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study varied from twelve to forty-eight be visited, he might be consulted, he ceryears. Twenty, therefore, was the earli- tainly continued to be loved and revered est time when a young man might take his by his friends. But when at last life and degree, become a Snataka, or M.A., and all its interests ceased to have any attracthink of entering on the second station in tion, when he lived already more in the life that of a married man and house. next world than in this, then the time bolder. This is a lesson to be taken to came, for members of the first caste at heart by those who imagine that early least, to bid farewell to all, to leave the marriages, or child-sacrifices, are in ac- forest-abode near the village, and to enter cordance with the spirit of the ancient on the final Asrama, that of Samnyâsi. laws of India.
Samnyâsi means a man who has divested When returned to his home (samavrit- himself of everything, who is free from all ta), the young man had to find a wife, and fetters, not only from the too great love become a Grihastha, or housebolder. of things, but also from the too great love During that second period of life he had of friends and relations. That last stage to perform all the duties of a husband and could not have lasted long. It was simply a father, offer a number of obligatory and a preparation for death, which could not optional sacrifices, continue his study of tarry much before it released the wanderer the Veda, and, if a Brahman, be ready to (parivrajaka) from his last enemy, and teach. When, however, bis children were restored him to that bliss of which this life grown up and had themselves children, had so long deprived him. when his hair had turned gray and his This is, no doubt, an ideal scheme of skin had become wrinkled, the house- life, and it is difficult for us to believe that holder onght to know that the time had it should ever have been realized in all its come for leaving his house and all its cares, fulness. The first and second stages in and retiring from the village into the the life of man are natural enough, and forest. This seems to us a great wrench, exist more or less in every well-organized and a sacrifice difficult to bear. It could, society.
It could, society. It is the third stage, the withhowever, hardly have been so in India. drawal from active life, the retirement into Life in the forest there was a kind of vil- the forest, and, more particularly, the surleggiatura. Property being almost entire. render of all claim on the farnily property, ly family-property, the father simply gave that seems to us hardly credible. We up to his sons what he himself no longer receive, however, from an unexpected required. When he withdrew from the quarter, a confirmation that this retirement village, he became released from many into the forest was at one time a reality in daties. He was allowed to take his wife India. The companions of Alexander with him, and his friends and relations were so much impressed with the number were allowed to see him in his sylvan re- of people who led this forest-life away treat. He was then called a Vânaprastha, from towns and villages that they invented a dweller in the forest, and, released from a new word, and translated the Sanskrit the duties of a householder, from sacrifi- vanaprastha by úlóslot, dwellers in the cial and other ceremonial obligations, he forest. was encouraged to meditate on the great How pleasant such life must have been problems of life, to rise above the outward in the Indian climate we may gather from forms of religion, and to free himself more the fact that we never hear of any force and more froin all the fetters which once being used to drive old people away from bound him to this life. Even religion, in their home into the forest. It is very imthe usual sense of the word, was no longer portant also to observe that while the pebinding on him. He was above religion, riods of studentship and of household-life above sacred books, above sacrifices, above are fixed within narrow limits by legal aua belief in many gods. With the help of thority, the time for embracing the life of the mystical doctrines contained in the a hermit is far less accurately defined, so Upanishads, he was led to discover the as to leave a considerable latitude to indi. Infinite hidden in the Finite, the True be- vidual choice. hind the semblances of the senses, the Self What strikes us as the most cruel fea. behind the Ego, and the indestructible ture in the Indian scheme of life is the identity of his own true Self with the Su- fourth period, when old people, incapable preme Self. During all that time he might of taking care of themselves, seem to have
been entirely deprived of the loving atten- been put to death. Mr. Hunt, as quoted tions of their children, so that they must by Sir John Lubbock, tells us that one day necessarily have fallen a prey to hunger or a young man in whom he took much in to wild animals. It is curious that this terest came to him and invited him to atfourth stage is a privilege which the Brah- tend his mother's funeral. Mr. Hunt ac. mans claimed exclusively for then selves. cepted the invitation, but as he walked
The Indians, however, are by no means along in the procession he was surprised to the only people who seem to us to have see no corpse.
