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pairs, from a former seed, in the re-production of worlds sprang into existence from a cave in a mountain. They were of a very diminutive size, being only one cubit and a half high. These pairs, male and female, which were called Yugaliyas, produced Nabhi Raja and Mora Déva. These Yugaliyas appear, however, to have thriven amazingly, for Rishabha Déva, their first Tirt’hankara, attained a height of two thousand cubits.
However nearly the Jainas were allied to the Hindu faith originally, they cannot now with propriety be admitted of that class, so long as they deny the supremacy of their gods and védas, as at present at least accepted and understood by the orthodox party. Mr. Colebrooke calls them a sect of Hindus, and the Hindus consider them a separation from their faith.
Even after having got the universe ready made, the J ainas appear incapable of arranging consistently its parts and movements; and the pantheon of the Hindus, which they still acknowledge, would seem rather a useless piece of machinery, where the divine essence existing in their deified saints is the supreme, if not the sole object of their adoration. An original system would scarcely have introduced immortal gods, to make them of such secondary consideration. Such, however, having once been part of their system, would, though superseded by saint-worship, still remain in some degree essential appendages to the minor purposes of ceremony and superstition.
I conclude the present number of Tirt’hankaras (twenty-four) to be fashioned after the twenty-four greater avatars of the Hindus. The most important are Rishabha, the first Tirt’hankara, and Parswanat’ha, the twenty-third. The colossal stature attributed to these Tirt’hankaras, and to all their celebrated men, vwhether saints or princes, in their books‘ and statues, shews how necessarily connected in their estimation were mental powers with personal size.
Adinat’ha, or Adiswara, another term for the deity, if we may so term their idea of purified matter, is usually applied to Rishabha Déva, who is allowed by the Jainas, Srawacs, &c. of every description, to be their first deified saint, and one who, whatever scattered notions may have before existed, was the first who reduced them to a system.
* The Jaina books are said to contain ten thousand volumes, the principal parts of which are supposed to be at Patun, in Rajpootana, and at Jusselmere, N.W. of Cambay.
All that we can gather from history or by means of antiquities, tends strongly to the belief that these now incompatible sects (the Jainas and Brahmans) were parts of one general system. Rishabha, as well as Sakya Kapila, and Vyasa, may then have been an avatara; and if the Brahmans consider the avatara Rishabha a distinct personage from him who founded the J aina sect, it may be but with the same motive which induces them to assert a distinct Buddha avatara, viz. that of denying men whose memory has from subsequent broils become obnoxious.
As the source of the Jain, or Arhata sect, is acknowledged by all to be Rishabha déva, I do not know how to reconcile to this opinion the supposition of Mr. Colebrooke, that Parswanat’ha might be the real founder of the sect.‘
The usual idea of the J ainas being a modern sect may not be erroneous, the doctrines originating with Rishabha, and dividing at periods of schism into more distinct classes, of which the Jainas or Srawacs as now established, form one; and the modern Buddhists, as in Burma, Siam, Ceylon, Thibet, &c., another.
Parswanat’ha I consider only as another form of Vishnu, in his distinct character of preserver; and that the histories of Buddha, son of Suddhodana, as well as of Salivahan, Gautama, &c. &c. are, in a great measure, a jumble derived from the same source, with the addition of foreign legends.
The latter sectarians appear to have merely given locality, name, and parentage, through the medium of saints or‘ real existences, to original
"' “ That supposition rests upon the surmise, that the history of Rishabha, and the other deified saints anterior to Parswanat'ha, is mere fable. It is vain to look for any foundation in truth for the monstrous absurdities related of them, their more than gigantic stature, prodigious duration of life, &c. There is a nearer approach to sober history and credible chronology, amid much which is silly, in the account of Parswanat'ha. He lived to the age of one hundred years; his predecessor to one thousand. He flourished 1230 years before the date of the work which gave an
account of him and of his successor; his predecessor more than eighty thousand years earlier." —Note by Mr. Colebrooke.