Obrazy na stronie

Vůraee, a procuress, he seduced Radha, and led her into the forest near the river Yumoona, where they continued till Krishnŭ left her to begin the war with Kungsů.


This mistress of Krishnŭ has been deified with her paraHer image is set up in temples with different forms of Krishnu, and worshipped at the festivals of this god. The act of looking upon these images together, is declared by the shastrus to be an act of peculiar merit!

[ocr errors]

If a Hindoo be charged with any particular act of which he wishes to express his abhorrence, he exclaims, RadhaKrishnu!' Many persons repeat Ramů! Ramŭ! Ramů!' on such occasions, but no one says Sēēta-Ramŭ; yet when Krishnu's name is to be repeated, they always join to it that of his mistress Radha.

One of the Hindoo learned men has written a work (the Radha-tuntrů) to prove that Radha was an incarnation of Bhŭgŭvūtēē; and this opinion is quoted by the Hindoos of the present day to cover this abominable transaction.

SECT. III.-Rookminēē and Sütyŭ-bhama.

THESE are the most distinguished wives of Krishnŭ, but their images are never made, Krishnŭ being always associ

pooranus :-This giant had before seized the wives of the gods, and dishonoured them; and one day he dishonoured his niece, the wife of king Nălă: for which crime Koovéră cursed him, and caused fire to proceed from his ten heads at once. By the entreaty of Brumha, this curse was mitigated; with the proviso, however, that if he ever defiled the wife of another, it should be renewed in full force.-Ibid.

ated with Radha his mistress, and not with his lawful wives. At the festivals of Krishnu, however, these women are worshipped, as well as six other wives of this god, viz. Jambŭbūtēē, Mitrŭvinda, Lŭgănăjitēē, Lŭkshmŭna, Kalindēē, and Bhudra; but Rookminēe and Sutyŭ-bhama are the most distinguished.

SECT. IV.-Soobhudra.

THIS sister of Jugŭnnat'hŭ is worshipped at the same time with her brother, and placed with him in the temples dedicated to his honour.



SECT. I.-Punchanunu a

Is a form of Shivă: the image has five faces, and in each face three eyes. Some persons make a clay image, and worship it with the usual forms, adding bloody sacrifices; while others worship Punchanŭnů before a stone placed underneath the vătă, ŭshwŭt’ht'hŭ, or koolůa trees. This stone is painted red at the top, and anointed with oil. Offerings of flowers, fruits, water, sweetmeats, and fried peas accompany the worship, and sometimes bloody sacrifices. In almost every village this worship is performed beneath some one of these trees. In some villages several of these shapeless stones are to be seen thus anointed, and consecrated to the worship of this god. In other places the clay images of Punchanŭnů are placed in houses, or under trees; and old women, called dyasinēēs, devote them

a The five-faced.

• Ficus religiosa.

b Ficus Indica.
a Zizyphus jujuba.

• The statue of the god Terminus was either a square stone, or a log of wood; which the Romans usually perfumed with ointments, and crowned with garlands.

f The representative of the goddess Passinuntia was a shapeless stone. The Arabians are said to have worshipped a stone without the form or shape of a deity.

It is probable that these dyasinees resemble the priestesses of Cybele.

selves to his service: they sweep the inside of the clay temple, and repeat the ceremonies of worship for others; constantly remaining near the image, and receiving all offerings and presents. Not more than one woman waits upon one idol, unless she admit a pupil, who expects to succeed her. These women, either married or widows, are treated almost as witches.

There is no appointed time for the worship of this god, but Tuesdays or Saturdays are preferred to other days.

There are some places in Bengal, where images of Punchanŭnů are in great celebrity for bestowing the blessing of children, and other favours on the worshippers.

The Hindoo women are terrified at this god, and are exceedingly afraid lest their children should, in play, injure the stone under the tree. Some therefore warn their chil

The late Jugünnat'hŭ-Türk ků-Punchanŭnů, who died in the year 1807, at the advanced age of 112, and who was supposed to be the most learned Hindoo in Bengal, used to relate the following anecdote of him, self:-Till he was twenty years old he was exceedingly ungovernable, and refused to apply to his studies. One day his parents rebuked him very sharply for his conduct, aud he wandered to a neighbouring village, where he hid himself in the větů tree, under which was a very celebrated image of Punchanŭnů. While in this tree, he discharged his urine on the god, and afterwards descended and threw him into a neighbouring pond. The next morning, when the person arrived whose livelihood depended on this image, he discovered his god was gone!! He returned into the village distracted, and the village was very soon all in an uproar about the lost god. In the midst of this confusion, the parents of Júgünnat'hŭ-Türkku-Půnchanůnă arrived to search for their son; when a man in the crowd declared that he had seen a young man sitting in Pŭnchanŭnu's tree, but what was become of the god he could not say. The runaway at length appeared, and the suspicions of all the villagers fell upon him, as the stealer of Punchanŭnů. After some time he confessed the fact, pointed out the place where he had thrown the stone, and added H h


dren against going near these stones, by declaring that Punchanŭnů will assuredly kill them, if they touch or play with his image.

Children in fits of epilepsy are supposed to be seized by this god, and thrown into a state of frenzy, till they foam at the mouth, tear their hair, &c. The mother asks the supposed evil spirit his name, who answers, through the child, I am Půnchanůnů: your child has cast dust on my image, kicked it, and is the ringleader of all the children of the village in this wickedness. I will certainly take away his life.' The dyasinee is now called, who comforts the weeping and alarmed family, and addresses the god thus: 'O Půnchanŭnă! I pray thee restore this child: these are thy worshippers: the offender is but a child; and it is not proper for thee to be angry with such paltry offenders. thou restore the child, the parents will sacrifice a goat to thee, and present to thee many offerings.' If this should fail to render the god propitious, they take the child to the image, before which they sit down, and offer the most excessive flattery to the god, causing the child to beat its head on the ground. After using every contrivance, they retire, and, at the close of the fit, believing that Punchanănŭ has cured the child, they present to him offerings according to their ability.


moreover that he had discharged his urine on the god. All hands were lifted up in amazement at this atrocious crime, and every one present pronounced his death as certain; for Pănchanŭnů would certainly revenge such a daring insult. Our young hero was himself terribly affrighted, and from that hour sat down so sedulously to his studies, that he became the most learned man in Bengal. He was employed by the government in India for many years, at a salary of 300 roopees per month, and used to give advice on the subject of the Hindoo law in all difficult cases.

« PoprzedniaDalej »