Hinduism and Buddhism
Ananda K. Coomaraswamy
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A highly original discussion of problems of philosophy of religion from the Indian point of view.
The whole exposition shows that the Christian theologian who will take the trouble to study Indian religion seriously, and not merely "historically" will find in its teachings abundant extrinsic and probable proofs of the truth of Christian doctrine;and may at the same time, if he will abandon his "proselytising fury," realize the essential unity of all religions.
Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy 22 August 1877, Colombo - 9 September 1947, Needham, Massachusetts) was a Sri Lankan philosopher. He wished to be remembered as primarily a metaphysician, but also he was a pioneering historian and philosopher of Indian art, especially art history and symbolism, and an early interpreter of Indian culture to the West.
remedied by adoption) but whenever the family vocation and tradition is abandoned. In the same way a total confusion of castes is the death of a society, nothing but a mob remaining where a man can change his profession at will, as though it had been something altogether independent of his own nature. It is, in fact, thus that traditional societies are murdered and their culture destroyed by contact with industrial and proletarian civilisations. The orthodox Eastern estimate of Western
involving a dissolution of all former values. A church or society—the Hindu would make no distinction—that does not provide a way of escape from its own regimen, and will not let its people go, is defeating its own ultimate purpose.147 It is precisely for this last step that provision is made in the last of what are called the “Four Stages” (rama) of life,148 The term itself implies that everyman is a pilgrim (ramaa), whose only motto is to “keep on going”. The first of these stages is that of
Christianity, “In the beginning God created” and “Through him all things were made”, regardless of the millennia that come between the dateable words, amount to saying that the creation took place at Christ’s “eternal birth”. “In the beginning” (agre), or rather “at the summit”, means “in the first cause”: just as in our still told myths, “once upon a time” does not mean “once” alone but “once for all”. The Myth is not a “poetic invention” in the sense these words now bear: on the other hand, and
Brhad Devat 1.70-74; MU.IV.6. 41 RV.III.54.8 vivam ekam. 42 VS.V.35 jyotir asi vivarpam. 43 RV.VI.16.35, cf. III.29.14. 44 RV.III.3.10, X. 115.1 etc. 45 RV.X.8.4, X.122.3. 46 For the Sundoor, the “ascent after Agni” (TS.V.6.8; AB.IV.20-22), etc., see my “Svayamt; Janua Coeli” in Zalmoxis II, 1939 (1941). 47 Marga, “Way,” from mg = χνεω. The doctrine of the vestigia pedis is common to Greek, Christian, Hindu and Buddhist teaching and is the basis of the iconography of the “footprints.” The
in theory.242 thus while the denotation is that of the Greek ποσβννμι (be still, go out, be quenched, of wind, fire or passion), the connotation is that of Greek τελω and τελευτω (to be perfected, to die). All these meanings can be resumed in the one English word “finish”; the finished product is no longer in the making, no longer becoming what it ought to be; in the same way the finished being, the perfected man has done with all becoming; the final dissolution of the body cannot affect him,