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SOURCES
AND
RESOURCES

'

A WESTERN PSYCHIATRIST'S SEARCH FOR


MEANING IN THE ANCIENT INDIAN SCRIPTURES

ERNA M. HOCH

Sources and Resources


A Western psychiatrist's search for meaning in
the ancient Indian scriptures

Erna M. Hoch

BOOK FAITH INDIA

Published by
BOOK FAITH INDIA
416, Express Tower
Azadpur Commercial Complex
Delhi-110 033
(INDIA)
First Indian Edition 1993
Publisher
ISBN 81-7303-011-1
Rs. 400
Printed at
Ram Printograph
Delhi-110 051

EDITORIAL NOTE
Note on spelling:

a) English: The question whether words like "realise",


"recognize" etc. should be spelled with "s" or "z" has
in general been decided according to the rules given in
FOWLER "Modern English Usage": terms derived from Latin
roots should be spelled with "s"; those derived from Greek,
as e.g. "characterize", "emphasize", with "z". In quotations, the spelling has however been left as found in
the original text.
b) Sanskrit/Hindi: A uniform system of transcription for
Sanskrit and Hindi terms has been used. The main differences from English spelling are as follows:
Vowels: long vowels: "a" as in "far";
"u" as in "moon".
nasal a, as e.g. in "plant".
"r" = ri, as in "rid".

"I" as in "see"; 1

"a"

Consonants: "c"
tch, as e.g. in "chit"; "Q."
hard,
unaspira ted d,
no exact equivalent in English;
~"
11
slightly nasal n, often between two vowels; "n = slightly
nasal n before g or k; "n"
approaching the sound of
"ny" as e.g. in "onion", usually before or after "j";
"~" = sh, as e.g. in "she"; "s" = also sh, but slightly
more hissing and harder ("dental") than "s"; "t" =hard,
unaspirated t, no exact equivalent in Englis.h; "~h"
hard aspirated t, no exact equivalent in English.
11

Other characters and combinations of characters of which


the sound does not correspond at least approximately to
English spelling do not occur in the text.
An exception from this spelling has been made for terms,
in particular names, that have become familiar in English,
e.g. "Krishna" instead of "K~~\la", "pandit" instead of
"pal)gi ta", "yogi" instead of "yogin 11 In quotations, the
spelling has been left as found in the original text.

Cover illustration:

Embossed copper plate (size 13.5 x 9.5 cm) of unknown


provenance, probably from the Western Him~layas.
The cobra on the head of the figure and the waters of
the river Ganga flowing from it point to Shaivite origin.
Possibly it represents Lord Shiva himself in his aspect
as "pasupati" (protector of all creatures) or some local
hermit devoted to him and bearing some of his attributes.

VII

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EDITORIAL NOTE

v
XI

FOREWORD
PREFACE
ANCIENT INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND WESTERN PSYCHOTHERAPY
Introduction
Healing and salvation
The teachings about the causes of emotional
suffering
Ways of overcoming the three evils
Master and disciple
Aims and effects of the Indian path
Literature
/

BHAYA, SOKA, MOUA


1. Choice of the subject
2. Anxiety ("bhaya")
3. Suffering or sorrow ("s~ka")
4. Delusion, ignorance ( "moha")
5. Conclusion
Literature
"
.v
DESAKALAJNA
1 Prologue in the Himalaya
2. The concept of "Time" and "Kairos" in
Indian literature
a) The Rgveda
b) The Upani~ads
c) The Puranas
d) The Epics
e) The Bhagavad Gita
f) The Krishna legend
g) Parables and folklore
3. "Kairos" in clinical psychiatric experience
in India
4. Conclusions
Literature

DREAM - A WORLD; WORLD - A DREAM ?


Introduction
Dream - a world
World - a dream?
Literature

13
14
16
18
21
24
27
29
31
37
52
57
64
65
67
67

73
74
75
79
81
84
91
95
101
121
126

131
1 37
147
157

VII I

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE "ZUERCHER GESPRAECHE"

159

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF IMAGES IN HINDUISM

1.
2.
3.
4.

Introduction
Process and aim of "creation"
Name and form
The process of estrangement from the origin
of "creation"; yoga as the path to "re-union"
5. The role of images in meditation
6. The Indian world of images in the light of
psychiatric experience
7. Conclusion
Literature

163

164
169
171
173
178
182
184

COLLOQUY

1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

General remarks about "colloquy" and its elements


Colloquy in ancient Indian scriptures
Colloquy in present-day India
Colloquy in my psychiatric activity in Kashmir
The multiplicity of meanings of images
Problems of colloquy in an international,
interdisciplinary setting
Literature

CRITERIA OF REALITY

185

186
193
196
203
212
223
225

ANXIETY AND SPEECH

1 Anxiety
2. Speech
3. Anxiety and speech
Literature

233

235
240
247

MESSENGER BETWEEN EAST AND WEST


Introduction
The messenger's errands
The request
The question of the "ontological difference"
The question concerning "unconcealedness,
concealedness, truth"
Further explanations and clarifications
Concluding reflections
Literature

249

SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF SUBJECTIVE STATES ?

295
296
297
299
303

1. Author's background and viewpoint


a) Daseins-analysis
b) Ancient Indian philosophy
2. Some problems of terminology
3. An attempt to answer the questions proposed
to this Seminar
4. Conclusion
Appendix: Associations to the dream on pp. 312/313

250
251

255
260
263
282
293

307

311
315

IX
BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION: FROM COMPULSION TO FREE CHOICE
L. Introduction
2. The level of sheer habit and drill
3. Compulsion versus freedom of choice
4. Spontaneous outflow from an inner core
5. Modern research on yoga
Literature

319
320
325
331
338
344
352

SYNOPSIS OF TERMS AND CONCEPTS RECURRING IN SEVERAL


PAPERS (marked by (S) in text)

355

XI
F 0 R E W0 R D
The author,
great

Prof. Dr. Erna Hoch, deeply devoted to India's

religious

and

philosophical

tradition,

worked

for

32 years as a psychiatrist in various positions and places


in India,

in developed and Westernized cities and institu-

tes as well as functioning as a village doctor for illiterate peasants and herdsmen of the Himalayas. Her Western
sources are the European medical tradition and the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger with which she came
into contact through Medard Boss, who had introduced Heidegger 1 s
thinking
into
his
existential
psychotherapy
( Daseinsanalyse). Erna Hoch was able to use the Western
sources
her

of

work

philosophy

as

doctor,

and

psychiatry

psychiatrist,

as

resources

for

psychotherapist

in

India. On the other hand, she was also guided in this


work by the fruitful contacts she found with the Indian
sources. Her open-minded interest, sympathy and empathy
with her patients of all social strata allowed her to
adapt her psychotherapy to the level of consciousness
of her clients. From Indian sources she could find resources

for

creating

the

images

to

fit

their

capacity

for

comprehension, promoting their wholesome growth and beneficial metamorphosis.


Nourished

by

her

them as fruitful
clients,

sources

in

Europe

and

India,

using

resources according to the needs of her

the receptivity of her audience and the openness

of her discussion partners in West and East

for colloquy

as a fruitful intersubjective exchange, she became a bearer


of messages,

a hermes for both countries. Her papers thus

enrich Western self-reflection on its own culturally limited

conception

and

at

the

same

time

strengthen

India's

serious consideration of its own anthropological, religious


and philosophical inheritance.
The

creative

world-making

potential

of

consciousness

is one of the fundamentals of Indian philosophy. The human


individual

(as every being) is an incarnation of a supra-

individual essential being:

the only real ONE. The supra-

XII
conscious,
Brahman),

divine
is

the

or

cosmic

only

true

consciousness
reality . It

individual human consciousness all

(Maha-Xtman,

creates

in

the

the myriads of indivi-

dual forms of living and non-living "things", of phenomena


which

undergo

permanent

metamorphosis

of

appearing,

being present for a time and vanishing into the unknowledgeable ONE,
that

it

of which it cannot be said that it

"is

not".

Which

"gestalt"

on the fundamental law of Karma:

is

"is"

produced

nor

depends

the deeds done in former

incarnations determine the results in the present phenomenal world.


This world of "ordinary reality"
struction
up

the

of

the

so-called

(Castaneda)

human mind:

human

reality

our

of

is a

consciousness

own

con-

builds

inter-subjectively

shared common world. Worldly life is imperfect, incomplete


(in as far as it is separated from the source' the ONE),
obscured (by the illusion about reality, produced by ignorance)

and

thus

it

is

life

of

suffering

Suffering calls for relief, for healing,


sense

(as we

use

the

much deeper sense.

word

therapy

not in a curative

nowadays),

"duh-kha" makes us

of

higher

that

as

separate

our

we,
true

self

ONE,

the

this

liberation

are

or

one,

is

the

the

self

at

the

i.e.
This

is

end
goal

not

of
of

the

we

very

identical

very

in

salvation

From

consciousness

Brahman.

(moks'a)
that

of

individuals,

(atman)

Maha-Atman

The realisation

levels

but

long for

by merging with the eternal immutable ONE.


spective

( duh-kha)

per-

realise
core
with

of
the

suffering,
our

lives.

identical with

the

individual Ego, which is a product of the ego-maker (ahamkara), but rather that it is one with the universal creative potential mediates liberation,
union can be achieved by

peace and freedom.

reflection

consciousness at its various levels of

on

individual

i~luminated

This
human

insight.

On the every-day level of consciousness, we take the given


world as

reality.

become aware
a

dream

worlds.

that

state,

In

higher

this

which

states

every-day
produces

We ought to let them go,

of

consciousness,

common
changing

reality

is

like

appearances

as we let dreams

we
of

pass,

to come to the awakening of the ultimate imageless divine

XI II

ONE, the supreme absolute. From that perspective the world


is like a dream, just as the dream is a world of its own,
created by the dream-state of consciousness, itself a
manifestation of the supraconscious beyond any "gestalt",
free from any clouds of obscuration. The realisation of
the unity of the individual self (atman) and supraindividual cosmic Maha-~tman means transcendence. It is not
a union of two separ.;ite and different "beings", but the
very sameness (identity) of the two. This mystical insight
into oneness is the aim of Yoga (which means union),
reached in the highest state of meditative consciousness
(samadhi).
The mythical

representation of

the

creative potential

is named Shiva; the force (energy) of the permanent metamorphosis of phenomena between birth and death is named
Shakti. Man can approach the Divine according to the mental
faculties given by the state of his development and by
his
individual
characteristics.
Thoughtful reflection,
study of the scriptures, intellectual insight is the path
of

Jnana-Yoga.

To

permanently

address

himself

in

love

to the personalised God Shiva and his consort Shakti

(or

in other religious regions to Vishnu) is the way of BhaktiYoga. Self-realisation in selfless (non-egoistic) practice
of good,
core of
leading

helpful charitable work for all beings is the


Karma-Yoga. Raja-Yoga combines these pathways
to

the

same

goal

of

stepping out of

the circle

of birth, death, rebirth (samsara).


The

individual

matured

to

differentiated

reflecting

level of consciousness may gain the liberating insight


on his very own path of spiritual development. He realises
the world-making, dream-like action of the common every-day
consciousness and transcends it. The less developed human
consciousness will follow the traditional cultural patterns
of

understanding of man,

in
a

his

religious

personal

such

images

( nirva."na)

God

inheritance.

or Goddess

towards
the

life, world,

aim

the
is

salvation as given

Whether

or whether

man
he

believes

transcends

ONE beyond

any

the

presenting

same,

single

in
any

"gestalt"
itself

in

XIV
various

forms,

depending

on

the

developmental

state

of

consciousness.
This

developmental

state

the degree to which one

of

consciousness

is bound

to

determines

illusory

images

of

reality. It also determines the level of autonomy in selfrealising one's own way ( sva-dharma) or being dependent
on a tradition of belief systems, of doctrines, of various
religious schools (churches in the West).
India is the country with the highest individual freedom
for one's very own independent, even asocial
cending social boundaries and norms)

(i.e. trans-

way of self-realisa-

tion (the sannyasin). At the same time, India allows the


. d'1v1dual
.
. a comparative1n
human-being to remain embedde d in
ly undeveloped common folk spirit with a group ego and
a common world image rather than an 1'ndi'vidualistic unfolding of one's consciousness. In ei'th er case , it is an Indian
way of being in the world.
We welcome the present selection. from Erna Hoch's lectures and articles devoted to the cultural exchange between
East and West. They bring us "concrete foreignness": hermeneutics of the holy scriptures as well as observations
of and reflections on the concrete experience of a psychiatrist's field work. (Other articles by Erna Hoch which
are

not

published

here

deal

with

specific

psychiatric

problems.) The Indian concepts of suffering, sorrow, anxiety, ignorance and the Indian way of overcoming them by
a fruitful cooperation between master (guru) and disciple
are compared with Western psychotherapy. The Indian concept
of states of consciousness in waking and dreaming demonstrates to us our own restricted Western tiew of everyday
wakeful consciousness as the only one. Similarly, we broaden our perspective with regard to the concepts of time
and the "Kairos", the right moment, by learning what
Indians
reality

think about
compared to

it. What are


Indian ones?

Western criteria for


In meditation as in

psychotherapy, how can vivid images, suited to the disciples'

and the clients'

readiness

to assimilate

them,

be

xv
used for a fruitful development? We learn something about
the difficult problems of translating and interpreting
philosophical Sanskrit texts into European languages as
a prerequisite for a serious comparis~n of Heidegger's
terminology and Indian concepts. We become aware of the
meaning of and conditions for an intersubjective exchange
in colloquy in interdisciplinary and international discussions. Thus, the reader will finally close the volume enriched by the wealth of what Erna Hoch tells us.
Zurich, August 1990
Christian Scharfetter
Professor of Psychiatry
Research Department
University Clinic of Psychiatry

u r i c h

PREFACE

In this fast moving time of ours, how can one dare


to publish a collection of papers written over a period
of 20 years, unless of course one is so famous that every
scrap of one's writing is considered worth preserving
for posterity?
Two, perhaps three reasons can be offered, why this
present volume of lectures and articles on ancient Indian
philosophy - "the sources" - and its relevance for presentday psychiatry and psychotherapy
the "resources" - has
some chance of not being rejected as outdated:
Ancient Indian philosophy has survived, as a source
of ever new insights and inspiration, for some 2500
3000

years.

Against

this,

a fraction of a human life,


The basic

truths,

mere

span of

20

years,

just

is hardly of any significance.

pointing

to that which lies beyond all


our concepts of "time", can and will stand as long as
there are human beings seeking their origin and the meaning
of their existence.
If one belongs to those who - as most traditional Indians do! - swear by the "S'ruti". (literally "hearing, listening")
to

i.e.

on

rigidly

the commentaries and

and

even

compulsively

adhering

interpretations of the scriptures

which the best-known ancient philosophers laid down hundreds or thousands of years ago, one would at any rate
be justified in handing on their wisdom throughout the
ages,

without

any

concern

for

however, was not my approach.


Initially, when I had the
ancient

Indian

scr:.ptures

the

changing

courage

on my

to

times.

search

This,
in

the

own

and to find meaning


in them in terms of my Western upbringing and in particular
a
of my psychiatric activities and
not to forget!
leaning towards the Daseins-analytical philosophy of M.
HEIDEGCER, I found that quite a few of the scholars I
tried to talk to were extremely suspicious or even scornful
of

an

that;

undertaking
it

means

of

this."

whenever

only

ask whether a

to

this
they

kind.

"No.

would

It does

not

categorically

mean

claim,

dared to present to them my own views or even


particular

interpretation that had

occurred to me would be plausible and permissible. Fortunately,

also found more liberal "pandits" !

remember
I

met

one

him,

Shri
was

Krishnamurthy

the Sanskrit

who,

at

professor

particularly

the

at

time

the

when

Institute

of Mental Health (now "National Institute of Mental Health


and

Neuro-Sciences")

at

Bangalore

and

thus

was

working

in a setting that exposed him to the problems and insights


of modern psychiatry. When I discussed my ideas with him,
he listened quite patiently; then he nodded his head from
side to side pensively, as if carefully weighing the matter
in his mind, and finally replied: "Yes, why not?" He agreed
that the ancient Sanskrit texts are so rich and condensed
and

even

meanings

single word

(S)

that

pick out from


with his own

can

have

anyone who

so wide

approaches

spectrum

them is

of

free

to

this wealth of possibilities what fits


disposition and life experience. "You

in
as

a psychiatrist", he said, "trained to observe and interpret


human behaviour, both normal and abnormal, would naturally
be able to find,

in the ancient texts,

meanings to which

people more concerned with linguistics,


wo~ld

phy, perhaps cultural history,


To

me,

the

criterion

for

grammar,

phi loso-

not be open."

accepting

some

sacred

text

as "inspired" has always been whether it allows for different

interpretations,

it were and
one's
is

find

horizon

valid

for

whether

widens
an

one

new meaning,
through

individual,

can

"grow

with

new revelations
life
also

it"

as

in it,

as

experience.
applies

of

And

what

course

to

the history of mankind.


Seeing the situation from this point or

view,

one can

claim that, what revealed itself to me in these scriptures


20 -

30 years ago,

is as true as what I

can see now,

and

it certainly may have a chance of appealing to those who,


on _t-heir way

through

similar stage.
"Alright" one
as

the ancient

role.
with

now

scriptures

But aren't
your

may

life,

you

experience

happen

argue,

"we

hr& e

to

link

psychiatry

arrived

admit

are concerned

trying
in

to

that

"time"

at

as
plays

far
no

this ancient wisdom


and

psychotherapy?

What about these? Haven't there been lots of changes during


these 20

30 years,

not only in

terms of theories,

but

also of therapeutic practice and even of the characteristic


features of symptomatology and epidemiology?"
This,

of

course,

psycho-analytical

is true!

approach

On the one hand the standard

is

now

seen

with

quite

bit

of scepticism; on the other hand a variety of new fashions


_ if not fads!
py,

for

use of

- has sprung up in the field of psychothera-

individuals

as well as for groups.

The increasing

psychopharmaca has not only transformed the atmos-

phere of mental hospitals,

but has actually brought psych-

iatry out of these' "museums", as they are sometimes called,


into the "c.ommity". And then, of course, there is "antipsychia try", according to which psychiatry has had its
day and should be discarded! The diagnostic distribution
within
has
of

the

out
30

tl:ie

sum

shifted.

of

by

the

but also

World
1)

for

however,

to

and

look

emotional

at

Classification

Health

Much
the

mental

only

International

years!

all

total

One 'has

the
of

Organisation

greater

concern

revisions

Diseases

during

for

disorders

two

worked

these

20

child-psychiatry,

psychiatric disorders of old age,

above

much more minute attention to the different

types of depression and a

remarkable expansion and differ-

entiation of the classification of drug-addiction or rather


"drug-dependence"
has

taken.

about

her

So,

clearly

why

show

read

professional

the

what

direction

this

shift

psychiatrist has written

experience

20,

10

or

even

only

5 years ago?
To
time
and

counter
when

this

started

psychiatric

been working
still

am

India.
1 956,

in

mostly

India

bringing

experience
for

referring

At the time when I

must

explain that at

together

Indian

in my writings,
about
to

the

philosophy
had already

10 years. What I was and

is therefore

psychiatry

in

arrived in this country in April

there was hardly anything worth calling "psychiatry"

outside
these

argument,

mental

"lunatic

hospitals,
asylums",

and
as

even

they

what

were

went

still

on

inside

called,

was

more "custodial care" than expert therapy. The introduction

---------

1) 8th Revision 1967, ICD 8; 9th Revision


10th Revision about to be introduced.

1978,

ICD

9.

of psychopharmaca came just at the right time to help


cope with the increase in mental and emotional disorders
- that emerged as a result of the rapid social and -~-u_l tural
~

~ormation

by which

India was

swept

-~long_ ~_fter

the

declaration _of ~depen~ence In some ways, as there was


not much resistance against change by an already firmly
established "psychiatric system" to be overcome, one was
able to jump ahead and while doing so, to skip certain
developments through which the West had passed and which
were later judged irrelevant or even harmful, in particular
the phase of "overhospitalisation" of the mentally ill.
one therefore plunged straight into "community psychiatry".
This meant avoiding the construction of new mental hospitals (though the existing ones provided less than 1 bed
per 30 000 of the population!) and developing instead
psychiatric departments in general hospitals - in particular in teaching hospitals - and, at the same time, widening
the scope of the existing psychiatric institutions by
adding out-patient services or expanding and strengthening
those already existing.
soon it came to be realised that the usual concentration
of medical services in big cities presented quite particular problems in the field of psychiatry, where early detection and treatment on the one hand and careful long-term
follow-up on the other play so important a role and where,
moreover, many of the morbid manifestations can only be
fully understood,
patient's

local

if one is thoroughly familiar with


background.

One

therefore

finds

the

that,

already in the mid-sixties, i.e. before the time the first


of

the

there

papers
were

contained

this

even

at

about carrying psychiatry out

to

including

discussions,

in

mental

health

services

volume
the
the
in

was

written!

government level,
periphery, e.g. by
district-hospitals
by creating mobile

or even health centres or possibly


units. Some of these facilities have since been implemented, at about the same time as or rather earlier than
in Western countries where people have been thinking about
offering the benefits of psychiatric services to peripheral, in particular "rural" areas "on the spot 11 and consequently

are

re-organising

their

mental

health

services

into a comprehensive network within small regions or sectors.


This
of

is,

however,

not

the

only

argument

in

support

the continuing and up-to-date relevance of what I have

written
years

about

ago.

psychiatric

What

one

experience

has

to

in

consider

India

is

gained

that

20

India has

an enormous population of which only just a thin uppermost


layer

or

sector

is

initially

touched

by

any

innovation

at the time it sets in. For its diffusion and percolation


down to what one often calls "the grass-roots level" many
years may be needed. This of course not only applies to
any chan9e......- in theories and practices ~oncerning mental

heal~~ se~vices, but also quite generally to the transformation

of

views,

beliefs,

attitudes

and

life-style

which

people in India are undergoing.


In 1967,
were
of

when the first

writ ten,

experience

could

with

two papers

already

look

in this collection

back

very "backward",

on

5 -

6 years

largely illiterate

population of Hindu mountain peasants ir. the Kumaon Hills


of

Ut tar

some
these
of

Pradesh.

idea

of

people

--

doctor.

level

and

also

-----the

"De~ak~laj f1a

paper entitled

the
At

------ -- -

The

of

development

shows

what

at which

expectations

11

gives

found

they had

time when this collection of papers

was first thought of 15 -

20 years later, I was once again

______

amongst illiterate (S) mountajn peasants, this time Kashmiri

Muslims,

and
..

what

~-

observed
..
..... and

--"----~------.

,_-~

experienced
amongst
....,_____,,.,.,....

~~---

~h~m- was~~rdly in any way different from what I had de - --....


scribed in 1967 ! The stages of "change" that have been
--~--

--..---

outlived in certain more emancipated sectors of the population

continue

only

distant

to

be

the

prospects

problem
for

of

the

the

masses

day
that

or

perhaps

still

have

11

to be '~bsough_s_t!P to P~_:_
A further reason why even what
t ry
psyc h ia
that I am
technique

1 5

not

not

likely

concerned

within

the

to

be

with

field

of

have

written

"out-dated"

any

so

scientific

psychiatry.

soon

theory

What

about

is

tried

-~~~---

--=-~~-----

.P~9fe~_?j.,ona~--~E.~ity is a
basic view
of life and
in particular
- .......... ._ --'-' .-, _...
...... -_-.- ...
l-.. of human ..e~~~e~
.
-.i--.-c--.-=-,,....,.~

which

though

valid

- . --- - -

t----~---c .....,,....._..,. ___ ..:3

in all

- ___ ....__,..._.._.....;c-....,___

-_..-...,;:a.....

..........

,...~-----~-:"

si tnations

-~;~--.- G'&-.~----..c.-..-.:-

could have- it's


.._.._, ...... _....,.

~-:.--

-y:-

...,._..aur- .,..,

(;. D ,~

riv":.~\
p_ ~ ..\W

'-\JO llO r
-, .ir- "r-a0
1,. 14 A. t:.i

or _k1r

to find in the ancient Indian scriptures and then to illustr ate_ w{t)1_g~l}lP~~-s. __ fJ:o.rn_.my

ff"'

"t:_

particular significance as

philosophical basis for

all

psychotherapeutic activi~y, and this, obvio~_~_ly '-~-~.s __ s_o,~~


thing that can persist, even if fashions in the classification of diseases and methods of treatment change.
Perhaps I may add another reason why in this case tnere
is no need to fear the criticism that it is "behind the
times" to publish "old articles": If one works in a pioneering situation, as I have done during the greater part
of 32 years in India, one often has to move ahead into
certain areas lon' before other people reach there. Again
and again I have .noted that what I had experienced and
reflected on at a particular time would emerge a~ a commonly discussed concern and a focus of general interest only
years later.
My going to India as a psychiatrist in 1956, for instance, was still a pioneering venture which few people would
have thought of and even fewer would actually have undertaken at that time. Nowadays, trips to India figure on
the

list

of

every

psychiatrists,

travel

attend

agency

and

conferences,

doctors,

give

including

guest-lectures,

go on research fellowships or even complete their "interneships" in Indian cities as easily as they would have travelled to the nearest town in their own countries 30 years
ago.
Some of my publications (not those contained in the
present volume!)
to what appeare9
"Transcultural

were amongst
in

the

late

Psychiatry".

the

earliest

fifties

In

under

continental

contributions
the

name

Europe,

of
the

wave of interest in this special field reached the psychiatric

profession

much

later

and

has

only quite

recently

started to find an echo amongst ~he general public. ~


thermore, fascination with Eastern philosophy and religion,
which was one of my foremost concerns already-b;fo;~-r;;v
ing for India, has nowadays become quite a fashion in
,,._ ... ~------ - - - - - - - -.. ."'---------~ c.----=- - .,. ~-------
-- ......-.~~rn countries.
In India too, while 20
30 years ago
the main ambition was to follow the West and thus, in
the field of psychiatry, to bring oneself "up to par"
with Western research and treatment methods, one has nowadays started to become.aware of one's own cultural heritag~

and the important role it could perhaps play in inspir-

ing psychiatric and in particular psychotherapeutic activity.

All eleven papers assembled in this book try to combine


insight into the eternal Truth laid down in the ancient
Indian scriptures with psychiatric experience; in terms
of the title chosen: the 11 resources 11 are traced back to
the "sources" and the latter again provide inspiration
for a better understanding and handling of the "resources".
Beyond this, however, they' have something else in common:
they were all written "on request", for special occasions.
On my own, just as a literary exercise or in a self-appointed

role

of

"spiritual

preceptor",

should never have

had the boldness to venture out with my ideas. If the


urge for "self-expression" is to be harmoniously blended
with the purpose of "communication 11 , one has to know for
what kind. of public one is writing or to what audience
one is supposed to speak! All the papers in this collection
are thus specifically tuned, written in response to someone's need and interest.
I have been extremely lucky in this respect: Even while
I 1 i ved in remote corners of India, far away from modern
civilisation, again and again requests for contributions
to some conference or for some publication reached me,
often in a quite surprising manner. The fact that each
of these papers owes its existence to some unique circumstances and thus has its story, also made me decide against
amalgamating the material contained in them into one single
"treatise".

Much

of

the

aliveness

and

spontaneousness

would then have been lost. It thus seemed to be more appropriate to allow each piece to keep it~ own identity and
to describe the situation in which it was written and
the occasion it was meant for. Where there were significant
"overlaps", they have either been eliminated in one or
the other instance or summed up. A synopsis allows to
compare and link up references to one and the same topic
made in more than one paper. An (S) in the text indicates
the terms and topics concerned.

One

question

was

how

to

arrange

the

sequence

of

the

papers. The most obvious method of course was to go according

to

tear

apart

At

the

first

dates

of

pieces

sight,

origin,

that

for

are

though

this

closely

instance,

it

was

related

seemed

likely

in

quite

plausible

that "Anxiety and Speech" should immediately follow


S'oka,

moha",

on

which

scrutiny, however,
_understood

and

preG~ding

the

gathering.
they

first

part

is

based.

11

Bhaya,

On

close

realised that in order to be properly

appreciated,
three

In fact

have

its

to

content.

it

papers

needed

written

the

"build-up"

earlier

for

the

of

same

this also applies to the other pieces:

all grown out of each other along with

my

own

process of maturation.
A deviation from a ~purely chronological order has therefore only been made as far as "Indian philosophy and Western

psychotherapy"

for

an

is

concerned.

encyclopaedia,

is

of

This

article,

factual,

and hardly refers to personal experience.


very
in

adequately

concise

serve

form,

to be spread o:it

as

an

presents

of

the

in greater detail

type

It can therefore

introductory

most

wri.tten

informative
summary

themes

which,

that

are

and with many variat-

ions, in the following pages.

Lastly a few words about those to whom I am most indebted for

encouraging me to formulate my views and experien-

ces, and to whom I thus wish to express my thanks:


Harold
Eastern
in
a

KELMAN

(New

thought,

making

York),

with

particular

psychotherapy

similar

during his

in

"wavelength"

deeply

and

his

Zen

keen

human

greatly

interest

Buddhism,

and

venture,

stimulated

in

also

was
my

on

work

repeated v"isits to India and by lively corres-

pondence in between.
Medard
amount
in

BOSS

of

1956
field

who

ultimately

responsibility

for

my

and

HEIDEGGER' s
the

(Zurich),

also

for

philosophy
of

my

getting

and

psychiatry

his

and

own

starting

great

out

to

India

acquainted

with

application

psychotherapy,

of the main sources of inspiration.

bears

has

of

Martin
it

been

to
one

Through him, his pupil

and later colleague Gion CONDRAU became aware of my special


interest and thus sought my collaboration for three of.
the publications he edited.
Finally,

wa~

in 1978, it

again due to Medard BOSS that

the organisers of the "Zurcher Gesprache", a small intercul tural and interdisciplinary group, with a bias towards
14th/15th century Italian hum~nism, but also towards HEIDEGGER's Daseins-philosophy, thought of inviting me to
one of their meetings. This was a welcome opportunity
to delve again
after a longish interval
into the
ancient Indian scriptures and bring out, in more detail
than in the earlier papers, important correlations, analogies and connections, not only with my own field of work,
i.e.

psychiatry,

but

also

with

other

burning

problems

of present-day life, -in particular also in the field of


education. The frequent trips to Europe through the further
invitations gave me of course a unique chance of "feeling
the pulse" and "sniffing the atmosphere" in the West and
thus enabled me to adjust my writing still more closely
to the needs and interests of those for whom it was meant.
I owe much to the generous sponsorship of the late Dr.
h.c.
and

V. . tANGEN

(Diisseldorf/Ascona)

encouragement

received

from

and to the stimulation

Prof.

E.

GRASSI

(Munich\

in ciur personal discussions and correspondence.


Amongst my Indian friends I wish to mention in particular Prof. R.L. KAPUR, originally my student, later a stimulating colleague who involved me in his attempts at finding
links between psychiatry and yoga at the National Institute
of Mental Health and Neurosciences and the Indian Institute
of Science (Center for Theoretical-Studies), both at Bangalore, and Dr. G.C. SINGH, Professor emeritus of the Department

of

Psychology

at

Gurukula

Kangri

Vishvavidyalaya,

Hardwar, and Editor of the journal "The Vedic Path", whose


main concern during the last few years has 'been to revive
interest in ancient Indian psychology and philosophy
amongst

teachers

and

students

of

University

Departments

of Psychology in India.
The
in

last

two

papers

to

their

response

seminars

they

arranged.

in

this

requests
In

collection were written


for

my

participation

contrast

to

the

other

in

papers

10

which

aimed

at

promoting

interest

of Indian philosophy in the West,


how,
I

towards the end of my

in

and

understanding

these two lectures show

long apprenticeship

in

India,

could dare to present to Indian colleagues and students

my

views

on

tradition

certain

and

at

aspects

the

same

of

their

time

own

to warn

phi losophica 1

them against

too

radical an enthusiasm for Western science and technology.


Though

first

8),

was

shorter version of

ready

for

print

as

this

early

volume

as

(papers
due

1 982,

to

various happenings which at that time appeared to be misfortunes,

it

had to be put aside.

hope of ever seeing it published.


198~,

to

after

meet

my

Dr.

return

Klaus

to

had almost given

Switzerland,

SEELAND,

up

It was only in November

at

that

that

time

happened

lecturer

on

the NADEL course (Postgraduate Course on Developing Countries)


my

at

the

ETH

experiences

in

in

Zurich.

India

At

only

first,

seemed

his

to

interest

relate

to

in

what,

in terms of the title of this book, one might call "resources".

Soon

with
I

and

found

about

am very

out

that he

is also deeply

concerned

"the sources" of

Indian wisdom.

Moreover,

fortunate

"resources"

with

to

have

regard

to

found
books

this

and

him a

man of

many

their

publication.

D. KANTOWSKY, of Konstanz

To him and to his associate Dr.


University,

in

owe the satisfaction and pleasure of seeing

collection

of

papers

at

last

presented

in

neat

volume within the framework of the series "Konkrete Fremde.


Studien zur Erforschung und Vermi ttlung fremder Kul turen."
Thanks

are

Research
Psychiatry,
word for
only

also

due

Department
Zurich,
he

Prof.
the

Ch.

SCHARFETTER

University

shares

For
my

this,

of

Clinic

who kindly consented to write a

this volume.

because

to

of

the

for
fore-

he

is

ideally suited not

interest

in

the

two

fields

of

study and experience which I have tried to bring together


in

this

volume,

but because he has

during

his, repeated

of

activities

my

visits

and

not

to

personally witnessed,

India,

least

some of

of

all

the

scenes

because

for

the past 15 years, he has been a true friend.


For the checking of the English text I am much indebted
to Fiona ROSS,
of

Konstanz

English language teacher at the University

(West

Germany)

and

for

the

final

typing

of

11

the

manuscript

to

Gabriella

PAPA,

student

of

psychology

at Zurich University.
My

thanks

i.nterest

their

road,

of

course

Switzerland,

country,
by

are

most of

all

who

and

also
have

to

due

all

faithfully

concern during all

my

late

those

in my

supported
years

those

me
ab-

father and my two sisters, but

also many other relatives, friends and colleagues.


in

Last,

but

their

role of "patients", by communicating to me their

innermost
ting of
my

not

thoughts

least,
and

wish

feelings

to

thank

within

of

human

nature

and

those

who

the sheltered set-

the psychotherapeutic relationship,

experience

all

my

have enriched

insight

into

life

in India.
First version
May 1982.

of

"Preface":

Baba

Darya

Din,

Kashmir,

Revised: March/April 1990, Carnage and Herisau, Switzerland.

13
ANCIENT INDIAN PHILOSOPHY AND WESTERN PSYCHOTHERAPY

Writing an article for an "encyclopaedia" means above


all offering a maximum of information on a minimum of
pages and yet avoiding its becoming a merely enumerating
catalogue. When asked, early in 1977, by Prof. G. CONDRAU
(Zurich) for a contribution on "Alt-indische Philosophie,
indische Religionen und Psychotherapie" for Volume XV
of Kindler's "Enzyklopaedie der Psychologie des 20. Jahrhunderts" ("Encyclopaedia of the Psychology of the 20th
Century") , which he was to edit under the title "Transzendenz, Imagination und Kreativitat" ("Transcendence, Imagination and Creativity"), I did my best to keep within the
narrow limits prescribed. Even then, I had to consent
to a few cuts of the text I submitted. This present English
translation gives the full version of the original article.
1 ) It can readily serve as an introductory summary, as
in its concise formulation it mentions most of the aspects
and questions which the remaining papers in this collection
will present in greater depth and detail.

Introduction

To

include

an

article

on

ancient

Indian

philosophy

and its analogies with Western psychotherapy in an Encyclopaedia of the Psychology of the 20th Century - or in this
present context to publish a whole volume of papers on
this subject
is something no one would have thought
of 20 - 25 years ago. Nowadays, however, in Western countries, one finds oneself almost flooded with Eastern teachings,

yoga

systems

and

India itself one notes,

meditatfonal

practices,

and

in

at the same time - after a phase

of blind imitation of the West!

some consideration for

own traditional values and serious attempts at developing


forms of psychotherapy based on them, in the hope that
these might be more appropriate for dealing with indigenous
psychiatric disorders. (See HOCH (7c,d,e), NEKI (9a,b,c).

1) "Enzyklopaedie der Psychologie des 20. Jahrhunderts".


Vol. XV. p. 214 - 222, Verlag Kindler, Zurich 1979.

14

one of
area

to

the first contributions in the German speaking


point

ancient

to

Indian

discovers

India"

is

the

by Medard BOSS

in German already
eines

psychotherapeutically

philosophy
in

Psychia ters") ,

but

( 3a)

(under

1959

which

useful

book

"A

ideas

which was

the

has

title

only

in

Psychiatrist
published

"Indienfahrt

recently

become

really popular. The author, who in 1956 and 1958 had spent
a

few months

orientation

in

India,

was

thanks

particularly

to

his

open

to

Daseins-analytical
the

ancient

teachings which in many ways come quite close

to

Indian
HEIDEG-

GER' s Daseins-philosophy (S).


As one of the next landmarks, one can name the conference of the "stuttgarter Gemeinschaft Arzt und seelsorger"
(Stuttgart
pastoral
with

association
care)

the

held

theme:

of
in

practitioners
summer

"Western

1967

therapy

in

at

and

medicine

and

Elmau

(Bavaria)

Eastern

wisdom"

Apart from representatives of Zen Buddhism and other Far. Eastern teachings which - earlier than their more original
Indian
in

sources

Europe

had

gained

( DUERCKHEIM

influence

{ 4a, b, c) )

and

on

psychotherapy

u. S. A.

the

{KELMAN

(8a,bc,d)), Western psychiatrists, philosophers and theologians who had gathered valuable experience
figured

amongst

the volume
now,
to

the

issued

on

speakers
the

during

basis

this

of

it.

in

India

meeting

(BITTER

also

and

in

(2)).

If

some 15 - 20 years later, one were to make reference

the

literature

in

this

marginal

field

of

psychology,

one would have to quote a sizable list of publications.

Healing and salvation


If
the

an

attempt

ancient

is

Indian

now

to

be

traditions

made
that

to
are

present

some

compatible

of

with

modern psychotherapeutic concepts and that also lend themselves

to

integration

into

psychotherdpeutic

practice,

one has to state right at the beginning that provided


one translates "psychotherapy" in its most orig ina 1 sense
as "care of the soul", all Indian philosophy and religion
can
Of

actually
course,

cared

for

in
and

be

considered

this
served

case,
is

as
the

not

meaning
"psyche"

just

"psychotherapy".
which

system

of

has

to

be

machinery

15

for smooth adjustment to the environment, but the "immortal


soul", the spark of the eternal light of the all-pervading,
all-producing creative power that dwells in each human
being even in his separate existence on this earth.

What

is primary, is the Universal, the Unseparated, the Imperishable,

the

Undifferentiated

All,

into

which

ultimately

all that has become will return again.


While thus, in the West, "psychotherapy" in general
aims at strengthening man in his individual worldly existence and in his coming to terms with his environment,
"care of the soul" according to the Indian tradition implies that individual differences and life conflicts, being
mere deceptive illusions, should be relegated to the background.

What

is to be sought is a

with the Eternal,


of

the

split

return to being "one"

the Universal, an overcoming of duality,

into

subject

and

object.

The

appropriate

method for this - in contrast to Western psychology, where


measuring, calculating and perhaps even experimental observation of manifest behaviour of an object are customary
is turning one's sight inward (S), a discovering of
the great silence, the awakening of forces that lead beyond
attachment

to

worldly

possessions,

beyond

all

passions,

into a sphere of widened and deepened consciousness. Thus,


exploration

of

the

individual

life-history,

tracing

and working through of traumatic experiences and complexes,


skilful management of phenomena of transference and resistance

or

even

behaviour

modification

through

of conditioning, play no part at all.


Of course the Indian teachings about
emotional

suffering,

the

the

drill

causes

of

the ways of overcoming them and the

relation between master and disciple also contain elements


that

are

comparable with

Western psychotherapy and that,

to a

certain extent, can be usefully integra.ted into psy-

choth8rapeutic practice; still, one always has to remember


that

they

are

not

meant

to

bring

healing

to

sick minds

and to achieve more effective coping with the environment


but

to

help

considered
philosophy,

as

person who
heal thy,

by

Western

but who,

seen

standards would
in terms of

be

Indian

is suffering from his isolation as a separate

human being and from his attachment to the world,

to find

16
salvation for his soul by transcending this very environment.

The teachings about the causes of emotional suffering


Similar
see

the

to

origin

particularly
for

FREUD,

FREUD

of

in

Indian
1

h uman

suff erii:ig

separation-anxiety

the

primary

mother's

body,

in

teachers,

anxiety

that

too,

and

While,

(S).

experience

is man's physical birth,


the

philosophical

more

however,

generates

anxiety

the separation of the child from

the

Indian

philosopher

perceives

and

understands "separation" as the condition of each creature


of being cut-off from the original "One". Again and again
the ancient scriptures point out that the slightest distance

and

differentiation

regard

to his

origin

of

in

the

the

individual

"All"

leads

creature
to

with

duality

and

thus to anxiety or fear "of the other" (e.g. TAITTIRIYOPANISAD

2, 7

( 11

c)) .

In

this

anxiety

from

which

there

is no escape within this phnomenal world, as one's remaining within

this

"play

of

Maya",

i.e.

"of

that

which

is

made", is unavoidably linked with the experience of duality


man,

in

his

experience

of

isolation,

again

seeks

for

some kind of one-ness; some relationship that might provide


a

feeling

of

being

take into account,


to build up,

are

securely .sheltered.
is that all these

quite

does

securities he

not

tries

impermanent, destructible and that thus,

not only one's clinging to that which


pleasant

What he

immediately

brings

is harmful and un-

suffering,

also the dwindling away or the sudden

but

loss of

that

apparently

valuable, enjoyable possessions or relationships ultimately


causes pain.

If, now, man is so blind~d that he considers

this earthly existence with its attachment to possessions,


human

relations,

only

reality,

for,

he

passions,

ideas

and

aspirations

the only thing worth desiring

falls

prey

to an

additional

evil,

and
by

as

the

striving

which

the

classical triad "anxiety, suffering and confusion" becomes


complete. (See HOCH (7a).
These three evils are to be overcome by one's recognising

them

world

and

as
by

the

temptations

striving

for

of
that

an

"unreal",

which

is

illu.sionary

more

permanent

17

and

more

his

concept

Indian
4,2

"real"
of

2).

Again

the

"pleasure

writings
b))

is

one

finds
i.e.

reminded

of

principle",

particular

"preyas",

(11

called

(in

one

if

FREUD and
in

ancient

UPANI~AD,

KATHA

and

2,1

differentiation bet\ieen the so-

the

pleasant,

that

which

brings
/

satisfaction to the senses, and on the other hand "sreyas",


the

"really

good",

Children and
good"

is

having

sought

turned

"insight"

that

f cols

after

their

into

which

is

reach out for

worth

the

by those who,

sight

their

inward

own

as a

and

impermanence,

"reality
course
of

thus

cannot

principle"
of

human

the

maturing

in

with

principle"

person,

society,

themselves,

even

be

"culture

development,

"pleasure

the

or

simply

in
this

recognised

equated

with

FREUD's
in the

principle" which,

and

to

take

which

interest

necessarily

if

gained

s"reyas" in Indian

gradually

the

"really

having

have
11

pursued.

the

consequence of

thus

the futility of all that is earthly. The


scriptures

being

former;

should

of

have
be

the

the

place

child

their

and

fitting

subordinate

to

possible only at the

cost of some hard compromises. "Sreyas", the "really good",


is

that

"V?hich

and monitor,
its

the

the

constant

innermost

conscience,

"atman"

connection

thanks
with

the

the

inner

ruler

to its origin in and

highest

power-of-being

- recognises as "good" and as "lasting in all eternity".


It
in

looks

life

as

there

if
are

the ancient
moments

of

Indian wise men knew that


conflict

in which

man

has

to decide between heeding the warning of this inner voice


and,

on

the

other

possessions,

fame,

warning

call,

he

hand,

following

love,

security etc.

may

possibly

his

have

immature wish for


If he follows

to

suffer

the

anxiety,

insecurity, loneliness and contempt. If, however, he allows


himself
world,
of

2)

the

to

be

carried

away

by

the

allurements

he will be committing "atmahatya"


soul 11

This

(S),

of

this

the "slaying

same term is nowadays used quite con-

What is to be understood by "real" in terms of Indian


philosophy in contrast to our Western concepts, will
be presented in detail later, in particular in the
paper "Criteria of Reality", pp. 225 ff ( S).

18

cretely

in

the

sense

of

"suicide".

It

looks

as

if

the

development of language has made the same misinterpretation


which

BOSS

( 3b)

poj nts

out

when

he

designates

suicide

and self-mutilating tendencies in his patients as a "bearing out in the wrong medium".
Psychotherapy devoid of moral values would at any rate
be

quite

unthinkable

course one has

to

according

to

Indian

tradition.

see these "moral values"

not

in

Of

terms

of ttie ethics of a Western society which, as a consequence


of

the

continuously

shifting

currents

of

fashion

and again have to be questioned and revised;

again

nor do they

correspond to a libertinistic "open morality" with perhaps


a

negative

much

existentialist

rather

fundamental

is eternal and

in

the

colouring.

of

is

implied

distinction between

deepest

sense

other hand, that'which is transient,


ionary;

What

"real"

is

that which

and,

on

the

perishable and illus-

between that which brings oneness with the origin

"all-that-is"

and

thus

also

unites

one

in

love

with

all other creatu~es and, on the other hand, all that d~vid
es

and

creates

permitted
to

to

discord

use

3),

some of

"Seirisverlassenhei t"

that

which,

HEIDEGGER' s
and

we

may

( 6)

be

leads

"Seinsvergessenhei t"

i.e. a condition of having abandoned,


been abandoned by!

if

terms

( S)

- or possibly having

or of having forgotten the ultimate

power of Being.
Ways of overcoming the three evils
The point in his life at which man perceives the warning
call

of

his

"atman"

can

lie

at

There are human beings who right

a skin, who

a~parently

hav~

quite

different

stages.

from birth have so thin

never -~?i~_lly

carried

out

3) In contrast to these originally Latin terms that have


to be used in English, German has its own, indigenous
words that bring out the essential contrast between
the "one" and the "two", the duality, i.e. "entzweien"
"to divide into two" and "Zwist" (= "quarrel, discord"), both obviously derived from "zwei" ( = "two),
just as in Sanskrit the two terms "dvaita" (= "c;:luality")
and "dve~a" (= "hate, aversion") or "dvi~" (= "enmity,
quarrel) also directly stem from "dva", i.e. "two".

~ir

separation from the "All",

they feel attracted by that


to shy away from the world.

~
the

( s).

( 1 0) )

way

approximately
"brahmacarya"

or

time

the

to

towards

turn

in
then

worth

the

having

in

his

the eternal,

having

after

youth
in

learned

so-cal led

the

worldly

as

citizen.

of l.ife.

period

duties

involutional
entangled

G.

of

as

in busi-

'JJ
,.,OJ,...
pf>'...., ,.

This more or less

t,..A/Z 5
some[;~$ fPM~ i
remain jf M ''fUJil<; _ 1

JUNG has postulated

Some hear "the call'_' at


period;

others again

world~. concerns right~

in

A premature breaking open

--~-~

person should seek

however,

father or mother of a family,

ha~f

blind,

death.

eternal and tend


(PATANJALI 4 t 1 and 1 I 1 9 in

to what in the _west C.

betore

is

decade,

and

his

i.e.

the _second

~e~_!_,.~z;d
to

phase

profession and

corresponds

f~r

--

sixth

abstention

proved

householder,
ness

his

in

and

"g:hast:ha"

inward,

leads

that

continence

Normally,

that already in childhood

which

"jR r

forces,~/

to spiritual

r:-oflii

ulf' 1

/\~
/
~f}(,r- .St:

'f/A ,.

perhaps under the influence of drugs, perhaps due to loss


of a protective relationship, may in certain cases bring (JJ

cf. (cX1

,-s/J

'

{)

1
lb"" \~
'
about a mental disorder; on the other hand, however, this ll~~6ll' qP - .

f
T'JO 7.;.f ~
J>(Jd f-' ~ (
becomes iJC 1lif
0ftJ5 \

may also happen if a person refuses to follow the challenge


at the time he perceives it.
.The moment at

possible,

the

supposed

to

which this opening up of oneself

degree
be

the

incarnations.

Certain

"being

the

thus",

present

existence,

particular
his

path

falling

unifying

he

prey

links

to

which

.
f ruit

one

of

efforts

differences

personality

decisive

has

to

to

with

the

world

his

origin.

human
the

in

the

being

in

his

of

the

to

to

reach

(The

earlier

choice

order

and

are

it,

constitute

for
in

in

made

which

of

are

take

succeeds

escape

from

again

original

the

meaning

of "yoga" is "link, connection, union"!)


Accordingly, not only in the most ancient Indian scriptures,
of

but even more in later commentaries, a great variety

methods

are

recommended

by

which

man,

according

to

his nature and his level of self-realisation, can approach,


~eady

in

this

life,

the

aim

of

becoming

one

with

the

Ultimate.
One finds,
all

in

however,

for instance, in the BHAGAVAD GITA (1)

Chapter
unlike

14)
the

sketching out of
customary

typologies

(above

typology which,
in

the

West,

~.!:~13 ~
c'll

/vt~f.J

20

does not only take into account certain physical and mental
criteria,
of

but has

the elements

which

as

that

Ayurveda

also

its

foundation

are

basic

builds

up

the

varying

for

all

its

medical

mixture

creation

and

system.

on
One

has to be careful . not to misunderstand the term "element


"gu~a")

(=
/

Jlj.S

1~

"#76V ~

j,/J-,,114::_)

,;J jt.{l)/>

(:1~..i:Jl.AyP,
f!l-ii

c.

<;,cJ

II

(S)

ciple".

"tamas"

material

sense

as

"substance"

the

heavy,

grossly

material,

or

"prin-

earth-bound

element stands in contrast to "sattva", the light, subtle,


spiritual principle that aims upward. The force that ties
and holds these two together, but is also responsible
for their transformation, is "rajas", the fiery, dynamic
Principle.

..jp~)

in a

c h emical
element", what is implied is much rather a

11

of

In

modern

"matter",

terminology,

"energy"

and

the

one

might

forces

that

thus

keep

speak

the

two

in equilibrium, but also in constant transformation. Accord.ing to the prevalence of one or the other of these
ments",

the

person

concerned

is

characterized by

"ele-

certain

Physical and mental qualities. Accordingly, he has a predilection


for

for

certain

types

of

certain style of life.

food

and,

quite

generally,

More than others,

he

risks

falling prey to certain weaknesses and vices, but also


to certain illnesses; on the other hand, corresponding
to this very particular make-up of his nature, appropriate
ways

and

practices

are

open

to

him

for

living

in

this

World so that he can come closer to the eternal.

,-:-f~N7~

{jp,

IJY ~
S

/."

fJ-?Of::f'~ b

yo {.

5G~7..J

f!7JG.

The

People

C:f

~ferent
of

life,

parti cplar

are

probably

in the West.

branches

on

the

serve

or

(ha ~ha

body
a

that

and

at

sufficiently

broad

following approaches:
that

type

yoga

are

suitable

particular

known

for

stage

nowadays

even

In the Indian scriptures one finds different

classifications.
over

of

lines,

one can distinguish

the

systems that aim at perfect mastery


yoga

deepening

the development of

of

and

also

the

inner

refined and

pra~a

yoga> ,

view

others

( dhyana

sharpened

yoga)

intellectual

capacities (jnana yoga). On the other hand there are paths


on

which

one-ness

with

the

Ultimate

is

to

be

reached

through loving worship of a deity (bhakti yoga) or selfless


action

in

disciplines
almost

this

world

(karma

bring about

imperceptibly,

yoga).

While

transformation

others

are

some
very

of

these

gradually,

characterized

by

the

21

activation of slumbering forces that can take a quite


drama tic course (e.g. 11 kui:<;IalinI yoga", see GOPI KRISHNA
(5)). Not all Indian paths of sal~ation require a complete
turning away f~om the world. There are teachings that
see the best chance for a profound transformation and
a most thorough purification in the very situation of
remaining in the world and actively resisting its temptations or even in deliberate skilful use of worldly enjoyments, so as final~y to transcend beyo~d them.
Unfortunatel_y, 'this last-mentioned possibility
as
11
11
pre~ibed by Tantric Yoga - is often misuse~ nowadays,
as it is understood merely as an encouragement to engage
in unbridled licentiousness. The achievements which a
yogi may gain on his way,

as

"side-effects" as it were,

as e.g. robust health, physical resistance and agility,


but also the capacity for deepened intuition or even for
extra-sensory perception and the development of supernatural forces may also freq~ently meet with misunderstanding and misuse. The one who remains faithful to the ancient
Indian scriptures, will know that all these results of
a yogic discipline can and should not be an aim in themselves,

but

that,

dissipations

and

if at all,
others.

used

on

the

contrary,

they are regarded as

temptations that are to be overcome or,


only

by

way

of

charitable

service

to

Master and disciple

What

all

ancient

rather claim as

an

of

and

purification

guidance

by

an

scriptures

not

only

recommend,

indispensable condition for


of

expert

becoming one with


master,

the

"guru".

the
If,

but

any path
"All",
in

is
this

present context, we take a look at ancient Indian philosophy within a psychological-psychotherapeutic framework,
a comparison between the relationship of this teacher
to his disciple and that of a psychotherapist to his patient or his training candidate suggests itself. In India,
this
The

comparison has recently been made by NEKI


subject

is

already

touched on by BOSS

( 9a, b, c)

( 3a), and the

present author too has pointed to it in a few publications


(HOCH ( 7 a, b , d ) )

( S)

22

If,
as

in

it

certain

were

father,

texts,

one

reads

"everything"

for

his

mother,

brother,

that

friend,

at

child,

but eventually also his protector,


one

at

first

sight

think

"guru"

which

times

deity,

might

the

disciple,

perhaps

even

his world,
of

is

means
his

phenomena

of

"transference" (S) in the sense of Western psychoanalysis.


The Indian "guru's 11 concern, however,

is not in the least

to be on the look-out for such transferences and gradually


to point them out to his disciple, while he himself remains
inwardly at a cautious distance.
under
or

certain

the

circumstances,

other

of

these

The

enter

roles,

"guru" will
completely

allowing

the

rather,

into

one

aspirant

to

see and use him, the "guru", exactly in the way that corresponds to his immature needs. The exercises and disciplines imposed on the aspirant, whichaccording to his parti---------- -- cular nature may be of a quite different type and which
at times may appear t;-;_mply quite brutal_f_r~~trati~~

--:--___

or even rejection, will, ~i thout any need -i'or--an "iriEe_r_~~;=


tation" of the "transference" bring about a gradual __ di~so-=
lution of
ship,

these

immature

which also has

attachments.

The

to be overcome on

last

relation-

the path

towards

non-duality, is purely that of a teacher who imparts wisdom


and his disciple who is out to find spiritual illumination.
The
are

term

"guru" -

frequent

in

"the one who


very

leads

beautiful

"guru".

in one of

Sanskrit

the plays on words

is

from

sometimes

darkness

characterization

Nevertheless,

what

may

to

of
be

light".
the

just

which

int::_::-.I?:::ted
This

is

function
as

as

of

important

a
a

for

him is to protect, with great wisdom, his pupil from premature

irruption of

unaccustomed
light,
on

his

spiritual

exposure

to

and to allow him,


path

only

to

"guru"
which
the

has
the

best

intuitive
aspirant

way

that

she1 ter

overwhelming

extent
this

arrived
lead

he

can

him

concerning
in

his

onward

him

and

from

blinding
to advance

reasonably

is of course

knowledge

has
can

to

at any given moment,

the

with. A prerequisite for

an

forces,

cope

that the true


the

point

development
from

it,

and

at
and
at

the same time also adequate insight into whether he himself


can be the appropriate guide on this path.
While,

for the Western psychotherapist,

it is a

matter

23
to be
pay

taken for granted that his student or patient will

him

lo es

often

not

accept

him

to

other

the

very

grant

person

principle

high

anything

certain services

quest
some

demand

the genuine "guru"

himself.

He

may

from his disciple,

assistance

in

"The

fee!

for

need.

"guru"

to

What

a
is

of

course

or he may re-

fellow-aspirant
valid,

or

however,

is

should

never demand anything


from his disciple; the disciple on the other hand, should
be willing to give him everything." Above all, if the
disciple takes the relationship seriously, he owes absolu te
obedience to his "guru".
1

Sometimes one actually comes across the formulation


11
that the "guru
imposes his own mind onto his disciple
or

that

ce".
an

"he becomes

In

the disciple's inner ruling conscien-

modern terminology,

instance

of

one would probably call this

"imprinting"

or

identification,

though

this implies a much more superficial process. At any rate,


the

influence

does

not

the

fit

avoidance

of

"guru" exerts on his disciple certai:ily

in with

the

keeping

of

cool

authoritarian directi veness,

distance,
as

the

the

Western

analyst practices it in his relationship with his analysand.

The

Eastern

an authority,

"guru"

can

permit

himself

to appear as

as he neither figures as the representative

of some "school" established __t:L hu~~n___!?_~in_~_s, n_.9! _.?':~_:


-----------.
he wish to enforce upon the pupil his own personality,
-------- ---- ---- --- --~---------------but he acts as the mediator of the Ultimate One, in which
-------~ ..
-------~ -- ~
his disciple also has his roots and his home even if,
~t_;-tha.t point, h~--h~""s--~~~thaa-th~ necessar;-~~d';;-;t-~nd:...

--------,

...

--

ing

----

and a-c:c-e-5~---t~--this~th.~-Th"i~.. -~~~~--tt;at--by-"hfs

tor

so-to-speak 11penetratTng--Tnto___the
wi 11

not

awaken

in

in

any

him

way

that

violate

which

is

or

disciple",
suppress

already

the

~im,

present

in

"guru"

but

only

him,

as

it were, in slumbering condition.


Anyone
kno.ws
only

from
give

teaching,
forces or,
as

forces

who

has

his

ever

own

had

exper~ence

instructions

about

contact with a '"guru",

that

the

exercises

latter
and

but also offers the disciple a


expressed

i~

other words,

connecting channel,
to

close

flow

towards

does

impart

not
wise

gift of his own

that he lends himself

through which he allows eternal


the disciple

in

form and at a

24

rate that is conducive to his spiritual growth.


That the genuine "guru" has to be a perfect human being
himself,
to his

that,
own

in

his

"guru"

turn,

and a

he

whole

owes

his

lineage

transformation

of

teachers,

and

also that he is expected to demonstrate in actual practice


all he teaches, are matters that can be taken for granted.
Some texts actually prescribe,

not only for the spir i tua 1

preceptor, but also for the physician,


ions
his

and

abilities

physical

that

heal:\th,

make

high

including

certain qualificat-

demands

not

absence of all

ions, and on his personal hygiene,

only

on

malformat-

but also on his charac-

ter, which must be blameless in all situations 0 life.


With

regard

to

the

latter

postulates,

one

gains

the

impression that many of the Indian "gurus" who have gained


popularity in the West no longer respect the ancient

pre-

cepts. While formerly the achieving of "occult powers"


("siddhi") often became a temptation that led astray from

t~a~- towards true salvation, it appears nowadays tha~


pride of having become a teacher well-known and -~J>prec~-~ted __
in the West,

ha~~_._!;2ecome

the comfortable style of life,


on the way
~lead

or:~J-ea=?!...

and the corresponding affluence


towards

fuller

gI_eat_o.bs.ta.cj..es

dev_~~-oEmemt. _.?.r.!9.. ~~y

spiritual

to "back-sliding" on th_e p~th.


Aims and effects of the Indian path

This

kind

of

aberration,

'~gurus"

of the modern

which

one

can

note

in

some

or rather "pseudo-gurus", certainly

tends to confirm a prejudice raised against Indian philosophy and religion in Western quarters much earlier,
that
is

in

own
an

the aim of meditation and all


fact

always

salvation and
argument

only to the
to

the

the

he

life of
the

of

to

promote

this

view,

re-incarnation

( S),

directed
true

on

of coming close

the

him or

conditions
rather

of

"saints",

which

but

according

to his
his
he

to

so

As
not

also
which

instance

is

that

he

salvation

if

life
has

one's

point

fate within certain limits,

chance

at

al truism.

critics

human being in any particular

accepts

imposed

selfish,. only

"escapism" 0f many Indian

by his

best

humbly

been

favour

theory of

laid down
has

in

very

unlikely

namely

religious disciplines

that

have

deserved

by

25

his

previous

the

way

really

have

burden

of

hand,

incarnations,

prescribed
the

his

for

and

him.

possibility

fate

by

thus

patiently

Accordingly,

of

relieving

no

follows

one would

someone of

some act of charity.

the

On the other

if the theory of re-incarnation is not misunderstood

simply in terms of passive fatalism,


one's

means

to

exert

favourable

it lies within everyinfluence

on his

own

future, right into the shaping of his further incarnations.


Thus,

any

"good

deed"

would

simply

stand in the service

of one's own perfection and salvation. One actually finds


texts (e.g. B~HADARA~YAKA UPANI~AD 2, 4 verse 5 ff ( 11 a) )
which quite plainly point out that all relations of man,
all his

thinking and doing,

more

less

no

or

affect

Wf!Y

his

in

dream,

the

the

but

same

real

much

only serve his own Self ( s),

way in which a

fate

rather

of

the

simply

dreamer can in

figures

involved

~hem

uses

as

in

actors

that present his own inner drama. These teachings, however,


certainly
from

do

good

not

deeds

stimulate

in

he

One

does.

him

will

magnanimous

will,

have
or

the

purpose

of

self less-action,
humble
thus

dispenser

attitude

not
of

on the contrary,

man

back

merely wish

to

with respect to what

imagine

gifts

keeping

but

oneself

and

proudly

charities,

as

but

one

realise that one's own thanks are

due to the needy for giving one an opportunity for perfecting one's own capacity for self-sacrifice.
For the average human being, an aim well worth striving
for is the challenge of the BHAGAVAD GITA ((1 ), in particular Chapter 12)

that one should reach the stage at which

one exper~ences suffering and joy of other beings as one's


own.

It

comes

love

for

quite

one's

close

fellow

them

to

do

unto

the

Christian

command

of

human beings and also to the more

pragmatic Western precept:


wish

to

"Do unto others wh.a t

you".

you would

The postulate for developing

the necessary sensitive openness and perhaps even vulnerability which this

implies actually goes even beyond these

Western ideals.
The
of his

human
~

tically,
or

being,

however,

who

through

"taking

care

soul" has become one with the "All", quite automa:...


----~---

without

remaining

---

----------=-----~--.._.__,__

having

conscious

to strive much
6f

sch

- ,. ,. __

--~-"'

,. . ,_, _ .~-c;c.oc

--""-

-=---~

in this direction

endeavours,

attains

the

26

capacity

of

for them.
respect

taking

care

of

others

and

What is perhaps best known

is

the

of

"being

there"

in the West in this

Buddhist characterization

of

the

"bodhi-

sattva", the saint or wise man who renounces his own sal vation,
to

though it lies within easy reach,

help

other

be.inqs

who

are

still

so as to be able

wanderinq

about

to

find the right way. Already in the ancient Indian scriptures,

however

on

which

based

to a great extent -

cealed

and

scriptions

ultimately
~ne

Buddhist

finds,

hardly

mentioned

by

of the

perfected

human

wisdom

is

though rather con-

later

commentators,

being

as

"man

defor

the others". The terms used will be presented and commented


upon in some of the papers that follow (S).
Even

if

this

brief

sketching

out

uf

ancient

Indian

philosophy in its correlations with Western psychotherapy


can hardly do justice to the whole wealth of Indian scriptures
i_!_

and

m~y

the

living

tradition

aerived

from

them,

have shown that the two areas have numerous points

~!_C:_<?ntact.
!10~,

still

they

In the future perhaps,


may

lead

to

greater

more

than

reflection

is the case

about

ancient

Indian teachings and thus to a deepening of psychotherapy


that _"'.'ill make i t more genuinely "care of the soul".

27

LITERATURE
(.1 ) BHAGAVAD GITA:

Edition used: "s~rmad Bhagavad


Gl.ta", Sanskrit-English parallel
text, ed. by Swami Vireswarananda.
Shri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore,
Madras; and: "The Song of God",
translated by Swami Prabhavananda
& Christopher Isherwood, London,
Phoenix House, 1947.

(2) BITTER, WILHELM


(Ed. ) :

"Abendlandische Therapie und ostliche Weisheit". Stuttgart, Ernst


Klett, 1968.

(3) BOSS, MEDARD:

a) "Indienfahrt eines Psychiaters". Pfullingen, Verlag Neske,


1959.-English translation: "A
Psychiatrist discovers India."
Oswald Wolff, London, 1965.
b) "Psychoanalysis and Daseinsanalysis". New York/London, Basic
Books Inc., 1963.

(4) DUERCKHEIM, KARLFRIED, GRAF VON:

a) "Im Zeichen der grossen Erfahrung". Miinchen-Planegg, Otto


Barth, 1951.
b) "Hara, die.Erdmitte des Menschen". Miinchen-Planegg, Otto
Barth, 1956.
c) "Psychotherapie, Initiation,
Glaube - Ost und West in uns."
In BITTER, 1968, (see above (2)).

(5) GOPI KRISHNA,


PANDIT:

"Science and Kundalini". In


"Seminar on Yoga, Science and
Man", New Delhi, Central Council
for Research in Indian Medicine
and Homeopathy, 1976.

(6) HEIDEGGER, MARTIN:

"Ueber den Humanismus ' 1 Frankfurt


a/M., Vittorio Klostermann, 1947.

( 7 ) HOCH, E. M. :

a) "Bhaya, Shoka, Maha", in BITTER


(see above (2)), 1968. English
translation in this volume, pp.
29 ff.
b) "Der Traum: eine Welt - Die
Welt: ein Traum?" in CONDRAU GION
(Editor): "Medard Boss zum siebzigsten Geburtstag", Bern, Verlag
Hans Huber, 1973. English translation in this volume, pp. 131 ~f.
c) "Pir, Faqir and Psychotherapist". In "the human context",
Vol. VI, 1974, No.3, pp. 668-677.
d) "Process'in Instant Cure".
In: "Psychotherapeutic Processes".
Proceedings of Seminar held at

28
i'----...").(7) HOCH, E.M.
(contd.):

NIMHANS; Bangalore, Oct. 1978.


Published
at National Institute
of Mental Health & Neuro-Sciences,
Bangalore. (Editors: M. KAPUR,
V.N. MURTHY, K. SATHYAVATHI,
R. L. KAPUR) , 1979.
e) "Psychotherapy for the Illiterate". In "New Dimensions in
Psychiatry". Vol. II, ed. by
ARIETI SILVANO and CHRZANOWKSI,
GERARD. New York, John Wiley,
1977, p. 75-92.

r
--:::::i

(8)

KELMAN, HAROLD:

a) "Psychotherapy in the Far


East". In MASSERMAN J. and MORENO,
J.C.: "Progress in Psychotherapy",
New York, Grune and Stratton,1959.
b) "Psychoanalytic Thought and
Eastern Wisdom" in MASSERMANN, J.:
"Science and Psychoanalysis",
Vol. III, 1960, New York, Grune
and Stratton, 1960.
c) "Oriental Psychological Processes and Creativity". "American
Journal of Psychoanalysis", Vol.
23, 1963, pp. 68-84. New York.
d) "Helping People. Karen Horney' s
psychoanalytical approach." New
York, Science House, 1971.

(9)

NEKI J.S.:

a) "Guru-chela relationship: the


possibility of a therapeutic paradigm." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Vol. 43, 1973,
pp 7 5 5 - 7 6 6
b) "A re-examination of the guruchela relationship as a therapeutic paradigm." Int. Ment. Heal th
Res. Newsl~tter, Vol. 16, 1974,
pp. 2-8.
c) "An examination of the cultural
relativism of dependence as a
dynamic of social and therapeutic
relationships." Br. J. Med. Psychology, Vol. 49, 1976.

- ~ ( 1 0 ) TA I MN I , I K :

(11) UPANISADS:

-"The Science of Yoga". Commentary


on the "Yoga-Sutras" of PATANJALI
in the Light of Modern Thought".
Madras, 1961, Theosophical Publishing House.
Edition used: Sanskrit-English
parallel texts with commentaries
of Shri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore, Madras.
a) BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD: 1951.
b) KATHOPANISAD: 1956
c) TAITTIRIYOPANI~AD: 1958.

29
BHA YA,

SOK.A, MOHA

Anxiety, sorrow and delusion in the ancient Indian scriptures and their significance for the origin of illness
This paper is closely associated with the next one,
i.e. "Desakalajna". The first drafts of both were worked
out during 2
3 weeks of winter vacation in December
1966/January 1967, spent at Almora, where ever since 1962
I had occupied a smal 1 cottage up in the forests, first
continuously for about 1 1/2 years, later only durirr'g
holidays or in between different assignments. It was there,
facing the Himalayan snows, that I first studied the Upani~ads
and other ancient Indian scriptures with persistent
effort. The notes which I had compiled during these studies, eventually a whole system of index-cards, came in
very handy for the task I was facing, namely to prepare
a lecture based on the ancient Indian scriptures for a
'meeting of the "Stuttgarter Gemeinschaft Arzt und Seelsorger" with the theme: "Western Therapy and Eastern Wisdom"
and, at the same time, to write a contribution for a volume
on "kairos" which Prof. Harold KELMAN (New York) was planning.
In ancient Indian tradition it is said that one has
no right to teach or proclaim what one is not implementing
in one's own life. With regard to this, I was put to a
strange test just after working intensively on these two
papers:
At the end of my vacation I travelled back to New Delhi,
where at that time I was working as Visiting Professor
of Psychiatry and Head of a newly established "Department
of Psychiatry" at Lady Hardinge Medical College. On reaching the small town after about an hour's walk I had to
settle some matters with my landlord. Meanwhile my servant
kept my seat in the bus occupied and also placed my luggage
on its roof. He assured me that he had found a safe place
for it and that it would be well covered against the
threatening snowfall or rain. After the bus had rattled
down the steep mountain road for a few kilometers, a change
in the purring of the engine indicated some trouble, and
soon it. came to a complete standstill. Fortunately, as
we were close to a major bus-stop, a substitute vehicle
could be provided without too much delay, and the passengers were asked to board it. An icy wind was blowing,
and one was eager to settle down in the second bus as
quickly as possible. Still, I remembered to check whether
my luggage was also being duly shifted, and saw a coolie
lifting my "holdall" (a big canvas wrapper used to hold
the "bedding", which at that time was still a "must" for
travellers on Indian railways,
at least in the cold
season!) onto the roof of the substitute bus. As the roof
of the stranded vehicle appeared to be empty, I concluded
that my second piece of luqgage, a fairly big sui tease,
had already been transferred. All the same, an awkward
doubt and restlessness kept bothering me during the 4
5 hours' journey down the rocky slopes and round the
sharp hair-pin bends.
As we were of course late, there was no time to waste
at the railway station down in the plains. The little

30

metre.,.gauge train was already impatiently puffing and


whistling. To my horror, I noted that my sui tease. was
not amongst the pieces of luggage which were unceremoniously thrown down from the roof of the bus! I reported the
loss to the manager of the bus-service and suggested that
he should ring up his counterpart in Almora. The telephone
was "out of order"! .Snowstorm? Strike? Who knows! At any
rate, nothing to be done. Breathlessly I rushed into the
first-class compartment where I had booked a seat just
as the train started to p~ll out of the station. Opposite
me, a middle-aged gentlemarr, obviously a senior government
official "on tour", had already occupied his seat. Of
course, as usually happens in Indian trains, we soon got
involved in a conversation and I had occasion to explain
to him why I had entered the compartment in such haste
and exhaustion. Fortunately he was very sympathetic and
even offered to ~elp me by trying to ring up the Almora
bus station on his arrival in the. district town and railway-junction for which we were heading. I wrote down the
message I wanted to convey, including the number of the
stranded bus and the name and address of a neighbour who
was likely to come down to New Delhi in his jeep within
a few days.
Though this opened up only a very remote chance of
getting back my suitcase, which contained not only my
typewriter, an expensive camera, my cheque book and other
valuables, but - , most precious of all!
the two manuscripts I had completed during my vacation anc all the
books and notes that had supplied material for them, I
was able to calm down, so that, after changing trains
and bidding farewell to my kind companion at the junction,
I even managed to find as much sleep as one can hope to
get on a night 1 s journey in an Indian train. After all,
I told myself, what is the u~e of writing about detachment
from worldly possessions, about renouncing ambitions and
fame, if one cannot get over the loss of a suitcase? If,
what I have. tried to express in these two manuscripts
is really meant to reach the public, they will not remain
lost. If I cannot get them back, along with my other belongings, I will have to take it as a sign that the time
was not ripe yet - and perhaps I myself not mature - for
formulating my interpretations of ancient Indian wisdom.
I arrived in New Delhi next morning with only eight
rupees in my pocket. There was time to go to the bank
as there was still. one day of my vacation left. With the
help of a "loose cheque", I managed to get some money
and to make the necessary purchases to get the household
going. The day after, I had to start my work at the
hos pi ta.l again. I must say that I managed to put some
good concentration and concern into it. When I came back
to my quarters for lunc.h, I found a telegramme waiting
for me. It read: "Found your sui tease; coming to Delhi
tomorrow" and was signed by the neighbour whose name I
had indicated to my kind fellow-traveller. In the evening,
the sui tease actually was brought and, though it had not
even been locked, none of its contents were missing. It
had remained concealed under the tarpaulin cover on the
roof of the bus, where my servant had tucked it so carefully into a safe corner, and obviously it had not been
touched until, 24 hours later, my neighbour,
informed

31

by the bus-station manager on the strength of the telephone


from the district-town in the plains, had lifted it off
on his way down in the jeep. Joy and relief were of course
great, and also the certainty that, in view of this, what
I had written deserved to be heard or read.
About four months later, while I was in Europe to attend
the Conference at Which "Bhaya 1 SOka 1 moha 11 WaS to be
presented, all my "valuables", including the ones that
had been in the "lost" suitcase, were stolen from my quarters in New Delhi! But what was "really valuable", had
been saved and can now be offered to a wider circle of
readers.

