soul can acquire magical and wonder-working powers; and that
finally, by long continuance in these practices, the soul becomes isolated from the universe and
returns 1 to itself. This philosophy does not aim at the final absorption of the soul in
the deity, as some others do, but at escape from all action, both good and bad. Accordingly it is
said in the Bhagavad Gita: 2
'He who is devoted to knowledge here abandons both good deeds and evil deeds.
Therefore devote thyself to Yoga: Yoga is success in actions.'
As a specimen of the precepts of the Yoga philosophy we quote the following for adopting what is
called the 'lotus-seat', a particular posture which is said to be conducive to the attainment of
vacuity of mind and the overcoming of all diseases.
'The 3 right foot should be placed on the left thigh and the left
foot on the right thigh, the hands should be crossed, and the two great toes should be firmly held
thereby, the chin should be bent down on the chest, and in this posture the eyes should be directed
to the tip of the nose.'
Elsewhere 4 we are told that, if the thought be fixed on the tip of the nose, a
celestial smell is
perceived, and the other senses also are so charmed that they are no longer attracted to external
objects. Then the soul becomes conscious of an inward bright and happy state which contents and
There is in the Sanskrit language a very popular religious work called the Bhagavad Gita.
Its teaching combines into one system much of that of the leading schools of Hindu philosophy. It
teaches as the aim of the religious philosopher absorption into the over-soul (Paramatma).
This, according to this book, is attained by the practice of austerities. In it the god Krishna is
represented as saying: 1
'When one renounces all desires that gain access to the mind,. . . being satisfied in oneself
just with oneself, then one is termed "calm". One who amid sufferings is free from
uneasiness of mind, who amid pleasures is indifferent, being delivered from affection, fear and
wrath, he is called a steady-minded sage. And when this man wholly restrains his senses from objects
of sense, as a tortoise gathers in his limbs, his wisdom is complete . . . . His wisdom is complete
in whose control are his own senses. When a man thinks about the pleasures of the senses, attachment
towards them springs up . . . . But a man who pursues the pleasures of the senses with his senses
freed from affection and hatred and subjected to himself, he, having himself