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HINDU

MYTHOLOGY,

VEDIC

AND

PURANIC.

BY

W.

J. WILKINS,
OF THE

LONDON

MISSIONARY
CALCUTTA.

SOCIETY,

ILLUSTRATED.

CALCUTTA:

THACKER,

SPINK
Bombay:

"
THACKER

CO.,

GOVERNMENT
"

PLACE.

CO.,

LIMITED.

London

W.

THACKER

"

CO., 87, NEWGATE


1882.

STREET.

LONDON
:

PRINTED

BY

WILLIAM

CLOWES

AND

SONS,

LIMITED,

STAMFORD

STREET AND CHARING CROSS.

PREFACE.

On full
but

my

arrival

in

India,

one

of of

my the works

first

inquiries
of

was

for

some

and

trustworthy
directed kind and

account to

mythology
in

the

Hindus tion informa-

though
of the

various
was

which
I

some

desired

to

be
on

found,
this

sought

in

vain

for then

complete
classical and

systematic
of

work India
;

subject.

Since
one

two

dictionaries
one

have

been
most

published,
useful book
is
notes

in

Madras

in
do
not
some

London
meet

but
want

though
that been
a

books intended with


one

of

reference, they
to

the

this

supply.
of

For

years them

I have in
a

making
way

the out with-

intention much

arranging

such

that idea of

any

labour and

might
actions that of
is
cases

gain
of the this Hindu
to

good

general
gods
not
nor

of

the

names,

character,
should
new

principal
work does

Hinduism.
to

It contain much other


;

be

noticed

profess
to

translations
that In
a

the
not

Scriptures,
be found
extracts

give
in

very
many

information books.

scattered have
to

few

original
my

been collect

made and

but,

generally
translations

speaking,
ready
to

work

has It has

been been these


;

arrange
to

hand.

my

earnest
as

endeavour far
as

give
in

fair and very

impartial
of the

account

of

deities,
such
to

possible
as

the

words
an

sacred

books Hindu

an

account

should works
to

expect
from
my
to
a

honest-minded

give

of

God

and

His

careful mind

study
from

of

the

Bible. and for

I have

honestly

striven

keep

free sacred

prejudice

theological
themselves,

bias, and
have
frained re-

wishing

let

the

books
on

speak
the

from

commenting

passages

quoted,
a

excepting
2

viii
in
not

Preface.

cases

where

some

explanationseemed
texts

selected Hindu
I

those

which have there


may

describe
such
was

I have necessary. the darker side only with that could


an

of the

gods,nor
confess

been
much

suppressed. altogether
met

Though
not

must

be

reproduced,I
effort has been

assert
to

with
a

confidence

that

honest

made

give

truthful account of
our

of the fellow-

things commonly subjects.


a

believed

by

millions

Hindu

In order to render number of

the work

more

illustrations of of them have

introduced.

Most

and instructive, interesting the principal deities have been from pictures drawn been copied which has
may

by
them

the

Hindus

themselves, and

be made

seen

in

the

houses
;

of the

people.

No

attempt

been

to

idealise

they

are, what

to be,faithful representations they profess

of the designs of Hindu artists. For their kindness in making I am these drawings from the original highlycoloured pictures, greatlyindebted to my friends the Rev. A. J. Bamford, very B.A., and Messrs. H. T. Ottewill and C. A. Andrews, B.A. By the introduction of a full index it is to be hoped that this classical dictionaryof India ; whilst the will serve work as a classification of the gods will enable the student to obtain a
view general
one some

of Hindu

mythology,and
And
as can

of the relation in which

deity stands

to others.

many

the book length, reader,who may general


to

hardlyfail to
have which time
or

not

legends are given at be interesting to the opportunityto refer


taken.
.

the sacred

from writings for.

word

of

they are respecting the explanation


It will be the Vedic noticed

classification of the
that
some

deities is called described


or as

of those

appear under the same other names in the Puranas ; whilst others spoken of as belonging traceable indeed the with their Puranic have to origin, Age
to belonging

Age

in some difficulty

cases,

in the Vedas.

The

Vedic

in the is chiefly whose to be found description worshipwas more generalin the Vedic Age ; the Puranic are those who described in the Puranas, and whose are more fully worship in the Puranic tion classificawas more general Age. Any very rigid

whose

gods are Vedas, and

those

it would

be

to impossible

make.

Preface.

IX

The

followingare
have

the

works principal
:
"

from

which

materials

for

this volume

been

taken Texts.'

Sanskrit 'Original

5 vols.
H. Wilson. R. T.

J. Muir, D.C.L.,
London,
H.

LL.D.

London,
'The
1

1868. Vishnu Purana.' H.

1840.
Benares,

The

Ramayana
Wisdom.' and

of Valmiki.'

Griffiths.

1870.
'

Indian

Monier

Williams.

London,

1875.
London,
of the

'Ancient

Hindu

Mythology.'

Col. Kennedy.
Literature

1831.
'A View of Rev. the W.

History, Religion,and
Ward.

Hindus.'
'

Serampore,
Rev.
R.

181 8.

Hindu

Pantheon.' of Buddhism.'

Col. Moor. S. Hardy.

'Manual 'Classical
'

London,

1853.

Madras, 1871. Dictionary of India.' J. Garrett. Classical John Mythology, "c.' Dictionary of Hindu Dowson. London, 1879.
'

Chambers's

Cyclopaedia.' Prof.

Goldstiicker's Articles.

W.

J. w.

Calcutta,

February 1882.

CONTENTS.

PART
Chap. I." II.
"

I."

THE

VEDIC

DEITIES.
PAGE

The The Dyaus Aditi

Vedas

Vedic
and and

Gods
Prithivi
the

generally

7
IO

III." IV.
"

Adityas

14 18

V." VI."

Agni Sun
1. 2.

or

Light

Deities" 25
3"

Surya
PUSHAN
AND

3. MlTRA 4. The 5. USHAS VII."


J"

VARUNA

31 37
" "

Asvins .40

The
1.
2.

Storm
Indra Indrani

Deities"

45 53 54 55 Maruts 57 59
OR

3. 4.

Parjanya
Vayu

5. The
VIII."
JJ

Soma TVASTRI Yama


VlSVAKARMA

IX."
X."
?"

64

67

PART

II."

THE

PURANIC

DEITIES.

Chap.
53

I."

The Brahma Brahma

Puranas

77

II.

"

80

III."

84
91

Sarasvati

Xll

Contents.
PAGE

Chap.

IV.

-Vishnu

Lakshmi
V.- -The
""

Incarnations The The The Matsya


or or

or

Avataras Fish Avatara

of

Vishnu-

i. 2.
J-

Kurma
Varahar

Tortoise
or or

Avatara. Avatara Avatara


.

Boar

4. The

Nrisingha
Vamana
or

Man-Lion
Avatara

5. The 6. The 7- The 8. The 8a. The 9. The


10.

Dwarf

Parasurama
Rama

Avatara Avatara

Chandra
Avatara

Krishna
Balarama

Avatara
Avatara

Buddha
Kalki

The

Avatara

Jagannath
Chaitanya.
Kamadeva
"

VI."

Siva

Panchanana
V

VII."

Uma
Parvati

DURGA
The
1. 2.

chief

Forms
.

of

Durga

Durga

Dasabhuja

3- SlNGHAVAilNI.
4. Mahishamardini
.

5- Jagaddhatri 6. Kali 7- muktakesi 8. Tara 9- Chinnamustaka


10. 11. 12.

Jagadgauri
Pratyangira

Annapurna

13-

Ganesajanani
Parvati"

VIII."
"

14. Krishnakrora Sons Siva and of


1. 2.

Ganesa Kartikeya Puranic Puranic Account Divisions


of of the

?J

IX."
X.
"

The The

Creation
.

1J

Time

Contents.

Xlll

PART

III." THE
Rishis

INFERIOR

DEITIES.

Chap.

I.
"

The
i,

Divine Bhrigu pulastya

"

PAGE

30I

305

3- PULAHA 4. Kratu

5. Angiras 6. Marichi 7- Atri 8. Daksha 9- Vasishtha Narada 10. II. -KUVERA


?"
.

306 306 306


307 307
309

315 317
321
OF
THE

III.

-The
i.
2.

Demigods sugriva Hanuman


.

RAMAYANA-

326
332

3- Nala 4- NlLA

336
339 339
of
"

5- SUSHENA
IV.
?)
"

The The
1. 2.
3'

Demigods

the

Mahabharata

342

V.
""

"

Planets

Ravi, or Surya Chandra, or Soma


Mangala
.

4- Budha

5- Vrihaspati
6. SUKRA
7. Sani 8. Rahu
jj
....

and

Ketu

VI

"The

Asuras

Jalandhara
VII.-

360 360 360 360 361 361 362 363 364 367
373 374 379

-Sacred Garuda

Animals
....

and

Birds

Jatayus
VIII. IX." -Ganga Sacred

and
....

Sampati

383
39
T

Trees

XIV

Contents.

PAGE

Chap.

X.

"

Miscellaneous
i. 2.

Minor

Deities"

Shitala

394 395
.

Manasa

3. SastI 4. The

397 397 399 399


though not

Shalgrama
Dhenki

5. The 6. Ka? XI.


"
"

Who?
Divine
and

5 -Superhuman,
1. 2.

Beings" Kinnaras
401

Apsarasas,
Rakshasas

Gandharvas,

403

INDEX

405

lUsCISfflf

""\iMF
KMim

LIST

OF

ILLUSTRATIONS.

PAGE

Durga Agni.

and

other

Deities.

From From

native
t

picture
Hindu

{Frontispiece)
Pantheon
5?

Moor's
55

19 26

SURYA. Varuna. Indra.


J?

From

native

picture

32 45 55

Vayu.
""""

Yama.
55

67 84
92 99
108

Brahma.
55

Sarasvati.
55

Vishnu.
55

Lakshmi.
55

The The The The The The Ravana.

Matsya
Kurma Nrisingha Vamana Parasurama Rama

Avatara.
55

114
120

Avatara.
55

Avatara. Avatara.
55

125 131

Avatara. Chandra Avatara.


55 55

136
142

155
166

The Krishna Krishna

Krishna
slaying holding

Avatara.
55

Bakasura.
55

172

up

Mount

Govard55

dhana.

174

Radha Balarama. Buddha.

worshipping

Krishna

as

Kali
55

177

185
Drawn Temple

from
and

an

image
Dagoba

in

Ceylon
at

by Rev.

A.

J. Bamford,

B. A.

188

Buddhist sketch Buddha. Kalki.

Kelaniya,

Ceylon.

Original 189

by
Draw

Rev.

A.

J. Bamford.
an

B.A. in

from

image

Ceylon
a

by
native
55

Rev.

A.

J. Bamford,

B.A

194 205
208

From

picture

Jagannath.
Kamadeva.

55

213

XVI

List

of

Illustrations.

PAGE

Siva

slaying

Kamadeva.

From

native
5"

picture

214 218

Siva.
Siva Temple
at

Benares

From From

a a

Har-Hari.

photograph native picture


.

219 229 232

Siva

slaying

an

Asura.
" 5)

Panchanana.

236
242

Siva
Parvati

and

Parvati.
worshipping
the

Linga From

From
a

Moor's

'

Hindu

Pantheon

245 251 257

Dasabhuja. Jagaddhatri.
Kali. Kali
dancing on

native
"

picture

"

258
259
'

Siva.
"" J5

Annapurna.

Ganesa.
Kartikeya. Daksha.

From

Moor's
a

Hindu

Pantheon

'

From

native
5J

picture

265 267 276


309

SUGRIVA.
Monkeys Hanuman.
constructing the

5J

Bridge
From

at
'

Lanka. Hindu From Pantheon


a
'

326 328
333 native
"

Moor's

Arjuna
Battle

shooting of the

at

the and

Fish.
the

picture 348
352
'

Kurus

Pandavas. Moor's
a
'

Garuda.

From From

Hindu

Pantheon

374

Jatayus.
Ganga. Shitala.
Manasa.

native
"

picture picture

380 333
394 395 397

From

native
?"

Sasti. Sacred
Trees. Drawn

from

Nature

by

the Rev.

A.

J.Bamford,

B. A.

"

SomaThe The

plant
Tulsi Bel
.

60
300

39o
.

Banyan
The The

Tree

39i 393
400 411

Fig
Lotus

Tree

Nim.
Leaves
.

Pipal
The

412

are tail-pieces

taken

from Raz,

drawings

of

Hindu

temples
Mitra,

and

decorations
and

in

the

works

of

RAM

Rajendralala

FERGUSSON,

others.

PART

I.

THE

VEDIC

DEITIES.

HINDU

MYTHOLOGY.

THE

VEDIC

DEITIES.

CHAPTER

I.

THE

VEDAS.

BEFORE

speaking
be said

of

the

Vedic the

Deities,
Vedas

it

is

necessary the
root

that
source

something
of
word and
our

concerning respecting

themselves,
deities. Veda The

information is
as

these

of

the
;

vid}
at

"

to

know these

:"

hence

the
were

term
not

signifies knowledge
it

first is

books
or

written,

signifies The Vedas

knoware

ledge
not

that

heard,
to

orally
work

communicated.
a

supposed they
in The
were

be

the

of

single
a

person,

but of

it is believed
or

that who

communicated
turn

to

number
to

Rishis

saints,

their

transmitted contained forth from


to

them
in

their

disciples.
is said
to

instruction breathed

these

writings
At from other fire.

have
is said

been
to

by
Him

God like sprung

Himself. smoke
from but
man

times

it

have

issued
are

Sometimes The
accounts

the

Vedas of
were

said

have

the agree
;

elements.
in

their the the

origin
direct

differ

in God

form,
to

teaching they
are

that

they

gift

of

and
are

hence
the

regarded
property
B
2

with

greatest

veneration.

They

special

of

4
the Brahmans.
a

The
As

Vedic
Manu

Deities.
it was (700 B.C.)

earlyas

most

works The

grave offence for a to be heard by a man

word single of
a

of these
caste.

regarded as given divinely Rig-Veda


is

lower
:

Vedas

are

four

in number

of these

the the

then probably the oldest,

the

Yajur-Veda, then
Each

Sama-Veda,
consists
or

and

last of all the Atharva-Veda.


main
a

of these Vedas
mantras

of two and

parts :
somewhat Law.

a or

Sanhita,or collection of
ritualistic precept the
same

hymns
as

Brahmana,
in
to the

and
to

which illustration, the Sanhita


is
an

stands

relation
to

the

Talmud

Attached
or

each

Brahmana

Upani-

mysticaldoctrine. The Sanhita and for the Brahmana for men are generally ; the Upanishads are Of these Sanhitas,the "Rig-Veda more philosophical inquirers. thousand and seventeen Sanhita, containingone hymns, is the is oldest and most important; whilst the Atharva-Veda-Sanhita held to be the most recent, and is perhaps the most generally Moreover, these are the only two Vedic hymn-books interesting. collections ; "* the others worthy of beingcalled separate original from the Rig-Veda. made being almost entirely up of extracts
secret shad, containing

The

Sanhitas
"

of three
a

of the is

Vedas

are

said to

have

some

peculiarity.

for loud and intended metrical, whence the name it is called Rich (from rich,praise), recitation, Rig-Veda ; i.e.the Veda containingsuch praises. If it is prose it is called Yajus (yaj, (and then it must be muttered inaudibly), the means sacrifice, hence, literally, by which sacrifice is effected) ; therefore Yajur-Veda signifies the Veda such containing Yajus. it is called And intended for chanting, if it is metrical and Saman Veda the Veda means containing [equal] ; hence Saman If
mantra

such would

Samans.
say, the

The

author
'

of

the

Mantra,

or,

as

the

Hindus

who received it from the Deity, is inspired Seer,' is its termed its Rishi ; and the object with which it is concerned but the meandevata which means a ing a word deity,' generally of which, in its reference to mantras, must not always be taken literally, there are hymns in which not gods or deified as a sacrificialpost, weapons, "c, invoked, but,for instance, beings,
'
"

(.

Indian

Wisdom,' p. 9.

The

Vedic

Deities,

prayed
such
there

to

the
as

Sun,
were

and
not

had

granted
known
to to

to

him

his

wish,
"

'
"

to

possess thus
sidered con-

texts
are

his

teacher.'
; the

And

two

Yajur-Vedas
of the of the that world
two.

this

day

Black

being

the As There
to

older date doubt


in

the is
no

Vedas,

there
are
as

is

nothing certainly
the

known.

they
; but

amongst
to

oldest
were

literary composed
a

productions
all
is

the

when
to

they
show

conjecture.
that
B.C.

Colebrooke
must

seems

from before
some

Vaidick

Calendar,
century
ancient

they
Some

have
to

been
a

written
more

the
a

14th
more

assign

them

recent,

date.

Goldstiicker,

art.

"

Vedas,"

Chambers's

Cyclopaedia.

si

"

L.J

CHAPTER
THE

II.

VEUIC

GODS

GENERALLY.

the Vedas) gives the oldest Commentator on (probably There are three classification of the Vedic gods : the following accordingto the expounders of the Vedas : Agni, whose deities, placeis on the earth ; Vayu or Indra, whose placeis in the air ; and Surya, whose place is in the sky. These deities receive in consequence of their greatness appellations, severally many Veda itself In the Rigof their functions." of the diversity or is increased to thirty-three this number : Agni, the wise god, with the ruddy steeds, lends an to his worshippers.God ear YASKA
"
"

"

This is bring hither those three-and-thirty." praise, the number commonly mentioned, though it is by no means intended,as the lists easy to decide which are the thirty-three it is said, of the gods vary considerably ; whilst in another verse that three hundred, three thousand, thirty-and-nine gods have worshipped Agni." deities are These spoken of as immortal,but are not said to be self-existent beings; in fact,their parentage in most cases of their origin do not is given,though the various accounts agree with each other,as found in different parts of the Vedas. Agni and Savitri are said to have conferred immortalityupon this boon the gods ; whilst it is taught that Indra obtained by in the is given sacrifice. An account Satapatha interesting tality, Brahmana t of the means by which the gods obtained immorAll the Demons. the Asuras and superiority or over who lovest
"
'

'

Muir, O. S. T.,v.

p. S.

t Ibid. iv. 54-62.

8'

The

Vedic

Deities.

gods
sons

were

alike mortal, all were

of

Prajapatithe

Creator.

equal in power, all were alike Wishing to be immortal,they

and practised the severest liberally, penance ; had taught them but not until Prajapati to offer a particular sacrifice could become immortal. they They followed his advice, and gained the desired boon. Wishing to become truthful. Previously greater than the Asuras, they became or they and the Asuras spoke truthfully as falsely they thought fit ; but graduallythey ceased from whilst the Asuras lying, false : the result was, that the gods after became increasingly gained the victory. Of the gods,originally, protracted struggles all alike good ; but three of them alike in power, all were to the rest,viz. Agni, Indra, and desired to be superior Surya.

offered sacrifices

They continued

accomplished.
flame and
as

offer sacrifices for this purpose until it was there was in Agni the samenot Originally
to
now.

there is
a

He

desired, May this flame be


"

in

me,"

offered
it.

sacrifice for the So Indra

attainment

of this

obtained

increased

his energy,

and blessing, and Surya his

brightness.
It will be noticed the that each of the

gods in

turn

is

regarded by

in the Vedas to all the others ; and worshipper as superior this superlative language is employed,and the identical epithets Miiller are given indiscriminately.Professor Max says : these individual gods are When ceived invoked, they are not conlimited by the power of others, as as superioror inferior mind the of the Each is as good in rank. god, to supplicants,
"

as

all the

gods.

He

is felt at

the

time

as

real

as divinity, our

supreme

and

in spiteof the limitations which, to absolute,

mind,
he

of gods must plurality

entail from

on

every

single god.

All

the rest

disappearfor
is to

only who
eyes
numerous

the vision of the poet, and fulfiltheir desires stands in full lightbefore
a

moment

the the

of the

worshippers.
...

It would

be

almost hymns of the Rig-Veda, passages and absolute." as god is represented supreme every single mortal thwart will of these gods is sovereign can The ; no all creatures. In their designs. They exercise authorityover They know the thoughtsand their hands is the lifeof mortals.

easy to in which

in find,

The

Vedic

Gods

generally.

intentions

of

men

; and

whilst

they

reward

their

worshippers,

they punish those

them. neglect Professor Williams says,* that the deified forces addressed in the Vedic hymns were probablynot representedby images idols in the Vedic the early or period,though doubtless forms in their own worshippersclothed their gods with human : imaginations." Professor Max Miillerfspeaks more positively The religion knows of no idols. The of the Veda worship of who
" "

idols in India is a
more

secondary formation, a primitive worship of ideal gods."


Williams
seems

of Professor far
as

they are known, for the common strongly on the other side. He writes : From of the sky,'or men appellationof the gods as divo naras, men,' and from the epithetnripesas,having the simply naras, form of men,' we may conclude that the Indians did not merely also in imagination assign human forms to their gods, but them in a sensible manner. Thus a paintedimage represented 'with of Rudra Veda, ii. 33, 9) is described strong limbs, (Rigbrown ; he is painted with shiningcolours.' many-formed, awful,
" '
' '

degradationof the The guarded language better suited to the facts, to be as Dr. BollensenJ speaks quite as
later

"

Still clearer of
an

appears
'

form Here
'

image.
"

it seems

that the
"

in the representations now pray to the gods of these (Maruts).' from their gods, Maruts are distinguished the reference
to

i.e. their
'

is in There images.' which properly denotes Sandris,'

the oldest
an

language
of the

word,
the

'

image

gods.'

We
deities

shall
as

now

proceed

to

the

consideration

in detail of

described

in the Vedas.

'

Indian

Wisdom,'

p. 15.

'

Chips from

German

Workshop,'

i. 38.

t Muir,

O. S.

T., v. 453.

io

The

Vedic

Deities.

CHAPTER
DYAUS AND

III.
PRITHIVI.

generalopinion respectingDyaus (Heaven) and Prithivi ancient of the Aryan is that they are amongst the most (Earth) deities : hence they are spoken of in the hymns of the Rig-Veda described the parents of the other gods.* They are as as ;" those who promote righteousness, great, wise,and energetic in another place and lavish gifts upon their worshippers."And made all creatures," and through their they are said to have Not favour immortalityis conferred upon their offspring." of all only are they the creators, but also the preservers
The
" "
"

"

creatures

and

are

beneficent

and

kind

to

all.

In

other

and Earth are said to have been formed by Heaven passages Indra, who is declared to transcend them in greatness, whom scribed they follow " as a chariot follows the horse." They are deas

bowing
said
to

down
as

before

him

as

with trembling control.


;

fear

on

account

of him
are

; and

they
verses

have
are

being subjectto his been formed by Soma


said
to

Again
in other
fusion con-

and

other of

deities

have

made

them.

This

thought respectingthe

originof these
asked in other

to the questionbeing naturally have they been produced ? Who

gods led very hymns, " How


?
"

There Indra
soon newer

seems

to

be

of the sages knows considerable ground for the


in the in India.

opinion that

graduallysuperseded Dyaus
after their settlement

god

were

sung, the
*

older

one

worship of the Hindus As the praisesof the in was forgotten ; and

Muir, O.

S.

T.,v.

23.

Dyaus

and

Prithivi.
is almost both of
are

I I

day, whilst Dyaus though in the Vedas worshipped, statement The following Heaven.
the

present

unknown,
called
the

Indra

is of

god

Professor

Benfey* gives a

natural
Indra is

of explanation took the


in

It may be distinctly shown that place of the god of Heaven, who, in the Vedas, this
"

:
"

invoked
is

the

vocative

as

Dyauspitar (Heaven
this

father).

This
in

proved by
Latin

the

fact that

the

and Jupiter,

formula, fixed, like many

phrase is exactly reflected the Greek Zeu-pater as a religious others, before the separationof the

languages. When (where for them,


radiance

the Sanskrit
as

peopleleft

the

common

country

well

as

for other kindred

the brilliant tribes,

of the appeared to them, in consequence the holiest thing)and settled in there prevailing, climate as and sultryIndia (where the glow of the heavens is destructive, this aspect of the Deity must only its rain operates beneficially), have appeared the most Pluvius, adorable,so that the epithet of heaven
in
a

certain

sense,

absorbed

all

the

other

characteristics

of

In-dra,in Dyauspitar. This found its expression in the name in some which we recognisea word (which arose unhesitatingly
local

dialect,and
'

was

then

diffused

with

the

spread

of

the

worship)standing for Sind-ra,which again was derived from which had been attached to Syand, to drop.' The conceptions
Dyaus
has and
were

then transferred the

to Indra."

taken

place
we

of

Dyaus again.

is

now

opinionthat Indra believed, pretty generally


The
to be

the certainly Prithivi

above hear

explanation appears
The
'

very

natural.

givesthe of her birth : There was a king named Vena, account following duties. and notorious for his wickedness neglect of religious the Rishis of that age could bear with his impiety no When evil happened; But him. worse now a "" they slew longer, better and they felt that a bad king was anarchy prevailed, than none at all. Upon this they rubbed the thighof Vena, and in appearance. forth a black dwarf, like a negro there came I to am Immediately after his birth this dwarf asked, What He is told, "Nislda" do?" down), and from this his (sit
Of
"

Vishnu

Purana'*

"

Muir, O. S. T.,v.

iS.

t Page

103.

12

The

Vedic
'

Deities.
unto

descendants
now arm

are

called

'

Nishidis

this

day.
a

The

corpse

was

pure, as all sin had left it in this black then rubbed, and from it there came was
was

body.
the

The

beautiful

right shining
his

who prince,

named

Prithu,and

reigned in

placeof

father.

Earth would during his reignthere was a famine. and not yield her fruits, great distress prevailed. Prithu her yield her fruits." said, I will slay the Earth, and make Terrified at this threat, the Earth assumed the form of a cow, and was to the heaven pursued by Prithu through space, even of Brahma. At length, with the chase, she turned to weary Prithu and said, Know the sin of killing that a female you not ? The thus try to slay me king replied that, when the you is secured by the destruction of one happiness of many nant maligis death of that the of virtue." act an being But," being, in order said the Earth, the welfare of to promote if, your end to whence, best of monarchs, subjects, me, put an you will thy peoplederive their support ? Overcome the at length, declared that all vegetableproducts were Earth stroyed old, and decommand she would restore by her,but that at the king's her milk." Do you therefore,for the them as developed from I may that calf by which benefit of mankind, give me be able also all placeslevel, Make that I may cause milk. to secrete so to flow everywhere around." milk, the seed of all vegetation, my Now
"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

"

Prithu time
there

acted
was

upon
no

this

advice

of

the

Earth.
no

"

Before

his

no cultivation,

pasture,

no agriculture,

highway for merchants ; all these things (or all civilization) Where the ground was in the reign of Prithu. made originated the king induced his subjectsto take up their abode. level, Manu the He, therefore,having made Swayambhuva calf, milked the Earth, and received the milk into his own hand, for' Thence the benefit of mankind. proceeded all kinds of corn and vegetables upon which subsist. people now By granting her father, life to the Earth, Prithu was and she thence as derived the patronymic appellation Prithivi." In a note Professor Wilson observes adds,* the commentator
. . .

'

Vishnu

Parana,'p.

104.

14

The

Vedic

Deities.

CHAPTER
ADITI AND THE

IV.
ADITYAS.

ADITI

has

the

honour

of

mentioned the

by
as

name

in the

being almost the only goddess Veda, as the mother of any of Rigan

gods ;

but it is the

by

no

means

easy

task

to

delineate
are

her made

character,
children

most
was

statements contradictory

concerningher.
on

She

invoked she

as

the bestower declared clearly

of

blessings
to

sometimes sometimes deities, eight, She is supposed to be the impersonation of twelve in number. the boundlessness of heaven, in opposition infinity, especially is that Aditi is Another to the finiteness of earth." supposition of the personification nature or universal, all-embracing Being."
" "

mother

cattle ; and of Varuna, and other

and

is

be

the

This

latter idea
a

seems
man

to be

the
to

more

correct

from

the
"

following
Of which

where verses,*

about

be

immolated shall
the
we

says,

god, now,
name,

of which shall

of the immortals

invoke

the amiable
I may

who
my

give

us

back mother

to

great Aditi,that
Whatever
may
or

oehold intended
may

father and

my

"

have

been

by

have

the poets to be expressed by this name, been the precisepower by personified of forgiveness be sin.
we we

whatever
is

Aditi, she
Aditi make
any

connected
us

with the
"

Thus have

"

May

sinless."

Aditi
"

if gracious,

committed

sin

againstyou."
our

Whatever

offence

have, O

committed folly againstyou, oh, most Whatever free from sins againstAditi." from it."f Aditi sever us may
" *

Agni, through youthfulgod, make us have committed, sin we

Muir, O.

S.

T.,v. 45.

Ibid.

v.

46, 47.

Aditi

and

the

Adityas.

15
Aditi
verse

In the account
is said
to

of the Creation
from

Daksha
sons.

sprung is called her son.


'

have

given in the Rig-Veda, Daksha, and in the same


is also have
a no we

There
'

reference to her other less than three


what some-

In the

Vishnu

Purana of the

accounts differing

originof Daksha,

the

father

of

Aditi. the

In

the

mind-born have
as one

first account, Daksha's of Brahma sons ; and of them.


been
one

name amongst appears in this connection he is

said to

had

but twenty-four daughters, In the second


account

Aditi of

is not

tioned men-

is said to have

of his whom

Daksha, Aditi and was sixty daughters, given in


she had twelve sons, the
incarnate
as

marriage to Kasyapa, by
Elsewhere
was
a

Adityas.
Dwarf,

we

read

that Vishnu, when

the
of

result of this
is

marriage.
as sons

In the third account

Daksha,
of

Aditi

Vivasat

again mentioned (the Sun). The

his

daughter, and
are

the

mother

of Aditi

termed

THE

ADITYAS.

simply the descendants of signifies of six are the names passage in the Rig-Veda Aryman, Bhaga, Varuna, Daksha, and Amsa.
This
name
*

Aditi.

In

one

given: Mitra,
In another

passage
names

they
are

are

said

to

be
a

seven

in
verse

number, though their

not
"

given.

In

third

eight is
were

the

number from her

of the eight of Aditi who sons given ; but body, she approached the gods with seven, tanda (the f As the lists of names eighth)."
in different

born
cast

and

out
sons

Mart-

of these with

parts of the Vedas


know the who
number
a are were

do

not

agree

each
as

given other,it

is difficult to

regarded originally

Adityas.

Judging
of

from

of

these

deities
;

occupied
others with

Pantheon then
'

whilst

hymns addressed to them, some conspicuous positionin the Vedic twice only, and named or once
more

in connection

their

illustrious brethren.

In the of the

Satapatha Brahmana,'
increased
to

and

the

Puranas, the
In

number
to

Adityas is

twelve.

addition

the

six whose

Muir, O.

S.

T., v. 54.

t Ibid.

v.

49

16

The

Vedic

Deities.

in some also described are given above, the following' of Aditi : Surya, as an hymns of the Rig-Veda as the offspring Aditya identified with Agni, is said to have been placedby the and Indra too, is in one Savitri, gods in the sky ; passage and Varuna In with the Moon. addressed as an Aditya along described the Taittiriya as following eight are texts, the Adityas: Mitra, Varuna, Aryaman, Amsu, Bhaga, Indra, and
names are
" "

"

Vivasvat

(Surya). Professor Roth sayst of


and

these deities :

"

In the

heaven highest

the name of reign those gods who bear in common Adityas. We must, however, if we would discover their earliest the conceptionswhich in a later age, and abandon character, entertained regarding in that of the heroic poems, were even twelve these deities. According to this conception, they were Sun-gods, there being evident reference to the twelve months. ancient period hold fast to the primary must But for the most we of their names. They are inviolable, imperishable, significance The Eternal,is the element eternal things. Aditi, or Eternity, The which sustains them, or is sustained by them. eternal and inviolable element in which the Adityasdwell,and which forms is the celestial light. The Adityas, the gods of their essence, do not therefore by any means coincide with any of this light, is manifested in the universe. the forms in which light They are neither the sun, nor moon, nor dawn, but the eternal stars, nor which exists as it were sustainers of this luminous behind life, dwell these As

phenomena."
noticed who

above, the
were

text

of the

Rig-Vedas says, J
of

"

Of the

she approached Aditi, the eighth." In the comthe gods with seven, but cast away mentary, of this circumstance the following is given : explanation His brothers, The formity, eighthson was deformed. seeinghis deHe was afterwards known improved his appearance. the flesh cut off his Vivasvat as superfluous (theSun). From body an elephantwas formed : hence the proverb, Let no man

eightsons

born from the

body

"

"

'

Muir, O.

S.

T.,v. 54. X Ibid.

t Ibid.
v.

v.

56.

49.

Aditi

and

the

Adityas.

17

catch man.'
"

an

elephant,

for

the

elephant

partakes
in and

of

the

nature

of

According
"

to

passage

quoted
Indra,
means

Chapter Surya
certain

II.*
obtained

from

the
riority supe-

Satapatha
over

Brahmana,'
the other

Agni, gods
was

by

of sacrifice.
it

By
that

whatever
were

means

this
most

position
himself;

attained,
of the with

is

these stands there

the
a

popular
by

deities but

Vedic Indra and the


:
"

Age.
and

Agni Surya
very

in
are

class

other

deities

closely Nearly
be

associated,
whole
as

possessing
more

similar Vedic Fire those


;

attributes. deities II. Sun may

the

of

conspicuous
the

classified
or

follows

I.

Agni,
Storm

god
Gods,

of
or

Gods,
with

gods

of

Light

; and

III.

associated

Indra.

Page

8.

The

Vedic

Deities.

CHAPTER
AGNI.

V.

Agxi,*

prominent of the the single of Indra, more With deities of the Vedas. exception hymns are addressed to him than to any other deity. Professor of Agni : Williams gives the following description spirited
the

god

of Fire, is

one

of the

most

"

"

seven-rayedgod, how manifold thy shapes Bright, thee we see to us thy votaries : now With body all of gold ; and radiant hair Flaming from three terrificheads, and mouths, Whose burningjaws and teeth devour all things. Now with a thousand glowing horns,and now Flashingthy lustre from a thousand eyes, Thou'rt borne towards us in a golden chariot, Impelledby winds, and drawn by ruddy steeds, with blackness." f Marking thy car's destructive course
Revealed accounts
are

Various
be
a son

givenof

the

of Agni. origin

He

is said to

Prithivi ; he is called the son of Brahma, he is reckoned and is then named Abhimani ; and amongst the children of Kasyapa and Aditi, and hence one of the Adityas. of

Dyaus

and

he is described as a son of Angiras, writings king of the Pitris (fathers of mankind), and the authorship of several In pictures he is representedas a hymns is ascribed to him. red man, dark eyes, eyehaving three legs and seven arms,

In the later

with

and Brahmanaspati are generally Brihaspati regarded as being identical the are same ditional Agni. Nearly epithets applied to them, with this adof one few passages over presiding they prayer ; although in some
"

are

addressed

as

'

Indian

Wisdom,'

separate deities. p. 18.

Agni.
hair.
a seven

19

brows

and

He

rides

on

ram,

wears

poita(Brahmanical
his The his

and thread),

garlandof
streams

fruit. Flames of

of fire issue from from

mouth, and
a

gloryradiate

body.

following passage,
text

for every sentence the Vedic

of which

Dr. Muir*

quotes
and

from

the

Vedas, givesa good idea of the character


in deity

functions of this

Age.

AGNI.

Agni
as

is an

immortal

their guest. He dawn, and who concentrates

has taken up his abode with mortals who rises before the is the domestic priest who in his
own

highersense
a

person and exercises in all the various sacrificialoffices which the Indian
a

ritual
is

to assigns

number

of different human

He functionariesT/

the sages, sage, the divinest among with all the forms of worship ; the wise

intimately acquainted the successful director,

Muir, O.

S.

T.,v. 119 flf.


C
2

20

The

Vedic

Deities.

accomplishesand
men cases

the

protector of all ceremonies,who


in
not
a

enables in skill.

to

serve

the

gods

correct

and

acceptable manner,
own

where
is
a

they could

do

this with their

unaided

heaven and earth, swift messenger, moving between their mutual both by gods and men to maintain commissioned
He

hymns, and to the oblations of their worshippers to bring to them ; or convey down from the sky to the placeof sacrifice. them immortals) (the and shares He accompanies the gods when they visit the earth, makes and adoration which they receive. He in the reverence him the gods experience no the oblations fragrant ; without
communication,
to
announce

to

the immortals

the

satisfaction.

lord, king of protector, the house, dwelling in every abode. he lives home no man, ; he despises Agni
is the

men.

He
is
a

is the

lord of

He

guest in every

family. He is mediator between therefore considered a as gods and men, and witness of their actions ; hence to the present day he is a as and his blessing as sought on all solemn occasions, worshipped, at marriage, death, "c. In these old hymns Agni is spoken of as of wood, which being rubbed together dwellingin the two pieces thing that a produce fire ; and it is noticed as a remarkable being should springout of dry (dead)wood. living Strangeto born, begins with soon as say, says the poet, the child, as his parents. Wonderful unnatural voracityto consume is his nourish growth, seeingthat he is born of a mother who cannot him ; but he is nourished by the oblations of clarified butter which are poured into his mouth, and which he consumes. divine functions are ascribed to Agni. Although in The highest in some placeshe is spoken of as the son of heaven and earth,
others he
is said to have

in every

stretched

them
or

out

; to

have
'

formed formed
at

them, and all that flies or walks,or stands


the his
sun,
and

moves.

He

adorned

the

heaven

with

stars.

Men'

tremble

mighty deeds,and his ordinances cannot be resisted. Earth, All the gods fear, heaven, and all things obey his commands. and the secrets of mortals,and do homage to him. He knows
that
are

hears the invocations The

addressed prosper,
are

to

him. live

worshippersof Agni

wealthy,and

long.

22

The
"

Vedic

Deities,

Smoke-bannered

voice Agni, god with crackling And when thou dost piercethe gloom flaminghair, At earlydawn, and all the world illume, Both heaven and earth and gods and men rejoice.

"In

thou art a welcome guest, every home The household tutelary a son, lord, all in one, A father, mother, brother,

friend

by whom

thy faithful friends

are

blest.

"

swift-winged messenger,
From To heaven
taste
our

thou callest down


our

And

all

our

divine, food,our hymns to hear,benign, fondest aspirations crown.


to
race our : divinely wise, priest

crowd

hearths the

"

Thou, Agni, art


In The And

holy science versed,thy skilldetects faults that mar mistakes corrects, our rites, all our acts completes and sanctifies.
art

"

skies, the chasm, profoundand vast, bridge that scans Dividing earth from heaven, o'er which at last The good shall safely pass to Paradise.
to

Thou

the cord that stretches

the

The

"

when, great god, thine awful anger glows, And thou revealest thy destroying force, All creatures flee before thy furious course, As hosts are chased by overpowering foes.
But Thou Thou levellest all thou touchest ; forests vast

"

like beards which barber's shear'st, wind-driven flames


roar

razor

shaves
waves,

Thy
And

loud

as

ocean's

all thy track is black when

thou hast past.

"

But

thou, great Agni, dost


direful form
our

not

always wear
to

That

; thou

rather lov'st
milder

shine with

Upon
And

with hearths,

flame
art

benign,
care.

cheer the homes


! thou

where

thou

nursed

"

Yes

all those men to bless delightest Who toil unwearied to supply the food Which thou so lovest ; logs of well-dried wood, And thy favourite mess. heaps of butter bring,
"

Agni.

23

"

Though

no

cow an

Of butter, nor These


"

possess, and have no store fresh wood to cleave, axe


I

Thou, graciousgod, wilt my


few

dry sticks

bring ;
"

receive poor gift I have no more.

Preserve From Tower

save us, lord ; thy faithful servants bliss is marred all the ills by which our

like

an

iron wall
bestow
our

our our

homes hearts

to
can

guard,
crave.

And
"

all the boons

And

when
we our

away
at

brief existence wanes,


homes earthly
must

When
And Do
"

lengthour
to

quit,
flit,

freed souls

worlds unknown
our

shall

thou deal

gentlywith

cold remains.

form assuming, guide then,thy gracious the dark abyss Our unborn part across and bliss, of light Aloft to realms serene the gods abide." men Where righteous among And

"

In

celebrated and the

hymn
other

of the

Rig-Veda,attributed

to Visish-

tha, Indra

gods are called upon to destroy the Rakshas, enemies of the gods. or Kravyads (theflesh-eaters), ent differAgni himself is a Kravyad, and as such takes an entirely under a form as hideous as the character. He is represented to with the other gods, is called upon beings he, in common He sharpens his two iron tusks, devour. puts his enemies into He heats the edges of his shafts, his mouth, and devours them.
and
"

sends In the

them

into the hearts of the Rakshasas." is represented as


many

his

Mahabharata, Agni vigour by devouring too


the whole Khandava

havingexhausted

consume

oblations,and desiringto his of recruiting as a means forest,


'

from doing this by Indra ; strength. He was [atfirst] prevented and Arjuna,he but having obtained the assistance of Krishna baffled Indra, and accomplished his object." f Accordingto the Ramayana, in order to assist Vishnu when incarnate as Rama, Agni became the father of Nila by a monkey he married Swaha, mother ; and according to the Vishnu Purana,' he had three sons, Pavaka, Pavamana, and Suchi. by whom
'
"

Dowson,

'

of Dictionary

Hindu

Mythology.'

f Dowson,

s.

v.

24

The

Vedic

Deities.

Agni has many following: Vahni, He who


"

names

; those

more

generallyknown
burnt sacrifice."

are

the

"

receives who

the

horn,or

Vitihotra,
"

"

He
"

sanctifies the wTho conquers burns."

Dhananjaya, Jivalana, He
Dhumketu,
"

He who

worshipper." riches." (destroys)

He
"

whose

sign

is smoke."
on a

Chhagaratha, He who rides Saptajihva, He who has seven


"

ram."

tongues."

**o

25

CHAPTER
SUN OR LIGHT

VI.

DEITIES.

I.

SURYA.

SURYA
addressed used and

and

Savitri

are

two

names

by

which

the

Sun

is

is the one Sometimes name hymns. sometimes they are used interchangeably, exclusively, sometimes quite they are used as though they represented in the

Vedic

distinct when

objects.It

is

supposed that
Surya

Savitri refers when

to

the

sun

invisible ; whilst

refers to him

he is visible to for the two


case

the
names

worshippers. This at any rate givessome being employed, though it may not

reason

explain the
are

in every instance. satisfactorily Although the hymns in which Surya


numerous,

is addressed

not

very

his

worship was
to

most

common

in the olden

time, and
that
at

has

continued

the

present hour.
text

It

is

to

him

the

the most Gayatri, by every rising this short


as verse :
"

sacred devout is

of the Vedas, is addressed

his

Brahman.
to

supposed

Simple in its phraseology, It is exert magical powers.

follows
"

Let

us

meditate

May
As
a

he

gloryof the divine Vivifier ; * our understandings." enlighten (or stimulate)


on

that excellent

specimen of writingsin reference


from
to

the
to

language employed
this verse,
'

in

some

of the later

the

'

Skanda

Purana

"
"

the

Gayatri.No

invocation

followingfew lines Nothing in the Vedas is superior as no is equalto the Gayatri, city
read the
p.
20.

Indian

Wisdom,'

26

The

Vedic

Deities.
mother of

Gayatri is the equal to Kasi (Benares).The the Vedas, and of Brahmans. By repeatingit a man
is

is saved.

of the By the power Gayatrithe Kshetriya Vish(Warrior caste) vamitra Brahmarsi and saint), such
to be
new

became

(Brahman
even

tained obas a

power
create

able to world.

What that
not can-

is

there indeed

be effected

by

the the

Gayatri? Gayatri
the With three

For is

Vishnu,
*

Brahma, and Siva,and


Vedas."

promise
at

of such
to be

it is blessing, wondered

not

that

the

worship
should The
SURYA.

of

Surya

continue.

Rig-Veda gives a addresses to Surya :


the
"

fair

specimen

of

the

lation transfollowing | of hymns from language used in

"

Behold

The The

lead on high the rays of Dawn, like heralds, the that see men god. great all-knowing Sun, may with Night, in company stars slink off like thieves,

Before the

all-seeing eye, whose

beams

Gleaming like brilliant flames,to With speed,beyond the ken of mortals,thou, O Sun travel on, conspicuousto all. Dost ever and with it dost illume the light, Thou dost create

reveal his presence, nation after nation.


!

Kennedy's Hindu Mythology,' p. 345. t Indian Wisdom,' p. 19.


'

'

Sun
The universe
race

or

Light

Deities"

Surya.

27

entire

thou risest in the


and

sight

Of all the

of men,

all the host of heaven.

Varuna ! thy piercing Light-giving glance dost scan, In quick succession, all this stirring active world, And too the broad ethereal space, penetrateth and spying out all creatures. Measuring our days and nights, Surya with flaminglocks, clear-sighted god of day, bear seven mares on Thy ruddy thy rushing car. With these, seven thy self-yoked steeds, daughters of thy chariot, Onward thou dost advance. To thy refulgent orb Beyond this lower gloom, and upward to the light Would we ascend, O Sun ! thou god among the gods."

already noticed,is regarded as a son of Aditi ; at other times he is said to be a son of Dyaus. Ushas (the Dawn) is called his wife,though in another passage he is said to be produced by the Dawn. Some texts state that he is the Vivifier of all things; whilst others state that he was formed and made shine to by Indra,Soma, Agni, and others. From the character ascribed to Savitri in some hymns, it natural to regard him as the sun more seems shiningin his and Surya as the sun when and setting. Savitri strength, rising is golden-eyed,* golden-handed,golden-tongued. He rides in a chariot drawn white-footed steeds. He illuminates by radiant, the earth ; his golden arms stretched out to bless, infusing energy
we

Surya, as

have

into all creatures, reach leader and

to

the
; the

utmost

ends

of heaven.

He

is

gods follow him, and he it is who ance immortality. He is prayed to for deliverfrom sin, and to conduct the souls of the departed to the abode of the righteous. In the Puranic Age, Surya sustains quitea different character. He is there called the son of Kasyapa and Aditi. He is described
as a are

king in givesthem

heaven

other

dark-red

man,

with

three

two

water-lilies ; with one with the other he is encouraging his


a

hands

eyes and four he is bestowing a

arms

in

blessing,
sits upon

red

to

and rays of gloryissue lotus, the dailyworshipthat is offered

from

worshippers. his body. In addition to him by the Brahmans by

He

Muir, O. S. T.,v. 162 fif.

28

The

Vedic

Deities.

the
the

he is worshipped once of the Gayatri, repetition the first Sunday in the on Hindus, generally
;

year month

by
of

Macrh

and

in

seasons

of sickness
to

it is

no

uncommon

thing for
some verses

the low-caste in honour

Hindus

of

Surya, in

employ a the hope

Brahman that the

to

repeat

deitythus propitiated
Surya. who, after brightness
of

will effect their recovery. In the 'Vishnu Purana'*we He married

find the

account following ;

Sangna, the daughter


three
was children, so

of Visvakarma

bearinghim
and

oppressed with his

compelled to leave him. Before her glory,that she was she left Chhaya (Shadow) in her place. For years departure, Surya did not notice this change of wife. But one day, in a fit of anger, Chhaya pronounceda curse a child (Death), upon Yama
of and Sangna's,
curse

this

curse

took

mother's
was

could

affect her

Surya knew that how and, Avondering offspring,

effect.

no

it

he came that to know Chhaya's curse was not harmless, his wife had forsaken him, leaving this other woman in her place. Through the power of meditation, Surya found Sangna in a forest in the form of a mare ; and, in order that he might enjoy her society, changed himself into a horse. After a few years, they
in proper form to grew tired of this arrangement, and returned their own dwelling. But in order that his presence might be bearable to his wife,his father-in-law, who the architect of was

that

the

gods,ground the Sun upon a stone, and by this means duced rehis brightness by one-eighth. The part thus ground from wasted. From it were not working Surya was produced the wonderdiscus of Vishnu, the trident of Siva, the lance of
of

Kartikeya (thegod god of riches).


The than he
'

war),and
'

the

weapons

of Kuvera

(the

Bhavishya Purana

{i.e. Surya),
as

nor

says, has been

"

Because will

there is

none

greater
"

nor

brated be, therefore he is celeVedas."

which

supreme is the sun, and


must

the

soul in all the thus called

lightor
those

Again, that is effulgent power,


who dread
sive succes-

adorable, and
births and

be

worshipped by
who

deaths,and
*

desire beatitude." eagerly

In

Book

III.

chap. ii.

30

The

Vedic
the

Deities.
earth

Mihira,
moisture

"

He

who the
seas

waters
so

;" i.e. he
are

draws

up

the

from
"

that the clouds of the stars."

formed.

Grahapati, The

Lord

works." Karmasakshi, "The witness of (men's) Martanda, "A descendant of Mritanda."

2.

PUSHAN.

Pushan addressed
in

is the

name

of

sun-god to
whose

whom

some

hymns
times

are

and exclusively, with that

praiseat
In

other

is sung

connection

of

Indra, "c.

these

hymns
*

the

character of this behold and

defined. He is said to very clearly the entire universe ; is addressed as the guide of travellers

deityis not

the

protector of cattle.
in

He

servants

and battle,

to

defend

is called upon them as of old.


to

to

protect his
is invoked

He

in the
to

and marriageceremonial, the


text

asked

take

the bride's hand,

lead her away, and is said also to conduct the next. In


one

to bless her in her

of spirits
"

the
"

relations. He conjugal departedfrom this world


as Vishnu nourisher,"

to

he is called the

the

in later times number

was

called

preserver."By

of prayers addressed to him seem both guide and protector of travellers, of life and
in the

far the greater to refer to him as the

neys along the ordinaryjour-

longerjourneyto the other world ; and he is said to be constantly as about,he is said to know travelling well the road by which they have to go. The is a specimen of the hymns addressed to following
Pushan
in

the

Veda Rigson distress,

:
"

"

Conduct

us,

Pushan,
on

over

our
us.

road ; remove Smite away which seeks


the thief and

of the
us

from after

before
us.

the

deliverer ; go destructive and

before

wolf injurious

Drive

the robber. deceitful

from our path the waylayer, away Tread with thy foot upon the burning

weapons
thou

of that and wise

wretch, whoever
desire that

he

be.

working wonder-

Pushan, we
our

help of thine

wherewith

didst favour

fathers !

all blessings, god,who bringest

Muir, O. S. T., v.

171

ff.

Sun

or

Light

Deities

"

Mitra

and

Varuna.

21

by thy golden spear, make wealth distinguished ! Convey us past our our opponents ; make acquisition
and art

easy of

paths

Lead for us here. us a over easy to travel ; gain strength trouble let new no (beset our)path. country of rich pastures ; fill our belly. We do not Bestow, satiate, grant, stimulate us ;

Pushan, we reproach
from with

him with hymns ; and praise the wonder-working god."* May we, O direct us will straightway who wise man a
"

we

seek

riches !
meet
'

Pushan and

this.'
may may

May Pushan he giveus food meet." f we


Puranas almost

follow
....

our

kine ; may

say, It is he protect our horses ;

Come

hither, glowinggod,the deliverer,


far less exalted
see

In the It
is
seems

Pushan like
a

occupies a

position.
Vedas

to burlesque

him

who

in the

approachedas the giverof good to his worshippers, reverently because his teeth to feed upon described as being obliged gruel,
been knocked
out

have

of his mouth.
event

The in the

earliest form

of the

this legenddescribing Rudra


not

is found

Sanhita. Taittiriya
which

being invited to a great shot an was father-in-law, celebrating,


sacrificialvictim.
his teeth.

sacrifice that
arrow

Daksha, his piercedthe


it broke

Pushan

ate

part of this victim,and


appears

Daksha,J a full account describing Purana' Pushan will be given. In the 'Vishnu of the Adityas.
In

of this sacrifice
as one

3. These
two

MITRA

AND

VARUNA.

deities

are

most

named frequently

in together
very

the

hymns
The and
"

; Varuna

is often addressed
commentators

alone,but Mitra
was

seldom.

idea of the older ruled


over

that Mitra
was

the

day, whilst Varuna


visible
to

ruler of the of his

represented night.

Varuna

is sometimes
a

the

gaze

worshippers ;

he dwells in accessible
to

house
men.

having a
He

thousand
to

is said

that he is ever so doors, have for he good eyesight,

Muir, O. S. T., v. 175. % Part

f Ibid.
III.

v.

177.

chap.i.

The
knows
and

Vedic

Deities.

He the

He is king of gods goes on in the hearts of men. men resist his authority. can ; is mighty and terrible ; none " is sovereign ruler of the universe." It is he who makes
to

what

sun

shine has

in heaven

; the

winds

that blow

are

but

his

breath

; he

hollowed

out

the

channels

of the rivers which

VARUNA.

flow at his

command, and
are

he has

made

the
;

His ordinances the


in the
moon

fixed and
in

unassailable

depths of the sea. through their operation


stars,which
attain appear in the birds flying
a

walks

and brightness,

the

nightly sky,vanish in
and wrath.

the rivers in their air, of his power

daylight. The flow,cannot sleepless


But he knows

knowledge
the birds

the

of flight

Sun
in the

or

Light

Deities

"

Varuna.
the

$3

sky, the
the
or

course

of the far and beholds He

wind, travelling
all the witnesses
secret

ships on
have been

ocean,

paths of things that


truth
and

shall be

done.

men's

falsehood."* is a metrical version following Veda as givenby Dr. Muir : f RigThe


"

of

one

of the

hymns

of the

"

mighty lord on high our deeds as if at hand espies ; would fain their deeds disguise : do,though men gods know all men whoe'er moves, or steals from placeto place, Whoe'er stands, Or hides him in his secret cell, the gods his movements trace. Wherever and deem they are alone, two plot, together and all their schemes Varuna is known. are a third, King there, This earth is his, to him belong those vast and boundless skies, Both seas within him rest, and yet in that small pool he lies. far beyond the sky should think his way to win, Whoever the king. He could not there elude the grasp of Varuna His spies descendingfrom the skies glideall this world around ; Their thousand eyes, all scanning, bound. sweep to earth's remotest whate'er beyond the skies, Whate'er exists in heaven and earth, the king unfolded lies. Before the eye of Varuna of every mortal's eyes ; The secret winkings all he counts
The The He

wields this universal frame knotted


nooses

as

gamester throws

his dice.
to

Those

which

thou

All liarslet them

but all the truthful overtake,


"

O god ! the bad fling'st, spare."

snare,

Professor Roth whole Vedic

says of this hymn, literature which expresses


"

There

is

no

hymn
an

in the in

the divine omniscience


not

such forcible terms


to

and

it would certainly
to surpass

be

easy

task

find in any literature a passage The affairs of men under are

it in this

respect.

to prolong life, punish shall that the righteous with Yama, conjunction

his control ; he is asked to transgressors; and a hope is held out


see

the

in the next world in reigning Varuna ruler of the spirit-world. him

in fact has

attributes and

functions ascribed to him than


any

in the Vedas,

of

higher moral
men

character

other

of the

therefore

him for pardon and call upon and from the sins of our fathers, us," they say,
"

gods purity.

; and
"

lease Refrom

Muir, O.

S.

T.,v. 58 fif.

t Ibid. v. 64.
I)

34
those which
"

The

Vedic

Deities.

we

have

committed

in

our

own

persons." And
have sinned

O mighty god, be gracious.I again: Be gracious, throughwant of power ; be gracious."


In the

hymns
terms

addressed
are

to Mitra

and Varuna Varuna


as

almost together, is addressed alone.

the Both

same are are

spoken of

employed as when and as righteous,


sin and

They

regarded chiefly the god of the ocean, as he is in the later writings, as but rather, the above as hymns show, as one of the gods of light, yet there describe him as being connected which with the are passages of the atmosphere and on the earth, afford some waters which foundation for the later conceptionsof his kingdom. Thus, for and those we instance, read, May the waters which are celestial, which flow ; those for which channels are dug, and those which are are self-produced ; those which proceedingto the ocean, and in those (waters) ! May are me bright and purifying, preserve
"

said to avenge In the Vedic literature, though Varuna

the promoters of falsehood. is not

religion.

the midst other

of which

King Varuna
to

placeshe

is said Professor

preserve goes dwell in the waters as


. . .

me

"

In does

Soma

as gives a probableexplanation the god in which to the manner Varuna, who was originally of the heavens, came to be regarded as the god of the ocean. He When, on the one hand, the conceptionof Varuna says : f the all-embracing heaven had been established, and, on the as other hand, the observation the of the rivers flowing towards ends of the earth and led to the conjecture had to the sea
"

in the woods.

Roth

that then

there existed

an

the way was with the ocean." In the Brahmana that

the earth in its bosom, enclosing thoroughlyprepared for connectingVaruna


ocean

of the

Rig-Veda
named

is

an

interesting legend
at
one

showing
to

probablyhuman
A
certain

sacrifices were

time offered had


no son.

Varuna.

king

Harischandra
as

this distressed on Being greatly due to the performanceof the

account,
-

son

is necessary

funeral

ceremonies, the

king,

Muir, O.

S.

T., v. 73.

f Ibid. Wisdom,'
p. 29.

v.

75.

'

Indian

Sun
the

or

Light

Deities

"

Varuna.
went to

35

acting upon saying:


"

advice

of Narada

the

sage,

Varuna,

"

Let but

son

be

born, O king !
son

to me,

And

I will sacrificethat

to

thee."

Varuna
grew

heard up, his

prayer, and father told him the


son was

granted a
of the
vow

son.

When had

the made

boy
; but

he

to be and willing sacrificed, left his home. Varuna, not being at all pleasedat the nonafflicted him with dropsy. For fulfilment of the king's vow, in the forest ; at length, six years the boy wandered happening with his three Brahman the with a poor to meet sons, prince of them offer to to the god as a proposed to purchaseone father could not give up his firstThe substitute for himself. born, her youngest ; the middle one the mother would not yield The therefore taken. was prince then returned home, taking At first the king was with him the Brahman's son. delighted able of his to the at being keep promise to the deity prospect ; who would but to arose as now a difficulty slay the boy. After some time, on the consideration of a large present being made to do this. The to him, the boy's father consented when the boy asked boy was bound, the father ready to strike, of the gods. Of course texts in praise permissionto recite some this was granted; and as a result the deities thus lauded that they interceded with were so pleasedwith the boy'spiety, Varuna Varuna to spare him. granted their request, suffered the boy to live, and Harischandra recovered from his sickness. is described In the Puranas Varuna the god of the ocean. as

the unfortunately

not

After when

great conflict between


was

order

the powers of heaven the ' Vishnu Purana againrestored,


the various

and
'

earth,
Varuna

records the

position assignedto
is said
to

deities. In that account In the


same

rule

over

the waters. named

Purana anxious

we

read

that in

an

old Brahman

Richikawas

most

to

obtain

tion incarnaan marriagea daughterof King Gadhi, who was really of Indra. Gadhi refused to givehis daughter to Richika except
on one

condition

that he would white

present him with


ear.

thousand

fleet horses, each

having one

Horses

of this colour
D
2

36
were

The

Vedic
of Indra

Deities.
; all

favourites special

horses sacrificed

to

him

is said to have propitiated The Brahman having this peculiarity. Varuna, the god of the ocean, who gave him the thousand steeds, able to obtain the princess of which he was in marriage. by means in pictures is represented Varuna as a white man sitting upon
a

fabulous

marine and

monster

called

makara.

This

animal

has

the head In his

seasons

and the body and tail of a fish. legsof an antelope, He is worshipped in right hand he carries a noose. and by fishermen as they cast their nets, but of drought,
are

nowadays no images of him The following legend is


one

made. in the
'

found

Padma

Purana.'
in

On

occasion

Ravana

was

to travelling

his home

Ceylon,

the emblem of Siva. He was carryingwith him a stone linga, desirous of setting and was up the worshipof Siva there, taking the Himalayas for that purpose. this image from But the votion gods, fearing he would grow too powerful through his deto Siva,wished to frustrate his purpose. Siva in giving him made this stone to Ravana promise that wherever it first the ground,after leavingSiva's abode, it should there touched Aware of this fact,the gods tried to induce him to remain.
rest
was

it upon

the

earth Varuna

before

he

reached
enter

in
to

agreed that attempting to


loose
his

should

Ceylon. At last it Ravana's body, so that,

free himself of the


him

from

him, he might be compelled

hold

Ravana,

and

caused

he bear it. When scarcely of an old Brahman, passedby, and


stone.

entered linga. Accordingly Varuna such intense pain that he could thus suffering, was Indra,in the form offered to it to take hold he of the let it
entrust

No the

sooner

did

Ravana

him, than

fall to

ground.

It is said that

it sank

the top of it being visible at Baidyanath in is said to have taken its rise from river Khursu The
when he

through the earth, Birbhum to this day.


Varuna Hindus
a

left Ravana

at

this

place;

and

as

the result,

will not

drink of its waters.


as
a

is described in the Vedas Although Varuna of the Puranas, his accordingto the teaching
*

holy being,
is
a

heaven

place

'

Ward

on

the

Hindoos,'i. 57.

^8
the

The

Vedic

Deities.

as

anxious gods were agreed that they should run The In Asvins another
were

to
a

obtain
race,

so

beautiful

bride,it was

winner. chariot.* husband The


are

Surya being the prizeof the their and she ascended successful,
her

; the Asvins

is said to have been Soma passage being friends of the bridegroom.

Asvins

are

regarded as
able
to

the

of physicians
to

the

gods ;

and

declared

to

be

restore

health

the

blind,the sick,

lame, and the emaciated amongst mortals. They are the special guardiansof the slow and backward ; the devoted friends of elderly who are unmarried. women They are said to preside love and over marriage, and are implored to bring together
hearts that A number

the

love.f
of

of the the power legendsare found illustrating Asvins in healing from the sick and assisting those in trouble, which we learn that they could restore youth and vigour to the from drowning, and man aged and decrepit a ; they rescued carried him in safety The to his home. legof Vispalathat was cut off in battle, At the request by an iron one. they replaced of a wolf,they restored sightto a man blinded who had been and by his father, a as a hundred punishment for slaughtering one sheep,and giving them to the wolf to eat. They restored As blind and lame. sightand power to walk to one who was result of these and the Asvins a other similar legends, are invoked for destruction of enemies, wealth, victory, offspring, the preservation of the worshippers of their houses themselves,
"

and

cattle."

following legendof the cure they effected on Chyavana, from the Satapatha Brahmana,'J will illustrate the peculiar features of the work of the Asvins : Chyavana,having assumed shrivelled form, was a abandoned by his family. Saryata with his tribe settled in the neighbourhood his sons seeingthe ; when body of Chyavana, but not knowing that it was a human being, pelted it with stones. Chyavana naturallyresented this,and sowed dissension amongst the family of Saryata. Unable to learn the cause of the shepherds near of this, Saryatainquired
'
"

The

Muir, O.

S.

T., v. 236.

f Ibid.

v.

234.

t Ibid.

v.

250.

Sun
if

or

Light

Deities

"

The

Asvins.
for it ;

39

they told insulted Chyavana. Saryata knowing had him that his sons had caused the quarrelsamongst that it was the Rishi who his sons, took his daughterSukanya in his chariot, and, apologising had been done, gave his daughter as a peacefor what offering. in the habit Now of wandering about the Asvins were the world performingcures, and, seeing Sukanya, they were with her and wished to seduce her. They said, What delighted is that shrivelled body by which ? leave him and lying you are follow us." She replied that whilst he lived she would not her father had given her. leave the man When to whom they her husband's to her a second on came time, acting suggestion she said, You speak contemptuouslyof my husband, whilst you and imperfect and, only on condition are yourselves," incomplete will she consent her husband that they make to tell young again, them in what respect they are imperfect and incomplete. Upon this they tell her to take her husband to a certain pond ; after forth with his youth renewed. bathing there,he came Sukanya that tells the Asvins because they are imperfect they have invited to join the other gods in a great sacrifice that not been The Asvins at Kurukshetra. to be celebrated was proceed to this sacrifice, told are and, asking to be allowed to join in it, that they cannot do so, because they have wandered familiarly In reply to this, the Asvins performingcures. men, among declared that the gods were making a headless sacrifice. The how this can be, the Asvins reply, Invite us to gods inquiring joinyou, and we will tell you." To this the gods consented. In another account of this legend, it is said that, the Asvins as were physicians, they were consequentlyunclean ; hence no he is thereby unfitted for the Brahman be a physician, must or work of a priest the work of the Asvins was ; but as necessary, and then allowed to join with gods. They they were purified,
seen

they had

anything that

could

account

ft

"

"

then

restored the head Goldstiicker

of the sacrifice.
*
"

Professor

says,
'

The

myth

of the Asvins

is

one

Chambers's

Cyclopaedia.'

40
of that class of
and into

The

Vedic
in which
or

Deities.
two

myths
. .

distinct

elements, the
element in it,

cosmical
blended
I

the human
one.
.

have historical, historical


or

become gradually refer to the

The

human

by those believe,is represented


cures
a

legendswhich
to

wonderful of

effected

by

the

Asvins, and
element
connects

their

kindred

sort ; the

cosmical

is that

performances to relating
seems

their luminous

nature.

The

link which and

both

to

of the nature be the mysteriousness


the

effects of

and light

of

healing art
in the
course

at

these

Asvins, like
the

who,

antiquity. It would appear that the Ribhus, were renowned mortals, originally of time, were translated into the companion
a

remote

ship of

gods."
5.
USHAS.

This

of the Dawn, representative goddess,

is a favourite

object
"

of celebration with the Vedic


to

poets, and
"

"

the

hymns

addressed beautiful

her

are

in the the

beautiful if not the most the most among * She is described as the entire collection."

daughterof
She
times is other

Sky, has
times is

Night for her spoken


of
as

and sister, the wife

is related to Varuna.

is at

of the

Sun

; at

Agni
at one
a

her lover ; the Asvins are her friends. her creator ; at another time he time regarded as

given as

Indra
assumes

hostile

and position,

even

crushed

her

chariot

with

his

thunderbolt. Ushas
horses
a

is said
cows.

| to

travel in
a

chariot shining dressed

drawn

by ruddy
mother, bath,
She She

or

Like

beautiful maiden
a jewels,

by

her

covered dancing girl


her

with
or a

wife gaily-attired

appearing
her of her

before

husband,

beautiful
the

girlcoming
of the

from

she, smiling and

in confiding

irresistible power

tractions at-

unfolds her bosom

to the gaze

beholders.

the treasures the darkness, disclosing dispels its most illuminates the world, revealing She
from is the

it concealed. distant

extremities. birds to

life and

health of all
a

things, causingthe

fly

their nests, and, like

young

housewife, awaking all her


t Ibid.
v.

Muir, O. S. T.,v. 181.

194.

Sun

or

Light

Deities

"

Ushas.

41

creatures, sends them


She
to

forth

to

the
to

of pursuit
the

does

good

service

their varied tions. occupathe shippers worgods,by causing

asked
the

to

awake, and the sacrificial fires to be lighted.She is while she allows arouse only the devout and liberal,
She
is young,

being born every day ; cessive and yet she is old,being immortal,wearing out the lives of sucwhilst she after another, which disappearone generations, continues undying. The souls of the departedare said to go to
to sleep on. niggardly
to

her and In the Vedas

the

sun.

lines * following

will be found
"

the main

of teaching

the

this goddess: respecting


"

borne Hail,ruddy Ushas, golden goddess, like Upon thy shiningcar, thou comest maiden her mother A lovely decked, by Disclosing coyly all thy hidden grace To our admiring eyes ; or like a wife with conscious pride, Unveiling to her lord, Beauties which, as he gazes lovingly, Seem fairer each succeedingmorn. fresher, Through years and years thou hast lived on, and yet
Thou'rt
ever

young.

Thou and

art the breath

and

life

Of all that breathes

awaking day by day lives,

from death, as Myriads of prostrate sleepers, Causing the birds to flutterin their nests, And rousingmen to ply with busy feet Their

dailyduties and appointedtasks, renown." or Toilingfor wealth,or pleasure,


vivid
:
"

verses by Dr. Muir | we have a stillmore following in the Vedic hymns of this goddess as represented picture

In the

"

Hail,Ushas, daughter of the sky, car Who, borne upon thy shining realms from steeds afar, By ruddy drawest nigh ; And ever lightening
"

"

goddess fair, sweetlysmilest, all Disclosing thy youthful grace, thy radiant face, Thy bosom bright, And lustre of thy golden hair ;
Thou
"

'

Indian

Wisdom,'

p.

20.

t Muir, O. S. T.,v. 196.

4-

The
"

Vedic

Deities.

She

shines

Who And

robes
to

winning bride, in brilliant guise, her lord's admiring eyes


a

fond and

her form

Displaysher charms
"

with conscious

pride;
"

virgin by her mother decked, Who, gloryingin her beauty,shows In every glance her power she knows all hearts subject All eyes to fix, ;
Or Or actress, who by skillin song And dance, and graceful gestures
And

"

light, many-coloured vestures bright, the Enchants eager, gazing throng ;


"

Or

maid In
some

who,
never

wont

her limbs
among

to

lave

cold

Where

woods, vulgareye intrudes,


stream
wave

the

Emerges fairer from the


"

;
"

But

closely by the
and
soon

amorous

Sun,

Pursued
Thou

vanquishedin the race, art locked in his embrace,


blendest into
one.

And
"

with him

Fair

Ushas, though through years

untold

Thou Anew

hast lived on, yet thou art born each succeedingmorn, on

And
"

so

thou

art

both young

and

old.

As

thy fated ceaseless course Thou risest on us day by day,


in Thou

With
"

lives away force. silent, ever-wasting


wearest
our

all

Their The

round
old

run : generations in their and place depart, our

Springs even race, up a younger Whilst thou,immortal,lookest on.


"

All those Are On

who

watched
and
now

for thee of old


'tiswe who gaze

gone,

thy approach ; in future days Shall other men thy beams behold.

Sun
"

or

Light

Deities

"

Ushas.
sad

-"

But

'tisnot shadow
beams

thoughts so
o'er
our

Alone A

that thou

grave and dost with thee

hearts

to
us

Thy
"

make returning

bring, fling ; glad.


" "

sad and sombre Thy sister, With Like


At
stars

Night,

that in the blue expanse,

sleepless eyes, mysteriousglance, thy approach is quenched in light ;


"

"

And

concealed now forms,till earthly Behind her veil of dusky hue, Once out to view, more come sharply By thine illumingglow revealed.
Thou The

"

art

the lifeof all that

lives,

breath of all that breathes ; the sight Of thee makes every countenance bright,
to strength

New

every

spirit gives.

