Obrazy na stronie

which, however, Ravặnŭ was constantly employed in breaking down. Vibhēëshủnŭ, Ravėnė's brother, perceiving that Ramŭ would make good his landing, recommended that Sēēta should be given up: but his brother, unable to bear this advice, quarrelled with Vibhēēshŭnů; who came over to Ramŭ, and advised him to throw into the sea a temple and image of Shivă, assuring him, that as Ravėnė was a worshipper of Shivů, he would not destroy the temple and image of his god. Ramŭ followed this advice, soon made good his landing, and began the war with Ravůně. After many giants had been killed, Koombhủkúrnŭ, a monstrous giant, 2,400 cubits high, and 1,600 thick, brother to Ravănă, engaged Ramŭ and the monkeys. He began the combat by seizing and devouring his enemies. Some of them, as soon as they entered his mouth, came out at his nostrils and ears, and escaped. The terrified monkeys fled; but Ramŭ with his arrows first cut off his arms, then his legs. Still he waddled round, and endeavoured to devour all within his reach, till Ramŭ gave him a mortal wound in the neck. Next after Koombhủkúrnů, Indrújit engaged in the contest. He seized Ramŭ, and, by the power of enchantment, carried him down to patalú; where Húnooman went in search of him, and, while Múheeravúnŭ was there, instructing Indrėjit how to prostrate himself before an image of the goddess Bhúdrú-kalēē, Húnooman cut off his head, and rescued Ramů. At length Ravùnŭ himself entered the combat; but after many conflicts, finding himself very weak, he resolved to restore Sēēta, and put an end to the war. To this Ramŭ consented; but while Ravủnŭ was on the point of bringing Sēēta, he thought within himself, 'If I do this, every one will charge me with cowardice: shall I, a giant, refuse to fight?' The combat was again renewed, and Ravủnŭ was slain! Ramŭ then obtained his wife; but as a trial of her innocence while in the hands of Ravůnŭ, he compelled her to pass through a fiery ordeal: which she did unhurt. He then returned to Ŭyodhya, and mounted the throne. After this, however, some person objected to Ramŭ, that it was not proper for him to receive Sēēta, after she had been in keeping of a giant. He therefore sent her into the forest to Valmēēkee, the writer of the Ramayúnŭ, where she was delivered of two sons, Lūvŭ and Kooshủ; the latter of whom was afterwards stolen by the god' Pủnchanŭnŭ, when Valmēēkee, to comfort the mother, took a blade of kooshủ grass, and secretly made a child so much like Kooshủ, that Sēēta did not know it from her own son. In a short time, however, Pủnchanúnŭ, not being able to destroy a child of Ramū's, restored Kooshủ, and Valmēēkee caused the two boys to become one. Before his death Ramŭ performed the sacrifice of a horsem; and Sēēta and her two sons, Lěvů and Kooshủ, were restored to him : but Ramŭ wishing Sēēta again to pass through a fiery ordeal, she entered the fire; but the goddess Prút’hivee », (Sēēta's mother,) opened her mouth, and received her into patalů. At length Kalúpoorooshủ, the angel of death, went to Ramă, expressing a wish for a secret conference. Ramů promised that while he was present no one should be admitted, and placed Lúkshmúnŭ at the door to keep out all intruders: but while Ramŭ and Kalŭ-poorooshŭ were closeted, Doorvasa, the sage, arrived, and demanded an interview with Ramủ. This sage was so very passionate, that every one dreaded contradicting him; Lŭkshmŭnŭ, therefore, through fear, went in and announced his arrival. Ramŭ, for this offence, rejected his brother, who in a paroxysm of grief drowned himself in the sacred river Súrúyoo, and went to heaven. Ramŭ afterwards put an end to his life in the same manner. Lŭvŭ and Kooshủ succeeded him

on each shoulder, equally large; together with one under each arm, one in each paw, and one on his tail. All these mountains being thrown into the sea, and becoming buoyant, a complete bridge was formed,

