Afterwards Rishya-shringa said again to the King "I will perform another sacrificial act to secure thee a son." Then the son of Vibhanduka, of subdued passions, seeking the happiness of the king, proceeded to perform the sacrifice for the accomplishment of his wishes. Hither were previously collected the gods, with the Gandharvas, the Siddhas and the sages, for the sake of receiving their respective shares, Brahma too, the sovereign of the gods, with Sthanoo, and Narayana, chief of beings and the four supporters of the universe, and the divine,mothers of all the celestials, met together there. To the Ushwa-medha, the great sacrifice of the magnanimous monarch, came also Indra the glorious one, surrounded by the Muroots. Rishya-shringi then supplicated the gods assembled for their share of the sacrifice (saying), "This devout king Dusha-rutha, who, through the desire of offspring, confiding in you, has performed sacred austerities, and who has offered to you the sacrifice called Ushwa-medha, is about to perform, another sacrifice for the sake of obtaining sons. To him thus desirous of offspring be pleased to grant the blessing: I supplicate you all with joined hands. May he have four sons, renowned through the universe." The gods replied to the sage's son supplicating with joined hands, "Be it so: thou, O brahman, art ever to be regarded by us, as the king is in a peculiar manner. The lord of men by this sacrifice shall obtain the great object of his desires. Having thus said, the gods preceded by Indra, disappeared.
They all then having seen that (sacrifice) performed by the great sage according to the ordinance went to Prajapati the lord of mankind, and with joined hands addressed Bráhma the giver of blessings, "O Brháma, the Rakshas Ravana by name, to whom a blessing was awarded by thee, through pride troubleth all of us the gods, and even the great sages, who perpetually practise sacred austerities. We, O glorious one, regarding the promise formerly granted by thy kindness that he should be invulnerable to the gods, the Danuvas and the Yukshas have born (sic) all, (his oppression); this lord of Rakshases therefore distresses the universe; and, inflated by this promise unjustly vexes the divine sages, the Yukshas, and Gandhavras, the Usooras, and men: where Ravana remains there the sun loses his force, the winds through fear of him do not blow, the fire ceases to burn; the rolling ocean, seeing him, ceases to move its waves. Vishruvna, distressed by his power, has abandoned Lanka and fled. O divine one save us from Ravana, who fills the world with noise and tumult. O giver of desired things, be pleased to contrive a way for his destruction."
Bruhma thus informed by the devas, reflecting, replied, Oh! I have devised the method for slaying this outrageous tyrant. Upon his requesting, "May I be invulnerable to the divine sages, the Gandharvas, the Yakshas, the Rakshasas
and the serpents," I replied "Be it so."This Rakshus, through contempt, said nothing respecting man; therefore this wicked one shall be destroyed by man. The gods, preceded by Shukra, hearing these words spoken by Bruhmá, were filled with joy.
At this time Vishnoo the glorious, the lord of the world, arrayed in yellow, with hand ornaments of glowing gold, riding on Vinuteya, as the sun on a cloud, arrived with his conch, his discus, and his club in his hand. Being adored by the excellent celestials, and welcomed by Bruhma, he drew near and stood before him. All the gods then addressed Vishnoo, "O Mudhoo-sooduna, thou art able to abolish the distress of the distressed. We intreat thee, be our sanctuary, 0 Uchyoota." Vishnoo replied, "Say, what shall I do?" The celestials hearing these his words added further. "The virtuous, the encourager of excellence, eminent for truth, the firm observer of his vows, being childless, is performing an Ushwamedha for the purpose of obtaining offspring. For the sake of the good of the universe, we intreat thee, O Vishnoo, to become his son. Dividing thyself into four parts, in the wombs of his three consorts equal to Huri, Shree, and Keertee, assume the sonship of king Dusha-rutha, the lord of Uyodhya, eminent in the knowledge of duty, generous and illustrious, as the great sages. Thus becoming man, O Vishnoo, conquer in battle Ravuna, the terror of the universe, who is invulnerable to the gods. This ignorant Rakshus Ravuna, by the exertion of his power, afflicts the gods, the Gundhurvas, the Siddhas, and the most excellent sages; these sages, the Gundhurvas, and the Upsaras, sporting in the forest Nunduna have been destroyed by that furious one. We, with the sages, are come to thee seeking his destruction. The Siddhas, the Gundhurvas, and the Yakshas betake themselves to thee, thou art our only refuge; O Deva, afflicter of enemies, regard the world of men, and destroy the enemy of the gods."
Vishnoo, the sovereign of the gods, the chief of the celestials, adored by all beings, being thus supplicated, replied to all the assembled gods (standing) before Bruhma, "Abandon fear; peace be with you; for your benefit having killed Ravuna the cruel, destructively active, the cause of fear to the divine sages, together with all his posterity, his courtiers and counsellors, and his relations, and friends, protecting the earth, I will remain incarnate among men for the space of eleven thousand years."
Having given this promise to the gods, the divine Vishnoo, ardent in the work, sought a birth-place among men. Dividing himself into four parts, he whose eyes resemble the lotos and the pulasa, the lotos petal-eyed, chose for his father Dusha-ratha the sovereign of men. The divine sages then with the Gundhurvas, the Roodras, and the (different sorts of) Upsaras, in the most excellent strains, praised the destroyer of Mudhoo, (saying) "Root up Ravuna, of fervid energy, the devastator, the enemy of Indra swollen with pride. Destroy him, who causes universal lamentation, the annoyer of the holy ascetics, terrible, the terror of the devout Tupuswees. Having destroyed Ravuna, tremendously powerful, who causes universal weeping, together with his army and friends, dismissing all sorrow, return to heaven, the place free from stain and sin, and protected by the sovereign of the celestial powers."
Thus far the Section, containing the plan for the death of Ravuna.
CAREY AND MARSHMAN.
RATIO NECANDI RAVANAE EXCOGITATA.
Prudens ille, voluminum sacrorum gnarus, responsum quod dederat aliquamdiu meditatus, mente ad se revocata regem deuno est effatus: Parabo tibi aliud sacrum, genitale, prolis masculae adipiscendae gratia, cum carminibus in ATHARVANIS exordio expressis rite peragendum. Tum coepit modestus Vibhândaci filius, regis commodis intentus, parare sacrum, quo eius desiderium expleret. Lam'antea* eo convenerant, ut suam quisque portionem acciperent, Di cum fidicinum coelestium choris, Beatique cum Sapientibus; Brachman Superûm regnator, Sthânus nee non augustus Nârâyanus, Indrasque alraus, coram visendus Ventorum cohorte circumdatus, in magno isto sacrificio equino regis magnanimi. Ibidem vates ille deos, qui portiones suas accipiendi gratia advenerant, apprecatus, En!* inquit, hicce--ex Dasarathus filiorum desiderio castimoniis adstrictus, fidei plenus, vestrum numen adoravit sacrificio equino. Nunc iterum accingit se ad aliud sacrum peragendum: quamobrem aequum est, ut filios cupienti vos faveatis. Ille ego, qui manus supplices tendo, vos universos pro eo apprecor: nascantur ei filii quatuor, faina per triplicem mundum clari. Divi supplicem vatis filium invicem affari: Fiat quod petis! Tu nobis, virsancte, imprimis es venerandus, nec minus rex ille; compos fiet voti sui egregii hominum princeps. Ita locuti Dî Indra duce, ex oculis evanuerunt.
Superi vero, legitime in concilio congregati. BRACHMANEM mundi creatorem his verbis compellarunt: Tuo munere auctus, O Brachman! gigas nomine Râvanas, prae superbia nos omnes vexat, pariterque Sapientes castimoniis gaudentes. A te propitio olim ex voto ei hoc munus concessum fuit, ut ne a diis, Danuidis, Geniisve necari posset. Nos, oraculum tuum reveriti, facinora eius qualiacunque toleramus. At ille gigantum tyrannus ternos mundos gravibus iniuriis vexat Deos, Sapientes, Genios, Fidicines coelestes, Titanes, mortales denique, exsuperat ille aegre cohibendus, tuoque munere demens. Non ibi calet sol, neque Ventus prae timore spirat, nec flagrat ignis, ubi Râvanas versatur. Ipse oceanus, vagis fluctibus redimitus, isto viso stat immotus; eiectus fuit e sede sua Cuvêrus, huius robore vexatus. Ergo ingens nobis periculum imminet ab hoc gigante visu horribili; tuum est, alme Parens! auxilium parare, quo hic deleatur. Ita admonitus ille a diis universis, paulisper meditatus, Ehem!* inquit, hancce inveni rationem nefarium istum necandi. Petierat is a me, ut a Gandharvis, a Geniis, a Divis, Danuibus Gigantibusque necari non posset et me annuente voto suo potitus est. Prae contemptu vero monstrum illud homines non commemoravit: ideo ab homine est necandus: nullum aliud exstat leti genus, quod ei sit £atale. Postquam audiverant gratum hunc sermonem BRACHMANIS ore prolatum, Di cum duce suo Indra summopere gaudio erecti sunt. Eodem temporis momento Vishnus, istuc accessit, splendore insignis, concham, discum et clavum manibus gestans, croceo vestitu, mundi dominus, vulturis Vinateii dorso, sicuti sol nimbo, vectus, armillas ex auro candente gerens, salutatus a Superûm primoribus. Quem laudibus celebratum reverenter Dî universi compellarunt. Tu animantium afflictorum es vindex, Madhûs interfector! quamobrem nos afflicti te apprecamur. Sis praesidio nobis numine tuo inconcusso. Dicite, inquit Vishnus, quid pro vobis facere
me oporteat. Audito eius sermone, Di hunc in modum respondent: Rex quidam, nomine Dasarathus, austeris castimoniis sese castigavit, litavit sacrificio equino, prolis cupidus et prole carens. Nostro hortatu tu, Vishnus, conditionem natorum eius subeas: ex tribus eius uxoribus, Pudicitiae, Venustatis et Famae similibus, nasci velis, temetipsum quadrifariam dividens. Ibi tu in humanam naturam conversus Râvanam, gravissimam mundi pestem, diis insuperabilem, O Vishnus! proelio caede. Gigas ille vecors Râvanas Deos cum Fidicinum choris, Beatos et Sapientes praestantisslmos vexat, audacia superbiens. Etenim ab hoc furioso Sapientes Fidicines et nymphae, ludentes in Nandano viridario, sunt proculcati. Tu es nostrum omnium summa salus, divine bellator! Ut deorum hostes extinguas, ad sortem humanam animum converte. Augustus ille Nârâyanus, diis hunc in modum coram hortantibus, eosdem apto hoc sermone compellavit: Quare, quaeso, hac in renegotium vestrum a me potissimum, corporea specie palam facto, est peragendum *? *aut unde tantus vobis terror fuit iniectus? His verbis a Vishnû interrogati Dî talia proferre: Terror nobis instat, O Vishnus! a Râvana mundi direptore; a quo nos vindicare, corpore humano assumpto, tuum est. Nemo alius coelicoiarum praeter te hunc scelestum enecare potis est. Nimirum ille, O hostium domitor! per diuturnum tempus sese excruciaverat severissima abstinentia, qua magnus hicce rerum Parens propitius ipsi redditus est, Itaque almus votorum sponsor olim ei concessit securitatem ab ommibus animantibus. hominibus tamen exceptis. Hinc ilium, voti compotem, non aliunde quam ab homine necis perículum urget: tu ergo, humanitate assumpta eum intertice. Sic monitus Vishnus, Superûm princeps, quem mundus univerans adorat, magnum Parentem oeterosque deos, in concilio congregatos, recti auctores, affatur: Mittite timorem; bene bobís eveniat! Vestrae salutis gratia, postquam praelio necavero Râvanam cum filiis nepotibusque, cum amicis, ministris, cognatis socusque, crudelem istum aegre cohibendum, qui divinis Sapientibus terrorem *incutit, per decem millia annorum decies centenis additis, commorabor in mortalium sedibus, orbem terrarum imperio regens. Tum divini sapientes et Fidicines conjuncti cum Rudris nympha, rumque choris celebravere Madhûs interfectorem hymnis, quales sedem aetheriam decent.
"Râvanam ilium insolentem, acri impetu actum, superbia elatum, Superûm hostem, tumultus cientem, bonorum piorumque pestem, humanitate assumpta pessumdare tuum est."
IL MEZZO STABILITO PER UCCIDERE RÁVANO.
Ma Riscyasringo soggiunse poscia al re: T'appresterò io un altro rito santissimo, genitale, onde tu conseguisca la prole che tu bramí. E in quel punto stesso il saggio figliulo di Vibhândaco, iutento alia prosperità del re, pose mano al sacro rito per condurre ad effetto il suo desiderio. Già erano prima, per ricevere ciascuno la sua parte, quí convenuti al gran sacrifizio del re magnanimo l'Asvamedha, í Devi coi Gandharvi, i Siddhi e i Muni, Brahma Signor dei Sari, Sthânu e l' Augusto Nârâyana, i quattio custudi dell' universo e le Madri degli Iddn, i Yacsi insieme cogli Dei, e il sovrano, venerando Indra, visibile, circondato
dalla schiera dei Maruti. Quivi così parlò Riscyasr'ingo agli Dei venuti a partecipare del sacrifizio: Questo è il re Dasaratha, che per desiderio di progenie già s' astrinse ad osservanze austeré, e testè pieno di fede ha a voi, O eccelsi, sacrificato con un Asvamedha. Ora egli, sollecito d' aver figli, si dispone ad adempiere un nuovo rito; vogliate essere favorevole a lui che sospira progenie. lo alzo a voi supplici le mani, e voi tutti per lui implor'o: nascano a lui quattro figli degni d'essere celebrati per tre mondi. Risposero gli Dei al supplichevole tigliuolo del Risci: Sia fatto ciò che chiedi; a te ed al re parimente si debbe da noi, O Brahmano, sommo pregio; canseguirà il re per questo sacro rito il suo suppremo desiderio. Ciò detto disparvero i Numi preceduti da Indra.
Poichè videro gli Dei compiersi debitamente dal gran Risci l'oblazione, venuti al cospetto di Brahma facitor del mondo, signor delle creature, così parlarono reverenti a lui dator di grazie: O Brahma, un Racsáso per nome Râvano, cui tu fosti largo del tuo favore, è per superbia infesto a noi tutti e ai grandi Saggi penitenti. Un di, O Nume, augusto, tu propizio a lui gli accordasti il favore, ch' egli bramava, di non poter essere ucciso dagli Dei, dai Dânavi nè dai Yacsi: noi venerando i tuoi oracoli, ogni cosa sopportiamo da costui. Quindi il signor dei Racsasi infesta con perpetue offese i tre mondi, i Devi, i Risci, i Yacsi ed i Gandharvi, gli Asuri e gli uomini: tutti egli opprime indegnamente inorgoglito pel tuo dono. Colà dove si trova Râvano, più non isfavilla per timore il sole, più non spira il vento, più non fiammeggia il fuoco: l' oceano stesso cui fan corona i vasti flutti, veggendo costui, tutto si turba e si commuove. Stretto dalla forza di costui e ridotto allo stremo dovette Vaisravano abbandonare Lancâ. Da questo Râvano, terror del mondo, tu ne proteggi, O almo Nume: degna, O dator d'ogni bene, trovar modo ad estirpar costui. Fatto di queste cose conscio dai Devi, stette alquanto meditando, poi rispose Brahma: Orsù! è stabilito il modo onde distruggere questo iniquo. Egli a me chiese, ed io glieì concessi, di non poter essere ucciso dai Devi, dai Risci, dai Gandharvi, dai Yacsi, dai Racsasi nè dai Serpenti; ma per disprezzo non fece menzione degli uomini quel Racso: or bene, sarà quell' empio ucciso da un uomo. Udite le fauste parole profferte da Brahma, furono per ogni parte liete gli Iddii col loro duce Indra. In questo mezzo qui sopravvenne raggiante d'immensa luce il venerando Visnu, pensato da Brahma nell' immortal sua mente, siccome atto ad estirpar colui; Allora Brahma colla schiera de' Celesti così parlò a Visnu: Tu sei il conforto delle gente oppresse, O distruttor di Madhu: noi quindi a te supplichiamo afflitti: sia tu nostro sostegno, O Aciuto. Dite, loro rispose Visnu, quale cosa io debba far per voi; e gli Dei, udite queste parole, cosi soggiunsero: Un re per nome Dasaratha, giusto, virtuoso, veridico e pio, non ha progenie e la desidera: ei già s' impose durissime penitenze, ed ora ha sacrificato con un Asvamedha: tu, per nostro consiglio, O Visnu, consenti a divenir suo figlio: fatte di te quattro parti, ti manifesta, O invocato dalle genti, nel seno delle quattro sue consorti, simili alla venusta Dea. Così esortato dagli Dei quivi presenti, l'augusto Nârâyana loro rispose queste opportune parole: Quale opra s'ha da me, fatto visible nel mondo, a compiere per voi, O Devi? e d'onde in voi cotal terrore? Intese le parole di Visnu, così risposero gli Dei: ll nostro terrore, O Visnu, nasce da un Racsaso per nome Râvano, spavento dell' universo. Vestendo umano corpo, tu debhi esterminar costui. Nessuno fra i Celesti, fuorchè tu solo, è valevole ad uccidere quell' iniquo. Egli, O domator de' tuoi nemici, sostenne per lungo tempo acerbissime
macerazioni: per esse fu di lui contento l'augusto sommo Genitore: a un di gli accordò propizio la sicurezza da tutti gli esseri, eccettutine gli nomini. Per questo favore a lui concesso non ha egli a temere offesa da alcuna parte, fuorchè dall' uomo, perciò, assumendo la natura umana, costui tu uccidi. Egli, il peggior di tutti i Racsasi, insano per la forza che gli infonde il dono avuto, da travaglio ai Devi ed ai Gaudharvi, ai Risci, ai Muni ed ai mortali. Egli, sicuro da morte pel favore ottenuto, è turbatore dei sacrifizj, nemico ed uccisor dei Brahmi, divoratore degli uomini, peste del mondo. Da lui furono assaliti re coi loro carri ed elefanti; altri percossi e fugati si dispersero per ogni dove. Da lui furono divorati Risci ed Apsarase: egli insomma oltracotato continuamente e quasi per ischerzo tutti travaglia i sette mondi. Perciò, O terribile ai nemici è stabilita la morte di costui per opra d'un uomo; poich' un di per superbia del dono tutti sprezzò gli uomini. Tu, O supremo fra i Numi, dei, umanandoti, estirpare questo tremendo, superbo Ravano, oltracotato, a noi nemico, terrore e flagello dei penitenti.
De nouveau Rishyaçringa tint ce langage au Monarque: "Je vais célébrer un autre sacrifice, afin que le ciel accorde à tes voeux les enfants que tu souhaites." Cela dit, cherchant le bonheur du roi et pour l'accomplissement de son désir, le fils puissant de Vibhándaka se mit à célébrer ce nouveau sacrifice.
