“Sometimes seven horses drag a car of seven wheels, and seven personages mount it, accompanied by seven fecund nymphs of the water.”

And the following again, in honor of the fire-god — Agni, who is so clearly shown but a spirit subordinate to the ONE God.

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“Ever ONE, although having three forms of double nature (androgynous) — he rises! and the priests offer to God, in the act of sacrifice, their prayers which reach the heavens, borne aloft by Agni.”

Is this a coincidence, or, rather, as reason tells us, the result of the derivation of many national cults from one primitive, universal religion? A mystery for the uninitiated, the unveiling of the most sublime (because correct and true) psychological and physiological problems for the initiate. Revelations of the personal spirit of man which is divine because that spirit is not only the emanation of the ONE Supreme God, but is the only God man is able, in his weakness and helplessness, to comprehend — to feel within himself. This truth the Vedic poet clearly confesses, when saying:

“The Lord, Master of the universe and full of wisdom, has entered with me (into me) — weak and ignorant — and has formed me of himself in that place where the spirits obtain, by the help of Science, the peaceful enjoyment of the fruit, as sweet as ambrosia.”

Whether we call this fruit “an apple” from the Tree of Knowledge, or the pippala of the Hindu poet, it matters not. It is the fruit of esoteric wisdom. Our object is to show the existence of a religious system in India for many thousands of years before the exoteric fables of the Garden of Eden and the Deluge had been invented. Hence the identity of doctrines. Instructed in them, each of the initiates of other countries became, in his turn, the founder of some great school of philosophy in the West.

Who of our Sanscrit scholars has ever felt interested in discovering the real sense of the following hymns, palpable as it is: “Pippala, the sweet fruit of that tree upon which come spirits who love the science (?) and where the gods produce all marvels. This is a mystery for him who knows not the Father of the world.”

Or this one again:

“These stanzas bear at their head a title which announces that they are consecrated to the Viswadevas (that is to say, to all the gods). He who knows not the Being whom I sing in all his manifestations, will comprehend nothing of my verses; those who do know HIM are not strangers to this reunion.”

This refers to the reunion and parting of the immortal and mortal parts of man. “The immortal Being,” says the preceding stanza, “is in the cradle of the mortal Being. The two eternal spirits go and come everywhere; only some men know the one without knowing the other” (Dirghatamas).

Who can give a correct idea of Him of whom the Rig-Veda says:

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“That which is One the wise call it in divers manners.” That One is sung by the Vedic poets in all its manifestations in nature; and the books considered “childish and foolish” teach how at will to call the beings of wisdom for our instruction. They teach, as Porphyry says: “a liberation from all terrene concerns . . . a flight of the alone to the ALONE.”

Professor Max Muller, whose every word is accepted by his school as philological gospel, is undoubtedly right in one sense when in determining the nature of the Hindu gods, he calls them “masks without an actor . . . names without being, not beings without names.” For he but proves thereby the monotheism of the ancient Vedic religion. But it seems to us more than dubious whether he or any scientist of his school needed hope to fathom the old Aryan thought, without an accurate study of those very “masks.” To the materialist, as to the scientist, who for various reasons endeavors to work out the difficult problem of compelling facts to agree with either their own hobbies or those of the Bible, they may seem but the empty shells of phantoms. Yet such authorities will ever be, as in the past, the unsafest of guides, except in matters of exact science. The Bible patriarchs are as much “masks without actors,” as the pragapatis, and yet, if the living personage behind these masks is but an abstract shadow there is an idea embodied in every one of them which belongs to the philosophical and scientific theories of ancient wisdom. And who can render better service in this work than the native Brahmans themselves, or the kabalists?

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