The Theosophist, Vol. 1 — H. P. Blavatsky, editor

NO. 2 - NOVEMBER, 1879

Section 2  (pp. 44 - 56)


[Continued from the last month.]


By an F. T. S. . . .

The Siddhis of Krishna may be thus defined:

1. Anima — the power to atomize "the body;" to
make it become smallest of the smallest.

2. Mahima — the power to magnify one's body to any

3. Laghima — the power to become lightest of the lightest.

These three, the commentator says, relate to "the body;" but he does not enlighten us as to whether the outer or inner — the physical or astral — body is meant. Turning to Bhoja Raja's commentary on Patanjali (Govinda Deva Sastri's translation, in Pandit, Vol. V. p. 206), we find Anima explained as a "Minuteness — attainment of an atomic form, or the power of becoming as minute as an atom; [by this power the ascetic can enter into a diamond, etc]."
Garima — is the obtaining of control over the attraction of gravitation, so that one's body may attain such great heaviness as to weigh tons if one chooses; or acquire such levity as to be like a flake of cotton in lightness.

Let the reader observe that here are two Siddhis (anima and mahima); which can only refer to conditions of the astral body, and a third which may be applicable to either the astral or physical body of the ascetic. Whenever we have such instances coming under notice, our first thought must be that there is no such thing possible as a miracle; whatever happens does so in strict compliance with natural law. For instance; knowing what we do of the composition and structure of a man's body, — a mass of bioplastic matter — it is unthinkable that he should make it small enough to enter into an atom or a diamond-grain. So, also, that he should illimitably swell it out and stretch it, so as to "occupy as much space as he likes." A living adult man cannot be compressed into a speck. But as to the inner body, or soul, the case is different. By 'soul' we mean, in this instance, the plastic, ethereal inner-self, that which corresponds to the western idea of a "double,"* and, in the ancient Indian philosophy is known as the [[Sanskrit characters]] — Mayavi-rupa — (illusionary form), and as the [[Sanskrit characters]] Kama-rupa — (WILL-form). These are identical, for the double exists in its latent state in every living being, as it is the exact ethereal counterpart of the outer body. The difference in name but indicates the different circumstances under which it is at times made to become objective — that is visible. In the case of mediums, or when, as a result and the unconscious effect of an intense desire which attracts a person's thoughts to a certain place, or prompts him to a certain action, it thus oozes out of its envelope of flesh, it then is called Mayavi-rupa (illusionary form). It made itself visible because compelled to it by the law of inter-magnetic action, which, when left to itself, acts blindly. But when it is projected by the trained will of an adept, a Yogi, who directs it at his own convenience, then it is designated as Kama-rupa, — WILL-form, or Desire-form; i. e. so to say, created, or called forth into objective shape, by the will, and at the desire of its possessor.

* The double which appears under two aspects at times as — a dull non-intelligent form or animate statue, at other times as an intelligent entity. More than anyone else, the spiritualists ought to be aware of the difference.

This "dual-soul," must not be confounded with either Jivatma (the vital principle resident in inert matter) or, the Ling-Sarir. This last named is the subtile, ethereal element of the ego of an organism; inseparably united to the coarser elements of the latter; it never leaves it but at death. While its functionary principle — the Linga-Deha — is the executive agent, through which it works; the objective formation of Kama-rupa being performed by the power of Yoga-balla.

This "dual-soul," possesses properties peculiar to itself, and as distinctly its own as those of the physical body are peculiar to it. Among these properties are compressibility, the power of passing through the most solid substances, infinite expansibility, and many more that might be enumerated. These are not idle words, but facts derived from the experiences of many yogis, adepts, ascetics, mystics, mediums, etc. of many different classes, times and countries. We may think, therefore, of the capacity of the Kama-rupa to become a mere speck or enlarge itself to enormous dimensions; entering a grain of diamond-dust, and the next moment filling every pore of the entire globe: for thought is unparticled and illimitably elastic. And, we could apprehend how, when once in the grain or in the globe, our trained thought can act there as if it were our own whole self. So, too, we may conceive of the astral body — or Kama-rupa, which, although material as compared with pure spirit, is yet immaterial in comparison with the dense physical body — having like properties, and thus come to an understanding of the esoteric (secret) meaning of Anima and Mahima.

Whole libraries have been written to define what soul is, and yet for our practical purpose, it will suffice to sum up the definition in a word: man's soul is the aggregate of all the above given sub-divisions. This "self," through the Linga-Deha, is ever conscious during the sleep of the body, and transfers the sense of this inner consciousness into the waking brain; so that the Yogi may, at will, be informed of what is transpiring in the outer world, through his physical organs, or in the inner world, through his soul perceptions. While average mortals maintain their perceptions only during the day, the initiated Yogi has an equally real, undimmed, and perfect appreciation of his individual existence at night, even while his body sleeps. He can go even further: he can voluntarily paralyze his vital functions so that his body shall lie like a corpse, the heart still, the lungs collapsed, animal heat transferred to the interior surfaces; the vital machine stopped, as it were, like a clock which waits only the key that re-winds it, to resume its beating. What nature does for the scores of hybernating quadrupeds, reptiles and insects under the spontaneous action of her established laws, the Yogi effects for his physical body by long practice, and the intense concentration of an undaunted will. And what he can do for himself the magnetizer can do for his cataleptic subject, whose body in the state of ecstasis, the highest in the range of mesmeric phenomena, presents all the physical appearances of death, including even rigor mortis; while the active vitality of the soul is shown in the descriptions given by the ecstatic either of distant events on the earth, or the scenes in which he is taking part in the world of the invisible. The records of a thousand such cases, occurring in every part of the world, combine to show (a) that the soul has the capacity of a conscious existence separate from the body; (b) that it is limited by neither time nor space, it being able to visit and return in an instant from the farthest localities, and to reach such — the tops of mountains, for instance, or the centres of deserts, or the bottoms of rivers or lakes, as the waking man could either not exist in or could only visit with the most tedious exertions and the greatest precautions; (c) that it can penetrate closed rooms, rocky walls, iron chests, or glass cases, and see and handle what is within. All these, if it were particled and unyielding like the physical body, would be impossibilities; and so, seeing what our modern experience has taught us, we can readily comprehend Patanjal's meaning and avoid the absurd conclusions which some of his materialistic and inexperienced commentators have reached. "Hundreds of times," says Professor Denton, "have I had the evidence that the spirit (meaning 'soul' — the two words are most unhappily, and we fear inextricably confounded — Ed.) can smell, hear, and see, and has powers of locomotion." Cicero calls the soul spiritus (a breathing), as also does Virgil, and both regard it as a subtile matter which might be termed either aura (a breeze), or ignis (fire), or aether. So that here again we are assisted to the conception that Anima applies only to a certain portion of the soul — (psuche) and not to the body. And, we thus find that this Siddhi is entirely possible for one who has learnt the manifold faculties of the inner man, and knows how to apply and utilize the manifold functions of Jivatma, ling-sarir, and the mayava and kama-rupa. Plutarch makes pretty nearly the same division of the functions of the "Soul." The ling-sarir he calls psuche (physical entity), and teaches that it never leaves the body but at death; mayava and kama-rupa answer to his daemon, or spiritual-double, one-half of which is irrational and called by him eidolon, and the other rational and usually termed "blessed god."

But, while the physical body may not be atomized or magnified illimitably, its weight may be voluntarily changed without transcending natural law in the slightest degree. Hundreds, if not thousands, are living in India to-day, who have seen ascetics, while in the state of dharana, rise from the ground and sit or float in the air without the slightest support. We doubt if a phenomenon seen by so many reputable persons will be seriously denied. Admitting, then, that this levitation does happen, how shall we explain it? That has already been done in "Isis Unveiled," where the author shows that by simply changing the polarity of his body, so as to make the latter similarly electrified to the spot of ground upon which he stands, the ascetic can cause himself to rise perpendicularly into the air. This is no miracle, but a very simple affair of magnetic polarity. The only mystery is as to the means by which these changes of polarity may be effected. This secret the Yogi learns, and Patanjali's name for the Siddhi is Garima, which includes Laghima. It follows, of course, that he who knows how to polarize his body so as to cause himself to be "light as a flake of cotton" and rise into the air, has only to reverse the process, to make his body abnormally heavy. We stick to the surface of the earth because our bodies are of an opposite polarity to the ground on which we stand. Science explains that we are attracted towards the centre of the earth by gravity, and our weight is the measure of the combined attraction of all the particles of our physical body towards the central point at the earth's centre. But if we double the intensity of that attraction, we become twice as heavy as we were before; if we quadruple it, four times as heavy; centiple it, one hundred. times as heavy. In short, by a mere alteration of our polarity, we would be giving our flesh the weight of an equal bulk of stone, iron, lead, mercury, etc. And the Yogi has this secret, or Siddhi, also.