Là auparavant, étaient venus déjà recevoir une part de l'offrande les Dieux, accompagnés des Gaudharvas, et les Siddhas avec les Mounis divins, Brahma, le monarque des Souras, l'immuable S'iva, et l'auguste Náráyana, et les quatre gardiens vigilants du monde, et les mères des Immortels, et tous les Dieux, escortés des Yakshas, et le maître éminent du ciel, Indra, qui se manifestait aux yeux, environné par l'essaim des Maroutes. Alors ce jeune anachorète avait supplié tous les Dieux, que le desir d'une part dans l'offrande avait conduits à l' açwamédha, cette grande cérémonie de ce roi magnanime; et, dans ce moment, l' époux de S'ántá les conjurait ainsi pour la seconde fois: "Cet homme en prières, c'est le roi Daçaratha, qui est privé de fils. Il est rempli d' une foi vive; il s'est infligé de pénibles austérités; il vous a déjà servi, divinités augustes, le sacrifice d'un açwa-médha, et maintenant il s'étudie encore à vous plaire avec ce nouveau sacrifice dans l'espérance que vous lui donnerez les fils, où tendent ses désirs. Versez donc sur lui votre bienveillance et daignez sourire à son voeu pour des fils. C'est pour lui que moi ici, les mains jointes, je vous adresse à tous mes supplications: envoyez-lui quatre fils, qui soient vantés dans les trois mondes!"
"Oui! répondirent les Dieux au fils suppliant du rishi; tu mérites que nous t'écoutions avec faveur, toi, brahme saint, et même, en premier lieu, ce roi. Comme récompense de ces différents sacrifices, le monarque obtendra cet objet le plus cher de ses désirs."
Ayant aussi parlé et vu que le grand saint avait mis fin suivant les rites à son pieux sacrifice, les Dieux, Indra à leur tête, s'évanouissent dans le vide des airs et se rendent vers l'architecte des mondes, le souverain des créatures, le donateur des biens, vers Brahma enfin, auquel tous, les mains jointes, ils adressent les paroles suivantes: "O Brahma, un rakshasa, nommé Råvana, tourne au
mal les grâces, qu'il a reçues de toi. Dans son orgueil, il nous opprime tous; il opprime avec nous les grands anchorètes, qui se font un bonheur des macérations: car jadis, ayant su te plaire, O Bhagavat, il a reçu de toi ce don incomparable. "Oui, as-tu dit, exauçant le voeu du mauvais Génie; Dieu. Yaksha ou Démon ne pourra jamais causer ta mort!" Et nous, par qui ta parole est respectée, nous avons tout supporté de ce roi des rakshasas, qui écrase de sa tyrannie les trois mondes, ou il promène l'injure impunément. Enorgueilli de ce don victorieux, il opprime indignement les Dieux, les rishis, les Yakshas, les Gandharvas, les Asouras et les enfants de Manon. Là ou se tient Râvana, la peur empéche le soleil d'échauffer, le vent craint de souffler, et le feu n'ose flamboyer. A son aspect, la guirlande même des grands flots tremble au sein de la mer. Aceablé par sa vigueur indomptable, Kouvéra défait lui a cédé Lanká. Suave-nous donc, ô toi, qui reposes dans le bonheur absolu; sauve-nous de Râvana, le fléau des mondes. Daigne, ô toi, qui souris aux voeux du suppliant, daigne imaginer un expedient pour ôter la vie à ce cruel Démon." Les Dieux ayant ainsi dénoncé leurs maux à Brahma, il réfléchit un instant et leur tint ce langage: "Bien, voici que j'ai découvert un moyen pour tuer ce Génie scélérat. Que ni les Dieux, a-t-il dit, ni les rishis, ni les Gandharvas ni les Yakshas, ni les rakshasas, ni les Nágas même ne puissent me donner la mort! Soit lui ai-je répondu. Mais, par dédain pour la force humaine, les hommes n'ont pas été compris dans sa demande. C'est donc par la main d' un homme, qu'il faut immoler ce méchant." Ainsi tombée de la bouche du créateur, cette parole salutaire satisfit pleinement le roi des habitants du ciel et tous les Dieux avec lui. Lá, dans ce même instant, survint le fortuné Visnou, revêtu d' une splendeur infinie; car c'était a lui, que Brahma avait pensé dans son âme pour la mort du tyran. Celui-ci donc avec l'essaim des Immortels adresse à Vishnou ces paroles: "Meurtrier de Madhou, comrae tu aimes á tirer de l' affliction les êtres malheureux, nous te supplions, nous qui sommes plongés dans la tristesse, Divinité auguste, sois notre asyle!" "Dites! reprit Vishnou; que dois-je faire? "Ayant oui les paroles de l' ineffable, tous les Dieux repondirent: "Il est un roi nommé Daçaratha; il a embrassé une très-duré pénitence; il a célébré même le sacrifice d'un açwa-medha, parce qu'il n'a point de fils et qu'il veut en obtenir du ciel. Il est inébranlable dans sa piéte, il est vanté pour ses vertus; la justice est son caractère, la verite est sa parole. Acquiesce donc à notre demande, ô toi, Vishnou, et consens à naître comme son fils. Divisé en quatre portions de toi-même, daigne, ô toi qui foules aux pieds tes ennemis, daigne t' incarner dans le sein de ses trois épouses, belles comme la déesse de la beauté." Náráyana, le maître, non, perceptible aux sens, mais qui alors s' était rendu visible, Náráyana répondit cette parole salutaire aux Dieux, qui i invitaient à cet heroique avátara. Quelle chose, une fois revêtu de cette incarnation, faudra-t-il encore que je fasse pour vous, et de quelle part vient la terreur, qui vous trouble ainsi?' A ces mots du grand Vishnou: "C'est le démon Rávana, reprirent les Dieux; c'est lui, Vishnou, cette désolation des mondes, qui nous inspire un tel effroi. Enveloppe-toi d' un corps, humain, et qu'il te plaise arrâcher du monde cette blessante epine; car nul autre que toi parmi les habitants du ciel n'est capable d'immoler ce pécheur. Sache que longtemps il s'est imposé la plus austére pénitence, et que par elle il s'est rendu agreable au suprême ayeul de toutes les créatures. Aussi le distributeur ineffable des gràces lui a-t-il accordé ce don insigne d'être invulnérable à tous les êtres, l'
homme seul excepté. Puisque, doué ainsi de cette faveur, la mort terrible et s*ûre ne peut venir à lui de nulle autre part que de l'homme, va, dompteur puissant de tes ennemis, va dans la condition humaine, et tue-le. Car ce don, auquel on ne peut résister, élevant au plus haut point l'ivresse de sa force, le vil rakshasa, tourmente les Dieux, les rishis, les Gandharvas, les hommes sanctifiés par la pénitence; et, quoique, destructeur des sacrifices, lacérateur des Saintes E*critures, ennemi des brahmes, dévorateur des hommes, cette faveur incomparable sauve de la mort Rávana le triste fléau des mondes. Il ose attaquer les rois, que défendant les chars de guerre, que remparent les élephants: d'autres blessés et mis en fuite, sont dissipés ça et là devant lui. Il a dévoré des saints, il a dévoré même une foule d'apsaras. Sans cesse, dans son délire, il s'amuse à tourmenter les sept mondes. Comme on vient de nous apprendre qu' il n' a point daigné parler d'eux ce jour, que lui fut donnée cette faveur, dont il abuse, entre dans un corps humain, ô toi, qui peux briser tes ennemis, et jette sans vie à tes pieds, roi puissant des treize Dieux, ce Rávana superbe, d'une force épouvantable, d'un orgueil immense, l'ennemi de tous les ascètes, ce ver, qui les ronge, cette cause de leurs gémissements."
Ici, dans le premier tome du saint Râmâyana, Finit le quatorzième chapitre, nommé: UN EXPÉDIENT POUR TUER RÁVANA.
The Rámáyan ends, epically complete, with the triumphant return of Ráma and his rescued queen to Ayodhyá and his consecration and coronation in the capital of his forefathers. Even if the story were not complete, the conclusion of the last Canto of the sixth Book, evidently the work of a later hand than Válmíki's, which speaks of Ráma's glorious and happy reign and promises blessings to those who read and hear the Rámáyan, would be sufficient to show that, when these verses were added, the poem was considered to be finished. The Uttarakánda or Last Book is merely an appendix or a supplement and relates only events antecedent and subsequent to those described in the original poem. Indian scholars however, led by reverential love of tradition, unanimously ascribe this Last Book to Válmíki, and regard it as part of the Ráamáyan.
Signor Gorresio has published an excellent translation of the Uttarakánda, in Italian prose, from the recension current in Bengal; 1 and Mr. Muir has epitomized a portion of the book in the Appendix to the Fourth Part of his Sanskrit Texts (1862). From these scholars I borrow freely in the following pages, and give them my hearty thanks for saving me much wearisome labour.
"After Ráma had returned to Ayodhyá and taken possession of the throne, the rishis [saints} assembled to greet him, and Ágastya, in answer to his questions recounted many particulars regarding his old enemies. In the Krita Yuga (or Golden Age) the austere and pious Brahman rishi Pulastya, a son of Brahmá, being teased with the visits of different damsels, proclaimed that any one of them whom he again saw near his hermitage should become pregnant. This had not been heard by the daughter of the royal rishi Trinavindu, who one day came into Pulastya's neighbourhood, and her pregnancy was the result (Sect. 2, vv. 14 ff.). After her return home, her father, seeing her condition, took her to Pulastya, who accepted her as his wife, and she bore a son who received the name of Vis'ravas. This son was, like his father, an austere and religious sage. He married the daughter of the muni Bharadvája, who bore him a son to whom Brahmá gave the name of Vais'ravan--Kuvera (Sect. 3, vv. I ff). He performed austerities for thousands of years, when he obtained from Brahmá as a boon that he should be one of the guardians of the world (along with Indra, Varuna, and Yáma) and the god of riches. He afterwards consulted his father Vis'ravas about an abode, and at his suggestion took possession of the city of Lanká, which had formerly been built by Vis'vakarman for the Ráxasas, but had been abandoned by them through fear of Vishnu, and was at that time unoccupied. Ráma then (Sect. 4) says he is surprised to hear that Lanká had formerly belonged to the Ráxasas, as he had always understood that they were the descendants of Pulastya, and now he learns that they had also another origin. He therefore asks who was their ancestor, and what fault they had committed that they were chased away by Vishnu. Àgastya replies that when Brahmá created the waters, he formed certain beings,--some of whom received the name of Ráxasas,--to guard them. The first Ráxasa kings were Heti and Praheti. Heti married a sister of Kála (Time). She bore him a son Vidyutkes'a, who in his turn took for his wife Lankatankatá, the daughter of Sandhyá (V. 21). She bore him a son Sukes'a, whom she abandoned, but he was seen by S'iva as he was passing by with his wife Párvatí, who made the child as old as his mother, and immortal, and gave him a celestial city. Sukes'a married a Gandharví called Devavatí who bore three sons, Mályavat, Sumáli and Máli. These sons practised intense austerities, when Brahmá appeared and conferred on them invincibility and long life. They then harassed the gods. Vis'vakarman gave them a city, Lanká, on the mountain Trikúta, on the shore of
the southern ocean, which he had built at the command of Indra....The three Ráxasas, Mályavat and his two brothers, then began to oppress the gods, rishis, etc.; who (Sect. 6, v.1 ff.) in consequence resort for aid to Mahádeva, who having regard to his protégé Sukes'a the father of Mályavat, says that he cannot kill the Ráxasas. but advises the suppliants [*supplicants?*} to go to Vishnu, which they do, and receive from him a promise that he will destroy their enemies. The three Ráxasa kings, hearing of this, consult together, and proceed to heaven to attack the gods. Vishnu prepares to meet them. The battle is described in the seventh section. The Ráxasas are defeated by Vishnu with great slaughter, and driven back to Lanká, one of their leaders, Máli, being slain. Mályavat remonstrates with. Vishnu, who was assaulting the rear of the fugitives, for his unwarrior-like conduct, and wishes to renew the combat (Sect. 8, v. 3 ff.). Vishnu replies that he must fulfil his promise to the gods by slaying the Ráxasas, and that he would destroy them even if they fled to Pátála. These Ráxasas, Agastya says, were more powerful than Rávana, and, could only be destroyed by Náráyana, i.e. by Ráma himself, the eternal, indestructible god. Sumáli with his family lived for along time in Pátála, while Kuvera dwelt in Lanká. In section 9 it is related that Sumáli once happened to visit the earth, when he observed Kuvera going in his chariot to see his father Vis'ravas. This leads him to consider how he might restore his own fortunes. He consequently desires his daughter Kaikasí to go and woo Vis'ravas, who receives her graciously. She becomes the mother of the dreadful Rávana, of the huge Kumbhakarna, of Súrpanakhá, and of the righteous Vibhíshana, who was the last son. These children grow up in the forest. Kumbhakarna goes about eating rishis. Kuvera comes to visit his father, when Kaikasí takes occasion to urge her son Rávana to strive to become like his brother (Kuvera) in splendour. This Rávana promises to do. He then goes to the hermitage of Gokarna with his brothers to perform austerity. In section 10 their austere observances are described: after a thousand years' penance Rávana throws his head into the fire. He repeats this oblation nine times after equal intervals, and is about to do it the tenth time, when Brahmá appears, and offers a boon. Rávana asks immortality, but is refused. He then asks that he may be indestructible by all creatures more powerful than men; which boon is accorded by Brahmá together with the recovery of all the heads he had sacrificed and the power of assuming any shape he pleased. Vibhíshana asks as his boon that "even amid the greatest calamities he may think only of righteousness, and that the weapon of Brahmá may appear to him unlearnt, etc. The god grants his request, and adds the gift of immortality. When Brahmá is about to offer a boon to Kumbhakarna, the gods interpose, as, they say, he had eaten seven Apsarases and ten followers of Indra, besides rishis and men; and beg that under the guise of a boon stupefaction may be inflicted on him. Brahmá thinks on Sarasvatí, who arrives and, by Brahmá's command, enters into Kumbhakarna's mouth that she may speak for him. Under this influence he asks that he may receive the boon of sleeping for many years, which is granted. When however Sarasvatí has left him, and he recovers his own consciousness, he perceives that he has been deluded. Kuvera by his father's advice, gives up the city of Lanká to Rávana." 1 Rávana marries (Sect. 12,) Mandodarí the beautiful daughter of the Asur Maya whose
name has several times occurred in the Rámáyan as that of an artist of wonderful skill. She bears a son Meghanáda or the Roaring Cloud who was afterwards named Indrajit from his victory over the sovereign of the skies. The conquest of Kuvera, and the acquisition of the magic self-moving chariot which has done much service in the Rámáyan, form the subject of sections XIII., XIV. and XV. "The rather pretty story of Vedavatí is related in the seventeenth section, as follows: Rávana in the course of his progress through the world, comes to the forest on the Himálaya, where he sees a damsel of brilliant beauty, but in ascetic garb, of whom he straightway becomes enamoured. He tells her that such an austere life is unsuited to her youth and attractions, and asks who she is and why she is leading an ascetic existence. She answers that she is called Vedavatí, and is the vocal daughter of Vrihaspati's son, the rishi Kus'adhvája, sprung from him during his constant study of the Veda. The gods, gandharvas, etc., she says, wished that she should choose a husband, but her father would give her to no one else than to Vishnu, the lord of the world, whom he desired for his son-in-law. Vedavati then proceeds: "In order that I may fulfil this desire of my father in respect of Náráyana, I wed him with my heart. Having entered into this engagement I practise great austerity. Náráyana and no other than he, Purushottama, is my husband. From the desire of obtaining him, I resort to this severe observance. Rávana's passion is not in the least diminished by this explanation and he urges that it is the old alone who should seek to become distinguished by accumulating merit through austerity, prays that she who is so young and beautiful shall become his bride; and boasts that he is superior to Vishnu. She rejoins that no one but be would thus contemn that deity. On receiving this reply he touches the hair of her head with the tip of his finger. She is greatly incensed, and forthwith cuts off her hair and tells him that as he has so insulted her, she cannot continue to live, but will enter into the fire before his eyes. She goes on "Since I have been insulted in the forest by thee who art wicked-hearted, I shall be born again for thy destruction. For a man of evil desire cannot be slain by a woman; and the merit of my austerity would be lost if I were to launch a curse against thee. But if I have performed or bestowed or sacrificed aught may I be born the virtuous daughter, not produced from the womb, of a righteous man." Having thus spoken she entered, the blazing fire. Then a shower of celestial flowers fell (from every part of the sky). It is she, lord, who, having been Vedavatí in the Krita age, has been born (in the Treta age) as the daughter of the king of the Janakas, and (has become) thy [Ráma's] bride; for thou art the eternal Vishnu. The mountain-like enemy who was [virtually] destroyed before by her wrath, has now been slain by her having recourse to thy superhuman energy." On this the commentator remarks: "By this it is signified that Sítá was the principal cause of Rávana's death; but the function of destroying him is ascribed to Ráma." On the words,"thou art Vishnu," in the preceding verse the same commentator remarks: "By this it is clearly affirmed that Sítá was Laxmí. This is what Parás'ara says: "In the god's life as Ráma, she became Sítá, and in his birth as Krishna [she became] Rukminí." 1
In the following section (XVIII.) "Rávana is described as violently interrupting a sacrifice which is being performed by king Marutta, and the assembled
gods in terror assume different shapes to escape; Indra becomes a peacock, Yama a crow, Kuvera a lizard, and Varuna a swan; and each deity bestows a boon on the animal he had chosen. The peacock's tail recalls Indra's thousand eyes; the swan's colour becomes white, like the foam of the ocean (Varuna being its lord); the lizard obtains a golden colour; and the crow is never to die except when killed by a violent death, and the dead are to enjoy the funeral oblations when they have been devoured by the crows." 1
Rávan then attacks Arjuna or Kárttavírya the mighty king of Máhishmati on the banks of the Narmadá, and is defeated, captured and imprisoned by Arjuna. At the intercession of Pulastya (Sect. XXII.) he is released from his bonds. He then visits Kishkindhá where he enters into alliance with Báli the King of the Vánars: "We will have all things in common," says Rávan, "dames, sons, cities and kingdoms, food, vesture, and all delights." His next exploit is the invasion of the kingdom of departed spirits and his terrific battle with the sovereign Yama. The poet in his description of these regions with the detested river with waves of blood, the dire lamentations, the cries for a drop of water, the devouring worm, all the tortures of the guilty and the somewhat insipid pleasures of the just, reminds one of the scenes in the under world so vividly described by Homer, Virgil, and Dante. Yama is defeated (Sect. XXVI.) by the giant, not so much by his superior power as because at the request of Brahmá Yama refrains from smiting with his deadly weapon the Rákshas enemy to whom that God had once given the promise that preserved him. In the twenty-seventh section Rávan goes "under the earth into Pátála the treasure-house of the waters inhabited by swarms of serpents and Daityas, and well defended by Varun." He subdues Bhogavati the city ruled by Vásuki and reduces the Nágas or serpents to subjection. He penetrates even to the imperial seat of Varun. The God himself is absent, but his sons come forth and do battle with the invader. The giant is victorious and departs triumphant. The twenty-eighth section gives the details of a terrific battle between Rávan and Mándhátá King of Ayodhya, a distinguished ancestor of Ráma. Supernatural weapons are employed on both sides and the issue of the conflict is long doubtful. But at last Mándhátá prepares to use the mighty weapon "acquired by severe austerities through the grace and favour of Rudra." The giant would inevitably have been slain. But two pre-eminent Munis Pulastya and Gálava beheld the fight through the power given by contemplation, and with words of exhortation they parted King Mándhátá and the sovereign of the Rákshases. Rávan at last (Sect. XXXII.) returns homeward carrying with him in his car Pushpak the virgin daughters of kings, of Rishis, of Daityas, and Gandharvas whom he has seized upon his way. The thirty-sixth section describes a battle with Indra. in which the victorious Meghanáda son of the giant, makes the King of the Gods his prisoner, binds him with his magic art, and carries him away (Sect. XXVII.) in triumph to Lanká. Brahmá intercedes (Sect. XXXVIII.) and Indrajit releases his prisoner *** obtaining in return the boon that sacrifice to the Lord of Fire shall always make him invincible in the coming battle. In sections XXXIX, XL, "we have a legend related to Ráma by the sage Agastya to account for the stupendous strength of the monkey Hanumat, as it had been described in the Rámáyana. Rama naturally wonders (as
perhaps many readers of the Rámáyana have done since) why a monkey of such marvellous power and prowess had not easily overcome Báli and secured the throne for his friend Sugríva. Agastya replies that Hanumat was at that time under a curse from a Rishi, and consequently was not conscious of his own might." 1 The whole story of the marvellous Vánar is here given at length, but nothing else of importance is added to the tale already given in the Rámáyana. The Rishis or saints then (Sect. XL.) return to their celestial seats, and the Vánars, Rákshases and bears also (Sect. XLIII.) take their departure. The chariot Pushpak is restored to its original owner Kuvera, as has already been related in the Rámáyan.
