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mechanical ceremonies; and everywhere there is a class of minds ready to carry principles to an extreme result. The Vedanting declared works insufficient for salvation; and straightway other teachers arose, who pronounced works not only insufficient, but pernicious ; real obstacles in the way of holiness, and therefore to be utterly neglected and despised by all true saints. Endless were the debates on this question of faith and works. Traces of them are everywhere conspicuous in their sacred literature. “It is necessary to act,” says the author of the Bhagavat Geeta, " because otherwise the body could not be nourished. It is necessary to act, because God, in creating the world, has arranged it in such a manner that beings reciprocally subsist by their works and actions. But he wbo acts without regard to reward, without any other motive than duty, without any end in view but God, he is the perfect man." "The saint, who has purified his soul, who has subdued his senses, whose soul is The Soul of All Beings, is not sullied by the practice of works. He never imagines it is himself who acts. In seeing, hearing, touching, breathing, eating, walking, sleeping, talking, in opening his eyes, or in shutting them, he says to himself, 'These are the senses, not myself, which are occupied with external things. He attributes his works to God, and can thus act without stain, as the leaf of the lotus is not stained by the water drops that fall upon it. In renouncing the fruit of works, he obtains tranquillity."
The sects above mentioned are considered orthodox, because they all acknowledge themselves bound by the Vedas, and each strives to sustain its position by texts thence derived. But many causes were at work to give birth to heretical opinions. In the first place, the Holy Hooks themselves declared that man might arrive at a state of holiness, in which perpetual inward revelations rendered the Vedas unnecessary; and the Vedantins had spread abroad the idea by reiterated assertions. In the next place, rational investigations and philosophical theories are always going on, more or less openly, by the side of theological speculations. But stronger than both these causes was an increasing jealousy and aversion to the hereditary priesthood. In the beginning, it is probable that any very holy hermit could become a priest: and when the office was first made hereditary, every Bramin was professedly a religious man, and felt bound to devote the latter part of his life to contemplation in the forest. But as the caste grew numerous and wealthy, many of them were not priests, and very few devoted their declining years to ascetic practices. Thus there were many Bramins who were not saints, and many renowned saints who were not al. lowed to become Bramins. The possession of almost un. limited authority had its usual effect to produce selfishness, arrogance, and oppression; and though there were always good and great men among the Bramins, many disgraced their high calling by utter abandonment to vice. Still, however degraded their characters, holy and learned men of the other high castes were bound to submit to their authority, and treat them with the utmost reverence. The populace, immersed in ignorance, and spell-bound by sacred traditions, considered disobedience to a Bramin as the sum total of sin, and thought no method so sure to open the Gates of Paradise for themselves as to bestow property on members of that consecrated caste. In such a state of things, any doctrine that undermined their exclusive privileges would of course find adherents.
A school of rationalists appeared in Hindostan, many centuries ago, called Sankhya; a word signifying Intelligence, Reason. They deny the authority of the Vedas; urging that the command to sacrifice animals cannot be of divine origin, because it is contrary to the laws of benevolence. They reject the doctrine of God everywhere present in Nature; and maintain that Nature, though an emanation from God, is an entirely distinct and independent principle, not created, but containing within herself the laws that regulate all her motions. This theory of two principles, God and Nature, is called by philosophers Dualism.
They hold the common opinion that true holiness and happiness are to be obtained only by withdrawing the senses entirely from external things; but they assert this can be accomplished by reason, self-control, and contemplation, without aid from the Vedas. They do not deny the existence of subordinate deities, but represent them as beings very inferior to human saints, who have freed themselves from nature by contemplation and virtue. These rationalists separate into two sects; one diverging from orthodox opinions more widely than the other. The ultra school do not believe in One Supreme Soul, but in a multitude of souls, each enjoying independent existence. They say there is no other revelation than the wisdom of good men, which consists of souvenirs laid up by them in various progressive anterior existences. They believe the soul can raise itself above passion and imagination, by reason, experience, and the instruction of such sages. The more orthodox school place small value on this accumulated knowledge of wise men, as a means of becoming at one with God. They believe in a Supreme Soul, and think the human soul, by contemplation and self-renunciation, can attain such a state of mystical union therewith, that direct revelations are constantly received from the Divine Source. All souls tend to this state, and all souls can become God
These views open the religious life to all castes, and strike directly at the priesthood; for if the Vedas are rejected, there is no more need of Bramins to explain them, or to perform the ceremonies they prescribe; every man can become his own priest.
