Page:Philosophy of bhagawad-gita.pdf/31

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7
FIRST LECTURE

this seven fold classification is almost conspicuous by its absence in many of our Hindu books. At any rate a considerable portion of it is almost unintelligible to Hindu minds; and so it is better to adopt the time-honoured classification of four principles, for the simple reason that it divides man into so many entities as are capable of having separate existences, and that these four principles are associated with four upadhis [1] which are further associated in their turn with four distinct states of consciousness. And so, for all practical purposes--for the purpose of explaining the doctrines of religions philosophy--I have found it far more convenient to adhere to the fourfold classification than to adopt the septenary one and multiply principles in a manner more likely to introduce confusion than to throw light upon the subject. I shall therefore adopt the fourfold classification, and when I adopt it in the case of man, I shall also adopt it in the case of the solar system, and also in the case of the principles that are to be found in the cosmos. By cosmos I mean not the solar system only, but the whole of the cosmos.

In enumerating these principles I shall proceed in the order of evolution, which seems to be the most convenient one.

  1. Four Upadhis including the Ego--the reflected image of the Logos in Karana Sharira--as the vehicle of the Light of the Logos. This is sometimes called Samanya Sharira in Hindu Books. But strictly speaking, there are only three Upadhis.