The Chapter of the Self of the Apastamba Law-book

The significance of the Chapter of the Self of the Āpastamba Law-book in the history of early Vedanta is discussed in detail in Professor Hajime Nakamura’s Shoki Vedanta Tetsugaku-shi (History of Early Vedanta Philosophy), the first volume of which covers Vedanta before the Brahma-sūtras. Professor Nakamura has kindly agreed to the inclusion here of a translation of the relevant section as follows (notes giving references are largely omitted): In India from early times a great number of law-books were composed. They lay down, from a Brahminical standpoint, structures, customs and daily activities of society, concentrating on such problems as the systems of four castes and the four stages of life (āśrama). At first they were written in the comparatively concise sūtra style and their contents also were brief and simple, but later on elaborate law-books containing also civil and criminal law were produced. These were compiled and edited by the …

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Sattva suddhi Purity of Being

Purity of Being (Sattva-śuddhi) When the three elements of karma-yoga have been practised for a long time, or a shorter time with more intensity, things become simpler. Independence of the opposites, acting in evenness of mind, and samādhi-meditations on aspects of the Lord, produce an inner peace and energy. Life becomes like walking over open countryside towards a clear objective, instead of being lost in crowded streets, assailed by tricksters, beggars, tempters, shouters, and radios at full blast. In this connection, Dr Shastri sometimes used the simile of electricity to give students an idea of the practice: Don’t act so much that your soul will be tired, and don’t be so fond of solitude that you do not fulfil the reasonable expectations of the world. Man charges his being with spiritual electricity, and discharges that electricity by means of his thoughts and by means of his actions. The soul has …

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