Sanskrit Study in the West
The Theosophist, March & May, 1889
No event in the intellectual history of the nineteenth century is, perhaps, of so great importance, and likely to produce such fruitful results, as the arrival in the West of the sacred monuments of Indian thought, and the birth in Europe of that knowledge of Oriental thought and language which will ultimately render accessible to all who think and read the venerable philosophies of India, teeming with lofty conceptions of spiritual things, and unfailingly presenting to man the highest ideals of his nature and of his latent divinity. Coming as it did, at a critical period in Europe’s intellectual history, when the ecclesiastical fabric which had been laboriously constructed during centuries was already beginning to crumble and break to pieces, and when the tide of thought was inevitably driven to make a new advance, the lofty transcendental literature of India has already had, and will continue to have on the thought of Europe a beneficent, sanative, and elevating influence.
Before we try to analyse the causes and character of this influence, it will be a matter of no small interest to trace its beginnings, to watch the first moving of the spirit on the waters, to recognise the foundation stone on which is being built the revival of ancient Indian wisdom in the West.
The study of Sanskrit is so young that to trace its beginnings is a task of no great difficulty, and demanding no great erudition; and when our researches at last disclose to us the foundation stone, the first of the monuments of Indian wisdom to be given to the West, we find the selection made by destiny to be prophetic of the whole influence of Sanskrit literature on the West, for the first book to be translated from Sanskrit was the Bhagavad Gita, which is now daily increasing the number of its Western devotees.
The Bhagavad Gita was the first work which left the sacred precincts of the Indian temple to take its place in the literature of Europe; for though another Indian book had several centuries before been represented in the West, its European version appeared as a translation from the Arabic, and with the traces of its sojourn among the poets of Arabia still fresh on it; and in its ultimate form it can hardly be called an Indian work at all.
This work, when in its Indian dress, was the well known Hitopadesh, the “Book of Friendly Instruction;” nearly a thousand years ago Arabic and Hebrew versions of it already existed, which, however, were rather imitations than translations; from one of these Arabic versions, which is still in existence, a Latin translation was made in 1262 (by Giovanni da Capua) under the title of Directorium Vitæ: Parabolæ Antiquorum Sapientium:
“A Rule of Life: in Fables of the Ancient Sages.”
From Latin, this book was translated into almost all the languages of Europe; and Lafontaine, the greatest fabulist since Æsop, made frequent use of it in his works; eighteen at least of his fables being directly drawn from it.
Leaving out this version of the Hitopadesh which came to Europe more as an Arabian than as an Indian work, we find that the birth of Sanskrit study in the West is primarily due to the presence in India of three Englishmen whose Asiatic researches stand in the same relation to Sanskrit study that the proceedings of the Royal Society hold to the whole development of modem science: these three Englishmen were Sir Charles Wilkins, Sir William Jones, and Thomas Colebrooke.
Born in 1749, Sir Charles Wilkins came to India in his twenty-first year, and entered the Office of the East India Company at Calcutta in 1770.
Like his two most illustrious co-workers in the Asiatic Society, he applied himself to the study of the ancient languages and literature of India, making himself acquainted not only with Sanskrit, but also with Arabic and Persian.
In 1784, fourteen years after his arrival in India, he joined with Sir William Jones and others in founding the Asiatic Society.
During the next year, he completed and published the first translation of the Bhagavad Gita which ever appeared in the West. This year, 1785, marks an epoch in the intellectual history of the world. Here began that westward flow of the wisdom of India which is making itself more and more felt in the religion and philosophy of the world.
Sir Charles Wilkins’ translation of the Bhagavad Gita is more widely known than any other, and, in a recent reprint, is becoming daily more popular in Europe and America.
This work it is which will insure the lasting renown of Sir Charles Wilkins,—that he was the pioneer in the new Renaissance of Sanskrit learning, the earliest Western devotee at the shrine of the wisdom of India.
Sir Charles Wilkins had nearly completed an English translation of Manu also, when he learned that a transation had already been finished and was ready for publication.
This translation was the work of Sir William Jones; who, even before his arrival in India, had a European celebrity for Oriental studies. He had published in 1770 a translation of the Odes of Hafiz, and other Persian works, at the request of the Danish King, Christian VII. Several eloquent and musical versions of Arabic poems were his next contribution to Oriental study.
But his really important work, the work by which his name will live, began on his arrival in Calcutta in 1783, to fill the post of Judge of the High Court.
