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neath the hooks, lest the flesh should tear, and the wretch fall, and be dashed to pieces; but the whole weight of the body rests on the hooks. Some of these persons take the wooden pipe, and smoak while swinging, as though insensible of the least pain. Others take up fruit in their hands, and either eat it or throw it among the crowd. I have heard of a person's having a monkey's collar run into his hinder parts a, in which state the man and the monkey whirled round together. On one occasion, in the north of Bengal, a man took a large piece of wood in his mouth, and swung for a considerable time without any cloth round his body to preserve him, should the flesh of his back tear. occasions these súnyasēēs have hooks run through their thighs as well as backs. About the year 1800 five women swung in this manner, with hooks through their backs and thighs, at Kidŭrpoorŭ near Calcutta. It is not very uncommon for the flesh to tear, and the person to fall : instances are related of such persons perishing on the spot. A few years ago a man fell from the post at Kidŭrpoorů, while whirling round with great rapidity; and, falling on a poor woman who was selling parched rice, killed her on the spot: the man died the next day. At a village near Bújbúj, some years since, the swing fell, and broke a man's leg. The man who was upon it, as soon as he was loosed, ran to another tree,was drawn up, and whirled round again, as though nothing had happened. I have heard of one man's swinging three times in one day on different trees; and a bramhŭn assured me, that he had seen four men swing on one tree; while swinging, this tree was carried round the field by the crowd.
On the day of swinging, in some places, a sănyasēē is
laid before the temple of Shivů as dead, and is afterwards carried to the place where they burn the dead. Here they read many incantations and perform certain ceremonies, after which the (supposed) dead sủnyasēē arises, when they dance around him, proclaiming the name of Shivů.
The next morning the sủnyasēés go to Shivắ's temple, and perform worship to him, when they take off the poita which they had worn during the festival. On this day, they beg, or take from their houses, a quantity of rice, and other things, which they make into a kind of frumenty, in the place where they burn the dead. These things they offer, with some burnt fish, to departed ghosts.
Each day of the festival the sủnyasēēs worship the sun, pouring water, flowers, &c. on a clay image of the alligator, repeating mũntrūs.
These horrid ceremonies are said to derive their origin from a king named Vanŭ, whose history is related in the Muhabharătů. This work says, that Vanŭ, in the month Choitrů, instituted these rites, and inflicted a number of the cruelties here detailed on his own body, viz. he mounted the swing, pierced his tongue and sides, danced on fire, threw himself on spikes, &c. At length he obtained an interview with Shivů, who surrounded his palace with a wall of fire, and promised to appear whenever he should stand in need of his assistance. Those who perform these ceremonies at present, expect that Shivŭ will bestow upon them some blessing either in this life or in the next.
Doorga is the wife of Shivă. This goddess is known under other names, as Bhúgėvėtēē, Sŭtēē, Parvŭtēē, &c. In one age Shivŭ was married to Sūtēē, the daughter of king Důkshủ, and in another to the same goddess under the name of Parvặtēē, the daughter of the mountain Himalúyŭ ; hence she is the mountain-goddess.
When Doorga was performing religious austerities to obtain Shivŭ in marriage, the latter was so moved that he appeared to her, and enquired why she was thus employed ? She was ashamed to assign the reason, but her attendants, replied for her. He, in jest, reproved her, observing that people performed religious austerities to obtain something valuable; in the article of marriage they desired a person a good family, but he (Shivú) had neither father nor mon ther ;-or a rich person, but he had not a garment to wear ;-or a handsome person, but he had three eyes.
When Shivŭ was about to be married to Parvėtēz, her mother and the neighbours treated the god in a very scurrilous manner : the neighbours cried out, “Ah! ah! ah! This image of gold, this most beautiful damsel, the greatest, beauty in the three worlds, to be given in marriage to such a fellow-an old fellow with three eyes; without teeth ; clothed in a tyger's skin; covered with ashes; incircled with snakes; wearing a necklace of human bones; with a human skull in his hand; with a filthy jóta (viz. a bunch, of hair like a turban) twisted round his head; who chews, intoxicating drugs; has inflamed eyes; rides naked on a bull, and wanders, about like a madman. Ah! they have thrown this beautiful daughter into the riverb!"In this,
• In allusion to the throwing of dead bodies into the river. This resem. bles the surprise said to have been excited by the marriage of Venus to the filthy and deformed Vulcan. Another very singular coincidence betwixt the European idolatry and that of the Hindoos is furnished by the story of Vulc
and Minerva, and that respecting Shivů and Mohinēē as given in the Markůndéyè pooranů; but which I haye suppressed on açcount of its offensive nature.
manner the neighbours exclaimed against the marriage, till Narůdŭ, who had excited the disturbance, interfered, and the wedding was concluded.
