years is held in chap. xx. Now it is difficult to conceive that any author, wilfully and ostentatiously, would mention such traits if he wished to impress the reader with the notion that the narrative refers to human beings.
It will not be necessary to multiply examples. There is, to my comprehension, not the slightest doubt that the Saddharma-pundarïka intends to represent £akya as the supreme being, as the god of gods, almighty and all-wise. But what have we to understand by the words «god» and «god of gods?» that is the question. To find the answer let us recall to memory the theosophic notions prevailing in ancient India at certain periods.
In general it may be said that the Upanisads recognise two supreme beings, which in a mystical way are somehow identified; one is the great illuminator of the macrocosm, and is sometimes called the Sun, at other times Ether; the other, the enlightener of the microcosm, is Mind or Reason. 1 As soon as the Sun ceased to be considered an animate being or to be represented as such, he might continue, for worship's sake, honoris causa, to be called the highest god; the really remaining deity was Reason, poetically termed the inward light. This idea is expressed by Nïlakantha in his commentary on Bhagavad-gita V, 14, in thefollowingterms: Prabhug cidatma sörya ivasmadadïnam prakagakah, the Lord (is) the intelligent Self that like a sun is the illuminator of ourselves andothers. 2 Now the same author, in his notes on Bhagavad-gita VI, 30, distinctly states that our inward consciousness, orasheputsit, the pratyagatman, the individual Self, otherwise called jïva, is Narayana, i.e. the supreme being. At IX, 28 he paraphrases Narayanaby sarvesam pratyagatman, the individual consciousness of all (sentient beings); at XII, 14 he identifies Narayana with nirgunam brahma. Just as here and there Narayana is represented as clad in all the glory and majesty of a sovereign, as the illuminator, the vivifier of the world, in one word as the sun, so we find Qakyamuni invested with all the grandeur and all the resources of a ruler of nature. Philosophically, both Narayana and his counterpart (^akyamuni are purusottama, paramatman, the highest brahman, Mind. £akyamuni is, esoterically, the very same muni, the beholder ofgood and evil, the punyapapeksita muni that is spoken of in Manu VIII, 91. It is acknowledged in Bhagavad-gita IX, 14seqq. that the supreme being may be conceived and respected in different ways according to the degreeofintelligence of creatures. Some pay their worship by leading a virtuous life,
1 See e. g. Chandogya-upanisad III, 18 and 19; cf. Bhagavad-gita XV, 12.
Cf. Bhagavad-gïta XIII, 33: yathapraka^ayaty ekah krtsnam lokam imam ravih, ksetram ksetrï tatha krtsnam praka?ayati, Bharata. The ksetra here is the body, the ksetrin is Mind, Reason, atman. Cf. gankara on Chandogyaupanisad, 1. c.