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THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON
THE KING

IV.

THE DOCTRINES OF BUDDHISM

Having sat for seven long years under the Bôdhi tree Gotama opened his eyes and perceiving the world of Samsâra199 exclaimed: "Quod erat demonstrandum!" True, he had attained to the spotless eye of Truth and had become Buddha the Enlightened One; he had entered the Nothingness of Nibbâna,200 and had become one with the Uncreated and the Indestructible. And now he stood once again on the shore line of existence and watched the waves of life roll landwards, curve, break and hiss up the beach only to surge back into the ocean from which they came. He did not deny the existence of the Divine, (how could he when he had become one with it?) but so filled was he with the light of Amitâbha,201 that he fully saw that by Silence alone could the world be saved, and that by the denial of the Unknowable of the uninitiate, the Kether, the Âtman, the First Cause, the God of the unenlightened, could he ever hope to draw mankind to that great illimitable LVX, from which he had {125} descended a God-illumined Adept. he fully realized that to admit into his argument the comment of God was to erase all hope of deliverance from the text, and therefore, though he had become The Buddha, nevertheless, in his selflessness he stooped down to the level of the lowest of mankind, and abandoning as dross the stupendous powers he had acquired, helped his fellows to realize the right path by the most universal of all symbols the woe of the world, the sorrow of mankind.

Like the Vedântist, he saw that the crux of the whole trouble was Ignorance (Avijjâ). Dispel this ignorance, and illumination would take its place, that insight into the real nature of things, which, little by little, leads the Aspirant out of the world of birth and death, the world of Samsâra, into that inscrutable Nibbâna where things in themselves cease to exist and with them the thoughts which go to build them up. Ignorance is the greatest of all Fetters, and, "he who sins inadvertently," as Nâgasena said, "has the greater demerit."

Enquiring into the particular nature of Ignorance Buddha discovered that the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil had three main branches, namely: Lobha, Dosa and Moha; Craving, Passion and Delusion of elf, and that these three forms of Ignorance alone could be conquered by right understanding the Three Great Signs or Characteristics of all Existence, namely: Change, sorrow and Absence of an Ego—Anikka, Dukkha, and Anatta, which were attained by meditating on the inmost meaning of the Four Noble Truths:

"The Truth about Suffering; the Truth about the Cause of Suffering; the Truth about the Cessation of Suffering; and the Truth about the Path which leads to the Cessation of {126} Suffering." These consist of the above Three Characteristics with the addition of the Noble Eightfold Path, which contains as we shall presently see the whole of Canonical Buddhism.

Up to this point, save for the denial of the Ego, the whole of the above doctrine might have been extracted from almost any of the Upanishads. But there is a difference, and the difference is this. Though the Vedântist realized that Ignorance (Avidyâ) was the foundation of all Sorrow, and that all, possessing the essence of Change, was but illusion or Mâyâ, a matter of name and form;202 Buddha now pointed out that the true path of deliverance was through the Reason (Ruach) and not through the senses (Nephesh), as many of the Upanishads would give one to believe. Further, this was the path that Gotama had trod, and therefore, naturally he besought others to tread it. The Vedântist attempted to attain unity with the Âtman (Kether)203 by means of his Emotions (Nephesh) intermingled with his Reason (Ruach), but the Buddha by means of his Reason (Ruach) alone. Buddha attempted to cut off all joy from the world, substituting in its place an implacable rationalism, a stern and inflexible morality, little seeing that the sorrows of Earth which his system substituted in place of the joys of Heaven, though they might not ruffle his self-conquered self, must perturb the minds of his followers, {127} and produce emotions of an almost equal intensity through perhaps of an opposite character to those of his opponents. Yet nevertheless, for a space, the unbending Rationalism of his System prevailed and crushed down the Emotions of his followers, those Emotions which had found so rich and fertile as soil in the decaying philosophy of the old Vedânta. The statement in the Dhammapada that: "All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts:"204 is equally true of the Vedânta as it is of Buddhism. But, in the former we get the great doctrine and practice of the Siddhis directly attributable to a mastering of the emotions and then to a use of the same, which is strictly forbidden to the Buddhist, but which eventually under the Mahâyâna Buddhism of China and Tibet forced itself once again into recognition, and which, even as early as the writing of "The Questions of King Milinda," unless the beautiful story of the courtesan Bindumati be a latter day interpolation, was highly thought of under the name of an "Act of Truth." Thus, though King Sivi gave his eyes to the man who begged them of him, he received others by an Act of Truth, by the gift of Siddhi, or Iddhi as the Buddhists call it. An Act, which is explained by the fair courtesan Bindumati as follows. When King Asoka asked her by what power she had caused the waters of the Ganges to flow backwards. She answered:

