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in a few words the enigmas which have tormented the Hindoo so long, and of which, for the sake of his practical life, he demands a solution.
First, he has had the deepest assurance that God must be an Absolute and Living Being, who can be satisfied with nothing less perfect than himself; and yet he has an equally deep conviction that this Absolute and Eternal Being cannot merely live in self-contemplation; that there must be some object in which he sees his image reflected. The thought is expressed with great earnestness and beauty in one of the early Vedas, where Brahm is introduced seeking for the image of himself. The words which are imputed to him express the strong feeling, that a merely solitary, self-seeking, abstracted being would be one whom a man, experiencing his own need of sympathy and fellowship, could not bear to contemplate. The thought expands itself through the whole Hindoo mythology. It utters itself from the beginning in the idea of a Brahma, as well as a Brahm; it gives birth to all the later notions of goddesses dwelling beside the gods. If no voice comes from the secret place to interpret this mighty contradiction which the learned man has perceived, which the most ignorant Hindoo feels, their thoughts of God and their human life must continue a hopeless
For the perplexity which grows out of this lies close to personal, as well as social, existence. May not man himself be this partner of the Divinity? If he is, what means that deep assurance
THE BRAHMIN AND SUDRA.
of a Divinity retired within the sanctity and awfulness of his own nature?if he is not, what mean these yearnings in the spirit after the knowledge of him; this promise in the heart that it may be attained; this discontent while it is wanting? It is an idle thing to cut this knot by affirming either principle and denying the other; all confusions, theoretical and practical, of the Hindoo arise from the attempt to do this, and from the experience of its impossibility; only if you can shew that they have been reconciled, and how, will you lead him to any clearness or freedom.
Again man has this glorious faculty; but a portion of men seem without it. It must dwell in a caste; the rest must be cut off from it. Leave this thought to work, and it will bring forth the fruits which it has brought forth hitherto. The modern Hindoo, with his European culture and science, will be just as contemptuous to all who want his information and intellect as the Brahmins of old; the twice-born notion may change its form, in effect it will be as rampant and tyrannical as ever. You cannot extirpate it, until you justify it until you can shew that some eternal truth lies in the distinction, and yet that it excludes no human creature; that it asserts the common privilege of Brahmin and Sudra.
Then we come to another set of questionsThis Absolute Being, what manner of being is he? If it be true that he stands in some relation to us and the world, in what relation? Is he
benignant, or hateful? is he a preserver or de-
their crudities to a system, we may be sure that
PROBLEMS TO BE SOLVED.
feeble colony, groaning for help to the masters who could give it help no longer; a colony which needed to have all its arts and polish destroyed by a people possessing some real faith, some inward strength, that the soil might, by this process, be prepared to bear genuine native fruits. It will be the same with Hindostan, if, while we put down the burnings of widows, and bestow a culture which makes such practices disgusting to its inhabitants, we are not able to shew them what is the true form of self-immolation, and how wife, and maiden, and widow-how men, whether called to the contemplative, or active life, may practice it.
I know that I am asking no light thing of any faith when I say, All this it must do if it is to satisfy the heart and conscience of this Asiatic people. But let me ask you, before I conclude, whether a faith which does less than this can
satisfy your hearts and consciences? We are in a world of action, and energy, and enterprize, more unlike that dreaming and speculative world we have been hearing of than the soil and climate of England are unlike those of Hindostan. And yet I will be bold to say it, the same thoughts which stir the spirit of the Indian sage and the Indian Sudra, are working secretly beneath all our bustling life, are affecting the councils of statesmen, are entering into the meditations of the moralists and metaphysicians who most despise theology; in another form, are disturbing the heart of the country peasant, and of the dweller