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deities. The temples above are the superior heavens, which are particularly described in the drawing, in Sanscrit characters; the crescent in the centre at the top, is the abode of the Supreme Being, round which perpetually revolve the sun, moon, and other celestial bodies.
Below A, are D the infernal regions, with sinners undergoing the punishments apportioned to their several crimes, marked from 8 to 23, which will be found more particularly described in my account of Yama, page 113; and B, the abode of the great Snake King (Raja Naga), attended by Bhumme Nari, the Goddess of the Earth, &c. The worship of the snake gods is termed Naga Panchami. These gods, of whom, among the Hindus, Vasuki (see Vasuki and Manusa in the third part of this work) is the lord, and Manusa the queen, reside in regions immediately under the earth, which are the seat of exhaustless treasures, the blaze of which supplies the absence of the solar radiance. The principal Nagas, of which there are about a dozen, are propitiated with offerings of milk and ghee. The fifth lunar day of Sravana is held sacred to the Nagas. On that day ablutions should be performed in the pool sacred to Vasuki, the lord of the Nagas. By observing this ceremony the Nagas are pleased, and the votaries may rest free from the dread of serpents. “Offerings of ghee, dhurva grass, &c. should be made to the Nagas, and drawings of deadly poisonous serpents should be exhibited, representing them armed with scimitars and shields; but the upper part of the body should be of human appearance, the lower part that of a snake, painted black, which on the day of worship should be bathed with milk."* In the south of India the day is called Garura's panchami, the bird garura being the implacable enemy of the snakes.
* Calcutta Government Gazette.
1. Dean s?loho
Publish on' by Parbury, allon d (London.1832
OSIRIS, ISIS, AND ORUS.
As the mythology of ancient Egypt is frequently alluded to in notices of that of the Hindus, a brief sketch of it in this place may not be found unuseful. I have already imagined that both the Egyptians and Hindus have been indebted for the origin of their idolatry to the Chaldeans, and that the other parts of the eastern and western worlds have, in like manner, obtained theirs from them.
The early religion of the Egyptians was, no doubt, as well as that of the Hindus, the worship of a supreme and only God, the creator of the universe, which was exchanged for what they considered the symbol of his power and majesty, the sun. This symbol they subsequently personified and worshipped, and endowed with the divine attributes of a deity, possessing, at the same time, the sensual appetites of humanity. Thus another personification was necessarily introduced and worshipped, as the goddess, or female nature, from whom, by the fecundizing power of the solar orb, every thing possessing either animal or vegetable life was produced. This caused a third personified deity, typical of the essence of the power and energy of both. Thus Osiris, the great emblem of the solar body; Isis, the symbol of æther," the natural parent and spirit of the universe, comprehending and pervading the whole creation ;" and Orus or Horus, the symbol of light (usually described as a winged boy standing between Osiris and Isis), are the three great deities of the Egyptian mythology, who have radiated, like the Hindu triad, into a multiplicity of forms and names, either as their various attributes were displayed, or according to the motions of the two great luminaries, of which Osiris, and Isis (in one of her forms) were the personified representations. Plutarch makes Osiris to signify“ the active principle or the most holy Being; Isis, the wisdom or rule of his operation ; Orus, the first production of his power,
the model or plan by which he produced every thing, or the archetype of the world.”
The attributes of Osiris, under his several forms, correspond with those of Jupiter, Sol, Bacchus, Pluto, Oceanus, &c. He will accordingly assimilate with Siva in his majestic and vindictive characters, as well as with Yama, with Indra, Rama, and Varuna.
The goddess Isis (called also Isha, the woman) is termed the mother of the gods, and like the Hindu Parvati (Bhavani or Durga), the goddess of a thousand names. The Greek and Roman writers make her the same as Juno, Minerva, Diana, Proserpine, Venus, Ceres, Hecate, &c. &c. She thus corresponds with the three great sactis of the Hindu triad. As the unarmed Minerva, she is the goddess Suraswati; as Ceres and Venus, she is the Hindu Lakshmi, the goddess of fecundity and beauty; as the Olympian Juno, she is the mountain-born goddess; as Vesta or Cybele, she is Bhavani; as Bellona, Durga, and as Hecate and Proserpine, the terrific and sanguinary Kali, under her numerous vindictive and destructive forms.
Orus, or Horus, is the emblem of light, whose parent is the solar orb. He is thus the son of Osiris ; and, as light, flows through all æther or spaces of Isis. He is the Roman Cupid; and, as such, may be compared with the beauteous Kamadeo, the Hindu god of love.
The striking similarity between almost every part of the Heathen and Hindu mythologies, will scarcely leave room to doubt that the origin of both was derived from the same source. Among the numerous instances of analogy, the wars of the Devas and Daityas of the Hindus, and of the gods and giants of the Heathens, will perhaps not be the least remarkable. The charmed instruments of war; the hydra-headed and many handed monsters; the enormous mountains and missiles of the stoutest trees which were used in battle by the one, were equally familiar to the other. The Heathen gods were driven from the heavens by the giants, and obliged to seek shelter in Egypt. The Hindu deities were frequently compelled by the Daityas to abandon Swerga, and wandered about the earth like common beggars. Vishnu was taken prisoner, and his heavenly hosts defeated, by Jalandhara, whom he afterwards subdued. Jupiter also was captured,