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notions, varying the minor details as facts or convenience might dictate. The names of the ten forms of Parswanat’ha are Marabuti, Gaja, Deva, Kirawavega, Surabhiman, Vajranabhi, Suranabhi, Chakravarti, Suvarnabahu, and Parswanat’ha.”
Plate 34, is a representation from a J aina sculpture three feet eight by two feet six, of Bhavani. She is seated on a lion, and is richly decorated with gems. In one hand she holds a human figure to her breast, and in another a lotus flower. Over her head is one of the J aina Tirt’hankaras with two attendants, having chawries in their hands, standing on elephants; and two others holding over his head the umbrella or ensign of royalty. On each side are two larger elephants with their keepers, numerous figures of devotees, gundharvas, apsaras, &c. &c.. fill up the other parts of the sculpture, which is very elaborately executed.
Plate 35, represents Parswanat’ha, fi'om a highly finished and beautiful sculpture in basalt. He is seated beneath an arch on a lotus throne, on the pedestal of which are three figures in various positions. Standing on the platform of the arch are two Fakeers supporting on their upraised hands the figure of Siva, Durga, and Indra and Indrani on elephants. On the head of Parswanat’ha is a rich tiara, with large bows at the sides; and over it an umbrella or canopy formed like the branches of a tree. The octangnlar pilasters, which support the arch, as well as the omamental parts of the arch itself, are finely sculptured: the latter in a flame-like wreath, apparently forming the tails of birds, and terminating in a colossal head. Above this are three (probably Swetambara and Digambara) figures. The whole has a rich and beautiful effect. '
The doctrines of the Shikhs appear to partake both of the Brahminical and J aina sects, blended with peculiar tenets of their own. They believe in a divine unity, and preach a strict and fervent devotion to the Deity;
but raise their Gurus, or spiritual guides, to an equality with, or superiority
over him. Like the Brahmans, in one of their hypotheses, they believe that nature is the mother of the world, and that Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva
are her sons, who regulate it; but they teach that there is a god (Narayana) superior to them, who created the world and innumerable other worlds, which, and the periods of their creation, are known only to himself.
The Shikh doctrines, as taught by their founder, Nanock, inculcate, that devotion to God is to partake of God, and finally to obtain absorption into the divine essence. The Shikhs believe in transmigration, a multiplicity of heavens and hells, and future births; and that mankind will be punished or rewarded according to their merits or demerits.
God, they say, is pleased with devotion which springs from the heart; outward forms he disregards. He is infinite, omnipotent, invisible: nothing can speak his praise; nothing describe his power. Every thing is absorbed in him: all that exists in the world is of him. The millions of Hindu deities, with Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, as well as Mahomet and all other divine personages, are subject to his power; nothing in fine is equal to him—except the Gurus, or spiritual teachers of the Shikhs.
Notwithstanding this reservation, the fundamental doctrines of the Shikh religion, as taught by Nanock, breathe the purest spirit of holiness, truth, justice, benevolence, a regard towards sentient animals, and that meek and inobtrusive devotion of the heart which acknowledges the deity in all his works, and leads to the worship of him, regardless of outward forms and observances, insilent meditation and prayer.
Such, and other not less excellent doctrines, appear to have been those inculcated by the founder of, and his immediate successors among the Shikhs ; but how soon the staff of the wandering and pious pilgrim, and the devotion of the mind-absorbed ascetic, were exchanged for the sword and shield, and predatory ravages of the mountain warrior, the following pages will shew.
The founder of this sect, as before intimated, was N anock, a Hindu of the Khetrie caste, who was born in the year 1469, at the village of Talawundy (now called Rhaypore), about sixty miles westward of Lahore, He is said to have travelled through most of the countries in India, and even into Persia and Arabia, preaching his doctrines in peace, and preserving an unaffected meekness and simplicity of manners. He died at Rawee, a village to the north of Lahore, in the year 1539, at the age of seventy: at which time not less than one hundred thousand persons in different countries had adopted his tenets, and considered him as their Guru, or religious guide.
After the death of Nanock, the Shikhs had successively for their leaders Anghudu, Amaradasu, Ramdasu, Arj unu, Hurree Govindu, Harra Rayu, Hurreekissen, Teg Bahadur, and Govindu Singh. These leaders, sometimes molested and sometimes unopposed by the Mogul emperors of Dehli, continued to increase their followers, till Govindu Singh, in consequence of his two sons having been barbarously put to death in cold blood by the governor of Sirhend, mustered the Shikhs and attacked the Mahomedans, all of whom, of every age and sex that fell into their hands, were immediately massacred. This person possessed more of the character of a military chief than of that of the leader of areligious sect: he made many alterations in the established institutions of his predecessors, better adapted to the martial spirit which he had laboured to infuse into the minds of his adherents. On his death, which was caused by assassination in 1708, he limited the number of the Shikh priests to ten ; in consequence of which no successor was appointed to him. Bunda, one of his disciples, however, raised a force, and committed many predatory attacks on the Mahomedans, which were accompanied by the utmost cruelty and rapacity. His successes drew to his standard a large body of the Shikhs; but the Moguls, after some desperate and sanguinary conflicts, at length overpowered them, and they were only saved from destruction by the death of the emperor Bahadur Shah. The weakness and disasters of the succeeding reign checked the progress of active pursuit; but persecution still continued, and the Shikhs were obliged to seek safety in concealment. At length they emerged from their hiding-places, but were again defeated, and compelled to fly to the recesses of the wild and mountainous country, or, to save their lives, to exteriorly renounce their religion, and profess themselves to be Mussulmen.
Very little was known of the Shikhs for more than a quarter of a century, and the name of the sect was almost unheard of in the Mogul territories. But this bold and daring people were only overpowered, not subdued. Again, the distractions of the Mogul empire enabled them to emerge from their mountain fastnesses. Sanguinary battles both with the Moguls and ‘Afghans, which lasted for a long series of years, and in which both parties exercised the most monstrous barbarities against each other, ensued: but victory, after having often wavered, finally crowned the standard of the Shikhs, and established the once pious followers of Nanock, and the subsequently adventurous, but lawless, bands of Govindu and his successors in arms, as one of the most powerful and warlike states of northern Hindustan. These people are brave, hardy, active, singularly abstemious, and capable of undergoing extraordinary fatigue: their cavalry, according to Mr. Foster, from whose travels I have abstracted much of this account, have been known to march forty or fifty miles a day for several successive days. Bread baked in ashes, and‘ tares and vetches parched, are commonly their only food.
The Shikhs are now divided into two great sects: one, the followers of the more simple doctrines of N anock, are termed Kulasas; the other, the martial adherents of Govindu Singh, are called Khalsas: the latter principally inhabit the Punjab. These sects are governed by separate leaders, some of whom command two or three thousand men, others ten or twelve thousand, and others armies of considerable strength.’ The assembly of the confederated chiefs is termed the Gurumuta, or great council of the Shikhs; which is called together only in cases of emergency wherein the general body of the nation is concerned. On these occasions every one is expected to lay aside all private considerations, and to have his proceedings regulated alone by the welfare of his country, and the interests of his religion.
Sir John Malcolm, in his admirable sketch of the history of the Shikhs, has stated, that these councils, which are held at Amrita Suru, are convened by the ukalees, a sort of militant priests, who have the direction of all religious affairs at that place. They wear chequered clothes, and bangles or bracelets of steel round their wrists, initiate converts, and have almost the sole direction of religious ceremonies at Amrita Suru, where they
" Runghit Singh is said to possess a force of 100,000 men.