« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
“The cause of these offerings is as follows: The idol, smitten with love for the blooming Judmavuttee, daughter of the Rajah Akasha, determined to espouse her: but wanting coin for the matrimonial expenses, he raised the wind by the aid of Kuvera, the Indian Plutus. This god, however, directed that the money thus lent should be repaid annually to the sovereign of the countries lying between the Palaur and Soonoomookei rivers; and the votaries at the shrine pour in, in great numbers, during the Brumhantsaween, or nine days' celebration of the nuptials; and, annually, at this period, two-thirds of the usual collections are made.
“These offerings are made generally from interested motives, and are of every diversity of articles conceivable: gold and silver lamps, coins of all sorts, bags of rupees, copper money, spices, assafoetida, the hair cut off the head, frequently vowed from infancy, and given up by some beautiful virgin in compliance with her parent's oath. A man who is lame presents a silver leg; if blind, a gold or silver eye. In fact, there would be no end, were I to enumerate the various ways in which Hindu superstition develops itself on this occasion. The jewels which a woman has worn with pride from infancy are voluntarily left before the idol. She appears with a shabby cloth before the stone god, and presents a splendid one which has never been worn : she tears the bangles from her infant's legs, and fondly hopes that the god whom she
* Sees in the clouds and hears in the wind,”
will shower down his blessings on her and her's. She has, haply, travelled hundreds of miles, and accomplished her object; and perhaps, before a journey which to her might have been one of terror, never left her village and the bosom of her own family. “The birth of a son, reconciliation with enemies, success against the foe, safe determination of a journey, the marriage of a son or a daughter, prosperity in trade, enjoyment of health, and the reverse of these, are among the reasons which lead together, in the direction of Tripetty, the wise as well as ignorant heathens. The offerings are not always presented by the interested party: they may be sent by relations, friends, or wakeels; but they are frequently forwarded by goseynes. A goseyne is a servant of the temples; there are a considerable number of them. A few months before the Brumhantsaween they set out in different directions, and reaching the country they intend to commence their operations in, they unfurl the sacred flag of the god with which each is entrusted. Round this idolatrous banner the Hindus gather, and either trust their offerings to its bearer, or carry the counukee themselves to the foot of the idol. A sufficient mass being congregated, the blind leader of the blind strikes the standard and returns whither he came, in time for the nuptial anniversary. “The following are ceremonies for which the superstitious devotee or inquisitive visitor must pay amply, before they are indulged with a sight of: “1st Abbeesheykoom. Every Friday throughout the year the idol is anointed with civet, musk, camphire, &c., and washed clean again with milk. So important a spectacle cannot be seen for love, and the devotee, desirous of viewing the operation, pays what he chooses during the rest of the year, but at the Brumhantsaween pays through the nose, in a sum formerly more, but now reduced to fifty rupees. This ceremony of rubbing, scrubbing, and causing the god to smell sweet, and visã versd, is stiled Poolkaub. “2d. Porlungee Seeva, or enrobing his excellency the god in a flowered garment. This ceremony takes place every Thursday. During the festival sixty rupees are paid for seeing the business. “3d. Soomanlah Seeva. Twelve rupees are paid under this head by all who delight in seeing the idol decorated with a necklace of flowers; and the pleasure may, for this daily payment, be enjoyed for three hundred and sixty-five days of the year. “4th. Sahasranamaschana. This term signifies the diurnal worship of the god under his thousand names. Five rupees is the price of this peice of devotion. “5th. Mansoon Seeva is an imposing ceremony, and yeilds forth twelve rupees, for seeing the mighty object of his worship rocked to sleep. “There remains now to describe Wahanum, or processions of the idols. They are twelve in number, and each has a reference to different parts of Hindu mythology, as connected with the adoration of Vishnu. The idol exhibited on these occasions is a gilded representation, made of metal, of the stone fellow in the temple, who is too lazy to turn out himself. Kulpavaroocha Wahanum is a procession of the idol placed under a gilt wooden tree. Andolecka Wahanum is a procession attending his excellency in a palankeen. Sesha Wahanum is the god carried forth on a gilt serpent. Sooroah Boopaulah Wahanum signifies the carrying the idol on a gilt throne. Surya Prabah Wahanum is a procession of the idol attended by the sun. Addarrah is a trip of the gentleman to a room surrounded by looking-glasses, adjusted to reflect him several times. Andulum Wahanum is another kind of palankeen procession. For all the above, the votary who gives the idol the trouble of coming out is forty rupees less than he was before. Girda Wahanum is the procession in which the idol is mounted on a gilt parrot. Chandra Prabah is a procession of the idol accompanied by a gilt moon. Hanamuntrum Wahanum is a procession of the idol mounted upon a gilt figure like an elephant (quere monkey) something in representation of Hanuman, the Indian Pan. Sinha Wahanum is a procession in which the idol rides a gilt lion. Balasesha Wahanum is the last procession of the idol sitting again upon a gilt serpent.”