It is obvious that from various sources the Hindoo mind early became familiar with the idea that holy men could arrive at a state of elevation transcending the gods. This led to the theory of divine incarnations in the human form; the next step was to worship saints as gods. This is done by the Djinists, or Jains. The word Djina is merely one of the numerous words applied to saints, to express their various degrees of holiness ; but in process of time it was appropriated to this sect only. They hold most of the orthodox opinions concerning God and the soul, but reject the Vedas, because they prescribe bloody sacrifices. They believe God and Nature to be one indivisible existence. By a law eternally inherent in this existence, it passes from activity to repose, alternately, like day and night. Active, it produces creation, without however being dependent on creation, in any way. The material world, which emanated thus, is subject to successive changes, though its essence never perishes. It is alternately destroyed and renovated ; never by any exercise of divine will, but by an inherent necessity. The duration of a world is divided into six periods. We are in the fifth, which began six hundred and forty-three years before Christ. In each of these periods appear twenty-four saints, to reform and purify mortals. These saints are Spirits descended upon the earth. One named Vrischaba, whom they peculiarly revere, has many sacred titles ; such as "Lord of All the Saints," "Supreme over Gods and Spirits." According to their traditions, he was a prince, who abdicated in favour of his son, retired into the forest, and became entirely absorbed in the Divine Being. They attribute to him four Sacred Books of their sect, called Yoga. They likewise regard with especial reverence the anchorite Sramana, who is said to have been absorbed in the Divine Essence, about six hundred years before the Christian era.
They opened the religious life to all castes, except Soodras ; and the saints of their own sect were their priests. In old times, their hermits bound themselves by very rig. orous vows, and oftentimes showed their indifference to the world by going naked. The statues of these saints in their temples are always without clothing. It is asserted that some of them never died, but gradually dissolved away into phantoms, and thus imperceptibly mixed with the Universal Soul. In later times, the religious among them are less strict. They merely promise to be poor, honest, chaste, truthful, and benevolent toward all crea
tures. For this last trait the Jains are very remarkable. They offer no sacrifices except fruit, flowers, and incense. A prince of this sect allowed himself to be defeated, rather than march his army in the rainy season, when the fires of the camp would destroy insects then swarming. Another prince forbade printers, potters, and pressers of oil, to exercise their trades during four months of that season, when they must inevitably crush many insects.
For a long time they were much persecuted by the or. thodox sects. In a contest between them and the adherents of the Bramins, some of the Jain priests and their most zealous disciples were ordered to be ground to death in oil-mills. Yet the same people who exercised this cruelty reverenced life in a bee, a bird, or a monkey, as a por. tion of the Central Soul! In 1367 the Jains obtained peace by a formal reconciliation with the Vishnuites, whose creed resembles theirs in many particulars. They employ the Bramins in their religious ceremonies, and are mostly quiet, industrious citizens.
They are divided into sects among themselves, and sometimes carry their opposition so far as to fight with each other when they meet in religious processions. Bishop Heber asked a Jain merchant what was the difference between his views and those of another sect. He coloured up to the eyes, and answered with bitterness : “ As much as between Hindoos and Christians; as much as between Christians and Mahometans.” But a Jain priest, who was present, said more calmly: "We worship the same God; but they are ignorant how to worship him.”
The Buddhists are by far the most important sect that have appeared in India. They have points of similarity with the Jains, and some writers have confounded the two together. But the Jains have always persecuted the Budd. hists with great bitterness. They had too much tenderness to press oil, for fear of crushing insects in the process, but they slaughtered fellow-beings without mercy, under the influence of theological hatred. The Buddhists worship Spiritual Intelligences descended on earth in the form of