[FN#1] Metamorphoseon, seu de Asino Aureo, libri Xl. The well known and
beautiful episode is in the fourth, the fifth, and the sixth books.
[FN#2] This ceremony will be explained in a future page.
[FN#3] A common exclamation of sorrow, surprise, fear, and other
emotions. It is especially used by women.
[FN#4] Quoted from view of the Hindoos, by William Ward, of Serampore
(vol. i. p. 25).
[FN#5] In Sanskrit, Vetala-pancha-Vinshati. "Baital" is the
modern form of " Vetala.
[FN#6] In Arabic, Badpai el Hakim.
[FN#7] Dictionnaire philosophique sub v. " Apocryphes."
[FN#8] I do not mean that rhymes were not known before the days of
Al-Islam, but that the Arabs popularized assonance and consonance in Southern
[FN#9] "Vikrama" means "valour " or "
[FN#10] Mr. Ward of Serampore is unable to quote the names of more than
nine out of the eighteen, namely: Sanskrit, Prakrit, Naga, Paisacha, Gandharba,
Rakshasa, Ardhamagadi, Apa, and Guhyaka - most of them being the
languages of different orders of fabulous beings. He tells us, however, that an
account of these dialects may be found in the work called Pingala.
[FN#11] Translated by Sir Wm. Jones, 1789; and by Professor Williams, 1856.
[FN#12] Translated by Professor H. H. Wilson.
[FN#13] The time was propitious to savans. Whilst Vikramaditya lived, Magha,
another king, caused to be written a poem called after his name For each verse
he is said to have paid to learned men a gold piece, which amounted to a total
of 5,28ol. - a large sum in those days, which preceded those of Paradise Lost.
About the same period Karnata, a third king, was famed for patronizing the
learned men who rose to honour at Vikram's court. Dhavaka, a poet of nearly the
same period, received from King Shriharsha the magnificent present of 10,000l.
for a poem called the Ratna-Mala.
[FN#14] Lieut. Wilford supports the theory that there were eight
Vikramadityas, the last of whom established the era. For further particulars,
the curious reader will consult Lassen's Anthologia, and Professor H. H.
Wilson's Essay on Vikram (New), As. Red.. ix. 117.
[FN#15] History tells us another tale. The god Indra and the King of
Dhara gave the kingdom to Bhartari-hari, another son of Gandhar-ba-Sena, by a
handmaiden. For some time, the brothers lived together; but presently they
quarrelled. Vikram being dismissed from court, wandered from place to place in
abject poverty, and at one time hired himself as a servant to a merchant living
in Guzerat. At length, Bhartari-hari, disgusted with the world on account of
the infidelity of his wife, to whom he was ardently attached, became a
religious devotee, and left the kingdom to its fate. In the course of his
travels, Vikram came to Ujjayani, and finding it without a head, assumed the
sovereignty. He reigned with great splendour, conquering by his arms Utkala,
Vanga, Kuch-bahar, Guzerat, Somnat, Delhi, and other places; until, in his
turn, he was conquered, and slain by Shalivahan.
[FN#16] The words are found, says Mr. Ward, in the Hindu History
compiled by Mrityungaya.
[FN#17] These duties of kings are thus laid down in the Rajtarangini. It
is evident, as Professor H. H. Wilson says, that the royal status was by no
means a sinecure. But the rules are evidently the closet work of some pedantic,
dogmatic Brahman, teaching kingcraft to kings. He directs his instructions, not
to subordinate judges, but to the Raja as the chief magistrate, and through him
to all appointed for the administration of his justice.
[FN#18] Lunus, not Luna.
[FN#19] That is to say, upon an empty stomach."
[FN#20] There are three sandhyas amongst the Hindus--morning, mid-day,
and sunset; and all three are times for prayer.
[FN#21] The Hindu Cupid.
[FN#22] Patali, the regions beneath the earth.
[FN#23] The Hindu Triad.
[FN#24] Or Avanti, also called Padmavati. It is the first meridian of the
Hindus, who found their longitude by observation of lunar eclipses, calculated
for it and Lanka, or Ceylon. The clepsydra was used for taking time.
