ページの画像
PDF
ePub

benefactor. Mahadeo Aed; the ful of the powers of his right Rachas pursued, and followed the hand, performed the Sundia, and fugitive so closely, as to chase him was himself reduced to ashes. into a thick grove, where Maha- Mahadeo now issued from the deo, changing his form and bulk, linga tunda, and after the proper concealed himself in the centre of acknowledgment for his delivera fruit then called tunda pundoo, ance, proceeded to discuss the but since' named linga tunda, from guilt of the treacherous husbandthe resemblance which its kernel man, and determined on the loss thenceforward assumed to the ling, of the finger with which he had the appropriate emblem of Maha. offended as the proper punishment deo.

of his crime. The Rachas, having lost sight The wife of the husbandman, of Mahadev, inquired of a hus- who had just arrived at the field bandman who was working in the with food for her husband, hearadjoining field, whether he had ing this dreadful sentence, threw seen the fugitive, and what direc- herself at the feet of Mahadeo. tion he had taken. The husband- She represented the certain ruin man, who had attentively observed of her family, if her husband should the whole transaction, fearful of be disabled for some months from the future resentment of Maha- performing the labours of the deo, and equally alarmed for the farm, and besought the deity to present vengeance of the giant, accept two of her fingers, instead answered aloud, that he had seen of one from her husband. Ma. no fugitive, but pointed at the hadeo, pleased with so sincere a same time with the little finger of proof of conjugal affection, achis right hand to the place of Ma- cepted the exchange, and ore hadeo's concealment.

dained, that her female posterity, In this extremity Vishnou de- in all future generations, should scended in the form of a beautiful sacrifice two fingers at his temple, damsel to the rescue of Mahadeo. as a memorial of the transaction, The Rachas became instantly ena. and of their exclusive devotion to moured: the damsel was a pure the god of the ling. bramin, and might not be ap- The practice is accordingly conproached by the unclean Rachas. fined to the supposed posterity of By degrees she appeared to relent; this single woman, and is not com. and as a previous condition to fur- mon to the whole sect of Murrether advances, enjoined the per-- soo wokul. I ascertained the acformance of his ablutions in a tual number of families who obneighbouring pool. After these served this practice in three sucwere finished, she prescribed as a cessive districts through which I further purification the perform- afterwards passed, and I conjecance of the Sundia, a ceremony ture that within the limits of Myin which the right hand is succes- soor they may amount to about sively applied to the breast, to the two thousand houses. crown of the head, and to other The hill of Seetee, in the talook parts of the body. The Rachas, of Colar where the giant was dethinking only of love, and forget- stroyed, is (according to this tra

dition) formed of the ashes of Bus. the bramins whom I have conndësoor: it is held in particular sulted have not been able to trace veneration by this sect, as the chief in any document the incident of seat of their appropriate sacrifice; the husbandman and his wife, nor and the fact of its retaining little the existence of any written au. or no moisture, is held to be a mi. thority for the sacrifice practised Táculous proof that the ashes of the by this extraordinary sect. giant continue to absorb the most It is not a little remarkable, that violent and continued rain. This neither the Dewan of Mysoor, is a remarkable example of easy nor any of his suite, nor of the eredulity. I have examined the bramins belonging to the resimountain, which is of a sloping dent's office, had ever heard of form, and composed of coarse this singular practice, or were ac. granite.

quainted with the existence of The name of Seetee is stated this subdivision, of the sect 'of by the bramins of the vicinity to Murresoo wokul. be an abbreviation of Sree.puttee. Shweragerree, or the hill of the husband of Sree and Ishwara. ON THE NAIRS. From the same.

Siva's adventure with the giant of the ashes is stated by these The Nairs, or military class of bramins to be related in one of the Malabar, are, perhaps, not ex. Puranas, with some change in the ceeded by any nation on earth in circumstances, which does not a high spirit of independence and seem to improve its merit as a tale. military honour; but, like all perThe flight of Siva is continued sons stimulated by that spirit with through the seven lower and seven out the direction of discipline, their upper regions to Vicunta, the pa• efforts are uncertain, capricious, radise of Vishnou, who there ap- and desultory. The military dress pears in the form of a young Bra• of the Nair is a pair of shori draw. min, and with the aid of Maya ers, and his peculiar weapon is an (delusion) persuadesthe giant that instrument with a thin but very Siva never yet uttered a truth, and broad blade, hooked towards the that the boon was fallacious, as he edge like a bill. hook, or gardener's might easily ascertain by placing knife, and about the length of a his right hand on his own head. Roman sword; which the weapon