Next year he was chosen first President of the Asiatic Society, and his celebrated version of Shakuntalâ appeared soon after.
It was this translation which called forth from Goethe his celebrated panegyric verse.
Willst du die Blüthe des frühen,
Die Früchte des späteren Jahres,
Willst du was reizt und cntzückt.
Willst du was sätright und nährt.
Willst du den Himmel, die Erde
Mit einem Namen begreifen?
Nenn’ich Shakuntalâ dich
Und so ist alles gesagt!
Well translated into English thus:
Wouldst thou the young year’s
Blossom and the fruits of its decline,
All things by which the heart is
Charmed, enraptured, feasted, fed;
Wouldst thou the earth, and
Heaven itself in one solo word combine
I name thee oh Shakuntalâ, and
All at once is said.
This was the first tribute of the poetry of Europe to the poetry of Indi : and it is to the honour of Germany that she produced the philosopher who was first to perceive and acknowledge the greatness of the philosophy of India.
Before coming to this story, however, let us complete our survey of the work of Sir William Jones.
After translating Shakuntalâ, he turned his studies into the field of Indian law, and, in 1794, the year he died, he completed and published that translation of the Mânara Dharma Shâstra, which forestalled Sir Charles Wilkins’ almost completed work.
After his death, a complete edition of his works was published, containing, in addition to Shakuntalâ, and the Laws of Manu, translations from the Vedas, and the Ramayana. What these two men did to make known the literature of India, Colebrooke did for the Sanskrit language, and with his grammatical researches was laid the first firm foundation of Sanskrit scholarship in Europe.
He was deeply read in the Mathematics of the ancient Brahmans; and his work in the field of Indian Law was not less noteworthy. But Colebrooke’s chief fame will always be that of the founder of sound European scholarship in Sanskrit grammar.
The next episode in the history of Oriental studies in the West is one of great interest, and perhaps, the most romantic incident connected with the Orientalism in the West.
Dârâ Shukoh, the liberal and spiritual son of Shah Jehan, anxious to carry out the work his illustrious ancestor Akbar had begun, that of establishing harmony and toleration between the different faiths of India, and recognising that this could only be done by seeking in their scriptures the true and universal principles common to every faith, invited to Delhi some of the best Pundits of Benares to undertake a translation into Persian of some of the most authoritative of the Upanishads.
This Persian translation was finished in 1657: and though Dârâ Shukoh’s noble work was not carried out, and ultimately cost him his throne and his life; this translation of the Upanishads was not fruitless, but left its mark in the annals of Orientalism and Philosophy.
Sent to Europe in 1775, this Persian version was translated into Latin by the renowned translator of the Zend-Avesta, the French Orientalist, Anguetil Duperron. This Latin translation was published in the first year of our century, and it was with this version that the German philosopher Schopenhauer was acquainted.
Schopenhauer was ever ready to acknowledge the debt which his own works owed to the Upanishads, which he studied for years profoundly and enthusiastically. Writing in his celebrated work, Die Welt als Wille und Forstellung, “TheWorld as will and representation,” he says:
“If the reader has also received the benefit of the Vedas, the access to which, through the Upanishads, is in my eyes the greatest privilege which this still young century may claim before all previous centuries, (for I anticipate that the influence of Sanskrit literature will not be less profound than the revival of Greek in the fourteenth century) if the reader, I say, has received his initiation in the primeval Indian wisdom, and received it with an open heart, he will be prepared in the very best way for hearing what I have to tell him. It will not sound to him strange, much less disagreeable, for I might contend that every one of the detached statements which constitute the Upanishads may be adduced from the fundamental thoughts I enunciate, though these deductions be not found there.”
Again, elsewhere, he writes:
“How entirely does the Upanishad breathe throughout the holy spirit of the Vedas. How is every one, who by a diligent study has become familiar with that incomparable book, stirred by that spirit to the very depth of his soul! How does every line display its firm, definite and harmonious meaning!
“From every sentence deep, original and sublime thoughts arise, and the whole is pervaded by a high and holy and earnest spirit. Indian air surrounds us, and the original thoughts of kindred spirits. In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads!
“It has been the solace of my life:—it will be the solace of my death,”
To make this part of our subject complete, it only remains to add that in the year 1820 the Ramayana was edited with a translation by Lassen and Schlegel, a complete edition of the Mahabharata being brought out a few years later; it may be added also that the Vishnu Purana, and the Magha Duta and Shakuntalâ of Kâlidasa were translated and published between 1850 and 1860 by Prof. Wilson.