Many Hindus — who admit that their sacred books contain accounts of the phenomena of levitation, that is, of walking or floating in the air — affirm that the power has been lost, and that there are none living who can exhibit it, or even the appearance of it, save through the help of jugglery. This false conclusion is assisted by the tendency of Western education, which but reflects the materialism of modern experimental science — so misnamed, for it is but partly experimental and preponderatingly inferential guess-work. Forgetting that the law of gravitation is, after all, but an incomplete hypothesis which holds its ground for the want of a better one, — our young men say that science has defined the laws of gravity, hence levitation is an absurdity, and our old books teach nonsense. This would be sufficient if the premises were not false. Science has but noted the more familiar phenomena of gravity, and knows nothing whatever of its nature, or its variable manifestations under the impulse of the undiscovered primal force. Open any book on any branch of physical science, and the author, if he have any professional reputation to lose, will be detected in the confession of his ignorance of the ultimate cause of natural phenomena. Superficial readers will be deceived by glittering generalizations from partially proved data, but the thoughtful student will ever find the empty void at the bottom. Huxley sums it all up in the self-condemnatory sentence, "we" — that is we scientists, we men who talk so glibly about ancient superstition and ignorance, and would impress Indian youth with the notion that we are the very High Priests of nature, the only competent instructors of her mysteries, the key to which we all carry in our vest pockets — "we know nothing about the composition of any body whatever, as it is."

But supposing that not one witness could be found in all our India to-day to prove the fact of levitation, would we have to let the case go by default? By no means; for, to say nothing of the unbroken chain of lay testimony that stretches from the earliest historic period to our times, we can take that of eminent Western physicians who have witnessed such levitations in the cases of patients afflicted with certain nervous diseases; — Professor Perty, of Geneva, and Dr. Kerner, of Wurtemberg, among others. If a phenomenon of such nature takes place in a diseased body, without being regarded as a violation of the "laws of nature," why should it not occur — provided the same conditions, i. e., a reversed polarity, are furnished it — in a body free from disease? This testimony of science secured, we need not hesitate to cull from contemporaneous records the mass of available proof that the bodies of living man can be and are floated through the air. Who shall deny it? Science? No, for we have seen that it is attested by some of the most eminent scientific men of our day; and to these we may add Lord Lindsay, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, and one of the Council of the Royal Society itself. One witness of his stamp is enough, and he is on record (London Dialec. Soc. "Report," p. 215) as saying that he had seen a certain medium not only float through the air of a drawing-room but carry with him the chair upon which he had been sitting and with it "pushing the pictures out of their places as he passed along the walls." They were far beyond the reach of a person standing on the ground. And he adds the highly important fact — "The light was sufficient to enable me to see clearly." This same medium he saw floated horizontally out of the window in one room of a house, in Victoria Street, London, and again at the window of the adjoining room. "I saw him," says Lord Lindsay, "outside the other window (that in the next room) floating in the air. It was eighty-five feet from the ground. There was no balcony along the windows, * * * I have no theory to explain these things. I have tried to find out how they are done, but the more I studied them, the more satisfied was I that they could not be explained by mechanical trick. I have had the fullest opportunity for investigation." When such a man gives such testimony, we may well lend an attentive ear to the corroborative evidence which has accumulated at different epochs and in many countries.

The case of the levitated 'medium' of the modern spiritualist, affords us an example of a phase of Laghima of which no mention is made in the portion of the Shrimad Bhagavata under consideration, but may be found in many other manuscripts. We have seen that a Yogi may reverse his corporeal polarity at pleasure, to make himself light as a cotton flake or heavy as lead; and that he acquires this Siddhi by long self-discipline, and the subordination of the general law of matter to the focalized power of spirit. It has also been affirmed that the cataleptic similitude to death, which in India is called Samadhi, may be produced in the mesmerised, or magnetized, subject by the magnetizer. We have the report of the late William Gregory, Professor of Chemistry in Edingburgh University, (Animal Magnetism; or Mesmerism and its Phenomena, pp. 154, 155) of one of many experiments, at his own house, by M. Lewis, a famous negro mesmerizer:

"Case 5. — Mr. J. H., a young and healthy man, could be rendered instantly and completely cataleptic by a glance, or a single pass. He could be fixed in any position, however inconvenient, and would remain ten or fifteen minutes in such a posture, that no man in a natural state could have endured it for half a minute. * * * When Mr. L. stood on a chair and tried to draw Mr. H., without contact, from the ground, he gradually rose on tiptoe, making the most violent efforts to rise, till he was fixed by cataleptic rigidity. Mr. Lewis said that, had he been still more elevated above Mr. H., he could have raised him from the floor without contact, and held him thus suspended for a short time, while some spectator should pass his hand under the feet. Although this was not done in my presence, yet the attraction upwards was so strong that I see no reason to doubt the statement made to me by Mr. Lewis, and by others who saw it that this experiment has been successfully performed. Whatever be the influence which acts, it would seem capable, when very intense, of overpowering the law of gravity."

Let us first clearly comprehend the meaning of the word gravity, and then the inference of Professor Gregory will not seem too extravagant after all. In this phase of Laghima, observe that the changed polarity of the human body is effected by the magnetiser's will. We have, therefore, one class of cases where the effect is self-produced by the conscious will of the Yogi; another where it occurs involuntarily in the subject as the result of an outside will directed upon him. The third class is illustrated in the example of the floating medium, which Lord Lindsay attests. Here the aethrobat — as air-walkers were called by the Greeks — neither practises Yoga Vidya, nor is visibly depolarized by a living magnetiser, and yet his body also rises from the earth, light as a cotton flake or thistle-down. If this happens, where is the cause: for cause there must be, since miracle is an impossibility? Modern Spiritualists, as we are informed, vaguely ascribe the fact to the agency of the disembodied spirits of their dead friends, but have given no sufficient explanation of the method employed. One of their most intelligent writers — Miss Blackwell who won the gold medal of the British N. A. S. for her essay on Spiritualism — attributes it to "jets or currents of magneto-vital force," which sounds vaguely scientific, to say the least. To follow out this branch of the subject would cause too wide a digression for our present purpose. Suffice it that the medium's body is depolarized, or differently polarized, by some force external to him, which we have no warrant for ascribing to the voluntary action of living spectators.

Another branch of this great subject of Laghima is reserved for our next article. The more it is studied, the more cumulative is the proof that Patanjali was a master of Psychology.

(To be continued.)


In 1272, A. D., 280 Jews were executed for clipping the current coin of the realm.


By Lalla Ruttun Chund.

The student should realize that in order to render one's self worthy of an admission into the sanctuary of Yoga, a thorough regeneration of the mind is the essential condition imposed upon him. Integrity of purpose and purity of intention he has rigidly to observe in his desires and actions throughout life, and no sensual appetites or cravings of the flesh can he be allowed to cherish in his bosom. In short, to keep his passions and animal propensities in entire subjection, is the vow he has to make at the very threshold of the sacred science of Yoga.

Ever successful to abide by this vow are they who have a determined will to do so: but it must be clearly understood that a violation of this vow, on the part of the student of Yoga Vidya, however advanced, will lower him in his development as much, at least, as a decimal point lowers in value the integer before which it is placed.

The sanctification of the mind, to such an extent that evil emotions and feelings may never be able to make their way into it, is most assuredly secured by a perfect concentration of the mind on one single object; and the proper object for this purpose is ([[Sanskrit character]]) OM, which my imperfect knowledge of the English language, or rather, perhaps, its own poverty, constrains me to translate as the "Infinite One." It is true that the concentration of the mind upon one single object, and especially such object as the ([[Sanskrit character]]) OM — Deity, is a difficult task; but no difficulty, however great, depend upon it, can stand in the way of a really determined man.

Again, to a beginner, this science appears dry and unattractive, and one that involves the loss of time, apparently to no purpose; but a few months' practice of its principles is sure to secure to its devotee a comfort and bliss which he could not have obtained in years, from any other source.

Siddhis, i e., psychic powers, which are certain to attend more or less every Yogi, should never be moving cause to indure one to pursue this science; for desires, other than that one of realizing OM in the soul, are to be abandoned at the outset.

Attachment to the world, and its pleasures, should never be stronger, on the part of the Yogi than the attachment which a traveller, bound homeward, has for an inn in which he has to stop for a fleeting night.

Such are the sacrifices which are to be made by every student of this spiritual science; and none need attempt to approach it who are loth to observe these terms. Namaste.
Lahore, Punjab, Oct. 13th
, 1879.


By Bulwant Trimbuk, Hon. Sec. of the Poona "Gayan Samaj."

(Written expressly for the THEOSOPHIST.)

We wish to give our readers some idea of Hindu Music which is a plant of ancient growth, having beauties of its own. It will require some time before a stranger can qualify himself to appreciate its merits. That it was developed into a science admits of no question, as the sequel will prove. Hindus, as a fact, do find beauties in it, and they avail themselves of every opportunity for enjoying this sort of amusement. There are various reasons why foreigners do not take equal interest in cultivating it, of which we will enumerate a few.

1. No standard work on the subject has as yet been presented to the public in any of the current languages. There are several in Sanskrit, it is true, but that is a language difficult to learn, and now, unfortunately, almost dead.

2. The second reason is that the notation for reducing music to writing as given by ancient writers on Hindu Music is not generally known.

3. The third reason is that strangers pass a very hasty judgment upon its merits. They do not make the best of the many opportunities that are presented to them while living in India. They disdain to attend singing and nautch parties at the houses of gentlemen, and declaim against them as immoral; and, when they return to their native countries, try to hide their ignorance by passing all manner of bad remarks; holding, the while, the jigs of such low-caste people as are usually their attendants, as types of Hindu Music.