The story of Ráma and Sitá is then continued, and we meet with matter of more human interest. The winter is past and the pleasant spring-time is come, and Ráma and Sitá sit together in the shade of the As'oka trees happy as Indra and S'achí when they drink in Paradise the nectar of the Gods. "Tell me, my beloved," says Ráma, "for thou wilt soon be a mother, hast thou a wish in thy heart for me to gratify?" And Sitá smiles and answers: "I long, O son of Raghu, to visit the pure and holy hermitages on the banks of the Ganges and to venerate the feet of the saints who there perform their rigid austerities and live on roots and berries. This is my chief desire, to stand within the hermits' grove were it but for a single day," And Ráma said: "Let not the thought trouble thee: thou shalt go to the grove of the ascetics," But slanderous tongues have been busy in Ayodhyá, and Sitá has not been spared. Ráma hears that the people are lamenting his blind folly in taking back to his bosom the wife who was so long a captive in the palace of Rávan. Ráma well knows her spotless purity in thought, word, and deed, and her perfect love of him; but he cannot endure the mockery and the shame and resolves to abandon his unsuspecting wife. He orders the sad but still obedient Lakshman to convey her to the hermitage which she wishes to visit and to leave her there, for he will see her face again no more. They arrive at the hermitage, and Lakshman tells her all. She falls fainting on the ground, and when she recovers her consciousness sheds some natural tears and bewails her cruel and undeserved lot. But she resolves to live for the sake of Ráma and her unborn son, and she sends by Lakshman a dignified message to the husband who has forsaken her: "I grieve not for myself," she says " because I have been abandoned on account of what the people say, and not for any evil that I have done, The husband is the God of the wife, the husband is her lord and guide; and what seems good unto him she should do even at the cost of her life."
Sitá is honourably received by the saint Válmiki himself, and the holy women of the hermitage are charged to entertain and serve her. In this calm retreat she gives birth to two boys who receive the names of Kus'a and Lava. They are carefully brought up and are taught by Válmiki himself to recite the Rámáyan. The years pass by: and Ráma at length determines to celebrate the As'vamedha or Sacrifice of the Steed. Válmiki, with his two young pupils, attends the ceremony, and the unknown princes recite before the delighted father the poem which recounts his deeds. Ráma inquires into their history and recognizes them as his sons. Sitá is invited to return and solemnly affirm her innocence before the great assembly.
"But Sitá's heart was too full; this second ordeal was beyond even her. power to submit to, and the poet rose above the ordinary Hindu level of women
when be ventured to paint her conscious purity as rebelling: "Beholding all the spectators, and clothed in red garments, Sítá clasping her hands and bending low her face, spoke thus in a voice choked with tears: 'as I, even in mind, have never thought of any other than Ráma, so may Mádhaví the goddess of Earth, grant me a hiding-place.' As Sítá made this oath, lo! a marvel appeared. Suddenly cleaving the earth, a divine throne of marvellous beauty rose up, borne by resplendent dragons on their heads: and seated on it, the goddess of Earth, raising Sítá with her arm, said to her, 'Welcome to thee!' and placed her by her side. And as the queen, seated on the throne, slowly descended to Hades, a continuous shower of flowers fell down from heaven on her head." 1
"Both the great Hindu epics thus end in disappointment and sorrow. In the Mahábhárata the five victorious brothers abandon the hardly won throne to die one by one in a forlorn pilgrimage to the Himálaya; and in the same way Ráma only regains his wife, after all his toils, to lose her. It is the same in the later Homeric cycle-the heroes of the Iliad perish by ill-fated deaths. And even Ulysses, after his return to Ithaca, sets sail again to Thesprotia, and finally falls by the hand of his own son. But in India and Greece alike this is an afterthought of a self-conscious time, which has been subsequently added to cast a gloom on the strong cheerfulness of the heroic age." 2
"The termination of Ráma's terrestrial career is thus told in Sections 116 ff. of the Uttarakánda. Time, in the form of an ascetic, comes to his palace gate, and asks, as the messenger of the great rishi (Brahmá) to see Ráma. He is admitted and received with honour, but says, when he is asked what he has to communicate, that his message must be delivered in private, and that any one who witnesses the interview is to lose his life. Ráma informs Laxmana of all this, and desires him to stand outside. Time then tells Ráma that he has been sent by Brahmá, to say that when he (Ráma, i.e. Vishnu) after destroying the worlds was sleeping on the ocean, he had formed him (Brahmá) from the lotus springing from his navel, and committed to him the work of creation; that he (Brahmá) had then entreated Ráma to assume the function of Preserver, and that the latter had in consequence become Vishnu, being born as the son of Aditi, and had determined to deliver mankind by destroying Rávana, and to live on earth ten thousand and ten hundred years; that period, adds Time, was now on the eve of expiration, and Ráma could either at his pleasure prolong his stay on earth, or ascend to heaven and rule over the gods, Ráma replies, that he had been born for the good of the three worlds, and would now return to the place whence he had come, as it was his function to fulfil the purposes of the gods. While they are speaking the irritable rishi Durvásas comes, and insists on seeing Ráma immediately, under a threat, if refused, of cursing Ráma and all his family.
Laxmana, preferring to save his kinsman, though knowing that his own death must he the consequence of interrupting the interview of Ráma with Time, enters the palace and reports the rishi's message to Ráma. Ráma comes out, and
when Durvásas has got the food he wished, and departed, Ráma reflects with great distress on the words of Time, which require that Laxmana should die. Laxmana however exhorts Ráma not to grieve, but to abandon him and not break his own promise. The counsellors concurring in this advice, Ráma abandons Laxmana, who goes to the river Sarayú, suppresses all his senses, and is conveyed bodily by Indra to heaven. The gods are delighted by the arrival of the fourth part of Vishnu. Ráma then resolves to install Bharata as his successor and retire to the forest and follow Laxmana. Bharata however refuses the succession, and determines to accompany his brother. Ráma's subjects are filled with grief, and say they also will follow him wherever he goes. Messengers are sent to S'atrughna, the other brother, and he also resolves to accompany Ráma; who at length sets out in procession from his capital with all the ceremonial appropriate to the "great departure," silent, indifferent to external objects, joyless, with S'rí on his right, the goddess Earth on his left, Energy in front, attended by all his weapons in human shapes, by the Vedas in the forms of Brahmans, by the Gáyatri, the Omkára, the Vashatkára, by rishis, by his women, female slaves, eunuchs, and servants. Bharata with his family, and S'atrughna, follow together with Brahmans bearing the sacred fire, and the whole of the people of the country, and even with animals, etc., etc. Ráma, with all these attendants, comes to the banks of the Sarayú. Brahmá, with all the gods and innumerable celestial cars, now appears, and all the sky is refulgent with the divine splendour, Pure and fragrant breezes blow, a shower of flowers falls. Ráma enters the waters of the Sarayú; and Brahmá utters a voice from the sky, saying: "Approach, Vishnu; Rághava, thou hast happily arrived, with thy godlike brothers. Enter thine own body as Vishnu or the eternal ether. For thou art the abode of the worlds: no one comprehends thee, the inconceivable and imperishable, except the large-eyed Máyá thy primeval spouse." Hearing these words, Ráma enters the glory of Vishnu with his body and his followers. He then asks Brahmá to find an abode for the people who had accompanied him from devotion to his person, and Brahmá appoints them a celestial residence accordingly." 1
'A curious festival is celebrated in honour of this divinity (Lakshmí) on the fifth lunar day of the light half of the month Mâgha (February), when she is identified with Saraswatí the consort of Brahmá, and the goddess of learning. In his treatise on festivals, a great modern authority, Raghunandana, mentions, on the faith of a work called Samvatsara-sandipa, that Lakshmí is to be worshipped in the forenoon of that day with flowers, perfumes, rice, and water; that due honour is to be paid to inkstand and writing-reed, and no writing to be done. Wilson, in his essay on the Religious Festivals of the Hindus (works, vol. ii, p. 188. ff.). adds that on the morning of the 2nd February, the whole of the pens and inkstands, and the books, if not too numerous and bulky, are collected, the pens or reeds cleaned, the inkstands scoured, and the books wrapped up in new cloth, are arranged upon a platform, or a sheet, and strewn over with flowers and blades of young barley, and that no flowers except white are to be offered. After performing the necessary rites,.........all the members of the family assemble and make their prostrations; the books, the pens, and ink having an entire holiday; and should any emergency require a written communication on the day dedicated to the divinity of scholarship, it is done with chalk or charcoal upon a black or white board.'
Chambers's Encyclopaedia. Lakshmí.
'The Hindu Jove or Jupiter Tonans, chief of the secondary deities. He presides over swarga or paradise, and is more particularly the god of the atmosphere and winds. He is also regent of the east quarter of the sky. As chief of the deities he is called Devapati, Devadeva, Surapati, etc; as lord of the atmosphere Divaspati: as lord of the eight Vasus or demigods, Fire, etc., Vásava: as breaking cities into fragments, Purandara, Puranda: as lord of a hundred sacrifices (the performance of a hundred As'vamedhas elevating the sacrficer to the rank of Indra) S'atakratu, S'atamakha; as having a thousand eyes, Sahasráksha; as husband of S'achí, S'achípati. His wife is called S'achí, Indrání, Sakrání, Maghoni, Indras'akti, Pulomajá. and Paulomi. His son is Jayanta. His pleasure garden or elysium is Nandana; his city, Amarávati; his palace, Vaijayanta; his horse, Uchchaihs'ravas, his elephant, Airávata; his charioteer, Mátali.'
Professor M. William's English-Sanskrit Dictionary. Indra.
'The second person of the Hindu triad, and the most celebrated and popular of all the Indian deities. He is the personification of the preserving power, and became incarnate in nine different forms, for the preservation of mankind in various emergencies. Before the creation of the universe, and after its temporary annihilation, he is supposed to sleep on the waters, floating on the serpent Sesha, and is then identified with Náráyana. Brahmá, the creator, is fabled to spring at that time from a lotus which grows from his navel, whilst thus asleep ..... ......His ten avatárs or incarnations are:
I. The Matsya, or fish. In this avatár Vishnu descended in the form of a fish to save the pious king Satyavrata, who with the seven Rishis and their wives had taken refuge in the ark to escape the deluge which then destroyed the earth. 2, The Kúrma, or Tortoise. In this he descended in the form of a tortoise, for the purpose of restoring to man some of the comforts lost during the flood. To this end he stationed himself at the bottom of the ocean, and allowed the point of the great mountain Mandara to be placed upon his back, which served as a hard axis, whereon the gods and demons, with the serpent Vásuki twisted round the mountain for a rope, churned the waters for the recovery of the amrita or nectar, and fourteen other sacred things. 3. The Varáha, or Boar. In this he descended in the form of a boar to rescue the earth from the power of a demon called 'golden-eyed,' Hiranyáksha. This demon had seized on the earth and carried it with him into the depths of the ocean. Vishnu dived into the abyss, and after a contest of a thousand years slew the monster. 4 The Narasinha, or Man-lion. In this monstrous shape of a creature half-man, half-lion, Vishnu delivered the earth from the tyranny of an insolent demon called Hiranyakas'ipu. 5. Vámana, or Dwarf. This avatár happened in the second age of the Hindús or Tretáyug, the four preceding are said to have occurred in the first or Satyayug; the object of this avatár was to trick Balí out of the dominion of the three worlds. Assuming the form of a wretched dwarf he appeared before the king and asked, as a boon, as much land as he could pace in three steps. This was granted; and Vishnu immediately expanding himself till he filled the world, deprived Balí at two steps of heaven and earth, but in consideration of some merit, left Pátála still in his dominion. 6. Parasuráma. 7. Rámchandra, 8. Krishna, or according to some Balaráma. 9. Buddha. In this avatár Vishnu descended in the form of a sage for the purpose of making some reform in the religion of the Brahmins, and especially to reclaim them from their proneness to animal sacrifice. Many of the Hindús will not allow this to have been an incarnation of their favourite god. 10. Kalki, or White Horse. This is yet to come. Vishnu mounted on a white horse, with a drawn scimitar, blazing like a comet, will, according to prophecy, end this present age, viz. the fourth or Kaliyug, by destroying the world, and then renovating creation by an age of purity.'
WILLIAMS'S DICTIONARY. Vishnu.
A celebrated Hindú God, the Destroyer of creation, and therefore the most formidable of the Hindú Triad. He also personifies reproduction, since the Hindú philosophy excludes the idea of total annihilation without subsequent regeneration. Hence he is sometimes confounded with Brahmá, the creator or first person of the Triad. He is the particular God of the Tántrikas, or followers of the books called Tantras. His worshippers are termed S'aivas, and although not so numerous as the Vaishnavas, exalt their god to the highest place in the heavens, and combine in him many of the attributes which properly belong to the other deities. According to them S'iva is Time, Justice, Fire, Water, the Sun, the Destroyer and Creator. As presiding over generation, his type is the Linga, or Phallus, the origin probably of the Phallic emblem of Egypt and Greece. As the God of generation and justice, which latter character he shares with the god Yama, he is represented riding a white bull. His own colour, as well as that of the bull, is generally white, referring probably to the unsullied purity of Justice,
His throat is dark-blue; his hair of alight reddish colour, and thickly matted together, and gathered above his head like the hair of an ascetic. He is sometimes seen with two hands, sometimes with four, eight, or ten, and with five faces. He has three eyes, one being in the centre of his forehead, pointing up and down. These are said to denote his view of the three divisions of time, past, present, and future. He holds a trident in his hand to denote, as some say, his relationship to water, or according to others, to show that the three great attributes of Creator, Destroyer, and Regenerator are combined in him. His loins are enveloped in a tiger's skin. In his character of Time, he not only presides over its extinction, but also its astronomical regulation. A crescent or half-moon on his forehead indicates the measure of time by the phases of the moon; a serpent forms one of his necklaces to denote the measure of time by years, and a second necklace of human skulls marks the lapse and revolution of ages, and the extinction and succession of the generations of mankind. He is often represented as entirely covered with serpents, which are the emblems of immortality. They are bound in his hair, round his neck, wrists, waist, arms and legs; they serve as rings for his fingers, and earrings for his ears, and are his constant companions, S'iva has more than a thousand names which are detailed at length in the sixty-ninth chapter of the S'iva Purán'a.--WILLIAMS'S DICTIONARY, S'iva.
'Originally these deities seem to have been personifications of the vapours which are attracted by the sun, and form into mist or clouds: their character may be thus interpreted in the few hymns of the Rigveda where mention is made of them. At a subsequent period when the Gandharva of the Rigveda who personifies there especially the Fire of the Sun, expanded into the Fire of Lightning, the rays of the moon and other attributes of the elementary life of heaven as well as into pious acts referring to it, the Apsarasas become divinities which represent phenomena or objects both of a physical and ethical kind closely associated with that life; thus in the Yajurveda Sunbeams are called the Apsarasas associated with the Gandharva who is the Sun; Plants are termed the Apsarasas connected with the Gandharva Fire: Constellations are the Apsarasas of the Gandharva Moon: Waters the Apsarasas of the Gandharva Wind, etc. etc.................... In the last Mythological epoch when the Gandharvas have saved from their elementary nature merely so much as to be musicians in the paradise of Indra, the Apsarasas appear among other subordinate deities which share in the merry life of Indra's heaven, as the wives of the Gandharvas, but more especially as wives of a licentious sort, and they are promised therefore, too, as a reward to heroes fallen in battle when they are received in the paradise of Indra; and while, in the Rigveda, they assist Soma to pour down his floods, they descend in the epic literature on earth merely to shake the virtue of penitent Sages and to deprive them of the power they would otherwise have acquired through unbroken austerities.'--GOLDSTÜCKER'S Sanskrit Dictionary.
VISHN'U'S INCARNATION AS RÁMA.
'Here is described one of the avatárs, descents or manifestations of Vishn'u in a visible form. The word avatár signifies literally descent. The avatár which is here spoken of, that in which, according to Indian traditions, Vishn'u descended
and appeared upon earth in the corporeal form of Ráma, the hero of the Rámáyana, is the seventh in the series of Indian avatars. Much has been said before now of these avatars, and through deficient knowledge of the ideas and doctrines of India, they have been compared to the sublime dogma of the Christian Incarnation. This is one of the grossest errors that ignorance of the ideas and beliefs of a people has produced. Between the avatars of India and the Christian Incarnation there is such an immensity of difference that it is impossible to find any reasonable analogy that can approximate them. The idea of the avatars is intimately united with that of the Trimúrti; the bond of connection between these two ideas is an essential notion common to both, the notion of Vishnu. What is the Trimurti? I have already said that it is composed of three Gods, Brahma (masculine), Vishnu the God of avatárs, and S'iva. These three Gods, who when reduced to their primitive and most simple expression are but three cosmogonical personifications, three powers or forces of nature, these Gods, I say, are here found, according to Indian doctrines, entirely external to the true God of India, or Brahma in the neuter gender. Brahma is alone, unchangeable in the midst of creation: all emanates from him, he comprehends all, but he remains extraneous to all: he is Being and the negation of beings. Brahma is never worshipped; the indeterminate Being is never invoked; he is inaccessible to the prayers as the actions of man; humanity, as well as nature, is extraneous to him. External to Brahma rises the Trimurti, that is to say, Brahmá (masculine) the power which creates, Vishnu the power which preserves, and S'iva the power which destroys: theogony here commences at the same time with cosmogony. The three divinities of the Trimurti govern the phenomena of the universe and influence all nature. The real God of India is by himself without power; real efficacious power is attributed only to three divinities who exist externally to him. Brahmá, Vishnu, and S'iva, possessed of qualities in part contradictory and attributes that are mutually exclusive, have no other accord or harmony than that which results from the power of things itself, and which is found external to their own thoughts. Such is the Indian Trimurti. What an immense difference between this Triad and the wonderful Trinity of Christianity! Here there is only one God, who created all, provides for all, governs all. He exists in three Persons equal to one another, and intimately united in one only infinite and eternal substance. The Father represents the eternal thought and the power which created, the Son infinite love, the Holy Spirit universal sanctification. This one and triune God completes by omnipotent power the great work of creation which, when it has come forth from His hands, proceeds in obedience to the laws which He has given it, governed with certain order by His infinite providence.
