Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

and a half-moon grace each foreheadp. He has four arms; in one hand he holds a púrushoo; in the second a deer; with the third he is bestowing a blessing, and with the fourth he forbids fear: he sits on a lotus 9, and wears a tyger-skin garment.

At other times Shivŭ is represented with one head, three eyes, and two arms, riding on a bull, covered with ashes, naked, his eyes inflamed with intoxicating herbs", having in one hand a horn, and in the other a drum.

Another image of Shivŭ is the lingů, a smooth black stone almost in the form of a sugar-loaf, with a projection at the base like the mouth of a spoon.

There are several stories in the pooranŭs respecting the origin of the lingŭ worship, three of which I had translated, and actually inserted in this work, leaving out as much as possible of their offensive parts : but in correcting the proofs, they appeared too gross, even when refined as much as possible, to meet the public eye. It is true I have omitted them with some reluctance, because I wish that the

P At the churning of the sea, Shivů obtained the moon for his share, and fixed it, with all its glory, in his forehead.

9 It appears that this plant was formerly venerated by the Egyptians as much as it is now by the Hindoos. The sacred images of the Tartars, Japanese, and other nations are also frequently represented as placed upon it.

• Bacchus, who appears to bear a pretty strong resemblance to Shivti, is said to have wandered about naked, or to have had no other covering than a tyger's skin, which is the common garment of Shivă, and of his followers, the súnyasēēs. The bloated image of Shivů corresponds with that of Bacchus; and though the Indian god did not intoxicate himself with wine, yet his image is evidently that of a drunkard. Shivă per, petually smoked intoxicating herbs.

apologists for idolatry should be left without excuse, and that the sincere Christian should know what those who wish to rob him of the Christian Religion mean to leave in its stead.

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

From these abominable stories, temples innumerable have arisen in India, and a Shivă lingŭ placed in each of them, and WORSHIPPED AS A GOD !! These temples, indeed, in Bengal and many parts of Hindoost'han, are far more numerous than those dedicated to any other idol; and the number of the daily worshippers of this scandalous image, (even among the Hindoo women, who make the image with the clay of the Ganges every morning and evening, is beyond comparison far greater than the worshippers of all the other gods put together.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

The account of the origin of the phalli of the Greeks bears a strong and unaccountable resemblance to some parts of the pouranic accounts of the lingủ: Bacchus was angry with the Athenians, because they despised his solemnities, when they were first brought by Pegasus out of Boeotia into Attica; for which he afflicted them with a grievous disease, that could have no cure, till, by the advice of the oracles, they paid due reverence to the god, and erected phalli to his honour; whence the feasts and sacrifices called Phallica were yearly celebrated among the Athenians.--The story of Priapus is too indecent, and too well known to need recital. Should the reader wish for farther information on this subject, he is referred to an extract from Diodorus Siculus, as given in the Reverend Mr. Maurice's second volume of Indian Antiquities. The perusal of this extract may help further to convince the reader that the old idolatry, and that of the present race of Hindoos, at least in their abominable nature, and in some of their prominent features, are ONE,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Beside the clay image of the lingủ, there are two kinds of black stone lingús: these are set up in the Hindoo temples The first is called swèyŭmboð, (the selfexistenty) or únadeet, that which has no beginning. The second they call vanů-lingủ, because Vanů, a king, first instituted the worship of this image. These stones are brought from the neighbourhood of the river Gũndhủkëē, which falls into the Ganges near Patna. The images are made by Hindoo and Músèlman stone-cutters,

There is another form in which Shivŭ is worshipped, called Muha-kală. This is the image of a smoke-coloured boy with three eyes, clothed in red garments. His hair stands erect; his teeth are very large; he wears a necklace of human skulls, and a large turban of his own hair; in one hand he holds a stick, and in the other the foot of a beda stead; he has a large belly, and makes a very terrific appearance. Shivů is called Muha-kalū, because he destroys all; by which the Hindoos mean, that all is absorbed in him at last, in order to be reproducedu.

Images fof this form of Shivă are not made in Bengal; but a pan of water, or an ủnadee-lingů, is substituted, before which bloody sacrifices are offered, and other cere

• It is remarkable, that a stone image, consecrated to Venus, bore a strong resemblance to the lingů. Of this stone it said, that it was * from the top to the bottom of an orbicular figure, a little broad beneath ; the circumference was small, and sharpening towards the top like a sugar loaf. The reason anknown."

· At the time of a great drought, the Hindoos, after performing its worship, throw very large quantities of water upon this ủnadee-lingi, in order to induce Shivů to give them rain.

"Some say Saturn received his name, because he was satisfied with the years he devoured, Saturn was also represented as devquring his children, and vomiting them up again,

D

monies performed, in the month Choitrů, at the new moon. Only a few persons perform this worship. Except before this image, bloody sacrifices are never offered to Shivů, who is himself called a voishněvů, i. e, à worshipper of Vishnoo, before whose image no animals are slain, and whose disciples profess never to eat animal food.

Under different names other images of Shivă are described in ihe shastrŭs; but none of these images are made at present, nor is any public worship offered to them.

Those who receive the name of Shivů from their spiritual guides, are called Soivyús. The mark on the forehead which these persons wear, is composed of three curved lines like a half-moon, to which is added a round dot on the nose. It is made either with the clay of the Ganges, or with sandal wool, or the ashes of cow-dung.

Worship is performed daily at the temples of the lingú; when offerings of various kinds are presented to this image. If the temple belong to a shõõdră, a bramhŭn is employed, who receives a small annual gratuity, and the daily offerings*. These ceremonies occupy a few minutes, or half an hour, at the pleasure of the worshipper. Many persons living in Bengal employ bramhŭns at Benares to perform the worship of the lingú in temples which they have built there,

Every year, in the month Phalgoonů, the Hindoos make the image of Shivă, and worship it for one day, throwing the image the next day into the water. This worship is performed in the night, and is accompanied with singing, dancing, music, feasting, &c. The image worshipped is either that of Shivŭ with five faces, or that with one face. In the month Maghŭ also a festival in honour of Shivŭ is held for one day, when the image of this god sitting on a bull, with Parvŭtēē on his knee, is worshipped. This form of Shivů is called Huru-Gouréey.

* The shastrès prohibit the bramhŭns from receiving the offerings presented to Shivă: the reason I have not discovered, The bramhŭns, however, contrive to explain the words of the shastră in such a inanner, as to secure the greater part of the things presented to this idol,

In the month Choitrů an abominable festival in honour of this god is celebrated; when many Hindoos, assuming the name of súnyasēès, inflict on themselves the greatest cruelties. Some of the chief sảnyasēēs purify themselves for a month previously to these ceremonies, by going to some celebrated temple or image of Shivů, and there eating only once a day, abstaining from certain gratifications, repeating the name of Shivă, dancing before his image, &c. Other sủnyasēēs perform these preparatory ceremonies for fifteen, and others for only ten days; during which time parties of men and boys dance in the streets, having their bodies covered with ashes, &c. and a long piece of false hair mixed with mud wrapped round the head like a turban. A large drum accompanies each party, making a horrid din.

On the first day of the festival, these súnyasīts cast themselves from a bamboo stage with three resting places, the highest about twenty feet from the ground. From this height these persons cast themselves on iron spikes stuck in bags of straw. These spikes are laid in a reclining posture, and when the person falls they almost constantly fall down instead of entering his body. There are instances

, Húrů is the name of Shivi, and Gourēê that of Doorga.

« PoprzedniaDalej »