New Ideas in India During the Nineteenth Century eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 171 pages of information about New Ideas in India During the Nineteenth Century.
and reformation."[126] From the “Principles of the Sadharan [Universal or Catholic] Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j,” set forth in the organ of the body, we quote a paragraph 8:  “God rewards virtue and punishes sin, but that punishment is for our good and cannot last to eternity.”  From a publication by a third section of the Br[=a]hma Sam[=a]j, the party of Keshub Chunder Sen, we quote:  “Every sinner must suffer the consequences of his own sins, sooner or later, in this world or in the next; for the moral law is unchangeable and God’s justice irreversible.  His mercy also must have its way.  As the just king, He visits the soul with adequate agonies, and when the sinner after being thus chastised mournfully prays, He as the merciful Father delivers and accepts him and becomes reconciled to him.  Such reconciliation is the only true atonement."[127] Even in the last quoted, the expression “adequate agonies” shows its standpoint regarding salvation from sin to be salvation by repentance, and not the standpoint of St. Paul, “I live, and yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me.”

CHAPTER XX

THE IDEA OF SALVATION

  “The slender sound
  As from a distance beyond distance grew,
  Coming upon me—­O never harp nor horn
  Was like that music as it came; and then
  Stream’d thro’ my cell a cold and silver beam,
  And down the long beam stole the Holy Grail.”

    TENNYSON.

[Sidenote:  Hinduism superseded Buddhism because it offered salvation, not extinction.]

Salvation does mean something to every class.  The huge fabric of Brahmanism does not continue to exist without ministering to some wide-felt need of the masses.  It was in obedience to some inward demand, however perverted, that children were cast into the Ganges at Saugor, that human sacrifices were offered and self-tortures like hook-swinging were endured.  These have been put down by British authority, but there still remain many austerities and bloody sacrifices and strange devices to satisfy the clamant demand of our souls.  Even may we not say that, along with other reasons for the disappearance of Buddhism from India, some response more satisfying to the human need must have been offered by the rival system of Hinduism.  Hinduism has deities and avatars; Buddhism had none.  Two of the most interesting spots in India, the most sacred in the world to Buddhists, are Budh-gaya, where under the bo tree Buddha attained to enlightenment, and S[=a]rn[=a]th, where he began his preaching.  Yet the worship at neither place to-day is Buddhist.  At the scene of Gautama’s enlightenment, where he became Buddha or Enlightened, one of the conventional statues of Buddha is actually marked and worshipped as Vishnu, the Hindu deity, the Preserver in the Hindu triad.  Even at that most holy shrine of Buddhism, Hinduism has supplanted it, for popular Hinduism offered salvation, while

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New Ideas in India During the Nineteenth Century from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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