THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE ABSOLUTE SELF
No philosophers from any other country have yet found an
explanation, which is more reasonable than the one given-
in our ancient treatises, about the existence of an Element,
which is unbounded by time or place, and is immortal,
eternal, independent, homogeneous, sole, immutable, all-
pervasive, and qualityless, or as to how the qualityful creation
came into existence out of that qualityless Element. The
modern German philosopher Kant has minutely examined the
reasons why man acquires a synthetic knowledge of the
heterogeneity of the external universe, and he has given the
same explanation as our philosophers, but in a clearer way and
according to modern scientific methods ; and although Haegel
has gone beyond Kant, yet his deductions do not go beyond
those of Vedanta. The same is the case with Schaupenhaur.
He had read the Latin translation of the Upanisads, and he
himself has admitted that he has in his works borrowed ideas
from this " most valuable work in the world's literature ".
But it is not possible to consider in a small book like this, these
difficult problems and their pros and cons, or the similarity
and dissimilarity between the doctrines of Vedanta philosophy,
and the doctrines laid down by Kant and other Western
philosophers, or to consider the minute differences between
the Vedanta philosophy appearing in ancient treatises like
the Upanisads and the Vedanta-Sutras, and that expounded
in later works. Therefore, I have in this book broadly
referred to only that portion of them to which it is necessary-
to refer in order to impress on the minds of my readers the
veracity, the importance, and the reasons for the Metaphysical
doctrines in the Gita, on the authority principally of the-
Upanisads, and the Vedanta-Sutras, and of the Bhasyas-
(commentaries) of Sri Samkaracarya on them. In order to-
determine what lies beyond the Samkhya Dualism of Matter
and Spirit, it is not sufficient to stop with the distinction
made by Dualists between the Observer of the world and the
visible world ; and one has to consider minutely the form of
the knowledge which the man who sees the world gets of the
external world, as also how that knowledge is acquired, and.
what that knowledge consists of. Animals Bee the objects in
the external world in the same way as they are seen by men.
But, as man has got the special power of synthesising the
experience impressed on his mind through organs of Perception
like the eyes, ears, etc., he has got the special quality that he
acquires the knowledge of the objects in the external world.
It has already been explained by me in the chapter on the
Body and the Atman, that that power of synthesis, which is
responsible for this special feature in man, is a power which is
beyond Mind and Reason, that is to say, is a power of the
Atman. Man acquires the knowledge, not of only one object,.
but also and in the same way, of the various relations in the
shape of causes and products, between the diverse objects ia
the world — which are known as the laws or principles of
Creation ; because, although the various objects in the world
might be visible to the eyes, yet, the relation of causes and
products between them is not a thing which is actually visible ;
and that relation is determined by the intellectual activity of
the one who sees.