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districts, to a great extent, a cast of Silkhs, and the raju-poetas, as weli as many of the Bramhuns, and other casts, murder their female children as soon as born. Dr. Ward made particular inquiry into the extent of these murders ; but as the crime is perpetrated in secret, was not able to procure very exact information. A gentleman, whose information on Indian customs is very correct, informed him thai this practice was, if it is not at present, universal among all the raju-poots, who, he supposed, destroy all their daughters ; he expressed his fears, that, notwithstanding their promises to the Government of Bom. bay, made in consequence of the very benevolent exertions of Mr. Duncan, the practice is almost generally continued.
But perhaps the most destructive practice observed by these wretched fanatics, is that of dying under the wheels of Jagnunnathu's* car. Dr. Ward observes, that amongst the immense multitudes assembled at the drawing of this car, are numbers afflicted with diseases, and others involved in worldly troubles, or worn out with age and neglect. It often happens that such persons, after offering up a prayer to the idol, that they may obtain happiness or riches in the next birth, cast themselves under the wheels of the car, and are instantly crushed to death. Great numbers of these cars are to be seen in Bengal ; and every year, in some place or other, persons thus destroy themselves. At Jugunnat’hu, in Orissa, several perish annually. Many are accidentally thrown down by the pressure of the crowd, and are crushed to death. The victims who devote themselves to death in these forms have an entire confidence that they shall, by this meritorious act of self murder, attain to happiness.
We must pass over many other cruel and absurd ceremonies of the Hindoo mythology, or barely mention them :-Human sacrifices ; sacrifices of bulls, horses, asses, burnt and bloody sacrifices of various kinds ; ridiculous vows, extreme fasting; incessant repetition of the name of some god; hanging lamps in the air ; sitting on dead bodies ; ceremonies for removing, subduing, and destroying enemies ; voluntary suicides, drowning in the Ganges ; persons casting themselves from precipices, hanging by hooks fastened in their sides ; ascetics suffering themselves to be devoured by wild beasts in the foreste; perishing in cold regions, &c. all of which are related with great feeling and minuteness by Dr. Ward, who gives the following calculation relative to the number of Hindoos who annually perish, the victims of a blind and cruel superstition.
*fl'his name is written differently by different writers. The one best known in this country is Juggernant.
Widows burnt alive on the funeral pile, in Hindoosthanu,
5000 Pilgrims perishing on the roads and at sacred places,* 4000 Persons drowning themselves in the Ganges, or buried or burnt alive
- 500 Children immolated, including the daughters of the ra- .
ju-pootus Sick persons whose death is bastened on the banks of the Gangest
In addition to what has already been stated relative to the speculative theories of the Hindoo Mythology, we may add some account of their more practical and obvious doctrines.]
* 6 Buddruck, in Orissa, May 30th, 1806. We know that we are approaching Juggernaut (and yet we are more than fifty miles from it) by the human bones which we have seen for some days strewed by the way. At this place we have been joined by several large bodies of pilgrims, perbaps 2000 in number, who have come from various parts of Northern India. Some old persons are among them, who wish to die at Juggernaut. Numbers of pilgrims die on the road; and their bodies generally remain unburied. On a plain, by the river, near the pilgrims' caravansera at this place, there are more than a hundred skulls. The dogs, jackalls, and vultures seem to live here on human prey.
* Juggernaut, 14th June. I have seen Juggernaut. The scene at Buddruck is but the vestibule to Juggernaut. No record of ancient or modern history can give, I think, an adequate idea of this valley of death; it may be truly compared to the valley of Hinnom. I have also visited the sand plains by the sea, in some places whitened with the bones of the pilgrims ; and another place, a little way out of the town, called by the English' the Golgotha,' where the dead bodies are usually cast forth, and where dogs and vultures are ever seen.
Juggernaut, 21st June. I have beheld another distressing scene this morning at the place of skulls ; a poor woman lying dead or nearly dead, and her two children by her, looking at the dogs and vultures which were near. The people passed by without noticing the children. I asked them where was their home. They said they
had no home but where tbeir mother was.' 0, there is no pity at Juggernaut ! no tenderness of heart in Moloch's kingdom.”-Buch. anan's Researches in India.
A person who has lived several years near the temple of Jugunnathu, in Orissa, in a letter to Dr. Ward, says, 'I cannot pronounce en the numbers who actually perish at Jugunnat'hu, and on their way thither; in some years they do not amount to more than two hundred perhaps ; but in others they may exceed 2000.
+ A gentleman, whose opinion is of great weight, says, “I believe this estimate is far below the truth.'
The preceding summary from page 75, is taken from the account of Dr. Ward and other writers. We now return to our abridgment.
Of the Transmigration of Souls. After death, the person is conveyed by the messengers of Yumu through the air to the place of judgment. After receiving his sentence, he wanders about the earth for twelve months, as an aerial being or ghost: and then takes a body suited to his future condition, whether he ascend to the gods, or suffer in a new body, or be hurled into some hell : this is the doctrine of several Poorunus.Others maintain that immediately after death and judgment, the person suffers the pains of hell, and removes his sin by suffering ; and then returns to the earth in some bodily form.