"

piercethe murky gloom, Birds flutterforth from every brake, All sleepers from death awake, as And their men myriad tasks resume. Some, prosperous, wake
And
The Or in listlessmood,
to

When

thou dost

"

others every goal of power

nerve or

strain
to

what

they deem
to holier

gain, the highestgood.


wealth

"

But In

some

And The
"

hymns on light,

the

thoughtsaspire, celestial praise, race


hearths
to

human

blaze,

heaven-born
not

sacrificial fire.

And

alone do bard
;
"

and

priest
confess

Awake

By
When

power into consciousness starting

the

gods thy

thy firstrays suffuse the

east

"

And

from the sky, hastingdownward devout and good, They visit men Consume their consecrated food, And all their longings satisfy.

44

The

Vedic

Deities.

"

Bright goddess,
To In
us

let

thy genial
of envied
and

rays

bring
and

store

wealth

kine

steeds,

And

joy of heart, and


we

with health, sons length of days."

In the

later

writings

find

merely

the

name

of Ushas.

The

of their the more human poetic fire ; hence people lost much the more into and to pass poetical ones practicaldeities caused of the figuresin the preceding extracts Some oblivion. most are The changing colours of the dawn are pared combeautifully drawn. robes of the dancing-girl ; the golden to the many-coloured

tipped
like the

clouds

that of

appear
a

ere

the

sun

shines her
a

in his husband

strength, are
; whilst

jewels
of
her

bride dawn

decked herself

for

the

quiet modesty
indeed her mother.
be

of the

is like

shy maiden,
the of the
to

conscious of

beauty, entering society


And from the she last four
was

under

protection
able
to

lines

metrical

sketch bestow

it will

noticed, that

believed

be

upon
of

her

worshippers cattle, horses, sons,

health, joy,

and

length

days.

46
that the held winds

The

Vedic

Deities.
the who

brought
forced

up

from

ocean

were

enemies

their

treasures
were

in their fast embrace


to

until, conquered by

Indra, they
And
the very

pour
answer

them

when, naturally
to
a

in

the parched soil. upon to the cry of his worshippers,

genialrains descended, and


a

the earth of

from

wilderness

garden,songs

thereby changed and praise, thanksgiving


was

couched

The addressed to him. in the strongest terms, were to his physical attributes ascribed to him refer principally riority supe; and

of a chiefly blessingssought from him are character. temporalrather than a spiritual uncreated deity. In some Indra is not regarded as an hymns of Agni, and therefore the he is spoken of as the twin-brother of Heaven in other hymns, heaven and and Earth ; whilst, son said to have been formed earth are by him. Although his that they are often referred to, it is but seldom parents are when named they are named, it is not always that the ; and same parentage is given. He is the king of the gods ; and in extends for a hundred post-Vedic ages, it is taught that his reign be superdivine years only ; at the end of which time he may seded other of the gods,or even as king by some by man, if any be able to perform the severe to obtain this necessary penance position. exacted with four arms In pictures, and Indra is represented man a as the hands whilst
,

in ;'"

two

he

holds

lance, in the

third

thunderbolt,

the fourth is empty. He is often painted with two arms his body, is then called Sahasonly,and, having eyes all over raksha (the He is generally depictedas riding thousand-eyed). the wonderful Airavata, who was produced at the elephant upon of the ocean,* carryinga thunderbolt in his right hand churning and a bow in his left. In the Vedic Age his worship was far more popular than it is at present. He is no longerthe principal
but chief deity, The positionand
of the inferior attributes

of

gods only. Indra as taught by

the Vedas from

will be
that

seen

from

the
:

abbreviated description, following

given by
*

Dr. Muir

f
"

Q See

Part II.

chap.iv. p.

109.

f Muir, O. S. T., v. 126.

The
"

Storm

Deities

"

Indra.

47

thou much invoked, has steeds hymn yoked. thy potent Friend Indra,from the sky descend, hither bend. propitious Thy course But Indra,though of us thou thinkest, And libations gladlydrinkest, our We, mortal men, can only share A humble portionof thy care.

Come, Indra,come,

Our

We

know

Enchain
Thou

how many potent ties thee in thy paradise.


at home
a

wife, lovely of thy lite. hast a ceaseless round of joys Thou all thy circling hours employs Which such as gods immortal know, Joys Unguessed by mortals here below."
The

hast

charm

and

solace

Being
Earth

invoked

Indra by mortals,
at his
"

is born. and
the

The

Sky

and
:
"

the

trembled

appearance,
was a

Sky

exclaimed

Thy father
Of The
most

stalwart

consummate

skill was

wight ; he,

god whose
his

genius fashioned thee."


the

Immediately
evidence of his
"

after

birth

god

gave

unmistakable he cried,
"

Graspinghis divinity.

weapons,

Where, mother, dwell those warriors fierce, ? Whose haughty hearts these bolts must pierce
hastened chariot,

"

Borne the

in his appears.
"

by

the

prayers

of his

people,

god

Yet But

not

one

form

alone he bears,

shapes of glory wears, His aspect changing at his will, still. Transmuted, yet resplendent him stand, In warlike semblance see in Red lightnings wielding his hand."
various

Ready prepared for


which
is the Soma

him

is

the principal attraction feast,


was

of

juice.* Indra
*

fond particularly

of this

See

chap. viii.

48
drink. intoxicating whilst the Hindus

The

Vedic

Deities. strange circumstance


are

It is of the

most

that,

prohibitedfrom the Indra is described of intoxicants, as use being addicted to the Soma ; whilst the drink itself is deified and worshippedas a god. Indra on his arrival is invited to quaff the invigorating cup :
"

present day

"

Thou, Indra,oft of old hast quaffed With keen delight Soma our draught. All gods the luscious Soma love, But thou all other gods above. Thy mother knew how well this juice
Was Into Which

fitted for her infant's use.


a

cup

she crushed

the sap,

sip upon her lap. Yes, Indra, thy natal morn, The very hour that thou wast born, Thou didst those jovial tastes display, Which still survive in strengthto-day."
on

thou didst

drinks the juice, result is most wards as a proffered graciously disposed tocup, and the worshippers, ready to give whatever they ask. When thus strengthened the by the draught,he goes forth to meet

the praises of the Soma Indra, after singing

great enemy

he

(Drought).And
blessingsto
the

This conquer. enemy in the conflict and victory are seen


came

to

is Vrittra the
to

peculiar
grant.

earth

and
:
"

man

that

Indra

is able

Vrittra is thus described

From

earth, withhold
men

Of mortal
And Whose With

magic powers genialshowers the foe malign,


the
race

"

He

whose

rival of the demon


Indra
war

divine

; to

hosts from

age

age
;

unceasing wage

crushed Who, times unnumbered Is ever born newly again,

and

slain,

And

evermore

renews

the strife

In which

again
at

he forfeitslife."

The

battle is described

length;

in which

we

have

graphic
with the of

of description
severe

the commencement which

of the

rainy season,
this

thunderstorms
seasons.

usuallyaccompany
over
:

change

the

At

last the conflict is

The
"

Storm
soon

Deities

"

Indra.

49

And
Was

the knell of Vrittra's doom

sounded

by the clang and

boom

Of Indra's iron shower. with horrid yell, crushed, Pierced, cloven, The dying demon headlong fell
Down

from his cloud-built tower."

As

result of this

of victory
"

the

god,the

rains

descend,and

the earth is made


"

fruitful :
bound

no by Sushna's spell more, their liquid store The clouds discharge ; baked And long by torrid sunbeams The plains by copiousshowers are slaked ; and seawards sweep The rivers swell, Their turbid torrents broad and deep. The peasant views with deep delight, the auspicious thankful heart, And sight. and sad, His leafless fields, so sere with waving crops be clad ; Will soon brown and bare, And mother Earth,now

Now

robe of brilliant green will wear."

the sun shines, and earth has been received, blessing with their congratulations to their again is bright ; the gods come and men king, presenttheir thanksgivings. Such was Indra in ancient times ; and thoughworshipped still, in the present age. As he occupies a very inferior position of the later mentioned according to the teaching previously, books, his rule over the gods continues for a hundred divine of which time he may be supersededby years ; at the expiration The Puranas teach that, in another god, or even by a man.

After this

each age of the world,a different being has enjoyed this In the ' Vishnu Purana 'fis the following story of a man himself to the throne of Indra. There
was a war

position. raising parties replied,

between

the would

gods and

demons

; both

of Brahma, which inquired "That side for which

be victorious.

Brahma

shall Raji (anearthly king)

take up arms."

See Part II.

chap. x.

Book

IV.

chap.ix.
E

50
The demons

The
first called

Vedic

Deities.

Raji to invoke his aid. He promised to assist them, provided they would make him their that they could not promise this, PrahIndra. as They replied
upon lada the
was

Indra

already. The

same

condition

was

proposed to

gods,to which they consented,and Raji became their Indra. then fought for them, and He conquered. Upon this,Indra before him, and, placing foot upon his head, down bowed Raji's ledge said, Thou hast preservedme from a great danger. I acknowthee as my father : thou art king over all ; I am thy son." Raji,however, was contented to remain as king on earth,and the throne on appointedIndra to continue as his representative
"

of heaven.

On

the

death

of

Raji,his

sons

wished

to

become

This Indra opposed,but was compelled to kings of heaven. yield. After a time, being sad because deprivedof his share in the sacrifices of mortals, Indra met with his spiritual preceptor and asked him for Vrihaspati, The teacher replied that,had would
not
"

morsel Indra

of the sacrificial butter. him


"

appliedto

have

been

reduced

to

such straits ; but

he earlier, he it is," as

'

in a few days." Upon this regainyour sovereignty he commenced with the special a sacrifice, purpose of obtaining for Indra. The result of this was, that Raji'ssons were power led into sin ; they became of the Brahmans, despised enemies the Vedas, and thus duties. When neglected their religious weakened, Indra fell upon and slew them. The effectual way most by which a mortal could obtain the of Indra was position by the sacrifice of a hundred horses ; and in the account of Ganga, Indra did not object to as will be seen of the to prevent the completion so as play the part of a thief, sacrifice by which he was to be deprived of his sovereignty. The most and generally successful method common by which these ambitious mortals were frustrated in their design, was by his sending down celestial nymphs, called Apsaras, who some by their beauty distracted the thoughts of the devotees,and so

said,

I will

rendered

them

unfit

In the 'Vishnu

offer this great sacrifice. Purana,'* there is a legendof


to

great conflict

"

Book

V.

chap. xxx.

The
Indra On and

Storm

Deities
in

"

Indra.
Indra
is

51
overcome.

between his heaven. obtain

Krishna,

which

Krishna, accompanied by
of possession the

his wife

Satyabhama,visits
lady was
was

Indra

in
to

this her arrival there, and

most

anxious

tree,which Parijata

of churning This
tree
was

the ocean,

plantedin

Indra's adorned

produced at the heavenly garden.


with

beautiful in form, was

lovelyand
fruit.
a

sweet-scented flowers had enabled

flowers,and bore this virtue, that, worn

most

luscious

The

in the hair

by

wife, they

her to retain the love of her husband

ate the fruit of this tree

could remember At

; whilst those who what had occurred in

their

states previous

of existence.

the

request of his wife,


wonderful heaven
;

Krishna

took the tree, and and

placedit upon
there
was an

Garuda, his
uproar

bird-vehicle.
but removal

Immediately

in

though Indra

his attendant

of this tree, they could not thunderbolt of Indra in his hand, and,
the tree in his planted

deities tried to prevent the do so. Krishna caught the home returning

unhurt,

The
to have

garden. a story showing that Indra believed was Ramayana of the grossestimmorality the seduction of been guilty
has
"

the wife of his house

teacher. spiritual

He

is said

to

have form

visited the
of
a

of Gautama be

during his
the him

absence,in the
to

hoping to
But wishes.

mistaken, by although Ahalya knew


As Indra
was

wife,for preceptor's
be
to

sage, her husband.

Indra,she yielded to his


turned, re-

about

and, knowing what


also his wife. Indra
in

had

house,Gautama happened,cursed the god


lost his
years

leave the

and

Ahalya
state.* Indra

was

doomed should

consequence to live for many her there and of this


to
curse

manhood
a

; and

invisiblein
her
to

forest,
that

until Rama

meet
account

restore

her former
was,

Another
was

of Gautama with him


a

compelled
upon

carry been

about

thousand
the

marks disgraceful

his

body, that

all seeing might know

great sin of which


One
ruled in

he

had

guilty.At
the fact that
a

Indra's

earnest

result of this sin of Indra

was

son

of

Ravana,who

Ceylon,was able to carry him off as a captive, when that king made war the gods ; and it was until Brahma not upon promised immortality to this warrior, that he consented to release Indra. Brahma gave this prince the name of Indrajita of Indra). (conqueror
E
2

52

The

Vedic
from

Deities.
their

request these
which

were

by

the

changed ignorant were


must

form original
as an

regarded
not
on

into eyes ; indication of his

omniscience. The
as

heaven

of Indra

be

it is there that the


of their

good

earth

passed over hope to go

without for
a

notice, time, as a

reward

named, is not
he
cannot

his heaven is as holy lives. To go to Svvarga, the highest can happiness a man obtain,because there for
ever.

remain

When

return happiness there are over, he must and fitto enjoy the highest until he becomes perfect lives, felicity * Vishnu into the Divine Being. The Purana absorption says : Not in hell alone do the souls of the deceased undergo pain : in heaven ; for its temporary inhabitant there is no cessation even tormented with the prospect of descendingagain to earth. is ever he die. Again must he be born upon earth, and again must
"

his allotted years of to earth and live other

'

'

"

Whatever
a

is

produced that
springsthe
of
Indra

is most

to acceptable

man

becomes

seed whence The


home

tree

of sorrow."
on

is situated
to

Mount

Meru.f

It has

beautiful houses of its stocked luscious flowers.

for its inhabitants

is unequalledin capital

the
a

inhabit ; and the splendour universe. Its gardens are

with

trees

that afford
are

and fruits, Most

beautiful

shade,yield the most grateful with beautiful and adorned fragrant charm the happy nymphs (Apsaras)
and

whilst inhabitants, discourse universe, karma. It is

choristers
sweet

musicians, unrivalled in the


The built by Visvacitywas circumference,and forty and thrones, ; its palaces,

music.

eighthundred miles in diamonds are miles high. Its pillars J furniture, pure gold. In Bengal this deityis worshipped one
*

day

in each year.

His

Book

VI.

chap. v.

It of the earth. is a fabulous mountain, supposedto be the centre of north the The heavens of to the is believed to be somewhere Himalayas. in its vicinity.From the fact that situated somewhere the other gods are former it would that the their seem home, they regarded heaven to be near I ndo- Aryans retained they pleasant recollections of the place whence of these mountains was a reason migrated ; or perhaps the inaccessibility for heaven being placedon their summits.

f Meru

'

Mahabharata,' quotedby Ward,

ii.36.

54

The

Vedic

Deities.

3. There
but
are a

PAR

JANY

A.

few

hymns

addressed and

to this

deityin the Rig-Veda


ascribed
to

from

the
see

character wherein
a

functions

him, it is
Roth
*

difficultto
says,

he differs from of the

Indra.

Professor

"Taking
who

review

whole,we

find that

Parjanyais a

god
the
no
a

the thunder, the rain,and the lightning, over presides But it is by procreationof plantsand livingcreatures. he is originally clear whether a god of the rain,or means of the thunder." In another and
essay

god
"

he

says,

is

the

god
of

of the

thunderstorms

rain,the
similar to

Parjanya generator and


the

nourisher addressed

creatures. plantsand living this deity are to so very


not

Seeing that
one signifies

hymns
sung
to

those

Indra, may
4

Parjanya (whose name


another
name

acting for
"

another

') be merely

for

Indra ?

In

these

all of which are in perfect passages,! hymns are the following "Laud Parjanya, harmony with those in honour of Indra: with and him the reverence stimulating worship procreative ;
" "

fructifler.

He who

the splits

trees

; he

the destroys

Rakshasas
creation is

(cloud demons
afraid of his
the

withhold

the rains

?). The

whole

mighty
a

vigorousgod,
Like

stroke ; even flees before the innocent man when doers. Parjanya thunderingsmites the evil-

charioteer

the

god brings into view lions' roaringsarise when The winds blow, the lightnings the plantsshoot up, the fall, heaven fructifies; food is produced for all created things when Parjanya, thundering, replenishes the earth with moisture. Raise aloft thy vast water-vessel, and showers ; let pour down the discharged rivulets roll on forward, moisten the heaven and
earth

urging forward his horses with a whip, From his showery scouts. afar,the Parjanyacharges the clouds with rain.

with fatness ; let there


a

be well-filled

for drinking-places
not

the cows." In all this there is not

idea single

that

was

expressedin
v.

Muir, O. S. T.,v.

142.

f Ibid.

140.

The

Storm

Deities

"

Vayu.

55

the

hymns

to

Indra

the styled generally of


as

the ruler over,

previously.In the Puranas Indra is spoken king of the gods ; whilst Parjanyais the clouds. and as dwelling in,
noticed

4. Another He with
won

VAYU.

of the

storm-gods is Vayu,
with

the

is often

associated

Indra, and

god of the winds. is regarded, equally

him,
the

as race

the atmosphere. He or rulingover representing for the first draught of the Soma juice; and, at him
to

Indra's occupy

allowed request,
a

have

quarter of it. He
the Vedic

does In

not
one

very

in prominent position

hymns.
to

passage* we
him

read, "The
and
aware

two

worlds may

(heavenand earth) rated genebe intended teach his

for wealth."
;

This Muir

parentage

Dr.

that he is not where passage declared. He son-in-law


a

of any

says other

his parentage is is said to be the


; but

of Tvastri

here

occurs : only one difficulty Tvastri (Visvadaughter of karma) is mentioned, and as was of Surya, noticed in the account

he

was

said

to

be

husband

of

this

girl.
is described

Vayu
most
moves

as

being
who
VAYU.

handsome

in form

; one

drawn horses.

noisilyin a shining car, by a pairof red or purple


At times the number
or even a

of horses

is increased This

to

ninety-

nine,
would

hundred,

thousand.

latter number

probablybe employed duringa cyclone. He is seldom in connexion mentioned with Maruts though in (storm-deities),
Muir, O. S. T., v. 140. f Ibid.
v.

143.

The

Vedic

Deities.

one

place
Another

he

is said

to

have

begotten

them

by

the

rivers

of

heaven.
name

for
in

of Vata

is sung-

in the Vedas Vayu the following hymn


; his
moves

is Vata.
*
"

The

praise

glory of Vata's chariot Touching the sky, he


and air he rush
comes

the (I celebrate) noise comes rending and resounding. onward, making all things ruddy ;
:
"

propelling the
him, and

dust

of

the

earth. him the


as same

The
women

gusts
in

of
an

after

congregate

upon
on

assembly.

[Indra] who
forward,
...

Sitting along with them is king of this universe


he
never

car,

the

god

is borne of the

along.
waters,
have been

Hasting
first-born, heard,
the Pavan

rests.

Friend ? His

holy, in
but

what

place was
is not

he

born

sounds

his form

(seen)."
when it
was

In

later

age,

thought
with have
to

necessary

to

connect
or

heroes, whose
as

exploits are
called, is said
Hanuman
in search

sung,

the had
a a

gods, Vayu,
son

he

is then

Hanuman,

by

monkey
Rama's

mother.

played
of Sita. bravest

most

expedition

In the

conspicuous Mahabharata, Bhima


whose

part in

(the Strong),one
given there, is
of she As she

of

the

of the
son as a

warriors

historyis
the mother

also said
a

to

be

of

Vayu.
the

Kunti,
she become

Bhima,
could her

had

boon
a

granted
child
to

reward of

of her

devotion, that

obtain

by
a

any
curse,
so

gods
not

might
a

wish.

husband, owing
this

could

father,
of

employed
or
man

charm, and

Vayu

became

the

father

Bhima.

Vayu
white

Pavan

is represented (the Purifier)


upon
a

in

pictures as

riding
the
names

deer, and
is said
to

carries be
son

white

flag in

his

hand. Other

In

Puranas

he

of Aditi.
are

Anila, breath
who touches
;

by which this deity is known Marut, air that is necessary


Gandhavaha,
he who carries

the

to

life ;

: following Sparsana, he
"

odours.

Muir,

O.

S.

T., v. 146.

The

Storm

Deities

"

The

Maruts.

57

5.
In
one seven

the

maruts.

passage hundred and


is the

one

in the

Rig-Veda
number whilst

these

gods

are

said to

be

eighty in

; in another

text, twenty-

number

given ;

in

the

Puranas

they

are

said to

In the Vedas they are called the sons forty-nine. of Rudra. They are the companions of Indra ; at times they him, and thus acknowledge his superiority worship ; at others they be
seem

to assert

their inherent him.

power,
are

and

remind

Indra in the

of the aid

they
strain

have
:
*
"
"

given

They

addressed

following

Spearsrest upon your shoulders, ye Maruts ; ye have lustre in anklets on your feet, on golden ornaments your breasts, in your hands, and golden helmets lightnings your ears, fiery placed on your heads." They are armed with goldenweapons and lightnings and gleam like flames of fire, ; dart thunderbolts, borne alongwith the furyof boisterous winds. are They split clothed with rain, Vritra (Drought) create darkness to pieces, are during the day, water the earth,and avert heat. They cause the earth and the mountains accustomed to quake. They were of the soma to the use appealed to, to bring healing ; and were in the (river) which are described as abiding Sindhu,the remedies,
seas, and

the hills.

In the 'Vishnu the Maruts. Diti

Purana'f
are

we

find

quitea
sons

different account of

of

They
a

having
her

lost her boon. and

promised

Kasyapa and Diti. her husband, who children,propitiated of She asked that she might have a son
said to be the

The who should destroy Indra. valour, Muni "You promised to grant this request on one condition. shall bear a son," he said, who shall slayIndra, if with thoughts wholly pious,and person entirely carefully carry the pure, you babe in your womb for a hundred years." Diti acceptedthe boon with this condition. tried his best to of this, Indra hearing distract her mind, and so prevent the birth of this wonderful irresistible prowess
"

Muir, O.

S.

T.,v.

147 ff.

t Book

I. chap. xxi.

ss
child. offered washed Indra
When

The

Vedic

Deities.

ninety-nine
Diti

years
to

had
rest
a one

passed, night
of
was

an

opportunity having purity.


to
plish accom-

itself. her availed


his

retired thus of With The child


was

without

feet, and
himself

violated this his

rule and

ceremonial able
cut

neglect,
thus

purpose.

thunderbolt
mutilated
to cut

he

the

embryo
and

into

seven

parts.
Indra

cried it. these

bitterly; Being
seven

though
at

tried, he
in

unable he

console each
of

incensed

their

obstinacy
and thus them from

crying,
the the

parts
name was

in

seven,

formed

forty-nine
"

Maruts.
"

Their

given
Indra deities

to

words them

ma

rodih

(weep not), used


became thunderbolt. subordinate

by

when
"

trying

to

quiet

; and

they
of the

the

associates

of the

wielder

59

CHAPTER
SOMA.

VIII.

SOMA,
Indian of the

according to
and animates Bacchus.

the

Vedic

the Not

juiceof only are

god who sents reprethe Soma* plant." He was the all the hymns of the ninth book
hymns,
is the
"

Rig-Veda,one hundred and fourteen in number, besides a ences referdedicated few in other places, to his honour, but constant in a largeproportionof other hymns, f In to him occur of the of these hymns he is extolled as the Creator, or Father some at that time he was a most popular deity. Indra, gods. Evidently
as was

stated

was before,

an

enthusiastic

worshipper of Soma.
of that feeling
was

The

lines following towards


"

will show
:
"

the warmth

cherished

him
Soma

This
The He

is

god

; he cures

endures. sharpestills that man the sad he cheers, the sick, He nerves their fears ; the weak, dispels The faint with martial ardour fires, With lofty thoughts the bard inspires ;
heals

Soma-plant of the Rig-Veda is the Asclepiasacida of Roxburgh, It has small white fragrant almost destitute of leaves. creepingplant, the extremities of the branches. flowers collected round Roxburgh says that that it yieldspurer milky juice than any other plant he knows ; and The often tender shoots are of an acid nature. this juice'is mild, and pluckedby native travellers. It grows on hills of the Punjab, in the Bolan of the RigIn the Brahmana Pass, in the neighbourhood of Poona, "c. of the Soma i s account most Veda interesting (Haug's Translation), a but few m ade in This the is sacrifice. priests occasionally present day, very now are acquaintedwith the ritual of this once celebrated sacrifice. t Muir, O. S. T.,v. 258.
*

The
a

It is

6o

The

Vedic

Deities.
to heaven
are

The
So Men

soul from

earth

he lifts;

great and wondrous


feel the

his

gifts,

god within their veins,

And
'

strains : cry in loud exulting the Soma We've quaffed bright, And
are

immortal

grown

We've

entered into
all the

light,

And
What Or

gods have known. mortal now can harm,


foeman
vex us

more

Through thee,beyond alarm, * Immortal god, we soar


5 3)

From of Soma the from

the Vedas
is

the

account following

derived.f
said to and

In

some

passages

plantis
a

have

been

brought
Indra
; in

mountain

given to
a

others,King Soma amongst


the

is said to have
race

dwelt of

Gandharvas,

demi-gods that form the choir in Indra's The heaven. gods,knowing the virtues of this king or plant for the two terms be indiscriminately to seem applied wished to obtain it. Not knowing how Vach to get it, (the goddess of speech)
" "

said, "The
women;

Gandharvas go, and

are

fond

of it
w*e

let me. for you." The


"

I will obtain
"

gods said,

How
"

can

SOMA-1LANT.

Another

account

She replied,Obtain the you ? god ; and I will then return to you, whenever me." want you may of this affair is,that whilst the gods were spare
was name

on living earth,Soma they sent Gayatri (a

in the

sky. Wishing
wife
was or a

to

possess

it,

of Brahma's of

daughter)to
with returning

fetch it.
when it,

She

went

in the form

bird,and
narrated

the Gandharvas
went

seized

and only gave it up when it,


as

the

goddessVach

amongst

them

above.

Muir, O. S. T., v.

130.

t Ibid.

v.

263 ff.

62

The

Vedic

Deities.

still is, Soma given to the In later years the name was, and and why this change took placeis not known How ; but moon. evidence of the in the later of the Vedic hymns there is some
to be used in seems following passage Soma and as the moon both senses, as god of the intoxicating juice, the Adityas are strong; through the night. "By Soma ruling by Soma the earth is great ; and Soma is placedin the midst of it he who drinks regards When the stars. they crush the plant, the priests Of him whom Soma. as regardas Soma (themoon)

transition.

In the

"

no
"

one

drinks." *
the
"

In

another he whom

passage

May

god Soma,
is the of

they

is found : this prayer call the Moon, free me."

Again,
has the In

Soma
nature
'

moon,

the food
moon
'

of the

gods."
was

"

The

sun

Agni, the
Purana and

of Soma."
we

the

Vishnu

read,

"

Soma

monarch

of the stars of

of plants,

Brahmans

sacrifices and different account

penance." In this Purana of the origin of Soma ; but it must


Soma
'

appointed of and of plants, have quite a we


be borne
moon.

in At

mind, that
the
time

in this account

refers
was

only to

the

the

'

Vishnu

Purana

written, intoxicants

were

forbidden ; hence Soma, as the god of the Soma juice, strictly was no longerknown and praised. According to that Purana,J of Atri, the son the son Soma of Brahma. He performed was the Rajasuya sacrifice, and from the glory thence acquired,
and

the

immense
so

dominion

with

which

he

had

been

invested,

became wife of

that he carried off Tara, the arrogant and licentious, of the

the preceptor Vrihaspati,

gods.

In vain

Vrihaspati

his bride ; in vain Brahma sought to recover commanded, and the holy sages remonstrated. In consequence of this there was a great war side trying to the one ; the gods with Indra on
recover

Tara

; Soma to

with the demons for her.


to

on

the other.

At

length

she

appealed
Soma
was

Brahma

who protection,

to restore

On

her

manded thereupon comreturn, Vrihaspati finding

she

pregnant, refused
In obedience

receive

her until after the child


was

birth of

the child.

to his

the orders,

immediately

Muir, O. S. T., v. 271. t Book

f Book
IV.

I. chap.xxii.

chap.vi.

Soma.

63
and
power,

born and
was

; who

being wonderful
claimed
him
as

in

beauty
son.

both

Vrihaspati
referred

Soma
too

their

Tara child

being
was
"

to,

much
that

ashamed he
is my
was

to

speak.
to
curse

The

so

indignant
Unless
a

at

this,

about

her, saying,
you
to to

you

declare shall this

who

father, I will
female from

sentence

such the

fate

as-

deter Brahma "Tell ?


"

every

hesitating
is

speak
child As

truth."

On
to
or

again interfered, pacifying the


me,
"

child, and
of
soon

Tara,
Soma

my

child,
she the
son

this

the

saying Vrihaspati
as

Of

Soma,"
of his

said, blushing.

she

had

spoken,
thou
art

the

lord

constellations, his
and his

countenance

being
;

bright, embraced
wise

said,
name

"

Well
was

done,
Budha.*

my

boy

verily

;"

and

hence

This

Budha,
of
names

be

confounded
the

with

Buddhists
and

the

are

Soma, and regent of the planet Mercury, must not whose the teacher held tenets Buddha, are by the The two beings have nothing in common present day. ; identical only when other of them is misspelt or or one
son

of

mispronounced.

64

The

Vedic

Deities.

CHAPTER
TVASTRI OR

IX.
VISVAKARMA.

TVASTRI,
the

or

as

he

is called in the workman of the formed

later works, Visvakarma,

is

architect and

gods
"

the

Hindu

Vulcan.

The
arc

were heavenly palaces

indebted

to

him
axe

for of

sharpens the
thunderbolts
men

iron

by him, and the warlike gods He their wonder-working weapons. the and forges Brahmanaspati (Agni),
is
more

of Indra. husband

He

associated intimately other from

with

he forms

and

wife for each

the womb,
accounts constant

and

blesses the married fact that the made

for the

couple with offspring.This his most wives of the gods are


the world and

companions. He
the

protectorof the

creatures

all that is in it ; and he is he has made. He shares with the

other

gods in
were

the sacrifices offered

by mortals.*

Tvastri These
their

is in several
sons

of

connected with the RlBHUS. passages named Sudhanvan man ; who, owing to

great skill in working, obtained


The

immortality and
chariot and

divine horses ;

honours. also

Ribhus

made

Indra's

by
are

They
their

their great austerities restored their parents to youth. spoken of as the pupilsof Tvastri. It was through Tvastri of skill
to

making into four a single sacrificial cup that divine. This exhibition made, that they became
made
at

had
was

the command

of the

gods,and

exaltation

deitywas

Tvastri was promised reward. very angry at their success ; of being seen, hid himself amongst the women. It and, ashamed is said that he even tried to slay his pupils. According to other
the
*

Muir, O. S. T., v.

224.

TVASTRI

OR

VlSVAKARMA.

65

their skill and was accounts, he admired the father-in-law of Vivasvat Tvastri was Indra towards the death

described is occasionally
Tvastri and
his
son

as

pleasedat its result. (theSun). being in a state of hostility

eater.

He be

should Asuras

caused Visvarupa,and ultimately This Visvarupa had three heads, called respectively of both. the Soma-drinker, the Wine-drinker,and the Foodthat the sacrifices declared in public on one occasion, he said the shared by the gods only ; but in private share them
too.

should (demons)

And

as

that are privately made, only to keep promises would that the Asuras, obtaininga share of the sacrifices,

it is customary afraid Indra was be


so

by strengthened
The
a

them

as

to be

able to overthrow

his

kingdom
became
a

he therefore cut off the heads three heads


were

of Visvarupa with his thunderbolt.


:

turned

into birds

the Soma-drinker Soma


was

Kapinjala(a

Francoline

for partridge),

of

brown

cause beKalavinka became colour ; the Wine-drinker a (sparrow), intoxicated they make a noise like a sparrow ; when men are the Food-eater has
a

became

Tittiri

which (partridge),

for its body appears of colour, great variety with ghl and honey. Tvastri, enraged because Indra had
a

consequently to be sprinkled
slain

gods,but did not invite Indra to took by force the vessel this slight, Indra, noticing than and drank it. But he took more the Soma juice, containing was good for him. Tvastri,being angry, broke off the sacrifice,
his son, made partakeof it. libation to the and He used the few

employed the laid Indra,but unfortunately


said,"Thou
of whom Indra

drops of Soma right formula


stress

left to
to

give

effect to

curse.

accomplish the

death

of

upon

is the enemy, the words accented so as to produce this sense, Indra slew him. have slain of Indra,"he would Had he said," Flourish, enemy

He the wrong word. flourish." As he used

Indra,instead of beingslain by him.* In the Puranas, Tvastri appears under


In the 'Vishnu Purana' he is

the

name

of Visvakarma. of
a

styled"the
of the

author

thousand

arts,the

mechanist

of the

gods, the

fabricator of all ornaments, chariots self-moving


of

the chief of

the artists,

constructor

Muir, O. S. T., v. 232.

66

The

Vedic

Deities.

the named
one

deities, by
as an

whose

skill
in

men

obtain

subsistence.
he

Though
reckoned
a son

not
as

Aditya
Puranas.

the In he

Vedas,
other

is

generally
he
as

in

the

places

is
a

called white He

of with

Brahma. three
crown,

In eyes.
and

pictures
In
is

is

represented
he
a

man

his adorned

right

hand

carries

club. bracelets times

wears

with

necklace

and
or

of each

gold.
year,
no

lie

is

worshipped
to

once,

twice,
of
set

thrice,
his

four

according images
of of

the

devotion
are

worshippers.
man

Nowadays,
the

this his bows


; the to

deity
as

up

; each

worships
of "c. Visvakarma.
; the

ments impleThe
to ;

trade,
down

the
to

representatives
hammer,
saw,

carpenter
his the in

his
to

bricklayer
to

trowel clerk

peasant
pen.

his

plough

; the

student the

his

books is spent

his and

When

the

worship

is over,

day

feasting

enjoyment.

( 67

CHAPTER
YAMA.

X.

Yama, the judge of


son

and

world, was the king of the unseen of Vivasvat (the Sun) and Saranya,the daughterof Tvastri ; afraid of her glorious born before Saranya had become was
men

and

husband.

He

was

twin-brother

of Yami, and, in the opinion of Professor Roth, they were garded reas

the

whom sprung.

the

pairfrom primeval human family has


verse

In another

of the

Veda, theyare described as Rigthe offspring of the heavenly the Gandharvas. As choristers,
there others to uate perpetthe race, Yami entreated her husband. to become
were no

Yama

She
had wife

urged the
formed
in the

fact that Tvastri


as man

them womb

and fore thereto

and

it

was

useless for him

refuse her request,as none can act contrary to the ordinances of Tvastri. the of But Yama
was was

YAMA.

and firm,
*

resisted her overtures who


are

on

ground that it to righteousness

monstrous

for those

preachers

act

unrighteously.
Muir, O. S. T.,v. 289.
F
2

The

Vedic

Deities.
died, and, having discovered

Yama
the way
and life,

was

the firstof mortals who the other

to

world, is the guide of those who


them
a

depart this
secure

is said to conduct for


ever.

to

home

which

is made

for them

He

is

king,and

dwells in celestial He

in light
to

the innermost the pious who


"

sanctuary of heaven.
dwell with him.*

grants brighthomes

is nowhere represented (ashe is in Rig-Veda, Yama ment the later mythology)as having anythingto do with the punishNevertheless he is still to some an of the wicked. object He is said to have two insatiable dogs,with four eyes terror. i if which guard the road to his abode, and which and wide nostrils, advised to hurry past with all possible the departedare speed. about among men as These dogs are said to wander messengers, of doubt for the purpose of summoning them to the presence no in another their master, who placeis identified with death, and is described as sendinga bird as the herald of doom." f have been placedupon the remains of the deceased When has commenced, and the process of cremation the funeral pile, the Agni,the god of Fire,is prayed not to scorch or consume his skin or his limbs,but, after the not to tear asunder departed, flames have done their work, to convey to the fathers the mortal has been presented who to him as an offering. Leaving behind earth all that is evil and imperfect, and proceedingby the on

In the

"'

lightin a car, or on there its ancient body in a complete and wings, and recovers form ; meets with the forefathers who are glorified livingin with Yama festivity him, when recognised ; obtains from by him
to
.1-

pathswhich the it soars the gods,

fathers the

trod,invested with
realms of eternal

lustre like that

of

one

of his own, in the

delectable

abode, and

enters

upon

more

which life, perfect

is crowned presence of

with the

the fulfilment

of all

desires,
in the

passed
In their this

gods,

and

employed
meet

of their pleasure." fulfilment J

kingdom, over which departedfriends,husband


"

Yama with

friends reigns,

with
"

children with parents, wife,

Muir,O.

S.

T.,v. 284. v. X"Ibid.,

v. 302. f Ibid.,

302

ff.

The
"

Vedic

Deities.

And

now

with

heavenlyglorybright,

With With
A
"

lifeintenser, blest, nobler,

largecapacityto taste of delight, fuller measure


there
see once more

Thou

each well-known
;

face

Shalt

of those thou lovedst here children


soon

Thy
With
"

and parents,wife,

dear,

rapture shalt thou

embrace.

father, too, shalt thou behold, The heroes who in battle died, The saints and sages glorified, bounteous The pious, kings of old.
The The wise here in humble gods whom with doubt and Thou worshippedst

"

awe.

Shall there the Which


"

veil withdraw impervious

hid their

gloryfrom thine

eyes.

The

good which thou on earth hast wrought, Each each piousdeed, sacrifice,
Shall there receive its ample meed
;

No
"

worthy

act

shall be

forgot.

In those fair realms Where Yama

day, every joy supplies, And every longingsatisfies, know decay." Thy bliss shall never
Yama
is called the

of cloudless

In the Puranas
to

judge of

men,

and

is said

rule

over

suffer. Thus of

made to hells in which the many the wicked are fulfilsthe office the Padma Purana' says : "Yama
'

dead, as well as sovereignof the damned ; all that die appearing before him, and being confronted with Chitragupta the recorder, The their actions have been registered. by whom

judge of

the

virtuous

are are

then

conveyed

to

whilst heaven), Swarga (Indra's of regions Naraka


*

the

wicked

driven to the different

(hell)." In
are

the 'Vishnu
the awful

Purana' the
"

names are

of the different hells

and given,

il isthere stated that

there

of Yama, provinces
*

other fearful hells which are many terrible with instruments of torture

Vishnu

Purana,' p. 207,

note-

Yama.

71
it is said that
"

and end

fire."

In the

same

Purana

all

men

at the

of their existence whom

become (life)
to
can

slaves to the power

of

Yama,

by

they
as
"

are

sentenced
men

is then made
answer

to how

painful punishments." Inquiry be free from his authority. The


exceptingthe
him
in
one
shippers wor-

is that

Yama

is the lord of all men,

of Madhusudan many

(Vishnu).Worship
can

of his

forms, and Yama


to
a

exert

no

over authority now

you."
is
a a

According as represented
crown on

the

popular ideas

Yama prevailing,

clothed in red garments. He has green man, with his head, and a flower in his hair ; is armed

club,and

He is regularly rides upon a buffalo. worshippedonce For a little is water a poured out to him. a year ; and daily to him each year unmarried whole month girls present offerings in the them with a husband ; and that, hope that he will provide and leave having granted this boon, he will not recall his gift, widows. In his presence
the

them

good
the

and
turn

evil deeds of the

of the

departed are

to weighed : according

the scale,

soul goes to heaven or hell. The soul is believed to reach Yama's dead abode in four hours and forty minutes ; consequently a

body

passedafter death. the following In the 'Bhavishya Purana' legend of Yama's He was exceedinglypleasedwith a girl marriage is found. firstshe saw him named Vijaya,a Brahman's daughter. When and on his she was greatlyalarmed,both at his appearance At lengthhe allayedher fears ; and her who he was. telling although her brother tried to dissuade her, she consented to his wife. On her arrival at Yama's abode, he particularly become her againstgoing into the southern cautioned quarter of his have another wife kingdom. After a time, thinkinghe must into the there, her curiosityoverpowered her, and she went she saw the as forbidden greatlydistressed, region,and was wicked Amongst other sufferers was suffering great torment.
cannot

be burned

until that time

has

her

own

mother. release.
one

Meeting
Yama then

Yama

there,she tried
that this could earth would

to not

obtain be

her

mother's unless

declared
on living

granted
certain

some

perform a

'

Vishnu

p. 286. Purana,'

-2

The

Vedic

Deities.
the

and sacrifice,
then
to

transfer the
some

merit

of the

act

to

suffering. After
act

perform this
Stories
are

of

was willing one some difficulty, mother-in-law and Yama's self-sacrifice,

poor found

woman

released. told in the Puranas


if
to the effect that

the

pers worship-

of that only they have repeatedthe name though it be merely when teaching deity during their lifetime, be there may when it to a parrot,or in death merely utter it, no ; that thought of worship,are free from the power of Yama from the power of them from this deitywill rescue messengers worlds. them to happier and convey the king of hell, of Vishnu, It is very
and

strange

to notice how

the character

of Yama's

rule

changed in the conceptionsof the kingdom has entirely Hindus. According to the Vedas, the pure and good went with realm of light as taught in the gladness to Yama's ; now, Puranas, it is the wicked who are sent to him for punishment. is a most In the Mahabharata* interesting story, showing Yama is propitious that sometimes to prayer, and will allow
those who A have entered his abode
to return
to

earth.
son

named Savitri loved princess hermit, but was warned by a seer


as

Satyavan,the
to
overcome

of

an

old

her

attachment,
year
to

Satyavan was
: replies
"

doomed

man,

having only one

live.

Savitri

Whether Or

his years be few or many, with all grace be he gifted him my heart hath chosen, and it chooseth not graceless,

again."

the bride strove to married, and They were forget the but the last day of the year as prophecy ; approached, her She exhausted herself in prayers anxiety became irrepressible.

and

penances, the while dared


last the dreaded

hoping to stay
not

the hand

of the

destroyer, yet
out to cut

all At

reveal

the fatal secret

to her husband.
set

and day arrived,

Satyavan
leave
to

wood

in

the forest. His


behind her made

wife asked the wood

accompany
a

him, and

walked

but with husband, smiling, resound with his

Satyavan soon

heavy heart. when hatchet,

Indian

Wisdom,'

p. 395.

Yam

a.

73

suddenly a thrillof agony called out himself falling,


"

shot
to

and, feeling through his temples,


support him.

his wife to

in her arms, and sat herself husband fainting On the cold ground,and gentlylaid his drooping head upon her lap : prophecy,and reckoned up Sorrowing,she called to mind the sage's in All instant she beheld an awful shape an The days and hours. in dressed blood-red before crown her, Standing garments, with a glittering like his the Sun, was form,though glowing Upon his head ; yet obscure, And eyes he had like flames, a noose depended from his hand ; and he Was terrible to look upon, as by her husband's side he stood And gazed upon him with a fiery glance. Shuddering she started up, And laid her dying Satyavan upon the ground, and, with her hands she thus with beating heart addressed the shape ; Joined reverently, thine form such than mortal be ! must as more Surelythou art a god ; Tell me, thou god-like being,who thou art,and wherefore art thou here ? Then she received her
'

' ';

The
her

repliedthat figure
time
was

he

was

Yama, king of the dead


that he must bind and

; that

husband's

come,

and

take

his
"

spirit.
from her husband's detained

with his cord body forced he out, and firmly than a thumb. Bound and the spirit, clothed in form no larger Forthwith the body, reft of vital being and deprived of breath, Lost all its grace and beauty,and became ghastlyand motionless."
Then

After

Yama bindingthe spirit, he is

with proceeds
"

it towards

the

quarter of which
follows him funeral with rites ; but

guardian,
bids in persists her
any

the south. her go home

The and

faithful wife

closely.Yama
she

her

devotion, grants
She
recover

perform the till Yama, pleased following, boon she pleases, except the
who father, is

lifeof her husband.


now now

chooses his

that her husband's

blind, may
return
are

sight. Yama
same

consents, and
and

bids her other

home.

Still she
the

in following.Two persists way,

boons

granted in
the heels of

still Savitri follows At


overcome last,

on closely

the, king of death.


grants
: a

by

her

constancy, Yama

boon

without

exception. The

Savitri delighted
"
'

exclaims

Nought, mighty king,this time hast thou excepted: let my husband live ; heaven Without him I desire not happiness, itself; nor even him I must the king of death : Without die.' So be it, faithfulwife,' replied
'

'

Thus

I release him

'

and with that he loosed the cord that bound

his soul."

74

The

Vedic

Deities.

Amongst following
are

the the
"

many
most

names

by
:
"

which

Yama

is

known,

the

common

Dharmaraja,
Pitripati,
Samavurti, Kritanta, Samana,
" "

King
of
who

of the

righteousness."
fathers."

Lord "He

judges

impartially."

"

The The

finisher." leveller."

Kala,

"

Time."
"

Dandadhara,
Sraddhadeva,
Yaivasvata,

He "The

who

carries of

the

rod." ceremonies."

god
son

funeral

"The
"

of
an

Vivasvata." end
to

Antaka,

He

who

puts

life."

"

m OB

PART

II.

DEITIES. THE PURANIC

The

Puranic

Deities.

Purana

is concerned

with
are

some

one

god
of in
a

whose

excellences

are

manner. depreciatory of respect is shown to all the gods Generallya certain measure of the Pantheon deity to whose praise the ; yet the particular is devoted, is said to be supreme Purana ; the others being

extolled,whilst

others

spoken

rei

-arded

as now

emanations

from

or

incarnations
or some

of this

one.

Now

Brahma,
him.

Siva, now

Vishnu

is the

great god, whose

of his many tions, incarnashould will is that all men ship wor-

The

Puranas

I. Those

be classified as follows : may of Brahma which are devoted to the praise


"

; viz. the

Brahma, the Brahmanda, the Brahmavaivarta, the Bhavishya,and the Vaman.


II. Those which the relate
to

the

Markandeya,

Vishnu

viz. the the

Bhagavata,
Varaha. III. Those

Naradiya, the Garuda,


are

Vishnu, the Padma, and the

Siva, the
For the

connected with Siva; viz. the chiefly Linga,the Skanda, the Agni, the Matsya, the Kurma. Agni Purana another called the Vayu is sometimes which Puranas the for nearlythe whole of the authority read by present day. They are largely and
the whole

substituted. These
are

popular Hinduism the people. Parts


the

of the of
some

of others Sanskrit

have

been where

translated into the vernaculars

from
common

the

; and

people cannot
to read

read,it is a
to them
a

Teacher
his
arc

few

for their practice and explain it to lines, the contents

Gurn them

or

at

periodicvisits. By widely known.


fact that

this

means

of these books

The

each

Purana

is devoted its

to the

praiseof

some

to special deity, who, according

deities described
arc

in other Puranas
in
some cases

and slighted,

is supreme, whilst teaching, in equally extravagant language their worship is forbidden, even have
were

that proves times ; and


had written. of the work

these

books

must

been

written

at

different

of what others ignorant And all yet the popular belief is that they were the great sage Vyasa, the arranger of the Vedas and

probablyby

those who

the Mahabhfirata.

The

Puranas.

79
Purana

The

ideal
to
"

Purana

"

and than

the Vishnu
any

approaches
treat

more

nearly

this "I.

ideal The

other

"

should

of five chief

topics:*

universe; II. Its destruction re-creation ; III. The and genealogy of gods and patriarchs; over IV. The reignsand periods of the Manus (rulers long periods of kings,the of time); and V. The historyof the two great races The Puranas, as at present known, do not Solar and the Lunar."
creation of some of these treating generallyapproach to this ideal ; some Great extraneous matter. subjects only,others containingmuch discrepancies, too, are found in the different genealogies.f I shall follow the common In describingthe Puranic deities, Hindus order. The speak of the three great gods "Brahma, is often spoken of as the Hindu form what These Vishnu, Siva. of each of these deities and their After giving an account Triad. those who nations, are regarded as their incarconsorts, I shall describe then descendants or proceed to speak of those ; and
"

of the

who be
or

have
seen

not

any
most

formal of the three.

that

It will any of them. deities are connected with one principal connection

with

other

of these

Wilson's
For
an

prefaceto
c

the

'

Vishnu

Purana.' of the different Puranas,


see

t
to

outline of the Vishnu

contents

Introduction

Wilson's

Purana.'

So

The

Puranic

Deities.

CHAPTER
BRAHMA.*

II.

Brahma whom

is regarded as

the

Supreme Being,the
Siva
are

God

of

gods ; of
It is true
to

Brahma, Vishnu, and


some verses

manifestations.
are

that, in
him
are

of the
to

Vedas, attributes that


other
and deities, in
some are

ascribed

also ascribed

parts of the
the is Brahma is abundant the

Puranas supreme

certain incarnations Brahma

said

to

be

identical with that

; nevertheless

it is certain

which (for opinion there regarded by the Hindus the Supreme God, in their Scriptures) as authority
"

originof
Thus
we

all the others,and read


in the
'

of whom
:

they are
'*
"
"

manifestations.
the

gods are in (Brahma) in a cow-house. this In the beginning Brahma was as cows He created gods. Having created gods, he placed [universe]. in these worlds, viz. Agni in this world, Vayu in the them which in the worlds atmosphere,and Surya in the sky. And he placed the gods which are still higher. Then are yet higher, Brahma to the higher by proceeded sphere [whichis explained
"

Atharva-Veda

All

the

commentator

to

mean

the

the Satyaloka,

most

excellent

and

limit of all the


but when

worlds]. "The
were
'

they
In

mortal ; gods were originally mortal." impervaded by Brahma, they became


'

the

Brahmana Taittiriya Brahma worlds.

it is

said:

"Brahma world.
entire

generated the
Within him
are

gods,

this (generated) Within


him

entire
is this

all these

It will he noticed that the tinal vowel whilst in that of his first incarnation it i"

in the

name

of this

deityis short,

long.

Muir,0.

S.

T., v. 387 ff.

Brahma.
who In

8i

universe.
can

It is Brahma with Indra in


a

vie

him and

is the greatest of beings. Who Brahma, the thirty-three gods ; in all

Brahma,
as

Praj"pati; in Brahma

thingsare

tained con-

ship."

^^|
says :*
"

Prof. Monier Vedas


appear

Williams
to contain

the

Only a few hymns of one simpleconception


"

of the divine

self-existent, omnipresent being ; of one god present in all nature


undefined." Further the
one on

and

even

in

these,the idea
nebulous Sukta
more

is somewhat
"

and of the

Rig-Veda,
name

In the Purusha he says : The is called Purusha. spirit

common

later system is 'to derived from the root brih,


in the

Brahman,

neuter

and expand,'
'

(nom.Brahma), sally the univerdenoting


'

expanding essence,
universe
" . . .

diffused substance of the universally infinite being Brahman, in the neuter, being simple
or
"

the

onlyreal eternal essence

which, when

it passes

into actual

itself it develops is called Brahma existence, ; when in the world,is called Vishnu ; and when it againdissolves itself into simple being,is called Siva ; all the other innumerable gods manifested and

demi-gods being also


is eternal." Purana
'

mere

manifestations

of the

neuter

Brahman, who
In

the

'

Vishnu

the questionis asked," How can spirit."Later on supreme creative agency be attributed to Brahma, who [asabstract spirit] is without and free from imperfection ? illimitable, qualities,
'

f %

Brahma

is translated

as

"

abstract

The
are

answer

that is, of

"

the essential

of properties which
no

existent

things

objects

of observation,

attainable ; and creation and hundreds of Brahma as inseparable parts of his essence, in fire." The Purana
goes
on

foreknowledgeis belong to properties


as

heat

is inherent
is effected

to

say

that creation

through
Brahma

the
; and

of Brahma, the first manifestation agency then declares that Vishnu is one with Brahma.

of

Again, Brahma,
"

this Purana
one

"

with,and
are

There are says : without shape ; one


"

two
one

states

of

this

one perishable,

imperishable ; which
*
'

inherent in all beings. The

imperishable
2.

Indian I.

Wisdom,'

p. 12.

t Page

Book

chap.iii.

" Page

157.
G

82

The

Puranic

Deities.

The is all the world. being ; the perishable supreme and heat around blaze of fire burning in one ; spot diffuses light of the manifested than the is more the world energy nothing so the inasmuch and Brahma as lightand heat are ;
is the supreme stronger the
or

feebler

as

we

are

near

to

the

fire
or

or

far off from

it,

energy that are beings

of the less
or

supreme
more

is

more

less intense

in the

remote

from him. God

Brahma, Vishnu,
; next
to

and
are

Siva
the

are

the

most

powerfulenergiesof
the attendant

them

then and

spirits ; ; then men each becoming more vegetables animals, birds, insects, ; their primitive farther from feeble as they are more
inferior deities ; then
'

source."

gives the followingderivation of the Brahma word It is derived from the root vriha (toincrease), : it is infinite (spirit), and it is the cause because because by which the Vedas are developed." Then follows (and all things) this hymn to Brahma : Glory to Brahma, who is addressed with the triple by that mystic word (Ovi)^ associated eternally universe (earth, sky, and heaven),and who is one with the four Vedas. Glory to Brahma, who alike in the destruction and renovation of the world is called the great and mysterious cause of the intellectual principle is without limit in time or ; who from diminution and decay. He is the space, and exempt invisible, imperishable Brahma ; varying in form, invariable in substance ; the chief principle, is said to self-engendered ; who
The

Vishnu

Purana
"

'

"

"

"

illuminate

the

caverns

undecaying,multiform.
adoration."
In is the used

of the heart ; who To that supreme with this

is indivisible, radiant,
Brahma

be

for

ever

perfect harmony
common

by

them

of the Vishnu Purana' teaching belief of the Hindus. No phraseis more commonly when speaking of the divine being than this :
'

"

Page 273.
word letters
occurs so u

f This
ceremonies.
the three

It is

sacred

{a

afterwards

it became

and religious pronounced. Originally the three Vedas in) of which if is formed typified ; a mystical symbol of the three deities Brahma,
at commencement must

the

of prayers

that

none

hear

it

"

Vishnu, Siva.

Brahma.
"God
them Brahma

83
The word used

(Brahma)is
for

one

without

second."

by

God

as

; and

when

from his is manifestations distinguished and of violating charged with Polytheism,

the unity of God, they reply that respecting of the Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, "c, are only manifestations the

primary

law

supreme
*

Brahma.*

The Theistic sect that arose in the name long time gloried

the supreme

Brahma

or

in Bengal duringthe present century, for a Brahmo shipped Somaj ; i.e. the Societythat worGod.

\.?Ayv,v

va'.y

\,y.\ .Yv.\:a at^ia

\i\jjj2Ji"li:jj^jjuuu^jilj^^i/uu.'JUj:

84

The

Puranic

Deities.

CHAPTER
BRAHMA
AND

III.
SARASVATI.

BRAHMA.

BRAHMA,
Creator

the
; he

first of three

is the father of

gods, is called the the lord gods and men, Prajapati, As of creatures. nearly all the to regard it sacred writers seem a as duty to describe the work of creation as performed by this differs god, and as each account
great Hindu
in detail from

the

others,it

is

task to attempt hopeless perfectly harmonised to give a statement gatheredfrom them all. I shall * of therefore give Manu's account which is largelyfounded it, upon the teachingof the Vedas, though mixed considerably up with more modern
"

views.
universe
"

enveloped in darkness unperceived,undisknowable, undiscoverable, untinguishable, itwere, entirely sunk as in sleep. The irresistible selfexistent lord, undiscerned, creatingthis universe with the five manifested the was elements,and all other things, dispelling gloom. He who is beyond the cognizanceof the senses, subtile,
was
IlKAHMA.
* "

This

Dharma

written Shastra,' chaps,i.-v.,

about

800

B.C.

86

The

Puranic

Deities.
red with four

In

Brahma pictures He is dressed

is

as represented

man

heads, though in the Puranas


five. In
one

he is said

to have

had

originally
a

in white
a
'

raiment, and
Purana'
numerous
*

rides upon
a

goose.

hand

he carries

in the other staff,

dish

for

alms.
account
next

legend
of the from

in the

Matsya
of his

gives the
heads
:
"

receiving following
"

formation his
own

Brahma who

formed

immaculate
names

substance

female

Sarasvati, Satarupa, Savitri, born from his and Brahmani. Beholding his daughter, Gayatri, became wounded with the arrows of love, and body, Brahma exclaimed, How surpassingly lovelyshe is ! Satarupa turned wished his gaze ; but as Brahma the right side from to to look after her, a second head issued from his body. As she and behind him, to avoid his amorous passed to the left, glances, other heads successively two appeared. At length she sprang into the sky ; and Brahma anxious to gaze after her was as then said Brahma there,a fifth head was immediately formed. to his daughter, Let us produce all kinds of animated beings, Suras (gods), Asuras and men, (demons). Hearing this,she descended, and Brahma havingespoused her,they withdrew to a occluded spot where they dwelt togetherfor one divine hundred of which time was born Manu, who is years ; f at the expiration also called Swayambhuva and Viraj." J The in several variations, following legend" occurs, with some Puranas, showing why Brahma was deprivedof his fifth
is celebrated under the of
'
' '

head
"

"

Once

when

they

were

assembled

on

the

top of Meru, the


the the

him to declare holy sages having saluted Brahma, requested of the godhead ; but the Creator, influenced by true nature

Kennedy's 'Hindu Mythology,' p. 317. Sec Part II. chap. x.

from this marriage, because he illuminated only one-half of the world at a times seven in a flaming chariot of equalvelocity, like another sun, and thus turned night into day. Brahma came The ruts made stopped him. by his chariot wheels bethe seven and Dowson. thus the continents made. oceans seven were ; " Kennedy's ' Hindu Mythology,' p. 273.
l

The named

Bhagavata1'urana' says there was Priyavrata. Being dissatisfied with

another

son

of the Sun time,he followed him the work

"

Brahma.
delusion of Mahesha

87

and his mind obscured by spiritual (a demon), and the said : I am darkness, asserted his own pre-eminence, womb of the universe,without beginning or end, and the sole and self-existent lord ; and he who does not worship me, shall beatitude.' On obtain never hearing this,Kratu, a form of smiled and said : Hadst thou not been Narayana (Vishnu), misled by ignorance, thou wouldst have made assertion not an
'
'

so

contrary
I not

source

truth ; for I am the framer of the universe, the of life, the unborn, eternal and supreme Narayana ; and,
to

had

willed Vishnu

creation would it, and Brahma


to
was

not

have

taken
at

"Thus

agreed
Vedas

to

allow the

matter

and disputed, be decided by and

place.' length they


The

the Vedas.

declared heard

that

Siva

creator, preserver,
'

destroyer.

Brahma, Having the darkness of the lord of goblins, said, How can delusion, by in graveyards, the delighter the naked devotee covered with ashes, with haggard in appearance, wearing twisted locks ornamented Prana (Life), snakes, be the supreme being? The incorporeal then assuming a form,said, This is not the real form of Siva ; but when united to his energy, he sometimes, under the figure of Rudra, delights himself in various illusive sports.' But even these words darkness of Vishnu and not the spiritual dispelled Brahma them wondrous a ; when suddenly appeared between the heavens,earth,and mid-air. In the midst effulgence filling of this they beheld a human of a dark hue, form,vast, uncreated, in his hand a trident and a rosary, and wearing a serpent holding for a Brahmanical thread. On seeing whom, the fifth head of Brahma glowed with anger and said : I know thee well, O Chandra and Shekera,for from my forehead didst thou spring,
'

these words, Vishnu

still bewildered

'

'

because

didst weep I called thee Rudra. Hasten then to seek the refugeof my feet, and I will protect thee, O my son ! At these proud words of Brahma, Siva was incensed ; and from
'

thou

'

his anger whom sprang into existence a terrificform (Bhairava), ' he thus addressed Chastise this lotus-born ! No did : sooner Bhairava Brahma had receive this
with he order,than instantly of his left hand.
cut

off the head member and

of

the thumb the

That

which

committed

fault received

punishment;

therefore

88

The

Puranic

Deities.

Brahma Brahma

was

of deprived Siva. praised

his fifth head."

Upon

this Vishnu

and

In another
a

part of the

same

Purana

is another
:
"

legend, giving

somewhat
"

different account

of this circumstance

immovable and having been Formerly all things movable boundless but one ocean fire, nought remained ; nor destroyed, nor air,nor sun, nor atmosphere,nor stars, nor planets, nor light, then all existed and demons nor heaven, nor gods nor nor earth, ; One being alone, darkness. Maha involved in impenetrable was Kala (Siva), pervaded all space ; wrho being desirous of creation, his left arm with his rightforefinger issued a churned ; when in size became an bubble, which increasing egg resemblinggold. This
he egg

Maha the

Kala

divided

with of

his hand lower with


'

; of the upper

part
four effect

formed

heavens, and
Maha Kala

the

half

the

earth, and
and

in the
arms,

centre
to

of it

appeared Brahma
thus said,

five heads

whom
'

creation
"

having thus spoken,he Brahma having then considered in what manner accomplish this object,propitiated this lord Bhava
: severe

Through my disappeared.

favour

he

could with
a

tapas
four
as

and (meditation),
was

the But

Vedas, and
Siva had
not

in consequence received from him thus enabled the Creator. to become

revealed

himself, Brahma
'

continued

his
was

that tapas, in order that he might behold thus said, O propitiated ; but, still invisible, whatever become become craved
a

god.

Siva

Brahma, choose
that Siva would will hast
on

boon
his
son.

thou

choosest !
the

'

Brahma
'

craved

Siva
under

I : replied Propitiated by thy piety,

thy

son

form
not
one

of Rudra
to have

; but

as

thou

boon

which

ought

been

asked, I shall

this account

hereafter cut

off

of

though

thou shalt afterwards possess hast been formed by me, from my own

Nevertheless, but four heads, yet as thou


substance of which
is that

thy

heads.

Brahma,
thou
1

shalt

thou Brahma.

in

remembrance Also from


my

this circumstance

be

denominated

be called Pitamaha

Brahma

becoming thy son, shalt (thegreat father). havingobtained both a boon and a curse, proceeded,
*

Kennedy's

'

Hindu

Mythology,' p. 276.

BrahmA.
to sacrifice creation,

89
to

in order

to

effect
his his
own

that

fire which

had

sprung from collected on of

effulgence ; and from forehead. In wipingthis


of blood fell into the

the

heat, perspiration
a

off with

small

wood,

drop

will of Siva

hands, and thread,wearing twisted


clothed
was

ten sprang Rudra, of a dark fifteen eyes ; having a serpent for his Brahmanical

from which fire, hue, with five heads, his


a

piece by the

locks, and
lion.
on

the

moon seen

on

head, and
Brahma

in the skin of

Having

such various

son,

appellations. classes of beings, they all adored Brahma said, Why dost thou not him, except Rudra ; to whom other than that also adore me ? Rudra replied,I worship none which I sprang ! from Having thus spoken, he effulgence of his from the impurity But Brahma departed to Siva's abode. immersed in spiritual became nature darkness, and thought that and it was by his own power alone that he had effected creation, His fifth head also having other god equalto him. there was no
bestowed and delighted, Brahma having created various
'

him

'

'

'

read

the

Vedas, which
endure."
Purana
'

the

other neither

four

heads

had

delivered,
Asuras

acquired a
The
'

splendourwhich
*

Suras

(gods)nor
this stoiy
"

(demons)could
Padma therefore to

thus

concludes

Unable

they determined to apply to approach or behold it, Siva for relief. Being propitiated by them, Siva granted their flated inwith them to where Brahma.remained and proceeded request, did not pay him the with pride. On seeingSiva,Brahma fifth head inflicting customary hpnours. Siva, seeing Brahma's distress on the universe by its effulgent beams, brighterthan a thousand suns, approachedhim and said, Oh ! this head shines with too much and immediately cut it off with the splendour,'
'

nail of his left thumb, with


stem

as

much

ease

as

man

cuts

off the

of

tree." plantain
says

actuallycut off Brahma's head on this occasion, but was only preventedfrom doing this through the intercession of the gods. It was because of his attemptingto seduce his own daughter that Siva decapiThe Mahabharata that Siva did
not

Kennedy's Hindu

'

Mythology,' p. 276.

90
tated him.
; hence

The

Puranic

Deities.

This

crime

Brahma

attemptedwhen pronounced a curse


was

in upon

tion fit of intoxicathe

gods

who

should In

hereafter drink
the

spirits.

is representedas just quoted, Brahma passages benefit ; in the ' Vishnu worshipping Siva for his own special
* Purana,'

he

is described
same

as

with gods joining


as

and

men

in the

worship of
occasion.

this And

and deity,

in another
to Vishnu

part of

as officiating prieston that the Purana f is the following :


"

hymn
centre

addressed
of

by
or

Brahma
the

"Thou

art the

common

the protector of all,

world, and
art.

all

exist things is

in

thee.

All that has been,

will be, thou


has

There

nothing
Thou
this

else but
art

thee, O lord
was

nothing else
Vishnu Vishnu it,
to

been, or will be.


the earth from earth
as

and independent,
to
answer

without

beginning." The
save

object of

laudation of
sorrow

induce
to

its load Krishna.

; in

appeared on

the present time Brahma is not largely worshippedby the " Hindus. The Brahmans in their morning and eveningworship of the image of a description containing Brahma flower ; at the they present to him a single ; at noon time of burnt-offering, of is presentedto him. In the month glil Magh, at the full moon, an earthen image of him is worshipped,

At

repeat

an

incantation

with

right hand, and Vishnu on his left."% Brahma is supposed to have finished his work ; hence as Creator in Ajmlr, there is no excepting in one place,viz. at Pushkara temple to this god now existing. It is evident that for centuries the worship of Brahma has not been common, from the fact that
on

that of Siva

his

in the

'

Skanda of

Purana

'

"

is

an

indelicate

in legend,

which

the

charge
account
as

falsehood

for the fact


"

follows

:"

Since
a

asserted

proved against him, and is given to that his worship had ceased. It concludes thou hast childishly and with weak standing underhenceforth falsehood, let no one perform
is

worship to
The

thee."

heaven is eight hundred says that Brahma's miles long, four hundred wide, and fortyhigh. Narada declared

Mahabharata

Page

102.

\ Ward,

ii. 30.

f Page 496. " Kennedy's ' Hindu

Mythology,' p.

271.

Sarasvati.

91
In two He hundred
he

himself could
in
a

incompetent to
mention

describe

it.

years

not

all its excellences.

said that it contained heaven


on

superior degree all


existed

the excellences of the other


in the creation of Brahma

; and

that whatever
the smallest

earth,from

In
who there

animal, was to be found there. largest Dhata the later mythology, a deity named (the Creator), in the Rig-Veda has no very clearly-defined powers, but is
of life and the presersaid to operate in the production vation Brahma of health,is identified with Prajapati, or ; and
sense

insect to the

in the

of

"

maker," the
he
names

term

is also
a

to applied

Vishnu

and

Krishna.

Sometimes
to

is said to be of Brahma

son

of Brahma.*

In addition
are following Atmabhu,

the

alreadyreferred
:
"

to, the

those most "The


"

commonly

known

self-existent." chief sacrificer." He


as

Paramesthi, The
"

the firstBrahman

performedall the great


Lokesha, The god Hiranyagarbha, He
"

sacrifices of the Hindu

religion.

of the world."
who
came

from

the

goldenQgg.'*

The Savitripati,
"

husband

of Savitri."

Adikavi, "The

first poet."

SARASVATI.

Brahma's the mother

wife is of the

the goddess of Sarasvati,

wisdom of the

and

science,
arms.

Vedas, and
a

the

inventor

Devanagari

letters. She With


one

is represented as

fair young
she is

woman,

with four

presentinga flower to her stands ; and in the other husband, by whose side she continually that she is fond of she holds a book of palm-leaves, indicating learning. In one of her left hands she has a stringof pearls, called Sivamala which serves a as garland), (Siva's rosary ; and righthands
in the other
men,

of her

is

damanv,
her

or

small drum.

She

dwells
her

on

earth in

amongst

but

abode special

is with

husband

Brahmaloka.

Dowson,

s.

v.

92

The

Puranic

Deities.

Sarasvati having been


his daughter
;

from Brahma, produced

was

as regarded

hence

her union

with him

was

said to be criminal

by

the other

gods. Sometimes
wife of

she

is called the

Vishnu, but

is explained by a difficulty dard by the stanlegend.* Sarasvati, this


"

mythologicalauthorities,
the wife of Brahma.
navas

is

The
a

Vaish-

of

Bengal
she
were

have
was

popular
wife of and

legend that
Vishnu, as

the

also Lakshmi ladies

Ganga.

The

disagreed,

Sarasvati,like the type of learned ladies, Minerva, being


other

something of a termagant ; wife that one Vishnu, finding


as

and
was

much

as

even

eod

could
to

manage,

transferred and

Sarasvati
to

Brahma contented
SARASVATI.

Ganga

Siva, and
Lakshmi

himself

with

alone.
"

Sarasvati

is

goddess of
. . .

some

though not
is celebrated

in the Vedas.
a

She

of very great importance both as a river and


'

river deity, her name, the as a primarily goddess. She was denotes ; and in this capacityshe is celebrated clearly watery,' in the hymns, as in a few separate passages. Allusion is made well as in the Brahmanas, to sacrifices being performed on the

banks

of this
in

and river,

of the
to
. . .

Drishadvati adjoining
have
was

; and

the the

Sarasvati

seems particular

been ascribed these

associated
to

with

for sanctity which reputation and situated


to immediately

the whole small

region
The what

called Brahmavartta, lying between Sarasvati thus


the
to have

two

streams,

the westward been named


to

of the the

appears

Jumna. early Indians acquireda

Ganges (which is only twice


. . .

in the

Rig-Veda)is to
divine

theirdescendants.

When

once

the river had

Wilson's

Works,

ii.187.

94
mother of the

The

Puranic

Deities.

Vedas,

and
to

the

same

is said

of Vach

in the
contain

Taitwithin

Brah, where
herself all
who

she is said

be the wife of
been
as

Indra, to

worlds,and
*

to have

composed the austerity."


