...........RAJA JAI PRITHVI BAHADUR
SINGH OF BAJHANG, NEPAL
I, II & III
WITH HUMBLE HEARTS
LOVERS OF PEACE
FOR MAN'S EMANCIPATION
-Jai Prithvi Bdr. Singh
TROUBLE OF MAN AND THEIR CAUSES
The Troubles of Man-Their Main Classification
The Troubles of Man; Physical-Man and Nature
The Troubles of Man; Physical-Man and Society;
The Troubles of Man; Physical-Society, the
Cause of Man's Troubles.
The Troubles of Man.; Physical-Society, the
Cause of Man's Troubles-The Caste System; Its Nature
The Troubles of Man; Physical-Society, the
Cause of Man's Trouble-The Caste System; How Oppressive.
The Troubles of Man; Mental-The Constitution,
the Function and the Capacity of the Mind
The Troubles of Man; Mental-Mind, How far the
The Troubles of Man-The True Cause.
KNOWLEDGE AND ITS ACQUISITION
A Resume of Facts
Eastern System of Education
Man and the
The Universe —Its Significance; The Need for a Knowledge
The Origin of the Universe—Creation by God?
Origin of the Universe—Biological
The Cosmic Energy
The Cosmic Energy and Existence
Existence—The cause and the Nature of its Activity
The activity of Existence—The Coming of the Universe
(A) Fire and Air
(B) Mind and
(C) Man and His Place in
(D) God, Soul, Mind and
(E) Can Matter have independent
Karma and Fatalism
Life and its continuity
Death and After
Life after death
reality of man and the remedy for mans troubles
The real man
XXVIII. The realisation of the
real man—Religion, its origin,
.......... nature and necessity
XXIX. Religion and life
Religion in practice
Religion and sin
RAJA JAI PRITHVI BAHADUR SINGH
It is not without serious misgivings
that I venture to bring out this book for the sake of such
among the general public who are philosophically bent and
who may, now and then, give themselves to the thought as to
what man is and why he should at all suffer in this world.
This is a problem that has been agitating the minds of all
great thinkers ever since the dawn of civilisation. Personally,
I do not claim equality with such great thinkers, either in
the quality or the volume of thought, which any one of them
did or can produce. I am fully aware of my several defects:
and yet, if I ventured to bring out my ideas and views on
this particular aspect of humanity- the troubles of man and
their remedy-it was more to learn further on the matter from
others who may be similarly thinking than to impose my notions
upon the rest as facts of ascertained and affirmed value.
I am conscious that the conclusions I arrived at are not near
perfection and may, in the light of suggestions received and
opinions offered require revision and consolidation. In fact,
even during the preparation of this work, I had to revise
my views several times as a result of persistent thinking:
and, though I may take it that. I have arrived at a particular
stage that may merit their publication, I am yet eager that
they should receive the full benefit of collaboration of brains
similarly working. This is my only apology for bringing out
this work, imperfect as it is.
I have refrained from a profuse use of technical terms which
a book of this kind demands, partly owing to my personal defect
in a knowledge of them and partly to avoid burdening general
readers of this book who may not be born or trained philosophers.
For the very same reason, I have not also quoted any author
whose work or work in the original many, like me, may not
This book has a history of its own. This is the result of
a slowly evolving thought, almost from my boyhood, which,
as it deepened, brought on several changes in my out-look
on the world around.
I quite remember how, as a small boy, like almost every other
Hindu boy, I used to believe in the infallibility of the stories
given in the ancient Hindu books particularly the Puranas.
It was not till I took myself to the study of science, limited
as it was, that it occurred to me that such Puranic accounts
were mainly, though not wholly, legendary, and that, round
a small grain of truth, there was in them a large amount of
the unreal and the imaginary. This set me to think and, before
long, I was an agnostic, doubting everything I came into contact
with, and denying, with the atheists, the possibility of truth
in the beliefs of the day, including that in a maker and maintainer
of the wide universe.
Still, though I am in no way a scientist, even the very little
knowledge in science which I could gather from my school studies
soon made me realise that even it, as it is or as it ever
will be, does not solve the problem of humanity. It occurred
to me that, though it deals with matter in its various aspects,
it does not account for its origin. I was never taught in
any of my science-classes as to how matter came to be. Hence
the thought dawned on me that a subject that cannot trace
the beginning cannot solve the end. Science, which deals with
matter, so I thought, cannot be much relied on for the understanding
of the problem of man.
Class hatred, racial jealousies, communal quarrels, family
disputes and a host of others, which divide man from man,
began to impress me more as I grew older. Hence I thought
of and sought for guidance in such books as Vedanta Sutra,
Bagvadgita and the like. My studies in them together with
my own thinking of the problem have brought me to certain
views which, in 1913, I published in a booklet in my own language,
The difficulty of the language and the abstruseness of the
subject, however, conspired against its wide publicity; and
I began seriously to think of translating the same into the
English tongue, which is known practically all the world over.