This brings us to the end of the first generation of European Sanskrit scholars: and we have seen how the soil was broken during the generation, the seed sown, and the fruit reaped: so that before this first period came to an end many of the choicest gems of Sanskrit literature had been made accessible, however faultily, to all capable of profiting by them.
To follow out this historical sketch to the later developments, would be to comment on the achievements of still living men, whose work has not yet been weighed in the balance of time.
But the boat has been launched on the waves: the foundation of the temple of destiny has been laid: the leaven is already at work, and what the future will bring forth, let the future show.
Though full conviction of the wealth of treasure hidden in the mines of Sanskrit lore is spreading wider every day, it cannot be hoped that, for a long while at least, any great majority of students in the West will gain access to these treasures through the medium of the Sanskrit language.
Though much of the charm of any true literary work is undoubtedly lost in translation, we cannot, on weighing the question, consider the barrier of the language as a fatal one to the potent influence for good which the Sanskrit literature is destined to have in the West.
It appears probable that the study of the Sanskrit tongue will be confined to those for whom its study has a special fascination, or, what is the same thing, for those who possess a special aptitude for this study, and that these scholars will, through translations, be the intermediaries between the shrine of Sanskrit knowledge and the worshippers without the temple.
Of the millions for whom the Christian Bible has been the guiding star to upright lives, how many have had access to the original Hebrew and Greek? Of the millions of Buddhists who, placing their faith in Buddha, the doctrine, and the congregation, bear the burden of life nobly and well, how many can read the scriptures in Pali and Sanskrit? How many of the 180 millions of Hindus have read the Vedas? How many Parsis the Zend Avesta? And yet the inspiring thought, the lofty teaching, the holy example, have won their way to the hearts of men, potent for good and pregnant with immortal truth.
But besides distributing through translations, the bread of wisdom to the hungry souls, the knowledge of Sanskrit has another and very different result: to which we cannot give more than a few words, and yet which cannot be omitted without danger to the completeness of our view of Western study of Sanskrit.
This is the influence. of Sanskrit on philology, and its almost creative power in the science of language.
To marshal an array of philological evidence would be out of place: but a glance at the field of study, and at the fruit gleaned from it will suffice for our object.
When Sanskrit came to be known in Europe, its form, its inflexions, its words and terminations were not altogether foreign and strange; like a language from another planet. Something similar to them was found in many of the languages known in Europe. Its participles were something like the Greek; its perfects like the Latin; its duals like the Gothic; and many of its words like the Lithuanian and old Keltic. The story of how each one of these languages became known to the modern world is full of interest, the history of them all a veritable romance.
Latin of course had never been unknown; had descended direct through an unbroken line of scholars. Of the knowledge of Greek we will speak later on. The old Keltic is laboriously deciphered from ancient manuscripts and parchments, hid away in old monasteries, and libraries in Ireland. Of the Gothic, only a single work remains.
This is the translation of parts of the Bible by Bishop Alfilas; in the 4th century; made by him when the German hordes were still lingering on the frontier of the Cæsars before sweeping on to the plunder of Byzantium and Rome. Only one copy of the old Bishop’s translation exists, the beautiful “Silver Codex,” splendidly printed on purple parchment in letters of silver and gold. To read it, is to hear a quaint, old-world German, or English, something that is our language, and yet is not; 1ike a memory of a half forgotten dream, where familiar words and sounds greet us, but veiled under forms that make them strange and unintelligible.
The old Slavonic tongue still lingers in the ritual of the Russian text and enshrines the Russian Scripture.
In all these old tongues was found much that resembled the Sanskrit, and when the Zend-Avesta, the old Zoroastrian tongue, was brought to light, by the indefatigable Anguetil Duperron, the entire body of these languages, like the separate pieces of a Mosaic, when once brought into union, fell into one consistent picture, and disclosed an intimate relation and common kinship. The full results of their comparison, the minute details of their relations, have been carefully elaborated and the great comparative grammar of Frances Bopp; the founder of the modern school of philology, marks a new epoch in the history of thought.
For it is not merely to pedants, to curious scholars, that the results of this study are of value: for when the barriers between the languages melt away; and the different tongues fall into place one by one as part of a common life, those hostilities which rise from difference of language must melt away with them and when the English, the Germans, the Russians; and the Indians recognise and learn that the mother tongue of each is not isolated; but that all spring from a common source, this knowledge cannot fail to bring them closer together, and to remove one more of the obstacles which prevent the realisation on earth of the ideal of universal brotherhood.