Whosoever, O King, gives me gold be he a noble, or a brahman, or tradesman, or a servant I regard them all alike. when I see he is a noble I make no distinction in his favour. If I know him to be a slave I despise him {128} not. Free alike from fawning and from dislike do I do service to him who has bought me. This, your Majesty, is the basis of the Act of Truth by the force of which I turned the Ganges back.205

In other words, by ignoring all accidents, all matters of chance, and setting to work, without favour or prejudice, to accomplish the one object in view, and so finally "to interpret every phenomenon as a particular dealing of God with the soul." In truth this is an "Act of Truth," the Power begot by Concentration and nothing else.

We have seen at the commencement of this chapter how the Âtman (that Essence beyond Being and Not Being) allegorically fell by crying "It is I," and how the great Hypocrisy arose by supposing individual Âtmans for all beings, and things which had to incarnate again and again before finally they were swallowed up in the One Âtman of the Beginning. This individualistic Conception Gotama banned, he would have none of it; a Soul, a Spirit, a separate entity was anathema to him; but in overthrowing the corrupt Vedânta of the latter-day pundits, like Luther, who many centuries later tore the tawdry vanities from off the back of prostitute Rome, approximating his reformed Church to the communistic brotherhood of Christ, Gotama, the Enlightened One, the Buddha, now similarly went back to Vedic times and to the wisdom of the old Rishis. But, fearing the evil associations clinging to a name, he, anathematizing the Âtman, in {129} its place wrote Nibbâna, which according to Nâgasena is cessation,206 a passing away in which nothing remains, and end.207 Soon however, under Mahâyâna-Buddhism, was the Âtman to be revived in all its old glory under the name of Amitâbha, or that Source of all Light, which so enlightens a man who is aspiring to the Bodhi that he becomes a Buddha. "Amitâbha," so Paul Carus informs us, "Is the final norm of wisdom and of morality208 (sic), the standard of truth and of righteousness, the ultimate raison d’ątre of the Cosmic Order." This of course is "bosh." Amitâabha, as the Âtman, is "the light which shines there beyond the heaven behind all things, behind each in the highest worlds, the highest of all."209

Once logically having crushed out the idea of an individual soul, a personal God and then an impersonal God had to be set aside and with them the idea of a First Cause or Beginning; concerning which question Buddha refused to give an answer. For, he well saw, that the idea of a Supreme god was the greatest of the dog-faced demons that seduced man from the path. "There is no God, and I refuse to discuss what is not!" cries Buddha, "but there is Sorrow and I intend to destroy it." If I can only get people to start on the upward journey they will very soon cease to care if there is a God or if there is a No-God; but, if I give them the slightest cause to expect any reward outside cessation of Sorrow, it would set them all {130} cackling over the future like hens over a china egg, and soon they would be back at the old game of counting their chickens before they were hatched. he also must have seen, that if he postulated a God, or First Cause, every unfledged rationalist in Pâtaliputta would cry, "Oh, but what a God, what a wicked God yours must be to allow all this sorrow you talk of ... now look at mine ..." little seeing that sorrow was just the same with the idea of God as without it, and that all was indeed Moha or Mâyâ—both God and No-God, Sorrow and Joy.

But Buddha being a practical physician, thought he knew sorrow to be but a form of thought, was most careful in keeping it as real a calamity as he could; for he well say, that if he could only get people to concentrate upon Sorrow and its Causes, that the end could not be far off, of both Sorrow and Joy; but, if they began to speculate on its illusiveness, this happy deliverance would always remain distant. His business upon Earth was entirely a practical and exoteric one, in no way mystical; it was rational and not emotional, catholic and not secret.

