Изображения страниц



other representations in the same plate are from models in metal, gilt, from Ava.

In the pagodas are deposited, at the time they are built, supposed sacred relics of Gautama, &c. such as part of a garment, a hair, a tooth, &c. &c. with small images of that deity. The pagoda is then closed.* In the Burma war, our soldiers, imagining that these pyramids contained treasure, opened some of them, but were ill requited for their labour.

It is in the smaller surrounding temples, which contain the images of Gautama (some of which are of a colossal size), that the adoration of his worshippers is found. These temples present a magnificent appearance, being splendidly gilt, and picked out with crimson. In that of the great praw at Rangoon was an image so large, that it is a well-known fact that an English officer placed the bed, on which he slept, on the palm of its left hand that rested on its knees. The temples of Buddha, both in Siam and Japan, are also splendid ; but those in Ceylon are plain.

The two great seats of early Buddhism were Giya and Buddha Bamiyam. The last-mentioned place is situated in ancient Bactria, about eight days' journey in a north-westerly direction from Caubul. This once magnificent place has been cut, like the cavern temples of Elephanta and Ellora, entirely out of the solid rock of an insulated mountain. According to Wilford, it would appear to have been a city of temples. Some of the paintings on the walls are represented as still fresh, but the sculptures have been almost wholly destroyed by the ruinous hand of time, or the more ruthless hands of Mahomedan conquerors. The colossal statues still claim the attention of the traveller. Their dimensions have been variously represented, but their true ones seem to be about eighty feet in height. They are said to be Bhima, one of the Pandus, and his wife; which seems a very disputed point, as the Mahomedans call them Adam and Eve. In 1646, when Aurungzebe passed this place, he ordered some cannon-balls to be fired at them, one of which fractured the leg of the male figure ; which miraculously, as both Hindus and Mahomedans believe, bled, in consequence, copiously.

* That of the Shoe Dagoon contains the staff of Kaut-ka-than, the water-pot of Gau-na-gon, the bathing garment of Kathapa, and eight hairs from the head of Gautama.

ntain, and alighied on

Tradition attaches to this place the character of very high antiquity. It is said not only to have existed before the flood, but to have been the exact spot on which the first man was created. The question is an abstruse one, and I must leave it to others to discuss : but certain it is, that its claims to very great antiquity are unquestionable. To this spot Colonel Wilford has ingeniously sought to trace the origin of the great deities of the Hindus, identifying their characters with the acknowledged history of the progenitors of mankind. He farther informs us, that when Satan was ejected, or kicked out of the Garden of Eden, he leaped over the mountain, and alighiede that spot where Cabul now stands : hence the origin of the proverb, that the inhabitants of that country are the offspring of the devil. These honest folks do not pretend to deny Satan's visit, but consider it to be a libel upon them to aver that he had any offspring there ; as they say he was very soon conjured away, by some who understood his value better, to another place.

In the first part of the third volume of the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society, Captain Low has given an intelligent and interesting description of the symbols on the Siamese Pra Pat'ha, or impression of the divine foot of Buddha. In this elaborate description, that gentleman says, “ the list of the symbolical allusions is recited by the priests in their temples, and forms an essential portion of their recital. It consists of fifty measured lines, of eight syllables each, and contains the names of one hundred and eight objects or things.” On comparing a pencil sketch, much rubbed, with the plate attached to Captain Low's account, and also with another from an apparently time-worn original in Colonel Symes' embassy to Ava, the former, as far as I can make it out, much resembles that of Colonel Symes' which is from Ava : Captain Low's from Siam. Most of the objects (although they are perfectly distinct in the one and confused in the other, and nearly throughout varying in their positions), can, with some few exceptions, be traced to be the same symbols in all. Of these symbols Captain Low enumerates in his description (the only one on the subject that I have met with) ninety-six, from which the following is abstracted :

No. 1. Chakrane, or the two chakras or discus, used by the deities in punishing the wicked. 2. The Mongkut, or tiara of Buddha. 3. The jar