1. Choice of the subject

For this contribution, which is devoted to an encounter


between East and West 1 ) , I have chosen a subject which,
at

first

sorrow

sight,

or

may

appear

suffering,

to

be very trivial.

delusion

are

after

all

Anxiety,

problems

of

human life with which Western man is sufficiently acquainted,

so

that,

in

order

to

explore

and

explain

them,

he

will hardly need the help of the ancient Indian scriptures.


Against

this,

one

might

argue

that

an

"encounter",

even if it is to serve the purpose of pointing out differences, c~2f11.Y_ .take- p_l~~~-- ~n ~a_ ___ ~mo~_._gro_~nd. Thus, i f
we find something that, irrespective of the coordinates
of

time

and

space,

is common to all mankind,

this would

perhaps be the subject most suited to bring to light certain fundamental features of human existence.

---

____

To me at any rate, on the basis of my study of ancient


.. ---- .
_____ ..
Indian scriptures as well as my clinical experience as
a---psychiatri"st - i~-~--India, it seems th~t---g;i;g~kt:7
----~--~--~----

.-~------_,

~nci~nt Inai;;;:~ -t-e~cli.i~g~-~an only be helpful in recognising


~~;y- ~es-s-entiai" ---;~a--~-;iginal f eatu;~s whi-ch-~---t~e West I
during-- the- last

__

rew yea-rs7'

___...--.-~-----

in __ IiartilJ.-lar, as a cc.~-~quence

~f --1~~-- -i:);;~i;5::~naTyti~~i- (s)

view

of -

m~~;have

again

~-;:n ~~disc~v-~red- -f-r~~- ~;;;;;~;a-th-. th-~ -crust of customary

1) The

paper was written for the meeting of the "Stuttgarter Gemeinschaft Arzt und seelsorger" in summer 1967
at Schloss Elmau
Bavaria with the theme "Western
therapy and Easte;n wisdom". Published in "Abendlandische Therapie und ostliche Weisheit", ed. by W. BITTER,
Klett, Stuttgart 1968, pp. 234 - 160.

32
~~inking
ahd the average experien~e of every-day life.
Unfortunateix, these are -A~--~t~~~-_:;~~~~e time truths that
nowad_~Y,-~_,}.!L}.E~_lts~_~f, ~z:id~r the pressure of increasing

~t;~F_l}is,~~!._cz.!}_, ~_:r:~_jr;i C!.'!!~5f.~1:".~.<:)_f becoming obliterated.

My main concern was, through the study of some original


Sanskrit. texts,

to

follow

up

the

image

of

man

in

the

ancient scriptures free of the many distortions introduced


by

later tradition

in this pro_cess,
by

which

for

(and even more by translations! )

to devote special attention to the evils

mankind

avoiding

and,

is

a.nd

troubled

overcoming

and

the

them.

means

It was

recommended

my

hope

that,
-~-~

while

doing

so,

c:::o_f!!~- -~-~<?-~.~--

might

t~~t -;f'~~t_ h~4>-~~E.,_:-;~~-i~~---~t

some

....

formulations

philosophical

foundation

~5'E~~P~Y~shg_~h-~~P~.J:.ic ~understlr:td_ing
~n9ian

and practice amongst


patients and perhaps even for people in the West.

--~~--_::---.:;,,,_-_,

Futhermore,

..~-,

c_-::::

hoped

.--

_--~

that

might

be

able

to

hand

back

to my colleagues and students in India part of their own


heritage, after its having regained its value by appreciation from

the West,

as a

token of gra ti tu de for

al 1

that

I myself have receivedduring many years in India.


Within the framework

of

this paper,

will only be able

.I

to share a small part of all the wealth I have discovered,


and even the little I

can present,

will necessarily only

be the somewhat clumsy sketch of an amateur philosopher.

Eveu those from the West who have been acquainted only
very
and

briefly
religion

and

superficially

will

know

that,

with

in

Eastern

stark

philosophy

contrast

to

the

ambitious and demanding claims of Western man tq enjoyment,


achievement

and

recognition

in

this

material

world,

one

of their essential features is renunciation of the pleasures of life, of pride in action and of attachment to worldly
possessions, fame and success.
One of the formulations best known in the West is per-

~ I)
I

fi' ..-(

h~p;-that

in

whi;h-L~~a--13~~~-C:!.-;hii~--preac:h_i_~g- h~_s--tir:t

sermon, anno.unces "the noble truth of suffering, the origin

JfJ~p;zt:~S ~ ! su ff e_r ~fl~,_


{J
that lea~s __to

JG

iJf

is

suffering;

the..
the
old

cess~Uon -;,f- s;; ff;,: i ng .

ces~a 1:!:_()~~-9.i_. ~s':_f~~ring :


age

is

suffering;

-Pal:.ti

anq _ the

( 1 3) "Birth
disease and death

33

are suffering; contact with unpleasant things means suffering; separation from what is pleasant also brings suffering i failure to obtain what one wishes and aspires for
is suffering; the

bod~

is suffering, emotions mean suffer-

ing; in short, all the five types of perception (of grasp~~ ~i


ing) bring suffering. II - The cause of all suffering or c~v l ..\~
sorrow, according to Lord Buddha, lies in "craving for eftpJ
sensory excitement, the tendency to re-incarnation, andJ
these again are c~nne_cted~ith_eajoym~, E__~ssi~---~nd
the search for pleasure. 11 - The truth with regard to the
Ee~-~~ti~~---o-f ~~h-;~ffuring lies~ in the total, traceless
e~~~_i_n~~-=!:.-~1:!.! _

_penci~g,

.... relinquishi1:.~,

leaving

behind

and refus_ing o~_.!h.e __ 9.~l?!.!:e_t.h?._Lt~i_y~3__ !_or re-bi rt_~ and


Al_(?'~ ~
/
all types of enJ oyment."
_ _ } r:_
A similarly apt summary can be found in the BHAGAVAD GITA fl_ J.il'
,1-V

Jf'I

11."'

"Man, eagerly pursuing the objects of the senses, c?' ~~+>


gets attached to them. Out of this attachment arises crav-p~~~
1

ing;
craving
genera t es anger (annoyance ) ; annoyance and 6'
anger bring along deception (delusion); delusion leads
to confusion of memory; from this confusion of memory
( 1 0):

follows the loss of reason;

and once reason has been de-

stroyed, the whole man will perish. That man, on the other
hand, whose senses are well controlled, moves about amongst
the objects of this world free from attraction and repulsion and, being master of himself, reaches inner peace.
In this inner peace, he experiences the extinction of
all

suffering,

establish

as

he,

equilibrium

whose
within

heart

is

calm, can
(Chapter
himself."

easily
2,

v.

-~

/>J/~

62 - 65. )

One

may

late texts

~.Y.~e

have

noticed

that,

in

these

two

(between 600 - 200 B.C.), the main accent liesP

_:"~~f e~E_9_~E- sor.~o~

,!__~s-~':.":_d

tjV~ _
f~ -~\"

r1(g\j

re la ti vely

~. p.i ~ ;:/'~~ ~
ft} . tjl'- _-.)

on th"
of
_t_h!'
__ hY__pass
ion, craving for enj 9yr_ner?-_!:.,_ ~~ger_ -~nc;l__ gr~e_e_d, wh~~e "anxi-

t'

A~
f-J
,ttr
ety 11 which in the ti_tl~ ~f this co_nt_r,:_i'b
__ ~_~()?
__ :'~~u_p.:__:_~
,
ici-li""
1
first place, is not mentioned. One can of course, in the -~~r.,

BHAGAVAD G-ITA as well as in the teachings of Lord Buddha,

rt

find anxiety and fear mentioned occasionally. It is however


mainly
uprising

characterised
of

passions

as

the

and

consequence

uncontrolled

of

the

greed.

violent
The

fact

.-~~-

--

that in these scriptures an elementary, primaeval anxiety

....

34

hardly stands in the foreground any longer, could perhaps


ind_icate that the way of life during that epoch had already
concealed fundamental

traits of

human existence,

so that

Po~ly the secondary consequences of this concealment could

~), ~~~

~~\~

~t

be recognised.
any rate it seems meaningful to me that
1
l"\]> \n the Upanisadic texts which are estimated to be consider-

L\~ f.c..~ -~~bly


~~1} ~~~

older,

dated between 1500 and 500 B.C., 9ne can find

many more references t;.o an original, or one might perhaps

~Y~~{l'

say, existential type of anxiety.


One has to point out, however, that mention of this
Qarticular type of anxiety can also be found in the Buddhist Scriptures. though in a somewhat discrete manner,

~~(9-~~\..-

~OA)~\
tt-1

more
~

by

way

of

personal

In

one

of

teaching.

experience

his

sermons,

than

Lord

philosophical

Buddha

gives

an

account of the first nights he spent alone in the, forest

..

'~ "~~

after
heir

having
in

r}JIJ.t\(,'.J,k 309/.310):

J'J> ~

relinquished

his

due

place

of

prince

and

ro~al palace. (Quoted according to ( 8) , PP


"How hard to live the life of the lonely forest-

the

f,lt,dwell er to 'rej oice in solitude. Ver i 1 y , the s i 1 en t


groves must bear heavy upon the monk who has not yet won

~. 8~

I 1) ~ 'J::I fi>

to fixity of mind!
He is seized with mortal fear and
.. " to overcome which he would"
go forth to

~S.L- ~terror
N rl(\~ 'V the lonely
ii}\. o~~ abide the

tombs

night

-OrJS

in

the woods,

through

in

out

those

under

the

places

Of

trees

and

horror

and

~lJfaffright And as I tarried there, a deer came by, a


\ ~ ~~\'~ bird caused a twig to fall, and the wind set all the leaves
~\) ~-(0 whispering; and I thought: "Now it is coming - that fear
(c. ~S',p</ and terror"
but I neither s toad st i l 1, nor sat , nor
~\ ~

lay down until, pacing


fear and terror."
The BHAGAVAD GITA
other hand,

to

( ( 1 0),

starts with

and

fro,

Chapter 1 ,

had
v.

mastered
28-30) ,

that

on

the

scene in which the hero Arj un

describes to his charioteer, Shri Krishna, in.a very drastic manner all

the

somatic

signs

of anxiety:

( S)

"Seeing

1 these kinsmen, O Krishna, arrayed with a view to fighting,


'

my ~ fail and my mouth is parched up. My body quivers,


and

there

is

horripilation;

the

Gandiva

(his

bow)

slips

from my hands, and my skin burns. I am not able to stand,


my mind
were, and I see adverse omens

..." .

""""""-=-~=

"'t

35

If

now we

also

add this anxiety,

c.ss~

one sees that these

$-.j~fl-if9 _

three main evils: anxiety, sorrow, delusion, which I have sEl,J, "(. ~
chosen for the titl~ .of my contribution, can be related, ~I ft1'ltp.~
in the sequence mentioned, to different levels of that .,tDrv' f.A'_tcf"J>.
which, in modern Daseins-analytical language, we might 0 ~s._~~
perhaps

''.S_~vergesSenheit"

term

(S l,

i.e..

condition

in which man has forgotten the roots of existence.


Anxiety ( s) , ~ is, as we shall see in more detail
later, the direct consequence or perhaps rather the condition of having fallen out of the original oneness of "allthat-is", in other words, in the most genuine and deepest

t y 11 Grippe

d b y t h'is anxiety,

sense a 11 separation anxie


One attempts to cling to something, to feel at one again
with
it

something

to

e ven

some
to

or

human

other.
can

resulting

attachment,

evidently

never

be a

of

~eptive

is

misconstrued

as

"reality",

man

thus

.
II
moves away f rom t rue "B ei.ng
by a further step and falls

reY to that wfirch-tn~ --ancient scriptures designate 11 moha",


p --- .... ------ ----7.'bhranti" or "avidya", ~ deception or delusion, confusion, mental blindness, ignorance.

