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of Vishnoo himself, and not an incarnation of this god. There are, however, beside the preceding ten incarnations, and this of Krishnů, many others mentioned in the pooranús, all having their source in Vishnoo.—The Shree-bhagủvŭtă contains accounts of the following : Soo-yŭgnŭ created certain gods, and removed distress from the three worlds; Kúpilī taught his mother the knowledge of Brúmhŭ, by which she obtained absorption ;-Dŭttatréyè delivered all his disciples, by means of the ceremony called yogů, from future birth, and obtained for them absorption ;-Koormarŭ declared the events that had happened in a former age; that is, previous to the dissolution of things which preceded his incarnation ;-Núró-Narayúnŭ was such a perfeot ascetic that the courtezans, sent by the gods to allure him from his religious austerities, were unsuccessful; Vishnoo himself created a female on purpose to divert him from his devotions, but her attempts were equally abortive ;-Prit’hoo opened the bowels of the earth, and brought forth its treasures ; Rishủvŭ was an incomparable yogēz, who was worshipped by the pèrům-hủngsús and other ascetics ;-Hŭyŭgrēēvă was so great a saint, that the words of the védŭ were uttered every time he breathed ;-Hŭree delivered his disciples from all their enemies, whether among men or the inferior animals ;-Húngsú taught his disciples the mysteries of yogủ, and obtained absorption himself while performing the ceremonies of a yogēē;-Mŭnoo's fame filled the three worlds, and ascended even as far as Sŭtyŭ-lokŭ ;--Dhủnwŭntăree delivered all diseased persons from their disorders on their mere remembrance of his name, and gave the water of immortality to the gods ;-Vyasă arranged the védús, was the author of the pooranės, &c.-Vibhoo was the spiritual guide of 80,000 disciples, whom he taught the knowledge of Brúmhŭ, and the ceremonics of yogú ;Sútyúsénŭ cleared the earth of hypocrites and wicked per
sons-Voikoont'hủ created the heaven of Vishnoo known by this name, and performed other wonders ;-Ujită instructed the gods to churn the sea to obtain the water of immortality, and did other things which distinguished him as an incarnation ;--Mohủnēê was incarnate, to prevent the giants from obtaining the water of immortality at the churning of the sea ;-Narůdŭ revealed the work called Voishnŭvŭ Tuntrŭ. The following incarnations are expected : Sarvůbhoumŭ to dethrone the present Indrė, and instate Bůlee in his stead ;--Vishwủksénů as the friend of Shămbhoo, when he becomes the king of heaven ;-Dhůrmú-sétoo to nourish the three worlds ;-Soodhama to assist Roodrŭ-savŭrnee, the twelfth of the fourteen mủnoos ; Yogeshwŭrŭ to place Divŭs-pètee on the throne of Indrė; Vrihudbhanoo to make known many new religious ceremonies.
The reader, however, is not to suppose that there are no other incarnations mentioned in these marvellous books : every hero, and every saint, is complimented by these writers as an incarnate deity.
I have not discovered any proof in the Hindoo writings, or in conversation with learned natives, that these incarnate persons are personifications of any of the divine attributes; or that these stories have any other than a literal meaning. No doubt they were written as fables, which the ignorance of modern Hindoos has converted into facts; or many of them may relate to common events here magnified into miracles.
Stone images of Vishnoo are made for sale, and worshipped in the houses of those who have chosen him for their guardian deity. There are no public festivals in honour of this god, yet he is worshipped at the offering of a burnt sacrifice; in the form of meditation used daily by the bramhŭns; at the times when the five gods' are worshipped, and also at the commencement of each shraddhủ. No bloody sacrifices are offered to Vishnoo. The offerings presented to him consist of fruit, flowers, water, clarified butter, sweetmeats, cloth, ornaments, &c.
Many choose. Vishnoo for their guardian deity. These persons are called Voishnůvús. The distinctive mark of this sect of Hindoos consists of two lines, rather oval, drawn the whole length of the nose, and carried forward in two straight lines across the forehead. This mark is common to the worshippers of all the different forms of Vishnoo. It is generally made with the clay of the Ganges; sometimes with powder of sandel wood.