The faith of the Hindoos in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls often appears in their conversation ; especial. ly when either prosperous or adverse circumstances have arisen in a family. When a person in deep sorrow for the loss of a child, is addressed by another on the subject, the former perhaps utters her grief in some such words as these :• What have I done, that I am thus grievously afflicted ? When I examine my life from my childhood, I cannot see that I have done any harm. Why then does god thùs afflict me? Why did he give me a child ? Why did he take it away !'She next vents her grief in a torrent of abuse on Yumu :-! Oh! Yumu ! What did I do to thee ? I am sure I never injured thee. Thou knowest that I have none else : I am in this world like a blind creature : this child was my staff, ---and thou hast taken him away. O thou wicked Yumu ! --I will put a wisp of fire in thy face. I will flog thee with the broom. My breast is rent with grief.' Another female now joins her, and says, “Oh! sister! What ! is your child gone ? Ah! Ah! Ah!--that vile Yumu-he is full of injustice. If I could see him, I would cut him into a thousand pieces. He has taken all mine ; but he has left you one.Ah ! if I were stone, I should split into pieces ; but I am earth--only flesh and blood, and therefore I am sunk into nothing. But why do I thus complain? I am not singular ; every one's house is plundered.' Another person now comes in, and says, “Why do you blame Yumu ? What fault has he done ? In former births you must have committed many crimes ; otherwise I cannot see why you should suffer in this dreadful manner ; you have done nothing but works of merit in this birth. You must have injured some one's cbild in a former birth, and now yours is taken from you. Yumu has done nothing wrong. He is justice itself, He never errs. Nor ought you to think it extraordinary that a person dies. It is more extraordinary that a person desires to live. If you confine a bird in a cage, though you cherish him with the greatest care, if the door be open he flies away. But though there are pine openings in the body by which the soul may make its escape, and though the person be suffering the deepest distress, yet the soul is not willing to depart ; this desire of life is more wonderful than death itself. When the soul has taken its flight, then, why should you think it such an extraordinary thing? You are suffering for the sins of many former births ; which sins, like a shadow will pursue you, go where you will, and assume whatever shape you may, till they be expiated by suffering. If this were not so, why is it that a good man suffers, while a wicked man is raised to the pinnacle of prosperity ? If men suffered only for the sins of this life, the good would have nothing but happiness, and the wicked nothing but sorrow.
When the Hindoos see any of the animals used cruelly, especially cows, they exclaim :- Ah! how many sins must that creature have committed in a former birth! They say the same if they see a dog eating ordure. When they see a dog riding with his master in his. palanqueen, they say,'True thou art born a dog, but some good works have made thy fate tolerable.'
Judgment of Men after death.--At the extremity of the earth southwards, floating on the waters, is Sunggumunee, the residence of Yumu, the judge of the dead, and of his recorder Chitru-gooptu, and his messengers. Yumu has four arms, is of a dark colour, with his eyes like the petal of the water lily: in his hands he holds a shell, a discus, a club, and a lotus ; he rides on Gurooru ; wears a golden poita, and pearl ear-rings ; and has a crown on his head, and a garland of flowers round his neck. Chitru-gooptu, the recorder, and Yumu's attendants, appear.in the most pleasing forms.
Those who perform works of merit are led to Yumu's palace along the most excellent roads, in some parts of which the heavenly courtezans are seen dancing or singing; and gods, gundhurvus, &c. are heard chanting the praises of other gods; in others, showers of flowers are falling from heaven; in other parts are houses containing cooling water, and excellent food ; pools of water covered with nymphæas : and trees, affording fragrance by their blossoms and shade by their leares. The gods are seen to pass on horses or elephants, with white umbrellas carried over them ; or in palanqueens or chariots, fanned with the chamuras of the gods : while the devurshees are chanting their praises as they pass along. Some, by the glory issuing from their bodies, illume the ten quarters of the world.
Yumu receives the good with much affection, and, feasting them with excellent food, thus addresses them :-: Ye are truly meritorious in your deeds ; ye are wise : by the power of your merits ascend to an excellent heaven. He who, born in the world, performs meritorious actions, he is my father, brother and friend.'
The wicked have 688,000 miles to travel to the palace of Yumu, to receive judgment. In some places they pass over a pavement of fire ; in others the earth in which their feet sink is burning hot ; or they pass over burning sands, or over stones with sharp edges, or burning hot ; sometimes showers of sharp instruments, and at others showers of burning cinders, or scalding water, or stones fall upon them ; burning winds scorch their bodies ; every now and then they fall into concealed wells full of darkness, or pass through narrow passages filled with stones, in which serpents lie concealed; sometimes the road is filled with thick darkness ; at other times they pass through the branches of trees, the leaves of which are full of thorns ; again they walk over broken pots, or over hard clods of earth, bones, putrifying flesh, thorns, or sharp spikes ; they meet tygers, jackals, rhinoceroses, elephants, terrible giants, &c. ; and in some parts they are scorched in the sun without obtaining the least shade. They travel naked ; their hair is in disorder; their throat, lips, &c. are parched ; they are covered with blood, or dirt ; some wail and shriek as they pass along; others are weeping ; others have horror depicted on their countenances : some are drag. ged along by leathern thongs tied round their necks, waists, or hands ; others by cords passed through holes bored in their noses ; others by the hair, the ears, the neck, or the heels ; and others are carried, having their heads and legs tied together. On arriving at the palace, they behold Yumu clothed with terror, two hundred and forty miles in height; his eyes distended like a lake of water ; of a purple colour, with rays of glory issuing from his body,; his voice is loud as the thunders at the dissolution of the universe ; the hairs of his body are each as long as a palm tree ; a flame of fire proceeds from his mouth; the noise of the drawing of his breath is greater than the roaring of a tempest ; his teeth are exceedingly long, and his nails like the fan for winnowing corn. In his right band he holds an iron club ; his garment is an animal's skin ; and he rides on a terrific buffalo. Chitru-goop