---rt one

cares to correlate these three levels with modern

~~~~~~~~gical

"bhaya",

categories,

one

might

roughly

say

that

i.e. anxiety, pertains to the sphere of emotions,

,;~-k~<
--~~f' f~~l~g~-or
a;--------r---

---~--

sorrow, has its origin in frustration


.. ~-----~L--..=

... . .,. ._-__.._,__-.. _,-_ ._. ., _ . _______ :. ,


_,.~

of conative tendencies, while "moha", delusion or ignoran------

-----

4_- - -

---

--~--,.

-~--

I-',--

--

--'!

---

------.

- - . : .. ,

..-~---

-------..._

ce, ref_ers more to the cogni t i v~- ~~~-c.~~-?.~s .


If, on the other hand, one looks for
classification
the

three

in

levels

p S '-1~
t-lii'~
~~

>

Indian
more

or

terminology,
less

-_.- ... _ _ ,.. _ _ _ _

some

analogous

one might say that

correspond

to

the

three

.n~
"14".

/.it~
fiV ~G,S

~~s"'~

~S

:3:P
,.._

attaching oneself to the temptations of this

world

:lJ ,7~

lasting and

'

~
t\ /l f'}{l

be~

fully satisfying one. It leads to disappointment, pain,


greed, hatred and a whole host of human passions. If now,
beyond this stage, this precarious and limited emergency
solution

:S
-{~ '- ~

to some pos_sessions or power or c)

being,

knowledge,

The

j)~ ~-ti 1

ID

~I

<Q;1

A.,/ fD

if

...

36

"gunas" (S), the basic elements of all creation 2): "moha",

kee~ing man back in the sphere of "tamas", i.e. lethargy,


undifferentiated darkness~

like__::_~

"soka" which,

term_s

f.or "suffering" and "sorrow", i~_<:_ate:__~n. inner .~urning,


being consumed by . a fire, would have to--be assigned to
the

sphere

!;.YI?~- of

of

a~d

"raj as",

person

who

of "sattva".
one may now

mostly

characte.~~:!__ by

is

object,

strict avoidance

"~haya"

as

in

fact

is

befalls

pr~~o_minance

the

often

done,

that

of all evils connected with worldly

tachments would lead to a

turning away

from

life

at-

hostile

to all creative development.

Misunderstandings and misuses

of

to

this

'only

type

in

of

course

certain

are

traditional

be

found

Indian

frequently,

writings,

in the everyday life of contemporary Hindus.


hand,

however,

but

not
also

On the other

there are numerous proofs that the conden-

sation, or as one might say more aptly, the crystallisation


of

the

originally

One

Power-of-Being

into

the

multiple

forms and possibilities of this concrete world is definitely wanted


accept

by

the

the

"creator" and

illusion

of

that one

material,

is

supposed

dualistic

to

reality,

brought forth by the play of "Maya", as a necessary state


of

transition

and

on

the

self-awareness,

way

not

towards

only

for

higher consciousness

the

eternal,

universal

"Self", i.e. "brahrnan", but also for the individual ".atman"


(S)

incorporated

in

human

pulling

oneself

being a

separate individual,

and

hardened

enables

man

together,

existence.

bearing
a

out

Only
the

discipline,

condition

process of being

through the fire of suffering and


to

become

one

with

the

universal

of

purified
passions,

Self

once

again, but on a conscious level.


I
and

hope

to

syllables

least as

far

be
of
as

able
the

to

show

terms

"bhaya"

and

later

for

the

that
evils

the

root words

mentioned,

"S'oka" are concerned,

at

apart

37

from the sense of dangerous cemptation and the possibility


of

going

astray,

also

(S),

they

hold

c.

possibilities. Like
indicate

in

themselves

quite

positive

G. JUNG's symbols of transformation

that

any

crisis,

perishing,

beside
germ

the

risk

growth

for

of
and

also bears in itself


unfolding, and that i t is only immature sta1nation and
attachment that give them the appearance of evils.

--

2. Anxiety ("bhaya")

Let us now first turn our attention to "anxiety", which


not only the study of Upani~adic texts, but also the observation of numerous Indian psychiatric patients shows as
one of the most fundamental problems of human existence.
As

already

mentioned,

in

ancient

Indian

scriptures

"bhaya" is frequently to be found in connection with .references

to

duality,

from

the

to

original

man's

oneness

is often stressed that fear


is a

"second",

RA~YAKA

condition

of

with

Universal

the

being

separated
Self.

It

is only possible where there

"an other". Thus, for instance, in BRHAD~

UPANU~AD

(1 ,

4,

v.

ff.

( 1 2b) )

it

is

reported

how, before the creation 3) of this concrete world, "atman"


or

"puru~"

existed

alone.

This

primaeval

"person"

was

frightened. It is aaded: " therefore one is i~ightened,


when one is alone". Subsequently we get a description
of how this primaeval "person" reflected: "Since there
is nothing besides myself, what am I afraid of?" From
that alone, his fear departed; for what should he be afraid
of? Fear comes only from a second entity." (S)
All

the same,

this creature,

less existence alone,


any

enjoyment

through

in its condition of fear-

which of course also had to exclude


something

else

(a

"second") ,

did

3) One has to be careful not to misunderstand the term


"creation" in the customary sense of a "creatio
ex
11
I
h an_s
d 11
nihilo", which implies the work of ~he cr~a t ors
on some material that lies outside him. The Indian
idea is different! About this, see more later (S).

38

not

feel

UP.

1,

happy.

4,

v.

He desired

"Therefore",

3),

that

"one

does

there

so continues
not

feel

the

( B~H

text

happy when alone."

should be an other

(i.e.

second

similar creature).

We then find a description of how this

creature

itself

united
Out

inflated

couple,

of

this

told,

and

came

"this

man

body

to

then

is

double

divided

and
one

wife.
half

its

this

size,

that

product

"Therefore",

of

himself,

of

into
so

we

like

two.
are

half

of

a two-celled seed. Hence this void is filled by the wife."


From further union with this second creature, human beings
originated along with

all

other creatures

that

propagate

by pairing themselves off.


In

this

myth

of

"creation"

(see

footnote

3)

on

the

preceding page), which at least in certain respects reminds


one of the account in the Old Testament ( ( 1 > Genesis 2 '
it is not

II

18-25), in which it is also stated that:


good that the man should be alone
"

it

is

rather

( "atman" or "puru~")

strange that this primaeval creature

first experiences anxiety, as it is alone; then, in second


line,

it

reassures

and

consoles

itself

by

arguing

that

there is nothing to be afraid of as long as outside itself


there

is

no

"second";

nevertheless,

at

third

stage,

it proceeds to create a world in which this very duality,


the encounter with an "other",
We

find

One

no

detailed

possibly

at

the

has

whole

to assume

problem

of

that

being

which again and again one has


of

all

and

attachments

deserted,

is the fundamental element.

explanation

and

to

situation

for

this

contradiction.

this myth already hints


attracted

to realise

experience
which

by
the

world

oneself

again

in

nothingness
as

triggers

alone

off

the

search for becoming one with "an other" and thus perpetuates

the

finding
and

to

vicious

circle.

The

only

final

solution

lies

in

the way back to being one with tne original "All"


merge with it,

though now on a

higher,

more

con.-

oneself

one

with

scious level.
This
the

security

"All"

condition
also

has
of

extends

( 1 2 e)

provided

its

validity

by

knowing

not

not being separated


to

repeatedly

the

dimension

stresses

that

only

in

the

in space,
of
it

time.
is

the

sense

of

but obviously
KATHA
Lord

UPANI~AD

of

past

39

and
to

future,
become

Again

of

one,

one
in

that

Jesus

the

to-morrow,

with

whom

one

has

so that there will be no fear any more.


easily find an analogy in the Bible ( 1),

can

where

to-.day. and

New

Testament

Christ

is

"

( Hebr.
the

1 3,

8)

we are assured

same yesterday and to-day

and for ever."


It

is

not

only

the

creature who,

by

knowing

one with the Creator, has no cause for fear,


of

All

to

as

himself,

'

the

"brahman"

one who

does

or

"Isa",

dep~nd

not

is

on

himself

but the Lord

often

referred

anything,

is

not

attached to anything and who is fearless.


in

This is expressed in a particularly


TAITTIRIYA UPANI~AD ( 2, 7 ( 1 2 i)):

disfi.nct manner
"The individual

soul becomes fearless only when it obtains firm and peaceful ground in that invisible,
portless
assumes

Reality.
the

Whenever

selfless, unutterable, sup-

it

(i.e.

the individual self)

smallest interval in that state of identity,

then it has fear.

That is why even a wise man has fear,

when he is not reflective."


In

similar

manner

Yama,

the

UPANI~AD

to his pupil Naciketas

(KATHA

that

difference,

he

who

himself
other

and

sees

any

"brahman 11

the

creatures,

is

God of Death,

or

even

condemned

4,

any

to

1 0 ff.

( 12 e))

duality,

between

between
meet

explains

himself

death

again

and
and

again in innumerable rebirths.

*
After
in

having

read

"bhaya 11 ,

which

i.e.

good

number

fear

or

of

impressive

anxiety,

is

texts

considered

as a consequence or rather the direct expression of separation

and

of

being

split

(rom

off

the

divine

origin,

was very much astonished to hit upon the following rather


mysterious
fear

lines

in

of

Him

"prAr:ia",

the

breath

shines

the

of

Him

KA'fHA

(brahman,
of

sun;

in

UPANI~AD

this

life),
for

case

the

fear

( 6,

of

( 12

e)):

characterised

fire
Him,

burns;

"For
as

for

fear

do Indra,

Vayu

and Death, the fifth, proceed (with their respective functions)."


In those of

the ancient Indian scriptures which repre-

sent a world of personified Gods, having many quite human

40

traits, one often finds references to the frightening


aspects of such figures. Lord Shiva for instance, who
in one form is the withdrawn ascetic steeped in deep meditation, then again the gracious Lord of all creatures,
can, in his rage, be the dreaded destroye".:" ("Bhairava"
derived from the same root as "bhaya" ! ) who topples whole
worlds. Above all it is Indra, the Lord of clouds and
thunder who, from his throne in the sky, and with his
thunderbolt, exercises a rule of stern judgement and strict
punishment. It is of his thunderbolt that the verse just
preceding the paragraph quoted above (i.e. KATH. UP. 6,
2) reminds one. It can be translated more or less as
follows: "This whole uni verse comes out of Him (prai:ia,
the breath of life) and vibrates within Him. He is a great
terror, like the raised thunderbolt. Those who know this'
become immortal."
According to ~gveda, "vaj ra",
the thunderbolt,
was
used by the King of the Gods, Indra to dissipate
the
primaeval mists and thus release, in a stream of lifegiving water, humidity which previously had been kept
imprisoned by v:tra, the demon of dryness. "vaj ra", however, also signifies the hardness of the diamond, which
is capable of cutting through everything. Is one, perhaps,
in view of this text, justified in assuming that the original meaning of anxiety and fear is actually not different
at all from separation and being split off? - Other texts,
which at present I cannot deal with in detail, also point
to a very close connection between anxiety and separation
(S).

If

one

searches

in

the

Sanskrit

Dictionary

(7),

4)

4) In Sanskrit one gets the impression that at the origin


of language, there were certain sounds and syllables
that simply characterised a "mood" or a "theme" in
very general and vague manner and that it was only
at a later stage that definite and clear-cut concepts,
both concrete and abstract
, were separated out
from this original "matrix". Thus, words that are phonetically similar still often point to a common root
in which their many meanings and shadings were sti 11
contained so-to-speak "in statu nascendi", integrated
in the basic "mood" or "theme" (S).

41

one

actually

anxiety,

and

finds

that

"bhid"

for

the
~o

two

roots

split,

"bhI"

for

fear,

to tear apart,

to de-

stroy, are very close to each other phonetically and possibly

may

belong

to

one and the same primaeval complex of

language.
It might
just

thus be possible,

mentioned,

to

translate

but with

"separation" and

of

world

this

is

in the rather
"bhaya"

not

thus to assume

only

possible,

strange text
with

that:.

because

"fear",

the course

the

eternally

one Self has

released it out of itself, has made it come

forth,

separate

as

entity with

creatures

that

amongst

themselves are also separate.

*
It

now

appears

~pirit

this world in a
it

ed,
in

is

the

extremely

ancient

to me that if the

risk of escape from

hostile to all life is to be avoidimportant

scriptures

in

to

point

which

out

this

those

texts

separation

and

the anxiety associated with it is presented as deliberately


included
for

in

its purpose.

easily be
Self,
and

and

necessary

and

meaningful

Without stressing this aspect, one might

removes

the

and

condition

mistake

as

creation

left with the impression that as all dualistic

separation
a

this

estranges

of

being

one

split

from

off

the

might

simply

or an undesirable side-effect of this

that,

as

possible.

splitting

such,

it

ought

Many texts,

up

into

to

however,

individual

be

overcome

eternal
be

creation

as

quickly

make it clear that the

creatures

is

necessary

and deliberately planned element in the process of becoming


conscious.
"brahman"
which
is

is

for

inside

and

big,

eternal,

tain

texts

8, 4, v .1

instance,

often described
outside,
unborn,

(e.g.

the
as

smaller

unlimited,

B~H.UP.

highest

level of oneness,

that which at the same time

4,4 v.

than

small,

bigger

without form,
22

than

is in cer-

(12 b) and CHAND.

UP.

( 12c)) also characterized as a "demarcating bank",

to

an embankment for the safety of the world", meant


protect these worlds and creatures from being mixed

up

and

"a dyke,

the

safe

confused
limits

amongst
of

this

themselves.
at

the

It
same

is

only

time

within

limitless!

42

Self

that all that i,s can grow,

act and move.


/

in other Upani~ads.

references can be found

UP. ( 1 2 h) 6, 11 ; KA!HA UP.

_,,Similar

(SVETASVATARA

( 1 2 e) 5, 9 ff. and 5, 1 3. )

How then is one to find one's -way in this dilemma between, on the one hand the necessity of bearing or "standing
out"

5)

(in

literal

translation

of

"existing"!)

this

human existence as a separate creature threatened by anxiety

and,

on

beyond

this

oneself

to

to state
(16,33

the

other hand,

sep\ration,
merge, with

the

paradox

(1)):

"In

the

to

perceive,

the eternal Oneness and


it'?

Well,

along with

the

challenge

world

one
the

ye

is

Gospel

shall

to allow

almost
of

have

tempted
St.

John

tribulation;

but be of .good cheer; I have overcome the world. 6)


This

type

of

statement

about

fundamental conditions of man,

anxiety

as

one

of

the

yet at the same time linked

to a hint at an eternal almighty presence in view of which


all fear dwindles away is to be found f ~equently not only
in

Upani~ads,

the

out

to meet and

and

hesitant

symbolic

(Chapter

but
help

hero

the
in

Arjun

28-30).

and

unimportant

much

stressed,

nature
the

of

hero

who,

of

Though

GITA

on
on

one

is

the

after

all,

is

only

man

as

such

hand

worldly
the

( 10)

anxiety

anxiety-ridden

all
is

BRAGAVAD

very

(S)

representative

1,

whole

this

the

transitory

concerns

other

doubting

hand

is

very

strongly

admonished to attend to his duties within this very world


of

illusion

acceptance of
world

gives

ancient

and

deceptive

the
the

need
GITA

scriptures

and

for
its

appearances.
action within
special

renders

it

This

stress

the

position

on

phenomenal

amongst

particularly

apt

the
to

5) The use of "existence", derived from the Latin word


"existere", in English, where it is glibly used to
designate "life" in general, does not convey forcefully
enough the fact that it means "standing out" in one's
lonely individuality into a world into which we have
been thrown without our consent.
6) The Greek "thlipsis" which in English is rendered with
"tribulation", is translated much more forcefully in
German with "Angst", i.e. "anxiety". About the further
implications of the original Greek term, see later
on page 48.

43

serve as a source of consolation and advice for the daily


meditation of millions of despairing men even in our times.
So
the

far

Sanskrit

present-day

have

translated

term

"bhaya",

Hindi

texts,

however,

which

in

by

are

one

Western

"fear"

or

by

of

still

finds

which

in

some

current

is

but

at

or

"fear"

7)

deri va ti ves

in

use.

another word:

languages

"anxiety",

"anxiety"

translated
times,

In

various

"vij ugupsa"

( s) ,

occasionally

when this appears

to fit in better with the context, is rendered as "hatred",


"criticism",

"defence".

of

"vij ugupsa"

the

one

word

finds

means

that

"to

hide".

it

watch

For

If

is

in

follows

the

to

from

take

one

up

Sanskrit

derived

over,

"jugupsa",

one

care

finds:

the

Dictionary

root
of,

"a

etymology

"gup",

to

( 7) ,
which

protect,

condition

of

to

being

on one's guard, of avoiding", but also "despising, rejecting"

and "reproachfully criticizing".

usually

points

something

to

something

pertaining

to

As the prefix "vi-"

separate,

individual

in

particular

existence,

one

to
can

assume that the composite word "vij ugupsa" means something


like

an

oneself
shell.
in

attitude
in,

of

keeping

anxiously
oneself

diffidently
in

one's

walling

individual

think we are justified in translating "vijugupsa"

modern

psychological

often morbid warding off,


perhaps

sometimes
of

and

apart

shrinking

into

even
a

terms

as

"e"go

defence",

i.e.

an

a rigid neurotic coat-of-armour,


a

psychotic-autistic

protective

capsule

in

condition

extreme

with-

drawal.
Where

anxiety,

which,

after

all,

not

only

according

to the Gospel of St. John or the ancient Indian scriptures,


but

also

philosophy,

according
is

to

modern

fundamental

teachings
human

of

condition,

existential
cannot

be

7) In present-day psychiatric terminology, "fear'' is usually meant to indicate a feeling that is rational and
is caused by a well-defined object, while "anxiety"
is used more in the sense of an irrational, all pervasive
and
objectless apprehension
and
uneasiness.
In
every day language the German "Angst", derived from
the same Latin root as "anxiety", can be used in both
senses. "bhaya", the way it is used in ancient Indian
texts, can also stand for both "anxiety" and "fear".

44
"borne out" openly, man attempts either to patch together
for himself a protective shell or to build up the illusion
of being at one
world.
the

This

next

through attachment

second

solution

chapter,

i.e.

is

the

to something

what

takes

discussion

sorrow, pain or suffering.


Before that, however, I want

us

of

to dwell

in

this

along

";oka",

little

to
i.e.

longer

upon the subject of anxiety and fear and to show how they
present themselves nowadays in Indian life.
In my psychiatric activity in India it

struck me

much

sees

more

patients
anxiety
ious",

frequently
states

Europe

elementary,

and one does

is one of

in

the most

not

i.e.

know what

frequent

one

undisguised

"Oil gabhrah raha",

(S).

of

than

in

that
these

f ree-f loa ting

"the heart
it all

is

is

anx-

about!

complaints brought

not

only

before the psychiatrist, but also the general practitioner.


Sometimes, what is meant by this expression is exclusively
the

fact

of

pal pi ta tions;

at least implicitly,

but

it

is

usually

that this heart,

of sinking o~ its nervous fluttering,

understood'

through a

sensation

indicates an anxious

feeling that involves and penetrates the whole person.


If

now

one

examines

the

circumstances

in

which

this

type of anxiety is likely to announce itself with particular


of

intensity,
being

already

one

alone;
have

finds

fear

of

indicated

three

by

"fear" instead of anxiety,


these manifestations

as

basic

darkness;
using

situations:

fear

the

of

more

death.

fear
As

definite

term

most of my colleagues consider

"phobias",

as

secondary

products

of an already concealed and transformed anxiety. I myself,


however, am of the opinion that these three main situations
of

being

in an anxious mood come so immediately and ob-

viously close to a.quite elementary, free-floating anxiety


that they do not deserve to be characterized as concealing
and

limiting

phobias

but

should

actually

be

understood

simply as slight variations of the original state of being


separated and isolated.
To

show

in

detail

which anxiety can


in this context.

the

suddenly

different

life

break out

would

situations
lead

too

in
far

Convincing examples could however easily

be quoted from the rich case material I have

collected~

45

What is interesting, is that simple people with little


education are often those who are most capable of understanding this anxiety as a quite elementary separation
anxiety. The reason for this is probably that people of
this kind were until recently sheltered and protected,
though not in philosophical consciousness of being one
with the All! - but at least,in a realm of very complete
human oneness within the symbiotic-empath1c atmosphere
of the joint family, so that often they had hardly become
aware of their individual existence. (See HOCH ( 5 f).)
Sudden awakening into consciousness of one's separate
existence can shake a person almost at any stage of life.
Often it is triggered off by a situation of being left
alone,
as

but also events

sticking

perhaps

the

out,

as

in which one experiences oneself

different

necessity of

from

the environment,

assuming for

or

the first time in

life individual responsibility for some decision and thus


feeling exposed to criticism as an individual. In other
cases someone discovers, in the calm and darkness of night,
his own heartbeat or becomes aware of himself as the only
consciousness

awake,

the

only

one

who

sees

and

hears,

without being seen or heard by anyone else. Often, however,


knowledge
and,

about

taking

care of

experiencing
loved

the

limitations

along with that,


this

of

realm of one's

someone else's death,

relative.

In cases

heard formulations,

one's

own

existence

about one's own responsibility for

of

this

own,

comes about by

perhaps that of a bekind,

have sometimes

- often from quite simple rural people

- that reminded me of HEIDEGGER's writings which, in "Sein


und Zeit" ((4 a) pp. 237 ff.) show the importance of experiencing

the death

of

another

person

for

recognising

the

nothingness of one's own existence.


Nowadays crises of this k~nd risk taking a pathological
turn particularly often, as in the course of the precipitated social and cultural change, an unusually high number
of people, often immature, are torn out very abruptly,
without preparation and without the possibility of quickly
finding new protection and support, from their traditional
sheltered situation in joint family, caste, village community, hereditary occupation and even out of their undoubting

46

belief

in

ancient

religious

teachings.

It

may

be

that

the reason why the number of patients who simply experience


free-floating
situations

anxiety

in which

is

so

high,

anxiety

is

is

that

likely

many

of

to break out

the
into

the open are so new and unaccustomed and come upon people
so

suddenly,

that

up

to now no

readymade

least socially tolerated escapes and


available,

such

that

one

might

symptoms

or

at

sick-roles have been

successfully

a protective shell, a "vij ugupsa" ( S)

use

them

as

(see HOCH ( 5 g))

On the other hand, of course, the process of Westernisation also

brings with

voice of germinating
framework

of

it

behaviour:

(5

e)),

new

can

tolerated

patterns

club-life,

possibilities

anxiety

socially

of

new

of

be

silenced

or

even

social

noisy pleasures,

to add

sexual

the

TV-screen also!),

inhibitions,

social

and

the

within

respected

drinking

the

forms

(see

HOCH

for many the transis-

tor-radio as an inseparable companion

have

by which

(nowadays one would

gradual

slackening

professional

of

ambitions,

craving for power, readiness to join in any demonstration,


riot,

even

it may

be,

any
of

which
self.

nowadays

One has

without
-

knowing

or

caring

these are only a

all

what

few of

stand invitingly open for

escape

aim

routes

from

the

to mention a further way out which some people

seek in their anxiety and which can be made


plausible

the

the

by

taking

recourse

to

the

particularly

formulations

of

the

"a

se-

ancient scriptures, as already presented:


If anx~ety is only possible,
cond"

is perceived,

where

"an other",

one might escape from it by inflating

one's own ego in a kind of solipsism exaggerated to maniform

dimensions.

classified
finds

as

amongst

This

is a

"manif orm
young

pathological

reaction

hebephrenia"

Indians

who

are

the

best

which one
first in

often
their

families to reach a higher level of education. They inflate


themselves
ledge

and

traditional

in what
wisdom
form

they

and
of

consider their outstanding

are no
behaviour

longer held
nor

respect

together
for

knowby

the

any

elder

generation.
In

slightly

less

obvious

manner,

perhaps

similar

escape is sought by schizophrenics of the catatonic group:

47
one

common world

that

offers so much resistance and one wraps oneself up -

like

simply

denies

caterpillar

one's own.
describe
one

is

enjoy

in

it

so

existence

its

Within it,

cocoon
-

as

of

in

an

autistic

the ancient

aptly with

regard

to

world

of

Indian scriptures

the

dream-world!

one's own lord' and master who can dispose of and


everything

Some

the

other

according

aspects

of

to

this

his

own

latter

will

and

situation

desire.

will

have

to be taken up once more later, when we discuss the significance of "S"oka".


The

paranoid

patient,

on

the

other

hand,

cannot

find

shelter from discovering his being different and separate.


It

i"s

him.

this

very

"other"

and

"the others"

that overwhelm

He may also try to protect himself within the coat-

of-armour

of

his

own

autistic

world;

but

somehow

that

which belongs to him as an essential feature of his existence,


his

namely

his

"being-in-the-world"

"being-with",

more

he

wishes

raises

to

seek

its

voice

distance

and

all

from

in

the
it.

particular
louder,

Medard

the

BOSS,

the best known representative of HEIDEGGER's Daseins-analysis

in the field of psychiatry, has pointed out (2)

in

the

schizophrenic,

in

particular

the

that,

paranoid,

the

capacity to create a world actively, by and in his perception,

in

particular

his

seeing,

right

from birth or has atrophied

is

either

insufficient

in the course of life.

Instead of seeing or hearing by actively giving "Gestalt",


i.e.

creating

meaningful

pattern,

he

is

"made

to

see

or hear" as a passive victim. 8)


The

necessity

"being
from

shown
i.e.

ripening

something"

depending

others,

of
or1

mere

"reflected

and

from a

condition of passively

being

illuminated by others,

appearance

and

appraisal",

on

into

recognition
a

mature

by

human

being who can give their due place to fellow-men and creatures

in

his

actively

shaped

( "gestaltet")

view

of

the

8) In German: "es wird mir zu sehen gegeben", literally


"it is given to me for seeing" or "it gives itself
to me for being seen", a formulation, by the way, which
is quite current in ordinary language ~n Hindi!

48
world,

inside

whom his

for

illumination

out

by

and

texts

an

in

self

has

become

independent

the

ancient

the

witness,

source

is

borne

scriptures.

(See

HOCH

(5 c) and (5 h).) At the same time these texts

(e.g.

BRH.

UP.

many

own

(12 b) 4,3, v.1-7) open up understanding for the fact

that Hinduism does not - as is often maintained erroneously in the West - simply challenge one into proud self-perfection,

but

bending down
to

which

knows

the

before

an

all

5, 1 5

eternal,

worldly

is only a poor,
e)

concept

of

grace

almighty

and

(See

(12

g)

35,2

ff.;

humble

compared

and

knowing

KA'fHA UP.

SVETASVATAROPANI~AD

2, 23;

of

light,

illumination, seeing

secondary reflection.

MAHANARAYANA UP.

and

(12

KENOPANISAD

(12

h)

6, 1 4 i

(1~

f)

3,

1-12.)
One might now object that, for the Sanskrit and Hindi
term 11 bhaya 11 (S) and perhaps even for "gabhrahat" (Urdu)
(S)
which is probably derived from the root "gabh"
(abyss, steep slope, canyon) and thus indicates a situation
of

~tanding at the rim of an abyss or having

way on a

steep

slope

or

being

stuck

in a

lost

narrow

one's
canyon

- one can prove an original connection with the situation


of

being

"Angst"
the

separated

(German)

Latin

and

and

isolated,

other

root "ang"

but

Western

that

terms

(Greek -"agch"

that

"anxiety"'
stem

from

and possibly Sanskrit

"ama") do not bear in themselves any such meaning. I would


however doubt it: the narrowness, the "tight spot" indicated

by

"angustus"

condition

of

though up

to now

in

being
I

Latin

can

j arnrned

in

have

not

also

be

between
been

understood
"two".

able to

as

Possibly,

find

definite

proof, there may be some connection between the root "ang"


and

"ambo"

dual,

in Latin

double.

word "ama"
fright,
Can one

(What

(Greek
I

in Sanskrit,

derived from a
perhaps

"amphi")

have found

which

signifies

in the meantime

which means "pressure,

the

is

the

vehemence,

root "am" signifying "to advance".

assume

that

this

is

the

origin

also

of

is

one

"angustus" and "Angst"?)


The
of

feeling

the

this

most

of

typical

connection

"thlipsis",

being

which

it
in

jammed

sensations
is
the

and

accompanying

interesting
already

narrowed
that

quoted

the

in

anxiety.
Greek

passage

( p.

In

word
42)

49

from

the

Gospel of St.

pressive

manner

"tribulation"

as

John

"Angst"

seems

to

(1 )
in

water

is translated in an im-

German
the

(while

whole

the

thing

English

down

some-

what!) can be found shortly before the quoted verse, namely


in St.
and

John 1 6,

v.

21 ,

9) , in a context in which anxiety

suffering are compared to the labour pains of a woman

giving

birth,

and

where

this

metaphor

is

utilised

for

pointing to the creative aspects of anxiety and suffering.


In
its

fact

certain

further

having
being
them

got

stuck

unable

to

lies,

patients

who

transformations,
in

the

move

like

suffer

give

one

narrowness

either

forward

"paradise

lost",

from

the

anxiety

or

impression

of

of

or

backward.

the

birth-channel,
Behind

mother-world

of

being safely embedded in the empathic oneness of the traditional

constellations of

family and

society,

from which

they have been torn out prematurely and without due preparation.
Once

There

the

the

in

up

to a

of

giving

manner

the

healthy

original

nourishing

one's

of

lies

one 1 s

away

of

in a

back

without

causing

in

own

mother

self,

as

to

instead

11

is

immaturity and

lonely,

being able

"oneness"

open

oneself

gesture of giving, of sharing,

"oneness

development

damage.

individual separation has been

common world in a

of
by

going

only hope of building up another

heal thy

in

no

consciousness

awakened,

case

is

of

as was

the

hanging at the breasts

receiving
however

letha.rgy.

child.

This

rendered

type

impossible

One then remains stuck

uncanny sphere where one can no longer feel

united with the

lost world through receiving nor, as yet,

with a new one through the giving of love.


Occasionally

one

can

observe

way,

a brave step forward,

lity

and

sudden

care
and

for

others,

dramatic

that

at

least

in

minor

through taking over responsibican

manner.

relieve anxiety,
A child

who

:i:s

often in
afraid

of

darkness ventures out into the night if one still smaller


and helpless has

to be protected; a woman feels sheltered

9) The passage in St. John 1 6, v. 21 appears to take up


a similar one of earlier date, namely Isaiah 26, v.
17-18 in the Old Testament.

50

when she has to look after a baby; someone else may suddenly, though perhaps only temporarily, grow beyond his childish selfishness and anxiety,
has to be nursed.
~he fact that
which
is

can

also

also

take

indicated

(to separate,
related

anxiety

to

by

when a severely ill re la ti ve

and

turn
the

for

the

derived

mark

good

etymology

to cut asunder,

"bhaya"

separation
of

and

the

crisis

positive,

root

"bhid"

- which is probably closely


from

the

root

"bh'i").

Apart

from the already mentioned meaning of "splitting, separating",


of

it also implies "the opening up of a bud;

loosening up apd of transformation"

and

process

finally

"wise

discrimination".
One hardly need point out that the situation of remaining stuck in anxiety, as described above, comes very close
to what HEIDEGGER ( 4 a) presents in moving manner as

"the

condition

left

of

being

deserted"

in

which

"Dasein

is

alone with itself" and in which "Dasein" has been radically


robbed

"

of

the

possibility

of

misunderstanding

and

misrecognising itself through something else or from elsewhere" ("Sein und Zeit", p. 277). For HEIDEGGER, salvation
from anxiety and estrangement lies in the possibility
that in this extreme situation the voice of "Dasein",
its conscience,
or,

as

makes

HEIDEGGER

Humanism"

( 4 b),

itself heard as

formulates

it

later

challenges

man

into

"keeping watch over the truth of

the call
in

his

facing

Being

11

of

as

"care"

essay

his
the

"On

task

of

"shepherd

of Being" (S).
Though HEIDEGGER,
self,

had

no

scriptures,

as

I was able to ascertain from him-

detailed

these

knowledge

formulations

of

of

the

his

ancient

come

very

Indian
close

to what we can also find in certain texts of the Upani~ads:


The
his

person

who

has

individual

fought

self

with

his way
the

through

universal,

to oneness
eternal

becomes for other beings not only "nourishment"


"a dwelling place" ("ayatana"), or even "a world"
but

also

"guardian"

( "bhutapala")

or

"one

(''lokapakti")

(see

or
who

B~H.

UP.

"shepherd"

of

brings

world

(12

the
b)

4,4

v.

"all
to
22

16 and AITAREYA UPANISAD (12 a), commentary to).

of

Self,

( "anna"),
("loka"),
creatures"
ripening"

and

1,4

v.

51

The condition of one who opens himself up in a gesture


of giving, does not need a defensive attitude and protective

manoeuvres

from

him

any

that

longer,

he

would

as nothing

not

be

can be taken away

willingly

ready

to

part

with. Thus "vijugupsa' as well as "bhaya" fall off. Already

ISJ\VJ\SYOPANI~AD

in

according
not
as

to

which

distinct
the

((12

from

self

of

d)

man

"perceives

own

self

at

no hatred

(v.

7)

then

adds:

for

the

wise

man

this

all

is

Chapter

6,

v.

Krishna

as

an

everywhere
of

Me,

and

all

that

"What

beings

as

all

(S).

the

his own

beings

as

therefore he needs

delusion,

sees

statement

and his own self

("vijugupsa")
who

The following

what

unity

sorrow

of

self?"

is

existence

In a

similar

later formulated in the BHAGAVAD GITA {10)


30

ff.):

"He

"avatara" of

and

nor

himself

finds

wise

verse

perceives

one

there
and

6),

his

every being"

no defence and

manner

v.

who
the

sees

Me

(i.e.

ultimate,

the

Lord

universal Self)

sees all things in Me, does not lose sight

do

of

looks upon

him"

or

"He

who

by

comparison with

the pleasure and pain in all creatures

as similar, that Yogi is considered the best."


Phenomena
modern

which

cannot

psychodynamic

be

grasped

theories,

as

and

they

explained
lie

with

beyond

all

defensive manoeuvres and mental mechanisms, are also pointed

to by

recent

PATANJALI

times,

genuine

by

and

ultimate

acts

on

oneness

all

of

and,

in more

(3).

For

both

of

realm

in

which

to

them,
man

knowledge about his

creation

and without need

coat-of-armour of

or

if

by

is

also

prefer,
stated

pertains

(9)

and even with

the

being no longer walled in by his individ-

limitations,
we

GANDHI

the ground of his

with

Creator Himself,

"Yoga-Sutras"

Mahatma

non-violence

thinks

ual

in his

in

"vijugupsa".
perfect

the

New

to seek

the protective

By oneness of this kind,

love

of

Testament

this

kind,

( (1 )

I.

as

John

this
4,

18), "fear is cast out" not only from the person who practices

this

attitude,

but

also

from

all

in the proximity of the one thus purified.

those

who

remain

52
.
/ ka ")
3. Suffering
or sorrow ( "so
By now it is hardly necessary

some

thought

later,
on

of

to

anxiety

them.

the evils

confusion

Above

we

all,

sorrow,

ignorance,

already

have

of

and

any

already

to

devote

of attachment and,
as

anticipated

have

longer
our

reflections
aspects of

various

seen

man

that

in

anxiety, caused by experiencing himself as separate,


around

for

some

support

and

then

attaches

his

looks

himself

whatever he finds readily available and what fits

to

in with

his temperament and his level of maturity.


In extreme cases,
verted

sense

of

we find a development into an extra-

power or,

as

one

occasionally

may

call

it "flight into reality", as is typical of manic or hypomanic patients. One perhaps has to stress that
of

attachment

possessions,
but

for

with

can

have

one's

instance

some

as

its

relation
also

activity

or

object

to

one's
role

not

beloved

exaggerated
or

even

this

only

type

worldly

human

being,

identification

one's

self-centred

boasting with knowledge.


The

depressive

himself

robbed of

"cathexis"
(see

HOCH

all

having

confronted
of

patient,

with

the

( 5 a)).

on

the

illusory
lost

his

other

hand,

one-ness

the

substitutive

experience

of

who

his

so-called

support,

utter

in other words:

is

isolation

At the same time he becomes

his debt to life -

sees

conscious

he realises

that,

due to his one-sided attachment to som~ external security


or

comfort,

he

has

deprived

himself

of

the

real"! sa ti on

of all other possibilities of his existence and


remained behind his dues.
The
is

Daseins-analytical way of

not

thus

seeing things

to be found in exactly the same terms

of

has

course

in ancient

Indian scriptures; nevertheless, one can point out formulations in them that come very close to these modern Western
philosophical ideas.
As
and

was

stressed

suffering

"duh-kha")

(in

in particular
Buddhist

texts

by

Lord

Buddha,

usually

the unpleasant

brings

sorrow;

with the pleasant makes one apprehensive of


also

designated

as

is the consequence of all worldly attachments.

Connection with
thus

sorrow

causes

suffering

once

the

connection

its

attachment

loss
has

and
to

53
be

given

makes
and

up.

one

to

any

Furthermore,

come

up

overcome

these

craving

for

resistances

against

human

all

possessions

and

frustrations

passions such as anger,

rage, aggression, greed, sexual desire, ambition for power,


arise

violently.

this

suffering

further

Thus,

in

its

deceptive

attachment

creates

turn

urges

again

securities

and

suffering,

man

to

positions

of

and

seek

for

power

and

for sensuous pleasures that can satisfy at least for short


moments.
Leaving
to

aside

worldly

the

ancient

which

that

scriptures

literally means

modern Hindi
texts,

which
is

concerns,

as

in

it obviously

the

self

inner guide and ruler.

its

embryos
as

quite

"performing

"murdering

the

of

in

term,

is used in

self",

Upani~adic

meaning

of

killing

the conscie.nce,
11

bhri1Qaha-

in some of the prayers of the

(12 g) and which usually is translat-

interpreted
11

has

prey

This

It is probable that

term which we find

and

the

( S)

role of an inner voice,

MAHANARAYA~A UPANI~AD

ed

of

falling

characterised

in the sense of "suicide". In the

however,

essential,

"atmaha tya".

"slaying

the

tya",

is

occasionally

inadequately

abortions"

Brahmin",

or

has

by

"murdering

even

the

less

same

of

plausibly

sign.ificance.

The germs of the "sask~ra", i.e. the "hereditary" potential


that
or

has

been

that

(S),
life,
this

at

to
the

process,

habits
makes

has

ought

to

the

himself

given
been
be

to

human

acquired
brought

proper
by

time
for

guilty

hi~

in
and

earlier

from

birth

incarnations

occasion.

He

stagnation

in

continuous

not

right

to maturation in the course of

preferring

need

being

only

of

growing

who

resists

comfortable

and

becoming,

stifling the growth of

these "germs", but also of slaying the "atman", the conscience that challenges him into this process of ripening.
In

similar

Daseins-analytical
suicide

as

manner,

BOSS

understanding

"carrying

out

some

( 2)

on

the

of

man,

urge

on

basis

has
the

of

his

interpreted
wrong

level

11

54

10). The need for opening oneself up to new possibilities,


for

laying

removing

aside

stood and,
symptoms,
of

something

something

that

that

puts

has

been

outlived,

up resistance,

is

for

misunder-

as this is generally the case in psychosomatic


borne

out

being accepted

on

as

the

somatic

concern

of

level

only,

total human

instead

existence

in all its horizons of understanding and all its possibilities of being put into action.
This tendency of man to misunderstand central concerns
of his existence in terms of the narrow horizon of concrete,

and

everyday matters

far

behind

see

footnote

the

the ancient
5-8),
the

the

(in

aim

is

below)
Indian

wise

solitude

who has

his

"Verily",

dear

(to

(S)

the wife)

and

again

for

UP.

to

kurz

was

before

his

thus

"zu

that
B~H.

In

Yaj navalkya,

hermit

wife Mai treyT,


life.

German

something

thinkers.

man

of

activities,

greifen",

also
( (12

remain

known
b)

2, 4

withdrawing

old

age,

to
v.

into

teaches

his

faithfully accompanied him through


so he

not for

explains,

"the husband

the sake of

the husband,

is
but

it is for her own sake that he is dear. The wife is dear


(to

the

husband)

not

for

the

sake

of

the

wife,

but

it

is for his own sake that she is dear." In similar manner


he continues,

giving the examples of

the

of

to

of

belonging

respected

caste,

and of the Gods and all creatures.


this

enumeration,

but it

is

for

"all

one's

is

own

that

the

of

weal th,

whole

world

"Verily", he concludes

dear not for


sake

son,

all

the
is

sake of
dear

all,
the

Self should verily be realised, should be heard of, reflected on and meditated upon. By the realisation of the Self,
by hearing,
also.
mana,

11

reflecting and meditating,

a 11

this

is

known

In the following paragraph it is added: "This Brahthis

K!?atriya

(warrior),

these worlds,

these

Gods,

these beings, and this all, are only the Self." (S)

1 0) The German 11 Zukurzgrei fen 11 which BOSS uses in similar


German texts, cannot be adequately translated into
English without losing some of its connotations. What
is meant is that something that lies at some distance
or. depth cannot be properly grasped, as the movement
reaching out for it does not carry far enough.

55

What

is

becoming
of

c.

important

the

G.

Self

in

this

which

process

reminds

of

discovering

one

of

certain

and

ideas

JUNG concerning the seeking of the "self" through

withdrawing

psychic

energy

from

the

projections!

is

not only that all the relationships and attitudes mentioned


do

not

stand

in

fact
the

exist

for

the

that

their

service

of

own

sake,

and

that

they

the

Self,

but

perhaps

always

also

the

it is through this very process of dealing with

things of

this world and their different aspects that

the "Self" is to b~ recognised and found.


Ul timateLy,
from

all

_however,

material

the

objects,

senses
from

are

all

to

be

clinging

withdrawn
worldly

t.o

matters and to be directed towards the One that is entirely


free
as

from

suffering

and

fear

nothing and no one else

and

can!

thus

also

can

give

release from suffering

to the human heart.


In an other

text,

plained that,
holes

of

in KA'fHA UP.

through a

man's

((12 e)

4,1)

mistaken move . of

senses

were, opened

it is ex-

the Creator the

towards

the

outside.

A wise man who went deep into contemplation about immortality was

needed

senses

inward

per-mi t

one

to correct
(S),

to

this mistake and

where

hear

the

to direct the

silence and perfect equilibrium


VO ice

Of

the

II

atman II

hidden

in

the innermost folds of the heart.


He,

however,

necessity
of

this

to

who

tries

to

recognise himself

world

- as

is

often

escape

from

this

primary

in contact with the things


the

case

in

schizophrenics

- through his attempts at preserving himself and his potential

unused,

robs

and maturing,
phy.

and

Relating

himself

( 1 0)

serve

the

engaged
one

selfish

expressly

world,

( 12 d),

the

ephemeral

world,

and

it

that

is

all

but,
doing,

thinking of
to which

all
this

in

is necessary.

wonderful

according

possibility

dwe}ling

purposes,

states:

in without

reads

the

of

growth

thus falls prey to stagnation and atro-

to

concrete worldly action,


not

of

its

initial

the

all

of

fruit
verse
is

renunciation

GITA

BHAGAVAD

action
(S).
of

should
If

- ,,_ -

changeful

UP.

in the

the

that will

be

finally

ISAVASYA

that must be enveloped by


very

sphere

It should, however,

as

"whatever

the

Lord"

provide

strength, support and comfort, one immediately feels remin-

56

ded

of

the

"Commit

psalmist's

formulation

thy way unto the .Lord,

it to pass" or of a

Romans

v.

14):

"Put

Psalm

trust also

shall bring
(13,

( (1 )

ye

very

on

5)

in him

and

he

passage

in

similar

the

and make not provision for the flesh,

37,

Lord

Jesus

to fulfil

Christ,

the lusts

thereof."
If we now take a brief look at the etymology of
and

11

duh-kha 11 ,

11

s'oka

11

we see that both these terms for suffering

or sorrow stem from word-families that originally designate


"burning, glowing, heat, fever". This fact is of particular
importance for the inhabitants of a hot country. A sensation of heat,
something

in particular in the head,

very

is to any Indiar.

undesirable and even dreaded.

In

the

case

of people with little education many unpleasant sensations,


often
of

also

the

repressed

fever.

vegetative

anger,

"Heating"

are

types

strictly avoided,

accompaniments
referred

to

food,

drink

of

these

as

anxiety

and

"bukhar",

and

i.e.

medicine

are

except during the colder winter months.

A doctor trained in the West can


forgetting

of

facts,

he

lose his repu ta ti on if,

prescribes

for

an

orthodox

Hindu some medicine which, through vasodilatation, produces


a sensation of heat,
consider

the

prescribed,

or even if he does not sufficiently

patient's
again

in

looks and longs for

request

terms

of

to

have

"hot"

is coolness,

or

suitable

"cold".

diet

What

extinction of

the

burning. Nowadays, of course, Westernised Indians,

one

inner

accord-

ing to English usage, also talk in terms of giving a "warm


welcome"

to

or

recommendations".

"warm

even

in

someone or

his

human

send

each

The

other

simple

relationships,

"warm

greetings"

villager,

seeks

for

however,

someone

who

can give him "coolness". (See HOCH (5 d).)


This
in

equation of

itself

the

suffering

possibility

with inner burning

for development

implies

into something

positive. Fire tempers and purifies the one who can resist
its

power.

exercises,
mental
a

hardships

process

heat or

The expression

"tapasya"

often combined with


of

that are difficult

"heating

up",

for

yogic medi ta ti on

self-imposed
to

"hatching

physical

bear,
out"

also
in

"suffering". At the start of creation,

and

means

brooding
according

to certain accounts, the primaeval being has to heat itself

57
in

order

to

hatch

out

the

world,

which

is

occasionally

represented as an egg.
Thus

the fire

of suffering and passions is again some-

thing that will deter and throw inLo pain and discomfort
only

the

immature

and

persistently keeps

hesitant.

He who

courageously and

in view the aim of reaching the Self,

will be purified by this fire.


We
of
Old

can

also

this kind,
Testament

gends,

find. descriptions

of

paths

of

suffering

similar to those in the Book of Job in the


(1 ) ,

in

the world of

Indian myths and le-

in particular the figure of King Hari~andra (11),

who has to lose all that he once called his own and finally
hi~self

has to humiliate
despised
the

occupation

banks

of

of

river

by taking upon himself the lowly,


one

in

who

burns

order

the dead bodies on

to keep

promise which

he had once made to a powerful Saint.

4. Delusion, ignorance ("moha")


While
as

presenting

"bhaya"

if anxiety were the first

sorrow

the

second,

so

"~ka",

and

that

have proceeded

stage of man's miseries and


now,

with

be reaching the third and last stage.


rect,

"moha",

we

would

This order is cor-

if we read the sequence from the point of greatest

closeness to "Being" (in German "Seinsnahe") in the direction of greatest "Seinsvergessenheit" (S),

i.e. the condit-

ion in which man has most completely forgotten the roots


of his being. In fact, however, if one looks at the average
human being, and particularly while dealing with illiterate
or poorly educated Indians from low social strata, ignorance,

helplessness

usual

and

most

rather

than

gained

the

and
common

mental

secondary

impression,

darkness

condition
or

not

even
only

also amongst healthy villagers,


in

India

an

emotional

their

are

not

yet

stirring,

or

capa~le

but

appear

at

least

tertiary
amongst

to
a

stage.

my

be

the

primary,
I

have

patients

but

that many of these'people


of experiencing anxiety as

that

to

any

disturbance

of

inner equilibrium they merely respond with physical

manifestations.

It

often

even

seems

that,

clinging

to

possessions or other worldly securities is of little impor-

58

tance

for

they

them.

are

still

Though
caught

confidently

(SI,

already
up

in

economically

the

expecting

mentality

that

the table will be laid for

"sedentary",
of

somewhere

them,_ even

the

and

nomad

somehow

if they themselves

never bother about getting it ready. Above all, such people


always
the

dwell

only

consequences

save

for

in
of

later,

present

one's

quite

comprehensive

survey

wholeness

pa'st,

of

the

own

moment.

action,

generally:

of

one's

present

own

and

Foresight

of

the

capacity

to

total

image

existence

future,

and

in

appears

its

to

be

lacking in them. Therefore also, namely because they cannot


recollect

anything,

assimilate. it

11 )

their experience

i.e.
and

inwardly

thus

do

hold

not

it

t--0gether

learn

about the likely course of

from

things,

they

lapse into the same errors again and again and,


to

Indian

teachings

and again
more

fall

detailed

about

prey

to death

description

the next paper: "oes'akalaj


It

now

re-incarnation

seems

that

and

of

na

one

II o

( S),

renewed

gain

comprehensive

again
(For

attitude

see

aspect

of

"moha"

this being caught up in the present moment,


to

according
also

birth.

this . mental

and

anything

survey

of

the

is

precisely

the inability

world

and

one's

place in it. The Sanskrit word "moha", which one can best
translate with "loss of consciousness, stupefaction, confusion,

deception,

gone
a

mentally
11

root

group

of

( "rnuhu

11

77 i.
of

words
without

Possibly

words

condition

astray",

muh 11 This
"muhur",

suddenly,

the

(derived

is

same

that

of

derived

root

"muhurta")
root
from

and

and

"muh"
the

been

blinded

etymologically

serves

designate

warning

having

the

as

anything

preparation
"murkh")

occurs
also

to a

that

moment

that
(see

is also related
root

from

the origin of

transitory

or

p.

group

indicate

a condition of having become rigid and solid, in particular


also a

loss of consciousness suggesting death.

In

modern

11 ) The German word "erinnern", which was used in the


original version for "recollecting" relates more deliberately to "inner assimilation" than "recollecting",
which renders more the sense of "holding together".

59
Hindi,
in

this

"murkh"
family

is

of

stupid,

dull

words with

person!

We

thus

find

its many branches all

that

is contrary to living growth and becoming, not only physically, but also with regard to mental and spiritual mobility
and development.
A condition
in

certain

result

of

this

residual

of

kind,

cases

as we find

of

degenerative

it for

schizophrenia,

disintegration

instance

can

and

be

the

a trophy,

at

the beginning of which anxiety may have played its part.


Lack

of

and

differentiation,

in

fact

often

clumsy

does!

heaviness,

exist

right

however,
from

can

the start

and under certain circumstances can make a whole primitive


human

existence

drag

itself

along

in

utter

lethargy

and

mental darkness.
For

me

it

was

Sanskrit

root

against,

to

very

"lI",

stick

enlightening

whi.ch

to,

to

has

dissolved,

to

merge",

"pralaya",

the end of the world,

annihilation

ancient
"he

Indian

who

of

rests"

becoming

completely

he

has

might

say,

for

long

thus
all

will

where

habitual"

sense of

myths.

not

with
is

down,

dissolved

the

to

lean

to,

to become

the

root

for

the universal dissolution


is,, as

only

that

to be sheltered",

providing

seems

settled down all

cling

"to disappear,

also

that

It

"to

settle

simultaneously

and

the

means

to discover

that
"rust"

and

it

figures

in

in

Indian

thought

12)

but

even

the
risk

111erging with the place

too comfortably or,

as one

the "habitual", keeping in mind that "the

actually

time 13).

that
It

which

has

been

"inhabited"

is as if in its primaeval wisdom

had already known that all


too comfortable, easy and problemfree a condition of being

this

language,

i.e.

Sanskrit,

12)

The German proverb says: "He who rests, will gather


rust" analogous to the English "A rolling stone gathers
no moss" which, however, stresses the opposite aspect!

13)

In German "wohnen", i.e. "to dwell", has the same


root as "das Gewohnte", i.e. the habitual, usual,
again indicating that this is what has been inhabited
for a long time. There is a similar relationship between the English (i.e. originally Latin) "inhabiting,
habitation" and "habit, habituation" (S).

60
sheltered - for instance also in a psychotherapeutic relationship!
lazy,

bears

in

itself

of giving up all

HEIDEGGER' s
having

formulation

fallen

the

risk

striving,
in

of

man's

and even of

"Sein und Zei t"

prey to the anonymous mass

is one of these conditions of delusion,

becoming

regression

( 4 a)
the

of

of man's

"everyone",

going

astray,

which nowadays one could probably call "moha".


However,

for the ancient Indian and to a certain extent

even for contemporary Hindus,

"moha",

"bhranti" and "avi-

dya" are to be seen rather in a mental condition in which


the play of "Maya"
i.e.

artificial),

(meaning actually "that which is made"


conjuring

up

an

illusory

reality,

is

mistaken for the truly real and in which one remains satisfied

with

this superficial display of

dualistic

In this way one misses the possibility of


knowledge
All,

of

the

self

and

of

in which alone peace,

one-ness

calm and

world.

attaining

with

freedom

true

the

eternal

from

anxiety

and sorrow can be found.


Incidentally,

one

gets

into

embarrassing

difficulties

as soon as one attempts to render Indian ideas in a Western


language

by

in German

means

of

concepts

"Wirklichkeit".

This

such

as

problem

"reality"
will

be

(S)

or

taken

up

in detail on pp. 225 ff of this collection. In this present


context, it can only be summed up briefly.
The

German

concept

"Wirklich.kei t"

obviously

refers

to a sphere in which human action ( Wirken) becomes percei vable and effective for others.
with which one can deal,
actively.

"Reali tat",

It is something "manifest"

work and as

"reality"

or

it were "manoeuvre"
in

French

"realite"

belong to a different sphere. Derived from the Latin "res",


i.e.

thing,

connected

object,

with

the

"real"

at

objects,

first

the

world.

But if one explores further,

itself

originally did

not

mean

sight appears

things
so

of

the

one finds
much a

to

be

concrete

that

"res"

concrete

thing

in its actual appearance, but much rather its inner essence.

Ultimately,

"rasa",

this

"res" has its origin in the Sanskrit

which means the sap,

of this sap and finally,


qualities

and

their

the essence,

then

the

taste

quite generally, various sensory

perception.

"Reality'' therefore

is

basically the world in which sensory stimuli can be experi-

61

enced. 1 4)
If now one turns to the concept of "reality" in Sanskrit
and Hindi,

one finds that "sat" or "satya" or even "asli"

a derivation from the same


nowadays for "real, genuine",

root

"as",

still

simply mean

current

"to be"

as

such.
Through
come

upon

this

short lingu is tic exploration we have thus

three quite different worlds:

perceivable

and

binding

action

and

that of commonly

handling

of "doing"; that of sensory experience,


of "feeling", but also of "having", and
as such".

the

i.e.
that

world

the world
of "being

One may now doubt, which one amongst these three spheres
of

reality

deserves

clear knowledge,
belong

to

ancient

to

be assigned

to

and which one or ones,

"vidya",

sphere of "avidya 1 ~ or "moha".

the

scriptures

(e.g.

v. 69) point out that,


to the unknowing is for

BHAGAVAD

GITA

what appears

i.e.

to

on the contrary,
( 1 0)

like

In fact the
Chapter

darkest

2,

night

the wise man brightest daylight,

waking time, and vice versa.


The

discoveries

insight

into

re la ti vi ty

the

of

of

modern Western

precarious

science with

structure of

matter

knowledge have perhaps brought us a

their

and

the

little

closer to the realisation that, what we commonly consider


as manifest and perceivable reality and therefore as that
which is truest,

most solid and most worthy of being ex-

plored and known, may not after all be the ultimate ground
of

truth and knowledge.

very

point

of

puzzled

It is quite possible that at this


embarrassment and helplessness the

more comprehensive concept of reality or rather of "Being"


of ancient

Indian scriptures might have a special message

to tell us.
For the moment,

however,

our investigation of the var-

ious concepts of "reality" has probably thrown us straight


into

what

was

in

fact

to

be

discussed,

namely

"moha

11
,

1 4) Plausible as this may sound, one also has to consider


an other etymological view-point which links up Latin
"res" with Sanskrit "di", = to give, grant!

62
confusion, a condition in which all that we had considered
up to now as our obvious foundations suddenly appears
as

unreliable,

fruitful

type

doubtful
of

thinking.
Generally,

and

deceptive.

confusion

however,

that

the

might

ancient

This

could

lead

into

Indian

be

deeper

writings

mean

by "moha" or "avidya" a dull state of ignorance that does


not even allow of any doubt,

considering as

true and re-

maining satisfied with or even actively striving for whatever promises momentary enjoyment to the greedy senses.
One might now assume that in this case "vidya", knowledge or mental clarity,

::;hould consist in one's

turning

one's back on and opting out of this whole deceptive world


which
the

is only due

solution

to the mirror-tricks of Maya.

which

certain

schizophrenics

seek

This
by

is

their

catatonic condition of wrapping themselves up in the cocoon


of their autistic world.

As already mentioned,

drawal leads to stagnation, regression,

this with-

loss of all possi-

bilities for maturing.


It

is

often

difficult

to

decide,

which

amongst

the

many Sadhus and Faqirs who even nowadays roam about homeless

on

Indian

roads

or

seek

retreat

in

hermitages

or

ashrams on the banks of sacred rivers or in the Himalayan


forests,

are

crippled

minus-variants

of

human

life

of

the type just mentioned, i.e. the result of dull withdrawal


and atrophy, and which amongst them, on the contrary,
have really attained a mature stage of detachment from
worldly.

concerns,

condition

but not of the world".


written,

this

of

"being

in

the

world,

(In the years since this was first

distinction

has

become even more

difficult

if one considers that the number of these roaming "saints"


has been greatly increased by all the escapists and strange
characters from the West!)
PATANJALI
the

highest

Self
in

that

four

( ( 9),

4, 1 )

condition

can

be

obtained

different ways:

discipline;

points
of

out

being
in

by

through "mantra",

that

one

this

life,

"tapasya",
i.e.

drugs

gained

from

herbs,

the
can

i.e.

i.e.

Universal
be

reached

strict

yogic

the reci.tal of a sacred

formula imparted by a spiritual master;


i.e.

"samadhi",

with

and

through

finally

"au~adhi",

also

on

the

63
basis
or

of

of

congenital condition of

"being

merged"

( "videha"

"being without shell"

or

"prak;tilaya").

(S)

One can probably assign positive,

constructive value only

to

that of ascetic effort,

the first of these paths,

perhaps

dlso

to

The

third

path

one

which

is

with

LSD

West

the
to

second

i.e.
one,

obtaining

sought
and

by

form

of

Cannabis

and

other

pursued.

knowledge

is

the

"psychedelics"

in

the

intoxicants,

been used by Indian aspirants for


as one can see,

faithfully

revealing

nowadays

other

if

and which has also

spiritual

herbal

truth in the

extracts,

with doubtful success.

and

as

far

(See also HOFMANN

(6)). The last mentioned path, or rather condition, appears


to be the one that characterizes certain schizophrenics,
but also people with
There

is

hardly

exclusively

with

"psychic" or mediumistic capacities,

any

doubt

the

help

that
of

"one-ness"

drugs

or

on

experienced
the

basis

of

a particular congenital disposition cannot lead to illuminating knowledge without any further effort, but that these
two paths may perhaps have to be classified as pertaining
to the sphere of "moha '', of stupefaction and going astray.
At any rate, it is clear from the ancient Indian scriptures

that neither exclusively losing oneself to the mani-

fest

common world and

hand,
one

withdrawal

to avoid

its attractions,

nor,

on the other

into an own autistic world which permits

the hard resistance of

concrete reality can

be the proper way for true spiritual maturing. The dialogue


15) with the world,
it may be,
ary
left

friction against solid resistances is a necess-

prerequisite
aside

no matter how deceptive and transitory

for

finding

the

"self"

without one's suffering

possibilities

for

being

side and, as KA!HA UP.

deceived

and

cannot

loss and trouble.

lie

be
The

therefore on either

((12 e) 3,14) expresses it so drast-

15) The German "Auseinandersetzung", which will also be


referred to repeatedly later, cannot be adequately
translated into English. "Dialogue" is too mild and
smooth. ''Auseinandersetzung", literally "to set oneself
apart",
is a much more forceful term, implying an
almost physical struggle or at least "friction". In
some instances, it can best be rendered by "coming
to terms with". (S)

64
ically,

the path,

hard to go on,

is like a l.azor' s

edge

What shows the right way to the wanderer himself and what
makes others judge him, is probably the fruit of his behaviour. A human being with genuine knowledge of the Ultimate
One,

spreads

an

clarity

around

becomes

unmistakable

himself.

"guru"

searching

for

who

it,

radiance

Without

can

and

much

show,

beneficial

special

also

to

effort,

others

the way that leads from

he

who

are

the untrue

to

true being, from darkness to light and from the tr&nsitory


to the eternal.

5. Conclusion

The picture I
scriptures

and

have sketched out of


perhaps

also

that

of

the ancient

Indian

contemporary

Indian

people may appear strange and unusual. The details,


times

even

the

basic

features

which

have

some-

picked

out,

are often not those that have been particularly stressed


and further developed in the mainstream of Hindu tradition.
What I
of

have deliberately tried to work out are the

thought

that

approach

with

insights

in

might

save

lend

more

the

themselves

recent

West

India

aptly

philosophical

and

from

most

also

certain

those

and

that,

mistakes

to

mutual

psychiatric
if

of

lines

followed,

the

West

and

at the same time might help, not only to preserve original


Indian

wisdom,

but

to

restore

its

value

in

this

phase

of turbulent cultural change.


the

If

criterion

pres en ta ti on
and

tried

active
i.e.

lies

out

on

feeling

the

the

all

three

involvement

of

for

in
in

on

work,

and

validity

fact

in

that

levels of
that
one's

of
own

and

it

truth

has

of

been

"reality":
sensory
body,

any

gained
that

of

perception,
and

finally,

at least by way of a serious attempt to explore the ground


of

all

drawn
of

my

that
of

is and that carries all,

anxiety,

experience

suffering
in

India,

too one-sided and defective.

the picture

and

confusion,

is

perhaps,

on

after

the
all,

have
basis
not

65
LITERATURE
(1) BIBLE, THE HOLY:

King James Version (Old and New


Testament).

(2) BOSS, MEDARD:

"Psychoanalysis and Daseinsanalysis". Basic Books Inc., New York,


1963.

(3) ERIKSON, E.H.:

"Problems of Identity, Hatred and


Non-Violence", Journal of the
American Psychiatric Association,
May 1965. Also an unpublished
commentary of the author on a
correspondence between E.H. Erikson
and Shri Pyare Lal Nayar, biographer and former secretary of
Mahatma Gandhi.

(4) HEIDEGGER, MARTIN:

a) "Sein und Zeit", Max Niemeyer,


Tiibingen, 8th edition, 1957.
b) "Ueber den Humanismus",
V. Klostermann, Frankfurt a/M.,
1947.

(5) HOCH, E.M.

a) "Contents of Depressive Ideas


in Indian Patients." Indian Journal
of Psychiatry, Vol. III, 1/2, 1961,
pp. 28-30 and 120-129.
b) "Autistische Entwicklung indischer Kinder". Unpublished manuscript, 1963.
c) "Negative Existenz". Unpublished
manuscript, 1964. (Also translated
into English.)
d) "From Green Pastures to Grey
Prisons". Journal of Social Research, Vol. VIII, 1, March 1965.
Dept. of Anthropology, Ranchi University, Bihar.
e) "Some Notes on Problems of Alcoholism in India". Indian Temperance
News and Clip Sheet. Vol. VI, 2,
1966.
f) "Family Mental Health Risks".
Chapter in "The Changing Pattern
of Family in India." 2nd Edition,
ed. by R.W. Taylor etal. Lucknow
Publishing House, 1967.
g) "Why the Body as a Scapegoat
for Psychiatric Symptoms?" Proceedings of the First Orientation
Course in Psychiatry for General
Practitioners, Indian Medical Association, New Delhi, 1967.

66
h) "Der Traum: eine Welt - Die
Welt: ein Traum?" In G. Condrau:
"Medard Boss zum Siebzigsten Geburtstag", Hans Huber, Bern, Stuttgart, wi~n, 1973. pp. 35-62. English translation contained in
this volume, pp. 131 ff.
(6) HOFMANN, ALBERT:

"LSD, mein Sorgenkind 11 , Klettcotta, Stuttgart, 1979.

(7) MACDONELL A.A.:

"A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary".


Oxford University Press, 1929
(reprinted 1954-1958).

(8) MUKERJI R.K.:

"Hindu Civilisation", Vol. I ! ,


Bharatya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay,

1957.
,...,

(9) PATANJALI:

(10) StlRJMAD BHAGAVAD


GITA:

"Yoga-Stitras 11 , Sanskrit-English
parallel edition with commentary
by I.K. TAIMNI, Madras 1961, The
Theosophical Publishing House.
Sanskrit-English parallel edition
of Shri Ramakrishna Math, Madras,
1 948.

(11) UPAKHYANAMALA:

(12)

UPANI~ADS:

G.A. Natesan, Madras 1942 (originally contained in Markandeya


Purana, Chapter 7-8).
used Sanskrit-English parallel
texts with commentaries, published
by Shri Ramakrishna Math, Madras.
In detail:
a) AITAREYOPANI~AD", 1 955.
b) "B~HAD~RA~YAKA UPANI~AD", 1 948.
c) CH~NDOGYA UPANISAD", 1 956.
d) 11 ISAVASYOPANISAD 1i, 1 958.
e) 11 KATHOPANISAD 11 , 1 952.
f) 11 KENOPANI~AD 11 , 1 960.
g) "MAH~NAR:KYANA UPANISAD 11 , 1957.
11
h) SVETASVATARA UPANISAD"' 1 957.
11
i)
TAITTIRIYOPANI~AD"; 1958.
11

11

( 1 3) WISDOM OF THE EAST: "The Quest of Enlightenment 11 ,


London, 1950, ed. by E.J. Thomas.
Publishers: John Murray.

67

DESAKALAJNA

An Indian contribution to the discussion on "Kairos"


At about the same time as Wilhelm BITTER' s request for
the contribution to the meeting of the "Stuttgarter Gemeinschaft Arzt und Seelsorger" had reached me, Prof. Harold
KELMAN, Dean of the American Institute of Psychoanalysis
in New York, whom I had first_ met in India in 1 958, and
with whom a regular corr~spondence had lipked me ever
since, had asked me for a chapter for a volume on "Kairos,
an Existential Concept", in which he planned to assemble
articles by authors from all over the world and from different fields of science. Unfortunately, he could not complete it before his death in March 1977. My own paper has
therefore remained unpublished up to now.
As this paper was to appear in KELMAN' s volume a long
with his own quite extensive introduction to the subject
of "Kairos", of which. a manuscript had been put at my
disposition, I have of course repeatedly referred to it.
As this has been done by quoting the relevant . passages
from KELMAN's work, there should be no difficulty in understanding these references, even if, in this present context, the full text from which they were taken is not
available.

1. Prologue in the Himalaya


The
and

scene of the incident by which I want to introduce

illustrate

few

of

the problems

to be discussed in

this Indian contribution to a book on "Kairos", is a small


house

on

top of a

wooded ridge in the Kumaon Hills,

the

part of the indian Him~laya tucked into the corner between


Tibet

and

altitude

the
of

Western

almost

border

6000

of

feet

Nepal.

and

one

the little district town of Almora,


a

magnificent

view

of

the

snowy

Situated
hour's

at

walk

an

from

this quiet spot offers

Himalayan

peaks,

framed

by tall pine and cedar trees.


A

peasant

woman

from

one

of

which cling precariously to the

the

few

steep,

small

villages,

terraced hillside,

had come to consult the foreign doctor about some ailment.


Com11mnication

was

rather

problem,

as

the

polite

brand

of Hindustani, which I had picked up in the refined Moghul


city of Lucknow in the North Indian plains, was as baffling
to
me.

her,

as

Somehow

her
I

rough,
had

guttural

learned

to

mountain
manage

the

dialect

was

to

essentials

of

a medical consultation amongst these illiterate hill-people


who had claimed me as their doctor. But on that occasion,

68
for

some

reason,

was

the past history of

interested

in knowing

more

about

the complaint. Such endeavour itself,

apart from the problem of verbal communication, is puzzling


to these peasants.
their

trouble

They still expect

from

mere

glance

the healer

or

perhaps

to

guess

touch

of

the pulse, without any need for questioning. In this particular

instance,

my efforts at eliciting

from

the

middle-

aged woman some estimate about the duration of the illness


seemed

to

be

doomed

to

complete

failure.

offered

a11

the various words in my Hindi vocabulary that could signify


time,

period, duration,

"vaKt",

number of years,

"kitene din",

"sal",

"baras",

such as "samaya"'

but

just could

not

succeed in making the patient understand, what I was after.


Finally,
never
my

in

despair,

heard

studies

in
of

blurted

conversation,
ancient

out

but

Sanskrit

word

which

texts:

which
had

had

noted

in

"samvatsara".

A5

if by a magic formula, the woman's face suddenly brightened


up,
be

and
the

with

an

"aha!"

of

recognition,

same all over the world,

which

she gave me

seems

the

to

desired

information, tP.ough only vaguely.


Why

the

rather

unusual

and

complicated

Sanskrit

term

had opened up understanding where all the simpler current


expressions

for

"time"

had

failed,

found

its

explanation

when I consulted the sanskri t dictionary ( 27): "samva tsar a"


is

derived

from

the

word

"vatsa",

which

means

"small child". The syllable "sam" signifies,


things,

"together",

suddenly

used

days'
in

the

live

as

quite

past:

that

the

"King"

Swiss

voluntary

amongst other

"This

was

when

peasants

helper

similar way of

during

with
my

dating events

Peter

in the family) was small"; or:


when

or

"at the same time as". On seeing this,

remembered

to
had

"calf"

(one

of

the

whom

student
that

lay

children

"This happened in the year

(one of the cows) was a

tiny calf!" was often

the most accurate timing of a past event one could obtain.


So

"samv?tsara",

though

all

the

learned

consulted are silent on this point,


to

time

nature
its

which

is

marked

such as birth and death.

at which a
in

scale

domestic animal

infancy,

or

or a

possibly

it

dictionaries

presumably also refers


by

the great events

Either

of

it means the time

human being was born and


may

refer

to

the

period

69
during which a cow or a buffalo is with calf, though this,
according
months.
In

to my

local

same

region

the

informants,
and

is only 1 O or 11

from

these

mostly

lunar

illiterate

Himalayan peasants, I was to learn still more about "time".


Aqain
a

and

again

man or a

boy;

time at all!

it

happened

that

one

of

them

always

women did not seem to be concerned about


stopped me on the way to ask for the time

on my wrist-watch. This was invariably done with the formula: "'!'a-im kya hai?", i.e. "What is the time?", the English
"time" being pronounced in an Indianised way. Once, instead
of just giving the desired inf orma ti on, I challenged a
young

lad:

careless
the

"What

shrug

matter

do

of

was

you

his

of

have

to

shoulders

no

day".

But

the

seemed

to

consequence

question had only served as a


of

know

continued

my

and

time

indicate

that

means of

for?"

in

that

fact

his

"wishing the time

questioning:

"How would you

know the time if you could not ask someone with a watch?"
The answer was:
for
to

"With my heart.

something.or other:
go

how

to

sleep,

would

you

he pointed
course

to

know

towards

towards

do

to feed the cows,

some work in the fields.

this?"
the

the

Because it would be time

to have a meal,
With

sun,

West,

gesture

which

was

lengthening

of

on

the

11

his

its

"And

head,

downward

shadows

of

the

tall pine trees.


When I tried to reflect on how the boy could have avoided

borrowing

was,

the

English

word

pressions for

"time" would fit

gaya?",

"What

hours
of a

in

asking what

i.e.

has

it

in.

gong or the clanging of a


eyelid)

original

Sanskrit
do

not

time

"time"

One

can

"Kya baj

talk

about

in terms of "ghata", again referring to the beating

an

the

One can ask:

struck?".
bell,

English "minute" or even the Hindi


of

the

came to the conclusion that none of the Hindi ex-

ones
lend

which

is

for

Hindi

designating
terms

from

for

which

themselves
stretched

to

smaller

time

they

and

are

measuring

out as

or one can use the

"nimi~a"

(the twinkling

time

units.

even more

derived,
and

But

so

the

definitely

dividing

up

an abstract dimension or

which is available as an expendable commodity.


It

is

Western

man

who

has

imported

this

concept

of

70
a

"time"

use,

which

spend,

which,

on

can

waste,
the

or which,

one

have

give

may

which one

can

which can slip away


or fulfil~

one can fill

"passing time".

have,

or

lie heavily on one's hands'


Nowadays

the

'
t 'im e"
in terms of " cut t.i.ng

Westernised Indian even speaks


instead of

not

or -take,

contrary,

at best,

or

But for

the

illiterate people

of the villages time is something that cannot be abstracted


and
It

imagined as
is

always

separate

"time

for

from

that

which happens

something".

Above

in

all,

it

what

is

not "aj", to-day, now, is simply "kal", and this may equally well mean yesterday, tomorrow,

the day after or never.

What counts, even within the "to-day",

is only the present

moment. The dim light of a consciousness not highly developed does


of

the

quite

not penetrate beyond the most

here-and-now.

Everything

extraordinary

event

immediate

else

that,

unless

like. a

tall

scene

it

is

landmark,

sticks out of the haze of forgetting - lapses into a realm


of uniformly dim indifference.
When my neighbours from the hillside villages
taking

advantage

soon found
acute

out

illness

of

my

that,
that

medical

if

knowledge

it was'not

alarmed

them,

and

started

skill,

re.ally severe

few

of

them

I
and

actually

set out from home with the well planned intention of seeing
the doctor. Much more frequently it happened - and actually

is

happening

at

the

moment

lines in this very same setting~

that
-

am

writing

these

that a man on his way

to the market or to his work as a road-maker or wood-cutter, a woman gathering leaves or grass for the goats,
a small group of boys on their way to school, by chance
discovered the foreign doctor sitting in f ro.nt of her
house and . then suddenly remembered that at one moment
or other there had been some pain or some other ailment
That
time",

"their"

time

might

never occurred

not

to

necessaril~ also match "my

them.

still

suspect

that

my

occasional attempts at preaching the need for punctuality


and consideration must be striking these people as merely
another one of the crazy whims of these foreigners,

which

one just has to tolerate with a pitying smile. After all,


"samaya",

"time",

means

place" .~ "juncture",

an

"coming

together",

"opportunity".

so.

what

"meeting
else

is

71

required

to

make

it

"tne proper time" when one has come

together with a person whose help one needs?


Gradually,
also

amongst

b~gan

quite

to

lies

lower

realise

outside

be

what

one

future

most

give

the

Himalayan

of

the

forests

city

but

population,

of these illiterate people

thought

concern

to

of

anything"

their

that

daily

lives

therefore always coincides with what

happening

separate,

in

strata

immediate

"Time"

imagined

juggle and

up

that

"never

the

actually

cannot
as

only

the

generally

and pursuits.
is

not

or

as

about

independent

manipulate.

to

happen,

dimension
concept,

What

may

possibly,

for

"durande;i",

that

sticks

though

and

can

which
out

thus

be

it

isolated

one

can

then

from the past or

rarely,

visualise

"foresight",

is

in

word

the

which

according to many people ought not

to exist in the Hindi

dictionary!

time,

point

at

is

which

not

some

stretch of

event

took

place

but an isolated

or

is

expected

to

take place in its due course.


"Existential time" this l.s called nowadays in the erudite West;
under

something that had to be newly discovered again

crust

of

habit th.at had turned

time merely into

an abstract scale of measurable units or into a negotiable


commodity!
No doubt
so with
does

this

all

not

respect for

always

"qualitative".
"qualitative
something"
as

which

But,

if we may say

the possibility that "primitive"

inferior!

deserves

to

be

called

coming to. our main concern, does this

aspect

make

is

is

the

of

it a

time",

which

"kairos"? No,

is

always

"time

certainly not!

for

"Time"

which

The

seasons

longer,

limitless

expanse

of

the

nomad's

world,

synonymous with space and with the few landmarks

for

or

mean

time

it is experienced, or rather not experienced, by these

people,

primitive view of

he

may
and

some

be

watching

out during his wanderings

the

sequence

of

shorter,

some

days

brighter,

and

nights,

some darker,

some
impose

certain rhythm, and, as the sun moves towards the South


the

North

in

its

birds

seek

distant

these

regularities

yearly
lands,

of

course,
one may

nature.

To

or

as

adjust
make

the

migrating

one's

quite

path

sure

to

that

the powers behind these recurring phenomena will not sud-

72
denly and capriciously alt~r their course, one propitiates
tnem by

invocations,

one goes,
laid

for

both

man

in

long

or

of

and

out

that

where

rather

the

green

limits

co-existence have
offered.

"opportune

are

who

relapsed

settled

one

snatch

Consequently,
and

time

But

fixed
wrong
in

its
it
the

socia 1

has

to

rules

look out
wherever
with

for
they
into

fragmented

occasions"

of

empty'

qualitative

It can be seen as the moment from which one e:;. -

pects some advantage,


-

in
far

where

anonymous stretches 6f nothingness in between.


Time then appears to have two kinds of
aspects:

be

continuous'

and

becomes

to

overcome

longer

advantages

"unique

planning

West,

it!

no

property

imposed,

and

moments"

into

table

still

completely

is

wherever
the

for

emancipated

not

pastures

been

golden opportunities
are

the

has

indi vidua 1

Of

need

(S)

people

even

has

of

without

attitude

in

But,

green pastures,

perhaps one would not be

exploitation,

perhaps

expanse

beasts

even

ago,

pointing

spirit

and sacrifices.
find

nomadic

in abundance

abodes

to

and

and cultivating.
Traces of this
found

gifts

one expects

that "brings something towards one"

the original meaning of "opportunity"!

or which "lets

something fall into one's lap", a "windfall", an ."occasion"


in

the

most

literal

sense.

But

time

in

its

qualitative

aspect of a unique moment can also, on the contrary, demand


something from us: the giving of our concern, our thought,
our effort,

perhaps

even our own

selves.

Or

it

may

ask

us to give up our clinging to that which has proved itself


safe and reliable, to what we are habituated; it may challenge

us

into

relinquishing

that

which

we

have

merely

assumed, put on, for the sake of convenience. If "kairos",


as

KIELHOLZ

stems

from

( 26) ',
a

(quoted

Greek word

by

KELMAN

that means

( 25

c))

"cu.t,

maintains,

incision",

it

is obvious that it must point to this second quc;'li tati ve


aspect of time which,
haps

or per-

like the scalpel of the surgeon, opens up our being,

discards
be

like a sharp pruning knife,

wha.t

barren,

has

and

become

rele~ses

redundant,
or

what

strengthens

has
that

proved
which

to
has

the power to grow and mature.


My

staying

up here,

in

the

solitude of

the Himilayan

73

jungles

first

continuously

for

about

1 /2

years,

now

only for short holiday periods :-- no doubt provides "opportune

moments",

ants.

For

"brings

myself,

something

however,

it

in"

is

for

the

local

peas-

closely associated with

what one can probably rightly consider as two major "kairoi":

the

first

to India,
perhaps
of
and
A

brought me from Switzerland

while the second one,


and

up

thinking,

the

in the beginning of 1962,

third

into

as

whom

moment,

"kairos"

serve

like

some

not

at

professional activities,

me into

temporarily

professional and

something

propitious

regarded

challenged

securities of

venturing

these

in 1956,

an even more decisive breach with accustomed ways

living

giving

one,

hermit's

time

only

the

social

by

in

1 963,

myself

moment

which

is

also

by

me. back

to

but

brought

life

existence.

richer and more varied than those

which I had given up.


The combination between the insights gained in solitude
in

the classical

refuge of

on

the one hand,

and the transcultural psychiatric exper-

ience

gathered

in

the ancient

various

clinical

sages and hermits

settings

in

India

on

the other, are the sources from which the following observations and reflections have been drawn.

2. The concept of "Time" and "Kairos" in Indian literature


Let me state right at the beginning that I cannot claim
to have a
Indian
a
to

thorough and systematic knowledge of the Ancient

Scriptures.

rather

haphazard

guide

me

have

been

manner,

except

and

sincere

browsing
with
wish

through

them

practically
to

in

nothing

penetrate

to

the

original sources, aided by Sanskrit-English parallel texts


and a
of

everyday

much
I

reliable Sanskrit Dictionary ( 27), and my knowledge


that

have,

weal th
could

While

already

been

on the other hand,

unbiased
human

Hindi.
has

approach,

nature
of

the

possibly

closely

which

not

had

doing
and

justice

to

pu,blished,

the advantage of a fresh,

related

Scriptures

and

be

investigated

psychiatric

Ancient
study

may

present

to

the

insights

into

practice

affords.

The

is
in

far

greater

this context.

only give a few hints, illustrated by some examples.

than
I

can

74
~gveda
(32)
In these earliest formulations
in India, estimated to date back

a) The

of the Aryan spirit


to about 2500 B.C. we find evidence
B. C.

according to others only 1500


of man's intimate contact with and dependence on the majestic,

often

overpowering

forces

of

nature.

Some

of

the

periodically recurring or, on the contrary, incalculable


phenomena, which at that time went beyond all human comprehension, had bee~ personified into anthropomorphic figu~es
of benevolent and .scornful Gods. But in the hymns of praise
and prayer of the ~gveda, the lyrical note of sheer awe
and wonder predominates over any attempt to establish
a

systematic

that

the

mythology.

Gods

are

We

"later

are

even

told

than

this

world

quite

plainly

production"'

and in the later hymns obvious doubt about the power and
actual existence of these Gods creeps in.
As far as I was able to make out ~rom my sketchy reading, this period knew no specific God of Time. The temporal
coordinate appears to have practically coincided with
the spatial one. Vishnu has measured the universe by his
three giant steps; Us'as, the Goddess of Dawn, stands at
the juncture of darkness and light and again and again
she arises "as the last of the countless mornings that
h ave vanished and the first of

II

the bright morns to come '


thus marking the eternal transition from past into future
through a fleeting present moment.
But whenever one finds an~ indication of a time concept
it is always closely allied with the laying out in space

of

the event

referred

to:

the daily

from East to West and through


night, its half-yearly course

journey

of

the

sun

the unfathomable realm of


southward from summer to

winter solstice and its more auspicious northward course,


they all primarily provide an orientation in space("orientation" in its most original sense, as all our spatial
directions ultimately take their bearings from the rising,
11
the "oriri
of the sun! ) , mapping out the wide expanse
of earth and sky into the four quarters and their subdivisions. Time appears to be conceived of either as a movement
in space or as a momentary threshold which such movement
is about to cross.

75
One

feels

allow
on

for

the

intuitively

many

level

from

an

his

own

separate

general

background

storms,

flashes

of

Gods,

to

events

individual

the

this world

extraordinary

of

experiencing

that

man,

who

are

at
was

as

humanity.

lightning,

which

yet,

being

existence

of

view

the

did

not

least

not

capable

of

standing out

Floods,

drought,

varying

moods

of

still unaware of his own powers

of rational grasping and calculating engineering of nature,


is

helplessly

exposed

with

no

other

resources

of prayer and propitiating sacrifice. Yet,

but

those

one feels that

the ability to formulate this attitude in these magnificent


hymns

is

itself

already

sign

of

doubt

the old vision and of the dawn of a

with

regard

new in which

to

intro-

spection and reflective control become more and more prominent.

Upani~adic

In the rich
is

estimated

age
a

(33 a - g)

Upani~ads

b) The

to

to

about

fairly

lie

500

literature,

right

B.C.,

from

we

the period of which

the

find

end

of

passages

the

that

~gvedic

refer

to

systematic mythology and in particular a variety

of myths of creation, as they also figure in the so-called


PuraIJ.as,
with
only.
the

some

of

which

the Brahmarias,
Emphasis,

however,

awe-inspiring

of

the

now,
at

find

times

estimated

has

of

the

individual

distinctly

to

be

the Upani~ads
shifted

macrocosmos

microcosmos

we

are

of which

of

portrayed

considerably

nature

human

human

contemporary
form one part

to

mind.

beings

the

Quite

frequently

taking

characters,

from

intimacy
the

some

lead,

of

them

even historically verified figures.


In
the

spite

of

this,

background

to

the

