Изображения страниц

Fig. 5 is a boat-shaped vessel, called Argha Patra, used in religious ceremonies to contain the argha, or offering, made of tila (or sesamum indicum), cusa grass, perfumes, flowers, durva grass, and water. Fig. 6 is a handsomely engraved box in two compartments (having in the inside a small mirror) containing colours for staining the eye-lashes, &c. Fig. 7 is a pierced shell for containing incense. Figs. 8, 9, and 10, are lustral spoons sacred to Vishnu, Krishna, &c. Fig. 11 is the Hindu vina (or lute) commonly seen in the hands of Nareda and Surawati.

Figs. 4 and 5, plate 33, are compressed vessels used for religious purposes, to contain the water of the Ganges. Fig. 6 is ganta, or a bell, used at various periods of worship: and fig. 7 is a paun daun, in seven compartments, for containing paun, chewed by the Hindus, consisting of betel, chunan, spices, &c. Fig. 8 is a Fakeer's crutch, with a concealed dagger; over it hangs a rosary or string of beads.


The Jainas, or Svarakas, or Swarkas, have been considered a division of the sect of Buddha; but the principal tenet of their faith is in direct opposition to the belief of that sect. The latter deny the existence of a supreme Being; the former admit of one, but deny his power and interference in the regulation of the universe. Like the Buddhas, they believe that there is a plurality of heavens and hells; that our rewards and punishments in them depend upon our merit or demerit: and that the future births of men are regulated by their goodness or wickedness in every state of animal life. On these points the reader need only refer to the article " Buddha" to find a full description, which it would be unnecessary to recapitulate. Thus, like the Brahmans, the Jainas acknowledge a supreme Being, but pay their devotion to divine objects of their own creation, with this difference, that the Brahmans represent their deities to be of heavenly descent, whereas, the Jaina objects of worship, like, but at the same time distinct from, those of the Buddhas, are mortals of alleged transcendent virtue, raised to beatitude by their piety, benevolence, and goodness. Equally with the Buddhas


they deny the divine authority of the Vedas, yet they admit the images of the gods of the Vedantic religion into their temples, and, it is said, to a certain extent worship them; but consider them to be inferior to their own Tir'thankaras. They, therefore, appear to blend, in practice, portions of the two faiths, advocating doctrines scarcely less irrational than those of atheists, and no less wild than the heterogeneous polytheism of the Brahmans.

The founder of the Jaina sect was Rishabadeva, who was incarnate thirteen times. After him twenty-three other sages or holy men became the Tir'thankaras or Gurus of the sect, the last of whom was incarnate twentyseven times. Gautama, the present Buddha, was his disciple. The Buddhas state that twenty-two Buddhas appeared on earth before Gautama. The Jainas describe twenty-four of their Tir'thankaras. The Jainas derive their name from the word Jinu (ji, to conquer). A Jaina must overcome the eight great crimes, viz. eating at night, or eating of the fruit of trees that give milk; slaying an animal; tasting honey or flesh; taking the wealth of others, or taking, by force, a married woman; eating flour, butter, or cheese; and worshipping the gods of other religions. *

The Jainas extend the doctrine of benevolence toward sentient animals to a greater degree than the Buddhas, with whom they agree in their belief of transmigration. A Jaina yati or priest carries with him a broom made of cotton threads to sweep the ground before him as he passes along, or as he sits down, lest he should tread or sit upon and injure any thing that has life. A strict yati will not, consequently, go out on a rainy day, nor, for the same reason, speak without first covering his mouth. He will neither drink water which has not been boiled; wash his clothes; bathe or cleanse any part of his body, from the apprehension that he should, by so doing, inadvertently destroy any living animal.f

* This last injunction strongly militates against what I have just before stated.

f A strong instance of their strict adherence to this article of their religion is related in Major Seeley's work, the Wonders of Ellora. "An ascetic at Benares was, like the rest of the sect, extremely apprehensive of causing the death of an animal. Some mischievous European gave him a microscope to look at the water he drank. On seeing the animalculi he threw down and

The hospitals of the Jainas for the reception of animals and reptiles of all kinds, however vile, may be considered as singular among the customs of mankind. These hospitals are called pinjra-pul, and contain animals of various descriptions. There appears to be no restriction upon their admission on account of their species; and one of the most extraordinary objects of the establishment is a receptacle for vermin, in which the Jainas, upon the principle of their religion, which forbids them to deprive an animal of life, place maggots, weevils, and insects of all kinds, which they may find, either in their food, on their persons, or elsewhere. The houses which contain them are of considerable extent, and raised several feet from the ground. They are there fed with grain deposited for the purpose of their support, and exhibit a living mass of the vilest animal matter. It has been alleged (but with what degree of truth I do not pretend to determine), that pious Jainas occasionally take up an abode in these places for a night, in order to regale their inhabitants with a repast of a superior description.

The priests of the Jainas are, as just mentioned, called yatis oxjatis; the laity are termed svrarakas or swarkas. The jatis are usually taken from the tribe of the Banyas, and are devoted, in early life, to the purposes of religion. They pass their noviciate with a guru or teacher, and at a proper period are admitted as yatis. On this occasion a novice is stripped of his apparel, and, with certain ceremonies, invested with the dress of his order. A blanket, a plate, and a cloth for his provisions, a water-pot and his broom are then given to him. He may purchase provisions ready dressed, but he cannot dress them; neither can he, like a Buddhist priest, who can retire from his vocation, marry, as he is considered to have renounced the world, and all the enjoyments of it. His duties are to read and expound the sacred writings to the svrarakas. The religious ceremonies of the Jainas are also performed by the yatis; but marriage, which is a civil act, is celebrated by a Svraraka Brahman. The chief priest of the yatis is called sripuja, to which state he is chosen from among the chilas, or disciples. The Jainas have a variety of sects, which have many divisions, each of which has its

broke the instrument, and vowed he would not drink water again. He kept his promise, and died."

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »