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THE DREAM OF RAVAN—A MYSTERY. PART III.-TIE KAMATUR RAKSHAS AND TUE SUPERNATURAL WEAPONS. When Ravan mentioned the name of dance like mists upon the sunbeams. the Kamatur Rakshas, a smile full of whose virtue was equal to their beauty meaning passed round the assembly. -and became passionately attached to KAMATUR signifies “ sick with love ;” one of the number, named Ramaniya,* or “madly in love ;” and since his or the “ Charmer.” His love, howhallucination about Sita, the epithet of ever, was as chivalric as it was ardent; Kamatur Rakshas, or “the love-sick and, not being returned by the fair ob
Titan," had been stealthily applied to ject of his passion, except by a gratehimself in all the gossiping coteries ful friendship, he limited the expresthat formed round the Court of Lanka. sion of his passion to keeping vigil at For then, as now, though subjects night (in full armour) outside the would fight loyally, and die bravely tower in which Ramaniya's chamber for their monarch, they would freely was situated, and driving away all the canvass his faults. Indeed, the nick. Yakshas and Pishachas that infested name was first tauntingly given him the neighbourhood, with the intention by his own virtuous brother, Bibbi. of carrying off the beauty. shana, who, though most devotedly One of the remarkable peculiarities attached to his person and his govern. about the Kamatur Rakshas was his ment, never ceased to protest against (apparent) love for the brute creation. his injustice in detaining Sita, and to He collected together all the animals warn him of the fatal results of perse- and birds of every description that he vering in such a course. But there could lay his hands on--fed them sumpwas another reason for the furtive mer. tuously, erected extensive Pashu-shalas riment. Among the auditors of the (the same as the modern Pinjura-purs, dream, standing in his place among or animal hospitals of Surat and Bomthe ancient Senapatis, or military bay) for their accommodation, and chiefs, was the genuine Kamatur Rak- passed a great part of his time in their sbas himself, to whom Ravan's narra- company; so that he was as well tive alluded. He was the oldest friend known and beloved among the deer, and companion of the Titan king, and wild boars, sheep, kids, peacocks, hewas a general favourite at the Rak. rons, doves, &c., as a Buddhist priest shas' court; but of so humorous a or a Muni living in forest hermitage. turn of mind, and so eccentric in his A friar, indeed, of the Buddhist order conduct, that the mere introduction of actually assisted him in these benefia name so constantly associated with cent ministrations to the animals and fun, into a recital so sombre, and al- birds ; but, strange to say, all this atmost tragic in its general character, tachment was, on his part, wholly deproduced a contrast of ideas that was ceptive. One after another, he slaughtoo violent for the gravity of the as- tered and feasted on his favourites, not sembly. The original name of this only without remorse, but with a cruel Titan was Kopa-dana, a title indica- zest that betrayed the latent Titan. tive of the combination in his character The true solution of the inconsistency of anger and generosity; but since he was this: He was a firm believer in had held the government of the pearl. the metempsychosis. But on this gefisheries, it had been changed to Ka- neral doctrine he had engrafted a theory matur. For while exercising this go- of his own, that the happiness of the vernment he had once entertained, for wandering soul, after each emigration, some months, a group of beautiful depended on its condition (happy or Apsaras, those celestial nymphs that otherwise) at the moment of making
• RAMANA signifies, in Sanscrit, a husband, a lover, a sporter, player, tumbler. RAMANI, a wife, sweetheart, agreeable woman, female player, dancer; from the root ram, to sport. There can be no doubt this is the true origin of the term ROMANI, by which the Gypsies designate both a Gypsy and a husband. Their language, with a great portion of modern Hindu dialects, contains many words of pure Sanscrit, such as SHAKA (vegetable); KASHTA (wood), &c.