The immense difference between the Trimurti of India and the Christian Trinity is found again between the avatars of Vishnu and the Incarnation of Christ. The avatar was effected altogether externally to the Being who is in India regarded as the true God, The manifestation of one essentially cosmogonical divinity wrought for the most part only material and cosmogonical prodigies. At one time it takes the form of the gigantic tortoise which sustains Mount Mandar from sinking in the ocean; at another of the fish which raises the lost Veda from the bottom of the sea, and saves mankind from the waters. When these avatars are not cosmogonical they consist in some protection accorded to
men or Gods, a protection which is neither universal nor permanent. The very manner in which the avatár is effected corresponds to its material nature, for instance the mysterious vase and the magic liquor by means of which the avatár here spoken of takes place. What are the forms which Vishn'u takes in his descents? They are the simple forms of life; he becomes a tortoise, a boar, a fish, but he is not obliged to take the form of intelligence and liberty, that is to say, the form of man, In the avatár of Vishn'u is discovered the inpress of pantheistic ideas which have always more or less prevailed in India. Does the avatár produce a permanent and definitive result in the world? By no means. It is renewed at every catastrophe either of nature or man, and its effects are only transitory........... To sum up then, the Indian avatár is effected externally to the true God of India, to Brahma; it has only a cosmogonical or historical mission which is neither lasting nor decisive; it is accomplished by means of strange prodigies and magic transformations; it may assume promiscuously all the forms of life; it may be repeated indefinitely. Now let the whole of this Indian idea taken from primitive tradition be compared with the Incarnation of Christ and it will be seen that there is between the two an irreconcilable difference. According to the doctrines of Christianity the Everlasting Word, Infinite Love, the Son of God, and equal to Him, assumed a human body, and being born as a man accomplished by his divine act the great miracle of the spiritual redemption of man. His coming had for its sole object to bring erring and lost humanity back to Him; this work being accomplished, and the divine union of men with God being re-established, redemption is complete and remains eternal.
The superficial study of India produced in the last century many erroneous ideas, many imaginary and false parallels between Christianity and the Brahmanical religion. A profounder knowledge of Indian civilization and religion, and philological studies enlarged and guided by more certain principles have dissipated one by one all those errors. The attributes of the Christian God, which by one of those intellectual errors, which Vico attributes to the vanity of the learned, had been transferred to Vishnu, have by a better inspired philosophy been reclaimed for Christianity, and the result of the two religions, one immovable and powerless, the other diffusing itself with all its inherent force and energy, has shown further that there is a difference, a real opposition, between the two principles.'--GORRESIO.
KUS'A AND LAVA, Page 10.
As the story of the banishment of Sítá and the subsequent birth in Válmíki's hermitage of Kus'a and Lava the rhapsodists of the Rámáyan, is intimately connected with the account in the introductory cantos of Válmíki's composition of the poem, I shall, I trust, be pardoned for extracting it from my rough translation of Kálidása's Raghuvan's'a, parts only of which have been offered to the public.
'Then, day by day, the husband's hope grew high,
Gazing with love on Sítá's melting eye:
With anxious care he saw her pallid cheek,
And fondly bade her all her wishes speak.
'Once more I fain would see,' the lady cried,
'The sacred groves that rise on Gangá's side,
Where holy grass is ever fresh and green,
And cattle feeding on the rice are seen:
There would I rest awhile, where once I strayed
Linked in sweet friendship to each hermit maid.'
And Ráma smiled upon his wife, and sware,
With many a tender oath, to grant her prayer.
It chanced, one evening, from a lofty seat
He viewed Ayodhyá stretched before his feet:
He looked with pride upon the royal road
Lined with gay shops their glittering stores that showed,
He looked on Sarjú's silver waves, that bore
The light barks flying with the sail and oar;
He saw the gardens near the town that lay,
Filled with glad citizens and boys at play.
Then swelled the monarch *bosom with delight,
And his heart triumphed at the happy sight.
He turned to Bhadra, standing by his side,--
Upon whose secret news the king relied.--
And bade him say what people said and thought
Of all the exploits that his arm had wrought.
The spy was silent, but, when questioned still.
Thus spake, obedient to his master's will:
'For all thy deeds in peace and battle done
The people praise thee. King, except for one:
This only act of all thy life they blame,--
Thy welcome home of her, thy ravished dame.'
Like iron yielding to the iron's blow.
Sank Ráma, smitten by those words of woe.
His breast, where love and fear for empire vied,
Swayed, like a rapid swing, from side to side.
Shall he this rumour scorn, which blots his life,
Or banish her, his dear and spotless wife?
But rigid Duty left no choice between
His perilled honour and his darling queen.
Called to his side, his brothers wept to trace
The marks of anguish in his altered face.
No longer bright and glorious as of old.
He thus addressed them when the tale was told:
'Alas! my brothers, that my life should blot
The fame of those the Sun himself begot:
As from the labouring cloud the driven rain
Leaves on the mirror's polished face a stain.
E'en as an elephant who loathes the stake
And the strong chain he has no power to break,
I cannot brook this cry on every side,
That spreads like oil upon the moving tide.
I leave the daughter of Videha's King,
And the fair blossom soon from her to spring,
As erst, obedient to my sire's command,
I left the empire of the sea-girt land.
Good is my queen, and spotless; but the blame
Is hard to bear, the mockery and the shame.
Men blame the pure Moon for the darkened ray.
When the black shadow takes the light away
And, O my brothers, if ye wish to see
Ráma live long from this reproach set free,
Let not your pity labour to control
The firm sad purpose of his changeless soul.'
Thus Ráma spake. The sorrowing brothers beard
His stern resolve, without an answering word;
For none among them dared his voice to raise,
That will to question:--and they could not praise.
'Beloved brother,' thus the monarch cried
To his dear Lakshman, whom he called aside.--
Lakshman, who knew no will save his alone
Whose hero deeds through all the world were known:--
'My queen has told me that s*he longs to rove
Beneath the shade of Saint Válmíki's grove:
Now mount thy car, away my lady bear;
Tell all, and leave her in the forest there.'
The car was brought, the gentle lady smiled,
As the glad news her trusting heart beguiled.
She mounted up: Sumantra held the reins;
And forth the coursers bounded o'er the plains.
She saw green fields in all their beauty dressed,
And thanked her husband in her loving breast.
Alas! deluded queen! she little knew
How changed was he whom she believed so true;
How one she worshipped like the Heavenly Tree
Could, in a moment's time, so deadly be.
Her right eye throbbed,--ill-omened sign, to tell
The endless loss of him she loved so well,
And to the lady's saddening heart revealed
The woe that Lakshman, in his love, concealed.
Pale grew the bloom of her sweet face,--as fade
The lotus blossoms,--by that sign dismayed.
'Oh. may this omen,'--was her silent prayer,--
'No grief to Ráma or his brothers bear I'
When Lakshman, faithful to his brother, stood
Prepared to leave her in the distant wood,
The holy Gangá, flowing by the way,
Raised all her hands of waves to bid him stay.
At length with sobs and burning tears that rolled
Down his sad face, the king's command he told;
As when a monstrous cloud, in evil hour,
Rains from its labouring womb a stony shower.
She heard, she swooned, she fell upon the earth,
Fell on that bosom whence she sprang to birth.
As, when the tempest in its fury flies,
Low in the dust the prostrate creeper lies,
So, struck with terror sank she on the ground,
And all her gems, like flowers, lay scattered round.
But Earth, her mother, closed her stony breast.
And, filled with doubt, denied her daughter rest.
She would not think the Chief of Raghu's race
Would thus his own dear guiltless wife disgrace.
Stunned and unconscious, long the lady lay,
And felt no grief, her senses all astray.
But gentle Lakshman, with a brother's care,
Brought back her sense, and with her sense, despair.
But not her wrongs, her shame, her grief, could wring
One angry word against her lord the King:
Upon herself alone the blame she laid.
For tears and sighs that would not yet be stayed.
To soothe her anguish Lakshman gently strove;
He showed the path to Saint Válmíki's grove;
And craved her pardon for the share of ill
He wrought, obedient to his brother's will.
'O, long and happy, dearest brother, live!
I have to praise', she cried,' and not forgive:
To do his will should be thy noblest praise;
As Vishn'u ever Indra's will obeys.
Return, dear brother: on each royal dame
Bestow a blessing in poor Sítá's name,
And bid them, in their love, kind pity take
Upon her offspring, for the father's sake.
And speak my message in the monarch's ear,
The last last words of mine that he shall hear:
'Say, was it worthy of thy noble race
Thy guiltless queen thus lightly to disgrace?
For idle tales to spurn thy faithful bride,
Whose constant truth the searching fire had tried?
Or may I hope thy soul refused consent,
And but thy voice decreed my banishment?
Hope that no care could turn, no love could stay
The lightning stroke that falls on me to-day?
That sins committed in the life that's fled
Have brought this evil on my guilty head?
Think not I value now my widowed life,
Worthless to her who once was Ráma's wife.
I only live because I hope to see
The dear dear babe that will resemble thee.
And then my task of penance shall be done,
With eyes uplifted to the scorching sun;
So shall the life that is to come restore
Mine own dear husband, to be lost no more.'
And Lakshman swore her every word to tell,
Then turned to go, and bade the queen farewell.
Alone with all her woes, her piteous cries
Rose like a butchered lamb's that struggling dies.
The reverend sage who from his dwelling came
For sacred grass and wood to feed the flame,
Heard her loud shrieks that rent the echoing wood,
And, quickly following, by the mourner stood.
Before the sage the lady bent her low,
Dried her poor eyes, and strove to calm her woe.
With blessings on her hopes the blameless man
In silver tones his soothing speech began:
'First of all faithful wives, O Queen, art thou;
And can I fail to mourn thy sorrows now?
Rest in this holy grove, nor harbour fear
Where dwell in safety e'en the timid deer.
Here shall thine offspring safely see the light,
And be partaker of each holy rite.
Here, near the hermits' dwellings, shall thou lave
Thy limbs in *Tonse's* sin-destroying wave,
And on her isles, by prayer and worship, gain
Sweet peace of mind, and rest from care and pain.
Each hermit maiden with her sweet soft voice,
Shall soothe thy woe, and bid thy heart rejoice:
With fruit and early flowers thy lap shall fill,
And offer grain that springs for us at will.
And here, with labour light, thy task shall be
To water carefully each tender tree,
And learn how sweet a nursing mother's joy
Ere on thy bosom rest thy darling boy.'
That very night the banished Sítá bare
Two royal children, most divinely fair.
The saint Válmíki, with a friend's delight,
Graced Sítá's offspring with each holy rite.
Kus'a and Lava--such the names they bore--
Learnt, e'en in childhood, all the Vedas' lore;
And then the bard, their minstrel souls to train,
Taught them to sing his own immortal strain.
And Ráma's deeds her boys so sweetly sang,
That Sítá's breast forgot her bitterest pang.
Then Sítá's children, by the saint's command,
Sang the Rámáyan, wandering through the land.
How could the glorious poem fail to gain
Each heart, each ear that listened to the strain!
So sweet each minstrel's voice who sang the praise
Of Ráma deathless in Válmíki's lays.
Ráma himself amid the wondering throng
Marked their fair forms, and loved the noble song,
While, still and weeping, round the nobles stood,
As, on a windless morn, a dewy wood.
On the two minstrels all the people gazed,
Praised their fair looks and marvelled as they praised;
For every eye amid the throng could trace
Ráma's own image in each youthful face.
Then spoke the king himself and bade them say
Who was their teacher, whose the wondrous lay.
Soon as Válmíki, mighty saint, he saw,
He bowed his head in reverential awe.
'These are thy children' cried the saint,'recall
Thine own dear Sítá, pure and true through all.
'O holy father,' thus the king replied,
'The faithful lady by the fire was tried;
But the foul demon's too successful arts
Raised light suspicions in my people's hearts.
Grant that their breasts may doubt her faith no more,
And thus my Sítá and her sons restore.'
Raghuvans'a Cantos XIV, XV.
PARAS'URÁMA, PAGE 87.
'He cleared the earth thrice seven times of the Kshatriya caste, and filled with their blood the five large lakes of Samanta, from which he offered libations to the race of Bhrigu. Offering a solemn sacrifice to the King of the Gods Paras'uráma presented the earth to the ministering priests. Having given the earth to Kas'vapa, the hero of immeasurable prowess retired to the Mahendra mountain, where he still resides; and in this manner was there enmity between him and the race of the Kshatriyas, and thus was the whole earth conquered by Paras'uráma.' The destruction of the Kshatriyas by Paras'uráma had been provoked by the cruelty of the Kshatriyas. Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. II. p.334.
The scene in which he appears is probably interpolated for the sake of making him declare Ráma to be Vishnu. 'Herr von Schlegel has often remarked to me,' says Lassen,'that without injuring the connexion of the story all the chapters [of the Rámáyan} might be omitted in which Ráma is regarded as an incarnation of Vishn'u. In fact, where the incarnation of Vishn'u as the four sons of Das'aratha is described, the great sacrifice is already ended, and all the priests remunerated at the termination, when the new sacrifice begins at which the Gods appear, then withdraw, and then first propose the incarnation to Vishnu,
If it had been an original circumstance of the story, the Gods would certainly have deliberated on the matter earlier, and the celebration of the sacrifice would have continued without interruption.' LASSEN, Indische Alterthumskunde, Vol. I. p.489.
YAMA, PAGE 68.
Son of Vivasvat=Jima son of Vivanghvat, the Jamahid of the later Persians.
FATE PAGE 68.
'The idea of fate was different in India from that which prevailed in Greece. In Greece fate was a mysterious, inexorable power which governed men and human events, and from which it was impossible to escape. In India Fate was rather an inevitable consequence of actions done in births antecedent to one's present state of existence, and was therefore connected with the doctrine of metempsychosis. A misfortune was for the most part a punishment, an expiation of ancient faults not yet entirely cancelled.' GORRESIO.
VIS'VÁMITRA. PAGE 76.
'Though of royal extraction, Vis'vámitra conquered for himself and his family the privileges of a Brahman. He became a Brahman, and thus broke through all the rules of caste. The Brahmans cannot deny the fact, because it forms one of the principal subjects of their legendary poems. But they have spared no pains to represent the exertions of Vis'vámitra, in his struggle for Brahmanhood, as so superhuman that no one would easily be tempted to follow his example. No mention is made of these monstrous penances in the Veda, where the struggle between Vis'vámitra, the leader of the Kus'ikas or Bharatas, and the Brahman Vas'ishtha, the leader of the white-robed Tritsus, is represented as the struggle of two rivals for the place of Purohita or chief priest and minister at the court of King Sudás, the son of Pijavana.' Chips from a German Workshop, Vol. II. p.336.
HOUSEHOLD GODS, PAGE 102.
'No house is supposed to be without its tutelary divinity, but the notion attached to this character is now very far from precise. The deity who is the object of hereditary and family worship, the Kuladeváta, is always one of the leading personages of the Hindu mythology, as S'iva, Vishnu or Durgá, but the Grihadevatá rarely bears any distinct appellation. In Bengal, the domestic god is sometimes the Sábagrám stone, sometimes the tulasi plant, sometimes a basket with a little rice in it, and sometimes a water-jar--to either of which a brief adoration is daily addressed, most usually by the females of the family. Occasionally small images of Lakshmi or Chandi fulfil the office, or should a snake appear, he is venerated as the guardian of the dwelling. In general, however, in former times, the household deities were regarded as the unseen spirits of ill, the ghosts and goblins who hovered about every spot, and claimed some particular sites as their own. Offerings were made to them in the open air, by scattering a little rice with a short formula at the close of all ceremonies to keep them in good humour.
The household gods correspond better with the genii locorum than with the lares or penates of autiquity.' H. H. WILSON
The following is a free version of this very ancient story which occurs more than once in the Mahábhárat:
THE SUPPLIANT DOVE.
Chased by a hawk there came a dove
With worn and weary wing,
And took her stand upon the hand
Of Kás'í's mighty king.
The monarch smoothed her ruffled plumes
And laid her on his breast,
And cried, 'No fear shall vex thee here,
Rest, pretty egg-born, rest!
Fair Kás'i's realm is rich and wide,
With golden harvests gay,
But all that's mine will I resign
Ere I my guest betray.'
But panting for his half won spoil
The hawk was close behind.
And with wild cry and eager eye
Came swooping down the wind:
'This bird', he cried, 'my destined prize,
'Tis not for thee to shield:
'Tis mine by right and toilsome flight
O'er hill and dale and field.
Hunger and thirst oppress me sore,
And I am faint with toil:
Thou shouldst not stay a bird of prey
Who claims his rightful spoil.
They say thou art a glorious king,
And justice is thy care:
Then justly reign in thy domain,
Nor rob the birds of air.'
Then cried the king: 'A cow or deer
For thee shall straightway bleed,
Or let a ram or tender lamb
Be slain, for thee to feed.
Mine oath forbids me to betray
My little twice-born guest:
See how she clings with trembling wings
To her protector's breast.'
'No flesh of lambs,' the hawk replied,
'No blood of deer for me;
The falcon loves to feed on doves
And such is Heaven's decree.
But if affection for the dove
Thy pitying heart has stirred,
Let thine own flesh my maw refresh,
Weighed down against the bird.'
He carved the flesh from off his side,
And threw it in the scale,
While women's cries smote on the skies
With loud lament and wail.
He hacked the flesh from side and arm,
From chest and back and thigh,
But still above the little dove
The monarch's scale stood high.
He heaped the scale with piles of flesh,
With sinews, blood and skin,
And when alone was left him bone
He threw himself therein.
Then thundered voices through the air;
The sky grew black as night;
And fever took the earth that shook
To see that wondrous sight.
The blessed Gods, from every sphere,
By Indra led, came nigh:
While drum and flute and shell and lute
Made music in the sky.
They rained immortal chaplets down,
Which hands celestial twine,
And softly shed upon his head
Pure Amrit, drink divine.
Then God and Seraph, Bard and Nymph
Their heavenly voices raised,
And a glad throng with dance and song
The glorious monarch praised.
They set him on a golden car
That blazed with many a gem;
Then swiftly through the air they flew,
And bore him home with them.
Thus Kás'í's lord, by noble deed,
Won heaven and deathless fame:
And when the weak protection seek
From thee, do thou the same.
Scenes from the Ramayan, &c.
The ceremonies that attended the consecration of a king (Abhisheka lit. Sprinkling over) are fully described in Goldstücker's Dictionary, from which the following extract is made: 'The type of the inauguration ceremony as practised at the Epic period may probably be recognized in the history of the inauguration of Ráma, as told in the Rámáyana, and in that of the inauguration of Yudhishtira, as told in the Mahábháratha. Neither ceremony is described in these poems
with the full detail which is given of the vaidik rite in the Aitareya-Bráhmanam; but the allusion that Ráma was inaugurated by Vasishtha and the other Bráhmanas in the same manner as Indra by the Vasus...and the observation which is made in some passages that a certain rite of the inauguration was performed 'according to the sacred rule'...admit of the conclusion that the ceremony was supposed to have taken place in conformity with the vaidik injunction.... As the inauguration of Ráma was intended and the necessary preparations for it were made when his father Das'aratha was still alive, but as the ceremony itself, through the intrigues of his step-mother Kaikeyí, did not take place then, but fourteen years later, after the death of Das'aratha, an account of the preparatory ceremonies is given in the Ayodhyákánda (Book II) as well as in the Yuddha-Kánda (Book VI.) of the Rámáyana, but an account of the complete ceremony in the latter book alone. According to the Ayodhyákánda, on the day preceding the intended inauguration Ráma and his wife Sítá held a fast, and in the night they performed this preliminary rite: Ráma having made his ablutions, approached the idol of Náráyana, took a cup of clarified butter, as the religious law prescribes, made a libation of it into the kindled fire, and drank the remainder while wishing what was agreeable to his heart. Then, with his mind fixed on the divinity he lay, silent and composed, together with Sítá, on a bed of Kus'a-grass, which was spread before the altar of Vishnu, until the last watch of the night, when he awoke and ordered the palace to be prepared for the solemnity. At day-break reminded of the time by the voices of the bards, he performed the usual morning devotion and praised the divinity. In the meantime the town Ayodhyá had assumed a festive appearance and the inauguration implements had been arranged...golden water-jars, an ornamented throne-seat, a chariot covered with a splendid tiger-skin, water taken from the confluence of the Ganges and Jumna, as well as from other sacred rivers, tanks, wells, lakes, and from all oceans, honey, curd, clarified butter, fried grain, Kus'a-grass, flowers, milk; besides, eight beautiful damsels, and a splendid furious elephant, golden and silver jars, filled with water, covered with Udumbara branches and various lotus flowers, besides a white jewelled chourie, a white splendid parasol, a white bull, a white horse, all manner of musical instruments and bards....In the preceding chapter...there are mentioned two white chouries instead of one, and all kinds of seeds, perfumes and jewels, a scimitar, a bow, a litter, a golden vase, and a blazing fire, and amongst the living implements of the pageant, instead of the bards, gaudy courtesans, and besides the eight damsels, professors of divinity, Bráhmanas, cows and pure kinds of wild beasts and birds, the chiefs of town and country-people and the citizens with their train.'
