« ZurückWeiter »
web. Religion is compared to a companion in a dreary journey, or to a shady resting place, amidst the toils of a journey, or to a friend ; an enemy, to a disease ; youth, to the flood tide ; every union is dissolved ; every elevation is succeeded by depression; the transmigrations of the soul are like human footsteps, or the motions of a leech, which always lays hold of another blade of grass before it quits that on which it rests ; so, the soul does not quit one body till another is ready for its reception; as a person obtaining a new garment rejects the old, so the soul, quitting an infirm body, enters into a new one.
Various comparisons. A person who has beaten another very heavily, is said to have beaten him as cotton is beaten ; to have crushed his very bones to powder; or beaten him as rice by the pedal. Another form of expression, when a person has wounded another, is, he has cut him into slices, as a turnip is cut. A person in haste, is compared to a bramhun invited to an encertainment of sweetmeats, or to a weaver running to buy bread. When two or three persons sitting together make a great noise, a by-stander says, What, the market is begun! Of a person who insinuates himself into the favour of another, and then injures him, it is said, He entered like a needle, but came out like a plough share. A person who vexes another by incessant applications, is compared to a barking jackal following a.tiger, or to a tick that lays hold of the flesh, and cannot be torn away ; or to bird-lime. A greedy person is compared to a leech. A young man 'crazed with care,' or worn away with disease, is compared to a green bamboo devoured by the worm. A man who can neither retain or let go an object, or person, is compared to the snake who has seized a musk rat. A person engaged in a perplexing concery says, I find no end to this ravelled thread. A person of confined information, is compared to a frog in a well, or to a new married wife, who is always confined to the house ; an asthmatic person, to a pair of bellows. To a man surrounded with a large family, it is sometimes said, You lire in the market. An ugly wise man, is compared to rice in a dirty bag. The friendship of a good man, resembles an impression on a stone, or excellent masonry. A weak person is compared to grass ; a man of great powers, to one ball amongst a thousand crows. When a number of experiments are tried without accomplishing the purpose in view, they say the person involved in such perplexity is in the heaven of Trishunkoo.* Falsehood is like water raised by a machine, which soon evaporates. If your friend becomes wicked, you must renounce him, as a boil on the body must be reduced. A person of a mild disposition, is compared to milk or curds. A strong man says to a weak one who has offended him, I will not hurt you—what advantage should I obtain by killing a musk rat. "Why ask him for information-he is but the image of a man ? When a friend has been long absent, he is thus addressed, You are like the flowers of the fig tree, invisible. A friend sometimes says to one who has been separated to a great distance, our hearts are never separate, but remain united as the sun and the water-lily, as the thunder and the peacock. The person who is under the intiuence of another, is said to be led like a bullock with a string through its nose. A person who secretly seeks to injure another, is said to act like the snake who enters the hole of a rat. A beloved object is compared to medicine for the eyes, or to the staff of a blind man. When a number of evil. disposed persons are sitting together, it is called the council of Ramu, composed of monkeys.
Conversation between a man and his neighbour. 1st Man. He, Oh! Ramu-Lochunu, one word with you. 2d Man. Speak ; what command, Sir,
1st Man. Hear, I say ; Sir, have you no thought ? do you never look towards your religious and relative duties ? have you lost all shame ? and all concern respecting the opinion of your neighbours?
2d Man. You have charged me with a great deal ; but why, I have yet to learn : you act like those who throw stones in the dark.
1st Man. If I speak, can you understand ? Have you eyes to see ? A wise man can understand a hint: a stupid man requires a thing to be beaten into him; and some are so stupid, that you must point to every thing before they can see it.
2d Man. You are pleased to speak only by kind rebukes, but what you mean I cannot discover
1st Man. Are you not aware that you have a daughter at home unmarried ? At seven or eight, people marry their daughters, and this indeed is the appointment of the shastru :
* A kshutriyu king, whom the sage Vishwamitru attempted to send to heaven by the power of his (the sage's) merits; but who, being rejected by the gods, remains suspended in the air with bis head downwards, neither able to ascend nor descend.
that period is long since gone ; she is now thirteen or fourteen years old, and is very tall and lusty, resembling a married woman of thirty. I hear, also, that your neighbours are whispering things to your disadvantage ; and those who are more bold speak out: with astonishment, they say among themselves, How can that family eat their rice with comfort, and sleep with satisfaction, while such a disreputable thing exists among them ? At present, they are exposed to shame, and their deceased friends are suffering through their retaining a girl from marriage beyond the period which nature has prescribed. All this I hear, and as a relation, am blamed, and therefore I speak.
