnish man with positive knowledge and, more important still, useful knowledge. The physical universe admits of being brought under direct observation, experiment and verification; and the great triumph of all this is that it enables man to bring about certain events in the future and predict them under given conditions with perfect precision. The subjects of religion and philosophy, inasmuch as they deal with the non-material universe, and as they, therefore, do not admit of these tests, are not worth the while of man to waste time and trouble upon. They are mere superstitions, bequeathed to us by the old ignorant Past. There is nothing for man to know beyond matter and what material data will lead him to. Thus, science drags us forcibly into materialism. Thus arbitrary and dogmatic religion, incomplete and incompetent philosophy and audacious science, all combine to destroy the most cherished and the most ancient of our beliefs, destroy all our spiritual intuitions. What can rescue us from this sad state? I answer, Theosophy.
The world has been prepared for Theosophy in our times by what are known in the Western world as spiritual phenomena. These phenomena staggered the confidence and positiveness of science. Books and journals are full of well-authenticated events which occurred in violation of all the physical laws known to and accepted by science. Heavy things would be seen swimming about in the air in violation of the law of gravitation, carried by some unseen or unknown being or force. Beings of more or less intelligence would manifest themselves at spiritual seances and declare themselves the spirits or ghosts of those who had lived and died in this world. They would represent themselves sometimes as dead friends, at others as dead relatives or as quite strangers, and converse with the persons assembled, on diverse matters. All those, who clung to the belief in the existence and immortality of the soul, but whose scientific education showed them that there was a want of data on which the belief could be logically founded, all these naturally rushed to these events as the most welcome evidences they so much wanted. All ghost-stories were raked up and fondly read and re-read to see how far they were authenticated. But there was one weak point. These spiritual intelligences, as we may call them, that held converse with men in this fashion, may be either the spirits or ghosts of the departed or may be beings of a different order from ourselves. Below man we see myriads of animated existences. Innumerable as these are, they do not exhaust all possible existences nor fill the whole universe. Beings of an order and nature different from ours, may people the vast universe about us and the spiritual phenomena we witness may be due to the agency of these beings. This view came to be supported by the fact that, in many cases, the guests from the unseen universe exhibited intelligence and capacity far below those of men they personated. In many cases they were below even the average intelligence of mankind. Often they talked most silly and ridiculous and even false and contradictory things. Often they betrayed a mischievous delight in deluding their human interrogators. Nay, further, the sensitive persons called the mediums, through whom they manifested themselves, in a number of cases, deteriorated in constitution, character, and morals. The intercourse with these denizens of the unseen world seemed in great many cases to be anything but instructive and elevating. All these considerations lead to the conclusion that it is very improbable that these visitors of ours are the spirits of departed men, but that they are some independent beings. Even in cases, where the communications are sensible and true, it is as much possible that our interlocutors are the independent beings who are well disposed and better informed, as that they are the spirits of the departed. At any rate it is not certain that the beings, who communicate with us at the seances, are the spirits of the dead. And thus these spiritual phenomena, as they are called, do not furnish us with data that can prove to us with certainty the existence of soul and its immortality. Yet these spiritual phenomena have gained one great point against the materialism of science. They establish beyond doubt the existence of forces or beings which do not obey the laws of matter, and have nothing in common with the material world. To distinguish these, therefore, from the material, we may designate them as the spiritual beings or agencies. This is, indeed, an immense gain and deals a death-blow to materialism.
These spiritual phenomena, however, are but scattered unconnected facts, and so long as they are such, our knowledge of the spiritual universe does not amount to much, just as our knowledge of the physical universe did not amount to much till we raised the knowledge of mere facts to scientific knowledge. We are said to possess scientific knowledge in any particular department of Nature when we have succeeded in uniting the scattered facts under the highest possible generalizations or common laws, and have acquired the power to predict future events under given conditions, and to bring about the events when we can arrange the necessary conditions and control the laws. Can we raise to a science the phenomena of modern spiritualism? Can we carry our knowledge beyond the phenomena to the law which those phenomena obey? And, knowing the laws, do we know how to control them and so produce the phenomena at will? If we can, then we have raised modern spiritualism to the dignity of science. And Theosophy does that. The advanced Theosophist can produce at will all the phenomena that occur at spiritual seances. While modern spiritualism is a mere collection of phenomena, Theosophy is the science of these phenomena, or, in short, the science of spiritualism. Going beyond these phenomena, it has a close and intimate view of the spiritual universe that lies behind them, and of its laws, its influences and its beings. Those who are familiar with the phenomena of clairvoyance, are aware that by the will of the mesmerizer the patient is thrown into such a deep sleep, or trance as it is called, that the body is in every respect a corpse, the soul of the patient is released from the body, its vision is immensely enlarged, and, as if time and distance are no impediments to it, in an instant, ranges over the most distant places, till by the will of the operator the soul returns to the body which thus becomes reanimated. We thus see the duality of matter and spirit in man. The more our spiritual self is freed from the control and weight of the material self, the greater is our freedom from physical impediments and the greater becomes our capacity for knowledge and for work in the universe. The true theosophical mystic acts upon these facts. His aim is to subdue his physical nature and its wants and desires to the utmost limit possible, and develope the spiritual nature to the highest extent possible.
In proportion to his success in doing this, the mightier man he becomes. And you can easily imagine the immensity of knowledge and power the highest Theosophist possesses, who has succeeded in gaining a complete mastery over his material, or, as it is more significantly expressed, animal, nature, who has developed his spiritual self to such an extent that he is thoroughly spiritualized, who is wholly a spirit or spirit-man. He has by internal development gained all the powers that the freed soul manifests in cases of clairvoyance, and, starting from what we know of the powers of a mesmerizer, we may say he is to the mesmerizer in his command over the outside world what a full-grown, perfectly-developed, and healthy man is to an infant just born.
Many details of argument and fact can be supplied, details which the Isis Unveiled so copiously furnishes and which Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky have often brought to our notice, to throw more light on the conclusions we have arrived at. The existence of soul in man, its independence of our physical organization, hence its survival when death altogether separates it from the body; the existence of the spiritual universe, that, as by our physical powers and knowledge we can operate upon the physical universe, so by our soul powers and knowledge we can operate upon the spiritual and also upon the physical universe, that the department of spiritual knowledge is as much capable of scientific treatment and study as the department of physical knowledge — these are for us well established and proven facts.
Our position then in respect of science is this. We accept all that it has discovered and knows about the material world, but when it says that there is nothing
besides matter, nothing besides what it already knows, we join issue with it. We enlarge and extend the jurisdiction of science and bring within its scope the spiritual universe. From the data which the spiritual science furnishes, philosophy is better able to speculate on the constitution of the universe, its relation with God, upon soul and its future destiny. Before, philosophy stood aghast in the presence of the mysteries it cannot fathom; helped by Theosophy, it soars beyond the mysteries.
