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north or east, performs what is called ghútă-st'hapủnŭ. After this, the bramhŭn performs other ceremonies, as asănă shoodheek, ủngủ-nyası', kŭrangú-nyasŭ', bhoot-shõõdheem, dig-vủndhủnů", bhõõt-otsarŭnŭ', &c. then the worship of the five gods; of the nine planets; of the regents of the ten quarters, &c. To this succeeds meditation, manúsíp, &c.; the priest next presents the offerings, which may be sixtyfour, or eighteen, or sixteen, or ten, or five, or merely flowers and water, according to the person's ability. To these offerings, the worshipper must add sesamum, clarified butter, and barley-four. The officiating bramhŭn next performs the worship of Narayúnŭ, Mŭhéshwŭră”, Brùmha, Soöryu, Bhugeeruthú, and Himalũyữ; then the worship of the inhabitants of the waters, as the fish, the tortoises, the frogs, the water-snakes, the leeches, the snails', the múkŭrús, the shell-fish, the porpoises, &c.
i The ceremonies performed at the setting up of an image. Here the jar of water is the image, before which the worship of any of the gods may be performed.
* Purifying the seat. 1 Ceremonies accompanied with motions of the fingers. Purifying the five elements of which the body is com
Binding the ten quarters, to prevent evil spirits from arriving to defile the worship. Driving away the evil spirits. P Going over all the ceremonies in the mind. 9 Shivů. • This strongly reminds us of the lines of Juvenal, Satire xv.
• Who has not heard, where Egypt's realms are nam'd,
† The Hindoos throw their children to the alligators.
The offerings, after having been presented to the inhabitants of the waters, are thrown into the Ganges. Ten lamps of clarified butter are then lighted up, and all the other offerings presented. After this, the names of certain gods are repeated, with forms of praise; the fee is presented to the priest, the bramhŭns are entertained, and the offerings sent to the houses of bramhŭns. At the close of these ceremonies the people perform obeisance to Gunga, and then depart. Great multitudes assemble on the banks of the river on these occasions, and expect much both in this life and hereafter from this act of worship. If a person, placing on his head ten fruits of any kind, thus immerse himself in the Ganges on this day, the sins of ten births will be removed.
In this month also clay images of Gũnga are set up in domestic temples, and worshipped, and the next day thrown into the river. In some places clay images of this goddess are preserved in clay temples, and worshipped daily. Persons escaping dangers on water present offerings to Gũnga, as well as to Vŭroonŭ, the Indian Neptune; as mariners, having escaped the dangers of the sea, used to offer a sacrifice to Venus.
On the thirteenth of the decrease of the moon in
To godship here blue Triton's scaly herd,
# See the account above.
$ See a preceding article.
Choitrů, the people descend into the water, and with their hands joined immerse themselves; after which the officiating bramhŭn reads a portion of the shastră, describing the benefits arising from this act of bathing. The people repeat after the priest certain significant words, as the day of the month, the name of Vishnoo, &c. and then immerse themselves again. Gifts of rice, fruits, and money are offered to the poor, the bramhŭns, and the priest. On this occasion groups
of ten or twelve persons stand in the water in one spot, for whom one bramhŭn reads the formulas, These groups are to be seen extending themselves very far along the river. At the moment of the conjunction of the moon (on the thirteenth of its decrease) with the star Shătúbhisha, this festival is called the Great Varoonēē. The merit arising from bathing at this lucky moment is supposed to be very great; the people fast till the bathing is
When there is a conjunction as above, and the day falls on a Saturday, the festival is called the Great, Great Varoonēēs.
The pooranŭs declare, that the sight, the name, or the touch of Gũnga takes away all sin, however heinous; that thinking of Gũnga, when at a distance, is sufficient to remove the taint of sin; but that bathing in Gũnga has blessings in it of which no imagination can conceive.
So much is this river reverenced among the Hindoos, that
many bramhŭns will not cook upon it, nor throw saliva into it, nor wash themselves nor their clothes in itt. Some
• At the time of many of the festivals, the sides of the Ganges, in many places, are gaily illuminated ; and lights fastened on boards, plantain stalks, &c. or put in earthen pots, are floated down the stream.
t In the work Valmēēkee-moonee, amongst many other forms of praise to be offered to Ginga, is the following :
-O goddess, the owl that
persons perform a journey of five or six months to bathe in Gũnga, to perform the rites for deceased relations, and to carry this water to place in their houses, for religious and medicinal uses. The water of this river is used also in the English courts of justice to swear. upon, as the koran iş given to but many of the most respectable Hindoos refuse to comply
e Musulmans, and the New Testament to Christians; with this method of making oath, alleging that their shastrús forbid them in these cases to touch the water of the Ganges y, the shalgramů, or a bramhŭn. When such cases occur in the courts, the judges very candidly permit the person, if of good character, to give his evidence in a way consistent with his peculiar prejudices, as, after bathing, &c. and standing with his face to the east. The Hindoo courts formerly admitted a person's evidence without an oath; and when a cause could not be determined by evidence thus given, they resorted to the ordeal. It is not uncommon for one Hindoo to say to another,' Will you make this engagement on the banks of Gănga?' The other replies, I engage to do what I have said; but I cannot call Gunga to witness it. If a person utter a most audacious lie, while near or upon the Ganges, the person to whom he is speaking says, 'Are you not afraid of uttering such a falsehood in the presence of Gunga?' A third person perhaps adds, as a continuation of the reproach
Not he; he has been guilty of discharging his urine into Gănga, even at Průyagú.?
lodges in the hollow of a tree on thy banks.is exalted beyond measure; while the emperor, whose palace is far from thee, though he may possess a million of stately elephants, and may have the wives of millions of conquered enemies to serve him, is nothing.'
Many persons refuse to contest causes in which large sums are at stake, under the fear that they may be constrained to make oath on the waters of the Ganges. VOL. I.
Morning and evening the Hindoos visit and look at this river to remove the sins of the night or of the day; when sick they smear their bodies with the sediment, and remain near the river for a month perhaps. Some of course recover, and others die: a Hindoo says, that those who have a steady faith and an unwavering mind, recover; the rest perish
The Hindoos are extremely anxious to die in the sight of the Ganges, that their sins may be washed away in their last moments. A person in his last agonies is frequently dragged from his bed and friends, and carried, in the coldest or in the hottest weather, from whatever distance, to the river side; where he lies, if a poor man, without a covering day and night till he expires : with the pains of death upon him, he is placed up to the middle in the water, and drenched with it. Leaves of the toolúsee plant are also put into his mouth; and his relations call upon him to repeat, and repeat for him, the names of Ramŭ, Húree, Narayúnŭ, Brúmha, Gặnga, &c. In some cases the family priest repeats some incantations, and makes an offering to Voitărúnēē, the river over which the soul, they say, is ferried after leaving the body. The relations of the dying man spread the sediment of the river on his forehead or breast, and afterwards with the finger write on this sediment the name of some deity. If a person should die in his house, and not by the river side, it is considered as a great misfortune, as he thereby loses the help of the goddess in his dying moments. If a person choose to die at home, his memory becomes infamous. The conduct of Raja Núvů-krishnŭ of Núdē@ya, who died in his bed-room about the year 1800, is still mentioned as a subject of reproach, because he refused to be carried to the river before death. . Ah! Ah !' say the superstitious, when a neighbour at the