Srad'ha.—Sectarial Marks.-Austerities and Punishments.-Suttee, or Suti.-Johara.-Linga and Yoni.-Salagrama and Binlang Stones.—Infanticide.
SRAD'HAs are commonly understood as obsequies paid to the manes of deceased ancestors, “to effect, by means of oblations, the re-embodying of the soul of the deceased after burning his corpse, and to raise his shade from this world (where it would else, according to the notions of the Hindus, continue to roam among demons and evil spirits) up to heaven, and then deify him, as it were, among the manes of departed ancestors.”
Mr. Colebrooke describes the Srad'has under twelve heads, by which it would appear that they are performed for many other purposes than funeral obsequies. 1. Daily obsequies, either with food or with water only, in honour of ancestors in general, but excluding the Viswédeva. 2. Obsequies for a special cause, that is, in honour of a kinsman recently defunct. 3. Voluntary obsequies, performed by way of supererogation, for the greater benefit of the deceased. 4. Obsequies for increase of prosperity, performed upon any accession of wealth or prosperity, and upon other joyful occasions. 5. A sradd'ha intended to introduce the shade of a deceased kinsman to the rest of the manes. 6. Obsequies performed on appointed days, such as that of new moon, full moon, sun's passage into a new sign, &c. 7. A sradd'ha to sanctify the food at an entertainment given to a company of reverend persons. 8. One when stated numbers of priests are fed at the cost of a person who needs purification from some defilement. 9. A sradd'ha preparatory to the celebration of any solemn rite. 10. Sradd'has in honour of deities. 11. Oblations of clarified butter, previous to the undertaking of a distant journey. 12. A sradd'ha to sanctify a meal of flesh meat, prepared simply for the sake of nourishment. The funeral ceremonials of Srad'ha are performed immediately after the decease of a person, and are continued at short periods for twelve months. They are then performed annually, either in honour of a particular individual, or, generally, to the manes of the worshipper's departed progenitors. The observances on these occasions are similar to the other religious ceremonies of the Hindus: such as rubbing the floor with cow-dung; oblations of food, &c. to the gods and deceased ancestors; various libations; shifting the zenaar or Brahminical thread; turning the face to the several quarters of the globe and sprinkling the body, &c. &c. Some of the rules for the performance of Srad'ha are singular: the two following are specimens. “As many mouthfuls as an unlearned man shall swallow at an oblation to the gods and to ancestors, so many red-hot iron balls must the giver of the Srad'ha swallow in the next world.” “He who caresses a Sudra woman after he has been invited to sacred obsequies, takes on himself all the sin that has been committed by the giver of the repast.” These rules are very numerous and are minutely detailed. Many of them are equally curious with the foregoing.
These symbols are made of ashes, cow-dung, earth of the Ganges, turmeric, sandal-powder, chunam (a sort of lime), &c., and are commonly of yellow, red, black, and ashen colours. I do not recollect any of either blue or green. The Hindus mark their foreheads, arms, and breasts with various devices of three colours, which denote the sect to which they belong. These marks are numerous, but upon the many images in my possession a few of them only have been drawn: and, indeed, I am disposed to think that a large part of those occasionally seen, are merely varieties of a smaller number of originals, according to the fancy of individuals or families. Thus