In dealing with the subject of Dhyana, it is necessary to bear in mind the fact that it is the one most difficult thing to practice, and that all kinds of mental and bodily distractions have to be overcome before anything approaching steadiness can be acquired by the beginner. It is, therefore, necessary to know the nature of the causes, which interfere with the fixing of concentration, and lead to unsteadiness of mind. These causes naturally fall under three different head, viz.,
(a) Those that concern belief, or faith,
(b) Those which spring from the activity of an uncontrolled mind, and
(c) Those that arise from bodily unsteadiness.
In respect of the first kind of these causes of obstruction to Dhyana, it is sufficient to point out that no one is likely to apply himself to the practicing of holy concentration, who is not convinced of the truth. It is, therefore, the first duty of the aspirant after emancipation to acquire the knowledge of truth, which can be done by study and meditation.
For this purpose one should cultivate the habit of thinking for oneself on lines of cause and effect, that is scientifically. Naturally, those whose early training has given them a scientific turn of mind would find it easier to arrive at the exact truth. The importance of imparting the proper kind of education to little children, cannot be overrated for this reason; for while no one whose mind is stuffed with superstition and myth can possibly grasp the truth without unlearning the 'wisdom' that was hammered into his mind in his infancy-- and many become too prejudiced against truth to undergo the unwinding process-- he who has received the right kind of training has all the advantages, which open-mindedness, freedom from bias and high intellectualism combine to put at the service of every true student of nature. No one certainly is at all likely to know the truth, who allows prejudice or bigotry to obscure his intellect. Another thing to bear in mind is that knowledge and belief are two different things, and have to be distinguished from one another. Many people profess to believe in a thing, but their actions only show them to be hypocrites, for the test of belief is that it should begin to actuate one from within as far as the circumstances would permit. It is not meant that purity of conduct can be acquired all at once, but that regret is felt at each wrong step taken, and there is a longing to repair the damage done. Self-chastisement and the actual undoing of the injury inflicted upon another are the characteristics of a firm belief, while perfect faith leads to the avoidance of sinful actions altogether.
The causes, which interfere with the acquisition of truth, may also be briefly pointed out. They are three-fold in their nature, and consist in want of respect for the true Deva (God), the true guru (teacher) and the true shastra (Scripture); for these are the only sources of right knowledge from without, and it requires no great familiarly with logic to predict that he who ridicules any or all of them necessarily denies the truth of their Word, and is thereby debarred from the acquisition of truth. It is also worth while to understand the true functions of these three objects of worship. God is worshipped, because He has realized the Ideal of the soul, because he is a living example for every aspiring Jiva, and because he is the true source of religion; the guru is revered because he imparts true instruction and because without his practical help it would be exceedingly difficult, though not impossible, to tread the thorny path of Self-realization; and the claim of the Sastras to worship rests on the ground that it is the last resort in case of doubt, and the only authority on matters which fall outside the domain of intellect, such as the description of heavens and hells and the like. The Scripture might, no doubt appear at times to be in conflict with the conclusions arrived at by modern science, but it is necessary to bear in mind the important fact that the dictum of science on those points on which it conflicts with the Scriptural text is not based on anything approaching the omniscience of the Arihanta, and is admittedly grounded on nothing more certain than the weight of probability. Above all, the opinion of ill-trained men, and even of scientists formed as the result of the demolition of mysticism and misunderstood theology, is to be accepted with the greatest caution. These gentlemen, finding the dogmatic preaching of certain obscure and incomplete systems of theology unreasonable and opposed to the healthy voice of common sense, are apt to make sweeping assertions about religion, holding every form of it to be devoid of sense without properly studying the subject. If the seeker after truth would not allow his mind to be swayed by imperfect or non- exhaustive research, or one-sided statements of fact, and retain his composure in the midst of the Babel of voices, he would, ere long, discover that there is nothing intrinsically absurd in the Scripture of Truth even in respect of matters not ascertainable with the intellect-- descriptions of heavens and hells, the past history of saints and Saviors of mankind and the like. He would find that intellect can neither prove nor disprove the Scriptural text in respect of these matters with conclusive effect, so that he has to fall back upon the testimony of the authors of the Scripture till the manifestation of the Avadhi, mnahparyaya or Kevala Jnana puts an end to the controversy by enabling him to directly perceive the truth for himself. The absolute accuracy of the text with regard to all matters determinable by reason is a guarantee of its truthfulness even in respect of those which fall beyond its legitimate province, and suffices to form the basis of faith for the laity. In practice it will be seen that the more the Scriptural text is found to be in agreement with the conclusions of an unbiased mind, the greater is the respect, and, consequently, also, faith, which it will engender in the heart.