Before, philosophy stopped before the veil of Isis, unable to lift it up; Theosophy rends this veil asunder and ushers philosophy forward. Subjects, which, being so long mysterious to philosophy, religion claimed as its own and dogmatized upon, now come legitimately within the province of philosophy. Of what use is it for religion to be dogmatic, when the truths it asserts come within the capacity of philosophy to criticize, accept or reject. Religion then is the name for the highest conclusions of philosophy. So much of its old dogmatism as coincides with these conclusions, is accepted, the rest of course rejected. For the ignorant, these conclusions may stand as dogmas; the thoughtful know where to look for the basis of them and can know how they are arrived at. Such truth as lies in them being better understood, the various religions again in their turn command the respect and adherence of all honest thinkers. We perceive, therefore, how religion, philosophy and science, have all and each of them been advanced and elevated by Theosophy. So far as we have proceeded, we are in a position to conclude that Theosophy is the spiritual science; Theosophy is the perfected and completed philosophy; Theosophy is the religion for the thoughtful; Theosophy furnishes the only reliable and true dogmas that may constitute the religion for the ignorant or the masses.
Formerly, religion, philosophy and science, although each claimed to be the possessor of truth, yet presented the anomalous spectacle of being vehemently hostile to one another. Now, Theosophy has introduced harmony and concord among them all. Theosophy brings peace in the realm of thought.
Nay more — in proportion as we rise from particulars to higher and fewer generalizations from which to deduce all the facts that fill the world, our knowledge is perfected and complete. In science we see this process carried out to a certain extent. The highest generalizations of science denote the great advance that has been made from particular facts. But these generalizations which are accepted as the ultimate truths by the sciences to which they belong, are again but particulars in relation to one another, and, with reference to the higher truths which may be discovered, to cover them all. To ascend to these higher truths which combine under their sweep the truths which the various sciences finally stop at, and to make one great science of all these sciences, is the province of philosophy. But so long as philosophy was not strengthened by the spiritual data and science narrowed itself into materialism, philosophy was incapable of performing this grand function, and its pretensions to do this were not tolerated. Philosophy, transformed into Theosophy, does all this. Theosophy thus is the science of sciences, it is the highest science.
When we have mastered this highest science and philosophy, we will have become Theosophists of a high, if not the highest, order. At present, logically satisfied that there lies the most important field of knowledge before us, we are waiting at the threshold, till in good time we may be permitted to cross it. How we are to qualify ourselves for this high honor, and what the aims are, for which we wish to attain the highest theosophical knowledge and powers, are things of superlative importance and interest. I have already taken much space and occupied much of your time. These topics, therefore, we may reserve for some future time. I have, therefore, to conclude, thanking you for the patience and good-will with which you have borne with me so long.
IT IS EASY TO ADVISE A PERSON, BUT HOW DIFFICULT to receive, under similar circumstances, that same advice from another! We are so prone to believe that what we accept is truth, and that those who cannot see with our eyes are all wrong.
A WOODEN GOD.
By Col. Robert G. Ingersoll.
WASHINGTON, March 27. — To-day, Messrs. Wright, Dickey, O'Conner, and Murch, of the select committee on the causes of the present depression of labour, presented the majority special report upon Chinese immigration.
These gentlemen are in great fear for the future of our most holy and perfectly authenticated religion, and have, like faithful watchmen from the walls and towers of Zion, hastened to give the alarm. They have informed Congress that "Joss has his temple of worship in the Chinese quarters in San Francisco. Within the walls of a dilapidated structure, is exposed, to the view of the faithful, the god of the Chinaman, and here are his altars of worship. Here he tears up his pieces of paper; here he offers up his prayers; here he receives his religious consolations, and here is his road to the celestial land." That "Joss is located in a long, narrow room, in a building in a back alley, upon a kind of altar"; that "he is a wooden image, looking us much like an alligator as like a human being;" that the Chinese "think there is such a place as heaven;" that "all classes of Chinamen worship idols;" that "the temple is open every day at all hours; "that" the "Chinese have no Sunday; "that this heathen god has "huge jaws, a big red tongue, large white teeth, a half-dozen arms, and big, fiery eyeballs. About him are placed offerings of meat and other eatables — a sacrificial offering."
No wonder that these members of the committee were shocked at such an image of God, knowing as they did that
was correctly described by the inspired lunatic of Patmos in the following words: —
"And there sat in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength."
Certainly a large mouth filled with white teeth is preferable to one used as the scabbard of a sharp, two-edged sword. Why should these gentlemen object to a god with big fiery eyeballs, when their own Deity has eyes like a flame of fire?
Is it not a little late in the day to object to people because they sacrifice meat and other eatables to their god? We all know that for thousands of years the "real" God was exceedingly fond of roasted meat; that he loved the savour of burning flesh, and delighted in the perfume of fresh, warm blood.
The following account of the manner in which the "living God" desired that His chosen people should sacrifice, tends to show the degradation and religous blindness of the Chinese:
"Aaron therefore went unto the aaltar and slew the calf of the sin offering which was for himself. And the sons of Aaron brought the blood unto him. And he dipped his fingers in the blood and put it upon the horns of the aaltar, and poured out the blood at the bottom of the aaltar; but the fat and the kidneys and the caul above the liver of the sin offering he burnt upon the aalter, as the Lord commanded Moses, and the flesh and the hide he burnt with fire without the camp. And he slew the burnt offering. And Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood which e sprinkled round about the aaltar. . . . And he brought the meat offering and took a handful thereof and burnt upon the aaltar. . . He slew also the bullock and the ram for a sacrifice of a peace offering which was for the people. And
Aaron's sons presented unto him the blood which he sprinkled upon the aaltar round about, and the fat of the bullock and of the ram, the rump, and that which covereth the inwards and the kidneys, and the caul above the liver; and they put the fat upon the breasts and he burnt the fat upon the aaltar. And the breast and the right shoulder Aaron waved for a wave offering before the Lord, as Moses commanded."
If the Chinese only did something like this, we would know that they worshipped the "living" God. The idea, that the supreme head of the "American system of religion" can be placated with a little meat and "ordinary eatables," is simply preposterous. He has always asked for blood, and has always asserted that, without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin.
The world is also informed by these gentlemen that "the idolatry of the Chinese produces
by bringing sacred things into disrespect, and making religion a theme of disgust and contempt."
In San Francisco there are some three hundred thousand people. Is it possible that a few Chinese can bring "our holy religion" into disgust and contempt? In that city there are fifty times as many churches as Joss houses. Scores of sermons are uttered every week; religious books and papers are as plentiful as leaves in autumn, and somewhat drier; thousands of Bibles are within the reach of all. And there too is the example of a Christian city.