'Now about the office of a Purohita (house priest). The gods do not eat the food offered by a king, who has a house-priest (Purohita). Thence the king even when (not) intending to bring a sacrifice, would appoint a Bráhman to the office of house-priest.' HA*UG'S A*dureya Bráhmanam. Vol. II. p. 523. 35
The Sáras or Indian Crane is a magnificent bird easily domesticated and speedily constituting himself the watchman of his master's house and garden. Unfortunately he soon becomes a troublesome and even dangerous dependent, attacking strangers with his long bill and powerful wings, and warring especially upon 'small infantry' with unrelenting ferocity.
All the wives of the king his father are regarded and spoken of by Ráma as his mothers.
Mythology regards Vritra as a demon or Asur, the implacable enemy of Indra, but this is not the primitive idea contained in the name of Vritra. In the hymns of the Veda Vritra appears to be the thick dark cloud which Indra the God of the firmament attacks and disperses with his thunderbolt.' GORRESIO.
'In that class of Rig-veda hymns which there is reason to look upon as the oldest portion of Vedic poetry, the character of Indra is that of a mighty ruler of the firmament, and his principal feat is that of conquering the demon Vritra, a symbolical personification of the cloud which obstructs the clearness of the sky, and withholds the fructifying rain from the earth. In his battles with Vritra he is therefore described as 'opening the receptacles of the waters,' as 'cleaving the cloud' with his 'far-whirling thunderbolt,' as 'casting the waters down to earth.' and 'restoring the sun to the sky.' He is in consequence 'the upholder of heaven, earth, and firmament,' and the god 'who has engendered the sun and the dawn.' CHAMBERS'S CYCLOPÆDIA, lndra.
'Throughout these hymns two images stand out before us with overpowering distinctness. On one side is the bright god of the heaven, as beneficent as he is irresistible: on the other the demon of night and of darkness, as false and treachorous as he is malignant... The latter (as his name Vritra, from var, to veil, indicates) is pre-eminently the thief who hides away the rain-clouds... But the myth is yet in too early a state to allow of the definite designations which are brought before us in the conflicts of Zeus with Typhôn and his monstrous progeny, of Apollôn with the Pythôn, of Bellerophôn with Chimaira of Oidipous with the Sphinx, of Hercules with Cacus, of Sigurd with the dragon Fafnir; and thus not only is Vritra known by many names, but he is opposed sometimes by Indra, sometimes by Agni the fire-god, sometimes by Trita, Brihaspati, or other deities; or rather these are all names of one and the same god:
Cox's Mythology of the Aryan Nations. Vol. II. p. 326.
The Moly of Homer, which Dierbach considers to have been the Mandrake, is probably a corruption of the Sanskrit Múla a root.
The Neem tree, especially in the Rains, emits a strong unpleasant smell like that of onions. Its leaves however make an excellent cooling poultice, and the Extract of Neem is an admirable remedy for cutaneous disorders.
The following account of the origin of the Nishádas is taken from Wilson's Vishnu Purána, Book I. Chap. 15. 'Afterwards the Munis beheld a great dust arise, and they said to the people who were nigh: "What is this?" And the people answered and said: "Now that the kingdom is without a king, the dishonest men have begun to seize the property of their neighbours. The great dust that you behold, excellent Munis, is raised by troops of clustering robbers, hastening to fall upon their prey." The sages, hearing this, consulted, and together rubbed the thigh of the king (Vena), who had left no offspring, to produce a son. From the thigh, thus rubbed, came forth a being of the complexion of a charred stake, with flattened features like a negro, and of dwarfish stature. "What am I to do," cried he eagerly to the Munis. "Sit down (nishída)," said they. And thence his name was Nisháda. His descendants, the inhabitants of the Vindhyá mountain, great Muni, are still called Nishádas and are characterized by the exterior tokens of depravity.' Professor Wilson adds, in his note on the passage: 'The Matsya says that there were born outcast or barbarous races, Mlechchhas, as black as collyrium. The Bhágavata describes an individual of dwarfish stature, with short arms and legs, of a complexion as black as a crow, with projecting chin, broad flat nose, red eyes, and tawny hair, whose descendants were mountaineers and foresters. The Padma (Bhúmi Khanda) has a similar deccription; adding to the dwarfish stature and black complexion, a wide mouth, large ears, and a protuberant belly. It also particularizes his posterity as Nishádas, Kirátas, Bhillas, and other barbarians and Mlechchhas, living in woods and on mountains. These passages intend, and do not much exaggerate, the uncouth appearance of the Gonds, Koles, Bhils, and other uncivilized tribes, scattered along the forests and mountains of Central India from Behar to Khandesh, and who are, not improbably, the predecessors of the present occupants of the cultivated portions of the country. They are always very black, ill-shapen, and dwarfish, and have countenances of a very African character.'
Manu gives a different origin of the Nishádas as the offspring of a Bráhman father and a Súdra mother. See Muir's Sanskrit Texts, Vol. I. p. 481.
The rites performed in India on the completion of a house are represented in modern Europe by the familiar 'house-warming.'
One of the regal or military caste was forbidden to kill an elephant except in battle.
'The punishment which the Code of Manu awards to the slayer of a Brahman was to be branded in the forehead with the mark of a headless corpse, and entirely banished from society; this being apparently commutable for a fine. The poem is therefore in accordance with the Code regarding the peculiar guilt of killing Brahmans; but in allowing a hermit who was not a Divija (twice-born) to go to heaven, the poem is far in advance of the Code. The youth in the poem is allowed to read the Veda, and to accumulate merit by his own as well as his fathers pious acts; whereas the exclusive Code reserves all such privileges to Divijas, invested with the sacred cord.' Mrs. SPEIR'S Life in Ancient India, p. 107.
THE PRAISE OF KINGS.
'Compare this magnificent eulogium of kings and kingly government with what Samuel says of the king and his authority: And Samuel told all the words of the LORD unto the people that asked of him a king.
And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen: and some shall run before his chariots.
And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties, and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instrument of war, and instruments of his chariots.
And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
And he will take your fields, and your vineyards and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
And he will take your men-servants, and your maid-servants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you. I. Samuel, VIII.
In India kingly government was ancient and consecrated by tradition: whence to change it seemed disorderly and revolutionary: in Judea theocracy was ancient and consecrated by tradition, and therefore the innovation which would substitute a king was represented as full of dangers.' GORRESIO.
S'ÁLMALÍ PAGE 1:6.
According to the Bengal recension S'álmalí appears to have been another name of the Vipás'á. S'álmalí may be an epithet signifying rich in Bombax heptaphyllon. The commentator makes another river out of the word.
BHARATH'S RETURN, PAGE 178.
'Two routes from Ayodhyá to Rájagriha or Girivraja are described. That taken by the envoys appears to have been the shorter one, and we are not told why Bharath returned by a different road. The capital of the Kekeyas lay to the west of the Vipás'á. Between it and the S'atadru stretched the country of the Bahikas. Upon the remaining portion of the road the two recensions differ. According to that of Bengal there follow towards the east the river Indamatí, then the town Ajakála belonging to the Bodhi, then Bhulingá, then the river S'aradandá. According to the other instead of the first river comes the Ikshumatí...instead of the first town Abhikála, instead of the second Kulingá, then the second river. According to the direction of the route both the above-mentioned rivers must be tributaries of the S'atadrú...The road then crossed the Yamnuná (Jumna), led beyond that river through the country of the Panchálas, and reached the Ganges at Hástinapura, where the ferry was. Thence it led over the Rámagangá and its eastern tributaries, then over the Gomati, and then in a southern direction along the Málini, beyond which it reached Ayodhyá*. In Bharath's journey the following rivers are passed from west to east: Kutikeshtiká, Uttániká, Kutiká, Kapívatí, Gomatí according to Schlegel, and Hiranyairatí, Uttáriká, Kvtilá, Kapivati, Gomatí according to Gorresio. As these rivers are to be looked for on the east of the Ganges, the first must be the modern K*oh, a small affluent of the Rámagangá, over which the highway cannot have gone as it bends too far to the north. The Uttániká or Uttáriká must be the Rámagangá,the Kutiká or Kutilá its eastern tributary Kos'ilá, the Kapívatí the next tributary which on the maps has different names, Gurra or above Kailas,
lower down Bhaigu. The Gomatí (Goomtee) retains its old name. The Máliní, mentioned only in the envoys' journey, must have been the western tributary of the Sarayú now called Chuká.' LASSEN'S Indische Alterthumskunde, Vol. II. P. 524,
'Indian belief divided the universe into several worlds (lokáh). The three principal worlds were heaven, earth, and hell. But according to another division there were seven: Bhúrloka or the earth, Bhuvarloka or the space between the earth and the sun, the seat of the Munis, Siddhas, &c., Svarloka or the heaven of Indra between the sun and the polar star, and the seventh Brahmaloka or the world of Brahma. Spirits which reached the last were exempt from being born again.' GORRESIO.
This mention of lambent flames emitted by herbs at night may be compared with Lucan's description of a similar phenomenon in the Druidical forest near Marseilles, (Pharsalia, III. 420.).
Seneca, speaking of Argolis, (Thyestes, Act IV), says:--
Thus also the bush at Horeb (Exod. II.) flamed, but was not consumed. The Indian explanation of the phenomenon is, that the sun before he sets deposits his rays for the night with the deciduous plants. See Journal of R. As. S. Bengal, Vol. II. p. 339.
Schlegel says in his Preface: 'Lubrico vestigio insistit V. Cl. *Heerenius*, prof. Gottingensis, in libro suo de commerciis veterum populorum (OPP. Vol. HIST. XII, pag. 129,) dum putat, ex mentione sectatorum Buddhae secundo libro Rameidos iniecta de tempore, quo totum carmen sit conditum, quicquam legitime concludi posse.... Sunt versus spurii, reiecti a Bengalis in sola commentatorum recensione leguntur. Buddhas quidem mille fere annis ante Christum natun visit: sed post multa demumsecula, odiointernecivo inter Brachmanos et Buddhae sectatores orto, his denique ex India pulsis, fingi potuit iniquissima criminatio, eos animi immortalitatem poenasque et praemia in vita futura negare. Praeterea metrum, quo concinnati sunt hi versus, de quo metro mox disseram, recentiorem aetatem arguit....Poenitet me nunc mei consilii, quod non statim ab initio,...eiecerim cuncta disticha diversis a sloco vulgari metris composita. Metra sunt duo: pariter ambo constant quatuor hemistichiis inter se aequalibus, alterum undenarum syllabarum, alterum duodenarum, hunc in modum:
Cuius generis versus in primo et secundo Rameidos libro nusquam nisi ad finem capitum apposita inveniuntur, et huic loco unice sunt acommodata, quasi peroratio, lyricis numeris assurgens, quo magis canorae cadant clausulae: sicut musici in concentibus extremis omnium vocum instrumentorumque ictu fortiore aures percellere amant. Igitur disticha illa non ante divisionem per capita illatam addi potuerunt: hanc autem grammaticis deberi argumento est ipse recensionum dissensus, manifesto inde ortus, quod singuli editores in ea constituenda suo quisque iudicio usi sunt; praeterquam quod non credibile est, poetam artis suae peritum narrationem continuam in membra tam minuta dissecuisse. Porro discolor est dictio: magniloquentia affectatur, sed nimis turgida illa atque effusa, nec sententiarum pondere satis suffulta. Denique nihil fere novi affertur: ampli ficantur prius dicta, rarius aliquid ex capite sequente anticipatur. Si quis appendices hosce legendo trasiliat, sentiet slocum ultimum cum primo capitis proximi apte coagmentatum, nec sine vi quadam inde avulsum. Eiusmodi versus exhibet utraque recensio, sed modo haec modo illa plures paucioresve numero, et lectio interdum magnopere variat.'
"The narrative of Ráma's exile in the jungle is one of the most obscure portions of the Rámáyana, inasmuch as it is difficult to discover any trace of the original tradition, or any illustration of actual life and manners, beyond the artificial life of self-mortification and selfdenial said to have been led by the Brahman sages of olden time. At the same time, however, the story throws some light upon the significance of the poem, and upon the character in which the Brahmanical author desired to represent Ráma; and consequently it deserves more serious consideration than the nature of the subject-matter would otherwise seem to imply.
According to the Rámáyana, the hero Ráma spent more than thirteen years of his exile in wandering amongst the different Brahmanical settlements, which appear to have been scattered over the country between the Ganges and the Godáveri; his wanderings extending from the hill of Chitra-kúta in Bundelkund, to the modern town of Nasik on the western side of India, near the source of the Godáveri river, and about seventy-five miles to the north-west of Bombay. The appearance of these Brahmanical hermitages in the country far away to the south of the Raj of Kasala, seems to call for critical inquiry. Each hermitage is said to have belonged to some particular sage, who is famous in Brahmanical tradition. But whether the sages named were really contemporaries of Ráma, or whether they could possibly have flourished at one and the same period, is open to serious question. It is of course impossible to fix with any degree of certainty the relative chronology of the several sages, who are said to have been visited by Ráma; but still it seems tolerably clear that some belonged to an age far anterior to that in which the Rámáyana was composed, and probably to an age anterior to that in which Ráma existed as a real and living personage; whilst, at least, one sage is to be found who could only have existed in the age during which the Rámáyana was produced in its present form. The main proofs of these inferences are as follows. An interval of many centuries seems to have elapsed between the composition of the Rig-Veda and that of the Rámáyana: a conclusion
which has long been proved by the evidence of language, and is generally accepted by Sanskrit scholars. But three of the sages, said to have been contemporary with Ráma, namely, Vis'vámitra, Atri and Agastya, are frequently mentioned in the hymns of the Rig-Veda; whilst Válmíki, the sage dwelling at Chitra-kúta, is said to have been himself the composer of the Rámáyana. Again, the sage Atri, whom Ráma visited immediately after his departure from Chitra-kúta, appears in the genealogical list preserved in the Mahá Bhárata, as the progenitor of the Moon, and consequently as the first ancestor of the Lunar race: whilst his grandson Buddha [Budha} is said to have married Ilá, the daughter of Ikhs'váku who was himself the remote ancestor of the Solar race of Ayodhyá, from whom Ráma was removed by many generations. These conclusions are not perhaps based upon absolute proof, because they are drawn from untrustworthy authorities; but still the chronological difficulties have been fully apprehended by the Pundits, and an attempt has been made to reconcile all contradictions by representing the sages to have lived thousands of years, and to have often re-appeared upon earth in different ages widely removed from each other. Modern science refuses to accept such explanations; and consequently it is impossible to escape the conclusion that if Válmíki composed the Rámáyana in the form of Sanskrit in which it has been preserved, he could not have flourished in the same age as the sages who are named in the Rig-Veda." WHEELER'S History of India, Vol. II, 229.
Umá or Párvatí, was the daughter of Himálaya and Mená. She is the heroine of Kálidása's Kumára-Sambhava, or Birth of the War-God.
"Kumbhakarna, the gigantic brother of the titanic Rávan,--named from the size of his ears which could contain a Kumbha or large water-jar--had such an appetite that he used to consume six months' provisions in a single day. Brahmá, to relieve the alarm of the world, which had begun to entertain serious apprehensions of being eaten up, decreed that the giant should sleep six months at a time and wake for only one day during which he might consume his six months' allowance without trespassing unduly on the reproductive capabilities of the earth." Scenes front the Rámáyan, p. 153, 2nd Edit.
The following spirited version of this old story is from the pen of Mr. W. Waterfield:
"[This is a favorite subject of Hindú sculpture, especially on the temples of Shiva, such as the caves of Elephanta and Ellora. It, no doubt, is an allegory of the contest between the followers of Shiva and the worshippers of the Elements, who observed the old ritual of the Vedas; in which the name of Shiva is never mentioned.}
Daksha for devotion
Made a mighty feast:
Milk and curds and butter,
Flesh of bird and beast,
Rice and spice and honey,
Sweetmeats ghí and gur, 1
Gifts for all the Bráhmans,
Food for all the poor.
At the gates of Gangá 2
Daksha held his feast;
Called the gods unto it,
Greatest as the least.
All the gods were gathered
Round with one accord;
All the gods but Umá,
All but Umá's lord.
Umá sat with Shiva
On Kailása hill:
Round them stood the Rudras
Watching for their will.
Who is this that cometh
Lilting to his lute?
All the birds of heaven
Heard his music, mute.
Round his head a garland
Rich of hue was wreathed:
Every sweetest odour
From its blossoms breathed.
'Tis the Muni Nárad;
'Mong the gods he fares,
Ever making mischief
By the tales he bears.
"Hail to lovely Umá!
Hail to Umá's lord!
Wherefore are they absent
For her father's board?
"Multiplied his merits
Would be truly thrice,
Could he gain your favour
For his sacrifice."
Worth of heart was Umá;
To her lord she spake:--
"Why dost thou, the mighty,
Of no rite partake?
"Straight I speed to Daksha
Such a sight to see:
If he be my father,
He must welcome thee."
Wondrous was in glory
Daksha's holy rite;
Never had creation
Viewed so brave a sight.
Gods, and nymphs, find fathers,
Sages, Bráhmans, sprites,--
Every diverge creature
Wrought that rite of rites.
Quickly then a quaking
Fell on all from far;
Umá stood among them
On her lion car.
"Greeting, gods and sages,
Greeting, father mine!
Work hath wondrous virtue,
Where such aids combine.
"Guest-hall never gathered
Seemeth all are welcome.
All the gods but me."
Spake the Muni Daksha,
Stern and cold his tone:--
"Welcome thou, too, daughter,
Since thou com'st alone.
"But thy frenzied husband
Suits another shrine;
He is no partaker
Of this feast of mine.
"He who walks in darkness
Loves no deeds of light:
He who herds with demons
Shuns each kindly sprite.
"Let him wander naked.--
Wizard weapons wield,--
Dance his frantic measure
Round the funeral field.
"Art thou yet delighted
With the reeking hide,
Body smeared with ashes.
Skulls in necklace tied?
"Thou to love this monster!
Thou to plead his part!
Know the moon and Gangá
Share that faithless heart
"Vainly art thou vying
With thy rivals' charms.
Are not coils of serpents
Softer than thine arms?"
Words like these from Daksha
Daksha's daughter heard:
Then a sudden passion
All her bosom stirred.
Eyes with fury flashing.
