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her images, like those of Durga, are conveyed, attended in the customary manner with much noisy music, to the banks of the river, and cast into the stream. Fig, 1, plate 21, represents her seated on a lion, which is bestriding and wounding with his fore-paws an elephant, whose trunk is twined round one of the hinder legs of the lion. From a handsome model by Chit Roy.
Is another form of Parvati as Durga, under which she is giving suck to Krishna, to prevent the effects of the poison which he received in subduing the monstrous serpent Kalya.
This monster infested the banks of the river Yamuna, and destroyed the herds of the Gokals. Krishna attacked and conquered him. He then asked that deity where he was to go, as, if he remained on shore, Garuda would destroy him. Krishna pressed his foot on his head, and told him that the impression would secure him from Garuda. The venom of the serpent, however, affected Krishna, which Durga cured by administering to him her own milk.
Another form of Durga, in which she is described pulling an elephant out of her mouth. Fig. 6, plate 26, from the temple of Rama, represents a personage of some kind mounted on the back of another, pulling an elephant from the mouth of a fish. Whether this has any relation to the present form of Durga I am unacquainted; as I am, indeed, with the legend to which the figures refer.
Parvati has numerous other names, some of the most important of which will be noticed, under their respective heads, in the third part of this work.
The primeval being, represented under a form half male, half female. The term is usually applied to Siva and Parvati; but where gods meet gods at every step, it is impossible to decide which of them was the primeval being. Mr. Colebrooke informs us, that " he, the primeval being, felt not delight, therefore man delights not when alone. He wished the existence of another, and instantly became such as is man and woman in mutual embrace. He caused this, his own self, to fall in twain, and thus became a husband and wife: therefore was this body, so separated, an imperfect moiety of himself. This blank, therefore, is completed by woman: he approached her, and thus were human beings produced.
"She reflected doubtingly: 'How can he, having produced me from himself, incestuously approach me? I will now assume a disguise.' She became a cow, and the other became a bull, and approached her; and the issue were kine. She then became successively a mare, a she-ass, a female goat, an ewe, &C. &C. ad infinitum, and he a male of every species; so that all kinds of animals, &c. down to the minutest insect, were created." 'According to some, Viraj was the first issue of the mighty being who had thus divided himself, and was consequently the first man and the founder of the human race. Swayambhuva is considered to have been his son. There are many accounts respecting their descendants, each at variance with the other. I need only, therefore, say that they were the Brahmadicas, Menus, and Rishis ; and the race of the Children of the Sun, the descendants of Surya.
Fig. 1, plate 15, is a compound figure, half man half woman, or Siva and Parvati conjoined, called Ardha Nari or Ardha Maheswari, which I imagine may apply to Viraj. In one hand Siva holds the trident, and, in another, Parvati the damara; the other two are joined together. From the head of Siva issues the sacred Gunga. His foot rests on the bull, Parvati's on the tiger.
It will be unnecessary to say more of the intimate union of this quarrelsome couple than I have above stated; except that, as frequently happens to men who are unruly abroad, the lady at home was the better half. Thus, in the war of Lanka, it was found that, although Siva, on the importunity of the other gods, wished to act in conjunction with them to destroy his worshipper Ravan, Parvati put the whole of the assembled deities at defiance; till the flattery of the accomplished Rama obtained her acquiescence.
One account related by Mr. Ward is however worthy of notice, as it exhibits, what we might not have been otherwise prepared to expect, the miserable plight to which even the supreme of the Hindu gods, with all their glory and magnificence, were sometimes reduced. It appears that Siva having only one mouth, and Parvati as Durga ten, with Ganesha besides to support, he desired to be thus united to preserve himself from starving. But we have elsewhere a more godlike account of this union, viz. that Siva assumed the conjoint form, to prove that he was the supreme being, possessing both the male and female powers of creation.
The conjoint forms of Vishnu and Siva. This singular union of the two great deities of the Hindu sects is involved in much obscurity, and the little light that we have on the subject is not of the most becoming description. The union is, perhaps, little else than the caprice of the votaries of the two deities. The sculptures of them in this form somewhat resemble Ardha Nari. In pictures, Vishnu is painted black and Siva white.