its exit from one sphere of living being is to arrest or consume the hostile into another. So that the greatest army. We find such elemental Astras possible mercy that could be shown to as Wet Thunderbolt," “ Dry Thun. any animal was to cut it off when it derbolt,” “ Rain Astra," “ Drought was in the full flush of good feeding, Astra,” “Frost Astra ;" such spiritual and rolling in clover. The misery in Astras as “Fascination,” “ Allurewhich old and diseased animals linger ment,” “Maddening," or " Intoxicaout a wretched existence in the Pinjara- tion,” “Trembling" or “Panie; purs, or animal hospitals, had probably such physiological Astras as “Over. suggested this theory, and certainly af- powering with Sleep,” “Quieting," forded it no small justification. But and “ Paralysing ;" and we are forced it was found also to barmonise admi. ultimately to conclude, that the whole rably with a very proper Titanic re- armoury is spiritual, and is to be interlish for good fat saddles of gram-fed preted by three analogies in the Eumutton, haunches of venison, and ropean sphere of thought and experiboars roasted whole.
ence--namely, magic, mesmerism, and Another peculiarity was his power of the modern electro-biology. We subusing the " Mohan-Astra," and the join here a curious list of these werdelight which he took in it. The As. pons, taken from the Ramayana. The tras are, as we may inform our readers, manuscripts vary a good deal : even a kind of weapons that one constantly the printed editions of Schlegel and meets in the ancient Hindu legends, Gorresio differ somewhat as to the and which at first are very puzzling. order, the number, and the names of They sometimes have a palpable shape, the Astras. There is, however, a sufand from their effects in burning the ficient agreement, on the whole. Gor. enemy, &c., we are led to imagine, resio's edition, the typography of which that they are nothing but rockets or is beautiful, but in which the text is, shells, and that the ancient Hindus in general, less carefully and correctly were well acquainted with the use of edited than Scblegel's, contains the gunpowder. But a further acquain. fuller list of the two. We have contance corrects this idea. We find the structed the subjoined catalogue of the operator folding his arms on the field magical armoury from a comparison of of battle, and, by mere inward medi- both:tation, despatching the Astra, which
LIST OF ASTRAS, OR SUPERNATURAL WEAPONS, DELIVERED BY THE SAGE ISH
VAMITRA TO RAMA, FOR HIS COMBAT WITH THE TITANS.
RAMAYANA-ADI-KANDA-SARGA, XXIX.-RD. SCHLEGEL--XXX. ED. GORRESIO. The · Bramh Astra ;' terrible to the three collected worlds. The Astra, or Discus of Judgment;' which causes the extermination of the people. The Astra, or Discus, of Dharma (nemesis)— like fate itself. The irresistible Astra, or Discus, of Fate. The etherial Discos of Vishnu; the cruel Discus of Indra. The Thunderbolt,' hard to resist ; the excellent 'Trident of Shiva.' The terrible · Bramhan's Head ;' the 'arrow-resembling' Astra. The Bramhanical Astra,' incomparable; the.Shankar-Astra,' with flaming mouth. The two beautiful clubs, Modaki and Shikara. The iron-headed club of Vishnu-Kaumodaki. The 'Noose of Law,' and the · Noose of Fate.' The most wonderful Noose of Varuna' (God of the water). The two Thunderbolts of Indra, "Dry' and · Wet.' The Astra of the Trident-bearer, and the Narayan-Astra.' The fiery Astra, called . Point,' and the windy Astra, called • Whirl-about.' The Astras · Pounding to Atoms, “Shaking to Pieces,' and 'Tearing asunder of Enemies.' The · Horse's head' Astra ; the Hammer,' the Heron's beak.' The two-powers (or spears), 'Not sped in vain,' and Victorious.' The terrible • Skeleton Pestle,' the Bracelet of Skulls,' and the 'Tinkling Waist-Chain o
Rattling Bones,' worn by the Titans.
The Burning-up' and the 'Smearing-over’ Astras.
sion.' The Heroism ' Astra ; the “Splendour,' the 'Abstraction of others' splendour.' The Moon' and the · Frost’ Astras ; the • Twashtra,' or • Chaos-demon’ Astra, powerful to
enemies. The invincible 'Smiting' Astra ; the Daitya,' the 'Danava’ Astras. And the Cold-pointed arrow;' the peculiar Astra of man.
