« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
by the interested party: they may be sent by relations, friends, or vakeels; 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 visâ versá, 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.”
Sradha.–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 Sradhus 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 Sradha 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 Sradha 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 No. 1, in the lower part of plate 2,* is a single perpendicular line, which denotes the sect of Vishnu; as will two or more perpendicular lines, either without or with (as in Nos. 2 and 3) a small dot or circle between them; or (as in 4) under them; or a wheel (chuckra) or discus (5,6); a cone, or triangle, or shield (7, 8, 9), or any similar form having the apex, or oval, or smallest parts downward; or with or without dots (10, 11, 12), or any thing else between, or under them, are indicative of Vishnu, and are typical, by pointing downwards, of water (the symbol of that deity), whose property it is to descend; as it is that of fire, the symbol of Siva, to ascend : therefore a cone, or triangle, or other form (13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18), having the apex, or oval, or smallest parts pointing upwards, either with or without dots, or other marks between or under them, denote the sect of Siva; as do two or more horizontal lines (19, 20), either without or with (21, 22, 23) a single dot or small circle (called putta), between or under them; or the circle alone (24); or an oval, with or without a smaller oval or semi-oval or putta within it, also denote Siva. The latter are typical of the third eye in the centre of the forehead (25, 26, 27, 28) of that deity. The crescent (29), either with or without circles or ovals, distinctly indicates Siva; as does (30), which Bartolomeo calls his trisula or trident. Two triangles crossed (31) denote the two sects, which will be seen in fig. 1, plate 21 (a form of Durga), with the addition of puttas on the legs of the triangles (32). A circle within a triangle, or a triangle within a circle (33, 34, 35), are said to be typical of the three sects, or the Hindu triad or trinity.
The images of Brahma have usually the sectarial marks of Siva, but they have sometimes those of both that deity and Vishnu. Ganesha, Kartikeya, and the avatars and forms of Siva and Parvati have also the marks of Siva , whereas Indra, Chandra, Agni, Kamadeo, Hanuman, and the avatars of Vishnu, have the sectarial signs of Vishnu. The Buddhas (except the Brahmanical Buddhas, or ninth avatar of Vishnu, who have the marks of that deity) and the Jainas, have not sectarial distinctions; but the images of the Buddhas and Tir'thankaras of these heterodox sects are frequently
* In referring to plate 2 for illustrations of the Sectarial Marks, the reader will, to save unnecessary repetitions, be pleased to understand that the lower part of the plate is alluded to.