[FN#25] In the original only the husband ''practiced austere
devotion." For the benefit of those amongst whom the pious
wife" is an institution, I have extended the privilege.
[FN#26] A Moslem would say, This is our fate." A Hindu refers
at once to metempsychosis, as naturally as a modern Swedenborgian to spiritism.
[FN#27] In Europe, money buys this world, and delivers you from the pains
of purgatory; amongst the Hindus, it furthermore opens the gate of heaven.
[FN#28] This part of the introduction will remind the reader of the two
royal brothers and their false wives in the introduction to the Arabian Nights.
The fate of Bhartari Raja, however, is historical.
[FN#29] In the original, Div"--a supernatural being god, or
demon. This part of the plot is variously told. According to some, Raja Vikram
was surprised, when entering the city to see a grand procession at the house of
a potter and a boy being carried off on an elephant to the violent grief of his
parents The King inquired the reason of their sorrow, and was told that the
wicked Div that guarded the city was in the habit of eating a citizen per diem.
Whereupon the valorous Raja caused the boy to dismount; took his place; entered
the palace; and, when presented as food for the demon, displayed his pugilistic
powers in a way to excite the monsters admiration.
[FN#30] In India, there is still a monastic order the pleasant duty of
whose members is to enjoy themselves as much as possible. It has been much the
same in Europe. Representez-vous le convent de lEscurial ou du Mont
Cassin, ou les cenobites ont toutes sortes de commodities, necessaires, utiles,
delectables. superflues, surabondantes, puisquils ont les cent cinquante
mille, les quatre cent mille, les cinq cent mille ecus de rente; et jugez si
monsieur l'abbe a de quoi laisser dormir la meridienne a ceux qui
voudront."--Saint Augustin, de lOuvrage des Moines, by Le Camus,
Bishop of Belley, quoted by Voltaire, Dict. Phil., sub v.
[FN#31] This form of matrimony was recognized by the ancient Hindus, and
is frequent in books. It is a kind of Scotch wedding--ultra-Caledonian--taking
place by mutual consent, without any form or ceremony. The Gandharbas are
heavenly minstrels of Indras court, who are supposed to be witnesses.
[FN#32] The Hindu Saturnalia.
[FN#33] The powders are of wheaten flour, mixed with wild ginger-root,
sappan-wood, and other ingredients. Sometimes the stuff is thrown in syringes.
[FN#34] The Persian proverb is-- Bala e tavilah bar sat i
maimun": The woes of the stable be on the monkey's head!" In
some Moslem countries a hog acts prophylactic. Hence probably Mungo Park's
troublesome pig at Ludamar.
[FN#35] So the moribund father of the babes in the wood"
lectures his wicked brother, their guardian:
"To God and you I recommend
My children deare this day:
But little while, be sure, we have
Within this world to stay."
But, to appeal to the moral sense of a goldsmith!
[FN#36] Maha (great) raja (king): common address even to those who are
[FN#37] The name means. Quietistic Disposition."
[FN#38] August. In the solar-lunar year of the Hindu the months are
divided into fortnights--light and dark.
[FN#39] A flower, whose name frequently occurs in Sanskrit poetry.
[FN#40] The stars being men's souls raised to the sky for a time pro
portioned to their virtuous deeds on earth.
[FN#41] A measure of length, each two miles.
[FN#42] The warm region below.
[FN#43] Hindus admire only glossy black hair; the bonny brown
hair loved by our ballads is assigned by them to low-caste men, witches,
[FN#44] A large kind of bat; a popular and silly Anglo-Indian name. It
almost justified the irate Scotchman in calling prodigious leears
those who told him in India that foxes flew and tress were tapped for toddy.
[FN#45] The Hindus, like the European classics and other ancient peoples,
reckon four ages:--The Satya Yug, or Golden Age, numbered 1,728,000 years: the
second, or Treta Yug, comprised 1,296,000; the Dwapar Yug had 864,000 and the
present, the Kali Yug, has shrunk to 832,000 years.