When he asked the young been guilty of cruelty toward old people man where his mother was, he pointed to and toward children. In a primitive state a woman who was walking along just in of society there existed difficulties of which front, to use Mr. Hunt's words, we have no idea. When the struggle of and lively as any of those present.” When life became extreme, and when it was ut- they arrived at the grave, she took an afterly impossible for a community to sup- fectionate farewell of her children and port more than a given number of lives, it friends, and then submitted to be strangled. was necessarily left to the parents to de- It is not innate cruelty that can account termine what children should be allowed for this barbarous treatment of the aged : to live or be destroyed. Anong Greeks it was a dira necessitas. Among our own and Romans vestiges of this ancient cus- ancestors, the ancient Germans, Grimm tom may be discovered, * and among the tells us that when the master of the house Germans, also, the right of the father to
was over sixty years old, if the signs of decide on the life of a child, by raising it the weakness of age were of such a charfrom the place where the mother had given acter that he no longer had the power
to birth to it, was long maintained. The walk or stand or to ride unassisted and Brahmans seem to have conceded to the unsupported, with collected mind, free father the right to expose bis children, or, will, and good sense, he was obliged to at all events, his female progeny. I give over his authority to his son, and to
But if in an early state of society children perform menial service. Those who had became sometimes a burden impossible to grown useless and burdensome were either bear, a still greater difficulty arose with killed outright or exposed and abandoned regard to old people when they were to death by starvation. * longer able to support or to defend them- However strange and horrible these vaselves. In a nomadic state of life this rious ways of disposing of old people may difficulty is so great that it could not be seem to us, there is, nevertheless, a lesson solved except by killing the old people. to be learned from our savage ancestors, For what is to be done when the soil is viz., that there is a time when old people exhausted and a tribe has to move forward ought to retire. Our religion, our moralto occupy new pastures ? The old people ity, our very humanity would make us cannot support the fatigue of the march, shrink from any violent measures to enand to leave them behind would be to ex- force this lesson ; but we must not, for all pose them to starvation or a violent death. that, shut our eyes to the fact that some It was considered merciful under those of the most serious evils of our modern circumstances, nay, it was believed to be society are due to the encroachments of a sacred duty of the nearest relations, to old age on the legitimate functions of kill the aged members of a family. Storks, youth and manhood. If, in ancient times, before they migrate south, are said to kill the difficulty was what to do with old the old and lame birds who are unable to people, the difficulty in our modern 80follow. In the same way, if we may trust ciety is what to do with young people. Sir John Lubbock, there are even now And why? Because every sphere of acamong certain savage tribes whole villages tive life in which young men might, natwhere no old people can be discovered, urally and legitimately, hope to find an for the simple reason that they all have opening for making themselves useful to
the world, and gaining a livelihood for * Schömann, Griechische Alterthümer, 3rd themselves, is filled with men who, nearly Ed., I., p. 531 ; Marquardt, Privatleben der
or altogether, belong to the class of the Römer, I., p. 3, note 1, p. 81.
Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer, p. 455. | Mailráyani-samhita, IV., 6, 4; Nirukta, * Grimm, Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer, p. 487 ; III., 4.
Weinhold, Altnordisches Leben, p. 473.
Depontani. It will be argued, no doubt, only making to his descendants such althat old age possesses more experience and lowance as he thinks proper.
What seems wisdom than youth and early manhood can quite right and fair to us would seem very possibly possess. But surely there is a wrong and unfair in India, where the law senile as well as a juvenile folly ; and even enables the sons, when they have come of admitting the superior experience of old age, to insist on a division of the family people, that experience would become far property, which is considered to be theirs more useful to the world if they were sat- as much as their father's.
How many a isfied in their old age to become counsel- life in England has become useless by the lors, and leave the toil and moil of the ancestral property being managed or misdaily warfare of life to younger men. Be- managed by a man of eighty, while the sides, the affairs of life require not only son of forty, or even sixty, is carefully exprudence and caution, but likewise deci- cluded from all participation in the imsiveness and courage ; and when it is con- provement of his future estate.