In the meantime, the war of 1914-18 broke out, and its appalling
consequences furthered me in my desire.
It was not, however, till I came to Bangalore a few years
later that I could find enough leisure to bestow concerted
thought over it. It was there that I came in to contact with
Mr. Singarachari, lately lecturer in history in the local
St. Joseph's college, who, on my mention of my desire, readily
agreed to do what he could in the matter. Since 1924, the
work has been going on, and what was intended to be a translation
became practically an independent work, and my original Nepalese
booklet assumed the proportion of three small volumes in the
English language. The central ideas of this expanded English
version are the same as those in my Nepalese original, but
they have been very much amplified by the addition of historical
and other facts which, I believe, will better appeal to the
readers of this book than quotations from the works of others.
Mr. Singarachari has been of much help to me in the production
of this work, and he is responsible for putting my views into
proper English and for amply illustration them.
Jai Prithvi Bahadur Singh
Bangalore, S. India
COMPENDIUM OF VOL. I
This book, in a humble manner, tries
to deal with the problem of human troubles. It takes for granted,
as is indicated in its opening chapter, that there is, even
among human beings, a class of men who do not feel any misery
even in this mundane world. Why the rest of mankind alone
should suffer is the problem that is discussed in the first
two volumes of this book, while the last is devoted to what,
in the view of the book, is a solution for such troubles.
In part I which is also the first part in this volume, chapters
two to nine are devoted to the consideration of what generally
are treated as the causes of human troubles.
Chapter two gives a classification of
such causes into the external and the internal, or rather
into the physical and the mental.
Chapters three to seven deal, with physical causes. Those
that are contributed by the surrounding nature are treated
in chapter three, while chapters four to seven discuss those
supplied by the human society. This portion of the book begins
with the evolution of human society, passes on to class or
caste-distinctions, points out the troubles brought on by
such divisions, and ends with the Hindu Caste System. Chapters
eight and nine deal with the internal or mental causes, -the
eighth touching upon the nature and the function of mind,
its place in the human constitution, its materiality or otherwise,
and if it is the real knower in man; while the ninth touches
upon the various ways in which the human mind can be a source
In the view of this book, all such factors
as are generally treated to be the causes of troubles are
external entities-external to what constitutes the real individuality
in each. This raises the questions of the ego in each, its
nature, its relation with other egos, the possibility of a
universal individuality, the function of the ego in the universe
and the significance of evolution. These problems are dealt
with in chapter ten. This marks the end of the first part,
which treats of the causes of human troubles and concludes
with the true cause thereof.
According to this book, it is the imperfection
of the ego consequent upon its imperfect evolution that is
the real cause of human troubles, while entities external
to the ego are but opportunities for that ego's evolution.
It is the ego's misreading of such entities that makes it
miserable. Hence, the ego has to evaluate them properly, or
get a correct knowledge of them.
The second part of the book therefore deals with knowledge
and its acquisition.
After briefly reviewing the conclusions
of the first part, it touches upon education as the method
widely in vogue towards the enhancement of one's knowledge.
It devotes three chapters to this subjects,
the first dealing with education in general, the second with
the modern, which is mainly the western, system of education,
pointing out its merits and defects; and the third dealing
with the eastern, (i.e.) the ancient, system particularly
Indian, incidentally touching upon the evolution of philosophical
ideas in Hindu India, inferring therefrom the several good
and evil factors in the Hindu society and consequently upon
its system of education that once prevailed. Next, the book
passes on to consider self-learning or self-culture where,
among others, it devotes some space to attention and its concentration
and incidentally touches upon Pranayama, the ancient Aryan
method of such concentration.
The book then deals with what constitutes true knowledge,
which is essential for man to avoid his roubles. This is the
end of part II, which is also the end of this volume*.
COMPENDIUM OF VOL. II
In Part I of Vol. I the several so-called
causes of human troubles were first dealt with and then what
this book considers to be the true cause was elaborately discussed.
In this section it was pointed out that the true cause of
man's troubles is to be found, not in the environments-both
inanimate and animate-of an individual, but in the imperfect
evolution of that individual's ego. We suffer because we improperly
evaluate our surroundings, ourselves, and the relations that
do and must subsist between the two.
Proper evaluation of our surroundings and our-selves naturally
and necessarily leads to the appropriate adjustment of the
relations existing between the two. This is presumed to be
the sure means for avoiding human troubles. Proper evaluation
can result only from a proper knowledge of our surroundings
and of our-selves. Hence, the second part of Vol. I. deals
with "knowledge and its acquisition".
In this section, the various modes of acquiring knowledge
are first dealt with, and then what constitutes true knowledge
is pointed out.
With reference to true knowledge, this book avers,
"The goal of knowledge must be the discovery of that
elemental entity which is at once the agent and the instrument;
the knower, the known, and the knowledge; the doer, the deed
and the done; the subject and the object. Reality, not in
its relativity only, but in its entirety as made up of harmonious
co-operative parts, must be the substance and the end of knowledge,
and that knowledge alone is true that leads to the conviction
that existence is one and whole."