[FN#46] Especially alluding to prayer. On this point, Southey justly
remarks (Preface to Curse of Kehama): In the religion of the Hindoos
there is one remarkable peculiarity. Prayers, penances, and sacrifices are
supposed to possess an inherent and actual value, in one degree depending upon
the disposition or motive of the person who performs them. They are drafts upon
heaven for which the gods cannot refuse payment. The worst men, bent upon the
worst designs, have in this manner obtained power which has made them
formidable to the supreme deities themselves." Moreover, the Hindu gods
hear the prayers of those who desire the evil of others. Hence when a rich man
becomes poor, his friends say, See how sharp are men's teeth!" and,
He is ruined because others could not bear to see his happiness!"
[FN#47] A pond. natural or artificial; in the latter case often covering
an extent of ten to twelve acres.
[FN#48] The Hindustani "gilahri," or little grey
squirrel, whose twittering cry is often mistaken for a bird's.
[FN#49] The autumn or rather the rainy season personified - a hackneyed
[FN#50] Light conversation upon the subject of women is a persona offence
to serious-minded Hindus.
[FN#51] Cupid in his two forms, Eros and Anteros.
[FN#52] This is true to life in the East, women make the first advances,
and men do the begueules.
[FN#53] Raja-hans, a large grey goose, the Hindu equivalent for our swan.
[FN#54] Properly Karnatak; karna in Sanskrit means an ear.
[FN#55] Danta in Sanskrit is a tooth.
[FN#56] Padma means a foot.
[FN#57] A common Hindu phrase equivalent to our " I manage to
[FN#58] Meaning marriage maternity, and so forth.
[FN#59] Yama is Pluto; mother of Yama' is generally applied to an
[FN#60] Snake-land: the infernal region.
[FN#61] A form of abuse given to Durga, who was the mother of Ganesha
(Janus); the latter had an elephant's head.
[FN#62] Unexpected pleasure, according to the Hindus, gives a bristly
elevation to the down of the body.
[FN#63] The Hindus banish " flasks,'' et hoc genus omne, from
these scenes, and perhaps they are right.
[FN#64] The Pankha, or large common fan, is a leaf of the Corypha
umbraculifera, with the petiole cut to the length of about five feet, pared
round the edges and painted to look pretty. It is waved by the servant standing
behind a chair.
[FN#65] The fabulous mass of precious stones forming the sacred mountain
of Hindu mythology.
[FN#66] "I love my love with an S,' because he is stupid and
[FN#67] Hindu mythology has also its Cerberus, Trisisa, the " three
headed " hound that attends dreadful Yama (Pluto)
[FN#68] Parceque c'est la saison des amours.
[FN#69] The police magistrate, the Catual of Camoens.
[FN#70] The seat of a Hindu ascetic.
[FN#71] The Hindu scriptures.
[FN#72] The Goddess of Prosperity.
[FN#73] In the original the lover is not blamed; this would be the Hindu
view of the matter; we might be tempted to think of the old injunction not to
seethe a kid in the mother's milk.
[FN#74] In the original a "maina "-the Gracula religiosa.
[FN#75] As we should say, buried them.
[FN#76] A large kind of black bee, common in India.
[FN#77] The beautiful wife of the demigod Rama Chandra.
[FN#78] The Hindu Ars Amoris.
[FN#79] The old philosophers, believing in a " Sat " (xx xx),
postulated an Asat (xx xx xx) and made the latter the root of the former.
[FN#80] In Western India, a place celebrated for suicides.
[FN#81] Kama Deva. "Out on thee, foul fiend, talk'st thou of nothing
[FN#82] The pipal or Ficus religiosa, a favourite roosting-place for
[FN#84] The ancient name of a priest by profession, meaning "
praepositus " or praeses. He was the friend and counsellor of a chief, the
minister of a king, and his companion in peace and war. (M. Muller's Ancient
Sanskrit Literature, p. 485).
[FN#85] Lakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity. Raj-Lakshmi would mean the
King's Fortune, which we should call tutelary genius. Lakshichara is our "
luckless," forming, as Mr. Ward says, an extraordinary coincidence of
sound and meaning in languages so different. But the derivations are very
[FN#86] The Monkey God.
[FN#87] Generally written "Banyan."
