1891 Mind  
unit. As the organism consists of vital units, so the soul consists of psychical unite. The synthesis of these is the Ego., "Organisation is rather the result than the cause of mental activity." Hindu Literature; or the Ancient Book* of India. By ELIZABETH A. BKED, Member of the Philosophical Society of Great Britain. Chicago: 8. C. Griggs * Co., 1891. Pp. xviii. 410. A well-arranged and interestingly written account of Hindu literature from the Vedas to the Puranas. The mythological element,
more » ... th in the earlier and later sacred books, id dealt with most copiously; but their philosophy is not neglected, and the principal changes in worship and oreed from the first period of Aryan settlement to the full development of Hinduism are noted incidentally. Common to the whole development is pantheism, whioh is traoeable even in the Big-veda, and gathers force all the way down the stream of Hindu literature. In the code of Manu and in the Upanishads appears the doctrine of metempsychosis, henceforth characteristic of Indian religion. Both elements of the oreed are abundantly illustrated in the two great epios, the Ramayana and the Maha-bharata-of which the author gives a very full description. Chapter zxL, on the Bhagavad-gita, has special interest. By two or three well-chosen extracts the distinctive features of Hindu philosophy are made plain. The Puranas are treated with special reference to Krishna-worship, which is also the subject of the penultimate chapter (xxiii.).' The combination of pantheistic philosophy with polytheistic mythology is thus indicated : " The pantheism of the Puranas is one of their invariable characteristics, but the particular-divinity who is at once the source, the substance, and the absorber of all things, varies according to the individual choice of the worshipper". The general conclusion is that " Hinduism was brightest and purest at its fountain-head". As the " simple nature-worship" of the Vedas developed into mysticism, and became complicated with ritual, Hindu life gradually degenerated.
doi:10.1093/mind/os-xvi.62.288 fatcat:7pq5srvngnenzhhf3btwzvdlq4