| The engagement betwixt Ramů and Ravůnů lasted seven days: Ramú cut off the ten heads of Ravůnů a hundred times, but they were always miraculously restored. Ramů then discharged an arrow which had these properties, that if it went into the air, it became a thousand; if it en. tered the body of an enemy, it became an innumerable multitude. Ravůnů at the sight of this arrow was filled with fear, and would have fled; but recollecting that Shivů had once given him an arrow that was to rescue him in a time of extreme peril, he discharged it, and destroyed Ramů's terrible arrow. Still however he was full of fear, for whichever way he turned, he saw Ramů; he shut his eyes, but still he saw him in his mind. At length, perceiving no way of escape, he began to flatter Ramŭ; who was so softened, that he declared he would never destroy Ravủnů. The gods, alarmed lest Ravůnů should be spared, excited him to reproach Ramů; who, indignant at such conduct, let fly an arrow which pierced Ravůnů’s body, proceeded through the earth into the regions below, and having there bathed, returned in the form of a goose, and again entered the quiver in its original shape. The gods were so much in fear of Ravůnů, that they durst not begin to rejoice till they were sure he was dead: in whispers they asked each other, Is he dead?' - Is he really dead?' &c. When it was known that he was certainly dead, the gods, Ramů, the monkeys, and the bears, all began to dance.--Můndodŭrēē, the chief wife of Ravůnů, and mother of Indrijit, after the death of her husband, went to Ramů, weeping. Ramů, not knowing who she was, gave her this blessing, that she should never become a widow. Finding his mistake, (having just killed her husband,) he ordered Húnooman continually to throw wood into the fire; according to a proverb among the Hindoos, that as long as the body of the husband is burning, a woman is not called a widow. To this day, therefore, Húnooman keeps laying logs on the fire; and every time a Hindoo puts his fingers in his ears and hears a sound, he says, he hears the bones of Ravůnů burning.

m This sacrifice was performed by many of the ancient Hindoo princes, and was considered as highly meritorious.

n The earth personified.

• There are a few sentences in this history, which are not to be found in Valmēękee's Ramayúnů; but they may be seen in the Bengalee translation. VOL. I.


The image of Ramŭ is painted green; he is represented as sitting on a throne, or on Húnooman, the monkey, with a crown upon his head. He holds in one hand a bow, in another an arrow, and has a bundle of arrows slung at his back.

The worship paid to him is of the same kind as that to Krishnŭ ; but the formulas are different. On the ninth of the increase of the moon in Choitrů, on which day Ramů was born, an annual festival is held, when multitudes of clay images are worshipped. The dolŭ festival also is observed in honour of this god on this day, which is also kept as a fast; when Ramŭ's three brothers, Bhúrůtů, Lŭkshmŭnŭ, and Shŭtrúghnú are worshipped, but the images of the first and last are never made. At other festivals also a few ceremonies in honour of Ramŭ are performed.


The birth of Ramŭ forms the seventh of the Hindoo incarnations. On the birth-day of this god P the Hindoo merchants in general begin their new year's accounts. the time of death, many Hindoos write the name of Ramů on the breast and forehead of the dying person, with earth taken from the banks of the Ganges; and hence these persons after death, instead of being dragged to Yumŭ to be judged, immediately ascend to heaven. Many of the disciples of Ramŭ become Ramahoots, a class of mendicants who impress on different parts of their bodies Ramū's name, and the figure of his foot. The mark on the forehead of Ramŭ’s followers very much resembles a trident.

p The gods on this day are said to caused a shower of flowers to fall, as at the birth of Minerva it is said to have rained gold.

Temples containing the images of Ramů, Lukshmůně, Sēéta, and Húnooman are erected in many parts of Bengal; and the worship of Ramŭ performed in them daily.

SECT. VII.-Choitůnyŭ9.

This is the image of an almost naked mendicant, painted yellow. Some of the Hindoos believe, that amongst all the Hindoo incarnations there are four principal ones. The first, in the sătyú-yoogů, called the Shooklú-vúrnŭ incarnation, was that of Ŭnăntă; that in the tréta, the rúktú-vúrnŭs, was the incarnation of Kopilă-dévè; that in the dwapúrŭ-yoogủ, the Krishnŭ-vŭrnŭ ; and the last, in the kůlee-yoogủ, called pēētă-vúrn, “, that of Choitặnyú.

According to the disciples of Choitủnyŭ, the founder of this sect, Odwoitú, a voidikŭ bramhŭn, lived at Shantipoorŭ about 400 years ago. Nityanŭndŭ, another leader, was born at Nŭdēzya, a little before Choitặnyů. His father was a rarhēzyŭ bramhŭn. Choitặnyú’s father, Júgunnathă-Mishrů, a voidikŭ bramhŭn, lived at Núdēēya; his wife's name was Shắchéē; their first son, Vishwămbhŭrò, embraced the profession of a dúndēē. The mother was advanced in years when Choitůnyŭ was born; the child continued three days without taking the breast, and the parents, not thinking it would live, putting it into a basket, hung it on a tree near the house*. At this time

9 The wise. • The white. · The blood-coloured. i The black. * The yellow.

* There are still many instances of children being exposed. If a child appear unlikely to live, the parents consult an astrologer, who perhaps gives but small hopes of the child's recovery. Voiragees and other men

« PoprzedniaDalej »