[FN#88] The daughter of Raja Janaka, married to Ramachandra. The latter
placed his wife under the charge of his brother Lakshmana, and went into the
forest to worship, when the demon Ravana disguised himself as a beggar, and
carried off the prize.
[FN#89] This great king was tricked by the god Vishnu out of the sway of
heaven and earth, but from his exceeding piety he was appointed to reign in
Patala, or Hades.
[FN#90] The procession is fair game, and is often attacked in the
dark with sticks and stones, causing serious disputes. At the supper the guests
confer the obligation by their presence, and are exceedingly exacting.
[FN#91] Rati is the wife of Kama, the God of Desire; and we explain the
word by "Spring personified."
[FN#92] The Indian Cuckoo (Cucuius Indicus). It is supposed to lay its
eggs in the nest of the crow.
[FN#93] This is the well-known Ghi or Ghee, the one sauce of India which
is as badly off in that matter as England.
[FN#94] The European reader will observe that it is her purity which
carries the heroine through all these perils. Moreover, that her :virtue is its
own reward, as it loses to her the world.
[FN#95] Literally, one of all tastes--a wild or gay man, we
[FN#96] These shoes are generally made of rags and bits of leather; they
have often toes behind the foot, with other similar contrivances, yet they
scarcely ever deceive an experienced man.
[FN#97] The high-toper is a swell-thief, the other is a low dog.
[FN#98] Engaged in shoplifting.
[FN#99] The moon.
[FN#100] The judge.
[FN#101] To be lagged is to be taken; scragging is hanging.
[FN#102] The tongue.
[FN#103] This is the god Kartikeya, a mixture of Mars and Mercury, who
revealed to a certain Yugacharya the scriptures known as
Chauriya-Vidya--Anglice, Thieves Manual.
The classical robbers of the Hindu drama always perform according to its
precepts. There is another work respected by thieves and called the
Chora-Panchashila, because consisting of fifty lines.
[FN#104] Supposed to be a good omen.
[FN#105] Share the booty.
[FN#106] Bhawani is one of the many forms of the destroying goddess, the
wife of Shiva.
[FN#107] Wretches who kill with the narcotic seed of the stramonium.
[FN#108] Better know as Thugs, which in India means simply
[FN#109] Crucifixion, until late years, was common amongst the Buddhists
of the Burmese empire. According to an eye-witness, Mr. F. Carey, the
puishment was inflicted in two ways. Sometimes criminals were crucified
by their hands and feet being nailed to a scaffold; others were merely tied up,
and fed. In these cases the legs and feet of the patient began to swell
and mortify at the expiration fo three or four days; men are said to have lived
in this state for a fortnight, and at last they expired from fatigue and
mortification. The sufferings from cramp also must be very severe.
In India generally impalement was more common than crucifixion.
[FN#110] Our Suttee. There is an admirable Hindu proverb, which
says, No one knows the ways of woman; she kill her husband and becomes a
[FN#111] Fate and Destiny are rather Moslem than Hindu fancies.
[FN#112] Properly speaking, the husbandman should plough with not fewer
than four bullocks; but few can afford this. If he plough with a cow or a
bullock, and not with a bull, the rice produced by his ground is unclean, and
may not be used in any religious ceremony.
[FN#113] A shout of triumph, like our Huzza or
Hurrah! of late degraded into Hooray. Hari
bol is of course religious, meaning Call upon Hari! i.e.
Krishna, i.e. Vishnu.
[FN#114] This form of suicide is one of those recognized in India.
So in Europe we read of fanatics who, with a suicidal ingenuity, have
succeeded in crucifying themselves.
[FN#115] The river of Jaganath in Orissa; it shares the honours of
sanctity with some twenty-nine others, and in the lower regions it represents
the classical Styx.
[FN#116] Cupid. His wife Rati is the spring personified. The Hindu poets
always unite love and spring, and perhaps physiologically they are correct.
[FN#117] An incarnation of the third person of the Hindu Triad, or
Triumvirate, Shiva the God of Destruction, the Indian Bacchus. The image has
five faces, and each face has three eyes. In Bengal it is found in many
villages, and the women warn their children not to touch it on pain of being
[FN#118] A village Brahman on stated occasions receives fees from all the
[FN#119] The land of Greece.
