Nor Did I Think That Your Proclamations Were So
Strong, As, Being A Mortal, To Be Able To Transcend The Unwritten
And Immovable Laws Of The Gods.
For not something now and
yesterday, but forever these live, and no one knows from what
time they appeared.
I was not about to pay the penalty of
violating these to the gods, fearing the presumption of any man.
For I well knew that I should die, and why not? even if you had
not proclaimed it."
This was concerning the burial of a dead body.
The wisest conservatism is that of the Hindoos. "Immemorial
custom is transcendent law," says Menu. That is, it was the
custom of the gods before men used it. The fault of our New
England custom is that it is memorial. What is morality but
immemorial custom? Conscience is the chief of conservatives.
"Perform the settled functions," says Kreeshna in the
Bhagvat-Geeta; "action is preferable to inaction. The journey of
thy mortal frame may not succeed from inaction." - "A man's own
calling with all its faults, ought not to be forsaken. Every
undertaking is involved in its faults as the fire in its
smoke." - "The man who is acquainted with the whole, should not
drive those from their works who are slow of comprehension, and
less experienced than himself." - "Wherefore, O Arjoon, resolve to
fight," is the advice of the God to the irresolute soldier who
fears to slay his best friends. It is a sublime conservatism; as
wide as the world, and as unwearied as time; preserving the
universe with Asiatic anxiety, in that state in which it appeared
to their minds.
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