Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/27

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3
FIRST LECTURE

starts from certain premises, which are not explained at length--they are simply alluded to here and there, and quoted for the purpose of enforcing the doctrine, or as authorities, and Krshna does not go into the details of the philosophy which is their foundation. Still there is a philosophical basis beneath his teachings, and unless that basis is carefully surveyed, we cannot understand the practical applications of the teachings of the Bhagavad-Gita, or even test them in the only way in which they can be tested.

Before proceeding further, I find it absolutely necessary to preface my discourse with an introductory lecture, giving the outlines of this system of philosophy which I have said is the basis of the practical teaching of Krshna. This philosophy I cannot gather or deduce from the Bhagavad-Gita itself; but I can show that the premises with which it starts are therein indicated with sufficient clearness.

This is a very vast subject, a considerable part of which I cannot at all touch; but I shall lay down a few fundamental principles which are more or less to be considered as axiomatic in their character--you may call them postulates for the time being--so many as are absolutely necessary for the purpose of understanding the philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita. I shall not attempt to prove every philosophical principle I am about to lay down in the same manner in which a modern scientist attempts to prove all the laws he has gathered from an examination of nature.