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forward against their people. In the evening the bread is placed upon a small elevation in the Jumlu Ghur, and after a short extempore prayer, divided among the guests. A vessel containing sherbet, called the “ cup of fellowship,” is also passed round, and the remainder of the night is spent in rehearsing verses in praise of the Sut-Guru, and listening to the legendary stories of their founder, and directions for their moral conduct in life.
“Any member convicted of immorality is precluded from participating in their food, or associating in their worship. Excommunication is their special punishment, the duration of this discipline being wholly regulated by and proportioned to the atrocity of the offence.
“They profess to believe in one Invisible God, who retains every thing in his own sovereign power, is every where present, and is infinitely merciful, and who, in this exceeding mercy, sent the Sut-Guru to enlighten ignorant men. This Sut Guru, who instructed Jogee Das in the knowledge of the truth, they esteem as the immediate chila or pupil of the Supreme
“ The Sauds have no regular order of priesthood. That man who, in each division, happens to be considered most respectable, who can read, repeat their hymns, and relate their traditions, is constituted their chief, though always with limited authority.
“Any Saud believing himself to be under the influence of that same divine spirit which they supposed to have inspired their first founder, is at perfect liberty to offer his own productions at their religious assemblies for public repetition, and so long as they are moral, and not in contradiction to their received opinions, they will not be objected to.
“ Their nuptial rite is simple, all unnecessary expense being scrupulously avoided. Polygamy is never allowed, and even widows are forbidden to unite with a second husband.
“ As they are taught to esteem the soul the immortal part of man, and as of the greatest value, they have no prescribed mode of disposing of their dead.
“ They know nothing of any rites for the repose of the departed soul; but believe that it is either happy or miserable, according to its conduct while
in the body, and that at the future great day of judgment body and soul will be reunited.
“A tradition obtains credit among them, that after a lapse of thirteen years, according to calculation, the Saud sect will rapidly increase, and that eventually the whole population of Hindustan will embrace their tenets."Asiatic Journal.
This personage is worshipped by a sect represented as having its rise from Odhow, to whom the charge of the human race was delivered by Krishna when he left this world. The new doctrines were first preached by a Brumacharee called Gopal, and afterwards by Atmanund Swamee.*
The grand principle of the system seems to be, that the souls of all mankind are equal.
The principal observances enjoined are abstinence from what are represented as the four besetting sins of the flesh; indulgence in drinking spirituous liquors, eating flesh, stealing, and connection with other than their own women.
The votaries are sometimes indulged with what they call a Sumadhee, in which the spirit is said to leave the body, and to be transported to the blissful regions their imaginations are taught to expect after death; and during the period of its absence, no wound or infliction produces the slightest effect or pain, the trunk is represented to be perfectly senseless ; and after its return, the favoured person gives lively descriptions of what he has seen; generally abundance of gold and jewels, with palaces, &c., according to the fertility of his imagination.
Those who become Fakeers receive a name, and are instructed to submit to any ill usage without resistance, or without allowing the slightest resentment to remain on their minds; they are to forswear all worldly goods, and all the concerns of this world; they are not even to possess any article
* Swamee-a person so called is understood to be one who lays down the observances of caste, and devotes himself entirely to the service of God.
made of metal, except a needle to sew their clothes, and a knife to mend their pen for writing holy words; they are not to see nor to think of a woman; if they do see one so as to distinguish her as such, if the idea of a woman comes into their minds, or if they touch one, they must fast for that day.
People of all castes and persuasions resort to Swamee Narrain, and the number of his followers is very great, estimated by the most intelligent natives at about one hundred thousand, principally from Kattywar and the northern districts of Guzerat. Hindus, of all the four classes, Mahomedans, and even Dhers are admitted; but all are seated and fed according to their castes. The Swamee himself (who is a Brahman) eats indiscriminately with any caste as far down as Rajpoots, or Kattees, but not below them.
The most intelligent people in the country, even while they regret (as Hindus) the levelling nature of his system, acknowledge their belief that his preaching has produced great effect in improving the morals of the people. *
DATYAS, ASURAS, DEMONS, GIANTS, AND RAKSHASAS.