Why should we send missionaries to China if we cannot convert the heathen when they come here? When missionaries go to a foreign land, the poor benighted people have to take their word for the blessings showered upon a Christian people; but when the heathen come here they can see for themselves. What was simply a story becomes a demonstrated fact. They come in contact with people who love their enemies; they see that, in a Christian land, men tell the truth; that they will not take advantage of strangers; that they are just and patient, kind and tender; that they never resort to force; that they have no prejudice on account of colour, race, or religion; that they look upon mankind as brethren; that they speak of God as a universal father, and are willing to work, and even to suffer, for the good, not only of their own countrymen, but of the heathen as well! All this the Chinese see and know, and why they still cling to the religion of their country is to me a matter of amazement.
We all know that the disciples of Jesus do unto others as they would that others should do unto them, and that those of Confucius do not unto others anything that they would not that others should do unto them. Surely such people ought to live together in perfect peace.
growing heated with a kind of holy indignation, these Christian representatives of a Christian people most solemnly declare that:
"Any one who is really endowed with a correct knowledge of our religious system, which acknowledges the existence of a living God and an accountability to Him, and a future state of reward and punishment, who feels that he has an apology for this abominable pagan worship, is not a fit person to be ranked as a good citizen of the American union. It is absurd to make any apology for its toleration. It must be abolished, and the sooner the degree goes forth by the power of this government, the better it will be for the interests of this land."
I take this, the earliest opportunity, to inform these gentlemen, composing a majority of the committee, that we have in the United States no "religious system;" that this is a secular government. That it has no religious creed; that it does not believe nor disbelieve in a future state of reward and punishment; that it neither affirms nor denies the existence of a "living God;" and that the only god, so far as this government is concerned, is the legally expressed will of a majority of the people. Under our flag the Chinese have the same right to worship a wooden god that you have to worship any other. The Constitution protects equally the Church of Jehovah and the house of Joss. Whatever their relative positions may be in heaven, they stand upon a perfect equality in the United States.
We have a constitution with Man put in and God left out; and it is the glory of this country that we have such a constitution.
It may be surprising to you that I have an apology for pagan worship, yet I have. And it is the same one that I have for the writers of this report. I account for both by the word superstition. Why should we object to their worshipping God as they please? If the worship is improper, the protestation should come, not from a committee of congress, but from God himself. If he is satisfied, that is sufficient. Our religion can only be brought into contempt by the actions of those who profess to be governed by its teachings. This report will do more in that direction than millions of Chinese could do by burning pieces of paper before a wooden image. If you wish to impress the Chinese with the value of your religion, of what you are pleased to call "The American system," show them that Christians are better than heathens. Prove to them that what you are pleased to call the "living God," teaches higher and holier things, a grander and purer code of morals than can be found upon pagan pages. Excel these wretches in industry, in honesty, in reverence for parents, in cleanliness, in frugality, and, above all, by advocating the absolute liberty of human thought.
Do not trample upon these people because they have a different conception of things about which even this committee knows nothing.
Give them the same privilege you enjoy, of making a God after their own fashion. And let them describe him as they will. Would you be willing to have them remain, if one of their race, thousands of years ago, had pretended to have seen God, and had written of him as follows: "There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured; coals were kindled by it, . . . and he rode upon a cherub and did fly"? Why should you object to these people on account of their religion? Your objection has in it the spirit of hate and intolerance. Of that spirit the inquisition was born. That spirit lighted the fagot, made the thumb-screw, put chains upon the limbs, and lashes upon the backs of men. The same spirit bought and sold, captured and kidnapped, human beings; sold babes, and justified all the horrors of slavery.
Congress has nothing to do with the religion of the people. Its members are not responsible to God for the opinions of their constituents, and it may tend to the happiness of the constituents for me to state that they are in no way responsible for the religion of the members. Religion is an individual, not a national matter. And where the nation interferes with the right of conscience, the liberties of the people are devoured by the monster superstition.
If you wish to drive out the Chinese, do not make a pretext of religion. Do not pretend that you are trying to do God a favour. Injustice in His name is doubly detestable. The assassin cannot sanctify his dagger by falling on his knees, and it does not help a falsehood if it be uttered as a prayer. Religion, used to intensify the hatred of men toward men under the pretence of pleasing God, has cursed the world.
A portion of this most remarkable report is intensely religious. There is in it almost the odor of sanctity; and, when reading it, one is impressed with the living piety of its authors. But on the twenty-fifth page there are a few passages that
Leaving their religious views, the members immediately betake themselves to philosophy and prediction. Listen:
"The Chinese race and the American citizen, whether native-born or who is eligible to our naturalisation laws and becomes a citizen, are in a state of antagonism. They cannot and will not ever meet upon common ground, and occupy together the same social level. This is impossible. The pagan and the Christian travel different paths. This one believes in a living God, that one in the type of monsters and worship of wood and stone. Thus in the religion of the two races of man, they are as wide apart as the poles of the two hemispheres. They cannot now nor never [sic] will approach the same religious aaltar. The Christian will not recede to barbarism, nor will the Chinese advance to the enlightened belt [whatever it is] of civilisation. . . . . . . . . . . . He cannot be converted to those modern ideas of religious worship which have been accepted by Europe and crown the American system."
Christians used to believe that through their religion all the nations of the earth were finally to be blest. In accordance with that belief missionaries have been sent to every land, and untold wealth has been expended for what has been called the spread of the gospel.
I am almost sure that I have read somewhere that "Christ died for all men," and that "God is no respecter of persons." It was once taught that it was the duty of Christians to tell to all people the "tidings of great joy." I have never believed these tidings myself, but have always contended that an honest merchant was the best missionary. Commerce makes friends, religion makes enemies; the one enriches, and the other impoverishes; the one thrives best where the truth is told, the other where falsehoods are believed. For myself, I have but little confidence in any business, or enterprise, or investment, that promises dividends only after the death of the stock-holders.
that four Christian statesmen, four members of congress in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, who seriously object to people on account of their religious convictions, should still assert that the very religion in which they believe — and the only religion established by the living God-head of the American system — is not adapted to the spiritual needs of one-third of the human race. It is amazing that these four gentlemen have, in the defence of the Christian religion, announced the discovery that it is wholly inadequate for the civilisation of mankind; that the light of the cross can never penetrate the darkness of China; "that all the labours of the missionary, the example of the good, the exalted character of our civilisation, make no impression upon the Pagan life of the Chinese;" and that even the report of this committee will not tend to elevate, refine, and christianise the yellow heathen of the Pacific coast. In the name of religion, these gentlemen have denied its power and mocked at the enthusiasm of its founder. Worse than this, they have predicted for the Chinese a future of ignorance and idolatry in this world, and if the "American system" of religion is true, hell-fire in the next.
For the benefit of those four philosophers and prophets, I will give
that will in my judgment compare favorably with the best passages of their report:
"My doctrine is that man must be true to the principles of his nature, and the benevolent exercise of them toward others.
"With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and with my bended arm for a pillow, I still have joy.
"Riches and honour, acquired by injustice, are to me but floating clouds.