2d Man. You need not, Sir, urge me to this I am myself co uneasy, that I cannot sleep. What can I do? I am helpless. This must be done, but it is not in the power of my hands : birth, marriage, and death are all under the direction of the gods ; can any one say, when they will happen ? When the flower blows, the fragrance will be perceived. This is work that cannot be pushed. Proposals have been received from many places ; but these things require to be well weighed ; we want a young man who is a kooleenu, of a religious family, rich, honourable, handsome, and clever. If the bridegroom be faulty, all will go wrong. I cannot put a string round the neck of my daughter, and throw her into the ditch. Therefore, calling the ghutukus, and well arranging every thing, this business shall be brought to a close. At present, Sir, bowever, I must put this burden on my head, and leave it there : my father is very ill; he has reached a great age ; eighty or ninety years ; two or three doctors attend him, and administer various medicines, which will involve me in an expense of one or two hundred roopees. I doubt whether he will return from this journey or not; medicines seem to take no effect, from which I learn, that it is all over; he eats nothing, except a little milk ; as people say, “ My bread is all expended ;” so it is, I fear, with him ; he has eaten all he will do on earth.
1st Man. See! Take care! Take care! This is the heaviest of all losses to a family. As long as we have not had to carry father and mother to the Ganges, all remains well. Children are born to drive away danger from parents, and to secure their happiness after death. Hitherto your father has carried your burden ; it is now your duty, now the evil day is come upon him, to become his servant. Those are our friends, who remain near us in danger and at death. He who does not assist a parent at these times, is bis father's ordure. (They go to see the old man.)
Oh! Ramu-Lochunu! There is no hope of your father. Death has stopt up all the doors, and is ready to secure his prey. It is not advisable to keep him any longer in the house ; you had better make the journey to the Ganges. Who can tell what will take place in the night. Yumu has seized the locks of us all ; when he will carry us off, he will tell nobody : therefore while there is time, stop the sluices.
2d Man. Ah! Sir, the burden bas fallen upon me all at once : my father used to manage every thing: I ate and walked about. I know nothing of what is best ; you, Sir, are well versed in all these things : you have done these last offices for many ; having been once sick, a man becomes a physician ; let whatever is necessary be done, that I may not be blamed.
Another neighbour. Here is no need of hesitation : the play is up with the old man ; let him be carried to the Ganges, and there cause him to hear the Ramayupu; and, according to circumstances, do the needful. This is not a child, that its death should be the cause of sorrow; he is an old man ; carry him with joy to the Ganges.
1st Man. I hear, that your mother will go with the old man.
2d Man. I hear so from the women, and indeed I expected it; for she was always with my father, and waited upon him with the greatest attention ; she spoke to me also, begging me to mind religion, and not be unhappy; and then, as is usual, she took no farther notice of worldly things.
1st Man. Well, it will then be necessary to buy a new garment for her ; some pitch, clarified butter, sandal-wood, parched rice, a few kourees, red lead, red thread, two bamboo levers,
The Hindoos write with a reed, and hold their pen with the whole grasp of the hand. They seldom use a seal for their letters, but write on the folds of the back, that which they consider equivalent to an oath of secrecy : that is, they make certain signs, which are known to indicate the seven seas, the four vedus, and the sun and moon, by the names of all which, each person into whose hands the letter comes is bound, as by an oath, not to violate its contents.-Before the entrance of Europeans into India, there was no post ; letters, &c. were always sent to a distance by private messengers. The native merchants are, however, now very glad to avail themselves of the post, by which mercantile transactions are so exceedingly facilitated.
The directions on their letters to us would appear singular enough. Thus a man directs to his patron: “ To my supporter's (mentioning the same) excellent feet," I write this, A woman directs to her son, “ To the fortunate H-, my son, more beloved than my own life, long life to thee.” The son directs, “ To my mother, the worshipful goddess Shree-Mutee, to your water-lily feet, possessed of the fortune of Shree.”
Deaths and Funeral Ceremonies.-When a person is on the point of death, his relations carry him on his bed, or on a litter, to the Ganges. The litter consists of some bamboos fastened together, and slung on ropes. Some persons are carried many miles to the river; and this practice is often attended with very cruel circumstances ; a person, in his last agonies, is dragged from his bed and friends, and carried, in the coldest or the hottest weather, from whatever distance, to the river side, where he lies, if a poor man, in the open air, day and night, till he expires.
When a person is brought down to the river side, if he is able to see his friends, they go to him. One of them per. haps, addresses a few words to him: " O Khooru !* do you know me?" "Yes, I do." " How are you?" "I am well. What need is there that I should stay here, if Gungat will but give me place."-" True, Kbooru, that is all that's left now.” If the dying man is speaking to a superior, he says
" Through your blessing let me go to Gunga ;' if to an inferior, he says, “ Pray for me, that Gunga may receive me.” He then, perhaps, speaks of his worldly troubles : “One thing respecting which I am uneasy is, I have not give en in marriage my two daughters : here are also five children for whom I have not been able to providenor is there so much as ten roopees for my funeral offerings ; but you are here ; do you contrive that my family do not remain uncleans for want of the means of performing these last rites ; and see that these two daughters are married to the children of good men.” The other replies, “Oh! Chaoru! put away these thoughts : repeat the names of the gods.” Some
* Khooru signifies uncle. The Hindoos call one another by the names of relations, though there is no relationship. When two neighbours meet, the elder addresses the younger by the name of brother. A younger addresses an elder by the names uncle, elder brother, or grand-father's brother (thakoor dada.)
Gunga, Ganges. | The members of a family remain unclean, and are cut off from all hopes after death, till this ceremony is performed.