In the
verse one names
'

Vedic

hymns,
is
'

sought after by the Rishis well as by the gods through

spoken of under other titles. A for the belief that in the givesauthority Matsya Purana goddess only is intended,though she is called by several
Puranas, Sarasvati
"

Brahma
a

next

formed

from

his

own

immaculate
the
names

substance

female, who

is celebrated

under

of

and Brahmanl." In the Sarasvati,Gayatri, Satarupa, Savitri, f though by Savitri following legend from the Skanda Purana,' Sarasvati is intended, Gayatrirepresents some other person who wife of Brahma. Iswara is addressing became a second (Siva)
'

Devi
"

: (Parvati)
"

Listen, O Devi, and I will tell you how Savitri forsook Brahma, and he in consequence espoused Gayatri. The Vedas
have

declared

the

great advantages which


the
.

are

derived

from bestow and

sacrifice, by which
rain upon

gods
.

are

and delighted,
secure

therefore

the the

earth.
three

To

therefore

the verdure

of vitality

perform sacrifices ; and, in imitation of me, sacrifices are performedby gods and men. For the same and Brahma his wife Savitri, the immortals, purpose and the holy sages repairedto Pushkara all the ; but when had been made, with all due rites and ceremonies, preparations the sacrifices, for performing detained hold houseSavitri, by some A priestaccordingly not in attendance. was affairs, went she replied, I have not yet completed my to call her ; but dress,nor arranged several affairs. Lakshmi, and Bhavani,and Ganga, and Svaha, and Indrani,and the wives of the other gods and of the holy sages, have not yet arrived, and how therefore I enter the assembly alone ? can The Brahma Savitri returned,and thus addressed priest : is engaged and will not come tage advana wife what ; but without be derived from these rites ? The can god, incensed at
worlds,
' ' "
'
'

Muir, O.

S.

T.,v. 337 {{.

f Kennedy,

'

Hindu

Mythology,' p.

320.

Sarasvati.
the conduct
to

95
'

of my

obedience one.'

thus spoke to Indra : Savitri, Hasten, and, in order,bring a wife from wherever you can find

he passed hastily as proceeded accordingly ; and and of a smiling a milkmaid, young, beautiful, along, he saw He seized her and carrying a jar of butter. countenance, thus spoke : O brought her to the assembly ; when Brahma good unto you I will espouse this gods and holy sages, if it seem Gayatri,and she shall become the mother of the Vedas, and the of purityto these worlds ! cause Upon this Brahma was united who led into the bower of the bride, and there to Gayatri, was with the costliest arrayed in silken garments, and adorned
Indra
'
'

ornaments.

Savitri, accompanied by the wives of Vishnu, to the placeof sacrifice. Seeing Rudra, and the other gods,came in the bride's bower, and the priests the milkmaid engaged in the of the sacred rites, incensed with anger, she thus addressed performance
"

At

this time

Pitamaha
an

'

Brahma

! hast who
am

thou

conceived wedded

so

sinful Hast
com-

intention
no sense so

as

to

reject me,

thy

wife ?

thou

of

thou shame, that thus,influenced by love,

mittest

father of in
a manner

Thou act ? art called the great an reprehensible actest gods and holy sages, and yet thou here publicly which
can
a

must

excite the derision of the three worlds. face ; or, deserted ' The Brahma : replied
my
was

But call
me

how

now

show
'

myself

wife ?

by my husband, informed priests


and

that the time

for the sacrifice

passing away,

that it
.
. .

could not and her will


"

be performed unless my wife were profitably present, Indra having brought that Gayatri, Vishnu and Rudra gave in marriage to me. this one therefore, act, and I Forgive,
never

again offend
obtained

thee !

'

On

hearingthese words, Savitri exclaimed, By


I have

'

the

powers

which
never

by performance of tapas,may be worshippedin temple or sacred place, except


the
. .
.

Brahma
one

day

in each year.
to

And, Indra,since thou didst bringthat milkmaid Brahma, thou shalt be bound in chains by thine enemies, and
in
a

confined

thy cityand station shall be occupied by thine enemies.' Addressing Vishnu, she said, Since thou gavest her in marriage to Brahma, shalt thou, in
strange country
; and
'

c"6

The

Puranic

Deities.

of Bhrigu's and shalt curse, be born amongst men, consequence endure the agony of having thy wife ravished from thee by thine keeperof ; and long also shalt thou wander, the humble enemy cattle !' shalt thou thou be
a

To be

Rudra

she

said

'

By the

curse

of the To

deprivedof thy manhood of all things, clean devourer


Brahmans the
'

'

holy sages, Agni : Mayest


'

and

unclean

'

To. the

and priests solelyfrom


covetousness

shall ye perform sacrifices the usual gifts desire of obtaining from ; and
:

Henceforth

alone, shall

ye

attend

temples and

holy places ;

and dissatisfied ye be with the food of others, houses ; and in quest of riches shall ye with that of your own ' unduly performholy rites and ceremonies !

satisfied

only shall

Having pronounced these curses, Savitri left the assembly, and was and the accompanied for a short distance by Lakshmi when they all declared their intention of returnother goddesses, ing. On hearing and thus addressed Savitri was this, incensed,
"

them
never

'

Since

you

now

forsake

me,

Lakshmi

in one stationary place; * and abide with the vile, the inconstant, the contemptible, the sinful, the foolish, the cruel, and the barbarian ! And, Indrani, when of Brahmanicide Indra incurs the guilt Tvastri's son, by slaying then shall Nahusha his kingdom, and, desirous of obtaining acquire I not Indra ? why then does not thee,shall exclaim, Am the young and lovely Indrani wait upon me ? If I do not obtain her,I will slayall the gods." Thou his wishes on learning shalt remain in thy house immersed in grief, and borne down by the weight of my curse Savitri then pronounced this curse ! on the wives of the gods collectively : May you all remain barren ; and never enjoy the pleasureof having children ! may you
remain
"
'

! mayest thou mayest thou always

'

'

Vishnu

then

assembly, Gayatri curses pronounced. She promised all kinds of blessing, final absorptioninto him, to all including the worshippersof Brahma. Though Indra be bound, his son should release him. Though Vishnu lost his wife, he should
modified the that had been
*

After

tried in vain to appease her." Savitri's angry departure from the

Lakshmi

is the

goddess of fortune.

Sarasvati.

97

be deprived of his manhood, the Though Rudra should be universally Linga as his representative worshipped. the made it would be because to Brahmans, gifts Though men they reverenced them as gods. And thoughthe goddessescould

regain her.

not

have

children of their own, Purana


'

this fact would

not

cause

them

regret.
The Vishnu
'

Padma
and

termination a happier gives induced her to return.


to

to this

story.

Lakshmi, at Brahma's
and assembly, what she wished

request,followed Savitri when


On
him do with

she left the Brahma


was

asked

re-entering, Gayatri. Savitri


herself at her A wife
"

too bashful to

feet.
to

threw speak; whereupon Gayatri and embracingher said : Savitri raised her,

ought

obey the wishes and orders of her husband ; for that wife who and quarrelsome, reproachesher husband,who is complaining him by her conduct and instead of being his life, of deprives she dies, when most assuredly lengthof years, shall, go to hell. the virtuous wife will do nothing to this, Considering displeasing
husband be
; therefore

her
"

let
"

us

both

be

attached

to

Brahma."

So

esteem

said Gayatri it," thy orders will I always obey, and ; life. Thy daughteram as I, thy friendship precious my
"

goddess! Deign to protect me ! In a legendin the 'Varaha Purana,'Sarasvati Maheshvari Sarasvati, Gayatri, (one of the names
and which also Savitri.
as a

is addressed of

as

Parvati),

Her

most

common

name

is is

Sarasvati, by

name,
once

the year.

she goddess of learning,

worshipped regularly

98

The

Puranic

Deities,

CHAPTER
VISHNU
AND

IV.

LAKSHMI.

VISHNU

VlSHNU Triad he is
:

is called the

but

though
to

Trimurti,or person of the Hindu called second, be supposed that it must not
second
way

regardedas
is said
as

in any

inferior to Brahma first


cause

; in

some

books others
; while

Brahma
it is

be

the

of

all

in things,

asserted strongly
it is claimed

that Vishnu As

has

this honour

in others is

for Siva.
is

Brahma's

that creation, from the

of Vishnu
'

passage

Padma

supreme cause, and also the great of creation, the beginning the whole became world,
create

In preservation. it is taughtthat Vishnu Purana,' that his special work is to preserve :

work special the following is the


"
"

In

Vishnu, desirous of creating threefold ; Creator, Preserver, Destroyer.

In order to the

this

rightside
the
to

of his

world,the Supreme Spirit produced from to body himself as Brahma ; then, in order
his left side Vishnu
; and

destroythe world,he produced from the middle of eternal Siva. his body the Some worship Brahma, others Vishnu, others Siva ; but Vishnu, one yet threefold, creates, preserves, difference and destroys: therefore let the pious make no
between The
in
a

preserve in order

world, he produced from

the three."
essence

of the
"

of teaching
to

the

'

Vishnu

Purana

'

is

given

few

lines.*

Listen

the

Purana

according to
; it exists

its tenor.

complete compendium of the The world was produced from


cause

Vishnu

in him

; he is the

of its continuance afterwards


is
a

and

cessation ; he is the world."

Immediately

hymn

Vishnu

Purana,'p. 607.

Vishnu.
to him

99
"

which

commences

as

follows

:
"

Glory to

the

able, unchangenature,the

eternal, holy, supreme mighty


over

Vishnu, of
is

one

universal

all ; to him

who

Hari Hiranyagarbha(Brahma),

VISHNU.

Sankara and Creator, Preserver, and (Vishnu), (Siva) ; the later world." As will be noticed of the Destroyer on, Siva is (thegreat god); yet by his worshippers commonly called Mahadeva is generally Vishnu called Narayana, when they think of him apart from his incarnations, this was a though originally is Vishnu indicated of Brahma and name ; by very frequently tlie the word Ishwar (God), God. as though he were is generally said to be deThe word Vishnu in the Puranas ll
"

ioo

The
the root vis

Puraxic

Deities.

pervadingthe of the Vedas : Having created to the text universe, agreeably he then afterwards enters into it.' Accordingto that (world), alludes to his entering into the the Matsya Purana,'the name Padma to the to his entering mundane Purana,' egg ; according Purush or spirit." as into or combining with Prakriti, In the Bhagavata Purana' f is the following legend to show Once when the holy sages were of Vishnu : the superiority forming perthe banks of the Sarasvati, a dispute a sacrifice on arose greatest. They amongst them as to which of the three gods was
rived from
or
' ' '

(toenter) ; enteringin

'

"

"

sent
went

Bhrigu,the
to

son

of of

the heaven

truth, entered his court Incensed


at

Brahma, to ascertain this point. He first the Brahma, and, desirous of discovering without paying him the usual honours.

this

Brahma disrespect,
was

glowed
his
own

that it fire of wrath


to
to

caused had

by

with anger ; but recollecting son, he assuaged the

which

risen in his mind. Maheshwara

Kailasa ; and when


him
as a

Bhrigu then proceeded hastened (Siva) gladly

he turned away from the proffered brother, embrace. Enraged at such misconduct, the god, seizinghis trident, prepared to kill the divine sage ; but Parvati fell at his and by her words appeased the anger of her lord. Bhrigu feet, went to Vishnu's heaven, and kicked the god'sbreast, next he as The lord, from his lay slumberingin the lap of Lakshmi. rising to Bhrigu, thus addressed couch, and bowing respectfully him ; ' Welcome to ! Be seated for a little, thee, O Brahman and the fault which through ignorance I have comdeign to excuse mitted embrace

[in not
which
your

performingduties
feet
must

due

to

and guest],
'

the hurt thus

tender

have

received !

Having-

spoken,he rubbed the feet of Bhrigu with his own hands, and I a highly honoured added, 'To-day am vessel,since thou, O lord ! hast imprintedon my breast the dust of thy sin-dispelling
feet'
affected
When

Vishnu these

had

finished

speaking,Bhrigu

was

so

by

and reply,

unable words, that he was to in whilst departed silence, tears of devout emotion

benevolent

'Vishnu

Purana,' p. 3, note,
'

f Kennedy, Hindu

Mythology,' p.

240.

i02

The
Vishnu pictures
:

Puranic

Deities.
black with four

In
arms
a

is

as represented a

man

in

one

hand

he holds

chakra, or discus,with
a

club ; in another a shell ; in a third which he slew his enemies ; and in the
the bird

fourth
in

lotus.

He

rides upon

Garuda, and
heaven

is dressed

yellow robes. of Vaikuntha, the The following description


the Mahabharata.* miles It is made All in circumference.

of

Vishnu,

is from 8o,oco

and ornaments jewels. The pillars The crystal waters stones. precious

of gold,and is entirely of its buildings made are of the buildings of are of the Ganges fall from the
; from

higher heavens
hair of the river. lotuses.
seven are a

on

the

head

of Druva

thence

into the

Here

Rishis ; and from thence they fall and form a also five pools containingblue, red,and white
as glorious on

On

seat

the meridian

sun,

on sitting

white shines the

is Vishnu lotuses, like


a

; and

continued

blaze

of

righthand and lightning,


800 miles.

his

Lakshmi,
from whose

who

body
and

of fragrance
This

the lotus extends

deityis worshipped not


of

only under
one

the

name

in the

form

Vishnu, but
any

also

in

of

his

many in the

incarnations.

Whenever wickedness nuisance

great calamityoccurred
any

world, or
an

the

of
to the

of

its inhabitants

proved

unbearable

had gods,Vishnu, as Preserver,


to

to

lay aside
his work

his
was

come invisibility,

earth in

some

form,and, when
There is
no

done, returned
the number

again to the
he has
;
are some

skies. become

as certainty

to

of times Avataras

incarnate.

Some

Puranas and
times, some-

describe

ten

mention

twenty-four ;
Ten the
is the
most

they say, they


received
ones.

innumerable.
are certainly

commonly

number,

and

these

important

have
'

They will be considered in order. Of these ten, nine been accomplished already ; one, the Kalki,is still future.
of these Avataras
are

Some

of

an

cosmical entirely
on

others,however, are

probably
was

based

character ; historical events, the

leadingpersonage
until attributes, itself." In the
'

with divine gradually endowed he was regarded as the incarnation of the deity which Matsya Purana 'f is the following legend,

of which

Ward, ii. 14.

Kennedy, Hindu

'

Mythology,' p.

244.

Vishnu.

103
varied of this

gives a deity:
"

reason

for the manifold

and

appearances

"

The

Asuras

by the were sacrifices,

defeated

lit.Non-Suras) havingbeen repeatedly (demons, and deprived of all share of the Suras (gods), from the unavailing meditatingto withdraw

to propitiate Sukra, their preceptor, determined contest, when Siva by a severe tapas,and procure from him a charm by means

of which

they could

conquer.

Having
'

left them

said amongst themselves, As our the ascetic dress,how and assumed aside his arms the Asuras able to the the Suras over gain a victory and mother of Kavya (Sukra), ? Let
us

for this purpose, preceptor has laid shall


we

be

seek

with refuge

endure

this distress till he

shall return; and then let us fight!'Having thus resolved, they ' hastened to Kavya's mother, who, protectingthem, said, Fear
not
"

! remain The

near

me,

and

no

danger

shall

approach

you

'

Suras, seeingthe Asuras

thus

were protected,

about

to

goddess in anger thus addressed Indra : of the sovereignty If thou desist not, I will deprive you of heaven.' Alarmed at her angry words, and dreading her when Vishnu to her desire, yielding magic power, Indra was
attack
'

them, when

the

appeared and said to him, Yield not, for I will assist you ! The that Indra was protected by Vishnu, angrily goddess observing said, Now let the contending foes behold how the power of my
' '

'

devotions themselves shall


we

shall

subdue

both

Indra

and asked

Vishnu.' each
'

Finding
'

to be overcome, likely

they
this

other,
Indra

How then

liberate ourselves
'

from

? difficulty she Then

said to Vishnu,
or invocations,

Hasten

we

conquer shall be defeated


must

to

before !
'

has finished her

Vishnu, considering
the
to
a

the

detriment of

that

be

incurred

by
under

gods

should

the

mother deemed
was

Kavya

that the

bring her of slaying

incantations
a woman

successful

issue,
head. and cursed

such

circumstances

off her allowable,seized his discus, and smote of a woman Bhrigu,seeingthis horrid deed of the slaughter the death of his wife, incensed, and thus was violently
:
'

Vishnu thou

Since

thou
seven

hast

knowingly
as

murdered
'

woman,

shalt be

born

times

somewhat

modified

its force

; he amongst men he said, 'but each birth shall

afterwards

104 for the

The

Puranic
of the

Deities.

be

advantage

world, and

for the

restoration

of

justice.'
"

to know It is interesting

by
a

which

Sukra

hoped
of
a

the character of the tapas (penance) the gods. He was to gain power to over downwards for

imbibe

the smoke

fire of chaff with his head

thousand

so

and by it He accomplishedthis difficultfeat, years. that of boons, including Siva,that he gave him many pleased the

over superiority

gods.

But

the Asuras

did not

of their preceptor, this penance as they were the preceptor of the gods, who, assuming Sukra's

by

deceived

profit long by

form, gave
for from the
"

them

bad

which advice, Vishnu

they
*

followed

to their

hurt."

In the 'Vishnu

Purana'
are

the benefits to be

hoped

worship of
acts
can men

taught.
told

The

free themselves
was once

from
a

questionis asked, By what Yama The replygiven is ?


"

that which former

by

holy

Muni

who

recollected

his

"what and by whom and what will be, was births, was, of his servants with a told." one Yama, beholding accurately and said, Keep clear of in his hands, whisperedto him noose
" '

the

(Vishnu). I am lord of all of Vishnu) excepted. I was the Vaishnavas (worshippers men, the to restrain mankind, and regulate appointedby Brahma But he who of good and evil in the universe. consequences He who through holy worships Hari is independentof me. adores the lotus-foot of Hari is released knowledge diligently
worshippers of
Madhusudana from all the bonds of sin, and fire fed with oil.' And all terrestrial
what is best

you again : 'He

must

avoid him

who
a

you would obtains Vishnu pleases


as

enjoyments,heaven, and
of all, final liberation much
or
:

place in

heaven

; and
to

whatever he little,

he wishes,and receives
"

whatever

extent, whether

it when

Achyuta (theundecayingone)is content with him.' The means by which the favour of this god is to be obtained then explained: is propitiated The supreme Vishnu are by a
"
"

man

who

observes

practices ; no offers sacrifices, sacrifices to

the institutions of caste, order, and purificatory other path is the way to pleasehim. He who
him
; he who
murmurs

prayer, prays

Pp. 287-290.

Vishnu.

105
for Hari
is
to

to him

; he who

him creatures, injures injures living is most

all

things.

Kesava

pleasedwith

him

who

does

good

others ; who never never utters abuse, calumny, or untruth ; who bears ill-will another's wife or another's wealth,and who covets towards
none

; who

never

beats

nor

slays any

animate

or

inanimate

thing;

who

is and

ever

Brahmans,

of

in the service of the gods, of the diligent his spiritual preceptor; who is ever desirous of
own

and of his the welfare of all creatures, of his children, is derived from the in whose pleasure pure heart no of love and hatred. The
man

soul ;

tions imperfecof

who
every

conforms
caste

to the duties

for enjoinedby scriptural authority life is he who best Vishnu worships


now

and

condition

; there

is

no

other mode."

Of all the deities

reverenced

in

India,Vishnu

forms has

number perhapsthe largest of his life and the praises account presentedto him occupy a This preScriptures. eminence very large portion of the later Hindu in the Vedic Age, as the not recognised was certainly following passage will show : "In the RigVeda the following verses are : 'May the gods the Vishnu strode over preserve us from the place from which this [universe] of the earth. Vishnu strode over seven regions ; in three placeshe planted his step [theworld or his step]was enveloped in his dust. Vishnu, the unconquerablepreserver, there is probably the strode three steps.' In these verses
" "

in his many of worshippers ; and the

germ

of

the

Dwarf The

Preserver. three
a

and also of the Incarnation, of two commentators interpretations


are as

attribute

of

of the
'

strides of Vishnu in what form


as are as

follows

:
"

One
Indra
'

regardshim
or

as

god, who,
a

called his three

is manifested strides,

in

threefold

Agni
Sun
as

on

earth,as
;

Vayu

in the

atmosphere, and
Vishnu's the sun.'
"

the

in heaven

three

strides

'the

f the other interprets of culmination,and setting rising,


"

}
in the

Vishnu,
heavens

Rig-Veda,

is said

to

have

established

the

earth ; to contain all the world in his strides ; to have,with Indra,made the atmospherewide, stretched out the and the
*

Muir, O. S. T., iv. 63.

f Ibid. iv. 78 ff.

t Ibid.

io6

The

Puranic

Deities.
Fire ; to have received his greatness is described as and

worlds,producedthe Sun, the Dawn,

homage of Varuna ; having no limit within the


the that if the latter stood
us as even

whilst ken of
in

attributes ascribed to Vishnu

present or future beings. The of these passages are some such,

alone in the

suppose that this deitywas the chief of all the gods. But Indra is associated
to

Veda, they might lead Rigregardedby the Vedic Rishis


with Vishnu the latter is most which Vishnu

in

some

of those
nay,

texts

in which

highly
takes
; in

: magnified

in

one

the place,
as

power

by

his three

strides is described
is

being

derived

from

Indra

another text, Vishnu whilst in another

Indra's praise as ; celebrating represented is said to have been generated verse, Vishnu
a

by Soma.
dedicated

numerous, Vishnu is celebrated

which are hymns and verses the praisesof Indra, Agni, "c, are to extremely in which whilst the entire hymns and separate verses It is also fact that the
are

much
among way
we

fewer
a

Vishnu of other

is introduced

as

the

subjectof

laudation
no

crowd

from divinities,
any

which

he is there in

as distinguished being in

respect

superior. From

this fact

may

conclude

that he

was

regarded

with the other deities. of equality by those writers as on a footing the in which contains numerous texts Further,the Rig-Veda Rishis ascribe to Indra,Varuna, and other gods,the same high and awful
as

attributes and
to belonging

functions which
...

are we

spoken of

in other

hymns
number and

Vishnu
some

If then of the other

look to the

large

of texts

in which

gods are celebrated,

of those in which Vishnu small number comparatively is exclusively shall come to the or we prominently magnified, conclusion that the latter deity subordinate occupieda somewhat

to the

placein

the estimation
the

and

affections of the ancient


names

Rishis."

Amongst

thousand

of

in Vishnu, the following,

addition to those

are given, already

most

Madhusudana,
conqueror he as car

the

destroyerof
These
two

Madhu demons

commonly known : the Kaitabhajit, ; and


"

of Kaitabha.

and

were

the serpent Sesha on layasleep about to destroy Brahma, who

sprung from Vishnu's at the end of a Kalpa,f


was on

the lotus which

Muir, O.

S.

T.,iv. 98.

See

Part

II.

chap.x.

Lakshmi.
from Vishnu's navel, when sprung hence obtained these names :
"

107
this

deity slew them,

and

Vaikunthanath,

"

The

Lord

of Paradise."

Kesava,

"

He
"

who Made
"

has excellent hair." of

Madhava,

honey
wears causes

or

descendant

of Madhu."

Swayambhu,
Pitamvara,
"

The who

self-existent one."

He
"

Janarddana,
Vishvamvara,
"

He
"

who

yellow garments." the people to worship."

The

protectorof the world."

he who takes possession of. Hari, The Saviour ;"lit. Ananta, The endless." Bound with a rope." Damodara,
" "

Mukunda,
"

"

The

deliverer."
"

The Purusha, The man," or Purushottama, "The supreme

spirit." man or spirit."

Yajneswara,

"

The

lord of sacrifice."

LAKSHMI.

Lakshmi,
under incarnations.

or

very
names

commonly Sri, is

the wife

of

Vishnu, and

various

"As

in this relation in his various appears the lord of the worlds, the god of gods,

in various shapes, Janarddana descends amongst mankind so Sri. Thus when Hari was does his coadjutor born a dwarf,the of Aditi, Lakshmi son appeared from the lotus as Padma, or Kamala of
was

; when

he
was

was

born

as

Rama he

Bhrigu,she

Dharani

-; when

of the race (Parasurama) was Raghava (Rama),she In


takes

Sita ; and when he was Rukmini. Krishna, she was she was his associate. other descents of Vishnu If he

the
a

celestial form, she appears as divine ; if mortal too, transforming her own a person
character it There
are

mortal,she becomes
to agreeably

whatever

Vishnu pleases
two

to assume."

somewhat
'

the 'Vishnu Vidhata


*
'

Purana

were

born

of her origin accounts contradictory ; explainsthis.f "The divinities Dhata and to a Bhrigu by Khyati, as was daughter
80.

Vishnu

Purana,'p.

f Page 59.

ioS

The

Puranic

Deities.

Sri,the wife of Narayana, the god of gods." The

questionis
the
sea

asked,

"

It is

commonly

said the Sri

was

born

from when

of

milk,
churned how that

it

was

for ambrosia
can was

then she

you

say the

daughter of Bhrigu In and Khyati ?


"

answer a

to

most

this tion, queselaborate virtues

account

of her
"

given bride of mother

is

Sri, the Vishnu, the of the world,

is eternal, ; imperishable
as so

he she

is

all-pervading,

is

Vishnu is

omnipresent. is meaning, she

is speech; Hari she is prudence ; polity, Vishnu

ing, is understandis

she is intellect ; he is
LAKSHMI.

she righteousness,
;

devotion

Sri

is

the

earth, Hari
In
a

and word, of gods,animals,


; Lakshmi

men,

Hari

is its port. supis all that is


; there

called male

is all that

is termed

female
"

is

nothingelse than they." Later on* we read, Her first birth the daughter of Bhrigu and Khyati ; it was quent was as at a subseperiodthat she was produced from the sea, at the churning of the ocean by the demons and the gods." The account of the churning of the ocean, to which frequent reference is made in the in the Hindu is found Scriptures, Ramayana, and several of the Puranas ; though there are some for this great The reason discrepancies, they agree in the main.
*
t

Vishnu

Purana,' p. 80.

] jo

The

Puranic

Deities.

Your

but not partake foes shall share your toil, In its reward,or drink th' immortal draught.' the host of Thus gods advised, by the god

United

in alliance with the demons.

Straightwaythey gatheredvarious herbs,and cast them Into the waters ; then they took the mountain and next the snake To serve as churning-staff, To serve as cord,and in the ocean's midst Hari himself, present in tortoise form, Became a pivotfor the churning-staff. did they churn the sea of milk ; and first Then
Out

of the

waters

rose

the sacred
"

cow

"

God-worshippedSurabhi
Of milk
While

eternal fountain
; at

and

of offerings

butter

holy Siddhas
eyes all

wondered

next, the sight,


"

With Fair

Varuni rolling, Then

Goddess

of Wine.

from

uprose the

whirlpool sprang

tree of Paradise, delight Parijata, blossoms Of heavenlymaidens, with its fragrant Perfuming the whole world. Th' Apsarasas, Troop of celestialnymphs, matchless in grace, Perfect in loveliness, next were produced. from the sea uprose the cool-rayed Then moon, Mahadeva seized ; terrificpoison Which Next issued from the waters this the snake-gods
"

Claimed

as

their

own.

Then

seated

on

lotus

Beauty'sbrightgoddess,peerless Sri, Out of the waves ; and with her,robed in white, Came forth Dhanvantari,the gods'physician. High in his hand he bore the cup of nectar Life-giving draught longed for by gods and demons."
arose
"

"

On

Sri's appearance

choristers sang her before her. Ganga and


and

the sages and praises, the

the heavenlyenraptured, the celestial nymphs danced other sacred streams followed her,
were

heavenlyelephantstook up their pure waters in golden vessels and poured them upon her. The sea of milk presented of unfading flowers ; and the artist of her with a wreath her with lovelyornaments. Thus the gods decorated bathed,
the

attired, and

adorned, the
upon

goddess,
breast

in of

the

presence

of

the

gods, cast herself there, gazed upon

the

Hari, and, reclining

the

gods, who

were

enraptured with

her

Lakshmi.
violent and wished

I I I

possess himself of her. she turned away miserable. From the demons they were ; hence when Vishnu, Seeing the cup of nectar, they tried to seize it, Siva
was

most

to

of appearance whilst the gods attention,

assuming
was

the

beautiful

woman,

attracted The cup. the gods

their
sult rewere

quaffed the

divine

that

in the

conflict which

followed

successful.
The
account following

of Sri is from

the

Ramayana
fled,

:
"

"

When

many

year had

her lotus bed, on Up floated, A maiden and tender-eyed, fair, flush of beauty's In the young pride. and She shone with pearl golden sheen, And seals of glorystamped her queen. On each round arm glowed many a gem,
On her smooth
waves

brows

diadem.
her crown,

Rollingin
The

beneath of

gloryof
on

her hair rolled down.

The

priceuntold, lady shone like burnished gold. Queen of the gods, she leaptto land, A lotus in her perfect hand, lotus And of the fondly, sprung, To lotus-bearing Vishnu clung. below Her, gods above and men know." As Beauty'sQueen and Fortune
Pearls

her neck

is noticed in this last extract, Lakshmi, or Sri, the goddess of Love, Beauty, and Prosperity. When

As

regardedas
a

man

is

growing rich,it
Lakshmi." In

is said

that

Lakshmi

has

come

to
as
"

dwell

with of

him ; whilst those

adversityare spoken she is paintedas pictures


in
on a

of
a

forsaken of
a

lady

bright
occur

golden colour,seated
"

with lotus,
as

two
a

arms.

The

name

of Lakshmi

that of

goddess

does

not

in the

Rig-Veda,though as | prosperity."

the word

itself is found

in its

cation signifi-

Griffiths'sRamayana,' i. 204.

t Muir,O. S. T.,iv. 348.

I 12

The

Puranic

Deities.

Lakshmi

is known
"

also beloved

by

the of

following

names

"

Haripriya,
Padma,
lotus."
"

The

Hari."
"

The

Lotus,"

and

Padmalaya,

She

who

dwells

on

Jaladhija, Chanchala, Lokamata,

"The
"

ocean-born."
fickle mother one." of the

The

"The

world."

n3

CHAPTER
THE

V.

INCARNATIONS

OR

AVATARAS

OF

VISHNU.

I.

THE

MATSYA

OR

FISH

AVATARA.

The

earliest

account

of what
is found

was

afterwards
'

regarded as
a

an

carnatio inIt

of Vishnu will be noticed it is described, that


not

in the

SathapathaBrahmana.'
wonderful
an

though
to

in this passage

fish is

said

have
says

been

incarnation

gods.
whilst Vishnu.
a

The the

Mahabharata Puranas teach

that Brahma the from


we

of any of the assumed this form ;

that

fish here
one

spoken
another

of is

was

This

transfer of work
as surprise,

deity to
how forms

not

matter

of much

remember
are

it is frequently of
one

declared

that all the various


"

gods

but

supreme
to

being.
as

It should
a

be noticed

that the Manu the human


race,

here referred and


is

is

regarded as

of progenitor

represented
an

the Supreme Being by his piety in conciliating universal depravity." Here is the passage referred to
"

age
:

of
*

above

There
Called Had One

lived in ancient time

holy man

Manu, who, by
the favour

won

and prayers, penances of the lord of heaven.

day they brought him water for ablution ; Then, as he washed his hands, a littlefish thus : accents Appeared, and spoke in human Take of me, and I will be thy saviour.' care
1

'

From

The

wilt thou preserve me?' ' fish replied, A flood will sweep
; I will
rescue

what

Manu away

asked.

All creatures
'

thee from

that.'

But how fish

The

said. shall I preserve thee ?' Manu ' So we are small, rejoined, long as
*
'

Indian

Wisdom,'

p. 32.

"4

The

Puranic

Deities.
We
in

are

constant

danger of
so

destruction,
For
a

fish eat

fish ;

keep

me

in

jar.
I outgrow

When
a

the

then dig jar,

And

trench, place me
take
me

there

when

outgrow the trench,


Then
to

the ocean, of

"

shall then Be
out

of

reach

danger.'

Having
Instructed

thus

Manu,
grew and
come

straightway
he

rapidly
The fish

larger ; then
such
;
a a

spake again :
'

In

such

year

the

flood will Therefore


pay When the And Manu As he
was me

construct

ship,and
thou

the flood

homage. enter rises,


rescue

ship,
I will did

thee.'

So

and preserved ordered, the fish,

Then
ocean

carried
;

it in

to safety

the

And
THE

in

the

MATSYA

AVATAKA.

very

year

the

fish

enjoined
He And Soon Manu

built

a paid the fish respect, the flood arose. there took refugewhen

ship,and
swam

near

him

the

and fish,
Manu

to

its horn

made drawn

fast the cable

of his vessel.

passed the fish, Beyond the northern mountain. AddressingManu, said, I have preservedthee ; ( Uiickly attach the ship to yonder tree ; sink from under thee, But, lest the waters As fast as they subside, so fast shalt thou Descend the mountain gentlyafter them.'
Thus

along the waters,


'

Then

Thus
The

he descended flood had

from

the northern all

mountain.
;

swept away
left.'

creatures living

Manu

alone

was

The

Matsya
from
verse

or

Fish

Avatara.
which

i i

The

account

the

Mahabharata

now

follows has :*
"

also been
"

put into

by

Professor Monier

Williams

in that stately shipwas borne the lord of men, and through Along the ocean Its dancing,tumblingbillows, and its roaring waters ; and the bark, Tossed to and fro by violent winds,reeled on the surface of the deep, Land was Staggering and tremblinglike a drunken woman. seen no more,

far horizon,nor the space between ; for everywhere around Spread the wild waste of waters, reekingatmosphere,and boundless sky. all the world And when now was deluged,nought appeared above the
Nor
waves

But

Manu

and the

seven

sages, and

the fish that drew

the bark.

the ship across Unwearied, thus for years on years the fish propelled The heaped-up waters, till at lengthit bore the vessel to the peak thus the fish addressed the sage : softly smiling, thy shipto this high crag. Know me, the lord of all, The great Creator Brahma, mightierthan all might,omnipotent. By me, in fishlike shape,hast thou been saved in dire emergency. Manu all creation, From gods,Asuras,men, must be produced ; and moveth not.'' By him all the world must be created that which moves
;
'

Of Himavan

then

Haste, now,

to

bind

"

The
'

Puranic typical Purana'

account

of this Avatara

is that of the

Bhagavata

which With
some

is givenby Sir William this the accounts


are more

Jones in

the

'

Asiatic Soc. Res.'


in the main

f
:

in the other Puranas

agree
'

condensed, others, as
; for it
was was
as

the the that

Matsya Purana,'are
was

extended considerably vessel


to

fish

guidingthe

in which have

Manu the

saved

Vishnu, in this form, is said


Purana. All the Puranas of
account
"

dictated

whole fish
as

of that
an

Vishnu,
the

agree in and of not


"

the regarding Brahma. Now

carnatio in-

follows the

from

Bhagavata:
"

of herds,Brahmans, genii, tuous and virDesiringthe preservation of the Vedas, of law, and of preciousthings, the men, Lord of the Universe assumes bodilyshapes ; but though many like the air, he pervades, of beings, a variety yet he is himself At the to change. unvaried,since he has no qualities subject close of the last Kalpa there was a occageneraldestruction,
"

'

Indian

Wisdom,'

p. 394.

f Vol. i. 230
I 2

ft

n6

The

Puranic

Deities.
his creatures Brahma

sioned worlds

by
were

the

Brahma, sleeping
in
a

whence

in different
to

drowned

vast
a

ocean.

being inclined
strong demon

slumber, desiring repose after

lapse of

ages, the

Hayagrivacame
from
"

near

him, and stole the Vedas, which had flowed

his

lips.

When

of the called
a

discovered this deed Hari, the preserver of the universe, princeof the Danavas, he took the shape of a minute fish,

Saphari. A holy king named


of the
was

then reigned, Satyavrata


"

servant

that water

which moved spirit his only sustenance.

on

the

waves was

; and

so

devout,

He

the

child of the

Sun, and
the
name was

the The

by Narayana with the progenitor and lord of men),by the office of Manu (i.e. of Sraddhadeva, or the god of obsequies. One day as he making a libation in the river Kritamala, and held water in small fish moving in it. a palm of his hand, he perceived dropped the fish into the river, King of Dravira immediately
in the

present Kalpa*

is invested

with together Saphari thus

the water, which he had taken from monarch addressed the benevolent showest affection
too to

it ; when
'

the
canst
me

How

thou, O king, who

the
to
'

leave oppressed, resist the


not

in this river water, where I am with of the stream, who fill me had assumed of the
his
own

weak ?

monsters

dread

He,

knowing who
to

the form

of

his fish, applied

mind
and

the

vation preser-

both Saphari,

from

good-nature

from

regardto

soul ; and, having heard his very suppliant address,he in a small vase full of water it under his protection ; placed kindly
but in
a

night its bulk single


in the
'

was

so

that it could increased,

not

be contained

the illustrious and thus again addressed jar, I am not : pleasedwith livingmiserably in this little prince a large me mansion, where I may dwell in comfort.' vase ; make The king,removing it thence,placedit in the water of a cistern ; but it grew three cubits in less than fifty minutes,and said, O in this narrow cistern ; not to stay vainly me king! it pleases tation.' since thou hast granted me an asylum, give me a spacioushabi'

He

then

removed around

having ample

space

placed it its body, it became


Part II.

it and

in
a

pool,where,

fish of consider-

See

chap. x.

1 1

The

Puranic

Deities.
without When
shalt

it

secure

from

the flood, on
of

one

immense

ocean

except the
shall be

radiance

with an agitated with a large sea serpent on with thee drawing the vessel,
on

thy holy companions. impetuous wind, thou


my horn

light, the ship


it

fasten
near

; for I will be

thee,

and

thy

attendants.

I will remain
*

until a the ocean, O chief of men, shalt then Thou completelyended.

nightof
know

Brahma
true

shall be

my

greatness,

favour all thy the Supreme Godhead rightlynamed ; by my shall be answered, and thy mind abundantly instructed.' questions Hari, having thus directed the monarch, disappeared; and Satyavratahumbly waited for the time which the ruler of our had appointed. The pious king having scattered toward senses the east the pointed blades of the grass darbha, and turninghis face towards the feet of the god, the north,sat meditatingon who had borne the form of a fish. The sea, overwhelmingits to be shores, delugedthe whole earth,and it was soon perceived clouds. tating He, still mediaugmented by showers from immense the command the vessel advancing, of Bhagavat, saw on and entered it with the chiefs of Brahmans, having carried into it the medicinal conformed directions of and to the plants, Hari. saints thus addressed The him : O king, meditate on Kesava ; who will surely deliver us from this danger,and grant The us prosperity.' by the monarch, apgod being invoked peared in the of form the vast ocean on a fish, again distinctly with one blazing like gold, extending a million of leagues, stupendous horn ; on which the king, as he had been before commanded by Hari, tied the ship with a cable made of a vast stroyer stood praisingthe deserpent, and, happy in his preservation, of Madhu. had finished his hymn, When the monarch the primeval male, Bhagavat,who watched for his safety the on divine essence, greater expanse of water, spake aloud to his own which conPurana [the Matsya Purana '], a sacred tained pronouncing but the rules of the Sankhya philosophy it finite inan was ; mystery to be concealed within the breast of Satyavrata ; in the vessel with the saints, heard the principle of who, sitting
"
'

'

Sec

Part

II.

chap.x.

The

Kurma

or

Tortoise

Avatara.
the

119

soul,the Eternal Being", proclaimedby Then Hari, risingtogether with Brahma


which deluge, recovered
was
now

preservingpower.
the destructive
and Hayagriva,

from

abated,slew
books."

the demon

the sacred

2.

THE

KURMA

OR

TORTOISE

AVATARA.

This
were

incarnation

was

necessitated

their churn
water

danger distress they applied to


the of
to
sea

in

their of losing

by the authorityover
for

fact that

the

gods
In
to
or

the demons. told them the

Vishnu

who help,
procure

of milk which the

that

they might
would
on

Amrita,
Mandara
of

life, by
become

they
tortoise

be

made

strong, and
account

mised pro-

which As

the mountain
a

as

churning
one

stick should

rest.

full

this

has operation
was

been

of its A

alreadygiven when describing Lakshmi, who chief products, there is no necessity to repeat it
will particulars be found in the

here.
extract
"

few additional from the 'Vishnu

following
'

Purana:'*

"

thus spoke : I having been entreated to help the gods, will restore your strength. Do you act as I enjoin. Let all the gods and Asuras cast all sorts of medicinal herbs into the sea of for ambrosia, depending on milk, and togetherchurn the ocean the assistance of the Daityas,you aid. To secure be must my to give them at peace with them, and engage an equal share of that by drinking of the your associated toil ; promising them Amrita they shall become mighty and immortal. I will take that the enemies of the gods shall not care partake of the draught; they shall only share in the labour.' precious The gods entered into an arrangement with the Asuras, and together they made the necessary preparations. The assembled stationed by Krishna at the tail of the serpent Vasuki gods were and the Daityas and Danavas at its head (thechurning rope), and neck. Scorched by the flames emitted from his inflated shorn of their glory; whilst the clouds, hood, the demons were Hari
.
.

"

"

Page 73.

I 20

The

Puranic

Deities,

driven

by his breath In showers. vivifying

towards
the

his

refreshed tail,

the

gods by
himself,
tortoise,
the

midst

of the
in

milky sea, Hari the form of a


as

served

a as

pivot for
it
was

mountain,
around.
mace

whirled of the

The

holder
was

and

discus forms

present
the assisted of the

in other

amongst

gods and demons, and to drag the monarch


serpent
vast
race

; and
sat

in another the
mit sum-

body
of the

upon

mountain.

With

one unseen

portion of his energy, by gods and demons,


sustained
; and

he

the

serpent
fused in-

king

with

another the

vigour unto
Such incarnation of the

gods."
of this
as

is the account

Vishnu Puranas

taught by
in the the

; but

earlier

books, where

probable origin of this legendis found,it is Brahma,


and
to
a

not

Vishnu, that is said


assumed In the form the
' '

have

of

tortoise.

Sathathese

THE

KURMA

AVATARA.

patha
words
:

Brahmana
"

are

Having

assumed

the That

form

of

which
means

he

tortoise, (Brahma) created offspring. Prajapati hence the word Kurma. created, he made ;
"

are tortoise;hence men say, "All creatures This tortoise is the same of Kasyapa. descendants as Aditya." less became whilst that of As the worship of Brahma popular, in its attraction,the names, increased Vishnu and attributes, works of the one deityappear to have been transferred to the

Kasyapa

other.

The

Varahar

or

Boar

Avatara.

121

3. There
is the

THE

VARAHAR

OR

BOAR

AVATARA.

same

account conflicting ;
"

of this
some

as

of the of the
; and
"

two
more some

incarnations preceding modern


ones,

the older books, and


an

it as describing books There and

Avatara

of Brahma

of the modern of Vishnu.

popularbelief regardingit as
of the

the work in the

that is,however, this distinction,

former, the transformation


a

the
it
on

ocean.

deity into a boar has apparently immersed in earth the cosmical character," being purely Brahma, the Creator,in the shape of a boar, raised
"

it altogether his tusk ; whereas, in the latter, represents the extrication of the world from a delugeof iniquity by the rites of The

religion."
first mention
is
as

of this incarnation follows


:
"

is in universe

the
was

Sanhita,'f and
water, fluid.
'

"

The

'Taittiriya formerly

On

it Prajapati (Brahma)becoming wind, moved.

Becoming a boar, he took it up." In harmony with this is a verse Brahmana :' "This universe was in the Taittirya water, formerly arduous devotions fluid. With that (water)Prajapati practised
"

How (saying),
'

shall this universe be

? (developed)

'

He

beheld

lotus leaf standing. He


He
as a

this rests.' beneath off

'There is something on which thought, boar plunged havingassumed that form


" "

towards

it.

He

found the earth down


rose

below.
'

Breaking

(aportion of)her,he
'

to the surface." In the

Sathapatha

Brahmana called span. Dr.


"

there

Emusha." A

but there the boar is similar reference, Formerly the earth was only of the size of a is
a

boar called Emusha

Muir

recensions

" givestwo of the Ramayana.

raised her up. of this incarnation accounts


In one,

from

two

which

he

considers
a

the

assumed older,it is said that Brahma Vishnu in theform of Brahma other, this work.
was

the form

of

boar ; in the

is said to have

accomplished
"

The

alteration of the text which the earth


was

is very

noticeable. Thence

All

water

only,in

formed.

arose

Chambers's Goldstiicker, O. S. t Muir, T., i. 52.

s. v. Vishnu. Cyclopaedia, i v. " Ibid. -J Ibid., 33.

122

The

Puranic

Deities.

He then becoming with the deities. Brahma, the self-existent, and created the whole world with the a boar, raised up the earth, saints his sons." later
was one we
"

So

far the
was

probablyolder

recension.

In

the

read, All
Thence Vishnu.

formed.

only,through which the earth perishabl the imarose Brahma, the self-existent, He then, becoming a boar, raised up this
water

earth and In the noticed Vishnu

created the whole

world."

Purana'* from the 'Vishnu it will be account following that,as in the last quotationfrom the Ramayana, it was
in the form

of Brahma declared

who

became

boar.

As

the

earlier writers had


was
"

this to have

been

Brahma's

work, it

necessary

to

Vishnu identify
at the

with him.

Tell
who

me

how

commencement

yana,

is named

Brahma,

of the present age, Naracreated all existing things. At the

close of the last age, the divine Brahma, endowed with the quality of goodness, versal and beheld the unifrom his night of sleep, awoke void. form
of

He, Brahma,

the
. . .

supreme
to

Narayana,

invested with the


waters

that concluding
in the

within the

lay the
form for

earth,and beingdesirous
that purpose. And or shape of a fish,
as

raise it up, created

another

precedingages he had assumed the in this he took the form of a a so tortoise, boar. Having adopted a form composed of the sacrifices of the Vedas for the preservation of the whole earth, the eternal, In a and universal soul plunged into the ocean." supreme, in the Vishnu Purana,' by Professor Wilson, note on this passage it is stated that,' accordingto the Vayu Purana,'the form of a
' '

boar

was

chosen

because

it is

an

animal

in water delighting

; but

Puranas,as in the Vishnu, it is said to be a type of the ritual of the Vedas, for which reason the elevation of the earth the tusks of a boar is regarded on as an representation allegorical of the extrication of the world from a deluge of sin,by the rites of religion. The earth, addressed the boar bowing with devout adoration, he approached in a hymn she of great beauty, in which as reminds him that she sprang from him, and is dependent on him,
*

in other

Page -27 ff.

The
in fact all

Varahar

or

Boar
thus

Avatar

a.

123

praised, The auspicious supporter of the world emitted a low murmuring sound, like the the mighty boar, whose of the Sama-Veda ; and chanting eyes like the lotus, whose body was the Nila mountains, vast were as and of the dark colour of the lotus leaves, uplifted upon his ample tusks the earth from its lowest regions. As he reared up his that rushed from his brow purified the great head, the waters in the sphere of the saints. and others residing sages, Sanandana the waters rushed Through the indentations made by his hoofs, into the lower worlds with a thunderingnoise. Before his breath, the pious denizens of Janaloka (abode of men) were scattered, and the Munis bristles the sought for shelter amongst the upon the earth, he rose as body of the boar, trembling up supporting the great sages Sanandana and drippingwith moisture. Then in the sphere of the saints, and the rest, were continually residing with delight, and bowing lowly, inspired they praised the sterneyed upholder of the earth." in which the boar is Before noticing the hymn of these saints, identified with the various can gather a parts of worship, we little more the information from the other Puranas respecting The boar was The Vayu says, dimensions,"c, of this animal. in breadth,and a thousand ten Yojanas Yojanas in height; his
as are

things. Being

"

"

colour bulk

was

like
vast

a
as

dark
a

cloud, and
his eyes

his

roar were

like thunder.

His

was

mountain from

; his tusks

white, sharp,and
he
was

fearful ; fire flashed radiant as the sun.


he

like
were

and lightning,
and round, fat,

His shoulders
a

large ;

were fat, powerful lion ; his haunches With his loins slender, and beautiful." and his body smooth this the Matsya agrees. as The Bhagavata describes the boar of a issuingfrom the nostrils of Brahma ; at first of the size This to the size of an elephant." thumb, and presently increasing Purana adds a legend of the slaying of Hiranyaksha,who, in a former a birth,was doorkeeper of Vishnu's palace. He of Munis, so enraged having refused admission to a number of this he was them, that they cursed him ; in consequence

strode

along like

"

Yojan

is at least four miles and

half ;

some

reckon

it at nine miles.

124
re-born

The

Puranic

Deities.
the in

as was

son seen

of DIti.

When

earth sunk the


act

in the waters, of

Vishnu

by

this demon

Hiranyaksha
and the demon Now
"

claimed
was

the earth, and slain.

raisingit. Vishnu, theyfought, defying


as

follow the

hymns

to the Varahar

sung

by

the saints
the

Triumph,
.
. .

lord of lords,supreme
other

of Kesava, sovereign Thou condition than thou.

earth O

cause

of production, destruction and existence.


none

art,

god

! there is

supreme

Thou,

lord,art the person of the sacrifice ; thy feet are the Vedas ; tusks are the stake to which the victim is bound ; thy teeth
the and

thy
are

offerings ; thy
the hairs of

mouth

is the

thy body are Thy eyes, O omnipotent ! are day and night; thy head is the seat of all is all the hymns of the Vedas the placeof Brahma ; ; thy mane thy nostrils are all oblations. O thou, whose snout isthe ladle of oblation ; whose deep voice is the chantingof the Sama-Veda ; whose body is the hall of sacrifice ; whose joints the different are ceremonies have the properties of both voluntary ears ; and whose and obligatory rites ; do thou, who art eternal, who art in size a mountain, be propitious raise up this earth for the
" .

altar ; thy tongue the sacrificialgrass.

is the

fire ;

habitation
"

of created
supreme

beings!
thus

"

The

being

eulogised, upholding the earth,


the summit
on

raised itquickly, and it floats like does surface,


to contradict rests
a

placedit on
beneath

of the

ocean,

where

and, mighty vessel,


sink
common

account

of its This

expansive
rather

not

the waters."

seems

the

notion
a

of the Hindus, that the earth that


on are earthquakes

upon

the back

of

tortoise ; and

the

result of the tortoise weary.

changingthe

foot

which

he stands, when

4.

THE

NRISINGHA

OR

MAN-LION

AVATARA.

In

the account
ere

of the he

preceding incarnation,it
earth
on

was a

stated demon
named
a

that Vishnu, named

raised the

his tusk, slew brother had

Hiranyaksha. This Daitya had a who, the 'Vaya Purana' says, Hiranyakasipu,
boon from

obtained any

Brahma,

that he should

not

be

slain

by

created

126

The

Puranic

Deities.

it is

given at
*

some

length. It
son

is taken

mostly from

the 'Vishnu

Purana.'
"

the Hiranyakasipu, worlds


him

of

Diti,had

formerlybrought the

three
upon

under

his

by

Brahma.

authority, confidingin a boon bestowed He had usurped the sovereigntyof


the functions of the sun, of air,of of the moon. He himself was

Indra,and
the the

exercised

himself

and lord of waters, of fire, the god of riches ; he was himself without The
the

judge

of

the

dead
was

; and

he

to appropriated

reserve

all that

offered in their the

sacrifice to
seats

gods.

from deities, therefore, flying

in

heaven, wandered, throughfear of the Daitya,upon

in mortal shapes. Having conquered the three earth,disguised inflated with pride, worlds,he was and, eulogised by the Gandharvas,enjoyed whatever he desired."

This devout

demon

had

son

named

Prahlada, who
whom his father
came,

was

most

worshipper intensely. On one


"

of

Vishnu,
of his

hated

most

occasion

Prahlada

accompanied by
himself before
his

his teacher, to his feet


son as

the court
was

and father,

bowed

he

drinking. Hiranyakasipu desired


to. him,
'

prostrate

to

and said rise,

Repeat
your
to

in substance
you

and have
who

what

during

the
'

period of
or

studies admire

agreeably acquired.'
is without

Prahlada

said, I have

learned

him

end, increase or diminution ; the imperishable lord of the world, the universal cause of causes.' On hearing these words, the sovereignof the Daityas,his eyes red
with wrath
and

beginning,middle,

lips swollen
son,

with
'

turned indignation, Brahman


! what

to

the

preceptor of his
you

and

said, Vile
of my
to

is this
me,

preposterous commendation
have

foe ?
'

to that,in disrespect

taught this boy


Prahlada world
; what

utter

The
'

preceptor denies the


is the instructor of

and charge,
the whole

himself

Vishnu replies,
any
one
'

else should
'

learn

or

teach,save
the
so

him, the
'

who

? spirit supreme is this Vishnu, whose before


me,

Blockhead
name am

'

exclaimed thus

king,
three
to

you

reiterate

pertinen im-

who

worlds?'

'The

glory of

sovereign of the Vishnu,' repliedPrahlada, 'is


Page
126 ff.

the

be

The

Nrisingha

or

Man-Lion

Avatara.

127

be described ; he is by the devout ; it cannot all things the supreme lord, who is all things,and from whom proceed.'The king threatens death ; but the son says, Vishnu and protector not of me is the creator alone,but of all human beings,and even, father,of you.' The father can bear this no orders his son to return house. to his preceptor's so longer, but after a time is sent for again. is taken Prahlada away, When the to sing requestedto recite some poetry, he commenced of Vishnu, which that he cried so exasperated the king, praises meditated
upon
'

out,

"

Kill the wretch

! he is not brand
to

fit to live who


own

is

traitor to his this the

friends,a
attendants
hundreds

burning
rush upon

his

race."

Upon

Prahlada
none

struck him
to
as

him,
he

with their weapons, could injurehim. His Vishnu praising had


no

and, though
father then this the
as son

entreated would
not

desist from said he

; but
as

do,

fear,

"

long

his immortal

all dangerswas guardian against


"

present in his mind."


son,

commanded exasperated, highly Hiranyakasipu, his disobedient and insane and

to

fall upon death. The


not.
our

the serpents bite him to felt them broken


;

serpents did their worst, but


cried out
are

Prahlada

The

snakes

to

the

king, Our fangsare


'

jewelledcrests
our

fear in Have
"

hearts ; but O king of the recourse, young the

burst ; there the skin of the

is fever in

our

hoods, and expedient.' peaks ;


cast

youth
some
"

is stillunscathed. other

Daityas ! to
vast
as

The the

prince

"

(byhis father's orders)was


skies,as
on

then assailed

by

of elephants
upon

the

mountain

down but he

earth,and trampled on
to

and

gored by

continued

meditate

Govinda, and
'

their tusks ; the tusks of the

were elephants
"

do

againsthis breast. the king said, Let fire consume in this, Failing that thou, deityof the winds, blow up the fire,
blunted
may

him

; and

this wicked

wretch

be

consumed.' the

And

the Danavas kindled


a

pileda mighty
fire to burn
'

heap
as

of wood

around had

and prince, the

their master

commanded.

But

Prahlada

him, cried, Father,


not

this

fire, though
I behold

blown

around beds
"

winds, burnetii me the face of the skies,cool and

by

; and

all

with fragrant the

of lotus flowers.' The Brahmans


now

interceded

with the

king on

prince's

28

The

Puranic

Deities.

his errors, or to of accomplishing his death ; but instead of find some means he spends his time in speaking profiting by their instructions,
to to recant to

behalf,promising either

teach

him

all about

him

of the

gloryof

worshippers. They informed the prince to a right state ordered to mix poison with

of his happiness the king of their failure to bring of mind ; whereupon the cooks are his food. But this expedient wras Brahmans
is the
now reason
a

Vishnu

and

the

The the others had been. as futile, him, and try to show him that it
honour his him

with
son

chief

duty of

to

father ; but
that

their had

remind

they

is sophistry promised to

unsuccessful.
use

They
to

incantations

This menace his death. he meets with these words : accomplish What creature creature living slaysor is slain ? What living Each is his own ? or destroyer preserves or is preserved server prehe follows evil or good.' as Enraged by this reply, they female enwreathed in flame of a now a produce magical figure, whose tread parched the earth,and who struck Prahlada fire, Her blow fell harmless upon him ; but turning upon the breast. towards the Brahmans, she slew them all, and disappeared. In answer to the prince's however, restored prayer, they were, to life, and told the and,having blessed Prahlada, they departed, king all that had happened. Having sent for his son, Hiranyakasipu inquiredagain,by what magicalart he was able thus to protect himself. Prahlada said that it was not dwelling by magic at all,but simply by the in1 "

of Vishnu further that would


trust

that

he

was was

able within

to

ward

the him.

same

power

the
at

off evil ; and reach of all who

The

king, enraged
to cast

this
the

avowal,
summit

'

manded com-

his attendants

his

son

from
was

of the

palace where height,down

Yojans in the tops of the his body upon would be dashed to piecesagainst the rocks. Accordinglythe Hari in Daityas hurled the boy down, but as he fell cherishing his heart,Earth,the nurse of all creatures, received him gently in her lap, thus entirely devoted to Kesava, the protector of the
was

he

and sitting,

which

many mountains,where

world."

Hiranyakasipu, seeingthat

this fall had

not

his injured

son

in

The

Nrisingha

or

Man-Lion

AvatAra.

129

of enchanters,to try his any way, asks Samvara, the mightiest hand ; but though he puts forth all his skill, the boy remains

again to his preceptor's his education house,where he is instructed in politics. When in this science was completed,he is taken to the king for examination of on being questionedas to his mode ; but government, he admits that though he has been instructed in these subjects, he does not approve of what his teachers had and againsings the praises of Vishnu. His father, burning said,
"

unhurt.

After

this,the prince goes

with rage, exclaimed, Bind him with strong bands and cast him into the ocean. Death is the justretribution of the disobedient.'
'

The had

Daityasbound
commanded,
and

the

princewith strong bands, as


him

their lord
on

threw
was

into the

sea.

As

he floated

the waters, the ocean and rose in mighty earth. When

throughoutitswhole extent, undulations, threateningto submerge the


he commanded this,
on closely

convulsed

observed Hiranyakasipu

the
one

hurl rocks into the sea, and pile them mass another, burying beneath their incumbent

Daityas to
not

him

whom

fire

could

burn.

*
. . .

Here, since he
done.

cannot

die,let him live for


overwhelmed
was

thousands

of years mountains.' This His mind


was

at the bottom
was

of the ocean, But Prahlada

by

uninjured.

his recognise

through
asunder.
returns

the

to thoughtsof Hari, and he came real identity As soon with Vishnu. as Prahlada, force of contemplation, had become with one
.

filled with

Vishnu, the
to

bands

with

which

he

was

Prahlada, after hymning the


his
sooner
saw

instantly of Vishnu, again praises


him, than
shed he kissed

bound

burst

who no father, him on the forehead, embraced Dost thou live, ? son my
' ' "

him,

and

tears,and
between

said,
them.

For And allude

time
a

there
very

was

complete reconciliation
manner

only in
to

cursory

does the

'

Vishnu

Purana

'

the death

of

Hiranyakasipu.After speakingof
son, without
:
"

the

reconciliation between
of further

the father and


to

been

it goes on dispute, put to death by Vishnu the told that Prahlada had

say

After

any intimation his father had

in the form the

of the the

man-lion,

Prahlada became
we are

of sovereign

Daityas." In

Bhagavat
in
K

said that Vishnu

was

him, in

130
his

The

Puranic

Deities.

father;in fact was


is

everywhere.
not

if Vishnu told that struck

is he everywhere,
'

Hiranyakasipusays, 'Why, visible in this pillar ? Being


'

"

Vishnu, though

unseen,

was

reallypresent there, he

the

pillar, saying,
form

Then

I will kill him.'

Immediately

Vishnu,

in the
the

of

being,half-man

laid hold of pillar, and tore him up the middle. with his teeth, Brahma's boon to reward of his religious this Daitya king, a as observances,was animal should destroyhim, that he should die that no common in earth or in heaven, by fire, neither in the day nor night, by This promise was water, or by the sword. kept in the letter, for it was evening when Vishnu slew him ; and this is neither done under the droppings of the thatch, day nor night. It was and this, is out of the earth,and accordingto a Hindu proverb, he was animal." not killed by a man or any common forth from
*

came half-lion, Hiranyakasipuby the thighs

and

5. The

THE

VAMANA

OR

DWARF

AVATARA.

four Avataras in the

that have

been

described

are

said to have

occurred the

or Satya-yuga,

golden age

with age of Truth, corresponding of classic writers ; it was in the Treta-yuga, or

second

age, that this incarnation is supposed to have occurred. It is not how this belief could be formed ; for easy to see of Prahlada
was

if the story certainly, of the


it Satya-yuga,
worst

be
very

not

regarded as a far superiorto


to

true

picture

the present,

the last and


This
to

of all.
as a

incarnation

dwarf

was

undertaken

regain heaven

gods. Bali,the grandson of Prahlada,was king of the three worlds ; Vishnu appears before him as a dwarf, and asks a boon. The king grants him what he asks, all the land he can in three strides. Vishnu places one foot in heaven, step over and one the earth, and at once on regainsthe whole for the gods. The Skanda Purana f givesthe following legendas the reason
the
"

'

'

of this incarnation.

Ward,

ii.7, 8.

f Kennedy's ' Hindu

Mythology,'p. 363.

The

Vamana
the

or

Dwarf
and

Avatara.
Asuras for the

131

In the battle between of the Amrita


were

gods

possession
the demons

producedat
Bali
a

the

churningof

the ocean,

defeated.

prepared
he

costly
that his

sacrifice in order

might regain
As his he

power. the sacred tained wondrous

sented pre-

to offerings

he obfire,

from
car

it

drawn

by
a

four

white

horses,

banner

a displaying

lion, and
armour

celestial

The

weapons. sacred rites being


a

and

Bali raised finished,

large army, and in newly-acquired


chariot went and

his

laid

siege to Amravati, of Indra's the capital


heaven.
terror

The turned

gods
to

in

their
;

preceptor for advice


who their
been

told

them

that had cible invinTHE

enemies

rendered

On by penance. hearingthis, they were greatlyalarmed, and Indra besought His advice was to tell them what should be done. Vrihaspati that they should forsake Amravati, assume other forms,and find elsewhere. The gods obeyed ; Indra became a home a peacock, the in Kuvera a lizard, went to "c, which disguises hermitage they of Kasyapa, to whom they related their misfortunes. On hearing
their

VAMANA

AVATAKA.

desired his wife Aditi story,the sage immediately


a severe

to

form perto

penance,

in order that she

might induce
K

Vishnu
2

The
o-

Puranic

Deities.

become
to

her

son,

that

through

him

the

gods might

be

restored

heaven. As the

originof this incarnation is probably found in the language of the Vedas, it will be well to consider metaphorical the teaching of the Hindu Scripturesas far as possiblein
order. chronological It
seems
'

clear that the


was

legendjust quoted from


an answer

the

'

Skanda
Vishnu

Purana had

written

as

to

the

questionwhy
*

appearedin
:

this form.
"

In

the

story is found

Vishnu

strode

Rig-Veda the germ of the this [universe] over ; in three


passage is

by the interpreted One in various ways. commentators thought "that the triple manifestation of the god in the form of fire on earth,of lightning intended in the sky was and of the solar light in the atmosphere,
his step." This placeshe planted
in this
to

hymn."

Another

represent"the culmination, and


is
"
"

three steps of Vishnu his of the sun at his rising, different positions understands
the his

setting."According
the

to

him, therefore,
the term his allusion to

Vishnu

Frequentlyin simply the sun. to Vishnu, an wide-stepping is applied


'

Rig-Veda

evident

three steps. In the Sathapatha Brahman,' Vishnu's strides both


assumes
a

f the simple statement


"The

respecting

largerform.

Asuras, who
the

gods were certainlyours


thereon.' The

strove sprung from Prajapati, worsted ; and the Asuras said, This
'

gods and the together. Then


world is
now

Let

us

divide of

this it and

gods
:

heard
we

earth, and let us subsist are said, The Asuras


'

dividingthe it ! dividing

earth

'

will go to the spot where they are they proPlacingat their head Vishnu, the sacrifice, ceeded
come,
'

and said, [thither],

Put
a as

us

with

in possession yourselves Asuras


can

of this earth; let

us

have

share much

of it.' The
as

ingly grudglie upon.'

said, We
'

will giveyou
a

this Vishnu
did
not

Now

rejectthis offer. They placed Agni in the East, and thus they went on toiling and worshipping. By this means they acquiredthe whole earth." form of this legend is that of the Ramayana. next The
Vishnu
was

dwarf.

The

gods

Muir,O.

S.

T.? iv. 63-156.

f Ibid.

134
and

The

Puranic

Deities.

performed a
as

sacrifice to obtain it for him. before narrated


; and

He
is

then

sets

out

for Amravati

Indra

told,when

he

appliesto his preceptor for advice,that Bali had obtained this sacrifice ; and that,save by virtue of the Brahman's power He now by Hari, he is unconquerable. reaps the fruit of
" " "

throughcontempt of these power; he shall perishwith all his descendants."


Brahmanical The

same

Brahmans

gods

forsake

their

the Aditi,

mother

of the

which capital, gods,is distressed

is
as

occupied by
she
sees

Bali.

the condition

of her children ; and acting the advice of her husband, upon " of myself Vishnu, wrho says : I shall with a portion propitiates become thy son, and deliver thy children. Wait upon thy

husband, the
me,

sinless

virtuous female, meditatingupon Prajapati, abide and within him." knew In Aditi followed
the
a

who

in this form

advice

of the

god ;

Kasyapa

by
due

meditation
time

that
son was

portionof Hari had born, and became a


As

entered dwarfish

into him. Brahmanical

the

student.
on

the

are a Bhrigus performing

sacrifice for Bali visits Bali


at

the banks heaven.


the

of the Narmada
"

this dwarf river, his

Indra's his

Acquainted with
'

duty,

Bali

placed

upon

head

with which the Brahman's feet had been auspicious water Brahman to thee, O ! What can washed, and said, Welcome do for thee ? Ask of me, student, whatever we thou desirest. Son of a Brahman, I conclude thou art a suppliant ; ask a cow, gold,an embellished house, food and drink,a Brahman's pure and carriages." daughter,flourishing horses, elephants, villages, The dwarf concludes a speech with the semblance of moderation follows : "I ask from thee a small portionof ground, three as from thee. A paces measured step by step. I desire no more wise
man

incurs The

no

sin, when
water

he

asks
at

[only]as
the

much

as

he

needs."

king, though
a

astonished

smallness
is about

of the
to
firm con-

takes request,

vessel of

in his hand, and

the gift ; when


tries to dissuade

his preceptor, seeingthrough Vishnu's device, his pupil. In a longspeechhe tries to show that
it would be better for him
to

rather than be lefthomeless


his word.

break
even

But

the

in fulfilling his promise; king persists his

though

cursed

by

preceptor for doing so.

With

two

steps

The
Vishnu take
a

Parasurama

Avatara.
nowhere for him

135
to

strode third.

over

the universe ; there

was

Hari ; Bali is bound by Garuda, and gods congratulate his promise. for not then fulfilling reproached by Vishnu given to me by thee ; with Asura, three paces of ground were for two paces the entire world has been traversed ; find a place the third. As thou hast not given what was promised,it is my that thou shouldst dwell in the infernal regions. That pleasure falls downward who, after promisinga Brahman, does not man deliver to him what he had solicited. I have been deluded by Bali offers his head as a placefor Vishnu's foot,saying, thee." name." Bali much as a bad I fear not the infernal regions so Prahlada. and is there visited by his grandfather goes to Patala, The
"
"

First Vishnu's who his behalf,

wife and
in

then

Brahma

intercede Bali shall

with Vishnu

on

replypromises that

Indra ; but that in the meantime " neither mental nor by my will,

again become where dwell in Sutala, he must nor fatiguenor bodily pains,
inhabitants."
to

weariness,nor
Bali time
came

discomfiture,nor
in accordance
over

diseases afflict the

gladly left Patala, and


when,
Hindus
to

went

Sutala, to wait until the with the promise of Vishnu, he


men.

should The

again rule

gods and
that

declare

Vishnu him

going

heaven, taking with


He

Bali the choice gave five ignorant people, or for there is the latter,
a

of of
no

p-oine to hell with five wise.

chose

of the ignorant ; anywhere in the company pleasure with good company beingpreferable.

bad

place

6. The incarnation

THE

PARASURAMA

AVATARA.

of

Parasurama,
for the

or

Rama

with

axe,

was

undertaken

by

Vishnu Warrior

Kshattriya,or

of exterminating the purpose caste,*which had tried to assert its

* four chief castes or There are Warrior the Kshattriya, or ; the four classes are These Servant.

of jatis
now

Hindus : the Brahman, or Vaisya, or Merchant ; and the

Priestly ; Sudra, or
spectively re-

commonly

said

to

have

sprung

from

the

head, arms,

and feet of the thighs,

though there Creator,

'3"
authorityover
said
to

The

Puranic

Deities.

the

Brahmanical.
the

Twenty-one
of these
means

times

Rama

is

have

cleared

earth

men,
some

but few
were

by
were

various
served preto

who

able
race.

perpetuate
will be
scene

the

It the

noticed

that

of Vishnu's this

exploits
and

in

Avatara,

in

those
was

also which

follow

it,

in

the earth ; and not, as those preceding,the of the The

abode

gods. following legend of


is Purana.'*

the birth of Parasurama from the 'Vishnu A


was man

named
an

Gadhi, who
incarnation
a

himself

of

Indra, had
a

named

daughter Satyavati. Richdescendant of

ika,

her in Bhrigu,fdemanded marriage. The king asked from the decrepit old Brahman white
one a

thousand

fleet

horses, each
ear,
as a

black

having wedding
horses

present.
were

These

obtained,by the help

of

Varuna,

and

the

Brahman of the In
THE

received the hand

princess.
order
a

to

effect the

PARASUKAMA

AVATARA.

birth of
a

son,

Richika prepared
and

dish of

and pulse, rice, with barley,

butter

milk, for
of the

is good
divine
*

reason

for the belief that in the olden

time

no

such

ideas

of caste origin 400.

prevailed.
f Sec Part III. chap. i.

Page

The

Parasurama

Avatara.

137

his wife to eat, and, at her request, consecrated a similar mixture for her mother, by partaking of which she should give birth to a

prince of martial prowess. Leaving after carefully which was describing


her
time
"

both

dishes with

his wife, which for the

for herself and the forest.

mother, the sage


for

went

away

into

When

eating the food came, the queen said to Satyavati, Daughter ! all children wish their children to be possessed of excellent qualities, and would be mortified them to see Give me, surpassed by the merits of their mother's brother. has set apart for you, and you the mess therefore, your husband
eat

that which
to

was

intended for
me,

for

me.