That existence is one and whole is the conclusion with which
Vol I end.
If, however, existence is really. One,
then how is it that there are so many variations in this universe,
and so much conflict of interests and clash of arms among
its several members?.
This question leads one to the consideration of the problem
of the universe in its several aspects; and hence the third
part of the book which is the same as Vol. II. Deals with
"man and the universe".
The first chapter attempts to understand the meaning of the
term universe, by discussing in detail the viewpoints of the
various branches of knowledge, incidentally pointing out how
this book interprets the term.
After thus attempting an explanation
or rather an elaborate definition of the term universe, the
book considers its origin and growth.
It first takes up the time-honoured
and widely believed view of the coming of the universe, viz.
"The theory of creation by god."
If the universe has really been created by god who is all-merciful,
then the several incongruities therein belie his mercy. The
book deals in detail with many such incongruities, and then,
in the following chapter, discusses the theory of biological
evolution as promulgated and developed by Darwin and his successors.
Interesting and even convincing as this theory is, it has
many short-comings about it which render it, not only an insufficient
explanation, but, in certain respects as the book thinks,
After thus discussing the two views
of the origin and the growth of the universe-one, ancient
and theological; and the other, modern and scientific-the
book gives its own account of this question.
It deals in detail with this problem in four different chapters,
(i) The Cosmic Energy
(ii) The Cosmic Energy and Existence
(iii) Existence-The cause and the nature of its activity
(iv) The activity of existence-The coming of the universe
In these chapters, starting with certain observed and obvious
facts, the book deduces certain conclusions, thereby tracing
the origin of the universe, the elaboration of its contents,
and the various modes whereby such contents come to be, To
quote the words of the book, "Verily, it is no creation
by an extra-cosmic entity; it is only the appearance, the
presentation or manifestation of a common immanent factor-the
existence and, because the process resembles a growth...the
entire course may be termed evolution; but it is a bigger
and grander evolution than the one implied merely in the growth
of the biological species."
To quote again from another chapter in the book, "Everything
of this universe in thus the outcome of a single energy. Now
as the innumerable forces of the physical universe, acting
and behaving rigorously and uniformly, producing through their
activities the qualities of materiality, particles of matter,
material bodies and systems of worlds; now as the multifarious
factors of a growing consciousness, by whose symbols of thought
and sounds and deeds that matter and the material world come
to be felt, experienced, known and acted on; that supreme
ultimate energy is and does and goes on." "Verily,
that energy is cosmic; and it is the maker, the maintainer
and the destroyer of all and sundry. It acts and shows itself
now as matter and now as non-matter. These are not opposed
and independent entities; they are but the different states
or modes of it."
This cosmic energy is not to be identified
with the physical energy-The energy known to physical sciences,
acting rigorously and blindly. It is intelligent, capable
To quote again from the book, "What
is left behind on furthest analysis of the several entities
and events of the physical world is but consciousness 'annihilation'
not being the end of the universe and 'nothingness' not being
its root, the manner in which that basic consciousness can
be conceived of is only that 'it is. Is-ness is 'being'; and
'to be' is to be 'vital.' 'Vitality' not being 'deadness'
is activity, actual or possible; and the universal consciousness
therefore is and must be active. Being the root of all and
hence none setting. It to act, it acts of its own accord."
Again, to continue the quotation, "The universal consciousness
is hence self-active, self aware vitality in bliss and, not
being in definite identity with any known or knowable entity
that has a particular name, it can, if it is to be in any
manner designated, be only in general called existence."
The cosmic energy above referred to
is a part and parcel of this existence whose qualities are
activity and intelligence.
Activity of its own accord involves
inactivity. In the case of existence, however, which is ever-vital
inactivity can never mean deadness. It can only mean 'variational
activity'- activity varying in its pitch, from the highest
to the lowest possible pitch. Since again that existence is
also intelligent, the gradations in the rise and fall of its
activity are proportionately gradual and are properly set.
In its state of supreme activity, like
any ordinary material machine, that existence is absolutely
calm and beyond perception; and as it becomes variational,
it gets agitated, slower in pitch and comes within perception,
the more and more so as it becomes less and less active.
To quote once more from the book, "Being
variational in the mode of its intrinsic activity, coming
to perception in the forms of systems of the universe like
bubbles in certain parts of space; spreading its activities
in cyclic wave-like fashion and therefore leading to cycles
of lives and systems of bodies; being more intensively active
in certain states and less so in certain others, and consequently
exhibiting increasing or decreasing levels of intelligence;
the all-comprehensive existence or the basic universal consciousness
has become the material world."
