« PoprzedniaDalej »
roots, fruits, milk, curds, clarified butter, flesh, spirituous liquors (in a concealed form), sweetmeats, &c. &c. Generally about 250 pounds of rice are cooked daily, but at particular times twice or thrice as much. After reserving as much as is necessary for his own family, the officiating bramhun sells the rest of the offerings to devout visitors or neighbours, and gives away what he cannot sell. When a bloody sacrifice is offered, the offerer either pays the priest for his trouble, or gives up the slaughtered animal. The slayer also receives a fee. Of this flesh the officiating bramhun keeps what he pleases, and sells the rest to bramhuns, shōōdrus, Portuguese, and persons from all parts of the neighbourhood.
The daily offerings to this goddess are astonishingly numerous. On days when the weather is very unfavourable, not less than three hundred and twenty pounds of rice, twenty-four of sugar, forty of sweetmeats, twelve of clarified butter, ten of flour, ten quarts of milk, a peck of pease, eight hundred plantains, and other things, (the price of which may amount to about five shillings,) are offered, and eight or ten goats sacrificed. On common days, of all these things three times the quantity; and at great festivals, or when a rich man comes to worship, ten, twenty, or forty times this quantity; and as many as forty or fifty buffaloes, and a thousand goats are slain.
Raja Nuvů-Krishnă, of Calcutta, about fifty years ago,
It is affirmed that the greater number of grown up persons in this village drink spirits. Bramhuns may be seen in front of the temple, drinking spirits at noon day; and religious mendicants walking about, naked, without the least sense of shame.
The women belonging to the temple have become such good cooks, that it is not uncommon for persons to pay for a dinner from their hands, preferring it to any thing they could get elsewhere.
when on a visit to Kalēé-ghatŭ, expended, it is said, not less than 100,000 roopees on the worship of this goddess. Amongst the offerings was a gold necklace valued at 10,000 roopees, and, beside other ornaments, a rich bed, silver plates, dishes, and basons; sweetmeats, and other food sufficient for the entertainment of a thousand persons; and trifling presents of money to near two thousand of the
About twenty years ago Juyŭ-Narayŭnů-Ghoshalů, of Kiddŭrpoorů, near Calcutta, expended 25,000 roopees at this place when he sacrificed twenty-five buffaloes, one hundred and eight goats, and five sheep; and presented to the goddess four silver arms, two gold eyes, and many gold and silver ornaments.
About ten years ago, a merchant from the east of Bengal expended 5,000 roopees on the worship of this goddess, beside the price of a thousand goats which were slaughtered.
In the year 1810, a bramhŭn from the east of Bengal expended on this idol about four thousand roopees, with part of which he bought a golden necklace, the beads of which were in the shape of giants' skulls.
In the year 1811, Gopēē-mohůnů, a bramhŭn of Calcutta, expended ten thousand roopees in the worship of this goddess; but, being a voishnŭvă, he did not offer any bloody sacrifices.
The Hindoos, it seems, are not the only persons who worship this black stone: I have received accounts several times of Europeans, or their native mistresses, going to this
temple, and expending thousands of roopees in offerings. The bramhun with whom I wrote this account declares, that when he was a student at Vŭrisha, near Kalēē-ghatŭ, he several times saw the wives of Europeans come in palanqueens with offerings; though I suppose these ladies were born in India. But the proprietors of the temple positively assured this bramhun, (as he says,) that very frequently European men presented offerings, soliciting some favour at the hands" of the goddess; and that very lately a gentleman in the Hon. Company's service, who had gained a cause at law, presented thank-offerings to Kalee which cost two or three thousand roopees *. I confess that I very reluctantly insert these accounts, because I should hope they mostly originate in wilful misrepresentation on the part of the bramhŭns of the temple, or in mistake. I suppose some Portuguese (who also go by the name Sahéb) may present offerings, and pray to this goddess—hence one source of misinformation; the mistresses of Europeans are supplied with money by their retainers, and hence the worship not unfrequently passes off, with many a triumph over degraded Christianity, as the worship of such a European; and many Europeans, who go for curiosity to see the temple and the image, inconsiderately or wantonly give presents to the clamorous and greedy bramhuns, who proclaim it as an offering to their goddess. Actions the most innocent, (even going to view the image,) are construed by these ignorant idolaters into an approval of idolatry. A
"Silver hands, and gold tongues and eyes are among the presents made by rich men to this goddess. Such is the stupidity of idolaters.
* It is probable, that the real worshipper in this instance was a headservant of this gentleman's; though the expense might be defrayed by the master. Without thinking of the guilt of such conduct, I have known frequent instances of Europeans making presents to their servants for the avowed purpose of idol worship.
European who was lately there, says my informant, to make a drawing of the image, when he departed gave the officiating bramhŭn a gold mohur, and this present was probably enrolled among the gifts to the temple.
It is further affirmed, that many Musulmans (four or five
crease his wealth, [or remove sickness from him—or make
Merchants and tradesmen present offerings to Kalee once, twice, or thrice a year, to obtain success in their concerns ; many rich men (thirty or forty) place bramhuns at this temple to worship the goddess, to walk round the
y Hindoo merchants engaged in foreign commerce, after the successful voyage of a ship in which they had property, frequently present thankofferings to this goddess.
temple, and read the Chundēē, daily in their names ;— others place bramhŭns here for these purposes, for two or three months in the year;-sepoys from all parts of Hindoost'hanŭ resort to this temple as often as they can obtain leave of absence;-mothers present offerings, praying for the recovery of their children, and promising to bring the restored child in their arms when they come to fulfil their vows; or, that it shall be invested with the poitaa, or pass through some other ceremony at the temple ;-servants in search of employment make vows to the goddess to present her with a month's wages, if she will raise them to such a situation;-in a word, the occasions of drawing people to this famous temple are as endless as the superstitious hopes and fears, the crimes and the wants of the worshippers.
Goats are devoted to Kalēē, and kept, in some cases, for a long time, till the owner be able to meet the other expenses attending the offerings and worship. These animals are called the goats of Kalēē.
The village of Kalēē-ghŭttů (or Kalēē-ghatů) owes the greater part of its present population to this temple; from which near two hundred persons derive their subsistence, exclusive of the proprietors, who amount to about thirty families. Some proprietors have a day in turn, others half a day, and others two or three hours; to whom all the
The hair of some children is not cut at all till the vow be fulfilled; others only separate a lock of the child's hair, tying it up in a bunch. A large hillock of human hair, collected at the times of shaving when vows have been fulfilled, is formed near the temple.
A bramhun once assured me, that he had seen not less than three hundred boys invested with the poita in one day at this place; on which occasion many bloody sacrifices were offered. The concourse of people was immense.