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17. Lükshmēē, the goddess of fortune, is the wife of Vishnoo: she is said to have been produced at the churning of the sea, as. Venus was said to be born of the froth of the sea. At her birth, all the gods were enamoured of her. She is painted yellow, with a water-lily in her right hand; (in which form she is. worshipped frequently by Hindoo women ;) but no bloody sacrifices are offered to her. The Hindoos avoid all payments of money on the Thursday, (Lukshmēë-varů,) from the fear of offending this goddess.
18. Sürüswitéē, the goddess of learning, another wife of Vish
She is painted white, and stands on the water-lily. In some images she is seen holding a lute; and in others as possessed of three eyes, with a fan in one hand and a book in the other. Her colour is to point out, that she is the source of wisdom; the lute 'reminds the worshipper that she is the author of melody; her three eyes represent the three védús; the book and pen obvi, ously belong to her character as the goddess of learning. I find no goddess in the Roman or Grecian pantheon who resembles her. . She has an annual festival, when clay images are set up, and worshipped all over Bengal. Some of her worshippers, on the last day of the festival, dance naked before the procession of the image through the streets. Even prostitutes, at this festival, make an image of this goddess, and set it up near their houses, to draw the spectators to their brothels. On this day students, merchants, and others, refuse to touch a pen; for the Hindoos ascribe their ability to read, write, and even to speak, to the favour of Sůrůswŭtēē.
19. Sheetŭla, the goddess who cools the body when afflicted with the small-pox, receives many honours from the lower orders of Hindoos, among whom the ravages of the small-pox are often dreadful. This goddess is also worshipped to procure the removal of cutaneous diseases.
20. Mūnėsa, the queen of the snakes, or she who protects men from their fatal bite. The lower orders crowd to the three annual festivals held in honour of this goddess.
21. Shủsht'héē, the goddess of fecundity. She is honoured with six annual festivals, celebrated chiefly by females. Her image is that of a yellow woman, sitting on a cat, and nursing a child ; though, in general, a rough stone, painted on the top, and placed under a tree, is the object worshipped.
be considered as the celestial deities worshipped by the Hindoos. The terrestrial goddesses are, Sēēta, the wife of Ramůk; Radha, the mistress of Krishnů; Rookminēē and Sŭta yŭ-bhama, the wives of Krishnŭ; and Soobhůdra, the sister of Jugủnnat'hů? The terrestrial gods are the following :
1. Krishnŭ resembles Apollo in his licentious intrigues; in his being a herdsmanm, and an archer; in his destroying a dreadful serpent; in his love of music; and in the celebrity to which he attained. Krishnu's image is that of a black man, with a flute in his hand. His colour points out, that he fills the mind with sensual desires, and the flute designates him as the author of musical sounds. Apollo had in one hand a harp, and in the other a shield of arrows. The history of Krishnŭ is chiefly found in the Shrēe-Bhagúvůtů; the outline of which will be seen in vol. i. p. 193, &c. Several festivals in honour of this god are held annually, at which times the greatest licentiousness prevails among all ranks. A great proportion of the Hindoo population in Bengal are devoted to Krishnů". His intrigues with the
k This goddess, it is said, was dug out of the ground by king Jůněků, when he was ploughing his field. A boy who was ploughed up out of the ground among the Tuscans, gave rise to the order of Roman priests, whose business it was to divine from appearances in the annual sacrifice.
! It does not appear that Jégénnat'hi was ever married.
m The pooranŭs contain a story of this god much resembling that of Mercury's stealing a cow from Apollo. In the Hindoo fable, Brůmha is the thief.
Sometimes Hindoos are seen licking up the very dust of the place milk-maids, and especially with Radha, his favourite mistress, are familiar to every Hindoo, being incorporated into their popular songs, and the image of Radha being placed by that of Krishnú in many of the temples. Under several other names Krishnŭ is worshipped, to which forms separate temples have been erected ; among the rest to Gopalŭ, the herdsman; to Valu-gopalú, the infant Gopalú; to Gopēē-nat'hủ, the lord of the milk-maids. Krishnŭ is one of the ten incarnations of Vishnoo. The Rev. Mr. Maurice calls him the amiable Krishnŭ !'