coordinate

quite

of

remarkable

time

remains

Of ten

degree.

in

some

concept of time is merely to be inferred ~rom the different


gra~matical

forms of the verb,

in which of course Sanskrit

is quite rich.
took

texts

(three

CHANDOGYA
ones,

e)

the
( 33

such

with

of

trouble
of

the

b),

as
view

/..,

scanning a

major

-.

KATHA

ISAVASYA
towards

( 33

ones:
d),

few of

B~HADARA~YAKA

and

few of

( 33

c),

finding

the Upani~ad

PRASNA

(33

passages

g),

( 33 a),
the minor
KENA

containing

(33
some

76

harvest was conspicuously poor. The


only concern appears to be the distinction between "being
and non-being"; the concrete, manifest and the f orrnless,

notion of

time.

The

unmanifest, unborn;

the perishable and the indestructible;

the

the

momentary

and

eternal,

within the realm of the


consequence. We find
bed

as

place
or,

and

who

more

is

temporal,

ia,

the one who

the

is

What

happens

obviously of

little

the Lord of the Universe, descri-

holds

literally

timeless.

all

days

ruler of

"of

all

and

the

that

seasons

past

has

and

been,

in

the
is

their
future

and

will

be". Such marked periods of time as the dark and the bright
half of the moon,
of

the

to

their

~nd

sun,

the southward and

however,

the

northward

are mentioned mainly with

auspiciousness

for

certain

ritual

course

reference

undertakings

in particular, in a more spatial than temporal connota-

tion,
to

to designate the pa th which the departed soul

reach,

from

respectively,

re-birth

and

the wheel of birth-and-death

doom

or

takes

liberation

through merging

in

the

Universal Self.
Occasionally,

we

find

such

terms

as

"kala",

which

later periods signifies something like ''kairos",


moment

of

ultimate

decision.

But,

opportunity,

in the combination
"the last moment".
We

are

respected
human

plainly

as

the
of

taught

such

as

it
of

"antakala",

position or a

being,

yet,

moment

denotes
death,
"the

that. nothing,

mainly

extreme
whether

son,

the

particularly
time",
wealth,

close relationship with a

husband, wife,

in

a unique

has

fellow

its

value

for the sake of the object, but that all this only exists
for

the

sake

of

the

Self

(S).

(B~H.UP.

(33

a),

2,4,

v.

5-6). The Self must be sought and recognised through continuous meditation and a
towards
Self,

the

COre

resides,

Of

turning

the

smaller

heart I

than

inward of the
Where

small,

the

II

greater

senses
atman II
than

( s)
the

great,

unborn, undying, formless, fearless, eternal.


Worldly pursuits and attachments are described as ephemeral,

as only lasting till to-morrow. Death is also occa-

sionally called "Diir",

the one who carries

away"

the

to

the

ends

of

quarters

of

the

the soul
earth,

"far
or

as

77

"hunger,
a

penury",

similar

40,

who

manner

6-7),

where

eats

as
we

in

up

the

what

Old

he

produces.

Testament

((1)

are taught that "All flesh

1)

In

Isaiah,

is grass,

and all the goodness thereof is as the flower of the field;


the

grass

wi thereth,

the KATHA UP.

the

( ( 33 d)

I,

fact

world

of

one

feels

system

with space,

6) :

11

fadeth

we hear in

"A mortal ripens like corn;

aga~n."

like corn he springs up


In

flower

that

time

as a . separate coordinate

is of no consequence at all.

Together

it forms the one deceptive dimension or realm

that is only conjured up as an illusion before the


~ust

through the magic play of Maya, and which


as

11

the

true

asat 11

and

the

eternal.

opportunity",
breaking"

false,

in
11

The word

favour

ks'ana",

of

ignor~nt

be.discarded

the

"sat",

the

which means "moment,

has also the meaning , of "hurting, wounding,

and

stems

from

"decay,

destruction'-'.

"moment,

instant",

the

The

same

term

root as

''muhu",

,,

"ksaya",

i.e.

"muhurta",

for

is closely related to tl_le word "moha",

which
designates
''illusion,
confusion,
stupefaction",
the ignorance which mistakes the illusionary play of May~
for the trueworld.
I

have

detail
( S)

pointed out

later

that

in

earlier

and

shall show in greater

ancient Indian philosophy "reality"

in contrast to our Western concepts - refers quite

simply

to

"that-which-is"

Being.

It

is

against

"that-which-is"

in

this

and which

terms

of

ultimate
in

ultimate,

"r.eality"

of

eternal
"sat",

its potential includes both

being and non-being, that we have to contemplate the insignificance of time as a mere illusion.
however,
its

also

raises

al terna ti on

of

time with all its fleeting moments,

day

and

night,

dark and bright fort-

nights of the moon,

seasons and years,

of

opportunity

an

which

eyer-present
alone

This very insightt

is eternal,

for

'into the position

turning

imperishable,

free

towards

that

from fear and

1 ) Reference to this will be made in greater detail later


on pp. 238 ff where there is also mention of an element
of "time" in the form of the year!

78
suffering.
the

As

nothing

but

Universal

Brahman

pervades

introspection
all

is

needed,

beings

and

as

resides

equally inside the heart and outside it, no special opportunities

are

moment,

in any

contemplated

needed.

The

"kairos"

situation,

if

immortality,

only,

we

hit

is

available

as

the

on

the openings of the senses inward.

the

wise

idea

(KATHA UP.

of

at

any

man

who

turning

( 33 d) 4 '1 )

(S)

What may,
unity
one,

however,

into a

also turn this ever-present opport-

unique,

outstanding,

is the encounter with the

personally

"guru",

challenging

the wise

teacher,

the sage (S). Sometimes in a flash of intuitive understanding,


and

sometimes

only

even physical

painful
opens

apparent

the

after

imposing

discipline,
neglect,

eyes of

he

the prescribed
tasks,
it

strenuous

times

grants

after
his

rules

for

self-mastery

require

in hand,
(CHAND.

humble,

and

This moment of

purity

the

in

master

all

and

one's

dogged

faithfulness

for

worldly

but also by earnest seeking and inquiry.

may

of

not only through following

approaching

and

spiritual
periods

blessings

the aspirant to Truth.

"kairos" may need preparation,


attaining

at

At

to

times

the

task

as for instance in the story of Satyakama Jab~l~


UP.

(33 b) 4, 4-9) who, on applying for disciple-

ship with one of the famous sages, was sent to look after
a

herd

and

of

supreme
4,

the

lean

tending

the

cows,

instruction

10-~5).

By

teacher 1 s

enlightenment

or

Upakqsala,

master 1 s

the

from

the

fire.

through

frustrating

the

tasks

to

with so much devotion and patience.


faithful

into

fulfilling

the
of

path

of

other

teacher

times,

resembles

into the dark".

This

nowadays

we

b)
to

found

attended

perhaps what

"karma-yoga",

determination

(33

they

they

is

the

they bent

worldly duties without

this
what

UP.

command,
which

fas ting

received

(CHAND.

any gain: action without fruit of action.


At

while

very humility with which

apparently

later developed

who,

sacrificial fires,

i.e.

the

regard

for

(S)
to

would

In one of the most moving

find
call

the

true

"the

leap

Upani~ad

texts,

the KATHA UPANI~AD,

(33 d), the boy Naciketas, challenging

the

insincerity

his

his

ill-tempered

of

curses

boastful

father

literally,

by taking one of

proceeds to the

abode

79

of

Yamraj

or

Mrtyu,

by

his

tenacious

of

all

worldly

the God of Death.

insistence
advantages

holds out to him,

The wisdom,

and- through

and

he finally

the

allurements

which

sacrifice

which

Death

forces this supreme teacher

to impart to him, is amongst the deepest and most beautiful


texts

in ancient Indian li tera tu re.

(For further details,

see later, page 192.)


c) The Pura9as
The PuraI}as,

which

have

already

been

mentioned as

at

least partly contemporary with the Brahmanas, and therefore


also

with

Indian

the

Upani~ads,

mythology.

They

and

tales

about

one

could

point out

concept of

the

"kairos"

are one of the main sources of

contain various myths of creation

various

Gods

heroes.

~nalogies

numerous
in all

and

with

No

the

doubt

Western

these often very detailed and

drastic accounts. I am, however, not sufficiently acquainted with them


limited frame

in
of

their original form; furthermore, the


the present context is hardly suited

to hold all the wealth .of information that might be found,


if one were to dig into this goldmine . To one of the most
significant

myths

in

this

we shall come back later.

context,

the

Krishna

legend,

(See section 2 f) of this paper.)

May it suffice to point out that one of the most important contributions of

Indian mythology is perhaps the view

of a supreme Trinity,

incorporating Creation, Preservation

and

three

Destruction,

and
p.

beneficial
2-04.)

fested
the
he

again

the

"lingam",
the

the

separate

preserver,
is

for

lonely

but

equally

of

and

source
this

Shiva,

presents
of

Brahma,

the
from

important

life.

(See

the

unmistakable

ascetic

destroyer.

himself

creative

who,

the creator,

in

these

energy,

also

phallic

sitting

in

of

illustration
to

Shiva

himself,

three

aspects:

symbol;

he

can

be

the snowy regions of

meditates and condenses his creative

protector
time

Vishnu,

represented by the

in the brooding heat of "tapasya";

benevolent
(see

as

continuation

deities:

the Himalayan peaks,


forces

counted

Often the three aspects are represented as mani-

in

however,

all

time

all

on
he

the

creatures,
cover

bursts

out

of

he
the
this

into

is also the
"paupati"
book)
wild

(S);
dance

80
of destruction,
has

outlived

causing

its

the

dissolution

creativeness

and

of

gone

world

stale

and

that

rigid'

thus preparing the scene for a new world cycle. His female
counterpart
name of

in

this

appearance

this

destructive

black,

who

the

eats

up

her

expressions

own

one

of

has

already

its

connotation of "antakala",

been

aspect

is

Kali.

blood-thirsty Goddess of
for

children

"time",

repeatedly

one

i.e.

mentioned,

In

recognises

"kala",

which

particularly

the time of death.

is seen as the great destroyer,

the

frightening

in

"Time"

the black one, who devours

whatever it brings forth.


The

importance

again

and

to the

again

light

of

of

change,

creating

that which

avoiding

chances,

new

become

has

stagnation,

of

bringing

forgotten

and

of

back

fallen

into neglect, is also implied in the succession of "avataras",

in

which

world

in

the

Vishnu

course of

"incarnations" take,
of

biological

of

fish,

by

earth
a

ages.

first

saves

The

in

this

farms

mortal

which

these

the

he

appears

primaeval

in

father

the

form

Manu

from

the second "avatara" is the tortoise, on whose

back the world rests;


the

the

himself

indicate at the same time some notion

evolution:

which

the floods;

manifests

from

demon;

an

then

then comes the boar,

abyss
the

into

which

"narasimha",

it
a

wh.ich

has

rescues

been

creature

hurled

which

is

half lion, half man, kills the demon Hira~yaka(yapa. Finally,

first as the dwarf Vamana,

who nevertheless

in

three

strides covers and wins the whole universe, then the terribl
I
/
e Parasu Rama who slays the all too powerful Ksatrya
(warrior

caste),

and

Rama

Krishna

he

and

scriptures,
One

further

the

then
takes

Buddha

incarnation

is
is

in

the

human
also

well
form.

an

still

known

"avatara"
being

figures

According

to

of

of

some

Vishnu.

expected

in

the

form of Kalki, the Judge of the World.


On the other hand, we get a pessimistic view of a deteriorating world

order

in

the myth of the Yugas,

ages through which the world has been passing:

the

four

the first,

the Kfta Yuga, was the Golden Age, in which v~rtue, truth,
fear of God,
In

the

contentment and happiness reigned the world.

fallowing

Treta Yuga,

and

the third one,

ovapara

Yuga, virtue successively loses one of its quarters, until

81
during

Kali

Yuga

(which

"time"

or

"black",

but

has

nothing

signifies

to

the

"kala 11 ,

do with

side

of

the>

dice

with only one dot!) it stands on its last leg. This degenerated

age

of

cunning deceit,

unscrupulous vice,

ruthless

exploitation, iron harshness and quite generally, a decline


of

all

virtues

living

and wisdom,

nowadays.

"pralaya",

When

it

universal

be followed by one of

is

has

the

one

come

to

dissolution

in which we are
its

of

completion,

the

world,

will

the long "nights of Brahma" before

a new Golden Age" can arise.


This ancient Indian time scale,
nights
of

of

human

human

Brahma are
years

years!)

creation.

all

equivalent

(one day
has
In

or

been
the

astronomical

figures

night equal to 4, 320, 000, 000

laid

face

in which the days arid


to

down

of

from

its

the

beginning

staggering

of

dimf"nsions,

human

reckoning of
time
loses
its significance.
all
Furthermore, where everything is converging towards a
periodical universal
formation
human

and

beings

"kairos",

renewal,
appear

the

supreme moment of trans-

small

negligible.

"kairoi"
(For

of

individual

details

concerning

this section see for instance GLASENAPP (6).)

d) The Epics
If

we

are

creatures
and

of

interested
flesh

aspirations,

Epics,

the

these

and

in

the

blood,

small

with

world of

their

in

passions

we

had

better

Ramaya~a

(39)

and the Mahabharata (28). Though

monumental

might perhaps

tales

of

turn

human

men,

adventure

to the great Indian


and

war,

which

liken to the Greek Odyssey and Iliad,

one

refer

to happenings that are tentatively dated somewhere between


the. 14th and 10th centuries B.C.,
current
more
6th

nowadays

or
and

less
2nd

are

supposed

historical
centuries

the epic versions still

to

have

been

composed

figures

some

tim~

between

B.C.,

the

R~m~yana

being

by
the

somewhat

older than the Mahabharata.


In

the

Ramaya~a

we

hear the tale of Rama,

the Prince

of Ayodhya (a still existing small town in the North Indian


province

of

Uttar

Pradesh),

an

incarnation

of

Vishnu.

Due to the wicked intrigue of one of his father's wives,


he

has

to

leave the kingdom which,

by right of birth

is

82

due

to

hiin,

and

spend

1 4 years

as

roaming

hermit

in

the jungle. His faithful wife, Sita, who accompanies him,


is abducted oy Ravana
the

present-day Sri

the

powerful

Lanka.

demon king of

With the help of

the

Lanka,
king

of

the monkey tribe and the valiant and sincere monkey general
Hanuman,

son of

captivity
which

in

the

the

perhaps,

wind-god

city of

apart

to

it,

formulates. the

the

hero,

to

the

in

morals

is

and

lustful

many

as

reader

the

Sita

is

rescued

demon.

This

other

meanings

from
tale,

ascribed

venture of individual emancipation

taken

fascinated

the

from

of

Vayu,

an

opportunity

or

listener

proprieties

of

for

imparting

numerous

worldly

lessons

conduct.

This

naturally also implies the pointing out of "right moments"


and

fitting

occasions.

It

is

in

the term "de{akalajna", which I

this

text

that

have chosen as

we

the

find
title

of this contribution. It means the man who knows the right


place and the right time for taking action and for deciding
on a course fitting

to the occasion.

. .

Sometimes

one

finds

the variation "desak~lanuvrtti", which could be translated


as

"conforming

Usually

it

to

is

the pa th of

the. opportunities

only

the

of

superman,

the

personal . emancipation

who

place

and

hero,

engaged

merits

time''

these

on

epi-

thets. We find plenty of scenes in which not only delicate


ladies
and

but also men,

warriors,

swoon

common
"-like

an axe" when they find

people

mighty

and even great


trees

themselves

in a

being

kings

felled

by

crisis, while the

hero remains master of himself and the situation. It would


be

an

attractive

undertaking

to

study

all

the

passages

in which weak human beings escape into a state of temporary


"non-being"
of

or

at

least

shocking experience,

character

of

11

kairos"

"non-knowing"

under

the

impact

which presumably often has


that

is

premature

and

the

therefore

miscarries. This inquiry would be all the more meritorious


as

amongst

finds

which

was

present-day

great

number

fashionable

psychiatric
of

patients

"hysterical

in Europe during

fits"

in

India

one

of

the

type

the Victorian

age

and at the time of FREUD's first psychiatric experiences.


It would be instructive to compare the situations against
which human beings had to close themselves up by shrinking
into

lifeless

rigidity

and

senselessness

two

thousand

83

years

in

B.C.

ancient

India

and

1900 years after Christ

in Europe and, a little later still, in present-day India!


One

feature

counters
in

of

is

particularly

the Ramayana,

recognising

rig~t

the

interesting

in

these

during whi.:h the hero,


time and place"

en-

"expert

( "des'akalajna")

often conquers a threatening demon who has been terrifying


the inhabitants of a region for a long time. Occasionally
we find that the monster, before giving up its black ghost,
turns

to its slayer

thanking

him

in a

gesture of reverent

submission,

for having brought release from the bondage

of a divine curse or penance. Usually the demon or monster,


at this extreme moment, his "antakala" sees, as in a flash
of

illumination

the

incarnation

of

God

in

his

victor,

and both together the slayer and the slain in all humility
and

awe,

bend before

is

revealed

or

can

we

by

this

perhaps

the uni versa! di vine presence which


"coming

call

it

together",

this

"samaya"

"kairos"?

of two beings
who were meant for the fulfilment of each other's destiny
and who, ultimately, are both one.
Here
to
-

I may perhaps add briefly - as I am not competent

report

on

the

that Ayurveda,

Indian

systems

of

medicine

in

detail

the science and art of medicine derived

from the Ancient Scriptures, dating back in its systematicto about 600 B. c., also knows the term "kalaj na I I .

al form

One of the elements which a good physician has to recognise


and control
When

the

in treating a

signs

constitution
point

at

is

which

are
poor,

patient,

is

unfavourable,
the

the

"proper time".

whether

the

patient's

illness has not ripened to the

intervention

can

be

successful,

or

death

is already written on the sick person's face, the physician


will
its

refuse
more

to

the

or

postpone

general

proper

his

services.

therapeutic

time

for

significance

applying

taking certain articles of food,


ion,

sleep

and

other

vital

"Kala"

also

with

has

regard

certain medicines,

for

for attending to excret-

functions.

Even

nowadays,

we

find many Hindus religiously or even compulsively following


such instructions.
To come back to the Epics,
ous

one,

the

Mahabharata,

the second and more volumin-

( 28),

is

the

tale

of

feud

between two branches of a noble family, the Pandava princes

84
and

their

Kaurava

main na.rrati ve,

cousins.

which

Into

culminates

the
in

framework

the

great

of

Kuruk;etra c near Pa~ipat in present-day Punjab),


dozens

of

traditional tales,

again

this

battle

of

are woven

illustrating

all

the

virtues to which the common man should aspire in his daily


life.
While-,
might

in

these

discover

stories,

many

an

instances

interested
of

investigator

"kairos "',

"kairos"

missed and "kairos" rendered fruitful! - this Epic contains


what

the major and most essen~ial

is one of

Hindu

religion,

millions

of

Krishna

which

people

in

the

still

day

supreme

exercises

by

day:

Song

of

the
God,

its

"kairoi"

in

influence

on

reyela ti on

of

the

BHAGAVAD

famous

Shr i

GITA (2), which deserves a special section in this Chapter.

Gita

e) The Bha9avad

(2)

I f we compare the spirit of

obviously

refer::;

to

impression that,

that of

the time to which the Gita

the

more and more,

Upani7ads,

one gets

the

the illusory play of Maya

has been accepted as a reality in which one can make oneself

comfortably

beyond.

But

at

earlier

than

was written,

at
the

the

home
same

without
time,

available

thinking

perhaps

version

of

of

anything

few

the

centuries

Mahabharata

the Buddha had already formulated his teach-

ings of

the universality of suffering and of

the way

end

At

recognising

it.

least

some of

the wise

men

were

to

that the pursuit of worldly pleasure and interests invariably

ends

drawn

in

from

pain,

this

only way was


and

to escape

involvement

reducing
this

in

fact

compulsively

to

escapism

or

religious

and as we still find

Hinduism

of

individual

narrow

compulsive

might call it,


and

conclusion

Some

had

that

the

either through avoiding action

strictly prescribed

collective

suffering.

the

in worldly matters completely or

action

perfect4.on

disappointment,

inevitable

it

religious

through

sphere
ritual.

neurosis,
in many

of
From

as

one

forms

practice

of

even

nowadays, man had to be challenged into committing himself


again

to a

fellow-world,

to

care

and concern for

without thought of the result he might reap for


Such

commitment

and

encounter with

the

others

himself.

fellow-world,

of

course,
more

bears

in

obviously

it

the

than

the

possibility
detached

for

ascetic

"kairos"

much

attitude which

the Upanisads often appear to convey.


The

scene

which

immediately

precedes

the famous

"Song

of God" itself is undoubtedly one if not the major "ka.iros"


in

the

life

Pa:r:<;l.ava

of

Arjun

princes,

(S),
is

one of

to

into a

decisive
masterly

description

signs

the

somatic

he experiences in this crisis:

enter

the five

We are given a

all

about

warrior,

battle with his Kaurava cousins.


of

who

the

of

anxiety

which

"My limbs fail and my mouth

parched up; my body trembles and my hair is standing


my bow is slipping from my hand and my skin is
burning and tingling all over; I can no longer stand and
is

end;

on

reeling;

my mind is
ter. II ( ( 2)
his

can only see forebodings of disas-

Chapter

I,
28-30)' thus Arjun complains to
unknown to him, is the great Krishna,

charioteer who,

the avatara of the God Vishnu. The moment of acute crisis,


the hesi ta ti on, the anxiety, the temptation to turn back,
to

escape

into

rational

excuses and defensive arguments,

the final breakthrough of a flash of overpowering illumination,


in

in which the whole universe is seen simultaneously

all

its

glory,

but

also

its

terror

all

this under

the wise guidance of one who recognises "the right moment",


and

who

knows,

the

one

who

how

to

appeals

use

for

it in the way best suited to

help

is

perhaps

one

of

the

oldest and most brilliant example's of a psychotherapeutic


intervention aimed at rendering a "kairos" fruitful.
To expand at length on the teachings of the Gita would
go
I

beyond
may

that

the

be

scope

allowed

have

of

to

the

pick

particular

present context.
out

bearing

few

on

But perhaps

significant

the

verses

question of

time

and "kairos".
As
more
Again,

to
or

the
less

various
the

however,

time-scale

designations

same

vocabulary

there

within

seems

which

the

to

for
as

"time",

in

the

we

find

Upani~ads.

be

little

concern

daily

course

of

human

for

life

organises itself. We are led to view time in a much greater


perspective, which dwarves all human notions:
"Those
in

who

duration,

know
and

the

the

day

of

Brahma,

thousand

ages

night

of

Brahma,

thousand

ages

86

ending,

they

know day

and night"

(Cha.pt.

8,

v.

and night, in this cosmic view of the world,


to

the daily

revolutions

and decline of ages.


beings

stream forth

of

the

earth,

17).

Day

do not refer

but

to

the

dawn

"From the Unrnanifest all manifested


at

the corning of day;

at

the

coming

of night, they dissolve even in That called the Unmanifest"


(Chapt.
a

8,

small

v.

18).

section,

timeless

That

even

perhaps

expanse,

is

this

cosmic

momentary

indicated

by

Time

glimpse

the

is

only

vast

of

following

verse:

"Beings are unmanifest in their origin, manifest in their


midmost state; unmanifest likewise they are in dissolution.
What need then for grief and sorrow?" ( Chapt. 2, v. 28).
Krishna, revealing himself as the Lord of the Universe,
calls himself "the everlasting, imperishable Time"
10, v.

33). On a more concrete level,

(Cha pt.

"amongst all those

/
who calculate" he is Time; amongst months he is Margasir~a

(November or
winter

December,

solstice),

more

and

of

or

the

less

at

seasons

the

he

time

is

of

the

spring,

the

time of blossoms (Chapter 10, verses 30 and 35). Simultaneously,

however,

he

is

"Time"

which

destroys

and

lays

waste the worlds" (Chapt. 11, v. 3'2).


There

is

"no time,

when He was

time at which men were not,


hereafter"
in

( Chapt.

the hearts

middle

and

of

also

20).

"He knows

that

will

be;

2,

v.

all
the

the

not,

nor

1 2).

He

is

the

beings.

He

is

"the

end of all creation


beings

is

there

nor will anyone cease

that

have

but no one knows Him"

"at.man"

any

to be

present

beginning,
(Cha pt.

11

been,

that

the

1 O,
are

(Chapter 7,

v.

v.
and

26).

"There is nothing whatsoever beyond Me; all this is threaded on Me, as beads on a string." (Chapt. 7, v.7).
We find mention once of the different
childhood,
just as
one

youth

each

death

of

also

and

the

sun's

course

age,

but

only

phases
to

these periods passes m~er


simply

another body, just


(Chapt. 2, v. 13).
Day and night,

old

as

signifies
one

the

would

into

passing

change

of

one's

the

that

the

next

over

into

clothes.

bright and dark fortnights of the moon,


towards

the

North

and

the

Sou th,

again only mentioned as the stations on the path,


toward

life:

explain

eternal,

from

which

there

is

no

are

either

return,

or

87
towards

the

one

to come back into the round of birth and death.

has

dark

(Chapt.

8,

world's

eternal

not;

by

v.

regi9ns

23-25).

the

which,

again

"Light and darkness,

paths;

other

from

by

the

the

one

one

who

he

and

these are the

goes

returns

again,

who

returns

again."

(Cha pt.

8, v. 26).
From

the

modern,

as

following

"field theory"
these

(S),

that

strikes

one

it might be assumed that,

all-importajt

darkness,

concept:

as

very

it practically contains the essentials of the

w4.thin

spiritual

tne

dimensions

concrete

world,

apart from

of

light

spatial

and

orientation

was still far more relevant. than any notion of-time. All
creation

is

together

of

perceives
is

or

view

texts.

supposed
the

It

to

"field",

knows

which

the

we

be

the

the

"ksetra",

"field":

find

presupposes

result
/

in

the

the

coming
one who

/
"ksetrajna".

the

already

of
and

the

older

This

Upani;;ad

that the Universal Absolute allows

itself to be split into this dualistic world of the known


and the knower, the object and the subject. The ultimate
truth

would

recognise
to

merge

be,

the

again to see the oneness of the two,

one

into

"atman"

oneness,

be.tween the knower,


We
of

find

(S)

in

in which

all

beings,

or

to

rather

there is no distinction

the known and the process of knowing.

passages

that

announce

the uni versa 1 "kairos"

the mainfestation of the Lord such as:

is decay of righteousness and there

"Whenever there

is exal ta ti on of un-

righteousness, then I myself come forth. For the protection


of

the

sake

good,

for

of

finally

from age

to age"

any

mention

be

designated

it

seems

point

to

become

to

of
me

it

(Chapt.
a

4,

that

many

to

righteousness,

v.
on

of

the

necessary

the

challenge

in

oneself

moments

am

which

the personal

is

fruitful

for

the
born

7-8). But there is hardly

unique

"kairos"

which

receptive

rendering

establishing
particular

as

that

the destruction of evil doers,

teachings
to

prepare

of

and

in

level.
of

the

could
Yet,

GI ta

oneself

to

"kairos" and for


those

entrusted

to one:
In contrast to the practice of Christian denominations,
which expects every one to follow the same way to salvation,

the

Grt~,

as

earlier

Scriptures,

shows

remarkable

88
psychological
approaches
make-up.

insight

suited to

distinguishing

-people

of

path

of

the

path

good

path of devotion
scriptures

and

of

mixture

works
and

or

action

universal

later

of

the

person
to

but

deal

to

even

with

and

( bhaktimarga).

di~tinguish

the

Other

even

more

According to the prevailing


( S) ,

the

the basic qualities

elements of all

choose

not

only

worldly

different

possessions

of

creation,

to take to different types

his

different manner.
on

fact,

is likely

of worship,

"gu~a"

in

( vijnanamarga),

( karmamarga)

love

commentators

three

human nature and

and

constitutional

contemplation

differe~t "margas" or "yogas".

varying

different

There is the path of discrimination or knowledge

( jnanamarga),
the

by

and

forms

of

food

duties

in

Aldous HUXLEY in his well-known Chapter

"Religion and Temperament"

( 20) ,

to which KELMAN also


refers in his contribution ( ( 25 c), p. 34) has pointed
out how relevant this ancient Indian view is for the
understan~ing of the psychology of religion.
We have to
assume
be

that

open,

the

will

type of

"kairos"

also vary with

psychotherapist who wants

to

to which a

his

person will

constitution;

and

gain increased control

the
over

such moments that contain the potential 6f transformation


would

be

wise

expectations
of

the

to

not

to

all

his

particular

apply

the

patients,

approach

that

same
but

is

most

to

measure
take

likely

and

account
to

make

a fruitful impact on a patient of a given type.


Quite generally, the different paths or "yoga" advocated
and

explained by

the Gita appear to have the purpose of

imposing a certain self-discipline, which alone can create


the solid vessel that ultimately has to contain the great
revealing

experience.

putting together"
Universal Self,
ing and

merging

-,

"Samadhi"
the final

literally

"joining,

state of oneness with

the

is not just a passive process of dissolvthe

individual

self,

as

for

instance we

find to an extreme pathological degree in certain schizophrenics. It presupposes a capacity for intense concentration,

condensation

which

can

only

be

and

containing

reached

of

through

creative
rigorous

of the body and mind. In juNGian words (S)


the

energies,

disciplines

(see e.g.

(23)),

process. of transformation can only take place within

89

a firm "vas hermeticum".


be

the

function

"gu~as",

three

of

In Indian terminology, this would

the

"raj as",

the middle

one of

the

which represents the fire of the passions,

but at the same time the capacity to generate and contain


the intense heat necessary for all transformation.
At

the

same

time,

this

process

of

"toughening

up",

as we would call it nowadays, has to be balanced by allowing in oneself the growth of an ever increasing sensitivity,

not only to the joys and pains of one's fellow human

beings, but also to one's own


shine through all the external
we

could

call

it

true nature, which must


layers of habit and, as

"ego-defences",

in greater

and

greater

transparence. This subtle sensitivity would correspond


to the "sattva"
the subtle or the absolutely good and
true

"gu~as".

amongst the three

stimuli for the senses,

Abstention from strong

from idle talk and trivial worldly

associations, can sharpen this subtlety


and the "one-pointedness" of the mind.

of

the

senses

A high degree of detachment from all worldly matters


has to be cultivated quite generally. Only sovereign free-

dom

from

all

one-sided

or

amb~tion,

preference

leanings
in

towards

particular

one

particular

freedom

from

all

attachment to the pleasures of the senses and all creaturely

comforts,

and

utter

disregard

for

the fruit of one's

actions, can guarantee that during the moment of decision,


the

"kairos",

inherent

the

choice will

ultimate

considerations

truth,

of

and

material

be
not

made
in

according

to

the

dependence

on

or

prestige

expediency

social

some

or the pull of momentary passions.


Perhaps
are

to

"He

who

we

be

can

attained

beareth

compassionate,

best

no

ill-will

without

in pleasure and pain,


self-controlled,
to

Me,

he,

My

sum up

all

these

qualities

that

by the following verses of the Gita:


to

attachment

forgiving,

resolute,
devotee,

any

being, .friendly and

and

egoism,

balanced

ever content, harmonious,

with mind and reason dedicated

is dear to Me.

He from whom the

world does not shrink away (or who sees no split, no duality,

no

from

the

hatred
world,

in

the world),

free

from

the

who

does

anxieties

not
of

shrink

away

joy,

anger

and fear, he is dear to Me." (Chapter 12, v. 13-15).

90
At

times,

scriptures
for

this state of equanimity which

nowadays

"upeks~"

call

bland,
we

careless
would

(Pali:

"upekkha")

indifference,

call

11

the Buddhist
is

perhaps

mistaken
even

what

couldn' t-care-less-attitude"

/II
the true II upeksa
can be d escri b e d
full
state of "couldn't-care-more",
0

Far from this, however,


as

very

dynamic

of potential for true choice, provided we understand by


"care" not narrow self-interest, concerned only with personal satisfaction
preferences and ambitions, but "care"
in the sense in which Martin HEIDEGGER (9) has introduced
it

into

Western

responsible
world,

"being

the

decision,

philosophy

free,

"Sein

und

Zeit":

there" for the creatures of

capacity to
a

in his

make,

in

moment

of

loving choice instead of

the

fellow-

crisis

falling

and
prey

to considerations of petty self-interest and to "ins ti tutionalised" notions of social security and prestige.
All

these

steps

towards

firmness

of

resolve,

freedom

of choice,

sensi ti vi ty and transparence to one's own true

being

at

and

the

same

time

to

one's

essential

oneness

with all that exists, are aims towards which the teachings
of the Gita show the way in a masterful manner,
to th4?

aspirant

for

his own salvation,

not only

but also for

the

one who has to guide others.


KELMAN
that

the

patient

(25 c),

in his contribution on "kairos",

good psychotherapist,
eff ici~ntly

through

if

the

he

the
in

ability
action".

of

seeing

This

Gita, where we find


sees

inaction

"action

very

in

ideal

in

is

and

"kairoi"

that

should have developed


inaction

taken

in Chapter ~,

action

wants to guide his

various

may offer themselves during therapy,

states

and

inaction.

straight

from

verse 18 that:

action

the

"He who

:.n inaction,

he

is

the wise among men, he is harmonious, even while performing


all action", or in Chapter 3, verse 4: "Man wins not freedom from action by abstaining from activity'
renunciation

does

he

rise

to

perfection."

nor
( S)

by mere
The

need

for a "witness consciousness", which enables the therapist


to remain aware simultaneously of his own innermost core
and that of the patient,
also postulates
in

Chapter

6,

it,
verse

is

in a
perhaps

29:

"The

kind of empathy,
what
self,

the

Gita

harmonised

as KELMAN
formulates
by

yoga,

91

sees

the

Self

abiding

in

all

beings,

all

beings

in

the

Self; everywhere h~ sees the same."

f) The Krishna legend


This
adult
be

short summing up of some of

Shri

Krishna,

complete,

ros",

if

story

we

of

did

insist

not

on

contained

turn

parallels

Christ's

something

while

as

the teachings of the

in

the

Gita would

particulary in the present context of

of his birth.
The amazing
are

(3)

the

of

birth

of

an

back for a
the

have

often

uniqueness

of

the

"kai-

moment to the time

Krishna

embarrassment

not

Legend

with

the

been pointed out and


to

those

coming

of

who

want

the

to

Messiah,

those who wish to stress the one-ness of all relig-

ions welcome this similarity triumphantly.


In

short,

for

the

legend

and

oppressive

goes

those
as

who

follows:

tyranny,

are

not

during

Vishnu

acquainted
a

who,

with

it,

period of darkness
as

already

quoted,

comes forth " whenever there is decay of righteousness


and exal ta ti on of unrighteousness" ( ( 2) Chapter 4, v. 7) ,
chose to manifest himself in human.form. His mother, Devaki,

was

the

who reigned
Pradesh.
of

his

the

sister

the

powerful,

cruel

King

Kamsa,

in the present-day region of Mathura in Uttar

Through a
sister

eighth

of

prophecy,

to

child

Vasudeva,
of

announced during the wedding


Kamsa

had been informed that

this couple would be his

slayer.

In

order to prevent this threatening disaster, Kamsa, according

to

right
born

some
after

to

Devaki

versions,
their

them;

imprisoned the prospective parents

marriage

according

to

and

killed

other

all

versions,

the

children

he only kept

and Vasudeva confined in a dungeon, when the birth

of the eighth child, who was to be his slayer, approached.


At

any

rate,

when

the ~hild was born,

t~rough

the grace

of the Almighty the guards fell asleep, the shackles dropped from Vasudeva's hands and feet, the prison walls opened
before him, and even the wildly swollen river Yamuna divided

its

floods

before

him,

so

that

he

was

able

to

take

the newborn child safely across

to the other bank of the

river.

boy

There,

he

exchanged

peasant woman born at the

the
same

for

time.

the

daughter

of

The tyrant Kamsa,

92
rushed
as soon as he heard about the birth of the child,
to kill him. To his surprise, he found a baby girl. When,
in his wrath, he tried to smash her against the wall,
she slipped from his hands _and rose up into the sk~, warning him that ,the one who was to kill him was

safe.

like

birth,

King

Herod

in the

accounts

of

Christ's

Just
the

evil king then serit his soldiers to kill all the newborn
miraculously,
Somehow,
children in the neighbourhood.
the baby Krishna escaped and grew up with his peasant
foster-parents amongst the cow-boys and dairy-maids of
Vrindaban, into a young man whose life was full of miracles
that gave proof of his divine nature.
It would be idle in this context
the

traditional

story

of

Christ's

to

birth,

discuss
as

we

how
find

far
it

in the Gospels (1) may have been influenced by this earlier


legend of Krishna through some assimila_tions of Eastern
wisdom that may have reached the Mediterranean coast
The similarities are obvious. It may be more fruitful
to assume the point of view which JUNG annd KERENYI ( 22)
have presented in their book "Das gottliche Kind" ("The
Divine Child"). They show how the "archetype" of the birth
of the hero and saviour under poor, inconspicuous circumstances, under threat of immediate destruction by some
cruel ruler, merely symbolizes a process of renewal, of
rebirth, which can be observed in the human psyche again
and again. This, presumably, is what is meant by "kairos":
the silent preparation of something that grows in the
innermost self and that, one day, when the time has come,
emerges into the light of consciousness,

often in an un-

seemly form that provokes aversion and disgust or, at


best, mere indifference rather than joyful acceptance;
the immediate counter-attack of all the. dark forces, which
may be those of stagnancy, lethargy, unwillingess to face
change and insecurity, or those of attachment to comfort,
prestige, conformity, wanting to remain "with the crowd",
or those of pride of one's convictions or the respectability of one's scientific knowledge; the moment of despair
in which one is in danger of being engulfed by all these
opposing dark forces; the need for a bold decision, often
for venturing into a new path on blind faith, perhaps

93

for

"casting

facing

bread

on

the

water"

or

at

least

for

oneself as one who is different from what one had

believed
last

one's

all

minute

hitherto

along:

the often miraculous arrival of some

help,

either

unknown

inner

through

resources

the
or,

mobilisation

at

times,

of

through

the timely presence and wise guidance of a "guru".


This
every

whole

few

drama

hundred

is

or

not

something

thousand

years.

that

only

recurs

It is 'the struggle

between darkness and light that goes on in the human soul


all

the

time,

at

times

sometimes erupting into a dramatic climax,

almost

imperceptibly.

St.

John

knew. about

it

and formulated it in his magnificent, timeless introduction


to his Gospel (St. John, 1 ,1 ff) which is, however, thought
by

some Christian theologians to be too cryptic, smacking

too much of abstract phil,osophy,


authentic.
to

this

But

we

coming

already

of

the

to be accepted as really

find

light

many

into

passages

that

refer

darkness

that

"knew

it not" in the books of the prophets of the Old Testament,


particularly those of Isaiah, and then again in the epistles of St. Paul.

In some of these reference~ to the coming

of

word

Christ,

strangely
concerning
of

in

the

in

"kairos"
the

is

texts

actually
of

the

the birth of Christ itself,

"time"

occurs
but

the

however,
that

them,

has

come

"kairos''

ordinary

"chronos"

or

is

that

not

used.

Rather

various

Gospels

though the concept

has

used

or "hemei:-ai"

been
in

fulfilled,

this

context,

("the days"). 2)

In later Christian tradition, Meister ECKHART formulated


this

insight in his famous

"God must be brought to birth

in the soul again and again." Some of the later Christian


mystics and spiritual directors comment.ea on what DE CAUSSADE

( 5)

and

CHAPMAN

( 4)

called

"the

sacrament

of

the

present moment", sacrament also implying a moment of transf orma ti on


self,

and

that
the

requires

sacrifice,

acceptance

of

the

the giving up of onefact

that

this

giving

2) The theological dictionaries, e.g.


that of KITTEL,
give interesting collections of references to the use
of "kairos" in the Bible. See e.g. DELLING' s article
on
"kairos"
in KITTELS' s
"Theologisches Worterbuch
zum Neuen Testament", Vol. II, pp. 456 ff.

94
of

oneself

only

may

occasion,

not

but

be

in

demanded

the

of every-day life.
The Buddhist teachings
to discuss at
GOVINDA

( 7)

on

small

spectacular

trials

- which I

and

once-

tribulations

do not feel

competent

length (but see for instance LAMA ANAGARIKA

and

( 8))

in

this

yield interesting aspects of

context

though

"kairos" -

they

would

with their stress

on t~e constant involvement in suffering through the wheel


of

birth and

and
in

death"
human

death,

also

cannot

life,

the

ar~ses,

death,

just

but

contain
be

that

regarded

every

"cutting' off"

the wisdom
as

fleeting

of what

is

that

"birth

one-time

events

moment

past,

as

and the birth of a new aggregate.

marks
soon

fer:

even-mindedness
welcomed
most
on

in

in

revolving

creates

and

becomes

true

the

to a never

"upeks'a",

whatever

comes

with

capacity

of

see depicted in stone on


drals,

the

the

one's

In this perspective,

wheel

it

or as KELMAN would no doubt pre-

which

humility

loving choice.

the

that

"eventing"!

as

It is this very

openness to constant change and transformation,


ending flux of events,

the

fate,

the

moment

which

way,

is

make

the

the lowest point


at

f a<;:ades of

of

to

an

times

we

mediaeval

greatest

promise.

also

ca the"Kala",

the time, which we have seen as the black one who devours
whatever it produces, also becomes the indispensable background

for

moment"

the

full

appearing

of

of

potential,

the

chances for renewal and rebirth.


the shortest day of

light,

offering

the year

the

ever

"opportune

and

ever

new

In this perspective also,


two days before Christmas

- becomes what Hindi calls the "big" or "great" day.


This

reversal

coming big,
((1) e.g.
dust

of all

hills being

Isaiah 26,5;

being

accustomed values,

35,6;

transformed

the

small

be-

levelled and valleys being filled


40,4;

into

gold,

42,15; 49,11 ), ordinary


the

stone

which

the

builders had rejected becoming the corner stone ((1) Matth.


21,42; Mark 12,10;
the one who
the

broken

3),

is

reed,

typical

transformation
of

the

Isaiah 28,16;

Psalm 118,22; Acts 4,11),

is unseemly, without beauty,

quest

becoming

of
and

of

the

Saviour

what JUNG describes


what

he

has

the Alchemists

shown

despised by all,
( (1 )

as

to be

(JUNG C.G.

Isaiah

the

the
( 23

53, 2-

process
real
and

of
.aim

24)).

95

The
all
can
of
but
but

powerful symbols that often stand at the turning point,


have a strange quality of ambiguousness: the snake
strike with deadly poison, but it is also the guardian
secret treasures; the fire can scorch and destroy,
it can also purify; a magic wand can throw a curse,
can also release, and so forth. We have already seen

that some of the Hindu deities also have this doubleor even triple-faced aspect. Some of the other symbols
of transformation mentioned by JUNG are also to be found
in Indian mythology and folklore. (S)
g) Parables and folklore

As we have just seen, it seems that the language of


symbols and parables is most suited to express the ineffable mystery which always remains at the core of an experience that truly deserves the name of "kairos". Similarly,
while we human beings live in the flesh, truth can reveal
itself only by remaining at the same time partly concealed.
Much of ancient Indian literature actually makes ampleuse of this cryptic .possibility of expression. As the
B~HADARA~YAKA UPANIAD

"the

Gods

love

what

((33 a) 4,2 v. 2) points out, even


is

mysterious

and

dislike

what

is

evidePt".
Christ,

when

challenged

by

his

disciples

about

his

habit of speaking in parables, gives the answer ((1) Matth.


13,1 3 and 1 5) : "Therefore I speak to them in parables,
because they, seeing, see not, and hearing, they hear
not;

neither

do

they

understand

For

this

people's

heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing,


and

their

should

eyes

see with

they have

closed;

lest

at

any

time

they

their eyes and hear with their ears and

should understand with their heart and should be converted


and I should heal them"
already contained in the

(The passage takes up a


Old Testament in Isaiah

(See also pp. 180, 199.)


The parable is perhaps
presenting
which

contact

truth,

person
between

at

the
the

master

the

seed
time,
~nd

most

for

appropriate

a future
or

way

"kairos",

when circumstances
pupil,

theme
6, 9).

possibly

of
for

al low a
between

healer and patient, is not yet ready. Inside the apparently

96

insignificant shell,

which merely appears

pleasant

entertainment,

least

the

favourable,

if

ground

is

seed

is

to provide some

contained
will

which,

sprout one

at
day.

Meanwhile, no harm is done by exposing a truth prematurely


a

faulty

procedure

which

Indian

Scriptures

equivalent to telling a lie!


The Greek word "parabole"

actually

means

that which

one.

can

that,

is

and

"thrown beside"

it

will

simply

remain

One

regard

as

literally

leave

it

at

nice

story. But one


can also accept and treasure it, as this is said of Mary,
the mother of Christ, who "kept all these things (namely
the message of the angels during the night of Christ's
birth) and pondered them in her heart". ( 1) The original
Greek text of St. Luke 2,19 uses for "pondered" the expres11

sion
the

very

which
be

I
symbal
lousa

verb

"symbol"

found

11

in

en

I
kardia

te

"symb~llein",
is

derived

parabol~"

"to

and

in

au tes",

i.e.

throw

of

the

of

farm

together",

which

different

root

from
is

combination.

"parabole", thus received and carefully kept,

to
The

then becomes

"symbolon",

something that "falls together",

is closely

associated with an inner meaning and becomes

part

of

the

person

But one

can

in whose heart

also reject,
beside or

before

one

not

would

devil,

the

it is thus

treasured.

throw aside completely, what has been placed


one.

be

It

far

then

wrong

"dia"bolos",

who,

becomes a

in
in

"dia'bolon",

associating
the

it

parable of

with
the

and
the

sower

and his seed (though there he appears under the name "pone-

'
ros",
13,

the "troublesome" or the "evil" one!

4-9 and 19-23)

steals

the grain and

See

( 1)

Mat th.

prevents it from

germinating.
Indian

literature

is

full

of

parables:

the

twelve

volumes of the Jataka (21 ), containing the stories related


by

the

human

Buddha
and

animal

about

animal;

fables;

many

great Epics and the


In
last

more

recent

century,

Vivekananda,

Shri

his

the

previous

births

Pancatantra

of

the

( 29),

stories

in
a

many

forms,

collection

contained

in

the

second

who

became

of

the

two

half

of

the

the

guru

Pur~~as.

times,

during

Ramakrishna,

the reviver of Vedanta,

short and pithy parable.

shall

was

reproduce

master

of

of the

just one,

the

97

story

of

"The

Grass

Eating

Tiger",

which

perhaps

most

aptly illustrates some of the aspects of "kairos": (30)


"Once a tigress attacked a flock of goats. As she sprang
on

her

prey,

she

gave

birth

grew up in the company of


and

the

cub

cub

bleated

One

day

amazed
the

followed
too.

to

see

ea ting
to

the

It

is

tiger

the

tiger

tiger

their

last

began

to

bleat.

like

Saying this,

They

grew

to

the

The cub

it,
The

bleated;

be

same

tiger.

seized

water and said:


just

it

attacked

grass-ea ting

at

cub and died.

example.

Gradually

another

wild

to a

the goats .. The goats ate grass


a

big

Running

wild

tiger.

flock.

whereupon

It

was

after

it,

the

tiger

the

grass-

dragged

it

"Look at your face in the water.

mine.

Here

is

little

meat.

Eat

it."

it thrust some meat into its mouth. But the

grass-eating tiger would not swallow it and began to bleat


again.
and

Gradually,

came

to

however,

relish

the

it

meat.

got
Then

the
the

taste
wild

for

blood

tiger

said:

"Now you see, there is no difference between you and me.


Come along and follow me into the forest." The moral of
this

story

grace

is:

"so

descends

there

on one.

can

be

He will

no

fear,

if

the guru's

let you know who you are

and what your real nature is."


Similar
grow

up

stories

as

the

exist

about

prince

who

happened

to

foster-son of some craftsman and who had

to be introduced to his real nature by a competent teacher.


A famous scene, in which someone is challenged into unfolding his inherent potential,
ya~a

( 31 )

monkey

is also contained in the Rama-

general

Hanuman,

who

is

to

cross

to Lanka to explore the situation in Rava~a' s palace

over
prior
on

The

to

the

carry

the

liberation of

shore
out

of

the

the

task.

ocean,
He

is

Sit~,

is sitting despondently

despairing
then

of

reminded

being
that

able

being

to
the

son of Vayu the Wind God, he has hitherto unrealised powers


of

locomotion.

Hanuman,

encouraged

by

this

admonition,

tries and successfully jumps across the sea to the island.


Some of my psychiatric colleagues here in India have told
me

that

patients

they

occasionally

use

this

story

to

encourage

to mobilise and gain confidence in their dormant

capacities.
Many

of

the

folktales

still

current

in

present-day

98

India are contained in the Pura~as, the old Epics andthe


collections of parables mentioned above. But there are
also some that appear just to have been passed on from
generation to generation by oral tradition, without certain
knowledge of their source. Amongst these, one finds themes
that are very simila'r to fairy tales and folklore in the
West. We find, for instance the familiar plot of three
or more brothers who go out into the world to achieve
some given task. While all the elder ones are well equipped
with knowledge and proficiency in various skills, the
youngest one is often a backward child, considered to
be a simple fool.

Everyone laughs at him, and he is only

just tolerated or even considered a hindrance in the great


undertaking. And yet it is he,

ignorant but pure of heart,

who finally wins the princess or discovers the treasure


Is this perhaps a theme related to the fact that "Kairos"
in Greek mythology, as KELMAN points out in his contribution (25 c), is the youngest son of a youngest son?
One of a collection of tales which were kindly gathered
and translated for me by an Indian friend,

Miss Damyanti

Singh, seems to contain so many of the elements of "kairos"


that I canot refrain from reproducing it in the way in
which I received it:
"The tale of Lakhtakiya."
"Once upon a time, there was a king who was well known
for
he

his
was

benevolence
sitting

in

and

sense

court,

of

justice.

strange

One day,

person

came

to

when
him

in search of employment. The king asked him, what his


qualifications were. He replied that he would do, what
no one else in the world could do, and that he would come
forward, when the courage of others failed. But as long
as others were able to do something, he would do nothing.
Then the king asked him about his salary. He said that
he should be given one lakh of takas (one hundred thousand
Indian coins) every day. The courtiers were of the opinion
that he was deceiving the king. But the latter thought
that one who had
worth.

so much

self-confidence must have

some

So he was employed. The whole court became jealous

of him and engaged themselves in finding out an opportunity


to

bring

him

down

As

he

earned

one

lakh

takas

every

99
day, he was given the name "Lakhtakiya".
"As

he

himself

had

the

no

other work to do,

responsibility

of

Lakhtakiya took upon

guarding

the

palace.

The

king was being criticised by his friends and subordinates


for

employing

such a worthless person.

He became curious

to know something about the activities of his new employee.


One day he decided to watch him secretly at night.
"Lakhtakiya

was

wandering

near

the

palace

gate.

At

midnight, he heard some noise in the garden and went there.


He

found

weeping
and

beautiful

bitterly.

asked

her

"I

am

is

supposed

woman lying on

He was greatly surprised at this sight

about

the

Goddess

Laksmi

to

the green grass and

be

cause

(the

very

of

her

Goddess

of

so_rrow'.
good

fickle-minded).

peacefully.

He

is

good

said:

for tune,
have

the company of your king for a long time and I


here

She

who

enjoyed

have lived

and virtuous monarch,

but

soon he will be a victim of ill fate. You know that Lak~mi


cannot live with an unlucky person. So I am leaving him
with a heavy heart."
''Lakhtakiya

was

greatly

shocked

to

hear

it.

He

said:

"Is there any way to save the king from this disaster?"
_ "Yes,
ice,
1

there is a way. But who can make the great sacrif-

that is needed for the sake of the king?" asked Lak-

-:'

smi.
"Lakhtakia r1odded his head and retorted: "I can sacrifice all
me

the

that
right

have for

path.

the sake of tpe king.

receive

one hundred

Pray,

show

thousand coins

every day

from

the king for doing what others cannot do.

so

have

done

far

nothing.

But

the

time

has

come

for

me to prove my worth."

"Lak~m1 raised her head and said:


to

save

the king from destruction,

that

is

situated

feet

of

the Goddess

in the north,

"If you really want

then go to the temple

sacrifice your

son at the

(Kali!) with your own hands and offer

her his blood. There is no other way."


"He
and
what

hesitated

went
had

sacrificed

home.

for
He

happened.
at

the

moment,

but soon regained courage

called his whole


His
altar

son
of

gladly
the

family and told them


offered himself

Goddess.

His

wife

to be
also

did not lose heart and advised him to be faithful to their

100

benefactor. His daughter embraced her brother with tearful


eyes

and

agreed

with

them.

So

all

of

them

went

to

the

temple with firm determination.


"Lakhtakiya

took

his

sword

into

his

hand

and

chopped

off the head of his darling son at the feet of the Goddess.
The mother of the child could not bear this painful sight
and so she pierced her heart with a dagger. When the little
girl

saw her brother and mother

she

followed

rending

suit.

Lakhtakiya

scene any

longer.

lost

It was

not

heart as

strong as a rock.

his

Thus

whole

the

family

see

too much

who had a
head.

to her in this way,

could

this

even

heart-

for

him,

He also chopped off

offered

their

blood

one

by one for the sake of the king.


".The

I
(Laksmi)

Goddess

self-sacrifice

of

the

sprinkled

scene

and

that

was

greatly

faithful
some

impressed

family.

blood

of

appeared

on

forefinger

on

She
her

the

by

the dead bodies. All of them became alive. She told Lakhtakiya
him

that
a

she

boon.

was
He

pleased

said

welfare of his king.


the monarch would
then disappeared.
"Lakhtakiya
the

palace.

time

and

eyes.

had

But

happened
his
of

he

wanted

his

long

and

family

at

followed

watched

all

his

Lakhtakiya
said:

kept

"My

and

that
and

back

came

to
the

his

own

ignorant of what

had

with

the

secret
a

the

life

secretly

employee

the

Lord,

grant

all

him

transactions

strange

to

except

prosperous

to be quite

his

wanted

nothing

home

had

and

and

gave him assurance

king

asked

absence.
humility

pretended

and

him

he

The Goddess

live

left

The

with

that

to

woman

was

reason

for

himself

out

weeping

in

the neighbourhood. I had gone to give her consolation."


"The

king

Lakhtakiya.
of

human

done

was

beings.

such a

heart.
done.

was

day

the

now

poeple

This

with

wonder

king

not
a

at

the greatness

of

name and fame is the last weakness


man had conquered

great deed and still he

He was
It

struck

Desire for

it also.

He had

had no pride

in

his

prepared even to disclose what

he

had

rare

example

related

realised

the
that

of

whole

self-less
story

Lakhtakiya

in

service.
the

really

Next

court,

and

deserved

one

devotion

and

lakh takas every day as his salary."


What

stands

out

in

this

simple

tale

of

101

sacrifice is the awareness of a man of his quite individual


existence;

the capacity or even duty to rise to a particu-

lar occasion in a way that is unique for him, that distinguishes

him

from

everyone

else;

furthermore

the

need

to

wait and keep ready for this uniquely revealing opportunity


with never
cism

failing

and

faith,

suspicions

waited-for

chance

untouched by the jealous criti-

of

in

others;

an

the

wisdom

apparently

to

trivial

see

the

occurrence

which only one who has the "compassionate heart" and utter
devotion to his duty will recognise and accept; the willingness, once the "kairos" is recognised as such, to sacrifice

all

finally,
heroic

one has and

the

is

modesty which

deed

loudly

and

in proving worthy of it and,


refrains from advertising the

triumphantly,

as

there

is

awareness

that one has only been true to one's

self

that,

and

without

this could not have

the

be~n

help

humble

innermost

of eternal powers,

even

successful.

3. "Kairos" in clinical psychiatric experience in India


When, in September 1961, during KELMAN's visit to India,
a

seminar

of
all

on

psychotherapy

psychiatrists

and

was

held

in

psychologists

small

except

for

circle
myself

Indian and corning from diffe~ent parts of the country

and different religious backgrou11d

- ,

of

already

some

on

"kairos".

being
I

acquainted

consequently

with

I had the privilege

presented

of
two

KELMAN' s

work

case-histories

of Indian patients from this point of view.


The
was

first

an

example

c) pp.
ros")
be

35/36):
may

it

to,
may

of

their
in
not

55

wpat

year

KELMAN

old

Hindu

means,

when

businessman,
he

says

( ( 25

"We must recognise that the time (for "kai-

never

prerna ture,

turned
not

patient,

come,

too

late

backs
fact
only

that

on

or
life

fruitless,
fail,

but

attempts

at

disastrous.

intervention may
Some

so determinedly,
to

people

attempt an awakening,

cause

them

great

have

it is wiser
for

unnecessary

pain and even kill them. Also there are some who genetically,

constitutionally

and

because

of

what

life

hus

done

102
to

them

and

they

have

done

to

life,

find

themselves

in

circumstances which, if this awakening is attempted, which


might succeed, might cost "too high a price"."
The patient (see also HOCH (12)), who had been suffering
from

depression,

complaints,

anxiety,

for

the

bad

dreams,

previous

various

years,

was

physical

diagnosed

as

"beginning generalised' and cerebral arteriosclerosis with


involutional

depression".

The

apparently

precipitating

events, which one is strongly tempted to regard as "missed


kairoi",
quite

were:

fall

miraculously,

from the roof of his

resulted

in

that,

would

within

either die

or

short time,

then

severe

"pa~git"

months later a prediction by a


loger)

no

cause

house which,

injury;

few

(priest and astro-

at a
lot

certain date,
of

trouble

he

to his

family. After this, he gave up all efforts and initiative,


took to
dying.

moaning,

complaining

and

demonstrative

fears

of

The attempts at psychotherapy in the residential setting


of a

small psychiatric centre under mission auspices con-

sisted
. and
To

more

in

concern
a

than

certain

efforts,

building
in

any

extent,

reaching

up

orthodox

the

the

relationship

analytical

patient

point

at

of

true

procedure

responded

which

he

care

to

could

these

see

how

much he had missed in his life. From a pampered childhood


up

to

his

Indian

old

joint

age

as

family

of

family-tyrant
the

Baniya

in

traditional

(merchants')

caste,

everything had been running so smoothly that he had never


had a

chance of "giving any thought

same time,
with

the

back

into

to anything".

At the

one could note, how, being incapable of coping


rising
the

regrets

rigidity

tenacious

resistance

him with

the

pride

to
of

and

of

guilt

his

all

feelings,

shrank

which,

in his

attempts,

filled

depression,

therapeutic

having,

he

if

nothing

else,

then

at

least an illness of superior and unique quality.


In
joint

the

second

family

chances
asthenic

of

lay more

case,
the

favourably.

constitution

of bones and

also

Hindu

Baniya caste,
and

from

traditional

but aged only

41,

the

Though this man, of delicate


with

tuberculous

affections

lungs behind him, had already been suffering

for the previous 6 years from alarming attacks of anxiety,

103

giddiness,
he

was

palpitations, digestive trouble and depression,

still

patient.

far

more alive and flexible

Furthermore,

than

the

first

looking back at his young days one

could discern signs of some adventurous spirit that longed


to

break

of

his

with

the deadening monotony of smoothness and luxury

well-oiled

little

cepts
only

in

setting
paths

libertinism

and

entrusted
of

Having

in which success

criterion, ,he

mask

li.fe.

been

brought

ui:

knowledge and appreciation of any moral pre-

venturesome
of

business

quite

of

unscrupulously

his

crooked

money

in business was

own

in

the

practices,

all

under

pursued

sphere

such

as

of

the

these
sexual

embezzlement

the never doubted social

the solid and respectable businessman who spends

his free time in philanthropic work.


When the first violent anxiety attacks occurred, announcing

the

survived
in

revolt
all

terror,

of

this

the

inner

self

mishandling,

thinking that a

that

he

had

jumped

fortunately

from

his

bed

severe earthquake was shaking

his house.

It may be significant for the at least partial

success

only

of

3 months
a

what

he

few

weeks

of

psychotherapy,

that

later when back home he wrote to me,

follow~ng

But,

report:

short

time

thought

the bed was

He

was

feeling

before,

was

one

he
of

better

giving the

on

the

whole.

had once again experienced


these

shaking. However,

anxiety

attacks;

even

having learned to look into

his own heart for the reason of these terrifying upheavals,


he

told

guilt

himself

or

some

that

debt

probably . the.re

to

his

life

was

ahead

still

some

lingering

in

old
him.

He went

to sleep again, determined to devote some thought

to

matter.

an

the

earthquake,

Next

morning,

the

newspapers

announced

which had actually shaken the city during

that night!
Perhaps

this

is

an

experience

of

the shifting of the

centre of gravitation from the outside world_to the inner


scene even more drastic
regard

to

one

In that case
the

of

his

than the one KELMAN reports with


patients

( ( 25

c)

pp.

55

and

59).

"while with the first vertigo he experienced

room as turning around,

this last time the room stood

still, but he felt the vertigo was inside of himself."


The

patient,

whom

occasionally

met

during

social

104
gatherings 5 - 6 years after his short course of psychotherapy has meanwhile left the circle of the joint family
and the house which again and again involved him in various
temptations and embarras"sing situations. His relationship
with his wife, which at the time of treatment was merely
formal,

if

not

quite

immature

form

of

exploitation,

has greatly improved. At the age of about 45, he has taken


up singing and playing the "sitar" (Indian string instrument). In addition, he now pursues the charitable activities which previously were just a matter of prestige with
real concern for those who are to benefit.
For these two patients, the significant "kairos" or
series of minor "kairoi", had stirred them up already
before they came to seek help,

and nothing very drama tic

happened during treatment. A third case history, which


forms part of a paper on "Psychotic Episodes in Asthmatics"
published in German (14), shows that occasionally the
therapeutic situation itself can start with all the characteristics of a "kairos", and that, in order to respond
to the challenge, not only the patient but also the doctor
may need a good deal of courage to follow an intuitive
"h unc h" even if
.
it appears to be risky

. This 36 year old college lecturer from a district town


in Uttar Pradesh, son of a Mohammedan landowner, had been
suffering from recurring attacks of severe bronchial asthma
ever since his childhood. Particularly in winter, which
can be quite cold in the North Indian plains, he often
had to seek refuge in a hospital. It was during one of
these periods of hospitalisation that his doctors wrote
to us to request for a psychiatric consultation. They
informed us that the patient had been in a very critical
condition and that he had been keeping strict bed-rest
during the past few weeks. His weight had decreased to
30 kg (66 lbs) and, as he was still very weak, he would
only be able to make the long journey if great precautions
were taken. They wished him to seek psychiatric help,
because during the recent prolonged status asthmaticus,
as already during previous hospitalisations he had shown
signs of psychotic confusion.
At

the

time

for

which

we had

given

the

appointment,

105

no

one

came.

telephone

few

call

insisted

in

hours

from

quite

later,

lady,

we

the

aggressive

received

patient's
and

frantic

mother,

domineering

who

manner

on our sending an ambulance to the railway station where


they had just arrived, so as to take her son to his "reserved
to

room"
her

in

our

that

psychiatric

bringing

the

centre.

patient

We

for a

made

it

clear

consultat'ion was

not our task and that though the doctors at B. had informed
us of

the patient's condition they had not mentioned any

need

either

for

an

ambulance

or

for

his

being

admitted

to the wards. When, a little later, she turned up personally,

the elderly, rather shabbily dressed lady still wanted

to exert pressure on us to get her son admitted immediately.


to

According
be

to

brought

on

consulting-room.
bringing

the

her,
a
We

he could not walk and would have

stretcher even

from

remained

firm

in

to our

private

patient

the

our

car

to

request

the
that

clinic would be the

concern of the family.


Two more appointments were missed and some more negotiations

went

patient's

on,

partly with

the

mother,

rather

helpless

young

wife,

partly with
before

the

finally,

on the fourth day after his arrival in the city, the patient

was

brought

in

car.

The dramatic course which the

first interview then took will best be conveyed by keeping


as closely as possible to my original notes:
"This
private
that

morning,
car.

some

men

finally,

Mother

tha

directs

should .be

patient

the

called

is

brought

operations

to

take

the

and

in

orders

patient

out

of the car, as he cannot come out alone. Two of our attendants,

together with the accompanying servant,

then trans-

port him on a chair, on which he is crouching in embryonal


position. They deposit him on the couch in the room closest
to

the

entrance

hall.

Immediately

cover him up with a quilt.


that

we

remains
He

is

have
thin,

for

him

with

his

knees

asthenic

man

with a

for

sparse
a

tufts
very

of

young

hair
bird,

stick
a

up

simile

drawn

like

rushes
an~

long

to

remark

time.

He

up to his chin.

yellowish complexion,

sunken cheeks and burning black eyes.


of

servant

I greet the patient

been waiting

crouching,
a

his

On his head, a few


the

which

is

fluffy

feathers

also

suggested

106

by the way he peers out anxiously from his "nest" of quilts


wrapped around him.
pausing

after

explains

He starts speaking in a

every

that

he

word,

is

almost

very

like

nervous,

not

"I feel muddled up about my memories


think that perhaps I may have. been in
and the girl disappeared
then

in

1 954 and now,

all

feeble voice,

dying man He
able to resist:
I
In 1 954

love with

this

girl

time since

had my worst attacks

of

This time I heard noises coming from the walls.

asthma

They sug-

gested all sorts of, things: that I should fall unconscious,


that I
gt:!t

into

me

not

told
My

might go to Lucknow

mind

strange
to

is

scrappy

"stronic shock"

use

this

heaving

with

attacks

3)
I feel

word

emotions
They are not

recollections.

the asthma

(our clinic) and that I

had

certain

another

shawl

whether

the

put

to

of

door

around
the

the

but-then they
very nervous.
have

some very
During

complete
feeling

to get my memory straightened out."


"At this point, his servant comes

that

want

in again and

patient.

consulting

would

room

brings
now asks

He

be

could

left

tell him that,


if he ~ikes to keep it open I have no objection. The servant, on going out, leaves the door half open and the pa ti-

open;

it disturbs him when it is closed.

ent appears to be satisfied.


still

halting,

subdue

as

strong

if

what is vexing him:


quiet

or

pluck

up

to

In an anxious, nervous voice,

struggling

emotions,

he

for

breath or having

then again tries

to

to

formulate

"It is very difficult for me to stay

pluck

up.

Some

Memories

part
they

of

my

disturb

mind
me.

refuses
I

now

to

want

to get my whole illness straightened out." I remark: "That


means

that

seems

to have started in childhood." -

and
want

then
to

stronger

we

would

continues:
go

back

voice.

have
"Now

right
I

ask:

to
I

am

now!"

go

far

back.
"Yes",

becoming
he

Your

he replies,

very

explains

illness

in

"Did the doctors at B.

excited.
a

slightly
tel 1

you,

3) This appears to be a neologism, condensing elements


of "electronic", "histrionic", "hysterical" and perhaps
even "historic".

107

what

to expect here??"

patient

now

and

me

let

quite

to change

he

cannot

reports
ill

have

and

alarm

orders:

great

"Call

difficulty

remain passive,

It brings

walk.

told me nothing." The


my
in

mother

standing

not undertaking any-

situation. The patient again insists:

Call my mother and

insists that I
to

the

"It disturbs me.


that.

they

imperatively

go!

this environment."
thing

"No,

back memories.

let me go!"

He argues

that he

is

cannot stand

now ask him,

why

too weak and again

should call his mother. Though the doctors'

the

one

patient's

into

physically,

my

pitiful

condition

he

is

would

indeed

tend

assuming

that

seriously

intuitive

"feel" of him tells me

that

in spite of all this he has a reserve of strength to which


one can appeal without causing harm. I therefore, surprised
at

my

own

boldness,

reply

calmly:

"Why

don't

you

do

it

yourself?" The patient then actually calls out his mother's


name,

but

in

outside

in

that he
come.

can

"Now

he

jumps up
wards
he

feeble
his

suddenly
the

door.

dared

me.

You

voice

to

mother
throws

There,
do,

have

that

it cannot be heard

once

more

himself
away

couch and,
turns

his

me

back

some

encourage

him

he wants her

quilts

and

to

shawls,

steps, walks to-

becoming

"Thank you,

given

if

with hasty

probably

he

calm and steady voice:


for

waiting-hall.

call

from

the

has

so

the

and

aware

says

of

in

what
quite

you have done something


courage."

Then

he

walks

off towards the waiting-hall. I follow him and just slightly

hold his hand.

He does not seem to have any particular

trouble in breathing or in walking. When he suddenly stands


before

his

mother,

she

seems quite

shocked.

She exclaims

in great puzzlement: "Is it not physical?"


"The patient now walks out of the door of the building.
Mother,
here.

It

quite
has

immediately

4)

distressed,
gone!"

and

The

calls

Small conveyance
man on a cycle
vehicle.

argues:
patient

for

"But

says

rickshaw.

the

he
4)

car

wants
This

is
to

not

leave

seems

to

for one or two people, drawn by a


which forms the front part of the

108

be quite

unheard

sits

down

on

near

him,

but he

my

face

of.

While he waits

small

wooden

turns his

reminds him of

bench

for
in

the

the

back on me.

something,

and

vehicle,

garden.

He explains
it

is

he
sit

that

too mu<;:h

to

bear to look at it. Even now he must keep his back turned
on

me.

But at the very moment at which

he

is

explaining

this, he swings round towards me and stares at me intently.


He again says that

have done

gained some courage.

something for him.

"If you will give me

He has

time to-morrow,

r will come again." I give him an appointment.


"Now

the

arrives

and

enthroning
posture,
the

the

who

them

forcing

on

one

up

seat

have

of

onto

quite

taken,

the

attendants'

it quite

firmly,

appreciate

obviously

events

by

jumps

the

king.

is

turn

covered up.
ping

called

patient

himself

like

however,
by

rickshaw,

in

his

lightly,

challenging

courage.

shocked
fusses

a
and

that

Mother,

perplexed
he

must

be

The servants bring the quilts and start wraparound

through

him.

her

Finally,

will

by

the

mother

cramming

him

succeeds

into

the

in

car'

which meanwhile has arrived.


"Two days
patient

has

later,

his wife brings

written

and

reports

some

that

notes

since

the

scene took place he has been perfectly well,


on his own.

which

the

dramatic

moving about

In the afternoon, at the time of the appoint-

ment, I find the patient sitting in the waitingroom, alone.


He has come by himself
of

forced

way

breathing.

down

the

in a

He

corridor

rickshaw. One notes no signs

walks

to

my

with

off ice

me

the

fairly

and

does

not

long

object

to my closing the door. After having settled himself comfortably

on

"ta~hat"

the

5),

he

starts

talking,

now

in

a firmer voice, but in a rather high tone and very delicately,

sometimes

lisp.

One

sensitive,
be

fairly

sort

out

gets

almost
the

person.

organised,

memories

impression

vulnerable
well

like

of

real

but

child,
that
His
he

events,

5) A raised wooden platform,


for sitting cross-legged.

even
he

is

thinking
is

still

dreams,

padded

with

with
a

slight

very

frail,

now
at

seems
a

loss

fantasies

cushions,

to
to
and

used

1 09

hallucinations.
during

the

He

illness.

in an attempt
interview,
he

to

convey

First

of

to

all,

me

what

however,

was

the

pushed

apparently

he goes back to the time when his first asthma


This was at

still

the age of 3 1I2 -

benefit
out

outside,

of

onto

he

the

verandah.
a

Looking

policeman,

During

So as to give

the pleasant winter sun,

discovered

his good friend.

4 years,

the only child of his parents.

the winter, he had a slight cold and fever.


him

happened

to explain his experience during the first

attack occurred:
when

tries

his bed was

out onto the road


whom

he

considered

In spite of mother's strict orders

he should not leave his bed,

he

that

threw away his quilt and

ran out into the road. Of course immediately the servants


and

everyone

bed.

else

were

after

him,

bringing

him

back

to

It was the same evening that he had his first asthma

attack."

Maybe

already

at

that

time

"missed

kairos"

that had challenged him into giving up his extreme dependence on the domineering mother!
In

this

respect,

appears

to

have

the

scene

been. what

during

one

could

the

first

call

interview
"corrective

emotional experience", contrasting with this first attempt


at

escape.

other

But

memory

gradually

fragments

he

had

made
been

it

clear

involved.

that
Some

various
of

them

gave the impression of his having gone through an experience

of

"deja-vu".

The

figure

of

the

female

psychiatrist

got confused with one of the nurses at the mission hospital


who apparently also had tried to instil courage into him.
At

the

same

first day,

time

the

with its

off ice

in which I

saw him on that

tall windows giving out onto.a small

courtyard, strangely reminded him of the room at the hospital

in which he used to remain connected to the suction-

pump

and

others

the

too,

oxygen

apparatus.

Al 1

these

memories,

and

appeared to combine in a kaleidoscopic manner

in his still somewhat confused mind.


In other respects, however, he could report quite clearly on his past history, which he had already communicated
to

us

in

the

mother.
fully

partly

in

morning,

the
and

written
which

was

notes

brought

by

his

wife

later corroborated by his

It seems that the asthma attacks had very successtied

him down

in

helplessness

and

agony,

whenever

11 0
he tried to move away from the powerful, smothering domination of his mother. As a young intellectual at the age
of 19 he got involved in a revolutionary political movement. It was at that time, when he wanted to leave home
to devote himself to left-wing politics that he suffered
one

of

his

first

severe asthma

attacks,

which

kept

him

bedridden for months. Two years later, after getting


married, - of course an arranged marriage of his parents'
choice! - he went through another phase of his illness.
This time, while in hospital, he showed signs of psychotic
confusion, and the doctors thought he would die. Though
the patient recalled that two further critical and prolonged

attacks

of

asthma had

occurred when he was

supposed

to go abroad for further studies and later when he was


about to accept a guest-lecturership in a foreign country,
it did not appear to strike him even now that the basic
conflict was one between his remaining attached to his
overprotective mother and on the other hand his wish to
go out into the world as a free, independent individual.
These two opposite tendencies had obviously been condensed
in a classically impressive manner
at the same time imperative request:
let me go!" The fact that for once
re left the choice to him and.even
re into the second alternative
this "kairos", probably one in a
challenges,

into

fruitful

in his anxious and


"Call my mother and

a potential mother-figuencouraged him to ventuappears to have turned


long series of repeated

one.

My

programme

did

not

allow me to take up the case for treatment myself. The


patient, however, willingly came for his psychotherapy
sessions with one of my fellow-workers and within a relatively short time was able to return to his home as a physically and emotionally stronger man.

Now, several years after leaving this first psychiatric


setting in India, when I reflected on which of the patients
I

had

seen more

recently

during

1I2

years

work at

the newly established psychiatric department of the teaching hospital of a

Medical

College

in

New

Delhi

might

111

be

included

loss.

The

in

this

patients

'the ones I
some

though
had

felt

seemed to be of a

somewhat

at

different kind from

had seen in the small private psychiatric centre

in Uttar Pradesh.
had

contribution,

we were

consulted by people who

idea of what psychiatry

is and and who usually,

of ten

some

There,

also

complaining

awareness

that

of

they

some physical

were

symptoms,

emotionally

sick.

At

present, most of my patients are referred to our department


by

the

colleagues

predominantly
at

least

from other hospital

people

regard

vague hypochondriac
1 ike

asthma,

with

physical

sy~ptoms,

their

complaints,

coli tis,

sections.

They are

manifestations

or

such as hysterical

who

fits,

psychosomatic disturbances

headaches

etc.

as

purely soma tic.

Furthermore, all of the patients are either women or children under

the age of

illiterate,

1 6,

and many of

them come from the

socially, economically and educationally back-

ward population of rural areas of the neighbouring provinces or from slum areas of the city itself.
With these people psychotherapy is practically impossible

with

anything other than a

supportive approach

They

appear to be more or less on the level of the infantile or


"nomadic"

(S)

sketched

expectation

out

amongst whom

as
I

typical

of

"being

of

the

had been living.

fed"

which

Himalayan

hill

had

people

Comparing them with

some

of the patients I had been treating in the earlier setting,


and

in particular with

the

first

two cases

just reported

on, one further difference struck me:


Both

these

businessmen

(case

and

2)

had

spent

their

lives in a fairly uniform traditional setting almost undisturbed

by

the

influence of

transformation

through

"kairoi"

shook

period

that

of

past

them

history;

so closely allied with


of

life

that

it

patterns 10 culminated
actual

might

was

sphere of

therefore

up
to

mean

country

could
a

have

certain

is

passing.

happened
extent

be

difficult

they

any
were

as

crises
if

to

find

the

these

same

The development that finally


showed

certain

"self-contained"

life of both these patients.

that

at

The

the traditional practices and ways

repeated
it

rapid social and cultural

the

20 years hence.

in

consistency:

the

which

crisis

could

not

internal

within

the

This might

occur

without

11 2

at

least

fact,

certain

amount

"precipitating cause"
to

assume

the
a

of

inner

maturity

for

it.

In

in certain cases in which all evidence of an outward


that

germs

of

previous

which

it

it

seems to be lacking,

is

saskara

11

simply a
11

one is tempted

internal

growth

of

= mental impression dating from

incarnation)
pushes

secret

that

against

one

the

day

solid

habit and "social adjustment".


This, however, is not always

reaches

protective

the case

in

point

at

layers

of

the

patients

whom we see at psychiatric clinics in India. In the present


phase

of

rapid

social

transformation

one

cases that a development, a form of life,

feels

in

many

has been thrown

off balance by some untimely clash with outward circumstances that are quite incongruous with what the person concerned

can

Such

reasonably

premature

for

which

not
of

be

yet

like

irruptions

poorly

ready,

birth

for

expected

cannot

new

abortions

of

educated
be

face

and

influences

and
and

premature

assimilate

and

happenings

unemancipated

regarded

potentials

or

to

as

people

"kairoi",

patterns;

moments

they

deliveries.

are

"Kala",

acts as the black destroyer and devourer,

and

are
more

Time,

not as

the

auspicious promoter of growth and ripening!


Particularly
of

open,

for a

frequent

in

free-floating

remarkably long

them into phobias,

Indian

anxiety

patients

(S)

the

stuck

the

is

states
persist

time without attempts at converting


(see also p.

patient

are

often

depressions or psychosomatic

In some of these cases


able

which

somehow

in

to go neither backward nor

49),

it

narrow

forward.

symptoms

seems

as

if

birth-channel,
Behind

him

lies

secure womb of the empathic-symbiotic climate of

the

joint family and of other close-knit groups of traditional


Indian

life;

before

him

lies

the

need

a responsible individual into an open,


in which

for

emerging

as

competitive society

"ascription" has been replaced by "achievement"

Expressed

more

was

united

of

"sucking"

with

generally:
a

from a

primary oneness

"common world"

in which

in terms of

nourishing mother,

has

one

receiving,

become

lost

paradise; the only hope of regaining a oneness, on a higher


level,

is

of giving.

to open oneself

to a

common world in a gesture

If the maturity for this is lacking,

one risks

11 3

getting

helplessly

"birth-channel"
cold,
no

unhomely,

longer

and

hopelessly

between

these

de so late

one

with

the

stuck

two

no-man's
world

in

worlds,
land

in

the

or

in

narrow

lost

which

receiving

in

one

love

and

a
is

not

yet one with the world in giving it to others.


It
from
by

would,

however,

illiterate

and

be

wrong

to

regard

all

patients

the strata of contemporary Indian society cons ti tued


doomed

overwhelming
showed

and

unemancipated

victims

an

of

circumstances.

amazing

people

precipitated
I

have

understanding

as

such

social

helpless

change

and

of

seen simple women who


of

what

was

happening

to them and who grasped my occasional attempts at giving


what

one

could

interpretation

probably

of

call

symptom

more

an

existentialist

quickly

and

naturally

than those already distorted by the rigid and unimaginative


teaching methods of modern schools and colleges. But sharp
discrimination
that

am

certain

necessary
at

criterion

"abortions"
that

is

still
and

announce

that

and

loss
would

"premature

perhaps

for
I

and

promote

so

to

far

know of
allow

of

must

confess

general

to

from

creative

quite unscientific,

I
any

one

deliveries"

possibilities

how far
to

and

distinguish
birth

growth

pangs
except

intuitive "hunch" about

myself can go in attempting to open up insight


growth

in

patient

instead

of

simply

covering up the crisis as an unfortunate mishap. As KELMAN


says
a

( 25 c):

"These are among

the most painful decisions

therapist must make. The stakes are high and the gamble

is great"

even in the case of a poor illiterate Indian

peasant woman!
In his paper (25 c), KELMAN points to the growing aversion

in

the United States against granting the individual

the dignity of his uniqueness,


to practice psychiatry in a
many

to be helped is nothing more than a rationalisation,


cover

inability to
to have

to

through

the

would

up

the

take up a

face

the

that

psychiatrist's

there

are

unwillingness

so
or

long and intensive commitment and

the need for

pain,

argument

He points out

in
to

instances,

group setting.

that
meant

many

and to the growing tendency

anguish,

"living along,
despair

and

in, with and

suffering

that

he necessary for the individual to have more and

114
II

more kairoi
With regard to many social phenomena much that is presenting

itself

in India nowadays may appear

very

similar

on the surface to corresponding situations in the extreme


West!

If

one

examines

one realises

that

such

"similarities"

more

closely,

th,ey only represent the point of

inter-

section of two lines that move in entirely different directions.

Here in India,

millions are

cessity of .emerging for


existence,

from

atmosphere

of

community

(see

an

individual

one's

own

the

the first

shelter

joint
HOCH

of

family,

faced

the

the

who

and

( 17))

existence,

the

necessity

for

into

the
for

time

past

have

this

was

often

generally

only

an

prevailing

illusion,
fashion

been

as

and

masses.

What appears

point of existing "no more",


It

is

therefore

all

the

village

hazards

of

standing

on

in

an

open,

glorifying

the

(though perhaps

"individualism"

defeats

are again increasingly conglomerating


strata

ne-

on the contrary,

freedom and independence of the individual


a

the

living on one's own wits

some

the

collective

empathic-symbiotic

competitive society. In the extreme West,


people

caste and

( 16)

feet and

with

time from

its

into

as

own meaning!)
social

in the USA

groups,

to be

on

the

is here in India a "not yet"!

