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Review

Author(s): Massimo Scaligero


Review by: Massimo Scaligero
Source: East and West, Vol. 17, No. 1/2 (March-June 1967), pp. 167-168
Published by: Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente (IsIAO)
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29755144
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is a small k?vya in the stotra style, dedicated to religious thinker, the mystic, the yogi, the man
R?dh? and Krsna, in which the mystic-poet gives on the street... for all men. Here Jacobson, en?
truly vibrant images of the mystical couple and thusiastic for a determined meaning of Buddha's
expresses a high form of meditation evoking the figure, manages to show us that the doctrine is
beatific vision. Rasik Vihari Joshi has edited this relevant not only in a religious and mystical sense,
edition, and has translated it in such a way that but even in an empirical-logical and philosophical
each Sanskrit strophe has its English translation analytical sense. Carried away by his enthusiasm,
next to it; he also offers us a preface and an he actualizes Buddhism in such a way as to make
explanatory introduction, and follows the text with it function as the key to a special aspect of modern
an important comment of his own entitled Ra culture's problems: from Hume to Nietzsche, to
sikabhodirii. The text has both a mystical and a Marx and Engels, to Stuart Mill, Freud, and Witt?
cultural value, especially if one takes into account genstein, the type of the Western thinker is ac?
the fact that Pandit Rampratap Shastri was not ceptable if integrated with that which he lacks,
only a mystic and a poet, but also a grammarian and that Buddhism can give, because Buddha's
and a philologist. doctrine already contains in itself the positions of
Massimo Scaligero these thinkers. Jacobson with great facility as?
similates Buddhism to modern analytics, that is, to
that mode of philosophizing that betrays the ef?
fective loss of the interior dimension, and just
David St acton, Kaliyuga (London, Faber and
for this reason finally postulates it, and reproposes
Faber, 1965, 196 pp.).
it methodologically.
The author considers this mystical tale of his Basically, Buddhist logic did not lack the pos?
? a quarrel with the Gods in both senses, a quarrel sibility of showing the final meaning of things,
together with them and a bill brought in against together with the conception of samsara, as an
them ?. In a narrative that is simple, efficient analytics of the real structure of human action:
and sometimes veined with pleasant humor, he for thinking, feeling and wanting. A work, this,
faces the theme of a contradiction that is the that is up-to-date and valid from a practical point
millenary problem of philosophers and theologists,
of view. ., c Massimo Scaligero
never resolved and therefore always current; the
problem has been resolved, though, by ascetics
and mystics, not according to a doctrine, but ac? Archie J. Bahm, Yoga, Union with the Ultimate
cording to realism whose theoretical content is (New York, Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.,
hard to communicate. In a time such as the 1961, 162 pp.).
present, man cannot be helped by new theories,
This is a new version of the Yogi Sutras of
but by stimulating his inner research. David
Stacton undoubtedly succeeds in this attempt, above
Pot?njali, preceded by an essay by the author on
the originative and philosophical meaning of Raja
all when he happily resolves into artistic activity
yoga and its relations to the techniques of the
the doctrinary or philosophical element. It is
other forms of Yoga. He also gives an interpre?
possible to educate and aid man today through
tation of the method of interior transmutation, in
the really existent forces of the spirit, by giving
a new function to the novel. The novel can serve psychological terms. The translation is simple,
clear and effective. He has, as is the custom,
to reflect something better than the banality, the
grouped the s?tras into four books: The Aim, The
truisms, the episodic content or the psychologisms
Way, The Method, Summary. The comments deal
of external daily life: it can facilitate man's meeting
mainly with the manifestation of the conscious
with his own internal problem. Stacton's work
is a demonstration of this. principle of the Yogic operation, that is, the
Massimo Scaligero principle of the ? I ?, and in this sense they give
a form of present-day utility to the ancient rules.
Massimo Scaligero
Nolan Pliny Jacobson, Buddhism, The Religion
of Analysis (London, George Allen and Unwin
Frithjof Schuon, Understanding Islam, translated
Ltd., 1966, 202 pp.).
from the French by D.M. Matheson (London,
George Allen and Unwin, Ltd., 1963, 160 pp.).
The greatness of Buddhism lies in its being
able to speak to all levels of conscience: from If one looks for the intimate meaning of
the rarefied heights of the doctrine of the void, Islamic religiosity, one finds a pure and precise
to the simple rules for daily action; there is mysticism, with its own objectivity, involving
room in it for the attitude of the philosopher, the various levels of awareness and meditative oper