2. Júgūnnat' hủ, another deified hero, complimented with the title of lord of the world, a form of Vishnoo. He is honoured with several annual festivals, but the car festival is the most popular. Imitations of his ponderous car abound in many of the large towns in Bengalo: that in Orissa, connected with the ancient temple erected in honour of this god, has crushed to death hundreds of victims, perhaps thousands, and immolates a number every year. This god receives the homage of pilgrims from all parts of India, for whose accommodation roads have
where the crowd are celebrating the praises of Krishnů; and others are said to faint with joy on these occasions. In memory of Krishnu's lewd conduct with the milk-maids in the forest of Vrindavúnú, persons of property sometimes spend a day in the fields, and entertain their friends.
• Krishnů-yůsoo gave to the temple of Júgủnnat'hů, near Serampore, an immense car, which could not cost less than four or five thousand roopees. He also added an allowance of six roopees a day for the expenses of the worship of this idol. Gourů-mülliků, a goldsmith of Calcutta, who gave the interest of his mother's weight in gold to different temples, added six roopees more to the daily offerings at this temple ; but these two benefactors, perceiving that the bramhủos of the temple, instead of expending these sums in offerings to the god, and in alms to strangers, applied the greater part to their private use, reduced the six roopees to one roopee four anas a day. To extort more money from the donors, the bramhŭns of this temple, at two succeeding festivals, prevented the car from proceeding to an adjoining temple in which the donors were interested, pretending that the god was angry with them for their parsimony, and would not go.
been cut, and lodging-houses erected. Such, however, is the great mortality among the pilgrims, that a Hindoo of property always makes his will before he sets out on this journey, and takes a most affecting farewel of his disconsolate relations. Southey's description P, in his! Curse of Kehama,' though not literally correct, conveys to the mind much of the horror which a Christian spectator of the procession of the car cannot but feel. Mr. Paterson finds in the images of this god, and his brother and sister, which are worshipped together, an hieroglyphic of the mystical word Om.
3. Ramů, a deified monarch, and the hero of the Ramayůnů, comes in for a considerable share of the wretched devotion of the Hindoos, especially in the western provinces. His history, found in Valmēēkee's epic poem, is partly before the public. He is adored as the seventh Hindoo incarnation ; has an annual festival, and is daily worshipped in the temples dedicated to him, his brother, and his friend Hủnoomanů ; in which temples he appears as a green man, with a bow and arrows in his hands, sitting on a throne, having Sēēta on his left : his brother Lukshmúnŭ holds a white umbrella over his head, and Hŭnoomanů stands before him as his servant with joined hands. He is considered as a béneficent deity. Some think that Ramŭ was deified
p' A thousand pilgrims strain,
To drag that sacred wain,
Prone fall the frantic votaries in its road,
Their self-devoted bodies there they lay
his chariot way;
Through blood and bones it ploughs its dreadful path ;
And death and agony
Who follow close, and thrust the deadly wheels along.'
on account of a successful attack on Ceylon, when he was king of Mut'hoora.
4. Choitůnyů, i. e. the wise, a form of Krishnů; the god of a seet of voiragēēs, whose leader was a religious mendicant. His most famous temple in Bengal is at Ugrů-dwēēpů, where an annual festival is held, and to which crowds resort from all parts of Bengal. The bramhŭns despise this sect.
5. Vishwă-kůrmů, the son of Brůmha, as architect of the gods, may be regarded as the Hindoo Vulcan. He is worshipped at an annual festival, the implements of each artificer being the representative of the god. He employs no Cyclops with one eye, but has a workman named Mayů, a giant, who is capable of exhibiting all manner of illusive edifices.
6. Kami-dévů, the Indian Cupid. This god is also said to be the son of Brůmha : he is painted as a beautiful youth, carrying a bow and arrow of flowers. He has an annual festival, but his image is not made ; nor does this festival command much cele brity. Petitions are addressed to him by the bride and bridegroom anxious for offspring.
7. Sútyů Narayıni. I have not discovered the origin of this idol: the name implies that he is the true Vishnoo. He is worshipped frequently in the houses of the rich, from the desire of insuring prosperity.
8. Půnchanīnů, a form of Shivů, worshipped by, the lower orders, who consider 'him as the destroyer of children. The image used as his representative is a misshapen stone, anointed, painted, and placed under the vůtů and other trees.
9. Dhurmă-t' hakoorů, another form of Shivů, held in much the same estimation as Púnchanŭnů.
10, Kaloo-rayü, the god of forests, another form of Shivů.