more

matter

certain Western types of training for

for

concern

that

Indian psychiatrists

teach in a kind of short-cut the therapeutic methods that


are becoming more and more current in
there

is

many

dS

great

people

need

as

for

the West.

approaches

possible

with

the

that

No doubt

can

least

expenditure

in man-power and material. But if at the same time,


the
we

psychotherapeutic
cannot

contribute

methods
to

to

this

very

be

benefit

taught

and

process of

through
applied,

individual

emancipation which is the burning problem of so many Indians,


of

psychiatry,
Western

asking,
curbing

together with many of the other blessings

.civilisation

that

whether something is
a

necessary

are

often

applied

"coming or going",

development

instead

of

without

will risk

helping

it

to come to fruition.
It may
Indian

perhaps

colleagues,

opportunity

not
as

of 'going

be
few

fair
of

through

to criticize or expose my
them really have had the
the

kind

of

training

that

11 5

would

have

prepared

them

for prolonged and deep-reaching

psychotherapeutic work with individual patients and as,


furthermore, many of them have to function in crowded
out-patient departments or mental hospitals where time
becomes
it

should

establish

rare
be

commodity.

possible

that

Still,

to

"core

have

at

contact"

times

little

with

feel

more

the

that

courage

patient

and

to
to

develop that "intuitive wisdom" which, according to KELMAN


( 25

c)

allows one to venture into what "might look fool-

hardy to another".
In

the

West,

where

doctors

are

being

more

and

more

regimented into being obedient civil servants, and where,


on

the

the

other hand,

treatment

number of

people claim to have a

which

"Readers'

l~terature,

they

have

read

about

right to seek
in

the

latest

Digest" or some other popular medical

the freedo~ of the psychiatrist may accordingly

be limited by the constant fear of litigation for malpractice

or

Here

at

in

public

least

India,

heal th

respect

the

of embarrassing administrative measures


except

within

insurance

right

of

the

schemes,

framework

of

the

people in general

few

sti 11

physician to accept or to refuse

a patient and to apply the treatment which he thinks best.


If

anything

blame

the

goes

wrong,

doctor,

inevitable

stroke

but
of

take
fate.

person
it

will

not

necessarily

as the will of God or an

Considerations

of

being

held

responsible or possibly even prosecuted for a risky therapeutic

venture

should

therefore

play

less

of a

role than

in the insurance-ridden West. 6)


Yet, I remember a meeting of psychiatrists a few years
ago:

In

take

over

(HOCH

symposium
a

depression,

short paper on

(11 )).

c0l leagues

on

got

After
up

my

and

had

been

asked

to

"Psychotherapy of Depression"

presentation,
said:

"Dr.

one

Hoch,

of

the

your are a

senior
brave

6) In this respect
things have changed a 1i ttle in the
'
years since this f was first written. Th oug h II ma 1 practice
cases" in courts are still rare, one occasionally hears
of doctors who have been beaten up "on the spot" by
the dissatisfied relatives of a patient whom the doctor's efforts could not save!

11 6

woman. I think none of us could sleep at night if we tried


what

you

suggest."

(electroconvulsive
in

India

and

This

confirmed

therapy)

indications

my

which

for

suspicion

is

which

that

extremely

go

far

still recognised as relevant in the West!

ECT

popular

beyond

those

is often used

to calm the therapist's anxiety and potential sleeplessness


rather than for the peace of wind of the patient!
Of course, tranquilizers too, often mixed' in a cocktail
that leaves out no possible desired effect, are marvellous
for reassuring the psychiatrist that he has
most!

Under

the

heavy

load

done

his

ut-

of

these drugs, however, the


and rendering
experiencing
patient is not only deprived of
fruitful a "kairos", of which perhaps his symptoms were
the labour pains, but in addition he is taught to resign
himself to the convenient excuse that as he is sick enough
to need all these drugs, no one will have a right to expect
anything

of

against

this

repeated

him.

ECT

At times,

however,

secret

indignation

stifling

or

cutting

off

(through

endlessly

or

leucotomy!)

of

creative

potential

even

brews up and drives the patient into more and more despair
and

panic.

For

how

is

anyone

still

going

he has to say if the treatment forced

to

hear

what

upon him obviously

brands him as a "madman"?


I have particularly noted this situation just mentioned
in

adolescent

patients.

The

"puberty

crisis"

its potential for growth and maturation,


it

for . a

long

time

here in India

in

the West,

(see HOCH

( 12)

is a

and

prescribed absolute obedience

to

with

all

as we have known
very new phenomen

( 1 3)).

Indian

tradition

one's elders and often,

within the shelter of the joint family,

adult duties

and

responsibilities only had to be taken over at an advanced


age,

when father or mother-in-law died.

adays,

increased opportunities

crumbling
choice
or

of

of

even

force

emancipation.
their

the

joint

careers
the
Many

constitution

even

break

even

psychiatric

down.

in

family,
a

young
who
or

for

into

their

the

society,

venture

unprepared,
early

Unfortunately,
colleagues,

(10)).

still

of

parents,

free

individual
through

falter

teachers

little

the

challenge

either

upbringing,
have

Now-

education,

the opening up of

competitive
are

(HOCH

higher

or
and

knowledge

11 7
of

the necessity of this rebellious phase for the process

of individual emergence. I have therefore seen young people


whose
them

parents,
to a

alarmed

by

some

signs

psychiatrist and who were

of

rebellion,

took

then heavily drugged

or even treated with ECT, simply out of fear that a schizophrenic process might possibly be involved.
One of
as

these cases,

Consultant

to

seen by me recently in my activity

another

general

hospi ta!

in

New

Delhi,

with a slig.htly more emancipated "clientele", was particularly instructive:


Fourth

case:

This

18

year

old

Hindu

college

student

was brought to me by his parents on the advice of a social


worker

who

setting

felt

where

the patient.
ous

she

who

respect,

was

the

treatment

working,

was

at

the

psychiatric

not doing

justice to

(One may perhaps note that formal and courte-

referrals

someone

that

between

is

it

often

law

of

the

the

relative

colleagues

are

rare

in

India.

accustomed to European procedures


seems

as

This

is

jungle!
freedom

of

if

there

the

is

nothing

reverse

of

To

in this
but

the

the medal of

practice still prevailing,

which

r mentioned just a short while ago!)


At

the

time when

first

saw the young man he had al-

ready been under heavy doses of tranquilizers for sEveral


months.
this

As

to

the

treatment,

become

symptoms

his

arrogant

that

parents

and

had

could

aggressive

given

only

occasion

say

towards

that

his

for

he

had

father

and

very demanding in his wishes. Once.he had attempted suicide


in a rather dramatic manner.
The

boy

himself,

fairly

tall

and

well

built,

looked

dull, dismayed and sullen, and there was something listless


and

stiff

in

his

movements.

When

asked

him

about

his

complaints he said in a slightly depressed voice, a mixture


of

pained

resentment

no longer laugh; and I


artificial."
had

undergone

between
during
a

smile

did

He

not

told
and

himself
this

and

first

and

stubborn

spitefulness:

"I

can

feel that even my smile is becoming


me

briefly

about

the

treatment

he

hinted

that

there

had

been

tension

his

father.

The

fact

that

already

interview

made

me

hopeful.

have

his

history

he

once

or twice broke

into

r explained to him that as


-

except

for

few notes

sent

11 8

by the social worker - I had no idea how serious the symptoms

had

drugs

been

that had led my colleague

he was

taking.

It

therefore

to

prescribe

was difficult

the

to know

what might come up once the protective cover of the tranquilizers was
state of

lifted. Yet I felt that part of his present

emotional

treatment

and

not

dullness
to

the

and

rigidity

original

was

due

trouble.

to

the

the ref ore

was prepared to face the risk of reducing the medication,


provided that he would cooperate with me.

The boy agreed,

and I felt that good contact had been made.


During
weekly
and

the

next

interviews,

nothing

few

weeks,

the

worse

along

with

medication was

came

up

than

once

or

gradually

slightly

twice

reduced,

rebellious,

truculent youngster who occasionally had a clash with his


father.

But he was a boy who could again smile,

laugh and

feel alive! He was now able to formulate the burning anger


which

had

smouldered

receiving

psychiatric

irresponsible
self

no

up

or demand
that

give

In

his

took

him,

when

treatment
whose

had

He

realised
branded
at

had

state
up

of

all

dull

On

the

other

affairs

striving

despair,

he

had

to

seemed

to

have

him

as

left

tried
he

to

had

explain
to

studies

he

admit
adult.

and
his

had

were

temptation

Even physically,

"broken":

an
him-

he

responsibl~

his

his

as

if

also held the

become a

had

been

hand

that

expressing

felt

against barriers whenever he

kept roaming about aimlessly.


bone"

he

attempts

seriously.

something.

this

to

madman

one

running

in

to

just

"backundergo

physiothera~y for some dislocation of the lumbar vertebrae.


As

the

shackles

of

the

psychopharmaca

as he began to talk more and more freely,


able
he

to

that

the wish

belonged

to

the

at

the

foot

of

first

met

with

away,
at

visualise

expressed

future
to

and

go

strong

say

few

Himalaya.
opposition

what

he

some

~undred

This
on

off,

and

he was now also

and cul ti va te

family,
the

to

fell

kilometres

wish,

the

wanted:
farm land
however,

part

of

the

father, who regarded his son as entirely useless.


I
the

had been dealing with both parents al 1 along.


mother was

indulgent

with

cooperative,
regard

to

her

though
eldest

perhaps
son,

a
the

While

little
father,

too
an

insignificant looking man of stunted growth, with a mis~rly

11 9
facial

expression,

sulted

him.

could not forget

The boy quite

that his son had in-

truthfully admitted that once,

in a moment of hot anger, he had called his father a "bastard".


ther

It was only by and by that I was able to patch togea

far

history

as

that

historical

proved

the

boy

right,

at

least

accuracy

was

concerned,

as

if

not

from

capital of India

from

the point of view of filial piety and decorum!


The
one

family

of

had

migrated

the. small

to

kingdoms

the

beyond

the

Northern

border.

The patient's father. was the offspring of a powerful nobleman

and

minister

at

the

royal

one of his lesser concubines.


setting,
he

amongst

had

had

more

plenty

court,

It was obvious that in this


placed

legitimately

to

opportunity

of

through union with


halfbrothers,

cultivate

sibling

envy and inferiority feelings. At an early age


married to a girl from a highly placed family.
11
So while the mother's blood was 1 00 % 11 blue , the father's
rivalry,

he

was

was

only

50 % aristocratic,

sumably

had

at

least

considerably more
of

his

origin

of

officialdom

75

% nobility

than his

and

father.

finding

in

the

and the boy, our patient pre-

in

him,

which

means

By leaving the country

post

in

Government

of

the

middle

India,

the

ranges
father

was able to escape from the environment that had humiliated


him in his childhood.

But as his son grew up into a sturdy

and enterprising young man, with noble features, surpassin;


his

father's

the

old

mind.

stature by at least one head's length,

resentment

At

times

role of a
new

life

his

own

suade

short

appeared

one felt

to

be

King Herod or King Kamsa,


that

was

rising

in his

precarious self-esteem.

him

rankling again in his

that he was actually playing the

that

by

out

to cut down

son and

that

It was difficult

crediting his

son only with

th'e

threatened
to per-

the worst

intentions and by constantly running down all his efforts,


he

was

serving

Finally,
sarcastic
of

neither

however,

condemnation

grudging

and

the

was

boy's

able

and

sceptical

to

interests nor his own.


reduce

resentment,
neutrality,

his
at

and

attitude

least
he

to

agreed

of
one
to

let the boy have a chance at the farm.


About

two

months

later,

the young man came

to see me

again: broad-shouldered, with a bright smile, the eagerness

120

of youthful enterprise written all over his


movements.
been an

task.

He

first

had

the

workmen

to
~n

to live in. There were difficulties


their

and

He told me about his work at the farm.

uphill

materials;
of

face

construct

inexperienced young master and

him wherever

they

could.

New

crops

It had
a

place

getting the building

not r~cognise

would

his

the authority

tried

had

to

to deceive

be

tried

out

and farmhands had to be persuaded of the utility of modern


methods

of

cultivation.

And

all

no support from his father who,

along

he

had

little

or

in his sceptical mistrust,

had pulled his purse-strings tight.

In spite of all this,

he had not lost courage. He had even written a few articles


for the agricultural column of a newspaper and was discussing his plans with enthusiasm and quite a bit of realistic
expert knowledge.
At the end of

the interview,

which was

later

followed

by a few further visits that gave proof of continued progress,

he

asked

me:

"Do

you

know

It was your calling my trouble a


ness!
and

This made me realise


I

also

knew

then

what

made

me

well?

"crisis" and not an ill-

that it could turn either way

that

it was

up

best of it." Instead of crisis, had


he might perhaps have said "kairos".

to
he

me

to make

known

the

the

word,

While this account of the young man's adolescent crisis


was waiting

to be typed,

he once again turned up to

see

me. This time, his first encounter with death, the passing
away
he

of

lived

"sinking
attack.

an
in

uncle,
the

shaken

constant

feeling"
When

had
might

X-ray,

fear
be

the

him

and,

that his
sign of

electrocardiogramme

for

few

days,

palpitations and
a

severe

etc.

heart-

proved

to

be normal, he decided to see me. It took only one interview


to

make

him

face

a "crisis" that
responsibility.

this

new

announced

experience

the

growth

also
of new

in

terms

of

insight and

1 21

4. Conclusions
What,

now, has this rapid excursion into ancient Indian

literature and this sketchy view of some present-day psychiatric

problems

in

India

taught

us

about

the

nature

of "kairos" and about ways of recognising it and preparing


to meet it with an open and ready mind?
First of all, we have been warned that "kairos"
simply

be

defined

"Time for"
to

be

as

"time

in

its

qualitative

cannot
aspect".

can be merely the moment at which one expects

fed,

the

harvesting

season

that should

"bring in"

something or the lucky coincidence that makes good fortune


"fall into one's lap". These "opportunities" or "occasions"
that fulfil
solid

man's worldly desires and confirm him in the

comfort

prospects,

are

true

"kairos".

((1)

Matth.

of

his

on

accustomed

the

contrary

resources,
often

defences

anJ

the enemies of the

It is with regard to them that the Gospels

16,26)

say:

"What

is

man

profited,

if

he

shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul? or what
shall a
of

man give in exchange for his soul?" and that one

the

characters

in

2,4 v.2)

questions:

belonged

to

"Kairos"
"time

in

brings
one

me,
would

its

the

tell

me,

have

should

to

qualitative

forward

( ( 33

a)

"If this whole earth, full of wealth,

some potential

step

BRHADARANYAKA
UPANISAD
,

be

be

defined

aspect

as

immortal

more

by

it?"

accurately

as

unique moment that

to ripening and takes man at least

towards achieving oneness in giving and

not in taking only."


Quite apart from such distinctions within the qualitati1e

aspects of

oeen
.the

periods
character

time,
in
of

we have to recognise that there have

the

history

"time" as

of

mankind,

in

which

even

the opportunity that provides

ready pastures and welcome windfalls was so closely allied


with the course of the celestial bodies and the wanderings
of

nomads

in

space,

that

time

as

separate

coordinate

had little importance either in a quantitative or qualitative sense.


Time as an abstract dimension, or even as an expendable
commodity,

could

only

become

the

object of

imagination,

speculation and calculation once the human mind had developed

from

primary

stage of being merged in nature to

122

the level of a detached, self-reflecting subject that


faces an objective world and that is out to invent means
for disposing of and ruling over this realm, which he
perceives as separate from himself.
We further have to realise that

this

primary

stage

of remaining merged in a collective order, either that


of nature or of a society which wisely keeps needs and
possibilities for fulfilment balanced, is not a matter
of past ages only, but that, particularly in what we call
"developing countries", many people even nowadays are
still far ~way.-from or only just on the point of emerging
into a consciously refl~cting and discriminating relationship to their world.
The point of emergence
11

can

be

marked

by

fruitful

11

kairos if the innate potential has been allowed to develop at its own speed and in harmony with an outward situation that still provides some care and shelter for further
growth, even after the paradise of empathic-symbiotic
oneness has been left behind. (HOCH (13)). In other cases
in which the awarenss of a separate existence, of the
need for conscious reflection and individual responsibility

is forced prematurely on an ill


.a-lly weak person it may resemble
delivery rather than the happy
development. The anxiety aroused
may then be beyond the measure
contained

and turned

into

prepared or constitutionan abortion or a prematre


birth of a new phase of
by the critical situation
at which it can be safely

creative

stimulus.

It

may

not even be experienced as such, as no sphere of mental


consciousness is developed yet, within which it could
appear.

Its

manifestations

therefore

may

remain

limited

to vague, disturbing physical symptoms or at its approach


- as we find so frequently~ not only amongst the characters
of the ancient. Indian epics but also amongst our presentday psychiatric patients!
the dim light of individual
consciousness is conveniently blacked out each time by
the protective curtains of a "fit".
Probably there have been at all times people of different degrees of inner maturity: some, the predestined
"heroes", have it in them to rise to any occasion, to
steel their courage and fortitude through danger, to distil

123

wisdom from frustration, to grow through difficulties.


Others form the indiscriminate background of the anonymous
masses; and between these two extremes we have to imagine
a whole range of intermediary developmental stages.
Whether a "kairos" can occur and become fruitful probably does not depend only on the individual's inner readiness
to experience it, but also on the spirit of the time in
which he happens to live. As I have just mentioned, a
period of all too rapid social and cultural transformation
risks tearing open protective layers prematurely and is
therefore likely to reveal "kala" or "ksana , the Indian
equivalents for "kairos" in their negative aspect, as
destroyers rather than as auspicious moments for growth
and renewal. On the other hand, however, all too stable
or even stagnant an environment, in which smooth adaptation
ana conformity is easy and profitable in terms of worldly
comforts and advantages, may disturb the balance in the
other direction, i.e. it may blunt human conscience to
the call of "kairos", so that it cannot penetrate at all
or is stifled through rational arguments and considerations
of expediency as soon as it makes itself heard.
For a relatively faint light to show itself, there
has

to be darkness.

The caller of a new message,

if his

voice is to be heard, may have to cry in a silent wilderness first, and not amongst the loud congregations of
busy men. There has to be some tension between what is
and what might be, between the accepted temporal values
and a longing for the eternal, between a reality recognised
as illusionary and the realm of true essence .
What is customary, well settled, must, at
a

few

wise ones,

same time,

be exposing

least

its threadbareness.

to

At the

messages must be available, either traditional

unes revived and re-interpreted or new ones revealed,


that point to possibilities of transcending the prevailing
stagnant state of affairs.
Granted all these prerequisites are present in the
individual and his time, cultivation of the following
qualities will render a person capable of becoming "desakalaj na"'

one who

recognises

who can act accordingly:

the

right

place and time and

124

He must

be

tough

enough

to

stand

up

to a

crisis,

to

keep his wits about him during it and to contain the pressure of emotions aroused, such as fear, anger, greed, sexual
lust,
him

that

may

towards

developed
to

try

to

obliterate

destruction.

capacity

perceive

the

At

for

"kairos"

the

the

issue

same

subtle
even in

time,

or
he

to

must have

discrimination,
the

most

pull

so

as

insignificant,

unseemly or even distasteful disguise, to remain constantly


aware

of

the

ambiguousness

situations of

with

which

transformation present

all

symbols

themselves,

but

and
also

of the deceptive righteousness with which the dark adversaries, the well established representatives of the accustomed,
by

the King Herods and Kamsas,

their

desperate

attempts

to

often confuse the issue

stifle

the growth

of

the

new-born "Divine Child".


He
of

must,

his

through

past

development,

own true self.


concern
needs

he

of

introspection
have

Furthermore,

must

have

others

to

become

in a

gained

the

and

careful

transparent

spirit of

the

ultimate

and

high

sensi ti vi ty

extent

that

he

at the same

to

his

t:rue care and

equally close and important as his own.


of

analysis

to

regards

the

them

as

He must be aware

time primary oneness

which he and his fellow beings are enfolded.

This

in

spirit

of universal compassion and of renunciation of self-centred


interest
perfect
may

has

to extend

to

even-mindedness

bring,

can

leave

all

with

open

worldly
regard

attachments.

to

complete

what

freedom

the

for

Only

future
choice

that even in the crisis of a sudden moment prefers ultimate


truth

to

temporary

advantages.

The

mature

willingness

to give rather than to receive,

must have been developed

into

sacrifice

an

absolute

may appear as a

readiness

hindrance,

to

without even a

anything
squint

that

towards

advantages one hopes "to gain from one's action.


Lastly,
does
or

not

even

the

one must become open to the fact


necessarily

in , a

discerning,

consist

only

in

"once-in-a-life-time"
every

fleeting

that "kairos"

rare

opportunities

crisis,

moment

can

but
become

that

to

one

of

revelation, of decision, of renewal, of birth of a hitherto


dormant

potential

or

adds

the

of

to

load

insight,
guilt,

of

while
debt

every

moment

towards

missed

life or may

125

even mean "atmahatya" (S), spiritual suicide.


I

hope

that

short glimpses,
ros"

fruitful

con tr ibu ti on,


ancient
as

be

found

from

to which
can

Indian

myself
the

be

found

to show,

( 25

in

though only by

has

referred in his

way

or

as

one

might

hinted,

tradition,
and

c)

some

If,

occasionally

Christian

authenticity

two sources

KELMAN

scriptures.

have

in

have been able

that all those elements for making a "kai-

they

this

validity

in

the

argue

and

are

need

of

of wisdom and revelation.

other

also

not

either

to

detract
of

these

It would only point

to

the one ultimate Truth that again and again,

sometimes

in

but

great

frequently

"Kairos"
in

of

silent,

universal

dimensions,

inconspicuous

hearts, has to be born again and again.

way

in

more

individual

1 26
LITERATURE
(1) BIBLE, THE HOLY:

Authorized Version and "Novum


Testamentum Graece" (Stuttgart,
Privilegierte Wuerttembergische
Bibelanstalt, 1932).

(2) BHAGAVAD GITA:

Various editions. Used: "Srimad


Bhagavad Gita" with gloss of
Sridhara Swami, Sanskrit-English
Edition, Madras, Mylapore, Shri
Ramakrishna Math, 1948.

(3) BHAGAVATAM, SRIMAD, extracts from. Mylapore, Madras,


Shri Ramakrishna Math, 1947.
(4) CHAPMAN, JOHN:

"The Spiritual Letters of Don


John Chapman". London, Sheed and
Ward, 1935.

(5) CAUSSADE,DE, PJ.P.: "Abandon a la Providence Divine."


First published 1860. German
edition: "Hingabe an Gottes Vorsehung." Benziger Verlag, Einsiedeln, 1952.
(6) GLASENAPP, HELMUTH
VON:

"Die Religionen Indiens". Taschenbuch No. 190, Stuttgart, Germany


Alfred Kroener Verlag, 1943.

(7) GOVINDA, LAMA


ANAGARIKA:

"Foundations of Tibetan
Mysticism." First published in
English: London, Rider & Co.,
1959.

(8) GOVINDA, LAMA


ANAGARIKA:

"The Psychological Attitude of


Early Buddhist Philosophy."
First published in English:
London, Rider & Co., 1961.

(9) HEIDEGGER, MARTIN:

"Sein und Zeit." 8. Auflage,


Tuebingen, Germany, Max Niemeyer,
1957.

( 1 0) HOCH, E. M. :

II A Pattern of
Neurosis in India. II
The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. XX, No. 1, pp. 18-25,
1 960.

( 1 1 ) HOCH , E. M. :

"Psychotherapy of Depressive
Reactions." Indian Journal of
Psychiatry, Supplement to Vol.
III, pp. 25-32, 1963.

( 1 2 ) HOCH , E. M. :

"Ripe Old Age? or Senile Deterioration?" Indian Journal of Psychiatry, v. III, pp. 120-133,
July 1963.

127
( 1 3 ) HOCH, E. M. :

"From Green Pastures to Grey


Prisons: A study of emotional
trouble in three Santhali tribals." Journal of Social Research,
Vol. VIII, No. 1, pp. 50-70,
1965. Council of Social and Cultural Research, Ranchi, Bihar,
India.

( 1 4 ) HOCH , E M. :

"Psych.otische Episoden bei Asthmatikern." Zei tschri ft .fiir Psychosomatische Medizin. Part I: Vol.
II, No. 1, pp. 22-36; Part II:
Vol. lI, No. 2, pp. 83-91, 1965.
Goettingen, Germany.

( 1 5 ) HOCH, E. M. :

'iMental Heal th Services for


Students." "Campus Health, Banaras Hindu University", Vol. II,
1965. Ed. by Prof. S.M. Marwah,
Dept~ of Social and Preventive
Medicine, College of Med~cal
Sciences, Banaras Hindu University.

( 1 6 ) HOCH , E. M. :

"Family Mental Health Risks."


Chapter 4 in "The Changing
Pattern of Family in India."
pp. 59-95. Ed. by; P.D. Devanandan and M.M. Thomas. Second Revised Edition: rev. by R.W.
Taylor, Christian Institute for
the Study of Religion and Society, Bangalore, 1967.

( 1 7 ) HOCH , E. M. :

"Transcultural Psychiatry." Journal of Social Research, Vol. XI,


No. 1, pp. 64-87., 1968. Council
of Social and Cultural Research,
Ranchi, Bihar, India.

( 1 8 ) HOCH,

E. M. :

"Bhaya, Shoka, Moha.


Angst,
Leid und Verwirrung in den alten
indischen Schriften und ihre Bedeutung fur die Entstehung von
Krankheiten." pp. 134-160 in
"Abendlandische Therapie und ostliche Weisheit." Ed.: Wilhelm
Bitter. Stuttgart, Germany,
Ernst Klett, 1968.

( 1 9 ) HOCH,

E. M. :

"The Role of Aggression and the


Problem of Discipline." Contribution to Sub-Committee of Mental
Health Advisory Committee, Ministry of Health and Family Planning, Govt. of India on "Mental
Health of the Civilian Population
in Emergency." 1966. Not published.

1 28
(20) HUXLEY, ALDOUS:

"The Perennial Philosophy."


London, Chatto & Windus, 1950.

(21) JATAKA:

Various editions. Selection from


the original 12 volumes: "Jataka
Tales" No. J. 72, Jaico Pocket
Books, Bombay, 1956.

(22) JUNG, C.G. and


KERENYI, K.:

"Das gottliche Kind." Albae Vigiliae, Heft 6/7, Amsterdam 1941

(23) JUNG, C.G.:

"Psychologie und Alchemie."


Zurich, Rascher, 1944.

( 2 4) JUNG, C. G. :

"Symbole der Wandlung.", Zurich,


Rascher 1952.

(25) KELMAN, HAROLD:

a) "Kairos and the Therapeutic


Process." Journal of Existential
Psychiatry", Vol. I, No. 2,
pp. 233-269, 1960.
b) "Kairos, the Auspicious
Moment", The American Journal of
Psychoanalysis, Vol. XXIX, No. 1,
pp. 59-83, 1969, New York.
c) "Kairos: An Existential
Concept." Unpublished manuscript.
1966.

(26) KIELHOLZ, A.:

"Von Kairos zum Problem der Kurpfuscherei." Schweiz. med. Wochenschrift, Vol. 86, No. 35,
pp. 982-984, 1956. (Quoted by
KELMAN in (25 c)).

(27) MACDONELL, A.A.:

"A Practical Sanskrit Dfctionary."


Oxford University Press, 1929.
Reprinted 1954-48.

(28) MAHABHARATA:

Various editions. Used: Condensed


version in Sanskrit-English:
"The Mahabharata", C.A. Natesan &
Co., Madras, 1935.

(29) PANCATANTRA:

Various editions. Used: No. J 3


Jaico Pocket Books, Bombay.

(30) RAMAKRISHNA, SHRI:

"Tales and Parables." Mylapore,


Madras, Shri Ramakrishna Math,
Second Edition, 1947.

(31) RAMAYANA:

Various editions. Used: Condensed


Version in Sanskrit-English:
"Valmiki Ramaya~a", C.A. Natesan
& Co., Madras, 1935.

(32) RGVEDA:

Various editions. Some instructive


samples to be found in "Hindu
Scriptures", Ed. b Nicol
Mc Nicol, Everyman s Library,

129
No. 944, London, Dent & Dutton,
1938.
(33) UPANISADS:

Various editions. Used: SanskritEnglish parallel texts with


comm~ntaries published by Shri
Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore,
Madras. In detail:
a) BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD, 1951.
b) fij~N~OGYA UPANI~AD,-1956.
c) ISAVASYA UPANISAD, 1958 .
d) KATHA UPANISAD: 1956.
e) KENOPANI~AD; 1960.
f) MAH~N~R~YA~A UPANI$AD, 195~.
g) PRANOPANI~AD, 1959.

1 3'1

DREAM - A WORLD; WORLD - A DREAM?


MEDARD BOSS, at that time Prof. of Psychotherapy at th
University of Zurich, as already mentioned, has played
an important role not only in initially promoting my going
to India 1 ) , but also in opening up in me interest in
and understanding for. HEIDEGGER' s existential philosophy
and his own efforts at working out a Daseins-analytical
foundation for his psychotherapeutic practice and teaching.
During his two visits to India, in 1956 and 1958, described
in his well-known book "A Psychiatrist Discovers India"
( 1 b) , I had the good luck to spend part of the time in
his company. Out of this developed a close friendship
which later, after I had shifted to Kashmir in 1969, acquired a new dimension as here I became acquainted with and
was "adopted" by the "guru" 1 ) with whom BOSS had kept
up faithful contact over many years. So he now became
my "guru-bhai", i.e. a "brother" through being the "child"
of the same spiritual "father' 1
For my contribution to the jubilee volume which GION
CONDRAU was to prepare for our teacher and friend's 70th
birthday, I therefore tried to choose a subject that would
not only highlight some of BOSS's psychiatric and psychotherapeutic work, but which would also give some of the
deep truths which we had both learned to understand and
to treasure with the help of our "guru" their due place.
I may perhaps add that, when I explained to our "Master",
my intention of workiflg on this subject of "Dream and
World", to which he himself had also referred in his teaching, he readily gave his blessings for this undertaking.
Ever since childhood I had always had a predilection,
for studying outside, in close contact with nature whenever
the weather would permit. Most of my essays for school
were written on a quiet bench in the back-garden. Both
the papers produced at Almora (No. 2 and 3 in this volume)
found their origin under the pine trees, from where, during
moments of reflection, my gaze would wander towards the
magnificent panorama of the snowy Himalayan peaks. When
it came to writing the birthday article for my friend
MEDARD BOSS, I selected a "clearing" in a forest high
up on the mountain ranges between Kashmir and Punjab (very
appropriately in view of HEIDEGGER's description of human
existence as a "clearing" (S), a "sphere of lumination",
"... the realm into which particular beings may come forth
into their being, shine forth and appear as the phenomena
which they are " (BOSS ( 1 c) p. 285)). I installed
myself there in the morning, along with a few biscuits
and some fruit, and did not leave the place until, late
in the afternoon, the initial draft had been brought onto
paper.

1) The story of this, and also of the "meeting with the


guru 11 referred to below, is given in some11 detail in
the author's book "Hypocrite or Heretic?
Published
by Christian Institute for the Study of Religion and
Society; Bangalore, through "The Christian Literature
Society", Madras, 1983.

132
It was only some time later that I discovered an article
also a contribution to a "birthday volume"! - in wh~ch
more than 50 years before practically the same ma~er7al
from the ancient Indian scriptures ref erring to the significance of dream had been utilised: EMIL ABEGG's contribution to the "Festgabe fiir ADOLF KAEGI", published in 1 91 9
and entitled "Indische Traumtheorien." This well-known
Swiss Indologist had, however, dealt with the subject
in a much more factual and scholarly manner without any
attempts at relating it to present-day life and psychiatric
problems. Once again proof that the ancient Sanskrit te~ts
permit different interpretations of their wealth of meaning
and that whoever approaches them will find there what
fits in with his own interests and attitudes, his own
stage of development and the "spirit of the time" in which
he lives.
The collection of papers which G. CONDRAU was to bring
out for MEDARD BOSS' s 70th birthday, was originally to
have the title "Revolution der Weltanschauung", i.e. "Revolution of World Views". Eventually, however, perhaps as
those asked to contribute could or would not fit in with
this theme, it was published (Huber, Bern, 1973) simplf.
under the title "Medard Boss zum siebzigsten Geburtstag
(i.e. "To Medard Boss for his 70th birthday.") In my own
article, however, keeping this original title in mind,
I made reference to it in the first two paragraphs.

If we wish to go along with this title, we have to


take two revolutionary steps, starting from the basis
which FREUD created for the understanding of dreams at
the beginning of this century. From FREUD's view that
dreams are only a secondary product of the repressed contents of waking life which, at best, one can decipher
in analytical work according to a subtle "secret code",
C.G. JUNG already had moved forward considerably. For
the latter, experience in dream compared with the waking
state, was already no longer the product of narrowing
in and distortion, but the gate to the vast and rich world
of the collective unconscious, an approach to sources
of creative inspiration from which we are usually cut
off in every-day thinking and acting in the waking world.
For the Daseins-analyst (S), however, even this view
still amounts to too much of a reduction of the issue
to something secondary supposed to be more original. Why
should dream phenomena be understood only as copies? as
derivates of original models from the arsenal of the collective

unconscious?

Are they not as original and genuine

1 33

as

experience

in

the

waking state? Is man in his dreams

not perhaps even more open, closer to his own possibilities


and

therefore

himself
would
any

in

certain

it

therefore
~ore

rate

enforce

the

often

an

perhaps

not

liberating

be

deeply

to

and

more

correct

psychotherapeutically,
a

dream

oriented

"why

inhibitions,

more

fully

in his waking life? And


and

at

not

to

by reducing

life with the help of a

critically

encouraging

and

to be

interpretation of

elements of waking
and

respects

than he can afford

"why?",

rationalising

but

not?",

that

questions

explore

how

the

it to

rather

with

all

obstacles

narrowing

in of our

possibilities has come about in waking life?


In the closing chapter of his book "Der Traum und seine
Auslegung" (original German version 1953; English translation

195 7

of

a) )

(1

BOSS

assigns

mode of human "Dasein"

as we call
ence".

He

the waking
warns

as

something

it

is

be

dreaming

the

"dignity
"

just

state a modification of our exist-

against

to

to

in its own right",

leaving

taken

for

aside

granted

the
and

waking
he

state

shows

that

the careful exploration of the dreaming-state that

can offer valuable hints as to the essence of waking life,


in particular as

far as the continuity of its historicity

is concerned.
If we
by

try to keep up with this step forward undertaken

Dase1ns-analysis,

one

which

for

the

question-mark

in

"revolution"

recognised

way of a

and
time

our

not

view

perhaps
being

title,

only
of

the

to West or,

the

with

been

shall
but

the

provided

be

sense

world

"turning around",

from East

has

we

in

also

with

venturing

into

breaking

down

of

at

second

the same time by

namely a revolving of the earth

if one prefers, from West to East'

in particular from Europe to India. In line with the French


proverb:
the
of

"The

same",
dreams

were

back

years
we are

to

things

find

that

which

already

3000

gress,

we

more

what

to

made
ago,

the
by

so
simply -

was

change,

these
West

known

at

more

they

remain

reflections on the nature


appear

ancient
that

the

Indian

to

be

very

modern,

philosophers

2000

with our "revolutionary" proleast to some extent -

already

long

ago.

One

turning
can

find

numerous points of contact and similarity between "Daseins-

1 34

analysis" and ancient Indian philosophy. Some


will now be shown on the basis of the example

of them
provided

by the understanding of dreams.

When a European reader sets out to learn something


about Indian views on dreams and dreaming, he may perhaps
assume that he will be presented with something like an
"Egyptian Dream Book", a generally valid code for deciphering dream phenomena. Expectations of this kind, at
least in the present context, will not be fulfilled. There
are of course "dream dictionaries" or

11

almanachs

11

of this

type 2) , which even nowadays are quite popular and of ten


referred to. So, for instance, I found that most of our
psychiatric patients agree that it is a bad omen to dream
of "the dead". By "dead", they do not only mean persons
actually seen as dead, i.e. as "dead bodies" in the dream,
but also people whom they see alive in the dream, but
who are already dead in reality. The appearing of these
figures is interpreted as signifying that they want to
call the dreamer to their world of the departed. Another
example of fixed dream interpretation of this kind can
be seen in pregnant women who maintain that certain dream
objects, in particular the shape of vegetables and fruit,
allow them to forecast whether the child expected by them
will be male or female. Dreams with prophetic content
occasionally play a role in the ancient epics and tales.
As, however, in these, Gods and human beings usually still
deal and mix with each other within the same world, dreams
as a means of communication can be dispensed with
therefore play less of a role than for instance in

and
the

2) Even nowadays one finds in the so-called "jantri",


a kind of calendar or almanach, "dream tables" which
indicate quite systematically the meaning of different
dream contents. An ancient version is the "svapnacintamani" of Jagaddeva, written in Kashmir (German translation and commentary by NEGELEIN, Julius von: "Der Traumschlilssel des Jagaddeva", Giessen, 1912).

1 35

world of the Old Testament of the Bible.


The
also

question

in

of

waking

the

life?"

Daseins-analyst,
is

illustrated

namely

in

"Why

peculiar

not

manner

by a short tale from Assam, the eastern-most part of India.


It deserves to be quoted here (7):
"On
in

the

the

banks of a

hollow

(elephant)
the

of

used

river

for

the

to
a

certain river,
trunk

pass

drink:

of a

this

an owl used to live

banyan

tree

One day a

tree.

daily

on

A tusker

his

way

to

strong wind overturned

the tree, so the


elephant to take

owl, finding no other help, begged the


pity on him and straighten the tree.
The elephant at once did as he was told and from that
day on the two became staunch friends.
"Now,
that

one

he

had eaten

morning
asked

night

he

him

went
the

the

Goddess

the head of
up

to

meaning

her
of

Parvati's

tiger

dreamt

this elephant. So the next

husband,

this

the

dream.

God

Shiva,

Shiva said:

and

"Well,

if you have dreamt like this, perhaps it could be realised.


Go and eat the elephant's head."
"The
went

tiger,

to

the

elephant

having

river

came

for

brother,

dreamt

so

asked

when

made

true,

his

he

received

and waited
his

command

drink,

last night

that

the
I

So

"Yes!"

if

you

Now I

have

terribly frightened
do.

his

friend's

has

allowed

what

to

plight,

In

said:

the meantime
"Well,

if

speed

you to eat my friend's head,


But

them.

As

nodding
wanted

than

soon
her

to

as

head

let

her

us

all

go

to

two companions,

she arrived
and

know what

suddenly waking up,


I

said:

"Big

before

pretended

to

him

"Lord,

was married to Goddess Parvati.

do,

finish

and kept silent,


the owl,

seeing

there is nothing
and

verify

your

But the owl, making

reached

there before'

the God,
be asleep.

the matter was with


said:

to

the great God Shiva

statement."
"So they started for Shiva's place.
more

God,

When the

shall eat you up with

knowing

say.

tiger

anything

not

to

the

had eaten your head;

it soon."
"The elephant was

more

of

the elephant.

the great God whether my dream could be

told me

permission.

usual

the

for

her,

she started
When Shiva
she,

as

if

I was just dreaming that


Now can it be made true

1 36

or not?" Shiva replied: "No, you cannot marry her just


11
because you have dreamt so." So the owl said:
How, then,
could your tiger be allowed to eat the elephant's head,
just because he dreamt

so?" The God then said:

"No,

the

tiger also cannot eat the elephant's head."


"By this time the tiger and the elephant had arrived
and the tiger hearing the God's final verdict. was very
disappointed, while the elephant and his friend, the owl,
left for home with great rejoicings."
This little story, simple and phantastic as it may
be, shows the obstacles that oppose themselves to implementing in waking life all the possibilities given to
a human being and freely available to him in his dream
experience: In the first place, the waking world is limited
by gross physical characteristics such as size, weight'
hardness and consistence, distance in time and space.
A primary reason why the tiger cannot bite off and eat
the head of the elephant is that the relative size of
their bodies does not allow this. Second: there are biological hindrances. A union of owl and Goddess as man and
wife is unthinkable, not only because the physical proportions do not tally, but also because certain natural laws
separate creatures that differ in species and mode of
life. Beyond this, in the world of men, but to a certain
extent already amongst animals, there exists a social
code of behaviour to which each individual has to sacrifice
his freedom to a certain extent. A woman who is already
someone's wife cannot be claimed as a spouse without violating this order. Finally one may point out that, beyond
social law and decorum there are still higher values that
may hem in human action in waking life: apart from all
the obstacles already mentioned, a further reason why
the tiger cannot transform his dreamt desire into the
reality of waking life even only tentatively, is that
the owl stands up for its threatened friend, the elephant,
in gratitude, in faithful fulfilment of a friend's duty
and in loving care.

137

If we now turn to ancient Indian philosophical scriptures,

in

particular

dream and
cular

its

to

Upani~ads,

the

psychological

dreamer

loses

its

the

content

interpretation
importance

It is dreaming as a phenomen,

of

for any parti-

almost

completely.

as a mode of being, to which

ancient Indian thinkers have devoted their attention.


If,
torn

to begin with,

out

of

actually might
to

or

gain
~

fulf.ilmwt"

this type
comments:
"In

the
Out

wish

dream

further

FREUD' s
of

the

concept
numerous

to off er only a
the

3),

effulgent

seems

or

even

( 2)

to

rejoice

see

4, 3

v.

in

the

terrible
1 3,

few

some

texts,
one

dreaming

as

descriptions

of

of

basis for

(i.e.

the

of

to

"self)

or

women,

(B~HAD~RA~YAKA

objects.

my

creates manifold forms.

company

subsequently

as

entity

attaining higher and lower states,


It

to

explanation,

impression that they lend support

an~icipate

rather

"wish

we expose ourselves

context and without

be

referred

to

laugh,

UPANI~AD

as

B~H.

UP.)
II

Now,

him,

or

~n

he

overpowered

or he was
time

when

falling

through

ignorance

king,

as

comprise

UP.

(2) 4,3, v.20.)

It

II

king,

as

reaches
take

all".

as

or

an

it
his

were,
and

was

killing

(in short)
fears

fancies at the

he has experienced

So also when he is a god, as it were,


or he

thinks

"I am this universe

This last is his highest state."

or

(retinue

of)

(B~H.

then becomes either a great

worthy

low states,

in his own kingdom,

somebody

elephant was chasing him,

pit -

(the self in dream)

high

if

whatever

it were,

and

may

him

into a

the waking state.

or a

feels

as

Brahmana,
it were.

as

it were,

or

As a great king

citizens and go about at will

so does this self thus take the organs

and go about at will in its own body."

(B~H.

UP.

(2)

2,1,

v. 18.)

3) Here and in what follows "dream" without article is


used to refer to the "dream state" or "condition of
dreaming", a usage to be found in most translations
of and commentaries on ancient Indian texts dealing
with the "dream state".

1 38

If, thus, any comparison is made in these texts between


the dream world and waking life, it does not serve in
any way the exploration of individual psychological motives
and mechanisms, but merely the purpose of recognising,
proving and teaching the true essence of man. The theses,
which

in

these

dialogues

between

wise

philosophers

and

aspirants eager for knowledge about the "right life" are


brought close to the understanding of the disciples, and
for which 'contemplation of the dream state provides essential arguments, are broadly the following:
1. Human existence takes its course in four different
worlds or states, amongst which dream' just as the three
others, has its own, authentic justification and need
not be derived from a "more real" waking world.
2. Pointing out these four states serves the purpose of
examining what is then the constant and enduring element
of human existence that permeates equally all these worlds.
Furthermore, these reflections also provide important
information about the nature of the world and its creator
and about the relationship of man to this creator. This,
however, is a question which can be taken up only in a
later part of this article.
The "Four States" or "worlds" amongst which man alternates are: the waking world ("jagarat" or "vais;,anara")
(S), i.e. the realm that belongs to all men in common;
the dream world ( "svapana"); deep sleep ( "su~upta") and,
as the
State".

last,

the

so-called

"turiya",

i.e.

"the

Fourth

Western man usually regards the waking~world as the


only "real" one
Sleep and the dream-world are inserted
into the framework of waking life: dream is a phenomen
to be understood as derived from waking experience; sleep
becomes an "object" of wakeful reasoning insofar as
even if one cannot experience one's own sleep con~ciously
- one can undertake scientific observations and experiments
on someone else's sleep and thus objectify certain phenomena. The "Fourth State" is beyond understanding and interest
of Western thought.
In the ancient Indian texts, however, each of the three
first-named states has its own originality and justificat-

1 39

ion.

Some

and

at

extracts

the

same

from

time

the

show

texts

up

can

the

illustrate

peculiarities

this

of

the

dream-world as compared with the other conditions:


One

of

presents
who has
the

the
a

other:
come?"

of

their

thus
When

self

asleep,

reflections.

he

it

is

asleep,

within

has

the

((2)

2,1,

v.

16-18)

in which a

One

of

them

is

withdrawn,
When

are

the

its

world"

answer,
with

he

man

asks

the

specialised
lies

When

"svapiti"

organ

of

in

it

4).

the

of
11

as

its

past work

Then

follows

describing

nose

the eye

and the mind is with-

the self thus stays in the dream state,


E.H.).

the
Self

the organs,

verily,

is withdrawn,

the ear is withdrawn,

thus

Supreme

withdraws

it

"When

is

knowledge

the

Then,

speech

did

intellect

and

heart.

Whence

continues:

the

its

of

results

earlier

then?

by

the

is withdrawn,

no

it

organs,

the

name

was

associated

the

it

drawn.

is

withdraws

of

where

receives

that

functions
that

UP.

two wise men

"When this self that is associated with the intell-

was

this

B~H.

In

between

just been stirred out of his sleep by them becomes

object

ect

episodes

dialogue

(or better:

the verse

various

dream

of

same

these

"These are

already quoted

contents

(2,1,

v.

UP.

(2)

18).
In
4,3,

v.

ni te)
is

it

dialogue

7-10),

entity

amid

light
the

another

we find a
which

organs,

the

within

the

intellect,
thinks,

as

is

it were,

one with dreams,

and

roams

text

(B~H.

similar formulation: "This (infi-

reflected

intellect

it

the

in

which
(is

is

the

between

the
the

as

which

(self-effulgent)

self).

this

and quivers,

intellect,

and

Simulating
the

it were.

next

life;

For being

it goes beyond this (waking) world, which

represents the forms of death (ignorance and its offshoots)


This

entity

(the

individual

self),

mentioned

above,

4) "svapi ti": This is an example of the play or one might


say "juggleries" with words and syllables orye frequently
finds in Sanskrit. Though the root from which "svapana"
and "svapiti", i.e. "he sleeps" are derived, is "svap",
the wise man, not in poetical, but in philosophical
licence, takes the 1 iberty of separating the syllables
differently,
namely "sva-piti",
which means
"he
is
11
sucked in" or "absorbed into himself

1 40

has only two places, this life and the next life. The
dream-state, which is the third, is at the junction (of
the two). staying in that place at the junction (or "transition" E.H.), it sees both places, this life and the next.
No\)',

whatever

support

it may have for the next life,

it

betakes itself to that and sees both, miseries and joys.


When it dreams, it takes away a little of this all-sustaining body, itself makes (the body) insensible and itself
creates (a dream body) and dreams through its own radiance
(illuminated) by its own light. In this state this entity
(the self) itself becomes the light. In that state there
are neither chariots nor animals to be hitched to them,
nor roads, yet it (the self) creates the chariots, animals
and roads. There are no joys, delights or raptures in
it, yet it creates the joys, delights and raptures. There
are no pools, tanks or rivers in it, yet it creates the
pools, tanks and rivers. For it is the doer."
While these texts from the Upanisads speak a poetic
and mystic language, which is often difficult to understand
5), later commentators express these same ideas in .shorter
and more sober form. Amongst them it is in particular
Shri Sankaracarya and his pupils who often use the teaching
about

the "Four States" for their arguments, as for


instance in the short treatise "Drg-Drsya Viveka" (4)
where, from verse 1 0-1 2, one finds the following formulation:

v.
of)

10:

ego

"In the state of deep sleep, when (the thought


disappears, the body also becomes unconscious.

5) One has the choice of rendering the original Sanskrit


text as literally as possible, as for instance in the
Sanskrit-English parallel editions of Shri Ramakrishna
Math, with the consequence that much of the concentrated
n1caning and also the poetical flavour is lost, or to
take recourse to freer translations that bear the stamp
of literary genius and thus are aesthetically more
pleasing, but at times may deviate from the original
concepts. In either case, only little of the wealth
of meaning which is condensed within the original texts
can be rendered. I have used the Ramakrishna Math editions, but at times have taken the liberty of adding
to their translation under my own initials (E.H.).
Other "brackets" are those added by the translators.

1 41
The state in which there is the half manifestation of
the -ego is called the dream state and the full manifestation of the ego is the state of waking". V. 11: "The inner
organ (mind) which is itself but a modification identifying
itself with the reflection of Consciousness, imagines
(various) ideas in the dream. And the same inner organ
(identifying itself with the body) imagines objects external to itself in the waking state with respect to the senseorgans". V. 12: "The subtle body which is the material
cause of the mind and egoism, is one and of the nature
of insentiency. It moves in the three states and is born
and it dies. 11
Similarly one reads in a small booklet with the title
/
"Aparoksanubhuti" (12) 6) verses 56-58: "This world, though
an object of our daily experience and serving all practical
purposes,

is,

like the dream world, of the nature of non-

existence, inasmuch as it is contradicted the next moment.


The dream (experience) is unreal in waking, whereas the
waking (experience) is absent in dream. Both, however,
are non~existent in deep sleep which, again, is not experienced in either. Thus all the three states are unreal
inasmuch as
but

their

they

are

witness

the

(the

creation of the three


reality

behind

them)

11

is

gUIJas";
beyond

all "gui:ias" 7), eternal, one, and is consciousness itself."


If one wants to translate these formulations, the full
understanding of which would actually require an introduction to ancient Indian terminol?gy and psychology, into
a language which is more appealing nowadays, and which
will also be understood in the West,

one can sum up more

or less as follows:
Dream and sleep are products of "non-knowing" ( avidya)
or perhaps one may pe permitted to say "of the unconsci-

6) "Aparoksanubhuti"
or
"Self-Realization"
(literally:
experience of "revelation", i.e. something,., that _c~nnot
be seen with the eyes) attributed to Shri Sankaracarya,
8th century A.D.
7) "guna" ( s): The three "gunas" are the
or qualities of the whole of creation.

basic elements

142

ous". The self can only recognise itself in these two


states by remembering and reflecting, when it ponders
over them in its waking state. If, therefore, one takes
consciousness, in particular ego-consciousness, as the
criterion, the waking state, in spite of all its limitations, is superior to the dream-state, though the latter
allows for a greater wealth of possibilities.
One can alomst regard it as a postulate of the human
need for symmetry and analogy that one wishes to contrast
deep sleep with a still further state in which all-embracing illumined and illuminating knowledge and creative
freedom, a state of not being conditioned (the German
"unbedingt" literally means "not limited by objects")
which in dreaming and waking only partially and' imperfectly
exists and in deep sleep is completely absent, would be
present to the highest degree. This is "turTya", the Fourth
State. In deep sleep, of course, the self also rests in
itself, no longer surrounded and determined by a world
of other creatures and things. This state, however, is
characterized by darkness and unknowing. Against this,
the "tur'iya"-state is perfect, all penetrating illumination, all-embracing knowledge and highest potency of being.
Synoptically, one can present the significance and
characteristics of these four states as shown on pp.
144/145.

The

terminology

confusing.

On

impression

that

subject and
and act of

used in this synopsis may be somewhat

reading certain texts one actually has


deep

object,
seeing

sleep,

in

which

the difference
is eliminated,

the

split

the

between

between seer, seen


is praised as the

condition of highest bliss, and that it is not sufficiently


differentiated from the Fourth State. This is perhaps
connected with the difficulties that present themselves
if one wishes to translate into a European language the
Sanskrit terms, which presuppose a quite different type
of psychology. On the other hand, one has to add that
various philosophical schools do not represent the Four
States

in

the

same

manner,

attributing

more

importance

to one or the other aspect.


What is clear is that the "self" which persists steadily

143

throughout all
dered

as

worlds
of

the

known

the

witness
to us,

"turiya".

everything,
pear ls,
the

these Four States, and which can be consi-

and

the

of

This

on

is

which

experiences

"non-experiencing"

this

highest

to reach

Self,

this

exercises,

all

that

happens

in

the

three

can only be the all-illuminating Self


the

thread

like
of

of

which

waking
deep

is

which

separate,
and

dreaming

sleep

to

be

runs

single

are

through
beads
and

strung.

aspired

or

also
It

is

to and it is

realm that all yoga systems, all meditation

all

philosophical

scriptures

attempt

to offer

paths adap~d to the needs of each individual.


Though

one

may be

justified in comparing tnese Indian

methods, in particular certain yoga practices, with Western


psychotherapeutic procedures

(S),

one has

to stress again

and again that their aim is different. Western psychotherapy

is out to assist the person who seeks help in arriving

at a

more conscious recognition and a more mature fulfil-

ment

of

the

possibilities

waking world
beings

8).

in which he has
Indian

liberating

that

man

waking

world

waking

state,

from

his

in

but

own within

however,

involvement

making

also

his

this

to come to terms with other

philosophy,

and

are

him

dream

sees
in

this

transcend

and

its

in

deceptive

not

deep sleep.

aim

only

the

The method

for this is not a remembering, a recalling and associating


of
in

thoughts
their

becoming

"suppression
one

with

sometimes

be

thought

to

so

presented

far

the

unmanageable

8) Once

can

then

be

examined

connections of meaning,

thought",
can

which

the
dimly

next,
an

obstacle

again:

of

the

all

moment

but a
thought

of

perceived

and with

German

processes"
and

void

transition

9),

which

from

one

that very moment which has

irritating,
or

recognised

"cessation of all

silence
on

and

as

yet

even

an

term

"sich

unexplained

awkward

annoyance

and
to

auseinandersetzen" !

{ s)

9) The fundamental definition "Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah", i.e. "Yoga is the arresting of ali revolving
of thoughts", stands at the beginning of the standard
work on Yoga, PATANJALI' s "Yoga-Sutras" ( 11 ) Section
I, Verse 2 (see also page 175).

1 44

SYNOPSIS OF SIGNIFICANCE AND CHARACTERISTICS


III

II

su~upti or prajna

svapana or taijasa

Deep sleep (knowing or


preliminary stage, "gate"
to knowledge).

Dream (consisting of
light, luminous).

Enjoying pure bliss


(ananda).

Enjoying the subtle


< siiksma)

No split between subject


and object.

Within the dream world,


subject and object distinguished.

Cognition is only a dark,


undifferentiated mass.

Cognition only "inward".

Seer, seen and act of


seeing are one, as there
is no second that could
be seen.

Within the dream: seer,


seen and act of seeing
different; but when seen
from the waking state,
they are one.

No ego-consciousness.

Dream ego is not conscious of itself.

Not illuminated or illuminating.

The self illuminates its


own dream world.

No activity, no effectiveness.

Dream happenings are "real"


and effective with regard
to dream figures, but not
for fellow-creatures of
the waking world.

"gate to knowledge", slumbering potential for knowledge.

Purely product of ignorance.

Products of ignorance.
Belonging to the sphere of "non,-being".

145

OF THE FOUR STATES


I

IV

jagarat or vaisvanara

turiya

Waking state
(common to all men).

Fourth State

Enjoying gross matter


(sthula)

P~ce,

Split between subject and


object.

"Advaita", one-ness.

Cognition "outward".

No cognition or perception.

Seer, seen, act of seeing


experienced as separate.

"Advaita": seer, seen and


act of seeing perfectly
one.

Ego-consciousness present.

Ego is one with the highest


Self, participating in
universal consciousness.

Man appears in the light


in which the whole of
creation appears, but himself also has a certain
capacity for illuminating
world.

All-pervading and allembracing highest illumination.

Action is effective and


binding also for fellowbeings.

Highest creative potential.

Determinate, concrete
knowledge.

All-embracing, unifying
knowledge.

cal~, non-duality
(santam, sivam, advaitam)

Highest potential of being,


also including !'non-being",
permanent, eternal.

146

the

modern

object

of

Western
his

psychologist

studies

only

itself outwardly!
One sometimes

hears

to

to

an

an

attitude

regression

would

lead

to

who

wants

to

"behaviour"

the

reproach

embryonal
of

that

that

stage

as

an

manifests

this

and,

careless

have

at

amounts

any

rate,

indifference

with

regard to the world and in particular with regard to suffering

fellow human beings.

developments
would
as

make

of

HEIDEGGER

human

such

theoretical

criticism

has

presented

"Dasein",

One could indeed trace various

and as

and

appear
it

practical
justified.

as

the

nature

that

"Care",

such

central

it decisively guides

concern of

the

Daseins-

analytically oriented therapist in his thinking and doing,


is

something

literature

that

in

derived

ancient

from

Indian

them,

of many so-called "saints",

as

scriptures

also

in

the

and

the

practices

plays hardly any role or none

at all.

If, however, one searches carefully in the ancient


scriptures, one discovers that this defect does not lie
in the sources themselves, but that probably it has crept
in as a later pollution of the streams of thought that
flowed from it. I have already pointed out earlier that
the one who has himself
becomes a
for

the

find

source of

effect

in

the

reached a

light

which

for

his

scriptures

characterize him and

fellow-world

he has on his

ancient

that are

enlightenment

state of

and

environment,

several

that,

one

expressions

indeed modes

of

that

being

bu~

would befit not only any perfect human being,

can
that

in parti-

cular any psychotherapist (S).


The power of

illumination of the "tur'i'ya" is too over-

whelming,

even

tries

penetrate

to

annihilating,

is

overcome

by

of

becoming

firm,

hold
the

something
ancient

without

it
of

of

prematurely,

unwittingly.
is
it

Indian

risk

it

scorching,

already

going

astray,

or

if

in

one

this

only

is

under

the "~arana",

in

illumination

wisdom

of

his

own

is

the

his

turn

maturation,

to

way

who

grasp

and

According
to

do

to

this,

supervision

(S). One surrenders

oneself to the protection,


the

in

of

life.

the

and guidance of an experienced "guru"

someone

who

A process

necessary

scriptures,

for

of a master who,
just as

good

therapist! - only offers as much as the aspirant can grasp,

147

thus helping him to open himself up gradually to illumination, according to the extent of his own capacity for maturing,

and

also

to

strengthen

himself

to

be

able

to

hold

and to withstand the forces that will flow into him.

It

has

already been pointed out that discussion about

dream

and

deep sleep in ancient Indian scriptures serves

not only as an approach to the understanding of the ultimate

essence

about

the

now

have

Indian
what

of man,

but also allows

nature of
tried

justified

important conclusions

In other words,

to explain in which way,

scriptures,

remains

the world.

dream deserves

if up to

in the ancient

to be called "a world",

to be examined now is whether one is really

in

calling

the

world

"a

dream".

(See

also

p.

1 77.)

Probably no one

except some of our psychiatric pati-

ents who are extremely alienated from themselves!

- would

contest the idea that the contents which appear in a dream


belong

and

pertain

to

the

dreamer

himself.

His

own

possibilities show themselves to him in the shape of other


people,

animals,

in

waking

as

approaching

made
in

life

these,

waking

too,
us

our

life

experienced

plants,

objects

everything

"from

by

is

an

others

in

can again

dream

the

The

dreamer,

the

seer,

figures

as

scene

solitude,

that which

Furthermore,

first

fully

as

experienced

long as we have not


our

own.

which

But

can

furthermore,

while

also

therefore

which

and

is

just

be
is

the experiencer

be an object of experience for others,

entire
in

situations

"outside"

"objectifiable" and in which,


himself

at

outside" as

possibilities,
there

and

is

is
is

shifted
at

one

to

the

and

the

"inside".
same

time

seen and also the act of seeing.

the seer,

he

is

not

experienced

by

the

that appear before him and even otherwise is not

seen by anyone else. It is only on his return to the waking


world

that,

remembering,

himself as the dreamer,


ly,

reflecting,

he

can

recognise

the seer, and thus, retrospective-

can become one who is "seen" by himself. Such oneness

of "seer, seen and act of seeing", or, as one might express

1 48

it

in

Western

experience,
phy,

the

language:

teaching

situation
bringing

of

subject,

object

and

act

of

is what the ancient Indian "advai ta" phi losois,

of

"non-duality",

therefore,

closer

to

our

very

advocates.

apt

The dream

starting-point

understanding

this

for

philosophical

truth which is otherwise very difficult to grasp. In doing


so, the argument runs more or less as follows:
1.

In

dream,

one.
2. Dream

seer,

and

the

waking

seen

and

world

are

the

act

equally

of

seeing

original

are

worlds

or modes of existence, each in its own right.


3.

Once

one

arises

admits

whether

characterised

perhaps

by

the seen.
4. In the waking
individual

dream
the

similar
world,

human

in a dream.

that

is

world,

waking

world

relationship

if

it

is

the
too

of

seen

as

to add,

of course,

might

be

seer

to

the
a

being corresponds to one of

One has

question

whole,
the

that,

the

figures

within this

waking world he also has, to a certain degree, the capacity


to

figure

as

"seer"

and

even

stage

certain

"dreams"

or "world projects" in which other creatures become f igures.

Nevertheless,

happenings

in

this

all

human

beings,

for

it

seer,

takes

place,

if

one

keeps

world

that

one faces

out

in
is

mind

the

totality

common and binding

the necessity of

dreamer,

within

of

creative

whose

whose

for

postulating

"mind"

power

of

all

all

this

this
has

been realised.
5.

As,

however,

it

has

been

through

made

clear

seer and seen are one,


all-that-is

the

example

that

dreamer

it follows

of

the

and

dream-state,

dream

that man -

is one with the great Dreamer,

figures,

or actually
the

highest

creative Power.
This

oneness

which, however,
Ultimately,

can

also

be

proved

by

other

arguments

in the present context, we cannot discuss.

it cannot be grasped by any logical argument;

it passes all human understanding and is really accessible


only through one's own experience of illumination.
A few

extracts

from

the

ancient

scriptures

and

later

commentaries on them may again illustrate what the reasoning just sketched out looks like in the original:

149
is

It

MANDUKYOPANI~AD

the

quite particularly for


rears

old,

( 9)

which

1 0)

lends

itself

this purpose. This text, over 2000


limited only to 12 verses,

very concentrated,

interprets the mystical significance of the great "mantra"


11

0M 11

(S)

11)

States".
and at

By

by

likening

quoting

the same

some

its
of

components

its

verses,

time further elucidate,

to
we

the

can

"Four

repeat,

part of what has

already been explained:


Verse

11

2:

Self within
ters."

truly,

(atman)

Verse 3:

(common

to

all

waking

state

(the

for

his

4:

or

his

And this

quarter is
material

field,

11

vai;vanara 11

condition)

outwardly

12)

and

with

s)

the

cognitive,

enjoying

gross

"The second quarter is the "taij asa"

the

mental

field,

nineteen-mouthed,
5:

the

brahman 11

The Self has four quar-

nineteen-mouthed
Verse

brilliant

state

or

11

brahman

"The first

for

seven-limbed,
objects".

is

men

11

everything is
11

and

cognitive,

enjoying

"When one is asleep,

with

condition)

inwardly

subtle

the

dream

seven-limbed,

objects."

feels no desires,

Verse

sees no dreams,

that is deep sleep. The third is "prajna" (the cognitional


or

the

stage
his

intellectual
of

it!

field,

E.H.)

with

condition
having

or

this

experiences

all

and

forming
Verse

cognitions."
knower,

the
6:

and

dissolution."
is
not
wise
say,

unified,

with

7:

inwardly

cognitive,

nor

cognitive

indefinite

mass

of

10)

"This is

Verse

to

for

cognition

all

definite

the Lord of all,

their source,
"The

Fourth

cognitive,
nor

sleep

full of bliss, enjoying

both-wise;

cognition,

preliminary

deep

gate-way

their inner controller,

of

reduced to a mere indefinite mass,


bliss,

rather

state

their

their origin
( turiya) ,

nor

neither

collecti v~

It is mostly the terminology of this text


been used for the synopsis on pages 144/145.

the

outwardly
is

it

an

cognition,

that

11 ) "OM" is really "AUM". The 4 components are "A",


11
M11 and as the fourth the syllable as a whole.
12) 19
the various organs of perception, action
cognition according to ancient Indian psychology.

has
11

11

and

150
nor non-cognition. It is the essence of the one self-cognition common to all
cease

in it.

states of consciousness.

It is peace,

it is bliss,

All phenomena

it is non-duality.

This is the Self, and it is to be realised."

.
.
of subject and

In BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD ((2)

4,3,

'

of

oneness

in

sleep,

is

described

object,

as

V.

transcends desire,

and

is

and

fearless.

21-32) the state

which already

follows:

is his form which


demerits

v.

As

11

prevails

That

indeed

is bereft of

merits

21:

man

fully

embraced

by his dear wife knows nothing external or internal,


so

this

Self

infinite

knows

his

nothing

form,

ised,

entity

fully

external

or

embraced

by

internal.

That

in which all objects of desire

in which

they

have

become

the

the

even

Supreme

indeed

is

have been real-

self,

and

which

is

devoid of desire and beyond grief." V. 22: "In this state,


a

father

worlds

is no

are

Vedas

no

mor~

more

worlds,

father,

a mother no more a mother,

the

(the holy scriptures,

gods

E.H.)

no

more

gods,

no more Vedas.

the

In

this

state, a thief is no more a thief, the murderer of a worthy


"Brahmana" no more such a murderer etc This form is
unaffected by good actions and unaffected by bad actions i
for

the

self

heart. "
that

state

state,

is

V.
is

it

11

23:

then

beyond

That

it

because,

does

not

all

does

al though

see;

for

afflictions

not

(really)

there

of

(apparently)

cannot

the

see

in

seeing

in

be

absence

any

that

of the sight of the seer, since the latter is imperishable.


But

there

is

not

that

second

entity

differentiated

from

it which it can see." In similar manner,

it is enumerated

that

can

there

is

no

longer

tasted,

spoken, heard,

V.

"Where

31:

there

one

can

there
see

can taste another,


another."
water,
world

V.

one,
that

32:
the
is

anything

that

thought or touched.
is

different

another,

one

can

be

smelled,

(Verses 24-30).

thing,

as

smell

it

were,

another,

one

one can touch another and one can know

"It becomes
seer

and

(in deep sleep)


from duality.

free

"brahman"

this

this

is

its

highest

glory,

this

this

is

its

highest

bliss,

all

particle of this very bliss.


That this unifying world

serene,

is
is

the
its

other

This

highest
highest

beings

like

is

the

goal,
world,

live

on

II

of

deep

sleep

is

still

not

1 51

the

last

as

and

the

highest

is

evident from various texts,

in CHANDOGYA UPANI~AD

e.g.

( 3) ,

where it is reported,

how the God Indra, who is taking philosophical instruction


from

Prajapati,

partial,

the

Creator,

fragmentary

is

knowledge

not

he

is

satisfied with

the

first

but

offered,

again and again critically re-examines what he has learned


as

it

were

teacher

propaedeutically,

for

deeper

and

then

enlightenment.

The

returns
master,

to
in

the

reply

to his questions concerning the Self, after various insufficient pointers,


See also p. 189):
Verse
He

is

serene

the

student
that

and

said:

the

leaves

(8,11,

explains:

knows

immortal,

first

this

self,
the

"Prajapati

1:

composed,

finally

"He

no

who

dream,

fearless.

satisfied.

He

is

fully

he is

the

is

But

again according to Verse 1:


does

asleep,
"atman".

"brahman"." The

soon

new knowledge too is untenable.

sleeper)

1-3).

verses

he

discovers

He says to him-

"In truth this one (i.e.

not know himself now as "I am he", nor

indeed these beings. It seems as if he has gone to annihilation. I see no good in this". He again returns to Prajapati

who

the

now

explains

ultimate
"O

1:

truth

Indra,

to his pupil,
as

mortal

who has

(8,12,

follows:

thus matured,

v.

indeed is this body,

ff):

Verse

held by death.

But it is the support of this death less, bodiless ''atman".


Verily,

the

embodied

Surely,

there

one who

is embodied.

is

self

no

is

held

cessation

of

by pleasure and pain.


pleasure

and

pain

for

But pleasure and pain do not indeed

touch one who is bodiless."


This

imperishable

Self

is

the witness of all

percept-

ions, whether in waking, dream or deep sleep.


In
(4),

the
the

soul,
as

treatise

relationship

and

"jagat",

follows

fallacious
"buddhi"
their
(which
the

between

36-41):

(Verses

(intellect)

of

nature

means

the
of

of

the

it

"the

elements
the

Viveka"

"jiva",

the individual

the universe,

v.

36/37:
various

(the

objects

is

E.H.).

their
of

located

actions

self)

living"
and

is presented

"It is because the

Consciousness

performs

therefore

actually

mentioned~

the world,

presentation

result,

consisting
of

already

in

the

and

enjoys

called

"jiva"

And

products

enjoyment,

all

this,

which
is

are

called

1 52

"jagat"

(universe).

beginning,

have

These

(only)

two,

dating

from

time

without

empirical existence and exist till

one attains liberation. Therefore both are called empirical


(i.e. suited for the every-day transactions of this phenomenal world.
with
of

V.

Consciousness
the

covers

nature
the

universe,
V.

E.H.)

29:

38:

wrongly

of

but

then

said to be associated

presented

concealment

(empirical)

"These

"Sleep,
and

the

mind)

projection,

individual

self

imagines

them

objects

(namely

two

(in

(in

and

dream)

the

at

the

and
first

cognized

afresh".

perceiving

and the perceived world - according to the text;

self

but more

plausibly: the objects seen in the dream: E.H.) are illusory

on

account

of

period of

(dream)

waking

from

up

again. 11
dream)
as

real,

but

world)

thinks

real."

In

having

experience.

dream

40:

V.

thinks

their

"He

sees
who

is

(i.e.

the

empirical
to

of

the

(i.e.

"jTva"
i.e.

this,

v.

the

(i.e.

the

the

(of

the

dream-world)

of

the

waking

dream-world)

comparison

41:

waking

the

one after

"fI va"

illusory

the

analogy

during

objects when one dreams

illusory world

(that world,

only

It is because no

these

the

then continues as follows:


"jiva"

existed

in

as

un-

the

text

"He who is the empirical

world),

sees

this

empirical

world as real. But the real "jiva" knows it to be unreal".


V.

42:

11

The "paramarthika jiva"

(i.e.

the self that tran-

scends the world of objects) knows its identity with "brahman"

to

be

(alone)

real.

He

does

not

see

the other

(if

he sees the other) he knows it to be illusory."


For us people from the West, who are so firmly anchored
in

the

reality

up our faith,

of

into

ject 11,

life,

taken so much for

and genuineness.
us

waking

is

difficult

granted,

to

give

in its solidity

People like Medard BOSS who try to arouse

questioning
"inside"

it

and

such

concepts

"outside",

as

or

at

11

subj e'ct"
least

and

warn

"obus

to

deal with them cautiously and critically, tend to be experienced as disturbing or even annoying. The ancient Indian
philosophers,

too,

had

disciples

these

views,

"real" or

of

"unreal

11

no

easy
and

task
the

to

convince

question,

as

this world which we experience

their
to

how

in

the

waking state is and what its meaning is, draws a dividing


line between different philosophical schools. It is Kashmi-

153

ri

Shaivism,

exponents,
which
to

and

above

all

ABHINAVAGUPTA

offers

reconcile

one

(S)

particularly

harmoniously

of

its

most

significant

(10th/11th

century

A.D.),

illuminating

answer,

suited

the

two

extremes

of

"realism

11

and "idealism".
According
experience
the

to
is

these
"real

all-embracing

teachings

11

because

13),

it

consciousness

is

of

the
a

world

of

our

manifestation

the highest Self,

of
or,

in other words, the highest reality - just as the materialisations


bring
not

which

abou.t,

for

people.

i.e.

but

the

yogi

are 'not

binding

other

endowed

simply a

others,

On

the

mere mental

with

but

effecti venes.s

hand,

the

representation,

experience

of

powers

can

dream peculiar to him and

gain

other

special

self

world

also
11

is

for

ideal 11 ,

because it is nothing

(namely

of

the

highest,

all-embracing Self) and, as such, has its existence totally


within
has

this

its

calls

appears

which we
tellect

as

our

experience

to

is

reach

operate,

not

short:

of

that

dream also

Idealism".

our

all

accessible

all

in

This philosophical school,

"Realistic

remain conscious,

cease

in

itself

within

still

o..i::dinarily
ness,

just

seat within ourselves.

therefore,
which

Self,

senses,

when

the

that,

to

which

All

all

that

that

of

senses and in-

furthermore,

which

limited human consciousis

and

of which one can

say that in some way or other it exists, that can be named


by

speech,

no

matter

whether

it

be

subject

or

object,

means for gaining knowledge or knowledge itself, is summed


up

by

the

concept

11

of

abhasa"

(i.e.

that which

"shines"

or "appears", corresponding literally to the Greek


menon").
~ere

is

then

argued

that

if

subject

totally cut apart from eac~ other,

between
appear
logs

It

of

them
to

be

wood

could
as

not
have

been

the coming
thrown

phaino-

and

object

any communication

be possible or at

difficult as

which

11

onto

least

it would

together of
two

far

two

apart

areas of a beach by two different currents.

13) The following summing up of what has been taught by


ABHINAVAGUPTA is taken from the comprehensive work
of K.C. PANDEY (10) in particular pages 319-329.

154
This problem is dealt with by a theory of an all-embracing universal consciousness or Self, the "anuttara" (literally the "non-plus-ultra"). This is the one reality, beyond
which nothing can pass, which is free from all limitations,
undefinable, not to be grasped by the human mind and therefore also not to be formulated in words. This is the "brahman" of the Vedantic school. Whatever we can state about
it concerns this Highest only in its relationship to us
as its creatures. No definition is adequate for it. This
"anuttara", however, being self-luminous or "shining",
has the capacity to bring into appearance and to let shine
forth a world which immanently already is present in it'
and thus to create a possibility of "grasping" or "perceiving" and thus recognising itself 1 4). As the "cause"
not only the efficient, but also the material ca use!
of all that is and can be, implying both being and nonbeing, this Highest is also called "mahasatta", which
means "highest potential of being".
Within this particular philosophical system, illumination need not be acquired by escape from the world. It
is, on the contrary, recommended that one should accept
this concrete world and render the contact and friction
with it fruitful for becoming conscious of oneself and
for maturing, in the same way in which the highest creative
power is trying to become conscious of itself through
the world created by it and the friction against it. rt

14) The term "viman(a" (S) which is used for this aspect,
actually means literally "touch, friction".
PANDEY
(10) gives the following definition for it: "Vimara
stands for that aspect that is a force which we, for
lack of a better expression, here call "consciousness";
a force which, by bringing about self-consciousness,
will, ordered activity, is responsible for the selection of that which immanently is already available
and also for the manifestation of the material thus
selected as different from itself". One may add, in
this context, that the German term "begreifen", which
denotes not only mental "grasping", but a quite concrete physical act of touching and gripping, is particularly apt to render this double meaning. In English,
it cannot be adequately rendered by anything else
but "grasping" with a similar double sense.

155

is this very opportunity for maturing, for rubbing oneself


against a resistent reality that essentially distinguishes
this waking-world from the dream-world and that brings
about the continuing historicity of the former. (See BOSS,
(1

a)

p. 236.)

It would lead us too far to enter into this whole terminology and all the ideas implied in it. The few references
to some of its aspects which I have been able to give
in this context, may have sufficed to show that this philosophical system is particularly akin to what Martin HEIDEGGER has formulated, though from a quite different background, and what Medard BOSS has made fruitful for psychiatry and psychotherapy.
Many doubts and unsolved questions remain. Perhaps,
however,
readers

what I have briefly summed up, may have led some


to eliminate

the question mark after

the

second

half of the title. Absurd and unrealistic as this idea


of "world - a dream" may appear, it is above all our present time for which it might have its impressive significance. Has modern science not led more and more to the
insight that the ultimate "element" to which we can reduce
everything in this world which up to now seemed so solid,
is

one

single

force,

still

difficult

to

define,

which

can manifest itself in the form of matter, but can also,


by transformation or destruction of its creation, again
liberate itself from it? Are we not experiencing, how
"laws of nature" that up to now appeared to be immovable,
nowadays have come to be considered as mere conventions
of
Are

social

we

our

not

own

order

existing

witnessing with

human

social

amongst
some

structure

humans

alarm
is

or . animals?

the way

in which

increasingly

being

shaken? How, on one hand, the network of human relationship


previously considered to be so solid
is crumbling
and how, on the other hand, more and mo~e zealous, if
not desperate, efforts are being made to fix and integrate
this dilapidated structure in increasingly rigid artificial
plans and schemes intended to fulfil the dream of guaranteed social security? Does not a great part of humanity
spend

more

screens,

on

and

more

which

time

facing

cinema

two-dimensional

and

world

television
is

conjured

156

up that has no substance and that does not challenge one


into any responsibility? Is it not the case that more
and more young people escape with the help of drugs into
states in which the commonly binding world is replaced
by a dream that need not be shared with anyone and that
creates no obligation towards anyone? Are we not sometimes
affected by some of the happenings of our time as by an
anxious dream, which intensifies into a regular nightmare?
Are we not increasingly afraid that one day this dream
might end with a world-sh'attering bang? and then - into
what shall we awaken?
In the midst of all these frightening phenomena of
dissolution in our present-day world in which the distinctions between waking- and dream~state are increasingly
obliterated, would it not be fitting to reflect on the
essence of our world and our own being in it and to prepare
ourselves for a true awakening into a more comprehensive
and more permanent reality?

157
LITERATURE
(1) BOSS, MEDARD:

a) "Der Traum und seine Auslegung", Huber, Bern, 1953.


English edition: Rider & Co.,
London, 1 9 5 7
b) 11 Indienfahrt eines Psychiaters",
Gunther Neske, Pfullingen, 1959.
English translation: "A Psychiatrist Discovers India", Oswald
Wolff, London, 1965.
c) "Psychoanalysis & Daseinsanalysis", Basic Books Inc.,
New York, London, 1963.
d) 11 Grundriss der Medizin", Hans
Huber, Bern 1971.

(2) BRHADARANYAKA
UPANISf.D:

used: Sanskrit-English parallel


text of Shri Ramakrishna Math,
Madras, 1961.

(3) CHANDOGYA

UPANI~AD:

used: Sanskrit-English parallel


text of Shri Ramakrishna Math,
Madras, 1 956.

(4) D~G-D~SYA, VIVEKA:

attributed to Brahmananda Bharati,


14th century A.D. Shri Ramakrishna
Ashrama, Mysore, 1955. (SanskritEnglish text & commentary.)

(5) HEIDEGGER, MARTIN:

"Ueber den Humanismus". Vittorio


Klostermann, Frankfurt a/M., 1947.

(6)

HOCH, E.M.:

a) "Bhaya, Shoka, Moha". In


"Abendlandische Therapie und ostliche Weisheit", Ed. by W. Bitter,
Klett Verlag, Stuttgart, 1968.
English version: pp. 29 ff in
this volume.
b) "Altindische Philosophie,
Indische Religionen und Psychotherapie". Article in "Enzyklopaedie der Psychologie des 20.
Jahrhunderts", Vol. XV,
pp. 214-222, Kindler, Zurich,
1979. English version: pp. 13 ff
in this volume.

( 7) LAKSHMINATH
BEZBARAO:

"Tales of a Grandfather from


Assam". The Indian Institute of
Culture, Bangalore, 1955.

(8) MACDONELL, A.A.:

"Practical Sanskrit Dictionary",


Oxford University Press. Originally published 1929. Photocopied
edition 1954-1958.

158
(9)

MA~gUKYOPANI~AD:

used: Sanskrit-English parallel


text of Shri Ramakrishna Math,
Madras, 1956.

(10) PANDEY, K.C.:

"Abhinavagupta". An Historical and


Philosophical Study. The Chowkhamba Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi, 1963.

(11) PATANJALI:

"Yoga-Su tr as". Used: "The Science


of Yoga", Sanskrit-English
parallel text with commentaries
by I.K. TAIMNI, The Theosophical
Publishing House, Madras, 1961.

(12) SHRI, SANKARACARYA:

"Aparoks'anubhuti" (Self Realisation). With commentary by Swami


Viniktananda. Advaita Ashram,
Calcutta, 1955.

159

CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE "ZUERCHER GESPRAECHE"


The following four items in this volume are all contributions to the so-called "Ziirche,i- Gesprache" ("Zurich Colloquies").
This
small,
interdisciplinary,
international
and intercultural group has been holding its meetings
twice a year, usually in Zurich, since 1 977. As GRASSI
and SCHMALE have stated in a first publication which has
come out under the title: "Das Gesprach als Ereignis.
Ein semiotisches Problem." (English translation: Colloquy
as Event. A Semiotic Problem." 1 ) , the initial concern
was the question "whether the reason for frequent failure
of colloquy amongst scientists of different branches and
of different schools within the same discipline, is a
purely formal one, i.e. due to the differences in terminology, or whether perhaps it may have deeper causes that
are connected with the present-day concept of Science."
The pre-eminence of "rational thinking" which is characteristic for our time, is b.eing critically viewed and, in
contrast to it, the importance of creative fantasy which,
in speech and colloquy, takes the form of images and metaphors
what the 14th/15th century Italian humanists,
in particular G.B. VICO, called the "ingenium" - is stressed again and again. Knowledge, adjustment to the environment, are not to be seen as a result of institutionalised
indoctrination through "formal education", but as something
that has to be searched for and found, "invented", by
the individual in each particular situation. The "authenticity" which this presupposes and in its turn again re-inforces, is not the only link with HEIDEGGER' s Daseinsanalytical philosophy, with which quite a few of the members of the group are closely acquainted. HEIDEGGER's scepticism with regard to technology and his view that Science