The
to

son

which the

tended it is in-

procure

is destined

be

monarch

of

the whole
must

world
a

whilst that which devoid


to

your

be

power."
On
"

Brahman, alike Satyavaticonsented


return,

of

you affluence, valour, and

dish will

give

this

and proposal, his wife done ? I had


see

they

changed ex-

messes.

Richika's

what perceiving hast thou

done, he

said, Sinful
of
a

woman

! what

thy body
consecrated
wrong.

food

fearful appearance. Thou hast that was prepared for thy mother infused the heroism
; in

eaten ; thou

of the hast

done
and
a

In that food I had and

thine,the

of power, properties suited to qualities

strength,
"

Brahman

of gentleness, knowledge, and resignation. In consequence having reversed my plans,thy son shall follow a warrior's and use weapons, and fight, and slay. Thy mother's propensities,
son

shall be born
to

addicted husband's he had

Brahman, and be fell at her this, hearing peace and piety." Satyavati
a

with

the

inclinations of

and feet,

asked
;
"

that she if such

might
there

not

have

such

son

as

described

but

must

The Muni grandson,and not my son." be it." Accordingly in due she gave time birth to a son named Jamadagni, who married Renuka, and had by her the of the Kshattriya a portion was destroyer race, Parasurama, who of Narayana, the spiritual guide of the universe.
"

be, let it be my and said, So relented,

This Purana.' the

is all

we

find about

Parasurama's
at

work

in the 'Vishnu
in

The

is told story of his exploits and is found


in the

Mahabharata,

lengthtwice over Bhagavata,Padma,

and

3S
Puranas.

The

Puranic

Deities.

Agni

The

following account

is from

the

Mahab-

harata.*
of Richika,whose birth was son justdescribed) Jamadagni (the the mitage, conducted princessto his herhaving married Renuka, and she was contented to partake in his ascetic life.
"

They
when

had

four

sons,

and

then
not

but the last, (Parasurama),

who was fifth, Jamadagnya of the brethren. Once the least,


a

her

sons

were

all absent
was

fed, Renuka, who


went

exact

gatheringthe fruits on which they in the discharge of all her duties,


way
to

forth

to

bathe.

On

her

the

stream

she beheld

with a garlandof lotuses the princeof Mrittikavati, Chitraratha, in the water, and she felt his neck, sportingwith his queen on envious of their felicity. Defiled by unworthy thoughts, wetted, but not purified by the stream, she returned disquietedto the and shorn hermitage. Beholding her fallen from her perfection, of the lustre of her sanctity, Jamadagni reproved her, and was exceeding wroth. her sons from the wood, and each as he came Upon this, entered commanded was by his father to put his successively mother and influenced by natural affection, to death ; but, amazed
"

reply; therefore Jamadagni cursed idiots. Lastly Rama returned them, and they became the hermitage, to when the mighty and holy Jamadagni said
of

neither

them

made

any

to

him,

'

Kill

thy mother, who


which

has

sinned
up

; and
axe

do

it without

repining.'Rama
Parasu, or
axe, ;

took accordingly

his

was [this

the off his

Siva had
said:
was

given him]
of 'Since hard
thou

and

struck

mother's head

whereupon the
son,

wrath

Jamadagni was
hast
to be

assuaged,
obeyed

and, pleased with his commands, and clone


from
me

what

my demand performed,

whatever
to

fulfilled.' Kama mother

thou wilt,and blessing thy desires shall be begged these boons : the restoration of his

with forgctfulncss of having been life, slain,and from all defilement ; the return of his brothers to purification their natural condition ; and for himself, invincibility in single and combat, lengthof days. All these did his father bestow.
*
i

Vishnu

note Purana,5

p. 401

; and

Muir, O.

S.

T., i.447.

The

Parasurama

Avatara. that,during the absence

139
of the

"

It

happened

on

one

occasion

Rishi's sons, the mighty monarch the sovereignof Karttavirya, * the Haihaya tribe,endowed with by the favour of Dattatreya
a

thousand

arms,

and

willed it to go, came wife of the sage

to

golden chariot that went wheresoever the hermitage of Jamadagni, where


him with

he

the

received

by reason Karttavirya, and the gods, Rishis,


to Vishnu, who, with

respect. This proper of his strength, had greatlyoppressed


The

all creatures.

gods and
the
means

Rishis of

Indra, devised
the

applied destroying
no

him.
return

The for

king, inflated with of the the hospitality


milch of the is
an cow

pride of valour, made

him down

the calf of the the tall trees

Rishi's wife ; but carried off with of the sacred oblation, and cast of the wonderful whose

hermitage."
account
cow

In the calf this occasion

Ramayana king stole.


of the

When
a

commanded

visit of

king to

varied wants

of the great multitude


i. i

by her owner, on the the hermitage, to supply the which accompanied him,
"

The

cow

from
to

whom

all

plentyflows,

Viands

lord, saintly taste outpoured. she and roasted Honey grain, gave, and sugar-cane. Mead with flowers, sweet Each beverage of flavour rare,
to

Obedient

her

suit each

And

food of every curdled

Hills of hot And

there : sort, were and sweetened rice, cakes,

milk,and soup in lakes. Vast beakers flowingto the brim With sugared drink prepared for him And made, dainty sweetmeats, deftly
Before the hermit's guests
"

were

laid.'

had what returned, his father told him he was filled with in distress, happened ; and seeing the cow wrath. Taking up his splendid bow, he assailed Karttavirya,
and

When

Rama

overthrew

him
arms,

in battle. and he

his thousand

sharp perished. The

With

arrows sons

Rama of

cut

off

Karttavirya,
Siva
was

Brahman

saint in whom

portionof Brahma, Vishnu, and

incarnate.

140
to

The

Puranic
the

Deities.

hermitage of Jamadagni when absent,and slew the pious and unresisting sage, who his valiant son. Rama but fruitlessly, called repeatedly, upon deeply laments his father's death, performsthe last obsequies, that he would and lights the funeral pile. He then made a vow In fulfilment of which he, the whole Kshattriyarace. extirpate of with remorseless and fatal rage, singlydestroyed the sons countered, Kshattriyas he enKarttavirya ; and, after them, whatever
avenge Rama was

his death, attacked

Rama earth

slew.

Thrice

seven

times

did he

clear the

After he had cleared the world Kshattriya caste. of Kshattriyas, their widows to the Brahmans, prayingfor came Brahmans, free from any impulse of offspring.The religious lust,cohabited with these women, who, in consequence, brought forth valiant Kshattriyaboys and girls." In another passage in the Mahabharata it is taught that it was in consequence of the curse of a sage named Apava, that Rama able to kill Karttavirya.The king had permitted was Agni to devour the hermitage of this Rishi, who declared in revenge that his thousand should be cut off by Parasurama. arms In the Ramayana is an interesting legendin which Parasurama, himself an incarnation of Vishnu, is described as meeting with Rama and in of this same avatara Chandra, the following deity, which the superiority of Rama Chandra is declared.! As King Dasaratha with Rama was returningto his capital (Chandra), he was alarmed by the ill-omened sounds uttered by certain birds. The surama. alarming event indicated was the arrival of ParaHe was fearful to behold,brilliant as fire, and bore his and a bow his shoulder. axe on Being received with honour, he proceeded to say to Rama, the son of Dasaratha, that he had heard of his prowess in breaking the bow produced by Janaka, had and another which he asked Rama to bend, brought of the
"

had reason to perform his work times so why Parasurama many this : Some children hidden from his rage amongst were Kshattriya the other castes, and in time grew when It was his up to be warriors. work and there was was not a effectually accomplished, singleKshattriya man kit, thai their widows resorted to the Brahmans, as noticed above. f Muir,O. S. T., iv. 175.
was
"

The

T42

The

Puranic

Deities.

7.
In Northern incarnations his

THE

RAMA

CHANDRA

AVATARA.

India this is of Vishnu,


and

perhaps the
some

most

the certainly

popular of all the Ramayana, in which


beautiful

is found, contains history

of the most

legends

"t4

4k" -.4
THE
KAMA

'""W'f/

mf^\4^lBi M^"
CHANDRA AVATARA.

in

the

whole

of

the

sacred

writingsof

the

Hindus.

The

Ramayana is very largely occupied with the story of Rama's and the Indian poets have found in its legends life, subjectsfor their most attractive poems. A whole volume might easilybe written, giving a biographyof this most popular hero; we

The

Rama

Chandra

Avatara.

143
outline of his

must, however, content

ourselves

with

the

merest

doings.
Mr.
says,
"

which

in the preface to his translation of the Ramayana, Griffiths, of the Epic is the war and main subject The great exploit Rama waged with the giantRavan, the fierce and mighty Lanka
and
or

King of nymphs,
of from the

Ceylon,and
men." led
on

the dread
"

saints and Rama

The this

oppressor of gods and army," to borrow the words

"which Gorresio, poem, hills ; *


the

gathered in
but the
as

expedition was, as appears from the region of the great part


which he assembled of either out
time

Vindhya
in their
to

races

poem

monkeys,
at

represented contempt for little known

are

barbarism, or because
Rama attacked

that

they were

the

Hindus. Sanskrit-speaking Rakshasas.

The

poet calls the people

whom

are popular Indian belief, shapes,terrible and cruel,who

to the Rakshasas, according of many malignant beings,demons

disturb

the

sacrifices and

ligious re-

rites of the

Brahmans.

poet of the Ramayana


to
an

It appears applied the hated and Rama

indubitable
name

that the

of Rakshasas

abhorred rather
an

and

is here

and people, expressionof hatred

hostile

that this denomination horror which


in
verse

than

real

historical taken from

name."
the

The

account

of

follows is

translation

of the

Ramayana

by

Mr.

Griffiths. determined to Dasaratha, the King of Ayodha, being childless, make It was to obtain a an son. asvamedh, or horse sacrifice, an asvamedh, that the acceptable necessary, in order to make horse whole destined
year,
as

for sacrifice be
a

allowed

to

wander

at

will for

was sign that the authority of its owner acknowledged by the neighbouringprinces. The people loved their king, and during his reignwere ; but owing very prosperous

of the truth of the underlying tribes inhabitingthe aboriginal day the life hills of Rama have and to legends relating Vindhya Sita, many of and little know but These Hinduism. although they are not Hindus, They are black, have people are not at all like the Hindus in appearance. the more not at all unlike degraded of the African curlyhair and thick lips,
It is
a

strange though real confirmation


hero that
to

historyof the

this

the

races.

i44
the
want

The

Puranic
the

Deities.

to

of

son,

happinessof king
was

and

subjectswas
on,

incomplete.
place of by

The

sacrifice therefore

determined the
the

the

the horse set free, and sacrifice fixed, the Brahmans


to

couraged king being en-

the ceremony, invited to attend and neighbouring princes were great parations preAt lengththe sacrifice was made. and the completed, Brahman presiding
"

proceed

with

said
Four
*

to

Dasaratha

sons, O
*

Upholders
Another

of the

monarch, shall be thine, royalline.*


* *

rite will I shall the all

begin,
thou be
cravest win, duly sped

Which
When And

sons

thingsshall
texts

firstAtharva

be read." f

The
to

gods were
he said
"

all assembled
:

as

the saint

performed this rite,

whom

For

you

has

Dasaratha
a steed, son

slain

The
Stern And And A

votive

rites the penance in firm faith on you


now

gain ; king has tried,


to

relied.
care

with undiminished
rite would
now

second
O ye

prepare.

But,
The

to grant gods, consent longingof your suppliant." %

The
went

with gods,pleased
to

the

Brahman's forth the


to

Brahma,
which

and

poured
mention

prayer, in his ear

led

by India,
united wished

their

in petition,

they

great work

they

Rama,

as

one

of Dasaratha's
"

sons,

perform :

Brahma, mighty by thy grace, Ravan, who rules the giantrace, in his senseless pride Torments us And saints beside. penance-loving For thou, well-pleased in days of old,
Gavest That
His

the boon
nor

that makes

him

bold,
kill

gods
charmed

demons for life,


so

e'er should

thy will.

nths's

'

Ramayana,'i. Si.

Ibid. i. 82.

"

Ibid. i. S3.

The

Rama

Chandra

Avatara.

145

We, honouring that high behest, distrest. Bear all his rage, though sore fierce and fell, That lord of giants, and hell. heaven and the earth, Scourges Mad with thy boon, his impious rage Smites saint and bard,and god and sage. The sun himself withholds his glow, forbears to blow ; The wind, in fear,
The
fire restrains his wonted

heat

Where
The

stands the dreaded before him fears


to

Ravan's

feet,

And, necklaced with the wandering wave.


sea rave.

Kuvera's We

in sad defeat, self, his blissfulseat.

Is driven from see,


we

the giant's might, feel, and o'er us And woe comes affright. To thee, O lord, thy suppliants pray this plague to stay." To find some cure
*

To

this request Brahma


"

makes

answer

One

only way
once

I find

To

slaythis fiend of evil mind. prayed me


demon,
his life to

He

From

god, and

guard heavenlybard,

of the earth and air ; And^spirits heard his prayer. And I,consenting, in his scorn, But the proud giant, Recked
None
not

of

man

of

woman

born.

else may

take his lifeaway, the fiend may

But

only man

slay."f
the

Upon
assembled

this Vishnu

gods,and
"

by appears, is gladly welcomed make : asks what request they have to

King Dasaratha,thus cried they, in penance Fervent a day, many steed has slain, The sacrificial Longing for sons, but all in vain.
Now,
the cry of us forlorn, Incarnate as his seed be born.
at

Three Like

queens

has he

; each

dame lovely

Beauty,Modesty, or

Fame.

' Griffiths's

Ramayana,'i.83.

t Ibid- i- 84.
L

146
Divide

The

Puranic

Deities.

in four, and be thyself His offspring by these noble three ; Man's nature take,and slayin fight Ravan, who laughs at heavenlymight : This common scourge, this ranklingthorn, Whom the three worlds too long have borne."

Vishnu

asks

why

he

is necessary

to

effect their deliverance.


consents to

Being-told
born Not with
same as

of Brahma's and

man,

promise to Ravan, he promisesto slay the giant and


comes

be

his

family.

a long after this, messenger of a goldenvase nectar, which him to give it to time telling

from the and

Vishnu, laden

he

givesto

his queens,

king ; at the him assuring

that
"

shall bear, sons They the princely and prayer."! sacrifice Long sought by

Queen Kausalya the king gave through it became the mother of Rama ;
to

To

half the the other

nectar, who

his other

Kaikeya Satrughna. Before leaving heaven,


benefit he
was
:
"

became in consequence bore Bharat, and Sumitra gave birth to Lakshman

wives,who

half he gave mothers too,


"

and

Vishnu

asked this

the

gods, for
to assist

whose

about

to

undertake

work,

him, and

they did

so

Helps

in

war

to

lend him
at

aid,
a

In forms that Each


Each

change
sage

will arrayed ;

god, each

became

sire,

minstrel of the

Each

heavenly quire, faun,of children strong and good."%


some

The
answer

names

of

of the
to the

leaders
as

who

assisted
:
"

Rama

in

to

his prayer
"

gods run
hosts who That

follows

Bali,the woodland

High
Was The

as

Mahendra's

led, head, lofty


noblest fire.

Indra's child.

Sun,

was

sire. great Sugriva's

i. S5. Griffiths's Ramayana,'


'

f Ibid.

1.

89.

X Ibid.

1.

93.

The

Rama

Chandra

Avatara.

147

Tara, the mighty monkey, he


of Vrihaspati : offspring boast Tara, the matchless chieftain,
Was For

wisdom father
the

of the Vanar
brave the Lord
to

host. and

Of The

Gandhamadan,
was

bold,

of

Nala
From

mighty,dear

gold. fame,

Of skilfulVisvakarma Who The

came.

Agni, Nila brightas flame, in his splendour, might, and worth,


gave him birth. heavenlyAsvins,swift and fair, sire who

the Surpassed

Were fathers of a noble pair, Who, Dwivida and Mainda named, For beauty like their sires were famed.
Varun
was

father of Sushen

Of

Sarabh, he who sends the rain [Parjanya]. Hanuman, best of monkey kind,
son

Was And These


In

of him

who

breathes
was

the wind

Like thunderbolt swift


as

in frame

he,

Garud's

selfcould flee.

Endowed

gods create, might which none could mate, monkey forms that changed at will,
with the fiend
* to kill."

thousands

did the

So strong their wish xe"

In due time the

four

sons

of Dasaratha

were

the strongestaffection infancy and When

existed between Bharat years and

born ; and Rama the

from born first-

Lakshman,
Rama
came was

and

between
sixteen

Satrughna.
a

about
to

of age,

saint named his assistance


were pletion com-

Visvamitra

Dasaratha's

court,

asking

againsttwo
commanded

Maricha and Suvahu, who demons, named to annoy him, and prevent the by Ravana sacrifice. At
son so as an excuse

of any fulness of his undertake


overcome,
a

first the for


at

king pleaded the youthrefusingto


allow him
to
were length his scruples

work

arduous

; but

and

Rama

with the faithful Lakshman the travellers reached


two

set

out

for the

hermitage.

When Rama

the banks
was

of the

Sarju,
whilst

the saint gave

which spells

he

to

employ

Grifnths's

'

Ramayana,1i.93.
L
2

148
bathing, and which

The

Puranic
to

Deities.

were

so :

affect him

that he should

have

no

equal in

heaven

or

hell

""

vie, reply, In knowledge,fortune, wit,and tact, Wisdom skill to act." * to plan,and


Xone O sinless one, in apt

in the world

with thee shall

journey to the hermitagethey beguilesthe importance, and Visvamitra


On their

visit various time


arms

placesof
numerous

with

legends;
On

he

also bestows

on

Rama

various

and and

powers.

reachingthe end
have
to to

of their for the

for six journey, demons of


;

days
the

nights
was

they
about
are

watch

when

sacrifice

end, these

disturbers and

the

hermitage appear,
by

and

conquered by Rama,

their attendants
:
"

Lakshman.

The

saint, addressingRama,
"

says

is now My joy,O prince, Thou hast obeyed my Perfect before, this calm Is
now

complete :
will ;
retreat

more

still." f perfect

Next Mithila
Rama the
no

morning
J
has
is asked
to
a

the

hermits for
a

tell Rama

that

King Janaka
they are
to

of

arranged
of

sacrifice to which

invited. do
so

accompany

them, and
bow The the way in bow
was

is induced

by
a

mention
one was

wonderful

of the possession
a

king,which

able to bend.

from Siva,as gift

reward
a

for sacrifice.

On

to Mithila

grove, in which, unseen the sage, had Gautama


ages,
on

by gods
been

and

men,

they pass through Ahalya, the wife of


countless the

account

of her form

undergoing penance for with Indra. adultery Though


of her

god
his
demned con-

came

to

her

in the
not

husband, she
Her

saw

through
husband

disguise, yet did


her liberate her.
to

resist his overtures.


in the

live unknown

forest until Rama


now

should
sees

Her
her

hour

of release had
curse

come;
an

"

Rama

her,touches

feet,and the

being at

end, her husband

receives her back.

Griffiths's*

Ramayana,' i. 125.

f [bid. i. 156.

X Tirhoot.

150
The

The

Puranic

Deities.

destroyed virtually been destroyed by her,after she before by her wrath, has now had associated herself with Vishnu's superhuman energy." found to be other than Regardingthe child thus mysteriously
mountain-like
enemy
was

who (Ravana),

of mortal
: reply

birth, to all suitors for her


"

hand

Janaka

gave

one

my daughter ; she Prize of heroic worth shall be." * I

give not this

She

was

to

be

the wife of him of the

who

could

bend

the wonderworking

bow.

Many
now

but princeshad tried, neighbouring


:

failed.

And

Janaka
"

says

These

heavenly bow, exceedingbright, youths shall see, O anchorite. hand Rama's Then if young can string The bow that baffled lord and king, To him I give, I have sworn, as of born.r f not woman My Sita,
This

The
He

bow

is brought, and it up
Rama in

takes

is invited to try his strength. in his hand, and as he was drawing the easily Rama

string,it snapped
beholders. and
messengers
are

two,

to

the the

wonder

and

of fright suitor of father


to

the

thus

becomes

successful invite
;

Sita,
the Rama three

despatched to
brothers also
come

his

wedding.
and

His

two

and
are

not

only
to

Sita

are

united, but his three brothers


then
return

wedded and

daughters of Janaka. They happinessand prosperity. After a time King Dasaratha


Rama the old his firstborn.
man

home

live in

wishes

to

abdicate
a

in favour of
suitable time,

When

he had

fixed upon

self enjoinshim to prepare himfor the great event, by passing the night in holy exercises. When the people hear of the king's intention, they are delighted ; the cityis illuminated, and festivities. the in night they spend In the meantime to a servant Kaikeya, the mother of goes and succeeds in exciting her jealousyof Rama to such Bharata, sends

for his son, and

Griftiths's'Ramayana,'i. 279.

t Ibid. i. 280.

The

Rama

Chandra

Avatara.
of discontent and she says to him

151
there
:

an

extent, that she retires to the


her lot.
"

room

mourns

The

king visits her,when


*

Now To

pledgethy word, if thou incline


listen to this prayer of mine."

the king foolishly is, petition promises it is expressed. She, calling to grant it,before the gods to witness the promise and oath of her husband, reminds him that occasion of great danger she alone had stood by him, and on an She now that he then promised her a boon. requested the

Ignorantof

what

her

fulfilment of that
"

vow

; or,

If thou refuse
I die

thy promisesworn, despisedbefore the morn," f

and

concludes

her address
Rama

by askingthat
be
sent
to

her
a

son

be installed as life in the

Prince

Regent, and king by word


that

live

hermit's

forest for fourteen The bound in


tears

years. mad is almost and but

at this request, bat,being grief oath, is compelledto comply. The cityis yesterday was bright with joy ; and the

with

that was ceremony of Bharata, much


to not

arranged for Rama againsthis will. Rama


consent.

is

performed in favour tried to persuade Sita

allow him for


a

to

proceed to
of the
most

moment

the forest alone ; but to this she will The interview between them on this beautiful and

occasion the whole

is

one

story.

incidents in touching She despisesdifficultiesand dangersand discomforts


; and
avers

if she is with her husband be

that death would

to separation. Lakshman's preferable them is very touching too :


"

entreatyto accompany
high,

I heed I heed Nor

not not

homes

of

god

on

lifethat

would

die ; I wish,with thee away,


cannot to

O'er the three worlds

stretch my

sway."%

At
tears

length Rama,
of the whole seek
a

Sita, and Lakshman city. When they reach


settle down f
at

depart
last
at

amidst

the

the forest

Dandaka,

they
*

quietspot, and

Chitrakuta. $ Ibid. ii. 94.

Griffiths's'

Ramayana,' i. 373.

Ibid. i. 375.

I ^2

The

Puranic

Deities.

Dasaratha
the

dies of

a grief

short time
tears.

after their Bharata

and departure,

cityis again
to

flooded of

with

seeks

with the intention


but
to

Rama bringing
consent.

home

to occupy

exiles, the throne,

the

this Rama

will not

Bharata

therefore continues

rule in Rama's

stead,whom

king, and takes with him a to exposed to view on state occasions, actingonly as Viceroy.
The three meet

always regardsas the rightful are shoes, which pair of Rama's


indicate that Bharata
is

he

with

many

adventures

in the
an

as forest,

live the
named

life of ascetics. in

One
a

Viradha, clothed
"

day they see skin,and tiger's

immense

they giant,

Three He

carried

ten deer, tigers four, lions, * his iron spear." on

taking Sita aside,threatens to kill and eat her ; giant, to keep her ; and, but after a time, changinghis mind, proposes that he is acting generouslytowards Rama, offers to thinking At lengththey fight allow him to go off unharmed. ; but as the he takes up Rama and giant is proof againsttheir weapons,
This

Lakshman
from

upon

his

shoulders, and

runs

away

with

them

position, they each succeed in cutting off one of weak from loss of blood ; and the giant falls, his arms ; when cannot seeing that their weapons deprivehim of life, they bury him alive. After this adventure, they reach a hermitage ; and Rama becomes the protector of hermits throughout the district.
which When
ten

years

of his forest life was

past, Rama

sets off for the

who had gained great merit by his hermitageof Agastya,a man where austerities, they build a cottage,but are not able to live in under a tree, and Sita are sitting together peace long. As Rama a giantess named Suparnakha, the sister of Ravan, passes by, and fallsmadly in love with Rama.
""

She, grim of eye and foul of face,


Loved

his

sweet

glance and forehead's grace

iii.5. Griffiths's Ramayana,'


'

The

Rama
of

Chandra

Avatara.

153

She Of

him unlovelyfigure, form and shapelylimb stately

She Him

whose
whose

dim

locks

disordered
on

brighthair

hung, high brows clung."


*

to the as giantessquestionsRama of the forest ; he givesher a full account She says be. who she may then inquires her love : and openly avows

The

reason

of his and

being in
sister,

himself she

Sita,and

is Ravan's

"

This And
Look A

poor me,
on

misshapen Sita leave,


receive. thy worthier bride, and prefer my beauty,
one

than meet spouse more I'lleat that ill-formed woman

like her there


;

Thy brother,too, her fate shall share.


But come, With me

beloved,thou shalt roam through all our woodland


her that
as

home."

f
he

told Rama, smiling,

he

was

married
to

could not She

but accept her kind offer,


acts

advised

her

try his brother.

upon

Thinking her wishes, she and doing this,


her

sends her back to Rama. this advice ; but Lakshman of the chief obstacle to the attainment that Sita was
was

about

to

slayher

; Rama
nose

preventedher
and
ears.

from then

Lakshman

cut

off her

She

fled to her brother

Khara, whose

sent mutilation,who orders to kill Rama, Sita, and

anger she roused by the tale of strict fourteen giants,giving them Lakshman. These he
are

quickly

slain death

by
of

Rama. his

them

warriors, goes nearly all.


One of these of the

of the as terribly angry of 14,000 giants; and, quickly raisingan army destroyed againsthis foes. Rama, single-handed, Khara is hears inform
:

Ravan

named Akampan, rushed off to giants, angry, asks catastrophe. Ravan, intensely

"

vainlytry ? to fly me He Vaisravan,Indra,Vishnu, me Who rules the dead, must reverence


Who
In

is the wretch

shall

earth,heaven, hell from

Grifhths's

'

80. Ramayana,' iii.

8: Ibid. iii.

i54
For Can

The
the

Puranic

Deities.

not

brave

With
Can

lord of these mightiest a nd live at ease. will, my unresisted influence, I himself


to

force e'en Death

die."

He

then

asks

of particulars his sister.


to to

the The
to

and fight,

determines

to

avenge it is useless for him advises him rather


"

himself and

attempt
carry

informs him messenger Rama by force,and conquer

go that

off Sita ; for,


sure

Reft of his Brief

be darlingwife, the
mourner

days

will endure."

f
asks

Ravan

orders his chariot, starts dissuades him

off alone to Maricha, and from

with attempting to fight afterwards Suparnakha, Rama with her mutilated face, ; but soon before Ravan, again arouses arrives at Lanka, and, appearing his As he sat on his throne he is thus described : indignation. who his assistance,
"

"

score

of arms,
was a

ten

necks,had he,
brave
to
see

His His His

royalgear
stature
arms
*

like
were

mountain

height,
were
*

strong, his teeth


* *

white.

"

Ten

thousand

years

the

giant spent
;

On And

dire austerities intent of his heads


an

Before the

laid offering, made." J Self existent,

retells her tale, which excites her brother's anger giantess afresh. He immediately sets forth again for the hermitageof the fiend Maricha, and asks him in his exploitby to assist him assuming the form of a golden deer with silver spots, by which

The

Sita'sattention would
"

be attracted.
not

Doubt
The

the

lady,when

she

sees

deer among the trees, Will bid her lord and Lakshman take
The
creature

wondrous

for its beautv's

sake."

Grifnths's

'

Ramayana,' iii.143.

f Ibid.

Ibid. iii.14S.

The

Rama

Chandra

Avatara.
of Rama when

155
as a mere

Maricha, remembering the power

boy

he went

to

assist the

hermit

and Visvamitra,

how

he

him-

RAVANA.

self

was

wounded
he
cannot

this time

by him, againtries to dissuade Ravan. choice and there is not much prevail,
:

But left

him, for

Ravan

declares
"

ifthou the task essay, Thy life, stand ; In jeopardy may Oppose me, and this very day diest by this hand." * Thou

Griffiths's'

Ramayana,' iii.185.

156
Maricha
of vicinity becomes
assumes

The

Puranic
of

Deities.
the

the form

deer,and, proceeding to
the
attention

the

hermitage,attracts
to

of

Sita,who
to

anxious

possess it.

Rama,

leavingLakshman

and shoots it. As the fiend guard the home, goes in pursuit, was dying, assuming Rama's voice,he cried out loudlyenough man to be heard by his wife and brother, Ho, Sita ! Ho, Lakshevil had come to Rama, ! They imaginingthat some the spot whence the cry proceeded hurried towards Lakshman ; seized the who whilst Ravan, was opportunity to waitingnear,
"
'

The demon did his best to induce carry off the defenceless Sita. herself an easy prey ; but though she struggled her to yield hard, able to deliver and cried for help to all who came were near, none

they reached Lanka, where she was placedin one of Ravan's palaces. He tried both by kind to win her love ; but kindness and words and fearful threatenings ineffective. To comfort sent her, Brahma were cruelty equally of her guards,and Indra,who managed to elude the vigilance assured her of the sympathy of the gods, and of the fact that all
her. Held
in his

magical

car,

would

yet be well with her husband


this
was

and

herself.
Rama him
was

Whilst with

happening at Lanka,
Lakshman
some came

almost deer
on

mad
was

grief.When
to

to

after the and

slain,he feared
return
was

great evil had


as

happened ;
to be

their

the

cottage,
He

Sita

was

not

found, his anguish


the

intolerable.

wandered
to tell him
as

about what

mountains, and rivers


one

callingupon had happened


A
on

trees,

to his loved

; but

they

were

of death, who
him of her

had

the grave. foughtwith Ravan

silent

vulture at the

point

Sita's behalf, informs III.

capture by the great fiend.

(See Part

with a the brothers meet wanderings, the hideous form Kabandha, who, owing to a curse, had to wear in which he now until Rama should cut off his arms. appeared, As he was dition they fulfilledthis conrunning away with the brothers,
of the curse,
as

In their

chap, vii.) giant named

there

was

no

other

who learning they were, he was to burn his body in order that he might regain his proper form and ascend him to the flames, he As they committed to heaven. assumed told them where in the air, a heavenlyshape,and, when
on

but

of escape for them ; and asked them delighted,


way

58

The

Puranic

Deities.

and is greatly as recognises havingbelonged to his wife, comforted as Sugrivatells him that though at present unable to inform him where Sita has been taken, he will certainly be able
Rama
to

in his attempt to rescue her. Sugriva then narrates the story of his quarrelwith his brother Bali, but, ere he believes that Rama can materially obtain this and assist him information, assist him, tests the wonderful bow of the hero ; and
was

Rama astonished as he saw arrow an discharged pierce greatly in palm-trees line,pass through a hill behind through seven six subterranean worlds, return to them, and, after traversing Vanar the quiver. The king,seeing he has no common ally, when againsthis brother ; and in the fight, goes forth fearlessly which slays sends an arrow worsted, Rama Sugriva was getting of gross act This was Ball as an regarded by the dying man slew him without informinghim who because Rama injustice, he was gladlyhave assisted him ; had this been done, he would in his

quest for Sita.

the fall of his brother,re-ascends the throne,but on Sugriva, is so fully of his position to forget as occupiedwith the pleasures the promise of help he had given Rama, by whose prowess his dominion faithful to had been regained, until Hanuman, ever

Rama's

cause,
"

reminds
The The
And realm

him

is won,

thy name

advanced,

gloryof thy house enhanced ; now thy foremost care should be


aid the friends who succoured thee."
*

To

the king duty is insufficient to arouse from his selfish enjoyment ; it was until Rama sends a not that he is fully alive to his duty. strong message by Lakshman When, however, he does move, it is to collect a mighty army. " )f the it is said : troops collected for this enterprise this reminder of his
"

But

Thousands, yea, millions shall decree. Obedient to their king's

there be

' Griffiths's Ramayana,5 iv. 149.

The

Rama

Chandra

Avatara.

159

Fierce bears and And

monkey troops combined,

apes of every varied kind, Terrific in their forms,who dwell


In grove

and wood

and

bosky dell.

"j *

The
to

when king, leader of


a

his vast

army

was

collected, gave instructions


limits of the district he Ravan
was was

each

as division,

to the
as

to search for the lost princess ; but

believed to have

gone
was

towards

the south, Hanuman's him


; and

instruction district, special him show


a

given to
a

Rama

entrusted could

with
as a

if ring that, he

successful in
was

he Sita, discovering

proof that

long time the search but for was given up as hopeless, Hanuman's they encouragement to persevere ; when fortunately with the vulture meet Sampati, brother of Jatayus, whom slew as he attempted to prevent him from carryingoff Ravan the right track for the first to put Rama on Sita,and who was had This Sampati, hearing that Ravan obtaining his wife.
from her husband. messenger and would have been fruitless, For slain his

brother,was

rendered willingly

his death, and avenge He informs the all the assistance he could.
most

anxious

to

seekers that Sita is at Lanka.


"

leaguesyour course Beyond this margin of the sea

hundred

must ;

be,

Stillto the south your way And there the giantRavan

pursue, view." f
was a a

But
water

here
to

occurred difficulty
; who

there make
:

hundred

of leagues Hanuman

be crossed

could

such

leap?

aeain *"'

comes

to the front and


"

declares

Swift
To

as

shaft from

Rama's

bow,

Ravan's

cityI

will

go."%

this marvellous made promise,Hanuman spring, and, after meeting with various adventures, reaches Lanka, diminishes in size until he is no bigger than a cat, passes reaches the Asoka through the cityunnoticed,and finally grove where Sita was confined, justin time to witness an unsuccessful

According

to

his

Griffiths's*

Ramayana,' iv. 188.

t Ibid. iv. 254.

$ Ibid. iv. 280.

i6o

The

Puranic
induce his

Deities.

attempt of Ravan

to

lovelycaptive to

husband, and become


words
to

the bride of
were

Sita

on

this occasion
two

forgether her captor. Ravan's parting not very love-inspiring ; he


she consented
to become

declared that unless within


his

months

bride,
""

My
And

cooks
serve

shall mince thee for my


man

thy limbs with steel, morning meal." *


addresses her.
on first, dreaming ; but

When

she

is

alone, Harm

At

hearing a monkey speak,she imaginesherself her that the strange the sight of her husband's ring convinces and she is delighted is a friend, to hear all he has to messenger
tell:
"
' 1

she cried again, bringest me,' mingled draught of bliss and pain : Bliss that he wears in his heart, me
Thou A

Pain that he wakes

and

weeps

f apart.'

"

and offered to carry her on Sita, arose his shoulders to her long-lost husband, a difficulty ; she which so longa leap to the height necessitated feared that in rising of to lay hold she might be giddy,and feel it to be necessary

Though

Hanuman

had

found

him
so

; but

of her
as

own

free will she would the limbs of

on

no

account

whatever

much

touch

husband.

Instead, then, of
remain
a

man living except those of her availingherself of the monkey's

to offer,she prefers

where

she
to

is for the

present, and
a

simply
assure

sends

back

kind

him

that she without

has

message received his.

Rama, with
Hanuman

gem
not

to
care

does

to

having effected some injuryon his foe ; he and slaysseveral of therefore destroys the grove and a temple, At lengthhe is made taken Ravan's heroes. captive. When from Rama before Ravana, he confesses that he is a messenger This so asperates exto Sita, and earnestlyadvises her restoration. he the giant that would have slain him but for the fact that an envoy's life is sacred. Some of Ravan's people, from which he does not experience however, set fire to his tail, to set fire to the cityin several places. pain,but manages any
return
*

Griffiths's Ramayana,'iv. 334.


'

f Ibid.

iv.

365.

The
When
a

Rama
had

Chandra

Avatara.

161

Hanuman

return

leap to
all that

told him
was

completed his work in Lanka, he made in Rama's India, placed Sita's gem hand, and in Ravan's had transpired capital.The prince

delighted as he heard of his wife's constancy ; but as from the mainland a of transferring the difficulty over an army hundred leaguesof sea seemed impossibleto surmount, he was of seeingher again. Sugriva, more almost in despair practical
and fuller of resource,
To The

says

:
"

Thy

task

must

be

cast

bridgeacross
our

the sea,

cityof
crowns

foe

to

reach,
bv the beach
:

That And

the mountain
our

when

feet that isle shall

tread,
*

Rejoiceand deem
The
marches army,
to

thy foeman
some

dead."

which

had

remained Rama

distance
curious

away,
to

now

and the sea-shore,


so

is very
be built.

learn

what

means

vast
sea

bridgecan
and

He

in his

by anguish

calls upon
across as on

the

to withdraw ; but

allow his followers to march

althoughthe Ocean will not grant this he tells him to enlist as prayer, he does assist with his advice, with the services of a tribe of Dasyas (servants), who, together No sooner is the monkey host,construct a bridgein five days. Rama this completed than the troops march being across, carried by Hanuman, and Lakshman by Angad ; and though he sends,terrified hears of their approach,and the spies Ravan of the invading army, counsel him to yield, at the appearance his city and at last the attack upon he obstinately refuses, dry land
is made.

both sides. with considerable loss on fighting, Rama and Lakshman a are by Indrajit, dangerouslywounded wonderful herbs being applied to of Ravan son some ; but on them by Garuda, the marvellous bird of Vishnu, they are time they fall, and are A second restored. again restored by short space of herbs which Hanuman fetched in an incredibly and Ravan face meet time from the Himalayas. At last Rama After fierce

Griffiths's'

Ramayana,' v.

3.
M

62

The

Puranic
destructive

Deities.
to have met

to
a

face foe
as

when

Rama's
as

arrows :

seem

with

wonderful
"

themselves

the arrow to its mark sprang, Straight And from the giant's body shred, head. the monstrous With trenchant steel, world behold There might the triple with gold. adorned head The severed bent to view, all eyes were But when another stead Swift in its grew."*

Acting

on

the advice
"

of

Matali, Rama, tired of this fruitless


fire was kindled
and
assure

launched toil,

an

arrow

whose

by

the

Almighty
at

heart the giant's which pierced Sire," is sent to feet, whereupon Hanuman
her

laid him

dead

his of

Sita of the death


in carefully of Ravan. may
see
a

captor, and in
causes

few hours and

she is sent
successor

litter by litter his wife's

Vibhishan, the
Rama
as face,

brother be
:
"

This

to

opened,that

the

Vanars

he says

A woman's

guard is not her bower, the fenced tower : The lofty wall, Her conduct is her best defence, f And not a king'smagnificence."

speech struck terror in the hearts of all around, and Sita and heartbroken is almost as, instead of the warm especially tells her : he coolly lovingwelcome she had anticipated,
This
"

And
"

Lady, at lengthmy task is done, of war, art won. thou,the prize


* *

If from This And


The
arm

my

home
hath

my

queen

was

reft,

well

in the field has


blot that
*

on
*

my
not

avenged wiped away honour lay.


* *

the theft ;

"

'twas But, lady, That


led mine
*

love for thee


o'er the
*

army
*

sea.
*

"

Of honour

the cause I battled to avenge and insulted laws.

' Griffiths's Ramayana,'v. 254.

f Ibid.

v.

271.

The
My
And

Rama

Chandra

Avatara.
thy fame
shame
;

i6t, j

for love is fled,


thou
art

on

Lies the dark blot of sin and

hateful
on

That The Go
"

flashes

the

light injured sight.


as :

the

world is all before thee


where
*

flee :
me.
*

but thou wilt,


* *

not

with

For Ravan And


About fixed
on

bore

thee

throughthe sky,

thine his evil eye ; he threw, thy waist his arms his breast his drew captive
of his power,
;

Close And
An

to

vassal kept thee, inmate

of his ladies' bower."*

Hearing these cruel and unexpected words, Sita makes a most in which she vehemently asserts her innocence ; appeal, pathetic of relenting in her husband, she wishes but as there are no signs and asks her innocence to prove to die, or by the fire-ordeal,
Lakshman
to prepare
"

funeral

: pile

I will not

live to bear

this

weight

Of shame, forlorn and desolate. shall end, The kindled fire my woes And be my best and surest friend." f

Lakshman she walks


:

performsthis
round
"

sad

office ; and

when

all is

ready,

it,and
As

before

entering the

addresses fire,

Agni

heart, by virtue swayed, From strayed, Raghu's son has never So universal witness,Fire, Protect my body on the pyre. As Raghu's son has idlylaid This charge on Sita, hear and aid." J
this

this fond

her innocence, appeal to Agni to proclaim from heaven she enters the fire. The gods,at once descending address Rama, saying : in their glory,

Having

made

"

Couldst

couldst thou, thou, the Lord of all, Creator of the worlds,allow

Griffiths's'

Ramayana,'v.

273.

f Ibid, v. 276.

X Ibid.
M
2

v.

277.

164
Thy

The

Puranic

Deities.

thy spouse to brave the fire, And give her body to the pyre ? Dost thou not yet. Supremely Wise, Thy heavenly nature recognise?"*
queen,

Rama
mortal is Vishnu
whom Sita, other

franklyconfesses that
; Brahma

he believes himself to

be

only

tries to for

incarnate

him that he him, as he assures enlighten of slaying the purpose Ravan, and that had driven into the
was fire, no

his cruel conduct

In confirmation of Lakshmi, his celestial spouse. and, taking Sita by the hand, this, Agni appears in the fire, than conducts
her
to

her

husband, and
her

declares

her

to

be

pure

and

spotless.Rama
that he
was

with the greatest joy,and states but that as others certain of her innocence all along,
receives

might
crdeal.

have

doubted

her,he had

caused

her to pass

throughthis

descends from heaven,and Dasaratha, the father of Rama, now sad to in that happy place he had been tells him that even of his beloved son. Indra next appears, and, witness the sorrows
at Rama's

back request,brings
his
cause

perishedin
relief he

; and

life the many Vanars then other gods thank Rama


to

who

had

for the

When these given them by the death of Ravan. mount a are Sita, and Lakshman over, Rama, congratulations in a day they single magic car, lent him by Vibhishan,in which to his own travel from Lanka it,Hanunear city. On arriving
has
man

is sent

to

inform

Bharat of their return


the
not

; and

the

joy this
to

gives to intelligence reign as viceroyand


is indescribable. and the

faithful
as

Bharat, who
to

has

continued

and king,

the citizens
his

quickly assumes : people enjoy unexampled prosperity


"

Rama

generally, positionas king,

Ten

thousand

years

Ayodha, blest
peace and
rest.

With
No
No

Rama's

ink-, had

\\id""w mourned

her murdered

mate,

house

was

i\

er
no

desolate.
murrain

The

happy land

knew,
grew,

'I Ik- ilo, ks and

herds increased and

' Griffiths'a

Ramayana,'v. 278.

i66

The

Puraxic

Deities.

8.

THE

KRISHNA
*

AVATARA.

Professor Goldstiicker incarnation

says
on

that this
account

"

is the most

interesting

of Vishnu, both
in Hindu into

of the

opportunitywhich
; and
on

it affords to trace

the gradualtransformation antiquity


account

of mortal

heroes

of a god representatives

TJIli

KRISHNA

AVATAKA.

of the

numerous

legends connected
it exercised
on

with

it,as
'

well

as

the In
or

fluence in-

which
one'

the

Vaishnava

cult.

the dark

Mahabharata,Krishna"
"

is sometimes
*

the black means literally represented as renderinghomage which


Chambers's
s. Cyclopaedia,
v.

to

Siva,

The

Krishna

Avatara.

167

and
or as

therefore

acknowledginghis

own

to that deity, inferiority

recommending the worship of Uma, the consort of Siva, and as receiving from both these deities. In some boons sages, pasbears the character of hero endowed a merely again,he and in others his divine nature with extraordinary is powers, even disputed or denied by adversaries,though they are eventually punished for this unbelief. As the intimate allyof deity; but there are Arjuna,he claims the rank of the supreme other passages, again,in the Mahabharata in which the same
claim of Siva is admitted, and
an

attempt is made

at compromising

both deities one and the claims, by declaring same. Sometimes, moreover, Krishna is in this Epos declared small to represent merely a portion 'a portion of a very
"

their rival

as portion/

it is called

"

of the divine

essence

of Vishnu.

In the

which Mahabharata, therefore, adventures


in Krishna's in
or was

is silent also

regardingmany
Puranas, the
no means so

life

fullydetailed
was

in the

worship
Vaishnait

of Vishnu

this incarnation settled

by

admitted generally Sect ; nor of a the conception later works." In the


'

it is in many Puranas of the as in there at that periodthat consistency

Krishna

Avatara, which
Hindi
version

is traceable

in the

Prem

the Sagar,'

of

the

'

Bhagavata

is the following account Purana,' who A king of Mathura, named Ugrasena, had a beautiful wife, barren. One was day, when walking in a wood, she lost her of a demon becoming enamoured companions ; and when alone, her assumed who
a was

of the

of this incarnation. object

her husband's Kansa.


"

form, and
When
a mere

as

result

son

was

born,
and his

named cruel
"

child Kansa
to

manifested catch
to

most

disposition his great delightbeing


and he
grew up
to

kill children

be

source

of

sorrow

advised his father to give up and country. He father, family, the worship of Rama, the god of his race, and to call in secret only
on

Mahadeva

(Siva). His
as a

father
my
cross

with replied

sorrow:

"Rama

is my

of and the dispeller lord, shall I sinful


man

grief ;
over

if I do not the
sea

worshiphim,
'

how Kansa

of the world ?

hearingthis
a

dethroned

his father, and

placeissued

his proclamation throughout

having usurped his dominions forbidding

68

The

Puranic

Deities.

Siva ; worship Rama, and commanding them to reverence so and his tyranny at length became unbearable,that the earth, assuming the form of a cow, went to Indra and, complainingof all have begun to commit Evil spirits said : this, great crimes in the have departed ; and world ; in dread of whom Religionand Justice
men

to

"

if you
into

will the the

with

permitme, I,too, will abandon the world, and in lower regions."Indra hearing this went redress other gods to Brahma, to see what
Brahma
to to

descend
company

could

be

afforded.

conducted
;

them

to

Siva,who,

in his turn, conducted

them had afforded


induce

Vishnu

and
men

remindinghim
in his
a

of the deliverance

he

gods and
to

manifestations, previous they


for the destruction this
assurance

him

a^ain
and

become

man

of Kansa. of

The

gods

goddesses,delightedat

help,
be

promise also to forsake their heavenlyhomes his companions during his earthly sojourn;
arranges

that

they

may

and

Vishnu

himself had been and that

that Lakshman, and


constant

who

in the Rama
most

incarnation

his

brother

and

faithful

companion,

Bharata

also and the


name

should Sutraghna,

under Sita, The


are
'

him ; and accompany of Rukmini, should be his wife.

from which most of the following Purana,'* legends of Vishnu's different somewhat account taken, givesa reply. Vishnu
was

Krishna

the incarnation

of

"

part of

part of the supreme


"

entreated to become incarnate, the supreme being." When white and one lord pluckedoff two hairs, black,and said to one and shall the gods, These my hairs shall descend upon the earth,
'

relieve her of the burden

of her distress !

' "

The
as

white

hair
"

was

impersonatedas
Asuras

Balarama, and

the black

Krishna.

The
be

destroyed. This my black hair shall of Devaki, the wife impersonated in the eighth conception Vasudeva, who is like a goddess,and shall slay Kansa, who the demon Kalanemi." f
shall all be

of
is

Hook

v.

that be noticed here that a commentator says on this passage incarnate must not be taken became that two hairs of Vishnu small this occasion was so but that the work to be done by him on literally, In Krishna,Vishnu been have effected by two hairs. that it could easily manifested. himself was

It should

the statement

The
and
"

Krishna

Avatara.

169

When

Vasudeva
in
a

his wife Devaki

Kansa like

chariot,

voice in the

being driven by King sky,sounding loud and deep


were
'

thunder,addressing Kansa, said, Fool that you are, the shall take away driving eighth child of the damsel you are now about to Kansa this drew his sword, and was hearing your life! interposed, saying, Kill not Devaki, slayDevaki ; but Vasudeva I will deliver to you and every great warrior ! Spare her life, child she may bring forth." Kansa, being appeased with this promise,spared the lady,but to prevent any mistake placed a their apartments ; and as child guard by day and night over after child was born, it was given up to him and slain. Kansa under the impression that he had was destroyed
' "

"

Devaki's

children,but this was

not

the

case

; these

children

were

slew as Vishnu of Hiranyakasipu, whom reallyothers (children the Man-Lion), brought from the nether regions at Vishnu's of Vishnu," command by Yoganindra, the great illusory energy and in order that the cruel Kansa lodged in Devaki's womb Vishnu said to this goddess: Go, Nidra might be overreached. conduct to the nether command and by my regions, (Sleep), six of their princes to be conceived by Devaki. successively When these shall have been put to death by Kansa, the seventh serpentconception shall be formed of a portion of Sesha (the who is part of me deity), ; and this you shall transfer before the
"
"

time
at

of birth to

Rohini, another
child
was

wife of

Gokula." Devaki

This

Balarama.

Vasudeva, who resides The report shall run


"

that

miscarries.

I will

myself

become

incarnate

in her

the eighthconception ; and you shall take a similar character as named of Yasoda of a herdsman Nanda). embryo offspring (wife Nabhas In the nightof the eighthof the dark half of the month I shall be born ; and you will be born on the ninth. Impelled and aided by my power, Vasudeva shall bear me to the bed of

Yasoda, and
and

you up

to to

the

bed

of Devaki.

Kansa
stone

hold

you

dash

you

against a

shall take you shall ; but you


do

escape
you

into

the

sky, where

Indra

shall meet

and

homage

to

of me." through reverence takes When Devaki gives birth to her eighth son, Vasudeva the child,and, eluding the vigilance of the guards,hurries

170

The

Puranic

Deities.

through
the it
was

the

with city,
wide and

river Yamuna,

ing the serpent Sesha following.On reachwhich he has to cross, though ordinarily

the water deep, it assists him in his flight, only risingto his knees. Just as he reaches Nanda's house, which Vasudeva Yasodfi had given birth to her child, seizes, to his prison returns and, leaving Devaki's child in its place,

both

home, and

manages

to

re-enter

unobserved.

Soon

after this

child being heard by the guard,Kansa the cry of the new-born is quickly informed of its birth,and, rushing into the room, But fate was too againsta stone. strong the touched the it for him. child rose ground, Immediately into the sky,and, expanding into a gigantic figure, having eight formidable weapon, each wielding some laughed and said arms, avails it thee to have hurled me to the ground? to Kansa, 'What He is born that shall kill thee,the mighty one amongst the gods,who was formerlythy destroyer.' The reference of the is to the fact that last sentence as taught by other Puranas had Vishnu slain whom Kansa other than Kfilanemi, was no seized and dashed
it
"
'

when

incarnate

as

Rama.

unexpected frustration of his plans, The Kansa collects his friends, and, addressing them, said : vile and are assiduously contemptibledenizens of heaven plotting against my life ; they dreading my prowess, I hold them the king of the gods, I not of no Have account. seen when he had ventured into the conflict, receiving my shafts upon his back, and not bravely upon his breast ? Now, it is my these inflict still deeper degradationupon determination to evil-minded and unprincipledgods. Let therefore every man is notorious who to gods and Brahmans), for liberality (ingifts

Greatlyalarmed

by

the

"

every

man

who

is remarkable
; that

for his celebration

of sacrifices,

be put to death
means

thus

the

by
the

which

they subsist.
of Devaki former

gods shall be deprived of the The goddess who has been born
has

as

infant child
alive who search

announced
my

to

me

that he is therefore

again
active

in

being was

death.

Let

be made

for whatever

be

earth, and let every boy upon unusual remorse." vigour be slain without

young in whom

children there may there are signs of Soon after this, as

The

Krishna
from

Avatara.

171

he

feared

nothing

Devaki

from

them, he released Vasudeva and their confinement, and, in dread of meeting his
more

great enemy,
On

withdrew his

regaining
of

into the inner apartments of his house. Vasudeva liberty, speedilysought out
was unaware

change of children effected by Vasudeva, and, after congratulating him on the birth of a son, suggestedthe advisability of his returning home ; as, his there detain him to in the was having paid taxes, nothing He feared of lest the Kansa should notice the spies city. of and excellences the to child, peculiar destroyhim according Kansas At the same order. time he brought his other child and placed him under the care of Nanda by Rohini (Balarama), his own to be brought up child. By this means, Rama as as and Lakshman carnation were inseparable companions in the previousinand Balarama Krishna connected as were intimately
course

Nanda, who

of the

in this.

The settled

herdsman
at

Gokula

infant Krishna. whose breast


was

long to were destroy the A female fiend named Putana, the sucking of instant death to an infant, came and, by night,
not

Nanda

and

his

family had
made

been

before

efforts

taking the
seized

child in her both

arms,

offered him sucked

her breast. such

Krishna

it with

hands, and
roared The what with

with

violence that

the

hideous

being
to

jointfell down
into the cow's
upon

dead.
see over

pain, and givingway in every hearing the shrieks rushed villagers


was

house

the

matter.

Yasoda

waved

tail brush

him, whilst Nanda

put dried
on

his head, and,


to

placingan

amulet

his

arm,

cow-dung besought

Vishnu There

protect the child.


many

legends connected with his boyhood,which teach his extraordinary when On one a mere occasion, power. infant, lyingunder Nanda's wagon, he cried for the breast,and did not come being impatient because his mother quickly, kicked the wagon of the bystanders over, to the great astonishment the He and Balarama played with and tormented calves to such an extent, that Yasoda became quiteangry ; and mortar to prevent its repetition tied Krishna to a heavy wooden
are

in which

corn

is threshed,and

went

on

with her work.

Krishna,

K-

The

Puraxic

Deities.

trying to free himself from this,dragged it until it became wedged fast between two Arjuna trees, and with a strong pull
the
trees trees
were

uprooted.
no

The

astonished people,

because

the
must

fell when

storm

was

blowing,thought
to
sons

the

place

be says

unlucky and
that these
to
a

moved
trees
curse was were

away
two

Vrindavana.

The

Bhagavata
of riches,
phosed, metamor-

of Kuvera, the

god

who, owing
and

of the

sage

Narada,
of

were

thus

that it

for the purpose

them liberating Krishna


"

that

Krishna this feat.

accomplished
and
dians guar-

Balarama, keepers of
cowpens

the

of the world, were cattle in the of until


seven

vana," Vrinda-

they
of

were

years which during

age,

cording years, acto the 'Bhagavata

Purana,'the boys
were

full
:

of

childish

tricks from

butter stealing the neighbouring


to appears their favourite

cowherds have been

pastime.
In Purana' the
'

Bhagavata
are

there

legendsalso of attempts being made by Kansa


to

rid

himself foe.
was

of One
sent

his

dreaded
a

day
who

demon
to

hoped
when
KRISHNA SLAYING TAKASCKA.

surprisehim wandering with


;

the cattle in the woods

but

the

seized him boy, seeing through his disguise, him round his head and dashed
him
so

by

the

foot,
the

swung

on violently

*74 Nanda
cattle ;
one

The

Puranic

Deities.

others,sent great floods to destroythem Govarddhana the mountain but Krishna, raising
and
it
as an

and

their
on

aloft

hand, held

umbrella

and

sheltered

his friends from

KRISHNA

HOLDING

Ul'

MOUNT

GOVARDDHANA.

the storm

for

seven

days
to

and

nights.
he

Indra

then visited Krishna


his wife Indrani

and

praised him
Krishna

for what

had

done

; and
son

entreated

be

friend of their
means

Arjuna.
his

Krishna
wants

did not

by

any

confine
whom

attention

to

the

of the

cowherds

amongst

he spent his

earlydays.

The

Krishna

Avatara.

175

On

one

received
came

to
so

shone
was

a Satrajit, worshipper of the Sun, who had from his lord a magnificent jewel named Syamantaka, at Dwaraka, adorned with his jewel, visit Krishna which that the inhabitants thought the Sun himself brightly

occasion

present.

It

was
"

most

marvellous

received all fear there


"

through it eightloads of gold wild beasts, of portents, robbers,and fire,


this

for its possessor and was free from daily,


gem,

famine its
to

"

but

was

strange condition
an

attached
source

to

: possession
a

althoughit was
when
worn

inexhaustible of bad

of

good
it

virtuous

person,

his death." excellences

character of was cause by a man that Krishna, on the Thinking it possible learning of the gem, might wish to keep it, Satrajit gave it
the

to his brother

Prasena.
with

This

brother

went

to

hunt

in the forest
a

having the
killed him
not return to

him, when he was bavat, the king of the bears,seeingthe


gem and
as

killed
gem

by

lion.

in the lion's

Jammouth,
did

took
was

of it himself. possession the expected, Krishna had him Yadavas slain him.
a

When

Prasena

he

(Krishna's tribesmen)
To
of
to

began
of his traced

think

that

convince his

them

innocency,takingwith
the horse and He
upon

number rode

brethren,he

which

Prasena
was

the

place where
all blame in

the lion met the matter. the

slew its
then

and rider,

of acquitted
to

followed

Jambavat

bear-princeSukumara playingwith and fought with his father the king for twenty-one days ; but as no tidings of him reached his home at Dwaraka, his friends concluded be dead ; and by the performance that he must of his and offered funeral ceremonies, the food for this purpose water him enabled to supportinghim during his lengthenedconflict, overcome Jambavat, who gave him his daughter Jambavati to in triumph,carryingthe gem wife ; with whom he returned home and received with him, which he restored to Satrajit, from him
his

his cave, and finding the gem, Krishna tered en-

daughterSatyabhama.
finally given to
as

This
a

gem,

after causing several other

was disputes,

that
retain

he had

Akrura. Krishna fessed congood king, it wives him for not to was 16,000 possible his wife

it ; and

also that

Satyabhama

would

not

comply

with the conditions The

imposed upon Gopis (wivesof the cowherds)are

its possessor.
as represented being

76

The

Puranic
As dance

Deities.
he and

madly in love with Krishna. to play and flute, they came


women

Balarama
; but

played the
as

with them
as

all these plied multieach On in the


and
fused re-

could himself

not

hold
as

Krishna's
many

hand
as

they danced, he
were

into

forms

there

women,

woman
one

believingshe held the hand


occasion
he watched the

of the

true

Krishna.*
to

Yamuna

river,
to restore

Gopis as they went their clothes,sat and, stealing


up until each to fetch them.
came

bathe
tree
a

in

them

in the form of

suppliant

Bhagavata teaches that these women, impelled though they were by passion to seek Krishna, obtained through him final emancipation from sin. ance. In whatever a man worshiphim he will obtain delivermay way knew and sought him Some a as as a friend, son, some but in the end all as a lover, obtained some an some as enemy, of deliverance and emancipation." the blessing Krishna's favourite was Radha, the Amongst all these women wife of Ayanagosha. Her sister-in-law, seeingthem together,
"

hands with uplifted

The

told her brother

of his wife's misconduct, and

Radha

was

in fear her her

she communicated her ; when however he reassured her,as he told her that when fears to her lover,

lest he should

murder

husband

came,

he

would (Krishna)

transform
a

himself

into Kali, find

and her

her

husband, instead of seeing her with

would lover,

engaged in worshippinga goddess. Her husband happening and after this, her so employed, joined to come soon finding with her in the worship of Krishna in the form of Kali. It
whose
songs,
name

is Radha

is

ever

associated this
is

with

Krishna

in

hymns,
of this with As
a

prayers,

deity are
was

; at pictures but Radha forgotten,

and

day all the wives worshipped along


these women,

her lover. Krishna named

dancing

on

one

occasion of
its
a

with

(Union

Arishta, in the form


Krishna

fierce bull, savagely

attacked him. him


as an

waited quietly have with

would alligator whilst he pressed his sides

approach,and, seizing done, held him by the horns


; he

his knees

then

wrung

his

It is this incident in Krishna's

which history

is celebrated

yearlyat the

Rasajattra.

The
if it had been
to

Krishna

Avatara.
and cloth, last

177
at

throat

as

pieceof
death

wet

tearing

off his horns After


some

beat him
years

with them. of Krishna's

Kansa

is informed

existence,

RAUHA

WORSHIPPING

KRISHNA

AS

KALI

and, as
but
as

we

have

these

noticed above, sent various demons the king determined efforts failed,
of his

to
on

him slay
a

grand

scheme

foe. dreaded by which he hoped to rid himself in his He sent Akrura, one of the few good men accordingly invitation to Krishna and Balarama kingdom,with a most polite
at

to visit him

his

to capital,

witness

some

athletic sports ; and,.


N

78
hope
a on

The

Puranic

Deities.
fall an
a

in the

that

theybeing off their guard would


named
But

ordered them

demon

Kesin, in the form of


is more than
a

to horse,

easy prey, attack

the road. the horse

Krishna

match

he meets

and

thrusts fearlessly

his hand
two

for the fiend ; in its mouth,

and, causingit to swell,bursts the horse into


one

parts : hence
of

is Kesava, the slayer of Krishna's many of Kesin. names of Kansa and Akrura, having told Krishna of the ill-feeling that in three his leave

the

that have been made plots encouragedwith the assurance adherents would be

and being greatly againsthis life,

days Kansa
of the

and

his

takes slain, Mathura.

they approachthe cityof


and dressed of Kansa
on as

guests when the cityunattended, Entering

they meet with a washerman poor country people, the clothes at work, whom they first annoy by throwing
when
in
some

the

ground, and,
themselves

he

expostulateswith them,
of Kansa's

kill him, flower-

and

robe

garments.
men,

Seeingthe
a

strong, gaily-dressed,
seller

and

good-looking young
some

flowers ; for his rich blessings Krishna bestows him in this life generosity upon After this they meet heaven after death. with a and promises

presents them

with

of his choicest

deformed the
once,

Kubja, carryingointments and perfumes to at palace; who, when asked by Krishna, gives him some is cured, and she is made for which kindness her deformity
then invites the brothers fixed for the
to her home. to
two
was day following

named girl

beautiful and The

witness.

The

listswere
were

sports they had come the trumpets sounded, and prepared,

fierce wrestlers Krishna


an enormous

commanded
; and

by
in
case

fair

means

or

foul to

slay

and

his brother

elephantwas in readiness themselves slain. Seeing his But wrestlers and elephant were the king lost his temper and called fail, grand scheme so signally ever, howto his guards to slay the youths ; instead of this, out loudly Krishna rushed upon and slew the king in the midst of the
and falling at assembly,
deva

they should fail to do this, to trample them to death.

the feet of his father and

mother, Vasuthe

and

Devaki, placed Ugrasena, Kansa's


his brother

father, upon
at Mathura.

throne,and with
Krishna
very
soon

took

up

his abode the

is of immense

after his arrival

people of Mathura, for there, Jarasandha,Kansa's father-in-law

service to

The
attacks them, and
When
the

Krishna

Avatara.

179

is beaten almost

eighteentimes
exhausted with

by

his

prowess.

people were a new enemy struggles,


vanas,

these

protracted

who

wish

appears in Kalayavana,King of the Yaunder to try their strengthwith the Yadavas

that by having two enemies to contend He, thinking would be exhausted, the people with at once prepared a new city, could protect the to which he conducted so it, strong that women No sooner had he made the people inhabitants of Mathura. Krishna.
secure

than he went

forth unarmed

and

alone,and attracted

the

King of the Yavanas, whose army stillsurrounded Mathura. Krishna, seeing the king following him, entered a himself there ; the king seeing a man lying cave, and concealed it must be Krishna, kicked it, and in an at its entrance, thinking of his destruction The instant became secret a heap of ashes.
attention of the
was

this the

: a

man

named

Muchukunda

had

received

as

boon

with this gods,the power to sleepfor a long period, should awake condition attached, that whoever him should be consumed tingly instantly by fire emanating from his body. Unwitkicked him the King of the Yavanas and received the escaped,and seized penaltyof his ignorance ; whilst Krishna from the army and
treasures

thus

left without

an

owner.

Krishna fell in love with Rukmini, the Amongst many others, daughter of Bhismaka, King of Vidhabha (Berar) ; but her brother Rukmin hated him, and refusing to givehis consent, at the advice of Jarasandha, betrothed to Sisupala.This she was and Ravan, whom other than Hiranyakasipu in was no Sisupala the had slain. On of the eve previous incarnations Vishnu wedding Krishna carries off Rukmini, who was another form of and other friends to take Balarama Lakshmi, Sita,"c, leaving
care

of themselves

and

when

Rukmin

follows him

with

an

and, but destroyshis followers, easily army, Krishna for the intercession of Rukmini, would have killed his brotherin-law too. after this occurrence, Indra pays a visit to Krishna, to enlist his sympathy and help againstNaraka, King of PragjyoSoon

immense

tisha,who
"

was

all inflicting maidens

off the Carrying

all creation. evil upon demons of the gods,saints, and kings,

kinds

of

So

The

Puranic

Deities.

palace. He has taken away Varuna's umbrella, the celestial nectar-dropping earringsof my demands mother Aditi, and now my elephant." Krishna at once marches off to meet, the king, to help, consents conquers all his slaysNaraka and obtains the stolen property, for which forces,
he
shuts

them

up

in his

own

on

its restoration he receives the thanks

of its

owners.
"

In

the

women's

at an auspicious 16,100damsels, and of all, in received the hands moment according to the ritual, the number of the maidens, and separate houses; 16,100 was

apartment

he finds

into

so

many

forms

did the foe of Madhu

himself; multiply

so

that each

of the and

damsels
he

single person,

her in his thought he had wedded in the dwelling-place abode of severally


as
a

each of his wives.

It

was

present from

Uma,
Krishna

the

wife

of

Siva, that he received these wives."


There
was a once a severe

conflict between

and

Siva.

of Usha, a grandsonof Krishna, was enamoured whom he secretly daughterof Bana, one of Siva's worshippers, of these secret visits by Bana's visited. Being caught on one imprisoned,and, as the king would not guard,the princewas

Aniruddha,

release

him, Krishna

attacked

him

;
severe

but

Siva

and

his Siva

son

Kartikeya fought for Bana.


down weary in his car, and

After

as fighting,

sat

Krishna, tired of
discus, which
the hundred
never arms

Kartikeya had fled from the field, using ordinaryweapons, let fly his wonderful failed of accomplishing his wish,and cut off
of Bana. As he
was

about to throw

it a second

time, Siva

for the lifeof his friend ; to whom, said : "You fitto apprehend in grantinghis request, Krishna are I am, thou art." that you are not distinct from me ; that which
came

and interceded

As

Krishna his
met

was

marching
Fever, an
of Bana.

towards

the city in Sonitapura, narrated from

which
enemy Krishna

grandson was
him.
"

confined,as
emanation

above, a strange

Maheshwara

(Siva),

having

three

feet and

three

with heads, fought desperately Baladcva

whom (Balarama), upon seized with burning heat, and his his ashes were was scattered, trembled to the body eyelids ; but lie obtained relief by clinging of Krishna. Contending thus with the divine holder of the bow, the Fever emanating from Siva was quicklyexpelled from the

in defence

182
"

The

Puranic

Deities.
club which shall crush

angry whole

said, She will bring forth


Yadava
race."

the

According to this word of the Rishis,a which King Ugrasena ordered to from Samba's belly, club came into the sea. But the dust be ground to powder and thrown
that fell on
the
a

shore

became

rushes,and
not

small
:

part of the

club, like
thrown

lance

head, could
was

be

broken
a was

into the sea,

swallowed lance head

by

this part, when which was fish, caught made into


an arrow

by a fisherman, and pointby a huntsman


messenger that,as his work
was

the named
the

from
was

Jara. gods now

visited
ascend

him Krishna,telling
to his home
:

done, he should

this he
the

to willing quite

threatened

do ; but wishing to save the Yadavas advised destruction,


to

his
to

race

from

forsake

their

city and
hastened

go

Prabhasa.

their end ; for in liquor and began to


that peace

By this advice he unintentionally the sea-shore they indulged on reaching and for arms fightamongst themselves,
from the dust sprang and Balarama Krishna of the fatal club

seized the rushes which


came

from

Samba.
the

tryingto
left alone

make

between

combatants
two

only
brothers

led
were

to

their swifter

structio de-

until at last the


race.

of their

a river, mouth the serpent Sesha, of serpent crawled out of Balarama's which he was and so his end was an come. incarnation, Krishna, left alone, the with his foot upon his knee, when was meditating, on. talking a
"

Whilst

sittingand

the

banks

of

hunter Krishna
caused

Jara,armed
for
a

with

the

deer,shot him,

fatal arrow, passed by, and taking and thus his death was unwittingly

last part of the cursed club. Jara,seeing his to whom mistake, fell at Krishna's feet and asked forgiveness,

by

the

Krishna said
my and

"

Fear

not

thou

in the least.

favour
Krishna

to

heaven, the abode


which abandoned of the

of the

Go, hunter, through gods." Immediately a


ascended
to

celestial car

appeared,in

the hunter

heaven

his mortal Krishna


we

body.
have

In

this account

followed

the

'Vishnu

Purana/withwhich
many

additional

Bhagavata legends,similar
have
no

agrees ; though the latter has The to those given above.

writers of these Puranas


a

large part

of these

books

regarding his divinity ; and being occupied with praises


doubt

The
addressed

Krishna
him

Avatara.
In the

183 d Mahabharata,

prayers

to

as

however, Krishna

is little more

supreme. than a
to

great hero,excepting in
later origin than
age

those passages which are the body of the book.

believed

be of much of that whom

By the writers described as a worshipper of Siva, from he enjoyed. chief blessings


Amongst
the the references
"
"

Krishna received

is

he

the

to

Krishna

in the

Mahabharata

are

Krishna then reverenced Siva with voice, :* mind, following he accompanied Arjuna to and act;" i.e.when understanding, I have Siva replies Siva's abode to beg heavenlyweapons. : is dearer to been duly worshippedby Krishna, wherefore no one In a hymn Krishna thus praisesSiva : I than Krishna." me
" "

Mahadeva, and his various works of old. For he is the creatures." Bhisma beginning,middle, and end of (all) says : Through his devotion to Rudra, the world is pervaded by the
know
"

performedausterities for a full thousand Siva, the god who bestows boons." years, propitiating had a son Siva that Krishna It was by through propitiating from and him he received the discus Sudarsana, Jambavati; from added eightothers : him he received eight boons, to which Uma of hundreds the eightgranted by Siva were a hundred among cording Achundred wives. sixteen thousand one sons,"and by Uma excellent of beings in the to Krishna, Siva "is the most he As is the greatest of gods, he is called three worlds." in all their acts : Mahadeva, since he constantly prospers all men he is called Siva." seekingtheir welfare (Siva), The following legend will show that the belief in Krishna's the Mahabharata when not by any means was common divinity it When offered a sacrifice, written. was King Yudhishthira was proposedthat Krishna,as the greatest chief present, should made. receive the presents that were objected Sisupala strongly to this,and supported his objectionby a recital of Krishna's listened partially for a long time, but at misdeeds. Krishna he must last declared that the time had come when slay his him a hundred detractor. He said, I have promisedto forgive mighty
Krishna. This Madhava
"
"

"

Muir,O.

