Obrazy na stronie

have been his son again and again. The old man was so incensed, to see that his daughter-in-law had more affection for him than his own son, for whom he was dying with grief, that he desired the constable to carry him back. The old bramhůnée would not believe that her son's affections were thus alienated from them: the constable, therefore, carried her also to see him; but she met with the same treatment. They both immediately renounced their grief for a son who had lost all his filial affection, and resolved to think no more about him.

Other stories abound in the pooranus respecting Yumu, some of which relate to disputes betwixt the messengers of this god and those of some other god, about the soul of a departed person, whether it shall be happy or miserable. I insert two of these stories:-When the sage Unimandŭvyŭ was a child of five years old, he put a straw into the tail of a locust, and let it fly away. In advanced years, while once employed in performing religious austerities, he was seized as a thief by the officers of justice, and, as he gave no answer on his trial, the king took it for granted that he was guilty, and ordered him to be impaled. After he had been impaled four years, his body had undergone no change, and, though he appeared perfectly insensible to human objects, he was evidently alive. The king, being informed of this, was filled with astonishment, and declared that he was certainly some great ascetic, equal to one of the gods. He then immediately ordered him to be taken down; but in endeavouring to extract the wood upon which he had been impaled, it broke within his body. The sage was then suffered to depart, and, after some time, his religious abstraction was interrupted; though his mind had been so set upon his god, that neither impaling him for four years, nor breaking the stake within his body, had disturbed his

intense devotion. On awaking from this state he discovered what had been done to him, and that he had suffered all this from the hands of Yumu, for having pierced the locust when he was a child. He was exceedingly angry with Yumů for such unrighteous judgment. To punish a person for a sin committed at the age of five years, and for so small a crime to impale him for four years, was what he could not bear. He then cursed Yŭmŭ, and doomed him to be born on earth, and to take the name of Vidoorů, the son of a servant girl in the house of the mother of Védŭ-vyasů.— How the administration of justice in the other world was carried on after Yumu assumed human birth, this story does not relate.-What an excellent religion for a wicked man: the criminal can punish his judge!

Újamilŭ had committed the most enormous crimes, having kille cows and bramhŭns, drank spirits, and lived in the practice of evil all his days. He had four sons; the name of one was Narayŭnů. In the hour of death Ŭjamilă was extremely thirsty, and thus called to his son: 'Narayunŭ, Narayŭnů, Narayunů, give me some water.' After his decease, the messengers of Yumů seized him, and were about to drag him to a place of punishment, when Vishnoo's messengers came to rescue him. A furious battle ensued, but Vishnoo's messengers were victorious, and carried off Ujamilů to Voikoontů, the heaven of Vishnoo. The messengers of Yumů, enraged, returned to thei. master, threw their clothes and staves at his feet, and declared that they would serve him no longer, as they got nothing but disgrace in all they did. Yŭmů ordered Chitrů-gooptů, the recorder, to examine his books. He did so, and reported that this Ŭjamilŭ had been a most notorious sinner, and that it was impossible for him to reckon up his sins, they were so numerous. Yumu hastened to Voikoontu,

[blocks in formation]

and demanded of Vishnoo an explanation of this affair. Vishnoo reminded him, that however wicked this man might have been, he had repeated the name Narayănă in his last moments; and that he (Yŭmů) ought to know, that if a man, either when laughing, or by accident, or in anger, or even in derision, repeated the name of Vishnoo, he would certainly go to heaven, though, like Ujamilů, covered with crimes, he had not a single meritorious deed to lay in the balance against them.-This is the doctrine that is universally maintained by the great body of the Hindoos: hence, when a person in a dying situation is brought down to the river side, he is never exhorted to repentance, but is urged in his last moments to repeat the names of certain gods, as his passport to heaven. A Hindoo shopkeeper one day declared to the author, that he should live in the practice of adultery, lying, &c. till death; and that then, repeating the name of Krishnů, he should, without difficulty, ascend to heaven. How shocking this sentiment! How dreadful this mistake!

