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churning of the ocean, he disguised himself like one of them and received a portion of it. But the sun and moon having discovered his fraud, Vishnu severed his head and two of his arms from the rest of his monstrous body. That part of the nectareous fluid that he had time to swallow secured his immortality. His trunk and dragon-like tail fell on the mountain of Malaya, where Mini, a Brahman, carefully preserved them, by the name of Kétu or Cetu; and, as if a complete body had been formed from them, like a dismembered polype, he is even said to have adopted Kétu as his own child. The head with two arms fell on the sands of Barbara, where Prit'henas was walking with Sinhica, by some called his wife. They carried the daitya to their palace and adopted him as their son, whence he acquired the name of Prit'hinasi. This extravagant fable is, no doubt, astronomical.
Kétu often appears as a comet, a whirlwind, a meteor, a water-spout, and a column of sand. Fifty-six comets are said in the Chintamani to have sprung from Kétu; and Rahu had a numerous progeny of grahas and crocodiles.
In this battle Ganesha too proved a degenerate son of his invincible and amazonian mother; for, on being wounded in the mouth, he cried out lustily on the field, “Oh, my mother! Oh, my father! Oh, my brother! Oh, my dear Rat!”
Kartikeya is worshipped in the month Kartika ; on which occasion numerous images are made (Mr. Ward says not less than five thousand in Calcutta alone, some of which are twenty-five feet high), which, after the ceremony of worship, are cast, like those of Durga and Kali, into the river. Images of him are also set up and worshipped, as I have before mentioned, with those of Durga, on the festivals of that goddess. The model by Chit Roy, from which fig. 3, in the frontispiece, is taken, is a correct specimen of the images of Kartikeya on these occasions. Vows and offerings are made to him by Hindu females to obtain children, especially sons.
Kartikeya has many names; among which are Skanda, Subrahmani, Tarikajit, or he who conquered Tarika, &c. &c.
Fig. 1, plate 17, from a drawing, represents him on a peacock, the tail
of which forms a back to his lotus throne. In one hand he holds a spear, in another a trident, in a third an arrow, and the fourth is held in the act of solicitation. The peacock is treading upon a serpent holding something red in its mouth.
Fig. 2, in the same plate, from the temple of Rama, represents him similarly mounted and armed, except that his fourth hand holds a bow. In the compartment of the temple the tail of the bird is trailing on the ground, which want of room obliged me to alter in the plate.
The contradictions which pervade all the parts of the Hindu mythology are so strongly opposed to every thing in the shape of a consistent relation, that the farther we proceed, the more perplexed we become to reconcile every fresh legend with the fables already related. In the account of the creation, I have mentioned that the goddess Bhavani (or nature) divided herself into three females, for the purpose of marrying her three sons, Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva ; to the last of whom she united herself under the name of Parvati. Other accounts make Parvati the daughter of Brahma, in his earthly form (or avatar) of Daksha, named Suti.
After her marriage with Siva, a dispute arose between that god and Daksha; who not only refused to invite his son-in-law to a feast given in honour of the immortals, but reviled him in terms which roused the indignation of Siva, and pierced the tender and affectionate bosom of Suti, who first resented, and then sank under the contumely; for, on hearing Daksha term him a wandering mendicant, a bearer of skulls, a delighter in cemeteries, a contemner of divine ceremonies and unfit for the society of the gods, she took the part of her husband; and true to the Hindu creed, that when a virgin marries she leaves for ever her father's house, gave Daksha a memorable lecture in return, which would be too long to insert here, and might moreover prove a dangerous specimen of eloquence to some new-married ladies; who, in their zeal, might not always wait for proper occasions to