What then is the Cause of sorrow? and the answer given by Gotama is: Karma or Action, which when once completed becomes latent and static, and according to how it was accomplished, when once again it becomes dynamic, is its resultant effect. Thus a good action produces a good reaction, and a bad one a bad one. This presupposes a code of morals, furnished by what?210 We cannot call it Âtman, Conscience, {131} of Soul; and a Selecting Power, which however is strenuously denied by the rigid law of Cause and Effect. However the mental eyes of the vast majority of his followers were not so clear as to pierce far into the darkness of metaphysical philosophy, and so it happened that, where the idealism of the Vedânta had failed the realism of Buddhism succeeded.211

This denial of a Universal Âtman, and a personal Âtman, soon brought the ethical and philosophical arguments of Gotama up against a brick wall (Kant’s "à priori"). As we have seen he could not prop up a fictitious beginning by the supposition of the former, and he dared not use Nibbâna as such, though in truth the Beginning is just as incomprehensible with out without an Âtman. But, in spite of his having denied the latter, he had to account for Causality and the transmission of his Good and Evil (Karma) by some means or another. Now, according to Nâgasena, the Blessed One refused to answer any such questions as "is the universe everlasting?" "Is it not everlasting?" "Has it an end?" "Has it not an end?" "Is it both ending and unending?" "Is it neither the one nor the other?" And further all such questions as "Are the soul and the body the same thing?" "Is the soul distinct from the body?" "Does a Tathâgata exist after death?" "Does he not exist after death?" "Does {132} he both exist and not exist after death?" "Does he neither exist nor not exist after death?" ... Because "the Blessed Buddhas lift not up their voice without a reason and without an object."212 But in spite of their being no "soul" "in the highest sense," 213 Gotama had to postulate some vehicle which would transmit the sorrow of one generation to another, of one instant of time to the next; and, not being able to use the familiar idea of Âtman, he instead made that of Karma do a double duty. "He does not die until that evil Karma is exhausted," says Nâgasena.214

Now this brings us to an extraordinary complex question, namely the "practical" difference between the Karma minus Âtman of the Buddhists and the Karma plus Âtman of the later Vedântists?

The Brahman’s idea, at first, was of one complete whole, this, as the comment supplanted the text, got frayed into innumerable units of Âtmans, which, on account of Karma, were born again and again until Karma was used up and the individual Âtman went back to the universal Âtman. Buddha erasing the Âtman, though he refused to discuss the Beginning, postulates Nibbâna as the end, which fact conversely also postulates the Beginning as Nibbâna. Therefore we have all things originating from an x sign, Âtman, Nibbâna, God, Ain or First Cause, and eventually returning to this primordial Equilibrium. The difficulty which now remains is the bridging over of this divided middle. To Gotama there is no unit, and existence per se is Ignorance caused as it were by a bad dream in the head of the undefinable Nibbâna; which itself, however, {133} is non-existent. Each man is, as it were, a thought in an universal brain, each thought jarring against the next and prolonging the dream. As each individual thought dies it enters Nibbâna and ceases to be, and eventually when all thoughts die the dream passes and Nibbâna wakes.215 This bad dream seems to be caused by a separateness of Subject and Object which means Sorrow; when sleep vanishes this separateness vanishes with it, things assume their correct proportion and may be equated to a state of bliss or Non-Sorrow.

Thus we find that Nirvana and Nibbâna are the same216 in {134} fact as in etymology, and that absorption into either the one or the other may be considered as re-entering that Equilibrium from which we originated.

The first and last words have been written on this final absorption by bother the Vedântist and the Buddha alike.

There no sun shines, no moon, nor glimmering star, nor yonder lightning, the fire of earth is quenched; from him, who alone shines, all else borrows its brightness, the whole world bursts into splendour at his shining.217

And—

There exists, O Brothers, a Realm wherein is neither Earth nor Water {135} neither Flame nor Air; nor the vast Aether nor the Infinity of thought, not Utter Void nor the co-existence of Cognition and Non-cognition is there: not this World nor Another, neither Sun nor Moon. That, Brothers, I declare unto you as neither a Becoming nor yet a Passing-away: not Life nor Death nor Birth; Unlocalised, Unchanging and Uncaused: That is the end of Sorrow.218

Gotama therefore had to hedge. Unquestionably the Soul-idea must go, but in order to account for the Universal law of Causation Karma must remain, and further, surreptitiously perform all the old duties the individual Âtman had carried out. He had abandoned the animism of a low civilization, it is true, but he could not, for a want of the exemption from morality itself, abandon the fetish of a slightly higher civilization, namely ethics. He saw that though mankind was tired of being ruled by Spirits, they were only too eager to be ruled by Virtues, which gave those who maintained these fictitious qualifications a sure standpoint from which to rail at those who had not. Therefore he banned Reincarnation and Soul and substituted in their place Transmigration and Karma (Doing) the Sankhârâ or Tendencies that form the character (individuality!) of the individual.