In its state of supreme activity, this
existence is named by this book as the cosmic intelligence,
and in its variational character as the cosmic energy. The
latter is the cause of or presents itself as the varied contents
of the material universe with their multitudinous and ever-varying
gradations of physical and mental equipment's and exhibitions.
Man belongs to this order, being the
presentation of the cosmic energy in a particular pitch of
its activity. He is therefore no different kind of life, but
a different type of the same life.
Thus, this book traces the beginning
and the elaborate growth of the perceived and perceiveable
universe, and fixes the location of man therein.
Then, turning its attention to the sufferings
of man, the book considers that they are due to his own activities
and the responsive reactions whose combined consequences gradually
form his experiences and tendencies that guide him and goad
him to particular channels of thinking and doing. Since man
is but a presentation of the cosmic intelligence in its agitated
pitch of activity, he or his ego is ever-alive. Therefore,
his agitated activities are continuous-continuous even beyond
the time-limit of this one single body-existence.
These questions-Action and re-action,
and continuity of life are therefore treated as the natural
inferences of the chapters dealing with the origin and growth
of the universe.
The question of "action and re-action"
is dealt separately in a chapter called "action, re-action
and Karma"; while the other question of the continuous
character of life is treated in two chapters entitled (i)
"Life and its continuity" and (ii) "Death and
Man, therefore, according to this book,
suffers because, though a regular part of the same ever-active
and all-knowing existence, he considers himself as separate
from the rest of the world, treating them as alien and inferior,
looking on them with suspicion, hatred and haughtiness. And
this inference, is arrived at by a detailed and elaborate
consideration of the coming of the universe and the location
of man therein. Such are the facts dealt with in this Volume.
In the concluding portion of
the compendium of the previous, Volume the following statement
"Man therefore, according to this book, suffers because,
though a regular part of the same ever-active and all-knowing
existence, he considers himself as separate from the rest
of the world, treating them as alien and inferior, looking
on them with suspicion, hatred and haughtiness."
Human miseries are hence to be
traced to man's own out-look on life and his corresponding
conduct therein. Practically the entire human race is subject
to this mode of viewing life and the consequent evaluation
as much of the entities of the so-called inanimate nature
as of the animate members of its own order. Correction of
this view-point is at once urgent and necessary, and for this
purpose mankind has to appraise itself of not only the real
standard of evaluating the contents and the conduct of the
multitudinous events and entities of this universe, but also
the basis for fixing that standard. This, according to this
book, is considered the one and only way of avoidance by man
once and for all of his troubles which, under any other standard
and on any other basis, will be constant, repeating themselves
in diverse ways and in dubious modes.
The third volume, therefore, which
is also the fourth part of the book, is devoted to the consideration
of the problem, "The reality of man and the remedy for
It is believed that mankind's conduct in general, both as
it has been and as it is, is in accordance with a standard
that is not unvarying in its merits, and as a consequence
it is thought that the very foundation that leads to the establishment
of such a standard is not without defect. To quote the words
of the Book.
"He and his surroundings
are the only constituents of his world, and he cares not for
the admission of any other factor within that forum. His freedom
is his to get from his world of which he is clearly aware
and which he does and can definitely experience."
What are the constituents of man's
world from which he thinks he can earn his freedom, and what
is their nature? In the words of the book.
"Thus, what man calls life
is not consistent with the functioning of any or all of the
organs of his body; much less is it so with what he styles
his world, his body and his environments. These are but the
instruments of knowledge-the environments to produce the facts
thereof; and the body, through its several organs and particularly
its organisms, the cells, to lead to the means of making and
composing those facts, through the several processes of which
psychology takes cognisance".
"Again, these so-called constituents
of man's world are not permanent too. Our environments are
not the same at all times. Today it is sunshine, and tomorrow
rainy; now it is light, and now dark. Now we are in the midst
of familiar surroundings, and now among strange ones. Our
environments when we are old are far different from what they
were during our childhood; and, if at all similar, they assume
a different meaning. Our bodies too frequently change-now
healthy, and now unhealthy, now possessing the graces of form
and beauty, and now becoming ugly and repulsive. The rosy
cheek and the cheerful face of the youth change to the withering
forehead and the hanging brows of the old. From period to
period and even moment to moment, we seem to be altering as
much in our mentality as in our looks. The mind of an old
man is not apt to work as vigorously as that of a young one.
To-day we feel able to solve gigantic problems of an abstruse
type, and tomorrow we fail to grasp even the simple facts
of familiar affairs."
"Instrumentality is thus the function of the factors
of man's world, while 'instability' is their only feature.