The study of Sanskrit in the West, whose birth is nearly simultaneous with the birth of our century, and whose early steps we have already traced, is rapidly spreading and becoming more popular. Every university of note in every country of Europe and in America has its Sanskrit professor, who is very often a professor of comparative philology as well. So that students of the Sanskrit language do not learn it as an isolated tongue, but with the language they learn its relations to their own and other tongues, and above all to the classical Latin and Greek, with which so much of their work at the universities is concerned.
The method of teaching in Europe is not identical with the Oriental method: and produces much more rapid, though generally much less sound and certain, results.
The grammar is generally taught according to the method stereotyped by Latin Grammar, from various grammars written by Europeans.
The letters are learnt, and students begin to read some simply written Sanskrit work after a month or so. The work generally selected first is the story of Nala; and when this is finished, in three months or so, the Hitopadesh is generally studied.
By this time a fair acquaintance with the regular declensions and conjugations may be expected; the irregularities being gradually filled in.
After Hitopadesh, Kumâra Sambhavam, Shakuntalâ, and Mânava-dharma Shastra are generally read, and then perhaps the Bhagavad Gitâ
This course usually takes two years, and after this the student is generally able to walk alone: to continue his studies without a teacher. It very seldom happens in the case of Western-taught students, that any acquaintance with Panini, or such works as the Siddhanta Kanmudi supplement the grammars compiled by Europeans: and any knowledge of the works on Rhetoric or the Art of Poetry is still rarer.
Whatever deficiencies there may be however, will be gradually corrected with the more thorough training and erudition of the teachers of Sanskrit. So that there is little doubt that in the course of the next century or so, the whole of the Sanskrit literature which is accessible, will be opened up to Europe, and its treasures brought within the reach of all who can benefit by them.
The effect on India of Western orientalism is great already, and will be much greater.
Sanskrit study, instead of resting entirely in the hands of Pandits, will become more widely spread and more popular. A general, national interest in their old literature, a keen desire to know exactly what it contains, and wherein lies its value, an intelligent valuation of its diverse and dissimilar constituents,—these we anticipate, as the result in India of the European study of Sanskrit.
And this effect will not cease till the whole of the ancient literature is lighted up and the love for it kindled anew in the hearts of the people; when a return to the purer ideals of that earlier time will give fresh health to the life of India, and hasten the coming once more of the golden age which ever succeeds the age of Iron.
But it is more with the effert of Indian literature on Europe than the effect of its revival in India, that we have to deal, and to calculate that effect, and shed light on it, a comprison with that great analogous phenomenon, the Renaissance, m the fifteenth century, may greatly aid us.
The Renaissance, or the Revival of Learning, in the fifteenth century in Europe, was a breaking away from the established order of things, an upheaval and departure from the ideas and ideal of that long epoch of Roman supremacy which is broadly described as the Middle Ages; that is, the period between the Roman and the modern world.
Three distinct causes united to produce this effect.
First, the concentration of the religious forces which had long struggled against the domination of the Papacy.
Secondly, the spread of Greek scholars and Greek learning through Europe, consequent on the taking of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, and the resulting dispersion of the Greek culture from that ancient capital of the Eastern Empire.
The spread of Greek learning, and the power to read the Greek MSS. of the Bible, and thus to return to the well-spring of the Christian Church, and to distinguish its pure ideal from the actual realisation of the Church of Rome, gave direction, illumination, and concentration to the already growing struggle against Rome.
The third cause of the breaking away from the old order, was the discovery of America in 1492, and the new world thus opening up, and strongly modifying old world ideas.
What was the effect on the modern literature of Europe that the knowledge of the ancient Greeks produced?
The answer to this question cannot but shed much light on that other question—What will be the effect on the modern world of the opening up of the intellectual treasures of ancient India.
Before the wisdom, the artistic and literary treasures of Greece could produce their effect on the mind of the modern world, before their value could be rightly estimated, they had to become familiar, to work themselves into the life and thought of the moderns; and only after a long period during which their influence was active did it become possible to rightly weigh that influence and to determine wherein its power consisted. As was to be expected, the first result was a profusion of translations; in England the greatest poets of the age thought that they could best honour themsolves and their art by translating the poetry of the Greeks.
Chapman translated the Iliad and the Odessey of Homer.