4. We know of many persons who can distinguish an individual and yet cannot identify him in his photograph. This is due to their want of familiarity with the effects of light and shade, on the vision; the same is emphatically true of any systems of music. The English, French, German, and Italian systems of music are distinct from one another, having been separately developed; yet each has charms peculiar to itself, and each school has its admirers and panegyrists who find it the best of all representatives of true harmonic science. Cultivation and taste are the primary prerequisites for musical criticism, and unless a man spends some years on any given system of music he will not come to realize its beauties and appreciate its merits. If an Englishman, a Frenchman, and an Italian sit in judgment upon the merits of our Indian Music, each will try to find something in it, which he is accustomed to and which he has from childhood learnt to look upon as the best. Neither of them is used to the softening influence of Hindu melody, and therefore each cries it down with a separate phrase. To expect therefore that Hindu Music will stand the test of every connoisseur, whose ear is accustomed to a different development, is to forget the theory of the formation of ideas. Again, if Hindu Music had been a growth of modern times, containing all the several charms of different musical systems, it would perhaps have answered the expectations of these connoisseurs; but upon the testimony of works of great antiquity lying around us (some 4000 to 8000 years old), we can safely affirm that Hindu Music was developed into a system in very ancient times; in times of which we have no genuine records; in times when all other nations of the world were struggling with the elements for existence; in times when Hindu Rishis were enjoying the fruits of civilization, and occupying themselves with the contemplation of the mighty powers of the eternal Brahma.

We will therefore present our readers with a bird's-eye view of Hindu Music, leaving to themselves the task of cultivating their ear; for while we can describe to a person the external appearance of an orange, its color, its odour, and name to him, its order in the vegetable kingdom, no words can convey to him an adequate idea of its taste; and so is it with respect to Hindu Music. Though we make you masters of its theory, name to you the different Tanas and Murchhanas, the Gramas and Ragas, we cannot convey to you any idea of Rakti or the power of affecting the heart, the end of any musical system; it must be tasted by the ear.


Sound most naturally forms the starting point of a dissertation on music. The theory of sound as given in Shiksha is as follows ([image]): —

"The soul comprehends the means of its faculty of knowledge of what is wanted, and, desirous of speaking out, enjoins the mind. The mind upon this excites the bodily heat, and this heat puts the wind in motion; this wind, moving in the cavity of the chest, produces a sound which is recognized as Mandra, or chest voice."

In this theory which is very old, as the work from which it is extracted will show, we may recognize the crude expression of the principles of the modern undalatory theory of sound.

Observation and generalization are the two essential things required in the formation and development of a science; without being charged with partiality, we think we can credit the ancient Aryan with a great deal of both. Close observation of the habits of the members of the animal kingdom must have shown them that a growl and a shriek were respectively the two sounds between which all others must fall; and lo! how aptly they have illustrated them. In order that their children might accustom themselves to these high, low, and middle sounds, they advised them to repeat ([image]) their lessons in the morning in the low note, which proceeds from the chest and resembles the growl of a tiger; in the afternoon in the mid-tone, which proceeds from the throat and resembles the cries of the Chakra or round bird; and at all other times in a high tone, which proceeds from the head and resembles the cries of a peacock and others of its kind.

They have divided sound into three classes — Mandra (low), Madhya (throat voice), and Tar (high). These go also by the names ([image]) of Udatta, Anudatta, and Swarita, respectively. They say that in Udatta are recognized the notes Ni and Ga, corresponding to the English notes E and B; that in Anudatta are recognized the notes Ri and Dha, or D and A; and in the Swarita Sa, Ma, and Pa, or C, F and G.*

*"The aggregate sound of Nature, as heard in the roar of a distant city, or the waving foliage of a large forest, is said to be a single definite tone, of appreciable pitch. This tone is held to be the middle F of the piano-forte, which may, therefore, be considered the key-note of nature." — (Principles of Physics, by Prof. B. Siliman.) The Chinese recognized it some thousands of years ago, by teaching that "the waters of the Hoang-ho rushing by, intoned the kung;" called "the great tone," in Chinese music, and one which corresponds exactly with our F, now "considered by modern physicists to be the actual tonic of Nature." (Rice). — ED THEOS.

It is worthy of remark that E and B are semi-tones, D and A are minor-tones, and C, F and G are major-tones. How nice must have been their sense of hearing!*

* "The doctrine of sound is unquestionably the most subtile and abstruse in the whole range of physical science," says Professor Leslie. ED. THEOS.

Nature is never stingy or cruel to her children, when they serve her earnestly. The same craving after knowledge and spirit of patient enquiry which discovered to the Aryas that the high, low, and middle notes had typical representatives in the animal kingdom; the same musical ear which showed them the sounds proper for repeating the lessons in the morning, noon, and at other times — disclosed to them that the animals produce certain notes, and no more. They
([image]) found that the peacock, ox, goat, crane, black-bird, frog, and elephant uttered certain distinct notes, and that all the notes of the denizens of the forest could be put down under one or other of those 7 heads. In this way were the 7 musical notes found and fixed upon.

They also fixed measures of time thus ([image]): — The mangoose uttered 1/2 measure, the chassbird cried in 1 measure, the crow in the double measure, and the peacock shrieked in the treble.

Thus, while the Aryas were teaching their children necessary lessons, they were imparting to them a sort of musical instruction and preparing their voices for it. The transcendental charms of music cannot have fallen flat upon their appreciative sense of hearing, and they must have set apart a number of verses to be sung, and thus must have sprung the Sama Veda — a Veda which is recognized by all to be very old and designed for singing; a Veda out of which verses are even to this day sung most harmoniously by the Udgatri, a priest who performs the singing service at the time of Yadnya (Sacrifice).

The recognition of these 7 notes as all the alphabets of musical language all over the world in the nineteenth century, proves beyond all doubt the nice appreciation of the ancient Aryas. But this was not all. Writers on Hindu Music even discovered that these seven notes had peculiar "missions"
([image]) to the human mind; that certain notes were peculiar to certain sentiments, and that without those notes these sentiments could not be well expressed. All who have had occasion to hear the adaptation of musical notes to different sentiments can bear testimony to the fact that the observations of these writers were correct. It must not however be considered that we mean that sounds alone can without the assistance of language express a sentiment to reality. No: although, by association we come to recognize "a March" or "a Gallop" as something stirring; our point is that if appropriate lingual expressions be associated with proper musical notes the effect is more certain and real.

The table given below will show at one glance the several notes, their names, their types in the animal kingdom, and the sentiments (the Sentiments are:

[image]) to which they are applicable:


In the Veda itself
([image]) sentences are found which go to prove the same.

If a monochord with moveable bridge be taken, and a space equal to 44 units be measured and the bridge shifted to this point, the string when struck will yield a note; if we start with this note as the tonic or key-note, and run through the gamut by shifting the bridge (the Sanskrit writers affirm
([image]) the following facts will be observed. Sa will be produced at the distance 44; Ri at 40, Ga at 37, Ma at 35, Pa at 31, Dha at 27, Ni at 24, and Sa again at 22; but the latter Sa will be twice as intense as the former.

Let us now see how far this doctrine is correct according to the theory of vibrations as given by English physicists.

The relative number of vibrations of the notes of the gamut are:([Ganot's Physics — Acoustics]) —,

Sa, — Ri, — Ga, — Ma, — Pa, — Dha, — Ni, — Sa,

C, —-D, — E, ---- F, —— G, — A, —— B, — C,

1, — 9/8, - 5/4, — 4/3, — 3/2, — 5/3, - 15/8, — 2,

that is 24, — 27, — 30, — 32, — 36, — 40, — 45, — 48.

But the lengths of the wire are inversely proportional to
these: —

Sa, — Ri, — Ga, — Ma, — Pa, — Dha, — Ni, — Sa,

1, — 8/9, - 4/5, — 3/4, —2/3, — 3/5, — 8/15, - 1/2,

that is: —

180, - 160, 144, - 135, - 120, - 108, — 96, — 90;

and the intervals between the two consecutive notes are 20, 16, 9, 15, 12, 12, 6.

When these intervals are reduced to a length of 48 units they become: —

Sa, — Ri, — Ga, — Ma, — Pa, — Dha, — Ni, — Sa,

5.3, - 4.16, 2.3, — 3.9, — 3.12 - 3.12, - 3.12, 1.5.

Let us write against these numbers the shrutis or intervals according to Sanskrit writers, and it will at once be seen that they are closely analogous.


How delicate and accurate must have been the organs of hearing of the Aryas, when they could reach so near the truth, unassisted by the paraphernalia of modern science.

According to Sanskrit writers no sound is said to be perfect unless it goes through the Shrutis or intervals attached to it. The 7 notes thus fixed form the natural scale, and this is called by the Sanskrit writers a Shadja Grama, or a scale in which C is the key-note.

But a singer may start with any key-note, and the several succeeding notes will be affected consequently. Let him start for instance with Madhyama, or F, as his tonic, and let him transfer his gamut to an instrument with moveable frets, he will find that the positions which the frets were in, in the natural scale, will be of no use now. For he will have to play his Sa on Ma fret of the natural scale and Ri on the Pa fret; Ga on the Dha, Ma on the Ni fret, and so on; but he will find that he will not be able to play Ga and Ma on the Dha and Ni frets; he will be obliged to push Dha one Shruti up and Ni two Shrutis.

The following diagram will make this clear —


The reason of this is that the interval between notes E are F is 2, and D and E 3, whereas, on the natural scale, the interval between G and A is 4, and A and B 3 shrutis, respectively.

