God, nor can He be the author of evil. All men, even Hindus themselves, admit that wicked men should be punished. They, therefore, punish thieves and murderers. But if their theory were correct, these evildoers would be undeserving of punishment. The doctrine that the human spirit is punished by having to undergo numerous reincarnations as a consequence of its sins is quite contrary to the doctrine of Monism. The latter doctrine denies the existence of both sin and goodness: it also abolishes all worship, for how can a man worship himself? Man knows, himself to be not the Almighty Creator but a creature, feeble and sinful. Hence all religion has arisen, and hence comes man's yearning for the knowledge of God and his feeling of dependence upon Him for life and spiritual guidance and forgiveness of sin.

(5) Avatars. It is impossible that those persons, such as Krishna and Rama, who are believed by the Hindus to be incarnations or manifestations of God, should be so. This is evident from their conduct. God is pure and holy, and it is morally impossible that there should be any evil in Him, or that He should do any wickedness, for this is contrary to His very nature. If these persons had been true incarnations of God, then this attribute of holiness would have been manifest in all their doings. But from the books of the Hindus themselves it is evident that, if they ever really existed, these persons committed sins. Most horrible tales are


told even about Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Krishna is said to have been an incarnation of Vishnu, and yet many of the stories told about him in the Agni-Purana (chapter xii), the Bhagavata-Purana (Book X), the Vishnu-Purana (Book V), the Harivamsa, the Mahabharata, and the Bhagavad Gita, are unfit to relate here, although the unlearned among the Hindus are well acquainted with them from the Prem Sagar, which is a Hindi version of. the tenth Book of the Bhagavata-Purana. Even in the philosophical work entitled the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna is represented as teaching that killing is not murder,1 because the spirit cannot be killed but passes into another body in accordance with the doctrine of transmigration. He also says that anyone who possesses true knowledge (jnana) escapes all the guilt of sin.2' Thus he not only does evil and sets a bad example, but he also lays the axe to the root of the tree of all morality by his wicked teaching. The Hindu doctrine of the avatars or 'descents' of Vishnu is false and misleading. Yet even here we see the truth that man needs a manifestation of God, and that he will worship false gods unless God reveal Himself in a true manifestation, a real and worthy incarnation. Some men reject this conclusion, but it is not the part of a wise man to throw away with the mud the jewel which is hidden therein, or to close his eyes to the feeble gleam of the pure gold which may

1 Book II, verses 18-22.             2 Book IV, verses 36, 37.