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looked dirty, and every window was crowded with sleek well-fed Brahmans, who doubtless take great care of the Deo's revenues. We found his little godship seated in a mean veranda, on a low wooden seat, not any way distinguished from other children, but by an anxious wildness of the eyes, said to be occasioned by the quantity of opium which he is daily made to swallow. He is not allowed to play with other boys; nor is he permitted to speak any language but Sanscrit, that he may not converse with any but the Brahmans. He received us very politely, and said he was always pleased to see English people. After some conversation, which a Brahman interpreted, we took leave, and were presented by his divine hand with almonds and sugar-candy, perfumed with assafoetida, and he received in return a handful of rupees."
Is the god of wealth and the Hindu Plutus; he is also the regent of the north. This deity was a son of Viswasrava, and a brother of Ravan, who was overcome by Rama, as related in the account of that god. Thus the latter was one of the datyas, and Kuvera one of the celestials. He is also called Paulastya.
A brief notice only has been taken of him in Hindu Mythology; although he is a deity whose favours are by no people more valued than by the Hindus. He is represented as a magnificent personage, residing in the splendid palace of Alaca; or borne through the sky on the heads of four figures, in a radiant car, called pushpaca, which was given to him by Brahma. In each of two of his hands he holds a closed flower of the lotus, and has on his head a richly ornamented crown. (See fig. 1, plate 22, from the temple of Rama.) His sacti is Kuveri.
Is the god of the winds, and is by some represented sitting on a deer, holding in his hand a hook for guiding the elephant. My plate, from the temple of Rama, shews him mounted on that animal or an antelope, having, in one of his four hands, a pennon, and very appropriately in another, the head of (what appears to be) a spear or an arrow; which would indicate swiftness, from the supposed possession of which he is termed the messenger of the gods. Fig. 2, plate 22, represents him as I have described. He is adorned with a rich crown, and the armlets, bracelets, and anklets, which are usually seen on the Hindu deities.
Yama, or Dhermarajah, resembles both the Grecian Pluto, the king of hell, and Minos, the judge of departed souls, and is the regent of the south, or lower division of the world, mythologically called Patala, or the infernal regions.
Yama is described of a green colour, with red garments, having a crown on his head, his eyes inflamed, and sitting on a buffalo, with a club and pasha in his hands. "His dreadful teeth, grim aspect, and terrible shape," says Mr. Ward, "fill the inhabitants of the three worlds with terror." As Dhermarajah he is differently described: of a divine countenance, mild and benevolent. The virtuous only see the latter: the wicked are judged by Yama, surrounded by all his terrors. If the deceased have been virtuous, they ascend to a place of happiness; if wicked, they are sent to a particular hell, to undergo the punishment appointed for their especial crimes.
In a large chart, in my possession, of the celestial and infernal regions of the Hindus, the several heavens are placed in variously elevated positions, the roads to which are lined by gods, Gundharvas Apsaras, &c. &c., with lotus flowers in their hands, singing the praises, and waiting the approach of the good, and having near them convenient resting-places. In some parts are gilt temples and palaces, streams of water, and a variety of other agreeable things to render the journey as pleasant as possible. On the other hand, the passage to the infernal regions presents a different aspect. The road to the palace of Yama, which is believed to be situated in Yamapur, or the city of Yama, is both long and painful, being over burning sands and sharp-pointed or red-hot stones, amidst showers of burning cinders, scalding water, and molten metal, and through dark and terrific passages filled with snakes, tigers, enormous giants, and many inconceivable horrors. This road, according to Mr. Ward, is 688,000 miles; at the end of which, after crossing Vaitarini, the Indian Styx, Yama is beheld, "clothed with terror, two hundred and forty miles in height; his eyes distended like a lake of water, of a purple colour, with rays of glory issuing from his body. His voice loud as the thunders at the dissolution of the universe; the hairs of his body are each as long as a palm tree; a flame of fire proceeds from his mouth; and the noise of the drawing of his breath is greater than the roaring of a tempest, &c. &c." His attendant, Chitra Gupta, is almost as terrible as his master. Thus attended he judges the trembling and wailing sinners, and consigns them to their punishments, in their different hells.
Of these hells and punishments there are some of all sorts and descriptions, each appropriated for different crimes; so that the wicked may very well know, before-hand, precisely what they have to expect hereafter. Some of these punishments are shewn, from the chart before mentioned, in figs. 8 to 22, in plate 28.
Fig. 8 represents the sinner in a hell of boiling oil, for having been a glutton, and guilty of destroying animals. In figs. 9, 10, 11, and 12, he is being fed upon by dogs, jackalls, swine, rooroos, and birds and beasts of prey, for highway robbery, burning the house of, or poisoning, or doing an injury to others; having been inhospitable, neglecting the ceremonials of religion, &c. &c. In fig. 13, he is being sawed in two. In fig. 14, he is sticking in the mud, with his head downwards, for despising a religious devotee. In fig. 15, he is in a hell of burning metal, having his head comfortably pinched with red hot pincers for 3,500,000 years, for disregarding the Veda and Brahmans: this gentleman would appear to be travelling in his hell, drawn, with a stake through his body, by the bull Nandi. In fig. 16, he is being eternally beaten with immense clubs, for having been an adulterer or a fornicator (chastity being an indispensable virtue with both the Hindu mortals and immortals), or a thief (honesty being also a highly venerated virtue): in fig. 17, the sinner is having molten lead poured into his
ears: in fig. 18, he is having his toe nails pulled out: in fig. 19, his tongue is being served in the same way, for a crime which the Hindus abhor (if we might believe themselves) above all others, " lying." In figs. 20 and 23, the sinner is being for ever bitten by fleas or lice, or stung by wasps: in fig. 21, he is being eternally preyed upon by snakes for having caused sorrow to others; and in fig. 22, he is agreeably reposing on a bed of spikes, being soundly flagellated all the while that he might not compose himself to sleep, and, consequently enjoy, in greater perfection, the titillation intended for him. Besides these there any many other punishments equally extraordinary; with some of which the crimes do not appear to be at all commensurate. One of them, indeed, which represents a sinner in the embraces of a red hot iron female, for cohabiting with a woman of a low or discreditable caste, I intend to send sketches of (that this law of Yama may be passed into their statute books), to about fifty of the wisest and most virtuous of the legislators of Europe; so that the inhabitants of the western world may experience some gratifying return from the poor Hindu, for the numerous social, moral, and religious blessings, which they are daily conferring upon him. But to proceed:
Yama is called Srad'ha deva, or lord of the obsequies, and presides over the ceremonies of Srad'ha. At the time of offering the oblations to the manes of deceased ancestors, he is invoked by the priest under several names, of which Mr. Colebrooke has enumerated fourteen. The priest thus addresses him. "Salutation to Yama! salutation to Dherma Rajah, or the King of the Deities! to Death! to Antaka, or the destroyer! to Vaiwaswata, or the Child of the Sun! to Time! to the Slayer of all Beings! to Andhambara or Yama, &c. &c." The prayers which conclude these ceremonies are, from their heterogeneous association of things, not a little singular. "May the gods, demons, benevolent genii, huge serpents, heavenly choristers, fierce giants, blood-thirsty savages, unmelodious guardians of the celestial treasure, successful genii, spirits called Cushmamda, trees, and all animals which move in air or in water, which live on earth and feed abroad; may all these quickly obtain contentment. To satisfy them who are detained in all the hells and places of torment, this water is presented by me."