It will therefore be seen that an instrument with its frets fixed for the natural scale will not do for any other key; we shall have to insert other frets for convenience, and these frets will give notes different from those of the 7 original frets; the necessity of sharp and flat notes is therefore evident. It is found that 12 such flat and sharp notes are required to be added, making in all 19 notes; and these are found to answer for the purposes of Hindu Music. These flat and sharp notes are called the Vikerita or changed notes. Besides this, the moveable frets of our musical instruments enable us to make provision for the sharp-sharp or flat-flat notes which are required in some of our songs. In the piano and the several keyed English instruments the natural scale is dreadfully abused and distorted by the method of what is called "equal temperament." They divide the scale into 12 equal semi-tones; it is this that accustoms the ear to false notes; and many singers of note try to sing without "the piano." This limited scope of English instruments disqualifies them to perform many of the beautiful airs of Hindu Music of which we will give some instances.

Kalyana and Abhiranata are two of the best and choicest specimens of Hindu Ragas or scales.

Kalyana requires

Sa -------- Ri -Ga Ma -Pa —— Pa Dha Ni Sa —— Sa

C(sharp2) -D - E - F - G(flat) - G - A - B -C(flat) C


C natural and flat,
D sharp-sharp
EF and A natural
G natural and flat

Again, Abhiranata requires

Sa ------- Ri Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa — Sa
C(sharp2) D E — F - G A — B C(flat) C

or C F G A natural,
D sharp-sharp,
C natural and flat.

It will thus be seen that these melodies will never be executed on an instrument with fixed keys and tempered sharps and flats.

How is it possible, therefore, to enjoy the melody of the music of the Hindus unless our readers provide themselves with instruments of very good make, such as are made here to suit the purposes of Hindu Music?

With respect to the aptitude of different notes to produce a pleasing sensation, they are divided into Vadi, Samvadi, Anuvadi and Vivadi; the first are styled sovereigns, as forming the principal notes in a Raga or scale; the second, or Samadi, are like ministers that assist the first in developing the scale; the third, or Anuvadi, are reckoned as servants that attend upon their superiors, bear strength, but cannot command; and the fourth, or Vivadi, are distinctly set down as enemies.

The intervals which mark the positions of Samadi, are 12 and 8 shrutis; e. g.,


— all those that lie in one row are Samvadi.

Vivadi are such notes as mar the effect of any Raga by their introduction; e. g., notes which are separated from each other by one shruti (kakali), and such as are consecutive. Consecutive notes, such as B and C, are admitted among English musicians as discordant.

It will thus be seen that in order that a pleasing effect may be produced on the ear by means of a species of arrangement of the musical notes, it is quite necessary that an account shall be taken of notes that are concordant, or otherwise.

According to Sanskrit writers on music, there are six principal Ragas and their names are, (1) Shri Rega, (2) Vesanta, (3) Panchama, (4) Bhairava,
(5) Megha and (6) Nat Narayan.

Each Raga is said to have 5 wives, and each wife 8 children. Thus it will be found that Hindu musicians sing 276 different scales, each distinct from the other, and each having a charm in itself.

Murchhanas, Tanas and Alankars are the various ornaments, or fiorituri, which are introduced by master singers to give effect to and develop the scale, or Raga, which they sing.

Murchhanas are performed by going over 7 notes of the selected scale (Raga), backwards and forwards; this is ascending and descending Arohana and Avarohana; e.g.,



Tanas are half Murchhanas, or motions in a single direction.

Alankars are several thousand in number, and are performed by grouping together and repeating the musical notes in permutations: e.g.,

Nishkarsha is C C, D D, E E, &c.;
Vistirna is C D E, D E F; E F G.
Bindu is C D, D E, E F, &c.

We think we have laid before the readers of the THEOSOPHIST materials which will enable them to see that the Hindu Music is not hap-hazard work and a low caste jig, but that at least some attempts at a systematic arrangement have been made by writers who made it their specialty. Nay, we find them so anxious to realize the great aim of music, which we have named above as Rakti, or the power of affecting the heart, that not only have they inserted various ingenious permutations and combinations of harmonical notes, but have actually set down rules and medicines for the cultivation of the voice, the singer's instrument. They have been so careful to secure this aim that they have presribed certain seasons of the year and certain hours of the day for certain Ragas, and have most searchingly enquired into the effect of each musical note on the heart. Dancing they have reduced to rule, and keeping time became a science under their watchful and anxious care, such as will vie in its nicety with the Sanskrit grammar, which is recognized as almost the perfection of deductive logic.

It is musical notation which we want, and feel this the more for we cannot perpetuate the melodious arrangements of tunes, of performers of genuine styles who, in the course of nature, are fast fading away. It is true we have a musical notation which we can claim as our own, but we think it is not sufficient nor elegant enough to mark the various graces of Hindu Music with the rapidity of a photographer. We think the English system of music, such as it is, cannot be adopted by us without making necessary changes; this we mean to do ere long, and so enable our friends living far away from India to share with us the enjoyment of melodious graces richly fraught with Rakti.

Poona Gayan Samaj,
20th September, 1879.


Mr. Edison says that since the patents for his electric light were issued, he has improved the standard metre for measuring the electricity fed to the burners, and has perfected a method of insulating and conveying the wires from the generating stations to the houses of the consumers. He is satisfied that the generator cannot be improved. Ninety-four per cent. of the horse-power is set free in the electric current, and eighty-two is delivered in the wire outside the machine. With the same resistance of the wire the generator has twice the electro-motor of any other machine yet made.


By Shankar Pandurang Pandit, M.A.

Much difference exists in the ideas of people as to what they should include in, and what they should exclude from, the very comprehensive term Veda. And it is exactly in proportion to the exactitude of what we mean by that word that it can be justly said to contain or not to contain such and such matter. There are those, representing one extreme, that stoutly maintain that the Veda contains everything, i.e, being the record of God's own revelation, it is the repository of all knowledge that man has hitherto had or shall in future come to possess, not excepting the latest discoveries and inventions connected with the telephone and the microphone. On the other side, people, who represent the other extreme — and these the vast bulk of foreigners in and out of the country, native and foreign — who have heard of the Veda, maintain their belief that there is nothing worth knowing in it, that it is a book or set of books which, wherever intelligible, are full of descriptions and ordinances of superstitious rites, and wherever unintelligible they are so hopelessly mystic as only to serve the purposes of designing and selfish priestcraft that is always ready to take shelter in whatever is old and obscure, revered but not understood, believed in but not examined. Like other extremes the two just indicated are both true and false, not simply because of differences of interpretations, but also because of some matter being included by the one and the same being excluded by the other from the thing signified by the term Veda. The strictly orthodox Hindu not only understands by it all the Samhitas or collections of hymns, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads, but even subsidiary Vedic treatises treating of the grammar of the Veda, the pronunciation of Vedic words, the Vedic vocabularies and so on; whereas many confine the name to the collections (Samhitas), the Brahmanas, and the Upanishads, and some classes of people would not allow the word to apply to anything more than the Samhitas.

The Samhitas are collections mostly of hymns, and sometimes of religious formulae, prayers, ritualistic descriptions of sacrifices and other rites and ceremonies. The Brahmanas are a class of composition that greatly partakes of the nature of commentaries expounding but more frequently speculating on many Vedic things which, though originally simple and commonly understood, had begun to be obscure long after the time had passed when the simple religion of the authors of the numerous hymns prevailed. The Upanishads represent a later period of time when men had begun to perceive the uselessness of mere rites and ceremonies and commenced generally to philosophize on man and nature, and as being a record of the flights of freedom of thought, point to a very different epoch in the intellectual history of the Hindu Aryan.

Though, however, generally speaking the Samhitas, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads point to three successive and different periods of time, still having regard to the nature of the three classes of books and of the Samhitas especially, there can be no doubt that each contains something that belongs to the periods of the other two. The Samhitas comprise hymns which embrace a very long period of time when doubtless the human mind had passed through many different stages of development, as well as different phases of decline.

The inclusion of both the Brahmanas and the Upanishads adds to and takes away from what we may call the fair reputation of the Veda. For if we have in the Upanishads some, if not indeed all, the sublimest ideas which man has ever conceived, we have in the Brahmanas the most puerile speculations on commonplace matters, and the most pitiable perversions of beauty and caricatures of simplicity. Yet we think that the Samhitas, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads together may fitly be styled the Veda or the Vedic literature; as taken together they certainly unfold the authentic history — authentic because written contemporaneously — of the rise and fall, the fall being greater than the rise, and the subsequent regeneration of the Hindu mind in its religious and philosophical aspects. The popular saying, there is no rise without fall, and there is no fall without rise, is no less applicable to the history of human thought than it is to the history of human action. The highest achievements of human thought and speculation are, history teaches us, followed by fall which is proportionate to the rise. No religion, howsoever pure, has been founded but has been debased by those who followed its noble propagator. And the rise and decline of an edifice should be studied together by those who wish to have a full and correct idea of the edifice. Such a study of history is especially necessary when the rise is not simple rise but contains parts of the fall, and the fall is not simple fall but contains parts of the rise.

Taking this view of the Aryan Vedic thought, we think that the Samhitas, the Brahmanas and the Upanishads should be allowed to constitute "the Veda." For the four Samhitas contain much that is fit to be contained in the Brahmanas, and the Brahmanas are not always void of things worthy of the Samhitas, and again the Samhitas are not quite strangers to the philosophical speculation, poetically clothed, of the Upanishads, and these last are sometimes quite as simple and primitive as the contents of the Samhitas.

Thus circumscribed, we believe the Veda is the origin of all religion. There can be no doubt that the Veda is the oldest Aryan book extant; nay, it is most probable that it is the oldest book in the world. This can certainly be predicated of parts at least of the hymns of the Samhitas. And as such it is the most reliable record of the gradual rise and development of religious ideas among one at least and that the most important race of mankind — the Aryans.