Ânanda Metteya in "Buddhism"219 explains transmigration in contradistinction to reincarnation as follows. Two men standing on the shore of a |lake witch the waves rolling land-wards. To the one who is unversed in science it appears that the wave travelling towards him retains its identity and shape, it is to him a mass of water that moves over the surface impelled by the wind. The other, who has a scientifically trained mind, knows that at each point upon the surface of the lake the particles of water are only rising and then falling in {136} their place, that each particle in turn is passing on its motion to its neighbours. To the first there is a translation of matter, to the second one of force. "The Vedântist has seen Substance, an enduring Principle, an Ens; the Buddhist only Qualities, themselves in all their elements ever changing, but the sum-total of their Doing passing steadily on, till the wave breaks upon Nibbâna’s shore, and is no more a wave for ever."

We have not space to criticise this, all we will ask is what is the difference between force and Matter, and if the annihilation of the one does not carry with it the annihilation of the other irrespective of which is first if either?

Ânanda Metteya carries his illustration further still.

John Smith, then, in a sense, is immortal; nay, every thought he thinks is deathless, and will persist, somewhere, in the depths of infinity. ... But it is not this part of his energy that results in the formation of a new being when he dies.... We may then consider the moment of John smith’s death.... During his life he has not alone been setting in vibration the great ocean of the Æther, he has been affecting the structure of his own brain. So that at the moment of his death all his own life, and all his past lives are existing pictured in a definite and characteristic molecular structure, a tremendous complicated representation of all that we have meant by the term John Smith the record of the thoughts and doings of unnumbered lives. Each cell of the millions of his brain may be likened to a charged leyden-jar, the nerve- paths radiating from it thrill betimes with its discharges, carrying its meaning through man’s body, and, through the Æther, even to the infinitude of space. When it is functioning normally, its total discharge is prevented, so that never at any time can more than a fraction of its stored up energy be dissipated. ... And then Death comes; and in the moment of its coming, all that locked up energy flames on the universe like a new-born star.220

Ânanda Metteya then in a lengthy and lucid explanation demonstrates how the light of a flame giving off the yellow light of sodium may be absorbed by a layer of sodium vapour, {137} so the Karma, released from the body of the dead man, will circle round until it finds the body of a new-born child tuned or syntonized to its particular waves. Now we are not concerned here with stray children who like the receivers of a wireless telegraph pick up either good or evil messages; but it is an interesting fact to learn that at least certain orthodox Buddhists attribute so complex and considerable a power to the brain, that by the fact of leaving one body that body perishes, and of entering another that body revives. Can it be that we have got back to our old friend the Prâna which in its individual form so closely resembles the individual Karma, and in its entirety the totality of Nibbâna? Let us turn to Brihadâranyaka Upanishad. There in 1, 6, 3. we find a mystical formula which reads Amritam satyena channam. This means "The immortal (Brahman) veiled by the (empirical) reality;" and immediately afterwards this is explained as follows: "The Prâna (i.e. the Âtman) to wit is the immortal, name and form are the reality; by these the Prâna is veiled." Once again we are back at our starting-point. To become one with the Prâna or Âtman is to enter Nibbâna, and as the means which lead to the former consisted of concentration exercises such as Prânâyâma, etc.; so now shall we find almost identical exercises used to hasten the Aspirant into Nibbâna.

Frater P. by now was well acquainted with the Yoga Philosophy, further he was beginning to feel that the crude Animism employed by many of its expounders scarcely tallied with his attainments. The nearer he approached the Âtman the less did it appear to him to resemble what he had been {138} taught to expect. Indeed its translation into worldly comments was a matter of education, so it came about that he discovered that the Great Attainment per se was identical in all systems irrespective of the symbol may sought it under. Thus Yahweh as a clay phallus in a band-box was as much a reality to the Jews of Genesis as Brahman in Brahma-loka was to the Aryas of Vedic India; that the vision of Moses when he beheld God as a burning bush is similar to the vision of the fire-flashing Courser of he Chaldean Oracles; and that Nibbâna the Non-existent is little removed, if at all, from the Christian heaven with its harps, halos and hovering angels. And the reason is, that the man who does attain to any of these states, on his return to consciousness, at once attributes his attainment to his particular business partner—Christ, Buddha, Mrs. Besant, etc., ets., and attempts to rationalize about the suprarational, and describe what is beyond description in the language of his country.

