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ever god, gúndhurvů, or úpsůra should hereafter drink spirits.
The above is the substance of the story as related in the Múhabharătă. The Kashēē-khủndū of the Skúnda pooranŭ says,
that Brúmha lost one of his heads in the following manner :-this god was one day asked by certain sages, in the presence of Krătoo, a form of Vishnoo, who was greatest, Brúmha, Vishnoo, or Shivů? Brúmha affirmed that he was entitled to this distinction. Krůtoo, as a form of Vishnoo, insisted that the superiority belonged to himself. An appeal was made to the védus; but those books declared in favour of Shivů. On hearing this verdict, Brúmha was filled with rage, and made many insulting remarks upon Shivů ; who, assuming the terrific form of Kalu-Bhoirúvů, appeared before Brůmha and Krůtoo, and, receiving farther insults from Brůmha, with his nails tore off one of Brúmha's five heads. Brúmha was now thoroughly humbled, and with joined hands acknowledged that he was inferior to Shivů. Thus this quarrel betwixt the three gods was adjusted; and Shivă, the naked mendicant, was acknowledged as Múha-dévè, the great god,
Brúmha is also charged with stealing several calves from the herd which Krishnŭ was feeding.
This god, assuming the appearance of a religious mendicant, is said to have appeared many times on earth for different purposes, Stories to this effect are to be found in several of the pooranŭs.
The Múhabharătă contains the following description of the heaven of Brúmha :-this heaven is 800 miles long, 400 broad, and 40 high. Naródů, when attempting to describe this heaven, declared himself utterly incompetent to the task; that he could not do it in two hundred years; that it contained in a superior degree all that was in the other heavens; and that whatever existed in the creation of Brumha on earth, from the smallest insect to the largest animal, was to be found here,
A scene in the heaven of Brůmha :-Vrihủspėtee, the spiritual guide of the gods, on a particular occasion went to the palace of his elder brother Ootŭt'hyŭ, and became enamoured of his pregnant wife. The child in the womb reproved him. Vrihủspútee cursed the child; on which account it was born blind, and called Dēērghŭ-túmao. When grown up, Dēērghŭ-túma followed the steps of his uncle, and from his criminal amours Goutůmŭ and other Hindoo saints were born. Dēērghŭ-tắma was delivered from the curse of Vrihủspútee by Yoodhist'hirŭ.
This god has many names, among which are the following: Brůmha, or, be who multiplies (mankind). Atmúbhõõ, the self-existent. Purúmést'hēe, the chief sacrificerd. Pitamúhủ, the grandfather. Hirŭnyŭ-gúrbhủ, he who is pregnant with gold. Lokéshủ, the god of mankind, the creator. Chŭtoor-anŭnŭ, the four-faced. Dhata, the creator. Ubjů-yonee, he who is born from the water-lily. Droohinŭ, he who subdues the giants. Prújapắtee, the lord of all creatures. Savitrēe-pútee, the husband of Savitrēz,
< From dēērghủ, long; tắma, darkness.
" That is, as the first bramhŭn he performed all the great sacrifices of the Hindoo law, To every sacrifice a bramhŭn is necessary,
Indrė is called the king of heaven, and his reign is said to continue 100 years of the gods; after which another person, from among the gods, the giants, or men, by his own merit, raises himself to this eminence. The sacrifice of a horsee one hundred times raises a person to the rank of Indrů.
The Shrēë-bhagúvětě gives the following list of the persons who have been or will be raised to the rank of king of the gods during the present kúlpă: Hŭree, Rochủnů, Sútyú-jit, Trishikhủ, Vibhoo, Muntrŭ-droomŭ, and Poorŭndūrė, the present Indră. To him will succeed Bŭlee, Shrootủ, Shůmbhoo, Voidhrită, Gŭndhủ-dhama, Divèspắtee, and Shoochee.
Indrŭ is represented as a white man, sitting on an elephant called Oiravětů, with a thunderbolt in his right hand, and a bow in his left. He has 1000 eyes.