The layman should begin by harnessing into service study and meditation, which would speedily enable him to discern truth from falsehood, and prevent him from falling into wrong and unworthy company. He must then adopt the truth the moment it is discovered, and worship the true trinity of God, guru and Sastras till he can stand on his own legs, that is to say till he can manage to become absorbed in the contemplation of the own Atma. Neither the fear of public opinion, the sense of ridicule not any other personal or private motive should be allowed to stand in the way of adopting the right faith or to constitute an excuse for a policy of procrastination, which not only delays and retards one's own progress, but also misleads those others-- dependents, friends and the like-- who naturally follow one's lead in matters pertaining to religion and morality.
We come now to the second class of causes, which interfere with the steadiness of Dhyana. These comprise all those tendencies and traits, including passions and emotions which have their root in desire. Whenever the mind is engrossed in the pursuit of desire it displays tendency to wander away after its objects, thus robbing the soul of serenity and peace and the body of ease and restfulness. The remedy for this kind of disturbance consists in the development of the spirit of renunciation, which will engender the state of no desires.
The third type of causes of distraction have reference to the unsteadiness of body, end a rise from want of control over the bodily limbs, ill health, the habit of luxury i.e., inability to bear hardships, and the like. The observance of rules, which directly aim at imparting health and strength to the body, and the avoidance of the habits of luxury would be generally found sufficient to bring the physical tabernacle of gross matter under the control of will, and to render it capable of bearing the constantly increasing strain of trials and hardships involved in the severest forms of self-denial. Food, it should be clearly understood, plays the most important part in the physical training for asceticism, since it directly affects the constitution of the body and the condition of nerves which have to be purified of their grossness before they can respond to the impulses of will in the desired manner. Hence, where impure food is allowed to coarsen the brain and nerves, it is idle to expect any happy results from the practicing of yoga (asceticism). The aspirant after immortality and bliss must, therefore, make up his mind to exclude from its daily menu, all those articles which augment the prostration of nerves together with those that do not increase the vitality of the system. Meat and wine, which not only tend to coarsen the nerves, but which also excite unholy passions and desires, at once fall in the category of things to be avoided, and the same is the case with foods that are hot, excessively sour, pungent, putrid, stale, unwholesome and those which become tolerable after a time, such as tobacco, and the like cereals, vegetables, fruits and nuts, along with milk and its different preparations (clarified butter, sour-milk and the like), sugar and certain wholesome condiments, go to build up a healthy body, and being delicious, bland and nutritious in their nature, form the best articles of food. It should also be observed here that the best results only follow an early attention to the rules of diet and nervous hygiene, and that delay is not advisable in putting them into practice.
Ease of posture (asanas) is also necessary for steadiness of Dhyana, since no one can remain in an uncomfortable position for a long time. The general rule with regard to posture is that one should stand or sit in such a way as to produce the smallest amount of tension in his system, taking care at the same time not to sacrifice the spirit of austerity for the love of bodily ease.
The following forms of asanas have been especially recommended in the Scripture for the people of this age whose nerves and bones are of an inferior type, as compared with those of the ancients:
(1) Paryanka or padma, the sitting posture-- holding the head, the chest and the neck in a line, with legs crossed, and the gaze steadily fixed on the tip of the nose; and
(2) Kharga, the standing posture with arms held naturally by the sides, but not touching with the body, the feet placed at a distance of about two inches from each other and the mind fixed on the point of the nose. If the rules of proper conduct have been regularly observed, the Muni will acquire the ease of posture with a little practice, and will be able to retain his seat as long as he pleases, without being disturbed, otherwise he will have to undergo the preparatory course before he can hope to subjugate his body sufficiently to have an easy posture.
The selection of a suitable place for spiritual concentration is also essential for practicing Dhyana, since external disturbance is a source of distraction. The yogi should avoid those places , which are inhabited by cruel heartless, selfish, irreligious or quarrelsome men, also those dedicated to false gods and goddesses, and resort to those associated with the names of holy Tirthankaras and saints. The abode of wild beasts, venomous reptiles, and the like must also be avoided as far as possible, for similar reasons.