[FN#120] Savans, professors. So in the old saying, "Hanta, Pandit
Sansara "--Alas! the world is learned! This a little antedates the
[FN#121] Children are commonly sent to school at the age of five. Girls
are not taught to read, under the common idea that they will become widows if
[FN#122] Meaning the place of reading the four Shastras.
[FN#123] A certain goddess who plays tricks with mankind. If a son when
grown up act differently from what his parents did, people say that he has been
changed in the womb.
[FN#124] Shani is the planet Saturn, which has an exceedingly baleful
influence in India as elsewhere.
[FN#125] The Eleatic or Materialistic school of Hindu philosophy, which
agrees to explode an intelligent soparate First Cause.
[FN#126] The writings of this school give an excellent view of the
"progressive system," which has popularly been asserted to be a
modern idea. But Hindu philosophy seems to have exhausted every fancy that can
spring from the brain of man.
[FN#127] Tama is the natural state of matter, Raja is passion acting upon
nature, and Satwa is excellence These are the three gunas or qualities of
[FN#128] Spiritual preceptors and learned men.
[FN#129] Under certain limitations, gambling is allowed hy Hindu law and
the winner has power over the person and property of the loser. No "debts
of honour in Hindustan!
[FN#130] Quotations from standard works on Hindu criminal law, which in
some points at least is almost as absurd as our civilized codes.
[FN#131] Hindus carry their money tied up in a kind of sheet. which is
wound round the waist and thrown over the shoulder.
[FN#132] A thieves manual in the Sanskrit tongue; it aspires to the
dignity of a "Scripture."
[FN#133] All sounds, say the Hindus, are of similar origin, and they do
not die; if they did, they could not be remembered.
[FN#134] Gold pieces.
[FN#135] These are the qualifications specified by Hindu classical
authorities as necessary to make a distinguished thief.
[FN#136] Every Hindu is in a manner born to a certain line of life,
virtuous or vicious, honest or dishonest and his Dharma, or religious duty,
consists in conforming to the practice and the worship of his profession. The
"Thug," for instance, worships Bhawani, who enables him to murder
successfully; and his remorse would arise from neglecting to murder.
[FN#137] Hindu law sensibly punishes, in theory at least, for the same
offence the priest more severely than the layman--a hint for him to practice
what he preaches.
[FN#138] The Hindu Mercury, god of rascals.
[FN#139] A penal offence in India. How is it that we English have omitted
to codify it? The laws of Manu also punish severely all disdainful expressions,
such as tush" or "pish," addressed during argument
to a priest.
[FN#140] Stanzas, generally speaking, on serious subjects.
[FN#141] Whitlows on the nails show that the sufferer, in the last life,
stole gold from a Brahman.
[FN#142] A low caste Hindu, who catches and exhibits snakes and performs
other such mean offices.
[FN#143] Meaning, in spite of themselves.
[FN#144] When the moon is in a certain lunar mansion, at the conclusion
of the wet season.
[FN#145] In Hindustan, it is the prevailing wind of the hot weather.
[FN#146] Vishnu, as a dwarf, sank down into and secured in the lower
regions the Raja Bali, who by his piety and prayerfulness was subverting the
reign of the lesser gods; as Ramachandra he built a bridge between Lanka
(Ceylon) and the main land; and as Krishna he defended, by holding up a hill as
an umbrella for them, his friends the shepherds and shepherdesses from the
thunders of Indra, whose worship they had neglected.
[FN#147] The priestly caste sprang, as has been said, from the noblest
part of the Demiurgus; the three others from lower members.
[FN#148] A chew of betel leaf and spices is offered by the master of the
house when dismissing a visitor.
[FN#149] Respectable Hindus say that receiving a fee for a daughter is
like selling flesh.
[FN#150] A modern custom amongst the low caste is for the bride and
bridegroom, in the presence of friends, to place a flower garland on each
other's necks, and thus declare themselves man and wife. The old classical
Gandharva-lagan has been before explained.
[FN#151] Meaning that the sight of each other will cause a smile, and
that what one purposes the other will consent to.
[FN#152] This would be the verdict of a Hindu jury.
