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46
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE BHAGAVAD-GITA

a peculiar way as the whole cosmos, or rather as the supposed basis, or the one essence, on which the whole cosmos seems to be superimposed, the one foundation for every existence. But it can manifest itself in a manner approaching the conception of a personal God, only when it manifests itself as the Logos. If Avatars are possible at all, they can only be so with reference to the Logos, or Ishvara, and not by any means with reference to what I have called Parabrahmam. But still there remains the question, what is an Avatar? According to the general theory I have laid down, in the case of every man who becomes a Mukta there is a union with the Logos. It may be conceived, either as the soul being raised to the Logos or as the Logos descending from its high plane to associate itself with the soul. In the generality of cases, this association of the soul with the Logos is only completed after death--the last death which that individual has to go through.

But in some special cases the Logos does descend to the plane of the soul and associate itself with the soul during the lifetime of the individual; but these cases are very rare. In the case of such beings, while they still exist as ordinary men on the physical plane, instead of having for their soul merely the reflection of the Logos, they have the Logos itself. Such beings have appeared. Buddhists say that in the case of Buddha there was this permanent union, when he attained what they call Paranirvana nearly twenty