S.

T., iv. 184.

S4
"

The

Puranic

Deities.

offences
then the

he has

now

offended

more

than

hundred

times

;" and

In other passages of discus did its work. never-failing Krishna in almost as extravagant the Mahabharata, Siva praises tude language as that employed by Krishna to him ; but this attiof Krishna is so thoroughlyopposed to his general position that be little doubt these throughout the poem, there can introduced when the worship of Krishna had to a passages were that of Siva. largeextent superseded in the Mahabharata, was above not Krishna, as described

and leadingothers employing deception, occasion

to

do it

too.

On

one

during the great war between the Kurus and Pandavas, in great distress, were the Pandavas owing to the bravery and chief named skill of a Kuru Dronacharjya. This chief had a Ashwatthama he deeply loved, named it was whom son ; and thought that,if a report could be spread to the effect that this distressed to fight. be too was son slain,his father would Dronacharjya at last heard the rumour, but refused to believe it confirmed it. At first the good king refused unless Yudishthira untruth ; but at Krishna's suggestionhe repeated to speak an Ashwatthama is dead," meaning in his own mind an the words yet wishing the father to understand elephant of that name, The trick succeeded of his son. them a ; but the king as of the had to endure the sight punishment for his prevarication he was lost in hell, as being conducted to heaven. the most the followingare Amongst Krishna's many names
"

common

:
"

Gopal,

"

The

Cowherd." Lord of the Milkmaids." of Mathura."

"The Gopinath,

Mathuranath, "The

Lord

8a.

the

balarama accounts

avatara.

According
Balarama
an

to

some

of

Vishnu's
case

incarnations,

is the

eighth; Krishna

in that

of the but an incarnation, appearance accordingto others,the two brothers togetherform

being called deityhimself; whilst,


not

the

eighth,

The

Balarama

Avatara.
black and Balarama

185
from

Krishna
a

having been produced from


hair of Vishnu.
on

white

As

they

were

constant

companions

during
of the shared
in
are

their stay

earth, many
Balarama narrated

exploitsin which have already been

There speaking of Krishna. few legends,* ferring a however, reto Balarama. chiefly Balarama is
an

incarnation

of

the
was

serpent Sesha,f who part of Vishnu, and


be
"

himself thus is of

said to that
the

part of

part

"

deity.
to
save

When

appealedto by
to
on appear their from a

distressed

gods
them

earth

oppressor

Kansa,
own

Vishnu

year

before his
means

bv birth transferred, from Devaki

of

the embryo Yoganindra,


to

of Balarama another
at

Rohini,

wife of Vasudeva,
to
save

residing
the

Gokula,

it from

cruel anger and fear of Kansa, who of had ordered destruction the
BALARAMA.

Devaki's
were

children

as

soon

as

they
it had been
a

born,throughwhose
would
was

eighthson

that predicted
year

he

meet

with

his death.

When

about

old, this

child and
two

Nanda named placed under the care of a herdsman his wife Yasoda, the reputed parents of Krishna, that the boys might be brought up together; Vasudeva, on the night

'

Vishnu

Purana,'Book
couch

V.
on

has a thousand the serpent deity, (endless), Vishnu reposes during the intervals of creation. The world is said to rest on the head of Sesha, who stands upon a the tortoise moves his feet, quakes tortoise ; when, therefore, Sesha yawns, earthor result. It was this serpent that formed the rope at the churning of the ocean : and by fires that issue from his body the world is destroyed at the end of each age, or Kalpa. He is sometimes of Kasyapa called a son and KadrUj a daughter of Daksha.

t Sesha (theend),or

Ananta

heads, and forms the

which

86

The

Puranic

Deities.

of Krishna's and

birth,having carried him


him

to

the

house these

of Nanda,

substituted
was

for the infant


to

daughter of
Krishna with

Balarama
miraculous

second One

powers.

keepers in a wood, his fruittrees belongingto a enjoy the fruit. As he

only day, as he was companions asked


demon
was

in the

people. possessionof
cowsome

the young him to shake

named

Dhenuka, that they might

complying with this request, the he tried as ass, appeared ; and demon, in the form of a monster seized him by his hind legs, to kick Balarama, the hero swung force with such the him to him round his head, and threw ground that he died immediately : the dead body Balarama threw to the relatives who the demon's came top of a palm tree, and
to

his

rescue

received

similar

treatment

at
a

his hands.

After

Dhenuka's cowherds. Pralamba


game,

death, his orchard


Whilst
came

became

favourite

spot of the
named in their

the

boys

were

in the form

of
to

playingthere,a demon boy, and,joiningthem

persuadedBalarama
he mounted
to

had

than

get upon his shoulders. No sooner off with him, and feeling the demon ran

the hero

heavy he increased his bulk until he became like and in size, a mountain causingBalarama to tremble with fear, Krishna for help. Krishna, reminding him of his to call upon thou art, O being who divine nature, says: "Calling to memory the demon of illimitable might, destroy yourself.Suspending a while your mortal character, do what is right." Balarama, acting with his knees, and this advice, squeezed the demon upon that he fell down pommelled him with his fists so fiercely dead. When boxing with Kansa's wrestler in the lists at to slay his antagonist. Mathura, he managed easily time in Dwaraka, a city After Balarama had dwelt for some Krishna had provided for the safetyof the people of Mathura, Krishna sent him to Vraja to see their old friends the herdsmen, with whom they had been brought up as boys. During his stay said : Varuni his wife, Thou, Madira, there,Varuna, addressing Ananta to the powerful art ever acceptable (Sesha) ; go therefore ordered by her husband, and promote his enjoyments." Thus
be
"

she

up Vrindavana.

took

her

abode

in

Kadamba walks

tree

in the

forest of

Balarama,in

his

smelling the

pleasant

The

Balarama

Avatar

a.

187

his fragrance of the liquor produced from that tree, resumed Whilst in a state of intoxication for strong drink. ancient passion to he called to the river Yamuna to come caused by this juice, in her, and, when she refused,threw him that he might bathe into the stream,- and draggingher towards his ploughshare him, his anger being he went, until, wherever her follow him made he set her free. appeased, he his return On to Dwaraka, after this visit to his friends, This king, married Revati, daughter of King Raivata. wishing his for husband suitable obtain a to daughter, repaired to of Vishnu, the glories for advice,who, expatiating Brahma on On in heaven for ages. detained his suppliant returningto the to find that during his long absence men earth,he was surprised and strength had deteriorated in goodness, size, ; but following Brahma's counsel,he went to Dwaraka, and offered his daughter wife to Balarama, who was as accepted the offer. Balarama but by the use of his ploughastonished at her immense share, height, however, managed to reduce her to a proper size. On and Devaki were one occasion,as Balarama they were together, named Dwivida, who had the greatlyannoyed by a demon various forms. He came as a monkey, and being power to assume of annoyance to gods and men, a source chiefly throughinterrupting felled by a blow of Balarama's the sacrifices, was heavy fist. were generally Though the brothers Krishna and Balarama violent between there was the best of friends, once a most quarrel A man named them. Satadhanwan was suspected of stealing valuable jewel.* Krishna and Balarama most him, a pursuing
came

to

part of the country


could the
not

where

the roads

were

so

bad

that
mained re-

the horses

with thief
on

chariot ; Balarama followed whilst Krishna chariot,

drag

the

therefore the

foot.

When
man

within

reach,the
to

supposed discus was never-missing


the
gem
was

thrown, and
found. On

the

fell headless, but


return

not

to be

Krishna's
he

the

chariot without
"

the
a

jewel,
violent

that believing rage, and

had

stolen it,Balarama
:
'

flew into
you

said to Vasudeva

Shame

light upon
see jewel,

to be thus

For

fulleraccount

of this

p. 175.

iSS

The

Puranic

Deities.
with done
use

greedy
Here

of wealth

lies my

path ;
me

acknowledge no brotherhood I have please, go whither you


all
our

you. with

you, with Dvvaraka, with


to to

house.

It is of

no

to seek

impose

on

with

Balarama thy perjuries." years


was

proceeded
the

Videha, where
that he

for three

he

remained

guest of

King Janaka,
his home When
two at

until his had

ledging appeased, when, acknowmisjudged his brother, he returned to anger earth

Dwaraka. work
on was

Krishna's

done, and, except the

their whole race had in fulfilment of a curse been brothers, as destroyed, they were talking under a tree, a serpent glided from Balarama's mouth its way and made to the sea, leaving the body lifeless, afterwards whilst Krishna fell pierced soon of a huntsman who mistook him for a deer. by the arrow

9. TrtE

BUDDHA

AVATARA. This incarnation of Vishnu is

"originally foreignto the cycle of the Avataras of Vishnu, and therefore is only briefly alluded to in
some

of the Puranas.

Where
must

this have

is

done, the

intention

been to effect a Brahmanism

compromise between and Buddhism, by

ligion tryingto represent the latter renot gonistic antaas irreconcilably

to

the

former."

Colonel
Puranas of the

Kennedy,f on
that
and

the other of

hand, argues
the

the

Buddha
the

Buddha

founder of

Buddhist
and
D H A.

system
common

religionhave
but
the name,

nothing in
that

the these

of

tion attempted identificais simply the two

Goldstiickcr.Chambers's

Cyclopaedia.

f 'Hindu

Myth.'p. 248.

90
between
no

The

Puranic
advocates of

Deities.

existed occasion found


are

the

the

that surprise should The


one an

full accounts

rival systems, it need of Buddha not to be are


accounts

in Brahmanical

books, nor
to

that the meagre


as
a

that

there

try

represent him
writers
men were as

most
too

despicable
shrewd
to

character. admit that

Brahmanical
who

far Buddha

could influence of

did could be
was a

other than favour of

incarnation

deity;

and

as

his influence

in time

teachingopposed to

their own,

which

was

for

the country, they cleverly say that it was throughout prohibited of the gods that Buddha the enemies to mislead promulgated that his doctrine,
errors,

they,becoming
easy

weak

and

wicked

through their

might fall an
Puranic

The

account

prey. of Buddha

will be

supplemented given,

Buddhist work from of his life and by further particulars writings. * In the are only four short passages Bhagavata Purana of the Kali-yuga At the commencement Buddha. respecting
'
'

"

will Vishnu

.become incarnate
son
"

in

Kikata, under
of

the

name

of

Buddha,
of

the

of

for Jina,

the purpose

deluding the
in

enemies
a

the

gods."

The

Undiscernible

Being,having assumed
the three

mortal founded

form, preached heretical

doctrines

cities

of destroying, for the purpose by Maya (and in Kasi), by deluding them, the enemies of the gods, steadfast in the Praise to the pure Buddha, by the Vedas." prescribed religion the deluder of the Daityasand the Danavas." "By his words,
"

as

Buddha, Vishnu
In the
merest

deludes

the heretics."

Skanda,t the legend,of


outline,is more the earth,owing
years
;
on

the

Bhagavata givesbut dire a fullygiven. There was


which the the failure of the Brahma
in rains

famine

in

to

for six

successive
visited
a

this account

great distress

prince named Ripanjaya,and told him that if he would become him, and his name king,the gods would serve should be changed to Divodasa. On askingwhy he is chosen lu fore nil others, Brahma All other kings are wicked, tells him : the gods will not and rain upon the earth unless you shower
"

Hindu

Myth.' p.

250.

Ibid. p. 423.

The

Buddha

Avatara.
accedes
to Brahma's

191 request

accept the government." Divodasa


on

condition

that that

deitywould

assist him

and

that all the

other
a

gods would

forsake the

out earth,so that he might reignwith-

on

men.

and be the only one who could confer happiness rival, this condition,with some culty diffiBrahma, in fulfilling
to

persuaded Siva dwelling-place.


Divodasa ruled with fixed the
his

forsake

Kasi

his (Benares), for 8000 the

favourite

throne

at

Kasi,where
to
men

years

he

greatest benefit

; but

gods being

their preceptor, and, jealousof his power went to Vrihaspati, whilst they spoke well of the effects of the king's government, benefited by it. complained that he, and not the gods, were Siva especially was annoyed at his enforced absence from Kasi ; for although he sent several times to make about its inquiries his too happy on earth to return were inhabitants, messengers to their lord in heaven. and Vishnu, accompanied by Lakshmi Garuda, at Siva's request, then proceeded to Kasi, a little to he formed the north of which by his divine power a pleasant named abode attended by his lovely Dharmakshetra, and there,
"

spouse,

did he
a

reside under recluse of

the form of that


as

of

Buddha, while Lakshmi


Garuda
also
a

became under

female
name

sect.
a

appeared

in his Panyakirti, to the delusive instructions of his hand, and attentively listening with a low, sweet, and affectionate preceptor (Buddha), who voice taught him various branches of natural and supernatural religion." the universe was without Vishnu, as Buddha, taught that a

the

pupil with

book

"

creator

; it is false therefore to assert

that there is

one

universal

and

for Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, and the rest Supreme Spirit, of mere are names corporeal beings like ourselves. Death is a fear it ? He further taught that : why we peacefulsleep should guard as our own life the life of another ; that pleasure is the only heaven, and pain the only hell, and liberation from Sacrifices are of acts ignorance the sole beatitude. of Panyakirti, these doctrines folly." Through the exertions deluded soon the spread throughoutthe city; whilst Lakshmi women by teaching them to place all happiness in sensual
"

"

"

192

The

Puranic

Deities.

decay, let us, before it becomes ; as the body must pleasures which it gives. The distinction of dust, enjoy the pleasures castes has been vainlyimagined." As Lakshmi gave numerous her influence was to her disciples, boons great,and her teaching spreadwidely.
As
a

result of the became

dissemination

of these

doctrines

in the

whom Vishnu in the to dispirited, of a Brahman now form appeared, and hears from him an of his troubles,and the expression of a wish to resign account of cases The in which his crown. king mentions a number have had to suffer, virtuous men owing to the power of the gods, obtain final beatitude. informs Vishnu how he can and inquires him that he has acted unwiselyin compellingSiva to forsake to consecrate an image of Siva, by Kasi, and advises him worshipping which he will obtain the fulfilment of his desires. follows this counsel,inaugurateshis son Divodasa as king,and, the Linga he had set up, Siva appears and he is worshipping as him to Kailasa conducts heaven). It is the common (Siva's

city, Divodasa

belief of the
effected the
to

in people

the west

of India,that when his heretical

Vishnu

had

apostasy of Divodasa, having been


the

terminate

The
reason

propagation of in a deep well at Gya. following legendfrom the


his

prevailed upon appeared dishe opinions,


'

'

Siva Purana
A famous

gives another
named tama, Gau-

for the rise of Buddhism. with virtuous wife named

Rishi

Ahalya, performed during

thousand
near

country
was a

in the southern tapas (penance) years a severe Brahmadri. the mountain During this time there
to drought,
remove

severe

Varuna

for six

months

with

which, Gautama great fervour, when


any boon

worshipped the deity,


be I

promised to grant appearing,


Gautama asked the divine command
to

that should
"

asked.

but Varuna for rain,


?

said, How
boon which

can

transgress
power
cause
a

Ask

some

it is in my

would then asked that Varuna grant." Gautama beautiful hermitage to appear, shaded surpassingly holy trees, where sun by fragrantand fruit-bearing
'

from
men

the
and

Kennedy, Hindu

Myth.' p. 253.

The

Buddha

Avatara.

193

by holy meditation shall be liberated from pain, sorrow, and as thou art lord of water, let it enjoy a and anxiety; Varuna granted this request, and the perennialfountain." "the loveliest on became the terrestrial hermitage of Gautama
women
"

orb."

One
Brahman

day

as

the

of Gautama disciples

went

to the fountain

some

they had dailyto


would
not

tried to prevent them from drawingwater filledtheir own pots. Ahalya goingherself was
women

until

jected sub-

the Brahman women annoyance: before they had themselves allow her to draw water
the
same

obtained

all

they required. These they they alleged


resorted to Ganesa

women,

not

satisfied with of the

annoying
unkind

the

ascetics, complained to
had for

their

husbands

treatment

received from

Their husbands

who advice,

Ahalya. beingpleased incurring reluctantly


a

with their devotion

might be
the
sin

made of

to

promiseda boon ; they asked leave his hermitagewithout


away.

that Gautama their

driving him
poor Gautama
a

To

this

Ganesa

consented himself

; and

in order to effect this

Ganesa object and walked


to

transformed into field of

into

debilitated cow,
was

rice where

and began standing

eat

the

grain.

took up a straw and The sage, knowing nothing of this disguise, did he touch it than it tried to drive the cow away ; no sooner felldown
a

dead.

Having incurred
man

the

cow,

the poor Gautama and

had

to leave the to not

of killing guilt neighbourhood.


enormous a

his wife removed could

distance ; but

until he

had

expiatedhis sin,they
Gautama seeks the free from
a

worship.
be Brahma

perform any acceptable Brahmans, and askinghow he can


walk round the mountain of

his crime,is told to

times ; bathe in the and worship ten million images of Siva. hundred informs from bathe the in him of the trick

Ganges,and consecrate As he is worshipping


earnestness, appears,
had
near

with the man's Siva,the deity, delighted and hermitage, it

by which Ganesa bringsthe Ganges so


says that of the Brahmans
and

driven that he
was

him
can
so

easily.

Tradition

Gautama that he
a new

with disgusted himself from which religion,

the conduct

separated
system of
O

their communion, for


a

established

time

Brahmanism. eclipsed

194
The the
'

The

Puraxic

Deities.
account

an extracts, giving following

of

Buddha,
M.

are

from

a Buddhist Lalita-Vistara,'*

work

from which

Barthelemy
et
sa

St. Hilaire has taken the materials for his work


'

La

Boudda

Religion.'
The correctly is an appelBuddha for Buddha lative, meaning enlightened was the capital born at Kapilavastu, of a kingdom of that name,

"Buddha,
"

or

more

"

situated of

at

the foot of the of the

tains moun-

Nepal,north
His

present
of

Oude.

father,the King
of the

was Kapilavastu, the Sakyas,and

family of belonged to the


Gautamas. His

clan

of
wras

the

Buddha and he

Gautama

Mayadevi, daughter of King Suprabuddha, and need as beautiful, we say that she was he was powerful and just? therefore by birth of the Kshattriya, was or warrior caste, took the name of Sakya from his family, and that of from his clan, a kind of spiritual relationship claiming
BUDDHA.

mother

with the honoured The does

race

of Gautamas.
a

The

name

of Buddha,

or

Buddha, dates from


Siddhartha
we are

later

(he whose
days
care
even

though
mother

told that it was

and so probably periodof his life, objectshave been accomplished), His given him in his childhood.
the father confided

died

seven

after his birth,and wife's mother's before the

the child to the had been

of his deceased

who, however, sister,


death.
The

his wife
a

child
soon

grew
knew

up
more

most

beautiful and his masters

most

boy, who accomplished


teach him. He felt so in the

than

could

refused

to

take part in the games and never of his playmates, when he could sit alone, lost in meditation as

happy deep
him

shadows

of the forest.

It

was

there

that his father found

.Max

vol. i. p. Muller, Chips,'

'

210

ft.

The
when young
to

Buddha

Avatara.

195
to

he

had

thought him
at
once.

lost ; and, in order


a

prevent the

prince from
him ministers
to

becoming
When the

marry

dreamer, the king determined the subject mentioned was by the


demanded

aged
seven

future heir to the throne,he

and, convinced at last that not even days for reflection, marriage could disturb the calm of his mind, he allowed the for a princess. The ministers to look out princessselected
was

the beautiful

Gopa, the daughterof Dandapani. Though


firstto her

her father
was

at objected

marrying a
he
arms saw

young

he

to him as represented gladly gave his consent

deficient in manliness when the

princewho and intellect, royal suitor


of the mind.

all his rivals distancing Their marriage proved

in feats of
one

and

power

of the

but happiest, stable

prince
on

remained, as

he had

been

absorbed before,
"

in meditations
on

the

problems of
used
to say,

life and
'

death. real. It is
or

Nothing is

he earth,'

is nothing it

Life is like the and lighted whither


man

spark produced
"

by

the friction of wood.


not

is

extinguishedwe

know sound
came

whence
a

came

of and

and lyre,

the wise

it goes. It is like the asks in vain from whence it


must

whither
we

where intelligence
to bring light
man

There it goes. find rest. can


were

be

some

supreme

If I attained

it,I could
the

; if I

world.' young

The

king,who
was

I could deliver myself, of perceivedthe melancholy mood divert him of the most the from his Three

free

the

tried everything to prince,


; but

tions specula-

all

in vain.
to any

that could
in the
"

happen

man,

provedof
a

ordinaryevents utmost importance


was

career

of Buddha. the with prince

One

day, when

largeretinue

driving
of his

through the Eastern gate of the cityon the way the old man, road an he met broken on parks,
One his could teeth
see

to

one

the veins and


was

he chattered,
to utter

decrepit. muscles over the whole of his body ; covered with wrinkles, bald, and
unmelodious
and

and

hardly able
bent
on

hollow

and

sounds.

He

was

his stick, and


man

all his limbs

jointstrembled.
'

'Who
is small

is this

'

said the

princeto
his blood

his coachman.
are

He

dried up, his muscles stick his body is wasted his teeth chatter, to his skin, away ; leanin
O
2

and weak, his flesh and

196
on

The

Puranic

Deities.

hardlyable to walk, stumblingat every step. in his family, is this the common Is there something peculiar or lot of all created beings? is sinking the coachman, that man under old Sir,' replied have become has destroyed his obscure, suffering age, his senses and he is despisedby his relations. He is without strength, and people have abandoned him, like a support and useless, dead tree in a forest. But this is not peculiar to his family. In youth is defeated by old age. Your father, every creature your all will come to the same mother, all your relations, your friends, end of all creatures.' state : this is the appointed Alas ! replied the prince, creatures are so so weak ignorant, and foolish, toxicated to be proud of the youth by which as they are inthe old age which awaits them ? As for me, not seeing I go away. Coachman, turn my chariot quickly.What am I,the what have I to do with pleasure ? and future prey of old age returned to the citywithout going to the park. the young prince "Another time the princewas driving through the Southern in the road a when he perceived gate to his pleasuregarden, his body wasted, from illness, man parched with fever, suffering without a home, hardlyable covered with mud, without a friend, the sight of himself and at the to breathe,and frightened approach of death. Having questionedhis coachman, and which he expected, the young received from him the answer princesaid : Alas ! health is but the sport of a dream, and the form. is the wise take this frightful Where fear of suffering must could any longer think of who, after having seen what he is, man, turned his chariot, ? The prince and returned joy and pleasure to the city. A third time he was to his pleasure-garden driving through the Western on gate, when he saw a dead body on the road, lying with a cloth. The friends stood about crying, a bier and covered sobbing, tearing their hair, covering their heads with dust, their breasts, and uttering wild cries. The prince, striking again this painful his coachman to witness exclaimed : calling scene, Oh ! woe be destroyed to youth, which must by old age ! Woe be destroyed by to health, which must diseases ! so many
he is his stick,
'

"

'

'

"

'

'

'

'

"

'

'

"

198
tudc,
near a

The

Puranic

Deities.

himself to the named Uruvilva, subjecting village to his appearingin the world as a most severe penances, previous At the end of this period, teacher. however, he arrived at the far from giving peace of mind and conviction that asceticism, and a stumblingthe way to salvation, a snare was preparing block
once

in the way deserted as


he
now

of truth.
an

began

and was at gave up his exercises, self, Left to himapostate by his five disciples. to elaborate his own system. He had learned He
nor

that neither the doctrines


were

the

austerities of the deliverance

Brahmans

of any

avail for

the accomplishing

him from the fear of old age, disease, and freeing he at last imagined that he long meditations and ecstatic visions, had arrived at that true knowledge which discloses the cause, and of all the changes inherent in life. It therebydestroysthe fear, from the moment when he arrived at this knowledge that he was of Buddha the enlightened.Buddha hesitated claimed the name he should keep his knowledge to himself or for a time whether it to the world. of communicate Compassion for the sufferings and the young of a the founder man prevailed, prince became than 2000 which after more religion, by years is still professed beings. 455,000,000 of human further history of the new The teacher is very simple. He which at all times has been the principal seat pr""ceeded to Benares, of learning he made in India,and the first converts the five were fellow-students who had left him when he threw off the yoke of the Brahmanical observances. but as the Many others followed, ft "r
" '

of man, and death. After

Lalita-Vistara' breaks
no

off at Buddha's
account
can

arrival at Benares,

we

have

further consecutive From what


we

of the

rapid progress

of his

doctrine.

gather from scattered notices in he was the Buddhist canon, invited by the King of Magadha, Bimbi ara, to his capital, Rajagriha. Many of his lectures are delivered at the representedas having been monastery of had rich merchant Kalavataka, with which the king or some him ; others on the Vulture Peak, one of the five hills presented which surround that ancient capital. Three of his most famous disciples Sariputra, Katyayana, and Maudgalyayana joined him during his stay in Magadha,
"
" "

The

Buddha

Avatara.

199

where

he

enjoyedfor many
afterwards
as

king was
we

of the king. The years the friendship assassinated by his son and then Ajatasatru, settled for
a

hear of Buddha

time

at

north Sravasti,

of the

lectures were delivered at Sravasti, Ganges. Most of Buddha's of Kosala,and the King of Kosala himself, the capital Prasenagit,
became
a

convert
are

to

his doctrine.

After

an

absence
at

of twelve

years, we which on all the

told that Buddha he

occasion
to

Kapilavastu, and converted performedseveral miracles,


His
own

visited his father

Sakyas

his faith.

wife became

one

of his

and, with his aunt, offers the first instance of female followers,
Buddhist
"

devotees have had been

in India.

We

fuller particulars again of the last attained the


on a

days

of Buddha's

life. He and had

visit to

good age of threescore years and ten, where the king Ajatasatru, Rajagriha,
and the assassin of his
own

the former

enemy

of Buddha

father,

had

publicconfession of his crimes. followed by a large of On his return he was number the Ganges,he stood and when the pointof crossing on disciples, on a square stone, and turninghis eyes back towards Rajagriha, he said,full of emotion, This is the last time that I shall see that he He likewise visited Vaisali, and, after takingleave of it, city.' reached the city of Kusinagara, when his vital strength had nearly under and, while sitting began to fail. He halted in a forest, would Sal tree, he gave up the ghost, a or, as a Buddhist say,

joined the

after congregation,

making

'

entered The of the


were
'

into Nirvana."
verses following by from Lalita-Vistara,' :

Dr.

Muir

which

translation of part the quotationsgiven above


are a

made

"On

Himalaya's lonelysteep lived of old an holy sage, Of shrivelled form, and bent with Inured to meditation deep.
There He
"

age,

"

when

great Buddha

had been

born,

The

To

gloryof the Sakya race, with every holy grace, Endowed world forlorn the suffering save
*

"

O. S.

T.,ii.496.

200

The
"

Puranic

Deities.

Beheld The Had

strange portents, signswhich


wise that that

taught

With
"

time auspicious event some sublime, universal blessing fraught.

witnessed

The He

gods sky with joyful


heard

was

their voice with

thronged : glad acclaim


name,

Resounding loudlyBuddha's
While echoes clear their shouts

prolonged.

"

The
The

cause

far and wide exploring, vision ranged ; with sage's

awe,

Within Far

he saw a cradle laid, off the babe, the Sakyas'pride.

"

longingseized this child to view and homage pay, hand, and clasp, Athwart the sky he took his way By magic art, and swan-like flew ;
At

With

"

And And And


To

came

see

King Suddhodan's gates ; craved entrance Go, royalpage, tell thy lord an ancient sage the king permission waits.
to
'
"

"

obeyed, and joinedhis hands ' and said A sage prince, Of shrivelled form, and bowed with age, Before the gate, my sovereign, stands,
page

The

Before the

"

And
To

humbly asks
whom

to

see

the

king.'
'
"

Suddhddan with

cried

We

greet

All such

The
"

holy man

joy ; with honour before us bring !

meet

The
And

saint beside the monarch

stood,

spake his
ever

With
And

be health, blessing and might, and wealth ; lengthof life, seek thy people's good.'
"

'Thine

'"

With
The

.illdue

forms and
him sit ;
not

meet

respect

king receivi d the


bade

And
'

holy man and then began

"

Great sage, I do

recollect

The
"
'

Buddha

Avatara.

201

That Have That From

thy venerable face


ever seen

before

allow
now

what I inquire

bringsthee

thy far distant

dwelling-place.'

To

the saint replies, thy babe,' from Himalaya'ssteeps.' I come ' The king rejoins, My infant sleeps ;
see
'

moment

wait until he rise.'

the Rishi spake, ne'er,' their senses long steep, Nor softly love luxurious sleep; awake.' The infant princewill soon Such
'

great

ones

In torpor

"

The
At

wondrous father's

will his slumbers


arms

alert to rise, child, light dispelled.

His

the infant held

Before the
"

sage's longingeyes.

beholding, bright, passing than the race glorious divine, And marked with every noble sign, The saint was whelmed with deep delight ;
More
-

The

babe

"

And He With

crying
"

'

Lo

an

infant of form

graced
I greet ! '

With

every

charm

fellbefore the Buddha's


and fingers joined, round

feet, him paced.


he

"

wound, he said, of two careers one,' Of fame awaits in coming years The child in whom these signsare found.
Next
arms

round
'

the babe

his
'

And

..

If such
He

an

one

at

home
a

shall become
a

abide, king,whose

sway

Supreme
On

array earth shall 'stablish far and wide.

mighty

armed

..

If, spurningworldlypomp as vain, He choose to lead a tranquil life, And wander and wife, forth from home He then a Buddha's rank shall gain.'

202

The
"He

Puranic

Deities.

gazed, When suffused his aged eyes ; tears His bosom heaved with heavy sighs ; Then asked, amazed King Suddhodan
on
"

spoke,and

the infant

"

'

Say, holy man, what makes thee weep And deeply sigh? Does any fate Malign the child await? May heavenly powers my infant keep
For

!'

"

'

thy fair infant's weal Disturb me, king,' the


No
own

no

fears cried
;

Rishi

'

illcan

such

child betide ; my
tears.

My
"'In

sad lot commands

grace complete,thy son Of truth shall perfect insight gain, every

And Than
" '

far sublimer
ever

fame

attain
won.

lawgiverhas
a

He

such

wheel

of sacred lore
earth
to

Shall
As

speed on
never

roll,
in motion of yore.
to set

yet hath

been
or

or By priest,

sage,

god

"

'

The

bless, The way of rest and peace to teach, shall preach A holy law thy son law of stainless righteousness.
men
"

world

of

and

gods

By

him From

shall

men suffering

be freed

weakness, sickness,pain,and grief;


all the illsshall find relief

From Which

hatred, love,illusion breed.

"

'

His

hands

shall loose the chains of all


groan

Who
With

in

earthlybonds confined

healing touch the wounds

shall bind

Of those whom

sharp arrows pain's


shall

gall. flight

"'

His words
The Which

of power

put

to

dull array

of leaden

clouds

And

mortals' vision shrouds helpless clear their intellectual sight.

The
U I

Buddha'
shall men,

Avatara.

203

By him
Be To

In devious

who, now untaught, of error paths stray,


a

led

to

find

perfect way

"

final calm

at last be

brought.

But

The

king,in many years, somewhere flowers, fig-tree perhaps; So, after countless ages lapse,
once,

Buddha

once

on

earth appears.

"

'

And
Has An

now,
come

at

this blessed time length, cradled lies : for he, who

infant there before thine eyes, in his prime. Shall be a Buddha


a c

he perfect Full, insight gaining, endless myriads tost Shall rescue On life's and lost, rough ocean waves, And grant them immortality.
But I

am

I shall not When From


woe

and worn old,and frail, ; live the day to see this thy wondrous child shall free the suffering world forlorn.

'Tis thus mine


Which The

own me

unhappy
mourn,

fate
weep, and is nigh,

bids

and

sigh

Buddha's
me

triumph now
it comes
too

But, ah ! for
"

late ! '

When Had The


And

thus the

aged saint, inspired,


told,
:
"

all the infant's greatness

king his wondrous son sang, with pious ardour

extolled,
fired

th' immortals Thee, child,


The

great

All illstnat

worship all, born to cure Physician, endure ; haplessmen


'

I, too, before thee prostrate fall !


"

And

now

"

his errand
with

done

"

the sage,
human

Dismissed

and gifts

due,

Athwart And

the ether swanlike

flew,

reached

again his hermitage."

204

The

Puranic
of

Deities.

Buddhism, the system


with the doctrine
of souls.
common

taught by Buddha, religion


Hinduism that of the
to

starts

to it and
on

tion transmigra-

goes Karma of result the simply


taken

It then

say

no (works),

are pain and pleasure notice whatever being

of the existence
is and
must

or

non-existence
; and

of God. that the

It

assumes

that

existence

be miserable entire

able highestconceivDeath but


an

good
does
not entrance

exemption from bring this exemption ; necessarily


is to obtain into
a
"

existence. it may be

worse

form

of it than

is at

present endured.

Buddha's

four
are as

Sublime
:
"

system,

follows
cause

that desire is the

of his gem The firstis that pain exists ; the second, of pain ; the third, that pain can be ended

verities," containingthe

annihilation ; the fourth by Nirvana,or exemption from existence, the way that leads to Nirvana. The great thing is to get shows and when this is accomplished, the soul is ready for rid of desire, complete Nirvana, and a man dying in this state will not again He taught the evil of caste distinctions, be born. and all who
embraced his tenets became

members and

of

great brotherhood.
which

Instead of the
the Hindus
were

mortifications painful

sacrifices by costly

that

confession

compelled to make expiationfor sin,he taught and promise of amendment all that was were
code is
one

which can spring of all virtue is Maitri, only be translated as charityor love. It does not friendship, express of particular the feeling affection which a man or has from one of his fellow-creatures, or but that universal more feeling which inspires with good-willtowards all men us and constant to help them."* willingness
the
"

necessary. world : and

Its moral

of the

most

in perfect

the

There

is

one

of peculiarity

the followers of Buddha

as

pared com-

of and veneration preservation for relics of their founder. With the exception of a legend bones were stating that Krishna's placed in the image of and another teachingthat Vishnu cut the dead body Jagannath, ""f Sati into

with

the

Hindus,

viz. the

fifty-one parts, each


no

of which

is

now

enshrined

in

temple,we

have

record

of relics being preserved by the Hindus.

Burnouf,quoted by Max

i. 222. Miiller,Chips,'

'

2o6
Vishnu

The

Puranic
'

Deities.

from

the

'

Purana Kalki

will give an
remove.

idea of the evils of the

present age, which


In

is to

will establish Magadha a sovereignnamed Viswasphatika barians, the Kshattriya race tribes ; extirpate ; elevate fishermen, barto power Brahmans, and other castes ; whilst Sudras,
outcasts, and barbarians

will be

masters

of the

Indus, Darvika,

"The kingswill be 'of churlish Chandrabhaga, and Kashmir. addicted falsehood to and violent temper, and ever spirit, children, and wickedness. They will inflict death on women, of subjects, be of limited cows ; they will seize the property rise and fall ; their for the most part, rapidly power, and will, and they will display their desires insatiable, lives will be short, but little piety. The peopleof various countries intermingling with them will follow their example ; and the barbarians being whilst purer tribes are powerfulin the patronage of princes, and the piety will people will perish. Wealth neglected, decrease day by day, until the world shall be whollydepraved. Propertyalone will confer rank,wealth will be the only source the of devotion,passionwill be the sole bond of union between of success in litigation, falsehood will be the only means sexes, will be objectsmerely of sensual and women gratification. no Earth will be venerated only for its mineral treasures {i.e. thread will sacred) ; the Brahmanical spot will be peculiarly tions constitute a Brahman ; external types will be the only distincwill be the universal of the several orders of life, dishonesty will be the cause of dependence, weakness of subsistence, means and presumption will be the subterfuge for learning, menace will be devotion, simple ablution will be purification liberality from the impulse of ordinaryfeeling, not will be made (i.e. gifts in connexion rites or as an act of devotion, and with religious for pleasure ablution will be performed not religiously or comfort, will Mutual with and prayers). assent prescribedceremonies afar off will and water be marriage, fine clothes will be dignity, be esteemed a holy spring. The people unable to bear the heavyburdens imposed upon them by their avaricious sovereigns
*

Page

62 2.

The

Kalki

Avatara.

207

and will be glad to feed the valleys, refuge among flowers, and leaves ; their upon wild honey, herbs, roots, fruits, only coveringwill be the bark of trees, and they will be exposed No man's life will exceed and rain. to cold and wind, and sun in the Kali Age Thus shall decay three-and-twenty years. until the human It is race flourish, approaches annihilation.' in what appeared to rather strange that the condition of men the writer of this Purana miserable he could imagine, as the most

will take

where

their dress in the the

was

bark

and

their food consisted

of

roots

and

was fruits,

It

was

thus

earliest ages regarded as the most desirable. held in the greatest old Rishis lived, who are

esteem.

practices taught by the Vedas and the institutes of law shall nearly have ceased, and the close of the Kali Age shall be nigh,a portion of that divine being who exists of his in the character of Brahma, and who is the nature own spiritual shall beginning and the end, and who comprehends all things,
"

When

the

descend

upon

the

earth.

He

will be

born

in

Vishnuyasas, an
endowed with

eminent the

Brahman

of Sambhal

family of as Kalki, village,


By
his
sistible irre-

the

eight superhuman

faculties.

might he will destroy all the Mlechchhas (outcasts), devoted and all whose minds will to iniquity. He are thieves, then re-establish righteousnessupon earth ; and the minds of
those and who live at the end of the Kali

Age
men as

shall be who
are

awakened

be made

as pellucid crystal. The

changed in
of human

virtue of that

time particular

shall be
a race

the

seeds

beings,and
of the Krita In the

shall

give
or

birth of

to

who

shall follow the laws

Age,

Age

Purity."
in

he is represented pictures, white man before a white as a riding upon or bowing down of the horse,and with a sword in his hand : he is the purifier of purityand goodness. present degenerate age, and the restorer of descriptions

Kalki, and

208

The

Puranic

Deities.

JAGANNATH.
This in the
an

deity is not
Puranic

reckoned

as

one

of the Avataras

of Vishnu

appearance of his portion

though tradition declares him to be of Vishnu himself,and not the incarnation of a there is considerable reason for doubting essence,
lists ; but
"

whether

Jagannath originally
with Vishnu
; the

the Lord

of the World

"

had
was

connexion

probability being that


local

he

any the
known un-

now divinityof some whose tribe, worship

was

into Hinduism engrafted


new

; and

the

god

when
was

admitted

into the another


are count ac-

Pantheon

regarded as
of Vishnu.

manifestation several

There

to legends professing

for the form

in which

he

is

worshipped, and for the peculiar of Puri,the chief placeof sanctity


his
too

worship. There is a peculiaritv in the phraseology employed

JAGANNATH.

ponderous car, that is so in the worshipperis destroyed. Professor Goldstiicker * gives the following legend from the of the ordinary notions of the Ain-i-Akbari,in which some A king desirous of people respecting Jagannath are described. learned Brahman to select a proper site. a citysent a founding The Brahman after a long search reached the sea-shore,and there saw a crow divinginto the water, which having washed its body made obeisance to the sea. Understanding the language
Chambers's

by the peoplewho visit his shrine : they speak of going to see Jagannath, not to worship him ; and it is the sightof the image as he is in his being bathed, or drawn eagerlydesired as a means by which sin

Cyclopedia,s.

v.

Jagannath.
of

209

that if he remained he learned from the crow there a birds, short time, he would comprehend the wonders of the land. The with a temple, largecity, had appeared. One night the the spot near on Raja in a dream heard a voice saying to him : On a certain day the sea-shore, when there will arise from the thine eyes on cast of wood water a piece 52 in. longand 18 in.broad : this is the true form of the deity; take it up and keep it hidden in thine house seven days, and in whatever shape it shall then appear, placeit in the temple and worship it." The Raja acted upon the advice given to him in this dream ; and, when he had set up the image which performed many received from the sea, called it Jagannath, and became the object of worship of all ranks of people. miracles, * fuller account. When Ward Krishna was givesa somewhat his bones were left by him shot by the hunter Jara, accidentally the tree where he died, until some to rot under pious person collected them and placed them in a box, where they remained, until Indradhumna, a king who to prowas earnestly striving pitiate in itthese Vishnu, was directed to form an image and place
a
"

of king, apprised

this occurrence, the crow where

built

bones, with the


reward for his

assurance

that he would

afterwards

obtain

rich

deeds. When Indradhumna wished to religious follow his advice, he prayed to Visvakarma to assist him by the of the architect the making image ; gods consented to do careful in explaining but was most to the king that if any this,
one

looked

at

him,

or

in any

way

disturbed

him

whilst he

was

at
an

work, he would
unfinished

and leave the image immediately desist, The state. promised to observe king at once commenced his work. In
one

in

this

and Visvakarma condition, he raised


a

night

of Orissa ; and grand temple when after restraining was working at the image in the temple, his impatiencefor fifteen days, the king foolishly tried to see the he had said, and the as god at work, who at once discontinued, and without hands or feet. ugly face, image was left with a most The he saw the result of his as being exceedingly king, grieved him with in his distress to Brahma, who comforted went curiosity,
*

in the blue mountains

Vol. ii.163.

2io

The

Puranic
render the

Deities.

the

promisethat he would The king invited form.


; Brahma

the

image

famous

in its present its

gods to
as

be present at

tion inaugura-

priest, gave eyes and a soul of Jagannath was thus the fame to the god ; and completely established. The original image of this deityis closely copied in besides Puri ; by his side there is generally an other places image
of Krishna's favourite brother
The
:
"

himself

officiated

Balarama, and his sister Subhadra.


of

followingis translated from a Bengali account and his wife having taken Narayana (Vishnu)
in the blue mountains of Orissa,where he
was

nath Jagantheir

up

abode

by visited by great numbers of gods of Nilmadhava, was the name obtained the name of Mokshyaand men, and the neighbourhood from births). A king named field of emancipation khettra (the of Vishnu, Indradhumna, a son of the Sun, a devout worshipper being anxious to pay a visit to Nilmadhava, before starting, the brother of his family priest, to learn the sent Vidyapati, to Orissa,that he might act as guide ; who on his return way
:_rave
more

known

such

an

account to

of all that

he had

seen

that

the kin"j

was

go than ever. taking his familywith him, the


but Vidapati,
was

anxious

most

arrival there,that
gaze.

the

Having made his arrangements, king went under the guidanceof disappointedto learn on his grievously himself from public god had withdrawn
sorrow

As

he

cried with
ear
"

sky by
to

reached

his

wooden
the

image sightof

and

vexation,a voice from the As you cannot see : Nilmadhava, make a and worship that ; Narayana will inhabit it,
final
cipation." eman-

and

make

image you and others will obtain The king followed this advice ; as he was the image, Narayana himself, in the form
the named

preparing
of
an

old the the

Brahman

Visvakarma,

came was

and

offered

to

form within

image in fifteen
time specified and
was sister,

the

days. image

The of

offer

and accepted,

Jagannath,with

those of his brother

made.

of the worshipof Jagannath is that his image peculiarity is not only worshipped in its proper temple,but three days each is exposed to public view. On the first of these days, year called the Suan jattra the idol is taken from Festival), (Bathing its shrine, and in sight of vast on a platform, multitudes, lofty

The

Chaitanya.
the
This priests.

2 I I

bathed of

by
a

exposure

is supposed to be

the Rath days after, the image is placed iti an is held ; when immense car Festival) for this purpose, and taken to the made and reserved expressly temple of any god which happens to be near, for a change of air. The car is drawn by the excited crowd ; the poorer and more that it is a meritorious act to assist people believing ignorant the third in dragging it. After remaining a week in this place, is held,at which, with somewhat diminished festival (theReturn) Puri is the place the idol is dragged back to its home. fervour, with greater benefit to the where it is believed this deityis seen that there is almost as much worshippers ; but it is considered merit obtained his car to draw religious by seeingand assisting in places nearer and almost home. Every town large every h as its with of desirable and the a so own car village promise ; gift -salvation from sin it is not to be wondered at that thereshould be a great wish to see this deity.

cold, so

that, ten

productive jattra(Car

"

"

CHAITANYA.

Chaitanyais commonly
an

believed
; and
as

by
he

his followers to have lived in historical

been

incarnation 300

of Vishnu
ago,

times,

how a human to notice interesting He is worshipped in to be regardedas divine. being came fact that at his shrine there Nadiya in Bengal,and it is a singular and he was is a very small image of Krishna, of whom a disciple whilst the image of Chaitanya is largeand conspicuous. apostle, about years
it is

The four

Hindus
are

say

that, amongst the


The
was (the white),

most

important.

incarnations of Vishnu, many in the Satya-yuga, called first,


; the

the Suklavarna

Ananta

second, in

the Treta-

that of Kapiladeva ; was (thered), yuga, called the Raktavarna the third, in the Dwarpara-yuga, called the Krishnavarna (the
was black),

Krishna

; and

the

called the in the Kali-yuga, last,


most

Pitavarna The

was Chaitanya. (the ^yellow),

founder

of the
was

illustrious
at

member,

Chaitanya was the sect, of which named Brahman a Adaitya,who


Another named leader,
P
2

lived

in Bengal. Santipore

was Nityananda,

212

The

Puranic
time

Deities.

born father
name

at
was

Nadiya

was

mendicant.
was

Chaitanya. Chaitanya's a Brahman, named Jagannath Misra ; his mother's Suchi ; their first son, Visvambhara, was a religious their renowned When son was born, his mother
a

short

before

rather
a

old

and

with

custom
on
a

which
tree to

weak, in accordance in those times, he was prevailed hung in


as

her

child seemed

basket house

Adaitya happening pass by and as basket, lay imagining that he of he and which was deity might be the incarnation expecting, with his foot in the soft earth the incanhe had foretold, wrote tation into the mysteries employed at the initiation of a disciple The mother of the worshipof Krishna. this incantation receiving from the tree, who took the child down immediatelytook and showed kindly to his food, which he had before neglected, and vigour. signsof strength Chaitanya made great progress in learning ; at sixteen he with whom he lived until he was married fortyVishnupriya, he was four years of age, when persuadedby Adaitya and other his poita (Brahmanical and join mendicants to renounce thread) in their religious them life. Leaving home, parents and wife, he went of a great to Benares, and thought him guilty many crime in forsaking that was a largefamily dependent upon him for support. On his arrival at that city, he began to form a new correct to say that, as he still sect, or perhapsit would be more
to

die.

the

the

child

in

the

called them those who

Vaishnavas,
were

or

the followers

of Vishnu, he

induced

gods to join in the worship of Krishna. these : that men The main tenets of his teaching wrere secular life, and spend their time in visiting should renounce a with shrines ; abandon the distinctions of caste and eat freely all who joined their sect, whatever their caste might be ; honour the name of Vishnu, and exercise bhakti (or trust)in that god
followers of other
as

the

means

of

salvation. flesh and

He

allowed the

widows

to

remarry

forbade

the

eatingof
whom

and fish,
were

worshipping of

those

deities to that his

animal

sacrifices
not

should disciples such sacrifices. time that Luther

hold
a

offered ; and further, who with those fellowship coincidence


that

orfered
the
same

It is
was

curious

about faith in

salvation by preaching

214

The

Puraxic

Deities.

gods ; according to another, he is the god of sexual love, like In the latter the Eros of the Greeks, and Cupid of the Latins.
aspect he is thus addressed
the arrow,
has

desire

May Kama, having well directed and which is winged with pain,barbed with longing, And for its shaft,pierce it is in thee in the heart."
:

"

this character
Kama

that he appears

in the Puranas.

is known

in Hindu named

anger.

demon

Mythology as the victim of Siva's distressed the Taraka, having greatly

SIVA

SLAVING

KAMADEVA.

it was ids,
Siva Sati,

said

that

only a

son

of Siva

could
the

deliver them loss of his wife

but in consequence
had

of his intense
insensible

griefat
to

become

love.

The

gods
and

therefore last his

Kama him to wound instigated efforts proved successful, just as


was

with his
Parvati

arrows,

at

near,

who

at

once

captivatedthe
consumed
to

(Sati in a new form) stricken deity. Angry


a

with

Kama

for his eye,

he presumption,

caused ashes

flame the

to

issue from

his third

which

god

who

had

Kamadeva.

215
Purana'* Siva. himself
is a

his interrupted
account

devotions.

In the

'

Vamana
on

of the effect of Kama's could


"

arrows

The

lengthy god thus

wounded but river,


and the
ever

find

no were

rest.

He

threw

in the Kalindi

the waters

since its

forest like the about

he wandered in the him.

changed into blackness ; dark stream, though holy,has flown through stringthat binds a maiden's hair." And as from place to place, the wives of the saints
forsook
to
curse

dried up and

forest of Daruvanam This led their husbands had


done
to

their homes

and

followed

Siva,who, being enraged


him.
"

at the evil Kama

him,

consumed

The wife of

Bhagavata f continues Rama, being almost


Parvati
to

the story as follows: Rati, the mad with griefat the loss of her intercede with Siva, that he encourages He will be her born the

husband, entreated
restore

him

to

life. Parvati

might by showing how


as son

her wish will be

gratified.
name

"

of Sri named

Krishna, and
Sambara entered Go and

his

will be

Pradyumna.

demon

will carry him off and cast him into the sea. Having he will appear in the food of Sambara. the body of a fish, in the house
him

your he will
on

take up your abode take husband arrives,

of Sambara, and

when

and

slaySambara,

and

will live
a

bring him up ; eventually happily with you." Acting


in the house of the

this advice, Rati From the When


'

became
'

servant

demon. Vishnu Purana

we

Pradyumna was but from the lying-in chamber by Sambara, terrible as death ; for the demon knew (having been told by the sage Narada)that would cast be his destroyer. Sambara Pradyumna, if he lived, of the deep. of the huge creatures him into the sea, the haunt born but he died not, and was the child, A largefish swallowed again from his body : for that fish was caught by the fishermen, His wife and delivered by them to the great Asura, Sambara. of his the mistress Mayadevi [the Bhagavata says, servant], of the cooks,and, when household, superintended the operations
story
:

of this gatherthe completion stolen six days old, he was

the fish

was

cut

open,

saw

beautiful child.

Kennedy, ' Hindu

Myth.'

f Ibid.

% Page 574.

216

The

Puranic

Deities.

wondering who this could be, and how it came and said to the her curiosity, to satisfy there,Narada came the whole gracefuldame : This is the son of him by whom was of Vishnu, who world is created and destroyed; the son from the lying-in stolen by Sambara chamber, and tossed by swallowed he was him into the sea, where by the fish. He is the rear in thy power ; do thou, beautiful woman, tenderly now Thus counselled by Narada, Mayadevi took jewelof mankind." reared him from childhood, being charge of the boy, and carefully affection became The fascinated by the beauty of his person. stillmore impassionedwhen he was decorated with the bloom The of adolescence. Mayadevi, then fixing gracefully-moving her heart and eyes upon the high-minded Pradyumna, gave him, all her magic and illusive arts. whom she regardedas herself, of the son Observing these marks of passionateaffection, Krishna said to the lotus-eyed Mayadevi : Why do you indulge in feelings so unbecoming the character of a mother ? To which of of mine ; thou art the son she replied Thou art not a son :
Whilst

the

was

"

"

'

'

'

Vishnu, whom
sea

Kala

Sambara

carried

away

and
wast

threw rescued

into

the
me

thou

wast

swallowed

by

but fish,

by

from

its belly.

the valiant

weeping for thee.' When Thy fond mother isstill filled with wrath, and he was Pradyumna heard this,
to battle.

defied Sambara slew the hosts

In the
Seven

conflict the
times

son

of Madhava

of Sambara.

he foiled the delusions


master

of
he

the enchanter, and,


it

making
and

himself

of the

the

turned

againstSambara
into

killed him.

By

same

eighth, faculty

ascended

where
When Krishna

and the air, proceededto his father's house, he alighted, along with Mayavati, in the inner apartments.

the

women

beheld

Pradyumna,
'

they thought

it

was

himself.

Rukmini, her

tenderlyto him, and said : in the bloom of youth. Such


if he And
were

eyes dimmed Happy is she who

with tears, spoke has a son like this,

alive.

Who

yet from
art

thee, thou
"At
said to

thy appearance, assuredlythe son


Krishna
'

be the age of my Pradyumna, adorned is the fortunate mother by thee ? and from the affection I feel for would
of Ilari.' Narada
own

this moment

and

Rukmini

This

is thine

arrived ; and the latter hither has come son, who

Kamadeva.

217
infant he
not

after This

Sambara, by killing
is the

whom

when his

an

was

stolen. wife
of

virtuous
Hear

Mayavati,
reason.

wife, and
Manmatha

the

Sambara.

the

When of

(Kama),
to

the

the goddess deityof love,perished, his the assumed revival, demon


a

delusive and This

beauty, desirous form, and by her charms


herself
to

secure

fascinated
in various ; and

Sambara,

exhibited

him

illusory enjoyments.
this is the Kama his hands

thy

son
"

is the

descended

Kama

goddess Rati his wife.' is usually represented as


a

beautiful flowers.

youth,holding in
He
travels

bow three

and

arrows

of

about

accompanied by his wife Rati, the cuckoo, the humming-bee, spring personified, and gentlebreezes. Although in Bengal no images are made to represent him, he is worshipped at the time of marriage,and happiness in the married state and offspring are And sought for from him. part of the
hymn
Kama referred
to

through

the

worlds

above

from ritual.

the

'

Atharva-Veda

'

is contained

in the Hindu has


to
:
"
"

marriage
many
exert

names

indicative
men.

of

the

influence others
may

he

is

supposed
mentioned

amongst
intoxicates who

Amongst
love." mind."

be

Madan,

He
"

who He

with

Manmatha, Mara, "He

agitatesthe
conquers
a

who
"

wounds." who all."

Pradyumna,

He who

Ananga,

"

He
"

is without

body."
are

Kushumesu,

He

whose

arrows

flowers."

2l8

The

Puranic

Deities.

CHAPTER
SIVA.

VI.

Siva

is the third person

of the Hindu

Triad.

As

Brahma

was

Creator,Vishnu
in order

server, Preto

complete the system, all thingsare subas


ject
to

decay,
sary neces-

was Destroyer

; and

destruction
as

regarded work peculiar


This
seems

is

the

of Siva.

scarcely
with the this which

in

harmony
by
is

form

deity
but

represented,
be
membered re-

it must

that,
to

cording ac-

the

ing teach-

of death the
into but into

Hinduism,
death

is not

in

sense

passing non-existence, simply a change


a

of

new

form

of

life. He
.

who

destroys,
causes assume

therefore,

SIVA.

beings
"

to

new

phasesof
the
name

existence

the

hence

Siva, the

a re-Creator; Destroyer is really Brightor Happy One, is given to

Siva.

219
"!/"/

2 2o

The

Puranic

Deities.

had he been would not have been the case certainly the destroyerin the ordinarymeaning of that term. as regarded Puranas, In the later Hinduism, as taught in the Epics and Siva plays a most important part, several books having been his praise of celebrating for the special written ; yet purpose in the Vedas. that of a god, does not occur his name as even, But in order to gain for him greater reverence amongst men, he

him,

which

is declared in the

to

be

the Rudra

of the Vedas.

Vedas, Rudra

is identified with

Agni

passages ; yet "the distinctive


appear

In

some

applied to epithets
to

Rudra

in the

Rig-Veda

discriminated generally prove that he was * earl\' worshippers."


"

from

sufficiently Agni by his


Rudra,

Between

the texts

from

the

Brahmanas
same

relative to

and
in
am

deitywhich we discover chasm the Epic poems, a wide which, as far as I intervenes, no genuine ancient materials exist for bridgingover. aware,
the earliest of descriptions the Rudra of the Mahabharata
is not

The
his

indeed

very

different in

who is name generalcharacter from the god of the same portance but in the later literature his importrayedin the Satarudriya, is immensely increased, his attributes are more clearly the

of his person are conceptions entertained rendered distinct by the addition of various additional more features and illustrated by numerous maining legends. Instead of rein the Vedic Age, Rudra he was a subordinate as deity, has thrown completely Agni, Vayu, Surya,Mitra, and Varuna into the shade ; and Indra still occupiesa prominent although into a subordinate he has sunk down place in the Epic legends, and is quite unable to position, compete in power and dignity with Kin Ira, who, togetherwith Vishnu, now engrosses the almost exclusive worshipof the Brahmanical world." f In the following from the Vedas, J referring to Rudra, texts will be seen the germs of some of the legends found in the later books to Rudra, the What utter we concerning Siva : can the strong, the most bountiful, which shall be most intelligent, pleasantto his heart,that so Aditi may bring Rudra's healing

defined, and

"

"

Muir,O.

S.

T.,iv. 404.

Ibid.

Ibid. iv. 299 ff.

-,-,-"

The

Puranic

Deities.

It is

to give a impossible

connected
a

account

of the life of this like


an

deity.
and life,

His

career

has it
was

not

definite character

Avatara

of Vishnu,

where

death

form, and dwelt being" at Kailasa

possibleto give a historyof his birth, earth in human ; though he often appeared on at his favourite city, Benares,his home frequently
on

the

Himalayas.

All that

can

be done

is to

givea few

found in the sacred books, in which of the many legends his character and works are described, by which we may learn

written respecting Siva. the idea of the age in which they were to the Ramayana, married Uma, the daughter Rudra, according of Daksha,
who

Parvati, Durga, parents would


be

in various stages of the lifeof Siva as appears Kali, "c. Fearing that the children of such
most

dangerousto live with, the gods entreated to live a life of chastity Siva and Uma : to this they consented, too late to prevent the birth of Kartikeya. but the request came of all the gods should then declared that the wives Uma be Rudra took childless. a the prominent position amongst the poison as gods at the churning of the ocean ; he drank that was nectar produced before the Amrita, which caused
his neck
to

become

dark-coloured, hence
"

one

of his

names

is

Xilkanta, "the blue-necked."


with her husband in their home Mount on sitting she was told Kailasa, seeingthe gods pass by in their chariots, that they were at her father's invitation, to take part proceeding, As Uma
was

about to make. As Siva had great sacrifice that he was offended not invited by his father-in-law. The him, he was in
a

of this slight Siva : gives the cause upon occasion On the gods and Rishis were one assembled at a sacrifice celebrated by the Prajapatis. Daksha's On entrance, all rose his father Brahma to salute him excepting and Mahadeva (Siva).Daksha, after making his obeisance to Brahma, sat down but was he received offended at the treatment by his command, did not brook from Siva. seated, Daksha Seeing him previously of respect; but looking this want with his eyes, at him obliquely ifconsuming him. thus spake : Hear as Rishis, me, ye Brahman
'

Bhagavata Purfma

'

"

'

Muir, 0.

S.

T., iv. 37S ft.

Siva.

223
from
nor ignorance

with the

gods and

the

Agnis,while I,neither

is the practice of virtuous persons. describe what But passion, detracts from the reputation of the this shameless being (Siva) he by whom, stubborn he is,the as guardians of the world the course pursuedby the good is transgressed. He assumed inasmuch as, like a virtuous person, in positionof my disciple, he took the and of fire, hand of my the face of Brahmans
"

daughter
after
not

who

resembled hand

Savitri. of

This fawn-

having taken the even by word shown


risen and

[my]

monkey-eyed [god], has eyed [daughter],


he my

have
to

saluted. and

suitable respect to me, whom I yet gave Though unwilling,

ought to

daughter
demolisher He
roams

this

impure

proud
word of

abolisher
a

of rites and
to
a

of barriers,like the about


in dreadful

Veda

Sudra.

cemeteries,attended by hosts of ghosts and like a madman, naked, with dishevelled hair,wearing a sprites, and ornaments of human bones, garland of dead men's [skulls]

pretendingto

be

Siva

but (auspicious),

in

realityAsiva

auspici (in-

insane,beloved

by

the

insane, the

lord of Bhutas

beings whose (spirits),


wicked-hearted I

nature

lord of the
my

darkness. To this essentially whose infuriate, purityhas perished,


at daughter,

is

have, alas ! given

virtuous

the

of instigation
oppose
curse

Brahma.'

Having thus reviled Siva, who did not Daksha, having touched water, incensed, began to lowest of the gods, never Let this Bhava at (Siva),
'

him,
him
:

of

gods receive any portion along and others.' Upendra (Vishnu),


"

the

with

the

worship gods Indra,

the

Daksha

then

left the

assembly.
a

After

his

departure a

follower Brahmans

of Mahadeva who

pronounced
to

curse :
'

sympathisedwith
women,

him

devoted excessively

and

have

him, and the Let Daksha, brutal, be speedilythe head of a


upon

goat.
and
a :
'

Let

ceremonial

stupid being continue to exist in this world in ignorance!' Upon this, Bhrigu (abrother of Daksha,
this
a

Rishi)launched
Let

counter-curse

upon

the

followers

of

practisethe rites of Bhava be heretics and opponents of the true Scriptures. Having lost their purity, deluded in understanding, wearing matted hair and ashes and bones,let them undergo the initiation of Siva,in which spirituous
those who

Siva

224

The

Puranic

Deities.
his

liquorsarc
followers

Siva and the deity.' Hearing this imprecation,


left the

assembly,while
for
a

Daksha

and the

the other

Praja-

celebrated patis* Vishnu


The
was

years of the object veneration."

thousand

sacrifice in which

enmity
;

thus

commenced

between

Siva and

Daksha

tinued con-

he
not

was

at the great sacrifice made in consequence, when chief of the Prajapatis by Brahma, Siva was appointed

and

and invited,
"

Uma

The her, sacrifices

former
no

as greatlygrieved, practiceof the gods has was

her been
me.

husband that
in

told all

portionshould
in the sacrifice."

be

divided

to

By custom,
allot lawfully then says that to the sacrifice, which

established by the earliest arrangement, the gods


me
"

no

share

The

Mahabharata

Siva goes with his attendants,and puts an end which, taking the form of a deer, is followed by Siva into the

sky.
a

drop

of

falls from perspiration

his

from forehead,

of which a formidable out proceeds, being is born, Jvara which burns the other things prepared for the up (Fever), and puts to flight the gods. Brahma to now sacrifice, appears Siva,promisesthat the gods shall henceforth give Siva a share fire in the
range

and sacrifices,
over

proposes

that

Jvara

shall be

allowed

to

the earth.
more

The

Bhagavataf givesa
to

lengthyand
sacrifice. Sati

different

account most

of the termination
anxious attend

of Daksha's

(Uma)

was

though her husband tried to dissuade her, she "disregards his warning and goes ; but, him for his hostility to being slightedby her father,reproaches her husband, and threatens to abandon her corporeal frame by
which she
was

her father's sacrifice, and

gives up
and

the

with her parent. She then voluntarily ghost. Seeing this,Siva's attendants, who had
connected
on
are

followed her, rush


Sati's which whom

Daksha

to
to

Siva's followers

put

slayhim." This is prevented, Siva heard of flight ; but when

death, being greatlyangered, " from a lock of his hair he tore out, a gigantic demon arose (named Virabhadra),
he

commanded

to

destroy

Daksha

and

his sacrifice."

The

Prajapatis, seven,

ten, or twenty-one in number,


race.

to according

various

are authorities,

the fathersof the human

f Muir, O. S. T.. iv. 382.

Siva.
he

225

This
out

was

accomplished ; for
eyes,

beard, tore pluckedout Bhrigu's


Pushan's

Bhaga's

knocked

out

teeth, and

cut

off

Daksha's

head.

In their advised

the gods,resorting to distress,


"

Brahma

for advice, are

they resort to a tuft of desired by devotees,ashes,a staff, hair,an antelope's his body shining of the moon, like an evening skin,and a digit and allows Daksha cloud." Siva in part relents, to have a goat's and Vishnu head : the sacrifice is completed, gives an address
in which
he

Siva,to accomplishwhich propitiate Kailasa,where they see Siva carryingthe linga


to

shows

that

he

is the

supreme

troubles of his
be

worshippersarise
him. Daksha herself

from

and that deity, imaginingthemselves

the
to

different from

had
a

given up voluntarily
re-born
as

worships Siva,and Uma, who and thus become to the flames,

was Satiy

Parvati, beingthe daughterof Himavat,

god of the Himalayas and Mena. Siva adopted the garb and lived the life of an and, ascetic, though generally worshipped under the form of the Linga,he in the Himalayas along "is representedin human form, living in the act of trampling with Parvati, sometimes or on destroying
demons, wearing round his black neck
of and skulls, furnished with
a a

the

whole

serpent and a necklace apparatus of external

a trident, emblems, such as a white bull on which he rides, tiger's "c. He has three skin,elephant's rattle, skin, noose, eyes, one in in either his allusion to the three Vedas, or forehead, being time past,present,and future. He has a crescent on his forehead,

the

humanity in another personificat different from that viz.that of an tere ausjustnoted, very in a forest and teachingmen with matted hair, ascetic, living the power to be obtained by his own example, first, by penance mortification of the body, and suppression of the pas(tapas), sions of the abstract virtue meditation,as ; and, secondly, great and the loftiest to to union knowledge, leading ultimately spiritual of the universe." * or actual identification with the great spirit
*
'

having been given to of the churningof the ocean. is sometimes connected deitySiva,
moon

him

as

his share

Again Mahadeva,
with

of the ducts proor the great

Indian

Wisdom,'

p. 325. O

226

The

Puranic

Deities.
Vamana Purana
'*

legendfrom following ordinary life of Siva as an


The increases in

the

'

describes the

ascetic.

Devi
:

(Parvati), oppressed
"

with violent heat, thus addressed


violence
there
:

her lord
no

Isha ! the heat which


we

hast

thou

house the

to

might

and repair, cold ?


a
"

abide, protected from


: "I replied

Sankara

am,

wind, the heat,the O lovely One, without a shelter,

constant

wanderer

in forests."

Having

thus

spoken,Sankara

under the shade of during the hot season it was when with its darktrees ; and passed,the rainy season On clouds succeeded. beholding which, Sati said to Siva : winds do blow, O ing Maheshwara, and rushHeart-agitating with

Sati remained

"

torrents

roar

let

me

entreat

thee

to

build

house

on

where Kailasa,
"

O my
I

I may abide with thee in comfort." Siva replied : beloved, I have no riches for the erection of a house, nor

of aught else than an possessor garment, and serpents for my ornaments."


am

elephant'sskin
The soul of

for

Siva,
of

having heard
was truth,

these

harsh

words, seeminglytrue, but


the

devoid

on alarmed, and looking


"

ground with
how of
can

bashfulness
we

Then anger, said : comfort the rainy season


and
: replied
"

say,

Sambhu,
the with
any

pass

in

under covered without

shade
a

trees

"

Siva

With

our

bodies
pass

cloud, O lovely One,


on falling thy tender

shall the frame." with


hence

rainy season

rain

Having

thus

spoken,Hara
celebrated
is
on a

(Siva) stopped a cloud, and,


his abode within the

the

daughter of Daksha,

fixed

it,and
name were

has he since been

in heaven

under When

of

Jimula-Kitu (he whose banner i "vcr, they took up their abode


The
been their home

cloud).
Mount does

the rains

Mandara.
not

lifeof Siva and

his spouse

appear

to

have

happiest. As they could it sometimes happened worshippers,


of the the other wished
to

each

bestow
one

gifts upon
wanted
to

that the

bless those whom And

curse. a

In the

Ramayana
them in In

Mahabharata
with

is

an

account

of

dispute between
Rama and

the strugglebetween the earlier part of the contest, Rama connexion


his enemy
*

Ravana.

being

unable

to overthrow

because

of the

assistance

afforded

him

by Siva, the
ii. 179.

'

Hindu

Myth..' p. 293.

f Ward,

Siva.

227

at their oppressed went, with Rama his help. Siva consented head, to ask Siva to withdraw to the seventh the them of on to witness conflict, day accompany the destruction of their foe. Durga (Parvati) severely reproached he could how her husband, asking witness the destruction of his who had stood praying to him in a worshipper own worshipper, the most sultryweather surrounded by four fires ; who had continued his devotions in the chilling cold,standingin water ; in his applications and had standingon his head, persevered She then poured forth a torrent of abuse, amid torrents of rain. him a withered old man, who smoked herbs, calling intoxicating

gods

whom

Ravana

had

lived in cemeteries if he Siva


woman

and

covered

himself

with

ashes,and
an
was

asked
errand.

thought
now

she

would and

gets angry,
and
act

him such on accompany reminds his wife that she

only a
from

therefore could like


a

know

nothing ; and

further that she


about

does

not

woman,

because

she wandered

placeto place, engaged in war, was a drunkard, spent her time in the company killed giants, drank their of degraded beings, blood, and hung their skulls around her neck. Durga became that the gods were so frightened, enraged at these reproaches, and entreated Rama to her, or to join them in supplication did so ; she became Ravana be destroyed. He would never demon. and consented to the destruction of the propitious, in the Sivopakhyana as beingexceedingly Durga is represented jealousbecause her husband, in his begging excursions,visited and the quarters of the town of ill-fame, inhabited by women in the Ramayana of a terrible quarrelbetween is an account them because Parasurama beat Kartikeya and Ganesa. * In the is a legend explaining Vamana Purana why Siva mendicant. Formerly, adopted the dress and habits of a religious but when remained and all things had been nought destroyed, posed that lord who is incomprehensible one vast ocean, (Brahma) rethe night had When in slumber for a thousand years. desirous of creatingthe three worlds,the skilled in the passed, assumed of impurity, himself with the quality Vedas, investing
'
'

Kennedy, Hindu

'

Myth..' p. 296.
Q
2

228

The

Puranic

Deities.

form with five heads (Brahma). Then also was corporeal duced proof darkness another form with three eyes from the quality and bearing and twisted locks, trident. Brahma a a rosary and created Ahankara next of individual existence), (consciousness which immediatelypervaded the nature of both gods ; and under its influence Rudra said to Brahma, Say, O lord,how earnest and thou hither, thou created ? asks wert Brahma by whom
" "

in return,

"

And

where

have

you

come

from

"

The

result is

terrible

in which quarrel,

Siva, inflamed
had the head

with

fifthhead
But
not

of

Brahma,
remained

which

uttered

anger, cut the boastful

off the words.

when

Siva

tried to throw

to the

ground,it would
then created
a

fall,but

in his hand.