Speechless in her ire,
Headlong did she hurl her
'Mid the holy fire.
Then a trembling terror
Overcame each one,
And their minds were troubled
Like a darkened sun;
And a cruel Vision,
Face of lurid flame,
Umá's Wrath incarnate,
From the altar came.
Fiendlike forms by thousands
Started from his side,
'Gainst the sacrificers
All their might they plied:
Till the saints availed not
Strength like theirs to stay,
And the gods distracted
Turned and fled away.
Hushed were hymns and chanting,
Priests were mocked and spurned;
Food defiled and scattered;
Then, to save the object
Sought at such a price,
Like a deer in semblance
Sped the sacrifice.
Soaring toward the heavens,
Through the sky it fled?
But the Rudras chasing
Smote away its head.
Prostrate on the pavement
Daksha fell dismayed:--
"Mightiest, thou hast conquered
Thee we ask for aid.
"Let not our oblations
All be rendered vain;
Let our toilsome labour
Full fruition gain."
Bright the broken altars
Shone with Shiva's form;
"Be it so!" His blessing
Soothed that frantic storm.
Soon his anger ceases,
Though it soon arise;--
But the Deer's Head ever
Blazes in the skies."
Indian Ballads and other Poems.
URVASÎ, PAGE 286.
"The personification of Urvasî herself is as thin as that of Eôs or Selênê. Her name is often found in the Veda as a mere name for the morning, and in the plural number it is used to denote the dawns which passing over men bring them to old age and death. Urvasî is the bright flush of light overspreading the heaven before the sun rises, and is but another form of the many mythical beings of Greek mythology whose names take us back to the same idea or the same root. As the dawn in the Vedic hymns is called Urûkî, the far-going (Têlephassa, Têlephos), so is she also Uruasî, the wide-existing or wide-spreading; as are Eurôpê, Euryanassa, Euryphassa, and many more of the sisters of Athênê and Aphroditê. As such she is the mother of Vasishtha, the bright being, as Oidipous is the son of Iokastê; and although Vasishtha, like Oidipous, has become a mortal bard or sage, he is still the son of Mitra and Varuna, of night and day. Her lover Purûravas is the counterpart of the Hellenic Polydeukês; but the continuance of her union with him depends on the condition that she never sees him unclothed. But the Gandharvas, impatient of her long sojourn among mortal men resolved to bring her back to their bright home; and Purûravas is thus led unwitingly to disregard her warning. A ewe with two lambs was tied to her couch, and the Gandharvas stole one of them; Urvasî said, "They take away my darling, as if I lived in a land where there is no hero and no man." They stole the second, and she upbraided her husband again. Then Purûravas looked and said, "How can that be a land without heroes or men where I am?" And naked he sprang up; he thought it was too long to put on his dress. Then the Gandharvas sent a flash of lighting, and Urvasî saw her husband naked as by daylight. Then she vanished. "I come back," she said, and went. 'Then he bewailed his vanished love in bitter grief.' Her promise to return was fulfilled, but for a moment only, at the Lotos-lake, and Purûravas in vain beseeches her to tarry longer. 'What shall I do with thy
speech?' is the answer of Urvasî. 'I am gone like the first of the dawns. Purûravas, go home again. I am hard to be caught like the winds.' Her lover is in utter despair; but when he lies down to die, the heart of Urvasî was melted, and she bids him come to her on the last night of the year. On that night only he might be with her; but a son should be born to him. On that day he went up to the golden seats, and there Urvasî told him that the Gandharvas would grant him one wish, and that he must make his choice. 'Choose thou for me,' he said: and she answered, 'Say to them, Let me be one of you.'
Cox's Mythology of the Aryan Nations. Vol. I. p. 397
"Vánar is one of the most frequently occurring names by which the poem calls the monkeys of Ráma's army. Among the two or three derivations of which the word Vánar is susceptible, one is that which deduces it from [Sanskrit: **} which signifies a wood, and thus Vánar would mean a forester, an inhabitant of the wood. I have said elsewhere that the monkeys, the Vánars, whom Ráma led to the conquest of Ceylon were fierce woodland tribes who occupied the mountainous regions of the south of India, where their descendants may still be seen. I shall hence forth promiscuously employ the word Vánar to denote those monkeys, those fierce combatants of Ráma's army." GORRESIO.
Somewhat similarly in The Squire's Tale:
'He with a manly voice said his message, After the form used in his language, Withouten vice of syllable or of letter. And for his talë shouldë seem the better Accordant to his wordës was his chere, As teacheth art of speech them that it lere.
RÁMA'S ALLIANCE WITH SUGRÍVA.
"The literal interpretation of this portion of the Rámáyana is indeed deeply rooted in the mind of the Hindu. He implicitly believes that Ráma is Vishnu, who became incarnate for the purpose of destroying the demon Rávana: that he permitted his wife to be captured by Rávana for the sake of delivering the gods and Bráhmans from the oppressions of the Rákshasa; and that he ultimately assembled an army of monkeys, who were the progeny of the gods, and led them against the strong-hold of Rávana at Lanká, and delivered the world from the tyrant Rákshasa, whilst obtaining ample revenge for his own personal wrongs.
One other point seems to demand consideration, namely, the possibility of such an alliance as that which Ráma is said to have concluded with the monkeys. This possibility will of course be denied by modern critics, but still it is interesting to trace out the circumstances which seem to have led to the acceptance, of such a wild belief by the dreamy and marvel loving Hindi. The south of India swarms with monkeys of curious intelligence and rare physical powers. Their wonderful instinct for organization, their attachment to particular localities, their occasional journeys in large numbers over mountains and across rivers, their obstinate assertion of supposed rights, and the ridiculous caricature which they exhibit of all that is animal and emotional in man, would naturally create a deep impression.... Indeed the habits of monkeys well deserve to be patiently studied; not as they appear in confinement, when much that is revolting in their nature is developed, but as they appear living in freedom amongst the trees of the forest, or in the streets of crowded cities, or precincts of temples. Such a study would not fail to awaken strange ideas; and although the European would not be prepared to regard monkeys as sacred animals he might be led to speculate as to their origin by the light of data, which are at present unknown to the naturalist whose observations have been derived from the menagerie alone.
Whatever, however, may have been the train of ideas which led the Hindú to regard the monkey as a being half human and half divine, there can be little doubt that in the Rámáyana the monkeys of southern India have been confounded with what may be called the aboriginal people of the country. The origin of this confusion may be easily conjectured. Perchance the aborigines of the country may have been regarded as a superior kind of monkeys; and to this day the features of the Marawars, who are supposed to be the aborigines of the southern part of the Carnatic, are not only different from those of their neighbours, but are of a character calculated to confirm the conjecture. Again, it is probable that the army of aborigines may have been accompanied by outlying bands of monkeys impelled by that magpie-like curiosity and love of plunder which are the peculiar characteristics of the monkey race; and this incident may have given rise to the story that the army was composed of Monkeys." WHEELER'S History of India. Vol. II. pp. 316 ff.
THE FALL OF BÁLI, PAGE 342.
"As regards the narrative, it certainly seems to refer to some real event amongst the aboriginal tribes: namely, the quarrel between an elder and younger brother for the possession of a Ráj; and the subsequent alliance of Ráma with the younger brother. It is somewhat remarkable that Ráma appears to have formed an alliance with the wrong party, for the right of Báli was evidently superior to that of Sugríva; and it is especially worthy of note that Ráma compassed the death of Báli by an act contrary to all the laws of fair fighting. Again, Ráma seems to have tacitly sanctioned the transfer of Tárá from Báli to Sugríva, which was directly opposed to modern rule, although in conformity with the rude customs of a barbarous age; and it is remarkable that to this day the marriage of both widows and divorced women is practised by the Marawars, or aborigines of the southern Carnatic, contrary to the deeply-rooted prejudice which exists against such unions amongst the Hindús at large." WHEELER'S History of India, Vol. II. 324.
THE VÁNAR HOST, PAGE 370.
"The splendid Marutas form the army of Indras, the red-haired monkeys and bears that of Râmas; and the mythical and solar nature of the monkeys and bears of the Râmâyanam manifests itself several times. The king of the monkeys is a sun-god. Thc ancient king was named Bâlin, and was the son of Indras. His younger brother Sugrívas, he who changes his shape at pleasure (Kâmarúpas), who, helped by Râmas, usurped his throne, is said to be own child of the sun. Here it is evident that the Vedic antagonism between Indras and Vishnus is reproduced in a zoological and entirely apish form. The old Zeus must give way to the new, the moon to the sun, the evening to the morning sun, the sun of winter to that of spring; the young son betrays and overthrows the old one.... Râmas, who treacherously kills the old king of the monkeys, Bâlin, is the equivalent of Vishnus, who hurls his predecessor Indras from his throne; and Sugrívas, the new king of the monkeys resembles Indras when he promises to find the ravished Sítá, in the same way as Vishnus in one of his incarnations finds again the lost vedás. And there are other indications in the Râmâyanam of opposition between Indras and the monkeys who assist Râmas. The great monkey Hanumant, of the reddish colour of gold, has his jaw broken, Indras having struck him with his thunderbolt and caused him to fall upon a mountain, because, while yet a child, he threw himself off a mountain into the air in order to arrest the course of the sun, whose rays had no effect upon him. (The cloud rises from the mountain and hides the sun, which is unable of itself to disperse it; the tempest comes, and brings flashes of lightning and thunder-bolts, which tear the cloud in pieces.)
The whole legend of the monkey Hanumant represents the sun entering into the cloud or darkness, and coming out of it. His father is said to be now the wind, now the elephant of the monkeys (Kapikunjaras), now Kes'arin, the long-haired sun, the sun with a mane, the lion sun (whence his name of Kes'arinak putrah). From this point of view, Hanumant would seem to be the brother of Sugrívas, who is also the offspring of the sun....
All the epic monkeys of the Râmâyanam are described in the twentieth canto of the first book by expressions which very closely resemble those applied in the Vedic hymns to the Marutas, as swift as the tempestuous wind, changing their shape at pleasure, making a noise like clouds, sounding like thunder, battling, hurling mountain-peaks, shaking great uprooted trees, stirring up the deep waters, crushing the earth with their arms, making the clouds fall. Thus Bâlin comes out of the cavern as the sun out of the cloud....
But the legend of the monkey Hanumant presents another curious resemblance to that of Samson. Hanumant is bound with cords by Indrajit, son of Rávanas; he could easily free himself, but does not wish to do so. Rávanas to put him to shame, orders his tail to be burned, because the tail is the part most prized by monkeys....
The tail of Hanumant, which sets fire to the city of the monsters, is probably a personification of the rays of the morning or spring sun, which sets fire to the eastern heavens, and destroys the abode of tne nocturnal or winter monsters." DE GUBERNATIS, Zoological Mythology, Vol. II. pp. 100 ff.
"The Jaitwas of Rajputana, a tribe politically reckoned as Rajputs, nevertheless trace their descent from the monkey-god Hanuman, and confirm it by alleging that their princes still bear its evidence in a tail-like prolongation of the spine; a tradition which has probably a real ethnological meaning, pointing out the Jaitwas as of non-Aryan race." * TYLOR'S Primitive Culture, Vol. I. p. 341.
The names of peoples occurring in the following s'lokas are omitted in the metrical translation:
'Go to the Brahmamálas, 1 the Videhas, 2 the Málavas, 3 the Kás'ikos'alas, 4 the Mágadnas, 5 the Pundras, 6 and the Angas, 7 and the land of the weavers of silk, and the land of the mines of silver, and the hills that stretch into the sea, and the towns and the hamlets that are about the top of Mandar, and the Karnaprávaranas, 8 and the Oshthakarnakas, 9 and the Ghoralobamukhas, 10 and the
swift Ekapádakas 1 and the strong imperishable Eaters of Men, and the Kirátas 2 with stiff hair-tufts, men like gold and fair to look upon: And the Eaters of Raw Fish, and the Kirátas who dwell in islands, and the fierce Tiger-men 3 who live amid the waters.'
'Go to the Vidarbhas 4 and the Rishtikas 5 and the Mahishikas, 6 and the Matsyas 7 and Kalingas 8 and the Kausikas 9...and the Andhras 10 and the Pundras 11 and the Cholas 12 and the Pandyas 13 and the Keralas. 14 'Go to the
Mlechchhas 1 and the Pulindas 2 and the S'úrasenas, 3 and the Prasthalas and the Bharatas and Madrakas 4 and the Kámbojas 5 and the Yavanas 6 and the towns of the S'akas 7 and the Varadas. 8
NORTHERN KURUS, PAGE 378.
Professor Lassen remarks in the Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes, ii. 62: "At the furthest accessible extremity of the earth appears Harivarsha with the northern Kurus. The region of Hari or Vishnu belongs to the system of mythical geography; but the case is different with the Uttara Kurus. Here there is a real basis of geographical fact; of which fable has only taken advantage, without creating it. The Uttara Kurus were formerly quite independent of the mythical system of dvípas, though they were included in it at an early date." Again the same writer says at p. 65: "That the conception of the Uttara Kurus is based upon an actual country and not on mere invention, is proved (1) by the way in which they are mentioned in the Vedas; (2) by the
existence of Uttara Kuru in historical times as a real country; and (3) by the way in which the legend makes mention of that region as the home of primitive customs. To begin with the last point the Mahabharata speaks as follows of the freer mode of life which women led in the early world, Book I. verses 4719-22: 'Women were formerly unconfined and roved about at their pleasure, independent. Though in their youthful innocence they abandoned their husbands, they were guilty of no offence; for such was the rule in early times. This ancient custom is even now the law for creatures born as brutes, which are free from lust and anger. This custom is supported by authority and is observed by great rishia, and it is still practiced among the northern Kurus.'
"The idea which is here conveyed is that of the continuance in one part of the world of that original blessedness which prevailed in the golden age. To afford a conception of the happy condition of the southern Kurus it is said in another place M.-Bh, i. 4346. "The southern Kurus vied in happiness with the northern Kurus and with the divine rishis and bards."
Professor Lassen goes on to say: "Ptolemy (vi. 16.) is also acquainted with Uttara Kuru. He speaks of a mountain, a people, and a city called Ottorakorra. Most of the other ancient authors who elsewhere mention this name, have it from him. It is a part of the country which he calls Serica; according to him the city lies twelve degrees west from the metropolis of Sera, and the mountain extends from thence far to the eastward. As Ptolemy has misplaeed the whole of eastern Asia beyond the Ganges, the relative position which he assigns will guide us better that the absolute one, which removes Oitorakorra so far to the east that a correction is inevitable. According to my opinion the Ottorakorra of Ptolemy must be sought for to the east of Kashgar." Lassen also thinks that Magasthenes had the Uttara Kurus in view when he referred to the Hyperboreans who were fabled by Indian writers to live a thousand years. In his Indian antiquities, (Ind. Alterthumskunde, i. 511, 512. and note,) the same writer concludes that though the passages above cited relative to the Uttara Kurus indicate a belief in the existence of a really existing country of that name in the far north, yet that the descriptions there given are to be taken as pictures of an ideal paradise, and not as founded on any recollections of the northern origin of the Kurus. It is probable, he thinks, that some such reminiscences originally existed, and still survived in the Vedic era, though there is no trace of their existence in latter times." Muia's Santkrit Texts, Vol. II. pp. 336, 337.
Trust to these mighty Vanars.
The corresponding passage in the Bengal recension has "these silvans in the forms of monkeys, vanaran kapirupinah." "Here it manifestly appears," says Gorresio, "that these hosts of combatants whom Rama led to the coitqnest of Lanka (Ceylon) the kingdom and seat of the Hamitic race, and whom the poem calls monkeys, were in fact as I have elsewhere observed, inhabitants of the mountainous and southen regions of India, who were wild-looking and not altogether unlike monkeys. They were perhaps the remote ancestors of the Malay races."
All these exploits of Rávan are detailed in the Uttarakánda, and epitomized in the Appendix.
The Bráhman householder ought to maintain three sacred fires, the Gárhapatya, the Akavaniya and the Dakshina. These three fires were made use of in many Brahmanical solemnities, for example in funeral rites when the three fires were arranged in prescribed order.
"I have not noticed in the Uttara Kánda any story about the daughter of Varuna, but the commentator on the text (VI 60, 11) explains the allusion to her thus:
"The daughter of Varuna was Punjikasthalí. On her account, a curse of Brahmá, involving the penalty of death, [was pronounced} on the rape of women." MUIR, Sanskrit Texts, Part IV. Appendix.
"Here are indicated those admirable rites and those funeral prayers which Professor Müller has described in his excellent work, Die Todtenbestattung bei den Brahmanen, Sítá laments that the body of Ráma will not be honoured with those rites and prayers, nor will the Bráhman priest while laying the ashes from the pile in the bosom of the earth, pronounce over them those solemn and magnificent words: 'Go unto the earth, thy mother, the ample, wide, and blessed earth.... And do thou, O Earth, open and receive him as a friend with sweet greeting: enfold him in thy bosom as a mother wraps her child in her robes." GORRESIO.
We read in Josephus that Caesar was so well versed in chiromancy that when one day a soi-disant son of Herod had audience of him, he at once detected the impostor because his hand was destitute of all marks of royalty.
"Here the commentator explains: 'the battle resembled the dance of the Gandharvas,' in accordance with the notion of the Gandharvas entertained in his day. They were regarded as celestial musicians enlivening with their melodies
Indra's heaven and the banquets of the Gods. But the Gandharvas before becoming celestial musicians in popular tradition, were in the primitive and true signification of the name heroes, spirited and ardent warriors, followers of Indra, and combined the heroical character with their atmospherical deity. Under this aspect the dance of the Gandharvas may be a very different thing from what the commentator means, and may signify the horrid dance of war." GORRESIO.
The Homeric expression is similar, "to dance a war-dance before Ares."
"The story of Anaranya is told in the Uttara Kanda of the Rámáyana....' Anaranya a descendant of Ixváku and King of Ayodhyá, when called upon to fight with Rávana or acknowledge himself conquered, prefers the former alternative; but his army is overcome, and he himself is thrown from his chariot.
When Rávana triumphs over his prostrate foe, the latter says that he has been vanquished not by him but by fate, and that Rávana is only the instrument of his overthrow; and he predicts that Rávana shall one day be slain by his descendant Ráma." Sanskrit Texts, IV., Appendix.
"With regard to the magic image of Sítá made by Indrajit, we may observe that this thoroughly oriental idea is also found in Greece in Homer's Iliad, where Apollo forms an image of Aeneas to save that hero beloved by the Gods: it occurs too in the Aeneid of Virgil where Juno forms a fictitious Aeneas to save Turnus:
"Analogous to this passage of the Rámáyana, where Indra sends to Ráma his own chariot, his own charioteer, and his own arms, is the passage in the Aeneid where Venus descending from heaven brings celestial arms to her son Aeneas when he is about to enter the battle:
"The Muni or saint Agastya, author of several Vedic hymns, was celebrated in Indo-Sanskrit tradition for having directed the first brahmanical settlements in the southern regions of India; and the Mahábhárata gives him the credit of having subjected those countries, expelled the Rákshases. and given security to the solitary ascetics, who were settled there. Hence Agastya was regarded in ancient legend as the conqueror and ruler of the southern country. This tradition refers to the earliest migrations made by the Sanskrit Indians towards the south of India. To Agastya are attributed many marvellous mvthic deeds which adumbrate and veil ancient events; some of which are alluded to here and there in the Rámáyana." GORRESIO.