Plato was translated into Latin in 1483; and the other poets and philosophers of Greece soon found their way into the vernacular tongues of Europe. Admiring imitation of Greek art was for a long time the preponderating tendency. Not a page of Shakespeare’s plays but is enriched with Grecian gems.
But before long a reaction came, and the life of modern Europe broke out in a spontaneous art and a native poetry, whose tendency is indicated by its name, the Romantic School.
This school, though owing much to Greece, was not Greek, but modern; was not imitative, but thoroughly spontaneous and native, the outcome and fruition of the life-forces of the modern world.
To Greek art it owed its sense of harmony, of elegance, of perfect form and finished style; but to the modern world it owed more, its infusing power, and vivifying force, its very life.
And if we weigh well and carefully the influence which the old Indian world and its wisdom will have on the world of the future, we cannot doubt that its nature will be the same.
No circumstance can be imagined more propitious to the new era which begins to dawn, than the introduction to the old Indian world, with its splendid religions and philosophic culture, a culture which must have been the outcome of centuries of effort, of ages of devotion to spiritual ideals. But the era which is to come, though entering into the spirit of Indian thought and valuing at its true worth its spiritual culture, will not—and it is vital to the development of the human race that this should be so—merely seek to realise again on earth that early golden age, to imitate once more the lives and thoughts of the early Aryans.
In the Hindu scriptures it is taught that though the Golden Ages ever return after the darkness of Kali Yuga, yet each Golden Age is better than the one before it, and instead of marking the returned to a point left ages ago, each marks a step in the triumph ant onward march of the human race.
In Europe, and throughout all the world, the forces of a spiritual renewal are already at work; the long latent vitality begins to stir and move; the pent-up forces are already breaking out; the first signs of an irresistible onward wave already appearing,—a wave which will ultimately lift the race to a never yet realised perfection.
And the hand of destiny is conspicuous in the fact that just at this hour, the new era receives as a gift from the primeval world the flower and fruition of former period of spiritual wealth, the treasure of the earlier Golden Age.
Just as the child, the heir of all the ages, and the latest born of time, receives as his inheritance all that is best of the thought and acts of former ages, of the whole life-work of the human race; and beginning from what man has already done, is ready to be the pioneer of the future; so the new era of spirituality which has dawned will enrich itself from the wealth of the old Aryan world and make the Indian wisdom a part of its own growth, and a force working towards the perfection of its own spontaneous life.
The new era must remember that its first duty is to be true to itself; that it is destined to incarnate a spiritual truth never yet born on earth; that the work meted out to it by destiny is unique, yet one which has never been fulfilled before, and which it is the peculiar privilege of this age to fulfill and perfect. The new era must be true to its own life, if it is to be true to its duty.
But the fact most propitious to the new age will be that it will have at its command the ripe knowledge and experience of a great spiritual epoch before its eyes; and begin its independent life with the wide spiritual culture of the Aryan age to lend it equilibrium, and to shorten the period of its initial groping after truth.
Already the proof that this is so,—that the influence of Sanskrit culture in the West, and its relation to the independent spiritual impulses of the new era are what we have described,—can be found in two citations from two of the most original western thinkers.
One of these, concludes thus an eloquent sermon on individual integrity by a fable from the sacred writings of the East.
“There was,” he says, “in the city of Kuru an artist who was disposed to strive after perfection. One day it came into his mind to make a staff. Having considered that in an imperfect work time is an ingredient, but into a perfect work time does not enter, he said to himself, it shall be perfect in all respects, though I should do nothing else in my life.
“He proceeded instantly to the forest for wood, being resolved that it should not be made of unsuitable material; and as he searched for and rejected stick after stick, his friends gradually deserted him, for they grew old in their works and died, but he grew not older by a moment.
“His singleness of purpose and resolution, his exalted piety, endowed him, without his knowledge, with perpetual youth. As he made no compromise with time, time kept out of his way, and only sighed at a distance because he could not overcome him.
“Before he had found a stick in all respects suitable, the city of Kuru was a hoary ruin, and he sat on one of its mounds to peel the stick. Before he had given it the proper shape the dynasty of the Candahars was at an end, and with the point of the stick he wrote the name of the last of that race in the sand, and then resumed his work.
“By the time he had smoothed and polished the staff, Kalpa was no longer the pole-star; and ere he had put on the ferule, and the head adorned with precious stones, Brahma had awoke and slumbered many times.