Brahma

giant to slay Siva in his weakened state, caused by the Brahma, the father of Brahmans, to escape from injuring Siva fled to Benares. The particular of Benares sanctity
from his the fact that it was there that Siva became absolved

sin of whom arises from

therefore freed from of the dissevered head sin, and was he was doomed Brahma, which as a penance to carry with him wherever he
went.

It

was

in his

attempt
a

to

get free from the


mendicant.
is

sin of Brahmanicide The

that Siva became

wandering

taught in the Mahabharata.* The Asuras had a boon bestowed them by Brahma, that they on should have three castles which should be destructible only by the deitywho should be able to overthrow castles by a single arrow." Owing to this defence, they become most hateful to the other gods,who, in their distress, conducts went to Brahma, who
"

ordinaryname by which great god ; the originof this

Siva is known
is

Mahadeva, the

them

to

Mahadeva.

Siva

tells them

that

he

alone

cannot

but that,with the aid of half his strength, destroy these castles, their enemies. they themselves would be able to overcome They answered that they could not sustain half his strength, but proposed that he should undertake aided by half their the work consented came beto this,and strength. Mahadeva by this means called thenceforward stronger than all the gods,and was Mahadeva. of Parasurama in the account this, Notwithstanding
*

Muir, ().

S.

T.,iv.

223.

230

The

Puranic

Deities.

they were
convince of

conversingVishnu
his wife that he and

himself Siva

appeared,and, in order to were equal,entered the body


form asked
of

Siva, and
in
to

they became
'

one.

Another
*

found

the

Skanda the

Purana.' form
ocean,

Siva
a

this story is Vishnu on one


as

occasion
at

assume

of
to

beautiful
attract

woman,

he

did the

the

Asuras
to

churning of the whilst the gods


this,Siva
ran

the

attention

of

drank

the Amrita. and

Vishnu
to

consenting
embrace

do

became

excited

As

Vishnu

away,

Siva followed
Har-Hari

his proper
became
one,

form, Siva clasped him


and the
name

her. sought resumed ; and though Vishnu that their bodies so tightly is given to the deities thus third situated
in

united. Siva is
the middle
as always represented having

eye,

is given peculiarity seated on the Himalayas, in the Mahabharata.f As Siva was where he had been engaged in austerities, Uma, attended by her came companions and dressed as an ascetic, up behind him and The effect of this was his eyes. playfully put her hands over tremendous. and Suddenly the world became darkened, lifeless, The gloom,however, was pelled, destitute of oblations. as suddenly disforehead, by a great flame which burst from Mahadeva's in which the sun, was formed. a third eye, luminous as By the fire of this eye the mountain was scorched, and everythingupon Uma it consumed. attitude hereupon stood in a submissive before her husband, when, in a moment, the Himalaya, her father,
reason was

of his forehead

; the

of this

restored to his former Each

condition.

bird

or

fondness for some god is representedas having special and which aminal, on which he is supposed to travel,
or

therefore is called his Vahan


the

vehicle.

The

bull is Siva's ; and of the shrines sacred

image of

Nandi

is

seen

in front of many

to Mahadeva.

Owing probably to this circumstance, a curious custom similar in many prevails, respectsto the settingloose of the scapegoat by the Israelites. At the death of a follower of Siva,if his friends are pious and can afford it, they set a bullockand allow it to wander at will. By the Hindus loose, generally
*

Ward,

ii. 190.

t Muir, O. S. T., iv. 269.

Siva.
it is considered
a are

231
feed these sacred
and bulls,

meritorious
In

act

to

sin 'to injure them.


to

be seen, and into whose fields they wander


as

of these animals country places many a vators to the cultithey become great nuisance

damage, pious,as
idea
seems

they
a

have
were

If

man as

though they do much tained. no no compensation can be obowner, devout,or his friends eminently specially
bulls
are was

; and

many
to

seven
:

set loose at his decease.

The
he will

be this

as

Siva

with Nandi, delighted those


on

receive graciously bullocks As


severe are

into his presence lived the

whose

behalf

these

given.
himself life of
an

Siva

and ascetic,

him

now

penance, it is believed that a similar life is of the Saivites, followers or ; hence many

practised pleasingto
of

Siva,

of and resort to cruel rites as a means practise great austerities, gaininghis favour. Wandering throughout India are tens of who thousands of Sanyasis, subsist upon or pilgrims, charity, and expose themselves to cold and heat, in the belief that their inflict upon of them selves themto this deity. Some life is pleasing their arms or legs in one pain by retaining great physical posture for years ; others allow the thumb-nail to grow through blind until they become their finger ; others gaze into the sun others of silence upon themselves,until at again impose a vow lengththey cannot speak. At certain festivals held in honour of Siva,the lower orders of the peopleused to swing from bamboos hanging by iron hooks forced into their bodies, whilst others from a height upon sharp knives ; but at the themselves threw ment. are prohibited by the Governpresent time these cruel practices At these times an intoxicating drug made from hemp is for this practice being the life indulged in ; the authority freely As Krishna is believed to of Siva, as described in the Puranas. be pleasedwith songs and dances, not always of a highly moral drunken Siva is believed to delightin the cruel and character, of his ignorantworshippers. practices of Siva's The following from the Bhagavata,descriptive extract forms that now and much conduct, countenances appearance part of Siva's worship. Coming to the conclusion that one of half the body of assumed his worshippers Siva in distress, was
"

J 1
-

The

Puranic

Deities.

J-

his body over with fastened his matted hair, rubbed Parvati, ashes, ate a largequantity of hemp, swallow-wort, and thornthread composed of white apple ; and wearing a Brahmanical

SIVA

SLAYING

AN'

ASURA.

snakes, clad
a

in

an

hide, with elephant's

necklace

of beads

and

Nandi, accompanied by ghosts, and evil spirits, "blins, Bholonath spectres, witches, imps,sprites came forth. On his forehead was the moon ; he placed the

garlandof skulls,ridingupon

Siva.

233

Ganges
was

on

his

head,*
was

and
a

destructive

weapon

his eyes were His most very red. trident : with this he slew the foe who

obnoxious

to his follower.

Though

Siva's

Puranas, and

appearance he in pictures

form,it is by the Linga This image, from its

that

repeatedlydescribed in the in the human is often represented he is almost universally worshipped.


is

does not suggest anything appearance, offensive to those unacquainted with its symbolic meaning ; and

though some

speak of its being innocuous to the Hindus for any themselves, it is impossible one acquaintedwith the for its being the recognised legends which account symbol of Siva, to see and worship it without impure thoughts being the male it being intended to represent both suggestedby it,
writers
and

reproductive organs. to legendsare given to explainhow the Linga came be the representative of Siva ; the probability is that it was an tribe,incorporatedinto objectof worship of some aboriginal Hinduism. The Padma Purana f teaches that it was the result of a curse Bhrigu was sent by the pronouncedby Bhrigu. When
Several
'
'

female

sages

to discover who

of the three
once

gods was
to enter

he the greatest,
was

came

to Siva's

abode, and wishingat


a

from prevented his


to
master

doing so by
was

who doorkeeper, his

informed

him

that,as
him

with

Devi

wife,it
:
"

was some

for impossible

enter

at

for present. After waiting

exhausted, he said
with of

Since

time, the sage'spatiencebeing thou, O Sankara ! hast treated me


of

contempt,
Vamana

in

worship shall
The

the embraces preferring be the Linga and Yoni." makes


it the result of
a

Parvati, your

forms

curse

pronounced by

Siva of sages. When Sati died at Daksha's sacrifice, wandered about from place to place like a madman, mourning number her

absence.
no

He
rest.

travelled When

from

could find

the

love with him

and followed him

but hermitage, hermits' wives saw him, they fell in from place to place ; their husbands

hermitage

to

See

Ganga,
'

Part

III.

chap. viii.
301.

f Kennedy,

Hindu

Myth.,' p.

I Ibid.

p. 299.

234

The

Puranic
the A

Deities.

being incensed
him

at

this,cursed

god, and

by

this

means

prived dethe

of his manhood.

great commotion

through

world

and Vishnu interceded with the followed, so that Brahma consented to withdraw their curse hermits on his behalf,who on that

representedby the Linga ; and thus it became an objectof worship to gods and men. the worship of Siva As a specimen of the legends by which I give the following from under this form is inculcated, extract named Siva Purana.'* A Rakshas the Bhima, having obtained invincible might as a boon from Rama, commenced exertinghis by attackingthe King of Kamrupa. newly-acquired power Having conquered the king,and seized his kingdom and riches, in chains in a solitary he placed him prison. The king, being eminently pious, notwithstanding his confinement, continued of the Linga,and to worship Siva daily to make clay figures ceremonies. Meanwhile the with all the prescribedrites and his conquests, and Rakshas continued everywhere abolished The and worship enjoined in the Vedas. observances religious appealed to gods being reduced by his power to great distress, him by the worshipof clay Lingas. Siva for help, and propitiated
condition

Siva

should

be

'

Sambhu
At

assured

them
means

that he of the this

would of

effect the

destruction then
a

of

their enemy
this very

by

tation engaged in profound mediof the guards,seeinghim thus before a Linga, when one informed that the prisoner the Rakshas and occupied,went in order to injure him. was some improper ceremonies performing ing the monster, enraged,seized his sword, and hastenI [earing this, the king : thus addressed to the prison, Speak the truth, and who it is that thou worshippest, and I will not slay tell me I will instantly thee ; otherwise put thee to death ! of Siva,unThe dauntedly king, placingfirm reliance on the protection In truth, I worship Sankara ; do then what : replied The ! What Sankara Rakshas asked : thou pleasest do can I know him well,that he was ? to me once obliged to become the of my in his power, uncle (Ravana);and thou, trusting servant
moment
"
" " "
"

King king was

Kamrupa,

prisoner.

Kennedy, 'Hindu

Myth.,' p. 310.

Siva.

235
defeat
me was

didst endeavour

to

conquer

me

; but

the result of

thy
con-

attempt.
vincest
me

However,
of his
"

until thou

showest

thy lord,and
! divinity I
over
"

might, I
as

shall not what

believe in his
power
never

The

: king replied

Vile

I am,

have

that ! To

god
which

But the

mighty as
Rakshas
that

I know he is,
:
"

he will that

forsake

me

said

How

can

in ganja and delighter his

tion, inebriaLet
in

wandering mendicant, protect


He

worshippers ?
him

but

thy

lord

battle."

with appear, and I will immediately engage the attendance ordered of his army then
"

; and

the king, the mighty Rakshas, smiting the Linga reviling


his

with
'

sword, said,laughing :
his sword
"

Now

behold the
am

the

power

of

thy

lord !

Scarcelyhad
it,and
the

touched

Linga
Iswara
whom

than

Hara

issued from
appears

exclaimed

Behold, I

who (god),
he my
"

for

of protection

his

worshipper, on
the

learn to safetyand happiness ; now attacked the Rakshas, and, with


his third eye,

dread

always bestows might ! Siva then


issued from

glory which
to ashes. ; in
common

consumed
to have
a

him

and

his army
names

Siva

is said

thousand

addition
:
"

to

those

already mentioned
Maheshwara,
"

the

are following

most

The

great god."
"

glorious." Chandrashekara, He who


Ishwar,
"

The

wears

half-moon

on

his

head." fore-

Bhuteswara,
"

"

Lord
He

of Bhuts,
conquers

or

goblins."
death."

Mritunjaya,
"

"

who

Srikanta, He whose neck is beautiful." Kamdeva." The destroyerof Smara or Smarahara,

Gangadhara,
hair."

"

He

who

holds

Ganga (the Ganges)

in

his

Sthanu, The Girisha, The


" "

everlasting."
lord of the hills."
He

Digambara, Bhagavat, Isana, The Mahakala,


" "

"

who

is clothed

with space

(naked)."

The

lord."

ruler." The
"

"

great time."

Tryambaka,

The

three-eyed."

236

The

Puranic

Deities.

panchAnana.
This is
a

form

of Siva in which
; the
same

teaches,with five faces


ascetic's dress under this
name

being the
that

his name as represented, of his body and the appearance in his ordinary forms. It is as

he is

prayers

for recovery

from

sickness

are

PANCHANANA.

addressed there is him This


no

to Siva

as

the

or physician

healer.

In

where places

before

temple or image of this deity, worship is offered to tree. a shapeless a stone, paintedred, placed under
common

is a very

form of

of Bengal. worshipin the villages

2;S

The

Puranic

Deities.

CHAPTER

VII.
UMA.

L'ma
In

is the

name

by
names

which books
;

the

consort

of Siva in many
are

is first known.

the various

sacred

known

by

many

she appears but there as the


names

forms, and is
more

legends givingthe
forms
rally gene-

circumstances

connected

with
be

and
as

known, these will


order. When the Devi

given as

far

in possible
she

logical chrono-

(thegoddess) appears

as

Uma,

is said

to be

Her father was at daughter of Daksha, a son of Brahma. firstvery unwilling that his daughter should marry a mendicant, but his scruples were overcome by the persuasionof Brahma. is frequently called simply As Siva is styledMahadeva, Uma At this period of her existence she is also called Sati,in Devi.
allusion
not to

the fact that when


to

her

father slightedher husband

bv

him inviting the of the


was,

entered presence

the great sacrifice he made, she voluntarily sacrificial fire and burned death in the to was

gods

and

Brahmans
same

; or,

according to

another

account,
own

under

the

circumstances, consumed

by

her

Sati means "the true or virtuous woman," glory. The name and who is given to those widows the funeral pileof their enter husbands,and undergo a voluntarydeath, by being burned with
his corpse. of Ambika, another name books, is said to be the sister of Rudra she
"

Uma,
;

in

one

of the earliest
in the later oiks

and

yet

is declared
The

to

be his wife.
so

earliestwork, is the

far

as

am

aware,
or

in which

the nameof In
the

Uma

appears,

Talavakara,

Kena

Upanishad.
that
on
one

third section of that treatise it is mentioned

occasion

Uma.
Brahma

239

gained a victoryfor
to

the

gods.
of

As

however
to

they were
themselves,
of

disposed
Brahma mistake.

ascribe

the

credit

of their

success

appeared for
The and
in

the

Agni, When,
other
and

gods did then Vayu,


to

purpose know not

disabusingthem
what this

their

him, and

commissioned

first

to

ascertain

these inquiry, to as themselves, the one having power to blow away anything whatever,he desired
answer

Brahma's

apparitionwas. two gods represented


burn
them

and
to

the
burn

blow
to

away

a respectively

blade

unable
was.

do
was

this,and
then he it,'

returned commissioned

of grass ; but they were without who he ascertaining


to

Indra
'

find

out

whom that
woman,

he could

be.

So

be

and replied, In the

approached
he
came

being, who
who
was

vanished
very this

from

him.

sky
'

to

Uma resplendent, She ? apparition


'

Haimavati.

To

her

he

said, 'What
The

is

said, It is Brahma
that it was declare that Uma
'

; in this

of victory
mentators com-

Brahma

exult.'
on

By

this he knew

Brahma.
means

this passage the and speak of Uma as

* of divine impersonation Professor Weber f says: "As in Siva, first of all two gods, Agni and Rudra, are combined, so too his wife is to be regarded of several divine forms ; and this becomes as a compound quite look over of her epithets. While evident as we the mass one set of these, as Uma, Ambika, Parvati,Haimavati, belong to the wife of Rudra, others, as Kali, carry us back to the wife of Agni ; the goddess of all while Gauri and others perhaps refer to Nirriti,
"

'knowledge,' knowledge.'

evil." And
be

he adds in the

"

The

most

remarkable

instance of this is to

to Mahabharata, in the hymn of Yudhishthira Durga, where he calls her Yasoda, Krishna, 'born in the cowherd family of Nanda,' 'sister of Vasudeva,' 'enemy of Kansa,' and
as

found

be

features as Sankarshana.' Some such explanation 'having the same is certainly that is when Kali said to we see necessary the same of as Uma, the embodiment heavenlywisdom."
"

'

In
to

the
the

following passage

from

the

Ramayana,|
Mena
;

Uma

is said

be

Uma

and

and daughter of Himavat Parvati being confounded in

the two

forms

of

the writer's mind.

"To

Muir, O.

S.

T., iv. 420.

Ibid. iv. 425.

" Ibid. iv. 430.

240 Himavat,

The

Puranic

Deities.
the

the chief of mountains,

great mine

of metal, two

born in beauty unequalled upon earth. The daughters were the pleasing and beloved by name, daughter of Meru, Mena

wife of Himavat,
born

was

their slender-waisted of

mother.

Of her

was

Ganga, the eldest daughter Uma, who, rich in daughter was


an

undertaken This

arduous

daughter Uma, by the worlds,the chief


Rudra. mountains These
;
were

Himavat, and his second austere observances, having fulfilled a course of severe rite, austerity. adored severe distinguished by austerity,
of the mountains
two

gave

to

the

matchless of the

the

daughters

of

the

king

and Uma, the Ganga, the most eminent of rivers, excellent of goddesses." most three daughters of Himavat mentions Harivansa* The and "Their mental Mena, but Ganga is not amongst them. (Pitris) wife of the great mountain Mena, the eminent daughter was The Himavat. king of the mountains begat three daughters Mena, viz. Aparna, Ekaparna, and Ekapatala. These upon three performingvery great austerity, such as could not be performedby gods or Danavas, distressed [withalarm]both the and the moving worlds. fed stationary Ekaparna (one leaf) leaf. Ekapatala took only one for one patala(Bignonia) upon
her

food.

One

took (Aparna) maternal


u

no

sustenance

; but

her mother,

distressed
her

through
her words

forbade affection,

her, dissuading

with

ma

(oh don't). The


in the three

beautiful thus

performingarduous
her this that

austerity, having been


known

goddess, addressed by
as

mother, became
manner name.

worlds

Uma.

In under

the

contemplativegoddess became
these three had mortified force of

renowned

All

bodies, were

tinguish dis-

all chaste, and were contemplation, and divine knowledge. Uma the eldest and was excellent of the three. most Distinguishedby the force derived from she obtained Mahadeva deep contemplation, [for her husband]."

by the expounders of

Several

of the
to

names

under

which

Uma

is

now

known

and

worshipped are

be found

in the older

writingsof

the Hindus,

Muir,O.

S.

T.jiv. 432.

Parvati.

241

though
we

at that

time

they did
"

not

refer to Siva's wife.


"

Uma,

as

Wisdom was a sister of alreadyseen, was ; Ambika Rudra; Durga "in a hymn of the Taittiriya Aranyaka is an of the sacrificial flame ; and Kali, a word which occurs epithet in the Mandaka of one of the seven Upanishad, is the name flickering tongues of Agni, the god of fire."* of Kartikeya, is called the mother Uma of and in a certain sense Ganesa too ; but it is not at all clear whether it was Uma as really in her succeeding birth as Parvati that she had these children. or The Kurma Purana f has an account of Uma's creation which takes us a stage anterior to her birth as a daughter of Daksha. When Brahma for adopting an ascetic was angry with his sons life [and refusing form half to perpetuate the human a race], male and half female was produced from that anger, to whom Brahma and then disappeared.The male said, Divide thyself/ have
'
'

"

'

half became became


was

Rudra,

and

the

female,at the command


under
; and

the

daughter of Daksha

the when

name

Brahma, of Sati,and

of

gave

given in marriage to Rudra up her life on being treated


was

she

born
and

second

time

as

subsequently with disrespect by her father, and the daughter of Himavat


is called the
or

she

Mena,

named

Parvati."

It should

be noticed that that she

althoughUma
she assumed form
a :

wife of
active
she

Siva,it
power

is understood

represents the energy

of that be united became

deity;
to

body

in order
manner

that

might
energy

him

in due in

in like

Vishnu's

incarnate

"c. Lakshmi, Sita,

PARVATI.

companion of her goddess in this form is the constant husband, but few independent actions are ascribed to her. In the Puranas Siva and Parvati as are represented generally engaged in making love to each other, or (rathera singular abstruse the most change)as seated on Mount Kailasa discussing
The
Uma. s. v. Chambers's Goldstticker, Cyclopaedia, f Kennedy, Hindu Myth.' p. 329.
' *

242
of questions
arose

The

Puranic

Deities.

Hindu

between

however, quarrels philosophy. Occasionally, Siva reproachedher for the them, as e.g. when
This
taunt
so

blackness

of her skin.

incensed

her

that

she

left

SIVA

AND

1'AKVATI.

to a deep forest, him, and, repairing performed a of austerities, until Brahma course granted her as

most
a

severe

boon

that

her

complexion
as

should

be

and golden,

from

this circumstance

she is known

Gauri.*

Kennedy, Hindu

'

Myth.' p. 334.

Parvati.

243

from the 'Varaha Purana'* describes her legend following origin.Brahma when on a visit to Siva on Mount Kailasa isthus O Brahma, what has induced addressed by him : Say quickly, ? Brahma There is a mighty Asura to me : replies you to come all the gods,having Andhaka named been by whom (Darkness), for protection, and I have hastened came to inform distressed, The
" "

"

you who
three

of their

Brahma complaints." Vishnu by thoughtsummoned deities looked into


at

then looked

at Siva, intently

each

into their presence. other,"from their three

As

the

refulgent
hue

glances sprang
who

being a
a

of celestial virgin blue

of loveliness,

of like the petals cerulean, bowed bashfully their asking her who the three colours
"

and adorned with gems, lotus, before Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva." On she was, and why she was distinguished
"

by

black,white,and red,she said


own
"

From

your

was glances

? energies named

I produced; do you not know your Brahma, then praising her, said :

omnipotent
shalt be

Thou

the

goddessof

three times

and future), the (past, present, shalt appellations of

and under various preserver of the universe, thou be worshipped, as thou shalt be the cause the desires of

accomplishing

divide thyself into thy votaries. But, O goddess, three forms, accordingto the colours by which thou art distinguished." She then,as Brahma had requested, divided herself into three forms ; one one red,and one black. The white white, of a lovely felicitous form, and the co-operator was Sarasvati, in creation ; the red was with Brahma Lakshmi, the beloved of
"

Vishnu, who with him preserves the universe ; the black was endowed with many and the energy of Siva." Parvati, qualities
In the

precedinglegendit was
'Vaivarta Purana
'

narrated

how

Parvati, originally
which led to

black,became
The

golden-coloured.
f relates the circumstance

the re-appearance earth of Uma, who had sacrificed herself on and became under the form of Parvati. a Sati, Siva, hearingof the death
to

his recovery he hastened wife,fainted from grief; on the banks of the river of heaven, where he beheld "the

of his

body

of his beloved

Sati, arrayed in
Myth.' p.
209.

white

a garments, holding

Kennedy, Hindu

'

t Ibid. p. 331.
R
2

244

The

Puranic

Deities.
with
see

rosary in her hand, and burnished gold. No sooner


spouse,

glowing
did he

splendour bright as
of his

the lifeless form

for her loss, his senses forsook him." than, throughgrief he revived,gazing on her beautiful countenance, with When in his eyes and sorrow in his voice, he thus addressed tears her : O my beloved Sati ! I am Arise,arise, Sankara,thy lord ; look
"

therefore

on

me,

who

have
of

the framer almighty,


but

approached thee. With all things, and the giver of


like
a

thee I every

am

bliss ;

without

thee,my
action smiles
:

of incapable
me

energy ! I am how then, my and

corpse,

powerlessand
thou
say

beloved, canst
thine
eyes,

forsake

With
as

glancesof

something

amrita, and with the rain of thy gentlewords sprinkle heart,which is scorched with grief. Formerly,when thou my from a distance, thou wouldst greet me didst see with the me
sweet

fondest accents

why

then

to-day art

thou

speakto
O
mother

me,

thus

? sadlylamenting universe ! arise.

O
Dost

angry, and wilt not lord of my soul ! arise. thou


not
see me

of the O my

here

weeping?
Then, O
as

beauteous

One

! thou

canst

not

have

expired.

usual ?

faithful spouse ! why dost thou not honour me And why dost thou thus, disobedient to my voice,
"

infringe thy marriagevow ? Siva, having thus spoken,raised the lifeless body, and in the anguishof separation it to his bosom, and kissed it pressed and breast to breast, Sankara again and again. Lip to lip, faintings, claspedthe corpse of his beloved ; and, after frequent his Sati closely to bosom, rushed forward arose, and, pressing
"

maddened

with

grief.Like

man

deprivedof
over

his senses,

the

preceptor of the universe wandered


exhausted

the

seven

until, dzuipas,

in a swoon and anguish, he fell down at the by fatigue foot of a banyan tree. The gods,seeing Siva in this state, were and Vishnu, astonished, and, accompanied by Brahma greatly

the spot where he Siva on his bosom the fainting


to

hastened

lay. Vishnu
and

placedthe

head
a

of

wept
'

time

he

encouraged
and listen to

his friend what

by saying,
Thou
as

aloud ; after O Siva ! recover wilt

little

senses,

I say.
are or earth,

thy certainly regain


water,
!
'

Sati,since Siva and smell heat from fire,

Sati
from

as inseparable

cold from the


sun

radiance

from

246
In another

The

Puranic

Deities.
Purana have of

chapterof
"

the

same

we

an

account

their reunion.* of Himavat's

Sati

soon

obtained

another

birth in the womb

the bones and ashes Siva, collecting of the bones,and covered from a necklace them as memorials his body with the ashes, and thus preserved Sati was born as the daughter of his beloved. Not long after this, of Mena, excelling in beauty and virtue all created beings, and wife ; and made her funeral pile, like the young home she grew up in her mountain ing increasmoon she heard a voice from to itsfull splendour.Whilst still a girl, of austerity, in order to course heaven, saying, Perform a severe otherwise be obtained.' obtain Siva for a husband, as he cannot tion, at this instrucParvati, disdainfully proud of her youth,smiling of the thought within herself: 'Will he who, on account
'

he grief
me as

consumed felt for my havingformerly not accept myself, his spouse when redolent of life? And how can disjunction those who have been
'

from their first predestined Confident in her youth, loveliness, being to be husband and wife ? and persuaded that on and numerous the attractions, first mention of her name Siva would be anxious to espouse her, Parvati did not seek to gain him by the performance of austerity, herself to joyous sports with her combut night and day gave panions." Her hopes,however, were disappointed. She had to before she was reunited to her perform most severe penance husband only by the assistance of Kamadeva, who, ; and it was him with his arrows of the gods, wounded at the instigation he was as engaged in meditation, whilst Parvati was seated in Siva at first was front of him, that her wish was gratified. for this interference ; he rewarded Kama anythingbut grateful by destroyinghim with a flame of glory that issued from his third eye. In a Bengaliaccount book
to the
manner

exist between

of from
"

Durga,
which

legendis givenfrom
the above
extract
was

later

than

the

Purana

taken,
frantic The

effect : following when trembled beneath

Siva

he raised the

earth

began to dance dead body of Sati in the weight of such


'

in

most
arms.

his
a

load ; when

Kennedy, Hindu

Myth.' p. 334.

Parvati.

247
utter

Vishnu, fearingthere
universe
if this
were

would allowed
cut

be
to

an

destruction

of

the

working continue, let fly his wonder-

discus, and
These fell in different

the

body

into

fiftyone
-

pieces.

there ; but places,a leg here, a wherever the earth, the spot became a sacred, part touched set an image of the goddess was up, and a temple erected to her honour, which pilgrims visit as shrines to this day. The renowned Calcutta,is said to possess temple at Kali Ghat, near the big toe of the left foot ; and the principal shrines of Parvati believed to contain a relic of her body. are Parvati is represented in pictures as fair and beautiful a hand
woman,

with have

no

of superfluity

limbs. her.

Few

miraculous
she

deeds
appears

are as

said to

been

wrought by
that she different

It is when
her

Durga, Kali, "c,


and her
to
as

is said to manifest

divine

powers,

exhibit Parvati.

distinct deities the


same.

from that which appears in spirit Hence the supposition that these were originally be believed and to now one ; though they are
very

DURGA.

We

have

now

to

speak

of

the
in

consort

of

Siva

in

very

different character
and
as

from

that

which

she

Parvati.
an

In those
woman, most

forms, though the


and manifested

ordinary
she
many
to
was a names

appeared as Uma wife of Siva, she acted womanly virtues ; as


has been incarnate who
were

Durga
under

powerfulwarrior, and
for the destruction
of
men.

demons

obnoxious She named

gods

and

obtained

the
name

name

Durga
of the
'

because

she

slew

an

Asura form

Durga, the
name.

goddess being
Purana
'

the feminine

of the demon's
account

The

-of this

occurrence.

the

sage, why his named Durga, the

mother
son

of

givesthe following Kartikeya,being asked by Agastya, A called Durga, says : was giant in Ruru, having performed penance
Skanda
"

Ward, ii.83.

248
favour that
he

The

Puranic

Deities.
and blessing",

of

Brahma, obtained

his

grew

so

mighty

and Indra conquered the three worlds, and dethroned the other gods. He compelled the wives of the Rishis to sing his praise, and sent the gods from heaven to dwell in the forests, and them nod summoned him. He to reverence by a mere ceremonies abolished through fear of him religious ; Brahmans ; rivers changed their course ; gave up the reading of the Vedas fire lost its energy, and the terrified stars retired from sight. He assumed rain whenever he the shape of the clouds, and gave pleased; the earth through fear yielded an abundant harvest, and

the trees

flowered

and

gave
'

fruit out

of the proper
"

season."

appealed to Siva. Indra, their king, ! me said, He has dethroned Surya said, He has taken Siva, pitying them, desired Parvati to go and kingdom ! my destroy this giant. She, accepting the commission willingly, first sent calmed the fears of the gods, and Kalaratri (Dark female bewitched the inhabitants whose of the a beauty night), three worlds, to order the giantto restore thingsto their ancient order. The full of fury, soldiers to lay hold sent some giant, of Kalaratri ; but by the breath of her mouth she reduced them who were to ashes. such Durga then sent 30,000 other giants, in size that they covered the surface of the earth. monsters At the sightof these giants, Kalaratri fled throughthe air to Parvati, followed chariots, by the giants. Durga, with 100,000,000 120,000,000,000 elephants,10,000,000 swift-footed horses, and innumerable the mountain to fight Parvati, on went soldiers, the giantdrew near, Parvati assumed 1 000 as Vindhya. As soon and called to her assistance different beings, and produced arms, of weapons number from her body (a long list of these is given a in the Purana). The troops of the giantpoured their arrows on Parvati sitting the thick the mountain on as Vindhya, drops of rain in a storm tore ; they even up the trees, mountains, "c, and hurled them threw which at the goddess,who a weapon carried away of the arms of the giants. Durga hurled a many flaming dart at the goddess,which she turned aside ; another He then sent arrows. being sent, she stopped it by a hundred gods
"
'

The

in their distress

DURGA.

249
she

an

arrow

at Parvati's breast ; this too

and repelled,

also two

club and a pike. At last Parvati seized Durga other weapons, a his breast,but he, disengaging and set her left foot on himself, renewed The the

fight.

Parvati caused to issue from her body then beings whom destroyed all the soldiers of the giants. In return Durga sent a dreadful shower of hail, the effect of which Parvati counteracted the assumed called Sosuna. The by an instrument giant now shape of an elephantas largeas a mountain, and approached the like which were and with her nails, goddess,but she tied his legs, of a in the form then arose tore him to pieces. He scimitars, buffalo,and with his horns cast stones, trees, and mountains, tearing up the trees by the breath of his nostrils. Parvati next when and rehe reeled to and fro, nouncing pierced him with her trident, the form of a buffalo assumed his original body as a with a thousand in each. Approaching giant, arms, and weapons Parvati,she seized him by his thousand arms, and carried him into the air, whence she threw him to the ground with fearful force. him in the Seeing that this fall had not injuredhim, she pierced
breast

with and

an

arrow,

when The

blood

issued
were

from

his mouth
soon

in

streams,
Another

he

died.

regainedtheir

former

gods splendour.
the

and delighted, is found


in

account

of the

origin of Durga

the

'Markandeya Purana.'* Mahisha, king of reduced time overcame the gods in war, and them to such a state of want that they wandered through the earth as beggars. Indra conducted them to Brahma, and then these gods could render no assistance, they to Siva ; but as turned to so Vishnu, who was enraged at the sight of their of glory issued from his face,from wretchedness, that streams there which forth a female Mahamaya came figurenamed Chandi, a part of the giants, at one
name (another

of

Durga).
she

Streams

of

glory issued

also from
; in
sequence con-

the faces of the other of which

gods, which entered Mahamaya like a became a body of glory,


*

mountain

Ward, ii.88.

250
of fire. The
who

The

Puranic
handed

Deities.
their
to this female, weapons into the air, slew the giant,

with

gods then scream frightful

ascended

and

gave redress to the gods. Another in account, differing

some

is details,

found

in the
in their

'

Vamana

Purana.'
and

When

the

he, distress,
other that
a

at

his command such flames

gods had sought Vishnu Sankara, Brahma,


from

and

the

gods,emitted
mountain of

was effulgence manifest Katyayini, refulgentas a black and eighteenarms. hair, eyes,

their eyes and countenances formed, from which became thousand Siva
suns,

having three

gave

her his trident,

Vishnu

conch-shell, Agni a dart, Vayu a bow, a Surya a quiver full of arrows, Indra a thunderbolt, Kuvera Brahma and water-pot, Kala a shield and sword, a rosary mace, and other weapons. Visvakarma Thus a battle-axe armed, and
a
a

discus,Varuna

adored Whilst

by

the

gods,Katyayini proceeded to
Chanda
so

the
saw

Vindhya

hills.

there the Asuras her


was

and

Manda

captivatedby

beauty they
most

described
to obtain

her to On

her, and being Mahisha, their

king,that
hand, she

he

anxious
must

her.
in

askingfor her
came,

told

him, she

be

won

fight. He
her form of

and

fought;
upon

at

lengthDurga
back tender feet

dismounted
was

from

and lion,
a

sprang

the with the

of Mahisha, who
so

in the
on

buffalo,
he fell her with

and
to

her

smote

him she

the head

that

when ground senseless,

cut

off his head

sword.
In

picturesand
woman,
arms

coloured has ten

images Durga with a gentleand


one

is

as represented

goldenShe

beautiful countenance.
a

; in

hand

she holds
; with
one

the giantMahisha piercing


the tail of
a

she is spear, with which of her left hands she holds


hair

serpent, with
is

another

the

of the
are

giant

whose

breast the snake


weapons. her against

biting; her

other hands

filled with various

Her

and

Ganesa

againsther right leg,and the giant left. The images of Lakshmi, Sarasvati,Kartikeya, and made are worshipped with that of frequently
lion leans is frontispiece
*

Durga.

The

of Durga representation

and

the

Kennedy, 'Hindu

Myth.' p. 335.

DURGA.

251
made in

other time

goddessesand

gods,as

they are

Bengal

at

the

of the great autumnal festival. In Bengal the worship of this goddess forms festivals ; it for three days, and is Hindu
year.

the most

popular

of all the continues the At

great holiday of the

this season, at Christmas as of the in England,the members

family whom
from home
; and

business

detains
turn re-

during
with the

the year

worship

of

Durga is associated all that is bright and cheerful. Sacrifices of buffaloes and goats are made to her ; feasting, singing, and dancing are continued through the greater part of the night.
Her chief but festival she is in the
shipped, wor-

autumn,

is also
not
so

though
in the

ally, gener-

of this
account
:
"

as

spring. The reason taught in a Bengali

of

Durga
was

is
a

as

lows folDASABHUJA.

Ravana of

devout and had the

worshipper
therefore It
was

Durga,

Chandi

read

daily;
her

when

Rama

attacked

him, the goddess assisted

servant.

her festival observed Rama, springthat Ravana to received from his devotion seeing the great help his enemy in the this goddess, began himself to worship her. This was autumn. Durga was delightedwith the devotion of Rama, and

in the

at

once

transferred

her aid from have and assumed Nisumbha

Ravana
ten

to

him.

Durga. is said to Sumbha two giants,


describes these

forms
; the
'

for the destruction of


'

incarnations
the

in

the

Durga

she received

(theten

of the message armed) she slew part of their army

Markandeya Purana 1. As following order: giants ; 2. As Dasabhuja


"

; 3. As

Singhavahini

252

The

Puranic

Deities.

she fought with Raktavija ; 4. As Mahishaa lion) on (seated in the .form of a buffalo) she slew Sumbha mardini (destroyer mother of the world) she of a buffalo ; 5. As Jagaddhatri (the black woman) of the giants; 6. As Kali (the the army overcame she slew Raktavija hair)she (with flowing ; 7. As Muktakesi
overcame

another

of the armies
in his

of the
own

she saviour) namustaka

slew Sumbha

giants; 8. As Tara (the proper shape ; 9. As Chin;


10.

she (theheadless)

killed Nisumbha

As the

lady renowned through gauri (thegolden-coloured and thanks of the gods.* she received the praises in which The so Durga assumed great conflict for success forms is described as follows in the Markandeya Purana.'t many and named Sumbha At the close of the Treta Age, two giants, austerities for 10,000 years, the Nisumbha, performed religious merit of which action brought Siva from heaven, who discovered devotion,they sought to that,by these works of extraordinary
'

Jagadworld)

of immortality. Siva reasoned blessing long with to persuade them to ask for any them, and vainlyendeavoured other blessingthan immortality. Being denied, they entered obtain the
upon
more severe

which austerities, when for.


over

they

continued

for another

thousand what heads their

years,

Siva again

they

asked

They
a

now

but refused to grant appeared, suspendedthemselves with their blood streamed from

downwards

slow

till the fire,

The thus for 800 heads, and continued gods years. such rigid acts of holiness, by performing began to tremble, lest,

they

should

be
a

gods
was
"

called

admitted
the

that

supplantedon their thrones. The king of the and council, imparted to them his fears ; they there was great ground for fear,but asked what
the advice of

remedy. Acting upon


Rambha
were

Indra,Kandarpa (the god of love),


most

with

and
sent

Tilatama, the
to fillthe

beautiful of the

of the

celestial sensual
;

nymphs,
desires.

minds

giantswith

both them wounded Kandarpa letting flyhis arrow and which, awaking from their absorption, seeing two upon in the snare, and abandoned taken beautiful women, they were
*

Ward, ii.101.

Ibid. p.

98.

254
offer whom
was

The

Puranic

Deities.

but that she had resolved that the person very liberal, firstconquer her in war, and destroyher she married must

still pressed for to return unsuccesful, pride. Sugriva, unwilling that he would engage to conquer a favourable answer, promising her in war, and subdue her pride; and asked in an authoritative strain
:
'

Did

she

know

his master, had been

before

whom

none

of the

inhabitants

of the worlds
man

able to stand, whether think of female,

demons,

or

? How

then could she, a had ordered

gods, resisting
pelled com-

his offers ? If his master

him, he would

have

this

was

her to go into his presence immediately.'She agreedthat and very correct, but that she had taken her resolution,
to persuadehis him, therefore,

exhorted his
tl

master

to

come

and

try
from

with her. strength The


went

Sumbha filled with was hearinghis account rage, and without making any replycalled for Dhumlochana, his commander-in-chief,and gave him orders to go to Himalaya and seize a certain goddess (giving him particulars), and bring her to destroy to him, and, if any attempted to rescue her,utterly them.
"

messenger this female. On

and

related what

he

had

heard

The

commander his

went

with
execute

master's On the

them.
roar,

Himalaya,and acquaintedthe goddess orders. invited him to She, smiling, approach of this hero, she set up a
to

reduced to ashes. After which by which he was she destroyedthe army of the giant, leaving only a few fugitives and Nisumbha, infuriated, the tidings. Sumbha to communicate Chanda and Manda, who on ascending the mountain sent ceived perthem female On on an a seeing sitting ass, laughing. of their she became and drew to her ten, twenty, or thirty enraged, seized like fruit. She next at a time, devouring them army her Manda by the hair, cut off his head, and, holding it over der mouth, drank the blood. Chanda, on seeingthe other commanslain in this manner, to close quarters with the goddess. came him But she mounted a lion, on sprang on him, and, despatching dreadful
as

she had

done

Manda, devoured
sooner

part of his army,


this

and

drank

the blood "The

of the slain.

giants no

heard

alarming news

than

they

DURGA.
resolved number
down

255

to

go

of with

and collecting their forces, themselves, an infinite marched to Himalaya. The giants, gods looked
on

astonishment
to

this army,

and

all the

goddesses
stroyed de-

descended

help Mahamaya
foes.

who, however, soon (Durga),

her

Sumbha
the

and

commander under Raktavija,the principal Nisumbha, seeing all his men tered encoundestroyed,

goddess in person. But though she covered him with wounds, from every drop of blood which fell to the ground arose to Raktavija himself. Hence a thousand giants equalin strength innumerable enemies surrounded Durga, and the gods were filled with alarm at the amazing sight. At lengthChandi, a goddess
who

had would

assisted Kali in the

engagement,

promised

her that if

she the the and


"

and drink his blood before it fell to open her mouth would the giant, and destroy ground, she (Chandi) engage whole of his strangely-formed offspring.Kali consented, this commander

Sumbha

the The both

despatched. next engaged desperation, combat, Sumbha goddess in single making the first onset. dreadful on both sides, battle was till at last inconceivably
soon

his army were and Nisumbha, in a state of and

the

giants were
she had the

carnage

praises of
on blessing

and Kali sat down to feed on slain, made. The gods and goddesseschanted celestial heroine,who in return bestowed

the the
a

each."

correct to speak of these forms of Durga as scarcely of her appearincarnations ; they are rather epithetsdescriptive ance method of fighting the at different times or during great

It

seems

conflict. and

There

is, however,
between

so

great
and

character

Parvati

difference in appearance Kali that it is not easy to


a

as regardthem as the same being ; yet Durga, whilst represented a warrior fully armed, has the calm features and golden colour of the goddess in her earlier manifestation. It certainly to appears be a reasonable altogether hypothesis that Kali was originally

distinct from
In the

Uma

or

Parvati. of

hymn following
names are

Arjuna

to
:
"

Durga
"

in the

Mahabhabe to thee

rata* her many

mentioned

Reverence

Muir, O. S. T., iv. 432.

2^6
Siddha-Senani
on

The

Puranic

Deities.
dweller

of (generaless
to

the

the noble,the Siddhas),

Mandara, Kumari

pingala.Reverence coloured).O

KrishnaKali, Kapali,Kapila, (Princess), thee,Bhadrakali ; reverence to thee, Maha

Kali, Chandi, Chanda, Tarini


fortunate

Varavarini (beautiful(deliveress),

Kalyayani, O
blood O !

Karali, O
O

Vijaya, O

Jaya (victory), younger always in delighting


thou white
one,

sister of the chief of cowherds Mahisha's one!

(Krishna),
Sakambhari,
Of

Uma,
of the

thou

black

of Kaitabha! destroyer

sciences,thou

Vedas),the beings.O mother of Skanda (Kartikeya), greatsleepof embodied divine Durga, dweller in wildernesses ! Thou, great goddess, art be ever praisedwith a pure heart. By thy favour let me
(or
In another the
verse

art the science of Brahma

victorious in battle.' said to dwell

of this

same
"

book
to

she

is

in perpetually and flesh, liquors, spirituous

and Vindhya hills,

in delight

sacrificialvictims."
was

The

statement

that

Durga
was

refers to the Devaki's womb

fact that it

the younger sister of Krishna she who took Krishna's place in had carried the infant Krishna
to

after Vasudeva Kansa

attempted to destroy by dashingher againsta stone immediately after her birth. Krishna promised, take his place as Devaki's child, becoming assimiif she would lated in glory, she would obtain an eternal place in to him the gods,obtain a perthe sky, be installed by Indra amongst petual abode on the Vindhya mountains, where meditating upon kill two him and demons, Sumbha (Vishnu) she would Nisumbha, and would be worshippedwith animal sacrifices."*
"

Nanda, and whom

THE

CHIEF

FORMS

OF

DURGA.

i.

DURGA

received

Chanda
with

and
her

Manda,
her
an

the

messengers
so

of

the

giants ; they,struck

beauty,spoke
sent

of her to their lords that Sumbha

offer of

rapturously marriage
army

by Sugriva. 2. DASAi;iiuJA,tthe ten-handed, destroyed Sumbha's


under

the

commander-in-chief

Dhumlochana.

Of

these troops

Muir, O.

S.

T.,iv. 34.

t Sec illustration, p. 251.

The

chief

Forms
carry

of

Durga.
news

257

only a

few

to fugitives escaped,

the

of their defeat to

their master.
a lion) on (riding foughtwith Chanda and Manda, and has four arms only. She drank the blood of the and devoured a large leaders, part of their troops. (the slayerof Mahisha)slew Sumbha 4. MAHISHAMARDINI

3. SINGHAVAHINI

as

he

attacked

her

in the form

of

buffalo. There

She

had

eicht

or,

to according

other

accounts, ten
of this form

arms.

is littleto distinguish

the account

from

that of of the

5. JagadDHATRI
army

(the mother
giants;
She, too, has

Durga. other world) destroyedangarments, and


is

of the
a

is dressed

in red

seated four

on

lion.

only, and is very similar to Singhavahini ; the difference being in the weapons As Singhavahini, she wields.
arms

SiLL/'//

she carries and with

sword

and

spear,

two

hands

is

couraging enas

her

worshippers ;

Jagaddhatri, she carries a and discus, bow conch-shell,


arrow.

In all the above


is

forms

as a fair, represented beautiful, lady. gentle-looking

she

6. Kali
or,
as

(theblack woman),
is
more

she

commonly
the black

called

Kali

Ma,

mother, with the aid of Chandi,


the principal Raktavija, leader of the giant's army. he attacked fall, Seeing his men JAGADDHATRI. the goddess in person ; when from every drop of blood that fell from his body a thousand At this crisis another giantsequal in power to himself arose. As to the rescue. form of the goddess,named Chandi, came the formation of Kali drank the giant's blood and prevented herself. Chandi slew the monster new giants, slew
S

2"8
Kali
one

The

Puranic
black

Deities.
with four
of the ; in

is

as represented

woman

arms

hand

she

has

sword, in another the head


two

has

with the other slain,

she is

encouragingher
wears a

giantshe worshippers.
necklace of

earringsshe has two dead bodies ; is a girdle made skulls ; her only clothing
For and her tongue from protrudes her mouth. those of
.

of dead Her
a

men's
are

hands,
red
as

eyes

drunkard,and
breasts with
are

her be-

-.

\ \

i / .-

face
.

and

\
.

\\\

I \ I //////

smeared stands

blood. foot
on on

She the the This

with

one

thigh,and

another

breast of her husband.

of Kali is accounted position when her .' for by the fact that, victoryover the giants was
won,

she

danced

for the her

joy

so

furiously that
trembled At Siva
as,

earth

beneath

weight.

the

request of the gods asked her to desist, but


to

owing

her

excitement,

she did not notice him, he down continued


KALI.
" "

lay

amongst the slain. She

dancing

until she

caucfht sight of her husband


under she

her
at

thrust shown

out

her

tongue with

shame

feet ; immediately the disrespect she

had

him.

a Ramayana,'f is a legend giving quite of Kfili ; the objectof the writer evidently different origin being but a the glory of Sita, by showing that Kali was to enhance

In the

'Adhyatma*

form

that

she

had

assumed.
was

On

Rama's

return

from

the destructio

of Ravana, he smiled and


said
:

of boasting would
of the

"You

because rejoice
you

his prowess, when Sita you have slain Ravana


to
a

with ten
There the

heads, but what


are

say

Ravana

with

four

reccensions

Ramayana

Adhuta,and

the

Adhyatma.

Valmiki's, Vyasadcva?s, f Ward, ii. 116.

The
thousand
him and
new

chief

Forms
him

of

Durga.
Sita

259
advised

?"

"

Destroy
at home

too," said Rama.

to remain

with his wife and Ravana. of the


Hanuman

he collected his army of monkeys, brothers set off for Satadwipato meet this
was

; but

despatchedto
to

discover

the

sidence re-

monster, and

gather all

the

information

he

KALI

DANCING

ON

SIVA.

could The

about

him, and
shot

on

his return
army
arrows.

Rama his

went

to
as

the attack.
so

giant regarded
He
to their home to Lanka

the

of

assailant of these second

children.

three

One
;
a

sent

many all the

monkeys Ayodha,

at Kiskindha

drove

the

giants

and demons

; whilst the third


was

the despatched
as

soldiers to
he found
2

Rama's

Rama capital.

thunderstruck

260

The

Puranic

Deities.

alone,and, imagining that all his forces were destroyed, her at assumed to the Sita, husband, laughing began weep.
himself terrificform Ravana. the the
to

of Kali, and
his

attacked furiously
ten

the thousand-headed
at

The

conflict lasted

years, but
to

lengthshe
and
toss

slew

drank giant, limbs


its centre
was

blood, and
not
to

began
Her

dance

about
earth

of his lifeless body.


; but

dancing shook

the

until Siva
the

attention could
she

called

lay on the ground, and her she was disrespect showing him,
to

be

prevailed upon

desist.

Thus

Siva

saved
home

the with

universe

; and

Sita,assuming her proper


Purana'
*

form, went

Rama The
rescue

and
'

his brothers. that Chandi,who came to the explains in the destruction of Raktavija, a was another
occasion

Skanda

and of

assisted Kali
on

form

Devi, assumed
It is

for the destruction

of

that these leaders of Sumbha's to see interesting and their blood slain, was although they were reappear, army Chanda and drunk Asuras, named by Singhavahini. Two came Manda, through a boon received from the divine mothers, beThe gods besought so powerfulas to subdue the three worlds. Devi, who appeared to them under the form of Chandi, do nothingfor to deliver them ; she replied, that she could Siva." To accomplish this she them until she had propitiated and whilst engaged in worship Siva first apretired to a forest, peared, to under the form of a vast Linga,and then, in answer and in answer to her praises Chandi's prayer, revealed himself, O goddess ! Thou art celebrated in the thus addressed her :

Chanda.

"

"

three

worlds

as

Parasakti art, there


is
no

(the energy
am

of the
wherever
us.

Wherever Chandika.
'

thou

I ; and

supreme I am, What

being).
there is shall I do

There

difference between
"

for you ? Chandi replies : Formerly I slew Chanda and Manda in battle ; but they have been born again as mighty Asuras, and It is therefore to be enabled oppressed the three worlds. Siva promises to destroy them that I seek thy protection." her in the guiseof a messenger to challenge and sends his help, and are slain by Siva. them to fight. They accept the challenge have
* '

Kennedy,

Hindu

Myth.,' p. 338.

262

The

Puranic

Deities.
Lakshmi from
our own

soon

as

they
and

were

formed,
"

Maha
us

thus

addressed

Mahakali
twin

Sarasvati ! She
then Lakshmi

Let

forms

produce produced
Vishnu.

deities."
and

generated a
same

male

and

female, named
and
to

Brahma Siva Maha Gauri and

; in the

manner

Mahakali

and Sarasvati, then

Sarasvati produced Gauri


in

Lakshmi
to

gave

marriage Sarasvati
human

Brahma,

Siva,and Lakshmi
can

to Vishnu.

There offered to law and

be

no

doubt
now

that

sacrifices were forbidden both

Kali, though
a more

the Hindu

they are in Scriptures ; the prohibition


recent

formerly by British
books,
those
in

Hindu

however, is in
which

class
'

of

books

than
*

Kalika Purana,' from which In the they were ordained. the following extracts are made, nothingcould be clearer than the instruction regarding this cruel practice. Siva is addressing the Bhairavas, his sons them in these terrible mysteries. initiating The flesh of the antelope and the rhinoceros give my beloved for five hundred sacrifice, (Kali)delight By a human years. attended by the forms laid down, Devi is pleasedfor a thousand hundred thousand a years ; and by the sacrifice of three men, flesh Kamakhya, Chandika, and Bhairava, By human years. who An lation obassume my shape,are pleaseda thousand years. of blood which has been rendered pure by holy texts, is equal to ambrosia ; the head and flesh also afford much delight Chandika. Blood drawn from the offerer'sown to body is looked oblation to the goddess Chandika. as a proper upon
"
"

Let

Devi
him

the sacrificer repeat the word Kali twice, and say, ! goddess of thunder ; hail,iron-sceptred goddess ! take the
axe

'

Hail,
Let
same

'

then

in his

hand, and again invoke the


'

by text, as follows ! Let the sacrificer say, Hrang, Hrang! Kali,Kali ! O horrid-toothed goddess! Eat, cut, destroy all the malignant seize ; ; cut with this axe ; bind, bind ; seize, drink blood ! Spheng, spheng ! secure, Salutation to secure. Kali.' The axe being invoked by this text, called the Kalaratri for the the axe, uplifted over Mantra, Kalaratri herself presides
destruction of the sacrificer'senemies.

the Kalaratri

Moor's

'

Hindu

Pantheon,'144 ff.

The

chief

Forms

of

Durga.
used in reference to

263
the

"

Different

mantras

(or forms)are
shape
of
a

of description
" '

the victim to be immolated. in the

If

this lion,

:
"

Hari ! who

my evils assumed

Chandika, bear misfortunes. and avert Thy shape, O lion ! was my by Hari [in the Nrisingha incarnation of Vishnu] to
under that form,
'

lion bearest

punish the wicked part of the human race ; and by truth,the tyrant Hiranykasipuwas slain ! not "Females to be immolated, except on are
female occasions ; the human " ministers of Let princes,
never.

very

particular
vendors
purpose

spirituous liquors make and attaining prosperity

and State,councillors, human for the sacrifices,

of of

wealth.

Let the victim offered to Devi,


'

if a buffalo, be four years old ; and if human, these occasions this is the mantra to be used :

twenty-five. On Hail ! three-eyed


whose neck
a

goddess, of most of human string art spirits ; who


"

terrifying appearance, skulls is pendent ; who


armed with
an axe

around
art
a

the

of destroyer

evil
to

and

spear, salutation

thee with this blood.' An


a

or

by proxy, enemy may be immolated the victim by the goat, and calling
whole
ceremony,

a buffalo substituting name

of the

enemy

through the
the

into soul of the enemy immolated when deprivethe foe of life also. let the sacrificer say
:
'

thereby infusing, by holy texts, the body of the victim ; which will
On this occasion, ! O Chandika
!

goddessof
my

horrid forms

Eat, devour
to

such

an

one

fire. This

is the

enemy
"

Consort enemy. has done who

of fire ! salutation
me

mischief,now
' ':

! destroyhim, O Mahamari by an animal personated and invocations, A great varietyof regulations rites, "c, are whether for the performance of sanguinaryofferings, laid down of the sacrificer'sown of a victim,or an offering the immolation times monly, comblood, or burning his flesh. Until very recent the and in some even now, at certain festivals, quietplaces worshippers cut their flesh and burn their bodies in order to this cruel deity. It is said that before the Thugs set out please their murderous on they firstsacrificedto Kali to obtain projects of the spoils their return, paid a portion her blessing ; and, on for her help. an as offering

264
7.

The
MUKTAKESI
*

Puranic

Deities.

destroyedanother part hair) flowing (having

there is little to distinforces. In appearance guish of the giant's holds a sword her from Kali: she has four arms; and
a a

helmet

in her

left hands, and fear. dispelling

with her

and blessing

rightshe is bestowing She, too, is standingupon the


and Her
not

body
one

of her husband. slew Sumbha, (thesaviour)


and
a

8. TARA
hand
to

holds his head


appearance,

in

sword

in another.

too, is with

similar

that of Kali.

She

must
or

be

confounded

l.inl,the wife of Vrihaspati ;


A
sura

Tara, the wife of Bali, the Nisumbha,


that she from the

king.
found her

(the beheaded) slew 9. CHINNAMUSTAKA other giant. It is evident from her appearance
her

task

rather

for her head difficult,

is half-severed

naked, and wearing a body. She is painted as a fair woman, garlandof skulls, standingupon the body of her husband. 10. J.VGADGAURI (theyellowwoman [renowned] through the world)received the thanks and praisesof the gods and men t'"r the deliverance she wrought ; in her four hands she holds a a club,and a discus, a lotus. conch-shell, of the year Images are made of Durga at different seasons in nearlyall of these ten forms,and various blessings are sought from her by her worshippers. In addition to these she is worshipped under other names of the known more ; some generally will now be given. It should be noticed that the Hindus who worship Durga in some of her forms, and the other female deities,when they represent the Sakti, or energy of their husbands,
the
are

called

Saktas, and

form

class distinct from

in respect to

generally.An exception, however,must be made Sarasvati,Lakshmi, and the autumnal worship form of worship being common Durga; this particular to
;ill j [indus.

Hindus

almost
1 1.

of

(thewell-proportioned one). Of this form Durga no images arc made, but at night the officiating red clothes, offers red flowers,liquors, and bloody priest, wearing
Ward, ii.101-117.

PRATYANGIRA

The

chief

Forms

of

Durga.

26=;

sacrifices. drink
enemy

The

flesh of animals

is burned

for whose

intoxicating dipped in some that the flesh of the ; the worshipper believing is performedwill swell, as injurythe ceremony

the flesh of the sacrifice swells in the fire.


12.
a

ANNAPURNA

(shewho
a

with fills
lotus.

as food)is represented

fair woman, standing on in the rice bowl, and


a

In

one

hand

she

holds

other

spoon

used

for

it is stirringrice when being boiled. Siva, as a mendicant, is receiving alms from her. She is the
many
a

guardian deity of Hindus, who have


to

the

verb proeffect that a this rice. with that

sincere

discipleof
never

deitywill
It is in this form the
a
'

want

connexion of

Durga
*

Linga Purana' gives legend explainingan

image called Ardhanarishwara, which represents Siva and gether Durga as toformingone body.
Siva
as
a

mendicant and

ported sup-

his wife

dren chil-

one use

by begging; but on occasion, owing to his of intoxicating herbs,


was

he

unable

to

go

his
ANNAITRNA.

rounds. there
was

Durga

told him

nothing in the house to eat ; half the previousday's contributions they had eaten ; Ganesa's rat and Kartikeya's peacock having finished the rest. Siva then went out to beg,and
Ward, ii.187.

266

The

Puranic
father's house

Deities.
with
but children, Annapurna, to lay an

Durga started for her met by Narada, who


on

the

was bargo em-

advised of the that


no

her, as
houses
one

all the food


was

where

Siva asked

for alms.

The

met

he
one

rada anything. Nameeting with Siva advised him to go home ; Annapurna him at the door, and so pleasedhim by giving him food, that pressed her to his breast with such force that they became body. of Ganesa) is worshipped (the mother 13. GANESAJANANI
her infant in her
arms.

result of this

would

give him

with

14. KkiSHNAKRORA

(she who
with

holds

Krishna

on

her
in

breast).

When

Krishna

Yamuna,
She
him

heard
to

the river fought serpent Kaliya he was bitten,and in pain called upon Durga for help. him from her breast, his cry, and, by suckling restored

the

health. list

the indefinitely enlarged. From it is evident she is largely number of her names, worshipped in the number of Hindus North India ; and from one bearingsome other of her names, it is certain that she is most or popular. It for the Hindus is a common custom to give their children names indicatingthe god or goddess through whose favour they are believed been given,and certainly to have to have Durga seems had of a very a large proportion of the part in the bestowal children in Bengal. "By the favour of Kfili, or Durga, or Tara," is expressed in the names of multitudes, and every day witnesses the payment made of vows to this goddess when desired some "od is granted,or threatened evil averted.

This

might

be

almost

267

CHAPTER
SONS OF SIVA
AND

VIII.

PARVATI.

I.

GANESA.

Ganesa
his very

is said to

be

the elder

son

of Siva

and

but Parvati,

the Puranas

that describe fer diforigin of

considerably
Sir W.

in their narratives

this event.

that Jones says * "Ganesa, the Indian of Wisdom, god


has

the

same as

racteristics cha-

Janus
All
ligious re-

of the

Latins. and

sacrifices

all serious
in

ceremonies, tions composiand writing,


affairs of

all worldlv

gun beimportance are by pious Hindus with


an

invocation to
GANESA.

Ganesa

word

posed com-

or leader, and governor Instances of opening business (of deities).

of

Isa, the

gana,

company
an

by auspiciously

'

Asiatic

i. 227. Researches,'

268
to ejaculation
are

The
him

Puranic
be

Deities.
Few

might
the

with multiplied
to

ease.

books

begun
perform
nnerat

without

words, 'Salutation
who conduct

is first invoked
or

by Brahmans

Ganesa;' and he the trial by ordeal,

sacrifice to fire." M. of the homa or the ceremony of represents him as highly revered on the coast

Coromandel,
any
account

where,
build
a

to him, "the according

Indians would

not

on

having placed on the ground with oil and adorn which an they sprinkle image of this deity, every day with flowers. They set up his image in all their in the streets, in the high roads, and in the open plains temples,
house

without

at

the foot of

some

tree,

so

that persons

of all ranks

may

invoke

him him

before before

travellers worship and they undertake any business, is true of the they proceed on a journey." What

Coromandel

coast, is
this

true

of most

parts of India
and

so

far

as

the

worshipof
"

deity is

concerned.

Ganesa

is the Hindu
son
was an

god

of Prudence Parvati

Policy.

He

is the

reputedeldest
with is

of Siva and

declares that he

the actual child head elephant's


"

(the'Padma Purana' and of these deities),


emblem of
"

alone is
presented re-

an

sagacity

and

has He frequentlyattended by, or is riding upon, a rat. four hands, but sometimes or generally only two." six,or eight, lie is always described as beingvery corpulent or ; and pictures images of him are seen over the doors of most shopkeepers. It is not has become to see so universally why Ganesa easy worshipped, as there are few if any legends in the Puranas his divine power. attesting The Brahmavaivarta Purana 'f gives the following account of his birth : out after her marriage with Siva, being withParvati, a child, and by her very desirous to obtain one, is advised husband to perform the Panyakavrata. This is the worship of \ ishnu, to be begun on the thirteenth day of the bright fortnight of Magha, and continued for a year, on day of which every flowers, fruits, cakes, vessels, "c, are to be presented, gems, gold, and a thousand Brahmans icd ; and the performerof the rite is to observe most and to fix his lifeof inward a carefully purity,
* ' "
"

Moor's

'

Hindu

Pantheon,' p. 169.

f Wilson's Works, iii.103.

2-q

The

Puranic

Deities.
are Purana, further particulars the above. Siva,offended with

"

In another

part of this
at

same

erivensomewhat

variance

with and

althoughhe restored him to life his (Siva's) incurred the wrath of the sage Kasyapa, who doomed head was placedupon The elephantwhose to lose his head. son which Indra's elephant, was Ganesa's body was decapitated his neck the garland of flowers which because Iridra threw over of which, with the sage Durvasas gave him, and the disrespect in various the consequent degradationof Indra, is noticed Puranas, although in all other respects with different results. loser of an elephant Indra was as Vishnu, no by this transaction, moved by the prayers of his wife, gave him another in place of Aditya (thesun), slew him,
that which
"

Ganesa
reason

he took away. has only one of this is


as

tusk, and
follows
:
"

hence

is called

Ekadanta.
was a

The

Parasurama, who

of Siva,went to Kailasa to visit his master. disciple " )n arriving at the inner was opposed apartment, his entrance his father was nevertheless by Ganesa, as asleep. Parasurama the twTo came to blows. urged his way, and, after a long dialogue, Ganesa had at first the advantage,seizing Parasurama in his trunk, and givinghim a twirl that left him sick and senseless. ( )n recovering Rama threw his axe at Ganesa,who, recognising it his father's weapon Siva having given it to Parasurama as received it with all humilityupon mediately of his tusks,which it imone favourite
"

"

severed,and
vati
was

hence
at

Ganesa
was

has

but about

one

tusk.
curse

Par-

incensed highly

and this,
was a

to

Rama,

when
and that

appeared as a boy worshipper, is said to have promised appeasedher indignation.Brahma her son should be worshippedbefore the other gods. This
with
him

Krishna, of whom

he

result of his contest

Rama
the

was

pronounced upon quarrelled." \\ e have quite a


.md

by

sage

in consequence of Tulasi, with whom of the

curse

he

had

different account When


at

Matsya Purana.'*
ointments
used

the

of Ganesa in the origin Parvati was she took the oil bathing, that with the impurities bath,together

Kennedy,

'

Hindu

Myth.,'p. 353.

Ganesa.
her

71

of a man, body, and formed them into the figure it with the water she gave life by sprinkling of the to which had the head of the elephant. The Siva Ganges. This figure after givingGanesa life, Parvati placed Purana' relates that, him at her door to prevent intrusion .whilstshe was fusal bathing. On his reto allow Siva to enter, a struggle ensued, in which that deity
came

from

'

cut

off Ganesa's

head

; but when

Parvati showed
was

her husband

that

it was

by

her orders that the door ordered


:

and wept closed, the first head


to be

because

of the loss of her son, Siva found to be broughtto him which he fitted
'

that could be
an

this

happened
and

elephant's,
son.

to

the headless

trunk

resuscitated his been

produced that holy sages observing by the actions which they or others commenced, whether good or in accomplishing occurred them, consulted bad, no difficulty by which obstacles might be togetherrespectingthe means of bad actions, and then repairedto opposed to the commission Siva for counsel, God ! to whom of they said : O Mahadeva it is thou alone who gods, three eyed, bearer of the trident, of opposing obstacles to the comcanst create a being capable mission of improper acts.' Hearing these words, Siva looked how he could effect the wishes at Parvati, and whilst thinking of the gods,from the splendour of his countenance there sprang into existence a youth shedding radiance around, endowed with of Siva, and another the qualities Rudra, and capevidently tivating by his beauty the female inhabitants of heaven. his beauty was Uma excited with jealousy, and in her seeing Thou shalt not offend my sight : anger pronounced this curse of a beautiful with the form an youth ; therefore assume head and a large and thus shall all thy beauties elephant's belly, Siva then addressed his son, saying: Thy name vanish.' shall be Ganesa, and the son of Siva ; thou shalt be chief of the and disappointmentshall spring Vinayakas and Ganas ; success from thee ; and great shall be thine influence amongst the gods,
Siva alone.
"

In the

Varaha

Purana The

'

Ganesa

is said to have

immortals

and

'

"

'

'

and

in sacrifices and

all affairs. Therefore

shalt thou

be

wor-

Kennedy, Hindu

'

Myth./ p.

353.

272

The

Puranic

Deities.

otherwise the or shippedand invoked the first on all occasions, objectand prayers of him who omits to do so shall fail' The originand purpose of Ganesa's existence are more fully Siva addressingParvati says : During taughtin the Skanda.* the Dwarpara and Kali between that intervened the twilight barbarians, Sudras, and other workers of sin Yugas, women, heaven to obtained entrance by visiting the celebrated ascetic practices, shrine of Someswara (Somnath). Sacrifices, ordinances ceased, and all the other prescribed charitable gifts, and men throngedonly to the temple of Siva. Hence old and and those ignorantof them, those skilled in the Vedas young, and Sudras,ascended to heaven, until at length and even women Then Indra and it became the gods, crowded to excess. afflicted because thus overcome by men, sought the protection O Sankara of Siva, ! by thy favour and thus addressed him : heaven is crowded with men, and we are nearlyexpelled from it. These mortals wander wmerever they please, exclaiming, I the greatest,I am the greatest ;" and Dharmaraja (Yama), am of their good and evil deeds, is lost in beholdingthe register
"

"

'

"

astonishment.
;

The

seven

hells

were

intended

for

their

ception re-

their sins have been but, having visited thy shrine, excellent future ! remitted,and they have attained to a most

'

Such : was replied promise to Soma, nor can it be my who visit the temple of Someswara infringed therefore, ; all men, must ascend to heaven ; but supplicate Parvati, and she will contrive some for extricating means you from this distress.' The in laudatory strains : Parvati gods then invoked Praise be to thee, of the O supreme of goddesses ! Supporter ! Grant universe, praisebe to thee,who createst and destroyest us thy aid,and save us from this distress ! Having heard the moved the gods, thou, O goddess! wert prayer of Indra and with compassion ; and gently rubbing thy body, there was and an produced a wondrous elephant's being with four arms head, and then thou didst thus address the gods : Desirous of your advantage, who will occasion have I created this being,
'

Siva

"

'

'

'

Kennedy,

'

Hindu

Myth.,' p. 354.

Ganesa.
obstacles to
wish
to

~l

men,

and, deludingthem, will deprivethem


and thus shall

of the

they fall into hell' the gods returned to their homes Hearing this, delighted. "The said then, addressing : 'Command, Elephant-faced Devi, I 0 lovely do ? Thou didst reply now : goddess ! what shall Somnatha, and entice them Oppose obstacles to men's visiting to give up such a purpose dren, by the allurements of wives, chilBut from those who and wealth. possessions, propitiate thee with the following do thou all remove hymn, obstacles, and enable them to obtain the favour of Siva, by worshipping at his shrine at Somnatha :" Om, I praisethee, O lord of difficulties ! The beloved of Siddhi (knowledge)and spouse Buddhi and the giverof invincible, (understanding) ; Ganapati, of men who do victory ; the opposer of obstacles to the success Ganesa ! The I praisethee, O dreadful not worship thee ! of Uma, but firm,and easily ! O Vinayaka ! son propitiated I praisethee ! O elephant-faced, who didst formerly protect the gods,and accomplishtheir wishes,I praisethee!" Thus,' continued Parvati, 'shalt thou be praised and worshipped.'And whoever difficulties invokes the god Vinayaka, no previously shall impede the attainment of his purposedobject, and a most beneficial result shall he derive from sacrifices, and pilgrimages,
'

visit Somnatha,

"

all other devotional The

acts." from the


'
'

Ganapati Upanishad * is a used by the Ganapatyas: t to Ganesa "Praise to thee, O Ganesa ! Thou the truth ; art manifestly thou art undoubtedly the Creator,Preserver,and Destroyer, the Supreme Brahma, the eternal Spirit.I speak what is right and true ; preserve me therefore, when speaking, listening, giving, me possessing, everywhere. teaching, learning ; continually protect thee this universe manifested ; for thou art earth,water, was By air and ether. Thou Rudra. We art Brahma, Vishnu, and fire, O Ekadanta ! and meditate on thy acknowledge thy divinity, countenance our therefore, understanding. He who ; enlighten,
extract following specimen of the addresses
*

Kennedy, Hindu
of whom

'

Myth.,' p. 493.
Ganesa

f Hindus

is the supreme

of worship. object
T

274

The

Puranic

Deities.

thy divine form, conceiving it to be with one tooth, four hands, bearinga rat on thy banner, of anointed with red perfumes, a red hue, with a large belly, arrayed with red of in offerings red flowers, garments, worshipped the cause of this universe, abounding in compassion, imperishable, becomes the most cellent exunproduced and unaffected by creation, of Yogis. Praise, therefore, be to thee, O Ganapati. Whoever meditates this of the 'Atharva Siras figure upon of the Upanishad of which the Ganapati forms a part) (the name will be impeded by difficulties, will be liberated from the never rive great sins, and all lesser ones ; and will acquireriches,the virtue and final beatitude." of his desires, objects is said to have Ganesa written the Mahabharata at Vyasa's
meditates continually
upon
'

dictation.