The next thing to be known is Pranayam, which means the controlling of breath, and, through it, of the vital force. Pranayam is very useful for bringing the senses and mind speedily under control, and consists in three steps, Puraka (inhalation), kumbhaka (retention) and rechaka (exhalation). Puraka signifies taking a full breath, kumbhaka holding it in the region of the navel, and rechaka exhaling it slowly and evenly. Straining of every kind to be avoided in practicing ascetic tapas (austerities), and this is so especially with regard to Pranayam which might cause any amount of injury to the system if practiced rashly or without due care and caution.
It might be pointed out here that the practicing of Pranayam is enjoyed only in the initial stages of asceticism, when it serves as a useful ally for subduing the senses and mind; it is actually forbidden in the advanced stages of mediation on the ground that it then interferes with the fixing of mind on the object of contemplation.
When sufficient proficiency is acquired in the practicing of Pranayam, the next thing to do is to hold the inhaled breath and the mind in the region of the lotus of the heart (the cardiac plexus). The holding of the mind on a point, called pratyahara, becomes easy with this practice. There are ten places in the body for mental concentration, viz.,
(i) The two eyes,
(ii) The two ears,
(iii) The foremost point of the nose,
(vii) The upper part of the forehead,
(ix) Palate, and
(x) The place between the two eye- brows.
Pratyahara accompanied by meditation is called dharna, which really means the establishing of the object of meditation in the mind. This being accomplished, Dhyana becomes steady and may be kept up for any length of time undisturbed. Some kind of meditation, no doubt, is implied in every form of thinking, but the difference between the perfect Dhyana of the Muni and the thought-master of his senses, body and mind, and may remain absorbed in meditation for as long as a time as he pleases, the latter has never anything more than an unsteady, wavering and feeble current of thought at his command. The result is that while the yogi solves the riddle of the universe and ultimately also establishes his soul in its natural, effulgent purity, the layman remains entangled in the meshes of his karmas, however much he might boast of taking a hand in the management of the world.
The instrument which enables the yogi to remove the Jnana-- and darsana obstructing impurities of matter from his system is the point of his highly concentrated Manas (attention or mind), which derives its energy from an indomitable iron will bent upon the conquest of karmas. The sharp point of this powerful instrument, when applied to the centers of concentration already referred to, begins to pierce the layers of matter which compose the obstructing veil, and in due course of time, the duration of which varies with the energies of will in each individual case, cuts asunder the last knot of karma, flooding the individual consciousness with the divine effulgence of omniscience and raising the conquering Jiva to the supreme and worshipful status of Godhood.
Such is the physical process of emancipation, which is purely scientific in its nature. As regards the length of time necessary for the realization of the Ideal, that really depends on the intensity of Dhyana, or concentration of mind, so that where the will has acquired the mastery of mind in the fullest possible degree, an antaramahurata (a period of less than 48 minutes) is quite sufficient to destroy the karmic bonds, while in other cases it may take millions and millions of years.
Dhyana, it should be stated, is of four kinds:
(1) Arta Dhyana which is the cause of pain and arises from dwelling on the loss of an object of desire, the association with an undesirable person or thing, bodily suffering, and envy;
(2) Raudra Dhyana which implies the absorption of mind in Hinsa and other forms of sin;
(3) Dharma Dhyana, that is meditation on the teaching of religion; and,
(4) Sukla Dhyana or the pure contemplation of one's own Atma.
Of these, the first two forms are obviously evil, but the third leads to great felicity in the future re-birth of the soul (if any), and the last is the direct cause of Moksha, that is freedom from the bondage of karmas and the turmoil's of samsara.
Dharma Dhyana consists in thinking on the nature, condition and future prospects and possibilities of the soul, the method of Self-realization, the form of final release, the attributes of a Siddha Atma, and the like. The recitation and reading of the holy scripture and Sastras, as well as of the biographies of saints and virtuous laymen, meditation on the different Bhavanas (reflections) and nature of Tattvas-- Jiva, Ajiva and the like-- the worshipping of defied Souls and the reverence of those who have given up the world to lead the life of true asceticism are also forms of the Dharma Dhyana.
There are the following types of religious meditation (Dharma Dhyana):
(i) Anga- vichaya, or meditation with the aid of Scripture,
(ii) Apaya- vichaya, that is dwelling on the means for the destruction of karmas,
(iii) Vipaka-vichaya which means reflecting on the effect of karmas, and
(iv) Samsthana-vichaya, or reflection on the nature of the universe and the conditions of life prevailing therein.