is not the only means of recognising reality, but only
one of the many possible ways and that actually, by its
very existence, it obliterates the openness within which
it can appear, also prov ides a background with which the
group most of the time finds itself in harmony.
"Colloquy" itself - mainly carried out in small groups
of only 5-8 participants who discuss the contributions
presented to the plenum by appointed speakers
is not
simply seen as a means of communicating knowledge and
debating on it, as a process that is out to prove with
general validity as objectively and dispassionately as
possible the given premises, but as a creative "happening"
or "event",
into which each participant brings himself
and his very own experience, his history and his subjectivity and which, thus, of ten takes a quite unpredictable
course.
Right from the start, the idea had been to bring together, in a group of 20-25, well qualified people from
different branches of science and from different parts
of the world. In view of the importance given to non-rational approaches, care was of course taken to include participants from the East. As the language used throughout
was to be and still is German (and this was necessary

1) Wilhelm Fink Verlag, Miinchen, 1982.

1 60

if even greater semantic confusion than this is already


the case in interdisciplinary discussion in one single
language was to be avoided! )
it was not very easy to
find people from Asian countries who, though well versed
in the German language and acquainted with the problems
of the West and the European cultural background, were
still sufficiently rooted in their own culture to be a~le
to represent its spirit in a free exchange of views . w~ile
from Japan suitable representatives of the human~ti7s,
but also from the field of psychiatry, were fairly re~dily
available, India, with English as its "medium of higher
education" and "link language", offered a much more restricted choice.
It was thus m)' good fortune to be invited. Joining
as a newcomer after the group had already developed its
style and .created 'an atmosphere of friendly familiarity
in three meetings, meant that my first contribution on
"The significance of images in Hinduism" had to be bas:d
on a vague guess at the needs and interests of those it
was meant for. Fortunately the preliminary correspondence
with Prof. E. GRASSI provided some useful clues, so tha~,
not only in offering my own presentation, but also . in
participating in the discussions, I could soon feel quite
"at home".
As the themes for subsequent meetings always grew out
of what had emerged during one of the colloquies, one
thus became involved in a continuous - but never predictable - process of intensive and stimulating exchange with
a core-group of old, familiar members, but each time also
with newcomers who brought in fresh viewpoints and opened
up new avenues of thought.
I found that the subjects proposed for the different
meetings were never quite outside my scope. Though at
f ;i.r~t sight the one or the other might have sounded strange
or even unappealing, relevant associations either from
my field of work, psychiatry, or from my study of ancient
Indian scriptures or often from both, would come up quite
soon and shape themselves into a presentable structure
Both the psychiatric elements as well as those pertaining
to Indian philosophical tradition could be of use in this
context
only as far as they had become part of my own
11
f e lt .experience

II ,
gained through a process of persona 1
searching and finding, and not just by way of handing
on. knowledge acquired from generally available, formally
laid-down sources. This, of course, was just what suited
me, as in the course of the years, when approaching retirement-age, I had felt more and more that being harnessed
t~
~
particular profession - especially one performed
within the framework of government service and involving
the teaching of students according to a prescribed syllabus
- tended to limit one's views and to cramp one's style.
Accordingly, what these next four papers contain by
way of "psychiatry" is not "talking shop" within this
branch of medical science, but something much closer simply
to "human experience" that can be shared with and understood by anyone.
The contributions as they were originally presented
contained of course some references quite specific to
the setting of the "Zurcher Gesprache". These have been
either eliminated or, as far as possible, formulated in

1 61

more general terms.


The
"patrons" of the "Zurcher Gesprache": the late
Dr. h.c. V. ,LANGEN and Mrs. M. LANGEN, Prof. E. GRASSI
and Prof. H. SCHMALE, have kindly given their consent
to my publishing these contributions to the "Zurcher
Gesprache" in this volume. Only one i tern ("Criteria of
Reality") and part of a second one (Section III and the
initial paragraphs of Section I of "Colloquy") have been
included in the first
publication about the "Zurcher
Gesprache", so that most of what is to be presented in
English translation in this collection will be published
for the first time.
Though
the last paper in this group ("Anxiety and
speech") was written almost 15 years after the earliest
one included in this volume ("Bhaya, S"oka, moha"), the
latter could still provide a ready-made basis for these
further elaborations on the theme of "anxiety", perhaps
indicating that development,
far from stagnating,
had
moved in a spiral and had again come back to the same
point, but on a different level.
After this general
introduction which explains the
context in which they took their origin, the four following
papers will not need any separate comments. The dates
and theme of the "Zurcher Gesprach" for which each one
of them was prepared, will be given in footnotes.

163

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF IMAGES IN HINDUISM

1)

1. Introduction
The request to produce a contribution on the signif icance

of

images

Hinduism,
and
an

in

the

power

almost

tions.

Indian

of

ritualisation",

overwhelming

Hinduism,

Gods,

culture_ or,

more

precisely,

in

for a colloquy on the theme "The force of images

temple

with

all

at

first

aroused in me

of associations and ref lec-

its

sculptures,

is certainly one of
during a

f load

myths,

sacred

epics,

syllables

the religions richest

stay in India of over 20 years,

figures

and

of

symbols,

in images,

and

I have had ample

opportunity to get acquainted with it.


What

finally helped me to put the wealth of material into

shape,

so

framework
of views

that
of

it

the

the

preliminary
following
had

for

tried

the

around

fit

harmoniously into

planned

and

that would not go beyond

The
he

would
meeting

correspondence

passage
to

explain

colloquy,
which

my

from

of

his

his

grouped

exchange

E.

GRASSI

letters,

2)

in which

ideas on the subject

the nucleus

thoughts

the given

an

the given subject, was

with Prof.

one

to me

became

allow

for

crystallisation

themselves

in

well-

ordered structure:
"What

is

adequate
fact

the reason why biological signs are no longer

or
which

sufficient?"
lies

at

the

Prof.

GRASSI

base of

asked.

"Has

this

the human world -

its

origin in an "estrangement" with regard to the life-force


at

the

is

at

needs,

biological
work

revealing

or

is

it

itself

that

that

in

man

brings

power

forth

new

other than the mere biological ones, and therefore

implying
the

and

level?

the necessity for

col lapse

of

the

finding a ~ code?

oneness

of

subject-object

If,

thus,

which

one

1) Contribution for the Fourth ziircher Gesprach,


held
at Zurich in July 1978, with the theme: "The force
of images and the power of ritualisation".
2) Prof. of Philosophy, Rome and Munich. One of the founders and chief organisers and in many ways the inspiring
force of the "Zurcher Gesprache".

1 64
still

finds on the biological level, were to be seen as


the expression of an "estrangement" from the biological
life-force, one would have to regard language and all
that which it expresses in its code, i.e. technology,
art, philosophy, only just as an expression of this alienation.

If,

on the other hand,

this

theory

is absurd, one
will have to admit that, in man, something completely
emerges; a power manifests itself that implies the
question of "religion".
In this text, which also figured in certain parts of
Prof. GRASSI's introduction to the Fourth Zurcher Gesprach,
I have already brought into clear relief, by underlining,
the

terms

"no

longer",

"estrangement",

"new".

These,

in

a flash of insight, had made me realise, how diametrically


different to Western thinking Indian concepts are and
how different, consequently, the experience of the world,
its origin and dissolution, will be within this framework
of Indian ideas. In what follows, it is in particular
this essential contrast and the role of images implied
in it which I want to show.
The

texts

with

which

wish

to

illustrate

my

ideas

are to be found mostly in the Upani~ads (dated some time


between the 10th and 6th century B.C.), in the Bhagavad
GI ta (part of the epic of "Mahabharata", probably the
second century B.C.) and in PATANJALI's "Yoga-Sutras"
(concise

aphorisms

of

it is not certain whether

yoga;

second

century

summing

B.C.

or

up

only

the

the

theory

and

it dates

4th-5th

practice

back

to

century

the

A.O.).

The translations given here are mostly those of the English


editions

used.

At

times,

however,

translation and

interpretation with

English parallel

text~

have

given

my

own

the help of Sanskrit-

and a Sanskrit Dictionary (3).

2. Process and aim of "creation"


The lines just quoted from Prof. GRASSI's letter imply
the assumption that, as is generally taken for granted
in

the

West,

creation

and

evolution

take

their

course

"from below upwards", as for instance presented in biology


textbooks: from simple form to ever higher differentiation;
from

the

purely material,

lifeless

to ever higher

levels

165

of consciousness~

from creatures rigidly tied to a select-

ive environment towards a widening of the degrees of freedom and

the capacity for lending shape to the environment

actively
it.

instead

According

to

of

being

merely

the

Indian

view,

passively
this

delivered

process,

at

to

least

in the first instance, moves in exactly the opposite direction:

"from

above

downward"!

that

which

is

"One",

unlimited,
subjects

the

nomically
a

highest

itself

from

long

The

unborn,

original,

potential

of

being

time to time -

periods

of

unformed
and

and

non-being,

interrupted by astro-

resting

splitting up into duality,

all-powerful

imperishable,

within

itself

to

"descent", a grossification

or precipitation into a transient world of names and forms.


The most extreme degree of this descent, this concretisation,

is

to

be

if

one wishes

in

this

of

what

remote
even

Prof.
from

the

level
the

lifeless

this

have

be

meant

of

contrary,

the

an

as

therefore,

the

it:

not

the

biological

to,

lifeless
form

"Estrangement",

would,

understood
by

stranger

would

matter.

term at all,

to

GRASSI

or

view

on

in

to use

context

Western
but,

seen

as

opposite

having

become

sphere

or

matter, i.e. that which in


starting point of evolution,

estrangement

of

"creation"

all

from its spiritual origin!


Within

mankind,

which

amongst

living

all

organisms

takes a preferential position due to its higher degree


of consciousness, one distinguishes on the lower level
the
to
a

so-called
a

peg

meagre

human

"pa~u"

and

thus

potential

beings who,

strive

again

thus

few

in

freeing

for

overcome

tied

down

insight
the

(as
with

to
I

state

that

mountain

the

peasants!)

freedom
to

of many
and

and

those

previous

ignorance,

Uni versa 1

this
one

in i=lnimals and also

can actually confirm on


illiterate

tied

themselves from this

the
of

"estrangement" from their origin.


In contrast to Western concepts,
have

of

lethargy

into

remains

contrast

result

to

duality

that

degrees

development

capable of

are

being

can

has

"cattle"

the

incarnations,
who

only
for

the

perhaps as

condition

of

(S),

basis

One

world and
would
in

and

their

therefore

primitive man

of my experience

the effect of

images

166

is

limited,

running as

it were on one

track only

and

at

the same time guiding the creature concerned in one def inite direction,
or

become

but
of

not because

estranged

because
freedom

they

they have

from their

have

lost

"not yet"

moved

biological

all

their

away

foundation,

original

degrees
so ~hat,

in this descent towards the material,

in their limited, tied-down condition, weal"th and abundance


of
are

the

original

"no

ground

longer"

process,

of

open to

Being and

them.

It

thus also of

is only

the search for the origin,

in a

images

secondary

that an "ascent" comes

about, in which of course the "not yet" and the "no longer"
can

,;_

then be seen

in a

sequence

similar

to that customary

in the West.
If

in

this

connection

(and

also

in other

contexts

in

this volume; see e.g. footnote on page 37!) the term "creation"
as

( S)

has

been

used,

we

"Schopfung"

which

somehow

in

take

the

West

for

granted,

in German
one

has

to be cautious: By these terms we implicitly refer to


the way in which this "creation" or "Schopfung" comes
about. The German term "Schopfung", at any rate, refers
to an act of "scooping something out of a fluid with a
ladle"

or

at

least

of

material.

The

term

on

origin,

also

work of

the Crea tor's hands".

caught

some

act

working

in

"creator"
himself.
The

is

generally

dualistic

produces

"creation",

understood

to

something

according
from

of

refer

In either case,

concept

Indian concepts of

something

producing

an

to

by

Latin

to

"the

one remains

to

which

material

the

outside

"creation" are much less active

and, above all,

are out to avoid the impression of duality

at

of

the

origin

complicated
to

present

all

things.

etymological
the

Instead

reflections,

of
it

entering
will

images which various ancient

be

into

better

Indian

texts

use for this "creating" or better "emitting" or "releasing"


which

in

in the
West.

fact

is

sense of

CHANDOGYA
this

neither

Some say that,

"creation",

"creatio ex nihilo",

UPANI~AD
was

Being

(5

b)

alone,

6, 2,
one

in the beginning,

v.

1:

only,

nor

"Schopfung

as we assume in the
"In

the

without

beginning
a

second.

this was Non-Being alone,

167

one only, without a second. From that Non-Being arose


Being."
v. 3: "That Being willed: "May I become many,
may I grow forth
"
MUNDAKOPANI~AD
(5 d) 1,1, v. 6-7: "What is invisible,
ungraspable,
unoriginated and attributeless; what has
neither eyes, nor ears nor hands, nor feet; what is eternal, all-pervading, immeasurably subtle and limitless in
manifestation; - that Imperishable Being is what the wise
perceive as the source of all creation." - "As the spider
emits and withdraws the web, as herbs sprout on the earth,
as hair grows on the head and body of man without any
effort,
so from the Imperishable Being the universe
springs out." (Literally: "grows together", "becomes concrete".)
MU~J?AKOPANI9AD

(5

d)

2,1,

v.

1:

"As from a blazing fire

thousands of sparks, similar to it in nature, issue forth,


so manifold beings are produced from the Imperishable,
and they verily go back to It again."
TAITTIRIYOPANI~AD ( 5 g) 2, 6: "... He, the Atman, desired:
May I become many. Let Me procreate Myself. He brooded
over

Himself.

whatever
He

Having

there

entered

brooded,

is here.

into

it;

he

projected

all

Having brought it forth,

having

entered

it,

He

this
verily,

became

both

the Being and the Beyond. He became the defined and the
undefined, the founded and the foundation-less, the conscious and the unconscious, the real and the unreal; whatever
else there is - yes, He became the entire Reality . "
/
- /
SVETASVATAROPANISAD:
( 5 f)
5, 3:
"Differentiating

eac h

genus into its species and each species into its members,
the

Supreme

Being

own ground. Again,

withdraws

them

once

more

into

their

bringing forth the agents of creation,

the Great Self holds sway over them all."


rhe Universal One which stands at the beginning allows
this world to proceed, to spring from it. If, action is
needed for this, it does not consist in working on some
material which lies outside, but rather in a hatching
out of that which has already been potentially contained
in this Universal One.
As to the purpose for which the One, the Eternal, allows
itself

to enter

into this dualistic and

transient

world

168

of

creatures,

and

into

that which

the

process

is

of

the

duality

perceived,

of

the

and as

perception,

the

one who

perceives

third element into

various

philosophical

schools do not have one single view. Often the whole process is simply designated as a
i.e.

kind

that does

of

not

capricious

"play", a so-called "11la",

inspiration

of

the

"creator"

need any rational explanation. Other texts,

however, point out that a division into that which recognises

and

order
of

that

to

which

permit

itself

is

the

through

being

recognised

Universal

an

act

of

One

is

to

necessary,

become

"grasping"

itself,

of "friction", a "coming to terms with itself".


This is for

in

conscious
a

kind

(S)

instance expressed with utmost conciseness,

which in a Western language can hardly be adequately rendered,

in

The
and

one

of

purpose

of

"creation"

within
nature
The

aphorisms

the

and

of

coming

(actually

himself

gaining

the

PATANJALI

together

meaning:

the

power

the

"creator"

of

the

and

the

unfoldment

of

powers

original

material

Sanskrit

in

this

word

text

"appropriation"

in

awareness

or

"creator"

Him")
of

used

the double

2, 23):

who

inherent

"upalabdhi"

has

the

Master

inherent

by

awareness"

of

"the

( ( 4)

is
his

in

the
true

him "

for

"gaining

sense of

"acquisition"

rests

and,

quite

on

the

other hand, in a figurative sense, of "cognition" or "recognition".


What
of

seems

process
the

of

to

is that this condescending


into a

terms

with

"Auseinandersetzung" !

German

dualistic world,
itself"

(S)),

(once

points

the

again:

into

two

on the one hand it leads back to consciousness

the Universal One,

cessarily also,
and

to me,

to enter

"corning

directions:
of

important

the Ultimate One

unfolding

before
of

the

as

"the One,

the

Eternal",

this can be achieved,


inherent

to a

possibilities

but neknowing

which

this

"Ultimate One" has as a potential multiplicity, as a duality of perceiver and the perceived,
itself

in

this world

in

and which can manifest

innumerable varieties

of

knowing

and acting.
Perhaps one may point out,
this

double

such

as

function

reflecting

is

also

man,

i.e.

already at
a

t~~s

characteristic
the

one

who

is

stage,

that

of

images

no

longer

169
like

cattle

them

in

tied

his

multiplicity

to

the

peg,

dreams,

and

also

of

forms.

The

"pau 11

( s)

his

waking

in

images

on

can

experiences

in

life

the

hand

one

stimulate man into widening his existential possibilities,


so

that

he

experience

can dare
what

the

the

same time,

of

"assimilating",

can

be

to

try

images

out

have

in

action

brought

and

home

concrete

to him;

at

through this process of "making one's own"


a

unitary

self

cognizant

of

itself

promoted and along with it the return to the One

that stands at the origin.


This

analogy

philosophy

is

the

all

world

the

is

more

often

justified as
presented

as

in
a

Indian

"dream",

in other words as an "image" in the mind of the Uni versa!


One.

(See pp. 131 ff in this volume.)

3. Name and form


In
a

the

course

dualistic

of

the

material

descent

world

into this

"creation" of

the originally omnipotent and

self-contained One increasingly loses its degrees of freedom.

It

subjects

A first
and

step

form",

both

in

itself
this

which

actually

more

process

originally

mean

"form",

and
is

more

to

limitations.

the appearance of

are

one.

but

the

"nama"
former

and

"name
"rupa"

refers

more

to what offers itself to auditory perception, i.e. "names",


while

"rupa" designates visible configurations;

are just two variations,


of

organs
can

first

appreciate

also

only

syllables

of

are what according

thus

step of becoming manifest.


the

or

they

perceptible for different sense

magic power of
sounds,

as

One thus

the word or even

originally

they

fully

to modern Western concepts they merely

"represent" or "indicate". (See also page 190.)


It

is at

this

widest sense,
types",

as

stage

that we can place "images" in the

so-to-speak as "primaeval images" or "arche-

it

were

as a

first

"blue print" or

"project"

for creation, consisting in very elementary, undifferentiated form, merely as

11

s"abda", a kind of primaeval vibration,

a stirring or readiness for action, which then differentiates

itself

perception.
they

can

into the various qualities of concrete sensory


The

perceiving

perceive,

are

sense

always

organs

closely

and

that

related

to

which
each

1 70

other

and

similar

psychology

Often

the

senses

that

which

to

the

"field theory"

cannot be thought of
is

are

described

perceived

by

one without

as

them

( S)

cows

as

or

their

of

modern

the

other.

horses,

pasture.

and
At

further level of concretisation, action is added to perception,

and

one

is

probably

"ritualisation" in it.
The Indian philosophy

justified

of

in

grammar,

also

including

developed

in

very

ancient times has as one of its tasks to show, in grammatical forms and in the development of language quite generally,

the

descent

from

state

of

utmost

freedom,

of

being hemmed

in by any conditions and contingencies,

to

more

more

and

languages,

one

fixed

also

and

limited

designates

as

forms.

(In

not
down

Western

"inf ini ti ve",

i.e.

as

"unlimited", that form of the verb which is not yet limited


and

conditioned

every-day
which

person,
is

time

tendencies
gross,

thinking
is

one
is

mode!)
the

deriving

remembers

defined

refined,

level,

inaudible

In this respect, once again


the

that

as

Articulated

grossest

remarkable contrast with

towards

if

as

series of more

(See later, page 236.)

we come upon a

and

considered

is preceded by a

stages.

this

by

language

more

in

regard

behavioural

"soundless

to modern

refined

the

psychology,

speech"

the case in Indian philosophy,

from

and

not,

as

speech or language

as thinking that has grossified into sound!


Four
I

have

Upani~ad

just

comment.
the

As

Gods,

very

form

according
that

can

texts

explained:
to

the

to

is

again
the

shine"

and

two

words

the

same root!),

the

quoted

first

last one,

of whom it
and

be
I

said

this

origin

of

the

those

who

and

i.e.

illustrate
hardly

need

what
any

just wish to mention that

of

"scheinen"

three

that

out

also

to

"they enter
form

word

they emerge
"deva",

appear.

"erscheinen"

into

(In
are

are

this
"

"those

German

derived

the
from

that which manifests itself in ima-

ges.
BI~HADARANYAKA

was

then

and

form

form.
and

UPANI SAD

unmani fested.
it

got

such

(5

a)

1 , 4,

v.

It manifested
and

such

7:

"This

uni verse

itself only as

name and

such

and

name
such

So even now the universe is manifested only as name

form,

it gets

such and such name and such and such

1 71

form.

This

bodies
its

Supreme

up

to

case,

or

realise

It,

the
as

Self

penetrated

nail-ends,
fire

for

has

It

lies

is

just

in

its

as

incomplete
( 5 a)

(i.e.

1 , 6, v.

all

razor

source.

these

lies

in

People do not

when

viewed

as

11

engaging in particular functions! E.H.).


BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD

into

1:

"Verily this uni-

verse is made up of three things: name, form and action."


KATHOPANI~AD

(5

c)

3, 4:

"The

senses,

they

say,

are

the

horses, and their pasture are the sense-objects."


CHANDOGYA UPANISAD

( 5 b)

3, 6 v.

ff

(repeatedly) :

"They

(the Gods) enter into this very form and out of this form
they emerge . "

4.

The process of estrangement from the origin of "creat-

ion"; yoga as the path to "re-union"


The process of "estrangement" it

in

the

of

"being

terminology
far

removed

( 11 Seinsferne 11

Bei.ng"

or as one might express

of Daseins-analysis:
from

und

Being"

or

"having

"Seinsvergessenheit"

characterized by being increasingly tied


by

growing

to

the

ignorance

and

true nature of

one's

having

power

that

fall en

makes

deceptive

the world,

prey

this

the condition

to

regard

in other words,

delusion of

phenomenal

is

to the material,

illusion. with

or,

the

forgotten
(S))

world

"Maya",

appear

"real"

by
the
by

its deceptive mirror-game, while at the same time concealing what is


from
on

this
the

11

entanglement

origin,

actually
this

is

only

re-gaining

means

"re-uniting"
to

real 11 in terms of eternity. To release oneself

"yoking

and,

in

the

possible
original

together I i ,

its

of

reflecting

oneness.

"joining

philosophical

"becoming one again"

by

"Yoga

11

together",

sense,

it

refers

the two halves that have

fallen apart in the world of duality.


The texts I have selected to illustrate this fundamental
theory,
which,

are

above

keeping

in

all
mind

and emancipation of

its

taken
the

from

the

Bhagavad

different

readers,

levels

Gita

of

(1 )

insight

imparts in poetical form

precise instructions as to how this re-union can be reached


by different types of human beings.
ionally,
of

the

we
Hindu

are

not

Gods

only

who

are

given

In these texts, addit-

some

called

idea

"the

of

the

million

nature

faces

of

172

the universal one", but also some references to the significance of ritual in worshipping them.
A striking contrast to these texts from the Bhagavad
Grta ( 1 ) (see below), the "Song of God", is once again
provided

by

the

terse and

extremely

concise

formulations

of PATANJALI (4).
What is necessary is to see through the deceptive game
in this duality of

cognizing and being cognized and

thus

to draw aside the veil of ignorance. Knowledge and ignorance,

however,

customary
the

must

usage.

exact,

tendency
parts

be
we

determinate

to

and

veil of

not
What

taken

in

value

so

knowledge

differentiate and
particles,

forms

terms
of

the

ignorance and deception.

our

modern,

nowadays,

science,

isolate,

on

of

highly

i. e

with

its

to divide up

contrary

part

into

of

the

It can of course provide

for us "images of reality" -

usually only a very pragmatic

reality~

delineating

in

the

configurations
not

in

any

way

this world,
them

to

sense

with
lead

out

of

from

our

the

one

"reality"

GITA:

but

it

in

the

Indian

nature.

Chapter

by

7,

worldly

Whatever

to worship with

faith

unflinching.

sense,

and
does
in

in which

(about "reality" see earlier,

(1)

discrimination

faith

contours

having gone astray

verses

form
-

with

"Deprived

swayed by their
devotee

that alone

that

(S)).

they worship other

being

particular

concerning

Endowed

20-23:

desires,

deities observing particular rites,


own

its

precision,

back to the "primaeval images" and even beyond

all images pale away.


BHAGAVAD

of

photographic

faith,

wishes

make his

he

worships

that deity, and from him gets his desires, which are indeed
granted by Me alone. But that fruit of these men of little
understanding
the gods,

has

an

end;

the

worshippers

but My devotees come to Me"

of gods

(i.e.

go

to

Lord Krishna,

who is speaking).
BHAGAVAD
through
as

GfTA
the

(1 )

9,

verse

knowledge-sacrifice

identical with

down before

Chapter

the

1 5:

others

"

worshipping

adore

themselves or as separate,

Me,

'either

or they bend

innumerable gods who are only my million

faces. The rites prescribed by the Veda, the rituals ordered

by other

sacred

scriptures,

as well as

the

sacrifices

brought to the spirits of the ancestors, all that I am."

173
BHAGAVAD

GfTA

on Me alone,
in

Me

you

(1 )

alone

are

Chapter

12,

v.

ff:

"Fix

your

mind

let your intellect rest in Me, you will live


hereafter;

not

able

to

there

fix

is

the

no

mind

doubt.

If,

however,

steadily

on

Me,

then

through the Yoga of constant practice seek to attain Me


If

you

are

unable

even

to

practise

(i.e.

the repetition

of a "mantra" or other recitation E.H.), then devote yourself

to

good works for Me;

"rites")

for

My

sake,

even by doing good works

you

will

attain

(or

perfection.

If,

however, you are unable to do even this, then taking refuge


in Me and being
all actions."
PATANJALI,
which

is

Seer

"Yoga-Stitras"
to

and

self-controlled,

be

the

avoided

Seen."

as

( 4)

2, 17:

the

"coming

which

"is

fruit

cause

of

together"
to

that

of

the

avoided"

is

verse

indicates,

the

suffering that might befall one in future,

but quite

Buddhism,
in

this

we

all

also

preceding

be

of

only,

as

immediately

"The

the

not

generally,

the

is

(That

renounce

find

suffering

in

this
the

clearly

world.

expressed

"Coming

context should not be understood as

in

together"

"being one",

but means on the contrary the mutual interaction for which


duality is a pre-requisite! E.H.)
I

SVETJ\SVATAROPANI~AD

without
midst

beginning

of

chao!:>,

(5
or

who

f)

end,

5,13:
who

assumes

"Realising

creates
many

Him

who

is

the cosmos in the

forms,

and

who

alone

envelopes everything, one becomes free from all fetters."

5. The role of images in meditation


In

meditation,

an

attempt

and perception away from


the

centre.

The

aim

is

oneness.

the

very

The

two

fundamental

texts
one

is

red

the

thinking

inward,

renunciation

towards
of

all

to

from

be

quoted,

KATHA

in

particular

can
.
impressive manner:
UPANISAD

( 5 c)'

(5 c) 2,4, v. 1: "The eternal Self has rende-

senses

defective

hence man

sees

wise

desirous

man,

direct

the re-gaining of the origi-

bring understanding of this closer in


KA'!'HOPANI~AD:

to

the outer world,

ultimately

attachments to form and name,


nal

made

so

that

they

the external and not


of

immortality

and beholds the inner Atman".

(S)

go

outward,

and

the inner Self Some

turns

his

eyes

inward

174
AMRITABINDUPANI~AD

(5

d)

4:

"When

the

mind,

with

its

attachment for sense-objects annihilated, is fully controlled

within

the

heart

and

thus

realises

its

own

essence,

then that Supreme State is gained."


It is in this process of overcoming attachment to names
and

forms

that

images,

in

in mental representation,

particular

if

they

are

images

can be of valuable and effective

help. Just as images in the widest sense represent a first


step in concretisa ti on on the descending pa th of the process
in

of

"creation",

returning

analogy

can

to

they

the

can

also

source.

be permitted,

serve

Thus,

they

if a

fulfil

as

last

step

somewhat

trivial

function

similar

to that of the "transitional object" described by WINNICOT


for

the process of weaning of

breast:

comforter,

which

initially

the baby from the mother's

thumb-sucking

console

the

and

similar

child

during

substitutes

the

mother's

absence and, though only in fragmentary manner, temporarily


replace

her,

at

the

same

time

signify

As

already

Hinduism
even

an

only

mentioned
enormous

to

sum

at

the

wealth

them

up

first

beginning:

of

in

step

in

finds

in

describe

or

moth~r!

the baby's detaching himself from this

images.

one

To

satisfactory

manner

would

go far beyond the scope of this presentation. For meditation,


of

visual
Gods

has

stimuli

( "murti",

become

firm,

can

be

which

used

in

literally

concrete,

the

form

means

of

figures

"something

materialised")

or

even

that
only

their attributes or the postures of their bodies or fingers


( "mudra"),

figures

"yantras",
fully
form

i.e.

inserted
of

the

from

the

geometrical

into each other,

"Tripurasundari

of creator and creation and


if
a

the

guiding

centre

only

is

means

epics

figures

from

Yantra",
the world

"circle"!)

or

the

myths,

the

towards
as

e.g.

coming

thus

art-

in

the

together

"created"

the

"ma~gala",

finally,

so-cal led

triangles

symbolising,

multiplicity

to be stressed,

or

(often

or,

oneness

of

which actually

last

step before

all that is visible dwindles away, simply a point ("bindu")


which can no longer be said to have spatial extension.
The "mantra"
perceived
visual

by

(actually "that which protects the mind"),

hearing,

stimulus

in

its

but

which

written

can
form,

also
can

be
be

used
a

as

verse

a
or

175

only a

word,

often a

syllable or even only a

sound.

What

is probably best known in the West nowadays, is the sacred


syllable "OM"

(actually "AUM");

its wealth of significance

would justify a treatise on its own!


Any
be

form

they

of

meditation

visual

(i.e.

or

with

(differentiating)
of

auditory

endowed

which

also

which

and

makes

is

use

the

less

last

of

considered

qualities)
valued

renounces

(S)
images

as

and

"sagupa"

"savikalpa"

highly

than

stimulus

and

method

perception

sensory nature and thus uniquely aims at the merging

of

the

In

this

separate

individual

process,

too,

self

with

the

Universal

one can distinguish a

One.

whole series

of steps for gradually giving up "form" completely.


As

long

as

on to as a

concentration

on

yogic discipline,

form

or

name

is

held

images can play the following

role:
a) The image helps to collect one's thoughts and to prevent
them

from

made

in

the

"running

very

fundamental

work

inhibition of
"the

roaming"

the
or

to
3:

he

this

(of
is

the

at

or

three

is

of

contemplation

1 , 2:
the

start

"Yoga

mind

"rolling"

different

is

is
of
the

(actually

of

the

levels

very difficult

( "dhara~a")

towards

necessity
very

mind)"

In a later chapter in "Yoga-

is

the object

( "dhya:na")"

to

the

limited mental area."

mind)

this
the

( 4) :

PATANJALI

modifications

which
a

of

manner

page 143).

"Concentration

mind within

by

describes

aim,

Mention

"revolving"

(see also earlier,


Sutras",

away".

elementary

on

3,

confining

way

v.
of

1the

"Uninterrupted flow

(chosen for

"The

the

reach:

same

meditation)

(contemplation)

when there is consciousness only of the object of meditation and not of itself (the mind) is samadhi" (i.e. complete
absorption).
b)

Becoming

one

with

concentration

on

would

case

be

aim

of

but

much

oneself
to
the

be

the
sharp

it.

reached,

subject

of

image.

image,

in

one's

this

the

being-one

observation

does
and

with

implies

act

of

disappears

as
-

this

serve

the

differentiation,
image and

with

that

intensive

not

observation

perception

merging

A complete
and

This

however,

scientific

objective

rather
in

an

the

the

losing

object

is

consciousness

of

into

its

object.

176

The more one becomes one with the object of contemplation,


the more, as e.g. Shri Ramakrishna taught, its attributes
will disappear, until finally the image itself also dissolves into nothing. During this process, however, the qualities of the object are received
or as one would say
in modern psychology: "introjected" - into the contemplator
and assimilated within himself. What up to that point
in his transactions with the world he had not yet experienced and integrated - and in India this has been and even
nowadays often is, quite a lot in view of the traditional
limitations of life imposed on each individual!
can
thus be "realised 11 with the help of the image. Maturity
for

transcendence beyond all that shows itself in images

thus can be promoted through the very images themse 1 ves.


As the image is less "bodily", less substantial than the
concrete life situations, it can be given up more easily
than attachment to the objects of manifest, three-dimensional reality.
Two

Upani~ad

texts will clarify this:

PARAMAHAMSOPANI~AD
(5 d) 4: "The outgoing tendency of
all the sense-organs subsides in him who rests in the
Atman alone. Realising "I am that Brahman who is the One
Infinite Knowledge-Bliss", he reaches the end of his desires, verily he reaches the end of his desires."
KA'fHOPANI~AD ( 5 c) 5, 1 2: "
Those wise men who perceive
Him as existing in their own self, to them belongs eternal

happiness and to none else."


c) Experience of the one-ness of perceiver, perceived
and the act of perceiving. This aim is difficult to achieve
as long as one dwells in the sphere of dealing with the
objects of this world, which customarily one experiences
as "outside" oneself and as existing independently of
oneself, i.e. in terms of "duality". Inner images, be
it the ones that show themselves in dream, the ones
actively
and
deliberately
evoked
for
stimulating
concentration, or those that may come up spontaneously
in the course of meditation, are therefore particularly
apt to promote in the dreamer or meditator, who will know
himself as the creator o! these phenomena, the experience
of one-ness of

the

perceiver,

what

is perceived and the

177

act of perception. Initially this insight will have its


validity only within these special situations; gradually,
however, it will come to apply also to the "common reality"
of this world, where in the way in which we usually live,
we are simply the unwitting figures in the dream or the
images in the mind of a highest Creator with whom ultimately we are one. (See earlier, page 1 31 ff.)) Again we
can quote some texts that bear this out:
PATANJALI, "Yoga-Siitras" (4) 1,41: "In the case of one
whose revolutions of the mind have been almost annihilated,
fusion or entire absorption in one another of the cognizer,
cognition and cognized is brought about as in the case
of a transparent jewel (resting on a coloured surface)."
For when
BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD: ( 5 a) 2,4, v. 1 4: II

there is duality, as it were, then one smells another


(sees, hears, speaks, thinks, knows another). When however
all has become the very self of the knower of Brahman,
then what should one smell (see, hear, speak, think, know)
and through what? Through what should one know That because
of which all this is known? Through what should one know
the Knower?"
/
SVETASVATAROPANI~AD (5 f) 1 ,12: "As a result of meditation,
the enjoyer, the enjoyed and the
the enjoyment, all are declared
"brahman"."
d) The awakening and directing of
~ A further
r.ole which images
in particular if they are sounds
(e.g. syllables or letters which

power which brings about


to be three aspects of
subtle physical processcan play in medi ta ti on,
or their visual symbols
are imagined in certain

colours and at certain points of the body), is the awakening and re-inforcing of subtle vibrations, the promoting
of the transformation of the grossly material into a mor~
subtle form that is more suited to follow the high frequency of these vibrations, and also the drawing up of certain
energy-streams
(Ku~9alinI)
through channels which are
pre-formed but which usually remain unused in man, from
the lower end of the spine through the various subtle
energy centres ("cakra") up to the parietal region.

178

6. The Indian world of images in the light of psychiatric


experience
Finally,
to

return

from
to

the

the

lofty heights

field

of

of

meditation,

psychiatry,

which

lies

want

closer

to earth, and in which for the last 22 years I have gathered

my

the

experience

Indian

world

in

India,

of

images has

and

to report

briefly

revealed

itself

on

to

how

me

in

this sphere of activity.


From what has
that images,
to

that

already

not only

of

dream

it ought

been said,

play

in meditation,

experience.

can

They

to be clear

role

thus

be

similar
used

in

psychotherapy in various forms: as spontaneous imagination,


probably even by way of hallucinations
rected

day-dreaming

school;

"Reve eveille"

thymes
a

("active

Bilderleben"

sufficient

of R.

perhaps
of

as

the

of

to

LEUNER

images

and

does

di-

JUNGian

DESOILLE and nowadays

according

production

or

imagination"

"Kata-

others).

not

come

If

forth

from the patient, one sometimes can aptly introduce traditional


his

images

with

religious

kind

can;

as

which

and

the

patient

cultural

already

is

familiar

background.

mentioned,

the growth and development of

all

on

through

Images

the

one

of

hand

that which,

this
permit

up to that

time, had remained atrophic or inaccessible, so that eventually it can be assimilated and integrated and thus contribute to the wholeness of the self.
Some

of

my Indian patients would

tell

me

that when they consulted indigenous healers,


Hindu
for

"scrdhus",

specific

deity,

but

they

were

period

possibly

given

just

the

task

certain

image,

that

of

occasionally
in particular

of

worshipping

e.g.

that

particular

of

creature,

including their looking after it as if the being represented by the image were actually alive and physically present.
I

remember,

official

of

spent

in

for

instance,

middle
village

age
in

who,
the

rather
ever

immature
since

Him~layan

his

government
childhood,

foothills,

had kept

up a strong "mother fixation" and who was beset by terrible


anxiety
adult

as

into

soon
a

as

he

situation

was

to

venture

involving

as

self-reliant

responsibility.

To

this

man, a "sadhu" set the task of daily worshipping and caring


for a cow, either a real one or, if this was not possible,

179

at

least a

symbol

small effigy of

of maternal

understand,

cow

(which

love and devotion!)

in

As

India

far

is

as I

the

could

the hopeful expectation was that his intensive

preoccupation with this image would make the man internalise its qualities and,
ice

to

from

furthermore,

that his devoted serv-

this symbol of motherhood would help him to mature

childlike craving for

only

"taking"

into an adult

capacity for also "giving".


An

image,

parable,

concentration

verse or a

on

the

syllable is

figure
thus

of

deity,

initially imposed

on the patient or disciple as a task and duty, as a stimulus

for

becoming aware of and appreciating the potentials

and possibilities of existence contained in it; in a second


stage,

however,

follow,

what

follows,

or

at

least what ought to

is the "giving up" of the image through its comple-

te assimilation and absorption, so that the need for experiencing

it

as

something

outside

oneself

falls

away

and

can be renounced. 3)
During many years of experience in parts of India where
Hinduism
with

is

my

folklore

would

had

new setting,
ing

images

ground

of

images.
les

the
to

work

and

my

of

knowledge

become

images

used

to

in dealing

about

myths

and

to

me
and

about

their

legends

they

last 8-9 years

mostly

dreams,
had

their

been

told

in Kashmir,

how-

amongst Mohammedans.

In this

initially missed the possibility of utilisto the cultural and religious back-

patients,

Eventually,

immediate

gradually

world

its origin in the tales which these

myths

pertaining
my

of

During the
I

had

rich

Much

report

and

childhood.

the

actually has

fantasies
ever,

to

patients.

patients
in

predominant,

r~ference

making

metaphors

as

Islam

is

entirely

averse

to

learned to make use of simple parabtaken

environment

of

from
these

the

daily

people,

life

mostly

11

and

the

illiterate

11

3) In German, the terms " Auf gabe" and


auf geben
used
in the original text have the double sense of "setting
a task", "imposing a duty", as this is required at
the first stage of the process described, but also
of
"giving up" i.e~
"renouncing", as should become
possible during the second phase!

180

peasants from small villages


as, after all, this is
also often the case in the parables of the New Testament!
(See later, pp. 199 ff.)
The question arose, however, - and at present I cannot
give a relevant answer to it, though my work on the present
subject has once again revived it!
as to whether and
in which way the attitude of a religion with regard to
images - i.e. welcoming or rejecting or outright forbidding
them .- has any effect on the personality of its adherents
and, if so, whethe~ this might possibly imply some differences in the _!!!anffestation of mental illness. Perhaps
this has already been undertaken with regard- to Roman
Catholics (welcoming attitude to imagery!) and Protestants,
in particular those subscribing to the most puritanical
forms of their faith (hostile to images!), but I cannot
quote any literature. For myself, as mentioned, the problem has its relevance with regard to Hinduism and Islam.
What I can communicate so far, are only isolated observations and impressions. It is quite possible that some
of them are not so much the consequence of the specific
religious background of the people concerned, but rather
of their social position and, even more so the degree
of individual emancipation.
If one assumes that frequent dealing with images should
promote the appropriation of various possibilities of
existence which the person concerned, in his limited sphere
of life, has no opportunity to experience and bear out
actively, one may have to ask in which other way this
possibility of assimilation and self-realisation can be
fulfilled if traditionally permitted or even prescribed
images are not available.
First of all one has to say that for Mohammedans, images
are only forbidden in the form of "rupa", i.e. of visually
perceptible figures; the auditory "images" in the form
of the 99 names _of Allah and in particular of the "namaz",
the prayer which has to be recited regularly five times
a day, also the litanies which are of ten sung in big gatherings, play all the greater a role. Stories, parables,
anecdotes, often very colourful, are also sufficiently
known in Muslim culture, though of course the world of

1 81

the Gods plays no part in them. If all the same one wishes
to assume
tute a

the absence of visual images might consti-

certain deficiency, one can perhaps point out that

amongst
or

that

Mohammedans,

no

"mentally deranged"

tendency
more

towards

matter
-

at least here in Kashmir!

"acting

predominant

"normal 11

whether they are

out"

and

than in Hindus.

- the

dramatising. is

much

The capacity for vicar-

iously experiencing what does not actually belong to one's


own life-sphere through observing others - often of course
degenerating into unpleasant curiosity or envy and jealousy!

also seems to me to be more strongly developed in

Muslims

(again

Hindus.

have

to add:

here

in Kashmir!)

than in

Quite generally, one finds amongst Muslims a tight

network of unifying social ties, which are greatly enhanced


by the regular, often common performance of the prescribed
prayers.

Within

this more open social order,

one perhaps

has greater chances for living in close contact with other


spheres

of

least was

life

strict

This

would
are

is

the

case

in earlier periods!

the
ion

than

caste
mean

taboos
that

accessible

than in a

real-life

more

of

or a

amongst

models

easily' and

the

for

in

latter.

identif icat-

greater

variety

society in which social intercourse is strictly

the

wise

Hindus -

taking into consideration

prevalent

limited to family and caste.


Perhaps the more individual,
role

amongst

religious

elder)

person

more

priest

whose

leader

amongst

into

Mohammedans

nowadays,

"institutionalised"

("Maul vi 11

identification

role,

less

can

than

has

priest;

also
the

often

"Pir

stimulate

Hindu

11

family-

degenerated

to

that of a business-minded master of ceremonies. The except.


ion,
also amongst Hindus, is of course th e "guru" who
is

sought and is highly respected for his personal quali-

ties

by someone who wishes

to obtain expert guidance

his spiritual development.


What may be relevant is
yet

seen

was

Hindu

Muslim

or

who,
who

that

while

at

least

up

to

now I

for

have never

psychotic,

imagined that he

showed

in

interest

Islam.

On the other hand I have repeatedly observed that Mohammed~


ans

in

Hinduism

psychosis
or

at

would

least

live

confess

in
to

the

world

being

of

images

attracted

to

of
it.

182

Apparently images are closer t o th e so-ca 11 e d "pri mary


process" by which a person is overwhelmed in psychosis
than

the more

rational

structure of a monotheistic relig-

ion. They permit the channeling of


floods

in

some

way

or

other

so

the threatening chaotic


as

to

direct

them

into

a sphere of experience which is understandable and familiar


also

to

world".

others

thus

Furthermore,

meditation

but

to feel one,
with

and

also

form

Hindu

in

of

even

the

great

blasphemy

modest

at

least

with

feel

free,

to

the

"heal thy

not

identify

after all,

only

in

himself

"mantras").
if

he

role
with

of

the

The

imagines
"Pir"

claim

he has been

is he himself.

in maniform expansiveness

the

link

and

not only with the figure of a deity but even

that ultimately "all this"


commit

can

psychosis

the Universal One, as,

one

taught

("Tat twam asi",

Muslim,

himself

however,

to

be

will

Allah

and

has to remain content with

or a

that

"pagambar"

Allah

or

(prophet.)

his

or

Prophet

are

personally speaking to him.


As already mentioned, these are only a few stray observations.

Perhaps

exploration
find

they

and

can

stimulate

reflection.

confirmation

for

One

them

others

would,

within

Kashmir,

in

customary

respects

from

the

however,

wider

my present field of activity,


various

into

further
have

to

framework

as

apparently deviates
features

of

Islam

in other countries.

7. Conclusion
I have tried to show that in Hinduism, with its concept
of

"creation"

as

"grossification"
a

process

and

quite particular role:

types"
as

at

the

first

last

Similarly,

step

with

of

descent

concealment,

into

images

increasing

have

to

play

as "primaeval images" or "arche-

stage of concretisation and


before

reference

returning
to

to

the

individual

then

again

original

One.

existence,

they

can permit a man narrowed in by his traditionally prescribed

style of

wise
hand,
to

are

however,

transcend

this

life

to experience possibilities that other-

forbidden

second

or

inaccessible

images

beyond
movement

have

all
is

the

to

him.

purpose

that

shows

not

always

of

itself
easy

On
in

and

the

other

helping
them.
can

him
That

seldom

183

actually

be

achieved perfectly,

images

do

turned

towards

their

not

power

repeated

so

easily

them,

and

ritual,

set

so

in other words:

free

that

thus

becoming

is

something

he

that the

again

the one who has

risks

falling

rigidly
the

tied

ancient

to

prey

to

endlessly

Indian

wise

men also knew. The images - and this also means the Gods!
need

men

manner,

who

see

and

worship

them!

In

quite

humorous

we find this expressed in a verse in B~HADARA~YAKA

UPANI~AD,

which

permits

me

to

close

my

contribution

to

the subject "Force of Images" in a very fitting manner:


B~HADARA~YAKA

animal
serve
one

(to
a

man,

animal

UPANI~AD

man),
is

so

so

is

does

(5
he
each

taken away,

a)

1,4

to
man

the

v.

1 0:

gods.

serve

"

As

is

an

As many animals

the

gods.

If

even

it causes unpleasantness,

what

should one say of many animals? The ref.ore it is not pleasant to the gods that men should tealise this Self."

184
LITERATURE
(1) BHAGAVAD GITA:

Various editions. Used: "Hindu


Scriptures" ed. by Nicol Macnicol,
Everyman's Library, No. 944, London,
J.M. Dent & Sons, 1957 and
"The Song of God" Bhagavad Gita
translated by Swami Prabhavanande
and Christopher Isherwood, Phoenix
House, London, 1947.

( 2 ) HOCH I E. M. :

"Der Traum: eine Welt - Die Welt:


ein Traum?" in Gion Condrau: "Medard
Boss zum Siebzigsten Geburtstag",
Hans Huber, Bern, Stuttgart, Wien,
1973. - English translation:
in this volume, pp. 131 ff.

(3) MACDONELL, A.A.:

"A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary",


Oxford University Press, 1929,
(reprinted 1954-1958).

(4) PATANJALI:

"Yoga-Sutras". Used: "The Science


of Yoga", Sanskrit-English text with
commentaries by I.K. Taimni. The
Theosophical Publishing House,
Adyar, Madras, 1961,

(5) UPANISADS:

Used: the Sanskrit-English parallel


texts with commentaries published
by Shri Ramakrishna Math, Mylapore,
Madras. In detail:
a) BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD: 1951.
b) CHANDOGYA UPANISAD:.1956.
c) KATHOPANISAD: 1956.
d) MUNDAKOPANISAD: 1957.
e) Minor Upani~ads:
PARAMAHANSOPANISAD: 1956.
~MRI!A,BINDUPANI~AD: 1956.
f) SVETASV~TAROPANI~AD: 1957.
g) TAITTIRIYOPANI~AD: 1958.

185

COLLOQUY

1)

1. General remarks about "colloquy" and its elements


"Colloquy"
first of all

is

to become its own subject! This requires

some reflections about the elements or char-

acteristics that belong to "colloquy" and whether perhaps


the
in

predominance
each

to it.

of

instance

one

may

Based on this,

or

be

the

other

lending

of

these

particular

elements
character

I can then, on the one hand, sketch

out the type and significance of "colloquy" as it applies


within

my

professional

activity

as

is

to

in

it

be

found

the

and,

on

ancient

the

other hand,

Indian

scriptures.

2)

HEIDEGGER

(4)

in

"Sein

und Zeit"

34,

pp.

160 ff),

in the Section about "Da-Sein und Rede: die Sprache" ( "Daseih

and

speaking:

elements
is

of

spoken

speech")

speaking:

of");

what

"
is

mentions as
the

about

spoke~n

as

the cons ti tu ti ve
of

speech

such;

("what

communication

and bearing witness" ("Das Woriiber der Rede (das Beredete);


das

Geredete

als

solches,

die

Mi tteilung

und

die

Bekun-

dung"). 3)
When,
GER' s

without

main

work,

as yet having taken recourse to HEIDEGI

had

on

my

own

reflected what might

be the essential elements of colloquy, the following more


or less similar characteristics presented themselves:

1)

Contribution for the Fifth "Zurcher Gesprach", held


at Meerbusch near Diisseldorf in April 1979 with the
theme: "Das Gesprach", i.e. "Colloquy".

2) When the paper was originally written, one of the tasks


was also to evaluate the adequacy of the procedure
used in these "colloquies" up to that time and to offer
some suggestions for their future shaping. Portions
devoted to this purpose are only included as far as
they could have some relevance for "colloquy" in general.
3) The German "Bekunden" has no exact equivalent in English. The meanings are: "to announce something", "to
bear witness" to something which, in itself, is not
present on the spot or of such nature that it cannot
be manifestly present at all.

1 86

1. Colloquy has an object, it is "colloquy about something"


("what is spoken of"}.
2. Colloquy has one or several partners7

it

is

"colloqy

with" (communication).
3. Colloquy points or aims, beyond this, towards something
which,
in

at least for

speech;

it

is

the time being,

"colloquy

towards

cannot reveal
something"

itself

("bearing

witness", "Bekunden").
In addition to these three elements, one has to mention
the merely formal aspect, probably that which HEIDEGGER
designates as "what is spoken as such"; this, however,
is of less interest in this context, except if we include
under this heading the form of images or metaphors which
colloquy can take.
In practice it is difficult to keep the three elements
neatly apart and to distinguish variants of "colloquy"
in which one or the other completely predominates. We
can cnce again point to HEIDEGGER (4) who, in the paragraph
about speech already mentioned, stresses that "
in
the actual configuration of a particular instance of speech
"the one or the other " ... of these existential characteristics

which

are

rooted

in

the

existential

condition

of "Da-sein" and, on their part, only render possible


ontologically something like speech
may be lacking
or remain unnoticed
This, however, as HEIDEGGER
continues, does not alter the fact that each type of speech
in

each

instance

must

remain

within

the

wholeness

of the structures thus mentioned .. ". Colloquy, therefore,


is never only "colloquy about" or "colloquy with" or "colloquy
also

towards
includes

something",
the

other

but

always

elements.

at

Yet,

the
the

same
one

time

element

which in any particular instance occupies the foreground,


gives colloquy its particular character.
2. Colloquy in ancient Indian scriptures

I know of no specific treatise on "colloquy" in ancient


Indian

literature.

It

may

be

that

in

the

scriptures

on

the art of politics and on grammar, one may find references


to the rules and methods of conducting dialogue or colloquy

These,

however,

would

hardly

be

of

interest

in the

187

present context.
What,

on

the

situations of

other

hand,

colloquy.

one

finds

quite

often,

are

In the epics and parables, dialo-

gues about various matters, sometimes concerns of every-day


how~ver,

life, more often,


order

of

necessary
What

is

the

world

for

carrying

most

and

famous

the

dialogue

and

between

duties and moral obligations

it out, occupy an important place.

is the "Bhagavad Gita",


the

i.e. the s~cred

about "dharma",

also

widely

known

in

the

West,

contained in the Mahabharata epic:

the

warrior

Arjun

who

hesitates

to

enter into battle against his relatives and his charioteer


Shri

Krishna

makes
in

use

(S).

of

Arjun' s

magnificent

and,

The

latter,

omnipotence.

the

main

correct
directive
falls
as
the

in

Vishnu,

dialogue,

of

India

of

Hinduism

to reveal to him His usually con-

The

description

quoted

of

teachings

which one finds a very impressive,


often

"avatara"

dilemma in order to impart to him,

manner,

as a great climax,

cealed

an

an
as

counselling".

at

the

beginning

anxiety

attack,

is

nowadays

the most ancient model of

of

psychosomatically quite

myself

feel

that

this

"non

analogy

short of what is really implied. It aims at proving


happens

ancient

all

Indian

they

anticipated

time

ago.

The

"colloquy

too often in present-day India!


scriptures

insights

"Bhagavad

GTta"

at

best

that

and

that

and achievements a

long

are

modern

about",

"scientific"

is

thus

"colloquy

characterised

with";

but

what

as
is

left out of consideration is that it is above all directed


"towards something".
Situations of colloquy are often found in the Upanisads.
They
the

lend

have
the

touch

character

disciple.
men

human

touch

lofty philosophical
of
of

Often,

deserve

to

and

humour.
a

refreshing

These

didactic

however,
be

teachings,

called

colloquies

dialogue

the

immediacy

to

and at times they even


usually

between

discussions

"disputations"

or

have

master

between

and
wise

"competitive

debates".
What is striking is that colloquy actually always takes
its

course

group
a

of

master,

between

wise

men

two
or

partners
of

only.

disciples

one does not find a

has

Even

if

gathered

whole
around

general exchange of views.

1 88

One has his turn after the other:


with
his

question

turn,

can

or

put

whole

his

each one is confronted

series

inquiries

of

questions

and,

in

before the master.

The

round ends when neither of the partners has anything further to say.
the

In that case,

sentence:

other

"Upon

instances,

the paragraph often ends with

this,

the

so-and-so

partner

kept

silence."

who has come to

the

In

end of

his knowledge will express his recognition of the master's


superiority. In at least one instance, the customary threat
of punishment for
of

the

one

proved

have actually
assumes!

be

ignorant

about.

is

his

namely that the head

will

fall,

Humorously

described

II

26)

v.

to

come

it

3,9

a)

lack of knowledge,

.
off,

fell

said to

hopefully

UPANISAD

(BRHADARANYAKA

head

is

one

as
and

(12

robbers

took

away his bones, supposing them to be something else (i.e.


something more precious} ".
MACNICOL

(10),

ancient

Indian

of

ap~ropriate

the

question

his

and

striving

introduction

scriptures,

comment:

Upanishads,

are

in

but

"

gives

There

one

is

answer

come

after

is

long

the

is

aware

to

that

anthology

following

much

sometimes

speech

very

discussion

silences.

beyond

an

The

and

in

between

truth

indeed

they

beyond

knowing. When questions arise that are of very grave consequence

for

aloud.

Thus, when it comes to the matter of a man's final

destiny,
else

man,

their

Yajnavalkya

can

hear.

answers

takes

Hand

in

are

his

not

pupil

hand

they

to

be

aside

proclaimed

where

whisper

no

one

together

and

"after that Jaratkarava 1\rthabhaga held his peace".


UP. (12 a) 3,2 v. 13).
Repeatedly,
stance

as

eagerness

need
"Do

to
not

stressed -

reaction

for

participants

it is

of

knowledge
in

these

the
of

in particular
master

one

of

the

colloquies!

admonished:

too

far",

"You

are

the

all

(BRH.

too

questioning

in one

exaggerated
very few female
certain
UP.

(12

inquisitive

about

in-

the

that

be covered up by silence.
ask

to

( BRH.

things
a)

3,6)

Gargi

deity

who

is
is

not to be known through reasoning. Do not ask too far".


In
4:0

this

drawing

reticence,
down

and

apart
fixing

what actually is unspeakable,

from
in

reluctance
linguistic

with

regard

formulation

a different kind of caution

189

is also involved: in ancient Indian philosophy it is considered as wrong, as objectionable, to communicate or explain
to a person something that goes beyond his horizon of
understanding. It i~ even said (unfortunately I cannot
indicate the source!) that one makes oneself guilty of
a lie, if one tells a person something for which the latter
is not yet mature enough. For this reason, I suppose,
we usually find in these colloquies a slow procedure;
first the master tests, step by step, how far the disciple
or pupil has already progressed and then, carefully groping
along, attempts to prom9te further insight and understanding in him. A method, thus, similar to what we find in
Socratic dialogues, where also, in the manner of a skilled
obstetrician, only that is brought to light which is already present, in slumbering condition, in the partner
in colloquy, and without forcing anything upon someone
who is not ready yet.
How long this process of maturation of a disciple may
take is instructively demonstrated by an episode in CHAND.
UP. (12 b) 8,7 v. 1 ff: (See also earlier, p. 151.) Indra,
as

the

representative

representative

of

the

of

the

demons,

Gods
seek

and

Virocana

enlightenment

as

the

about

the "atman" from Prajapati, the "creator". Virocana declares himself contented with what he has learned after an
apprenticeship of 32 years. Indra, however, reflects in
silence and, after some time, comes back to the master
in order to supplement the reply already received as it
does not satisfy him. This repeats itself four times,
and

each

time

he

has to earn the more complete teaching

through an additional period of study and service - altogether

1 01

years!

am referring to this tale because for

Western people, used to enjoying everything instantaneously


or even to having it set before them "predigested", it
is often a matter of astonishment or even annoyance that
in the East one allows oneself so much time
perhaps
even a period that runs over several incarnations! - to
arrive at Truth!
What I have mentioned shows distinctly that what is
of concern in these ancient Indian colloquies is not the
"about",
but the "towards something".
They represent

190
attempts at "bringing into speech",
ious

manner,

what

actually

lies

at least in a
beyond

sensory perception and beyond intellect.


close what is all

too distant,

all

precar-

speech,

beyond

In order to bring

too vague,

images and

metaphors are often used as the best possible means.


As

have

had

occasion

to

show

earlier

(pp.

169

ff)

one of the first steps in manifestation of "brahman" which


originally

lies

beyond

of "nama-rupa",
names;

i.e.

all

concrete

appearance,

of name and form.

but with the help of these names,

were

one

with

form,

can

imagery,

forms

show for

images earlier (pp.

and

along

middle
one

is

unformed,

form"

hand

on

unborn;
on

the

speech
( 12

d)

by

Again,

169 ff),

as

linguistic
I

tried

other

they

can

manifest

hand,
thus

that

point

II

from

towards

What

one

has

to

"creation"

than

as

yet

sides:

"name and
which

speech

not having reached It "

2, 9).

occupy

which

that

all

which

to both

still more concrete


hand,

to

language and speech

concrete,

the

other

and

mind turns away,


NISAD

between

and,

that

which originally

up,

them of course also colloquy!

that which is

and,

beyond

with

conjure

configurations.

position

on

towards

and

it

is

Speech deals with

lies
the

with

(TAITTIRIYOPA-

understand,

is

that

it is not at all man who creates and utilises speech but


that,
this,

on

the

contrary,

we

once

for

whom

also

again

not

something

come

speech
that

speech
is

has

very

needs

and

close

to

constitutive

been

added

uses

man!

With

HEIDEGGER

( 4) ,

of

by

"Da-sein"

man

as

and

one of his

inventions or achievements.
Furthermore,

as

have

already mentioned,

for

certain

ancient Indian philosophical schools,. the meaning of this


concrete
in

world

order

with

to

other",

could

be

duality

recognise

itself"

"an

of

itself,

( vimarS'a)
which

more

( S) ,

only

suited

is
a

duality

that

the

needs

kind
can

original
"coming

of

friction

provide.

than colloquy -

"One",

to

against

What,

"coming

terms

to

then,
terms

with each other" (S), i.e. a stressing of one's differences


and
to

yet

to

coming

together

in

agreement of

two partners!

implement this necessary act and, more particularly,

implement

which man,

it

within

the

sphere

of

consciousness,

beyond all other creatures of

this earth,

by
has

1 91

been distinguished?
Colloquy

in

the ancient

Indian scriptures thus stands,

above all,

in the service of pointing towards the unspeak-

able.

as

Yet,

already hinted at,

the element of "colloquy

with" is not neglected either. Sketched out in the extremely

condensed

way

of

to

Sanskrit,

one

finds

that
of

depict

these

expressing

the being

human

in

things

the

Upanisads

together and

beings

2500

that

years

is

peculiar

charming

scenes

the

speaking together

ago

in

manner

that

has its genuine fascination even for present-day readers.


What
the
,of

is

most

perhaps

best

known

and

immediate human touch

what affects one with

is

the

fare-well

dialogue

ageing wise man Yaj navalkya with his wife Mai trey I

the

(BFH.

UP.

(12

a)

2,4

v.

ff

and

4,5,

v.

1 ff)

to which

I have already repeatedly referred (S). We are very concisely

informed

that

one,

KatyayanI,

Yajnavalkya

had

two

ted

in

ultimate questions,
of

of

which

only occupied herself with the usual mattMaitrey~,

ers of women, whereas the other one,


concern

wives,

her

husband.

i.e.

It

is

was interes-

the dearest and constant


with her that Yaj navalkya

speaks at the moment when, during his second half of life,


he

wishes

to

withdraw

to

He

starts

by

proposing

that

the

solitude

before

of

the

forests.

leaving he wishes

to

settle the situation between her and Katyayanr, presumably


with

regard

Instead
Mai trey I
the

of

to

make

of

her

created for a
that

which

to
by
one

his

whole

slightly

of

the

this

whole

necessary

earth,

openness

is

her
in

and

the

wise

man during his whole

at the moment of parting, he bequeathes

instead

feel

depth

belongings.

"colloquy about",

the possession of all

even

Thus

fascinated

occasional

can

worldly

"colloquy towards" something, namely towards

expressed
the

his

whether

world,

immortal.

has

wife

in

this proposed

asks,

the

life an which now,


has

share

into

immediately

treasures

would

their

entering

of

the

worldly

contempt.
use
this

of

melancholy

goods

of

terms

philosophical
this

seriousness,

for

delicately

affectionate

deeply

tenderness

Only

which

she

hinted

at,

of

relationship

but

also

address,

dialogue
the

the

and

the

calm

and

peace of this farewell-hour.


One

further

finds

various

short

episodes

that

offer

192
us insight into the tests to which an aspirant for eternal
Truth
(S)

was

The

v.

often

ff),

exposed

when

searching

Satyak~ma Jabala

young
to

whom

at

the

moment

into the world, his mother,

for

(CHAND.

UP.

when

he

his

master

(12

b)

was

to go out

in straight and simple manner,

had communicated his illegitimate origin,

instead of being

allowed to sit at the feet of 'his chosen mas~er,


to

look

and
so

after

some

other

that,

as a
on

his

cowherd,

his

the

face

case

The

adopt

after

he returns

to

other

b)

(12

v.

4, 1 O,

ff)

and

act

years

of

is ordered

fire,
as

his

swan

teachers
service

one can perceive


brahman".

disciple,

SJ>eaks up for

Even the Gods

the

faithful

"one who knows

"neglected"

master's wife who finally

the

the Master,

radiance of

the

cows,

him

finally,

the

of

cattle.

bird

when

4,4,

it

him.

In

is

the

(CHAND.

UP.

become disciples

of

the "creator" and often behave hardly better than bragging


school-boys. All this is brought before our eyes only
by way of rough sketches, in a few lines of condensed
expression,
a

the

form

realistic starting point,

full

mostly

in

dialogue,

of
of

life,

for

providing
the

teach-

ings that are to be conveyed.


Particularly 9harming and moving is the initial situation

in

KA'fHA

UPANISAD

(12

ketas

has

meant

to

the

out

father
to

in

rather

the

though

by

the

again

it

is

only

in

his

the

carries

questions

latter has apparently

manner.

anger.
out

ruler of

insistent

sincerity and validity of

which

shabby

him

literally
Yama,

father
upon

ceremony

curses

Naciketas
goes

his

doubt

sacrificial

carried
his

annoyed
throw

c),

(See also p. 79): The young Naci-

hinted at very scantily.

Being
his

the

As

an

consequence,
obedient

father's

son,

curse

realm of death.

and

Assuming

that Yama would be the best authority for giving information

about

him

to

the

teach

secrets
him

of

about

the

these

"beyond",
ultimate

the

boy

forces

questions.

Though

Yama, who had made his young guest wait for an inordinately
long

time,

lapse

in

has

promised

hospitality

the

by

way

of

fulfilment

compensation
of

three

for

wishes,

his
he

initially refuses to enter upon this very special request.


In

this

instance,

the

dialogue

manages

to

show

in

very

drastic manner how the aspirant for eternal Truth is first

193

put on trial by offering him,

in the place of the teaching

asked for by him all the treasures of the earth, enumerated


in detai 1.

It is only when Yama finds that Naciketas act-

ually has

passed beyond all worldly desires

sents

impart

to

to

him

the

longed-for

that he con-

eternal

wisdom.

In a lively manner the colloquy between this macabre master


and

the courageous,

sincere adolescent

treatise and one can feel

pervades the whole

the teacher's concern to reveal

very gradually to his pupil only as much as he is capable


of grasping,

but also his joy at having found so receptive

and worthy a disciple.


Of
in

course

which,

thus

however,

any

without

in

to

particular narrative framework and

colloquy,

terse
be

in the Upani~a9s sections

can also find,

without

also

offered

one

and

the

philosophical

factual

preferred

manner.

form

teachings
Colloquy

in which

are

seems'

this concern

for doing justice to the level of maturation and the capacity

for

one's

understanding

openness

in

one

particular

its

best

of

person

expression.

"colloquy

with"

been described,
in
a

an

ideal

time

the

the

whom

and

partner

instance

It

will

manner

when

of

each

one

is

easy

"towards

very

and

happens
to

for

adj us ting

especially
see

to

face,

that

something",

to

as

this
finds

situations
they have

hardly have a chance of coming about


in

mass

the

present-day Western world,

media

aim

at

reducing

at

everything

to the least common denominator and institutions for hiqher


education are overcrowded!

3. Colloquy in present-day India


At
might

this

point,

had better anticipate a question that

be brought up:

"And what about all this in present-

day India?"
Of
if

c!1e

course
cares

there
to

still

search

are

them

some
out

genuine

"gurus"

their

hermitages

in

who,
or

caves, can bestow wisdom in intimate dialogue with a disciple, perhaps after first putting him to some tests. Probably at

times this may happen more through silence and only

a few short instructions and not through much talking.


in

In

every-day

my

present

life,

place

it
of

often

work,

seems

Kashmir

to

me
that

at

least

the art of

194

dialogue or colloquy as we find it in the ancient scriptures

has

one

can,

been

public

lost.

for

Of

course

instance,

transport

conversation

without

by

hardly

one's

lot

of

travel

immediately

neighbour,

talking goes

in

any

drawn

into

quite

soon,

very

and

European exper-

iences as uncomfortably indiscrete.

Equally soon,

one

what

that

very

little

of

of

getting

personal questions will be asked, which a


notices

on

vehicle

one

however,

communicates

actually "sticks". The very same questions ai:e often repeated

second

or

even

and it is obvious
does

not

third

time

after a

short while,

that this. game of questions-and-answers

even serve the purpose of

satisfying curiosity,

but merely of killing time. of avoiding the dreaded loneliness.


Still, on occasions of this kind - perhaps necessarily,
as

the

the
a

noise of a

conversation
conversation

remain on a
when

the

sex.

In

their
of
of

two

home,

tries

other
and

single

to get

by

rate,

about

one

of

that
if

may
even

the

same

friends

at

conversation

they happen

to be

If,

same,

all

the

coherent and continued exchange


some

risks

finally

one

matter

being

interruptions

that

not

it

about,

visiting

particular member of a

perhaps

irritated

are

when

impression
any

though

can come

somehow "tabu".

into

one

affairs,
so

at
is

partner,

level,

e.g.

to extend
at least

partners!

companions

the

sex

group,

present,

one

gets

people

with

every-day

distant

situations,

one

two

views

with

travelling

different

one

more

very superficial

other

between

vehicle does not permit one


to

and
has

family or

that

goes

some

beyond

constantly

disturbed

intrusions

of

t.o

resign

others

oneself

and

settle down to the casual exchange of trivial communications and meaningless gossip which appears
is

possible

in

the

setting;

in

to be all

other 'words:

what

that
the

ancient scriptures call "viglapana", i.e. a "useless exhaustion of the tongue".


If

one

knows

that in traditional Hindu

families

young

married couples are not supposed to converse openly together

in the presence of older family-members,

and if fur-

thermore one considers that the customary Hindi expression


for

"to converse",

"to talk with each other",

namely "bat

195
karna"
a

(literally:

euphemism

for

"intercourse"

"to

sexual

apart

intercourse"

can

sense

of

which

figures

do

this

have

at

(as

the

in

same

time

English,

too,

special meaning of "sexual


the

intercourse"

in

is

intercourse

from

also

"social

things")

wider

and

and

in

"Geschlechtsverkehr"

more

general

German

"Verkehr",

at

same

the

time

means "traffic" and "social intercourse"!), one need hardly


be surprised at this.

If

people

lead

can

no

longer
th~

original and at
the

risk

the

physical

of

the spoken exchange between two


to

one-ness

in

terms

of

the

same time ultimate Oneness, it implies

stimulating
level.

desires

The

for

obstacles

"becoming

put

into

one"

on

way

of

th...e

intimate conversation between two partners within a family


and

also

service

some
of

other

the

groups

thus

appear

"incest barrier"

and,

to

stand

beyond

in

this,

the

quite

generally in the service of a sex-tabu.


What then, is the situation with regard to th'e "teaching
dialogue"? Quite contrary to the ancient idea of the "gurukul", where each student was assigned to a caste according
to

his

to

and

abilities

caste
then

nowadays
a

was

his

and
not

his

development

finds,

level

hereditary
was

of
yet

maturity
in

promoted

the

(belonging

Vedic

age!),

accordingly,

one

in the sphere of education and schooling,

"mass procedure" nearly everywhere and starting already

at a

very tender age.

One must admit that besides school

or college, many pupils of elementary schools and students


of

higher

educational

institutions

have

their

private

teachers for "tuition". This, however, means almost exclusively cramming knowledge for exams, and neither a "forming"
(according to the German ideal of "Bildung") of the young
pupil

appropriate

providing

of

an

to

his

"ideal

needs

and

image"

potentials,

that

might

nor

challenge

the
the

young person into following it, comes about.


What

comes

described
contrast

closest to reminding one of the situations

in
to

the
the

ancient
West,

scriptures

where

great inhibition and reticence!


that
in

in

conversing

particular

if

with

during

in
-

particular

respect

one

in

finds

is perhaps my experience

simple,

old-fashioned

journey

has part of the way in common, one

in

this

or

ah

someti~es

people,

excursion

one

quickly arriv-

196
es at speaking about "ultimate matters". The great e\ents
of

life:

birth,

illness,

various

blows

of

fate,

death,

but also God, can still be named and talked about openly,
without embarrassment.
conversation

It thus happens at

succeeds

in

"pointing

times

towards

that

the

something"

that lies beyond speech.


In

more

at a

emancipated

"mysterious

itself in the fact


the

circles,

beyond"

this

capacities

later

become

is

merely

that one tries to find

hopes

the

subject.

of

or

these

phenomena,

that

this

an Ultimate
and forces
too!

to

though

on which

some

Still,

what

secretly

Power,

that

science

is

saints

happens

one

di~ferent

types

"about",
even

its

perhaps
least
I

the

"with"

and

significance
assume

very

mostly

that

poorly
have

limitations,

based,

the

the

as

for
deal,

beyond
may

not

"about"

and

"towards"

whole,

the

often

the

of

vary.

in

laws

get

lost

4)
particular
to

the

colloquy,

and

One

might
(S)

peasants
mind

colloquy

in

the

given

illiterate

mountain

of

in

importance

keeping

still

in the miraculous,
stands

psychiatric

educated

to

the

of

encounter,

then

perhaps

4. Colloquy in my psychiatric activity in Kashmir


In

sooner

scientific explanations

last bit of faith

Creative

psychotherapeutic

hint

that usually the miraculous deeds and

parapsychological

for

tendency

in conversation still manifest:s

with

their
should

now

or

at

whom

mental
be

in

the foreground. This, however, is not quite correct.


It is true that the "with" perhaps plays a less prominent
in

or

at least a different role

conversi'ng

than would be

the case

wi'th

t e d pa t'ien t s,
i'nsofar
more emancipa
less differentiated adjustment and a less

as one needs a

specific openness for "tuning in" to the one unique person


before

one.

people

are

less due

The

problems

rather

lie

in

and

to their

certain

social

conflicts
individual
and

of

these. simple

personality,

cultural

factors

but
that

4) This section has been published in GRASSI/SCHMALE:


"Das Gesprach als Ereignis." (See p. 159.)

197

apply in common to a whole group of similarly placed persons.

Thorough

knowledge

particular

of

fore

important

more

the

of

the

customary
than

social

family

conditions

structures,

quite

specific

and

is

in

there-

focusing

on

one particular and unique human being.


All
this
the

same,

the

and

Even

not always easy.

the

patient

an

to

"object",

make

also

places
to

has

its

very

"get

importance

special

into

First of all,

demands

talking

in
on

together"

the relatives who bring

the doctor have already degraded him into

"about

statements,

subject

"with"

even

psychiatrist.

is

the

situation

which"

and

he

one

can

is no

give

longer

"with" whom one can talk.

information

seen as a

and

partner,

Of ten one has a hard

time

to work one's way into contact with the patient him-

self

and

to

be

allowed

to

listen to what he has

to say

and to address one's questions to him personally.


Secondly:

If

one

physician or a
with

Sadhu,

exchange.

these

for

some

time

amongst

people

no matter whether he is an ~yurvedic or Unani

ous healer any verbal

lives

one learns that consultations of an indig~n

of this kind,

healers,

out-patient clinic

Pir or a Faqir -

According
it

to

happens

that a

hardly call for

the procedure customary


even

in

our

psychiatric

patient, without saying a word,

will simply stretch out his hand - not by way of a greeting


gesture,

but

so that his pulse should be felt!

Any quest-

ions on the part of the doctor tend to provoke astonishment


or

even

disappointment,

granted

that

miracles,

the

should

questioning,
a

is wrong.
then

the

doctor,

patient

certainly

be omniscient and

simply

::>alpation of

as

by

an

the pulse,

had

taken it

capable

of

working

that without need

experienced

look. and

for
for

perhaps

he should immediately know what

The expected response to this-dumb offer should

consist

in

the

almost

equally

prescribing of a medicine or,

dumb handing over or

in the case of a non-medical

healer, in his preparing and giving an amulet or his ,carrying out a fumigation ceremony.
If,
the

all

the

same,

psychiatrist with a

comes

about,

knows

nothing

one
or

soon
very

according

to

the

expectations

Western orientation, a
notices

that

little

about

of

"colloquy"

the patient not only


the

insides

of

his

198

body and
aware of

their functioning, but that he is even hardly


his moods and feelings and their connections
with what he has recently experienced. Under these circumin the sense of
stances, the "about" of the colloquy
lie!;
a common discussion about an object that already
the
is
it
recedes into the background, and
before one
"towards something" that assumes greater importance Of
course, for the time being, this "something" towards which
the colloquy now aims, is in a quite profane sense merely
something that is no~ yet known to or consciously integrated by the patient and therefore still lying beyond speech,
and not something so highly intellectual or loftily spiritual that it could on no account find verbal expression.
The searching for possible problems and conflicts proceeds in fairly concrete manner in the form of a "tour
d 'horizon" of the various sphere-s of life, unless I can
immediately recognise intuitively what is wrong. On the
other hand, to explain physical functions and psychosomatic
correlations, to a certain extent also for instructions
about therapeutic procedures, I prefer to use figurative
speech. Something which up to that moment the patient
has not known, has to be brought to his sight and insight.
For this purpose, I point towards a situation or a process
that is already familiar to him and that has something
in common with the matter that is to be clarified. If
at all possible, I choose a metaphor from the patient's
own sphere of life and work, so that I can be sure that
he will be acquainted with it not only through hearsay,
but

that

he has himself

experienced

it and gone through

.it with as much bodily involvemen.t as possible. If this


is the case, the image used will not just lead to an intellectual understanding of what is to be explained, but
it should help the patient to experience, in the wholeness
of body-mind-soul, not only the situation referred to
in the metaphor which he already knows, but also the
hitherto unknown aspect of himself, no matter whether
it is a physical function or a correlation between
symptoms and some happenings in his life.
A

further

advantage

in

using

"images"

is

that

his
they

do not abruptly uncover something which the patient perhaps

199

is

not ready to face yet.

avoid
and

"resistance".

revealing

In FREUDian terms: one can thus

The

inherent

peculiar
in

mixture

images

in

of

concealing

similar manner

as in dreams - allows one, in this way, to offer explanations and insights "in advance" as it were or "for storage",
so

that

will
in

the

person

perhaps

the

only

image

in

in

the

New

fully

later

with

his

what

was

hidden

own maturation.

In

I wish to remind the reader of the verses

Testament

Christ

this case the .patient,

in

realise

accordance

this connection,
which

concerned,

(Matth.

answers

his

ff,

as

ff) in
to why

(See also earlier;

pp.95,

13,10

disciples'

he so of ten spoke in parables.

Mark 4,10

question

180).

The best way to make all this clear is to give an example:

Let

us

assume

that

patient has

already

gone

the

round of various doctors with complaints such as "palpitations,


him

giddiness,
that

nevertheless
has

pain all over".

"nothing

lost

is

wrong";

prescribed

confidence

Each doctor has assured

yet

expensive

in

the

each

one

medicines.

doctors

and

is

of

them has

The

patient

puzzled,

no

longer sure what he should believe. I now of course could


explain to him in scientific manner, with as many technical
terms

as

possible,

dystonia
of

of

stress".

and

the

vegetative

nervous

system

as

result

Perhaps this would create in the patient awe

respect

standing.

that he is suffering from "functional

for

my

have

learnedness,

to

search

but

for

certainly no

language

under-

that has

its

significance for him too. I thus use the image of a "tonga"


(a two-wheeled vehicle drawn by a horse, as is still customary

in

city),

Kashmir,
and

the

to

some extent even for traffic

horse

attached to it.

in the

Let us now suppose

that each time this vehicle starts moving its course will
be

irregular

and

course!

First

"tonga"

and

the

vehicle

all

parts

of

the

all
nail,

joined

have been duly greased;


its
good

hooves

fixed

condition

What

one

horse.

each

are

bumpy.

One

one do?

thoroughly

therefore

Yes,

together

of

examine

the

makes sure that in

each screw is in its place,


properly,

that

the

that
axles

then that the horse is well-fed,

correctly,

and

should

should

properly

and

that

fitted.

its
Let

harness
us

assume

is

in

that

200

all this is found in good order. But if now, all the same,
the

vehicle

still

stalls

and

jolts

going, what else could be wrong?


In some cases it may now be

as

the

soon

as

patient

it

himself

whom it occurs that the driver also plays a role.


cases,

have

partner

in

to

my

further

in

his

questions.

when

the

same

trying

stimulate

him

closer
of

into

"And now:

to use

brakes,

time,

course,

suppose

he

much

as

cooperation

as

by

what has this driver got


"Yes, and in the other
this driver

the whip and when

to

applies

what would happen?"

to

In other

to the helpless

active

"The reins."
hands?"
"The whip". "Now, suppose

hand?"
or

the answer

conversation,

possible,

know

to bring

gets

tighten

both

"Well,

of

does
the

them

yes,

not

reins
at

the

in that case

the vehicle will not move smoothly."


Subsequently
is

controlled

like

the

explain

by

reins

two

or

the

that

"Well,

or

"brain"

the

whether
back

to

in

go

muddle,

yes,
of

one

brakes,

the other

the
a

forward

and

one

there

or

But

rather

or

other,

now,"

vehicle

and

the

the

methods

at

saying
we

that

shall

continue,

nothing

have

horse

their
to

wrong

see whether

the

even

will
in

p~rform

like

"head"

taking

about

to

move

result

in

itself

quite

its work proper-

"the doctors

and,

disposal,
was

acting

in

stop or

though

to

"Up

body

restraining,

one

now,

this

may no longer be able to

ly.

if

to

healthy,
the

them

our

is doubt or dilemma

situation,

organ

of

in

"And who then will be the driv-

head."

man

particular

organ

nerves,

a whip that drives it on.


er?"

each

have

into

they

were

with

them.

the driver

quite
Now,

too

examined

account
right

all
in

however,

is

managing

perhaps be some situation in his,

the pat-

his work properly."


Could
ient's,
hand

there
life

so

the questioning goes

he wants to or ought to approach,