The following is the literal translation of the Canto, text and commentary, from the Calcutta edition:
Having found Ráma weary with fighting and buried in deep thought, and Rávan standing before him ready to engage in battle, the holy Agastya, who had come to see the battle, approached Ráma and spoke to him thus: "O mighty Ráma, listen to the old mystery by which thou wilt conquer all thy foes in the battle. Having daily repeated the Ádityahridaya (the delighter of the mind of the Sun) the holy prayer which destroys all enemies (of him who repeats it) gives victory, removes all sins, sorrows and distress, increases life, and which is the blessing of all blessings, worship the rising and splendid sun who is respected by both the Gods and demons, who gives light to all bodies and who is the rich lord of all the worlds, (To the question why this prayer claims so great reverence; the sage answers) Since yonder * sun is full of glory and all gods reside in him (he being their material cause) and bestows being and the active principle on all creatures by his rays; and since he protects all deities, demons and men with his rays.
He is Brahmá, 1 Vishnu, 2 Siva, 3 Skanda, 4 Prajápati, 5 Mahendra, 6 Dhanada, 7 Kála, 8 Yama, 9 Soma, 10 Apàm Pati i.e. The lord of waters, Pitris, 11 Vasus, 12
Sádhyas, 1 Asvins, 2 Maruts, 3 Manu, 4 Váyu, 5 Vahni, 6 Prajá, 7 Prána, 8 Ritukartá, 9 Prabhákara, 10 (Thou, 11 art) Aditya, 12 Savitá, 13 Súrya, 14 Khaga, 15 Púshan, 16 Gabhastimán, 17 Suvarnasadris'a, 18 Bhánu, 19 Hiranyaretas, 20 Divákara, 21 Haridas'va, 22 Sahasrárchish, 23 Saptasapti, 24 Marichimán, 25 Timironmathana, 26 Sambhu, 27 Twashtá, 28 Mártanda, 29 Ans'umán, 30 Hiranyagarbha, 31 Sis'ira, 32 Tapana, 33 Ahaskara, 34 Ravi, 35 Agnigarbha, 36 Aditiputra, 37 Sankha, 38 Sis'iranás'ana, 39 Vyomanátha, 40 Tamobhedí, 41 Rigyajussámapáraga, 42 Ghana-*
vríshti. 1 Apám-Mitra, 2 Vindhyavíthíplavangama, 3 A'tapí, 4 Mandalí, 5 Mrityu (death), Pingala, 6 Sarvatápana, 7 Kavi, 8 Vis'va, 9 Mahátejas, 10 Rakta, 11 Sarvabhavodbhava. 12 The Lord of stars, planets, and other luminous bodies, Vis'vabhávana, 13 Tejasvinám-Tejasvi, 14 Dwádas'átman: 15 I salute thee, I salute thee who art the eastern mountain. I salute thee who art the western mountain. I salute thee who art the Lord of all the luminous bodies. I salute thee who art the Lord of days.
I respectfully salute thee who art Jaya, 16 Jayabhadra, 17 Haryas'va, 18 O Thou who hast a thousand rays, I repeatedly salute thee. I repeatedly and respectfully salute thee who art A'ditya, I repeatedly salute thee who art Ugra, 19 Víra, 20 and Sáranga. 21 I salute thee who openest the lotuses (or the lotus of the heart). I salute thee who art furious. I salute thee who art the Lord of Brahmá, S'iva and Vishnu. I salute thee who art the sun, A'dityavarchas, 22 splendid, Sarvabhaksha, 23 and Raudravapush. 24
I salute thee who destroyest darkness, cold and enemies: whose form is boundless, who art the destroyer of the ungrateful; who art Deva; 25 who art the Lord of the luminous bodies, and who appearest like the heated gold. I salute thee who art Hari, 26 Vis'vakarman, 27 the destroyer of darkness, and who art splendid and Lokasákshin. 28 Yonder sun destroys the whole of the material world and also creates it. Yonder sun dries (all earthly things), destroys them and causes rain with his rays. He wakes when our senses are asleep; and resides within all beings. Youder sun is Agnihotra 29 and also the fruit obtained by the
performer of Agnihotra. He is identified with the gods, sacrifices, and the fruit of the sacrifices. He is the Lord of all the duties known to the world, if any man, O Rághava, in calamities, miseries, forests and dangers, prays to yonder sun, he is never overwhelmed by distress.
Worship, with close attention Him the God of gods and the Lord of the world; and recite these verses thrice, whereby thou wilt be victorious in the battle. O brave one, thou wilt kill Rávana this very instant."
Thereupon Agastya having said this went away as he came. The glorious Ráma having heard this became free from sorrow. Rághava whose senses were under control, being pleased, committed the hymn to memory, recited it facing the sun, and obtained great delight. The brave Ráma having sipped water thrice and become pure took his bow, and seeing Rávana, was delighted, and meditated on the sun.
I have omitted the Canto from which this line is taken because it describes signs and portents similar to those which have occurred in preceding books. But the weeping of the horses is new and is too Homeric to be passed by unnoticed. I borrow the following extract from De Quincey: "The old Homeric superstition which connects horses by the closest sympathy, and even by prescience, with their masters--that superstition which Virgil has borrowed from Homer in his beautiful episode of Mezentins (Rhaebe diu, res si qua diu mortalibus ulla est, Viximus)-- still lingers unbroken in Crete. Horses foresee the fates of riders who are doomed, and express their prescience by weeping in a human fashion. The horses of Achilles weep in "Iliad" xvii, on seeing Automedon their beloved driver prostrate on the ground. With this view of the horse's capacity, it is singular, that in Crete this animal by preference should be called το αλογου, the brute, or irrational creature. But the word ἱππος has, by some accident, been lost in the modern Greek. As an instance both of the disparaging name, and of the ennobling superstition, take the following stanza from a Cretan ballad of 1825, written in the modern Greek:--
"Upon which he mounted, and his horse wept; and then he saw clearly how this should bode his death."
Under the same old Cretan faith, Homer in "Iliad" xvii. 437, says:--
"Tears, scalding tears, trickled to the ground from the eyelids of them (the horses), fretting through grief for the loss of their charioteer."
DE QUINCEY. Homer and the Homeridae.
"In the funeral ceremonies of India the fire was placed on three sides of the pyre; the Dakshina on the south, the Gárhapatya on the west, and the Áhavaníya on the east. The funeral rites are not described in detail here, and it is therefore difficult to elucidate and explain them. The poem assigns the funeral ceremonies of Aryan Brahmans to the Rákshases, a race different from them in origin and religion, in the same way as Homer sometimes introduces into Troy the rites of the Grecian cult." GORRESIO.
Mr. Muir translates the description of the funeral from the Calcutta edition, as follows: "They formed, with Vedic rites, a funeral pile of faggots of sandal wood, with padmaka wood, us'ira grass, and sandal, and covered with a quilt of deer's hair. They then performed an unrivalled obsequial ceremony for the Ráxasa prince, placing the sacrificial ground to the S.E. and the fire in the proper situation. They cast the ladle filled with curds and ghee on the shoulder 1 of the deceased; he (?) placed the car on the feet, and the mortar between the thighs. Having deposited all the wooden vessels, the [upper] and lower fire-wood, and the other pestle, in their proper places, they departed. The Ráxasas having then slain a victim to their prince in the manner prescribed in the S'ástras, and enjoined by great rishis, cast [into the fire] the coverlet of the king saturated with ghee. They then, Vibhíshana included, with afflicted hearts, adorned Rávana with perfumes and garlands, and with various vestments, and besprinkled him with fried grain. Vibhíshana having bathed, and having, with his clothes wet, scattered in proper form tila seeds mixed with darbha grass, and moistened with water, applied the fire [to the pile]."
The following is a literal translation of Brahmá's address to Ráma according to the Calcutta edition, text and commentary:
"O Ráma, how dost thou, being the creator of all the world, best of all those who have profound knowledge of the Upanishads and all-powerful as thou art, suffer Sitá to fall in the fire? How dost thou not know thyself as the best of the gods? Thou art one of the primeval Vasus, 2 and also their lord and creator. Thou art thyself the lord and first creator of the three worlds. Thou art the eighth (that is Mahádeva) of the Rudras, 3 and also the fifth 4 of the Sádhyas. 5 (The poet describes Ráma as made of the following gods) The As'vinikumáras (the twin divine physicians of the gods) are thy ears; the sun and the moon are thy eyes; and thou hast been seen in the beginning and at the end of creation. How dost thou neglect the daughter of Videha (Janaka like a man whose actions are directed by the dictates of nature?" Thus addressed by Indra, Brahmá and
the other gods, Ráma the descendant of Raghu, lord of the world and the best of the virtuous, spoke to the chief of the gods. "As I take myself to be a man of the name of Ráma and son of Das'aratha, therefore, sir, please tell me who I am and whence have I come." "O thou whose might is never failing," said Brahmá to Kákutstha the foremost of those who thoroughly know Brahmá, "Thou art Náráyana, 1 almighty, possessed of fortune, and armed with the discus. Thou art the boar 2 with one tusk; the conqueror of thy past and future foes. Thou art Brahmá true and eternal or undecaying. Thou art Vis'vaksena, 3 having four arms; Thou art Hrishíkes'a, 4 whose bow is made of horn; Thou art Purusha, 5 the best of all beings; Thou art one who is never defeated by any body; Thou art the holder of the sword (named Nandaka). Thou art Vishnu (the pervader of all); blue in colour: of great might; the commander of armies; and lord of villages. Thou art truth. Thou art embodied intelligence, forgiveness, control over the senses, creation, and destruction. Thou art Upendra 6 and Madhusúdana. 7 Thou art the creator of Indra, the ruler over all the world, Padmanábha. 8 and destroyer of enemies in the battle. The divine Rishis call thee shelter of refugees, as well as the giver of shelter. Thou hast a thousand horns, 9 a hundred heads. 10 Thou art respected of the respected; and the lord and first creator of the three worlds. Thou art the forefather and shelter of Siddhas, 11 and Sádhyas. 12 Thou all sacrifices; Vashfatkára, 13 Omkára. 14 Thou art beyond those who are beyond our senses. There is none who knows who thou art and who knows thy beginning and end. Thou art seen in all material objects, in Bráhmans, in cows, and also in all the quarters, sky and streams. Thou hast a thousand feet, a hundred heads, and a thousand eyes. Thou hast borne the material objects and the earth with the mountains; and at the bottom of the ocean thou art seen the great serpent. O Ráma, Thou hast borne the three worlds, gods, Gandharvas, 15 and demons. I am, O Ráma, thy heart; the goddess of learning is thy tongue; the gods are the hairs of thy body; the closing of thy eyelids is called the night: and their opening is called the day. The Vedas are thy Sanskáras. 16 Nothing can exist without thee. The whole world is thy body; the surface of the earth is thy stability.
O S'rívatsalakshana, fire is thy anger, and the moon is thy favour. In the time of thy incarnation named Vámana, thou didst pervade the three worlds with thy three steps; and Mahendra was made the king of paradise by thee having confined the fearful Bali. 1 Sitá (thy wife) is Lakshmí; and thou art the God Vishnu, 2 Krishna, 3 and Prajápati. To kill Rávan thou hast assumed the form of a man; therefore, O best of the virtuous, thou hast completed this task imposed by us (gods). O Ráma, Rávana has been killed by thee: now being joyful (e. i. having for some time reigned in the kingdom of Ayodhyá,) go to paradise. O glorious Ráma, thy power and thy valour are never failing. The visit to thee and the prayers made to thee are never fruitless. Thy devotees will never be unsuccessful. Thy devotees who obtain thee (thy favour) who art first and best of mankind, shall obtain their desires in this world as well as in the next. They who recite this prayer, founded on the Vedas (or first uttered by the sages), and the old and divine account of (Ráma) shall never suffer defeat."
THE MEETING, PAGE 503.
The Bharat-Miláp or meeting with Bharat, is the closing scene of the dramatic representation of Ráma's great victory and triumphant return which takes place annually in October in many of the cities of Northern India. The Rám-Lalá or Play of Ráma, as the great drama is called, is performed in the open air and lasts with one day's break through fifteen successive days. At Benares there are three nearly simultaneous performances, one provided by H. H. the Maharajah of Benares near his palace at Ramnaggur, one by H. H. the Maharajah of Vizianagram near the Missionary settlement at Sigra and at other places in the city, and one by the leading gentry of the city at Chowká Ghát near the College. The scene especially on the great day when the brothers meet is most interesting: the procession of elephants with their gorgeous howdahs of silver and gold and their magnificently dressed riders with priceless jewels sparkling in their turbans, the enthusiasm of the thousands of spectators who fill the streets and squares, the balconies and the housetops, the flowers that are rained down upon the advancing car, the wild music, the shouting and the joy, make an impression that is not easily forgotten.
Ráma's shoes are here regarded as the emblems of royalty or possession. We may compare the Hebrew "Over Edom will I cast forth my shoe." A curiously similar passage occurs in LYSCHANDER'S Chronicon Greenlandiæ Rhythmicon:
I end these notes with an extract which I translate from Signor Gorreslo's Preface to the tenth volume of his Rámáyan, and I take this opportunity of again thankfully acknowledging my great obligations to this eminent S'anskritist from whom I have so frequently borrowed. As Mr. Muir has observed, the Bengal recension which Signor Gorresio has most ably edited is throughout an admirable commentary on the genuine Rámáyan of northern India, and I have made constant reference to the faithful and elegant translation which accompanies the text for assistance and confirmation in difficulties:
"Towards the southern extremity and in the island of Lanká (Ceylon) there existed undoubtedly a black and ferocious race, averse to the Aryans and hostile to their mode of worship: their ramifications extended through the islands of the Archipelago, and some traces of them remain in Java to this day.
The Sanskrit-Indians, applying to this race a name expressive of hatred which occurs in the Vedas as the name of hostile, savage and detested beings, called it the Rákshas race: it is against these Rákshases that the expedition of Ráma which the Rámáyan celebrates is directed. The Sanskrit-Indians certainly altered in their traditions the real character of this race: they attributed to it physical and moral qualities not found in human nature; they transformed it into a race of giants; they represented it as monstrous, hideous, truculent, changing forms at will, blood-thirsty and ravenous, just as the Semites represented the races that opposed them as impious, horrible and of monstrous size. But notwithstanding these mythical exaggerations, which are partly due to the genius of the Aryans so prone to magnify everything without measure, the Rámáyan in the course of its epic narration has still preserved and noted here and there some traits and peculiarities of the race which reveal its true character. It represents the Rákshases as black of hue, and compares them with black clouds and masses of black collyrium; it attributes to them curly woolly hair and thick lips, it depicts them as loaded with chains, collars and girdles of gold, and the other bright ornaments which their race has always loved, and in which the kindred races of the Soudan still delight. It describes them as worshippers of matter and force. They are hostile to the religion of the Aryans whose rites and sacrifices they disturb and ruin...Such is the Rákshas race as represented in the Rámáyan; and the war of the Aryan Ráma forms the subject of the epic, a subject certainly real and historical as far as regards its substance, but greatly exaggerated by the ancient myth. In Sanskrit-Indian tradition are found traces of another struggle of the Aryans with the Rákshas races, which preceded the war of Ráma. According to some pauranic legends, Kárttavírya a descendant of the royal tribe of tha Yádavas, contemporary with Parasurama and a little anterior to Ráma, attacked Lanká and took Rávan prisoner. This well shows how ancient and how deeply rooted in the Aryan race is the thought of this war which the Rámáyan celebrates.
"But," says an eminent Indianist 1 whose learning I highly appreciate, "the Rámáyan if an allegorical epic, and no precise and historical value can be assigned to it. Sítá signifies the furrow made by the plough, and under this symbolical aspect has already appeared honoured with worship in the hymns of the Rig-veda; Ráma is the bearer of the plough (this assertion is entirely gratuitous; these two allegorical personages represented agriculture introduced to the southern regions of India by the race of the Kosalas from whom Ráma was descended; the Rákshases on whom he makes war are races of demons and giants who have little or nothing human about them; allegory therefore predominates in the poem, and the exact reality of an historical event must not be looked for in it." Such is Professor Weber's opinion. If he means to say that mythical fictions are mingled with real events,
Forsan in alcun vero suo arco percuote,
as Dante says, and I fully concede the point. The interweaving of the myth with the historical truth belongs to the essence, so to speak, of the primitive epopeia. If Sítá is born, as the Rámáyan feigns, from the furrow which King Janak opened when he ploughed the earth, not a whit more real is the origin of Helen and Aeneas as related in Homer and Virgil, and if the characters in the Rámáyan exceed human nature, and in a greater degree perhaps than is the case in analogous epics, this springs in part from the nature of the subject and still more from the symbol-loving genius of the orient. Still the characters of the Rámáyan, although they exceed more or less the limits of human nature, act notwithstanding in the course of the poem, speak, feel, rejoice and grieve according to the natural impulse of human passions. But if by saying that the Rámáyan is an allegorical epic, it is meant that its fundamental subject is nothing but allegory, that the war of the Aryan Ráma against the Rákshas race is an allegory, that the conquest of the southern region and of the island of Lanká is an allegory, I do not hesitate to answer that such a presumption cannot be admitted and that the thing is in my opinion impossible. Father Paolíno da S. Bartolommeo, 2 had already, together with other strange opinions of his own on Indian matters, brought forward a similar idea, that is to say that the exploit of Ráma which is the subject of the Rámáyan was a symbol and represented the course of the sun: thus he imagined that Brahmá was the earth, Vishnu the water, and that his avatárs were the blessings brought by the fertilizing waters, etc. But such ideas, born at a time when Indo-sanskrit antiquities were enveloped in darkness, have been dissipated by the light of new studies. How could an epic so dear in India to the memory of the people, so deeply rooted for many centuries in the minds of all, so propagated and diffused through all the dialects and languages of those region, which had become the source of many dramas which are still represented in India, which is itself represented every year with such magnificence and to such crowds of people in the neighbourhood of Ayodhyá, a poem welcomed at its very birth with such favour, as the legend relates, that the recitation of it by the first wandering Rhapsodists has consecrated and made famous all the places celebrated
by them, and where Ráma made a shorter or longer stay, how, I ask, could such an epic have been purely allegorical? How, upon a pure invention, upon a simple allegory, could a poem have been composed of about fifty thousand verses, relating with such force and power the events, and giving details with such exactness? On a theme purely allegorical there may easily be composed a short mythical poem, as for example a poem on Proserpine or Psyche: but never an epic so full of traditions and historical memories, so intimately connected with the life of the people, as the Rámáyan. 1 Excessive readiness to find allegory whenever some traces of symbolism occur, where the myth partly veils the historical reality, may lead and often has led to error. What poetical work of mythical times could stand this mode of trial? could there not be made, or rather has there not been made a work altogether allegorical, out of the Homeric poems? We have all heard of the ingenious idea of the anonymous writer, who in order to prove how easily we may pass beyond the truth in our wish to seek and find allegory everywhere, undertook with keen subtlety to prove that the great personality of Napoleon I. was altogether allegorical and represented the sun. Napoleon was born in an island, his course was from west to east, his twelve marshals were the twelve signs of the zodiac, etc.
I conclude then, that the fundamental theme of the Rámáyan, that is to say the war of the Aryan Ráma against the Rákshases, an Hamitic race settled in the south, ought to be regarded as real and historical as far as regards its substance, although the mythic element intermingled with the true sometimes alters its natural and genuine aspect.