Both the layman and the ascetic derive material aid from religious meditation (Dharma Dhyana), which when intelligently practiced never fails to engender the spirit of true Vairagya (renunciation) of the soul, and prepares in for the practicing of the Sukla, i.e., the highest form of Dhyana.
Sukla Dhyana, in its purest form, signifies an unbroken contemplation of one's own Atma and cannot be realized so long as the all illumining Kevala Jnana does not arise in the consciousness of the Jiva. The preparatory course for the realization of the Sukla Dhyana, therefore, consists in the two-fold method of concentration and meditation, which give rise to the Kevala Jnana and fix the form of 'thought'.
If the reader would bear in mind the fact that belief is the builder of character and that the essence of the soul is pure intelligence which is influenced by its own beliefs to such an extent that it actually becomes what it believes itself to be, he would not find it difficult to understand that steadiness of mind is not possible without there being a corresponding fixing of belief in the first instance. Hence, belief must first mould the essence of spirit before any permanent results are to be expected. To this end the Scripture enjoins the practicing of the following kinds of Dhyana in the final stages of asceticism:
(1) Pindastha Dhyana, which consists of five dharna (forms of contemplation) as follows:
(a) Prithvi dharna. The yogi should imagine a boundless ocean of the size of madhya Loka, motionless and noiseless, of the color of milk, with a hug resplendent lotus of a thousand petals and having a bright yellow pericarp of the height of Mount Meru in its center. On the top of his pericarp he should place in his imagination, a throne of the brightness of moon, and should imagine himself seated on this throne, in a calm and peaceful attitude of mind, firmly established in the belief that is Atma is fully capable of destroying the eight kinds of karmas which hold him in captivity and bondage.
(b) Agneyi dharna. When the prithi dharna become firmly fixed in the mind, the yogi should imagine himself seated as before, and should further imagine a small lotus of sixteen petals in the region of his navel, with the sixteen vowels, (a), (a-), (e), (i), (u). (u-), (ri), (ri-), (lri), (lri-), (ai), (aei), (au), (aou), (ang) and (ah), inscribed on its sixteen petals (one on each) and the holy syllable (the middle part of the word, Arihanta) on its pericarp, shining like burnished gold. He should then imagine smoke slowly emanating from the upper stroke of the holy syllable and, assuming the form of a flame of fire, scorching and burning up, in the region of the heart, another lotus of eight petals representing the eight kinds of karmas. The fire as finally to be imagined as having spread to all parts of the body, surrounding it in the form of a triangle, and reducing it to ashes.
(c) Asavasani dharna, which consists in the contemplation of powerful winds blowing away the ashes of the body from the soul, and scattering them about in the four directions.
(d) Varuni dharna. The yogi now imagines a great down pour of the rain which washes away the remnants of the ashes of the body from the soul, leaving the latter in the condition of its natural purity, that is as the pure effulgence of intelligence.
(e) Tattva- rupavati dharna. The yogi now contemplates his soul as the possessor of all the divine attributes and qualities, having an effulgent 'body' of pure, radiant will, free from all kinds of karmas and material encasements, and the object of worship and adoration on the part of Devas and men.
(2) Padastha Dhyana which means contemplation with the aid of holy mantras (sacred formulas), such as namoarhantanam, and the concentration of mind on the centers of Dhyana.
(3) Rupastha Dhyana consisting in the contemplation of the holy form of Arihanta (Tirthankara), seated in the celestial pavilion attended by Indras (rulers of Devas or heavenly kings), of radiant, effulgent glory, spreading peace and joy all round.
(4) Rupatita Dhyana, or meditation on the attributes of the Siddha Atma. This form of Dhyana consists in the contemplation of the pure qualities of the perfect, bodiless Souls accompanied with the belief that he who is engaged in meditation is also endowed with the same attributes.
The above are the different forms of Dhyana which lead to what is called nirvikalpa Samadhi, the purest form of self- contemplation. In this state the necessity for thinking is replaced by the all-illumining, all-embracing Kevala Jnana (omniscience), and the soul directly perceives itself to be the most glorious, the most blissful, the all-knowing and all- powerful being, and becomes absorbed in tile enjoyment of its Svabhavik (natural) Ananda free from all kinds of impurities and bonds.