Young sidered that the consequences of good or men are often blamed because they iinagbad counsels must fall, after all, on the ine they must have as large an income as heads of the next generation, it is but fair their parents, before they will condescend that the young should have some share in to marry. There may be some truth in determining what is to be done. Besides, this, but there is also some truth in the we cannot stultify nature. Youth and answer of young men that parents, after manhood are better than old age ; and their children's education is finished, might with all the advantages that old age may be satisfied with a quieter and less expensive justly be proud of, there are weaknesses style of life, and not grudge their children which, like white hairs, steal almost un- those enjoyments which nature has clearly perceived over old heads. No art is able intended for youth and manhood. to disguise, and no effort of will strong In most professions a man who has enough to resist them. Hygienic science worked for twenty or twenty-five years may in our days keep people alive longer ought to be enabled to retire on a pension ; than in former centuries, and a proper that is, be satisfied with a smaller income. discipline of body and mind may in some Whatever exceptions may be cited to the cases preserve a mens sana in corpore sano contrary, our schools and universities, for beyond the usual limits. But, as a rule, instance, are clearly sufferers, because proman is meant to learn in his youth, to act fessors and tutors are not enabled, or in his manhood, to counsel in his advanc- forced, to retire at the approach of old ing years, and to meditate in his extreme age. Dr. Arnold expressed a very strong
It is the disregard of this clear opinion as to the maximum of years that and simple lesson, conveyed by the four a master or headmaster of a public school ages of man, which is responsible for the should be allowed to carry on his work. worst of our social evils. A young man Other voices have been raised against the is meant to marry ; but how, in the pres- Universities allowing heads of houses, proent state of society, is it possible for fessors, and tutors to retain their offices to young man and a young woman to con- the very last day of their life. We know, tract matrimony at the proper time, unless of course, of exceptions, of men lecturing, their parents have saved enough to enable and lecturing successfully, for thirty and them to do soo? Almost every career is forty years. But, as a rule, a professor now closed against the young man who as he grows old, however excellent work thinks that he ought to be able to earn a he may still do by himself, finds it imposlivelihood by his arms or his brains. And sible to maintain that warm sympathy with the principal reason is that old men now the rising generation wbicb is essential to remain too long in active service and en- make his lectures really efficient. His own joy large incomes for doing work which studies are apt to become more and inore their juniors could do as well, if not bet- special and narrow, and he often finds it ter. We get accustomed to everything impossible to keep pace with the rapid which has existed for centuries and has the progress of discovery that changes the sanction of custom and of law. We know whole aspect of every science from year to that a man who has children, grandchil- year. By all means let the old professor dren, and great grandchildren may hold continue to lecture, if he likes, but let the family estate as his exclusive property, younger men be appointed as his deputies
or associates. It is a real injustice to cil the presence of old men is dangerous. younger men, whose lives are passing The authority claimed by old age, and the away, that they should have no opportu- respect naturally paid to it by the younger nity of utilizing their knowledge by teach- generation, must interfere with the easy ing in our Universities, or that they should and natural transaction of business. If it succeed to a Chair when they themselves is difficult for an old man to bear opposiare no longer in the vigor of life. Some- tion and to brook rebuke from a younger times the study of a science has been par- man, it is equally difficult for a young alyzed for years because—all professorial politician to bow to anthority or to believe chairs being occupied by men who would in the infallibility of old age. What is not, because they could not, resign—there the result? The old statesman gradually was no prospect of employment for young- finds himself deserted by his honest and er men, and when at last a vacancy oc- independent friends, while opportunists curred there were hardly any candidates and flatterers surround the old chief and fit to be successors. In Continental uni- help to extinguish in him the last remversities the system of Professores extraor- nants of humility and of mistrust in bis dinarii and Privatdocents supplies a cer- own judgment. Members of the Cabinet, tain remedy of the evil complained of, but it has often been said, ought to be on here, too, the Professores ordinarii become terms of perfect equality, and in discussoinetimes a drag on the advance of sci- sions concerning the welfare of the counence, because there is too little induce- try argument ought always to be stronger ment to make them resigo.
than any amount of authority. Men of It would be easy to point out the same about the same age can afford to give and mischief in other professions, caused by take, but a man of thirty cannot well give men reinaining in office beyond the limits to a man of eighty, and a man of eighty of time so clearly indicated by nature. cannot well take from a man of thirty. Old generals, gouty admirals, deaf judges, And yet, if we look at the history of the and bedridden Bishops are not unknown world, political wisdom has certainly not in this as in other countries. But nowhere been the exclusive property of old age. A does this incubus of old age prove more mere stripling, such as Pitt, was a better disastrous than in politics. It has often man at the wheel than even the great Duke been said that knowing when to retire is of Wellington when, in his old age, he the true test of a great statesman. But if acted as steersman to the vessel of State. there is any office which it seems almost In our days it seems difficult to imagine impossible to surrender it is political office. that a man of twenty or thirty could posNearly all Ministers nowadays are over sibly be an Under-Secretary of State, to fifty or sixty, and they often cling to office say nothing of his being Prime Minister. till they are seventy or eighty. It is in And yet, take it all in all, for practical their case, more than in any other, that work, a man of thirty is a better man than the necessity of experience and wisdom is a man of eighty, and the sooner men of pleaded as an excuse for their unnatural eighty learn that lesson the better for pretensions. But experience and wisdom themselves and for the country they proare not the exclusive property of old age, fess to serve. There are exceptions, there while too much experience may even unfit are brilliant exceptions, at the present moa man for that quick insight which is con- ment, both in England and in Germany. stantly required for political action. That But exceptions in such cases are apt hereold men should be consulted is perfectly after to become precedents, and to prove natural, but that they should have the de- extremely dangerous in less exceptional cision of the fate of the next generation Outside the fight of parties the entirely in their hands admits of no justi. voice of the old statesman will always be fication. The Germans had an old proverb listened to, and carry conviction to many which went much further, and denied to a wavering mind. But if he remains in those who could no longer fight the right the turmoil of political warfare he will of giving advice.
