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SECTION X.-Vuroonů.

THIS is the god of the waters. His image is painted white; he sits on a sea-animal called mŭkŭrů, with a rope in his right hand.

Vŭroonu's name is repeated daily in the worship of the bramhŭns; but his image is never made for worship, nor has he any public festival or temple in Bengal. He is worshipped however as one of the guardian deities of the earth; and also by those who farm the lakes in Bengal, before they go out a fishing: and in times of drought people repeat his name to obtain rain§.

A story of this god is contained in the Půdmů poorană to this purport:-Ravănŭ was once carrying an unadee-lingă from Himalŭyŭ to Lunka1, in order that he might accomplish all his ambitious schemes against the gods: for it was the property of this stone, also called kamů1-lingă, to grant the worshipper all his desires, whatever they might be. Shivů, however, when permitting Ravůnů to remove this his image to Lunka, made him promise, that wherever he suffered it to touch the ground, there it should remain.

f This weapon is called pashŭ, and has this property, that whomsoever it catches, it binds so fast that he can never get loose. All the gods, giants, rakshlisus, &c. learn the use of this weapon.

At the time of a drought, it is common for bramhúns to sit in crowds by the sides of the Ganges, or any other river, and address their prayers to this god. A bramhŭn once informed me, that he remembered when Krishnů-Chundrů, the raja of Nŭvů-dwēēpů, gave presents to vast multitudes of bramhuns thus employed; and that, in the midst of their prayers, Vůroonů sent a plentiful supply of rain.

h Ceylon.

i Kamŭ means desire.

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When the gods saw that Ravůnů was carrying this stone to Lŭnka, all the heavens were in a state of agitation: for the gods knew, that if Ravună could be permitted to accomplish his wishes, neither Indră nor any other god would continue on his throne. Council after council was held, and applications made to different gods in vain. It was at last resolved that Vuroonů should enter the belly of Ravŭnu, who would thereby be compelled to set the stone down, while discharging his urine. Vŭroonů accordingly entered the belly of Ravŭnů, as he was carrying the lingŭ on his head; and the latter soon began to feel the effects of his visit. His belly swelled prodigiously:-he proceeded however on his journey, till at last he could wait no longer. At this moment Indrů, in the form of an old bramhun, meeting him, Ravůnů, after asking who he was, and where he was going, entreated him to hold the lingů for a short time, promising to bestow on him the greatest favours; to which the bramhun consented, agreeing to hold the stone an hour, but no longer. Ravůnů told him he would not detain him half that time; and squatted on his hams to rid himself of Vŭroonů. After he had thus sat for four hours, the bramhăn, complaining he could hold the stone no longer, threw it down-when the lower part sunk into the world of the hydras, and the top is said to be visible to this day at Voidyŭ-nat'hu, a place in the zillah of Beerbhoom, where the river Khursoo is believed to have arisen from the urine of this enemy of the gods'. Ravănŭ, when he

* Ravǎnǎ could not hold the lingŭ while in this act, as a person hereby becomes unclean until he has bathed. This is the strict rule of the shastră: at present, however, should a person, in the midst of his worship, he compelled to discharge urine, he does not bathe, but only changes his clothes.

1 The Hindoos do not drink the water of this river, but bathe in and drink the water of a pool there, which they have called Nüvü-günga, viz. the New Ganga.

arose, and saw what had taken place, went home full of rage and disappointment: some accounts add, that he went and fought with the gods in the most furious manner.

The heaven of this god, called Vŭroonů-loků, is 800 miles in circumference, and was formed by Vishwŭkŭrma, the divine architect. In the centre is a grand canal of pure water. Vŭroonŭ, and his queen Varoonēē, sit on a throne of diamonds; and around them the court, among whom are Sumoodru, Gunga, and other river gods and goddesses m; the twelve Adityŭs, and other deities; the hydras; Oiravůtů; the doityŭs; the danŭvus, &c. The pleasures of this heaven consist in the gratification of the senses, as in the heavens of Indrŭ and others. There does not seem to be a vestige of any thing here, but what would exactly meet the wishes of a libertine.

A scene in the heaven of Vŭroonů :-Nimee, a king, invited Vůshisht'hů to preside as priest over the ceremonies at a sacrifice he was about to perform. Vůshisht'hŭ, being engaged at that time as priest to perform a sacrifice for some other king, from whom he expected very large presents, excused himself for the present; when Nimee, after using entreaty in vain, employed another sage as priest. Vushisth'hŭ, having concluded the sacrifice in which he was engaged, proceeded to the palace of Nimee; but hearing that the king had employed another priest, was filled with rage, and pronounced a curse on the king, by which he was reduced to ashes. Before the curse took effect, however, the king cursed Vushisht'hu, and reduced his body also to ashes. The soul of Vushisht'hu ascended to Brumha, to enquire how he was to procure a body again.

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Among these deities are included gods of wells, pools, lakes, basins, whirlpools, &c.

Brůmha said, 'Go to the gods Vŭroonŭ and Sōōryů.' He went, and obtained his body in the following manner: Sōōryů, captivated with the sight of Oorvushée, a courtezan, as she was dancing in Indru's heaven, invited her to his house. As she was going, Vuroonŭ met her, and became enamoured of her also. [Here the story becomes too filthy to be written.] From the inflamed passions of these two gods, Ugustyŭ, an eminent ascetic, was born, and Vushisht❜hu, one of the most exalted of the Hindoo saints, obtained a new body. The priests who had been employed by Nimee, fearing they should lose all employment hereafter if they suffered the king thus to perish, at the close of the sacrifice formed from the ashes a young man, to whom they gave the name of Júnŭků; who became the father of Seeta, the wife of Ramŭ.

The meaning of the name Vuroonŭ is, he who surrounds. -This god is also called Průchéta, or the wise.—Pashëë, he who holds a rope.-Yadusang-putee, the lord of the watery tribes.-Uppŭtee, the lord of waters,

SECTION XI.-Yumu,

THIS god is called the holy king, who judges the dead. His image is that of a green man, with red garments; inflamed eyes; having a crown on his head, and a flower stuck in his hair"; sitting on a buffaloe, with a club in his right

" It is very common to see a flower, which has been presented to an image, stuck in the bunch of hair which the Hindoos tie behind the head, This is done under the idea that the flower has some virtue in it. Several shastrus prescribe this practice, and promise rewards to the person who places in his hair flowers which have been presented to his guardian deity, or to any other god.

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hand. His dreadful teeth, grim aspect, and terrific shape, fill the inhabitants of the three worlds with terror.

An annual festival is held in honour of Yumu on the second day of the moon's increase in the month Kartikŭ, when an image of clay is made, and worshipped with the usual ceremonies for one day, and then thrown into the river. No bloody sacrifices are offered to this god.

Yumŭ is also worshipped at the commencement of other festivals, as one of the ten guardian deities of the earth. He presides in the South.

Every day the Hindoos offer water to Yămă, în the ceremony called turpŭnů, as well as annually on the 14th of the month Ugrŭhayŭnů, when they repeat several of his

names.

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At the time of other festivals the Hindoos sometimes make an image of the mother of Yumŭo, and worship it. At other times children in play make this image, and pretend to worship it.

On the first of the month Kartikŭ, a curious ceremony takes place in every part of Bengal:-the unmarried girls of each house engage a near relation to dig a small pit near the front of the house, at the four corners of which they sow rice, or barley, or wheat, and plant some stalks of the plantain or other tree: they also plant other branches in the midst of the pit. The place being thus prepared, every morning for a month these girls, after putting on clean ap

A very old woman, who is at the same time a great scold, is called by the Hindoos the mother of Yumă.

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