[ocr errors]

carried by the priests to contain their provisions, called Bát-keoent-hanán. 4. Bunnang, or a water-jar, supposed to have belonged to Buddha before he entered Nivana. 5. Talapat Nang, the fan used by the priests instead of an umbrella, to shade them from the sun, and drive away insects. 6. Passato, or a palace in the form of a square, which should be seven stories in height. 7. Taubai Lakshai, or the royal standard. 8. Trumpets by which kinys of old were wont to be announced. 9. Pethakang, or the golden bed. 10. The stone couch or seat of Buddha, supposed to be now the altar sacred to Buddha. 11. D'ha Chang, a flag. 12. Pato, the paper ensign. 13. The royal palanquin, or covered litter. 14. T'hat T" hang, a sort of salver. 15. Wuchani, a large fan, which kings only are privileged to have near them. 16. Sineru or Meru, the mountain of that name. 17, is the Satt'ha Maha K'hangka, or the seven great rivers. 18. Cha Kama Wuchara, the first six mansions, including the habitations of mortals. Of these six, the first is the heaven of spirits, who remain in it 500 years, and visit their consorts 9,000,000 times. The second is the heaven of Indra, where the devata live 1,000 years, being blessed, as above stated, 346,000,000 of times: this heaven is 680,000 yojanas, * and the wall of his city 10,000, with 1,000 gates : every thing in it is upon a scale of corresponding magnitude and splendour: he had thirty-five consorts and 250,000,000 of mistresses. Thirdly, the heaven of Yama: here they live 2,000 years; but connubial bliss is dealt out to them with a more sparing hand, as they simply embrace their wives, and then not oftener than 144,000,000 of times. In the fourth heaven the inhabitants live 4,000 years: these only take their wives by the hand 576,000,000 of times : thus making up in quantity what they lose in quality. In the fifth heaven, the gentlemen only discourse with the ladies; but then it is 2,304,000,000 of times, and moreover for 8,000 years. In the sixth heaven, they look at each other for 16,000 years; but in that time exchange enough glances to supply for ages to come all the belles and beaux of the crowded coteries of this great metropolis, being no less than 920,000,000 of times. But it must not be supposed

* The extent of the yojana appears to be not clearly defined; some making it thirteen miles, others only nine.

that these unions of hands and interchanges of glances are cold as the snow-clad peaks of the Himalaya : on the contrary, every thing is perfectly etherial, and it follows, by certain natural rules, as is often experienced in this lower world of our's, that these pressures of the hands and extatic glances are productive of highly beneficial and substantial results, in populating the heavenly worlds in question. Of the other heavens, and their inhabitants, we are left in the dark : but enough has, no doubt, been elicited in this very desirable account, to enable us to form a sufficient judgment. 19, contains the four great Dwipas or divisions of the world, heretofore mentioned. 20, is Maha Samut Ho, or the great sea. 21, is the 2,000 smaller Dwipas surrounding the great Dwipas. 22, are the huge golden fishes which swim in the ocean between Meru and the Dwipas. 23, is the Raja Naja, or famous King of the Snakes. 24, is Chakravaling, or the horizon represented by a wall of circumvallation surrounding Meru. 25, is Surya. 26. Chand-héma or Chandra. 27. Nakhata, a star; supposed the polar star. 28, an umbrella of seven tiers, used by royal personages only. 29, the mountain Himawa, or Himalaya. 30, Satta maya sara, or the seven great lakes of the Himalaya. Near this spot the Elephant King with his 8,000 followers and wives reside. 31, are the five rivers issuing from the seven lakes. 32, are the seven great rivers, or seven great waters. 33, is the Siamese whale or great fish. 34, is the horse of Himala or Himalaya, termed the horse of the sky, the supposed white * horse of the Kalki avatar. 35, the horse that carried Phra Phuttha, or the Siamese Sonomokhodum, to the banks of the Jumna. 36, is the whip used by the god on that occasion, 37, are four lions of various descriptions. 38, is the royal tiger. 39. The green elephant, and 40 is the white elephant which bore Buddha in one of his avatars on his back. 41, is the red elephant of the Himalaya. 42, is the elephant of Indra, desscribed by Captain Low in a corresponding manner with a previous description of the elephant of the Nats. 43, is the King of the White Cattle of Himalaya. 44, is the Me Kho, the supposed cow of plenty of the Hindus.

* A white horse in Siam is highly prized.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »