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regent of death, is his son; and Chaya, a shadow, the name of one of his wivesy. The image of Sõõryŭ is that of a dark-red man, from whose body issue a thousand streams of light : he has three eyes, and four arms; in each of two of his hands he holds a water-lily, with another he is bestowing a blessing, and with the last forbidding fear. He sits on a red lotus, in a chariot drawn by seven horses. He is painted red, to show that his glory is like flame; his three eyes represent the day, evening, and night; and his four arms indicate, that in him are united průkritee and poorooshủ, or matter and spirit. One lotus explains the nature of emancipation, (see Vishnoo;) and the other, upon which the rays of Sõõryú are reflected, is a type of sound, which some Hindoo philosophers believe to be eternal. The red lotus represents the earth ; his chariot, the measure of time; and the seven horses, the seven poetical measures of the védús. The image of this god is never made, but the sun itself is worshipped daily; the shalgramů is also his constant representative in the bramhinical worship. The disciples of this god are called Sourŭs.
9. Ugnee, the regent of fire, is represented as a corpulent man, riding on a goat, with copper-coloured eye-brows, beard, hair, and eyes ; his belly is the colour of the dawn; he holds a spear in his right hand, and a bead-roll in his left; from his body issue a thousand streams of glory, and he has seven flaming tongues. His corpulency points out, that he grants the desires of his worshippers ; the colour of his eye-brows, &c. represents the flame of the burnt-offering when it ascends of a coppercolour, at which time he who desires secular blessings offers his clarified butter; but he who desires emancipation, pours his offering on the fire when its colour is like that of the dawn. The goat teaches, that Ugnee devours all things; his spear, that he is almighty; and his bead-roll, that he is propitious. The rays of glory are to encourage the worshipper to expect that he
y The pooranús contain a fable respecting Sõõryú and his wife, which almost literally corresponds with the filthy story of Neptune and Ceres, when the latter turned herself into a mare.
shall obtain the greatest blessings from this god. Ugnee has neither temples nor images consecrated to him, but has a service in the daily ceremonies of the bramhŭns; and one class of his worshippers, called sagnikŭ bramhŭns, preserve a perpetual fire like the' vestal virgins 2. He presides over sacrifices, and is called the mouth of the gods.
10. Půvůnů, the god of the winds, and the messenger of the gods, is represented as a white man, sitting on a deer, holding in his right hand the hook used by the driver of an elephant. He is painted white, to shew that he preserves life. The deer represents the swiftness of his flight; the elephant driver's hook explains his power over the body. He is worshipped daily, but has neither separate festival, image, nor temple. I can find little or no resemblance betwixt this god and Mercury.
11. Vúroonů, the Indian Neptune, is a white man, sitting on a sea animal, having a serpent-weapon in his right hand. He is painted white, to shew that he satisfies the living; and he wields a terrific weapon, to point out, that he is approached with fear by the worshipper. His name is repeated in the daily worship of the bramhŭns, but he has neither public festival nor temple.
12. Súmoodrů, the sea, is worshipped by the Hindoos when they visit the sea, as well as at the different festivals, and on the sixth day after the birth of a child.
13. Prithivēē, the earth, is worshipped daily by the Hindoos. She is a form of Bhúgủvŭtēē, and may be called the Indian Ceres. The Hindoos have divided the earth into ten parts, and assigned a deity to each. These are, Indrė, Ugnee, Yŭmů,
* There seems to be no order of females among the Hindoos resembling these virgins; but many Hindoo women, at the total wane of the moon, to fulfii a vow, watch for twenty-four hours over a lamp made with clarified butter, and prevent its being extinguished till the time for the appear. ance of the new moon.
Noiritů, Vŭroonů, Vayoo, Koovérů, Eeshủ, Brůmha, and Unủntů.
14. The heavenly bodies. It is a remarkable fact, that almost all heathen nations have fallen into the worship of the heavenly bodies. Perhaps the evident influence which the sun and moon have over the seasons and the vegetable kingdom, might, in the primeval ages, lead men to make them objects of worship: after the introduction of judicial astrology, this species of idolatry becomes less surprising. Whatever may be the antiquity of the védús, it is very plain, that the worship of the sun, moon, and other planets is there inculcated : niany of the forms of praise and petition in those books, are addressed to the heavenly bodies; and to this day the worship of all the planets in one service, and of different planets on separate occasions, has place among the Hindoos.
Růveea, the sun. See the article Sõõryŭ. Somů b, the moon. We do not perceive the least agreement betwixt this god and Diana. The Hindoo feasts are regulated by the revolutions of the moon,
but Somŭ is not greatly honoured in the Hindoo mythology, being esteemed a malignant planet, as is also Múngèlic, or Mars. Booddhŭd, or Mercury, is a fortunate planet; and so is Vrihủspiteee, ar Jupiter, who is the preceptor of the gods. Shookrů, or Venus, preceptor to the giants, is also a fortunate planet. This god is represented as blind of one eye. Shủnees, or Saturn, the son of Sõõryú, an evil planet. Rahoo and Kétoo, the ascending and descending nodes. The planets are not honoured with temples, images, or festivals in Bengal. When hope or fear, respecting their benign or malignant influence, is excited in the mind of a Hindoo, he is drawn or driven to worship them.
a From this god the first day of the week is named Růvee-varů, as Sunday derives its name from the Sun: day and vară are synonymous. b Hence Somů-varů, Monday.
Vrihůspătee-varů, Thursday. * Shookrů-varů, Friday.
8 Shủnee-varů, Saturday,
15. Doorga. The image of this goddess and that of Minerva, in one or two instances, exhibit a pretty strong resemblance : both are described as fond of arms; and it is remarkable, that Doorga derives her name from the giant Doorgů, whom she slew, as Pallas (Minerva) obtained hers from the giant Pallas, whom she destroyed. She resembles Minerva also as a goddess difficult of access, which is one signification of the name Doorga. Sir W. Jones says, “As the mountain-born goddess, or Parvėtēē, she has many properties of the Olympian Juno: her majestic deportment, high spirit, and general attributes are the same; and we find her both on Mount Koilasă, and at the banquets of the deities, uniformly the companion of her husband. One circumstance in the parallel is extremely singular: she is usually attended by her son Kartikeyů, who rides on a peacock; and in some drawings, his own robe seems to be spangled with eyes: to which must be added that, in some of her temples, a peacock, without a rider, stands near her image. The image of Doorga is that of a yellow female with ten arms, sitting on a lion. The weapons she wields, the trident, the scimitar, the discus, the arrow, the spear, the club, the bow, the serpentweapon, the hook for guiding an elephant, and the axe, are to point out, that with these ten arms and weapons she protects the ten points. She has one foot on Mŭhéshủ, a giant, to shew that she subdues the enemies of her worshippers ; and she sits on a lion, a form of Vishnoo, as the giver of success to her worshippers, and as exciting fear in their enemies. The quarrels of this goddess with Shivů, her husband, strongly remind us of those betwixt Jupiter and Juno, arising from the jealousy of the latter. The festivals in honour of Doorga and of Krishnŭ draw the whole Hindoo population to the temples, while those in honour of other gods are comparatively neglected. Before the temples of this goddess, thousands of victims are annually slaughtered, and offered to her image. She is not merely honoured as Doorga, but, under other names, distinct temples, images, festivals, and ceremonies have been instituted. Doorga, as has been already observed, is also the representative of matter in the creation of the universe, and in this character she is called Prů. kriteeh. Her wars with the giants also add to her fame, and make her extremely popular among the Hindoos: she is adopted by many, who take the name of shaktis', as their guardian deity. In Bengal, the greater number of bramhŭns are shaktės: in the western and southern provinces this sect is less numerous.
16. Kalee, the Indian Diana Taurica. Though this is another form of Doorga, her fame is so great, that it seems necessary to devote a few lines exclusively to her. The dark image of this goddess is a truly horrid figure: her hair is disheveled; her tongue hangs out; she holds in one hand a scimitar, in another a giant's scull, with another she forbids fear, and with the last is bestowing a blessing. . Her colour is that by which time is designated, and she stands upon her husband, the destroyer, to keep him in subjection till the time of the universal conflagration, when, with the eye in the centre of his forehead, he will burn the universe. Her four arms represent the four védůs; the two inspiring terror point out those portions of the védŭ which relate to the destruction of enemies and the government of the world, and the other two allude to those parts of the védů which belong to devotion. Her disheveled hair represents the clouds, and intimates too that time has neither beginning nor end. Her tongue is the representative of lightning. She exhibits altogether the appearance of a drunken frantic fury. Yet this is the goddess whom thousands adore, on whose altars thousands of victims annually bleed, and whose temple at Kalēē-ghatů, near Calcutta, is the resort of Hindoos from all parts of India. This temple, it is said, frequently receives presents from persons of the highest rank, and not unfrequently from persons called Christians. There are two things respecting Kalēē which remind us of Laverna : she is the protectress of thieves, and her image at Kalēē-ghatŭ is a head without a body. Another form of this goddess, under the name of Siddhéshwŭrēē, is to be seen in clay temples all over Bengal. Human victims, it is said, have often been immolated on the altars of Kalēē and Siddhéshwúrēē.
Literally, the chief, or nature.
i Shaktă means energy.