A number of stories are related in some of the Hindoo books of an inferior order, respecting the quarrels of Shivů and Parvŭtēz, occasioned by the revels of the former, and the jealousy of the latter. These quarrels resemble those of Jupiter and Juno. Other stories are told of Shivu's descending to the earth in the form of a mendicant, for the preservation of some one in distress; to perform religious austerities, &c.
Shivă is said, in the pooranŭs, to have destroyed Kủndúrpu (Cupid), for interrupting him in his devotions, previous to his union with Doorga. We find, however, the god of love restored to existence, after a lapse of ages, under the name of Prúdyoomů, when he again obtained his wife Rútee. After his marriage with the mountain-goddess, Shivŭ on a certain occasion offended his father-in-law, king Důkshủ, by refusing to bow to him as he entered the circle in which the king was sitting. To be revenged, Dúkshú refused to invite Shivŭ to a sacrifice which he was about to perform, Sŭtēē, the king's daughter, however, was resolved to go, though uninvited and forbidden by her husband. arrival Dukshủ poured a torrent of abuse on Shivů, which affected Sŭtēz so much that she died. When Shivŭ heard of the loss of his beloved wife, he created a monstrous, giant, whom he commanded to go and destroy Důkshủ, and put an end to his sacrifice. He speedily accomplished this work, by cutting off the head of the king, and dispersing all the guests. The gods, in compassion to Dúkshủ, placed on
. In reference to this mark of strong attachment, a Hindoo widow burning with her husband on the funeral pile is called Sŭtēē.
his decapitated body the head of a goat, and restored him to his family and kingdom.
This god has a thousand names, among which are the following: Shivă, or, the benefactor. Múhéshwŭrů, the great godd. Eeshwórũ, the glorious god. Chủndrŭshékúrů, he whose forehead is adorned with a half-moon. Bhõõtéshủ, he who is lord of the bhõõtúse Mrirò, he who purifies. Mrityoonjŭyú, he who conquers death. Krittivasa, he who wears a skin. Oogrŭ, the furious. Shrēēkuntủ, he whose throat is beautifull. Kúpalúbhrit, he whose alms' dish is a skull. Smúrú-húrt, the destroyer of the god of love. Tripoorantıků, he who destroyed Tripoo
d The půndits give proofs from the shastrůs, in which Shivů is acknow. ledged to be the greatest of the gods, or Múha-dévů: from můha, great, and dévů, god.
• Bhootės are beings partly in human shape, though some of them have the faces of horses, others of camels, others of monkeys, &c. Some have the bodies of horses, and the faces of men. Some have one leg, and some two. Some have only one ear, and others only one eye. Shivů is attended by a number of these bhõõtủs, as Bacchus had a body of guards consisting of drunken satyrs, demons, nymplis, &c.
After Shivů, to preserve the earth from destruction, had drank the poison which arose out of the sea, when the gods churned it to obtain the water of immortality, he fell into a swoon, and appeared to be at the point of death. All the gods were exceedingly alarmed ; the ůsoorủs were filled with triumph, under the expectation that one of the gods (even Shivŭ himself) was about to expire. The gods addressed Doorga, who took Shivů in her arm, and began to repeat certain incantations to destroy the effects of the poison : Shivŭ revived. This was the first time incantations were used to destroy the power of poison. Though the poison did not destroy Shivů, it left a blue mark on his throat; and hence one of his names is Neēlů-kůntủ, the blue-throated,
$ This is Brůmha's skull. Shivů in a quarrel cut off one of Brůmha's five heads, and made an alms' dish of it. Brúmha and other gods, in the character of mendicants, are represented with an earthen pot in the hand which contains their food. This pot is called a kůmún-dúloo.