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whatever the disordered imaginations of the Hindoos have attributed to this God encompassing himself with delusion". This energy is said to have created the universe; and therefore this, as displayed in the grandest of the forms it assumes®, is the object of worship. Hence the gods, the heavens collectively, the sun and moon, as well as the stars, the sea, mighty rivers, and extraordinary appearances in nature, receive the adorations of the Hindoost This energy itself has been personified and worshipped, not only in the form of Bhăgúvětēē", but, as it is manifested equally in creation, in the government of the world, and in the work of destruction, in Brůmha, Vishnoo, and Shivă. The universe being full of the divine majesty, a deity has been consecrated as the regent of every element; and, to complete this mass of folly, the bramhŭn and the devout mendicant, as

The Tůntrús teach, that after Brůmhti had entered the world, he divided himself into male and female.

s! It seems a well-founded opinion, that the whole crowd of gods and goddesses in ancient Rome, and modern Vánáres, mean only the powers of nature, and principally those of the Sun, expressed in a variety of ways, and by a multitude of fanciful names.' Sir W. Jones.-Nature herself, and its plastic powers, originating solely in the sovereign energies of the supreme creative source of all being, they (the Asiatics) absurdly dignified by the majestic denomination of God. This supreme creative energy, diffused through nature, they distinguished by various names: sometimes it was Osiris, the fountain of Light, the Sun, the prolific principle by which that was invigorated; sometimes it was the lifegenerating FIRE, the divine offspring of the solar deity; and it was sometimes called by an appellation consonant to the SOUL OF THE WORLD. The First Vivific PRINCIPLE, emanating from the primeval source of being, is visibly of Chaldaic origin; and thence, through the medium of the Egyptians, the Stoic philosophers doubtless had their doctrine of the fiery soul of the world,' by wbich they supposed all things to be created, animated, and governed.' Maurice.

+ They (the pagans) called the elementary fire Pitha, Vulcan, Ugnee; the solar light they denominated Osiris, Mithra, Sooryú, Apollo; and the pervading air, or spirit, Cneph, Narayŭnů, Zeus, or Jupiter.' Maurice.

u Many Hindoos are denominated shaktůs, as devoted to the worship of this shủktee, or energy. It is remarkable, also, that all the goddesses are called the energies of their lords, as well as matrees, or mothers.

sharing more largely of the indwelling deity, have received the adoration of the multitude.

If we recur to the bodily powers of the different images worshipped by the Hindoos, we see the same principle exhibited : hence Unůntŭ has a thousand heads ; Brůmha has four faces; Indrů is full of eyes ; Doorga has ten, and even Ravěnŭ, the giant, has an hundred arms :—the formidable weapons of the gods too, have evidently the same allusion, as well as their symbols and vehicles, among which we find the eagley, the serpent, the lion, the tiger, the elephant, the bull, the buffalo, &c. The abominable lingủ worship too, (the last state of degradation to which human nature can be driven,) no doubt took its rise from the same doctrine,

Under the influence of this doctrine, the philosophie mind chose, as the objects of its adoration, the forms in which this energy displays itself with the greatest magnificence, and almost confined its worship to the primary elements, the heavenly bodies, and aërial beings ;--the great body of the community became attached to this energy in its forms of preservation ; persons of gloomy habits, as ascetics and yogēēs, adored it in the work of destruction, as connected with emancipation and with return to ineffable repose in the divine essence. The first class chose the retirenient of forests as the scene of their contemplations; the second, the public streets, to adore the prolific power; and the last retired to gloomy caverns?, for the celebration of

* Indri’s thunder-bolt; the Brůmhastrů, a weapon wielded by the gods, which infallibly destroys an enemy.

« Vishnoo's chůkra, a weapon in the form of a circle, continually vomiting flames.' Maurice.

y Vishnoo riding upon his Gŭroorů, or eagle,' says Maurice,“ puts us in mind of the thunder-bearing eagle of the Grecian Jupiter.'

: The Scythians, the Druids, and other ancient nations, it is well known, worshipped this energy in its destructive forms in gloomy recesses, and there offered human and other victims. In the caverns of Salsette and Elephanta, too, the same horrid rites were practised by gloomy ascetics.

those horrid rites, which took their rise in the common error, that the energetic principle is the chief object of worship.

Thus the indwelling principle is adored in whatever form it is supposed to display itself: in the cow, as a form of Bhúgůvůtēē; in the boar, as an incarnation of Vishnoo; and in an ascetic, who has passed through religious austerities supposed to be too dreadful to be borne without support from the divine inhabiting energy. Exactly conformable to the Hindoo idea was the declaration respecting Simon Magus, ' This man is the great power of God.'

