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SECTION VII.-Kartikeyů.

This is the god of war. He is represented sometimes with one, and at other times with six faces; is of a yellow colour; rides on a peacock'; and holds in his right hand. an arrow,

and in his left a bow.

The reason of the birth of Kartikeyŭ is thus told in the Koomară-sămbhůvŭ, one of the kavyús:—Tarúků, a giant, performed religious austerities till he obtained the blessing of Brúmha, after which he oppressed both bramhŭns and gods. He commanded that the sun should shine only so far as was necessary to cause the water-lily to blossom; that the moon should shine in the day as well as in the night. He sent the god Yumŭ to cut grass for his horses; commanded Pủvănŭ to prevent the wind from blowing any stronger than the puff of a fan; and in a similar manner tyrannized over all the gods. At length Indrŭ called a council in heaven, when the gods applied to Brůmha : but the latter declared he was unable to reverse the blessing he had bestowed on Tarukŭ; that their only hope was Kartikéyè, who should be the son of Shivă, and destroy the giant.-After some time the gods assembled again to consult respecting the marriage of Shivů, whose mind was entirely absorbed in religious austerities. After long consultations, Kúndúrpŭ & was called, and all the gods began to flatter him in such a manner that he was filled with pride, and declared he could do every thing: he could conquer the mind even of the great god Shivŭ himself. That, says Indrŭ,’ is the very thing we want you to do. At this he appeared discouraged,

i Juno's chariot was said to be drawn by peacocks, $ 'The god of love.

but at length declared that he would endeavour to fulfil his promise. He consulted his wife Rūtēē; who reproved him for his temerity, but consented to accompany her husband. They set off, with Vủsủntů", to mount Himalúyŭ, where they found Shivŭ sitting under a roodrakshỏi tree, performing his devotions.

Previously to this, Himalúyúk had been to Shivă, and proposed that Doorga, his daughter, should wait upon him, that he might uninterruptedly go on with his religious austerities; which offer Shivă accepted. One day, after the arrival of Kundŭrpŭ and his party, Doorga, with her two companions Jủya and Vijůya, carried some flowers and a necklace to Shivă. In the moment of opening his eyes from his meditation, to receive the offering, Kủndŭrpŭ let fly his arrow ; and Shivă, smitten with love, awoke as from a dream, and asked who had dared to interrupt his devotions.-Looking towards the south he saw Kủndúrpŭ, when fire proceeded from the third eye in the centre of his forehead, and burnt Kủndúrpŭ to ashes'. The enraged god left this pace for another forest, and Doorga, seeing no prospect of being married to Shivů, returned home full of sorrow. She sought at last to obtain her object by the power of religious austerities, in which she persevered till Shivŭ was drawn from his devotions, when the marriage was consummated.

• The spring. The Hindoo poets always unite love and spring together.

i From the fruit of this tree necklaces are made, the wearing of which is a great act of merit among the Hindoos. * The mountain of this name personified.

Through the blessing of Shivů to Růtěē, Kủndůrpŭ was afterwards born in the family of Krishnů, and took the name of Kamů-dévů; after which Rūtēe (then called Mayavėtëē) was again married to him.

fp When this goddess, says a kavy; shastrů, told her mother that she

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The Múhabharătă and Ramayúnŭ contain accounts of the birth of Kartikeyů, the fruit of this marriage; but they are so indelicate that the reader, I doubt not, will excuse their omission.

On the last evening in the month Kartiků, a clay image of this god is worshipped", and the next day thrown into the water. These ceremonies differ little from those at other festivals : but some images made on the occasion are not less than twenty-five cubits high; that is, a whole tree is put into the ground, and worshipped as a god. The height of the image obliges the worshippers to fasten the offerings to the end of a long bamboo, in order to raise them to the mouth of the god. This festival is distinguished by much singing, music, dancing, and other accompaniments of Hindoo worship.

