and live again in other men's and women's bodies upon earth, incest and other fearful crimes would result, and their sins would be increased rather than done away. At least ignorantly such crimes would be committed, and further transmigration would, therefore, become necessary. Instead of drawing nearer to its goal, therefore, the spirit would be wandering farther and farther away from it. It is a comfort, therefore, to know by divine revelation that our bodies have to die only once 1.

(3) Absorption into the divine nature. The Hindus teach that, when any one has, during many successive lives and after sojourning perhaps in many heavens and many hells, received all the good and bad results of his own conduct, he will ultimately be absorbed into the divine nature and be lost therein as completely as a drop of rain is lost and swallowed up in the ocean. Accordingly we read in the Mundaka Upanisad; 2 'As the flowing rivers disappear in the sea, losing their name and their form,3 thus a wise man, freed from name and form, goes to the divine person, who is greater than the great.' Various methods are prescribed for attaining this absorption and thus entirely losing one's personality, and in fact ceasing to exist in any true sense. Thus the Vasishtha Dharmasastra says: 'Freedom 4 from future births

1 Heb. ix. 27.         2 Mundaka, Book III, chapter ii, verse 8.
3 'Name and form', as among the Buddhists, here means 'personality'.
4 Chapter x, § 17.

is certain for him who constantly dwells in the forest, who has subdued his organs of sensation and of action, who has renounced all sensual gratification, whose mind is fixed in meditation on the Supreme Spirit, and who is indifferent (to pain and pleasure).' This loss of personality and absorption in the deity is what the Hindus mean by salvation, and it is regarded by them as the only true salvation; for they do not seek deliverance from the power and love of sin but only from personal existence. Regarding its attainment the Agni-Purana, which is an encyclopaedia summing up the teaching of many books, says: 'A 1 man attains salvation in a fourfold way; by acquiring a knowledge of the true God, by performing the ceremony of making funeral offerings to his dead fathers at Saya, by departing from this life in a cattle-shed, and by residing in the sacred fields of Kurukshetra' (this is an extensive plain near Delhi). By ' knowledge of the true God ' is meant the conviction that one's own self is really identical with the self of the universe, and that individuality and personality among men are delusions. Accordingly it is said in the Chhandogya Upanisad: "The 2 intelligent being whose body is spirit, whose form is light, whose thoughts are true, whose nature is like ether, from whom all works, all desires, all sweet odours and tastes proceed, he who

1 Agni-Purana, chapter cxv, verses 1-9.
2 Part iii, chapter xiv, verses 2-3.