We have already sufficiently described the nature of the Pindastha Dhyana; thc padastha need not be dwelt upon any longer in this book, since a knowledge of Sanskrit is necessary for its practicing; but the Rupastha and the Rupatita forms of contemplation deserve a word of explanation. Of these, the former, i.e. the Rupastha, is the form of the Bhakti- Marga, par excellence, since it directly enables the soul to attain to the form and status of God. The form of the Parma Atma is first intellectually determined and then contemplated upon with unwavering fixing of attention, till it become indelibly fixed in the mind. This being accomplished, the ascetic now resorts to the fourth form of Dhyana the Rupatita, and with its aid transfers the impress of the Parma Atma from his mind to the essence of his Jiva or soul-substance, which, in obedience to the law-- as one thinks so one becomes-- itself assumes that very form, manifesting, at the same time, in the fullest degree, the attributes of perfection and divinity arising from the action of the concentrated point of attention on the matter of the nervous centers, as described before. The transference of the conception of Parma Atma from the mind, or intellect, to the soul-substance is beautifully allegorized, in the Vishnu Purana, as the removal of the embryo of Krishna from the womb of Rohini to that of her co-wife, Devaki, Krishna being the ideal of Godhood or perfection for the soul. The idea is that the conception of divinity is first formed in the mind or intellect,* and is thence transferred to the soul- substances which, assuming its form, itself becomes 'Krishna' (God).
(*The intellectual origin of Christos is also recognized by the ho1y Bible which describes the Messiah as a carpenter's son. Now, since a carpenter's work consists in cutting (analysis) and joining together (synthesis), he is as good a symbol for the intellectual faculty as any that can be thought of.) The same is the explanation of the teaching of the Svetambara sect of Jainas who hold that the last holy Tirthankara, Shri Vardhamana- Mahavira was, first conceived in the womb of a Brahman lady and thence transferred to that of Queen Trisala. The Brahman caste being noted for learning, the Brahman lady clearly becomes symbolical of intellect in whose womb the Tirthankara' (Godhood) is first conceived.
It will not be out of place here to point out the nature of the trouble, which is sure to arise from a concentration of mind on an erroneous, or fanciful, concept of the divine form. Since the intensity of concentration tends on to establish the soul-substance in the form of the object of contemplation, he who holds in his mind any ill-shaped misconceived or distorted image of divinity would be throwing his soul into a wrong mould, the impress of which it would not be an easy matter to destroy.
This is not all, for the requisite degree of the intensity of concentration also is not possible where the mind is liable to be stirred or moved in the wrong direction; hence the manifestation of Kevala Jnana is out of the question for those who fix their minds on Kudeva (false divinity). For instance, the act of contemplation of a dancing 'God' can only result in establishing the soul in a dancing attitude, which, the moment it becomes strongly marked, would interrupt all further concentration of mind in the right direction.
The form of divinity is not that of a dancer nor, of a climber of trees the true Godhood is the perfection of the noblest attributes of the soul the peace, tranquillity, renunciation, self-control, equanimity and the like, and must be contemplated as such. The Parma Atma has nothing to conceal, nor to be ashamed of; He wears neither clothes nor ornaments, nor does He embellish His 'person' otherwise. Shant (full of peace), serene and self-centered, He sits, unmoving and unmoved in the contemplation of his own effulgent glory, indifferent to the praises of the Bhavya and the abuses of the Abhavya. Such is the true object of contemplation which is to be found only in the consecrated pratibimbas (images) of the holy Tirthankaras in a Jaina Temple.
It may also be pointed out here that those who try to attain the purity of Dhyana by dispensing with concentration on the form of the Tirthankara are not likely to achieve any happy results. They are like those who try to reach the top of the ladder without the help of its rungs. It is true that constant meditation on the qualities of the Parma Atma, accompanied with the belief that the same qualities inhere in every Jiva, goes a long way towards making one self- conscious, but it is no less true that the full acceptance of the impress of the form of Parma Atma by the soul-substance, which is necessary to prevent its fickleness and unsteadiness, cannot be secured till the yogi knows what that impress is like and the method of transferring it from his mind to the 'liquid' essence of his soul. The knowledge of the form of the Parma Atma being, th8us, a pre-requisite of Moksha, true Bhakti can not be said to begin unless the mind of the devotee is first filled with the divine image. There can be no such thing as falling in love with a being or thing whose very form one has no idea of.