Swatadry, or Belacul (the white of the chiefs often exactly resemmountain), a temple near the bles. This hooked instrument, the south-eastern frontier of Mysoor, inseparable companion of the Nair claims, in common with many whenever he quits his dwelling on other places, the honour of pos- business, for pleasure, or for war, sessing the ashes of Busmaasoor; has no scabbard, and is usually and I am informed that the grasped by the right hand, as an descent of Vishnou in the form of ornamental appendage in peace, a damsel, as stated by the Mur. and for destruction in war. When resoo wokul, is related in the the Nair employs his musquet, or Sthalla Purana, or local history his bow, the weapon which has of the origin of that temple ; but been described is fixed in an instant hy means of a catch in the was made for the purpose of strik waist-belt, with the fat part of ing terror, by not allowing a man the blade diagonally across his to escape destruction. The Nairs back; and is disengaged as quickly defended themselves until they whenever he drops his musquet in were tired of the confinement, and the wood, or slings it across his then leaping over the abbatis and shoulders for the purpose of rush- cuiting through the three lices ing to close encounter with this with astonishing, rapidity, they terrible instrument. The army of gained the woods before the enemy Hyder had not before engaged so had recovered from their surprise, brave or so formidable an enemy: their concealed fire from the woods could neither be returned with ef- ON THE JUNGUM. From the same. fect, nor could the troops of Hyder be prevailed on to enter the thick- From conversation with some ets, and act individually against intelligent Jungum priests, I learn them. In every movement through that they derive the name from a the forests, with which the coun- contraction of the three words, try abounds, bands of Nairs rush- junnana, to be born ; gummana, ed by surprise upon the columns of io move ; murrana, to die, The march; and, after making dread- word jungum thus constantly reful havoc, were in a moment again minds them of the most important invisible. On one occasion they dogma of the sect, namely, that were so imprudent as to depart the man who performs his duties from their characteristic warfare, in this world shall be exempted and openly defended the passage from these changes in a future statę of one of those rivers with which of existence, and shall immediately the province is everywhere inter- after death be re-united with the sected to discharge the mountain divine spirit from which he origitorrents. Hyder, by passing a nally emanated. This doctrine, column of cavalry at a higher ford, not altogether unknown to the and combining their charge on the braminical code, is pushed by the Aank of the Nairs with a heavy jungum to the extent of denying discharge of grape in front, made the metempsychosis altogether. a dreadful carnage among them. This sect condemns as useless and As he advanced to the southward unmeaning the incessant detail of he secured his communications by external ceremonies, which among a series of block houses ; and the the bramins of every persuasion Nairs, perceiving the object of occupies the largest portion of their these erections, impeded his pro- time, and forms the great business gress by the defence of their own of their lives. The jungum dissmall posts. One of these, which claim the authority of these gods my manuscripts name Tamelpelly, upon earth, as they impiously and was surrounded by Hyder in the familiarly call themselves. The following manner : first, a line of priests of the jungum are all of the regular infantry, and guns with an fourth or servile cast, and habityabbatis ; second, a line of peons; ally distinguish the bramins by the tbird, of cavalry. This disposition opprobrious appellation of dages yet, strange to tell, in some dis- excellence, we may be disposed to tricts, by reciprocal concessions, judge with more charity of the and a coalition of religious dogmas absurdity of these distinctions. with temporal interests, they have The Jungum priests and the elect descended to receive as their spi- among their disciples abstain alto. ritual preceptors the cast of which gether from animal food; while the they have been successively the Sheneveea bramins of the Concan martyrs and persecutors, and are and the Deckan indulge in fish; consequently considered as here- and many of Bengal, Hindostan, tics or renegadoes by the genuine and Cashmire, eat the flesh of fawn, jungum.