The fundamental truths of universal religion are there, and not simply the bare fundamental truths, but also their history, the history of their primeval rise and progress. Thus not only have we in the Veda — the Veda as we have described above — one deity as the creator, the preserver and the destroyer of all the universe, but we possess in it clear evidence of the manner in which the idea of a God was first conceived and a well-connected chain of the stages through which that idea passed for many ages until it rose to the imminence of a belief in the non-existence of many gods and the existence of one single Supreme Power — without a second.

(To be continued.)


By an English Admirer.

More than twenty years ago, when the advocates of Christianity were less sensible than they now are that the tenets of their multiform religion, were things to be screened from rude criticism, the missionary world was startled by the arrival in Bombay of a Brahman, who did not shrink from applying such criticism. Not then taught the better part of valour, as to the open profession of a knowledge of the unknowable, the missionaries met this rude person on the sea-shore, and there discussed, where the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway Trains now run, the peculiar arithmetic, astounding morals, and queer history, which they were in the habit of propounding as Christianity. There they found that glib assertions of intimate acquaintance with the inmost counsels of the Almighty were easier made than proved; and wiser and sadder men, they decided that public discussion of the basis of what they professed as Christian belief, was no longer opportune in Bombay.

From that date all prospects of the conversion of any of the educated classes from Hinduism to any of the forms of Christianity presented to them for acceptance in Bombay, practically came to an end. Missionary enterprise has gathered some harvest here and there among the — from an intellectual point of view — riff-raff of the place; but all the efforts of the many devoted, and some gifted, missionaries, to attack, or may we say, to comprehend, the entrenchments of Vedantic and other Oriental Philosophy have failed.

This result is doubtless due in part to the deadening effect of the materialistic teaching of the West. Every pupil in those longitudes is brought up a practical materialist. He is taught that nothing exists beyond the cognisance of his material senses: the reality of the spirit world is merely taught as a make-believe branch of a doubtful archaeology; and any real belief in its existence is stifled in its birth. How then can the preacher on a materialist plane reach the Vedantic philosopher, to whom the visible, the tangible, and the audible, are the less real entities about him?

But the chief cause of the dead stop put to the Christian propaganda amongst the better instructed classes, was unmistakeably the effect produced on his countrymen by the Brahmachari Bawa. Some account of his personality will, therefore, interest our readers.

In person Vishnu Pant was a fine example of the more delicate Maratha Brahman type. His head was arched, and the brain highly developed. His figure was elegant and distinguished; and his oratory was set off by the graceful action with which it was accompanied. His delivery was almost too rapid, as he never had to pause for the right idea, and the word to express it. But his great charm was the expression of his face; cheerful contentment, a happy mirthfulness, and regard for others animated his features. It was a remarkable sensation to meet him, draped in the simplest garb, without purse or scrip, and to trow that he took literally no heed for the morrow; in that he depended for his food entirely upon the free gifts of the day. Beyond his gourd and his staff, he owned no "property." In Western climes the communistic clauses of Christian obligation are so thoroughly explained away, that a living embodiment of them was sufficiently startling to the European mind. It became bewildering to find that as saints westward "found Jesus," so the Bramachari had "found Paramatma." As in the West, his "conversion" in his twentieth year had a specific date. Longer acquaintance with him made evident that the intolerant bigotry which would exclude him from a high place in the hierarchy of moral teachers, would have asked Melchizedek for his certificate of ordination by an Anglican Bishop. His pure and stainless memory is preserved by a small but affectionate following, but as yet his mantle has fallen upon no one. Perhaps his special work was done, though the search, for which he gave up all, is still to make by each of us for himself. We may not all adopt his conclusions, but his manner of seeking the Truth, his self-sacrifice in its pursuit, and his purity of life, are beacons which all can see, and which convey a definite lesson to every one who will open his eyes to see it.

The following translation has been made for us from the Marathi, by a young Parsi, of


I was born at sunrise on the 5th of Shalivan Shuddha, in the year 1746 of Shavan era, or 1882 of Samvat. My birthplace is the gaum Sirvallee, which is at the confluence of two rivers, in the plain, at the foot of the Sayadri range in the tarati (subdivision) of Devighat. It is in the Nizampura peta (section) of the Rajapur taluka (division), at present called the Mangaon taluka, in the zilla (district) of Thana, Bombay Presidency. I was born in the Chitpavan caste of the Brahmins. My great grand-father's name was Ramchandrapant Gokhle; grand-father's Mahdajee Pant Gokhle; father's Bhicaji Pant Gokhle; mother's Ramabai Pant Gokhle; and my own name is Vishnu Pant Gokhle. My mother gave birth to eleven children, (six sons and five daughters) of whom I was the tenth. I am called Brahmachari Bawa because I am a celibate, and also on account of my strict observance of the laws of chastity.

Whatever I learned of reading, writing, the Shastras, and the Vedas, was acquired in the interval between my seventh (the year in which I received the sacred Brahminical thread) and eighth years. In my ninth year, as by practice my handwriting had considerably improved, I began to work as a candidate in the British Land Revenue Department. After a year and a half of this service — my father had died in my fifth year — I was obliged by my mother to return home and engage in the care of our lands. * * * * * * * Having thus worked hard for a period of two years, in the twelfth year of my life I got myself employed in a grain-dealer's shop in the market place of Mahad, a town of Raighud taluka, about twenty-four miles from my birth-place. Thus, for a period of two years I worked hard in selling things by weight and measure. There I also sold cloth, changed monies, and kept accounts of bills of exchange and sales, as well as of interest on credit and debit accounts. At this time I became desirous to serve the British Government; but as my master would not let me resign his service, I was obliged to stop there as long as it was agreed upon between us. After that, in the fourteenth year of my life, I sailed from there in a ship to Ratnagiri, and engaged myself as a candidate in the British Customs Revenue Department at the port of Sangameshwar, in the Ratnagiri taluka. Then I served the British Government for two months as a substitute for an absent clerk, and after that went over to Thana. There I was examined by appointed examiners, and was found eligible for Government service. Immediately after this, between my 15th and 16th years, I obtained a position in the Customs Department in the Salsette taluka, of the Thana Zilla. Thus, for a period of seven years subsequently, I served with great zeal, honesty and independence, in the Sea Customs Revenue Department of Salsette, Bassein, Kallyan, Bhinwadee, etc.

During all this time, as from my childhood, I had been in the habit of meditating upon the Vedic religion and my mind always shuddered at even the idea of sin. In my twentieth year I received the first warning of, and was allowed a glimpse into, my futurity, through the divine power manifested under the form of Shakshatkar.

Whenever before and after my personal experience in the seclusion of self-initiation I addressed any of the Brahmins as to this truth, I was answered thus! "If you will worship us and learn our mantras and incantations from us we will disclose to you the truth about the 'Self-existent'." And so, in order to try them, I learned their mantras and did all they bade me do, and then demanded that the true knowledge should be divulged to me. Their answers proved their selfish wickedness, foolishness and often entire ignorance of the subject. Many proved themselves impostors; some used intoxicating liquors; others, again, pursued the sacred knowledge only with the avaricious object of obtaining the secrets of alchemy; others, again, were in search of magic for selfish motives, such as striving to gratify their sensual desires, to obtain filthy lucre by pecuniary gains, and various others as interested motives. All those I have come in contact with I have tried; but most of these men were found by me full of doubt and ignorance, and therefore, unable to teach others. Having thus discovered that most of them were only hunting after fame and selfish ends, and yet dared to brand those, who questioned them as to their learning, "faithless infidels," a great aversion arose in my heart for them and I got fully convinced that there was little in this world beyond imposture and selfishness. Thenceforth, I took a vow never to approach again such men. And as I had learned from the study of various religious works how to worship, reverence and commune with the only powerful universal Teacher, I then resolved to act accordingly, and betook myself to the jungles of the Saptsangi mountains, relying fully on the protection and omniscience of the omnipotent Master* (Ishwar). It was on the 23rd day of the 8th month of the 23rd year of my life, that giving up every worldly tie and possession, save a piece of loin-cloth, I retired to the dreary solitudes of Saptsangi and its jungles to meditate in silence upon the mysteries of the universe and try to discover the truth as to the nature of our real inner-self. . . . . . . . . . .

* See Bulwer's Zanoni — the scene where Zanoni sees and meets with his "Adonai," — ED.

There, in those solitary and deserted places, for a number of days, months and years, I performed the prescribed acts of devotion (self-improvement). And, as the effect of my ardent desire, concentration, and perseverance to learn by personal experience the state of "Self-existence" (i. e., that state in which the astral man, or kama-rupa is independent in all its actions of the body), I finally succeeded in seeing and knowing practically the omnipotence of the Lord (the divine I, or Spirit, the personal God of every individual.*) The Lord did manifest himself to me in a certain way which it is not lawful to describe — and revealed to me the various ways of bringing out my own "Self-existent" into action. And it is thus, at last, that I was convinced of the reality of the "Ever-existent." In my case, at least, my only teacher of the one Truth, my Sat-guru was the Lord.**

* By Ishwar and Master is not meant the personal God, whom the believers in such God suppose to be the creator of the universe, and outside the universe — Brahmachari Bawa does not recognize such a god in relation to the universe. His god is Brahma, the eternal and universal essence which pervades every thing and every where and which in man is the divine essence which is his moral guide, is recognized in the instincts of conscience, makes him aspire to immortality and leads him to it. This divine spirit in man is designated Iswar and corresponds to the name Adonai — Lord, of the Kabalists, i.e ., the Lord within man. — ED.