Vishnoo has a thousand names', among which are the following :-Vishnoo; that is, the being into whom, at the destruction of the world, all is absorbed.-Narayúnă, or, he who dwelt in the waters, and he who dwells in the minds of the devout.-Voikoont hủ, or, the destroyer of sorrow.Vishtără-shrůva, or, he who, in the form of Viratū, is all eye, all ear, &c.-Rhishēēkéshủ, viz. the god of all the members, and of light.---Késhủvů, or, he who gave being to himself, to Brúmha and Shivă; or, he who has excellent hair.-Madhủvů, or, the husband of Lūkshmēē.-Múdhoosõõdhủnŭ, the destroyer of Múdhoo, a giant.-Swŭmbhoo, or, the self-existent.-Doityaree, or, the enemy of the
i The meaning of the principal names of some of the gods is to be found in the comment upon the Umără-koshů, by Bhărătă-múlliki.
Jupiter had so many names, they could scarcely be numbered; some of them derived from the places where he lived and was worshipped, and others from the actions he performed.
k At the time of a průlůyů, when every thing is reduced to the element of water, Vishnoo sits on the snake Unŭntů, which has 1000 heads.
giants.-Poondúręēkakshủ, or, he whose eyes are like the white lotus.--Govindŭ, or, the raiser of the earth.-Pitamvŭrů, or, he who wears yellow garments.-Ochyootŭ, or, the undecayable.-Sharúngēē, or, he who possesses the horn bow.-Vishwŭkshénů, or, he whose soldiers fill all quarters of the world. Jủnarddúnú, or, he who afflicts the wicked, and, he of whom emancipation is sought.-Pudmů. nabhủ, or, he whose navel is like the water lily.–Vishwŭmvŭrů, or, the protector of the world.-Koitůbhujit, or, he who overcame the giant Koitúbhủ.
Vishnoo has two wives', Lúkshmēē, the goddess of prosperity, and Sărăswūtēē, the goddess of learning. The former was produced at the churning of the sea: Súrūs wūtēē is the daughter of Brúmha,
The following description of the heaven of Vishnoo is taken from the Muhabharútă. This heaven, called Vojkoont’hům, is entirely of gold, and is eighty thousand miles in circumference. All its edifices are composed of jewels. The pillars of this heaven, and all the ornaments of the buildings, are of precious stones. The chrystal waters of the Ganges fall from the higher heavens on the head of
I One of the Hindoo poets, in answer to the question, Why has Vish200 assumed a wooden shape ? (alluding to the image of Júgủnnaťhủ,) says, 'The troubles in his family have turned Vishnoo into wood: in the first place, he has two wives, one of whom (the goddess of learning) is constantly talking, and the other (the goddess' of prosperity) never remains in one placé : to increase his troubles, he sits on a snake; his dwelling is in the water, and he rides on a bird.' All the Hindoos acknowledge that it is a great misfortune for a man to have two wives; especially if both live in one house.
* The work called Kirmů-Vipakė says, that the heavens of Vishnoo, Brůmha, and Shivů are upon three peaks of the mountain Sooméroo ; and that at the bottom of these peaks are the heavens of twenty-one other gods.
Droovů, and from thence into the bunches of hair on the heads of seven rishees in this heaven, and from thence they fall and form a river in Voikoont'hủ. Here are also fine pools of water, containing blue, red, and white water-lilies, the flowers of some of which contain one hundred petals, and others a thousand; gardens of nymphæas, &c. On a seat as glorious as the meridian sun, sitting on water-lilies, is Vishnoo, and on his right hand the goddess Lŭkshmēē. From the body of Lŭkshmēē the fragrance of the lotus extends 800 miles. This goddess shines like a continued blaze of lightning. The dévèrshees, rajórshees, and săptărshees constantly celebrate the praise of Vishnoo and Lukshmēē, and meditate on their divine forms. The brúmhŭrshēēs chant the védús. The glorified voishnůvės approach Vishnoo, and constantly serve him. The gods n are also frequently employed in celebrating the praises of Vishnoà; and Gŭroorů, the bird-god, is the door-keeper.
Shivu, the destroyer, has the second place among the Hindoo deities, though in general, in allusion to their offices, these three gods are classed thus : Brůmha, Vish
This god is represented in various ways. In the form of meditation used daily by the bramhŭns he is described as a silver coloured man, with five faces; an additional eye
* These gods are supposed to be visitors at Vishnoo's.
• One of the names of Shivů is Trilochủnå, viz. the three-eyed. One of the names of Jupiter was Trioculus, (Triophthalmos,) given him by the Greeks, because he had three eyes. An image of this kind was set up in Troy, which, beside the usual two eyes, had a third in the forehead.