In the

Adiparvaof
compose
to

that book that

it is said that when

the

about to sage was him to ask Ganesa few difficult

great work, Brahma

advised

become
to

his amanuensis.

puzzle him, which Suka have been able to understand. only and his disciple composer As Ganesa paused occasionally to think out the meaning of what he was writing, Vyasa composed other difficultpassages. In recent times there has been a supposed incarnation of descendant and representative Ganesa, whose visited by was E. Moor is Captain duringthe present century. The following * of that visit : his account Muraba Goseyn was a Brahman of Poona who and prayer, merited by abstinence, mortification, above others the favourable regardsof the Almighty. Ganapati in a accordinglyvouchsafed to appear to him at Chinchoor vision by night; desired him to arise and bathe ; and, whilst in
sentences
"
"

Vyasa gave a to this day the

the act of ablution, to seize and hold sacred to the Godhead first tangible substance that his hand The encountered.
covenanted

the

that

portionof his
be who

should Holy Spirit


as

god pervade the


seventh

person neration be

thus

and favoured,
to

continued
were

far
become

as

the

his seed, the


Asiatic

to

hereditary guardiansof
a

this sacred

substance, which
understood
as

stone, in which

god

was

successively proved to mystically

Researches,vii. 381.

Ganesa.
This type typified. is

275

and duly reverenced, preserved, carefully has ever been the constant companion of the sanctified person it the divine patrimony. This with annunciation inheriting happened about A.D. 1640; and at the time CaptainMoor visited the representative of the Deity. the sixth descendant was the place, what was the precise It does not now of the extent appear divine energy originally conceded, but it is inferred to have been of working miracles, such as healing limited power a sickness, and the faculty of answering the prayers of pious suppliants, These future events. were gifts enjoyed in a more foretelling of the god ; but extensive degree by the earlier representatives Moor saw the person whom to have performed several professed The third in descent is reported miracles. to have performed a It was wonderful work. in his time that the Moghul army of invaded the Mahratta Hyderabad so successfully country. After and burning Poona, a party proceeded to Chinchoor, plundering the residence of this Deity,to layit under contribution. To this in the divine influence refused to submit, confiding the Deo
"

wherewith

he

was

invested. with
a

The of

Mussulmans

derided

such

renderingit ridiculous offered The offer was to the Deo. to send a Nuzur (present) accepted, and the Deo betook himself to prayers, the insulting bigots as deputed certain persons to see the result, apparentlya decorous and appropriate ever given. It consisted howpresent was of cow's flesh, abomination in the eyes of a Hindu. an When the trays were uncovered, they were greatlyastonished to find that, instead of the cow's flesh, the trays were filledwith the
finest and
most

and superstition,

view

sacred flowers of the Hindus.

the finger of God recognised seeingthis, struck were of the so they with the reality

Mussulmans, in the transaction, and


a

The

miracle that his

valuable

grant of land
this

was

made

to the

Deo, which

to temple enjoys

day."
Deo
; and

The mortal

and lives the lifeof marries, eats, sleeps, he is

though regarded as a fool in he is worshipped as a god. On special occasions his actions and most movements watched, as they are the transient are carefully manifestations of the divine will, and are regardedas prophetic.
T
2

ordinary worldlymatters,
an

276
Thus, e.g., on
a

The

Puranic

Deities.

should particular night,

he

remain

in

peaceful

is predicted his or ; should his slumbers repose, national repose be disturbed, national calamities are expected. waking moments

If he

start

wildly from
war

his seat, seize is

sword,

or

make

any

warlike movement,

expected.

2.

KARTIKEYA.

Kartikeya,the god
the

gods, though

of war, and generalissimo of the armies of the called of Siva and son Parvati, younger of the according to most Puranic

legends, is
the
sense

their that

son

only

in

formed

him.

Brahma
answer

they arranged
to
a

for his birth in prayers The of the leader

the

gods for
of
says
:
"

petent com-

their forces. While

Ramayana*

Siva, the lord of the gods,was the other austerities, performing


deities asked of
went to

Brahma

and
room

for

in the general it seems, in that

Mahadeva, who,
said

had

acted formerly
1

capacity.
thou leader

He,'
our

didst of
now

they, 'whom give as a formerly


armies

is (Mahadeva), ties, austeriBrahma Uma.'

performing great

alongwith
says
curse

of the that in consequence could be of Uma no son of any


wives

born
KAIM

of the

IKliYA.

gods,
a

but
son

that
be

by

the river

Ganga, who

should

Agni should their general."

have

Muir, O. S. T.jiv. 364.

278

The

Puranic

Deities.

in their reclining great [Rishis]

own

and hermitages,

sweetly

of the moon, sleeping, resemblinggolden altars, pure as beams all wonderful that his stars. like to flames of fire, as Perceiving the wives of the Rishis,Agni became senses agitated, beholding with desire. Again and again he said : It is not was overcome not in love with ; they are proper that I should be thus agitated I shall gaze upon them me. Entering into the domestic fire, it were, close at hand.' as touching, Enteringthe domestic fire, lighted. dewith his flames, all of them, and beholdingthem, he was his attention Dwelling thus there for a long time,fixing of them, Agni these beautiful women, and enamoured on
'

was

overcome.

"Agfiiifailing to
abandon his

obtain

the

Brahmans'

wives, resolved

to

into the forest. Then form, and went corporeal This Svaha, the daughterof Daksha, firstfell in love with him. and blameless amorous goddess for a long time soughtfor his weak that he But being aware point,but could not find any. disturbed by had gone into the wood, and that he was really the amorous desire, goddessthus reflected : I,who am distressed
'

with
court

love,will take the forms of the


the affection of

seven

Rishis'

wives,and will

and the thus

By doing so he will be pleased, I shall obtain my desire.' Assuming first the form of Siva, wife of Angiras,the handsome goddess went to Agni, and addressed him : Agni, thou oughtest to love me, who am

Agni.

'

disturbed
me as

with

dead.

love for thee ; if thou wilt not do so, look upon have come, sent Agni, I,Siva,the wife of Angiras, dost thou, and Agni replied:'How know wives of the seven that Rishis,
"

by

virtuous women.'

how I
am

do the other beloved


distressed with

love ?'

Agni

was

not

able to resist the wives of the Rishis be of

temptation. After
should be blamed
seen

the

view, inter-

lest the

for their

happened to the figure of Garuda, the bird flew from the forest. thought,

misconduct

if she

in their

form, she assumed

she as unnoticed, She visited Agni a second time the wife of another Rishi,and so on as until she had paid six visits. The germs in a golden obtained from Agni she deposited reservoir, which, beingworshipped by the Rishis, generated a
"

Vishnu, and

Kartikeya.
Kumara
was (Kartikeya)

279
with six

son.

born and

heads, a
neck

double
one

number

of ears, twelve marries


come

eyes, arms, Devasena.


to

one feet,

and

belly.
"

Kartikeya
abandoned

The

six

Rishis'

wives, his

mothers, afterwards
been

him, complainingthat they had by their husbands, and degraded from their

former

and positions,

askinghim
Skanda him

to

secure

their admission what my


'

into

(Swarga). When paradise


to

had done
'

was

gratifying
son.

said to his mothers, Svaha : I desire the love difficultto obtain which her
'

Thou

art

genuine
Svaha Svaha.
;

thou

Skanda givest.'
: replied

then asked
'

What

love dost thou

desire ?

am

the beloved childhood does


not

daughterof Daksha,
been enamoured
me,

by
of
am

name

From
son,

my

I have

Agni

but, my

Agni

know thoroughly
'

who

enamoured

of him.'

Skanda

: replied

Whatever

oblation of Brahmans

is introduced

lift and throw it into the goddess, by hymns, they shall always, Thus, O beautiful goddess, fire, (happiness). saying Svaha
Then Brahma Pracontinually.' Go to thyfather said to Skanda : of Mahddeva, the vexer japati hast been produced for the good Tripura. Thou, unconquered, had entered into Agni, and Uma, of all worlds by Rudra, who

Agni

shall dwell

with

thee

'

who

had

entered

into Svaha.'

"

The

allusion to Rudra's The and

enteringinto Agni
the
too

is

in explained

the
a

Ramayana. pair as Siva


Uma

that gods, fearing


Parvati

descendants dreadful
to

of such

would

be

live with,

entreated those deities not to have

Siva consented,but offspring.

being angry, declared that as she could not have children suffer similar deprivation. Unthe other goddesses should fortunate the gods came too late to prevent the productionof born having been reKartikeya ; the germ from which he was ceived and the earth. entered and it, Agni by Vayu depositedit with Ganga, the sister of Uma, and thus this deity was produced. Purana'* Siva different The of his origin, account and givesa teaches that he was produced to effect the destruction of Tarika.
'

This

demon,

who

was

King
i

of

Tripura,was

"exceedingly

Moor's

Hindu

Pantheon,' p. 51.

280

The

Puranic

Deities.

ambitious and

and

oppressive.He
austerities he
went

forced any
boon

Brahma, by

to promise him austerities,

penance that he should demand.

his

Among

series, through the following mortifications of the eleven each ioo specific continuing years : stood on one I. He foot, holdingthe other and both hands up
his
"

toward
one

heaven, with his


toe.

eyes

fixed

on

the

sun. as

2.

He

stood

on

took only water 3. He remained lived similarly air. 5. He on

great

sustenance.

4. He

in water.

6. He

was

buried in the
incessant

but continued earth,

as

under

the

last infliction, in stood He


a on

adoration.

7. The
a one

same

in fire. 8. He his hands.


II. 10.
on

his the with

head.

9. He weightof his his head


"

hung on body on
was

tree

by

bore
tree

hand.

He

hung
a

downwards.* merit and Indra irresistible, should sovereignty and


be

Such

alarmed

lest their

demi-gods, usurped through the

host of

potency

of this penance, for consolation. resorted to Brahma Brahma, however, said that, although he could not resist such

he would, after rewarding them austerities,

by grantingthe

boon

demanded,
to

devise

method

of

it ultimately inoffensive rendering

them.
"

The

demand

by
no now

Tarika hand became

was

that

he should

be

unrivalled in
a son

and strength,

that He

should
so

slayhim

but that of
was

of

Mahadeva.
to to yield

arrogant that Indra


Ukhisrava
were

forced
; Kuvera

him

the white

horse eight-headed
; the Rishis

gave

up

his thousand
cow

sea-horses that
gave

compelled to
could be
moon

resignthe
wished. remained

Kamdhenu,
Sun in dread full.

yieldedeverythingthat
no

The

heat,and the
blew
as

in terror

always at

The

winds

he dictated, and, in should


arise
not

short,he usurped the entire management


'

of the universe. whence the


be

Narada

prophesied
of the world

the
;

marriage
at

deliverer

but

first Mahadeva

could

influenced with the passionof love. Indra persuaded Kama to lie in ambush, and contrived that Parvati should be seen by Siva
while

engaged

in

the

amiable

and

act graceful
some

of

gathering

Many of these forms of penance are resorted to, with the present time ; these devotees may at be seen shrines.
at

modifications,
other

Benares, and

Kartikeya.
wherewith flowers, decorate his

281

to

image. Kama, accompanied


friend Vasantu
at

by

his wife

Rati his

and (Desire),

his bosom
an

(the

took Spring),

aim, and launched

arrow

Mahadeva, who,

his devotion), reduced Kama enraged at the attempt (tointerrupt of fire that issued from his third eye. At to ashes by a beam Parvati prohowever, by ardent devotion and austerities, length, pitiated Siva, and the deityconsented to espouse his persevering devotee."
For
to
some

time

after their

them, the distressed and renewed a deliverer, anxiouslyexpecting

there was as marriage, disappointeddeities

no

child born
had been and

who

their lamentations

complaints. "Agni arrived in the presence of Mahadeva, having been deputed to express the desires of the other gods, that he would Siva had providethem with a son, who should destroyTarika. justleft his wife,and Agni, assuming the form of a dove, received the germ from which Kartikeyaarose. from Mahadeva Unable he let it fall into the Ganges,on the banks to carry this further, of which river arose the moon, and brightas a boy, beautiful as called Agnibhuva (producedfrom the sun, who was Agni), "c.*' Skanda, Kartikeya, of as many It happened that six daughters (thePleiades) the boy, and each called him her Rajas,coming to bathe, saw the breast,the child assumed to himself six son ; and, offering
"

mouths,

and

received

nurture

from

each

; whence

he is called

six mothers). But Sasthimatriya (having


no
a

in fact the child had In


course

mother, for he
conflict ensued
was

came

from

his father alone.

of time which the

between

Kartikeya and Tarika, in Kartikeyawas


brothers
was

demon

slain." outwitted

story is told showing how


Ganesa.
named

by

his
two

brother
ladies

As

the

two

fell in love

with

Siddhi

and

Buddhi, it
the world and the

agreed
have
at

that

whoever Ganesa he

should

firsttravel round his

should

them.

proved by
had done returned

talents logical obtained

aptness

quotation that

this,and
from

families when

prize long before his brother the disquietof both to his weary pilgrimage, discovered. Ganesa's sophistry was

282

The

Puranic

Deities.
*

We "Siva
into

have emitted the lake

still another

originof Kartikeya : sparks of fire from his eyes, which, being thrown who six infants, nursed were Saravana, became by
account

of

the

sky as the Pleiades. these When Parvati saw children,she was transported with their all of them that their beauty, and embraced togetherso forcibly
the wives
are seen

of the

Rishis, who

in the

six

bodies

became

one

; while

their

six heads

and

twelve

arms

remained."

Kartikeya is better The of Subramanya. with Sura, and his war interruptDaksha's
latter,he
entertained for betrothed
was

known
'

in South Purana
'

India

under

the

name

Skanda

relates

sacrifice ;
on

delayed
him with

his

of gives a full account he was how sent by his father to and of the how, at the instigation journey by beautiful damsels, who
and

dance

dancing girlswho
and married
cannot

are

to him

pagodas, to be to prostitute ; and, though allowed


to

song. attached

Hence the

it is the

tice prac-

themselves,

re-marry.
Garrett's

'

Classical

Dictionaryof

India.'

283

CHAPTER
THE

IX.
OF
THE

PURANIC

ACCOUNT

CREATION.

BEFORE creation
account

passingon to will be given.


from the Hindu
to
seem

the inferior It is
not at

an deities,

account

of the

all easy to give a consistent of because the imaginations Scriptures,


run

the
any

writers

have

wild

on

this

subject ;
seemed

not

having
to

each authority, As
in the

writer
accounts

has

written

what

good

himself.

of the

the germs deities,

of what

found in the recent, are occupiesa large space in the more * The following describes older books. hymn from the Rig-Veda of the the primal condition of thingsbefore the creative power Deity was exercised :
"

"

There What
Nor The

sky beyond. gulfprofound ? death was nor then, nor deathlessness, change of night and day. One breathed calmly,self-sustained ; nought else beyond it lay.
was

neither

aught nor
Where

naught, nor
all ?

nor air,

covered

all ?

rested

In watery

"

That

Gloom, hid in gloom, existed first one sea, eludingview. One, a void in chaos wrapt, by inward fervour grew.
"

Within Which
"

it first arose

nothing with existence

the primal germ of mind, desire, as links, sages searchingfind. the dark and What bard
can

The
Was

kindlingray that shot across it beneath ? or high aloft?


were

drear
answer

abyss
"

this ?
strove
"

There
A
"

fecundating powers mass beneath,and self-supporting

found,and
energy

mighty
above.

forces

from whence this vast creation rose ? knows, who ever told, No gods had then been born e'er the truth disclose ? who then can Whence this and framed whether world, by hand divine or no sprang if even Its lord in heaven alone can he can show." tell, Who
"

"

Muir, O.

S.

T.,v. 356.

284
This Hindus the wise world
came

The

Puranic

Account
earliest
have
come

hymn contains perhaps the the creation that respecting


conclusion
into
was

of speculations
down
to
us

the

; and

arrived at that God

alone knew

how

the

being. But as time went on this confession of of the human the cravings mind : hence ignorancedid not satisfy which are givenwith succeedingages sought by its conjectures, of exact the assurance knowledge, to throw lightupon the
unknowable. of the Rigis from the 'Purusha Sakta quotation believed Veda, which from its thought and languageis generally later origin than the preceding to be of much hymn. The
next
"
'

Purusha On

has
every

thousand

heads,

thousand

eyes,

thousand

feet.
a

space

of ten has

the earth,he overpassed (it) by enveloping is Purusha himself this whole fingers. (universe), side and whatever shall be. He
is also lord of

whatever

been

since (or immortality, when)by


are
a

food he

expands.
of him
are

All existences that which


is

quarter of him, and


in the

three-fourths

immortal

Purusha mounted three-quarters again produced here. From upward. A quarter of him was him was from Viraj, Purusha. When born Viraj the gods ; and with Purusha the oblation,the spring as performed a sacrifice, its butter, the summer its fuel, its (accomand the autumn was panying) universal sacrifice From that were offering. provided

sky.

With

curds and and

butter.
verses,

From

Saman
and

that universal sacrifice sprang the Rich the metres and the Yajush ; from it sprang with
two
rows

horses

all animals

of

teeth,kine,goats

and

sheep. When (thegods)divided Purusha,into how many parts The Brahman his mouth, the did they cut him was up ? the being (called) made his arms, Raj any a was Vaisya was his thighs, his from feet. The and the Sudra morn sprang
sprang from from
arose

his soul his

the (manas),

sun

from

Agni
navel
from

From his mouth, and Vaya from the air, from his head the sky,from his feet the earth,
ear

his eye, his breath.

Indra

and

his

the

(four) quarters ;
*

in

this

manner

(thegods)

formed

the worlds."

Muir, O.

S.

T., i. 9.

286
In another

The

Puranic

Account
different alone.
He

passage
as

this the

Brahmana soul of

gives quite a
the He

account.

Purusha,
"he this did not
same

universe, was
desired
two
en a

Hence

enjoy happiness.
self to fall asunder From wife.

second.

caused
arose a

into
n

parts. Thence
were

husband
:
'

and does

them

born.

She

reflected

How
me a

cohabit with and the other


a ass.

became
a

mare,

he, after having produced me from himself, ? Ah ! let me disappear! She became a cow, bull ; from them kine were produced. The one the other the other a stallion ; the one a she-ass,
'

male

From

them
one

the class of animals became


a ram. a

with undivided other


a

hoofs

was

produced. The
one an

the she-goat, From them

the
were

ewe,

the

other

he-goat; goats and sheep


whatsoever,

produced.
to

In this manner created."


*

of pairs

all creatures

down

ants, were

Again
From

this Brahmana

his upper vital airs, mortal Manu's


account

created living beings. says: "Prajapati vital airs he created the gods ; from his lower creatures." of the

f
creation
most

probably follows
"

the

precedingone in order of time ; and it will be noticed that he He has developedsome of thought expressed there. germs and willing to create various self-existent) (the having felt desire, beings from his own body, first created the waters, and living into them That seed became threw a a seed. golden egg, of lustre equal to the Sun ; in it he himself was born as Brahma,
The waters the parent of all the world. are they are sprung from Nara ; and as they were motion from he is therefore (ayana-path), is celebrated (purusha) called the existent eternal, imperceptible,
and

called

narah, for
Produced
cause,

his first sphere of non-existent


as

Narayana.
Brahma.

that male

in the world

After

for a year in the egg, the glorious being,by his own dwelling in twain. contemplation, split Having divided his own body into two parts,the lord (Brahma) became, with the half a male, and with the half a female ; and in her he created Viraj. Know, O most excellent twice-born men, that male Viraj that I, whom
.

himself created,am

the creator

of all this world."

Muir, O.

S.

T., i.26.

f Vishnu

Purana,5 p.

31.

of

the

Creation.

287
details which
'

The

Puranas This

enter

very

creation.

is

one

of the

minutely into the topicsof specified


of the
'

of

the

Purana

ought

to treat.

The

first Book

Vishnu In

Purana

is largely
to

filled with

the

accounts

of this work.

his
:

* preface
"

the

translation of the 'Vishnu


of the six into which

Purana,'Wilson
is divided

says

The

firstbook

with occupied chiefly the details of creation, primary and secondary ; the firstexplaining how the universe proceedsfrom eternal crude or Prakriti, the forms of thingsare manner matter ; the second, in what developed from the elementary substance previously evolved, how or they reappear after their temporary destruction. Both

the work

is

these
occurs

creations

are

but periodical,

the

termination

of the first

not only all only at the end of the life of Brahma ; when but the elements the gods and other forms are annihilated, are substance besides into which one primary again merged ; only

spiritual being exists


Kalpa,
creatures
a

the latter takes

forms Brahma, and affects the substance of the universe and lower worlds, leaving

day

of

placeat only the

the end

of every of inferior

and entire, The

sages

and
in the

gods
'

unharmed." Purana
'

account
"

Vishnu

was,

accordingto
of

that all

imparted by authority, originally

the

great father

(Brahma)
venerable
who

in

answer

sages, and reigned on the who

and questionsof Daksha repeated by them to Purukutsa,


to

the

other
a

king
can

banks
to be

of

the

Narmada."

f
the

"

Who ?

describe him is

is not

apprehended by
and

senses

He

Brahma,

then

supreme, existed in the the

lord,eternal,unborn, imperishable. He
form of Purusha of the
supreme

of Kala.

Purusha
two

is (Spirit)

first form

; next

proceeded

other the

forms, the discreet and


last. These four
"

Kala (time) indiscreet ; and was Pradhana crude (primaryor matter), Kala

Purusha
in

and Vyakta (visible (Spirit), substance),

(time)
"

the causes of the production of are proportions, and destruction. The the phenomena of creation, preservation, the of the Brahma, soul, the substance supreme supreme world, the lord of all creatures, the universal soul,the supreme their due
*
t

Vishnu

Purana,'p. 39.

f Ibid.

p. 9.

8
ruler Hari
and
season

The

Puranic

Account
will

of his (Vishnu),

own

any

and the mutable agitated spirit, of creation having arrived,in the same manner its from and affects the mind proximitymerely, mind the immediate so itself; operation upon

having entered into matter immutable the principles,


as

grance frafrom

not

supreme

influenced After

the elements
acconnt
'

of creation."
of the

givingan

or rather the evolution creation,


'

of the elements, the (the

Vishnu

Purana

f goes

on

to say

"

Then

and earth,severally water united ether,air, light, elements) of sound, and the rest existed as distinguishwith the properties able their to as terrific, or qualities according soothing, stupifyvarious and being unconnected, energies, ing; but possessing create living they could not without combination beings,not having blended with each other. Having combined, therefore, with one tion, associaanother,they assumed, through their mutual of entire unity; and the character of one from the mass with the acquiescence of the direction of spirit, indiscrete and the rest,to the gross elements intellect, inclusive, principle, formed an egg, which gradually like bubble of water. a expanded This vast egg, compounded of the elements, and resting the on
waters,
was

the
; and

excellent there

natural

abode

of Vishnu

in the

form

of Brahma
essence

is

Vishnu, the lord of the universe,whose assumed he a perceptible inscrutable, form, and even
in it in the character
was

himself
vast
as

abided

of

Brahma. of the

Its womb, mountains


;

the mountain
oceans

Meru,
were

composed
waters

the mighty In that egg were and


and planets

the

that filled its and

cavity.

mountains, the divisions of the universe,the gods, demons, and


seas

the

continents

and

mankind.
"

then the qualityof activity, Hari the lord of all, Affecting himself becoming Brahma, engaged in the creation of the universe. Vishnu, with the quality of goodness and of immeasura created thingsthrough successive power, preserves until the close of the period termed a Kalpa ; when the ime mighty deity, invested with the quality of darkness,
,

Vishnu

I'm-;in;i,' i". 15.

f Page

18.

of

the

Creation.

289

assumes

the awful form thus devoured the

Having
one

of Rudra, and swallows up the universe. and converted the world into all things,

his mighty serpent reposes upon supreme couch amidst the deep : he awakes after a season, and again, as Brahma, becomes the author of creation."
vast

ocean,

The

Purana

next
or

gives an
This
is
are

account
a

of the

creation

in the
water

present Kalpa
and

age.

for secondary creation,

already in existence ; it is not creation in its proper signification, but the change of pre-existing matter that the earth lay into the forms we knew Vishnu see. now hidden in the waters ; he therefore, assuming the form of a boar,*
raised it upon his tusks. In answer to a request for
a

the earth also

full account

of the creation of
"
"

Created :f the following beings, passages occur at forms) beings, they are destroyed although (intheir original the periods of dissolution, yet,being affected by the good or evil sequences of former existence, acts never are exempted from their con-

gods and

other

; and

when

Brahma

creates

the world

anew,

the progeny and animals, the creating and


"

of his will, in the fourfold condition of inanimate things. Brahma then,being desirous four orders
men
"

they are gods,men,


of

of

beings
"

termed

gods, demons,
darkness

genitors, pro-

collected his mind

into itself.

Whilst

thus

of the quality concentrated,

pervaded
first born,

his

body, and thence the demons from his thigh. Brahma issuing
was

(the Asuras)were
then abandoned

that form which

composed of the rudiment of darkness, and which, being suming deserted by him, became night. Continuing to create, but asand thence different shape,he experienced a pleasure, from his mouth by proceeded the gods. The form abandoned him became ; and predominates day, in which the good quality and by night the hence by day the gods are most powerful,
in which the adopted another person (form) rudiment of good men also prevailed ; and thinkingof himself born were the father of the world, the progenitors as (orPitris) from his side. The body, when he abandoned it,became the

demons.

He

next

See ante,p.

121.

f 'Vishnu

Purana,' p.

30.
U

2qo

The

Puranic

Account

then assumed another ndhya, or evening twilight.Brahma of foulness ; and from this, men person, pervadedby the quality foulness (or passion) were in whom predominates, produced. it became the dawn. At the " juickly abandoning that body, feel most of day men of this light vigour; whilst the appearance in the evening. most arc powerful progenitors of Next from Brahma, in a form composed of the quality born ; and was produced hunger, of whom foulness, anger was of the god put forth in darkness beings emaciated with hunger, These hideous beingshastened aspect and with long beards. of them as exclaimed, Oh preserve us,' were to the deity. Such
"

'

thence

called Rakshasas
'

(fromRaksha,

to

preserve) ; others

who

cried out,

Yakshas
head

denominated from that expression were eat,' (fromYaksha, to eat). Beholding them so disgusting, Let
us were

the hairs of Brahma


were

again renewed from their creeping, and to creep), serpents,called Sarpa (Srip, because they had deserted the head. Ahi (from Ha, to abandon), of the world, being incensed, then created fierce The creator denominated who were Bhutas, malignant fiends, goblins, beings, of flesh. The Gandharvas and caters next were (choristers) of the goddess of speech,they born : imbibingmelody, drinking were born, and hence their appellation. "The divine Brahma, influenced by their material energies, made will. Birds others of his own having created these beings, he formed from his vital vigour his heart ; goats ; sheep from from his mouth; kine from his belly and sides; and horses, elephants,sarabhas, gayals, deer, camels, mules, antelopes,
and his all with rather other animals

shrivelled up, and first falling from his they became upon it ; from their falling

from

his

feet

whilst

from
In

the this
;

hairs
manner
were

of

herbs, roots, and body sprang things are said to have sprung
him than
,

fruits." from
an

Brahma
account

they

in the

hence egg: of creation. The


in this

this is
creation

of evolution,
as

of man,
similar

divided
to

into

four

is described

Purana, in

terms

those

in Mann. this is the Following Daksha, and Bhrigu,


account

of the mind-born
"

sons

of Brahma
became

"

others

nine in number, who

the

of

the

Creation.
"

291
Manu

of progenitors

men.

Next

Brahma

created himself

as

self,for original the protection the female portionof of created beings: and whom himself he constituted Satarupa, from the austerity purified
sin

Swayambhu,

born

of, and

identical with, his

and nuptials) (forbidden


to

whom

the divine Manu


a

Swayambhu
of the shown the how
ocean

took

wife."

After

this follows
sons

longaccount
it is then

scendant de-

of these

mind-born

; and

by
the

the

productionof the Amrita at and gods obtained immortality,


was
some

the

churning of

the work

of creation

for

this age

complete.

With
in the

that
are

are

variations this is the story of the creation as told Puranas ; though in some prominence is given to parts touched upon here, whilst some incidents only lightly described fully
*

more

here than in

some

of the other Puranas.

See Part

III., chap.i.

(J

2Q2

The

Puranic

Divisions

of

Time.

CHAPTER
THE PURANIC DIVISIONS

X.
OF TIME.

THE

three

main

divisions

of

time

employed
and

in

the

Hindu
These

are YUGAS, MANVANTARAS, Scriptures,

Kalpas.*

will now
There years.

be described.
are

four

Their

extend Yugas, which together duration is as follows : respective


The The The The

to

12,000

divine

"

Treta

Yuga Yuga Dvapara Yuga Kali Yuga


is

Krita

4,800divine 3,600 "


2,400 1,200
" "

years.
" "
"

"

One

year

of mortals
as

360

is taken
The

the number
=
=

equal to one day of of days in the year :


=

the

gods."

As

Yuga The Treta Yuga The Dvapara Yuga The Kali Yuga One

Krita

4,800 x 360 = 3,600 x 360 2,400 x 360 1,200 x 360=


=

1,728,000 years of mortals. 1,296,000 864,000


432,000

all the four lesser Yugas, Mahay uga, or age, including divine years therefore,being 12,000 4,320,000 years of A thousand mortals. such Mahay ugas are a day of Brahma." and his nights are of equal duration ; a Kalpa, therefore, or I lay of Brahma extends over ordinary years. 4,320,000,000 'Within each Kalpa 14 Manus reign; a Manvantara, or period of a Manu, therefore, is consequently T'.r part of a Kalpa, 01of Brahma. day
=
"

linn Pur; an; 1, Book " S. T., i. 43. ). Muir,


' "

and i.chap, iii.,

Book

vi.

chap.i.

294
The
"

The

Puranic

Divisions
is described of periods

of

Time.
follows

process of destruction At the end of a thousand

as

:
"

the most
a

part exhausted.
years, and

four ages the earth is for total death then ensues, which lasts of the
at

hundred

in consequence

failure of food
of Rudra, with

all

beingsbecome
The

and exanimate, and languid then


assumes

last entirely perish.


the himself.

eternal Vishnu

the

character

and descends destroyer, He


enters

to reunite

all his creatures

into the

seven

of the

and globe,

causes

rays of the sun, drinks up all the waters all moisture whatever, in living bodies or

the whole The earth. to evaporate, thus drying up in the soil, and springs the mountain-torrents, all exhaled, are seas, the rivers,
and
"

so

are

all the waters

of Patala,the

Thus

fed,throughhis

regionsbelow with abundant intervention,

the earth.

moisture,

solar rays dilate to seven radiance glows the seven suns, whose above, below, and on every side,and sets the three worlds and

Patala

on

fire. The and

three

rugged
destitute

deformed

consumed worlds, throughout the


; and

these suns, become whole of their extent

by

and mountains, rivers, back of

seas

the earth, bare

of verdure

and

in appearance of moisture, alone remains,resembling the of all things, tortoise. The destroyer Hari, in the form is the flame

of Rudra, who

of time, becomes

the

breath scorching

of the serpent Sesha, and therebyreduces Patala to ashes. The when it has burnt all the divisions of Patala,proceeds great fire,
to

of eddying whirlpool flame then spreads of the atmosphereand the sphere to the region of the gods,and wraps them in ruin. The three spheres show like amidst the surrounding flames, all that prey upon a frying-pan movable or stationary things.The inhabitants of the two upper spheres, havingdischargedtheir functions and being annoyed by the heat,remove that to the sphere above, or Maharloka. When becomes heated,its tenants, who, after the full period of their stay, are desirous of ascendingto higher regions, depart for the * Janaloka." The f gives more 'Vfiyu Purana teaching on this explicit subject.
consumes

the earth and

it also.

vast

'

'Vishnu

Purana/ p. 631.

t Ibid.

p.

note. 632,

The
"

Puranic

Divisions
have

of

Time.

295

Those
are

sainted mortals who

Vishnu diligently worshipped


at the

and

for piety, abide distinguished

time of dissolution

the Manus, the seven Rishis,the in Maharloka, with the Pitris, and the gods. These, when the various orders of celestial Spirits heat of the flames that

destroythe

world

reaches

to to

Maharloka,
become
re-

to Janalokain repair

their subtile

forms, destined
their

embodied

in similar the

as capacities

renewed, at
life

beginningof throughout the lifeof all are destroyed; but


the

the

former,when the world is tinues succeeding Kalpa. This con; at

Brahma those

the have

of expiration then attained

his
a

who

residence in the Brahmaloka, with spirit Brahma." The


'

by having

identified themselves
into the sole

in

resolved Supreme, are finally


Purana
'

existing

Vishnu

continues

as

follows

"

in Janarddana,

the whole world,breathes the person of Rudra, having consumed forth heavy clouds. Mighty in size and loud in thunder, they all space. fill Showering down torrents quench the dreadful fires which involve then of water, these clouds the three worlds, and

for a hundred they rain uninterruptedly years and deluge dice,these as the whole world. Pouring down in drops as large date rains overspreadthe earth,and fillthe middle region and inunThe world is now heaven. enveloped in darkness, and all the clouds continue animate and inanimate, having perished, things,
to pour

down

their waters mentioned

for above
"

more

than

hundred

years."

The

four

Yugas
"

the Krita,Treta, Dvaviz.,

The Krita is the have characteristic qualities. para, and Kali The Mahabharata the Kali the iron age. f givesthese golden, characteristics very distinctly. Hanuman, the monkey-god, is the the describing speaker,
"

The

four ages to Bhlmasena, one of the Pandus. In is eternal. Krita is that age in which righteousness excellent of

the time of that most

had been Yugas (everything) Duties did to be done. and nothing (remained) done {Krita), Afterwards then languish, did the people decline. nor not through (the influence of) time, this Yuga fell into a state of neither gods, Danavas, In that age there were inferiority.

Page 633.

f Muir, O.

S.

T., i. 144.

296

The

Puranic

Divisions

of

Time.

Gandharvas, Yakshas, Rakshasas,nor


went selling on,
no

efforts were their

made
mere

earth

was

by obtained)
of
sense arose

Pannagas ; no buying and by men ; the fruit (ofthe wish ; righteousness and
disease
or

abandonment of the organs

of the world

No (prevailed).

decline

through the influence of age ; there no was malice,weeping, pride,or deceit ; no contention, no Hence the or hatred, cruelty, fear,affliction, jealousy, envy. the transcendent of these Yogins. resort was Supreme Brahma white. Then In that age was Narayana, the soul of all beings, born creatures devoted alike to their duties. were They were in the object of their trust,in observance, and in their knowledge. At that period the castes, alike in their functions, fulfilled their mula forand used one devoted to one were duties, unceasingly deity, Veda. rule and one rite. They had but one one (mantra),
"

Understand

now

the

Treta, in which

sacrifice

commenced,
red ; and

decreased righteousness
men

by

Vishnu fourth,
were

became
to
a

adhered

to

truth, and

devoted

Then sacrifices dependent on ceremonies. arts and In the Treta men acted with an a varietyof rites. objectin view, seekingafter reward for their rites and their gifts, and no and from to liberality longerdisposed to austerities, (a simple feeling of) duty. In this age, however, they were devoted to their own duties and to religious ceremonies. 'In the Dvapara age righteousness diminished was by two Vishnu became fourfold. and the Veda Some quarters, yellow, studied four Vedas, some at none three, others two, and some all. The brated celeceremonies Scriptures were being thus divided, in a great variety of ways ; and the people, beingoccupied with austerity and the bestowal of gifts, became full of passion (rajasi). Owing to ignorance of the one Veda, Vedas were And from the decline of goodness (Sattva), multiplied. now, few only adhered When had fallen away from to truth. men goodness, many desires, and calamities,caused diseases, by assailed destiny, them, by which they were severely afflicted, and driven to practise austerities. Others, desiring enjoyments and offered sacrifices. Thus, when heavenly bliss, they had reached the Dvapara, declined throughunrightousness. men

righteousness with holy prevailed,

The

Puranic

Divisions

of

Time.

297
of

"

In

the

Kali, righteousnessremained

to

the

extent

one-

fourth black and

became of darkness, Vishnu in that age only. Arrived of righteousness, ; practicesenjoined by the Vedas, works rites of sacrifices ceased. Calamities, diseases, fatigue,
as

faults,such
As

anger,

"c, distresses,anxiety, hunger, fear, prevailed.


revolve

again declines ; when righteousness When this takes place, the people also decline. they decay, the generated impulses which actuate them also decay. The practices is Such by this declension of the Yugas frustrate men's aims. who Those for a short time. has existed the Kali Yuga, which are long-livedact in conformity with the character of the age." it is said there is a paragraph in which In the Bhishmaparvan of life that thousand Four are specifiedas the duration years thousand in the Krita Yuga, three thousand in the Treta, and two earth in the Dvapara. form the period at present established on * There is no in the Tishya (Kali)." fixed measure
the ages
' ' "

It should

be

noticed the
'

that

the

immense

quoted
In the years

above
text

from

Vishnu

Purana,'
"

of the ages as is peculiar to the Puranas. duration


mention

of the

Mahabharata the books different

no

is made

of the

comprising
the of earlier

though
notions

f Yugas being divine years," favour far more certainly extravagant


those

chronology than

with which

Western

nations

are

familiar. Muir, O. S. T., i. 148. t Ibid.

PART

III.

THE

INFERIOR

DEITIES

^'

THE

TULSI.

302
the mind-born

The

Inferior
of Brahma
passage
"

Deities.
named
a son

as

sons

but

Bhrigu

is not

amongst
of

them.

In another

it describes

him

as

Varuna,

but Brahma

is there

identified with

Varuna.

At
was men

sacrifice at which
thrown

Brahma

a officiated, portion of Varuna

into the with the

sacrificial fire, whence bodies.

there

arose

three bhrik Kavi

endowed

blazing of
a

Bhrigu sprang first from Angiras from the cinders,and fire),


The these

(the
from and

heap

of

ashes.

god
three
was

called
as

Mahadeva,
own.

Varuna,

Pavana,
son.

claimed

his

also claimed

them.* received

It

agreed
and

that

Agni and Bhrigu was


took have
"

Brahma Varuna's Kavi. In that

Agni

Angiras,
poem

Brahma
:

another

part of that

it is said

We

heard

the great and venerable Rishi Bhrigu was from fire at the sacrifice of Varuna." f The says that
"

producedby Brahma Bhagavata Purana


'

'

he

sprang

from

the
verse,

skin

of the

Creator
"

'

and

the

Mahabharata,
At the

in another

declares

that

the

venerable

Brahma's Bhrigu, havingsplit

heart,issued forth."
to

great sacrifice of Daksha,

which

Siva

was

not

he reviled that invited, Bhrigu officiated as priest ; and because Daksha in slighting and justified him, he god and his followers, suffered the loss of his beard. The The Mahabharata of that

Indra

lost the benefit of caused the

gives a legend of Bhrigu, cursing Indra. Nahusha, being filled with pride, age, named his previousgood works, and in his presumption
to

Rishis
to

carry

him

about.

When
" "

it

came

to

Agastya's turn
submit
to

carry him, Bhrigu said to him, Why do we the insults of this wicked kingof the gods ? Agastya
none as a

that replied had


on

of the Rishis had boon the


power
; but

cursed
to

Nahusha, because
same

he

received whom

subjectto

his service any


time he
was

he fixed
to act

his eye
upon

that at the

quite ready

Bhriguthen
vengeance to his car would
on

told him

suggestion Bhrigu might make. any to take that he had been sent by Brahma
would

by
*

that very day attach Agastya he (Bhrigu) and kick him ; but incensed at this insult, the oppressor condemn a serpent. to become a curse

Nahusha, who

O. Aluir,

S.

T., i. 445.

Ibid.

Bhrigu.
Nahusha
carry
'

303

The

mighty

summoned him.
"

the Sarasvati to Maitravarum knot of

The Close the

Agastya from the banks glorious Bhrigu then said


thy eyes,
whilst I enter of

of
to

: (Agastya)

into the

thy

hair !

With

Bhrigu entered
as
a

into the Nahusha attached

hair
came

stock.
to

the king, overthrowing of Agastya,who stood motionless to be carried by Agastya, who and vehicle,

view

desired

be

to

the

agreed

king of the gods wherever he pleased- Nahusha to look at him, but Bhrigu in Agastya's hair did not venture knowing his power of subduing by a glance. Agastya did not when lose his temper ; even moved. unurged by a goad, he remained The king at last kicked him ; when Bhrigu,invisible in and violently cursed him : the hair of Agastya,became enraged,
"

carry the attached him,


to

thou Since,fool, head with


the

hast

in thine anger
*

smitten become
a

the

great Muni

on

the

thy foot,therefore
earth."
Thus

serpent, and

fall

to swiftly

cursed

by

the invisible

Bhrigu,

Nahusha would

fell to the earth ; had the sage been seen have been unable to punish the oppressor. another occasion cursed
was

by Indra,he
Mahabharata
to
to
a

Bhrigu on
says
:
"

Agni.

The

-A

woman

named

Puloma

betrothed

demon

according and demon, by the aid of Agni, and took her away to his the bride's hiding-place, discovered aid in the search, the demon home. For rendering Bhrigu, cursing shall eat everything." this day, you Agni Agni, said, From asked Bhrigu why he had cursed him, seeingthat he had spoken the truth, and that in doing this he had simply done his duty ;
seeingher Bhrigu,
carried her off

beauty,married

her

Vedic

rites,

secretly.The

"

and

reminded

him

that "when

person

is asked

and question,

and he, with seven preceding speaks what is false, intentionally is cast into hell ; and that he who seven succeedinggenerations, He goes onto withholds information is equally I, guilty." say:
"

too,

restrain respectingBrahmans of the gods and ancestors. the mouth am really offered to them, they partake of it through me as
can

curse,

but

my

I anger. When ghl is


;

their mouth

how

then

can

I be said to eat

? everything

"

Bhriguhearingthis

Muir, O. S. T., i. 314.

-"

04
to

The

Inferior

Deities.
"

consented
his

modify

his curse,

by sayingthat,
so

as

the Sun

by

all nature, and heat purifies light that passedthrough him." Bhrigu is said to have performeda

Agni

should

all purify deed


; the The
"

most

wonderful

transforming of a Kshattriya king into a Brahman. of this uniquework : account Mahabharata* givesthe following attacked by the sons of was Divodasa,King of Kasi (Benares), Vitahavya, and all his family slain in battle. The afflicted
'"

monarch

therefore for him


a

resorted

to

the

sage

who Bharadvaja, of which


a

formed per-

in consequence sacrifice,

son an

named
plished accomon

Pratardana

was

born
was

to him.
sent

Pratardana, becoming

warrior,

Yitahavyas.
who

his father to take vengeance Vitahavya had now to flyto another sage,

by

the

Bhrigu,

promisedhis
most

protection. The
that of the

avenger

Pratardana,however,
be

followed, and
the Bhrigu,

demanded eminent
no

refugee should
filledwith
are

given up.
Brahmans.'

religious men,

compassion,

said:

'There

is

Kshattriya here;

all these

Pratardana was glad,and, Hearing this true assertion of Bhrigu, 'Even the O thus, glorious rejoined: sage'sfeet, gentlytouching I have I have for saint, compelled this king gained my object, his caste.' This Vitahavya,by the mere word of to relinquish became a Brahman Rishi,and an utterer of the Vedas." Bhrigu, The of nineteen names Bhrigus are given in the Matsya of hymns ; Bhriguhimself Parana,' who are said to be composers Professor Rothf being one of the narrators of the Mahabharata. who speaks of the Bhrigus as a class of mythological beings, the belonged to the aerial or middle class of gods. They were discoverers of fire, and brought it to men. adds that this He has also a connexion with history, of the chief race as one
'

families bears this name, and this fact in the hymns of the RigVeda.
In the

Brahmanical

allusions

are

made

to

Ramayana
a

there

are

not ;

many

references
is induced Vishnu

to

he is there called
female

Maharishi

and

Rama

demon
she

wife when

that by the remembrance to Indra's throne. aspired

slew

Bhrigu ; to slay a Bhrigu's

He

is the saint whom

Muir,0.

S.

T.,i. 229.

t Ibid. i. 442.

PULASTYA.
the childless wives of and
he gave
was

305
to

Sagarworshipped in order
lady
one, to

obtain

son

to

one one

the

other

sixty

thousand.

Parasurama

of his most

illustrious descendants.

2.

PULASTYA.

another Pulastya, because


to
men.

of Brahma's

mind-born

sons,
were

is reverenced made known

it was The

through him
reason

that the Puranas

being regarded as the Revealer of * where the narrator is taughtin the Vishnu Purana,' Scripture addressed to him by his disciple in answer to a question Parasara,
of his
'

Maitreya, says
by
had
my

recall to my father's father Vasishtha.


"

You

mind I had

what

was

of old narrated that


my

heard

father
:

been

devoured seized

by
me,

Rakshas, employed by Visvamitra


and I commenced
; hundreds
a

violent

anger

sacrifice for the


were

destruction
to ashes

of the Rakshasas

of them

reduced

by

my

about to be the rite, when, as they were thus spake to Vasishtha grandfather

pated, extirentirely me: 'Enough,


are
"

my

child ; let Parasara

thy

wrath

be

appeased;
was

the of

Rakshasas

not

: thy culpable

father's death from his

the work

ceased

and sacrifice,

his

destiny.' was grandfather


"

lence Pulastyacoming said to him : Since,in the vioof animosity, genitor, you have listened to the words of your prolearned in and exercised clemency, you shall become Since you have even forborne, though incensed, every science. I will bestow another boon ; you to destroymy on you posterity, of the Puranas, shall know the author of a summary shall become and your of the deities, the true nature understanding through

pleased;

then

my

favour

shall be
as

relates the Purana wise

and free from doubts." perfect told him formerly by Vasishtha


"

Parasara
and the

Pulastya." Pulastyamarried
a

a Prithi, daughterof Daksha, by whom

he

had

son,

the

sage

Havisbhu, whose sons Kuvera, Ravana, and other Rakshasas.


*

Agastya ; the Bhagavata calls were Agastya and Visravas,the

his wife father of

Page

4.
X

306
The
in
a reason

The

Inferior
attack

Deities.

of Parasara's

legendin
Sakti
him
to

the Mahabharata.

given King Kalmashapada, meeting


upon
a

the

Rakshasas

is

with wished

(Parasara's father)in

narrow

path

in

forest,
Sakti
in this
sons

get
he

out

whereupon
cursed

the

king

of his way. thrashed him


a

This

the sage

refused to do ; When other

with his

whip

; in return

him, and
the

became

cannibal Sakti

Rakshas. and all the

form,

king
was

killed and

ate

of

Vasishtha.
Parasara When

Sakti's wife being pregnant at the time


born
he
was soon

of his
his

death,

Rakshasas, but

grandfather. of the the slaughter grew up, he commenced and others. restrained by Vasishtha, Pulastya,
after and

brought up

with

3. PULAHA. This married whom Rishi does


a

not

in largely figure

-Hindu Kshama

daughter of
three
sons.

Daksha

named

mythology. He by (Patience),

he had

4.

KRATU.

married He than Pulaha. widely known he another Sannati daughter of Daksha, by whom (Humility), had pigmy sages no bigger than Balakhilyas, sixty thousand the rays and resplendent the joint as of the thumb pious, ; chaste, Kratu is
no more
"

of the sun."

5.

ANGIRAS.

hymns of the Righe had four Veda. He firstmarried Smriti (Memory), by whom and (Oblation) daughters,and afterwards he married Swaddha Sati, also Daksha's daughters. His so-called daughters,the addressed to presiding verses Richas, are thirty-five Pratyangirasa divinities. There is some ; it ambiguity in the use of his name from the same root as Agni, of which comes deityit is used as an of a son and is the name epithet ; it is also used of Agni'sfather, been of Agneya, Agni'sdaughter. Angiras is supposed to have into India. with Bhrigu in introducing associated fire-worship

Angiras is famed

as

the author

of several

'

Vishnu

Parana, p. 83.

'

Marichi, Atri.

307

6. Marichi
any
as
a

MARICHI.

is better known

through his

descendants

than

from

work
son

of his own, his most illustrious child being Kasyapa, in his incarnation as a dwarf. Vishnu of whom came,
were
"

Amongst Kasyapa's thirteen wives him became the mothers of gods.


deities in
a

Diti and
were on

who Aditi,

by
of

There

twelve celebrated the

former

age called

Tushitas,who,
'

approach

the present period, or shusa, said amongst of into the womb

during the reignof the last Manu Chakthemselves, Come, let us quicklyenter be born in the next Aditi,that we may Manvantara, for thereby we shall again enjoythe rank of gods ;' of Kasyapa,the son born the sons and accordingly they were whose the twelve Adityas, of Marichi by Aditi ; thence named were names Vishnu, Sakra, Aryaman, Dhuti, Tvastri,Pushan, Mitra, Varuna, Ansa, and Bhaga." Vivasvat,Savitri, of the fact that gods undergo successive births An explanation In the beginningof the Kalpa, is found in the 'Vayu Purana.' his created by Brahma as twelve Jayas, were gods, named and assistants in creation. They, lost in meditation, deputies his commands, on which he declared that they should neglected
*

be reborn

in each

Manvantara
'

until the seventh. this explain of


a

The

writer of

the

'

Vishnu

Purana
born

tries to

fact :

"

These
ages

classes of

divinities are
to
are

their

own

again at and pleasure,


as

the end

thousand

according

spoken of
same manner

birth and
as

and disappearance their appearance death ; but theyexist age after age in
sets and

the

the

sun

rises

By his wife Diti,Kasyapa had two Vishnu, here said to be the son Hiranyaksha,whom sister Aditi,became incarnate to destroy; these mortal
were

again." and sons, Hiranyakasipu


of her enemies

therefore cousins.

7.
Atri
"

ATRI.

was

the author

praising Agni,
*

of many Vedic Indra, the Asvins, and

those hymns, especially

the Viswa-devas."

He

'Vishnu

Purana,' p.

122.

f Page

123.
X
2

^oS
married

The
who

Inferior
bore him

Deities. Durvasas, the sage


is said to who

Anasuya, by Indra. slighted

was

Soma,

the moon,

proceedfrom

the

old, they received a Rama, Sita,and Lakshman, who at their hermitage from then wandering from placeto place :
were
"

eyes of his father Atri. this sage and When

his wife

visit
were

"He

came

to

Paid And
As
a

reverence

Atri's pure retreat, to his holy feet,


won
*

from

the saint such welcome

fond father

giveshis son."
to

his wife Atri, in introducing describes her


:
"

his illustrious guests, thus

"

Ten

thousand
sternest

On And

She, when
Caused
And So Nor

years this votaress, bent rites of penance, spent ; the clouds withheld their rain, years

droughtten

consumed and

the

plain,

roots grateful ordered Ganga

fruits to grow here to flow ; the saints she their

from

their

cares

freed,

She
Ten

rights impede. and made wrought in heaven's behalf, nightsof one, the gods to aid." f

let these checks

with her husband in welcomingthe exiles Anasuya then joins to their hermitage, tells her to with the princess, and, delighted ask a boon. As, however, Sita appeared to want nothing particular, the aged saint said :
"

"

My gift to-day

shall repay : contentment Thy Accept this preciousrobe to wear, Of heavenly rich and rare fabric, ; These gems thy limbs to ornament, This precious balsam sweet of scent. O Maithil dame ! this gift of mine Shall make thy limbs with beauty shine, o'er thy frame,dispense And, breathing
sweet

Its pure

and

influence. lasting

' Griffiths's Ramayana/

ii.468.

f Ibid. ii.473.

-io

The

Inferior

Deities.

is sometimes Prajapati appears in three placesin the Rig-Veda. and described (in the same identified with the universe, as way in other places) are as or non-entity having entity, the of which creout alone existed in the beginning, as source ation this universe ; Vach was evolved : "e.g., was was Prajapati She became to him. a second pregnant, she departed from him, She she produced these creatures. again entered into Prajapati."

Brahma,

or

Yet

at

the

same

time

he

is

"

sometimes

described

as

and treated only as one of only a secondary or subordinate deity, deities." thirty-three to be regarded as By the time Manu wrote, creation had come work of Brahma, hence the term the special is applied Prajapati in the later writings it is given to him in the Dharmasastra, and
to

those who

sprang the world. Mahabharata


"
"

from

him, and carried

on

his work

of populating

of the originof givestwo distinct accounts in spirit, and Daksha :t Daksha, the glorious Rishi, tranquil of Brahma. great in austere fervour, sprang from the rightthumb From the left thumb he sprang the great Muni's wife,by whom like that of daughters." Born with all splendour, begot fifty the great Rishis, the ten sons of Prachetas (anotherPrajapati) been have virtuous and holy,and by them the are reputed to burnt up by fire were glorious beings(trees, plants, "c.) formerly The
"

from springing

their from

mouth.

From

them

was

born

Daksha

Prachetasa ; and

produced)these Daksha begat a


with Daksha.
of
a

Daksha, the parent of the world, (were creatures. Cohabitingwith Virini, the Muni
thousand for their himself, famous In the Harivansa, Vishnu is identified
sons

like

observances." religious
At

the end

of

thousand

previousage, "perfect in
involved
from

Yugas the Brahmans knowledge and contemplation,


of the world.
Then

became sprung

in the dissolution

Vishnu

absorbed
formed

in
numerous

Brahma, removed beyond the sphere of sense, became the PrajapatiDaksha, and contemplation,
creatures."

%
we origin

Fuller particulars of Daksha's


*

find in the 'Vishnu

Mmr,

(). S.

T.,v.

390.

f Ibid. i. 224.

% Ibid. i. 153.

Daksha.
Purana.'*
his

7 I I

"

From

to Brahma, continuing

meditate,

were

born from

mind-engendered progeny,

with forms

and

faculties derived

spirits corporeal nature, embodied produced from the person of that all-wise deity. But as they did not multiply themselves, Brahma like himself, created other mind-born viz. Bhrigu, sons in this list of Prajapatis, "c. Considerable variety prevails
but the variations
are

of

the

nature

of additions
seven,

made whose

to
names

an

of but apparently originalenumeration mentioned in The names occur. generally


up
seventeen. altogether from Prajapatis sprang

all the Puranas that Brahma the

make first
not

The the

simple statement
or

mind

will of

has

contented

and in some of the depraved taste of the mystics, Puranas, as the Bhagavata,Vayu and Linga,they are said to be derived from the body of their progenitor; Bhrigu from his skin,

the

his eyes, from his ear, Pulaha from his mouth, Pulastya his hand, Vasishtha from his breath, Daksha from his mind, Atri from and Narada from his
in the

Marichi

Angiras from
naval,Kratu
from

his from

his thumb,

The

lips. They do not exactlyagree, however, these beingsproceed." of the places] whence f [description Vishnu Purana J also speaksof Daksha as a son of the
i
'

and Prachetasas, he
was

gets
a

over son

the

difficulty by

the statement
as

that the
son sons

born

firstas

of Brahma, and

afterwards
were

of the Prachetasas. of
a

These

of Daksha progenitors sacred


season

the
"

named mighty patriarch placingupon the earth the At the termination of


a

called so Prachinaverhis,
grass
to pointing

from

his

the East." he married

of

rigid penance,

Savarna, the daughter of the ocean, who had by him ten sons, skilled in military science ; "they styledPrachetasas,who were all observed the same and duties, austerities, practisedreligious
remained The
reason

immersed

in the bed

of the

sea

for
was

ten

thousand

years."
human told his

for this been

prolongedpenance
Brahma with
his

the

fact that their the

father had

enjoined by

to

increase

family. In harmony
sons

promise
severe
"

of

he obedience,
was

that the

performance of
order ;

penance

of

Brahma's fulfilling

for whoever

the best way worshipsVishnu, the

Page 49.

f Wilson

in note, p. 49, 'Vishnu

Purana.'

% Page

116.

312
bcstower there

The
of
no

Inferior

Deities.
his desires

of good,attains undoubtedlythe object immersed in the

is

other mode."
sons
were

As

the

ocean,

intent

on

the

worship

of Vishnu, that
"

deity appeared to them, and, hearing


you have desired ; for I, with you." Whilst the Prachetasas the boon
"

their request,said : of good, the giver am


were

Receive
content

absorbed

could and the

not

shadowed devotions, the trees grew and overthe winds the unprotected earth,the peopleperished, shut out from view by the boughs, blow, the sky was

in their

mankind sages
saw

unable

to

labour

for ten

thousand the

wind this, consumed


soon

which

then
were

(which tore up them) issued from


away.

years. trees)and

When flames the

their

mouths, and

forests

cleared

Soma, the sovereign of the


the
trees

world, seeing nearlyall vegetable and said : Restrain the patriarchs


'

to

me.

I will make

an

alliance

your between

went to destroyed, and listen indignation,

you

and

the

trees.

Prescient of
of

I have futurity, She


is

the

woods.

maiden, the daughter she called Marisha, and, as your bride,


the
race

nourished

this

portion of and my lustre the patriarch Daksha shall be born,who, your with a part of me endowed and composed of your vigour, shall be resplendent and shall multiply the human race.' fire, as Soma then informs the brothers respecting Marisha's origin. There was in wisdom named eminent a Kandu, formerly sage and the banks of the Gomati. Indra the sent on austerity, to divert the sage from his devotions : they nymph Pramlocha lived togetherfor 150 years, during which time the Muni was given up to pleasure.The nymph at the close of this period asked leave to depart, but the Muni entreated her to continue with him. And though at the end of several centuries she the same asked to preferred request, again and again she was
a
" u

shall be the

of multiplier

of Druva.

From

remain.
1

On

one

occasion,as

the

sage

was

going

forth

from

their

the nymph asked where he was cottage in a great hurry, going. The 'is drawing fast to I must close. day,' he replied, a perform the Sandhya worship, or a duty will be neglected.' The she rejoined: nymph smiled mirthfully as 'Why do you

Daksha.

313
to
a

of this day drawing talk,grave sir, of many years, a day that must Muni said this means.' The river-side at dawn. It is
now

be
'

close ; your marvel to all :


a

day is a day what explain


came

Fair

I beheld the

you

maiden, then, and

you

to the

hermitage.
gone.

revolution

entered the you and of evening, the day is

What

is the

meaning
at

truth.'

Pramlocha
came

answered

that I
years

hither

the ? Tell me laughter man, You say rightly, venerable Brah: morning dawn, but several hundred
'

of this

have
"

passed since
informed

the him

time that

of

my

arrival. lived

This

is the

togethernine hundred three days. The and seven years, six months, and have that the nymph must been sent by Indra Muni sees now of the his devotions, and deprive him purposelyto interrupt divine knowledge he had desired. And though very angry with her at first, The sin is he bids her depart in peace, as he says, wholly mine." Thus addressed stood trembling, by the Muni, Pramlocha whilst big drops of perspiration started from every pore, till he She then, reproached angrilycried to her, Begone, begone ! and, passing through the by him, went forth from his dwelling, from her person with the leaves of air, wiped the perspiration the trees. The nymph went from tree to tree, and as with she dried her limbs, dusky shoots that crowned their summits
truth.'

She

they

had

"

"

'

which

were

covered

with moisture,the forth from


trees
one

child she

had

conceived

by the Rishi came The perspiration.


collected them into rays, and my that had rested Marisha. The

the pores of her skin in drops of received the living dews, and the winds
' '

said Soma, I matured This,' by exhalation till the it increased in size, gradually
mass. on

the will

tree-topsbecame

the

lovelygirlnamed

give her to you, Prachetasas ; let your of Kandu, the child be appeased. She is the progeny indignation of Pramlocha, the nursling of the trees, the daughterof the wind
trees

and

moon.'

"

Soma

then

informs

the

Prachetasas

that

Marisha,

in

her

but left childless. the widow of a prince, previous birth, was told her to therefore earnestlyworshipped Vishnu, who She boon. I pray thee that in succeeddesire some She replied :
"

-"i4

The

Inferior

Deities.

ing births I may have honourable husbands, and a son equalto I be born out of the and may a men, patriarch among ordinarycourse." Vishnu promised her : In another life you
....

"

shall have

ten

husbands
; and you

of

mighty
a son a

prowess,

and

renowned and

for

acts glorious

shall have of

magnanimous

valiant,

by distinguished
races

the rank

of

men

shall

from whom the various patriarch, and by whose posterity the universe multiply,

shall be filled. and

You, virtuous lady,shall be of marvellous


of men." Thus

birth,

the hearts delighting

having spoken,the

this informs his hearers that it was and Soma deitydisappeared, born as Marisha. who was princess the Prachetasas took Marisha, as he Soma having concluded, their indignati had enjoined them, righteously to wife, relinquishing the trees, and upon her they begot the eminent against been born as the Daksha, who had (ina former life) patriarch
"

son

of Brahma. the

and

command

This great sage, for the furtherance of creation increase of mankind, created progeny. Obeying the movable and immovable of Brahma, he made things,

and subsequently bipeds and quadrupeds, by his will gave birth of whom he bestowed to females, ten Dharma, thirteen on on the course of time, on Kasyapa, and twenty-seven, who regulate Soma (the the Titans,the snake gods, moon). Of these the gods, cattle and birds, the singers of heaven, and dancers of the courts the spirits of evil and born. From that other beings,were creatures were period forward living engenderedin an ordinary manner ; before the time of Daksha, they were variously pagated proand the the influence by will, by sight, by by touch, of religious austerities by devout sages and holy saints." Daksha's first attempts at populating the world were successful. unA thousand born to him by Asikni, but sons were these were induced A not to propagate offspring. by Narada thousand other sons wife were born, who also were by the same advised by Narada The Pranot to be troubled with children. incensed, cursed Narada, and proceededto create sixty japati, he gave to various husbands, by daughters by Asikni, whom whom of peace and when a time they had children. At length, the earth, and the gods had their proper on prosperity prevailed

Vasishtha.

315
was

places assignedto them,


chief of the

to

Daksha

given

the

positionas

of Prajapatis,* progenitors

mankind.

9.

VASISHTHA.

is said with Pulastya, Vasishtha, together 'Vishnu

to have

narrated

the

Purana,' and

he, too, is believed

to have

been

the writer

It was he who allayed the anger of many of the Vedic hymns. the Rakshas of Parasara when that sage was tryingto extirpate of their kings had slain his father. He is said race, because one
to

have

been

the

Vyasa, or
of

arranger

of the Vedas, in the

eighth

Dvapara Age
each
age.

; this work

having a arranging

different agent in

kings. One of of tigers named Saudasa, when out hunting, these, seeinga couple It happened that these tigers of them with an arrow. shot one shot by Saudasa was as the one were Rakshasas, for, dying, really
Vasishtha served
as

the

of familypriest

several

it assumed

fiendish

disappeared. Not
Vasishtha sacrifice,

other,threatening vengeance, the king was as long after this, engaged in a

shape

; the

being
the form

out

of the

room,

the
to

Rakshas the

who and
eat ; next

escaped,assuming
said
:
"

of Vasishtha, came

king

Now

that the sacrifice is ended, I will himself into the

give me

something to
The Rakshas

let it be cooked, and transformed of human

return." presently

cook, and, having prepareda

dish

the real Muni flesh, brought it to the king. When entered,the king offered him the dish ; but he discovered, by the flesh that was human force of meditation,that it was presented he said Your this the him. at : to insult, king, cursing Indignant offered me." shall be excited by similar food to that now appetite astonished at this outburst of anger, and Vasishtha, The king was discovered the whole trick ; but seeingthis, by further meditation
"

as

he

could

not
was

recall
to

the entirely

it so

that it

work

effects of his curse, he modified this for twelve years only.t It was

* the Daksha For further particulars see respecting head and a goat's the story is told of his decapitation, f 'Vishnu Purana,'p. 381.

account

of

Siva,where
him.

being givento

The

Inferior

Deities.
Sakti to become the sage who

same

king who

was

cursed

by

Vasishtha's

son

Rakshas, and
cursed him. Vasishtha about

who, when
also cursed
a a

in that

state, devoured Nimi.


As

king named
was

this
a

king was
thousand
as

to commence

sacrificethat

to continue for
as

years, he sent

to ask Vasishtha

to officiate

priest ;

but

the
not

Muni

was

engaged
for the

in

similar

work

for Indra, he years.

could

assist Nimi Vasishtha

next

five hundred

left the court, the


as

king

proceededwith

When, however, his sacrifice,

engagingGautama
over

found

his engagement was as priest.As soon Nimi's sacrifice, with Indra, the sage, coming to conduct had been appointed, and was another priest so angry that that
was

he, cursingthe king,declared


form. bodily
a

he should

cease

to exist in

On

what learning the


sage.

done, the king pronounced


curses

similar

curse

upon these

Both
to

took

effect ; but Mitra the

as

Vasishtha's

became spirit

united
were

the

of spirits with

and

Varuna, when
the he

deities

smitten

beauty

of

nymph
became

of the sage fell from them, spirit in again incorporated through her." * A verse

Urvasi, the

and the

Veda Rigin

ascribes with
a son

Vasishtha's the of

birth

to

Mitra
"

and

Varuna,
O
Brahman

harmony Vasishtha,art
from the

legend just quoted:


Mitra All and the

"Thou,
a

Varuna, born

soul of

Urvasi. which had

thee, the
There

drop
are

fallen

gods placed in the vessel plation." through divine contem-

stories

who was Visvamitra, At another time,when Saudasa,which was held by Vasishtha. he was to Harischandra, incensed at the he was so priest greatly
treatment

of great quarrels this sage and between anxious to obtain the position of priest to

the

king had
he

received
a

at
crane. a

Visvamitra's
His

hands

that he the

cursed

him,

and

became

rival returned

compliment,and

he too

became

bird.

In this form

the sages
to

that it was to come foughtso violently necessary for Brahma them. The great cause of unpleasantness the pacify was that Visvamitra a was Kshattriya who, by penance by birth,
*

fact and

Vishnu

Purana,' p. 388.

2i8

The

Inferior

Deities.

to puttinghis divinity Bhagavata Purana,'to


"

the

test, he

imputed, strangely
*

in the

his father Brahma."

The
to

accounts

of Narada's
was one

origin vary considerably.According


of Vishnu. whom
as

the

Bhagavata, he
was

the third incarnation of the Maharishis

Manu
at

declares that he

he created "Brahma

the beginning of the age.


said
'

Moorf
form he

quotes
man

follows:
govern

Rise

up,

Rudra,
but

and
men

to
were

the world.'

Rudra

obeyed ;

the

made

fiercer than

having nothing but the destructive qualityin their their only passion. Brahma, Vishnu, Anger was
then
names

tigers, composition.
and Rudra

joinedtheir
were

different powers, and created ten men whose ' teaches that Narada Narada," "c. The Siva Purana
'

thigh of his father : Brahma, in view of the world, produced four beings, who, being refractory, peopling To their parent to weep. comfort caused him, Siva, in the character of Rudra, issued from a fold in his forehead with five heads with additional and ten arms, and, endowing Brahma Rishis,and might,he (Brahma) produced Bhrigu and the seven after that Narada from his thigh." t
sprang

from

the

"

In

another

birth

Narada Daksha

was was

the

son

of

Kasyapa"

and

daughter
dissuaded declared

of Daksha. the that

greatlyincensed when from sons Prajapati's peopling the world, he should have a resting-place not ; hence
Narada
in
a a was

he and his

wandering nature.
On
also
one

occasion Brahma take


was

cursed
"

by
in

his

own

and father,

cursed
to

return.

Brahma

exhorted

his

son

Narada

wife, and

assist

peopling the

world.

Narada, who
that devotion denounces
curses

votary of Krishna, becomes

to that

god
as an

is the

his father and

sole way to erringinstructor. him


to
a

angry, affirms attain felicity, and

Brahma,

Narada,
Wretch!
be

dooms Narada become


to

life of back the

to subjection

women.

pays

reply, and sensuality, imprecationas


how

in

follows:
any
one

devoted

the

object of adoration: forms of thy worship ?


no

shall

Thou

shalt

Sir W.
'

Join

"

\
.

i. 264. Res.,'

f 'Hindu
"
'

Pantheon/

p. 91.
116.

X Moor, Hindu

Pantheon/ p. 7S.

Vishnu

Purana,' p.

Narada.

319
fit objectof

without

doubt

lust after her who

is

no

thy

desires !

'

Through this curse of Narada, the creator of the world ceased to be an object of worship. Beholdingthe beauty of his daughter, Narada he ran after her. having made obeisance to his lotusborn a father, forsook his Brahmanical body, and became
Gandharva,* a chorister of Indra's heaven." In the Mahabharata, Narada as figures
and his
came
a

teacher religious
is
a

in the

'

Uttara

Kanda

'

of the

Ramayana
dead

teaching.* A
to

Brahman,
of Rama's
was

carryingthe

specimen of body of his son,

the door

palaceat Ayodha
unconscious

; and

bewailing

his loss, as
it to Rama

he himself
to

be

owing

summoned
as

of any fault, he believed misconduct the part of the king. on some his councillors, when the divine sage Narada
"

spoke
death

follows
;

Hear, O

king, how

the

boy's untimely

occurred
to be

and, having heard

the truth

regardingwhat
as

ought
"A the

done, do it." The

told, is story, briefly

follows

presumptuous
age

in which had

Sudra,paying no during he lived the prerogativeof practising selfnot

regard to the fact that


the

mortification
he

descended

to

humble
to

class to which
secure
a

belonged, had
merit religious
upon

been

guilty of seeking
Rama,
was avows

store

of

by
a

its exercise. person who The Sudra the

after

considerable
manner

search, comes
described desire
to

engaged
his

in the

by

Narada.

caste, and

his

conquer

for himself
was

rank
Rama

of

god, by

the self-

mortification

he

undergoing.
to

offender's head

; the

gods applaud the


ask
a

cuts off the instantly deed, and, having been

encouraged by
Brahman's
was

them
may

boon,
moment

Rama

requests that the


is informed that the that he
was

boy
to

be

resuscitated.
very

He

restored

life the

Sudra

slain." Narada famed


account
was

the

friend and

companion

of Krishna, and

was

for his musical

but, becoming presumptuous on talents, of them, he emulated the divine strains of Krishna, who
for his
his presumption by placing

severelypunished him
*
'

vina

Narada

Pancharatna.'