"The man, who, in view of gain, thinks of righteouness, who, in danger, forgets life; and who remembers an old agreement, however far back it extends; — such a man may be reckoned a complete man.
"Recompense injury with justice, and kindness with kindness.
"There is one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life: Reciprocity is that word."
When the ancestors of the four Christian congressmen were barbarians, when they lived in caves, gnawed bones, and worshipped dried snakes, the infamous Chinese were reading these sublime sentences of Confucius. When the forefathers of these Christian statesmen were hunting toads to get the jewels out of their heads, to be used as charms, the wretched Chinese were calculating eclipses and measuring the circumference of the earth. When the progenitors of these representatives of the "American system of religion" were burning women charged with nursing devils, the people, "incapable of being influenced by the exalted character of our civilization," were building asylums for the insane.
Neither should it be forgotten that, for thousands of years, the Chinese have honestly practised the great principles known as
a something that even the administration of Mr. Hayes has reached only through the proxy of promise.
If we wish to prevent the immigration of the Chinese, let us reform our treaties with the vast empire from whence they came. For thousands of years the Chinese secluded themselves from the rest of the world. They did not deem the Christian nations fit to associate with. We forced ourselves upon them. We called, but with cannon. The English battered down the door in the names of opium and Christ. The infamy was regarded as another triumph for the gospel. At last, in self-defence, the Chinese allowed Christians to touch their shores. Their wise men, their philosophers protested, and prophesied that time would show that Christians could not be trusted. This report proves that the wise men were not only philosophers but prophets.
Treat China as you would England. Keep a treaty while it is in force. Change it if you will, according to the laws of nations, but, on no account, excuse a breach of national faith by pretending that we are dishonest for God's sake — (Chicago Daily Times.)
NOTICING THE SAD FACT OF THE IMPENDING DISSOLUTION of the "Sanskrit Text Society," founded at London in 1865, through the exertions of the late Professor Goldstucker, Professor Albert Weber, the learned Sanskrit Professor at the University of Berlin, mournfully asks the Editor of the Times:
"Can it be possible, that, among the hundreds and thousands of English gentlemen who have spent a large part of their lives in India, in what one often hears called 'the most splendid service in the world,' a sufficient number cannot be induced to support a society, founded for the purpose of making available to European scholars the authentic documents for Indian literary research. . . .?
A moment's reflection would have induced Professor Weber to spare himself the trouble of asking such a question. What proportion of the English gentlemen, who take up an Indian career, care one rap about Indian history or authentic documents? How many real scholars have developed in the Indian branches of service since John Company's first ship arrived? Great names, doubtless, there are to be recalled; but, when the entire list is written, what percentage does it embrace of the educated, even highly educated, men who have been to India? If the Professor were to poll the civil and military branches of the public service to-day, he would find that not one per cent. even of the lusty young chaps, fresh from the scholastic forcing-houses, would trouble themselves, whether or not the Sanskrit language itself, to say nothing of the Sanskrit Text Society, were extinguished to-morrow. Badminton, lawn-tennis, flirtation, racing, pig-sticking, billiards, and the bubbling peg, interest them, and there is always plenty of money to support clubs and that sort of thing. But Asiatic literature, Aryan religion or philosophy — these are not their 'fad;' and, out of all these thousands upon thousands who have passed across the Indian stage, few have turned their backs upon fashionable pleasures and sought their happiness in study. At Kandy, Ceylon, for instance, in the English library which stands just opposite the Dalada Maligawa temple, among the collection of some 7,000 volumes there is, or was a few weeks ago, just one book on the Buddhists or their religion — Schlagentweit's observations in Tibet. That tells the story; and Professor Weber need not waste time in wondering that such societies, as the one he names, enjoy so precarious a tenure of life. If European scholars would show a more respectful and fraternal disposition towards their native Asiatic contemporaries, the case might be different. And if the 'enlightened Indian princes and gentlemen', whom he mentions in the same letter to the Times, could see that their patronage of such learned bodies would secure them as much consideration with the ruling race as do their subscriptions to monuments and giving of entertainments, no doubt their aid would be generously afforded.
THE MEDAL OF HONOUR.
The undersigned regrets to say that neither of the very few essays sent in for competition for the Medal of Honour, founded by the General Council, is of sufficient merit to entitle it to the bestowal of so high a dignity. To award this medal for any paper but one strictly complying with the first of the conditions, announced in the Resolution of Council of May 5, viz., that "The Essay shall be of a high merit," would permanently lower its value in the estimation of the Indian public, as a national prize worth contending for. It cannot be admitted for a moment that the failure to elicit high-class essays is due to any lack of ability among our Indian thinkers. The true reason is doubtless a too modest estimation of personal ability. Under this conviction, therefore, the General Council decides to renew the offer of the medal and diplomas mentioned in the Resolution of May, and appeal to all, who love India and reverence her ancient glories, to aid our Society in this attempt to infuse a new life into the national literature. And, as under the previous arrangement, the eminent jurors selected were debared for competition, it has now been decided that the undersigned shall judge of the respective merits of competing essays; availing himself, as occasion may require, of the help of non-competing native scholars who may consent to aid him in rendering a just and impartial award.
For the information of the public, it is announced that donations of ancient coins, to be melted into the Medal of Honour, have already been made by distinguished patrons of learning in the North-Western and Eastern provinces of India. The following is the generous contribution of Rao Bahadur Mannibhai Jasbhai, Divan of Cutch: — Ten kories, old coins found in Cutch and supposed to be about 1200 years old; ten kories, Rao Tamachiji's reign, commenced Samvat 1711. — A.D. 1655; fifty small coins — old coins found in Cutch, and supposed to be about 800 years old; five kories, Rao Raidhanji I.'s reign, commenced Samvat 1722.— A. D. 1666 ; five kories, Rao Lakhpatji's reign, commenced, Samvat 1808. — A.D. 1752; five kories, Rao Desalji I.'s reign, commenced, Samvat 1775. — A. D. 1719; five kories, Rao Pragji or Pragmalji I.'s reign, commenced Samvat 1754. — A.D. 1698 ; seven kories, Rao Khengarji I.'s reign, commenced Samvat 1605 — A.D. 1549; ten kories, Rao Khengraji I.'s reign, commenced Samvat 1605. — A.D. 1549; ten kories, Rao Bharaji or Bharmalji I's reign, commenced Samvat 1642. — A.D. 1586.
Essays of the character described in the notice published in the THEOSOPHIST for March, April and May, will be received at these Head-quarters until December 1st, 1880, and judgment given by or before March 1, 1881. The name of the author must in no case be attached to an essay, but placed in a closed envelope accompanying the same and bearing upon the outside a mark or marks similar to those written upon the essay.
By order of the Council,
HENRY S. OLCOTT,
President of the Theosophical Society.
Head-quarters, T. S.,
Girgaum, Bombay, June 1, 1880.
NANGA BABA OF GWALIOR.
By a Retired Commissioned Military Officer.