Description of the heaven of Yumu, from the Muhabharŭtů. This heaven, formed by Vishwůkŭrma, is 800 miles in circumference. From hence are excluded the fear of enemies, and sorrow both of body and mind; the climate is mild and salubrious; and each one is rewarded in kind, according to his works: thus he, who has given much away on earth, receives a far greater quantity of the same things in heaven; he who has not been liberal, will have other kinds of happiness, and will see food, houses, lands, &c. but will receive nothing. All kinds of excellent food are here heaped up into mountains". To this heaven have been raised a great number of Hindoo kings, whose names are

This seems to be a heaven for gluttons!

given in the Muhabharůtů. The pleasures of this heaven are like those of Indru-poorů: the senses are satiated with gratifications as gross as the writer of this pooranu, the licentious Vyasă, could make them.

Yumŭ married Vijŭyů, the daughter of Vēérů, a bramhun. The Bhŭvishyŭt pooranŭ contains the following story respecting this marriage :-Yumŭ was so pleased with this female, on account of her having performed the Boodhashtŭmēē vrutů, that he appeared to her, and offered her marriage. She was alarmed at the sight of this s ranger, and asked him who he was. When she found it was Yumu, the judge of the dead, who was thus paying his addresses to her, she was filled with terror. Yumŭ calmed her fears, and permitted her to acquaint her brother; as he would be full of distress after her departure, if he were left in ignorance. Her brother told her she was certainly mad:

What, to be married to Yumů! A fine husband truly!' She however consented, and Yumŭ conveyed her to his palace, but charged her never to go to the southwards. She suspected that there Yumů had another favourite, and would not be satisfied till he had explained to her, that his reasons for forbidding her to go southwards were, that there the wicked were punished, and that she would not be able to bear so dreadful a sight. All these warnings, however, were given in vain: while Yŭmů was one day busy, she took another female or two, and went southwards, till the cries of the damned had nearly terrified her to distraction to add to the horror of the scene, she s w her mother in torments. On her return, Yumů found her in a state of the greatest distress, and soon discovered the She insisted on Yumu's delivering her mother that very day, or he should see her face no more. Yŭmů declared this to be impossible; that her own bad conduct had


brought her there, and that she could only be delivered, according to the forms of the shastră, after suffering the punishment due to her. Vijŭyŭ became impatient and clamorous; till Yŭmů told her, that if she could get the merit of the Boodhastůměe vrutů transferred to her by some one, she might deliver her mother. Yumŭ further informed her, that on earth a certain queen, who had performed the Boodhashtŭmēē vrůtů, had been three days in the pains of child-birth; and that, if she would perform a certain ceremony, which he described to her, the queen would be delivered, and would in return transfer the merits of this vrůtů to her mother, who would immediately be delivered from torments. Vijŭyŭ took this advice, and thus procured the deliverance of her mother from hell.

Yumu's principal names are: Dhurmŭ-rajů, or, the holy king.-Pitripütee, the lord of the ancients.-Sŭmůvurttee, he who judges impartially.—Prétŭ-rat, the lord of the dead.

-Kritantů, the destroyer.-Yumoona-bhrata, the brother of Yŭmoona.-Shůmŭnů, he who levels all.-Yumu-rat, the chief of the fourteen Yumus.-Yŭmů, he who takes out of the world.-Kalu, time.-Důndudhůrů, he who holds the rod of punishment.-Shraddhŭ-dévů, the god of the ceremonies paid to deceased ancestors; or, he who eats his share of the shraddhů.-Voivuswůtů, the son of Vivuswut, or Sōōryů.—Untukŭ, he who kills, or puts an end to life.

The river Yŭmoona.

Yumǎ has thirteen assistants, whose names are here given as different names of this judge of the dead.

« PoprzedniaDalej »