How then did the Indo-Sanskrit epopeia form and complete itself? What elements did it interweave in its progress? How did it embody, how did it clothe the naked and simple primitive datum? We must first of all remember that the Indo-European races possessed the epic genius in the highest degree, and that they alone in the different regions they occupied produced epic poetry...But other causes and particular influences combined to nourish and develop the epic germ of the Sanskrit-Indians. Already in the Rig-veda are found hymns in which the Aryan genius preluded, so to speak, to the future epopeia, in songs that celebrated the heroic deeds of Indra, the combats and the victories of the tutelary Gods of the Aryan races over enemies secret or open, human or superhuman, the exploits and the memories of ancient heroes. More recently, at certain solemn occasions, as the very learned A. Weber remarks, at the solemnity, for example of the As'vamedha of sacrifice of the horse, the praises of the king who ordained the great rite were sung by bards and ministrels in songs composed for the purpose, the memories of past times were recalled and honourable mention was made of the just and pious kings of old. In the Bráhmanas, a sort of prose commentaries annexed to the Vedas, are found recorded stories and legends which allude to historical events of the past ages, to ancient memories, and to mythical events. Such popular legends which the Bráhmanas undoubtedly gathered from tradition admirably suited the epic tissue with which they were interwoven by successive hands......Many and various mythico-historical traditions suitable for epic development, were diffused among the Aryan races, those for example which are related
in the four chapters containing the description of the earth, the Descent of the Ganges, etc. The epic genius however sometimes created beings of its own and gave body and life to ideal conceptions. Some of the persons in the Rámáyan must be, in my opinion, either personifications of the forces of nature like those which are described with such vigour in the Sháhnámah, or if not exactly created, exaggerated beyond human proportions; others, vedic personages much more ancient than Ráma, were introduced into the epic and woven into its narrations, to bring together men who lived in different and distant ages, as has been the case in times nearer to our own, in the epics, I mean, of the middle ages.
In the introduction I have discussed the antiquity of the Rámáyan; and by means of those critical and inductive proofs which are all that an antiquity without precise historical dates can furnish I have endeavoured to establish with all the certainy that the subject admitted, that the original composition of the Rámáyan is to be assigned to about the twelfth century before the Christian era. Not that I believe that the epic then sprang to life in the form in which we now possess it; I think, and I have elsewhere expressed the opinion, that the poem during the course of its rhapsodical and oral propagation appropriated by way of episodes, traditions, legends and ancient myths......But as far as regards the epic poem properly so called which celebrates the expedition of Ráma against the Rákshases I think that I have sufficiently shown that its origin and first appearance should be placed about the twelfth century B C.; nor have I hitherto met with anything to oppose this chronological result, or to oblige me to rectify or reject it......But an eminent philologist already quoted, deeply versed in these studies, A. Weber, has expressed in some of his writings a totally different opinion; and the authority of his name, if not the number and cogency of his arguments, compels me to say something on the subject. From the fact or rather the assumption that Megasthenes 1 who lived some time in India has made no mention either of the Mahábhárat or the Rámáyan Professor Weber argues that neither of these poems could have existed at that time; as regards the Rámáyan, the unity of its composition, the chain that binds together its different parts, and its allegorical character, show it, says Professor Weber, to be much more recent than the age to which I have assigned it, near to our own era, and according to him, later than the Mahábhárat. As for Megasthenes it should be observed, that he did not write a history of India, much less a literary history or anything at all resembling one, but a simple description, in great part physical, of India: whence, from his silence on literary matters to draw inferences regarding the history of Sanskrit literature would be the same thing as from the silence of a geologist with respect to the literature of a country whose valleys, mountains, and internal structure he is exploring, to conjecture that such and such a poem or history not mentioned by him did not exist at his time. We have only to look at the fragments of Megasthenes collected and published by Schwanbeck to see what was the nature and scope of his Indica.................. But only a few fragments of Megasthenes are extant; and to pretend that they should be argument and proof enough to judge the antiquity of a poem is to press the laws of criticism too far. To Professor Weber's argument as to the more or
less recent age of the Rámáyan from the unity of its composition, I will make one sole reply, which is that if unity of composition were really a proof of a more recent age, it would be necessary to reduce by a thousand years at least the age of Homer and bring him down to the age of Augustus and Virgil; for certainly there is much more unity of composition, a greater accord and harmony of parts in the Iliad and the Odyssey than in the Rámáyan. But in the fine arts perfection is no proof of a recent age: while the experience and the continuous labour of successive ages are necessary to extend and perfect the physical or natural sciences, art which is spontaneous in its nature can produce and has produced in remote times works of such perfection as later ages have not been able to equal."
516:1 The Academy, Vol. III., No 43, contains an able and interesting notice of this work from the pen of the Professor of Sanskrit in the University of Cambridge: 'The Uttarakánda.' Mr. Cowell remarks, 'bears the same relation to the Rámáyana, as the Cyclic poems to the Iliad. Just as the Cypria of Stasinus, the Aethiopis of Arctinus, and the little Iliad of Lesches completed the story of the p. 517 Iliad, and not only added the series of events which preceded and followed it, but also founded episodes of their own on isolated allusions in Homer, so the Uttarakánda is intended to complete the Rámáyana, and at the same time to supplement it by intervening episodes to explain casual allusions or isolated incidents which occur in it. Thus the early history of the giant Rávana and his family fills nearly forty Chapters, and we have a full account of his wars with the gods and His conquest of Lanká, which all happened long before the action of the poem commences, just as the Cypria narrated the birth and earlv history of Helen, and the two expeditions of the Greeks against Troy; and the latter chapters continue the history of the hero Ráma after his triumphant return to his paternal kingdom, and the poem closes with his death and that of his brothers, and the founding by their descendants of various kingdoms in different parts of India.'
518:1 Muir, Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., pp. 414 ff.
519:1 MUIR, Sanskrit Texts, Part IV, 391, 392.
520:1 See Academy, III., 43.
521:1 Academy, Vol. III., No. 43.
522:1 E. B. Cowell. Academy, No. 48. The story of Sítá's banishment will be found roughly translated from the Raghurans'a, in the Additional Notes.
522:2 E. B. Cowell. Academy, Vol, III, No. 48.
523:1 Muir, Sanskrit Texts, Part IV., Appendix.
545:1 Ghí: clarified butter. Gur: molasses.
545:2 Haridwar (Anglicè Hurdwar) where the Ganges enters the plain country.
550:* Campbell in 'Journ. As. Soc. Bengal,' 1866, Part ii, p. 182; Latham, 'Descr. Eth.' Vol. ii. p. 456; Tod,'Annals of Rajasthan,' Vol. i. p. 114.
550:1 Said by the commentator to be an eastern people between the Himálayan and Vindhyan chains.
550:2 Videha was a district in the province of Behar, the ancient Mithilá or the modern Tirhoot.
550:3 The people of Malwa.
550:4 "The Kás'ikos'alas are a central nation in the Váyu Purána. The Rámáyana places them in the east. The combination indicates the country between Benares and Oude.... Kos'ala is a name variously applied. Its earliest and most celebrated application is to the country on the banks of the Sarayú, the kingdom of Ráma, of which Ayodhyá was the capital.... In the Mahábhárata we have one Kos'ala in the east and another in the south, besides the Prák-Kos'alas and Uttara Kos'alas in the east and north. The Puránas place the Kos'alas amongst the people on the back of Vindhya; and it would appear from the Váyu that Kus'a the son of Ráma transferred his kingdom to a more central position; he ruled over Kos'ala at his capital of Kús'asthali of Kus'avatí, built upon the Vindhyan precipices." WILSON'S Vishnu Púrana, Vol. II. pp. 157, 172.
550:5 The people of south Behar.
550:6 The Pundras are said to be the inhabitants of the western provinces of Bengal. "In the Aitareyabráhmana, VII. 18, it is said that the elder sons of Vis'vamitra were cursed to become progenitors of most abject races, such as Andhras, Pundras, S'abaras, Pulindas, and Mútibas." WILSON'S Vishnu Purána Vol. II. 170.
550:7 Anga is the country about Bhagulpore, of which Champá was the capital.
550:8 A fabulous people, 'men who use their ears as a covering.' So Sir John Maundevile says: "And in another Yle ben folk that han gret Eres and long, that hangen down to here knees,' and Pliny, lib, iv. c. 13: "In quibus nuda alioquin corpora praegrandes ipsorum aures tota contegunt." Strabo calls them ἐνωτόκοιτοι'. Isidore calls them Panotii.
550:9 'Those whose ears hang down to their lips.'
550:10 'The Iron-faces.'
551:1 'The One-footed.'
"In that Contree," says Sir Jhon Maundevile, "ben folk, that han but o foot and thei gon so fast that it is marvaylle: and the foot is so large that it schadeweth alle the Body azen the Sonne, when thei wole lye and rest hem." So Pliny, Natural History, lib. vii. c. 2: speaks of Hominumn gens...singulis cruribus, mirae pernicitatis ad saltum; eosdemque Sciopodas vocari, quod in majori aestu, humi jacentes resupini, umbrâ se pedum protegant."
These epithets are, as Professor Wilson remarks, "exaggerations of national ugliness, or allusions to peculiar customs, which were not literally intended, although they may have furnished the Mandevilles of ancient and modern times." Vishnu Purána, Vol. II. p. 162.
551:2 The Kirrhadae of Arrian: a general name for savage tribes living in woods and mountains
551:3 Said by the commentator to be half tigers half men.
551:4 The kingdom seems to have corresponded with the greater part of Berar and Khandesh.
551:5 The Bengal recension has Kishikas, and places them both in the south and the north.
551:6 The people of Mysore.
551:7 "There are two Matsyas, one of which, according to the Yantra Samráj, is identifiable with Jeypoor. In the Digvijaya of Nakula he subdues the Matsyas further to the west, or Gujerat." WILSON'S Vishnu Purána, Vol. II. 158. Dr. Hall observes: "In the Mahábhárata Sabhá-parwan, 1105 and 1108, notice is taken of the king of Matsya and of the Aparamatsyas; and, at 1082, the Matsyas figure as an eastern people. They are placed among the nations of the south in the Rámáyana Kishkindhá-kánda, XLI., II, while the Bengal recension, Kishkindhá-kánda, XLlV., 12, locates them in the north."
551:8 The Kalingas were the people of the upper part of the Coromandel Coast, well known, in the traditions of the Eastern Archipelago, as Kling. Ptolemy has a city in that part, called Caliga; and Pliny Calingae proximi mari." WILSON'S Vishnu Purána, Vol. II. l56, Note.
551:9 The Kaus'ikas do not appear to be identifiable.
551:10 The Andhras probably occupied the modem Telingana.
551:11 The Pundras have already been mentioned in Canto XL.
551:12 The inhabitants of the lower part of the Coromandel Coast; so called, after them, Cholamandala.
551:13 A people in the Deccan.
551:14 The Keralas were the people of Malabar proper.
552:1 A generic term for persons speaking any language but Sanskrit and not conforming to the usual Hindu institutions.
552:2 "Pulinda is applied to any wild or barbarous tribe. Those here named are some of the people of the deserts along the Indus; but Pulindas are met with in many other positions, especially in the mountains and forests across Central India, the haunts of the Bheels and Gonds. So Ptolemy places the Pulindas along the banks of the Narmadá, to the frontiers of Larice, the Látá or Lár of the Hindus,--Khandesh and part of Gujerat." WILSON'S Vishnu Purána, Vol. II. 159, Note.
Dr. Hall observes that "in the Bengal recension of the Rámáyana the Pulindas appear both in the south and in the north. The real Rámáyana K.-k., XLIII., speaks of the northern Pulindas."
552:3 The S'úrasenas were the inhabitants of Mathurá, the Suraseni of Arrian.
552:4 These the Mardi of the Greeks and the two preceding tribes appear to have dwelt in the north-west of Hindustan.
552:5 The Kámbojas are said to be the people of Arachosia. They are always mentioned with the north-western tribes.
552:6 "The term Yavanas, although, in later times, applied to the Mohammedans, designated formerly the Greeks.... The Greeks were known throughout Western Asia by the term Yavan, or Ion, Ιάονες ; the पवन of the Hindus.... That the Macedonian or Bactrian Greeks were most usually intended is not only probable from their position and relations with India, but from their being usually named in concurrence with the north-western tribes, Kámbojas, Daradas, Páradas, Báhlíkas, S'akas &c., in the Rámáyana. Mahábhárata, Puránas, Manu, and in various poems and plays." WILSON'S Vishnu Purána Vol. II. p. 181, Note.
552:7 These people, the Sakai and Sacae of classical writers, the Indo-Scythians of Ptolemy, extended, about the commencement of our era, along the west of India, from the Hindu Kosh to the mouths of the Indus.
552:8 The corresponding passage in the Bengal recension has instead of Varadas Daradas the Dards or inhabitants of the modern Dardistan along the course of the Indus, above the Himálayas, just before it descends to India.
556:* From the word yonder it would appear that the prayer is to be repeated at the rising of the Sun.
556:1 The creator of the world and the first of the Hindu triad.
556:2 He who pervades all beings; or the second of the Hindu triad who preserves the world.
556:3 The bestower of blessings; the third of the Hindu triad and the destroyer of the world
556:4 A name of the War-God; also one who urges the senses to action.
556:5 The lord of creatures; or the God of sacrifices.
556:6 A name of the King of Gods; also all-powerful.
556:7 The giver of wealth. A name of the God of riches.
556:8 One who directly urges the mental faculties to action.
556:9 One who moderates the senses, also the God of the regions of the dead.
556:10 One who produces nectar (amrita) or one who is always possessed of light; or one together with Umá (Ardhanárís'vara).
556:11 The names or spirits of departed ancestors.
556:12 Name of a class of eight Gods, also wealthy.
557:1 They who are to be served by Yogís; or a class of Gods named Sádhyas.
557:2 The two physicians of the Gods: or they who pervade all beings.
557:3 They who are immortal; or a class of Gods forty-nine in number.
557:4 Omniscient; or the first king of the world.
557:5 He that moves; life; or the God of wind.
557:6 The God of fire.
557:7 Lord of creatures.
557:8 One who prolongs our lives.
557:9 The material cause of knowledge and of the seasons.
557:10 One who shines. The giver of light.
557:11 The hymn entitled the Ádityahridaya begins from this verse and the words, thou art, are understood in the beginning of this verse.
557:12 One who enjoys all (pleasurable) objects; The son of Aditi, the lord of the solar disk.
557:13 One who creates the world i.e. endows beings with life or soul, and by his rays causes rain and thereby produces corn.
557:14 One who urges the world to action or puts the world in motion, who is omnipresent.
557:15 One who walks through the sky; or pervades the soul.
557:16 One who nourishes the world i. e. is the supporter.
557:17 One having rays (Gabhasti) or he who is possessed of the all-pervading goddess Lakshmí.
557:18 One resembling gold.
557:19 One who is resplendent or who gives light to other objects.
557:20 One whose seed (Retas) is gold; or quicksilver, the material cause of gold.
557:21 One who is the cause of day.
557:22 One whose horses are of tawny colour; or one who pervades the whole space or quarters.
557:23 One whose knowledge is boundless or who has a thousand rays.
557:24 One who urges the seven (Pránas) that is the two eyes, the two ears, the nostrils and the organ of speech, or whose chariot, is drawn by seven horses.
557:25 Vide Gabhastimán.
557:26 One who destroys darkness, or ignorance.
557:27 One from whom our blessings or the enjoyments of Paradise come.
557:28 The architect of the gods; or one who lessens the miseries of our birth and death.
557:29 One who gives life to the lifeless world.
557:30 One who pervades the internal and external worlds; or one who is resplendent.
557:31 He who is identified with the Hindu triad, i.e. the creator (Brahmá) the supporter (Vishnu) and the destroyer (S'iva)
557:32 Cold or good natured. He is so called because he allays the three sorts of pain.
557:33 One who is the lord of all.
557:34 Vide Divákara.
557:35 One who teaches Brahmá and others the Vedas.
557:36 One from whom Rudra the destroyer or the third of the Hindu triad springs.
557:37 One who is knowable through Aditi i.e. the eternal Brahmavidyá.
557:38 Great happiness or the sky
557:39 The destroyer of cold or stupidity.
557:40 The Lord of the sky.
557:41 Vide Timironmathana.
557:42 One who is known through the Upanishads.
558:1 He who is the cause of heavy rain.
558:2 He who is a friend to the good, or who is the cause of water.
558:3 One who moves in the solar orbit.
558:4 One who determines the creation of the world; or who is possessed of heat.
558:5 One who has a mass of rays; or who has Kaustubha and other precious stones as his ornaments.
558:6 He who urges all to action; or who is yellow in colour.
558:7 One who is the destroyer of all.
558:8 One who is omniscient; or a poet.
558:9 One who is identified with the whole world.
558:10 One who is of huge form.
558:11 One who pleases all by giving nourishment; or who is red in colour.
558:12 One who is the cause of the whole world.
558:13 One who protects the whole world.
558:14 The most glorious of all that are glorious.
558:15 One who is identical with the twelve months.
558:16 One who gives victory over all the worlds to those who are faithfully devoted to him; or the porter of Brahmá, named Jaya.
558:17 One who is identical with the blessing which can be obtained by conquering all the worlds; or with the porter of Brahmá named Jayabhadra.
558:18 One who has Hanúmán as his conveyance.
558:19 One who controls the senses; or is furious with those who are not his devotees.
558:20 He who is free in moving the senses; or urges all beings to action.
558:21 He who can be known through the Pranava (the mystical Om-kára.)
558:22 One who is the knowledge of Brahmá.
558:23 One who devours all things.
558:24 He who is the destroyer of all pains; and of love, and hate, the causes of pain; and ignorance which is the cause of love and hate.
558:25 One who is bliss; or the mover.
558:26 One who destroys ignorance and its effects.
558:27 The doer of all actions.
558:28 One who beholds the universe; who is a witness of good and bad actions.
558:29 Sacrifice of the five sensual fires.
560:1 According to Ápastamba (says the commentator) it should have been placed on the nose: this must therefore have been done in conformity with some other Sútras."
560:2 A class of eight gods.
560:3 A class of eleven gods called Rudras.
560:4 Named Viryaván.
560:5 A class of divine devotees named Sádhyas.
561:1 One who resides in the water.
561:2 The third incarnation of Vishnu, that bore the earth on his tusk.
561:3 One whose armies are everywhere.
561:4 One who controls the senses.
561:5 He who resides in the heart, or who is full, or all-pervading.
561:6 Vámana, or the Dwarf incarnation of Vishnu.
561:7 The killer of Madhu, a demon.
561:8 He from whose navel, the lotus, from which Brahmá was born, springs.
561:9 He who has a thousand horns. The horns are here the Sákhás of the Sáma-veda.
561:10 One who has a hundred heads. The heads are here meant to devote a hundred commandments of the Vedas.
561:11 Siddhas are those who have already gained the summit of their desires.
561:12 Sádhyas are those that are still trying to gain the summit.
561:13 A mystic syllable uttered in Mantras.
561:14 A mystic syllable made of the letters अ उ म which respectively denote Brahmá, Vishnu, and S'iva.
561:15 A class of divine gods.
561:16 Sanskáras are those sacred writings through which the divine commands and prohibitions are known.
562:1 Bali. a demon whom Vámana confined in Pátála.
562:2 Vishnu, the second of the Hindu triad.
562:3 Krishna, (black coloured) one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu.
564:1 A. Weber, Akademische Vorlesungen, p. 181.
564:2 Systema brahmanicum, liturgicum, mythologicum, civile, exmonumentis Indicis, etc.
565:1 Not only have the races of India translated or epitomized it, but foreign nations have appropriated it wholly or in part, Persia, Java, and Japan itself.
566:1 In the third century B. C.