Showing posts from December, 2015

Jnana-Yoga : - 1-9.


Utilitarian standards cannot explain the ethical relations of men, for, in the first place, we cannot derive any ethical laws from considerations of utility.

Without the supernatural sanction as it is called, or the perception of the superconscious as I prefer to term it, there can be no ethics.

Without the struggle towards the Infinite there can be no ideal.

Any system that wants to bind men down to the limits of their own societies is not able to find an explanation for the ethical laws of mankind.

The Utilitarian wants us to give up the struggle after the Infinite, the reaching-out for the Supersensuous, as impracticable and absurd, and, in the same breath, asks us to take up ethics and do good to society. Why should we do good?

Doing good is a secondary consideration.

We must have an ideal.

Ethics itself is not the end, but the means to the end.

If the end is not there, why should we be ethical?

Why should I do good to other men, and no…

Jnana-Yoga : - 1-8.


Ethics always says, "Not I, but thou."

Its motto is, "Not self, but non-self."

The vain ideas of individualism, to which man clings when he is trying to find that Infinite Power or that Infinite Pleasure through the senses, have to be given up — say the laws of ethics.

You have to put yourself last, and others before you.

The senses say, "Myself first."

Ethics says, "I must hold myself last."

Thus, all codes of ethics are based upon this renunciation; destruction, not construction, of the individual on the material plane.

That Infinite will never find expression upon the material plane, nor is it possible or thinkable.

So, man has to give up the plane of matter and rise to other spheres to seek a deeper expression of that Infinite.

In this way the various ethical laws are being moulded, but all have that one central idea, eternal self-abnegation.

Perfect self-annihilation is the ideal of ethics.


Jnana-Yoga : - 1-7.


Apart from the consideration of tie question how far these facts claimed by religions are true, we find one characteristic common to them all.

They are all abstractions as contrasted with the concrete discoveries of physics, for instance; and in all the highly organised religions they take the purest form of Unit Abstraction, either in the form of an Abstracted Presence, as an Omnipresent Being, as an Abstract Personality called God, as a Moral Law, or in the form of an Abstract Essence underlying every existence.

In modern times, too, the attempts made to preach religions without appealing to the supersensuous state if the mind have had to take up the old abstractions of the Ancients and give different names to them as "Moral Law", the "Ideal Unity", and so forth, thus showing that these abstractions are not in the senses.

None of us have yet seen an "Ideal Human Being", and yet we are told to believe in it. N…

Jnana-Yoga : - 1-6.


Some exceptions may be taken in the case of the Buddhists as represented by the Southern sect. It may be asked — if the Buddhists do not believe in any God or soul, how can their religion be derived from the supersensuous state of existence?

The answer to this is that even the Buddhists find an eternal moral law, and that moral law was not reasoned out in our sense of the word But Buddha found it, discovered it, in a supersensuous state.

Those of you who have studied the life of Buddha even as briefly given in that beautiful poem, The Light of Asia, may remember that Buddha is represented as sitting under the Bo-tree until he reached that supersensuous state of mind.

All his teachings came through this, and not through intellectual cogitations.

Thus, a tremendous statement is made by all religions; that the human mind, at certain moments, transcends not only the limitations of the senses, but also the power of reasoning.

It then comes face …

Jnana-Yoga : - 1-5.


But by this time the search had begun, and the search was inward, arid man continued inquiring more deeply into the different stages of the mind and discovered higher states than either the waking or the dreaming.

This state of things we find in all the organised religions of the world, called either ecstasy or inspiration.

In all organised religions, their founders, prophets, and messengers are declared to have gone into states of mind that were neither waking nor sleeping, in which they came face to face with a new series of facts relating to what is called the spiritual kingdom.

They realised things there much more intensely than we realise facts around us in our waking state.

Take, for instance, the religions of the Brahmins.

The Vedas are said to be written by Rishis.

These Rishis were sages who realised certain facts.

The exact definition of the Sanskrit word Rishi is a Seer of Mantras — of the thoughts conveyed in the Vedic hymns.


Jnana-Yoga : - 1-4.


These two views, though they seem to be contradictory, can be reconciled on a third basis, which, to my mind, is the real germ of religion, and that I propose to call the struggle to transcend the limitations of the senses.

Either, man goes to seek for the spirits of his ancestors, the spirits of the dead, that is, he wants to get a glimpse of what there is after the body is dissolved, or, he desires to understand the power working behind the stupendous phenomena of nature.

 Whichever of these is the case, one thing is certain, that he tries to transcend the limitations of the senses.

He cannot remain satisfied with his senses; he wants to go beyond them.

The explanation need not be mysterious.

To me it seems very natural that the first glimpse of religion should come through dreams.

The first idea of immortality man may well get through dreams. Is that not a most wonderful state?

And we know that children and untutored minds find very litt…

Jnana-Yoga : - 1-3.


On the other hand, there are scholars who from the ancient Aryan literature show that religion originated in nature worship.

Although in India we find proofs of ancestor worship everywhere, yet in the oldest records there is no trace of it whatsoever.

In the Rig-Veda Samhitâ, the most ancient record of the Aryan race, we do not find any trace of it.

Modern scholars think, it is the worship of nature that they find there.

The human mind seems to struggle to get a peep behind the scenes.

The dawn, the evening, the hurricane, the stupendous and gigantic forces of nature, its beauties, these have exercised the human mind, and it aspires to go beyond, to understand something about them.

In the struggle they endow these phenomena with personal attributes, giving them souls and bodies, sometimes beautiful, sometimes transcendent.

Every attempt ends by these phenomena becoming abstractions whether personalised or not.

So also it is found with the a…