** Known under the generic name of Ishwar, or personal God.

Perfectly assured of His power to sustain my life, I lived on the tubors and roots of wild plants and creepers and the water from the springs; going about in a state of entire nudity and inhabiting a solitary cave. . . . I thought and meditated and practised perfect abstraction, dhyan and dharana, and with the help and protection of "My Power," — the Self-existent — I acquired the true knowledge of the Paramatma (the Universal and Highest Soul.) * * *

Some time later I was ordered by the Master of the universe to spread the true knowledge among mankind; and for this reason I went about from place to place, delivering lectures to the people to dispel their ignorauce (adnyan).

I have passed my time among various exoteric religious bodies and sects to discover what they possessed of truth. After testing them, I was obliged to give them all up with disappointment. I have seen various kinds of men with (various) good and bad qualities. I have discussed the philosophy of religion, i. e., of truth, with lots of ignorant and presumptuous men, and have made them give up their false beliefs. Standing surrounded by thousands of questioners and inquirers, I could satisfactorily answer questions and problems of any nature, upon the instant. When I rose to lecture to the public, whatever was asked of me by any or all of the audience to solve and clear away their doubts, difficulties, and ignorance, flowed from my mouth as if spontaneously. I possessed this marked faculty through the special favour of Dattatraya,* the universal Lord. In short I could answer in a moment any question asked by any one at any time. As I have been thus specially endowed by the 'omnipotent Lord of the universe, Dattatraya, no man can falsify what I say, and thus silence me. Many have satisfied themselves respecting this quality of mine, and whoever comes to me hereafter may be satisfied on the point over and over again. I fear nothing. Not even the most mortal and fearful dangers and difficulties have the power to produce fear within me. Whatever I say or speak is based upon my own personal experience, and it always tallies with reason, and the doctrines of the true shastras (books of the religion of truth); therefore no one will ever be able to defeat and refute me on any point whatever. As I have served no one with a dependent and servile spirit, I am not in the habit of flattering any one. Therefore, the flatterers and the flattered, those foolish people who hunt after fame, though they undoubtedly know me to be a man of power, outwardly ridicule me in my absence, They dare not ridicule me in their hearts, for they too well see and know that I am in the possession of occult and unusual powers. While the impartial and independent who burn with the desire of obtaining the knowledge of truth, praise me in exact proportion to their abilities. Nevertheless I would impart such knowledge as I have of the truth with exact impartiality to my haters as well as those who applaud me. . . . . . . . . . This is my account of myself. Now pass on me whatever remarks you will.

* In the popular sense, Dattatraya is the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, incarnate in an Avatar — of course as a triple essence. The esoteric and true meaning is the adept's own trinity of body, soul, and spirit; the three being all realized by him as real, existent and potential. By Yoga training, the body becomes pure as a crystal casket, the soul purged of all its grossness, and the spirit which, before the beginning of his course of self-purification and development, was to him but a dream, has now become a reality — the man has become a demi-god. — ED.


By "Forester."

Your monthly journal professes to seek the welfare of the country and the people — I trust, therefore, that you will give space therein to the following few remarks upon the influences of trees and forests, and the disastrous effects arising from the denudation of hill and mountain slopes. Your journal will probably reach, amongst others, the hands of native Karbaries of Native States who will, perhaps, under your advocacy, be led to consider the subject deserving of far more attention than has yet been given to it. The Bombay Government are fully aware of the gravity and importance of the subject, and the Bombay Gazette has lately remarked in its editorial columns upon the pressing importance of the forest question connected with this country, and enlarged upon the benefits conferred upon agriculture in the plains and level lands of a country by the presence of forest vegetation upon its hill and mountain slopes, and also regarding the manner in which the growth of forests tends to influence rainfall. Regarding the past heavy monsoon and the rain which fell in torrents, I would ask my readers to consider how much of this precious water, which is sent by Nature to give fertility to the soil, to cause the germination of seeds, to irrigate crops, and in short to give life and health to vegetation for the food and benefit of man and beast, was permitted to escape and run off the land unutilised, and to return to the ocean by the many rivers, streams and water-courses intersecting the country, simply because the hills and drainage slopes surrounding us lack the power of stopping the downward flow of water and of causing it to lodge in the earth? The restoration of vegetation to our hills would work a magical transformation in this respect. The so-called "worthless scrub and brushwood" which first appear under forest conservation on the sides of denuded hills, play a most important part in regulating the off-flow and storage of water, and the consequent natural irrigation of the country; each bush offers an obstruction to the downward flow of water, stopping it for a while, and inducing some portion of it to filtrate into the ground, conducted by its roots through the holes and tunnels they have excavated and worked, into hidden reservoirs below. When the scrub and brushwood have developed into "timber and forests" and undergrowth is suppressed by tall trees, then other vegetable agents come into play, in controlling the surface and sub-soil drainage of water, and in forming natural surface and subterranean reservoirs.

The first question has of late years been attracting considerable attention all over the world. Able, interesting and instructive letters by correspondents have, from time to time, appeared in our local papers on "the influences and uses of forests." In America, as well as on the Continent of Europe, the subject has been ably treated by scientific men who have made it their study. In the Bombay Gazette of the 31st March last, I was informed that M. Barbie, French savant, has recently presented to the French Society of Agriculture a long paper, which contains a resume of the timber supply now existing in various parts of the world; and from a Blue Book it is gratifying to learn that our own Government at home has been in no way backward in gathering information on this very important subject. So long ago as 1874, Lord Derby, then Foreign Secretary, addressed a circular to H. M.'s representatives abroad, embodying a series of questions as to foreign timber, including timber used for ship-building, and railway purposes, for furniture, fancy articles, firewood, latticewood shingles for roofs, &c.: also as to timber, from which valuable barks, gums, dyes, &c., are derived. Among others, question No. 13 asked, "Have any observations been made or conclusions arrived at as to the climatic influence of forests, or the effect of their clearance on the rainfall, floods, &c.?" Reports were received from Austria, Hungary, Brazil, France, Hesse, Darmstadt and Baden; Russia, Saxony, Sweden and Norway; Switzerland, the United States; and Wurtemberg; Cuba and Honduras. A few of these I will now proceed to give. Mr. Percy French, for Austro-Hungary, replied to the above question as follows: — "The expropriation or diminution of the forests in parts of Austria, and more especially in Hungary, has been followed by effects of a serious and baneful nature, such as long seasons of drought and a permanency of tremendous winds, which come from the Carpathians, sweeping the whole of the plains of Hungary filling the air with unceasing clouds of dust, and considerably increasing the development of pulmonary disease, especially in the towns which are now totally unprotected; among these may be mentioned Pesth, Presburg and Vienna, which are perfectly intolerable in spring, summer and autumn on this account. Ample information on this point will be found in the stereographic and meteorological returns."

Here in the Deccan is experienced much of the same effects, resulting from the destruction of forests and trees, during a great part of the monsoon months. Fierce winds from the West and S. W., sweep over the country, driving away the vapour-laden clouds at a rapid rate high over the thirsty plains, without permitting them to discharge their precious moisture to benefit cultivation and to make the soil yield its due increase; while in the dry season equally fierce but hot winds from the opposite direction rush over the land, and assist the untempered rays of a tropical sun in completing the work of evaporation and soil exhaustion.

From Rio, Mr. Victor Drummond reported, "There is no doubt that the destruction of forests has a great influence on the climate, both in causing a decrease in the rainfall and an increase in the heat, and a consequent diminuation of healthy atmosphere; and these have been particularly remarked at Rio Janeiro, where formerly the climate was very good and healthy, where the tropical heat was supportable, and where no yellow fever was known."

In proof of these remarks, I will give an extract translated from a speech made at the International Congress at Vienna in 1873, by Senhor Jose de Saldauph de Gama, who was one of the Brazilian delegates there. He says: "The woods of Brazil now furnish comparatively so little to what they used, that to fill the reservoirs of Rio Janeiro, a town of 300,000 inhabitants, the Brazilian Government was obliged to bring water from the mountains at a long distance off, and at a considerable cost. Is it absurd to suppose that this drying up of certain water-sources, and the small quantity to be found in others, is entirely owing to the destruction of a great part of the woods surrounding Rio de Janeiro? I believe not. Their influence on the climate is also clearly proved. In the time when the vegetation was healthy and vigorous, the atmosphere was much softer, and much purer in the three months after December, and which, although naturally hot, were certainly much cooler than they are now. There were then constant storms every evening in summer; thunder was heard, and the rain fell during two or three hours without exception every day. The air became fresh, light, transparent, and agreeable. Then we enjoyed a pleasanter climate and could support without an effort the tropical heat, without fearing epidemics, which at that time were unknown. Little by little, and by the destruction of the forests, the storms so healthy in the bad season, lost their remarkable regularity; the heat increased in the same proportion, the climate became less favorable to health during the three summer months, and those in affluent circumstances, retired from Rio till the end of April."

The same influence, owing to the destruction of forests, is noticed in other parts of Brazil along the coast.

