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shape from the curse of his father, and during the night he should assume the body of a man. Of his being the son of Indrŭ there could be no doubt. The minds of the guests were now changed, and they confessed, that though he had the outside of an ass, he was unquestionably the son of Indrú; for it was never known that an ass could speak Sủngskrită. The king, therefore, gave his daughter to him in marriage. By the time the guests were dismissed night drew on, when Gắndhŭrvŭ-sénŭ assumed the form of a handsome man, and, having dressed himself, respectfully went into the presence of the king. All the people, seeing so fine a man, and recollecting that in the morning he would become an ass, felt both pleased and sorrowful. The king brought the bride in great state to the palace, and the next day gave her servants, camels, jewels, &c. and dismissed the guests with many presents. Dhara, however, in the midst of his other cares, could not but feel anxious that Gundhúrvŭ-séně should throw off his ass's body. After a thousand contrivances, he said to himself, ‘Gũndhŭrvŭ-sénŭ is the son of Indrė; therefore he can never die: at night he casts off his ass's body, and it lies like a dead body: I will therefore burn this body, and thus keep him constantly in the shape of a man. Accordingly, one night, he caused the ass's body to be burnt,—when Gŭndhŭrvŭ-sénŭ appeared in his presence, told him that now the curse was removed, and that he should immediately ascend to heaven. After saying this he withdrew, and the king saw him no

more.

Nayikas.--These are female companions of Doorga, and are worshipped at the festivals of this goddess. Eight of them have a preeminence over the rest. The Túntrúshastrŭs declare, that these females visit the worshippers either as their wives, or as mothers; and declare to them

how they may obtain heaven: or, as sisters, bring to them any female they choose, and reveal whatever they desire to know of the present or future. He who wishes to obtain the company of a Nayika must worship her thrice a day, and repeat her name at night in a cemetery for seven, or fifteen, or thirty days. On the last night he must continue to repeat her name till she appears to him, and asks what he wishes for. She remains with him during the night, and departs the next morning, leaving with him presents to a large amount; which, however, he must expend the next day, or they will all evaporate. If the worshipper wishes to go to any place in the three worlds, the Nayika takes him thither in a moment. If after cohabiting with one of the Nayikas, he cohabit with any other female, the Nayika immediately destroys him. Anăndă-chủndră, a bramhŭn of Soopoorŭ in Vēērú-bhõõmee, who died only a few years since, is said to have obtained the fruit of his worshipping the Nayikas.

The Yükshús are the servants of Koovérů, the god of riches, and Aly through the world preserving the wealth of men. A number of stories, not worth detailing, principally referring to their wars or intrigues, are contained in the pooranŭs. In the form of meditation, Koovérŭ is described as a white man, having a hammer in his right hand. He is worshipped at the festival of the goddess Lūkshmēē, and at all the other great festivals; but has no separate feast, image, nor temple. The Ramayúnŭ relates that Kooverů, by prayer to Brúmha, accompanied with religious austerities, obtained Lủnka, (Ceylon ;) the very mire of whose streets is gold. Here he reigned till Ravănă dispossessed him. Brúmha also gave to this god the chariot Pooshpŭků; which had the property of expansion, and of going wherever the charioteer wished. From Lủnka, Koovérů went to mount Koilasů, where he is supposed to be at present.

Pishachůs. These messengers of the gods guard the sacred places, the resort of pilgrims. Sixty thousand are said to guard the streams of the Ganges from the approach of the profane.

The Goodghủkūs, the Siddhús, the Bhõõtůs, and the Charūnūs. These are beings of inferior orders, residing with the gods as servants.

There are several other orders of females, as the Yoginēēs, Dakinēës, Kakinēês, Shakhinēēs, Bhootinēēs, and Prétinēēs, who wait upon Doorga or Shivă, as their attendants. All these also are worshipped at the great festivals.

CHAP. V.

OF THE TERRESTRIAL GODS.

THE Hindoo celestial goddesses, it will be seen, are very few. There are no more indeed than three which can be considered as really distinct, and as holding a distinguished place among this class of Hindoo deities: these are Doorga, Sărăswŭtēē, and Lủkshmēē. Many of the others are different forms of Doorga; and Múnúsa, Shủshtēē, and Shēētŭla, would have been placed among the terrestrial goddesses, but they do not seem to have had an earthly origin.-I now proceed to give an account of the terrestrial gods, some of whom are worshipped with more shew than any of the celestial deities.

SECT. I.-Krishnů.

ACCORDING to the Shree-Bhagúvětů, Muhabharŭtŭ, and other works, this god, a form of Vishnoo, was incarnate to destroy kings Shishoo-palŭ and Kủngsŭ, and a number of giants.

Krishnŭ was born at Mŭthoora ; his father's name was Vủsoo-dévŭ, a kshútriyè, and his mother's Dévèkéē; but Kủngsú seeking to destroy him when an infant, his father

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fled to Vůnda-vůnŭ, and concealed him in the house of Nŭndŭ, a voishyŭ: hence he is sometimes called the son of Núndú.

Many stories are recorded of Krishnŭ in the pooranŭs : in his infancy he deprived a giant of her breath, who had poisoned her breasts before she gave him suckf;-soon after he destroyed a carriage against which he hurt his foot, when laid by his nurse at the door to sleep 5 ;-Núndu's wife, when looking into his mouth one day, had a surprising view of the three worlds, with Brúmha, Vishnoo, and Shivă sitting on their thrones ;-at the age of eight years he took up mount Govŭrdhủnŭ in his arms, and held it as an umbrella over the heads of the villagers and their cattle during a dreadful storm, with which the angry king of heaven was overwhelming them ;-he created a number of cattle, and also of boys and girls, to replace those which Brūmha had stolen from Vrinda-vủnŭ ;-he destroyed a large hydra, which had poisoned the waters of the Yumoona ;-he seduced the wife of Ayunŭ-ghoshủ, a voishyŭ, and sported with 16,000 milk-maids in the wilderness of Vrindă ;-he next assumed four arms, destroyed Kungsú, and placed Kủngsė's father on the throne;-after this he was engaged in various quarrels, and had to combat with many formidable enemies; which induced him to build a fort at Dwarúka, where he resided, and married two wives ;-he next joined the family of Yoodhishthirŭ in their war with the race of Dooryodhủnŭ ;-and, lastly, destroyed Shishoo-pală. He closed his life with an act worthy of such a character, by

* It is common for a Hindoo nurse to offer the breast to a neighbour's child, when she happens to be on a visit.

& Mothers frequently lay their infants exposed to the rays of the sun to sleep, after rubbing their breasts with oil.

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