In this connection we may also explain the significance of the word nirakara when used in reference to Parma Atma. Obviously everything that exists must have some kind of form, so that the word nirakara, if taken in its literal sense, i.e., as devoid of form (nir = without, and akara = form), cannot possible apply to any existent thing. It is however, applicable to soul or spirit, firstly, because it has no visible form which, may be perceived with the eye, and, secondly because the Jiva involved in the cycle of births and deaths has no permanent form of his own. The Parma Atma, however, differs from the ordinary not emancipated Jiva in so far as the destruction of all kinds of karmas places Him for ever beyond the cycle of re-births fixing His form also, incidentally, once for all and for ever in the manner described in the tenth chapter of The Key of Knowledge. This form is the noblest form of all, being that of perfect MANHOOD, and the stature of the soul-substance, which on the attainment of complete liberation is freed from the liability to expansion and contraction in the manner of an involved Jiva, is slightly less than that of the body from which nirvana is attained. Those who might find it difficult to reconcile this view of the Jaina Siddhanta with the prevailing notions of the Hindus and others who maintain that nirvana signifies an absorption into the deity-- the merging of the drop in the sea-- would find it easier to understand the nature of the form of the Siddha Atma in Moksha if they would only take the trouble to analyze the idea underlying the notion of absorption. It is no use trying to smother the voice of intellect when it proclaims that two or more existing realities, or individuals, can never be pressed into one; and neither reason nor analogy can ever be found to support the thesis of the absolute merger in respect of simple, indivisible entities. The very illustration of the disappearance of the drop in the sea is a sufficient refutation of all such notions; for the sea is an unit only in so far as the word is concerned, not in any other respect, so that the 'individuality' of the drops constituting its volume is neither destroyed nor impaired in the least in the process of their supposed merger. It is, no doubt, impossible for us to pick out any particular drop were invested with the functions of understanding and speech it would undoubtedly respond to a call from a friend on the shore.
The true idea underlying the analogy, then, is only that of a collection of 'drops' enjoying a common status, which is fully in agreement with the Jaina view, according to which the Siddha Atma in Nirvana enjoy the status of Godhood but retain their individualities separate and distinct from others. Thus, the status is one though there is no limit to the number of individuals acquiring or attaining to it.
We gain nothing by denying the fact that we must have a clear conception of a thing before we can ever hope to acquire it; and the necessity of being scrupulously precise is even greater in the spiritual realm where the soul's aim and ambition are centered round in ideal which it wishes to realize in its own self. It follows from this that the fullest information rather than a negative description --neti, neti, (not this, not this) -- concerning the great ideal of perfection and joy must be insisted upon, at the very outset, by an earnest seeker after Moksha. Existence, it will be noticed, is not the attribute of anything in nature which is not possessed of a single positive content of knowledge, so that where every conceivable attribute is negatived there remains nothing but non-existence to stare the philosopher in the face. If those who insist upon defining an existing being or thing in this negative manner would only analyze the nature of speech, they would not fail to perceive that the converse of rational beings consists in the expression of ideas clearly conceived by the mind, and that it is impossible to have an idea of a thing which is absolutely devoid of all elements of affirmation and certainty. Hence, it is very clear that those who describe the Godhead in terms of negation have really no idea of the supreme status, which the soul is to attain on obtaining Nirvana.
The idea of Moksha cannot also be clear to the minds of those who look upon the world as an illusion with a solitary soul as the only reality and the true substratum of life in all forms. For either this all- pervading soul does not stand in need of Moksha or it is to attain it at some future moment of time; but in the former case it is impossible to explain the longing of living beings for a taste of true happiness and in the latter the very possibility of the attainment of perfection and bliss by different individuals is excluded by the hypothesis itself, because where the substratum of individual life is a solitary soul there can be no release except for all living beings at one and the same time. Furthermore, the idea of Moksha for the individuals, cannot, on such a supposition possible mean anything more or less than utter, absolute annihilation of individuality, since the emancipation of the only true soul must be a signal for the exeunt of all others.
It is thus evident that no true concept of Moksha is possible on such a hypothesis, and since the realization of the great ideal of the soul is not compatible with a vague or inconsistent conception thereof in the mind of the aspiring Jiva, no one who pins his faith on such a doctrine is likely to reach 'the other shore'. And, so far as practicability, the only true test of utility, is concerned, it is evident that no one can be said to have been benefited by the doctrine hitherto, for the one soul is still subject to illusions and there has never been another to be redeemed.