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SECT. II.-Dhurmu T'hakoorů.

ANOTHER form of Shivů. A black stone of any shape becomes the representative of this god. The worshippers paint the part designated as the forehead, and place it under a tree; others place the stone in the house, and give it silver eyes, and anoint it with oil, and worship it. Almost every village has one of these idols.

A festival in honour of this god is observed by some of the lower orders in Voishakŭ, in the day. The ceremonies are like those at the swinging festival, with the addition of bloody sacrifices, the greater number of which are goats. At this time devotees swing on hooks; perforate their sides with cords; pierce their tongues with spits; walk upon fire, and take it up in their hands; walk upon thorns; and throw themselves upon spikes, keeping a severe fast. The people who assemble to see these feats of self-torture, are entertained with singing, music, and dancing. On the 14th day, a great feast is held, when people bring their offerings, and giving them to the officiating bramhŭn, request him to present them to the idol, to fulfil a vow; or with petitions to the god for some particular favour, as the birth of a child, recovery from sickness, or any other blessing.

Wherever this idol is placed in a house, a woman called a dyasinēē attends upon it, and repeats the daily ceremonies.

At two villages in Bengal, Poosoorēē and Rayŭ-kalee, the worship of this god is constantly attended by crowds from a great distance. If a woman's eldest child die, shę

makes a vow before witnesses, that she will not cut her hair for two years; and that then, going to one of these villages, she will cut it off, and present an offering to the god, provided he will preserve her second child. Some women, as an acknowledgment of a favour, or to beg a blessing, take a young child in their arms; and putting on wet clothes, place an earthen pot full of burning coals upon some cloth on their heads; and sitting before the god in a supplicating posture, continue for some time offering incense, throwing Indian pitch into the pan of coals.

A poor man sometimes places the black stone, adorned with garlands, &c. in a basket, and the offerings which he collects at the doors of housekeepers in another, and, tying the baskets to a bamboo which he lays on his shoulder, carries the god from door to door as a shew; while another plays on a rude instrument of music, and joins in singing the praises of Dhŭrmŭ-t'hakoorů. Householders give a handful of rice, and the beggars present in return a flower which has been offered to the god.

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SECT. III.-Kaloo-rayů.

THIS is another form of Shivă: the image is that of a yellow man sitting on a tyger, holding in his right hand an arrow, and in his left a bow.

A few of the lower orders set up clay images of this god in straw houses, and worship them at pleasure. The woodcutters in the Eastern, Western, and Southern forests of Bengal, in order to obtain protection from wild beasts, adopt a peculiar mode of worshipping this idol. The

head-boatman raises elevations of earth three or four inches high, and about three feet square; upon which he places balls of clay, painted red; and, among other ceremonies, offers rice, flowers, fruits, and the water of the Ganges carried from the river Hooglee, keeping a fast: the god then directs him in a dream where to cut wood free from danger. There is no authority for this worship in the shastrus.

Dŭkshina-rayŭ is another god worshipped in the same manner, and by the same class of persons.

SECT. IV.-Kalu-Bhoiruvů.

A NAKED Shivu, smeared with ashes; having three eyes; riding on a dog; and holding in one hand a horn, and in the other a drum. In several places in Bengal this image is worshipped daily.

Shivů, under this name, is regent of Kashēē, (Benares.) All persons dying at Benares are intitled to a place in Shivu's heaven; but if any one violate the laws of the shastră during his residence there, Kalŭ-Bhoirŭvu at death grinds him between two mill-stones.

SECT. V.-Worship to cure the Itch and Scurvy.

THE goddess Sheetula is worshipped by the Hindoo females whenever their families are afflicted with the itch; and the god Ghétoo (a black boiling pot) is wor

shipped to remove the scurvy or any kind of blotches on

the skin.

In the preceding sections of this work, the god Prithivēē, regent of the earth, should have been noticed: he has no separate worship, but certain formulas are repeated in his name at all the great festivals.- -Vishnoo is revered as the Household God; he is worshipped when a person enters a new house, or at any other time to procure the removal of family misfortunes.-Doorga should have been mentioned also as the Village Goddess; she is worshipped by the villagers in the month Asharhů, before a jar of water, when bloody sacrifices are offered. An annual festival is also held in each village in Asharhŭ, in honour of Vishnoo, Indrů, Koovérů, and Lukshmee; when the persons pay the first instalment of their rents. The landowner is at the expense.

CHAP. VIII.

WORSHIP OF BEINGS IN STRANGE SHAPES.

SECT. I.-Urdhu-narēēshwură.

HERE Shivă and Doorga are united in one body, white and yellow. The origin of this image is thus given in the Lingŭ pooranŭ :-Shivů and Doorga after their marriage lived on mount Koilasŭ, where Doorga kept the house, cooked, and nursed her two children, Gŭnéshŭ and Kartikŭ; and Shivŭ supported the family as a mendicant. On a certain occasion, Shivů, having one day smoked intoxicating herbs to excess, was unable to go his daily rounds. Doorga informed him that there was nothing in the house; that the family had eaten half of what was collected the day before, and that Gunéshu's rat and Kartikŭ's peacock i had devoured the rest. After much altercation, Shivă left his hut, and Doorga, to avoid perishing for want, went to her father's, taking her children with her. On the way Narudŭ met her, and advised her to assume the form of the goddess Unnů-pōōrna*, and lay an embargo on all the food where Shivů would ask for alms. She did so; and Shivă

begged in vain for a handful of rice. Narúdŭ at length meeting Shivă also, pursuaded him to return to his wife: Doorga received him with joy, and relieved his hunger;

h Urdhu, half; narēē, woman; ēēshwůrů, a name of Shivů.

i Günéshu rides on a rat, and Kartikŭ on a peacock. One of the forms of Doorga, as the regent of food.

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