These names are synonymous, and mean the powerful enemies with whom the gods had to contend, and by whom they were frequently overcome, as has been related in various parts of this work. They were the children of Diti, as the gods were those of Aditi. (See Diti, in the third part of this work.) The principal of these Datyas were Hayagriva, Hiranyacasipa, Maha Bali, Deeruj, Ravan, Meghnaud, Koombhukurma, Kansa, Tarika, Muhisha, and many more mentioned in the avatars of Vishnu, and the accounts of Kartikeya, Durga, and others. One yet remains to be described, who appears to have given the gods more trouble, and to have placed them in greater danger, than any of those who have been yet noticed. This Datya is JALANDHARA, the son of the ocean and Gunga. It seems that, by the command of Siva, the river goddess left the hea
* Asiatic Journal, from Bombay Courier.
vens to form an union with the sea. They engaged in amorous dalliance, and from their embraces sprang Jalandhara, on whom Brahma bestowed the boon that he should be unconquered by the gods. Jalandhara's uncle was the sea of milk, churned with the mountain Mandarah by the gods in the Kurmavatara; and, as Indra and the other deities would not restore the precious gems then taken, Jalandhara made war upon them. His Rakshasas or warriors were of a most appalling description, having the heads of horses, elephants, camels, cats, tigers, and lions; with eyes glancing like lightning; snaky hair and enormous bodies, whence hair like scimitars arose, who rushed on, “like shouts loud as the thunder of clashing clouds."* Nothing more need be added, to shew the potency of Jalandhara's army, than to say, that it consisted of one hundred crores of such warlike Asuras, on chariots, elephants, horses, and foot, with trumpets, kettle-drums, &c. &c. No wonder, therefore, can be experienced that the heavens trembled with the din of such warfare, or that the frightened gods of Swerga made all the haste they could to escape from it, to supplicate for assistance. In vain Vishnu, Siva, Surya, Varuna, and the god of riches rushed to the battle; in vain they performed prodigies of valour; in vain, in short, vain, very vain, will it be for me to attempt to describe this tremendous battle, in which the sun ran away; the moon was swallowed; Indra struck senseless, and his elephant captured ; Siva taken prisoner ; Vishnu overcome and whirled about by the hand of Jalandhara ; and the whole of the celestial hosts dispersed by that brave and generous son of the ocean ; who, like his descendants, had no sooner conquered, than he nobly forgave his enemies, and invited Vishnu and Lakshmi to take up their residence in the sea of milk, which they did
The gods were, however, a restless set, and mustered again their forces under Siva. After numerous battles, which I will not attempt to describe, they triumphed over their gallant foe; whose last boon was, that no hand but his own should finally destroy him. This was granted ; and it may be satisfactory to some to learn that he subsequently obtained, what he deserved, immortality.
· * Colonel Vans Kennedy's Researches.
But it must not be imagined that this brave Datya was overcome by valour alone. His fate, on the contrary, furnishes us with another instance of the extraordinary ruses de guerre frequently practised by the immortals of the east, which, as they are not noticed by either Homer, Plutarch, Xenophon, Cæsar, Vegetius, or Rohan, are, I believe, even in this wonderful age of air-balloon rapidity of advance of knowledge, not entirely understood by the mortal warriors of the west. Perhaps the manœuvre partakes too much of the character of the once much-talked-of infernal machine, to be honourably introduced into their tactics. Of that I will not pretend to judge, but as the text will convey with it its best commentary, I shall merely recite it, and then leave the matter to the judgment of my military readers ; premising, that Jalandhara had, certainly, before endeavoured to practise the same maneuvre against either Vishnu or Siva (which of them I do not at present, remember), as the former of those deities succeeded in against him.
It appears that, in the last battle, the gods (after a conflict of twenty-two days), learnt that the cause of their ill success against Jalandhara arose from his having been rendered invulnerable by the virtues of his wife, Binda; which would still continue to protect him, and make him invincible so long as she remained pure and unsullied in conjugal fidelity. This was a serious predicament for the deities to discover themselves to be in, as Binda was a perfect Penelope in that respect. The crafty Vishnu, however, instantly left the field of battle, and, assuming the form of Jalandhara, hastened to the presence of that Datya's wife, with whom, under his disguise, he contrived to enjoy the privileges of a husband. Scarcely had he succeeded, than Binda learnt, at the same moment, the artifice that had been practised upon her, and the melancholy tidings of her husband having received a mortal wound. Jalandhara soon expired, and Binda performed suttee on his funeral pile. It is fabled that Vishnu, at a future period, transformed her remains (ashes) into the tolusa plant, on the leaves of which the salagrama stones, sacred to that deity, are deposited.