In a corner of the parade ground of Maharaja Scindia's force, there lived an ascetic called (from his always keeping himself stark naked) "Nanga Baba." The Maharaja tried in many direct and indirect ways to get his parade cleared of the cottage of the Baba, but he would not budge. He (Nanga Baba) had a few flowering plants set out about his cottage. It was a place of resort for all classes of people.
In the year 1865, our regiment, the 16th B.C., under the command of Colonel Jenkin, had to spend the usual term at the Murar Cantonment.* Every now and then the holy man was waited upon by regimental men, one Sobha Singh sowar (a Sikh and a native of Hoshyarpur district in the Punjab) being among the number. He used to go unnoticed every night with a mussuk (goat skin) full of water to irrigate the plants attached to the hermitage. The locality has a very scanty supply of water. The Baba knew well Sobha Singh's devotion, but, in order that no one might suspect that he possessed psychic powers, he used to ask his waiters-on, "Who irrigates my plants every night?"
* About three miles from Gwalior.
One night as the sowar was as usual watering the plants, Nanga Baba, simply to unveil the matter and to properly repay Sobha Singh's services, came out of his "kuti" (cottage) and said — "Who is among my plants disturbing them in the peace of the night?" Sobha, Singh, as if thunder-struck, sat down quietly where he was. On approaching near, "Nanga Baba" addressed him — "O, Sobha Singh, thou hast done a great service to me." The latter did not say anything, from awe and reverence. The hermit then returned to his cottage; Sobha Singh followed him and sat down in a corner, deeply filled with a sincere love for the holy man. That night and the following day and night passed, but Sobha Singh would not, rather could not, leave the place. The following morning, Nanga, Baba desired the sowar to go to his regiment. The man shrugged his shoulders and said (after coming to himself, as till then he was in a peculiar state of mind) — "Yes, Baba, I will go to the regiment once for all, as yesterday I had my 'athpahria' duty (i. e., 24 hours' regular duty of horse and man) which I neglected. No sooner will I go there than I shall be sent to the custody of the stand-guard and the punishment I will get cannot be but hard under the present military law." After a little talk with the hermit, he silently went to the chhaori and, unnoticed, entered his compartment (dera). As he entered, he asked his joridar (fellow-horseman, who lived in the same compartment) Dalel Singh, sowar, as to what happened in his absence, and whether he was on that account reported, to the officer in charge, by the Head Daffedar. Dalel Singh was astonished at the question. Calling him a maniac, he said that scarcely an hour had passed since his (Sobha's) return from his "athpahria" duty and putting off his uniform, &c.; and then asked him what he now meant by making such foolish enquiries? Sobha Singh was not a little surprised at his fellow's remarks, and observed that it was poor fun for him to joke in a matter of such importance. Dalel Singh, being frightened and taking his colleague for a lunatic, ran up to his immediate superior and reported the case. From all this, Sobha Singh found that something had happened during his absence, and attributed it to the hidden powers of Nanga Baba. When the troop Risaldar was informed of this matter, he sent for the sowar; and many men, gathering round him, were anxious to hear what the matter was with the poor Sobha. Who could say what was working in this man's mind? After a long while and repeated questions, Sobba Singh told the whole story to the bystanders. All were surprised to know that Sobha Singh's athparia, was not performed by himself, but by some body else. Sobha Singh tendering his resignation, the case was reported to the Commanding Officer. But, despite every effort of militarymen, the sowar did not withdraw his resignation.
After receiving his discharge from the regiment, he went directly to Nanga Baba and presented him all the money he had. The hermit addressed him in the following words — "Thou hast come at last;" and, returning his money, he gave him Rs. 500 more and ordered him to go direct to his house, where, after celebrating the nuptials of his two daughters, he should give himself up to the contemplation of the Deity in his own way. The holy man added that there was no necessity for his returning to Gwalior, and that hereafter he was to be the most revered ascetic of his native country.
We hear that Sobha Singh from that time always lived only under the shelter of a blanket, stretched over a bamboo stick. The people of Hoshyarpur, Jalandhar, and other districts of the Punjab, not being prone to leave fakirs and other holy men to themselves, thronged to his Darshana.
Sobha Singh became a perfect ascetic by a single glance of Nanga Baba of Gwalior — not less but rather more revered than even his "guru."
We are informed that Nanga Baba left his house of clay some three or four years ago.
Will any of your learned correspondents kindly answer a query suggested by the above narrative, viz. — What was the person or form that appeared and performed the duty for Sobha Singh? By what name may we call this wonderful phenomenon?* Namaste!
M. B. V.
Moradabad, 8th June 1880.
* By the name Kama Rupa or Mayavi Rupa, an Aryan ought not to need ask that. We know of a case in Europe, related to us by the gentleman himself, where a man was in a trance or semi-trance state for thirty-six hours — one day and two nights. During this interval he appeared — or seemed to his pupils to appear — at College, as usual and continued a lecture he had begun the previous day; taking up the thread exactly where it had been dropped. The gentleman would not believe his pupil's assurances of this fact until they showed him the note-books in which, as customary, they had preserved memoranda of the College lectures to which they listened. Who can tell whether the teacher, who lectured while the gentleman was unconscious, was his physical body, animated by another intelligence, or his Mayavi Rupa, or "double," acting independently of the consciousness of his physical brain? And this very gentleman, to whom this number will be sent, will, we promise, be mightily interested in the guard-mounting story of Sobha Singh. — ED.
A FEW WEEKS BEFORE OUR PARTY LEFT FOR CEYLON, we were honoured with a visit from Mr. Ganesh W. Joshi, the renowned patriot, whose death is now mourned by all India. His friendly talk and expressions of hope that our Society might prosper, are among our happiest recollections. A short time before the untimely occurrence of his death, we received from him a very friendly letter together with a vernacular copy of his recent discourse on "Salvation," delivered in the temple of Vishnu at Doona. The discourse began with the quotation of a verse of Tukaram's, wherein the company of santas (adepts) is given a higher value than wealth, happiness or even salvation. Various quotations from Tukaram and others were made. It is, on the whole, an earnest and able pamphlet. Coming so short a time before his death, it will, we hope, be treasured as a monument of his virtues and make his name remembered by posterity. We respectfully offer our sympathy to his family, and wish his friends every success in the patriotic work of reform he has left behind him to be finished by them.
PUZZLES FOR THE PHILOLOGISTS.
By Ramchandra Bapuji Jadhao Rao, Esq.
In the May THEOSOPHIST is an article in connection with the monogenistic theory of prior residence of one common ancestral Aryan family in Central Asia, discussed under a similar heading in the March number.
The writer, appealing to the science of language, lays the greatest stress on philology, and presumes that the mere existence of a few Sanskrit words in some of the Western (European) languages is a sufficient evidence to warrant the conclusion that an Aryan family once lived at a time as out of memory, in Central Asia, and thence its detachments marched into Europe, Persia, and India. He does not, however, attempt to explain the other points which such a conclusion, if at all admitted, involves, but leaves them to be answered by some abler writer than himself, whom he invites to join him in the field of discussion.
As the above conclusion is shown to be the result of philology, let us see on what evidences and testimonies it is based.
So late as an hundred years ago, the students of languages throughout Europe believed that the Hebrew was the most ancient tongue of all the world. This was the language of the Jewish nation, the language in which was written the Old Testament, or that part of the Bible, which speaks of the creation of the world and the genesis of mankind. The Hebrew was, therefore, looked upon as the method of speech given directly by God to man at his creation and consequently the earliest spoken language. It was supposed that, as mankind increased in numbers and separated into different tribes and nations, the Hebrew was split up, and transformed into various dialects, and thus was the parent of all the languages of the earth. The story of the Tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues goes in harmony with this version.
Since the introduction of the study of Sanskrit into Europe, the van being led by the late Sir William Jones, one of the judges of the High Court of Judicature at Calcutta, who lived at the close of the eighteenth century, a change gradually glided in. The European scholars, reaching the grammar and vocabulary of Sanskrit and finding a resemblance between some common-place words of Sanskrit and some of the European languages, began to form queer ideas, that the Europeans, Persians and Hindus belonged primarily to one Aryan family, which once lived in Central Asia, and had Sanskrit for their tongue; a theory diametrically opposed to the outgivings of history, chronology, mythology and geography among every nation on the face of the earth.
To strengthen the above theory or to invest it with the character of fact and truth, strange conjectures, clothed in the garb of History, are brought forward: to- wit, that the Aryan tribe (Hindus), quitting their ancestral abode in Central Asia, crossed the Hindu Kush, and transversing the Himalayan snows southwards, settled themselves on the banks of the five rivers which water the great tract, which derives its name Punjab therefrom, and that, ever since, the Hindus have called that region their home; and it is said that, before that time, they lived in more northern regions within the same precincts with the ancestors of Greeks, Italians, Slavonians, Germans and Celts, as members of one great family.
Neither the Europeans nor the Hindus, nor any other nation under the sun, ever possessed, nor so much as had even the faintest knowledge of this strange tradition, nor do the nursery tales, which are said to have been carried from the East, whisper such a story. It is nothing but a varnished tale, utterly undeserving of the name of traditional history.
The words in the European languages, which are said to correspond with those of Sanskrit, are as follows: —*
It is hardly necessary to point out that almost all the above words (and any other which are comparatively few) are of little or no importance, being merely commonplace, or household words, usually in the mouth of even the common people, and were so, when Sanskrit was the prevailing or spoken, language. Their introduction into the European languages was merely accidental at a time when Greece and other nations of Europe were indigenous tribes, more or less in a state of barbarism having indigenous dialects of their own, as history conclusively demonstrates.
The very corrupt forms, as diverse as are the languages in which these words stand, as the above table shows, and the absence of a legion of other Sanskrit words in the European languages, which are formed mostly of terms of peculiar European origin and formation, neither approaching nor bearing affinity to the Sanskrit words even in roots and derivatives, are tangible evidences going in perfect harmony with what I say.
Words, being exchanged like current coins and rarities, find their way into the languages of various countries, having intercourse and commerce with each other. The Aryan and the non-Aryan groups of families, as they are called, have in their languages a number of words belonging to each other, as will be shown hereafter.
As early as 3,500 years before the Christian era, the Aryans of India (Hindus) were in direct communication with the Egyptians; and 3,560 years ago, when Joseph reached Egypt, the Indians were in free communication with the Israelites. This fact holds good even with the period of Tadinas III. and of the Pharaohs.
The Periphis, the book of Genesis, the writings of Zanarus, centuries before the birth of Christ, and even our great epics, Ramayan and Mahabharat, the dates of which have been calculated and fixed at 3,300 years by Europeans according to their own fancy, though, according to the Aryan chronology, they go far beyond that period, and are replete with evidences of the Hindus having navigated the open seas and of their having held communication with Europe, Persia and other parts of the globe, including Greece and Rome as well as the regions of Arctic Ocean. (Vide Mahabharata, Book 14, which narrates the exploits of the Mighty Pandu Princes in connection with the Ashwa Medha — the Horse sacrifice performed by them to signalize the Universal power and dominion acquired by them.)
We are told that the Aryan family, which lived in central Asia, were a civilized people; and that their religion was that of the Vedas. They had chariots, horses, ships, boats, towns and fortified places before the separation took place. They were, therefore, not nomads. To this Professor Max Muller adds that the younger branch of the family left first and emigrated into Europe while the elder and the oldest remained together for some time, and then the former separating, they went into Persia. The oldest quitted its ancestral abode last of all, for a new home in India.
The inference to be drawn, then, is that the old home was abandoned by every soul, and left to become a dreary and a desolate desert as we now find it.
On this concluding portion of the theory, I need not at present offer any remarks but reserve them for a future and appropriate occasion.
The Rig-Veda is considered by European scholars as the real Bible of the ancient faith of the Vedic Rishis, and the oldest book of the Indo-European Family.
Now the hymns of the Rig-Veda teem with such words, as Indra, Agni, Varuna, Savriti, Surya, Ravi, Vayu, Mitra, Marut, Ashwins, Rudra, Prithvi, Ghrata, Soma-ras, Ap-Nadi-soma (the king of the world), Prajapati — Aditi, Swarga, Visve-Deva-Vasus — Purohit Rushes and to which may be added the words above-mentioned, viz., chariots, horses, ships, boats, forts, fortified places and several others.
The philologists do not show whether any of the above words exist in any of the European languages. They must certainly be traceable somewhere there, if, in reality, detachments after detachments of the Aryan family did, as alleged, march from the old Home-country — Central Asia — into Europe, to conquer and colonize that region. The existence of these words in the European languages is the more probable since Professor Max Muller affirms that the very word Veda exists in the Greek and the English languages, and identifies it with Oida in the former and wise, wisdom, and wit, in the latter. But the non-existence, or absence of such words as above, must absolutely go to shake the very foundation of this fondly cherished theory and upset it altogether.
To deduce conclusions from common-place words, the very significance and the determinative power of which lead to a different inference, is merely to form fanciful theories which can hardly shine before facts and truth.
There are a number of words, belonging to various languages, which have welded into English and finally form now part and parcel of that language, simply owing to the intercourse and commerce which that great nation maintains with other countries of the world, as the list given below shows. (Adam's Elements of the English Language. Pages 11 and 12).
Abbey, abbot, amen, behemoth, cabal, cherub, ephod, gehenna, hallelujah, hossana, jubilee, leviathan, manna, sabbaoth, sabbath, seraph, shibboleth, pharisaie, rabbi.