[FN#153] Because stained with the powder of Mhendi, or the Lawsonia
[FN#154] Kansa's son: so called because the god Shiva, when struck by his
shafts, destroyed him with a fiery glance.
[FN#155] "Great Brahman"; used contemptuously to priests who
officiate for servile men. Brahmans lose their honour by the following things:
By becoming servants to the king; by pursuing any secular business; by acting
priests to Shudras (serviles); by officiating as priests for a whole village;
and by neglecting any part of the three daily services. Many violate these
rules; yet to kill a Brahman is still one of the five great Hindu sins. In the
present age of the world, the Brahman may not accept a gift of cows or of gold;
of course he despises the law. As regards monkey worship, a certain Rajah of
Nadiya is said to have expended £10,000 in marrying two monkeys with all
the parade and splendour of the Hindu rite.
[FN#156] The celebrated Gayatri, the Moslem Kalmah.
[FN#157] Kama again.
[FN#158] From "Man," to think; primarily meaning, what makes
[FN#159] The Cirrhadae of classical writers.
[FN#160] The Hindu Pluto; also called the Just King.
[FN#161] Yama judges the dead. whose souls go to him in four hours and
forty minutes; therefore a corpse cannot be burned till after that time. His
residence is Yamalaya. and it is on the south side of the earth; down South, as
we say. (I, Sam. xxv. 1, and xxx. 15). The Hebrews, like the Hindus, held the
northern parts of the world to be higher than the southern. Hindus often joke a
man who is seen walking in that direction, and ask him where he is going.
[FN#162] The "Ganges," in heaven called Mandakini. I have no
idea why we still adhere to our venerable corruption of the word.
[FN#163] The fabulous mountain supposed by Hindu geographers to occupy
the centre of the universe.
[FN#164] The all-bestowing tree in Indra's Paradise which grants
everything asked of it. It is the Tuba of Al-Islam and is not unknown to the
Apocryphal New Testament.
[FN#165] "Vikramaditya, Lord of the Saka." This is prevoyance
on the part of the Vampire; the king had not acquired the title.
[FN#166] On the sixth day after the child's birth, the god Vidhata writes
all its fate upon its forehead. The Moslems have a similar idea, and probably
it passed to the Hindus.
[FN#167] Goddess of eloquence. "The waters of the Saraswati "
is the classical Hindu phrase for the mirage.
[FN#168] This story is perhaps the least interesting in the collection. I
have translated it literally, in order to give an idea of the original. The
reader will remark in it the source of our own nursery tale about the princess
who was so high born and delicately bred, that she could discover the three
peas laid beneath a straw mattress and four feather beds. The Hindus, however,
believe that Sybaritism can be carried so far; I remember my Pandit asserting
the truth of the story.
[FN#169] A minister. The word, as is the case with many in this
collection, is quite modern Moslem, and anachronistic.
[FN#170] The cow is called the mother of the gods, and is declared by
Brahma, the first person of the triad, Vishnu and Shiva being the second and
the third, to be a proper object of worship. "If a European speak to the
Hindu about eating the flesh of cows," says an old missionary, "they
immediately raise their hands to their ears; yet milkmen, carmen, and farmers
beat the cow as unmercifully as a carrier of coals beats his ass in
England."The Jains or Jainas (from ji, to conquer; as subduing the
passions) are one of the atheistical sects with whom the Brahmans have of old
carried on the fiercest religious controversies, ending in many a sanguinary
fight. Their tenets are consequently exaggerated and ridiculed, as in the text.
They believe that there is no such God as the common notions on the subject
point out, and they hold that the highest act of virtue is to abstain from
injuring sentient creatures. Man does not possess an immortal spirit: death is
the same to Brahma and to a fly. Therefore there is no heaven or hell separate
from present pleasure or pain. Hindu Epicureans! --"Epicuri de grege
[FN#171] Narak is one of the multitudinous places of Hindu punishment,
said to adjoin the residence of Ajarna. The less cultivated Jains believe in a
region of torment. The illuminati, however, have a sovereign contempt for the
Creator, for a future state, and for all religious ceremonies. As Hindus,
however, they believe in future births of mankind, somewhat influenced by
present actions. The next birth in the mouth of a Hindu, we are
told, is the same as "to-morrow" in the mouth of a Christian. The
metempsychosis is on an extensive scale: according to some, a person who loses
human birth must pass through eight millions of successive incarnations
fish, insects, worms, birds, and beasts
before he can reappear as a man.