P., under the gentle guidance of Ânanda Metteya, at first found the outward simplicity most refreshing; but soon he discovered that like all other religious systems Buddhism was entangled in a veritable network of words. Realizing this, he went a step further than Gotama, and said: "Why bother about Sorrow at all, or about Transmigration? for these are not ’wrong viewyness,’ as Mr. Rhys Davids would so poetically put it, but matters of the Kindergarten and not of the Temple; matters for police regulation, and for underpaid curates to chatter about, and matters that have nothing to do with true progress." He then divided life into two compartments; into the first he threw science, learning, philosophy and all things built of words the toys of life; and into {139} the second The Invocations of Adonai the work of attainment.

Then he took another step forward. "Do as thou wilt!" Not only is Animism absurd, but so also is Morality; not only is Reincarnation absurd, but so also is Transmigration; not only is the Ego absurd, but so also is the Non-Ego; not only is Karma absurd, but so also is Nibbâna. For, all things and no-things are absurd save "I," who am soul and Body, Good and Evil, Sorrow and Joy, Change and Equilibrium; who in the temple of Adonai, am beyond all these, and by the fire side in my study Mr. X, one with each and all.

Thus it came about that the study of Buddhism caused Frater P. to abandon the tinsel of the Vedânta as well as its own cherished baubles, and induced him, more than ever, to rely on work and Work alone and not on philosophizing, moralizing and rationalizing. The more rational he became, the less he reasoned outwardly; and the more he became endowed with the Spirit of the Buddha in place of the vapourings of Buddhism, the more he saw that personal endeavour was the key; not the Scriptures, which at best could but indicate the way.

It (the Dharma) is to be attained to by the wise, each one for himself. Salvation rests on Work and not on Faith, not in reforming the so-called fallen, but in conquering one-self. "If one man conquer in battle a thousand times a thousand men: and another conquer but himself; he is the greatest of conquerors."221

This is the whole of Buddhism, as it is of any and all systems of self-control. {140}

Strenuousness is the Immortal Path sloth is the way of death. The Strenuous live always, the slothful are already as the dead.222

Impermanent are the Tendencies—therefore do ye deliver yourselves by Strenuousness.

Frater P. now saw more clearly than ever that this last charge of the Buddha was the one supremely important thing that he ever said. {141}

Previous | Index | Next

Index | The Hermit | The Agnostic Position | The Vedanta | Attainment By Yoga | The Yogas | The Constitution of the Human Organism | The Chakkras | The Doctrines of Buddhism | The Noble Eightfold Path | The Writings of Truth

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX

199 The world of unrest and transiency, of birth and death.

200 The Great Attainment of Buddhism. Our terminology now degenerates into the disgusting vulgarity of the Pali dialect.

201 The Mahâyâna Buddhists’ Boundless Light. Compared with the canonical Nibbâna it bears a very similar relation to it as the Ain soph Aur, the Illimitable Light, does to the Ain, the negatively Existent One. In the Brihadâranyka Upanishad 4. 4. 66. Brahman is termed "jyotishâm jyotis" which means "the light of lights" a similar conception.

202 We have seen how in the Chândogya Upanishad that all things, including even the four Vedas, are called "nâma eva" mere name. Now in "The Questions of King Milinda" we find Nâgasena stating that all things but "name and form," whatever is subtle, mental, is "name." But that both are dependent on each other, and spring up, not separately, but together. "The Questions of King Milinda," ii. 2. 8.

203 It must not be forgotten that in its ultimate interpretation the Âtman is the Ain, however we use this reading as seldom as possible, as it is so very vague.

204 Dhammapada, v. 1.

205 "The Questions of King Milinda," iv. I, 48. See also the story of the holy Quail in Rhys Davids’ "Buddhist Birth Stories," p. 302. These Iddhis are also called Abhijnyâs. There are six of them: (1) clairvoyance; (2) clairaudience; (3) powers of transformation; (4) powers of remembering past lives; (5) powers of reading the thoughts of others; (6) the knowledge of comprehending the finality of the stream of life. See also "Konx om Pax," pp. 47, 48.

206 "The Questions of King Milinda," iii, 4, 6.

207 Ibid., iii, 5, 10.

208 It is curious how, inversely according to the amount of morality preached is morality practised in America; in fact there are almost as many moral writers there as there are immoral readers. Paul Carus is as completely ignorant of Buddhism as he is about the art of nursing babies he has written on both these subjects and many more, all flatulently.