Admiral, alchemy, alcohol, alcove, alembic, algebra, al kali, almanac, amber, ambergris, arrack, arsenal, artichoke, assassin, attar, azimuth, cadi, caliph, camphor, carat, caravan, caravanserai, chemistry, cipher, civet, coffee, cotton, crimson, damask, damson, divan, dragoman, elixir, emir, fakir, firman, gazette, giraffe, harem, hazard, jar, lake, lemon, lime, lute, magazine, mameluke, mattress, minaret, mohair, monsoon, moslem, mosque, mufti, mummy, nabob, nadir, naphtha, nard, opium, ottoman, saffron, salaam, scullion, shrub, sirono, sofa, sultan, syrup, tabor, talisman, tamarind, tambourine, tariff, vizir, zenith, zero.
Azure, balcony, barbican, bazar, eneck, mals, chess, dervise, emerald, hookah, howdah, indigo, jackal, jasmin, kaffir, lilac, musk, orange, pasha, pawn, saraband, scimitar, sepoy, shawl, sherbet, simoon, taffeta, tiffin, turban, paradise.
Baman, batta, betel, buggy, bungalow, calico, coolie, cowrie, dimity, jungle, lac, loot, mullag-atawny, munshi, pagoda, palanquin, pariah, punch, pundit, rajah, rupee, sandal (wood), sugar, suttee, toddy, shampoo.
Amuck, bamboo, bantam, caddy, caoutchouc, chintz, cockatoo, creese, curry, gamboge, godown, gong, guttapercha, junk, mango, oran-outang, rattan.
Bohea, congou, hyson, nankeen, pekoe, satin, soy, tea.
Bey, chibouk, chouse, janisary, kiosk, sash, tulip, seraglio.
From a philological point of view, let us suppose, for a moment, and for argument's sake, that, from some unforeseen circumstances, the present communication between the East and the West ceases (which may God forbid but continue forever) and history becomes destroyed and forgotten, and then after a time the communication is renewed, as at present: would the philologists, that may then turn up, be justified in deducing and their admirers in upholding the conclusion that all the above nations once lived under one roof, as members of one great Aryan family, in a central region and thence, after separating, the Malayas and the Chinese emigrated, first of all, into Malacca and China, next the Persians and the Hindus, following in the wake of their brothers, proceeded to Persia and India, and English, the eldest branch, quitting the old-country last of all, crossed the waters of the Red Sea and the English Channel and finally settled in Britain!
Such a conclusion, though apparently warranted, would yet in origin be absurd and ludicrous.
India has always been the very repository of the Vedas and the Hindus, holding them dearer than life, saved the scripts from the blazing fires of tyranny and oppression, which succeeded the abominable anarchical reign of the Moslem fanatics and slaves, who invaded India, and whose constant endeavours were steadily directed towards the suppression and annihilation of the Hindu religion. If, therefore the Europeans had ever belonged to the great Aryan family and known the Vedas as their birth-right, if they had carried the texts with them at the time of their emigration from Central Asia into Europe, it becomes a problem which demands solution at the hands of the philologists, how and under what circumstances, the Europeans could have irrecoverably lost the Vedas so as to leave no traces behind.
It is likewise a marvel and a mystery that the Europeans should have never known any thing of the Vedas, or that they should, hardly a century ago, have been so completely ignorant as to who their ancestors were, what their religion was, and whence they came.
The Vedas have only been lately obtained from India by European scholars. Now India is the very cradle of civilization, language, religion and literature of the ancient Aryan race from which emigrations may have flowed into Europe from time to time. This, in conjunction with the fact of the Hindus having had free communication with Europe by sea, led to Sanskrit words, few as they are, being intermixed with those of European dialects whilst in a barbarous state, a fact which is established, beyond doubt, by the suggestive evidences of folklore, most of the tales and stories, fables and traditions, current in Europe, Persia and other countries, all of which had their origin in India. The efforts of philology, therefore, however strenuous in that direction, can hardly succeed in metamorphosing a vague theory into real Simon Pure, but must ever remain as they are — a hollow farce.
The imputation, that the Aryans were lamentably deficient in philological knowledge, betrays a sad ignorance of the Aryan literature on the part of the writer. Very little may have been known of the Hindus, but this is no proof that they themselves knew little. Besides, it may be asked what a meagre knowledge of philology has to do with the silence of the Vedas about other countries. Perhaps, my opponent confounds philology with geography?
Last, but not least, is the story of the deluge. The intent of its introduction in a potential mood is apparently to expose its absurdity, at this fitting opportunity. However, let us hope that with the high progress, which Philology, like other sciences, is said to have made, archeological and geological surveys of the regions said to have been once the residence of the great Aryan family, in Central Asia, may be begun at once. The favourable results of the excavations will, no doubt, settle this great question, interesting and important as it is, both to Europeans and Hindus. If, perchance, there be a failure, it can be reconciled with the argument that the current of the river Oxus having turned in the direction in which the buildings and fortified places stood, the impetuosity of the waters uprooted and washed away the antique relics.
The following extract from an interesting work,* which has just appeared, shows the spirit in which the Philologists interpret stories which come in their way: —
* Sacred books of the East, edited by Professor Max Muller. Vol. II., Introduction, page I, VI.
"As the position of the Gautamas among the Saman schools is uncertain, it will, of course, be likewise inadvisable to make any attempt at connecting them with the historical period of India. The necessity of caution in this respect is so obvious, that I should not point it out, were it not that the Dharamashastra, contains one word, the occurrence of which is sometimes considered to indicate the terminus aquo for the dates of Indian works. The word, to which I refer, is Yavana. Gautama quotes IV., 21, an opinion of some, according to which a Yavana is the offspring of a Sudra male and a Kshatriya female. Now it is well known that this name is a corruption of the Greek Jatiov, an Ionian, and that in India it was applied, in ancient times, to the Greeks, and especially to Bactrian and Indo-Bactrian Greeks who ruled in the second century, B.C., over a portion of Northern India. As there is no historical evidence to show that the Indians became acquainted with the Greeks before the invasion of Alexander in the fourth century, B.C., it has been held that works, containing the word Yavana, cannot have been composed before 300 B.C. But, irrespective of the consideration that the text of our Dharmashastra is not trustworthy enough to allow its date to be ascertained by a single word, the reasoning itself, on which the determinative power of the word Yavana is based, is not beyond doubt, as it is applied to a person who, to judge from his name, was not a Greek in the ancient inscription of Rudradaman at Gunagadh."*
Note by the author.
"The person alluded to is Asoka's Lieutenant, the Yavanarga Tushaspa who appears to have been a Persian, for the inscription see Ind. Ant. Vol. 11., page 257."
The Aryans (Hindus) not only knew the word Yavana, centuries before the invasion of Alexander the Great, but also the very people who were so named. The word repeatedly occurs in the great epic Mahabhrat, &c., as will be seen from the following extracts.
I may add here that the Pandavas were in Greece where are still retained traces of their foot-prints. Pocock's India in Greece and truth in Mythology: Pages 130 to 160.