167

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ation. Schuon, like Guenon, has tried to trace a Studies of Esoteric Buddhism and Tantrism. In
path that may lead from the Western mentality, commemoration of the 1.150th Anniversary of
through intuitive analysis and the discipline of the founding of Koyasan (Koyasan, Koyasan
sentiment, to the understanding of this pure tra? University, 1965, 419 + 438 pp.).
dition, a still-alive form of the great Tradition.
The meaning of the idea of ? Islam ?, the Quran, On the anniversary of the 1.150th year of the
the Prophet, the Gnosis and its perennial way, foundation by K?kai (774-835 A.D.) ? generally
are the themes that Schuon discusses with that known as Kob? Daishi ? of the Koyasan monas?
capacity for intuitive penetration that is possible tery, a living center of the Shingon school, the
only when one has a basic relation of empathy President of the Koyasan University, Gish? Naka
and knowledge with the subject under discussion. no, invited scholars from all parts of the world
A rare and precious attribute in an era in which to contribute to the commemoration volume. The
scholars now handle with a pretense of deep contributions are partly Japanese, partly non-Japa?
analysis themes in whose reality they do not even nese: the articles too are written either in Japa?
believe. The understanding of the spirit of Islam nese or in English and German. The Japanese
can be thus elaborated by Schuon because he has articles are summarized in English.
entered into it with the totality of his thought The volume contains many important contri?
and his interior adhesion. As is evident in the butions: that on the Anantamukha-nirh?ra-dh?rani
pages of his book. by Kanjin Horiuchi; the Gos?-j?shin-gwan {Panc?
Massimo Scaligero hhisamhodhi) in the Sarvatath?gatatattvasamgraha
by S. Sakai; the Amoghap?sahrdaya by R. O. Mei?
sezahl; ? Ways ? in Indian religions by J. Gonda;
Vasudeva Upadhyay, The Socio-religious Condi? Vajray?na texts from Gostana by H. W. Bailey;
tion of North India (Varanasi, The Chowkham the esoteric Buddhist art in the Shingon sect and
ba Sanskrit Series Office, 1964, xx + 388 Tendai sect by Ry?ken Sawa, etc.
pp. + 12 pis.).
Giuseppe Tucci
The social problem and religious history fuse
in the theme under discussion, in that they act
on one another reciprocally in the reality of North
India. In his research, the author has made
particular use of the data of archaeology, as cor? Asiatic Mythology, a detailed description and ex?
roborating facts for tradition, above all for what planation of the Mythologies of all the Great
the latter means in the process of social cohesion Nations of Asia, by J. Hackin, Clement
and correlation between particular and specific Huart, Raymonde Linos sier, H. de Wilman
forms of Buddhism and Jainism. Historically, he Grabowska, Charles-Henri Marchal, Henri
begins by examining the Arab conquest of Sindh, Maspero, Serge Elisseev, with an introduc?
the hierarchy of Br?hmanas, and the traditional tion by Paul Louis Couchoud (New York,
environmental conditions that converge towards Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1963, 460 pp.,
the formation of a society that will have its strength 16 pis. in colour and 354 other illustrations).
in the caste system. He gives special attention
to the formative influences of Vaisnavism, of
This book is the English translation of a well
Saivism, of Saktism with its mystical and erotic
known work which intends to present a resume
mystical expressions, with the relative rites, cere?
of the most important religions of Asia. One
monies and secret forms of research into ecstasy,
then Vajray?na down to the decline of Buddhism might perhaps object to the term Mythology set
forth in the title, because the philosophical or
and its assimilation by Hinduism. Vasudeva Upa
dhyay shows, with a sense of synthesis and pene? ritual background, of which many myths are only
tration, how spiritual forces act in a social way a symbol, is generally discarded. The exposition is
therefore rather anecdotical and does not develop
in North India. To analytically examine this socio
religious phenomenon means to use the very art along synthetic lines: it has an iconographic rather
of continuing in ideal creative form the intimate than a theoretic value. Many of its chapters are
impulse that requires today the cooperation of on account of recent researches outdated, e.g. the
the conscious being of man. It is obvious that chapter on Iran. Anyhow, this well illustrated
such an intimate impulse comes from a tradition work can prove useful to common readers who
that today calls on new forces, not in contrast with want to be initiated to the very complex study
it, but working through the awareness and ideal of Oriental religious experiences. The value of the
initiative of man. book could have been increased if instead of
Massimo Scaligero restricting themselves to a simple reproduction of

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