They have no originality about them and, having no fixity
cannot possibly lead to continuity. They do not possess any
significance, and by themselves are no more than heterogeneous
masses of purposeless diversities. They therefore cannot be
vouched with the authorship of that freedom which man so much
feels to be ingrained in him and which he so much aspires
Hence, naturally arises the question
as to what it is that gives man his stability. As the book
puts it, "What is it that gives us life and vigorous
life? What is it that supplies unity to the diversified facts
of our world? . What gives us the notion of oneness in the
midst of our ever-changing surroundings and never-permanent
bodies? What is it that is animate in the midst of the inanimate
and intelligent among the unintelligent? Stable in the midst
of the unstable, and the one among the many?. Whence comes
the Authour of my health and life, the agent for the collection
and the classification of the facts of externality, the knower,
the giver of unity to my being, the producer of my continuity
with the rest? In fact, where from is my sense of stability
or what is it that constitutes my reality?
It is the study of this reality that constitutes the first
chapter in this volume. In this connection, the book avers,
"Having thus descended from the animal and maintaining
a biological continuity with it, he has naturally inherited
several of its tendencies. Though many millenniums have passed
since he evolved from the monkey, enough time has not lapsed
for him to give up those tendencies..."
"Still, however, though an
animal, man is a better animal. He has developed certain traits,
which the animal does not possess or possesses only potentially.
He has out-grown the animal in the capacity of his mind. He
has progressed in discretion and discrimination in virtue
of his enormous possibilities for thinking and deliberation...
It is also the prognostication of modern science that the
future of the evolutional progress will be more towards the
development of the mind than that of the body and therefore
the greater display of intelligence with an approach towards
a better realisation of its truer aspect-the discovery of
sameness and oneness in all."
"Man stands on the threshold,
as it were, of great possibilities and big achievements. He
marks the parting of ways between that stage of conscious
existence, which sees only divisions in the universe and another
which perceives unity in and through such divisions... He
marks the top of animality on the one hand and the beginning
of divinity on the other. As humanity is but an evolution
of animality, so is divinity but a growth of animality. A
perfected man is equal unto the gods and the fringe of divinity
is but the height of humanity. Animality, humanity and divinity
are but the different and successive stages in the gradual
self-unfoldment of a common, single, intelligent life that
from limitations reaches unlimitedness, from being conditioned
becomes unconditioned, from a stage of seeing divisions and
quarrels to that of experiencing sameness and sympathy. Animality
marks the first stage and divinity the second, while man but
occupies a position in between the two. He is at once an animal
and a god; and while biologically a perfected monkey, psychologically
he is a potential angel."
It is this quality of divinity or super-humanity in man that
constitutes his reality. In animals and other lower orders
of existence, " This divinity is only potential, lying
embedded underneath a heap of physical and physiological debris",
Man stands on a different footing altogether, as it were.
To use the words of the book, "Man, however, unlike the
animal and other beings, in virtue of the enormous actualities
and the potentialities of mind he has developed, is in a position
consciously to hasten the march of evolution and be and become
that super-man sooner and earlier than otherwise."
Therefore, avers the book, "He
alone is the real man who opens his vista of out-look to the
infinity of existence beyond his petty needs and routine living
and deliberately realises that infinity. It is possible for
every one, but only a few have attempted and become that,
while the rest of humanity is a fumbling and trudging crowd,
limiting its vision and action to the things of the hour,
the day or the generation, allowing itself to be carried automatically
onwards by the imperceptible hands of slow evolution."
This then is the conclusion of
the first chapter of this volume, and the four succeeding
chapters are devoted to the consideration of the various aspects
of the means for knowing and realising that reality which
is divinity or super-humanity. These chapter are entitled
(i) Religion-Its origin, nature and necessity
(ii) Religion and life
(iii) Religion in practice
(iv) Religion and sin
In the opinion of this book, religion is the only means for
realising the divinity within which alone can save mankind
from its troubles here. In the first of this series of four
chapters on religion, it is pointed out.
"Religion is no matter of
individual opinion and therefore of adoption or rejection.
It is a matter of necessity and of cosmic inevitability. Man
is as much the product of the cosmic activity in a particular
state as a monkey or a mountain happens to be in other and
different of its self graduated scales or rates."
Every entity in the universe, both human and non-human, is
already religious; for, "religion is no more them the
attempt by man to realise his station in the universe and
the consequent significance of and the oneness with other
Amplifying this idea, the book
continues to aver, "Cosmos being infinite and all coming
within its fold, religion... is as much a part of it as man
Only, "while man, in virtue
of the special means he has come to own during the long and
weary course of biological evolution, but consciously attempts
to know it, others of the universe but potentially own it
without suitable instrumentalities for its open exposition
So, according to this book,
"Every one is religious, but only a few become so."
This view of religion is based upon the facts,
(a) "Every one, as a member of the universe is related
to every other."
(b) "The universe being no finality and every member
thereof to whichever type of existence it may belong being
therefore fundamentally unlimited, every object or entity
can and must act in such a fashion as to vouch for it the
realisation of that oneness."
(c) "In the case of man, it can, by virtue of the degree
of mental progress, be quicker and sooner realised."
(d) "Religion is the attempt to understand the universal
oneness and apply that knowledge for the practical experiencing
of that oneness."