The worship of Indrė is celebrated annually, in the day time, on the 14th of the lunar month Bhadrů. The usual ceremonies of worship are accompanied with singing, music, dancing, &c. In Bengal the greater number of those who keep this festival are women; in whose names the ceremonies are performed by officiating bramhŭns. It lasts one day, after which the image is thrown into the river, This festival, which is accompanied by the greatest festivities, is celebrated all over Bengal ; each one repeating it
$ The horse, on account of his usefulness in war, was sacrificed to Mars,
annually during fourteen years. On the day of worship, a few blades of dõõrva grass are tied round the right arm of a man, and the left of a woman. Some per
ns wear this string, which contains fourteen knots, for a month after the festival is over. Fourteen kinds of fruits, fourteen cakes, &c. must be presented to the image. This worship is performed for the purpose of procuring riches, or a house, or a son, or pleasure, or a residence after death in Indrė's heaven.
Indrė is supposed to preside over the elements, so that in times of drought prayers are addressed to him as the giver of rain.
He is also one of the ten guardian deities of the earth, and is said to preside in the east. To render the worship of any other god acceptable, it is necessary that the worship of these deities be previously performed, viz. of Indrů, Ognée, Yumŭ, Noiritė, Vŭroonů, Půvủnŭ, Eeshủ, únŭntů, Koovérů, and Brúmha; also that of the five deities,' viz. Sõõryü, Gŭnéshủ, Shivů, Doorga, and Vishnoo; and of the nine planets, viz. Rủvee, Somŭ, Múngúlă, Boodhủ, Vrihủspútee, Shookró, Shủnee, Rahoo, and Kétoo. In consequence of this rule, a few ceremonies of worship are performed to Indrŭ at the commencement of every
The pooranŭs and other writings contain a number of stories respecting this king of the gods, who is represented as particularly jealous lest any persons should, by the performance of sacred austerities, outdo him in religious merit, and thus obtain his kingdom. To prevent these devotees from succeeding in their object, he generally sends a captivating female from his own residence to draw away their minds, and thus throw them down from the ladder of reli
gious merit, and send them back again to a life of gratification among the delusive forms of earth. But that which entails the greatest infamy on the character of this god is, his seducing the wife of his spiritual guide Goutămů. This story is related in the Ramayúnŭ as follows: 'After receiving the highest honours from Průmětee, the two descendants of Rŭghoo, having passed the night there, went towards Mit'hila. When the sages beheld at a distance the beautiful city of Júnūkė, they joyfully exclaimed, “Excellent! excellent !' Raglŭva, seeing a hermitage in a grove of Mit'hila, asked the chief of sages, “What solitary wilderness is this, O divine one? I desire to hear whose hermitage this is, beautiful, of impenetrable shade, and inhabited by sages.' Vishwamitrů, hearing these words, in pleasing accents thus answered the lotus-eyed Ramė: 'Attend, I will inform thee whose is this hermitage, and in what manner it became solitary, cursed by the great one in his wrath. This was the sacred hermitage of the great Goutumŭ, adorned with trees, flowers, and fruits. For many thousand years, O son of Rŭghoo, did the sage remain here with Thủlya, performing sacred austerities. One day, O Ramủ, the sage being gone far distant, the king of heaven, acquainted with the opportunity, and sick with impure desire, assuming the habit of a sage', thus addressed Ühủlya, 'The menstrual season deserves regards, O thou ...
That is, the habit of Goutúmů. This resembles Jupiter's seducing Alcmena, the wife of Amphytrion, in her husband's absence, in the like. ness of Amphytrion.
$. According to the shastrůs, sixteen days from the appearance of the menses is reckoned the menstrual season. All connubial intercourse is forbidden during the first three of these days. The guilt incurred by a violation of this rule, on the first day is equal to that of a criminal connection with a female chủndalú, on the second day equal to the same act with a washerwoman, and on the third to the same act with a female shoodrit.'