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toenter into. -I shall, therefore, only farther observe, that the Hindus calculate from the commencement of the present Kali yug, which took place in the 906th year of the world. Their date, to correspond with the year of our Lord 1832, or that of the world 5839, will be about 4933 of the Kali yug.
The Hindus have various- other eras: those most commonly cur; rent are, according to an article taken from the Calcutta Government Gazette, the Saka and the Sambat. “ The former is computed from the supposed birth of Salivahana, King of Pratishthana, in Southern India. The event is said to have occurred in the year of the Kali age 3179, which makes it seventy-eight years after the birth of Christ. The year 1832 will consequently be 1754.
The Sambat year numbers the luna solar years in the same manner as the Saka does the solar years. It is computed from the reign of Vikramaditya, King of Oujein, which began fifty-seven years before Christ. The present year, Sambat, will be about 1888-9.
The Jainas reckon from the disappearance of their last legislator, Verdhamana Swami, according to some authorities 663, and to others 686 years before the Christian era. The religious era of the Burmans commences 544 years prior to that period: they have, however, a vulgar era also, which commences A.D. 638.
The Hejira, or Mahomedan era, is counted from the flight of Mahomed from Mecca, and is usually considered to begin on Friday, the 16th July, A.D. 622: some make it commence on the preceding day.
The Hindus have various other eras, which commence in different months of the year. Most of these are local, and a description of
them will not prove of any interest to the reader.
Much inconvenience has been experienced by English readers, from the numerous ways in which the proper names of the Hindus have been spelt and pronounced, as Vishnu, Veeshnu, Veeshnoo, Vaishnu, Vishen, Beeshnoo, Bishen, &c.; Siva, Seiva, Siv, Seiv, Sieb ; Garuda, Garura, Gururu, Goorooroo, &c. &c. Of these modes I have judged it better to adopt that which has appeared to me to be the most simple, and which, with the following brief observations, may enable the reader to identify the proper names in this work with those which he may find elsewhere differently spelt, but signifying the same persons or things.
A is commonly pronounced au, and u as 00, as if Hindustan were
i written (as it sometimes is), Hindoostaun, or (as respects a), Hindu,
Hindoo. I is sometimes pronounced like ee, as rishis, reeshees, but would not be so in Hindu. A and u are equally used by different
writers; Agni, Ugni; Asuras, Usuras, Usooras. In like manner 0
and k are also used, as in Crishna, Creeshna, Krishna; Camdenu,
Kamdenu; Cashi, Kashi, &c. &c. By the Hindus b is pronounced v : the city of Benares is thus by them called Venares.
A generally understood and accepted orthography might, in spite of many local difficulties, be, no doubt, effected by the several learned oriental societies of Great Britain and our Indian presidencies. At present no such standard appears to be acknowledged ; consequently the intelligent contributors to works, equally learned and valuable, are too frequently opposed to each other in their selections of the modes in which their compositions are written. Compiled, as a large portion of this book has been, from so many diversified sources of information, I fear that, notwithstanding all the watchfulness and diligence which I have been enabled to exer
cise in altering the spelling of names to adapt them to one rule, some (perhaps many) discrepancies, in that respect, may have crept into my work, for which, if such should be found, I must intreat
the indulgence of the reader.