Every branch of human knowledge like physical sciences, philosophy
and theology are also based upon the notion of the entirety
of the universe and the inter-relation of its parts. Each,
however, takes a different angle of vision and consequently
adopts a different procedure to grasp that entirety.
"One school of investigation but laughs at others, not
knowing that its own means are as much subject to variations
and therefore to ridicule by others not given to accepting
Religion is an attempt to compromise the different schools
of thought and bring the conclusions within the possibility
of daily human conduct.
Such in brief are the contents of the first of the four chapters
on religion. But if religion is the preparation of one's life
to bring it into tune with the wider universe, then it is
of no value to confine one's life only to one portion of it.
If properly viewed, individual life is a part of the universal
life and hence eternal. There is no use dividing it into that
of here and that of hereafter. There is no cleavage between
the two sections, and attachment to any one of them to the
exclusion of the other and the consequent human conduct evolved
therefrom have greatly marred the progress of real religion.
Says the book concerning those who advocate the limitation
of one's vision to the now and the here,
"He is forgotten to be as much interdependent as he is
independent... The supposed independence of the individual
or a group of individuals has led to the institutions of slavery,
tyranny and priest-craft, or their amplified forms of political
organisations of imperialism, capitalistic industrialism and
the like. Man has become, openly or under garb, a greedy person
existing and contending with others only for his benefit-and
that of his associates. Much has been done, no doubt, to mitigate
the evils of such a ruthless exploitation by the each of the
rest, through the creation and the maintenance of law and
legal institutions-individual, communal, national and inter-national.
But none of these restraining influences have yet deprived
themselves of the notion of man's unchecked individual independence;
and, instead of becoming simpler, they get complicated...
Legislatures are multiplying or are changing forms; law is
being piled upon law, and statute books do but become bulkier.
Judges and administration of justice get more complicated
and more costly and, instead of being the poor people's relief,
they become the rich men's luxuries. They do not eradicate
the wrong notions of man's being and behaving but only restrain
their evil workings... wars have not ceased; exploitation
has not ended, and the weaker are suppressed by the stronger
in an organised and subtle manner. Man thinks that he is great
and desires others to yield. He looks not ahead to life's
continuity beyond the 'now and here' and is consequently ignorant
of the unity and the ultimate equality of the all and sundry.
Therefore, those who advocate living for the present live
"in the world of the present which, by that narrow imposition,
is one of distractions where each has to contend against the
rest for its being and growth."
Hence, concludes the book, "moralists and preachers of
truth have condemned the things of the present, only for their
potentiality to narrow man's vision and convert him inhuman.
What about those who live for the 'hereafter'?
The very idea of a future, which alone is certain, is based
upon an erroneous reading of real life... To isolate the 'hereafter'
from the 'here' is to erect a castle in the air. Heaven must
be the super-pinnacle of an under-structure, which is after
its own fashion. God must be the final unfoldment of a life
that advances without cessation. Between the inorganic and
the organic; between the plant, the animal and man; and between
humanity and divinity, there ought to be no cleavage. The
universe in its entirety is a growth and none in it is an
emergence out of nothing."
Hence, concludes the book, "he who centres his eyes on
a 'heaven of the hereafter' alone aspires for a region that
is unsupported. An ultra-mundane god is like unto the water
of a sandy mirage. He who lives for heaven alone or god alone
lives for the unreal and the unfounded. His life that is lived
for that sake is a life that comes out to be a waste. It is
anti-evolutional and an indirect check through pious but certain
Continuing in the same strain says the book "self sacrifice
is an asset only when the matured energies of the individual
are diverted for the benefit of the things 'here'. Asceticism
has value and becomes ennobled only when the ascetic lives
in the world and works for its benefit. A Buddha and a Jesus
are admired and even worshipped, not because of the intensity
of their spirituality but because of their interpretation
of that spirituality as a goal that can be reached even by
persons of this world. With god overhead and feet walking
the earth, they spread their hearts of sympathy and words
of wisdom even for the men of 'here and now' to become divine.
They preached, and practised what they preached, that god
is within all and that every one who desired for him can know
him. Otherwise they would have been mere contemplatives and
men of impracticalities".
Therefore, in the opinion of the book, if one is to be really
religious, he has to live a whole life and not confine his
attention to one or the other of its sections. To quote the
words of the book, "religion in reality is thus life
in totality... Man is to neglect neither the present nor the
future. He has to take things as they are and convert them
into instrumentalities for a brighter future..."
"Life is an en masse march of all and sundry for a future
consummation which is the revelation by the each of the spirit
of unity.... He has to spiritualise Politics and sociology
and deify economics and domestic features...A religious man
is a seeker after Truth, hastening or not hesitating as much
for a march ahead as for a correction behind. Religion is
not bigotry; nor superstition, spirituality. It is an intelligent
conduct of life for the harmonious growth of its varied sections...
In the words of man it is the march of the finite into the
infinite, of man towards God... It spurns none but tolerates
all... Religion is the whole of life, and a corrected life
is an ennobled religion."
