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26
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA

lustre. The lustre of this bimbam you may compare to man's knowledge, and it grows feebler and feebler as the reflection is transferred from a clear upāḍhi to one less clear, and so on till you get to the physical body. Our knowledge depends mainly on the condition of the upāḍhi, and you will also observe that, just as the image of the sun on a clear surface of water may be disturbed and rendered invisible by the motion of the water itself, so by a man's passions and emotions he may render the image of his true self disturbed and distorted in its appearance, and even make the image so indistinct as to be altogether unable to perceive its light.

You will further see that this idea of self is a delusive one. Almost every great writer on Vedantic philosophy, as also both Buddha and Shankaracharya, have distinctly alleged that it is a delusive idea. You must not suppose that these great men said that the idea of self was delusive for the same reason which led John Stuart Mill to suppose that the idea of self is manufactured from a concatenation or series of mental states. It is not a manufactured idea, as it were, not a secondary idea which has arisen from any series of mental states. It is said to be delusive, as I have been trying to explain, because the real Self is the Logos itself, and what is generally considered as the ego is but its reflection. If you say, however, that a reflected image cannot act as an individual being, I have simply to remind you that my simile cannot be carried very