time,

on while,

which on one
at the same

it makes him feel hesitant and want to shrink back?

The patient can not always give a reply and often I myself
again,

on

the

basis

of

my

intuition

or

my

knowledge

of

social and cultural conditions, have to bring to his notice


possible
to

problems:

consideration

Is
for

it

perhaps

others

or

rising anger which,


fear

uf

their

due

reaction

201

one has to hold back? Could it be that the young man would
like
to

to

get

face

married
the

married,

the
young

woman

parental

though,
run

on

but

at

the

responsibilities
insist

home,

the

the

and

security

to

time

is

she

look

of

is

reluctant

Does

that her husband

other hand,

household

same

involved?
the

the

newly

should leave
joint

family,

in no way prepared to

after

children

without

the

help of the mother-in-law? Has some peasant perhaps entrusted

himself

burdens
his

to

him with

worldly

to

tasks

desires

uncover

physical

that

and

connections

symptoms

or

involve him

duties?
of

the

this

may,

situation

however,
lies

be

that

;~is

the

may

by

of

this

in

motion

ness
by

as

have

"anxiety

vicious

it

were

about

that

possible

underlie

the
thus

conflicts.
precipitating

be guessed~ or possibly

in

which,

and

has

In

and

from

set
the

purposeless-

emotions

perpetuate

cases

already

detached

automatic

symptoms

these

importance.

anxiety"
with

re-inforce

be done

its

in

event,

physical

mutually

can

lost

circle

precipitating

them

What

even

kind,

original

is

so far back and perhaps has been so slight

now
a

it

initially

and trivial that it can no longer


it

in conflict with

Often

type

PTr 11 who now

emotional disturbances and

to help the patient in sorting out


It

11

the spiritual guidance of a

provoked

each

other.

cases is at least that the re-

sponse of the physical functions to the emotional stirrings


and vice versa, which is experienced as threatening, should
be

reduced

to a

reasonable measure and ,that

the

inherent

positive aspects of anxiety should be shown.


For

this

vehicle,
the

purpose,

this

time

harmlessness

of

often

however

again
bus,

palpitations

use
in

the

image

order

one of

to

of

explain

the vegetative

symptoms most frequently reported and much dreaded! Practically

all

made a

trip in a

and

the

of

our

entire

patients

bus,

have,

at

one

time

or

other,

as in Kashmir there are no railways

public

transport

is

by

motor

vehicles,

in particular big buses, which of course are mere "rattletraps"

i:r..

in

West!

the

in a

comparison
I

then

to
ask:

the

smoothly

"What

running

happens,

if

"coaches"
the

engine

bus has already been started but the bus cannot move

off yet, perhaps because the driver has forgotten something

202

or has to wait for a passenger who comes running?" usually


the patient then remembers what he has often experienced,
namely

that

the

engine

will

rattle

vehicle vibrate.

"Would

it be correct," so I

"if the driver concludes from


is

not

noise

the

whole

ask further,

that

his

engine

properly and therefore decided


"No, once the bus moves,
going?"

"So

you see",
heart.

It

the same time


to

make

functioning

to get the bus


noise and the trembling
your

tnis

and

hesitate,

ready

everything
courage,

will

is

for

least becomes
is also

something

short

Urdu and which

never

be

alright.

you

see

at

this

couplet,

point,

but

at

If now you continue


to

gain
you

nothing

which

less."

case with

other,

however,

that

is useful for

the

or

able

If,

will

Sometimes,
a

"this

it is being kept back.


you

that

patient

stops or at

continue,

is

with

happen."

not
the

go

forward

dangerous

try

rhymes

certainty

to

will

teach

the

impressively

in

bringing back to his memory

again and again what he has been told. In English it would


approximately run as follows:
"Anxiety - an illness? No!
It just means: ready-steady-go!

11

At times, when the patient is slightly more differentiated,

sents

try to point out that language itself already prea

picture

the German word


(in
a

English

1
'

what

"Angst"

"oppression

condition

between",

of

of

being

"driven

is

happening

(see also p.
11

"being

narrowed

into

inside
48)

hemmed

in,

of

corner",

him.

"Beklemmung 1 '

or

in")

indicates

being

the

While

"jammed

Hindustani

in

term

gabhrahat' 1 (S), used equally for palpitations and anxiety,

seems
at

to indicate a

the

situation in which

rim -Of an abyss,

the

person

while behind him high

stands

rocks

are

towering. The Kashmiri "dil ravan" finally means literally


11

the

an

heart

image

"my

heart

heart

is

is

running

similar
is

to

falling

sinking".

away"

the

or

"is

Swiss-German

into
Showing

my

pants"

the

getting

lost",

dialect
or

the

figurative

i.e.

expression
English

character

"my
of

terms like these, can often serve as a basis for a fruitful


conversation which can awaken in the patient insight into
his condition and his problems.
self

may

use

some

imagery

in

Possibly the patient him-

describing

his

complaints,

203
as

e.g.

the

heart,

woman

said:

who,

"There

pointing

is

to

her

wildly

clock ticking here;

beating

but it has

nothing to stand on."


One

sees

that for one and the same situation or, more

accurately,

for

explaining
o~

symptom, a variety
is

to

select,

first
and,
to

at
what

why,
I

this

is

closest

the

same

time,

is

to

for

my

have

two-wheeled

horse-cart
one

the

rattling

the

bus

and

and

vehicle,

this

the

other

bus

for

which,

of

in

be

the

the
the

less

obvious

and

of

ready

patient
to

will

of

Well,
to

get
have

horse-drawn

demonstrated.
I

the

instead

bus,

referring

the start,

the

once

throughout.

engine

ask

correlations,

vehicles;

adequately

from

instance

were

If,

to use

on
the

about the activating and

parts of the vegetative


nervous system, this would, for a patient who is not
familiar with the hidden mechanics of a motor vehicle,
be

functions

image

for

metaphor

un~erstanding

conveying

inhibiting

may

then

same

something

right

one

psychosomatic

and

and,

cannot

hand,

of

One

different

the

is

himself

the

the most plausible analogy

clear.

vibrating

going

experienced

bears

two

sticking

to

variety,

explanation

utilised

psychosomatic

to the patient's sphere of life

made

be

particular

images can be used. What is important

from

of all,

one

less

two

close

to

experience

than

the

whip and the reins of a horsecart, which anyone can openly


watch

and

which

possibly

he

himself

has had occasion to

handle at one time or other.

5. The multiplicity of meanings of images


The fact that one can not only use
for

the

idea
my
the

illustration
as

have

psychiatric
same

deserves

one

and

just demonstrated

activity

image
some

of

in

its

further

but
turn

the

different

same

images

situation

or

it by an example from

that,

inversely,

one

and

can have different meanings,

thought.

It had caused some concern

amongst some of the participants of the "Zurcher Gesprache"


and

one

of

them

(Dr.

h. c.

a memorandum as follows:

V.

LANGEN)

referred

to it in

(7)" once again the unequivocal

character of images was a matter of doubt; in other words:


it

was

again

and

again

stressed,

in

particular

by

the

204

psychiatrists,
and

interpret

again,

on

the

that

one

could

each

image

other

hand,

in

of

course

read,

different

the

ways.

question came

consider
Again

up,

and

whether

perhaps certain images might not be, after all, archetypal,


i.e.

images

emerging
i.e.

rooted

in

in

the

human

in

same

to get a

whether

is

one

Sometimes,

manner

beings

not possible

to

human

soul,

even

different

cul tu res,

in

clarification

the

that images were

the human

all over the world.

consider

during

nature,

this

view

colloquies,

It was

free

from

as

however

any doubt,

valid

one got

and

the

or

not

impression

far too much a play-ball of intellectual

enthusiasm for debating and

that

thus

they had no chance

of keeping their archetypal character ". The conclusion


was:

that

11

in

our

highly

developed

of

our

images,

but

Western

continuously

adjust

expression

to

thus

are

they

that

it

is

intellectual

an unambiguous

inherent

in the nature

evolution

themselves

different
no

in

feelings

longer

culture

to

it is no longer possible to limit oneself


concept of

Western

that

their
and

valued

images

potential

thoughts

and

images

with

as

for
that
one

well-defined meaning."
I

was

tempted to comment on this problem as this gives

me

of

ancient

chance

detail

not

only

Indian

to

bring

philosophy,

out
but

some
also

to the use of metaphor in my

further
to

refer

aspects
in more

psychiatric activity

and in "colloquy" in general.


"Images"

as

"primaeval

images 11

or

"archetypes",

i.e.

as a preliminary stage, a "blue-print" as it were in "creation",

in

can

understood

be

the

sense
as

of

the

ancient

an

attempt

by

Indian
the

"nama-rupa",

Ultimate

One

to

allow the manifestation of one or several of its innumerable

inherent

aspects

or

possibilities.

The

"image"

as

such, however, is again a whole that has different aspects.


The

deity

which,

within

the

ancient

Indian

trinity

of

"Creator, Preserver and Destroyer" represents the last-named aspect,

i.e.

Shiva (see also p.

79),

for instance, can

at the same time appear as a symbol for masculine generat.


h
I/_
I
ive
power an d , in
is f unction as Ipasupati'
(S), as the
protector of all
and

again

in

the

beings.
ancient

Quite generally,
Indian

one finds again

scriptures

that

nothing

205

not even the five elements of which "creation" consists


is

completely pure and uniform:

and

possibilities

minor

measure

instance,

but

work,

always

also

included,

though

th~

background.

Thus,

never

of

and concealed in

the

nature",
at

are

concrete

"fire"

in

it

earth,

though

to

is

water,

lesser

the other constituents

only

in
for

"fiery

air and ether are also

degree

than the determining

element "fire".
Thus,
much

if

more

one

uses

an

complicated

image

than

which

mere

of course may be

element!

in

order

to illustrate, to allow an aspect of a particular situation


to

appear

image

in

more
its

aspects.

clearly,

totality,

What

occupy

the

one

usual.ly

does not apply this

but only in one or several of its

feature

in

foreground

each

can

only

particular
become

instance

evident

will

from

the

connection of meanings and perhaps the emotion~! atmosphere


of

the

is,
of

situation concerned.

for

instance,

remaining

image,
it~

aware

they

of

this

applicability of the
concretely, taking it in

partial

misunderstand

it

totality!
For animals

serves

as

aspect

may

an

This understanding of symbols


disturbed in schizophrenics; instead

too,

in an "image" - namely the image that

model
be

for

imprinting

model

situation

sufficient

for

is

One

can

various

characteristics remain,
cular

imprinting

decisive.

only

one

and

by

traits

by

until

particular
remove

only

from

the

few

for which the animal in the parti-

adjusted

or

attracting

the

"programmed".
young

Thus

animals

it

to

is

their

"mother" if one replaces the mother as a whole by an artificial

"decoy",

shape,

or

if

rough model of a

one

tape-recording.

produces

The

human

particular colour and

the

sound

of

baby

also,

apparently,

her

voice

by

during

the first weeks and months of life, only responds to certain


a

aspects

of

the

mother

f igu"t"e

and

befo~e

the

age

of

few months does not recognise her in her total appearan-

ce, e.g. when she is dressed in an unusual manner.


What
and
in

in

is

unique

contrast

to

one-and-the-same

or a

for

man

animals,
image,

beyond

this

appears
it

is

stage

to be

not

one

of

that

infancy
for

him,

characteristic

few only that have the effect of releasing in stereo-

206

type manner a

very particular behaviour in a well defined

situation, but that he has at his disposal the whole wealth


of meanings of the image and that, out of them,
to

situation

and

emotional

This

is

images,
fied

atmosphere,

pa~ticular

again pick out new


above

can

again

and

aspects.
for

dream

to which neither the simple looking up of a

codi-

meaning

mechanistic

all

he

according

in

important

in

"dream-book"

FREUDian

method

psychiatry

nor

of

the

all

too

rigidly

dream-interpretation

can

do justice.
I

now wish to show in greater detail

meaning of
that

is

images

not

is at work

immediately

how the multiple

in colloquy,

obvious

is

to

when

be

something

presented

in

the form of imagery:


Let us take as an example the "image" of the bus which
has

already

been

used:

The

"archetype"

on

which

it

is

based and which certainly remains plausible even nowadays,


might

be

local

distance

man

on

that

described

his

makes

as

more

"a

vehicle

quickly

own

legs"

use

of

and

than

more

wheels

capable
this

of

is

overcoming

possible

particularly:

for

reducing

"a

for

vehicle

friction,

while

moving on the ground", in contrast for instance to a sledge


or a
of

vehicle that moves on water or in the air.

this

type,

Vehicles

which simply have in common the fundamental

characteristics just mentioned, have been invented, fabricated and used by human beings once a certain evolutionary
stage

is

reached,

at

all

times,

in

perhaps where snow,

desert

did

use of wheels)

not

permit

variants.

in many different
such
how-

implies

images

for

also

and

to

of

the

serve

other

no

the

in

are not only suited


distance

attributes

metaphors

for

situations;
sense

to

serve as

the basic situation of being car-

overcoming

varying
as

understanding
longer

they

illustrating

along

thanks
can

that

elaboration

(except

and equipment of

ried

detailed

and

regions

too uneven ground

vehicles which varies under different circumstances,


ever,

The

the

all

sand or all

of

an

and

and

functions

bringing
in

friction,

that

archetype,

one

they

closer

case,
but

but
to

however,
merely

as

the carrier of some particular illustrative aspect.


For

FREUD,

for

instance,

bus

could

above

all

have

20,7

provided an

image of masculine sexuality with its "drive"

to

push

forward dynamically,

in particuiar if the vehicle

in

the image used were just about to enter through a gate

or into a tunnel. If, however, the aspect of "being carried


about"
the

in

bus

might just as well figure as a feminine,

symbol.
who

the "body" of the vehicle is in the foreground,

was

happen
going

to remember

through

maternal

the dream of a young Indian

crisis

while

having

to

detach

himself from his family and in particular from his mother.


At that time

(when other dreams with quite different imag-

ery also pointed


travelling
he

clung on

mained
a

in

to

an

to

this

overcrowded

the door,

dreamer's

intentional

"the

on

bicycle or even on

or
a

even

vehicle
far

quite

for

away

bus.

With

that he was

great

the roadside.

getting

all",

from

different

he dreamt

difficulty

but eventually fell out and re-

lying helplessly on

i.e.
a

problem!)

and

foot,
any

out

of

the

"omnibus",

his continui!'lg his

perhaps on a

trodden

situation,

In another case,

path,

namely

narrow track

might

that

trip

of

indicate

liberating

himself from having fallen prey to the anonymous "everyone"


(the

German

"man")

and

making

decided

move

towards

"authentic existence". In the example I have already reported


or

of

explaining

palpitations,

or halting and,

to the patient his vegetative dystonia

it

is merely the element of slowing down

on the other hand, speeding up or starting

a vehicle to which attention is to be drawn. In some other


situation
bus

to

again,

the

out and

top

finds

altitude,

for
of

he has

instance
a

mountain

in

dream,

where

the

travelling
passenger

to gasp for breath due

by

gets

to the high

could illustrate the situation of "having climb-

ed" or better "having been carried" "beyond one's reach".


In
images

modern

art

and

of ten amounts

ling" with them.

literature,
to a

however

5),

the use of

playing or perhaps1 even

"j ugg-

The examples just mentioned of the multi-

5) During the Fourth "Zurcher Gesprach", impressive examples were presented by Eugen BAER who spoke on the work
of the painter Rene MAGRITTE and Kurt WEINBERG who
gave an interpretation of one of S. MALLARME' s poems
in terms of its "receptional history".

208
ple

use

stood

to

in

lent

them

to,

which
quite

particular

sense;

however,

ial

one particular
the

image can be put always

connection

playful

use

of

of

meaning

images

that

now ref erred

- often reminiscent of the verbal and pictor-

products

of

schizophrenics!

appears

to

tear

what

is presented out of any connection or at least any familiar, customary context, and to use it arbitrarily, possibly
even by ignoring its elementary functions.
So,

one

remain?

may

Well,

of non-sense

legitimately ask:
perhaps

to call

one

can

where

say

then does

that

into question

it

the

is

"sense"

the

sense

"good sense",

the

meaningfulness of what we generally experience as "making


sense"
make
it.
at

or

it

of
out

"common
more

sense"

clearly

and

or

thus

even

possibly

to

point

to

beyond

Is it not the sense of the Japanese Zen "koan", which


first

against
has

even

stand
sight
all

been

sense,

"sense",

set

non-sense,

cannot

as

towards

being

as

and at the same


contrasts? 6)
Non-sense

can

be
to

task

understood
lead

by

the

his

and

appears

disciple,

Master,

to

beyond

to

go

whom

l. t

sense and

the One in which sense as well as non-

well

as

non-being,

are

time cancelled out and


thus

have

an

safely

contained

raised above

important function

all

in

the

fight against stagnation in the habitual and against rigid


ritualisation: taken all too far, however, it makes impossible

any

one's

ken",

feeling
and

meanings that
"unheif!1lich".
One

may

of

"being

thus

are

perhaps

both

at

becomes

or

"being

"un-homely",

together

assume

home"

that

included
the

within

"uncanny",
in

artist

the
who

German
engages

in such a playful use of images,

konws very ~ell and also

gratefully

that,

appreciates

the

fact

in

everyday

life,

6) The German "aufheben" and "aufgehoben" cannot be rendered adequately by one single. English term. Apart from
the most trivial meaning of "picking up", it has the
different connotations 9f "to keep safely", "to cancel
out" and "to raise something up", which are all simultaneously implied in the use of "aufgehoben" in the original German text!

209

certain connections of meaning have to remain intact if


the order of the world is to continue functioning and
"habitation"
i.e. remaining in what is habitual
is
to

be

possible.

Suppose

picture shows us a bus pinned

up on a sharp crag in a pathless mountain area or another


one

which

is

being dragged,

possibly

in

reverse,

by

an

elephant through dense jungle, while necks of giraffes


and heads of monkeys stick through the windows, this may
a~peal to one's sense of humour and may bring to awareness
some ridiculous "non~sensical" aspects of our technological
civilisation; at the same time, however, one will also
gladly rely on the regular functioning of the vehicle
one intends to board next moment or in which one is actually

sitting

while

looking

at

the

grotesque

cartoons

in

one's magazine.
In my earlier contribution ("Significance of ilJlages
in Hinduism") I mentioned a statement by Shri Ramakrishna
Paramhans (of which unfortunately I cannot give the exact
text and source): The more the meditating or worshipping
person becomes absorbed in gazing at an image, the more
its attributes will disappear, until finally the image
itself

also

dissolves.

In

this

last

stage,

just before

complete dissolution, which presumably again amounts to


the origin of the image in a first stage of "creation"'
we probably have to look for the "archetype" with its
very scanty conf igurati6n that cannot be reduced any further and that serves a function which is uniquely peculiar
to it. What is added later, by way of further elaborations
and
the

adornments, results in the multiple functioning of


image which, correspondingly, then also lends itself

to illustrating quite varied connections of meaning.


Even the Indian Gods have attributes which some of
them hold with hundreds of arms and hands. Apart from
this, their body postures, even a slight variation in
the position of the fingers ( "mudra") can change the meaning of the figure thus presented, though al~ays only within
the framework of a code strictly laid down by convention.
Nevertheless, this does not change the fact that each
one of these di vine figures, in contradistinction to all
others,

has

its

very

specific

features

which

in

their

21 0

particular configuration are peculiar only to itself.


It has already been mentioned that in ancient Indian
teaching the five elements present themselves in different
form

according

figure

to

in each

ever, this is
elements: each
place

in

the

the

particular

instance.
valid

for

element

mixture

In quite
our

which

they

similar manner,

how-

modern

in

science

is characterized as

periodic

system,

number of electrons and

the

by

its

of

chemical

unique

by

its

atomic weight,

the

corresponding nuclear charge;

in conjunction with other elements, in molecular and multimolecular

structures,

on

the

other

hand,

again manifests different qualities.


as

research

too well,

workers

in

the

field

there are compounds

In

of

that

it

again

and

this respect too,

chemistry know only

"make

sense"

and

that

are useful for something, and others which one can designate "non-sense". Occasionally, however,
only

after

years,

that. what

was

it happens,

rejected at

perhaps

first

sight

as "non-sense" can suddenly acquire valuable significance.


In the sphere of biochemistry and molecular biology, "nonsense"

in

the

configuration

of

atoms

and

molecules

can

come about spontaneously, without any intentional research


experiment and this "mutation" can then spell malformation
or even the

~ath

of an organism.

To come back to speech. and to colloquy,


in

Sanskrit

languages

but

that

also
this

to

certain

contrast

it is not only

extent

between

in

our

unique

modern

character

determined as a matter of principle on the one hand,


on

the

for

other

the

hand,

multiplicity
11

Our "H" for instance is an


ated character;
an

"s",

of

meanings

functioning of words and even of

or

if

but if

is

valid

letters.

H11 with its well-defined aspir-

use

it stands

single

and,

it along with a

"c" or with

in connection with a

vowel:

"ah,

oh, eh!" (serving in German to lengthen a vowel; in English


only

used

in

this

way

for

exclamations!),

it

loses

its

typical sound and assumes new qualities. In Sanskrit where,


even more than in German, words can easily be joined together,

most

letters

their

written

sign

change

not

when

they

only

their

become

sound but also

"contaminated"

by

close contact with other letters.


As

far

as

Sanskrit

words

( S)

are

concerned,

one gets

211

the impression that originally conglomerations or connections of meaning were designated in a very condensed manner
through
each
a

very

few

cluster

roots

was

only.

perhaps

certain emotional

The

just

tone,

common

element

certain

"theme",

and

binding

"atmosphere",

it was probably

only by and by that different more definite meanings fanned


out of this complex. Words in Sanskrit therefore can still
have an immense variety of meanings.
have

life

very
and,

concrete

significance,

th~

on

other

hand,

Above all, many words


current

as

we

in day-to-day
would

say,

"transferred_", a "f:i:gurative", abstract sense. Considering,


however,
Images
in

what
in

Indian

from
to

Hinduism",
formless

assume

that

"derived"
in

its

presented
pp.

previously

163

ff),

{"Signif..i.cance

namely that

of

"creation"

philosophy proceeds from the top to the bottom,

the

ion"

or

the

concrete

abstract

corresponds

form,

and

to

level at which

one

meaning

"transferred"

turn,

from a

to

is

that

the

may

primary

the

descent

there

well
and

concrete
of

have

all

not
use,

"creat-

is only "name and form"

as a blue-print, into the condition of tangible manifestation, and thus proves to be secondary.
It

seems

coI').stant

to

me

pointing

its

mere

and,

on

name,

that
of

to

it

the

is

trivial,

something

the other hand,

this

the

that

very
the

ambiguity,

concrete,

lies

beyond

this

through

all

names

possibility of understanding

the "abstract" figuratively on the basis of one's familiarity


in

with

the

every-day

concrete
life

use

that

of

keeps

the
a

same

linguistic

language

alive

and

root
thus

renders it suited to serve as a mediator between the sphere


of

the

however,
ment

purely

ideal

and the manifestly present.

Nowadays'

one notes in this respect-an alarming impoverish-

even

in

the

German

language.

While

up

to

about

20

years ago one still had the privilege in German of disposing

in

derived

the

various

from

in every-day
a

fine

indigenous
language,

ear for

to the abstract,
in

particular

fields

it!

of

roots

science of
that

and while

technical

could

this

also

be

terms
found

provided one had

lent the character of

imagery even

one finds that during the last few years,

also

in the

field of behavioural

sciences,

the German language has become the victim of "Americanisat-

21 2

ion".

The

have

their

which

terms

are

of

the

origins
more

in

latter,

Latin

foreign

however,

and

and

Greek,

remote

ironically!

i.e.

to

in elements

Anglo-Saxons

than

to the continental European intellectual who usually still


feels

more

doubt,

or less at home

signifies

an

in Latin and Greek.

estrangement

of

This,

language

from

no
its

origins and therefore also an estrangement of the speaker


from his speech. Where there is merely exchange of foreign
terms, as the signals of a code as it were, as the elements
for

the programming of a

for

language,

say

to

us

the

is

computer,

careful

lost,

listening

there

the

the "Da-sein" in its fullness,


quy

with

its

"colloquy

vibrations.

about",

but

where

and

what

respect

it wants

psycho-somatic

to

wholeness,

can no longer eni:-ich collo-

What
the

to

awe

may

still

"with"

be

and

possible

above

all

is
the

"towards" of colloquy dwindle away.

6. Problems of colloquy in an international, interdisciplinary setting


In
the

the

basis

course

of

of

amateurish

scriptures

my

and

the

this
role

contribution,
knowledge

"colloquy"

I
of

plays

have

tried

ancient
in

on

Indian

them,

and

on the other hand on the basis of my psychiatric experience


in

Kashmir,

to

present

and

illustrate

important

elements

of colloquy and in particular the use of imagery and metaphors


what
to

in

it.

What

particular

take place

setting

and

now

remains

problems

in an

arise

to

be

in

done

is

colloquy

to

examine

when

it

is

inter-cultural and inter-disciplinary

to suggest

some

seen

in

possible

solutions

for

them.

7)

We

have

colloquy

nearly

that
always

the

takes

ancient
place

Indian

between

scriptures
two

people

7) The comments specifically aimed at the way the "Zurcher


Gesprache" had been proceeding up to that time, have
been formulated in a more generally valid fashion than
this was the case in the original German version of
the paper. References to situations quite particular
to the "Zurcher Gesprache" have been omitted as far
as possible.

213

only

and

which

that

this

very

the

level

the

purest

probably

specific

of

maturity

and

most

is

the

openness
of

the

form

tuned

partner

intensive

of

to
can

manner,

colloquy

the

needs

come

just

about

as

in
and

is

in

also

usually the case in a psychiatric and particularly a psychotherapeutic

interview.

Any

plurality

of

participants
openness~

in colloquy implies the risk that all too wide an


aimed at doing justice to everyone,

leads to a flattening

or generalisation or that, on the contrary, as a precaution


against certain limitations or even threatening
the

openness

becomes

is

acute

overrestricted.

if

these

This

multiple

situ~tions,

problem

participants

different fields of knowledge and,

naturally
come

from

in addition, have their

roots in different cultures. Above all, however, a plurality of participants in colloquy introduces problems concerning its course in time:
If,

in

involved
assume

colloquy,
with

all

participants

"body-mind-and-soul",

are

really

one

would

to
have

get
to

that at any moment, or at least after any decisive

. utterance

by

one

participant,

on the part of all


intellectual
responses

those present -

reflections

or

even

there

are

would

reactions

and by this not only

meant,

psychosomatic

be

but

also

stirrings!

emotional
and

these

could or should be communicated to the others. The simultaneity

of

these

phenomena

would

then

have

to

be

folded

out into the linear dimension of time. Instead of a concentric

figure,

again to

in which

all

that is said points again and

the same starting point as

its .centre, one then

obtains a linethat "runs" (-running away from the centre!


- )

in

one

direction

or

configuration in which various

lines branch off, as any new communication by a participant


can

further

deviate

turn become
there
or

is

no

"moderator"

psychologist
again

from

the

initial

concern and in its

the object of comments and questions.

and

in

again

who

just as

dynamically

calls

the

the

oriented

group back

to

If now

psychiatrist
therapy' group
the

subject,

one hardly ever succeeds in this way in reaching the appropria:te

density

happen

is

that

and depth
the

one

of

exchange.

participant

Possibly

who

is

most

what

may

capable

of making himself heard and quickest in responding -

and

21 4

he may perhaps not always be the one who experiences most


thoroughly and with his whole being! - can take hold of
the colloquy and determine its further direction, while
those who are more thoughtful and who if granted enough
time would be able to lead more deeply and fully into
what is being discussed, may not be able to get a hearing
and therefore will be overtaken, left behind, by the further course of the colloquy.
Division into small groups can to a certain extent
avoid this risk. ~ossibly, roughly similar to the pattern
we find io anciertt Indian scriptures, each group might
remain throughout formed around one of the mai-n speakers
so that the group can deal more thoroughly with what he
has already communicated or what he is ready to share
over and above what he has already brought up or will
bring up in his formal contribution to the whole gathering.
Of course, if one is technologically minded, one might
manage, through tape recording and repeated play-back
of certain phases of the colloquy, to give some or all
participants a chance of commenting on it in "concentric"
manner, without risking a situation where the colloquy
would be diverted from its main course or branch off into
siQe issues. The same purpose could be served if the participants were to take notes about matters thatparticularly
stir or preoccupy them so that they can come back to them,
even if perhaps in the meantime the colloquy has already
moved off in a different direction. All this will, however,
inhibit spontaneousness and the natural, always
and unpredictable flow of the exchange of ideas.

unique

One sees that it is not easy to solve the problem of


the time-dimension, quite apart from the much bigger question which becomes evident in the being together of participants from East and West, namely whether it is at all
possible to arrive within so short a time, "instantaneously" as it were,_ at an understanding and a fitting response
to profound concerns for which the Eastern aspirant to
eternal wisdom, if he really wants to experience and integrate them, is willing not only to devote the span of
one whole

life-time,

but a

innumerable incarnations!

whole

succession of

possibly

21 5
What remains

to be said apart from these two problems,

namely that of the specific openness while being together


with

several partners in colloquy and that of the course

the colloquy takes


basis

of

text

in time,
from

is an

"invocation",

which

one

(e.g.

KA'!'HOPANI~AD

purpose

often

of

the

i.e.

finds

Indian

scriptures.

It

kind of prayer or benediction


the

c) ) ,

transmitting

to disciple or pupil.

a
as

(12

can best be presented on the


ancient

introduction

in

particular

knowledge

to

colloquy

if it has the

and wisdom from master

The complete text goes as follows:

(English translation taken from KA!HOPANISAD (12 c); alternatives and comments are my.own, arrived at with the help
of Sanskrit Dictionary (9)).
"May He (or It, i.e. "brahman") protect us both
together;
"May He nourish us both together;
"May we both work together with great energy (effort);
"May our study (or colloquy) be thorough and fruitful
(better: sharp and brilliant);
::May we~- ne:rer )2a te ea,h other (enter into discord) i
AUM, santi, $anti, santi ! ''
Though at first sight this short text looks quite simple
and self-evident,
to

our

subject

translation
the

length

original,

it may yet have various things pertinent


to

reveal

provided,
of

the

lines

cannot do

to

which

us,

above

tries

more

the

number

and

all
or

because
less

to

the
keep

of words of the

justice to the condensed multiplicity

of

meanings

of

the

Sanskrit

of

associations

can

be

terms

brought

'cs) .

together

A whole
for

weal th

each

single

line of the text.


1. May He protect us both together. This first line appeals
for
it

"protection"
is

and

for

"propitiousness".

not quite clear at first,

also

asks
by

or

are

the

the

further

blessings

supposed to come.
implied

"he 11

or

11

original

and

again

ultimate

but

which

at

the
is

speakers

and

recognition

sense:

of

recognition

their
this
of

from whom this protection


for

"brahman"

Ground
same

speech.

the

invocation

is

to which

meant,

this

colloquy

is

time underlies and bears


The

"Ground",
the

which

The commentators explain that


It",

devoted,

the

From the text,

aim

and

"brahman"

of

this
by

the

the
in

colloquy
a

twofold

partners

in

colloquy, and at the same time recognition of the "brahman"

21 6

of itself by itself~

needed? In order
Against what d angers is
pro t ec ton
i
to clarify this we had better turn to the last line of
11
/_
t i,

s"-anti , s/_anti .' 11 The


the "invocation", namely
AUM, san
mantra
in. a

"AUM"

(often

most condensed manner

and

the

whole

reaches

and

that

lasts

11

written

0M 11

the

comprehends
beyond

(S)),

which

beginning,
all

them,

symbolises

middle

these

three

presumably

and

end

and

also

indicates

that

.
" towar d s "
the colloquy too, again and again, ought to point

this wholeness.
means

peace,

The

threefold

calm,

is

repetition

according

assure one that disturbances

to

from

11

of

the

s'anti" which

commentators

to

three different spheres

or levels will be warded off, namely "adhiatmika": disturbances

arising

physical

as

from

the

well

as

person

the

of

the

mental

speakers,

sense;

in

the

"adhibhautika",

upsetting factors from the material and natural envir0nment


that could interfere with the colloquy; and finally "adhidaivika", disturbing or even disrupting influences originating

in

the

"world

of

the

gods",

the

realm

of

higher

powers.
Of course an environment free from irritation contributes a great deal towards keeping away disturbances arising
from
a

the

person of

grouping

that

an

agreeable

in

is

concerned,

room

beautiful

these

are

one's

mental

the

can

participants:

easily

no

silence

worrying

only

on

at

one

seat,

glance,

sheltered

corner

far

as

the

food

or

lodgings,

towards

the

comfortable
in

even a
as

about

helpful

powers

taken

temperature or

garden,

not

be

all

concentrating

fully

colloquy,

telephone

but

also

promote

a relaxed mood and a feeling of being together as friends,


in

short:

an

atmosphere

in

which

flashes

of

thought

can

arise and w1tnout undue haste find their way into speech.
Protection
not

all

demands
up,

have

openness

however,

sed",
are

we

from

unless

retained

external
to

think

from

its

risks

of

the necessary
by

the

being

in

this

Opening

into one's

respect

partners.

however,

context.

participants.

might easily turn

be "taken by one's word",


one

inconveniences,

is

Colloquy
oneself

"feeling expo-

and discrete reticence

It could

be

that

one will

"held down to one's statements";

misunderstood,

ridiculed;

possibly

one

2i7

may

have

one

has

to

hear

or

read

communicated,

as

again

e.g.

in

is

distorted

so

easily

form

the

what

case

in

interviews with press representatives! What was only meant


for

quite

particular

mutual

openness

between

friends

or close acquaintances might prove to be to one's damage


if spread or even "broadcast" in public. Instead of finding
in colloquy a free space for encounter, one might be narrowed

in or even driven into a tight corner by embarrassing

questions.

In short,

stand

protection

of

the

ancient

their
GER

India

col~oquies

( 5),

think that nowadays, we may underwhich

called

2500

down

years

from

ago

the

wise

men

the higher powers for

in the terms used so strikingly by HEIDEG-

namely

as

wish

that

the

colloquy may

serve

a "procreative" and not a "provocative" disclosure. 8)


If

the

participants

in

colloquy

each other in every-day life by


difference

in

professional

are

separated

from

local distance or by the

sphere

or possibly both,

this

can only be conducive to sheltered openness, as a certain


confidential
easily,

if

intimacy
the

in

partners

colloquy
only

often comes about most

have

part of

their way

in

common, without being too much entangled in the same social


network.
2. May "He"

nourish

us

both.

This

second

request,

for

should not be taken too literally. The


"nourishment",
Sanskrit term used here means "to be nourished, to enjoy,
to derive benefit, to find fulfilment".
A true colloquy should provide enjoyment, shoul nourish
and enrich the participant. It is not without reason that
one

says:

"I

am

still

quite

full

of

what

just

heard

". "Fulfilment", however, should be achieved by colloquy

8) The German terms "hervorbringendes" and "herausforderndes


Entbergen"
(S),
literally
a
disclosing or
revealing that is "bringing forth" something in contrast
to one that merely "challenges" or "provokes", namely
into yielding what can be exploited, have a slightly
wider spectrum of meaning and emotional appeal than
"procreative and provocative disclosure", which, being
foreign terms, taken over from Latin, no longer poir.t
to the roots and furthermore are too much reminiscent
of the technical world!

218

in
the

particular

if

communication

it serves

between

the

doctor

purpose
and

of

teaching

or

also

in

patient!

the sense of "fulfilling a task with regard to one's fell?w


human

being"

who

perhaps

has

come

as

learn or one who is suffering; and,


larly

well,

in

the

in

one

should

openness

quite

destiny

of

and

left

exchange

particular
one's

be

being

with

of

manner,
human

one

who

wishes

to

if things go particuthe

the

feeling

colloquy,

that,

one

fulfilled

the

purpose

in general

and

at

the

has,
and
same

time of being this particular human being.


If colloquy does not lead to a satisfaction and satiety
of

this

kind,

one

may,

on

the

contrary,

get

feeling

of having been "sucked out" or "squeezed out". The venture


of

offering

oneself

in

communication has

miscarried~

in-

stead of being "fed", one is "eaten up".


Fear
what

of

being

makes

the

overwhelmed

in

this

schizophrenic

if

manner

he

is

ventures

probably
forth

at

all into colloqJy! - disguise his communications in cryptic


language and

thus,

in his ambivalence,

keep in the middle

between sharing and retaining.


One
There

aspect
must

allowing
was

of

be

oneself

offered

"being

sufficient
to

or,

be

in

nourished"
time

for

impressed

other words:

is

also

quiet
and

digestion.

reflection,

for

penetrated

by

what

there must also

be

time

"to chew the cud", to ruminate_.


3.

May we both work with great energy.

here

translated

with

"energy"

or

The Sanskrit term

"effort",

i.e.

"virya",

in its most concrete sense signifies the masculine generatj_ ve

power.

venture

This

into

means

that

colloquy

with

the

partners

zeal

and

should not

effort,

only

but what

is

implied is also a wish that the colloquy should be "creative".


In

colloquy

in

itself;

one

reveal
of

insight,

the

its

best

ought

emerging

sense

to
of

something

follow
an

idea

up

the

new

should

germinating

"in statu nascendi"

as it were in the different participants. The mere reading


of

prepared

moments,
case
back.

the

at

"paper"

is

apt

to

least on the part of

instant

Perhaps

this

of
is

the

creative

exclude

such

creative

the speaker, as in this


act

the reason why

already
it

is

lies

far

so difficult

219

to speak spontaneously and freely on a


has

already

"laid

down"

has

already

"become"

in writing;

and

subject which one

one is tied to what

therefore,

in

colloquy,

cannot

"bring something into becoming" so that the others present


can also participate in the moment of creation, and there
is

thus

hardly

chance

of

releasing

in

them

process

of "conceiving" or "generating".
I

have already hinted that the problem of transforming

simultaneous

experience

dictated

the

speak

by

in

into

need

succession,

for

the

linear sequence of time

making

stands

in

different

the

way

participants

of

an

immediate

common experiencing of this creative process as each individual


only

may
be

feel

it,

and

satisfactorily

that

this

problem

solved

in

colloquy

can actually
between

two

people.
4. May our study (or "colloquy") be thorough and fruitful.
I

prefer

and

to translate the Sanskrit term "tejas" by "sharp

brilliant",

thus

indicating

that

it

has a wealth of

meanings which in English (and in German!) cannot be rendered

in

one

single

is one of a
in

the

word.

The image conveyed by this term

sharp-edged weapon which flashes up brightly

light

of

the

sun;

at

the

same time,

however,

it

suggests the bright flame of the fire in which the flashing


blade
is
and

was

originally

sharply

flashing,

beauty

and,

power, vitality -

tempered.

Thus

brilliant,

little

"tej as"

bright,

less

is

full

concretely,

all

that

of glamour

also

energy,

but also destructive violence! - spirit-

' . even magic power, majesty, glory and even passion.


ualand
It

seems

to

me

that

the

central

theme

to which

all

these different meanings point is that of a sudden "illumination",

"sudden

flashing

up",

and

this

also

includes

what in German we call in similarly condensed manner "Geistesbli tz 11


or

in

(literally:

English,

insight"

or,

"a flash of lightning of the mind

slightly

less

impressively,

"a

flash

11
)

of

no longer remaining in the metaphoric con-

text suggested by the Sanskrit word: "a brainwave".


The
be
the

implied

related

to

primary

sphere

in

meaning
the

fact

process

which

the

of

of

"sharpness"

that,

can

in colloquy,

thinking

individual

i.e.

perhaps

also

that which in
in

rests. within

that

mental

himself

and

220

has

only

in

indeterminate,

to

cater

and shadow-like,
understandable
brought
speaker
giving

to

his

vague

own needs
manner

is only hinted at
can

remain

diffuse

at the moment when it has to be rendered

to others has

into

precise

al.so

gains

form,

and

of

to be sharply contoured and

formulatioh.
clarity

At

about

clarification,

the

same

himself.

takes

time,

the

A process

place

which

of

might

have been omitted if one had not been moved by necessity


and

by

with
out

one's

wish

partner

to

in

that what

is

come

to

colloquy.
disturbed

terms

may

in

the

and

to

communicate

perhaps

again

schizophrenic

point

is

this

very process of transforming into a clear utterance something that originally,

is only unclear

in its inwardness,

thought, moving at random in erratic manner.


5.

May

we

never

hate

each

other.

Between

the

partners

in colloquy, no hatred, no discord should arise.


A colloquy ought to build up a common world,

a "becoming

one" of the partners; at the same time, however,


also implies a
too

close

"coming to

one-ness

no

cause the colloquy to


agreement.
other

An

hand,

all

spoils

longer

lapse

too

9)

All

permits exchange and may

into

heated

the

colloquy

terms" with each other.


the

silence

"coming

pleasant

to

of

complete

terms",

atmosphere

on

conducive

the

to

colloquy and perhaps tears open rifts that cannot be bridged.


In an interdisciplinary, international and intercultural
group it is particularly important to keep a good balance
in

this

respect,

or

even

only

right

from

as

for

the

the prerequisites

reaching

start.

It

some
is,

for

agreement
however,

"becoming one"
are

this

not

given

process

of

creating a common world while starting from these different


initial
ness"

positions,

and

thus

the attempt

into our fragmented world,

that

is

to bring
usually

"wholethe

aim

of such gatherings. While engaged in this kind of exchange,


each

one

should

insofar as

preserve

through

his own characteristic

features

them and through the particular sphere

9) Once again the Ger.man term "Auseinandersetzung".

( s)

221

of science or culture he represents, he can offer a contrienl~ghten

bution that can


world,

while,

allegiance
and

the others and enrich the common

on the other hand,

to

promote

this
it

"becoming

he

can,

if

he should have sufficient

one"
need

that
be,

in order to save

sacrifice

something

of himself or his opinions.


Again

it

is

observe

with

to

wish

keep
could
other

( 6)

the

would

and
who

his

on

the

once

was

thinking

of

if,

the

other
asked

convinced

thoughts,

expect

patient

distinctness

oneself".

into

hand,
he

schizophrenic

one

to

patient

peep

what

the

become

oneself

paranoid

in

particular

but

he

between

hand

young

that

that

others

as

that we can

dilemma

to

need

all
him,

remained

"to

Indian
people
on

the

concealed,

insistently demanded,

he

could look into the minds of other people~ Would it satisfy


him more,
of

his

that

his

cannoc
he

if

own

own

be

Later,

could find
of

thoughts

of

As

confirmation of himself and


there,

are

or

something

anyone

else?

if he could state
quite

After

special

some

that

hesitation

"It would of course be nice if one could find

however,

them.

by

thoughts;

thoughts

thinking

shared

replied:

similar

he
way

that would confirm and strengthen one"


he

once

others

long

as

so

he

argued
as

did

to
not

that

he

put

up

know

what

had

to

know

resistance
was

the

against

going

on

in

others he could not set himself apart as different.


It

is

as

defence

against a

loss of

identity of this

kind that we can better Lnderstand the aggressive behaviour


or the extreme withdrawal of patients of this kind.
ERIKSON
gist

K.

( 2),

basing himself on what the animal etholo-

LORENZ

(8)

has

reported about

inter-specific and

intra-specific aggression in the animal world, has postulated

that

one

of

the best ways

to overcome hostility and

aggression between different! "sub-species", i.e .. sub-groups


of humanity, would be the search for "higher, more inclusive

identities".

identity
by

the

The

however,

ancient

as

very
is

highest
brought

India11 scriptures,

and
to

most

comprehensive

mind again and again

would be

that with

the

original and also ultimate One.


I
one"

think
and

that

yet

harmonious

interplay between

"remaining oneself",

"becoming

can best be guaranteed

222
if colloquy

remains directed

that

from

which,

itself

in

meanings

and

will . perhaps

all

world

"towards

beginning
of

able

to

If

bring

something",

One

multiformity

differentiations.
be

is

and

and

this

yet

towards

manifests

multiplicity
is

together

the
a

case,

common

of
one

store

of unifying knowledge which may help to overcome the fragmentation


of

of

knowledge,

science,
and

split

up

into

individual

sectors

to build up a unified world-view,

which

gives its due place and dignity to the wholeness and ultimate

des~iny

of man.

223
LITERATURE
(1) BHAGAVAD GITA:

Various editions. Used: "Hindu


Scriptures", ed. by Nicol MACNICOL,
Everyman's Library, No. 944, London,
J.M. Dent & Sons, 1957.
11

(2) ERIKSON, E.H.:

The Concept of Identity in Race


Relations" in "Daedalus", Journal of
the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, Vol. 95, No. 1 (Proceedings
of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, Winter 1966).

(3) GRASSI, E.:

Instructions for the participants of


the Fifth Zurcher Gesprach (cyclostyled), 1979.

(4) HEIDEGGER, M.:

"Sein und Zeit 11 , Max Niemeyer Verlag,


Tubingen, 1927. 8th Edition 1957.

(5) HEIDEGGER, M.:

"Die Frage nach der Technik 11 in


"Vortrage und Aufsatze 11 , Verlag
Neske, Pfullingen, 1954. Second
Edition 1959.

( 6 ) HOCH , E. :

"Negative Existenz". Unpublished


manuscript, 1964.

( 7 ) LANGEN I

(8)

v. :

LORENZ, K.:

"Gedanken uber die drei letzten


Kolloquien in unseren Zurcher Gespachen. 11 10.1. 79 (cyclostyled).
"Das sogenannte Bose . 11 G. BorothaSchoeler Verlag, Wien, 1963.

(9) MACDONELL, A.A.: "A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary".


Oxford University Press, 1929. (Reprinted 1954-1958).
(10) MACNICOL, N.:

"Hindu Scriptures". Everyman's


Library, No. 944, J.M. Dent & Sons
Ltd., 1938. Reprinted 1957.

(11) NEW TESTAMENT:

"The Holy Bible". Authorised Version.

(12) UPANISADS:

Various editions. Used: SanskritEnglish parallel texts with commentaries published by Shri Ramakrishna
Math, Mylapore, Madras. In detail:
a) BRHADARANYAKA UPANISAD: 1951.
b) CH~NDOGYA UPANI~AD: 1956.
c) KATHOPANISAD: 1956.
d) TAITTIRIYOPANISAD: 1958.
0

225

CRITERIA OF REALITY

Amongst

the

"scientific",
more

than

terms

in others,

with

that

the

the

that

is

deserve

one

of

to

those

be

of

"reality".

has

to

deal

(S)

called

in which,

one again and again has

concept

psychiatrist

existence
and

professions

psychiatry

1)

far

to come to

It is not only

with aspects of human

that do not manifest themselves in recognisable

measurable

facts

and

events,

and

thus

reach

beyond

a scientifically appreciable reality in a strictly material


sense
"the

in

other

reality

but,

of

beyond

the

soul"
the

of

confront

him with

most

so

remote

what

(die

C.G.

JUNG

has

called

Wirklichkeit

der

Seele)

hallucinations,

delusions

and

estrangement of his pa ti en ts again and again

which

and

with

this,

feelings
within

terms

the question:

these

pa ti en ts

impressive
that

imagination?"

"reality"

they

cannot

Furthermore,

"Which now is

the sphere

experience as most immediate


what

even

during

to

others

enter
the

into

is a world
it

in

their

last three decades,

the increasing use - or rather misuse! - of hallucinogenic


drugs
up

even outside

additional

during
and

the

problems:

intoxication

other

territory of psychiatry has thrown

similar

the

with

world

drugs,

substances,

no

that

such

as

doubt

is

experienced

LSD,

does

Mescaline

not

pertain

to the same sphere of "reality" that provides the framework


for

our

every-day

transient
revealed
"reality",

life.

quality,
that

and

In
even

its

through

apparently. there

it points

flimsy,
are

the

transparent
mere

different

fact
types

and
thus
of

to a much more fundamental "Reality"

lying beyond any experience that can be grasped by science:


the

ultimate

ground

for

all

other

"real,.,ities"

that

are

merely derived from it and reflecting its light.

1) Contribution to the "Seventh Zurcher Gesprach", held


at Zurich in May 1980, with the theme: "Rationales
Denken
der einzige (wissenschaftliche) Zugang zur
Wirklichkei t?" ("Rational thinking - the only ( scientific) approach to .ceali ty?") Published in GRASSI/SCHMALE: "Das Gesprach als Ereignis" (seep. 159).

226
For

myself,

in

my

this

question

psychiatric

and stimulating manner


chotherapy
long,
the

as

of

yet

concerning

activity

it

"reality"

ied

Indian

boy.

monograph
to.

In

came

particularly

some 20 years ago,

psychotic

unpublished

reflections

in

during the psy-

have

about

this

up

intensive
written

this

present

case

and

context,

only wish to bring up one particular aspect.


At the time of treatment - which extended over several
years -

this boy was aged 9-13. Ever since early childhood

he

shown

had

puberty

and

signs

of

autistic

even more

so

in

development

and

in

pre-

puberty and adolescence his

condition increasingly deteriorated and took on the characteristics of an adult form ot schizophrenia.
What struck me at the very beginning of the treatment,
and what
who

had

had

already

repeatedly

been noted by one of

seen

the

child

was that mirror images,

shadows,

pictures -

that which

in short all

three-dimensional
had

an

reality

extraordinary

to

few

my

colleagues

years

earlier'

photographic and painted


reduces

only

our

customary

two-dimensional

fascination

for

this

images

boy.

Again

and again he would ask questions concerning these phenomena:

"Why

is

the

as "real" as
can

these

mirror-image

images

pre-puberty,

or

the person or the


not

signs

preoccupied with

become

of

the

the photograph

tangible

megalomania
question

not

just

thing pictured by it? v)hy

of

reality?"

appeared,
why

When,

he

was

he himse 1 f

in

also

did

not

have the power of awakening into "real life" these pictures,

shadows or mirror

him

the

Greek

myth

images.

of

the

Repeatedly,

adolescent

had

to

tell

Narcissus,

which

obviously had its deep significance for him.


As

his

father,

well-known Professor of

Medicine had

already done, I too kept on explaining to him the differences

between

terms

of

"reality"

physics.

and

This

pictures

did

not

or

help

mirror
at

images

all.

in

Decisive

success was only achieved by a quite pragmatic explanation


which

once

despair
When,

on

occurred

about
one

the

to

me when

many

particular

had almost

tenaciously
occasion,

fallen

repeated
he

once

into

questions.

again

wanted

to know why he could not transform a photograph of Gandhi


into the "real Mahatma",

replied:

"You see,

if one puts

227

something
for

it.

after
It

living
One

this

is,

into this world,

will

then have

creature,

however,

just

God

alone

one becomes responsible

to protect,
as

your

who

has

nourish and look

parents
the

do

wisdom

for

yol,l.

only

just

to create what He also can keep alive and also the power
and

the

and

to

loving

care

that

nourish

what

He

beings do

not have

allow

has

Him

called

the necessary

actually
into

to

life.

protect
We

human

foresight and care.

For

this reason, God has kept this capacity for creating reserved for
ing.

Himself."

When
doing
I

next
so,

could

find
had

he came

he

this

grass

understood

much
of

our

to

he drew a

remarked:

little rabbit

to

feed
some

"reality",

living

to see me,

spontaneously

make

some

This reply obviously set the boy think-

it

extent

"Now

"real",

with

rabbit.

you

While

see,

if

would have to

wouldn't I?" The boy

what

"care" means and how

in particular insofar as it consists

beings,is

in

need

of

being

this

very

duty

kept

safe

within

someone's "care"!
It

is,

care"

from

flight,
the

however,

many

help

which

not only

of

one

can

to

"keep within one's

conveniently

escape

through

into psychotic experience, but also into

two-dimensional
technical

gadgets

realities
and

by

drugs,

which,
humanity

with

the

nowadays

chooses to delude itself!


As
lish,

my conversation with the boy went on partly in Engpartly

in Hindustani and as,

furthermore,

subse-

quently made my own reflections about what had been going


on

in

each

German,
three

treatment

session

in

my

mother

tongue,

i.e.

it soon struck me that the expressions which these

languages use

for what in English one calls "reali-

ty", actually do not mean the same thing at all.


The German "Wirklichkeit" obviously relates to a world

228
in

which

effect;
thing

one
and

can

"work"

this

and

effectiveness

perceivable

belong

2)

in which

is

at

and binding also

to this world.

It is a

the

for

something

takes

same

some-

time

other

beings

"manifest" world,

that

something

with which one can come to grips and which one can "handle"
actively and concretely. Technology has its place in it.
If we now consider the English "real", which is derived
from Roman languages (whether there is any original AngloSaxon
not

term

been

with

able

the

to

same

meaning,

find out!)

and

is

something

stems

from

Latin

have
"res",

at first sight it also still appears to indicate a manifest


reality

pertaining

however,
a

points

"thing"

but

the

as
inner

or matter.
is

to

out

and

in

which

essence,

the

core

of

While

meaning

If one inquires further,

us

to

from Sanskrit

taste,

aroma"

sensory
appears

world

sensory

as

of

and

mean

before

one,

of

and

thing

that

"res"

this

means

has

aesthetic

and

something

sensory

stimuli

any

feelings

not

finds

eventually

quality,

also

one

"rasa",

and

dictionary,

does

concretely

any

to

Latin

lies

particular

refers

The

originally

that

essence,

designate

"res"

something

probably derived

"sap,

"things".

that

moods.

sober,

perceptions

and

are

to

pleasure
"Reality",

thus

impressions

come

actually
feelings!

still

fairly

open to the investigating and measuring processes of science,

not

quality

only
and

value

"aesthetics",
moods

into

physiologically,
it

the

also
is

in

but

the

difficult

sphere

of

with

regard

scientific
to

what

is

include

to

their

discipline
feelings

measurable.

of
and

Nowadays'

of course, as one has the possibility of releasing emotions


-

the subjective experience as we 11 as

pression one

through electrical

approaches,

in

this

stimuli

respect

too

its objective ex( evoked


an

potentials)

objectification

2) The German "wirklich" stems from the same root as "Werk,


~erken",
i.e.
"work",
but also "wirken,
bewirken",
i.e. to produce an effect. This implies that it is
a reality in which one cannot only "work" on and with
the material provided by it, but that this "work" is
','wirksam", i.e. effective, within a sphere experienced
in common by those involved.

229

c~uld

of what previously

only be appreciated subjectively.

If we now see what Indian languages designate as "real",


we

find

also

that

terms

still

the Sanskrit root


for

current

simply

means

"real",

"sat" or

"as",

from which

"genuine",

"essential", "true",

in present-day common

language are derived,

"that

which

is

to

is

concealed behind all

is",

and

this

"is"

in its

turn

be understood in the sense of Ultimate Being, which


concrete manifestations and which

has allowed "all that is" to be released out of Itself.


That

which,

for

Western man,

the world of action,


but

.also

by

the

ancient

the

of the feasible,

world

Indian

deceptive

counts as

of

sensory

philosophy

"real",

of handling things,

impress.ions,

as

an

namely

un-real

is

regarded

delusion,

as

"May~",

mirroring game or playful dance of

something which anyone who has acquired sufficient wisdom


will try to see through.
If

one

searches

"reality"

in

the

for

Hindi

Western

expressions

sense,

one

can

closest to this meaning "vaisvanara 11


belongs
the

to

world

all
of

human

experienced

in

common

by

in

which

all

and

beings

social

in

and

in

an

"common

in

name

as

in

for

coming

other

which

equally

sense"

stand

i.e. "that which

S),

common",

relationships

that

binding

has

words

things

its

are

manner

place;

or,

with a slightly different connotation: "vyavahara", indicating

the

common

transacting

world

handling

of
of

actiort,
matters

of
of

the

producing

every-day

and

concern,

in other words: a "practical" or "pragmatic" reality.


What
Indian
a

is

psychology

group

the
to

revealing,

of

five

in

enumerates

five

organs

senses known

them,

the

this

five

context,

ten

of

sensory

perception,

to us

is

that

organs,

namely

corresponding

in the West and,

tactive"

ancient
to

in addition

"'
namely speaking w.ith

senses,

one's mouth, acting with one's hands - "handling" -, moving


about

with

one's

feet,

excreting by

the organs concerned

and finally sexual activity.


While
waking

the

latter,

world,

mentioned,

i.e.

they

at

and

are,

provided

the

"active"

("jagarat"),

to

"vaivanara"
least

no

if

seen

pathological

senses,

which

and

the

pertain, to
two

"vyavahara"

objectively
deviations

terms

the
just

also apply,

"from

outside"

(such as walking

230

or

talking

in

sleep or bedwetting

out of action in dream


itself,

of

course,

etc.)

("svapana").

the

are

influence

on

but

unfolds

its

the

common

The

sensory

perceptions

action

action

sphere

on

and

of

of

the

sleeper

i t has, however,
the

completely
the

put

Within the dream world

dreaming

has its effect on the other dream-figures;


no

present,

waking-world'
private

feelings,

on

stage.

the

other

hand

which in any case belong to the sphere of sujectiv-

ity

also

however,
in

function

active

dreamless

the

seen

deep

and

senses)

can

no

longer

"sucked
sleep

thus

is

therefore,
designated
underlies
Being"

last

also

as

i.e.

"reality

"reality",

another

having

is

"sat"

and
is

11

the

11

being

highest

is

to

these

aspect

for

the

also
This

"turiya",

in

Urdu,

the

the

language

i.e.

Mohammedan conquerors,

different

something

else.

It

designation
"haq,

the

reality

is

for

introduced

144/145.)

expressions

itself:

namely

the

aim of all spiritual

revealed

Hindu,

of

as

In

to the ultimate, highest sense which "reality",


has

11

(See the synopsis on pp.

on

which

power

knowledge.

so-called
the

11

sat

"highest

both

and

But

un-knowing

dream-state,
the

the

been

oneness.

and

contrary
and

other

all

for

original

as

to reach which

reflecting

in

darkness

itself

11

extinguished
which the seer,

"unreal",

light

disciplines in Hinduism.
While

the
by

entirely

in

pure

truest

Fourth State,

into

activity,

is

distinguished,

"Being"

contains
is

sensory

(equally

waking-life

"a-sat"

that

and

be

governed

everything,

"non-being",

seeing,

condition

as

All

receptive,

( "su~upta")

of

back"
is

(S).

as

sleep
act

while
and

dream

well

the

withdrawn,
deep

in

as

contrast

i.e.

"sat",

"reality"

into

India

haqiqat",
of

for

by

again

social

used
the

means

relations

regulated by laws and customs, the "right" or "the lawful",


and

thus

represents

secondary

reality

that

has

been

superimposed by man upon "natural reality".


Or,

if

one

thinks

of

all

that

comparative

ethologists

have reported about their observations and investigations,


is

perhaps

all,

but

on

this
the

differentiation,
in

his

inborne

"legal

reality"

contrary,
deeply
patterns

even

rooted
of

not
in

in

all
the

behaviour,

so

secondary

its

diversity

nature
as

after
and

of

man

and

plan

for

the

231

harmonious

interaction

between

animal

or human being and

their environment?
Of

this,

Indian
the

too,

philosophy:

splitting

duality,
"field"
j na")

in

up

each
the

The

ancient

the

and

of
the

"f iela"

would

"One"
place

"knower of

them

joining

or

possibly

and

probably

the

term

at

least hints

scriptures

takes

two of

find

original

instance

perce~tion

process
one

can already

of

( "ksetra")

( S) ,

between
as

one

in

the

that

world

the

form

field"

of

of

( "ksetra-

together again in the


action.

"knower
it

describe

into

in

of

The

the

nowadays,

contact

field"

or,

"the _interface"

between them, seems to come closest to what deserves the


of "reality" in a temporal sense. While, however,

name

"reality"

this

exposes

man

of

to

the

loss

dualistic

and

at

the

with regard to Ultimate Truth,


the

merging

all

contact,

of

these

all

two

world
same

binds

time

and

to

thus

deception

only the complete re-union,

separate

perception,

"partners",

all

activity

in

which

ceases,

can

characterise Ultimate Reality, the "sat".

By chance - if there is anything that deserves


chance!
a

on

first

stands
by

11

very

evening

of

this

contribution,

draft
now,

the

say,

the
I

r.ead

scientist
invented"

chi ld",
3)

of

what

this

was
I

famous

had

scientist and

who

LSD,

amazed

the

to

just

last

after

investigated

and

at

or

and,

less

one

may

the

time

to

formulate.

down
as

it

book written

about his

same

be called

written

HOFMANN,

research worker who,

ience with hallucinogens,

more

on these pages

tried

had

few pages of

Albert
find

~o

perhaps

"problem-

ill:--famed LSD!

the conf irma ti on


This

well

known

through his own exper-

but also through his association

with prominent people from all walks of life who communicated to him their experiences under the influence of drugs,

3) HOFMANN, Albert:
Stuttgart, 1979.

"LSD -

mein Sorgenkind",

Klett-Cotta,

232
has gained deep insight into "realities" very different
from those that surround us in every-day life, writes:
(pp. 217/218 of the book mentioned under footnote 3) translated from German.)
"What became of greatest significance for me,

was

the

insight, confirmed by all LSD experiments, that what commonly we designate as "reality", including the reality
of one's own person, is by no means something fixed and
determined, but something with a great multiplicity of
meanings; that there is not just one "reality", but there
are many realities, each of them including a different
I-consciousness .. ".
II

Without an experiencing subject, an "I", reality


cannot be thought of. It is the product of an external
world, a "sender" and, on the other hand, a "receiver",
an "I", in the innermost core of which the emanations
of the external world, registered by the antennae of the
sensory organs, come to consciousness. If une of the two
is lacking, no "reality" comes about; no radio-music will
be sounding; the projection screen will remain empty ".
11

as the infinite variety of creation at its many


levels must have an infinite number of wave-lengths corresponding to it, according to the tuning-in of the receivers,
different realities, each of them including the particular
"I" can come to consciousness. These, or rather the different layers of reality, do not mutually exclude each other;
they are complementary and, all together, form part of
the all-embracing,
timeless,
transcendent Reality,
in
which also the intangible, :ndestructible core of the
"I -consciousness
.
II
, which registers all the changes of
the "I" ultimately has its "home"."

233

ANXIETY AND SPEECH


To

write

Speech",
no

contri~ution

on

1)

the

subject

"Anxiety and

on the basis of my experience in India,

great

difficulty

As early as
entitled

1 967,

"Bhaya,

as

far

as

"anxiety"

had put together

s'oka,

11

moha".

is

involved

concerned.

the lengthy article

Anx:i.ety,

suffering

and

confusion in the ancient Indian scriptures and their significance

for

volume

(pp.

initially
should
some

29

ff).

was

have

the

with

further

therefore
my

the origin of illness", which figures in this

speech.

searching

necessary.

professional

can

What did not quite make


particular

hope

to

which

anxiety

additional

reflection

and

ancient Indian scriptures were

Apart

activity

do

Some

of

sense to me

connection

from
came

reasonable

this,
to

my

justice

lucky

aid

to

so

the

chance
that

in

now

as

subject

whole.
1. Anxiety

As
to

fqr

be

as

said,

anxiety

(S)

including

ancient

Indian

already

mentioned.

present

context

the

scriptures,
What

2)

is

is

concerned,

relevant
is
may

merely

all

that

quotations

from

contained

in

be

adding

worth

one

the

particular

needs
the

article
in

this

consequen-

ce of the present-day precipitated "emancipation" in developing

countries

and

the

escape

from

anxiety

which

it

provokes:
In illiterate or poorly educated Indians in rural areas,
one often finds an attitude which in many ways comes close
to that of nomads

(S)

and on the other hand alsoresembles

certain features one is accustomed to observe in the field


of psychiatry, in autistic children: The world is perceived
only

insofar

as

it

is

of

relevance

for

one's

own

needs

1) Contribution for the Ninth "Zurcher Gesprach", held


at Zurich in June 1981 with the theme "SpracJ\e und
Angst in der technifizierten Welt".
2) The original title of this paper was:
angst zu Seinsvergessenheit".

"Von Trennungs-

234
and

usually

only

within

the

framework

of

the

immediate

"here-and-now". One relies as it were on an "ever-presentcaretaker"


is

(BOSCH

supposed

time,

to

without

(1 )) ,

provide
one's

planned

efforts

oneself

personally

Even

Indian

in

correspond

powers

stage

and

to

may

one

passive

th.ings,
cannot

be

make

one's

the

many

An

address

for

help.
that

subject-less

remaining

which

"ego"

to

at

in

the

the

mercy

characCeri ze

conscious

any

well-

expressions
the

anonymous

at

and

anyone

being completely

understand,

development.

having

to

finds

which

necessary

expectancy,

of

agency

purposeful

deliberately

languages

of
one

of

anonymous

and even without

background,- the feeling


of

an

whatever

having

th~

to

"happening"

i.e

of

this

itself,

capacity for introspection, hardly exist as yet.


It seems to me, however, that quite similar characteristics are also to be increasingly noted again in the modern
technologically
everything
fellow

oriented

from

human

of personal

world:

one

would

welfare-state;

beings

apart

friends

to a

like

living

perhaps

from

large extent

to

expect

together
a

small

takes

with
circle

its course

in anonymity; one leaves more and more to soul-less technology,


tne

in

particula:r

task

of

human

to

the

computer,

thinking,

planning

what

hitherto

was

and di scr imi nation.

Furthermore, due to the overwhelming growth of technology,


man

nowadays

again

feels

threatened

handle with the necessary safety.


beings

from

the

as

"primitive

to

this

''no

which

man

care"!

autism",

longer"

proc~ss

this

level

is

of

avoided

becomes

which

i.e.

"modern
or

be

conscious

of

neither

by

he

cannot

It is easy to lead human


would

like

condition

to
of

h.is

is

designate
"not

automatism".

think that this is one of


solved

powers

skipped over

lems of any development aid,


can

by

Yet
the

commitment

to

yet",

what

in

stage

at

"taking

the most burning prob-

and a problem, at that, which

money

nor

by

modern

technical

equipment but only by patient and devoted human involvement


of

kind

that

genuine "care".

can

provide

persona 1

experience

of

this

235

2. Speech
But
what

has

Theoretically

it

answer:

might

It

not

serves

equally

being

be

only

isolated

lost

to

do

with

"speech"?

left

all

suitable

by

means

oneself,

for

speech

overcoming

it.

to establish communication with other

beings

primary

"communication",

got

as has been shown, comes about through

through

naturally

this

not too difficult to give a plausible

If anxiety,

separation,

the

all
is

and

thus

"communion",

but

in

the

to

create,

at

least

form

of

in place of
a

secondary

"inner

speech"

it

also permits one to carry and move within oneself - though


not

by

way

"name"

of

one,

"form",

whole

perhaps

i.e.

world.

find

"rupa",

but

as

(See earlier pp.

something

in

"nama",

169

the

i.e.

ff.)

ancient

Might
Indian

scriptures, that could bear this out?


First of all one has to point out that in ancient Indian
philosophy "speech" is not something that has been invented
or

created

entrusted
a

by

to him.

hymn

that

as

Goddess

In

it,

comes

the

who holds
es",

man,

can

but

that

has

been

given,

A magnificent hymn

to speech or rather

from

"Speech"

be

Goddess

and

something
the mouth

found

in

describes

of

~GVEDA

the

herself

protects the Gods",

personified

(5)

(X,

125).

the

as

one

"gatherer of treasur-

as the one who has been established by the Gods "

in

many

As

.0

places

human

with

beings,

many
it

homes

is

to

enter

said:

and

abide

in".

they know it not,

but yet they dwell beside me", and finally Speech declares:
"I

breathe

strong

breath

like

the

wind

Similarly,
34/35),

in

in

MAHANARAYANA

hymn

to Gayatr'i

UPANI~AD

(which

and

tempest,

11

the while I hold together all existence

((6

f),

Section

literally means

"the

one who protects and achieves through singing"), one learns


that

she,

ters

of

the Goddess who also is "the origin of all let-

the alphabet",

and

their

are

synonyms

fine

arts,

speech.

name".
for
who

Lord

is "the dwalling place of the Gods

"Vac",

i.e.

Sarasvati,
thus

Shiva's

at

the

consort

"Speech",

as

the Goddess
same
too,

time
his

11

also

GayatrT,

of knowledge and
is

the

s'akti

11

deity

of

(=power),

without whom he himself would be without life and strength,


is

at

times presented wearing a necklace made of the let-

236

ters

of

the

alphabet,

which

means

that

that also bears speech within itself.


In Kashmiri Shaivism, speech, in
is supposed to pass through four
also earlier, p. 170):
1. "Para" ("beyond,

most

its

stages

remote")

she

is

power

manifestations,
(PANDEY

Speech

in

( 4) i
its

see
most

subtle state, in which it is still pure consciousness


and undivided oneness; in other words, at this stage,
no "ego" conscious of itself is as yet separated from
the universal "Self". Some lines in KENOPANI~AD ( ( 6 c)
1,4f also appear to refer to this, by stating: "What speech
cannot reveal, but what reveals speech, know that alone
as Brahman . ".
I
II
2. II Pasyanti
(actually a condition of seeing, above
all of seeing with the inner eye!) represents the first
step in the manifestation of speech in its gross form:
an extremely subtle stirring of a distinction, caused
by a desire.
3. 11 Madhyama 11 : a "middle stage" which precedes articulated

speech.

distinct

from

Idea

and

each

linguistic

other,

but

expression
the

are

substratum

already
for

both

is still the same.


4. "Vaikhari 11 : ordinary speech. Idea and articulated
symbol have a different substratum.
_Thus, in this process, we once again see a separation
being brought about, a separation in a double sense: firstly between an "ego" conscious of itself and its separateness and on the other hand the universal Self with which
this "ego" originally was one, and secondly, between idea
and sound-symbol. One can assume that a third kind of
separation is also implied, namely the one between "rupa",
i.e. "form", and "nama", i.e. "name", which has been
referred to earlier (see pp. 169 ff).
It might therefore be worthwile following up this common
element of "separation" and seeing whether perhaps in
this respect some connection between anxiety and speech
also exists in the ancient Indian scriptures.
In

B~HADARA~YAKA

UPANI~AD

( (6

b)

1, 2

v.

ff) ,

one

finds a myth of creation (S) which very closely resembles


the one I quoted earlier to illustrate the origin of anx~-

237
ety

in'

This
I

there

universe

for

hunger

be

was

possessed
As

then

be

was
In

"

follows:
in

Death

In

the

alone

the

uni verse.
or

Hunger;

He

thus

moved

about

worshipping

"May

worshipping

himself,

water

the following verses, a description

fire and sun were produced, and verse

"

me".

as

whatever
by

mind".

how earth,
to

runs

He produced the mind, desiring:

he

"

continues:

born

It

nothing

enveloped

of

produced

is given,
4

was

is death.

himself
was

( S)

separation.

beg inning,

He

He,

desired:

Dea th

or

"May

Hunger,

second

caused

the

body
union

of speech (probably a subtle, preliminary stage of articulated

speech!

E.H.)

with

the

mind.

The

seed

that

was

in

that union became the year. Never was the~e any year before
him.

He

for
He

(Dea th)

nourished

the

foetus

opened

his mouth

The baby cried:


Verse

5:

"He

to

in

the

per~od

as long as a year and after that

cosmic

egg

produced him.

swallow the baby as he was born.

"Bhan!".

It was this that became speech."

reflected:

"If

perchance

kill

this baby,

I shall have but little food". He therefore created through


(the

union

i.e.

the

of)

that

speech

~g-Veda,

the

and

that

mind

Yajur-Veda,

the

( (6

similar
a)

other

1 , 3) :

for

and

them.

thus

After

creatures,

worlds

their

now

The

food

to

having

be

found

brought

"Creator"

the

guardian

the

form

that

the

AITAREYOPANISAD
Gods,

men

"There are

let

me

and

these

create

food

and from the waters

sprang up the

form,

thus born was

verily the created food.

was

to run away. ~e,

in

forth

deities;

is,

Sama-Veda,

thought:

He brooded over the waters;

brooded over

And

is

episode

there

II

metres, the sacrifices, men and animals


A

all

thus

projected,

or organic matter.

out of

fear

attempted

the first embodied being, sought to seize

it by speech; but he could not seize it.with speech


What
show

these

the

connection
original

myths

origin
with

of

those
anxiety

speech

condition

of

quoted
and

have

this

earlier

those
in

just

common

( p.

"
37)

to

mentioned

in

is

that

the

creature which became anxious

due to its finding itself alone, was a state of deficiency,


of

lacking

with
to

the

eat",

something.

origin of

In

speech,

in other words

the

two

what

is

quotations
lacking

"the objects".

Thus

which

is

deal

"something

the creation

238
which
the

this

desire

food,

by

only

being

then

for

companion,

which

one

physical,

undertakes

is

but

probably

not

only

also

from

meant

to

springs
the

from

need

for

understand

not

but also mental nourishment,

i.e.

the

ob-

jects for the sensory organs and the intellect. The primaeval

"creator",

(i.e.

who

"incapacity

life",

in

to

"non-being")

eating"

or

this

live"
and

instance

or

also

"lack

of

"not-being-able-to-eat",

obviously also a

called

"Death"

possibilities

"Hunger" or

devour its very first product.


attack -

is

is

literally
actually

of

"not-

out

to

It is defence against this

kind of anxiety,

ance the fear of being swallowed up,

in this inst-

of having to return

into "non-being"! - that elicits from this newborn creature


a

first

sound which is presented as

the

first

linguistic

symbol.
What

is

of

interest

"language 11

this
year"

(again
68 ! )

page

or

is

that

"speech",

the

is also implied.

feminine

which
in

is

contrast

which
of

up

function

referred
to

to

that

"creation".

that

there is also a

eating,
The

point

has

for

distinction;

or rather
up

or

in

the

in

hint

immediate

to

tries

have

not

speak

speech

been
11

The

hatching 11
stands

"genera ting"
the

story

method

it

seems

takes in" while

"giving" when

does

to

11

and

of

"the

time.

obviously

that man, who

instance,

he

out"

this grotesque

to use his mouth for

stammerer,

this

appears

Somehow,

articulated

context

more masculine

of

earlier,

the dimension of

this

out

form

mentioned

"bearing

in

hatching
the

After all,

of

to

the

in

"samvatsara 11

term

can only unfold itself within


more

the

in

time,

seem

while

speaking.

to

realise

breathing

in

"sucking in" the air. The possibility of mixing

confusing
myth

these

of

two

creation

functions
quoted

seems

from

to be

implied

AITAREYOPANISAD

(6

a), where we are told that the "food" the "eatable" "wanted
to run away", and its creator II
sought to seize it
by speech, but he could not seiz~ it with speech ".
Speech is thus seen as having originated from a
ion of
time,

"being hungry", or "need for objects"; at the same


however,

it

anxiety-provoking
object

condi~

to

be

serves

for

situation

ea ten

up.

of

rescuing
being

A protective

oneself

oneself

function

from

the

potential
of

speech

239

is

also

3,10)

implied

which

in

verse

TAITTIRIYOPANI~AD

of

recommends

meditating

on

( (6

g)

Brahman

as

safety or preservation in speech


In

(6 b)

further

1 ,3 v.

the

Gods,

the

demons.

episode
ff)

the

of a

( B~H.

myth of creation

UP.

we are told about a competition amongst

"shinin'g ones",

In one of

and

the

so-called

the commentaries,

"asura",

the word

"asura"

(Sanskrit: "living, spiritual, divine; evil spirit, demon")


is

explained

story shows
above

all

as

meaning

"selfish,

self-indulgent".

how already at its very origin,

was

The

speech, which

to serve sacred purposes, was "pierced with

evil"

by

these

trick

of

the

"asura".

demons

In

it

other

was

words,

rendered

by

the

profane

cunning

and

pulled

down to a merely utilitarian level.


Various
b)

4,1

1 is t

of

in

and CHAND.

priorities

Eternal,
of

passages

v.2

for

Upani~ads

the
UP.

(6

the

c)

use of

"dharma",

i.e.

UP.

(6

state the following

speech:

naming and worshipping of

the

B~H.

(e.g.

7,2)

Praise for the

the Gods,

preservation

the sacred social order.

It is only

in hierarchically descending order that sciences and finally

also

In

hymn of

with
not

the

love
all

( (6

b)

for

an

friendship;

it

in

this

1,5

according

3)

to

10,71)

it

is

are

mentioned.

speech is associated

hinted,

spirit:"

however,

that

using speech in a

consulted

meant

is
but

it

"Speech

verse

indeed

B~H.UP.

in
is

intended

is nothing by itself". This has

flavour and reminds one of modern views,


speech and
to
the

rather:
it

translation of a

maintains:

which

According

objects,
In a

v.

pragmatic

ments".
having

questionable

end or object,

very

es:

((5)

life

they weave on a weft of rags, without understand-

A very

is

every-day

II

ing

of

~GVEDA

the

and

use

bad way,

concerns

is

language are

another
original
"Speech
not

translation
text,

underlies

itself

slightly different context,

the

subject

to

which,
better,

after
what

revelation

of

revelation."

the commentator formulat-

"Speech is that which recognises.

it brings other objects to light."

find

just "instru-

It is self-luminous,

240
3. Anxiety and speech
Summing up, we can

thus

say

that

our

search

in

the

ancient Indian scriptures has brought some evidence that


in fact anxiety and speech have their origins quite close
to each other.

Both of them have arisen

in which a

first

alone

defect.

as

Speech not only


other

loss.

Above all,

with

the

lost

serves as

creatures

pressure of this loneliness,


creation of an inner world

the
the

situation

primaeval creature experienced its being

with

communication

from a

brought

though

means of

forth

but also makes


that

it can help to find,

origin,

this

is

not

subject

once again,

time

on

under

possible

to

oneness

conscious

level.
It

appears

that

as

an

outward-going

function

of

the

mouth, speech is opposed to the wish to immediately incorporate

all

that

arises

and

thus

to soothe one's hunger.


sho~ld

Through speech - or at least one


instead of

being

they

"preserved"

are",

truth

and

"eaten

being.

up",
or

hope so! - things,

are allowed

even

to be

brought

Furthermore,

the

into

one

who

"left as

their

very

speaks

can,

by means of his speech, protect himself from being devoured


like a lifeless object.
We have, however, been able to note in the texts mentioned

that

evil",

at

was

the

very

beginning

tainted as

speech was

it were with a

"pierced with

curse:

the

risk of

inappropriate, unworthy use, misuse for profane and selfish


purposes

or,

as

HEIDEGGER

might

have

evil of "provocative disclosure"


disclosure" (2 b). (S)
All

expressed

instead

of

it:

"procreative

this may sound quite plausible in theory.

without

getting

too

lost

in

speculation,

the

But how,

are we

to

link

it up with our present-day si tua ti on which after


to be "brought into speech"?

al 1 was

Well,

already

it

is

at

this point that the

mentioned came to my aid:


Professor

of

Psychiatry

while
at

Institute of Mental Health,


a
an

young

psychologist

approximately

fascinated

him.

Ahmedabad,
to

year-old

little

was acting as Visiting

psychiatric

reported

three
This

lucky chance

boy

me

child
was

institute

Gujarat)
an

recently,

observation

that
the

had

only

(BM
on

greatly
child

of

2 41

a young mother who had quite recently moved to this town,


along with her husband, far away from her home city, where
she had still enjoyed the warmth and protection of a joi~t
family. After being sent to a so-called "nursery-school"
at this tender age, the child showed severe symptoms of
separation anxiety and school-phobia, which at times assumed psychotic proportions, including mutism or inappropriate
use of speech. As the psychologist realised quite relevantly that the mother with her own anxiety and helplessness
in her new situation was significantly contributing to
the child's emotional disturbance, he proposed that both
mother and child should come for the therapeutic sessions.
Fairly soon, he was able to encourage the boy, who had
initially clung tightly to his mother without showing
any interest in anything else, to take a look at the toys
spread out in the treatment room.
Along with gaining confidence in this situation in
which both mother and child were sheltered in the presence
of a calm human being who was not carried away by their
anxiety, a new pattern of behaviour gradually emerged:
what
as

in

"rapprochement".

original
an

developmental

psychology

At

this

empathic-symbiotic

ex pl ic it

"approach"

3)

stage,
oneness

between

two

has

been

which
with

described

replaces
the

beings

mother

who

are

the
by
now

experienced as separate, speech helps to overcome this


separation and the anxiety associated with it. The little
fellow now ventured out, away from the mother, to undertake
small
would

exploratory trips in the room, and each time he


bring back a toy or a picture book to his mother,

to whom he would then name the object concerned in English,


as

apparently

he had already learned in school: "This


this is a stove etc." Sometimes he would

is a bear
ask questions, which however he would often an5wer himself.
The mother, obviously emotionally dry and poor, limited
herself

to

occasionally

correcting

these

efforts.

But

3) MAHLER, Margaret: "On human Symbiosis and.the Vic~ssit1:1des of Individuation", New York, International University Press, 1968.

242
one could note that she was happy to see that her child
now at last was "~peaking sense" and devoting more attention to his environment.
to

bring

telling

out

in

the

imaginative

It was

child,

the

by

stories,

task of the therapist

playing
greater

and stimulation for

further development.

eventually

herself

allowed

to

rudiments of a conversation.
How wonderful would it
of

speech

and

as

open

up

enter

have

together
sense of

The motQer,

into

at

if

this

been

and

by

security
too,

least

the

discovery

something

that can link one up with others

the

could

world

into a

new world that would open up the wealth of

human

that

case!

in

present-day

parents

that

child

fantasy!

all

is

India

too

ready

lead

Instead
not

frequently

for

to

the

child

finds

as

by

her

creative

so

utilised

skilfully
and

joy,

been

mother

communication

and with

have

school,

of

only

in

draw

the

once

it

it,

one

this

one

conclusion
has

reached

this point; and this, unfortunately already at the nurseryschool

stage,

