By Krishnananda (Swami)
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Additional resources for A Short History of Religious and Philosophic Thought in India
As our social relations today touch all nations, our spirits touch all the planes of being. ” cannot arise. When creation is taken in its total perspective, everything in it becomes a historical reality. To study universal history we require a different apparatus of understanding from that we need when we read European and Indian history. If, as the poet said, we cannot touch a flower in our garden without disturbing a star in the heavens, no one’s reality A Short History of Religious and Philosophic Thought in India by Swami Krishnananda A Short History of Religious and Philosophic Thought in India by Swami Krishnananda 31 30 can be evaluated without reference to his wider meaning in the cosmos.
The Bhagavadgita commences with a dramatic setting described in its first chapter, wherein the spiritually blind Dhritarashtra’s question is followed by the entry of the proud Duryodhana into the scene of the battlefield. The self-aggrandising boast of the Kaurava king revealed his secret anxieties over the result of war and he was suspicious over the qualitative strength of his quantitatively larger army. He had invincible but unwilling fighters like Bhishma, mighty but unscrupulous warriors like Drona, and reliable but disabled friends like Karna.
The function of this universal principle as an unbroken continuum appears, where it is manifest in individuals, as the law of causal relation. The dynamic self-expression of the Absolute in the world of objects involves among them a living connection which appears in this manner. Causation has a meaning in the empirical world, but is meaningless to the Absolute. The mechanistic senses of man cannot observe the teleological purpose hidden in the Universe, an aim towards which all evolution is directed.