“But why do stay to mention such things? When the finishing stroke was put to his work, it suddenly expanded before the eyes of the astonished artist into the fairest of all the creations of Brahma. He ha made a new system in making a staff, a world with full and fair proportions, in winch, though the old cities and dynasties had passed away, fairer and more glorious ones had taken their places. And now he saw by the heap of shavings still fresh at his feet, that for him and his work the former lapse of time had been an illusion, and that no more time had elapsed than is required for a single scintillation from the brain of Brahma to fall on and inflame the tinder of a mortal brain.
“The material was pure, and his art was pure, and how could the result be other than wonderful.”
Another great Western writer found no better conclusion when writing on immortality, than a passage from one of the Upanishads of India.
He writes as follows:—
“How ill agrees this majestical immortality of our religion with the frivolous population. ‘Will you build magnificently for mice?’ Will you offer empires to such as cannot set a house of private affairs in order? There are people who cannot dispose of a day; an hour hangs heavily on their hands; and will you offer them rolling ages without end? But this is the way we rise/ within every man’s thought is a higher thought,—within the character he exhibits today a higher character. The youth puts off the illusions of the child, the man puts off the ignorance and tumultuous passions of youth; proceeding thence, puts off the egotism of manhood, and becomes at last a public and universal soul. He is rising to greater heights, but also rising to realities; the other relations and circumstances dying out, he entering deeper into God, God into him, until the last garment of egotism falls, and he is with God,—shares the will and the immensity of the first house.
“It is curious to find the selfsame feeling, that it is not immortality, but eternity,—not duration, but a state of abandonment to the highest, and so the sharing of his perfection,—appearing in the farthest East and West. The human mind takes no account of geography, language, or legends, but in all utters the same instinct. Yama, the Lord of Death, promised Nachiketas, the son of Gautama, to grant him three boons at his own choice. Nachiketas knowing that his father Gautama was offered with him, said, ‘O Death, let Gautama be appeased in mind, and forget his anger against me; this I choose for the first boon.’ Yama said, ‘Through my favour, Gautama will remember thee with love as before.’ For the second boon, Nachiketas asks that the fire by which heaven is gained be made known to him, which also Yama allows, and says, ‘Choose the third boon O Nachiketas.’ Nachiketas said, ‘Here is this inquiry. Some say the soul exists after the death of man, others say it does not exist. This I should like to know, instructed by thee. Such is the third of the boons.’ Yama said,, ‘For this question it was inquired of old, even by the gods, for it is not easy to understand it. Subtle is its nature. Choose another boon, O Naehiketas. Do not compel me to this.’ Nachiketas said, ‘Even by the gods was it inquired. And as to what thou sayest, O Death! that it is not easy to understand it, there is no other, speaker to be found like thee, there is no other boon like this.’ Yama said, ‘One thing is good, another is pleasant. Blessed is he who takes the good, but he who chooses the pleasant loses the object of man. But thou, considering the objects of desire, hast abandoned them. These two, ignorance—whose object. is what is pleasant—and knowledge—whose object is what is good—are known to be far asunder, and to lead to different goals. Believing this world exists, and not the other, the careless youth is subject to my sway. That knowledge for which thou asked is not to be obtained by arrangement. I know worldly happiness is transient, for that firm one is not to be obtained by what is not firm. The wise, by means of the union of the intellect with the soul, thinking of him whom it is hard to behold, leaves both grief and joy. Thee, O Nachiketas I believe a house whose door is open to Brahma. Brahma the supreme, whoever. knows him, obtains whatever he wishes. The soul is not born, it does not die, it was not produced from any one. Nor was any produced from it. Unborn, eternal, it is not slain though the body is slain, subtler than what is subtle, greater than what is great,—sitting, it goes far, sleeping, it goes everywhere. Thinking the soul is unbodily among bodies, firm among fleeting things, the wise man casts off all grief. The soul cannot be gained by knowledge, not by understanding, not by manifold science. It can be obtained by the soul by which it is desired. It reveals its own truths.”
These two examples of Eastern gems in Western settings lead us to understand the illustrating, beautifying, equilibrating power which the ripe spiritual culture of old Arya Varta will have on the strong fresh tide of spiritual force which is advancing in the hearts of the strongest and purest and truest today. Only by finding that inward spring, that lovely light in the heart can truth be learned, can religion be understood, can the scripture interpreted, but great and beneficent is the influence on the individual growth of the world’s truth that is to be recognised, of the religions that are to be felt, of the scriptures that are to be understood. For to the persevering mortal the blessed Immortals are swift.