i.e.

at

the

the

acquisition

of

The

newly

ability

found

to affectionately
them

them!

the

formal

as

call

3-4

as

years,
is

means

by

their

perhaps

words

that

represent

the

eagerness

and correlations,

just experiment

with

upon.
names,

to playfully make with

the

to hear stories and perhaps make them up oneself,


or

that

insisted

things

them,

well

combinations

of

knowledge

to

recognise

objects

new

age

sounds

and

to sing

syllables

in

one's own way, before they can actually unfold themselves,


are

already

squeezed

tightly

discipline!

Above

all,

where

the

si tua ti on

to

overcome

separation

into

however,
very
and

the

harness

the

child

achievement
anxiety,

that

i.e.

of

school

experiences
helped

his

being

him
able

to speak, now becomes the occasion for a renewed separation


by

his

being

away from
can

sent

easily

imagine

ted which will


and
some

to

school

and

the mother during a

phobias

and

how

vicious

then manifest
possibly

consternation,

having

circle

itself

also

noted

thus

to

remain

great part of the day.

of

that

in

the

speech
in

is

the

thus

One

ini tia-

form of fears

disorders.

With

Institute

just

mentioned neither the psychologists nor the speech therapists

seemed to be aware of

the

importance of

"functional

243
pleasure"
use

i.e.

and

the

practice

consequently,
patients,

joy
of

they

e.g.

inherent

newly

were

all

in

the

repeated

acquired
too

skill,

impatient

playful

and

that,

get

their

to

stammerers or mutistic children,

"to speak

properly" as soon as possible.


No wonder
iatric

colleagues,
ional
sphere

but

fantasy

and

nor

also

quite

"normal"

people,

even

often present an embarrassing poverty of emot-

and

say,

then if one finds that not only adult psych-

patients,

life;

trivial

do

deficiency

they

worse

beyond their narrow professional

gossip,
wish
is

they

hardly

have

to hear anything.

the

fact

that

anything

to

What makes this

they

have

neglected

their native language and with it the wealth of traditional


myths,
hand

epics,

they

have

language",
and

the

parables

and metaphors,

while on the other

from English,

the so-called "link

snatched

only

what

can

serve

their

professional career

prestige of a modern man with a Western orientat-

ion.
At
to

this

treat

point,

reminded of a

during my early years

teacher,

aged

suffering

about

from

32,

medical

terminology

the

medicines

not

brought

any

one

would
the

patient whom I

India:

lean

"loose

prescribed

relief,

in

tall,

persistent

As
as

am

This university

and

emaciated,

motions",
call

by

i.e.

in

colon".

physicians
finally

was

what

"irritable

various

trouble was

had

had

labelled

"psychosomatic" dnd the patient referred to the "Psych-

iatric Centre".
After only a few psychotherapy sessions, the very intelligent

and

cooperative

man

arrived

at

the

insight

that

it was not only his intestinal functioning that was taking


an

abnormally

rapid

course,

was happening in his mind.


a

book

brilliant

But
At

in

nothing
the

same

the

evening,

lecture

for

and

he

next

about

whether

actually

offer

his

something

similar

morning

can deliver

it does not become my own."

confessed

bothered

that

my students on what I have read.

remains with me;


time

but

"I can", so he explained, "read

his

students

never

really

"brilliant

that

he

lectures"

would

what

needed

they

had

and

what

they could readily understand. He subsequently made sincere


efforts to reshape his lectures and to enter into dialogue

244
with h-is students. Some time later when I was able, on
the basis of one of his dreams, to point out to him that
he had "assimilated",
his own",

i.e.

a metaphor I

"thoroughly digested" and "made

had .used months

earlier,

he had brought it out in his dream in his


was

real revelation to him.

and that

own way,

He then stated that

this
I

was

the first person in his life who had ever "told him staries".
Another

patient,

who

had

passed

through

an

equally

impoverished childhood, once expressed the following opinion about


ther:

the result of our psychotherapeutic work

toge-

"I cannot really define what has transpired in this

treatment.
spirit."

But

one

Sometimes

thing

know:

one hears

You

have

patients

of

nourished

this

type

my

com-

plaining that "the head has become bigger than the heart".

After this short excursion into the field of psychiatry,


which
I

has

provided

welcome

link

for

our

reflections,

shall now try to supplement what was formulated earlier

(pp. 29 ff) about anxiety by including speech:


Wherever
condition
first
a

one experiences

of

"being

primaeval

child

who

separate

from

cultural

creature

for

the

his

one"
in

first

mother,

transformation

falling
whether

out
the

of

familiar

situation

of

Indian mythology

or

that

of

time

himself

as

or

experiences

maybe

that

the rapid social

drives

many

and

people

in

developing countries away from the shelter of their tradition

into a

anxiety,

strange "modern world"

will_ arise.

Speech offers

as something that can provide a


time

illuminate

back

to

the

is, however,
namely
at

by

loving

tecting

of

contrary,
one's

anxiety,

separation-

itself at

this moment

new

the new world and -

original

oneness

on

link and at the same


at best

conscious

even

lead

level.

It

spoilt by an evil curse right from the start,

the

risk

that

through

it

one

will

not

arrive

one-ness and at careful understanding and prothat


one

which

will

attachment

to

reveals

itself,

simply exploit
the

objects

of

it

but
in

that,

the

on

service

the
of

this world and one's

245

desire
by

to

dominate

applying

over

language

them.

in

"handy"

for

practical

conceal

the

etymological

but

also

root

can

from

world as
even

no

point

the

which

which

of

issued

this is done

form

and

roots

speech

the first

In addition,

mutilated

purposes

longer

which

before

the

is

does

words

not only

th 1s used,
1

towards

the

at

beginning

the

just

original
of

the

thing as it were, even before men and

Gods!

Instead

of

leading

to

one-ness,

it then becomes the tool and occasion for a further separation:

the

of

estrangement

from

( "Seinsvergessenhei t"

und

and

separation

from

one's

the

"Seinsferne"

no solution of the anxiety crisis,


in which

origins,

Ultimate

separation-anxiety,

forgetting

Power

of

Being!

(S)).

There

is

only a vicious circle

misuse of speech and further

separation alternate with each other ad infinitum.

*
So

far

"active"

have

aspect

perhaps
of

*
dealt

speech,

too exclusively with the

the

possibility

and

ability

to name - and unfortunately also to command! - the objects


of

this

world.
"to
or

world
Yet

and

we

perceive",
what

even

even

should
to

hear

loudly

once

again

close

else

described

that

not

which

forget

reaches

that

beyond

speech

this

also means

that which wishes to speak to us


challenges

with

us.

Let

who

better

HEIDEGGER,

us,

therefore,
than anyone

to us how separation releases anxiety and

how in this very anxiety the call of "Being", its challenge,

its

hand,
how

"speaking

he

also

to

showed

it can turn into

us" can be perceived.


how
"

speech

On the other

can become mere gossip,

the mode of being of uprooted

understanding of Being ". on p. 277 of "Sein und Zei t"


( 2 a) , we read:
one"
this
all

(in

"man")

than

the

lost

to

the multiple concerns of

uncanniness

of

the

itself and thrown into nothingness?

existence
of

German

world,
by

"... what could be stranger to the "every-

( "Da-sein")

misunderstanding

something

else

or

(S)
and

from

Self

isolated

What robs

so radically of the possibility


misrecognising

elsewhere,

if

itself

through

not the feeling of

abandonment in being left to itself?" - and then the reply:

246
"Conscience reveals
"call
its

of

ontological

( "Da-sein")
is

itself as the call c,f "care" and this

conscience",

"care"."

or

possibility

ultimately,
Or,

rather

as

at

in

conscience
the

fact

that

the very ground

HEIDEGGER

formulated

itself,

of

it

has

existence
its

later

being,
(2

c),

that man has "to take care of the truth of being" or that
he

is

"the

shepherd

once again back in the


ned earlier,
his

way

back

we
to

find
his

of

and

Being",

Upani~ads,

that

this

we

are

where, as already mentio-

the human

source,

a "shepherd of all beings".

with

becomes

being who has traced


a

"bhutapala"

( S),

247
LITERATURE
( 1) BOSCH, GERHARD:

"Der friihkindliche Autismus",


Springer Verlag, Berlin, Gottingen,
Heidelberg, 1962.

(2) HEIDEGGER, MARTIN:

a) "Sein und Zeit", Max Niemeyer


Verlag, Tiibingen, 8th Edition,
1957.
b) "Vortrage und Aufsatze". Neske
Verlag, Pfullingen, 1954.
c) "Ueber den Humanismus", Vittorio
Klostermann, Frankfurt a/M., 1947.

( 3) HOCH, E.M.:

"Bhaya, shoka, moha" in BITTER,


Wilhelm (Ed.): "Abendlandische
Therapie und ostliche Weisheit",
Klett Verlag, Stuttgart, 1968.
(pp. 29 ff in this volume in
English translation.)

(4) PANDEY, K.C.:

"Abhinavagupta". The Chowkhamba


Sanskrit Series Office, Varanasi,
1963.

(5) RGVEDA:

Used: MACNICOL, Nicol: "Hindu


Scriptures", Everyman's Library,
No. 944, London, J.M. Dent & Sons,
Ltd., 1938, and:
"The Rig Veda. An Anthology".
Selected, translated and annotated
by O'FLAHERTY, Wendy Doniger.
Penguin Classics,
(ISBN O 14 044.402 5), Harmondsworth, England, 1 981

(6) UPANISADS:

Used: the Sanskrit-English


parallel texts with commentaries
published by Shri Ramakrishna Math,
Madras.
a) AITAREYOPANISAD: 1955.
b) BRHADARA~YAKA UPANISAD: 1951.
c) CHANDOGYA UPANISAD: 1956.
d) KATHOPANISAD: 1960.
e) MAH~N~R~YANA UPANISAD: 1957.
f) TAITTIRIYOPANI~Ao:'1958.
0

249

MESSENGER BETWEEN EAST AND WEST


By 1 989, when the idea of publishing this collection
of papers was revived, several new pieces of work had
been written since it was first planned in 1981. Thus
the decision was made to widen the scope of the volume
by adding three more items. Of these, the first one
"Messenger between East and West" - is still in line with
the previous eight in that it was also written for a Western public. The remaining two papers belong to a different
category, having been presented to Indian audiences.
The material on which "Messenger between East and West"
is based had already been collected in 1960. It was only
when I sorted out my belongings on moving into "retirement"
that the idea struck me of using these old notes, typed
on brittle Indian paper which was already crumbling, for
a pre sen ta tion to my teacher and friend Medard BOSS on
the occasion of his 80th birthday in October 1983. The
original German version was subsequently published in
the
periodical "Daseinsanalyse" (Vol. 2, pp. 1
36,
Karger, Basel, 1985).
The faithful rendering of my dialogue with the Sanskrit
scholar and philosopher of Lucknow University, Prof. K C
PANDEY, offers an interesting example of the limitations
and hurdles one has to overcome when trying to compare
philosophical ideas and concepts with an expert from a
different culture and language. If one simply agrees on
the equivalence of terms in two languages in more or less
arbitrary fashion, on the basis of a superficial similarity
of meaning, - as Prof. PANDEY was ready to do - the train
of thought of the partners in the dialogue may well move
on quite different tracks without their being aware of
it. The conclusions at which one arrives - in the extreme
case either a satisfied agreement that "after all there
is not so much of a difference" or, on the contrary, a
proud statement on both sides that "the point of view
of my tradition is unique, incomparable or even superior"
- may therefore be deceptive. The. "convention" thus established may keep one from penetrating deeper into the matter
as one would do for instance by tracing terms in either
language to their root-meanings and ramifications, and
experiencing by more than just a rational approach the
concrete "images" which they evoke.
By the time I wrote the paper - more than 20 years
after the material had been gathered - I had l~arned mu~h
more about Indian philosophy and western Daseinsanalysis
with its psychotherapeutic applications. I was therefore
able to put these old notes to much better use than would
have been possible earlier. Furthermore, interest in both
these subjects had meanwhile grown in the West so that
this presentation not only could be formulated more relevantly but also hac a chance of falling onto more receptive
soil.

250

Introduction
In his book "A. Psychiatrist discovers India"
published

in

German

Psychiaters"
travellers

under

the

title

( 2)' first

"Indienfahrt

eines

(1) and popular in recent years amongst young


to

India,

Medard

BOSS

has

repeatedly

stated

and to some extent even commented on this in detail,


many

similarities

and

points

of

contact

can

be

that
found

between ancient Indian philosophy and HEIDEGGER's "Daseinsanalytik", and that grammatical forms and idioms of Indian
languages

often

analysis"

than

come closer
is

to the

possible

with

insights
our

of

"Daseins-

European

means

of

linguistic expression. Thou~h BOSS has not written anything


further

on

this

subject,

happen

to

know

that

during

the following years, he and with him also Martin HEIDEGGER,


devoted further attention and concern to it.
When I myself went to India in 1956, Medard BOSS played
an important role in promoting this venture, and the clinic
I

was

to

run

(Nur

Manzil

Psychiatric

Centre,

Lucknow,

Uttar Pradesh) was the very one in which he acted as Visiting

Professor

in

1956

and

1958.

It

thus

happened

that

I was able to contribute not only ample clinical material,


but

also

we were
fahrt
at

linguistic
together

eines

that

for

meaning

of

for

Psychiaters"

time,

errands

observations

(1)

was

occasionally

presenting
Sanskrit

HEIDEGGER' s

and

in India and also

being

had

questions

terms

reflections

later,
to

on

concerning

while

"Indien-

written.

go

or possible

terminology

while

Already

messenger's
the

original

Ind.ian equivalents

to our Sanskrit expert,

Prof.

Kanti Chandra PANDEY in Lucknow.


While

the

utilised to a

results

my

earlier

inquiries

have

been

great extent in "Indienfahrt eines Psychia-

ters"

( 1)

larly

intensive

of

the material which I


phase

of

compiled during a

research

in

1 960

particu-

apart

from

few paragraphs added to the English edition of the book

( 2)

remained

BOSS,
for
that

unpublished.

With

now wish to communicate,


wider

time

circle,

with

Prof.

my notes
K.

C.

on

the

consent

of

Medard

as far as may be relevant


the discussions

PANDEY

and

the

held

at

commentaries

251

on these, as they followed in my correspondence with Medard


BOSS.
in
I

All

the reflections

particular

those

and supplementary explanations,

concerning

linguistic aspects,

which

have added only now, while writing this paper, are added

in brackets.

The messenger's errands


The request
It
Medard
to

was

in

BOSS

clarify

following

'ietter

rE;..guested
some

dated

me

linguistic

excerpt

from

to

"Zollikon,
serve

as

12.3.60",
messenger

that
again

and philosophical i-ssues.

this

letter

shows

clearly

The
that

the main point at that time was to find out whether HEIDEGGER' s
ent

"ontological difference" had any equivalent in anci-

Indian

adequate

thought and whether Sanskrit might off er more

terms

for

"Sein" and "Seiendes" than is the case

in European languages and in partictilar in English. Medard


BOSS wrote:
"These days, when HEIDEGGER comes to stay with me,
he shows more and more interest in Indian thought. He
regrets in particular that he has no knowledge of Sanskrit.
He now has asked me to inquire what would be the Sanskrit
equivalent of some fundamental terms and concepts. Above
all, he wishes to know whether the Sanskrit language can
distinguish between "Sein" and "Seiendes", something that
in English, for instance is not possible, as in that language both simply amount to "being". This distinction
between "Sein" and "Seiendes" is of central significance
in HEIDEGGER' s thinking. He calls this difference between
"Sein" and ''Seiendes" the "ontological difference". "Sein"
in this context is understood in its highest and deepest
sense, not just as the mode of being of one particular
thing in difference to another mode of being, e.g. that
of a particular human being or all human beings together,
as one would use it while speaking of the "Sein des Menschen" or the "Sein eines Steines"
i.e. of the "being
of man" or "the being of a stone", b~t it is to be under:..:
s tc.od as "Sein" as such, that is in the verbal sense of
"the coming into being" of something or other. In other
words: the "Sein" of which one has to think if one asks
why anything is (exists) and not rather nothing. What
is meant is that "Sein" which HEIDEGGER, in his recent
work, calls "event" ("Ereignis"). It is "Sein" as such,
which is always implied, however vaguely, if one says
that something or other "is" (exists). "Seiendes" ("thatwhich-is") on the other hand, refers to all objects, creatures, gods, thoughts. It indicates all that, about which

252
one can say that "it is"." 1)
11 A
few weeks ago, I wrote to Prof. PANDEY of Lucknow
University, whom you have previously visited, to inquire
about the Sanskrit equivalents of these terms. Up to no~'
however, I have not received any reply. It is quite poss7ble that he could not make out what I am after, as it
is extremely difficult to explain the meaning of the "ontological difference" in a short letter to someone who is
quite unfamiliar with HEIDEGGER's thinking. I would be
extremely grateful, if you could meet Prof. PANDEY, so
as to explain to him my request As far as I remember,
Sanskrit knows only "sat" for "Sein". Perhaps, however,
even this may already be a participle and thus more likely
to signify "das Seiende"
("that-which-is").
If,
while
conversing with Prof. PANDEY, you could bring in something
additional, .please ask for the Sanskrit term for "unconcealedness"
( "Unverborgenheit")
2),
"concealedness"
( Verborgenhei t 11 ) 2) and 11 forgot ten-ness" ( "Vergessenhei t)
2). I have some idea that in this respect ancient Indian
thinking comes close to HEIDEGGER' s concepts. As far as
I remember, one calls things, as they present themselves
to ordinary perception "samvritti", which means "concealed"

1 ) One will realise already at this point that the task


of translating this paper from German into Enqlish
is a difficult task. In what follows, I have mostly
used "being" in the sense c:;>f a verbal noun ("gerundium")
for "Sein", but have spelled it with a capital "B",
whenever the highest, ultimate power of "being" - that
which HEIDEGGER occasionally calls "Seyn" - is meant.
For "Seiendes", I have used "being" in the sense of
present participle, wherever this creates no confusion,
but otherwise circumscribed it by "that-which-is" or
"all-that-is".
2) The 3 German terms "Unverborgenhei t", "Verborgenhei t"
and "Vergessenhei t 11 , which play an important role in
HEIDEGGER' s terminology, would not be adequately rendered by "concealment" and "unconcealment" or "lack
of concealment" and sl,mply "forgetting". What is meant
is actually "a state or condition of being concealed,
unconcealed or forgotten". Though this may not be "good
English", I have tried to express this by using "concealedness, unconcealedness" and "forgotten-ness".

253

or "wrapped up". 3)
The truth of all things - so I read
in ancient Indian scriptures
shows itself only if one
peals off .these concealing wrappers. "Vri tti" or "vri ti"
would then signify "the true". Could that be right? If
so, "aletheia" (in Greek) as that which is unconcealed
and therefore true, would come very close to this I..dian
way of thinking."
"May I ask you to take the trouble, for my own sake
and that of HEIDEGGER, to trace these fundamental concepts along with a wise expert of Sanskrit and, if possible, to explore their meaning right down to the connotations of the Sanskrit roots? I would be excedingly grateful, if you could do so .. "
As

soon

as

possible,

already

see Prof.

PANDEY.

At that time,

skrit

Lucknow

University.

at

Sanskrit scholar,

setting

theoretical

that

one

of

way

dedicates

to one of

time,

was,

however,

philosopher.

have

with

philosophical

oneself

went
not

to

only

In an Indian

developed

the

scriptures.

school"

then

determines

in

particular

of

laid

rigidly

language,

meaning

process

of

down

narrowing-in

"body,

schools which,

on

This

questions,

so-to-speak

the various

ancient

exact

he was Professor of San-

He

but also a

20. 3. 60,

this means that one does not just deal in a gene-

ral,
s9ul"

on

to

great
for

all

and

"philosophical

extent

Sanskrit

is

mind

in the cpurse

basis of the fundamental

allegiance
to

but

and

the

especially

certain

the

usage

more

terms.

of
the

This

regretable

as

the original Sanskrit roots have an enormously wide spectrum

of

language,
hint

at

meanings,
in
very

its

so

that

one

beginnings,

widely

drawn,

gets the impression,

might
vague

have

managed

themes,

that

only

being

to

tuned

3) This is an error. What is meant is probably "samvrti"


(r is pronounced as "ri" with a short "i", as for
instance in "rid"), which signifies a state of being
"locked in, closed up, being kept secret"., but eventually
also
"dissimulation"
and
"hypocrisy",
while
"samvrtti" is derived from another root "vrt", which
means" "to roll, to turn
to move forward", but also
"to remain, to dwell". F~r "samvrtti", I found in the
Sanskrit dictionary (5) the term "common activity",
i.e. "doing something together". Prof. PANDEY translated it with "determinate knowledge" presumably in the
sense of scientific, generally accessible knowledge.

254
as

it

were

to

particular

mood

or

atmosphere

which more definite meanings were only

to

fan

4)

from

out event-

ually, in the course of time. (S)


Fortunately we were lucky in our choice of Prof. PANDEY.
He was a

representative of

so-called "Kashmiri Shaivism"

H& had not only written a monumental work


exponent
A.O.),

of

this

school,

ABHINAVAGUPTA

(6)

on the main

( 10I11 th

century

(S), but also compiled several volumes of commenta-

ries on one of the latter's main treatises (7). As during


his two trips to India Medard BOSS had undergone an

"apprenticeship'~

with a "guru" in Kashmir who identified


~o a-great extent with this very line of thought,

himself
there

was

some guarantee

that our expert's

replies

would

be understandable and meaningful for us.


Prof.

PANDEY

official

assignment

interest

in

grammar"

as

spite
his

of

the

his

evident

found

an

as a

by

central

from

this

tried

the

choosing

concern

learnedness

which I

elegant

way of

linking his

"Professor of Sanskrit"

philosophy

limits,

be

had

of

his

renowned

invain

notes

"the

on

my

and

his

philosophy

studies.
scholar

of

That
also

in
had

to transcend,

will

soon

discussions

with

him,

which I wish to communicate as completely as possible.


This
of

kind

of

limitation

knowledge

is

something

has
were
a

its

origin

out

person

with

to

in

limit

according

which

usually

was closely linked,

to

strictly

typically

traditional
to
to
a

narrow

his

social
area

caste

and

defined

Indian.

structures

the

field

Possibly

life

family

it

which

sphere

of

background,

particular occupation or

profession

thus preventing not only what nowadays

is called "social mobility",

but also very extensive know-

ledge and,

perhaps "identity diffusion".

Traces of
even

as a consequence,

restrictions of this kind can still be observed

nowadays.

They

create

the

impression

that

one

has

4) Concerning the difficulty of translating the German


"Stimmung" into English and also other European languages, see (S) "Stimmung".

255

to protect oneself from stretching too far or even bursting


the

relatively

weak

and

tenuous

"ego-boundaries",

or,

expressed in terms of "Daseinsanalysis": "the narrow sphere


of

openness

up against
limits

to the world". This restriction, which I came


in our Sanskrit expert was

something that set

to our research. We could perhaps have found addi-

tional and complementary spheres of openness by consulting


further

experts.

my experience,
anyone
with

can

state,

however,

on

the

basis

of

it would have been difficult to find

else who would have collaborated in our enterprise

the

spectrum
PANDEY.

same well-meaning readiness and the considerable


of

interests

Above all,

fluently
to

that

the

and

was

extent

which

he
even

of

we

actually

found

in

Prof.

spoke; understood and wrote English


familiar

having

with

written

Western

highly

philosophy

regarded

book

on "Western Aesthetics" (8).


If,

in what follows,

critical comments may occasionally

appear to be harsh, they should therefore not be understood


as

directed

against
bound

against

these

and

Prof.

traditional

which

presented

PANDEY

personally,

but

merely

restrictions

by

which

he

was

considerable

obstacles

in

the

English.

For

course of our inquiry.


My
the

and

original

them.
to

notes

comments

German

version

In what follows,

the

original

were

written

of

this

in

paper

translated

I have reverted as much as possible

text,

including

the

terms

actually

used

by Prof. PANDEY.

The question of the "ontol09ical difference"


As

already

on

the

scholar gave me a
he

listened

occasion

of

my earlier visits,

the

friendly welcome. With patient interest

to my translation of

the question concerning

the "ontological difference" as formulated in Medard BOSS'


lelter.

The

discussion

that

followed

in the immediacy of direct speech:


Prof.
PANDEY (in what follows,
"What

corresponds

to

"Sein"

in

w~ll

be

designated

Sanskrit

rendered
by

"p"):

be

"sat"

"H"):

"What

would

or "satta:".
E.

HOCH

(in

what

follows,

grammatical form is this?"

designated

by

256
P.: ""as" is the root of the verb "to be". "sat" is present
participle. The terminal syllable "-ta", added as a suffix
in

"satta",

has

been

where,

as

dropped,

in "sat",

signifies

the opening

"capacity,

"a" of

power",

"as"

so

that

"satta" would actually amount to the "possibility or power


to be". So as to stress more clearly that this possibility
exists

in

an

("maha"

absolute

"great,

sense,

big").

one

This

speaks

is

"the

of

"Mahasa t ta

absolute

of

11

the

nature of being". But what then is "sat"? To understand


this, one has to know that consciousness is "self-shining,
self-luminous"."
"Would this be "cit"?" -P.:

"Yes. As in this way each

H.:

"being"

is luminous,

it would be difficult to distinguish

it from other self-luminous objects.


tion between

consciousness

This

can

"satta"

to be,

be

and

The point of distinc-

other objects

anything;

it

the possibility of being,

is

just

is

"being"

the

capacity

potential,

the power'

being capable of being everything."


"In
is

an

essentially

mind.

This

all this.
to be"."
H.:
is

idealistic

"Or
a

of

philosophical

the

aspect

nature

of

even

the

freedom

pertinent

"not

thing

is

shining,

absolute.

The absolute

tially,

the

What

speak

we

Every

universal
in

11

to the

responsible

for

"the freedom

-P.:

being"

"Yes,
can

this

also

be

therefore it is also "being"

luminous

subject. So, everything is


consciousness.

"not

everything

belonging

is

be 11 ? 11

to

question.

an object of consciousness,

to

of ideas,

consciousness

"satta" can also be designated as

very

Every

system,

in

its rel a ti on

to

the

being 11 which shines in relation

thing

is

manifestation

of

shines as different things.


and

the

reference

individual

are

the

Essen-

identical.

to the universal,

we

find

in

the individual. But.the thought which an individual thinks,


is in the individual. 11
H.:

"And

this

universal?"

-P.:

first

consider

that,

in

11

-P. :

appears

what
"Yes.

the

this,

universal ?
thought

is

the

separates
But

state

of

just

in

sleep."

thought

In dream

objectively

individual

wait

deep

individual

"Yes.

the

( S)
the

from

moment!
-H.:

"merges"

Let

the
us

"You mean
with

the

on the other hand,


form

of

persons

and

257

things.
it

Now,

this

appears

in

is

just

objects,

what

it

happens

to

"satta":

becomes

so-called

more

less

if

"bhavana",

the "bhavana" of "sat".


H.:

"Could

one

equate

this

or

with

"a

coming

into being of the power of being", i.e. in German "Seiendwerden des Seins"?"
At

this
had

BOSS

letter,

point

written
"sat"

has

What actually
P.:

""sat"

is

this

used

for

b:~,-

"sat"

is,

and

letter

been

actually

translate

again

I once
in his

as

literally what

explain:

"sein",

"In

i.e.

the

"being".

way of grammatical form?"

far

as grammar is concerned,

a present participle and quite generally signifies "being"


in
a

contrast

to

particular

"satta",

"being"

on

the

possibility
this

"not-being".

of

"satta"

and

other

not

only

hand,

"being"."

and

But it can also be used for

"sat"

is

-H.:
in

in a

universal sense.

noun,

indicating

"What would

modern

the

correspond

Hindi?

It

to

strikes

me

as strange that Hindi has no inf ini ti ve for "to be"; there
is only "hona" and this signifies "to become"."
P.:

"The Hindi language is too poor to make this distinc-

tion.

It

is true that "hona" has the sense of "becoming".

There is no other word for "being". But one must be careful


not

to confuse

change,

while

absolute

is

"being" and
"being"

"being as

merely

really
being

is,

mean

is

"Becoming" implies

change."satta"

If one says

as

the

"becoming",

one

"But change in the sense of becoming

that

transforms

into

without

such".

implies change." -H.:


might

"becoming".

complete

something
itself

becomes

from

fulfilment.

that which

deficient

For

mode

instance

the

it
of

seed

becomes the tree which it potentially is."


P.:

"This

would

depend

one

bases

one's

which
even

in

the

maintain
is

grown-up

that

formal

there

change,

on

the

philosophical

reflections.
tree

is
and

the

no

seed

change.

there

If

The

changes

within;

but

minerals,

can
it

be

caused

remains

and not "being"."

air?"

But

occurs

by

-P.:

even

on

that

one might

then,

absorption

of

there
that

"You mean absorp-

"Yes,

outward

change,

system

admits

persists,

which first did not belong to it." -H.:


tion of water,

one

this

effects

and this

is

is right.
or go

on

"becoming"

258
"What

H :

does

the

""bhavana"

mean

which

you

mentioned
this? How

a little while ago? What grammatical form is


does it differ from "sat"?" -P.: "When the potentiality
this
is
of "satta" manifests itself,
becomes active,
"bhavana"."
a

-H.:

"Could

degenerated,

it

mutilated

be

that the
of this

form

Hindi "hona" is
11
11
bhavana ?
-P.:

11

"Yes, this is probable."


It

occurs

to

me

that

might have

this

dwell,

with
also

the German "wohnen"


(to
with "bauen" (to build) and

that

this

matter

will

have

know that it would be

futile

Prof.

is

PANDEY,

studies

and

as

has

he
no

to

not

be

to

some

make

of

and

thus

mental

note

up

later

this question before

interested

knowledge

followed

put

connection

inhabit)

in

La tin,

etymological

Greek or German

Meanwhile he is continuing with his explanations:


P.:

"The

root

of

"bhavana"

is

"bha"

also one of the roots of "being".


different roots?"
-H.:
a

"But

if

reason

original

-P.:

there

for

it:

or

-H.

"bhG".

This

is

"But why are there

"This happens in other verbs too."

are

different

either

languages,

11

they

roots,

there

are derived

from

or they must indicate a

must

be

different

subtle diffe-

rence in meaning, which would come out in the way in which


they are used. What other grammatical forms does one derive
from the two roots?"
P.

(after

some

reflection) :

"From

the

root

11

as",

f rorn

which "sat" stems, one only derives other forms that belong
to

the

belong

present
to

the

derived from

tense.
past

11

From

or

"bhu"

the

one derives

future."

-H.:

forms

"So,

the

that
forms

bhu" would be more likely to indicate change

than those derived from "as", similar to the Hindi "hona"?"


P.:

"Yes,

"satta"

is

of "being".
calls

this

states;

"sat ta"

-H.:
of
it

-H.:

and

In

"bhavana",

itself

in

the

capacity

particular

of

instances

"That would correspond to what HEIDEGGER

"Seiendes"

"being"."

right.

manifesting
11

the- process
of

is

("that-which-is")."
realising

is
"I

therefore
have

"bhavana".

its

-P.:

potentiality

nearer

understood

to

"bhavana"
in

"becoming"

the difference

is

series
than

to

between

But what is the difference between

259

"sat" and "bhavana"?" 5).


P.:

""sat"

is

instance the pencil I


realised,

(S)

being-as-such,

potential

or

actual,

for

am holding in my hand. It is already

apprehensible." -H. :

"So,

"sat" apparently means

more the present form in which we can perceive "somethingthat-is",

while

instance

from

being?"

-P.:

"satta",

"bhavana"

birth

to

"Yes.

the

would

death,

And

if

we

refer

to

through
want

possibility of being,

its

total,

various

again

to

for

stages

of

distinguish

in a more vulgar sense

from its highest, absolute sense, we speak of "Mahasatta"."


At

the end of the interview, after having already dis-

cussed

the

Prof.

concepts

PANDEY

of

showed me a

"truth"
passage

and

"unconcealedness",

in one of his

books

in

which he mentions this "Mahasatta" as "the absolute possibility of

being".

sometimes

it

In

the

same paragraph he explains that

is also called "Paravak", which means speech

in its most subtle form.


H.:

"Would

instance
John?"
some

this

used

-P. :

correspond

in

the

"Yes,

concept

first

more

different

or

to our

"logos",

chapter of
less.

names.

One

Each

as

it is

for

the Gospel of St.


often

name

has

only

to

give

shows

one

partial aspect and you can only grasp the total signif icance,

if

each
so

you call

name

you

throws

have

it different names."
the

to change

curtain

over

-H.:
it

in

"You mean that


some

the way the curtain is

fashion;

thrown,

so

as to get an idea of the whole?" -P.: "Yes, approximately.


The "Mahasatta" itself, however,

is infinite and unlimited

and unchanging."

5)

In using here and in some other places later the


spelling "bhavana" and not "bhavana" with a long "a",
I have anticipated something which I only learned later,
partly from Prof. PANDEY, ( p. 276), partly from the
Sanskrit dictionary: "bhavana" is transitive, meaning
"bringing into being", while "bhavana", intransitive,
would be "coming into being".

260
The

question

truth"
I first

BOSS'

concerning

explain

letter,

question

as

pointing out that

in

concealment

or

the

"unconcealedness,

better

state

concealedness,

formulated
the Greek

of

in

Medard

"aletheia",

concealedness

is

thought of as primary and that, in similar manner, Daseinsanalytical philosophy philosophy,


as

the

"coming

with

into

cealedness
sphere

be

into

intellectus

understanding

the

of

open"

out

ad

how

of

of

the

lumination
this

and

of

saw

is

"coming

comes

all

forth"

and

into

about

"clearing"

"truth"

above

uncon-

and

(S),

what
would

would take
place. I further mention that for this reason it was impertant for the inquirers, namely Medard BOSS and Martin
HEIDEGGER, to know whethei in Indian thought terms for
"concealedness"

kind

who

rem"

concealedness

"all-that-which-is"

which

to post-Greek Western

more so since DESCARTES,

"adaequatio

concerned

the

and

in contrast

"un-concealing"

"unconcealedness"

indicate

also

primacy of "concealedness".
P.: "You wish to know the Sanskrit term for "concealedness"
and

"unconcealedness"?

-H.:

"Yes,

that

is

what

we

would

like

to know."
-P.:
""avrtatva"
means
concealedness;
t
t
II
anav; a va , i.e. a negating form, means 1 I unconcealedness". 6) -H.: "Could one call this latter "truth"?" -P.:
"Yes, one might. Now about this question of concealing:
II

A thing first must be there,


Concealedness can only be,
A thing
In

becomes

Indian

only

unconcealed,

without

becomes

individual."

the

the

if a cover is put over a thing.

unconcealed,

thinking,

"vei 1 of Maya"

so that it can be concealed.


if

this

cover

"Mahasatta",

cover.

But

it

-H.:"Would

is

removed.

the

absolute,

covers

itself

this

correspond

in later Hindu philosophy?"

-P.:

is
and
to
Yes,

6) Both these terms, as also 11 samvrti" - quoted by BOSS


in his letter erroneously as "samvritti"
stem from
the root "vr" or "var", which means "to cover, wrap
up, surround, close, keep away, defend, protect". The
past participle is "v;ta", "concealed, wrapped up".

261

you

can

say

so.

cealedness,
the

again

cover.

is

In

concealed.
has

to

this,

Uncoveredness,
has

to

be

the

individual

The

individual

"discover"

there are

namely a

established
being

its

to

by

removal

universal

~t

if

itself,

two ways:

secondary uncon-

is

remove

human

the

of

nature
being

covers.

For

Either he can remove them him-

self." -H.: "But would this not be a special gift or blessing?"

-P.:

"Yes.

the teacher.

Or

the coverings have to be removed by

This is a question on which I am working

(S).

myself at present. The teacher again has different methods


at his disposal:

either he enters the mind of the "taught"

and

there."

thinks

which

from

HEIDEGGER

have

to

enter

with"

and,

self

would
the

"Being"

there.

into

-H.:
not

mind

is

"This

is a

agree.

of

the

originally

The

teacher

pupil,
and

formulation with
as

he

does
is

not

already

fundamentally

"being

on the ground of this oneness, no putting onethe

-?\pparently

place
this

of

the

new

is

other
and

person

is

somewhat

necessary."

puzzling

view

to Prof. PANDEY. He replies: "There is a process of thought


being

given

converted
not

do

into

received.
that

according

convert
merely

and

the
of

of

to

pupil's

helping

The

the

mind

of

teacher."

the

"taught"

-H.:

"That

is

would

HEIDEGGER.

The task would not be to

mind

that

the

into

pupil

to

come

of

the

into

teacher,
his

but

own wider

and truer being."


Prof.

PANDEY again

is puzzled and suggests that this must

be a particular application to my profession.


P. :

"The

thoughts.
H. :

other

way

is

that

the

teacher

suggests certain

The pupil follows and begins to think that way."

"This kind of suggestion again would not be the right

thing for HEIDEGGER.


and

"anticipating"

His distinction between "intervening"


care

(in

German:

"einsp'ringende

und

vorausspringende Sorge"), which finds its special application

in

relationship

a 1 so

between

teacher

between
and

therapist

pupi 1,

would

and

patient,

make

one

try

but
to

avoid anything that could be mere "suggestion".


Prof.

PANDEY

listens

with

interest.

It

seems,

1 as
strange to him that something as practica

have

its

place

in

philosophical

II

however,
care II s h ou ld

discussion.

He

again

262
continues in his own line of thought: -P.: "Uncoveredness"
can either come through
ledge.

Thus

one

the covers
then

one

fall

comes
away.

follows

reason or through spir i tua 1 knowto

the

true

nature

of

things

and

First comes intellectual knowledge,

certain

disciplines

towards

spiritual

knowledge."
H.: "This seems to me to be a rather intellectual explanation.

HEIDEGGER

would

probably

stress

more

the

point

of

experience. Through his ability to see the pupil or patient


in

his

po ten tiali ties,

or

therapist

everything

can

get

into

fallen,
and

bring

suddenly

experience.

Our

great
so

the

is
In

pupil

into
can

whom
the

longer

this

or

could be,

this

to

all

no

he

former

up,

patients,

there

The

what

opens

anxiety;

protection.

need<:d.

in

the

truer
be

this

teacher

being.

happens,

often

curtains and walls

any

place

situation,

to

some

If

frightening

find

have

hiding

"covering"

patient can only afford

is

to open up

some of his covers, while he is protected by the "covering"


of

the

teacher's

remain,

if

teacher,

all

it

concern

other

may

be

and

covers
God,

love.

are

as

for

to

Some
fall.

covering
It may

instance

idea of an accepting and forgiving God,

our

must

be

the

Christian

or the conscious-

ness of oneness with the universal. The unclosed can only


be disclosed
clumsy
tion:

into the protection of closeness."

approximation

to

the

(A rather

more elegant German

formula-

"Das Verborgene kann nur in die Geborgenhei t

hinein

entbergt werden.")
P . "But the ultimate aim would be total uncovering."
H.:

"But

death
tied
is

that

takes
to

But
-H.:

one

away

our

true.

cannot

can

"You

within

last

covering.

the

incarnation,

While

can occur,

happen

the

body

transcend

mean
when

body

why should anyone wish


-P.:

"It. is

true.

No

body
-P.:

is

As

even
"Yes.
back

long

remains."

there

is

Total
11

we

-P.:

are
This

life-time."

uncoveredness

-H.:

into his

uncoveredness

as

as only

concealedness.

within

transcended.

to come
total

life-time,

cover

lasts,

the

"samadhi"?
the

some

But

then,

coverings?"

can happen,

as

long as there is any association with the body."


H.:

"And a

temporary state of being "out-of-body" is still

263
a

way

of

being

distinguish
one

related

three

to

stages

automatically returns

there

is

no

automatic

this

of

body!"

"samadhi":

to the body.

return,

but

one

-P.:

"One has

to

In the first one.,


In the second one,
has

t0

be

shaken

back into it by someone else. The third stage of "samadhi"


is

one

from

which

there

is

no

return

to

the body.

This

is total uncoveredness."

Further explanations and clarifications


My
the

notes

on

following

this

discussion with

reply

from

Prof.

Medard BOSS,

PANDEY brought

dated Lenzerheide,

10.4.60.:
My thanks for your letter of 20.3.60 and the
weighty enclosure containing your interview with Prof.
PANDEY have been due for a long time. Once again, however,
I was under great pressure and almost f loaded by very
urgent matters, so that, much as I would have liked tc,
I did not find the necessary leisure for a reply. After
al 1, what you wrote to me calls for a lot of undisturbed
pondering over. Watever remains still unclear or questionable concerning your discussion with Prof. PANDEY has
been noted down on a separate sheet. If you yourself find
pleasure in exploring the matter further, you might be
kind enough to see Prof. PANDEY once more, along with

these questions, - but only if you yourself are interested.


I feel that Prof. PANDEY would be ready for it. As you
mentioned in your letter, he seemed to be pleased with
your quick understanding. Apart from this, he would certainly understand that I prefer to have his answers through
you and your conversing with him rather than in reply
to written questions, as a written exchange 9f views on
matters of this kind and with people belonging to so different a world easily amounts to speaking past each other."
It was only on 15.5.60 that I managed to
visit

to

already
of

Prof.
tried

PANDEY.
on

my

own,

the
to

voluble Hindi dictionary

Sanskrit

dictionary

however,

the

to

In

compile

at

relevant
some

meantime,
some

extent

~ay

however,
with

(at that time I

hand~

in

Sanskrit

supplementary

this second
I

the

had
help

had no good

the

Hindi

dictionary,

roots

were

mentioned),

explanations.

These

had

been despatched as a follow-up to the first report.


I shall now take up, one by one, the "questions concerning

the

discussion

with

Prof.

PANDEY

of

20.3.60",

which

Medard BOSS had enclosed in this letter of 10. 4. 60, mentioning

in

each

instance

first

my

own

reflections

to

264
some

extent

adding

the

supplemented
further

misunderstanding

"satta",

which

part

about

was

next paragraph).

later

clarifications

from Prof. PANDEY.


Question 1 : The first
a

by

The

of

the

able

and

inquiries
I

was

the

able

to

to, set

right

receive
due

to

derivation

of

question

grammatical

then

on

was
my

(see

own

second part was:

"Insofar as "sat ta"


or "Mahasatta". is "the possibility to be", would this
really correspond to the "Seyn" in its highest sense,
as HEIDEGGER sees it, as the condition, the possibility
that something is at all, that "Sein" (being) can come
about?"
My

answer

is

mentioned

is

to

this

that

suffix,

was:

"sat"

"In

my

notes

signifying

capacity,

tives,

form abstract nouns.

so

as

to

in

many

to

Latin

"-tas",

German

"-heit"

"-ty".

Apparently

Hindi
as

or

words."

e.g.

in

"-keit",
in

The

"-ta"

possibility.

The

"-ta 11 is added to nouns and adj ec-

says:

found

20. 3. 60, it

is present participle.

Hindi dictionary
be

of

7'he syllable
seems

"veritas",

to

"satta"

It

French

it

is

to

is

i'humanitas",

"-te"

added

to

to

correspond
and

to

English

the present

participle, so as to express the possibility, the capacity,


the power

"to be".

"Seiend-hei t"
to

form

an

in

Literally one would have

German.

equivalent

(In English,
by

adding

as to distinguish it from a
that-is",

it - is

"-ty"

to

to

translate

not possible
"being"!)

mere generalisation of

So

"all-

one then speaks of "Mahasatta" as the "possibi-

lity to be in the absolute sense".


During this second visit, Prof. PANDEY offered some
further commerits on this "Mahasatta", in particular by
showing me a section of his commentary "Bhaskari" ( 7)
on one of the works of ABHINAVAGUPTA ( s) , in which an
attempt is made at describing this "Mahasatta". The relevant passage, an English translation of an ancient Sanskrit

text ("Isvara Pratiabhijna Vimarsini" (7)) goes as follows:

265
"It

is

It

is

of

all

time
of

the

the

absolute

acts

and

as

imperceptible

place.

the

request,

of

being,

being.
This,

resting

Prof

eternal

beyond

is

{ sphuratta)

perfectly free

i.e.

It

stir
the

in

of

the

Highest

respect

limitations

being the essence of all,

place

7).
of

is spoken

Lord."

On

my

PANDEY confirmed once more that "Mahasatta"

is "the possibility of being".


Question

2:

absolute

of

mean?

"In
the

"Absolute

kind

of

sense,

the

turn of

nature

of

being":

being":

is

this

substance,
can

which,

"manifest"

"Mahasatta"

speech:

really,

has or is substance,

more

itself

in

to
or

in

"Mahasatta" is the
what
be

does

less

in

concrete

HEIDEGGER's

"absolute"

thought

of

the

Platonic

objects?

sense,

as

nothing

Or

is

that

but pure possibility, pure "eventing"

{in German "Sich-Ereignen" which cannot be quite adequately


rendered by terms like "happening".)"
I

answered

this

as

follows:

"As

far

as

"absolute"

is

concerned, (the Latin term originally signifies "loosened


from something"!), I take the following explanation from
one
"All

of

my

former

verbal

independent

interviews with Prof.

roots

signify

existence.

activities.

They

have

to

PANDEY
But

refer

( 14.9. 58):

they
to

have

an

no

actor.

Activity belongs to one who is free." - My question concerning

this:

asks

"from

"Free

from what?"

what?",

this

limits

P.:
the

"From nothing.
freedom

and

If one
then

it

7) The Sanskrit term 11 sphuratti 11 or "sphurti", stemming


from a root "sphur", means a "quivering, throbbing,
vibrating", but also, probably secondarily, "manifestation, appearance, display." For the root "sphur" one
finds the meanings: " to dart, bound, spring, quiver,
throb,
tremble;
vibrate,
writhe,
struggle,
glisten,
flash,
sparkle,
burst into violence,
be manifested
or display, appear, shine, be distinguished". By its
sound, it seems to be related to German "spriihen, sprudeln, spri tzen" and English "to spurt". Incidentally,
this is a good example for showing, how di verse and
manifold the meanings of a Sanskrit root can be and
how some kind of central oneness in all this multiplicity can probably best be found in a quite vague "atmospheric" theme. (S)

266
is

no

longer absolute.

ultimate

principle

to one who is free.


in

its

In the philosophy of grammar,

is

freedom.

Action

as

such

the

belongs

Why does the Absolute One show itself

multiplicity?

This

is

its

freedom:

to

concretise

itself; not to choose, as choice implies that there already


exists something one can choose. Acting is something limited:

no

predicate

is

possible

without

subject.

But

subject can have "being" independent of action. The subject


is that which is independent and has freedom."
I
further referred to the answer already

given

on

20.3.60, in which I had rendered P~of. PANDEY's explanation


as follows "If the potential of
tes

itself,

anything,

this

just

it

"bhavana",

is

capacity,

the

is

satta 11 manifests, activaand "This "satta" can be

11

to

possibility

the

- This does not sound


be, a potential, the power to be.
like "substance"! Later, Prof. PANDEY compared the "bhavana
II

of satta" with that which happens in the dream of an individual:

"Thought appears objectively,

sons and things" or then again:


in

the

form

interesting
English
spread
in

of
to

"to

various
note
"to

"to

in
be

seem",

German:

this

11

Incidentally,

context"

it

is

11

(in

it means on one hand

"to

luminous",
it

means

something . ", similarly already


"In

"The Absolute shines forth

things

the double meaning of

shine")

light",

English

in the form of per-

on
"to

11

11

scheinen

other

the

or

look

hand,

appear

as
like

phainestai 11 in Greek!"

so continued my

reply

"one has

to point out that many of the designations for the "Ultimate"

that

probably call

which

in

our

Western

terminology

we

would

"God",

always only indicate what it is not;

this is presumably more likely to lead to an understanding


of

the

"Absolute" or

everything.

One

has

from" or "loose of",


like
an

something

adequate

something
been
is

freedom

form

or

is free

from,

however,

that

"loose

"Absolute"

from

is

something",

linked.

In

that

primary and

"being

is

"loose of"
this

"free

just as the Latin "a~solutum", sounds

secondary.

concept in this connection.

as

tied,

that which
to realise,

covered

this
up"

idea
the

of

therefore
If one

it

must

"satta",

"being

tied"

secondary

hardly

considers
first

have

however,

it

to a certain

condition.

The

267

meaning of "av:rt" is not only "concealed", but also "closed


in,

surrounded by

something".

signifies

"open"

but

"unlimited",

also

not only

On the other hand,

in the context of

but

probably

not

"anav!'.'t"

"uncovered",

only

"unlimited"

after the removal of "limits", but also before any limi tation."
The

discussion

question

to

which

Prof.

developed

PANDEY

when

became very

presented

this

lengthy and brought

to light several other interesting connections of meaning.


"The concept of '"Mahasatta 1111
to

an

ideali..s.tic'

can be

itself

whether

is

it

it definitely
dream.

within

mind

All

the

sation"

is

philosophy,

vague

or

as

in

In

there

it denies- substance.

expression.

matter.

"belongs

which

an

One

might

idealistic

ask

system,

Let us take once again the example

figures

subject.

in

is mind.

subject." -H.:
the

so he explained -

of

no question cf substance,

"Mahasa tta"

of

system

occurring

They are an

in

dream

only

exist

"externalisation" of

the

"Is it not risky to speak of an "externali-

particular

if one wishes

to use

this term for

"Mahasatta"? This would mean that something is trans-

formed

to

tained

that

"outside
there

of

it",

is

nothing

though

initially

"outside"

or

it

is main-

"beyond"

the

"-Mahasatta"!"
Prof

PANDEY

various
all,

one

agreed,
to

admits

concepts
has

in

their

to

apply

their
-

He

continues

loosely,

certain

however

arguing

terms

on

to

that,

which

use

after

one

has

conventional meaning. A tracing of words

origin

HEIDEGGER!

this.

somewhat

something

that

is

so

meaningful

to

does not seem to make sense to him. I finally

propose, instead of "self externalisation", "self concretisation", a term which Prof. PANDEY had used himself.
He

then

jects
tc

continues:

itself."

speak of

ion"

in

itself.

this
One

-H.:"

"Mahasatfa"
Is

it

"projection"?"
instance
might

is

better

not
-P.:

not

is everything,
once

again

"You are right.

into something

talk

of

it

rather

prorisky

"Project-

that

is not

"manifestation"."

-H.:

"This would literally mean that something becomes tangible,


can

be

Other

touched

and

expressions

hand led."

could

be:

-P. :

"Yes,

this

grossification,

would

do.

solidificat-

268
ion."
H.: "More
a

ore

less

what

happens

when

salt

dissolved

in

glass of water under certain circumstances crystallizes

and

thus becomes visible,

turning

into

fies".

ice

Here

or

solid?"

snow.

-P.:

"Rather like water

In this way

the

in Inda we have the "yogin".

spiritual power,

idea

"solidi-

By their special

they can bring anything into being inde-

pendent of matter. While the object in a dream is illusory,


related

only

to

one

subject,

not

the

object

of

common

experience, an experience that could be shared, the product


of

the effort of will-power of

the yogi

can be perceived

by other subjects too. This is meant by "externalisation"."


-H.:

"It seems to me that the example of the yogi is less

apt

for

characterizing

dreamer,
~re

insofar as

actually

"Mahasatta"
this

the

only

perceived

itself."

kind

only

"Mahasatta"

than

that

of

the

the man if est a tions of the "Mahasa t ta"


-P.:

for

by

subjects

"One

should

illustrating

one

which

use

are

the

.examples

particular

of

point.

One should not stretch the metaphor too far. With the
example of the yogi one only wishes to show that in this
case the object appears in a realm outside the subject,
while within a dream the object appears outside the
subject,

but not in a
the dreaming subject."
He

then

shows

already mentioned
is
the

sentiency,
objects

me

sphere which

another

( 7):
are

in

"That Lord,

externally

which

text

the work

"Bhaskari"

whose essential nature

manifests,

within

lies outside

in fact

him,

like

yogin,

all

according

to his

free

will, without any material cause."


(The term "sentiency" used in this English translation,
which

probably

ABHINAVAGUPTA

does
very

not

render

accurately,

the

original

refers

to

Sanskrit

the

"power

of
of

sensory perception" and reminds one of HEIDEGGER's concept


of

"Vernehmenkonnen",

i.e.

the capacity to hear or listen

or more generally "to take something in". It could however


also mean "intelligent" or"animated".)
H:

"According to the newer insights of physics,

formation

of

plausible."

energy

into

matter

and

vice

versa

transis

very

269

P.:

"Yes, at present I am busy investigating this problem.

But

let us

what

the

return once more to the example of the yogin:

yogi

produces,

is

not

just

illusion.

"Ramaya~a",

the world also is not an illusion. In the epic


there

is

Ram,

his

passage

brother,

in

which

Bharata

Equally,

tries

to

persuade

to come back. He stops at the hermitage

of a sage. He has his whole army with him. The sage wills
that provisions should be created for them, and it actually
happens."
feeding
Mark

-H.:

of

8,

"This

the
-

sounds

4000

9).

just

like

the

in the New Testament

story of
(Math.

the

15,

32,

This kind of feeding actually fills

the

stomach and part of what is digested will be quite concretely

excreted;

it

is

not

just

an

illusion

that

one

has

eaten."
P.: "Yes, as long as the suject wills, the object is there.
In

the

dream,
example

only
of

the

the

subject experiences the obje.ct;

yogi,

in

it becomes an object of common

experience." -H.: "But will one not, by using this example,


conjure up the risk of dualism? After all, the "Mahasatta"
is

at

the same time subject and object;

and this can be

shown more clearly by taking the example of the dreamer."


P.:

"Yes,

this risk is there. The example is however only

used

for

illustrating

show

that

what

perceived

and

has

one

particular

point,

namely

been produced by one subject,

experienced

by

other

subjects.

to

can be

One

should

not stretch the metaphor too far."


I

now turn the discussion to the point actually aimed

at in this second question, name.ly what is meant by "absolute", and I give a short summary of my own reflections.
P.:
of

"The concept of "limited" and "unlimited" is the way


thinking

of

limited

subject,

which

can only

think

in terms of temporal succession. The subject- is understood.


similarly to KANT's concept.
in

temporal

succession;

Human thought can only occur

time is a

category.

Though,

KANT

too has some idea of a transcendental unity of perception.


Such

concepts

as

"limited"

and

"unlimited"

have

no use,

if one talks about the universal subject. In "Mahasatta",


limitation and freedom from limitation is all included."
Prof.

PANDEY

confirms

that

in grammar

the

"absolute"

270
unlimited) ,
is illustrated by the infinitive (infinite
which in Sanskrit, as a root without an ending is completely

unlimited;

in

other

words:

not determined,

by way of person, tense, number or mode.


Question 3: "How is one to understand
and

"mind"?

As

qualities

of

subject?

undefined

"consciousness
How

then

is

11

one

to understand this kind of a subject? What is its nature,


so

that

of

grasping

is

"consciousness"

for

it

the

can

"have

the

consciousness"

significance

of

a deficient,

Sanskr.it '"cit",

to an individual of

and

what

thus

it

be

capable

perceives?

makeshift English

which

is

not

necessarily

the human species or

Or

concept
linked

rather not tied

to a subject at all?"
My

own

reply

to

this was:

"From my notes

of

20.3.60,

it is clear that Prof. PANDEY seems to be willing to take


"consciousness" as identical with "cit". (S). He says:
"Consciousness is self-shining, self-luminous" and further:
"As

in

this

way

each

being

is

luminous . ",

which

means

that it does not "have" but "is" luminosity; as you know,


our "have" cannot be expressed in Sanskrit in our Western
sense!

My

instance

impression
is

used

is only part of

11

in

was,
the

brahman 11

that
sense

11

"consciousness"
of

"atman

11
,

in

which

this
again

8)

8) According to Prof. PANDEY, the concept of "atman",


however, can not be used in this connection, as it
pertains to an other philosophical system. For "cit" (S)
I
found in the Sanskrit dictionary (5):
"perceive,
observe, mark, intend, desire, understand, know, appear"
and as a noun: "an intelligent being, perception",
but also "appearance" and in feminine gender "consciousness, intelligence, mind". Apart from the connotation
"appear" (which in German, translated as "scheinen",
could have the double meaning of "appearing" and "shining forth"!), which is not given as primary, no special
connnection with "light" or "lumination" can be found.

271

When

presented

this

question

to

Prof.

PANDEY,

he

admitted that "consciousness" once again is only a conventional translation which probably does not render the exact
meaning very well.
In

Sanskrit

one

"Consciousness is

can

call

luminousness itself.
/

it

"prakasana"

9).

A luminous

object does not need another illumination for its perception.

This

book,

e.g.

is

not

self-shining;

shine in the light of the sun or a lamp.


is

not

So,

self-shining,

what

is

the

it

can

only

If consciousness

it is not different from

this

lamp.

difference? That it is capable of being

aware of being self-luminous."


H.:

"What

you

have

translated

as

"consciousness":

does

it usually correspond to the Sanskrit "cit"?"


Prof.

PANDEY

admits

that

this

is

right and then con-

tinues: "Again we have to remember that we are in an idealistic

system,

and

in this,

what do we know? We are aware

of ideas and there is nothing apart from ideas."


seems

to

imply

that

knowledge,

which

is

of

~.:

the

"This
nature

of ideas, can know nothing else but ideas?" - P.: "Exactly.


Everything
of

ideas.

not
is

need
a

and

"prakas~na",

is
An

idea,

other

difference

however,

ideas

so

between

as
the

everything

is

of

the

is. self-luminous.
to

know

idea

that which becomes aware of

of

an

idea.

which

the idea.

we

nature

One

does

But

ther~

are

aware

Some ideas are

self-luminous, but not self-conscious; others both self-luminous and self-conscious. Again: the analogy of the dream:
the object appears, but is not self-conscious. "Mahasatta",
on the other hand,
ous.
H.:

"I

have

ous"

for

two

terms

term

is both:

self-luminous and self-consci-

II

you

noted

that previously you substituted "lumin-

"conscious".
in

Now,

however,

two different ways.

could

use

in

Sanskrit

distinct from "luminous"? -

Prof.

you

Which
for

are

using

these

then would be the

thijs

"conscious"

as

PANDEY does not immedia-

9) "prakas~" = "shining out, clear bright; manifest, open,


visible, public", as a noun: "lustre, splendour, light".
"prakasana"
"illuminating,
illumination,
allowing
to appear, manifestation".

272

tely grasp what I mean, ponders over it for a while and


then explains: "The one, the "being-self-luminous", is
merely "prakas'a"; the other, "being-conscious-of-itself",
would have to be translated by "vimars"a"

(S).

-H.:

"What

does this word stem from and what does it exactly mean?"
Again the scholar hesitates and then explains that
the prefix "vi-" always points to that which is individual,
separate, and that "marS'a" means something like a "touch"
However, he can not.explain how the compound term signifies
"consciousness"
in the sense of "self-consciousness".
He again remarks that one simply has to take these concepts
for granted, without trying to analyse them further.
11

/II

H.: "Could one perhaps assume that what you call prakasa
is capable of touching itself, i.e. in its individuality,
or as one might say more pertinently in German, instead
of only "greifen" ("to grasp"), "sich begreifen" (i.e.
"to grasp oneself" or "perceive oneself"
words with
"-ceive" in English, as "conceive, perceive", also stemming
from Latin "capere"
To this,

"to catch")?"

I could not get any further

PANDEY. (In the


that
"vimars~"

(S)

Sanskrit

or

"rubbing

dictionary

reply from Prof.

( 5),

later

found

means "examination,
consideration,
reflection" and that it is probably derived from a root
"mard" or "mrd", _ which means "to squeeze, press, rub etc."
"vimar;a" would then signify a "grasping of oneself",
more

likely

against

oneself",

which

would

come fairly close to being or becoming "conscious of oneself".)


Question
being)

4:

of

"How does
man?

"sat ta"

According

to

relate

to the nature

Indian

concepts,

is

(the
there

any "satta" that can "shine forth as the different kinds


of particular beings" apart from and outside "human being"?
This latter, accord~ng to HEIDEGGER's thought, is indispensable, and without it, there can be "nothing-that-is",
because man's being is the sphere of luminosity claimed
by "Being" (i.e. "Sein") into which something can come
forth and come into appearance. According to Indian ideas,
however, everything is basically "self-shining, self-luminous",
come

so
to

that
light.

even without
The

"human

two sentences:

being" all

this

could

"as in this way every

273

being

is

luminous,

any one of
and

"the

other
not

of

or

distinction

beings

understand.

to distinguish

them from other equally self-luminous objects"

point

things

cannot

it would be difficult

..

"being"

is

Is

(ein

between consciousness and

this

"sat'"',

"consciousness"

"Seiendes")?

What

are

something

in

this

context

else

then

is

con-

sciousness?"
Concerning

this

latter

explanation

went

as

light

the

same

from

part

follows:

of

the

question,

"If everything

source,

individual

my

own

simply were

"beings"

could

not be distinguished from each other. There has, therefore,


to

be

something

that

limits

them

and

thus

permits

one

to distinguish them from each other. This "giving shape",


"limiting",
sense of

"distinguishing"

is

apparently

"Satt~",

"bhavana" or "sat".

"Sein"

then,

in

the

would be the

possibility of bringing about this "phenomen" of individual


limitation."
"Perhaps
in

certain

those

one

can

understand

psychopathological

referring

less

"limited"

mean

the

to

Indian

and

same!)

better
who

(both

people

by

observations,

patients,

"defined"

than

this

in

particularly

are

these

the

bringing

often much

terms

West.

If

actually
one

sees,

how troublesome it is for certain patients to find their


"boundaries",
impulses,
they

to

moods

become
etc.

conscious

really

impinge

upon

them

that

"being"

as

really

the

necessity
also

pertain

"from

how

to

emotions,

them and how far

outside",

conscious

far

one

mode

of

understands
being

faces

of having the "distinction" of the various

"self-luminating
but

of

or

things

brought

beings"

conscious

to

not only carried out,

experience

or,

in

other

that perhaps it is this very "being separate" and

words,

"being limited"."
"I

wonder

whether,

at

this

point,

one

can establish

some connection with HEIDEGGER's idea of a conscious taking


over of

responsibility for one's "Da-sein" in distinction

to

the

ordinary

to

the

anonymous

what
do

human

is

meant

if

this

This

also be a

kind of

condition

"everyone"
"one"

says,

"falling

(in

of

having

German

"das

fallen

prey

Man",

i.e.

"one" should or should not


prey

to the everyone" would

"loss of the capacity to delimit one's

274
own

lumination".

To

speak

"loss 11

of

however, might be
secondary, the losing
,

wrong, as this too is something


of something which once was present;
a

primary

incapacity.

Just

as

when

perhaps

entering

it
a

may

be

half-dark

room one first perceives everything in a haze, the different

objects

only
or

eventually,

through

one

can

from
of

remaining
the

either

what

other.
is

"decay"

in

with

In

can

see

context,

Western

more

source

individual
"loss"

clearly

and
of

of

it

and

eye
that

persons

wonder whether

or

is

the

light

objects
I

much

"deterioration"

psychopathology

be a "not yet" rather than a


one

the

as

other,

habituation

of

this

designated
our

each

through

introduction

distinguish

each

merged

might

at

or

times

"no more"? This is something

in

Indian

patients,

as

there

one finds everything still in flux and not yet as strictly


limited as we would expect in the West.

Probably,

similar

phenomena of a defective existence can present themselves


in both ways: as a "not yet" and a "no longer 11 . "
Prof.

PANDEY

gave the

whether

the

without

"human being".:

following

"Mahasatta"

can

shine

"Yes,

reply
forth

11

the

and

it can do

the existence of human beings.

to

question

appear

so,

even

even without

Again he showed me a pass-

age in one of his books in which the f lve different levels


of

consciousness

of

the

"universal

mind"

are

described
/

according to the teachings of Kashmiri Shaivism.: 1. "sivatattva" = consciousness merely concerns the "!"; the accent
is

on

to

11

mere
am";

being.
the

consciousness
will

power.

knowledge.
"These are"

accent

refers
11

4.
5.

11

2.

S'akti":

is

to

"I

level."

"sadvidya":
so Prof.

Then

he

means of which a
duality,
cises,

stop

"conscious".

am

this";

"This

3.

the

"I am

am",
this";

11

refers

sadasiva 11

accent

is

on

accent

is

on

continued:

"Yoga
above

heart-beat.

only has existence as

accent

on

action.

"all different

but all still beyond the physiis a


the

It is even possible,

the

the

PANDEY explained

person rises

humanity.
to

consciousness

Is vara 11

degrees of solidification,
cal

on

the

long as

The

discipline

level of

by

indivi-

during yogic exer-

individual,

this machinery,

however,

the

heart,

is working as a central fact of being. Once it is no longer


operating,

the subject has risen above the physical level.

275

One distinguishes mind, in Sanskrit "manas", and intellect,


"buddhi".

If one can rise above the physical,

mental and

intellectual, one is no more human, and yet there is experience

according

This,

apparently,

question,
the

to

the

five

was

whether

to

be

"human

manifestation

of

named
his

11

types

of

experience.

answer

to

the decisive

being"

was

"Mahasatta"!

indispensable

for

continued:

"The

He

characteristic of transcendental experience is the absence


of individuality." H.:
individual

limits?"

stages.

The

totally

absent."

sleep?"

-P.:

all
it

P.:

highest

and

that

in

is

the

"As

not

in

quite.

this

light.

in any way,

"Yes,

is

-H.:

"No,

darkness;
is all

"You mean "samadhi"? Leaving behind


in this
which
case

In

is

in deep dreamless

dreamless

sleep,

it

is

form of transcendental experience,

The subjectivity,

it is

there are five

obj ectivation

pure

the

I,

is not limited

"I". If "I" is without "am", then

"I" would only be self-luminous, and not conscious." -H.:


"Thus,

"being

as

you

called

of

touching,

In

"Mahasatta"

conscious

it,

in

would

grasping

of

.I

conscious"

the

the

mean

that

itself?"

accent

itself."

sense

"Yes,

on

this

"But

"vimarsa"

something

P.:

lies

-H.:

of

what

is

(S)'

capable

one can say so.


"vimars"a 11

is

the

it is

particular

position of "human being" with regard to this "Mahasatta"?"


- P.: ""Human being" is one of the levels of grossification
of

"Mahasatta".

lower

levels.

matter.
being."
man?"

11

It

has

The

lowest

Mahasatta 11

-H.:

-P.:

"Yes,

also as one
levels of

"But

more

power

level

expresses

does

this

of

is

illuminating

the

itself

earth,
in

all

than

anorganic
forms

of

"Mahasatta" necessarily need

as a recognising subject." -H.: "Perhaps

that

is

capable of

speech?"

-P.:

"Yes. Other

grossification can only recognise what is still

lower than themselves."


What
of

meant

is

gross if ica ti on,

placed
his
be

is
is

apparently

the

particular

somehow necessary.

particular

that

in the whole series

level

at

which

man

is

But it need not be man with

characteristics;

it

might

just

as

well

some being on a different planet, as long as it repre-

sents the particular degree of "grossification, solidification".


I

final 1 y

placed before Prof.

PANDEY the question con-

276
cerning

the

this

replied:

the

he

ideal

"distinction
"We

of

talk of

nature of a

self-luminous

beings".

self-luminous

to

thing."

were not self-luminous,

-H. :

"You mean

To

emphasize
that

if

i't

it could not appear to conscious-

ness?" -P.: "We use this expression to maintain the idealistic

position:

the Absolute ently."

-H.:

everything

is

essentially

identical

with

yet it is such as may not shine independ-

"More or less

like the objects

in a dream?"

-P.: "There are different degrees of grossification. Though


they may be "luminous",
to a

subject."

is what

you

-H.:

He

"bhavana"?"

then

which means
points

out

11

P.:

becoming manifest.

"bhavana kartfta",
being".

"And this distinction or separateness

called

grossification,

they can only "shine" in relation


bhavana 11

"satta"

is

is also called

"the freedom to bring into

that

in

this

expression

already in earlier connections,

"bhavana" has a

That

with

there

are

two

forms,

one

action,

short

as

long "a".

"a"

and one

with a long "a", had already struck me while I was studying


the. dictionary and had led me to some interesting reflections (see also footnote on page 259). 10) For Prof. PANDEY,
however,

these two forms only had this very special signi-

ficance

within

this,

he

his

explained,

while "bhavana"

is

philosophical
"bhavana"

means

system.

According

to

"coming into being",

"mental action responsible for picking

up in the mind the ultimate reality as it is philosophically conceived."


By my inc 1 ud i ng "bhl!vana" ( s) in the reply
to the fourth question, this fifth question had already
been anticipated. It read: "I have understood "bhavana"

=Q_u_e.....;.s"'""'t..;;;i...;;;o..;;.;n:.._=..5. : . :

10) "bhavana"

with short "a" signifies "dwelling, remaining, coming-into-being", but also a "dwelling, a building". "bhavana" with a long "a" relates to "bringinginto-being, bringing about, producing", in particular
also to "bringing about" in terms of fantasy and mental
representation, i.e. to the world of ideas and thinking.
Compare this with HEIDEGGER's essay "Bauen
Wohnen
Denken" ( 3), i.e. "Building
dwelling
thinking", where "Denken" (thinking) is linked with
"Bauen und Wohnen" (building and dwelling). See also
page 286 of this book, footnote.

277
and

"that-which-is".

"bha"
"to

or

"bhii"?

build"

the

and

"bin"

person

in

of

bin",
"to

German actually means

ancient

"to dwell"

"ich

of

singular

But what is the meaning of the roots

"bhu"

again

and

the

i.e.

be".

is

It

to

is

present

found

be

in

first

tense,

interesting

therefore

that "bhavan" in Hindi means "house"."


In

reply

to

this

question

had

compiled a

list of

all words derived from the root "bhu" which I could find
in the Hindi dictionary and added the following comments:
"It

actually

"bauen"

(building)

interesting

in

tions

and

"bha"

specifies
not

seems

that there

and. "wohnen"

is

connection

(dwelling)

(S).

this connection is that Prof.


"bhu"

as roots of the verb "to be",

to

the

present

those that indicate change,

tense,

which

means

but

"wes-".
(a

This

creature,

again

appears

but

also

with "wahren" (to last) 11 ).


out

that

"was"

and

only

In the simple past,

perfect past and future we use a different root:

point

is

coming about and passing away.

We have something similar in German:

"Wesen"

What

PANDEY men-

that one can derive from them only verbal forms

pertaining

"wer.-",

with

to be

"war-",

connected with

"essence"),

perhaps

also

(In English, one can similarly

"were"

in

the

past

tense

stem

from a different root. In addition, there are two different


roots

involved

already

in

the

present

tense:

"am"

and

"is" do not sound as if they were related, and the infini_,


tive

"to be" again has a quite diffe.rent form. One rather

suspects that "to be" may also be a relict of the Sanskrit


root

"bhu",

while

"is"

Sanskrit

at least may have links with the


About this, see further on in this

root "as".
text.) German "Wesen, wahren, werden", (just as the English
"was") are linked to temporali ty, in particular also "verwesen" in German, indicating the process of decay after
death.

On

this

too,

HEIDEGGER

wrote

in

his

essay

"Die

11 ) Both these terms are probably related to the sa.nskr it


root "vas"
which signifies "to stay, to remain, to
I
II

d f
rest I to dwell
to live I to exist 11 etc.
Derive
I

II
"h ram
it, is "vasa" or in modern Hindi
nivas
for
ouse,
lodging, dwelling place".

278

Frage nach der Technik"


to

apply

to

this

{3). Something quite similar seems

"bhD.".

In

Hindi

apparently,

as

Prof.

PANDEY admitted, "hona" (to become) is derived from "bhavana"

by

and

"athna"

Sanskrit,

process

of

slurring.

Two

exist

in

the

dictionary,

be".

for

"to

Hindi
have,

11

infinitives
but

asana"

not

however never heard

in

them

being used. Prof. PANDEY remarked, in a rather contemptuous


manner that Hindi is too primitive - or rather too degenerate!
"Sein"

to be able to express an idea

reflected -

(Being)

so I

One

may

the

present

probably

serves

as

11

root

namely

in

widest,

assume

verbal

abstract

:satta",
sense.

i.e.

Perhaps

this might also be valid for English:

participle

bhu",

that

the

"being",

noun

inf ini ti ve
which

(gerundium)

at

also

11

to be 11

the

same

stems

and
time

from

the

from which some German verbal forms of "sein",

"ich

perhaps,

the

like

bin.,

why

it

du

bist"

is

so

are

derived.

difficult

to

One more

express

the difference between "Sein" and "Seiendem",

reason,

in

English

as the infi-

nitive "to be", and along with it also the ugly "be-ness"
or

"being-ness"

which

sometimes

are

used

in

trans la ting

HEIDEGGER's texts, _cannot, in accordance with their origin,


point to a

"Being-as-such",

but only to "that-which-is"."

This links up with the next question:


Question 6: "In the sentence "When the potential of "satta"
manifests itself,
fest"

then this is "bhavana", what does "mani-

mean? What was

"satta" before it manifested itself?

And how can it transform itself into "bhavana"?"


I

first

tried to clarify this question on my own:

"The

term "to transform itself" was not used in my first report.


Actually,
that

"bhavana"

about,
seems

wander

it

in

is

its

about"

After

Zei ten"

formation 11

modern

(in

i.e.
or

al 1,

sense

German

we

terwerfen"),

speak

"manifesting
a

this

also

means

"to

roam

and

thus

(to wander)
in

itself"

German
would

(in German:

"becoming",

i.e.

connection

"umherwandeln")

and "Wandel"

of

"der

the changing course of time.

jecting itself to change"


a

interesting .in

to be related to "wandern"

(change) .
der

though,

Wandel

The "trans-

then

be a

"sub-

"sich-dem-Wandel-un-

again

the

accepting

of

kind of limitation by "satta", which in itself is unli-

mited. One can, therefore, hardly ask: "How can the "satta"

279
transform

("wandeln")

can only
this

state

with

and

Prof.

"bhavana

11

itself

into

"bhavana"?,

but

it "wanders". 11

that as "bhavana",

11

PANDEY's explanation concerning


at

the

end

of. his

reply

to

one

(Compare
bhavana 11
4! )

Question

As by now I had realised that in attempting etymological


research

could

not

expect

any

help from Prof.

PANDEY,

I did not present these two questions, 5 and 6, to him.


I

should like to know the root of "avrtatva"


meaning. And what is the meaning of the "sam"
"samv~tti"?
What is the root of 11 vrtti"? I f this
Prof. PANDEY stated
can mean "an affection of the

Question
and

7:

II

its

in
as

senses", what then is "an affection of the senses"?"


After

having

the

two

"to

cover,

on

ventured

identical

on

conceal,

my

envelope,

ther similar root


roll,

proceed,

confusion
also

disposition"),
Prof.

PANDEY

forms

derived

the

with

skrit,

on

about

the

from
I

study

of

close etc." and,

select", and also of a fur-

to

which

other

had

led to the

fence,

hand

hedge,

"vrtti"

but also something like "mood,

meaning

the
his

but

("rolling,

inspite of my misgivings,

them.

got

etc.",

("enclosure,

the

tried,

regard

was

"v;ti"
conduct",

confusion.

even

performed

and,

course of action,

some

vrt" with the meaning "to turn, revolve,

be

between

choice")

into

surround,

the other hand "to choose,


11

own

"vr 11 which on the one hand mean

roots

of

This,

these

however,

impression
academic

roots
only

that

his

teaching

to ask
and

the

increased
knowledge,

subject,

San-

so narrowed in and dominated by his philosoph-

ical

system

that he was no longer capable of opening him-

self

up

other

are

my

to

connections

notes on this matter:

of

meaning.

The

following

"He maintains that in "avrt"

there is a root "vr" which signifies "to cover, to choose".


II
v:rtt II , however, according to him, means "t o b e presen t"
He does not seem to consider that perhaps the very meaning
"to be
and

present" could be connected with a play of opening

covering

that

"avrtti"

When finally
he

said

with

up

that

and

means

choosing.

"repeated

He

further

presence,

maintains

repetition".

asked him how "samv;tti 11 can be translated,


it

"determinate

meanings:

also

is

"samvfti",

knowledge".

which again he
I

myself

later

tran.'5lated
found

the

"closure, concealment, keeping secret; dissimula-

280

tion,

hypocrisy".

something

like

"protopathic
is

an

then

asked

"epicritical

perception".

affection

of

whether

this

perception"

He

then

subject

could

in

contrast

explained:

by

an

mean
to

"Knowledge

object.

The

object

of knowledge is reflected in the subject, as in a mirror.


The subject is covered by the reflection of
-

the object."

In this, after all, he interprets this "v;-ti" as belong-

ing

to

the

word-family

connected with "av;t"


cle,

covering)

further

ventured

"samvrti"
"well

and

would

covered",

level"."

(It

of

(=

also

into
be.

"vr"

in

its

is

(=

with

gate).

"dvar"
what

reply

to

door,

(=

the

total

this

is:

as the prefix "sam" means

can,

turn,

concealed), with "var"

asking

The

which,

however,

also

mean

obsta-

meaning
"This

"even,

I
of

means

entire,

"together,

in

com-

mon"!)
"What would "vrti" be without the "sam"

H.:

or,

words,

what would "i.ndetermina te knowedge" be,

ledge

that

is

an

form.

is

not

based

"affection of
A sensation

the

is

on

reason?" -P.:

senses"

there,

but

in other

or a know-

"Nivrti"

12)

that has no determinate


not

in

temporal

and

spatialised form." -H.: "So, "samvrti" could be the affection

of

the

senses

when

it

is

"organised",

brought

into

harmony with previous experiences and other associations?"


To

this

cannot

get an answer.

My notes continue:

"Two

hours have passed. I feel that Prof. PANDEY was challenged


beyond

his

limits

several

times.

do

not

think

we

can

expect anything further from him in reply to our question.


He

can only

reply

no

concern

for

possibility

that

in
the

his

own

terminology,

root-meaning

something

valuable

of

and

words

could

be

this

has

and

the

hidden

in

it."

1 2)

"ni Vfti" should not be confused with the perhaps more


familiar "nivrtti", contrasting with "pravrtti", which
designates the turning away from worldly matters in
the second half of life in contrast to an attitude
turned towards worldly matters, due during the first
half of human life.

281

Question

8:

~eferred

This

to

misunderstanding

which

had come about through my own use of the concept of "time".


In

connection

once

more

with

came

it,

to

however,

be

the term "concealedness"

questioned.

Medard

BOSS

wrote

as

follows:
"HEIDEGGER certainly does not assume that in their concealedness things "actually" are already there and just "covered up", but that they are not yet, that they remain shel tered within the secret ( "im Geheimnis geborgen"). Probably
the significance of "concealedness" does not quite coincide
with the German "Verborgenhei t". And yet, Prof. PANDEY
somehow is right, if he says: "A thing must be there,
so that it can be concealed." This is something I shall
discuss with HEIDEGGER, when the opportunity arises. It
seems to me to be something very important."
My
mean

c:omments
"the

on

this

removal

of

the

of

II

were:

wrapping

11

course

in

did not

so mechanistic a

sense that something previously hidden is simply uncovered.


That
only

which
in

is

first,

but

"concealment",

which

can reveal

partia~

as

itself always

truth,

in

teasing

play of revealing and concealing, is this very "Mahasatta".


One
so

might
that

say:

again

"The
and

veil

of

again

Maya"

new

is

aspects

playfully
are

thrown,

"dis-covered

11

One might

speak of a

"constellation" that changes in each

instance.

that

imagine

what

actually

is

"dis-covered"

or "revealed" is basically always the same, namely "satta";


and

there

is

no doubt that this

particular way
one

of

the

covered"

in

if one wishes

meanings

is pre-existent. But the


"the mood",

"vrtti ~

of

each instance,

in

which is also

which

and in which

it

is

"dis-

"being revealed"

and

"being concealed" are combined in manifold ways' complementing each other, this is what "comes to be", (Is
to
the English "become" really a condensation of "come

be"?) and what previously "is not". Compare this with


"Die ewige Wiederkehr des Gleichen" ("The eternal return
of
is

the

same")

in

Nietzsche's

"Wer ist Nietzsche 1 s Zarathustra ?"


Zarathustra?")

und Aufsatze" (3)."


One will understand that
question
the

to

insight

reckon

with

Prof.

PANDEY.

that

with

phenomen

in

HEIDEGGER's

("Who

"Vortrage

did not dare to submit this

r myself had gradually reached

studies
similar

of
to

this

kind

what

one

ancient

has

to

Indian

282

wisdom mentions for

the

"apprenticeship" with the "guru".

One finally arrives at a point at which one realises that


the

physical

one has
to

"master"

cannot

any

further,

to find one's teacher within oneself.

ancient

Indian

philosophy

ancient Sanskrit terms,


hand

help

explanations

of

as well as

to

it was not enough

what

had

already

but

With regard
the

study of

to get

been

that

second-

petrified

in

traditional systems and, in this process, probably contaminated and distorted.

It was necessary to find the courage

to

sources

penetrate

to

tried later.

the

In this way,

on

one' s

own.

This

is

what

much became clearer and more

impressive. To report about this,

however,

would go beyond

the framework of this contribution.

Concluding reflections

During
from

the

Medard

following
BOSS

two

contained

months,
the

the

letters

following

received

reactions

to

my "messenger's reports":
22. 5. 60: "
Yes, your notes on the second discussion
with PANDEY arrived just in time, so that I was able to
take them up to Lenzerheide, where HEIDEGGER is staying
We were glad to have them, though I got the impression
that PANDEY has been totally "exhausted" by us or rather
by you HEIDEGGER was extremely impressed by the Indian
concept of "being" and "truth". For me too, it is only
now that the decisive difference between ancient Indian
thought and HEIDEGGER's Daseinsanalytik reveals itself.
It lies in the fundamentally different thinking about
the role of "human being" within the total "event" of
"Being". As "Mahasatta" is self-luminous and everything
originates from it and therefore is also of self-luminating
nature, though luminous in very different degrees, "Being"
is not as much in need of man as in HEIDEGGER's thought,
where "Da-sein" (of man) is the being of the unique and
only sphere of lumination - this very "pa"
into which
things can appear and thus can come irlto their being
Once again, many thanks for the valuable messenger's
errands to Prof. PANDEY
what you found out on your
own, is also of the greatest interest."
This

correspondence

had

postlude

in

May

1 966

when

I received from Medard BOSS a copy of the English translation

of

title:
upon

his

book

about

India

with

the

"A Psychiatrist Discovers India"


passage

which

had

been

newly

slightly
( 2).

added

altered

In it I came
though

and

283
it had been formulated as coming from a different
-

11

master 11

summed up what Medard BOSS had gathered from my discuss-

ions with Prof. PANDEY.


The

paragraph

(page 1 28 of the first English edition,

following on paragraph 2 of page 176 of the German original


edition) goes as follows:
"When the master had begun to explain the fundamental
term of the highest Indian wisdom, the word "chit" (S),
I could hardly b~lieve my ears. For I heard him say things
which often corresponded exactly, word for word, with
phrases I had heara in the West from the philosopher Martin
HEIDEGGER. I then tried, with redoubled caution, not to
consider the meaning of the Indian wise man's statements
in the light of my knowledge of Western so...:.called "existential philosophy". Not at any price did I want to have
them distorted by seeing them through this conceptual
filter. By so proceeding, I was very soon able to recognize
the underlying difference between Western "Daseinsanalysis"
and the Indian doctrine of "chit". The former corresponds
only to that Indian insight which the rnaste1: had just
characterized as a mere preliminary stage. At this stage
as
I
had just heard - man and man's lurninating,
opening-up
nature
is
of
necessity,
needed,
so that
something like "being" can take place, can arise and shine
forth at all. In accordance with the highest Indian wisdom,
however, "chit", primordial illumination and opening-up,
is said to be possible purely for itself alone. It is
said not to have to make use of human existence as that
:r:.ealm which would grant the necessary lurninated openness
for the arising of that which has to be, for its shining
forth and its corning for th into its being. Nevertheless'
despite this fundamental discrepancy, I remained grea~ly
dumbfounded by the entirely unexpected, very f ar-reach1ng
affinity
between
what
the
very
recent
Western
"Daseinsanalysis" and w