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her right hand a water-lily, and in her left the lute. She is called the daughter of mount Himavặt, though some of the pooranús declare that she was produced from the sweat of Vishnoo's foot, which Brúmha caught and preserved in his alms' dish.

The grandfather of Bēéshmŭ was one day performing religious austerities near the Ganges, when the goddess fell in love with him, and, in order to persuade him to a union, went and sat upon his right knee. He told her that the left knee was the proper place for the wife, and the right for the son: that therefore she should not become his, but be united to his son; whose name was Santŭnoo. After Santủnoo and Gunga had been married some time, she was about to leave him; but consented to stay, on condition that she might kill all her children at their birth. When the first child was born, she threw it into the river, and so on to the seventh inclusive. As she was destroying the eighth, Santŭnoo forbad her, in consequence of which the child was saved, but she abandoned her paramour. The whole of this was to fulfil a curse pronounced by Vishnoo on the eight gods named Ushtŭ-vŭsoo.

The Ramayúnŭ, Múhabharŭtủ, and the Gũnga-khủndŭ, a part of the Skúndú poorană, give long accounts of the descent of Gunga from heaven :-Sugúrů, a king, having no children, entered upon a long course of austere devotions; in the midst of which Bhrigoo appeared to him, and promised, that from the eldest queen should be born sixty thousand children, and from the other only a single child. After some time, the queen was delivered--of a pumpkin ! which the king in anger dashed to the ground, when the fruit was broken, and, to his astonishment, he saw children rising from it; and, calling sixty thousand nurses, put each

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child into a pan of milk. The other wife had a son, whom they called Ŭngshooman. After these sons were grown up, the king resolved to perform once more the sacrifice of a horse before his death, and committed the victim to the care of his sixty thousand sons. The person who performs this sacrifice one hundred times, succeeds to the throne of heaven. On this occasion the reigning Indrŭ was alarmed, this being Súgórŭ's hundredth sacrifice. To prevent its taking effect, therefore, he descended to the earth, and assuming another form, privately carried off the horse, which he placed in patală, near to Kúpilů, a sage. The sixty thousand sons, after searching throughout the earth in vain, began to dig into patală”, where they found the horse standing by the side of Kúpilů, who was absorbed in his devotions. Incensed at the old man, whom they supposed to be the thief, they began to beat him; when, awaking from his abstraction of mind, he reduced them all to ashes. The king for a long time heard no more of his sons; but at length Narůdě informed him of the catastrophe. He then sent his son Ưngshooman down to the sage, who delivered up the horse, and informed the king, that if he could bring the goddess Gunga from heaven", his sons might be restored to him. The king offered the sacrifice, and placing Ŭngshooman on the throne, took up his residence in a forest as a hermit, where he died. Ŭngshooman, in his turn, making his son Dwileepŭ his successor, died also in a forest. Dwileepŭ had two wives, but no children; he therefore abdicated the throne, and em

• The Hindoo writers say, that the seven seas were thus formed by the sons of Suguru. Some accounts add, that not finding a place large enough to contain the earth which they thus dug up—they devoured it!

d Or, as it is explained, if he could perform the funeral rites for these sixty thousand persons with the efficacious waters of the Ganges, they would be delivered from the curse, and ascend to heaven.

bracing the life of a hermit, sought of the gods a son, and the deliverance of the sons of Săgărů. Shivă promised him, that by means of his two queens a son should be born. These women lived together, and after some time the youngest had a son, whom they called Bhŭgēērăt’hủe; who, however, was only a mass of flesh. Though greatly moved at the sight of such a child, they preserved it, and in time it grew up to manhood. One day Ushtă-vủkrů, a moonee, who was hump-backed, and wriggled in walking, called to see these females; when Bhúgēērŭthủ, in rising to salute the sage, trembled and wriggled in such a manner, that Úshtă-vủkrũ, thinking he was mocking him, said, “ If thou canst not help wriggling thus, be a perfect child; but if thou art mocking me, be destroyed.' The boy immediately became perfect, and the sage gave him his blessing. When Bhúgēērŭt'hŭ was grown up, he addressed his prayers to different gods for the restoration of his sixty thousand relations—but in vain; at length Brúmha, moved by his piety, gave him a single drop of the water, and Vishnoo giving him a shell which he blew, Gănga followed him. As she had to fall from heaven to earth, Bhŭgēērūt'hŭ was afraid lest the earth should be crushed by her fall: wherefore Shivů, standing on mount Himavặt, caught Gũnga in his bunch of matted hair, and detained her there for some time; but at length suffered one drop to fall on the mountain: and from thence, on the tenth of the increase of the moon in Jyoishthủ, the goddess touched the earth, and which ever way Bhúgēēruthŭ went blowing the conch, there Gũnga followed him.