The purely spiritual nature of these service by inward volition, or mental weapons, that they are summoned and summons, is evident from the followembodied by magical incantation, dwell ing passage, which succeeds the enuin the mind alone, and perform their meration of the Astras :
Then, turning with his face to the east, and purified, the eminent Muni
When, by a mere volition and word torture, we are reminded of the plagues spoken, the professor of biology makes with which the magician, Prospero, his victim not only believe that it threatens to visit the refractory Califreezes, but actually shiver with cold ban, according to the well-known in the midst of summer, he merely practice of his profession. The Astras launches the “ Frost Astra" at him of " allurement," " fascination,”“ befrom bis mind. When he forces him witching," “ maddening with love,” to take shelter under the table from are amongst the recognised powers of the pelting of the pitiless storm, it is magic ; love itself being, indeed, an " Wet Thunderbolt” and the “Rain admitted magical and mesmeric power, Astra." When he causes him to feel acting through the eyes. The power the taste of wine from a draught of of affecting the Brain through the optic pure water, and to reel and stagger nerve, by fixing the eye on one point, from its effects, it is the “ Intoxication if luminous so much the better, to Astra.” When he nails his foot to the which the biologist resorts, and
which floor with a word, or shuts his eyes so is only another form of Mr. Braid's that he cannot open them, it is the HYPNOTISING, and of Jacob Behmen's “ Paralysing Astra.”
looking into the bright tip dish to bring The “ casting into deep sleep,” the on ecstacy has been exercised, time " thoroughly quieting," and the “Pa- out of mind, by the ecstatic schools of ralysing Astras” have their co-rela- India :
; many of the Yogis, following tives in mesmerism, also, to which the advice of Krishna, in the Gita, and biology evidently bears some relation. gazing downward on the tips of their
In the “burning,” “ whipping," own noses, while others squint upwards "pounding to atoms,” “ shaking to at the corner of their eyebrows. But pieces," and other Astras of physical this is a very different matter from the
Or “Intoxication.", † Schlegel renders it--"taking them each by the hand"-Singulos manu prehendens.
“ fascination" produced by two eyes into her two eyes. The story is given looking intently and immovably into in the Mahabharata in the Anushasana other two eyes of a different sex, and Parva, Adhyaya XL., and is one of in which the soul itself is affected. the greatest curiosities in the whole Upon the very natural employment, circle of Hindu literature. What is and the result of this process in love- not a little singular, although the making, we need not dwell. But the method adopted by Vipula, and the modern adoption of this very method to effects produced upon the woman, corinduce the mesmeric sleep is more respond exactly with those of mesmercurious, and shows that there is an ism, the theory is quite different, and undoubted relation, which it wonld be peculiarly Hindu. It is this, that the worth while to understand, between spirit or intelligence of Vipula, formagic, mesmerism, fascination, and sakes his own frame, and enters that love. What renders the adoption of of the woman through the eyes and this mode of mesmerism by the fascina- mouth; his own body remaining, as it tion of the eye more curious, is, that were, inanimate the while. Here is we find this also mentioned as having the story-It is only necessary to state been practised in India, more than two that Shakra is another name for Indra; thousand years ago, for the purpose of the Jupiter Pluvius and Tonans of the fascinating and paralysing a woman; old elemental Hindu Pantheon, but a and, singular to say, in order to pre- very secondary deity-a mere angel of serve her from the counter fascinations thunder and rain, in that form of Hinof a lover.
duism which superseded the Vedie, A disciple named Vipula, left in and has now reigned, with some modi. solemn charge of his master's beautiful fications, for nearly three thousand wife, and finding her inclined to give years. He is as great a rake as too great heed to the compliments and Olympian Jove, whose prototype, inflattery of a celestial visitor, who comes deed, in this respect, he is; but is more peacocking in all his plumery during consistently represented as a beautiful her husband's absence from his her. celestial youth-a Giovanni descended mitage, mesmerises and paralyses her from Swarga. He is the discomfited powers so completely that she can neither lover in the tale. speak nor move, by looking steadily Vipula, the ascetic Muni, mesmerises his Preceptor's Wife (Ruchi), in order to
prevent her from giving heed to the fine speeches of Indra, or Shakra. That Vipula, mighty ascetic, SEATED NEAR his Preceptor's wife, FASCINATED, with all his might, the beautiful woman SEATED BEFORE HIM. WITH HIS TWO EYES UPON HER TWO EYES, RAYS UNITING WITH RAYS, Vipula entered her body, even as the wind pervadeth the empty space, HER SIGHT WITH HIS sight, and HER MOUTH WITH HIS MOUTH (pervading.)" Motionless, then, the Muni remained, like a shadow vanishing inward : Then Vipula, taking under his own control the body of his Preceptor's wife, Abode therein, intent upon keeping her safe ; but SHE WAS NOT AWARE OF HIS PRESENCE. He guarded her all the time, O King, his Preceptor remained away ; Till the mighty of spirit, having accomplished his sacrifice, home returned.