Such in brief is the conclusion of the chapter on "religion
and Life" showing the relation between the two. But,
in every day practice, is life lived so? This question is
considered in the chapter entitled "religion in practice".
In this connection avers the book,
"The worship of a super-human entity, in accordance with
methods which tradition and culture have sanctified is and
has been understood to formulate religion proper."
So, the consequence has been, "naturally enough it came
to be denied or degraded by man."
This attitude towards religion has divided mankind into believers
and non-believers in god-Theists and atheists. The formers
in general have been the common humanity while the latter
in certain cases have been scientists and philosophers. Between
these two classes of higher atheists there is not much difference.
"The former through their ever-increasing experiments
with the objects of nature external to man, and the latter
through introspection and logical discussion concerning man's
internlity, have gradually led to the increasing conception
of the unity of the universe."
While thus among higher atheists there is no difference except
in the mode of grasping the goal, there is equally no difference
between theists and atheists also, properly understood. In
the words of the book, "While the former (the theists)
emphasize the psychological inevitability of interim recognisable
symbols for man's conception of an abstraction, the latter
(the atheists) attempt, if possible, to grasp it direct."
For, while atheists of the higher type-Scientists and philosophers-believe
in the being of an immanent, intra-cosmic, impersonal entity
to give unity and vitality to the entirety of the universe,
theists hold that such unity and vitality would be impossible
but for a super-mundane personal god. And this personal god
is, in the opinion of higher theists, different from that
of the common people. The book avers, "To them, a personal
god that is super-human is not a master coercing into obedience
a world below. He is not the maker and maintainer at will
of that world. He does not dispense awards or punishments
to men according to their good or evil deeds. He is not responsible
for the world's beginning, progress and culmination.
On the other hand, the higher theists treat this personal
god as a symbol. Says the book,
"He just fulfills a psychological purpose in the growth
of human knowledge."
That is, in their view,
"God is but a material symbol, invented by the material
man, after his own best material fashion, for the understanding
of an immaterial something."
For, they have recognised,
"Symbolism is an inevitability for man's mental progress."
Hence, the difference between the higher theists and the higher
atheists vanishes when once it is understood that god has
only a psychological value for man's mental progress, without
any mythological conceptions and appendages to which the world
has become used from time immemorial.
Despite, however, the absence of any distinction between the
higher types of theists and atheists, lower orders of such
classes has not maintained the same relation. Scientists and
philosophers have treated the rest of the world as superstitious,
bigoted and fanatic. And the rest to whom
"Material monism or spiritual oneness lies beyond the
possibility of men's very grasp"
"Scientific conclusions and philosophic inferences are
"Are prone to redicule, if not to punish thinkers and
scholars. Galileo was persecuted by the medieval inquisition
for his astronomical theories, while Socrates was forced to
drink the fatal hemlock for his transcendental philosophy.
Buddhistic monism was looked on as heretical by the ceremonial
Brahmans, and several pioneers of science were burnt down
as wizards and false teachers at the time of the reformation
While in the name of religion, the relation between the atheists
and the theists has thus not been cordial, among the atheists
too there have come into being many degraded types as among
the theists. In the words of the book,
"Refusal to accept religion and its ways as current has
thus produced monists of science and philosophy, as also arrant
materialists and hedonists who have not shrunk to assume the
roll of tyrants. It has produced self-torturing and self-killing
recluses who try to know and realise the immanent origin of
the universe, but deny it to themselves and them to it. It
has led to the rise of agnostics who doubt their environments
and doubt themselves also."
The fall of the theists has been equally great though in a
different direction. To repeat the words of the book,
"The logicality of this thought soon came to be transferred
from the single, personal god in Heaven to the multifarious
symbolic images, each one of which in the limited knowledge
of men, constituted a reality. Hence, it came to be essential
that these also should be worshipped for themselves and by
themselves. No mode and amount of sacrifice was considered
enough, and from the simple prayer to the most sickening blood-sacrifice
came to be added to the intricacies and complexities of religious
ceremonials. The nature and the amount of the sacrifices are
considered to determine one's piety.....Horrible practices
and immense wastes of lives and wealth are its only conclusions,
while the piety that leads men to it is no more, than timidity
that has become smoothened. Man, by nature independent, has
changed to a dependant; and, instead of facing and realising
the unity of the universe and his oneness with the rest by
bold steps, be has recourse to petitioning and begging a something
that is no reality but symbolical, wasting his energy and
his all for the satisfaction of a figure which truly is nothing.
Some others, considering their particular images and ceremonials
to be the only correct ones take to strict adherence to them
as a necessity and in their observance have become almost
fanatical. They adhere to the letter of the law more than
to its spirit and, while with some regular attendance of churches
and temples alone constitutes religion, with others the loud
repetition of prayer with not an intonation left becomes that..."
