Charles Reed Peers.

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who would not accept any nourishment from the Musulmans,
nor keep society with strangers. It was said, that an Umra
of the Muhammedans had oflFered him three lacs of rupees,
which he refused to take. Pursuant to his religion, he ab-
stained from animal food. Kesayi Tlvdrl is one of the
Brahmans of Benares, and well conversant with the science
of his class. Having left his house, he settled on the bank
of the river Ravi, which passes under the garden Kamran,
at Lah6r : given up to devotion, he seeks no protection
against rain and sun ; he lives upon a little milk ; and what-
ever he has collected during several months, he spends in
the entertainment of the pious Brahmans whom he invites.



THE VEDANTIAN SECT

This sect belongs to the most learned and wise of this
people. We shall give the substance of their creed. They
say : The explanation regarding the only really existing
Being (God) resembles a science from which a faint like-
ness of His grandeur may be perceived ; this being and His
qualities are pure of all imperfections and contradictions ;
He oversees all beings ; He discovers all that is hidden ; His
existence comprehends all things ; decay and deficiency have
no access to the boundless area of His existence ; He is the
lord of life, the greatest of spirits endowed with pure quali-
ties, and this holy Being, this sublime object, they call
Brahma uttama, ** the most excellent Brahma," that is, the
supreme soul and the most exalted spirit ; and the evidence
of this meaning, that is, of His existence, is the created
world ; because a creation without a creator will not come
forth from the veil of nonentity into the field of evidence,
and the maker of this work is He, the Lord. This explana-
tion is to be supported in the field of certainty by the wise
arguments of sagacious people, and by the testimonies of the



220 THE DABISTAN

text of the Veda, that is, of the heavenly book. The truly
existing Being (God) has exhibited this world and the
heavens in the field of existence, but He haj nothing like an
odor of being, nor has He taken a color of reality ; and this
manifestation they call Mdyd, that is, "the magic of God*^ ;
because the universe is "His playful deceit," and He is the
bestower of the imitative existence. Himself the unity of
reality. With His pure substance, like an imitative actor.
He passes every moment into another form, and having
again left this, appears in another dress. It is He alone who,
coming forth in the forms of Brahma, Vishnu, and Maha-
deva, exhibits the true unity in a trinity of persons, and
who, manifesting His being and unity in three persons,
separate from each other, formed this universe. The con-
nection of the spirits with the holy being (God) is like the
connection of the billows with the ocean, or that of sparks
with fire ; on that account, they call the soul and the spirits
j'lvdtmd. The soul is uncompounded and distinct from the
body and from the material senses ; but by the power of
selfishness it fell into a captivity from which the soul strives
to be liberated. The soul has three conditions or states :
the first is the state of being awake, which they call jdgar-
avast' ha ^ and in this state the soul enjoys quietly the pleas-
ures of nature and bodily delights, such as eating and
drinking and the like ; and it suffers from the privation of
these just-mentioned enjoyments; that is, it suffers from
hunger and thirst, and similar pains ; the second state
is that of sleep, called svapna avast' ha, and in this state
the soul is happy in the possession of what it wishes
and desires, such as collecting in dreams gold and sil-
ver, and similar things ; it is distressed by the want of
them ; the third state is known by the name of Su svapna
avast hd,* that is, "the state of good sleep," and in this
state there is neither gladness nor sadness from possession

♦The fantastical conceptions of the Hindus about the states or
conditions of the embodied soul are of course not ahvajs expressed
in the same manner.



Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 21 of 37)