[FN#172] Jogi, or Yogi, properly applies to followers of the Yoga or
Patanjala school, who by ascetic practices acquire power over the elements.
Vulgarly, it is a general term for mountebank vagrants, worshippers of Shiva.
The Janganis adore the same deity, and carry about a Linga. The Sevras are Jain
beggars, who regard their chiefs as superior to the gods of other sects. The
Sannyasis are mendicant followers of Shiva; they never touch metals or fire,
and. in religious parlance, they take up the staff They are opposed to the
Viragis, worshippers of Vishnu, who contend as strongly against the worshippers
of gods who receive bloody offerings. as a Christian could do against idolatry.
[FN#173] The Brahman, or priest, is supposed to proceed from the mouth of
Brahma, the creating person of the Triad; the Khshatriyas (soldiers) from his
arms; the Vaishyas (enterers into business) from his thighs; and the Shudras,
"who take refuge in the Brahmans," from his feet. Only high caste men
should assume the thread at the age of puberty.
[FN#174] Soma. the moon, I have said, is masculine in India.
[FN#176] Nothing astonishes Hindus so much as the apparent want of
affection between the European parent and child.
[FN#177] A third marriage is held improper and baneful to a Hindu woman.
Hence. before the nuptials they betroth the man to a tree, upon which the evil
expends itself, and the tree dies.
[FN#179] An oath. meaning, From such a falsehood preserve me,
[FN#180] The Indian Neptune.
[FN#181] A highly insulting form of adjuration.
[FN#182] The British Islands--according to Wilford.
[FN#183] Literally the science (veda) of the bow (dhanush). This weapon,
as everything amongst the Hindus, had a divine origin: it was of three
kinds--the common bow, the pellet or stone bow, and the crossbow or catapult.
[FN#184] It is a disputed point whether the ancient Hindus did or did not
know the use of gunpowder.
[FN#185] It is said to have discharged balls, each 6,400 pounds in weight.
[FN#186] A kind of Mercury, a god with the head and wings of a bird, who
is the Vahan or vehicle of the second person of the Triad, Vishnu.
[FN#187] The celebrated burning springs of Baku, near the Caspian, are so
called. There are many other "fire mouths."
[FN#188] The Hindu Styx.
[FN#189] From Yaksha, to eat; as Rakshasas are from Raksha, to
preserve.--See Hardy's Manual of Buddhism, p. 57.
[FN#190] Shiva is always painted white, no one knows why. His wife Gauri
has also a European complexion. Hence it is generally said that the sect
popularly called "Thugs," who were worshippers of these murderous
gods. spared Englishmen, the latter being supposed to have some rapport with
[FN#191] The Hindu shrine is mostly a small building, with two inner
compartments. the vestibule and the Garbagriha, or adytum, in which stands the
[FN#192] Meaning Kali of the cemetery (Smashana); another form of Durga.
[FN#193] Not being able to find victims, this pleasant deity, to satisfy
her thirst for the curious juice, cut her own throat that the blood might spout
up into her mouth. She once found herself dancing on her husband, and was so
shocked that in surprise she put out her tongue to a great length, and remained
motionless. She is often represented in this form.
[FN#194] This ashtanga, the most ceremonious of the five forms of Hindu
salutation, consists of prostrating and of making the eight parts of the
body--namely, the temples, nose and chin, knees and hands--touch the ground.
[FN#195] "Sidhis," the personified Powers of Nature. At least,
so we explain them: but people do not worship abstract powers.
[FN#196] The residence of Indra, king of heaven, built by Wishwa-Karma,
the architect of the gods.
[FN#197] In other words, to the present day, whenever a Hindu novelist,
romancer, or tale writer seeks a peg upon which to suspend the texture of his
story, he invariably pitches upon the glorious, pious, and immortal memory of
that Eastern King Arthur, Vikramaditya, shortly called Vikram.