XLL. Once about then, the Lord of the Devas, assuming a body of heavenly form, Thinking " now is the time for me,” that hermitage approached. Making his beauty beyond compare, and much to be loved, the lord of mankind, Becoming most lovely to look upon, entered that hermitage. There he beheld that body of Vipula Muni seated, Motionless and with fixed eye, as if to a statue turned ! And Ruchi, with beautiful side-long glances, with rounded form, and bosom replete with
milk, With eyes like the lotus-leaf and large, and a face that shone like the moon at its full.
* These are the very remarkable words of the original :-
Guru-patnim samasino Vipulaha sa mahatapaha
She, as soon as she looked upon him, desired to rise up precipitate,
CONTROL; And the Shaker of Cities, standing there, became perplexed exceedingly. That King of the Devas, O lord of men, perceiving this her aversion, The Thousand-eyed One, then giving a glance with his (inward) celestial eye, Beheld the Muni within her body, visible before him, Like an image within a mirror, reflected him within the body of his Preceptor's wife; With terrific mortification armed, the Shaker of Cities beholding, Then trembled he, Sovereign, greatly alarmed, and dreading his terrible curse : But, releasing the wife of his ghostly Preceptor, Vipula, glorious ascetic, Entering his proper body again, thus spoke to the terrified Shakra"O slave of thy senses, evil-disposed, sin-breathing Shaker of Cities! Not long will the gods and men continue to worship thee! What! Shakra, hast thou forgotten, is it not fixed in thy mind, That thou by Gautama wert let go, branded all over with marks of shame ? I know thee, the lord of the boyish intellect, and the spirit uncollected : Fool! this woman by me is guarded—begone as thou camest, mischievous wretch ! Thee let me not, O foolish of spirit, this day consume with my boly radiance. Feeling compassion, I do not wish, 0 Vasava, to burn thce. But if the more terrible Lord of Mind, the Preceptor, see thee sin devising, He will this day consume thee utterly with an anger-enkindled eye: And, Shakra, thou oughtest not to act thus again; but shouldest respect the Bramhans. He, whom the Scripture calleth • my son and minister,' smites with the power of God : And for that thou goest forward to sin] confiding in this idea, 'I am immortal.' Beware and do not despise ! there is nothing whatever too hard to accomplish by peniten.
tial austerities." Shakra, on hearing this speech of Vipula, mighty in spirit, Without uttering a single word, abashed, vanished on the spot.
To return, however, from this tale black magic; the “Trembling" Astra, of fascination to the Astras. Among which scattered panic among an enethe list of these spiritual weapons, one, my; the Astra of “Fainting” or “ Init will be observed, is described as pre- sensibility," which struck the victim eminently the human Astra, and that senseless in a moment - the “blasting is “the cold pointed arrow.” This, it of enemies," some reminiscence or premust be confessed, looks very like the sentiment of which is expressed in the " cold steel” which was such a favou. language of popular execration among rite resource with our illustrious coun- ourselves. tryman, Lord Gough, and we are al- Then, again, we have a class of gobmost tempted to doubt its spirituality. lin Astras, which must have operated But some undoubtedly spiritual are of terribly upon the imagination, such as a very formidable class. “We have the the Devil's Astra, “red flesh-eater," “Smiting” or “ Killing" Astra, like and the Rakshas Astra of “ Kankalathat exercised by the professors of Mushala,” which Schlegel translates