The report from France stated that observations have been made at different times with regard to the climatic influence of forests and to the effect of their clearance, and particular attention was bestowed upon these questions in 1856, after the inundations which took place in France in that year. In 1858 the question was studied by Messrs. Billand, Cautegiral and Jeandel in the Departments of the Meurthe; and M. Becquerel, member of the Academy of Sciences, continued these studies in the basins of the Loire, and of the Seine, in the large forests of Orleans and of Fontainebleau; he, at the same time, studied the influence of forests upon atmospherical phenomena, such as upon the amount of rainfall, storms, &. The following are some of the conclusions arrived at by M. Becquerel: —

(1). That great clearances of wood diminish the number of springs.
(2). That forests while preserving springs regulate their course; and
(3). That cultivation in a dry and arid soil does away to a certain extent with springs.

These conclusions of M. Becquerel gave rise to controversies, and the Botanical School at Nancy (Ecole Forestiere) was in consequence charged with studying the question and with drawing up reports upon it. These reports are given in extenso in a work entitled "Meteorologie Forestiere." It is stated therein that observations were made in two places, the one wooded and the other devoid of wood, situated in the same latitude and longitude, and at no great distance from one another, and it was found that the rainfall was greater in the wooded than in the agricultural district, that the soil in forests is as well watered by rain as the open country, and that springs are more abundant and regular in their supply of water in a wooded than in an unwooded district; that it has been proved that forests moderate the temperature of climate both in diminishing cold and in modifying heat.

In the island of Cuba it has been observed that in proportion as the forests, especially in the plains and lower uplands, have been destroyed and cleared away, the rains have diminished and the natural storage of water made impossible.

There can be no doubt then, not only from these reports but also from the examples surrounding us on all sides, and which unfortunately are continually forcing themselves upon our observation, that the destruction of the forests of a country is productive of most disastrous consequences. The climate changes for the worse; the rainfall becomes capricious; the water supply gradually dries up and atmospheric humidity disappears. Thus, while in the western districts of Poona cold-weather crops are grown, yielding their due increase, being irrigated by dew and the moisture that trees transpire through their leaves, in the eastern districts, cold-weather crops are burnt up by dry, hot winds and the absence of dew. Navigable rivers become shallow streams. The Ratnagiri district offers remarkable examples testifying to this fact. The Chiplun creek has so silted that large native crafts cannot now come within four miles of Goalkhot bunder, to which place the largest vessels plied a few years ago. The Shastri river affords a strong illustration. The largest native vessels could, within the past thirty years, ply up to the quay at Sungweshwar, which town is now left high and dry, six miles from the nearest navigable point! Brooks change into torrents during one part of the year and stony tracts during the remainder: the rivers in the Poona districts, especially the streams, that issue from the cross ranges of denuded hills, are examples of this. Lakes dry up and reservoirs are filled with silt: The Wadki tank, a few miles from the Poona city, and the Patus tank, an old work dating from the Peishwa's time, 30 miles east of Poona, prove the correctness of this statement. The subterranean water-level sinks by gravitation, in the absence of trees and the capillary attraction of their roots. Wells, which formerly held water all the year round, are now to be seen very inconstant in many villages in the Deccan. Landslips are of frequent occurrence: the surface of once fertile valleys, in many parts of the Deccan, is now covered with fallen earth and stone, while in the Konkan it is very common for ryots to seek remission of rent on the plea that their rice fields have been covered with avalanches of soil brought by heavy rains off unprotected hills. Rivers carry away the stoutest bridges, as the Nira, Girna, Tarla, Moosum and fifty other Deccan rivers have recorded. Dams of irrigation reservoirs are breached, as Koregaon in the Sholapur district and many more can be witnessed. These are some of the evils which result from the destruction of forests. It will be seen then, how very necessary it is that forest conservation — which, by restoring forest vegetation to the hills and mountains of
the country, will mitigate, and in time remove these evils — should be pushed forward with system and vigour. It is possible that temporary inconvenience may be occasioned to a few people by the wholesale protection of hills and drainage-slopes, but when it is considered that the work is for the country's welfare, and that multitudes will benefit by it, then it must be acknowledged that consideration of individual interest cannot for one moment be allowed to stand in the way of the public good.
October 21st, 1879.


With an ordinary horseshoe magnet, a bit of soft iron, and a common shingle-nail, a practical inventor, who for years has been pondering over the power lying dormant in the magnet, now demonstrates as his discovery a fact of the utmost importance in magnetic science, which has hitherto escaped the observation of both scientists and practical electricians, namely, the existence of a neutral line in the magnetic field — a line where the polarity of an induced magnet ceases, and beyond which it changes. With equally simple appliances he shows the practical utilization of his discovery in such a way as to produce a magnetic motor, thus opening up a bewildering prospect of the possibilities before us in revolutionizing the present methods of motive power through the substitution of a wonderfully cheap and safe agent. By his achievement Mr. Wesley W. Gary has quite upset the theories of magnetic philosophy hitherto prevailing, and lifted magnetism out from among the static forces where science has placed it in the position of a dynamic power. The Gary Magnetic Motor, the result of Mr. Gary's long years of study, is, in a word, a simple contrivance which furnishes its own power and will run until worn out by the force of friction; coming dangerously near to that awful bugbear, perpetual motion.

The old way of looking at magnetism has been to regard it as a force like that of gravitation, the expenditure of an amount of energy equal to its attraction being required to overcome it: consequently its power could not be availed of. Accepting this theory, it would be as idle to attempt to make use of the permanent magnet as a motive power as to try to lift one's self by one's boot straps. But Mr. Gary, ignoring theories, toiled away at his experiments with extraordinary patience and perseverance, and at last made the discovery which seems to necessitate the reconstruction of the accepted philosophy.


To obtain a clear idea of the Gary Magnetic Motor, it is necessary first to comprehend thoroughly the principle underlying it — the existence of the neutral line and the change in polarity, which Mr. Gary demonstrates by his horseshoe magnet, his bit of soft iron, and his common shingle-nail. This is illustrated in Fig. 1. The letter A represents a compound magnet; B, a piece of soft iron made fast to a lever with a pivoted joint in the centre, the iron becoming a magnet by induction when in the magnetic field of the permanent magnet; C, a small nail that drops off when the iron, or induced magnet, is on the neutral line. By pressing the finger on the lever at D, the iron is raised above neutral line. Now let the nail be applied to the end of the induced magnet at E; it clings to it, and the point is turned inward toward the pole of the magnet directly below, thus indicating that the induced magnet is of opposite polarity from the permanent one. Now let the iron be gradually lowered toward the magnet; the nail drops off the neutral line, but it clings again when the iron is lowered below the line, and now its point is turned outward, or away from the magnetic pole below. In this way Mr. Gary proves that the polarity of an induced magnet is changed by passing over the neutral line without coming in contact. In the experiment strips of paper are placed under the soft iron, or induced magnet, as shown in the figure, to prevent contact.


The neutral line is shown to extend completely around the magnet; and a piece of soft iron placed upon this line will entirely cut off the attraction of the magnet from any thing beyond. The action of this cut-off is illustrated in Fig. 2. The letters A and B represent, the one a balanced magnet and the other a stationary magnet. The magnet A is balanced on a joint, and the two magnets are placed with opposite poles facing each other. The letter C is a piece of thin or sheet iron, as the case may be, made fast to a lever with joint in the centre, and so adjusted that the iron will move on the neutral line in front of the poles of the stationary magnet. By pressing the finger on the lever at D the iron is raised, thus withdrawing the cut-off so that the magnet A is attracted and drawn upward by the magnet B. Remove the finger, and the cut-off drops between the poles, and, in consequence, the magnet A drops again. The same movement of magnets can be obtained by placing a piece of iron across the poles of the magnet B after the magnet A has been drawn near to it. The magnet A will thereupon immediately fall away; but the iron can only be balanced, and the balance not disturbed, by the action of the magnets upon each other when the iron is on the neutral line, and does not move nearer or farther away from the magnet B.

It may not be found easy to demonstrate these principles at the first trials. But it should be borne in mind that it took the inventor himself four years after he had discovered the principle to adjust the delicate balance so as to get a machine which would go. Now, however, that he has thought out the entire problem, and frankly tells the world how he has solved it, any person at all skilful and patient, and with a little knowledge of mechanics, may soon succeed in demonstrating it for himself.


The principle underlying the motor and the method by which a motion is obtained now being explained, let us examine the inventor's working models. The beam movement is the simplest, and by it, it is claimed, the most power can be obtained from the magnets. This is illustrated in Fig. 3. The letter A represents a stationary magnet, and B the soft iron, or induced magnet, fastened to a lever with a joint in the centre, and so balanced that the stationary magnet will not quite draw it over the neutral line. The letter C represents a beam constructed of a double magnet, clamped together in the centre and balanced on a joint. One end is set opposite the stationary magnet, with like poles facing each other. The beam is so balanced that when the soft iron B on the magnet A is below the neutral line, it (the beam) is repelled down to the lower dotted line indicated by the letter D. The beam strikes the lever E with the pen F attached, and drives it (the lever) against the pin G, which is attached to the soft iron B, which is thus driven above the neutral line, where its polarity changes. The soft iron now attracts the beam magnet C to the upper dotted line, whereupon it (the soft iron) is again drawn down over the neutral line, and its polarity again changing, the beam magnet C is again repelled to the lower line, continuing so to move until it is stopped or worn out. This supply illustrates the beam movement. To gain a large amount of power the inventor would place groups of compound stationary magnets above and below the beam at each side, and the soft iron induced magnets, in this case four in number, connected by rods passing down between the poles of the stationary magnets. A "Pitman" connecting the beam with a fly-wheel to change the reciprocating into a rotary motion would be the means of transmitting the power. With magnets of great size an enormous power, he claims, could be obtained in this way.