The image of Kartikeyŭ is also made and set up by the side of his mother Doorga, at the great festival of this goddess in the month Ashwinů; and each day, at the close of the worship of Doorga, that of her son is performed at considerable length. In the month Choitrů also the worship of Kartikeyů accompanies that of his mother.-No bloody sacrifices are offered to this idol.

At the time when the above festival is held, some persons makeo or purchase clay images, which they place in their houses, and before which the officiating bramhŭn performs the appointed ceremonies; preceding which a prayer is made for offspring. This is repeated sometimes on the anniversary of this day, for four years together. If the person, long disappointed, should, in these years, or soon after, happen to have a child, particularly a son, the whole is-ascribed to Kartikeyú P. When persons have made a vow. to Karti-> kéyè, they present offerings to this idol at the completion of the vow. These vows are sometimes made to obtain the health of a child, or a son; a woman, when she makes this vow, thus addresses the god : 'Oh! Kartikeyŭ t'hakooră, give me a son, and I will present to thee (here she mentions a number of offerings, as sweetmeats, fruits, &c.]-I do not want a female child. This vow may be made at any time, or place, without any previous ceremony. When several women are sitting together, another woman perhaps comes amongst them, and, in the course of the conversation, asks the mistress of the house, 'Has your daughter-in-law any children yet?' She replies, in a plaintive manner, 'No, no thing but a girl. Or she answers altogether in the negative, adding, 'I have again and again made vows to Kar

would perform ansterities to obtain Shivă, her mother, alarmed, exclaimed—“Ooma! (Oh! mother!) how can you think of going into the forest to perform religions austerities? Stay and perform religious services at home, and you will obtain the god you desire. How can your tender form bear these severities? The flower bears the weight of the bee, but if a bird pitch upon it, it breaks directly."

* Vast numbers of these images are made; in some towns as many as five hundred. It is supposed that in Calcutta more than five thousand are made and worshippedo

• He who makes an image for his own use is supposed to do an act of mach greater merit than the person who purchases one.

P A part of the Muhabharútů is sometimes recited to obtain offspring, The part thus read is a list of the ancestors of Hůree, (a name of Vishnoo.) When a person wishes to have this ceremony performed, he employs a learned native to recite these verses, and another to examine, by a separate copy, whether the verses be read without mistake: if they be read improperly, no benefit will arise from the ceremony. If the person who seeks offspring be unable to attend himself during the ceremony, he engages soine friend to hear the words in his stead.Some verses of: praise, addressed to Shivů, are also occasionally read in the ears of a hus. band and wife who are anxious to obtain offspring.

4 A term of respect, meaning excellent.

tikéyè, and even now I promise before you all, that if the god will give her a son, I will worship him in a most excellent manner, and my daughter-in-law will do it as long as she lives.'

There are no temples in Bengal dedicated to Kartikeyů, nor are any images of him kept in the houses of the Hindoos except during a festival.

The principal names of Kartikéyŭ are: Kartikéyè, or, he who was cherished by six females of the name of Krittika'.-Muha-sénŭ, he who commands multitudes.-Shůranŭnŭ, the six-faced.-Skúndŭ, he who afflicts the giants.-Ugnibhoo, he who arose from Ugnee. Goohủ, he who preserves his troops in war.–Tarúkėjit, he who conquered Tarŭků.Vishakhủ, he who was born under the constellation of this name.-Shikhi-vahủnú, he who rides on a peacock.-Shuktee-dhèrè, he who wields the weapon called shủktee.--Koomarů, he who is perpetually young®-Krounchủ-darŭnŭ, he who destroyed the giant Krounchủ.

It is said that Kartikeyŭ was never married, but that Indrė gave him a mistress named Dévėséna. He has no separate heaven, nor has Gŭnéshủ: they live with Shivă on mount Koilasů.

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Şix stars, (belonging to ursa ma’or) said to be the wives of six of the seven rishees. These females are called Krittika. They cherished Kar. tikéyè as soon as he was born in the forest of writing-reeds, and hence his name is a regular patronymic of Krittika, because they were as his mothers.

• Under sixteen years of age.

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