The Vedic Texts Ekam evadvitiyam Brahma' 'Ekam Eva Rudro Nadvitiyaya thas teh' mean that there is only One Supreme Being without a second. And this One is the Pathi and not the soul. You, who say ignorantly you are One with the Lord, are the soul, and are bound up with Pasa. As we say without the (primary sound) 'A' all other letters will not sound, so the Vedas say, without the Lord, no' other things will exist.': Sivajnanabotham (ii. I.b).
" O for the day when I will be in advaita union with the unchangeable True Intellignce, as I am now in union with Anava (Pasa)"!
Says Count Tolstoy, "Religion is a certain relation established by man between his separate personality, and the endless universe or its source; morality is the perpetual guiding of life which flows from this relation." And as we have explained in our previous article, even knowledge of a thing means knowledge of its difference and similarity with other things, its relation to things which are dissimilar, and to things which are similar, and from the knowledge of such relation, our further acts are determined. Say, if the object be a new fruit we had not seen before, if we find it related to the edible species, we try to eat it; if not, we throw it away. If one should make however a mistake in the identification, from imperfect experience or knowledge, or misled by the nice and tempting appearance of the fruit, woe befalls him when he partakes thereof. All our good and evil flows accordingly, from our understanding rightly or wrongly, our relation to men and things and society. And the highest philosophy and religion accordingly mean also knowledge and knowledge of the relation of the highest postulates of existence; and different systems arise as different kinds of relationships are postulated.
In determining the respective views, imperfect observation and experience, passion and prejudice, trammels created by heredity and society, have all their play; and we have different moral standards followed by men, consciously or unconsiously, as resulting from their already formed convictions.
Proceeding on our own lines of discovering these relationships, we took with us Dr. Bain to help us on to a particular stage. He is a most uncompromising agnostic and materialist (qualified) and yet we were in perfect agreement with him all the way he took us, and if he refuses to go with us further, and sees pitfalls and dangers in such a path and is not willing to brave such, we can quite understand his motives and can only admire his honesty. So far as we went with him also, it was perfect sailing. We were well aware of things we were talking about, there was no mistaking them, the facts were all within our experience, and there was nothing in them which contradicted our experience, and we were not asked to believe things on credit, by appealing to intuition or authority. When reason failed, we were not referred to Sruti; and when Sruti failed, we were not referred to their own individual yogic experience; and when all these failed, no verbal jugglery was adopted; and nothing was made to look grand by making it a matter of mystery.
Our meaning is quite unmistakeable, and we use plain language and if it is not plainer, we shall try to make it so.
We found, accordingly, that our present experiences and facts of cognition resolve themselves into two sets of facts, two grand divisions, totally distinct, and yet in inseparable relation, and we called them respectively mind and matter, eg and non-ego, subject and object, atma and pasa, chit and achit, sat and asat. We noted their inter-dependence and inter-relation. As regards the nature of the relation itself, it was in a sense inexplicable. We could say positively that the relation is not one of causation or succession, not mere order in place, and it could not be that of the whole to its part, nor one acting on the other, or using the other as its instrument, nor that of container and contained, nor no relation at all; and we could not thus picture this relation in any one of the modes known to us in our actual experience; and the only analogy available to us in nature, mamely, that of vowels and consonants helped us a good deal to have some idea of this relation. It is not one, it is not two, and our Acbarya asks us to keep us quiet,
But still even this position requires a naming, and for want of a better name too, we use the word 'Advaita' to such relation. The word Advaitam implies the existence of two things and does not negative the reality or the existence of one of the two. It simply postulates a relation between these two. The relation is one in which an identity is perceived, and a difference in substance is also felt. It is this relation which could not easily be postulated in words, but which perhaps may be conceived and which is seen as two (Dvaitam) and at the same time as not two (Na Dvaitam); it is this relation which is called Advaitam (a unity or identity in duality) and the philosophy which postulates such relation is called the Advaita Philosophy; and it being the highest truth also, it is called the Siddhanta (The true end). This view has therefore to be distinguished from the monism of the materialist and idealist, and from the dualism of Dr. Reid and Hamilton. But Dr. Bain and others of his school would regard themselves as monists, but in that case, the distinction between this monism, may we call it qualified monism, and the monism of writers before the advent of the present agnostic school must be carefully observed.
There is no wrong in using any name for anything, but when particular associations have been already established, it serves no purpose except to confound and confuse to use old words with new meanings introduced into" them. In a sense, this view is also the true monistic view. Say from the individual standpoint, when the man is in a pure objective condition, his mind becomes merged in the body; the mind identifies itself thoroughly with the body and is not conscious of its own distinction from the body. By this process of merger and complete identification, the apparent existence is only one, that of the object; when the mind is free from all object consciousness, the object world vanishes as it were, and there is only one fact present, and that is the mind, and nothing else. Without mind, however, nothing else can subsist, and when the mind is in its own place, nothing else is seen to subsist. And how appropriate does the interpretation of that oft-quoted and oft-abused Vedic text, ' Ekam evadviilyam Brahma ' by Saint Meykandan seem now! When we arrive at the postulate of God, we arrive at the third padartha, and nobody has yet been found to postulate an existence, higher than these three. And these constitute the tri-padartha of most of the Hindu schools.