The Philologists may again startle us by saying, sometime hereafter, that the Hindus were never acquainted with the word "Aryan," until after they had heard of the Greek historian of that name, who wrote a history of India called Indica Aryana, a work which is still extant.
"In the Adiparva of the Mahabharat (verse 6650), Gandharva, at Arjuna's request, proceeds to relate the ancient story of Vasishtha (Vasishtham Akhyanam puranam) and to describe the cause of enmity between that Rushee and Vishvamitra. It happened that the latter, who was the son of Gadhi, King of Kanyakubja, (Kanouj) and grandson of Kausika, when out hunting, came to the hermitage of Vashistha, where he was received with all honour, entertained together with his attendants with delicious food and drink, and presented with precious jewels and dresses obtained by the sage from his wonder-working cow, the fulfiller of all desires. The cupidity of Vishvamitra is aroused on seeing this beautiful animal (all of whose fine points are enumerated in the legend) and he offers Vashishtha a hundred million cows, or his kingdom, in exchange for her. But Vashishtha's reply is that he is unable to part with her even for a kingdom. Vishvamitra then tells him that he will enforce the law of the
stronger, 6665. I am a Kshatriya, while thou, being a Brahmin, thy functions are austere fervour and sacred study. How can there be any vigour in Brahmins who are calm and self-restrained? Since thou dost not give up to me, in exchange for a hundred millions of cows, that which I desire, I shall not abandon my own class characteristic; I will carry away the cow by force. Vashishtha, confident, no doubt, of his own superior power, tells him to do as he proposes without loss of time. Vishvamitra accordingly seizes the wonder-working cow; but she will not move from the hermitage, though beaten with whip and stick, and pushed hither and thither. Witnessing this, Vashishtha asks her, what he, a patient Brahmin can do? She demands of him why he overlooks the violence she is subjected to. Vashishtha replies: Force is the strength of Kshatriyas, patience that of Brahmins. As
patience possesses me, go if then pleasest (6676, Kshat-triyanam balam tego Brahmanaanm Kshama balam/Kshamamam bhajate gamyatmyadi rochate). The cow enquires if he means to abandon her; as, unless he forsakes her, she can never be carried off by force. She is assured by Vashishtha that he does not forsake her, and that she should remain, if she could. Hearing these words of her master, the cow tosses her head aloft, assuming a terrific aspect, (6680), her eyes become red with rage, she utters a deep bellowing sound, and puts to flight the entire army of Vishvamitra. Being (again) beaten with a whip and stick, and pushed hither and thither, she becomes more incensed, her eyes are red with anger, her whole body, kindled by her indignation, glows like the noon-day sun, she discharges showers of fire-brands from her tail, creates Pahlavas* from the same member Dravidas and Sakas, Yavanas, Sabaras, Kanchis, Sarabhas, Paundras, Kiratas, Sinhalas, Vasas and other tribes of armed warriors from her sweat, urine, excrement, &c., who assail Vishvamitra's army, and put it to a complete rout."
* Pehlvi was the Court language of Persia, the name derived from the above source and fact.
"It appears to be the opinion of Manu, the great authority in all matters regarding the Hindu religion and institutions in their full development, that there was no original race of men except the four castes — Brahmins, Kshattriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras — and that all other nations were derived from these. His own words are these: Brahmanah, Kshaltriyo, Vaisyastrayo varnah dvijatayah! chaturthahekajatis tu Sudro nasti tu panchamah!" "Three castes, the Brahman, the Kshatriya, and the Vaishya, are twice born; the fourth, the Shudra, is once born, and there is no fifth." On the last clause of this verse Kulluka Bhatta annotates thus — Panchamah punar varno nasti sankirna-jatinam tu asvatara vad mata-pitra-jati-vyati-rikta,jaty-antarat vad na varnatvan / Ayam cha jaty-anta-ropadesah sustre samvy-avaharanarthah/ There is no fifth caste, for caste cannot be predicated of the mixed tribes, from the fact that, like mules, they belong to another species distinct from that of either of their parents, and this reference, which is made in the Sastras to castes other than the four, is merely for the sake of convenience and in conformity to common usage."
"In verses 43 and 44 it is stated, Sanakais tu kruja-
lopad imah Kshattriya jatayah / Vrishalatvam gatah loke brahmanadar sanena cha / Paundrakas Chodra dravidah Kambojah Yavanah Sakah / Paradah Pahla vas Chinah Kiratahdaradah Khasah/" The following tribes of Kshatriyas have gradually sunk into the state of Vrishalas (outcastes) from the extinction of sacred rites, and from having no communication with Brahmins, viz., Paundrakas, Odras, Dravidas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Sokas, Paradas, Pahlavas, Chinas, Kiratas, Daradas and Khasas.
"The same thing is affirmed in the Mahabarat. Anu-sasannparvan, verses 2103 F. Sakah Yavana-Kambojas tas tah Kshattriya jalayah Vrishalatvam parigatah brahmananavi, adarsano/ Dravidas cha Kalindas cha pulindus chapy Usinarah / Kolisarpah Mahishakas tas tah Kshattriya-jatayah ityadi /. These tribes of Kshatriyas, viz., Sakas,Yavanas, Kambojas,Dravidas, Kalindas, Pulindas, Usinaras, Kolisarpas and Mahishakas, have become Vrisalas from seeing no Brahmins. This is repeated in verses 2158-9 where the following additional tribes are named: Mekalas Latas, Konvasiras Saundikas, Darvas, Chauras, Savaras, Barbaras and Kiratas, and the cause of degradation is, as in verse 2103, restricted to the absence of Brahmins."
"The Yavanas are said in the Mahabharta Adiparvan Section 85, verse 3533, to be descended from Turvasu, the Vaibhojas from Druhyu anrl the Melechha tribes from Anu (Yados tu Yudavah jutas Turvasor Yavannah Smri tah. / Druhyoh sutas tu raibhojah anos tu Melechha-jata, yah.) Is it meant by this that the Yavanas are not to be reckoned among the Melechhas? Their descent from Turvasu is not, however, necessarily in conflict with the assertion of the authorities above quoted that they are degraded Kshattriyas."
"I shall not attempt to determine who the Yavanas and other tribes mentioned in the text were." Muir's, Sanskrit Texts, Vol. I, pages 390, 480 and 482.
Notwithstanding all the arguments and circumstantial evidences adduced above, I would have submissively bowed to the statements of the philologists, had it not been for the kind warnings thrown in our way by the THEOSOPHIST in its numbers for October and March last, pages 8 and 136 respectively; the former not only challenges Professor Max Muller, but asks that distinguished scholar to withdraw his statement that the Bible (the Old Testament) may be older than the Vedas. Let us wait for the result of this pleasant controversy.
In conclusion, I must express a hope that the Theosophists will not misunderstand me and think that I am biased in any way in raising questions and doubts. My sole motive is to elicit truth and only the truth, which lies buried deep in the debris of time, like a brilliant gem in a heap of rubbish.