209 Chândogya, 3, 13, 7.

210 Twenty-three centuries later Kant falling over this crux postulated his "twelve categories," or shall we say "emanations," and thereby started revolving once again the Sephirothic Wheel of Fortune.

211 In spite of the fact that Buddhism urges that "The whole world is under the Law of Causation," it commands its followers to lead pure and noble lives, in palace of dishonourable ones, in spite of their having no freedom of choice between good and evil. "Let us not lose ourselves in vain speculations of profitless subtleties," says the Dhammapada, "let us surrender self and all selfishness, and as all things are fixed by causation, let us practise good so that good may result from our actions." Just as if it could possibly be done if "all things are fixed." The Buddhist, in theory having postulated that all fowls lay hardboiled eggs, adds, the ideal man is he who can only make omelettes.

212 "The Questions of King Milinda," iv, 2, 5.

213 Ibid., iii, 5, 6.

214 Ibid., iii, 4, 4.

215 Compare "Mândûkya Upanishad," 1, 16.

                In the infinite illusion of the universe 
                The soul sleeps; when it awakes 
                Then there wakes in it the Eternal, 
                Free from time and sleep and dreams.

216 Most Buddhists will raise a terrific howl when they read this; but, in spite of their statement that the Hindu Nirvana, the absorption into Brahman, corresponds not with their Nibbâna, but with their fourth Arûpa-Vimokha, we nevertheless maintain, that in essence Nirvana and Nibbâna are the same, or in detail, if logic is necessary in so illogical an argument, it certainly sided rather with Nirvana than Nibbâna. Nibbâna is Final says the Buddhist, when once an individual enters it there is no getting out again, in fact a kind of Spiritual Bastille, for it is Niccain, changeless; but Brahman is certainly not this, for all things in the Universe originated from him. This is as it should be, though we see little difference between proceeding from to proceeding to, when it comes to a matter of First and Last Causes. The only reason why the Buddhist does not fall into the snare, is, not because he has explained away Brahman, but because he refuses to discuss him at all. Further the Buddhist argues that should the Hindu even attain by the exaltation of his selfhood to Arûpa Brahma-loka, though for a period incalculable he would endure there, yet in the end Karma would once again exert its sway over him, "and he would die as an Arûpa Brahma-loka, though for a period incalculable he would endure there, yet in the end Karma would once again exert its sway over him, "and he would die as an Arûpabrahmaloka-Deva, his Sankhâras giving rise to a being according to the nature of his unexhausted Karma." In "Buddhism," vol. i, No. 2, p. 323, we read: "To put it another way; you say that the Universe came from Brahman, and that at one time naught save the Brahman was. Then ’In the beginning Desire arose in it, which was the primal germ of Mind.’ Where did that desire come from, if the Brahman was the All, and the Unchangeable.... Again, if the Brahman was the All, and was perfect, then what was the object of this emanation of a Sorrow-filled Universe?" The Vedântist would naturally answer to this: "To put it in another way; you say that the Universe will go to Nibbâna, and that at one time naught save Nibbâna will be. Then in the end Desire dies in it, which was the primal germ of mind. Where will that desire go to, if Nibbâna will be the All, and will be perfect, then what will be the object of this emanation of a Sorrow-filled Universe?’ This is all the merest twaddle of a Hyde Park atheist or Christian Evidence preacher. Granted the Hindu Brahman is rationally ridiculous, yet nevertheless it is more rational to suppose a continuous chain of Sorrowful universes and states of oblivion than an unaccounted-for State of Sorrow and an unaccountable Finality. It is as rational or irrational to ask where "Brahman" came from, as it is to ask where "Karma" came from. Both are illusions, and as discussion of the same will only create a greater tangle than ever, let us cut the Gordian knot by leaving it alone, and set out to become Arahats, and enter the house which so mysteriously stands before us, and see what is really inside it, instead of mooning in the back garden and speculating about its contents, its furniture, the size of its rooms, and all the pretty ladies that scandal or rumour supposes that it shelters. To work! over the garden wall, and with Romeo cry:

             Can I go forward when my heart is here? 
             Turn back, dull earth, and find thy centre out. 

217 Kâthaka Upanishad, 5, 15.

218 The Book of Solemn Utterances.

219 Vol. i, No. 2, p. 293.

220 Buddhism, vol. i, No. 2, p. 299, abridged.

221 Dhammapada, v, 103.

222 Dhammapada, v, 21.