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crest. In this way the preglacial configuration of the summit region has been profoundly transformed by ice erosion. The eastern scarp of the range has had its precipitous character accentuated, and, in general, the fierce element in the grandeur of the high Sierra is due to this ice action. Had the process continued long enough the result would have been the reduction of all the higher ridges and peaks to a level at which ice could not persist. Before the Sierra Nevada had thus been robbed of its crowning glory, however, there came about an amelioration of the climate. The warmth of summer began to overtake the snows of winter. The glaciers waned rapidly and steadily, and finally with a few exceptions disappeared, leaving the transformed landscape, the morainal embankments, the polished and striated rocks, and the perched erratics to testify to their former occupancy of the region. The few small ice fields that lie under the shadow of Lyell, Dana, the Palisades, and some other high peaks are the last poor remnants of a once vast system of alpine glaciers. The causes of this amelioration of the climate are unknown and form the subject as yet of mere speculation. It is clear, however, from the meagerness of the changes which have taken place since the glaciers vanished, that their vacation of the region is exceedingly recent, an event of some thousands of years ago at most. It is equally clear that the glaciation of the Sierra Nevada can not be correlated with the complicated glacial record of the eastern part of North America, but is more properly to be regarded as corresponding to the very last episode of that long and varied chapter in the geological history of the continent.

THE ETHICS OF THE BHAGAVAD GITA

AND OF BUDDHISM. II

CHARMIAN CRITTENDEN

The aim of both Krishna and the Buddha was practical, namely, to make it possible for as many people as possible to reach Nirvana; so we may rightly expect to find that neither of them laid much stress upon metaphysical problems, such as how the world came into being, or whether it is finite or infinite. The Buddha is by far the more positive about it, and rather less tolerant than Krishna. The former aims in his doctrine to leave out all non-essentials—to teach merely the truth concerning misery and how it could be made to cease. Such metaphysical questions were heretical and incompatible with the doctrine. They showed an inquisitive state of mind on the part of the questioner, and a tendency toward attachment to the outside world. He compares such a person to one who has been wounded by a poisoned arrow and who, upon the arrival of the doctor, refuses to have the arrow taken out until the doctor has told him who shot the arrow, and the kind of wood it was made of, and the sort of poison it was smeared with, and answered a dozen other equally inane questions. In the same way, man has been shot with the arrow of ignorance. The Buddha comes as a doctor to deliver him from the misery that it occasions; but the foolish man, instead of doing as the doctor bids, wishes to know the answers to these unimportant questions before the arrow is taken out. The result is that he dies. The time for answering such questions is after the attainment of enlightenment, not before.

This would seem the most sensible method of procedure and is much the same as that adopted by Jesus. Man's mind likes to play with ideas such as these, but to allow the mind to do so means to lose a great deal of intellectual power that should be applied toward the attainment of the correct mental conceptions necessary to enlightenment. The Buddha conscientiously tried to keep his disciples from such mental wanderings.

So far as I see, Krishna makes no such effort. This is not illogical, since he concerns himself principally with those who are capable of attaining union with him by high emotional love for him. Such individuals are not inclined to worry their heads about a logical explanation of how the world came into being, but would be quite contented with the description of how the worlds arose and are supported as given by Krishna in several passages, to the effect that they simply arose from him. Those people who are gifted with intuition either are so far above such petty considerations that they are not influenced by them—or else they know. The Sankhyan really should be so engrossed in his work of distinguishing between his actions and his soul that he does not concern himself about the outside world. Of course, there is no need for him to do so. The world (or rather the material out of which the world is formed) is real and eternal. The question as to how the world came into being is answered, but the question why is not. The Yogin feels no particular need for the answer to the latter question, and the Sankhyan should be able by means of his superior intellect to see that the question has no bearing upon his ultimate release.

But what about the unfortunate whose mental powers leave much to be desired, and who is incapable of exalted emotional love for Krishna ? Is he sufficiently considered? I feel certain that a great many ordinary people go through much unnecessary suffering trying to figure out just such questions as these, simply because the futility of such mental striving has never been sufficiently inculcated into them. The Buddhist solution, in insisting that all such prying into the secrets of nature is useless, takes care of everyone except the Vedantistwho doesn't need to be taken care of.

Krishna and the Buddha agree that ignorance is the cause of all suffering. In the Gita, true knowledge is the sole requirement for salvation for those who are capable of jnana-yoga (union through knowledge). Once the Sankhyan has fully mastered the knowledge concerning the Field (matter) and the Knower of the Field (soul), that particular soul that was formerly connected with his body is freed from it and from all future bodies forever. The body will continue its life on earth quite without any consciousness, and therefore without attachment, until, in the natural course of things, it dies.

For those who are capable of bhakti-yoga (union through devotion), the same sort of knowledge is also necessary, in so far as the doctrines of the soul and the matter of the Sankhya are accepted by the Yoga; but Krishna does not consider knowledge of much importance in the Yoga of Devotion. It would seem that salvation is to be gained first through love of Krishna, and that when soul-vision has been attained by this means knowledge comes of itself. Krishna says (Gita 4:38): “Surely, no purifier is known here on earth like knowledge. This the one who is perfected in Yoga finds in time within his own soul.” Thus the reward of the Yogin includes the intellectual vision of the Sankhyan, though the goal of the Sankhyan would not seem to involve the emotional vision of the Yogin. The next verse (4:39) would seem to show that some effort is necessary to gain such knowledge, even for the person who is “perfected in Yoga.” “One who is full of faith attains knowledge, seeking after it with senses controlled.” This latter verse seems to show also that knowledge is necessary for the attainment of supreme peace, even for one who is a Yogin. It is equally possible to take the last verse as meaning that the Sankhyan must possess faith before he can attain knowledge. It is a foregone conclusion that anyone who puts every ideal and action to the test of the mind as a standard of its validity, as the Sankhyan would do, must have faith in the mind. The faith of the preëminently mental person is as great as that of the one who places his trust in either the emotion or the intuition, if one does not limit the word “faith” to the narrow emotional meaning.

Regarding the true unity of the reward of both Yoga and Sankhya, Krishna says (Gita 5:5), “That state which is reached by the Sankhyan is also reached by the Yogin. He who sees that the Sankhya and Yoga are one, sees indeed.” This would seem to suggest that ultimately the Sankhya and Yoga attain the same goal, though in the first stages the rewards of the two must be different.

For the karma-yogin (one who strives to attain union through works), whether he be capable of the emotional exaltation necessary to make a sacrifice of all his works to Krishna, or whether he may voluntarily renounce only the rewards of his work, knowledge is necessary at first simply of the fact that this is the proper way for him to attain salvation. After this goal has been nearly attained, I should deduce from the following verse (Gita 10:10) that knowledge would be attained :“To those who are always united and who worship me full of love, I give union through the intellect (buddhiyogam) by which they may attain to me.” Also (10:11), “Bending down to them, yet retaining my own nature, I destroy their darkness arising from ignorance with the flaming light of knowledge.” Here again is the notion of knowledge

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