Several very curious circumstances happened to Gunga

• This story is so extremely indelicate, that it is impossible to translate it.

as she passed along. In one place she ran near Júnhoo, a sage, and washed away his mendicant's dish, the flowers for worship, &c. upon which he, in anger, took her up, and swallowed her. At the intreaties of Bhúgēērăthủ, however, the sage let her pass out at his thigh, on which account Gũnga received the name of Janhůvēē.

On they went, till Gũnga asked Bhúgēērīt’hủ where these sixty thousand relations were whom she was to deliver. He being unable to inform her, she, to make sure of their deliverance, at the entrance of the sea, divided herself into one hundred streams, and ran down into patalú; where, as soon as the waters of Gănga touched their ashes, they were delivered from the curse, and ascended in chariots to heaven.

When Gunga was brought from heaven, the gods, conscious that their sins also needed washing away, petitioned Brúmha on the subject, who soothed them by promising that Gunga should remain in heaven, and descend to earth also. This goddess, therefore was called Mủndakinee in heaven, Gũnga on earth, and Bhogủvŭtēē in patală.

All casts worship Gũnga, yet most of the ceremonies at the time of the daily ablutions, with the exception of some forms of praise to this goddess, are in the name of Shivă and other gods. The Hindoos particularly choose the banks of this river for their worship, as the merit of works performed here, according to the promise of the shastrŭss,

f The mouths of the Ganges.

§ ' He who thinks upon Gũnga, though he may be 800 miles distant from the river at the time, is delivered from all sin, and is entitled to heaven.--At the hour of death, if a person think upon Gănga, he will obtain a place in the heaven of Shivů. If a person, according to the re

becomes exceedingly augmented. In Voishakhủ, Jyoisht’hủ, Kartiků, and Maghủ, the merit is greater than in other months; and at the full moon in these months is still more enhanced. In every month, on the first, sixth, and eleventh of the moon, and at its total wane also, bathing in Gănga is much recommended.

On the third of the moon in Voishakhủ, a few Hindoos perform the ceremonies of worship by the side of the river, under the expectation that the benefits will be undecayable: such is the promise of the smritee shastrăs.

On the 10th of the moon's increase in Jyoishthủ, in the forenoon, the Dúshủhúra festival is held, in commemoration of Gũnga's descent to the earth. Crowds of people assemble from the different towns and villages near the river, especially at the most sacred places of the river, bringing their offerings of fruit, rice, flowers, cloth, sweetmeats, &c. and hang garlands of flowers across the river, even where it is very wide. After the people have bathed, the officiating bramhŭn ascends the banks of the river with them; and after repeating súngkulpů", places before him a jar of water, and sitting with his face to the

gulations of the shastru, be going to bathe in Gunga, and die on the road, he shall obtain the same benefits as though he had actually bathed. There are 3,500,000 holy places belonging to Gứnga: the person who looks at Gunga, or bathes in this river, will obtain all the fruit which arises from visiting all these 3,500,000 holy places.--If a person wbo has been guilty of killing cows, bramhủns, his gooroo, or of drinking spirits, &c. touch the waters of Gũnga, desiring in his mind the remission of these sins, they will be forgiven.-By bathing in Gănga, accompanied with prayer, a person will remove at once the sins of thousands of births.' --Gunga-Vakya-Vulee.

h An incantation, at the time of repeating which the person promises to attend to certain ceremonies,

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