One of the daintiest and prettiest of Mr. Gary's models is that illustrating the action of a rotary motor. There is a peculiar fascination in watching the action of this neat little contrivance. It is shown in Fig. 4. The letter A represents an upright magnet hung on a perpendicular shaft; B, the horizontal magnet; C, the soft iron which is fastened to the lever D; E, the pivoted joint on which the lever is balanced; and F, the thumb-screw for adjusting the movement of the soft iron. This soft iron is so balanced that as the north pole of the upright magnet A swings around opposite and above the south pole of the horizontal magnets B, it drops below the neutral line and changes its polarity. As the magnet A turns round until its north pole is opposite and above the north pole of the magnets B, the soft iron is drawn upward and over the neutral line, so that its polarity is changed again. At this point the polarity in the soft iron C is like that of the permanent magnets A and B. To start the engine the magnet A is turned around to the last-named position, the poles opposite like poles of the magnets B; then one pole of the magnet A is pushed a little forward and over the soft iron. This rotary magnet is repelled by the magnets B, and also by the soft iron; it turns around until the unlike poles of the permanent magnets become opposite; as they attract each other the soft iron drops below the neutral line, the polarity changes and becomes opposite to that of the magnets B and like that of the magnet A; the momentum gained carries the pole of A a little forward of B and over the soft iron, which now being of like polarity, repels it around to the starting point, completing the revolution. The magnets A and B now compound or unite their forces, and the soft iron is again drawn up over the neutral line; its polarity is changed and another revolution is made without any other force being applied than the force of the magnets. The motion will continue until some outside force is applied to stop it, or until the machine is worn out.

The result is the same as would be obtained were the magnets B removed and the soft iron coiled with wire, and battery force applied sufficient to give it the same power that it gets from the magnets B, and a current-changer applied to change the polarity. The power required to work the current-changer in this case would be in excess of the power demanded to move the soft iron over the neutral line, since no power is acquired from the revolving magnet under these circumstances, it being moved by the magnets compounding when like poles are opposite each other, three magnets thus attracting the iron. When opposite poles are near together, they attract each other and let the iron drop below the line. The soft iron, with its lever, is finely balanced at the joint, and has small springs applied and adjusted so as to balance it against the power of the magnets. In this working model the soft iron vibrates less than a fiftieth of an inch.

This rotary motion is intended for use in small engines where light power is required, such as propelling sewing-machines, for dental work, show windows, etc.

When Wesley Gary was a boy of nine years, the electric telegraph was in its infancy and the marvel of the day; and his father, who was a clergyman in Cortland County, New York, used to take up matters of general interest and make them subject of an occasional lecture, among other things, giving much attention to the explanation of this new invention. To illustrate his remarks on the subject he employed an electro-magnetic machine. This and his father's talk naturally excited the boy's curiosity, and he used to ponder much on the relations of electricity and magnetism, until he formed a shadowy idea that somehow they must become a great power in the world. He never lost his interest in the subject, though his rude experiments were interrupted for a while by the work of his young manhood. When the choice of a calling was demanded, he at first had a vague feeling their he would like to be artist. "But," he says, "my friends would have thought that almost as useless and unpractical as to seek for perpetual motion." At last he went into the woods a-lumbering, and took contracts to clear large tracts of woodland in Western and Central New York, floating the timber down the canals to Troy. He followed this business for several years, when he was forced to abandon it by a serious attack of inflammatory rheumatism, brought about through exposure in the woods. And this, unfortunate as it must have seemed at the time, proved the turning point in his life. His family physician insisted that he must look for some other means of livelihood than lumbering. To the query, "What shall I do?" it was suggested that he might take to preaching, following in the footsteps of his father, and of a brother who had adopted the profession. But this he said he could never do: he would do his best to practise, but he couldn't preach. "Invent something, then," said the doctor. "There is no doubt in my mind that you were meant for an inventor." This was really said in all seriousness, and Mr. Gary was at length persuaded that the doctor knew him better than he did himself. His thoughts naturally recurring to the experiments and the dreams of his youth, he determined to devote all his energies to the problem. He felt more and more confident, as he dwelt on the matter, that a great force lay imprisoned within the magnet; that some time it must be unlocked and set to doing the world's work; that the key was hidden somewhere, and that he might find it as well as any one else.

At Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, Mr. Gary made his first practical demonstration, and allowed his discovery to be examined and the fact published. He had long been satisfied, from his experiments, that if he could devise a "cut-off," the means of neutralizing the attractive power of a stationary magnet on another raised above it and adjusted on a pivot, unlike poles opposite, and so arrange this cut-off as to work automatically, he could produce motion in a balanced magnet. To this end he persistently experimented, and it was only about four years ago that he made the discovery, the key to his problem, which is the basis of his present motor, and upsets our philosophy. In experimenting one day with a piece of soft iron upon a magnet, he made the discovery of the natural line and the change of polarity. At first he gave little attention to the discovery of the change of polarity, not then recognizing its significance, being absorbed entirely by the possibilities the discovery of the neutral line opened up to him. Here was the point for his cut-off. For a while he experimented entirely with batteries, but in September, 1874, he succeeded in obtaining a movement independent of the battery. This was done on the principle illustrated in Fig. 2. The balanced magnet, with opposite poles to the stationary magnet, was weighted so that the poles would fall down when not attracted by the stationary magnet. When it was
attracted up to the stationary magnet, a spring was touched by the movement, and thus the lever with the soft iron was made to descend between the two magnets on the neutral line, and so cutting off the mutual attraction. Then the balanced magnet, responding to the force of gravitation, descended, and, when down, struck another spring, by means of which the cut-off was lifted back to its original position, and consequently the force of attraction between the magnets was again brought into play. In June, the following year, Mr. Gary exhibited this continuous movement to a number of gentlemen, protecting himself by covering the cut-off with copper so as to disguise the real material used, and prevent theft of his discovery. His claim, as he formally puts it, is this: "I have discovered that a straight piece of iron placed across the poles of a magnet, and near to their end, changes its polarity while in the magnetic field and before it comes in contact with the magnet, the fact being, however, that actual contact is guarded against. The conditions are that the thickness of the iron must be proportioned to the power of the magnet, and that the neutral line, or line of change in the polarity of the iron, is nearer or more distant from the magnet according to the power of the latter and thickness of the former. My whole discovery is based upon this change of polarity in the iron, with or without a battery." Power can' be increased to any extent, or diminished by the addition or withdrawal of magnets.

Mr. Gary is forty-one years old, having been born in 1837. During the years devoted to working out his problem he sustained himself by the proceeds from the sale of a few useful inventions made from time to time when he was forced to turn aside from his experiments to raise funds. From the sale of one of these inventions — a simple little thing — he realized something like ten thousand dollars.

The announcement of the invention of the magnetic motor came at a moment when the electric light excitement was at its height. The holders of gas stocks were in a state of anxiety, and those who had given attention to the study of the principle of the new light expressed the belief that it was only the question of the cost of power used to generate the electricity for the light that stood in the way of its general introduction and substitution for gas. A prominent electrician, who was one day examining Mr. Gary's principle, asked if in the change of polarity he had obtained electric sparks. He said that he had, and the former then suggested that the principle be used in the construction of a magneto-electric machine, and that it might turn out to be superior to any thing then in use. Acting on this suggestion, Mr. Gary set to work, and within a week had perfected a machine which apparently proved a marvel of efficiency and simplicity. In all previous machines electricity is generated by revolving a piece of soft iron in front of the poles of a permanent magnet. But to do this at a rate of speed high enough to produce sparks in such rapid succession as to keep up a steady current of electricity suitable for the light, considerable power is required. In Mr. Gary's machine, however, the piece of soft iron, or armature, coiled with wire, has only to be moved across the neutral line to secure the same result. Every time it crosses the line it changes its polarity, and every time the polarity changes, a spark is produced. The slightest vibration is enough to secure this, and with each vibration two sparks are produced, just as with each revolution in the other method. An enormous volume can be secured with an expenditure of force so diminutive that a caged squirrel might furnish it. With the employment of one of the smallest of the magnetic motors, power may be supplied and electricity generated at no expense beyond the cost of the machine.

The announcement of the invention of the magnetic motor was naturally received with incredulity, although the recent achievements in mechanical science had prepared the public for almost any thing, and it could not be very much astonished at whatever might come next. Some admitted that there might be something in it; others shrugged their shoulders and said, "Wait and see;" while the scientific referred all questioners to the laws of magnetic science; and all believers in book authority responded, "It can't be so because the law says it can't." A few scientists, however, came forward, curious to see, and examined Mr. Gary's models; and when reports went out of the conversion of two or three of the most eminent among them, interest generally was awakened, and professors from Harvard and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology called, examined, and were impressed. More promptly than the scientists, capitalists moved; and before science had openly acknowledged the discovery and the principle of the invention, men of money were after Mr. Gary for the right to use the motor for various purposes: one wished to use it for clocks, another for sewing-machines, others for dental engines, and so on.

It is as yet too soon to speculate upon what may result from the discovery; but since it produces power in two ways, both directly by magnets and indirectly by the generation of unlimited electricity, it would seem that it really might become available in time for all purposes to which electricity might long ago have been devoted except for the great expense involved. Within one year after the invention of the telephone it was in practical use all over the world, from the United States to Japan. And it is not incredible that in 1880 one may be holding a magnetic motor in his pocket, running the watch which requires no winding up, and seated in a railway car be whirling across the continent behind a locomotive impelled by the same agency. [Harper's Maga.]

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