The object of adoration being thus simple power, or energy, wherever this is supposed to reside, the impiety of the possessor forms no obstacle to his becoming an object of worship: it is sufficient that he be a god or a bramhŭn.

«The learned,' says Krishnů, 'behold Brůmhủ alike in the reverend bramhủn, perfected in knowledge, in the ox and the elephant; in the dog, and in him who eateth of the flesh of dogs.' Upon the same principle the Hindoo, when he sees the force with which the flood-tide comes into the Ganges, or any other similar phenomena of nature, recognizes it as God, or the energy of God. The blessing which he supposes a yogēē obtains, as the fruit of his religious austerities, he confines to power-power to heal or to kill others, to ride in the air on the back of a tiger, to foretel future events, &c. , Benevolent dispositions and actions procure for a man praise, but not reverence. Howard would have obtained the encomiums of this people, and would have been complimented on the exaltation he was likely to have in the next birth, but nobody would have worshipped him ; this honour is always reserved for men of pretended supernatural powers.

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If these conjectures be just, they may perhaps afford a solution of the difficulties attending the worship of the Egyptians, the

• Taut, or Thoth, was the true Anubis of the. Egyptians, one of their eight greater gods. Thoth considers the cosmogony of Phænicia as.

Scythians, the Greeks, the Persians, and other idolaters; some of them adoring, by sanguinary rites, this principle in its destructive forms, and others in its prolific forms, fire, and the solar orb b. It is the same energetic principle that is also worshipped in the wonderful motions of the heavenly bodies, and in the conflicting gods and the giants, shaking to its centre the solid world ; in the warring elements, and even in all the forms of brute matter in which it appears.

These ideas the author offers to the examination of men of greater leisure and erudition, not without the hope, that they may tend to elucidate a subject exceedingly complicated, and upon which a great variety of opinions have been held. As the same ideas respecting the divine energy were held in common by almost all the ancient philosophers, it is not wonderful that the same objects of worship should be seen among all nations, subject to those variations and additions which might be expected when man had abandoned the doctrine of the divine unity, and had resolved to worship every form and appearance of this energy

The Hindoo mythology, in its present mixed state, presents us with gods of every possible shape, and for every possible purpose, (even to cure the itch!) but most of them appear to refer to the doctrine of the periodical creation and destruction of the world, the appearances of nature, the heavenly bodies', the history of deified heroes,

founded on the doctrine which maintains two principles in nature, matter or darkness, and spirit or intelligence. By the former, he would understand the chaos, obscure and turbid; by the latter, the agitative wind or spirit, which put that chaos in motion, and ranged in order the various parts of the universe. Muurice.

b In this island of Albion, the image of the sun was placed upon an high pillar, as half a man, with a face full of rays of light, and a flaming wheel on his breast. He was worshipped in the same manner as Mithra in Persia, and the divinities of the East. The Persian Magi preserved a continual fire upon an altar in honour of the sun and the lights in the firmament, as the Romans did their holy fire dedicated to Vesta. The Jewish writers affirm, that this was the god Abraham refused to worship in Ur of the Chaldees.' Galtruchius.The sun became the deity adored by the Sabian idolaters. Maurice.

c. Sees God in clouds, and hears him in the wind.'

the poetical wars of the giants with the gods b;-or to the real or imagined wants of mankindi.

It cannot be doubted, from what has been published of the védůs, said to be the most ancient of the Hindoo writings, that the PRIMARY ELEMENTS, fire, air, water, earth, and

space,

with the HEAVENLY BODIES, and AERIAL BEINGS, were the first objects of worship among this people.

The worship of the primary elements possibly originated in the doctrine of the védús respecting the eternity of matter; for we find in these writings the elements deified, and called by appropriate names, as in the modern mythology of the Hindoos.

The worship of the heavenly bodies may probably be attributed to the astronomical notions of the Hindoos : and, as the worship of heathens has always been dictated by their fears and hopes rather than by their reason, it is not a matter of surprise that they should have worshipped the host of heaven, while they believed the stars to have such a mighty and immediate influence on their destiny here and hereafter. In the prayers of the védús, the name of Indrů is found, who was probably considered as a

& As Brůmha and Shivů.
• The deified elements, as Púvůně, Vároonú, &c.

Sõõryů, Chủndrú, &c. & Ramů, who, in reference to his forest residence, is painted green, and carries a bow and arrows.

Doorga, who has a giant at her feet, and the head of another in her hand. The author will not presume to decide, whether these wars of the gods have reference to human contests, and as such are to be regarded as real history disguised in fable; or whether images of this class have been borrowed merely from the reveries of the poets.

Súrůswåtēē, the goddess of learning; Unnt-põõrnt, the goddess of plenty, &c.

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