"Religion in practice has thus deviated from its real
course and, while the whole of living is the whole of religion...practical
religion has converted man into one of fear and superstition
where his supposed faith is but fanaticism and piety is timidity."
This fall in religion is due to the misunderstanding of the
significance of symbols in religion. Symbols as such indicate,
"An endless amount of inter-relations that persist among
the objects and the events of the broad world..."
"Symbolism...is mysticism. To treat an object as but
a symbolical representation of something else is to go beyond
the perceived and dive below the surface, To know a known
isolation as potential with unknown inter-relations, to see
in the seen final a reproduction of the unseen infinity, is
to learn more than the actual and the real."
Majority of the human beings are incapable of this, because
"Men in general are prone to content themselves with
the information of their senses, and not all do use their
mentality to its highest pitch...Images therefore lose their
significance for them and, instead of being but symbolical,
become the actual."
Such is religion in practice; but there is another aspect
of it, which too has spoiled its fair face. It is the Problem
of Sin or the possibility and the effect on human conduct
of virtue and vice or good and evil. In the view of the book,
"Sin is not perennial nor is one a perpetual sinner from
birth or by profession. Virtue is not the monopoly of any
particular individual, nor can any one assume the roll of
leadership over others for making them better. Virtue and
vice are relative in character and conception. They are like
light and darkness, each seemingly different from the other,
but each gradually margin into the other and also emerging
out of it."
Views like that virtue and vice are permanent because they
are the creations respectively of the two entities, god and
Satan, who are permanent; that they both have been made by
god alone; and that they are identical with and are the prompting
of one's conscience are all discussed and repudiated. Again,
whether what is termed virtuous is the same as sexual morality
or non-injury or active charity is also elaborately dealt
with. And the conclusion of the Book is that virtue is the
truth-which is described as 'the one', 'the same' and 'the
intrinsic or the Natural,' as against 'the many,' 'the changeable'
and 'the superficial or the unnatural'. Religious men are
men of truth, and
"The words they spoke and the lives they led stand as
firmament's shining stars for the guidance of an erring humanity
that treads the pathless woods of a confounding and entangling
The chapter on 'religion and sin' deals with these facts and
leads on to the concluding chapter of the book.
In the opening chapter of the first volume, the following
sentences occur: -
"This world-the world of human beings with all its surroundings
and contents-has been and abode of happiness to some and a
home of inexpressible and perpetual misery to many...To the
poet and to the prophet, to the seer and the sage, in fact
to such of those whom we are apt to think as of a higher order,
this world has nothing but beauty and happiness to yield..."
"To the generality of mankind, however...the world has
a different picture altogether...Man is born to die and, while
he lives, lives only to be tossed hither and thither in the
never-ending waves of the sea of suffering."
"The world is one. Its phenomena are the same for all.
It proceeds in the same orderly path, doing its set duty in
an automatic manner. Yet it appears to be of different colours
and varied features. Is it correct to think that the world
is nothing but a home of troubles... Is there no hope? Has
he no chance of escape from this perpetual sloughs of suffering?"
The answer to these questions is given in the concluding chapter
of the book.
"The cause of human misery are thus two-fold. One is
the perpetual and the perplexing activities of the entities
of man's surroundings; and the other is his peculiar construction
of the significance of such entities."
"It is not within the capacity of any one to check the
activities of one's externalities."
"The real cause of man's miseries however, is not totally
his ignorance of the physical effect of the contact of the
external on him. It is rather his own psychological misconstruction
of that contact. The contact, he thinks, exists for his personal
benefit and, induced by this view, treats external objects
as separate entities antagonistic to him which, if he cares
to live and be happy, he must subdue and control without contradiction
or counter-claim."...Neither those others whom he desires
to control for ever, nor the super-position which he likes
himself to occupy are permanent.
What is the remedy?
"The remedy for human miseries therefore lies in man's
altering his view of things around him and purging himself
of the notion of his self-importance. His psychological out-look
needs change, not his physical contact which is inevitable.
His knowledge of men and maters needs correction and guidance;
and, in consequence, his mind needs coercion, correction and
"The strengthening of one's mind and its practised diversion
from the usual and routine is ultimately the only cure."
"The training of the mind is a protracted course of self-correction...
Such a course of life constitutes and leads to HUMANISM which
is higher humanity akin to divinity itself."
"Misery is of man's making, Humanism is a cure to it,
certain to rescue mankind from the petty quarrels and competitions
of society, and raise it above all causes of physical ailments.
Man under it becomes happy-not happy by subordinating and
owning others, but happy by conquering and correcting his
mind, and looking on the world as but the presentation of
a common, intelligent entity that is in him and them."
Such is the cure for human troubles, and this remedy every
one is capable of. Only while a few practise it, others do
not. Those that practise it are styled saints and sages who,
in consequence, experience no trouble.
This conclusion is the end of the last chapter in this volume,
which is also the final one in this series.
-Jai Prithvi Bahadur Sing