meet with harsh usage, bis best motives " Die nicht mit thaten,
will be suspected, and the good fame of Die nicht mit rathen,"
his youth and manhood will often be tar
nished by the mistakes, however well inten. Nor can it be denied that even in coun. tioned, of his old age.
To return once more to India, from The affairs of Servia, Bulgaria, and Monwhence we started. No doubt the ideal tenegro, the intrigues of King Milan, scheme of life, traced out by Manu, is no Queen Natalie, and Prince Karageorgowlonger possible, after the contact between itch, would seem to be of greater interest the ancient civilization of the East and the to the public at large than the healthy modern civilization of the West. But the growth and powerful development of the spirit of the past still exercises its fascina- native States of India under English protion over some superior minds, and the tection. And yet Gaorisbankar's life is idea that there is a time when the old full of dramatic interest. He had to do should make room for the young, and battle with many King Milans, with many when meditation should take the place of Queen Natalies, even with some rebellious active life, is not yet quite forgotten mountain-chiefs, such as Karageorgowitch, among the sons of India. A biography and he has come out victorious from all has lately been published of the Prime his fights. He not only established the Minister of Kathiawad, Gaorishankar independence of the state of Bhavnagar, Udayashankar, C.S.I.* It relates a life but he introduced a reformed system of full of hard and most important work, a administration, founded excellent schools, life of struggle, of temptation, and of built model prisons, encouraged useful wonderful success ; the life not only of a railways, and made Bhavnagar a model conscientious administrator, but of a de- among the protected principalities of Intermined diplomatist, holding his own dia. "In 1878, when he was seventy-three against the best men in the Indian service, years of age, and when the idea of retiring and in the end recognized by all, from from the world had already ripened in bis Mountstuart Elphinstone to Lord Reay, as mind, he was once more complimented by an honest and unselfish man, worthy to be Sir
J. B. Peile in the following terms :damed by the side of such native states- " Gaorisbankar has risen tbrough every men as Sir Salar Jung, Sir T. Madao Rao, stage of a laborious life to this crown and and Sir Dinkar Rao. Only three years consummation of an honorable public caago, in December, 1886, when Lord Reay reer, a career which he began in a humhad paid a visit to the venerable states ble position in the old school of custom man, he said of him :
Certainly, of all and ends as a cautious leader in the new the happy moments it has been my good school of reform. fortune to spend in India, those which I This is the man who, on January 13th, spent in the presence of that remarkable 1879, resigned his office as Minister, and, man remain engrafted on my memory. I full of years and honors, declared his inwas struck as much by the clearness of his tention of following the example of the intellect as by the simplicity and fairness ancient Brahmans, and retiring into the and openness of his mind ; and if we ad- forest. He prepared himself for that step mire wise administrators, we also admire by a deeper study of the Upanishads and straightforward advisers, those who tell the Vedānta philosophy than had been their chiefs the real truth about the condi- possible to him during the years of his tion of their country and their subjects. busy life. He then retired to a gardenIn seeing the man who freed the State house outside the old town, where he was from all encumbrances, who restored civil still accessible to his friends, and where and criminal jurisdiction to the villages, bis chief and his former colleagues often who settled grave disputes with Junagbad, came to consult him. He had become a who got rid of refractory Jemadars, I could counsellor, but he no longer interfered in not help thinking what could be done by public or private affairs. At last, in 1887, singleness of purpose and strength of char- his yearning after a purely spiritual life, acter." It would be useless to attempt to and his desire to throw off all the fetters give even a short outline of the excellent and affections that might still bind him to services rendered to his country, and in this life, became so strong that he deterdirectly to England, by Gaorishankar dur- mined to enter on the fourth stage of life ing the fifty-seven years of his active life. and to become a Sannyasi. The time had
come, he declared, that he should prepare * Gaorishankar Udayashankar, C.S.I., Exc
himself for boly dying by a complete reMinister of Bhavnagar, now on relirement as a Sanyasi. By Javerilal Umiashankar Yajnik. nunciation of the active concerns of this Bombay, 1889.
world and by an exclusive devotion to the