from a book, it is true, supposed to be late, which is almost, not absolutely, free from mythological ideas. The "self-supporting principle beneath and energy aloft" may refer, as Dr. Muir suggests, to the father, heaven above, and the mother, earth beneath. The "bond between entity and non-entity" is sought in a favourite idea of the Indian philosophers, that of tapas or "fervour." The other speculations remind us, though they are much more restrained and temperate in character, of the metaphysical chants of the New Zealand priests:—
"The nothing increasing
The nothing, the finishing,
The going on from the nothing."
What is the relative age of this hymn? If it could be proved to be the oldest in the Veda, it would demonstrate no more than this, that in time exceedingly remote the Aryans of India possessed a philosopher, perhaps a school of philosophers, who applied the minds to abstract speculations on the origin of things. It could not prove that mythological speculations had not preceded the attempts of a purer philosophy. But the date cannot be ascertained. Mr. Max Müller cannot go farther than the suggestion that the hymn is an expression of the perennis quædam philosophia of Leibnitz. We are also warned that a hymn is not necessarily modern because it is philosophical. We are not concerned to show that this hymn is late;
- History of Sanskrit Literature, p. 568.