of mutton, and whatever is slain in The religion which inculcates sacrifice: the bramins of the south wbat is real, in preference to the abhor these abominations, but the observance of form, is, according latter at least is distinctly authoto this sect, of great antiquity; and rized by Menu and all the ancient they consider Chen Bas Ishwur, a Smirtis, as the most bigoted are pative of Callian in the Deckan, compelled to admit. the reputed founder of the sect in In the leading traits of the docthe eleventh century, to have been trine of the Jungum which have only the restorer of the ancient hitherto been noticed we recognize true belief ; and in spite of the the hand of a rational reformer. most sanguinary persecutions, they The sequel is not so favourable. are found scattered in considerable The Jungum profess the exclusive numbers over the Concan, Canara, worship of Siva; and the approDeckan, Mysoor, and every part priate emblem of that deity in its of the south of India, and consti- most obscene form, enclosed in a tute a considerable portion of the diminutive silver or copper shrine, population of Coorg, the Raja him. or temple, is suspended from the self being of that persuasion, as neck of every votary as a sort of were the former Rajas of Mysoor, personal god; and from this cirBednore, and Loonda.

cumstance they are usually distin. The fanciful notions of internal guished by the name of Ling-ayet, and external purity and unclean- or Lingevunt. They profess to ne88 (the former having a twofold consider Siva as the only god; but division of bodily and mental) are on the subject of this mode of dethe foundation of most of the dis- votion they are not communicative, tinction of casts which seem so ab- and the other sects attribute to surd to Europeans. To the question them not very decent mysteries. of what is the difference between It is however a dogma of general such and such a cast, the first an- notoriety, that if a Jungum has swer will certainly be to indicate the mischance to lose his personal what they respectively can and can- god, he ought not to survive that not eat; but when we consider the misfortune. plausible dogma not altogether un- Poornia, the present minister of known in Europe, that a regular Mysoor, relates an incident of a and abstemious life (which they Ling-ayet friend of his who had would name the internal purity of unhappily lost his portable god, the body) contributes to mental and came to take a last farewell. The Indians, like more enlightened has the entire direction of the renations, readily laugh at the absur- venues, but allows the bramins to dities of every sect but their own, officiate in the ceremonial part acand Poornia gave him better coun- cording to their own good pleasure, sel. It is a part of the ceremonial as a concern altogether below his preceding the sacrifice of the indi- notice. He has generally the revidual, that the principal persons putation of an irreproachable life, of the sect should assemble on the and is treated by the bramins of the bank of some holy stream, and temple with great reverence; while placing in a basket the lingum on his part he looks down with images of the whole assembly, pu- compassion at the absurd trifles rify them in the sacred waters. The which occupy their attention. destined victim, in conformity to These facts seem to point to the advice of his friend, suddenly some former revolution in which a seized the basket and overturned Jungum government obtained the its contents into the rapid Caveri. superiority over the braminical Now, my friends, said he, we are establishments, and adopted this on equal terms : let us prepare to mild mode of superseding the subdie together. The discussion ter- stantial part of their authority. It minated according to expectation. is a curious instance of the sooder The whole party took an oath of being the spiritual lord of the brainviolable

secrecy,
and each pri-

min, and is worthy of farther bisvately provided himself with a new torical investigation. image of the lingum.

Mr. Ellis considers the Jungum of the upper countries, and the ON THE JAIN. From the same. Pandarum of the lower, to be of the same sect, and both to deny in The following abstract is the rethe most unequivocal terms the sult of several conversations with doctrine of the metempsychosis. Dhermia, a Jain bramin far adA manuscript in the Mackenzie vanced in years, whom Lieutenant collection ascribes the origin of the Colonel Mackenzie has discovered Pandarums, as a sacerdotal order and taken into his service since that of the servile cast, to the religious essay was written; and corresponds disputes which terminated in the in what relates to their doctrines, suppression of the Jain religion in with the notes of similar discusthe Pandian (Madura) kingdom, sions taken by Pere Dubois, a and the influence which they at- worthy and intelligent missionary tained, to the aid which they ren- who has lived for seventeen years dered to the bramins in that con- among the Hindoos as one of troversy ; but this origin seems to themselves. require confirmation. In a large The ancient religion of India, portion, perhaps in the whole, of and, as Dhermia supposes, of the the braminical temples dedicated whole world, was uniform : nameto Siva in the provinces of Arcot, ly, the worship of one God, a pure Tanjore, Trichinopoly, Madura, spirit, indivisible, without form, and Tinnevelly, the Pandarum is or extent, or any corporeal attrithe high priest of the temple, and bute, omniscient, all powerful,

« 前へ次へ »