Muir, O.

S.

iv. T., preface,

p. 6.

f Ibid.

i. 117.

320
in the
those

The

Inferior

Deities.

of a bear, when paws of the minstrelsy of


many

it emitted the

sounds

far sweeter

than

mortified

musician.
on one

Krishna occasion he

played
went
so

far

as

jokes on practical to metamorphose


is

his friend ;
him

into

woman.* he opens is said to


as

Great

honour

given
the
'

to

Narada

because which
those

have
:
"

revealed to Valmiki
"

Ramayana,'

follows

To

sainted

Narad, prince of
care

Whose Whose Were The

lore in words
constant

of wisdom

flows,

and

chief

and scripture

ascetic
first and

delights rites,
best addressed
:

good Valmiki,

Of hermit
'

saints,these words
?

In all the

Is

world, I pray heroic, true virtuous,


in his vows, every
creature

thee,who

Firm To

of

mind, grateful

Bounteous Alone
*

and

good and kind ? holy,just and wise,


to

most

fair
*

all men's
*

eyes
*

Grant, For thee, I


To whom
a

saint

divine,the boon
an

ask,

ween,

the
man

power

easy task, is given to know here below. eye

If such
Then

breathes

Narad, ready

clear before whose future


'

The Made

present, past, and


answer

lie,

"

f
life of Rama what
was

Narada feels that

proceeds to
the task of

narrate

the

to

Valmiki, who
him is too and

writingdown

told

great

work

for his powers,

until Brahma

himself

appears,

encourages

him
"

to Then
The

proceed :
come, O

best of seers, relate

life of Rama, tale that

The

In all

good and great ; saintlyNarad told its gloriouslength unfold." J

Moor,

"

Hindu

Pantheon,' p. 205.
% Ibid. i. 22.

t Griffiths's' Ramayana,' i. 3.

32i

CHAPTER
KUVERA.

II.

does not occupy a very conspicuous god of riches, of the Hindus. No in the images or pictures mythology position referred to in the of him are to be had, though he is frequently Brahma had a Ramayana as the lord of gold and wealth.

KUVERA,

the

"

mental

son

named

who Pulastya,

again had
reward made

mental

son

named

Vaisravana Gaviputra and


went to

(Kuvera). The
as
a

latter deserted
him

his father,

Brahma, who
to

immortal,and
for his
was

appointed him
and

be the

god

of

with riches, will at

Lanka
car

capital,
speed ;
it
was

the

car

Pushpaka for his vehicle.*


moved it
at

This
a

of immense

size,that
Ravana restored
"

its owner's

marvellous
whose death

took

by

force from

Kuvera,

at

by

Rama

to its

original possessor.
at

being incensed Pulastya


the
upon

this desertion
in the

(ofhis
of

son

Kuvera)
to

reproduced
looked

half of himself with with


him
;

form

Vaisravas, who
latter strove three had

Vaisravana

indignation.The
this view
:

pacify his father,and


Rakshasis Ravana
and
to

gave

him

elegant
sons, ; and

attend

on

who Pushpotkata,

two

Kumbhakarna

Malini,who

bore Vibhlshana

all Raka, who bore Khara and Suparnakha. These sons were and observers of religious rites, valiant,skilled in the Vedas of Vaisravana,were filled with but, perceivingthe prosperity and Suparnakha, they began to jealousy. Excepting Khara Brahma, and at the end of a practiseausterities to propitiate thousand
years Ravana
cut

off his

own

head

and

threw

it as

an

Mahabharata

:'

Muir, O. S. T., iv. 481.

;22

The

Inferior

Deities.

oblation

into

the fire. Brahma should


men

appeared to put
that (except
have

stop to

their

and to offer them austerities, He and ordained


be

boons

of

immortality).
shapes at will
should

that Ravana

heads

and

invincible, except by

; that

Kumbhakarna

Ravana enjoy a long sleep. Having obtained these powers, Kuvera retired to GandaexpelledVaisravana from Lanka. and begun to Ravana mardana. having been installed as king, the Rishis resort to Brahma, who exercise his power tyranically, could not be killed by gods or Asuras, promisesthat,as Ravana the four-armed Vishnu, the chief of warriors,should by his (Brahma's) appointmentdescend to earth for his destruction."* Kuvera the grandson, The Ramayana (UttaraKanda)f makes not the son, of Pulastya. In the Krita Yuga the pious Pulastya, being teased with the singingand dancing of different damsels, he saw his hermitage that any one of them whom near proclaimed mother. This threat had not been heard by should become a the hermitage, the daughterof Trinavindu, who and came near incurred Pulastya'sthreatened punishment. Her father, on and she learningher condition, gave her as wife to Pulastya, Visravas ; who, becoming a sage, married bore him a son named named a daughter of the Muni Bharadvaja,whose son Brahma Vaisravana (Kuvera). He performed austerities for thousands of years, and received the god of riches, and
as one a

boon

from

Brahma

that he should

be

At guardians of the world. the suggestionof his father Visravas,he took possessionof for his abode, which was Lanka formerlybuilt by Visvakarma for the Rakshasas, who through fear of Vishnu had recently
forsaken A it.

of the

prince named Patala, happening to visit


his chariot to visit his

Rakshas

Sumali the

who

had

been

driven

to

earth,saw
This former

Kuvera
to

father.

leads him

in travelling devise a plan

position. He sends his Visravas ; she is kindlyreceived and daughterKaikasi to woo bei omes the mother of Ravana, Kumbhakarna, Suparnakha and \ ibhishana. When Kaikasi saw the splendour of Kuvera, she
Muir,0.
S.

by

which

he

might regain his

T., v. 483.

Ibid. iv.

488.

KUVERA.
resemble him
severe as a

323 in order to effect


years, when

urges Ravana

to

in

glory; who,
a

this, undergoesmost Brahma grants him


more

austerities for boon

thousand

than men, and powerful the cityof Lanka. demand yields It the
was

invincibility againstall beings other gifts. Kuvera Ravana's on


was one

noticed above
; these
are

that Kuvera

of the be

of guardians

world

commonly
their

said
:

to

four in number.

mentions Rama, speaking,


"

names

May he whose
Be in the East

hands

the thunder and

wield

[Indra],

thy guard
arm

shield:

May
And And
The

Yama's Varuna's North

care

the South the West of

befriend,
defend
;

let Kuvera, Lord with firm

Gold, hold." protection

When these
:
"

eight guardiansare

spoken of,the
of the

additional

four of of

are

Agni

has

charge
of

South- West, North-West.


Kuvera

Soma

the

South-East, Surya North-East, and Vayu


of the
"

the the

is called the

King

who, because
prey, and

the moment These

called Yakshasas.
ate those

they were beings were

Yakshasas, savage beings born said, Let us eat," were


"

ever

on

the

watch

for

they slew in battle. Throughout the Ramayana there are brief references also to the beauty of the giver of riches, and Kuvera as palace and gardens. Thus Bharadvaja the sage, desirous Rama said : and Lakshman a fitting reception, giving
"

to

his of

Here Which
For

let Kuvera's

garden rise,
Kuru gems

far in Northern let its fruit be


"

lies ; entwineA

leaves let cloth and

And

nymphs divine."

garden is a place where the inhabitants enjoya natural obtained without attended with complete happiness, perfection, is there no There exertion. nor nor vicissitude, decrepitude,
His

death, nor
*

fear ;

no

distinction of virtue and

none vice,

of the

' Griffiths'^ Ramayana,' ii.20.

t Ibid. ii.358.
Y
2

-"

24

The

Inferior

Deities.

denoted mediate,' by the words 'best,''worst,'and 'interinequalities from the succession of the nor change resulting any is neither grief, weariness,anxiety, four Yugas. There hunger, live in free The from fear. health, nor perfect people every * for ten or twelve thousand years." As Sugrivawas suffering, sending forth his armies to search for Sita,he thus speaks of of the North : this garden to Satabal,the leader of the army
"

your onward way, the dire horrors Through Pursue

and

haste

of the waste,

triumphant with delight Kailasa's glittering height. There stands a palace decked with gold, For King Kuvera wrought of old, A home the heavenly artist planned, And fashioned with his cunning hand.
You

Until

reach

There With
Where

lotuses adorn

the flood

full-blown flower and


swans

openingbud,
gay

and float, to play. Apsarasasf come There the lord King Vaisravan's self, all the universe adored, By Who to mortals sends, golden gifts
down Lives

and

mallards

with the

his Guhyakas.J
were

friends." "

As
were

Rama attacked

and

Lakshman
a

wandering
Viradha
; but

in the forest, they


as

by

giantnamed

theycould
alive,and

not
as
a

slay him
result he

with

their weapons,
"

they

buried

him

had regained his proper form. Formerly Kuvera cursed charms him, for lovingRambha's too well," to assume the hideous form in which Rama with him, and the only met relief Kuvera would give him was :
"

When

Rama, Dasaratha's son, Destroys thee, and the tightis won, Thy proper shape once more assume, And heaven againshall give thee room."||
had risen of his power, he made offices in his house: thus Indra preto

When
the

Ravana

the summit

gods perform various


'

Purana Bhagavata

"

Muir," ". S. T., i. 492.

"

guardians

ol treasures.

II Ilml. iii.14.

f Nymphs of Paradise. ' " Griffiths's Ramayana,'iv. 24.

326

The

Inferior

Deities.

CHAPTER
THE DEMIGODS OF THE

III. RAMAYANA.

I.

SUGRIVA.

Over

the

mighty leaders

of the

Monkey
Rama Ravana When heaven

army in the
was

associated destruction

with of

King

Vishnu, before
to

Sugriva. leaving
as

become

incarnate

Rama, asked the gods to


"

Make

in helps, forms that

war

to

lend him
will

aid,
In

change

at

arrayed,
Of wizard skilland hero of the wind in Outstrippers

might, flight,
"*

they consented,and
countless
swarms

"

begot

in

brave

sons

in sylvanforms." disguised Sugrivait is said,


"

Of

That

noblest

fire,

The

Sun, was

sire."f great Sugriva's


finds this Kingan

When of the
SUGRIVA.

Rama

Monkeys, he was exile, having been driven his throne by his brother
t Ibid. i.93.

from Bali.

Griffiths's'

Ramayana,' i.92.

SUGRIVA. Kabandha,
of the

327

giant slain by Rama, givesthe following tion descripking to the wandering hero :
a
"

"

Rama, hear
brother

my

words
I

and

seek

Sugriva,for of him
His

speak. Bali,Indra's son, he won. him, when the fight Expelled faithful still, With four great chieftains,
He

dwells
3fE

on

hill. Rishyanuka's
5f" *P SfS

Lord

of the Vanars, in

Strong,very
Unmatched

justand true, brightto view, glorious,

firm and meek, counsel, Bound by each word his lips speak, may Good, splendid, mighty, bold and brave, Wise in each plan to guide and save. His brother, fired by lust of sway, Drove forth the king in woods to stray ; In all thy search for Sita, he and friend Thy ready helpwill be." *

Rama

discovers

his retreat, hears

the

story of his wrongs,

promisesto slayBali the usurper, and assist Sugriva to regain his throne ; Sugrivaon his part solemnlypromises to aid Rama
in his search bonds. marches Rama with and
to

enable
soon

him

to

release Sita from

Ravana's

very

Bali to challenges Rama Ere who and

Sugriva and justas he is getting the worst of it, fight, which lets fly his arrow, gives Bali his mortal wound. he strongly for slaying this chief dies, one reproves Rama harmed him too in a secret had never him, and for slaying He asks : cowardly manner.
"

fulfils his part of the compact. He and the others to Bali's city ; Sugriva

What
Wliose When

fame, from
secret

one

thou hast thou


has

not

slain

In front of

canst battle,

hand

gain, laid me low,


my
*

with madly fighting


* * *

foe ?

I held To

that thou
me as

wouldst
I

strike

surelyscorn fought my foe,

Grifnths's

'

Ramayana,' iii. 337.

3-^S

The

Inferior

Deities.

SUGRIVA.
blow. stranger's But now thine evil heart is shown, with grass o'ergrown. A yawning well, virtue's badge,* but guile Thou wearest sin thy soul defile."f And meanest And

329

thought not of

Rama which
agrees,

reminds it
was

Bali that Fate


to

had

ordained which

his

death,against
Bali
Rama's

useless

contend, with

statement

and, withdrawing all his unkind


the death of Bali,Sugriva is

words, asks for


as

forgiveness. King of the Vanars, and Rama giveshim four months for the enjoyment of his long lost wife and kingdom. At its expiration, as Sugriva his engageas to forget ment appeared to be so absorbed with pleasure reminds him of his duty in no to assist Rama, Lakshman At length the order is given to collect the measured terms. of monkeys, bears, of countless numbers when an forces, army is somewhere "c, go forth in search of Sita, who, it is discovered, is supposed to which Hanuman in the southern district over The rule,who after diligent inquiry learns her whereabouts. marches to the sea-shore ; a bridge connectingthe island army is erected by Nala, and of Lanka with the mainland (Ceylon) the attacking the city. No sooner surrounds were they in army of the cityof the foe than sight
On

again installed

"

Up sprang Sugriva from the ground,


And And
The

reached

the

turret

at

bound.

Unterrified the Vanar

stood,

wroth, with king in


of the

wondrous

bitter words
scorn

hardihood, addressed,
: expressed me

And
'

thus his

and hate

King

giant race, in

The

friend and of the

slave of Rama

see.

Lord
To While At

smite thee in Ravan's dashed

world,he gives me power thy fenced tower.' through the air his challengerang,
face the Vanar from his head
the

sprang,

Snatched
And

it in his

kingly crown, furydown.


t Grifhths's
l

The

dress of

hermit.

Ramayana,' iv. 91.

330

The

Inferior

Deities.

at his foe the giant flew, Straight around him threw, His mighty arms him round, With strength resistless swung And dashed him panting to the ground. of blows, amid the storm Unharmed Swift to his feet Sugriva rose. they met ; Again in furious fight

With Each

streams

of blood their limbs

were
*

wet,

waist." his opponent's grasping

They

continue

to his aid his

with fight magicalarts :


to
"

uncertain

result until Ravana

calls

But brave The And Gained

swift to know Sugriva, of his foe, guileful purpose with


;

light leap the upper air, there and spirit and strength, breath, won, Then, joyousas for victory to Raghu's royal son." f Returned
of the

In the

karna,a
as

Kumbhaa giant named great fight, forth from the city and did brother of Ravana, came
course

great execution
fast
as

amongst the Vanar


were

they
of
"

Some

idea

the
There Fast

host,devouringhis victims by thousands. slain,though numbered be gained from size of this monster may
was no

the fact that

then,no respite

gaped Yet prisonedin that gloomy


Some Some Some Vanars

and

pause : closed his hell-likejaws


cave,
save

stilltheir lives could

through his nostrils found a way, through his ears resought the day."J
soon the Vanar host,but he was rally been had already ground." Hanuman he attacks Sugriva, And now monster.

Bali's
"

son

Angad
senseless

tried to
on

dashed

the

wounded severely who

hurled

by the hill at him, but


"

The

" chest the stroke repelled." giant's


monster returns

This

compliment the
*

by throwing
t Ibid.
" Ibid.
v. v.

his spear,
122.

Griffiths's' Ramayana,' Ibid. v. 197.

v.

121.

198.

"

UGRIVA.

33I
broke it across his knee.

which Then

Hanuman

caught as
"

it
At

and flew,

head he Sugriva's mountain


rent.

sent

peak from

Lanka's

The

no rushing mass might could stay : and senseless lay. Sugriva fell, his foe to seize, The giant stooped And bore him thence,as bears the breeze A cloud in autumn through the sky."*

and is greatlylauded giantenters Lanka with his captive, of short duration, for by the people ; but his triumph was The
"

By slow degrees the Vanars' lord and sense, and strengthrestored. Felt life, boast : He heard the giant's joyful Vanar his He thought upon host.
His teeth and feet he And bit and
rent

fiercely plied,

Who, mad

giant's side, pain and smeared with gore, Hurled to the ground the load he bore. Regardless of a storm of blows, Swift to the sky the Vanar rose, Then lightly, like a flying ball, t he wall." High overleapt city f
with

the

Lakshman
last severed Nikumbha

tried to

slaythis
from

monster cut

; but

it was

left for Rama

to finish the

work, whose
head

arrows

off limb

body.
came

After forth to hurled

limb, and at his death, two brothers,


do battle for their chief. into the
a sea on

after

and

Kumbha,

Sugrivaseized Kumbha reachingthe shore,he


that he broke the blow his
own

and struck

him

on

his

Sugrivasuch
the shock. the

blow

his chest

wrist with beneath

by
now
"

another

Sugriva returned neck, which proved fatal.

His brother

attacked
And
He

Sugriva:
furyflashed
mighty
Vanar

red with dashed


axe

with

his eye. sway and

swing

His
But

againstthe
on

shattered

king ; that living rock,


the shock.

It

in fragments at split

Griffiths's l

Ramayana,'

v.

199.

f Ibid.

332

The

Inferior

Deities.

the blow, his foe, huge hand and smote And in the dust the giantlay, Gasping in blood his soul away." * Raised his

to rising Sugriva,

Sugrivaand promise until


in
answer

his heroic army continued Rama's victorywas won, Rama's had home

faithful to their

king's
siderably con-

though
was

death made

had

thinned their ranks ; but


to

this loss

good
Rama

as,

Vanars
about
to

who
return

gave up the prayer, Yama died in the struggle. When

whole

of the
was

he magic car, Sugriva and chiefs might accompany the Vanar him to his capital. Their request being granted, they took part in the installation of Rama monarch as king, and received from that grateful asked that rich presents
as a

in the

reward

for their faithful service.

2.

HANUMAN.

of
or

Hanuman, on the whole the most useful of the Monkey leaders the expeditionto Ceylon, the son of Vayu, by a Vanar was His birth is thus described : monkey mother.
"

An

Apsaras, the fairest found nymphs, for heavenlycharms Sweet Punjikasthala, became
Of
A noble

renowned,

Vanar's

wedded

dame.

Her heavenly titleheard no more, she bore, Anjana was the name When, cursed by gods, from heaven In Vanar
*****

she

fell,

form

on

earth

to

dwell.

In A

youthful beauty wondrous


crown

fair,

of flowers about her hair.

In silken robes of richest

dye, sky. dressed,


crest.

She Once She

roamed

the hillsthat kiss the

in her tinted garments stood upon the mountain

Griffiths's'

Ramayana,'

v.

229.

00

The
Might shall
And
Thus

Inferior
be

Deities.

his,that nought can tire, limbs to spring as springshis sire.' the the spoke god : conquered dame
heart
nor

in Rejoiced

feared the shame."

a child, seeingthe sun lengththe son was born. When and thinkingit to be the fruit of a tree, he sprang rising, up clutch On it. another occasion Indra to three hundred leagues let a bolt flyat him which caused him to fallviolently a rock. on

At

The the

fall shattered

his
was

long-jawedone,
angry,
came

cheek, and given to


breezes

hence him.

the
His
to

name

Hanuman,

became in terror

and
to

the

ceased

seeingthis blow, until the gods


that this that his

father

boy

should

not
never

be

appease slain in him injure

Vayu : Brahma promised and Indra declared battle,


more.

bolts should This It


was

Monkey
he who

leader rendered discovered It


was

most

valuable service to Rama.


carried message and caused It
over a

Sita's abode, and


he who

to her from

Rama. the bore


to

set fire to Lanka

fear to
was

enter

hearts of the Rama


on

Rakshasas
thus

dwelling there.
as

he

who

his shoulders

he

crossed

from
power

India
:

Lanka.

Hanuman

speaks

of his wondrous

"

Sprung from that glorious Father, I


In power and speedwith him may vie. A thousand times,with airy leap, Can

circle loftiestMeru's fierce arms


can

steep
waters to tower
can

With And

my Till from

stir the

sea

their beds the


at my

flee,
drown
and
town.

rush

command

This land with grove and I through the fields of air


Far

swifter than the feathered

spring king,

And
On

leap before him as he flies sounding pinionsthrough the skies. I can pursue the Lord of Light Uprising from the eastern height,
reach

And With

him

ere

his

course

be

sped,

burningbeams

f engarlanded."

Griffiths's'

Ramayana,' iv. 272.

f Ibid. iv. 275.

Hanuman.
All when these he devoted
to
were

335
the service of Rama
;

powers that hero and else could

for,

his brother
restore

wounded

in the fled to

and fight, the layas Hima-

nothing
medicinal he had

them, Hanuman
almost

from

some

immediatelywith the herbs that grew there,though, on reachingthe hills, in finding them : difficulty
*
"

Ceylon,and

returned

But when

he

thought to seize the prize,


from

They
Then
'

hid them
to

his eager eyes. the hill in wrath he spake : this

take day shall vengeance If thou wilt feel no pity, none, In this great need of Raghu's son.' he bent, He ceased : his mighty arms And from the trembling mountain rent His huge head, with the lifeit bore, and golden ore. Snakes, elephants, Mine
arm

O'er hill and His

and watery plain

waste

rapid way again he traced, laid And mid the wondering Vanars His burden,through the air conveyed. The wondrous herbs' delightful scent To all the host new vigour lent. Free from all darts, and wounds, and pain, The of Raghu lived again ; sons And dead and dying Vanars, healed, Rose vigorousfrom the battle-field." f
Hanuman
as a

is described

in the 'Uttara

Kanda'
"

of the The

Ramayana,|
chief of the

being possessed of great learning.

In seeking for these leaves,Hanuman was exposed to considerable danger. Kalanemi, an uncle of Ravana, was promised the half of the kingdom, if he would slay Hanuman. To effect this, he went to the Himalayas to eat with him. Hanuman and, disguisedas a devotee, invited Hanuman refused ; but on entering a tank near, a crocodile seized his foot. This Hanuman from whose dragged out of the tank and killed it, reptile body Daksha had cursed to live in that form until a lovelyApsaras arose, whom her release was This nymph, in gratitude for accomplished by Hanuman. of his danger. The Hanuman his kindness,warned monkey god went to him that he saw took him by the through his disguise, Kalanemi, and telling him and whirled through the air to Lanka, where he fell before the feet, throne in Ravana's palace. t Griffiths's Ramayana,' iv. 225. J Muir, O. S. T., iv. 490.
*
'

336

The

Inferior

Deities.

seekingto acquire grammar, monkeys, measureless,


to
sun

lookingup
where the

apprehending the mighty chief of the monkeys is perfect collection. The : no one equals in and in the sense him in the Shastras, of learning, ascertaining the in rules of austerity, In all sciences, he rivals the Scriptures. the preceptor of the gods." himself thus speaks of Hanuman's Rama knowledge of the when he came to the exile as Sugriva's Scriptures, envoy :
sets,
"

the sun, bent on rises to that

went inquiry,

from

the mountain

where

he

One

whose

words

so

The And The


He

whole

Rig

Veda

needs

sweetlyflow, must know,

in his well-trained memory store and Saman's the lore. Yajush


must

have

bent

his faithful ear


to

All

grammar's For his long speechhow In all its lengthno rule


Hanuman
is

varied rules

hear.

well he

spoke!
*

he broke."

regarded as divine,and in some parts of India is largelyworshipped. Living monkeys are : hence with regardedas his representatives templesswarm many them, and it is regardedas a meritorious act to feed them, and them. act to injure a sacrilegious
To this

day

3. NALA.f

Nala, another
and
as

of the

was monkey chiefs,

son

of Visvakarma

the

son

of the architect of the gods, the builder of their


been his expected, work of similar nature

beautiful
as

of their wonder-working and the forger cities, weapons,


was a

might have
that
army

to

for which reached

the

his illustrious parent was celebrated. When the sea, and the difficulty of crossing to

Grimths's
This Nala

'

iv. 25. Ra.ma.yana,'


must not

be

confounded

with

another

person

of the

same

of the MahabhaNala given in the Mahabharata. name, of of he obtained the husband whom rata was King Nishadha, Damayanti, in marriage,although Indra, Agni, Varuna, and Yama were amongst the

whose

is history

suitors for her hand.

Nala.
Lanka his
as itself, presented arrows

Rama up

was

preparing to
ocean,

shoot

one

of

mighty

to

dry
a

the

the

Sea

amidst himself, thus addressed


"

great commotion

of the

Deity presented and elements,

him

lire, earth, Air,ether, water, true t heir Nature's To course will, pursue And I, as ancient laws ordain,
Unfordable
I ne'er for
must

remain. still counsel


or

Yet, Raghu's son, my


or

hear

love, hope, fear, of a heap, pile my waters And leave a pathway through the deep. Stillshall my care for thee provide An easy passage o'er the tide, And like a city's paven street Shall be the road beneath thy feet."
Will
*

His

first word

of

advice

was

that Rama, this,


arrow

instead the

of

shooting at the sea, should of demons to destroya race


he went
on

direct his who


were

towards

North,

hateful to

him, and then

to say
"

Now

let a wondrous

task be done

By Nala, Visvakarma's son, Who, born of one of Vanar race, Inherits by his father's grace
A

share of his celestial art.


to

Call Nala And


A

performhis part,

he,divinely taught and skilled, bridge athwart the sea shall build." f
power
an

Nala this Rama

declares that he has the will and necessary to believe that he will
"

to

accomplish
to

great

and

work

and,

as

encouragement
:

said completeit,
son,
won :

My mother, ere she bore her


This boon
'

from Visvakarma

MandarT, this child shall be glorynext


to

In skilland

me.'

Grifnths's

'

Ramayana,'

v.

66.

t Ibid.

v.

67.

The

Inferior

Deities.

But Thine

why
ear

unbidden with
the

should

I fill skill ?

praises of my
Vanar

Command Foundations

for the

hosts to lay bridge to-day."*

Rama materials

trusts for the

Xala's

skill,and
:

orders

the

Vanars

to

brin^

bridge

'"

Up
The

the Vanars sprang of the mandate

from

their rest,

king obeyed, they


^F

And

sought the forest's mighty shade.


trees
sea
^F

Uprooted
And
to
^F

to

earth

threw.

the

the timber

drew.
*1*

With And

mighty engines pilesof


seated hills
waters
were

stone
:

overthrown
sprang
on

Imprisoned
In rain

descending from
with
a roar

the

high, sky :

And
Heaved

ocean

and

swell

fell. wildly when the mountains of wondrous bridge strength Was hundred a built, leagues in length. fast Rocks, huge as autumn clouds, bound Then the great
With And And Wild

cordage from the shore, were fragments of each riven hill,


trees

cast,

whose

flowers

adorned

them

still.

As

the tumult, loud the din, was ponderous rocks went thundering in.
set

Each Ten The Gave


And The

of sun, and

so

toiled each

crew, grew
;

leagues
labours

four

the structure

of the second
more

twenty
on

day of ready way,


sank work

the

when fifth,

the
was

sun,

whole
the

stupendous
way

done.

O'er
Nor

broad

the Vanars
their

sped,
tread." f

swayed it with

countless

rrirHths's"

Ramayana,' v.

68.

f Ibid.

NlLA, SUSHENA.

339

4.

NILA.

This
as

chief is said to have

sprung
"

from

Agni, and

is described

Who

in his

Brightas flame, splendour, might, and worth,


gave him

Surpassed the sire who

birth." *

Though
recorded leader of
to
a

thus

no eulogized,

in the

Ramayana.

very He held

specialfeats
a

of

his
as

are

post of honour

the

have

division of the army, and his special work appears been to provide sentries,and generally to guard the As enemy. his watchfulness

forces of the

Sugrivafrom the sudden attacks of the of Agni he was able to see clearly, and by son rendered good service.

5.
Varuna aided Rama

SUSHENA.

who was the by the giftof this leader, brother and the usurper father of Tara, the wife of Bali, Sugriva's of his throne. To him was of the army of given the command the West. him, said : Sugriva, addressing
"

Two

hundred

thousand

of

our

best

With

thee,my
vain

shall seek the West." f lord,

After he and

in searching the said


"

for traces leaders

of the

missing princess,
to

other unsuccessful
:

returned

Rama

and

and Sugriva,

On

every

hill our

steps have been,


ravine
we

By wood, and cave, and deep And all the wandering brooks
Throughout

know,
flow,

the land that seaward

Grifnths's

'Ramayana,'v.

94.

f Ibid. iv. 208.


Z
2

40
Our

The
feet by

Inferior

Deities.

The

have traced thy command and the thicket waste, tangled hard to pass And dens and dingles * For creeping plantsand matted grass."

Th"

"ughthey could

not

learn
she

the had

exact

spot where

Sita

was

hidden,

they discovered

that

been

carried towards

the

specialcharge,and thus nth,the quarter under Hanuman's the sphere of the quest. In the great narrowed nsiderably did good service ; for when with the foe, Sushena encounter and Lakshman were overcome Rama by Indrajit's magical noose, comrades his distressed. and The Vanar were greatly Sugriva that Garuda could release them king, however, being aware from the spell bound, told Sushena, when by which they were to they regained their strength and senses, to fly with them where Kishkindha whilst they could dwell in safety, hermitage, he himself fought againstRavana, and rescued the royallady. Then said : Sushena, as the physician,
"

Hear

me

yet

When

fiends in battle met, gods So fiercely foughtthe demon crew,

and

So

That

flew, faint with pain, heavenlywarriors, Sank smitten by the ceaseless rain. with herb and spell, Vrihaspati, Cured the sore wounds of those who fell, And, skilled in arts that heal and save, New lifeand sense and vigour gave. Far,on the milky ocean's shore,
a

wild

storm

of

arrows

Stillgrow
And Let For

those herbs in boundless thither


our

store

Let swiftest Vanars

speed
need.

bring them

for

utmost

Panas and Sampati bring,


well the wondrous

leaves
and

they know
of yore,

That B

heal each

wound

lifebestow.

side that sea, which, churned The Amrit on its surface bore,

Griffiths's Ramayana,' iv. 224.


'

42

CHAPTER
THE DEMIGODS
OF THE

IV. MAHABHARATA. with each

As

these

heroes

are

so

connected intimately would necessitate in together,


a

other,a

separateaccount
main

of each be

; frequentrepetition

they will therefore


In the fifth

noticed

brief outline of the

story of the Mahabharata.*

from Soma (theMoon), the progenitor generation two came of the Lunar sons, reignedat Hastinapur, race, who Puru f and Yadu proceeded two branches of the ; from whom of Krishna and Balarama, who In the account Lunar line.
were

born

in

the

Yadu

tribe,we

have

seen

the

end

of that

branch

family. Sixteenth from Puru, the founder of the India takes its name, other branch, came Bharata, from whom Bharatvarsha (the country of Bharata),in the present day. This Santanu had Santanu. Twenty-thirdfrom Bharata came two Bhishma, by the goddess Ganga (theGanges),and sons, named Yichitravlrya, by Satyavati.J Satyavati had a son
of the
of the Mahabharata is taken in an abbreviated form almost from Lecture XIII. of Monier Williams's ' Indian Wisdom.' entirely \n interesting His father, Yayati,married Devastory is told of Puru. Her husband :i. daughter of Sukra, the preceptor of the Daityas. loving her servant Sarmistha also, The wife Puru was born as their youngest son.
This
account

beinghighlyindignantat

the unfaithfulness of her husband, returning to her father's home, so excited the old priest that he cursed Yayati with old age ; bul afterwards consented this curse to withdraw providedone of his sons would bear it for him. As a do all refused this to excepting Puru. They reward for his piety, Puru his father disinherited his other sons, and made le heir to his dominions.
was Satyayati

the

daughter of
earth in the

an

ndemned to live on her daughter as he was

form the river crossing

Adrika, who was Apsaras named of a fish. Parasara,a sage, met Yamuna, and Vyasa was the result.

The

Demigods

of

the

Mahabharata.
Santanu
that

343

Vyasa

before

her

and Vichitravirya, took Brahmacharl a {i.e.,

marriage Vyasa were


a

with

so

Bhishma,
became

half-brothers.
vow

Bhishma

celibacy). Vyasa retired to the wilderness to live a life of contemplation, but promised his mother that he would obey her in everything. Now died childless, it so happened that Vichitravirya and therefore obliged to ask her son was Vyasa to marry the Satyavati
childless widows.
a

of

The born

result

was

that the

one

wife,Ambika, had
This blindness in

son

who

was

named blind, caused


so

Dhritarashtra. the fact that

is said to

have

been
was life,

by

Vyasa, coming

from

his ascetic her

in repulsive time had


a

kept

eyes closed all the other wife,named Ambalika, named Pandu caused fear that

he
son

that Ambika appearance remained with her. The

who

was

born

of

pale

complexion,and
the

; this
to

was paleness

the result of
not Satyavati,

Vyasa
But

the

mother.

satisfied with child. perfect her to Vyasa


son

either of these

wished children,

for another of her

and

Ambika,

dressing up
result After
was

one

sent slaves,

in her

who

was

stead ; the called Vidura. returned

that this

had girl mother's

his fulfilling

commands,
Bhishma,

Vyasa
the

to his ascetic lifein the

forest.

conducted the governchildren, ment of Hastinapur in their name their and during minority, their education also entrusted him. to was Dhritarashtra, the others in strength though blind,is described as excelling ; Pandu, as being skilled in the use of the bow ; and Vidura, as pre-eminentin virtue and wisdom. When
the

uncle

of these

boys
by

came

for the throne

reason

of age, Dhritarashtra was of his blindness ; Vidura


was a

disqualified
could
was

not

be

king

because
as

his mother

Sudra

Pandu

therefore

installed

called king. Dhritarashtra married Gandhari (also or daughter of Subala, King of Gandhara. Saubaleyi, Saubali), Pandu married Pritha (or Kunti),the adopted daughter of

He

was

born

on

an

island of the

payana of the

on an (who moves Vedas, the compilerof the Mahabharata

and hence he had river, island). Vyasa is said to have


and

the been

name

Dvvai-

the

Puranas, and

the arranger the

founder

of the Vedanta

system of

philosophy.

_j._j.

The

Inferior

Deities.
before her

marriage,paid Durvasas, such respect and attention to a powerful sage named he her that a charm, and "'uest in her father's house, a gave by virtue of which she might have a taught her an incantation, Out of child by any god she liked to call into her presence. she had a son who was she invoked the Sun, by whom curiosity, the censure of her But Pritha, born clothed in armour. fearing

Kuntibhoja. This Pritha,"one

day,

after exposingit in the river. It deserted her offspring, relatives,


was

found
;

by Adhirata,
whence

and charioteer,
was

nurtured called

Radha

the

child

afterwards

by his wife Radheya,


he
was

though named

by

his

Vasushena. foster-parents

When

grown up, the god Indra conferred upon him enormous He is also called and changed his name to Kama."

strength,
Vaikartana, Madri,

being the
Pandu,
sister of

son

of Vikartana his uncle

(theSun).
request, next
this his his marries Pandu marriage, kingdom to the

at

Bhishma's

Soon after Salya, King extended undertook a great campaign,and


it had He reached in the
two

of Madra.

dimensions

time

of

great

ancestor

Bharata.
he

then, with his


his
as

wives, retired

to the

woods, that

might indulge in
with Bhishma Dhritarashtra had

passionfor hunting.
sons.

The

blind Dhritarashtra,

regent, ruled in his stead.


The
was

hundred
sage

story of their birth is

as

follows

"

:
"

One

day,the
mother

Vyasa
hundred

by Queen Gandhari, and


chose
she
a

in return
of
a

entertained hospitably She granted her a boon.


sons. was

to

be

the

After

produced a
and

mass one

of

which flesh,

divided

by

years Vyasa into From The in due These


or

two

hundred

these, in due
miraculous
course.
s""ns

as pieces, big as the jointof a thumb. born. time, the eldest, Duryodhana, was

birth of the
was

remaining ninety-nineoccurred
one are

There

also

of Dhritarashtra
children the
to

named daughter, called generally divine


"

Duhsala." "The

Kurus,"

Kauravas. Pandu's
were

of

origin.

This

circumstance

happened in
was arrows

addicted
a

manner: following Pandu, as noticed above, hunting. One day, he ''transfixed with five

male
and

and

female

deer.

These assumed

turned the

out

to

be

certain sage

his

wife,who

had

form

of these

The
The

Demigods
cursed of
vow one

of

the

Mahabharata.

345

animals.

sage

that he would Pandu, and predicted of his wives. In consequence of this Brahmachan, gave all his property
a

die in the embraces


curse, Pandu to the

took the and

of

Brahmans,

became

hermit."

employed the Upon this,Pritha,his wife,with his approval, and incantation given to her by Durvasas, and had three charm children : by the god Dharma, Yudhishthira ; by Vayu, Bhima ; wife the other of and by Indra,Arjuna. Madri, Pandu, was anxious to have children,and, acting on the advice of now cording Pritha, she thought of the Asvins, who appeared to her acshe became the mother her wish, through whom to
of twin
sons,

Nakula

and of
was

Sahadeva.
the

Soon

after

this,Pandu,
embraces

the curse forgetting his wife Madrl, who husband. Pritha and
or

in the sage, died burned with the dead

of

body
the

of her

the five
now

known children,generally
to

as

Pandus,
Dhrita-

Pandavas,
of

returned death of

Hastinapur,and informed
; he
were

rashtra moved his


own

the

his brother the Pandus

seemed allowed

to

be

deeply

by
even

the event, and sons, the Kurus. when the


the

to live with

But
on a one

cousins

were

occasion
he

that pitch him

threw but who which From

into

descended
freed him endued that
were success.

such of jealousy tried to poison Bhima, and, when under its effect, not drowned, the water. Bhima, however, was of the Nagas (orserpent demons), to the abode and gave him a liquid to drink from the poison, him with the strengthof ten thousand Nagas.
"

children, enmity arose, Duryodhana was excited to

and

moment

he

became for the


"

second

Hercules." of the

Several

schemes without "The artistic

formed

destruction

Pandus, but
with much

characters

of the

five Pandavas and maintained The Hindu

are

drawn

delicacyof touch, throughout the poem.


is the virtue),

with

tency general consisson (the a

Yudhishthira eldest, ideal of excellence


"

of of

Dharma,

pattern
and
was

justice ; chivalrous honour ; calm, passionless composure in battle), "he As the name cold heroism." implies(firm probably of commanding stature and imposing presence.

He

;46
is described
as

The

Inferior

Deities.

lion-like gait, with having a majestic and long lotus-eyes. profile

ton-like Welling-

(theson of Vayu) is a type of brute courage and somewhat stature, impetuous, irascible, strength ; he is of gigantic to the verge of ferocity, and cruel even making him, vindictive, terrible.' It would his name as implies, appear that his great of food,as had to be maintained by plentiful supplies strength
"Bhima
'

his name,

Vrikodara,
and
we are

indicates wolf-stomached,'

voracious of the five But in his

appetite ;
he has the

told that at the dish had

dailymeals

brothers,half of the whole


for capacity affection for his mother and

to be

warm,

unselfish brothers.

given to Bhima. and is ardent love,


the

of Indra) rises more to "Arjuna (the son He may be regardedas standard of perfection. the

European

the real hero of

Mahabharata, of undaunted bravery,generous, with refined tionate and affecand delicate sensibilities, tender-hearted,forgiving,
as a

woman,

and matchless yet of superhuman strength, Nakula and Sahadeva and amiable,noble-hearted, of (sons spirited.All

in

arms

and

athletic exercises. both


as

the five

are Asvins) are as

unlike
are

who rashtra, vicious."

Kama

of Dhritato the hundred sons possible and as mean, dishonourable, represented spiteful, (the son of the Sun), though half-brother of

these five Pandus, in the Kurus


;

great conflict is
he is

valuable

allyof
"

the He

though
in
a

in character

their opposite. entirely

exhibited

and sacrifice,

chivalrous honour, selfhigh degree fortitude, remarkable for a liberal and devotion. Especially

he never disposition, generous his friends, the Kurus, who were

like stoopedto ignoble practices, bad men." emphatically The cousins were educated together at Hastinapur by a Brahman named Drona instructed in arms, but Arjuna, ; all were excelled by the help of Drona, who gave him magical weapons, all." Both Bhima and the Kuru Duryodhana learnt the use of
'

the
was

club
a

from

their

cousin

Balarama

Pritha, Bhlma's
aunt

mother,
When

sister of

Vasudeva, and
was

therefore

of Krishna.

their education
the

of

a tournament was held, in which completed, their skill in archery; in the management youths displayed club chariots, horses,and elephants ; in sword, spear, and

The

Demigods

of

the

Mahabharata.

347

and exercises, of

in

shot strength,

prodigies wrestling. Arjuna,after exhibiting into the jaws of a five arrows simultaneously
"

into the hollow of a iron boar, and twenty-one arrows revolving he had accomplished cow's horn, suspended by a string."When deeds of skill, the same and did precisely Kama this feat, came combat and challenged Arjuna to single ; but as he could not tell his

parentage, he

was

not

considered

worthy

to

enter

the lists

with the

royalyouth.
was

After this tournament heir

over,

Yudhishthira
name even

was more

installed as
famous than
to

apparent, and

soon

made The but and


a

his

his father's had crowned

been.

people wished
the Kurus their mother
were

Yudhishthira
to to

be it.
at
was

king at once, the Pandus First of all, Varanavata, in which


with placed, Pandus
man were

tried hard
sent

prevent
a

house

the

quantityof combustible intention of burning the whole


of this

materials

informed conducted had

by
a

Vidura
woman

and with

family. The escaped; the


her

who Bhima

them, and
a

five sons, the

whom

led there in

state

of intoxication, sumed being conwere

instead.

By

this

device,the Kurus
been

under

pression im-

that their their

plan had

successful. The

with brothers, slew


a

Bhima hastened to the woods, where mother, now giantnamed Hidimba, and then married his sister.

to live in the cityof went By the advice of Vyasa they now this city Near Brahmans. mendicant as Ekachakra, disguised named Rakshas a Vaka, who compelledthe citizens to send was

him

dish of food
as

and daily,
turn

the

devoured

the

daintiest morsel
came man

who messenger of the whole.


a

took One

it

was

day

it

happened
Rakshas

that
a

the meal.

to

Brahman
to

to

supply the
but himself,
go with

with

The

determined
to be

go
to

his wife and

daughter each
"

asked

allowed

him.

in prattling the little son, too young to speak distinctly, Lastly, Then, accents said, Weep not, father ; sigh not, mother." he of claimed, exgrass, breakingoff and brandishinga pointedspike "With this spike will I slay the fierce, man-eating this,offered to go ; he went, and giant." Bhima, overhearing killed the giant. After this occurrence,

Vyasa appearedto

his

and grandsons,

4S

The

Inferior

Deities.

"

H O
o

D
"" "

"

3^0

The

Inferior

Deities.

and, (Delhi), Indraprastha


grew

under

Yudhishthira,their kingdom
alone for twelve years, in invited him
was

Arjuna
to to
as an

wandered
a

in and
he

the there

forest
met

fulfilment of

vow,

with

Krishna,who
Krishna

Dwaraka,
a

where

married

Subhadra.

invited

great festival in honour


oblation should be made

of the

of inauguration

Yudhishthira

sovereign.Acting on

Narada's
to

advice,Bhishma
the best and
to

proposed that strongest person

he declared present, whom and, as he reviled Krishna


with

Krishna

be.

Sisupalaobjected,
struck off his head

openly,Krishna
held
at

his discus.
festival a this,
were was

After

Hastinapur, to
was

which

the

Pandus

invited. his

Yudhishthira
his

induced

to

play; and

and, last of all, possessions, effected. Duryolost everything. A compromise was Draupadi, dhana was ruler over the wrhole kingdom for twelve years ; made whilst the Pandus with Draupadi were to live in the forest for the same and to pass the thirteenth year under assumed period, in various disguises. Whilst names, enjoying this forest life, in Arjuna went to the Himalayas to perform severe penance

having

staked

kingdom,

i "n

lerto obtain celestial arms.


and prove
his

him

mountaineer, at the
form of
a

time,Siva,to reward bravery, approached as a Kirata,* or wild named that a demon moment Muka, in the
"

After

some

Siva and Arjuna shot together at boar,attacked him. the boar,which fell dead, and both claimed to have hit him first. This served as a pretext for Siva to have a battle with him. Arjuna foughtlong with the Kirata, but could not conquer him. At last he recognisedthe god, and threw himself at his feet, when the celebrated Siva, pleasedwith his bravery, gave him weapon
to Pasupata,

enable

him

to

conquer

Kama

and

the

Kuru

in princes

war." of exile the entered Pandus his

In the thirteenth year


court

journeyed to
in

the

of

King Virata, and

service

disguise.

'I lie Kir.it. 15

di

;"

ribed

as

foresters. In the Ramayana or mountaineers, they who eat live in the waters, and are raw "islanders, flesh,
wire

men-tigers."

The

Demigods

of

the

Mahabharata.
and took the

351
name

Yudhishthira Kanka.

called himself

Brahman,

of

to be and, pretending Arjuna called himself Vrihanala, dress,and taught music and a eunuch, adopted a sort of woman's dancing. One day when Virata and four of the Pandus were and absent,Duryodhana and his brother attacked Virata's capital, cattle. Uttara, the king's carried off some son, followed them, in sightof the having Arjuna as his charioteer. When they came with Uttara's heart failed him. Arjuna changed places enemy, This gave him courage, the him, having told him who he was. and the stolen cattle reclaimed. Kuru army was defeated, Arjuna of his real character for the to keep the secret asked Uttara at a great assembly called by present A short time afterwards, and Virata,the Pandus took their placesamongst the princes, welcomed were by the king. heartily A council of princes soon was held, at which Krishna and the Pandus to consider how could regain Balarama were present, for immediate Some their possessions. were war ; Krishna and Balarama urged that attempts at negotiationshould first be

made.

This

advice

was

meantime, Krishna

and

acted upon, but without result. his brother returned to Dwaraka.

In the Not

capital, Duryodhana, the Kuru prince, visited Krishna to ask his aid in the coming struggle ; and on the arrived there for the same same prince, day, Arjuna, the Pandu And it happened that they both reached the door of purpose. he was at the same Krishna's apartment, where moment. asleep, and took up his station Duryodhana succeeded in enteringfirst, head ; Arjuna followed,and stood reverentlyat at Krishna's his feet." Krishna, on Arjuna ; and when awaking, first saw of their visit, he gave the right the object the cousins mentioned offered himself to one but said he of choice to Arjuna. He side, should not himself fight of a ; and to the 'other side his army chose Krishna, and million warriors. hundred Arjuna at once with the prospect of having Krishna's Duryodhana was delighted immense Duryodhana then asked Balarama's army on his side. long after
his arrival at his
"

aid,but
no as

was

informed

that both

the brothers

had

decided

to take to act

active part in the conflict. Krishna, however,consented and joined the Pandus at Virata's Arjuna's charioteer,

capital.

The

Inferior

Deities.

y.

"
is.

The
Fresh

Demigods

of

the

Mahabharata.

^^ J 3D

commenced, and Krishna himself went mediator Kurus ; but although in the assembly he to the as Brahma his divine form, and assumed appearedin his forehead, Rudra his breast, of the world issued from his the guardians on the other gods were although arms, and Agni from his mouth," visible in and about his person, his attempt at reconciliation failed.
were negotiations
"
"

War made

was

determined

on

between

the

cousins.

Bhishma

was

the commander-in-chief
son

of the Kuru leader

dyumna,
offered
to

of

Drupada, was

army ; and Dhrishtaof the Pandus. Vyasa

to enable him to witness the givesightto Dhritarashtra, declined the offer, but, as the blind man Vyasa gave to conflict, that of knowing everything his charioteer, Sanjaya,the faculty him the him and bestowed took place, made on invulnerable, to transport himself by a thought to any part of the field power

of battle.
The armies
met
on

to the north-west of Kurukshetra, a plain

elephants Delhi, and we are told that "monstrous and and the on dealing career horses, over field, trampling men and iron clubs destruction with their huge tusks ; enormous chariots clash together with the noise of thunder ; rattling maces hurtle in the air, each other ; thousands of arrows dash against and horns add to the the sky ; trumpets, kettledrums, darkening carnage, and death are everywhere." uproar ; confusion,
the modern The Pandus
are

described

Arjuna
"

killed five hundred

of might. prodigies performing covered the warriors simultaneously,


as
"

plainwith dead, and filled rivers with blood : Yudhishthira twinkle : Bhlma in a mere men slaughtereda hundred all mounted annihilated a monstrous including elephant, upon it,
and fourteen and Nakula heads blow of his club : foot-soldiers besides, with one cut off from their chariots, Sahadeva, when fighting

by the thousand, and sowed them like seed upon the are ground. Of the weapons employed, about a hundred named shell which served as the trumpet of ; and the conch
its distinct name, of the chiefs. leader had
as

each each

had

also the weapons Bhishma

of

first great singlecombat which resulted in Bhishma Arjuna,

The

was

between

and
arrows

beingso transfixed with


2

;-i

The

Inferior

Deities.

that "there whole

was

body
could

of space unpierced. Bhishma


not
a

two

breadth fingers' his


as

on

his

fallingfrom
on an

chariot,his
it
was

body

not

touch

the

ground, surrounded
it were

by

countless arrows, had received from


own

as reclining

death, and
sun

now

his father the power declared that he intended


summer

He couch. arrowy the time of his of fixing life till retaining


on

the

entered

the

solstice.

All the warriors

both

that they might view this wonderful sight fighting and do homage to their dying relative. As he lay on his arrowy bed, his head hanging down, he begged for a pillow7, whereupon which the soft the chiefs brought him hardy old soldier supports, rejected. Arjuna made a rest for him with three arrows, sternly afterwards asked which Bhishma quite approved; and soon Arjuna to bringhim water. Arjuna struck the ground with an and forthwith so arrow, a spring burst forth, which pure refreshed Bhishma that he called for Duryodhana, and begged half the kingdom to the him, before it was too late,to restore -ides ceased

Pandavas."

Drona, the
command number

tutor

of the
army

is appointed to princes, after the fall of described. Kama


;

take and

the
a

of the of

Kuru

Bhishma;
son

combats single is slain of the leader

are

Bhima's

by

the

Rakshasi

Hidimba the

by

Drupada's son,
his

DhrishtaDrona

dyumna,
down his

Pandus,
to

overcomes

Drona;
a

being a Brfihman, when


like the of
I

overpoweredby
heaven

laid foe,voluntarily

and is conducted life,


save

"in

glittering shape
enormous

sun,"to
in

Dhrishtadyumna from
Kama
was now

the made

crime of the

a killing

Brahman.

leader

Bhima slew Duhsasana, and, next place of Drona. remembering how this princehad insulted Draupadi,he drank the blood of his fallen foe. Arjuna next slew Kama, and Salya, King of Madra, was appointedto fillthe vacant post. Bhima of their challenges Salya, and the followingis the account
irus

encounter
"

"

Soon

as

he

saw

his charioteer struck Madra


monarch firm

the Straightway
And

like

mountain,

down, grasped his and motionless,

mace,

Awaited

the attack.

The

warrior's form

The
Was
Or

Demigods
awful the

of

the

Mahabharata.

355

world-consumingfire, god of death,or as or The peaked Kailasa, the Thunderer god, Himself,or as the trident-bearing forest elephant. Or as a maddened Him to defy did Bhlma hastily massive club. his aloft Advance, wielding A thousand conchs and trumpets, and a shout, Firingeach champion'sardour, rent the air. either host, From spectators of the fight, cheers : The Madra king Burst forth applauding Alone,' they cried, can bear the rush of Bhlma ;
as as

the noose-armed

'

'

'

'

None

but heroic Bhlma

can

sustain fierce bulls

The
And

force of

Salya.'

Now

like two

in hand. mace Sprang they towards each other, circled round, as cautiously they first, Whirling their weapons as in sport, the pair in equal combat. matched Seemed club, Salya's with flame, as Set with red fillets, glittered While that of Bhlma lightning. gleamed like flashing irons met, and scattered round Anon the clashing A fiery shower ; then,fierce as elephants Or buttingbulls, they battered each the other. each stalwart frame, Thick fellthe blows,and soon with gore, glowed like the Kinsuka, Spattered

Bedecked
The

with scarlet blossoms unshaken strokes,


mace

yet beneath

rain of

Bhlma With

sustained the

of

as a rock, Salya,he

equal firmness bore the other's blows. Now, like the roar of crashingthunder-clouds, the clashing iron ; then,their clubs Sounded Brandished aloft, eightpaces they retired, And swift again advancing to the fight, Met in the midst like two huge mountain crags
Hurled
The

into and

contact.

Nor

could

either bear

other's shock

Mangled
Yudhishthira After

down they rolled, ; together like two tallstandards fallen." crushed,

then

fought with

and

slew eventually rallied for

Salya.

final a continual reverses, the Kurus suffering that only four of their which led to so great a slaughter, charge, Kritavarman, leaders, Duryodhana,Asvatthaman (sonof Drona), and Kripa remained, whilst "nothingremained of eleven whole and armies." Whereupon Duryodhana resolved upon flight,
2

^;6 35

The

Inferior

Deities.

takingrefuge in
to

lake, by his magical power


round his

supported it so

as

body." The Pandus discovered his taunted when retreat by them, he told them to take the ; but kingdom, as, his brothers having all been slain, he had no of his cousins, in life. At last, enraged by the sarcasms pleasure forth and fought with Bhlma, from whom he received he came The his death-wound. remaining three Kuru chiefs left their in a forest. wounded companion and took refuge under a tree at night, Whilst Asvatthaman, seeing an resting of sleeping and kill numbers the owl approach stealthily crows, he might destroy thought occurred to him that in this manner the Pandu Accordinglyhe quietlyentered their camp, army. the gates. to watch Under leaving Kripa and Kritavarman of darkness they slew the whole of the army Pandu cover : the princes and Krishna, happening to be stationed outside the three then return to Duryodhana, camp, alone escaped. These and tell him what his they had done. Hearing their narrative, revived for a moment well, spirit them, bade them fare; he thanked and expired. The funeral obsequies of this chief are performed,and Yudhishthirais installed as King of Hastinapur. But he is most that has taken place. unhappy as he thinks of the great slaughter Acting on Krishna's advice,he and his brothers visit Bhishma, stilllingering who was his on spikybed." For fifty-eight nights he had lain there, and ere his departuregave utterance to a of series most after which his spirit lengthydidactic discourses,
form
a

chamber

"

ascended

to

the skies.
was

enteringthe capitalin triumph, an incident occurred lessen his joy in victory. A to Rakshas named Charvaka, disguisedas a Brahman, met him and reproached him for the slaughter he had caused; but the Brahmans, discoveringthe imposture, consumed the Rakshas ashes witli the fire of their eyes. to Yet even the spirit now ""f the king is not He rest. after a little time, at therefore, his resigns kingdom, and, together with his brothers and his journeytowards starts on Indra's heaven on Mount Draupadi,
Meru.

As

Yudhishthira

3d~,S

The

Inferior

Deities.

than

his
enters

father

Dharma

in

disguise ; who, assuming Duryodhana


and
the

his

proper

form, On

heaven

with

him.

entering heaven,
as

though
see

and

his

cousins declines
to.

are

there,
remain
where

he without

does

not

Arjuna
be, and
He his his

rest, he
him hears
the
to

to

them.

An
to

angel accompanies
he there

the

hell

they
upon

are

supposed
him
to

their

voices

calling
without

for

help.
with
as

therefore brethren resolution that this

bids than is
was

angel depart,
be
in

rather preferring
them.

suffer
soon

heaven
scene

As

taken, the

suddenly
his
with that faith.
"

changes,
He
and

and

it appears

simply
and and
rest

trial

of

bathes
his

in the

heavenly
he

Ganges,
the

in

heaven,

Draupadi

brothers,
earth."

finds

happiness

were

unattainable

on

359

CHAPTER
THE

V.
PLANETS.

"

At

to

the great festivals of the Hindus a small all the planetsat once ; but, excepting on

is offering
these

made

occasions,

They are, however, frequently they are never worshippedtogether. by the sick or unfortunate who suppose worshipped separately
themselves them. At
to

be

under times

the baneful

influence of

one

or

other

of

worshipped one after the other of the planetsgive names to Seven in regularsuccession." the days of the week ; the other two represent the ascending and Surya and Chandra (Soma) have descending nodes. already,been noticed at lengthamongst the Vedic Deities ; they under the are along with the planets, again described briefly names they bear in this connexion. sacrifice small To Surya or Ravi offered in the burnt are those of the shrub arka (Asc/epias giganticd) ; to Chandra pieces those of the of the paldsa {Buteafrondosd) ; to Mangala (Mars)
these

they

are

"

(Mercury)those of the {Mimosa catec/m) ; to Budha those (Jupiter) asperd) ; to Vrihaspati aparmarga (AcJiryranthes those of the urumof asvattha (Ficus religiosd) ; to Sukra (Venus) those of the Sami bara ; to Sani (Saturn) {Mimosa albidd)
khudiru
to

(the ascending node) blades of Durva grass ; and to Ketu (the f descendingnode) blades of K?isa grass." of mixed The image of Surya is a round piece metal, twelve in diameter ; of Chandra, a piece like a half-moon, a fingers cubit from end to end ; of Mangala, a triangular piecesix fingers
Rahu
"

Ward, ii.70.

t Ibid.

^"6o

The

Inferior

Deities.
in breadth ; of fingers Sukra, a square piece of

in width

; of

Budha,

golden bow
a

two

a piece like Vrihaspati,

silver ; of

iron makara an Sani, an ; and of Ketu, an iron (a fabulous animal, half stag and half fish) snake."*
i.

lotus ; of iron scimitar ; of Rahu,

Ravi

(theSun), hence
and Aditi.

Ravibara

is (Sunday),

the

son

of

Though as Surya he is dailyworshipped, The Ravi he is only worshipped at the greater festivals. as a Jyotish-tatwa,' great work on astrology, says that if a person is born under the planetRavi, he will possess an anxious mind, be an exile, to disease and other sufferings, be subject a prisoner, and property." and suffer the loss of wife, children, f

Kasyapa

"

2.

Chandra be born

or

Soma,
the

hence

Somavara

(Monday).
many

"

If

Soma, planet will possess elephants, horses, and palanquins ; excellent food, and and powerful ; will live upon A race couches." of kings are said to be the Soma, by his wife Rohini (the Hyades), who
person children of the
moon.

under

he will have

friends

be

honourable
on

rest

superb
of the

descendants
are

called

hence 3. Mangala, red man with four and

is represented as Mangalavara (Tuesday), a red arms ridingon a sheep ; he wears


same

necklace under

clothes of the

colour. be

thoughts, wounded with offensive weapons, imprisoned, oppressed with fear of robbers, "c, and will lose his lands,trees, and good fire, name." This deityis identical with Kartikeya. Budhavara the son of 4. BUDHA,J hence (Wednesday),was Soma the preceptor of the gods. by Tara, the wife of Vrihaspati,
At
son,

the

planetMangala, he will

person full of anxious

"

If

be

born

his

birth, on
her
to

the confession reduced

of his mother
to

that he

was

Soma's

her

husband

her

ashes.

Brahma
the

afterwards husband

raised received

life, and, being purified by


Samudra

her fire,

her back.

the great crime of

incensed at his son for (theSea), his preceptor's wife,disinherited dishonouring

Ward,
This

ii.71.
must not

f Page
be confounded with

72.

Budha

Buddha, the Incarnation of

Vishnu.

The

Planets.

-;6i

* influence, part of his but, owing to his sister Lakshmi's when three the moon as sin was removed, and he became bright days old ; and, through her intercession with Parvati,he was who, thus restored to heaven, by being placedon Siva's forehead,

him

ornamented,

on seeing gods. Vrihaspati but was incensed, appeased Chandra again in heaven was greatly excluded be that the lascivious god should Brahma's declaring on the stars ; and that the sin and placed amongst from heaven If a for ever. his glory should remain had obscured which the planet Budha, he will be fortunate, under person be born

went

to

feast of the

"

obtain

an

excellent wife,""c. hence

the was (Thursday), Vrihaspativara preceptor of the gods,and is regardedas identical with Agni, as to both in the Vedic hymns. almost the same are applied epithets If a In later times he is said to be a Rishi,a son of Angiras. with an he will be endowed person be born under this planet, amiable lands,and be rich gardens, disposition, possess palaces, He will possess much and corn. merit,and in money religious have all his wishes gratified. Brahmans, however, will not be so fortunate as those of other castes, for Vrihaspati being a Brahman

5. VRIHASPATI,

"

does

not

wish

to

exalt those of his Sukravara

own

caste." the
son

6. SUKRA, He
eye.
was

hence

was (Friday),

of

Bhrigu.
one

the

of the demons, and blind in preceptor and priest of this afflictionis told in the Dwarf
went Incarnation, Sukra, as blessing,

The

reason

When
the

Vishnu, in the

following legend: to Bali,King of

Bali's preceptor, Daityas, to solicit a termined forbade the king to give him anything. The king being deto give what was asked, it was the duty of the priest read
as

to

the
a

vessel
master

pour out ratification of the gift. Sukra, anxious


to

customary formula

and

water
to

from

prevent his
it would

from

givingwhat

was

asked, as
in
an

he foresaw

that

prove his ruin,entered

the water

invisible form, and

by

his

magical powers
device,put
*

of the it from falling.Vishnu, aware prevented Sukra's eye, into the vessel, straw which, entering

Soma of the ocean.

(theMoon)
/

and

Lakshmi

were

produced togetherat

the

churning

^62
him the If
a

The

Inferior
he

Deities.
could remain there

o-ave so
"

so

much

water

pain that the gift was fell,


born

no

longer;
an

person facultyof knowing

be

under

and Sukra ratified, the planetSukra, he

lost

will have

eye. the

things past, present, and future. He will and of royalty), have many wives,a kinglyumbrella (an emblem other kings will worshiphim." the dead, the power of raising Sukra is said to have possessed of Sukra, the daughter Devajani, as the following legend*shows: and a was deeply in love with Kacha, the son of Vrihaspati who had been sent to Sukra for the express pupilof her father, the dead. from him the incantation for raising purpose of learning wood to gather flowers from a One day Devajani sent Kacha had on previous occasions eaten who giants, belonging to some had restored him to him ; but Sukra, by the above incantation, Sukra himself eat the resolved to make life. The giants now boy ; for which purpose, when they caught him in the forest, and invited boiled him in spirits, they cut him into small pieces,
"

Sukra

to

an

entertainment.

As

Kacha

did

not

return

with

the

flowers, Devajani with many tears told her father that,if he did she would not restore her lover, herself. Sukra certainly destroy
learned

by

the

power

of meditation
to

that he had
to

eaten

the

boy

without the attempt life, in his whilst the boy was being fatal to himself. At length, the and then taught him stomach, he restored him to life, incantation he was wishful to learn. so Kacha, tearingopen Sukra's stomach, came ful and forth, immediatelyusing the wonderrestore

but did not know

how

him

incantation restored his teacher

to

life.

of is said to be the son 7. Sani, hence Sanivara (Saturday), stituted subhis wife Savarna Surya, and Chhaya, the servant whom from for herself ; or, accordingto other accounts, he sprang Balarama and Revati. He is represented a black as man,
in black

clothed
'

with four arms. vulture, If a person be born under the planetSani, he will be slandered, his riches dissipated, his son, wife,and friends destroyed ; he will

garments, riding on

live

at

variance with others and

endure

many

sufferings." Many

Ward, ii.71.

The

Planets.

363
Hindus
was are

stories

are

told of his evil

influence, consequently the

under have

fear of evil from burnt off Ganesa's

this

planet.
was

It

was

Sani

who

said

to

head. the
man,
son

8. Rahu

(the ascending node)


He is described
as
a

of

Vrihaspati and
"

If riding on a lion. be born under the planet Rahu, his wisdom, riches,and a person children will be destroyed ; he will be exposed to many afflictions and be subject to his enemies." According to the popular notions of the and make

Sinhika.

black

Hindus,

moon a

the sun devours eclipseRahu soon as an eclipseis noticed,the people ; hence, as dreadful noise, shouting, blowing horns, and beating
at

the

time

of

an

drums,

to

cause

Rahu is

to

restore

these
in

luminaries.

The
:
"

reason

of this custom
was

probably
Asura
sea. or

found

the

followingstory
took

Rahu
at

an originally

giant, who
When the

his present form

the the
to

churning
ocean,

of the and the

Surya
it.
as

Vishnu, when
tasted
; but

churned gods and demons hinted Chandra, who were sitting together, Amrita appeared, that one of the demons

had

Vishnu he had

immediately
drunk The

cut

off of the

the

head

of

the

offender
nor

of the water

neither life,
name

head

trunk the

could

perish.
of

head, taking
were

of

Rahu,
as

and

trunk, that
and of

Ketu,

placed
leave

in
was

heaven

the
as a

ascending
means

descending nodes, on Surya and revenge


should their

and

granted,
on

Chandra,
these

that and

certain them and

occasions

Rahu
so

approach
bodies
at

gods
times

render thin

unclean,
black.*

that

these

become

Ward,

ii.Si.

The

Inferior

Deities.

CHAPTER
THE ASURAS.

VI.

IN and

the Puranas also in the

and

other of the

later
the

writingsof
are

the

Hindus,

popular mind,

Asuras

powerful evil

is represented by such terms as ; in translations the word beings the gods,the A-suras As the Suras* were "C. demons, giants, and therefore the enemies or not -gods, were opponents of the In the Vedas

the

name

Asura
to
manner

is

appliedmore
whilst

frequently
it is also

the gods themselves


i wry

than

their
as

enemies,
follows
over.
:
"

much

in the

same

in the later
"

the

Varuna Rig-Veda,
a

is accosted the
sun

as

writings. In King Varuna


wise

has made

highway for

to go

thou

Asura

sins!' and king,loosen our tablished the heavens, and

Again:
fixed the

"The

Asura all-knowing He of the works

limits of the earth. These


are

in another Supreme Spirit," and "also as an appellative for Prajapati creation's or l""rd." Again and againVaruna alone,and also in conjunction is called an Asura. with Mitra, "All the Vedic ^ods have shared title,not excepting even same was goddesses." Varuna Asura, the all-knowing Prajapati Supreme Being; Indra, M.irut Tvastri, Mitra,Rudra, Agni, Vayu, Pushan, Savitri,
"
.

the supreme Varuna." "Asura

ruler of all worlds.


stands

for the

tinParjanya,

sacrificial were priests,


were

all Asuras.

In fine,Deva
a

"d) and

Asura

synonymous

expressionsin

multitude

the inally t !""

Shims

were
was

.1
"

H.iss

of inferior deities connected

with

the gods generally. mployed t"" signify ' Banerjea, BengalMag.,' April 1H80. J Ibid.
t( nn

the

,6

Tin:

Inferior

Deities.

B of

became tag, the gods.


Whatever

only descriptive
be the
'

of those

who

were

the

enemies

cause

of

it,there
for the read

is

no

doubt

that

at

the

of the Hindus, the the later writings present ddv, and throughout
term
"

Asura

is used

only
we

enemies
the

of the

gods.

In

the

gods and Asuras that the former, being less numerous in a bricks, and placing them some the latter, took than with the formula, to receive the sacrificialfire, proper position
Sanhita'* raittirya and ntended together,
'

"that

"Thou

art

they became multiplier,'

numerous."

In the

'

Sata-

patha Brahmana't it is said that "the gods and Asuras, both obtained their father's inheritance, descendants of Prajapati,^ The gods, abandoning falsehood,adopted truth and falsehood. truth ; the Asuras, abandoning truth, adopted falsehood. ing Speakthe gods became weaker, but in the end exclusively, became exclusively, ; the Asuras, speakingfalsehood prosperous succumbed." The in end but became the gods tried to rich, but though interrupted at firstby the Asuras, at length sacrifice, Another to the Asuras. succeed, and so became superior legend in the same book teaches that the Asuras, when sacrifices, offering the oblations whilst their in the own mouths, placed gods truth

gave
became

their
to

oblations

himself

them,
there Suras

other ; at length Prajapati giving which the gods with food, sacrifice, supplies
to

each

theirs.
were were

Although
Asuras, the
Asuras
were

frequentwars
not
averse

between
to

the the

gods
aid of

and

receive and the


some

the.
of

at

the

churning

of the and

ocean;

of the Asuras

not

inferior in power

skill to the

gods. Bali,one
on

their and and

number, is worshippedby

Hindus
even

their

birthday;

Jalandhara conqueredin battle

Vishnu

himself; Indra

the other gods fled before him, and Siva,unaided, could not of to destroy troy hiin. Rahu is an Asura, and it was some these mighty beingswho distressed the gods, that Durga and

I '"
'

S. I'., v. 15. lhabharata says the Asuras

f Ibid. iv. 60.


were

the

the gods the elder,

younger,

The

Asuras

"

Jalandhara.

367

Kali

had

between

wars put forth their strength. In the constant these rivals, Sukra, the preceptor of the Asuras, was

to

called to frequently from of Jalandhara will


illustrate

resuscitate the
the

fallen.

The
'

following story
Padma Purana'*

Uttara

Khanda of the

of the later

the

teaching

Hindu

Scriptures

the respecting

Asuras.

JALANDHARA.
The Narada distress that the birth and story of Jalandhara's
to the Pandavas
on

life
them

was

narrated

by
in

account

encourage of their misfortunes.


to

to

when

they were
reminds who

He
:

them

and prosperity come adversity


sun,

all

Rahu,

swallows from
his

is the Vishnu
the

same

Rahu
the

whose valiant

head

was

severed
son

body by
Ocean

; and

Jalandhara,the
on one

of the

and
was

river

Ganges,who
slain

occasion
mention

conquered
of this fact their

Vishnu,
excites

himself

by

Siva.

The

of curiosity inquiryabout him, Narada the Indra and


to

his hearers ; and in answer to givesthe following history. Siva's home


on

the other
pay

at gods,arriving

Mount

Kailasa

him

informed visit, Siva

the bull
come

Nandi, the chief


his master

of Siva's with
song

attendants,that they had


and dance. their

to to

amuse

invites them
to

enter, and, being


a

with delighted

music, tells Indra

ask

boon, who, in

defiant tone, asks that he might be in battle a warrior like Siva and the gods depart. No sooner himself. The boon is granted,
have

they
him
me

left than

Siva asks

his attendants

if

they
said

had

not

noticed before
"

Indra's
a

haughty tone,
of anger, and similitude,
to
a

when
as

immediatelythere
who darkness, what with the
can

stood

form

black

to

Siva,

Give

thy

then

I do

Siva

tells him

himself incorporate between


her

the

for you ? " river of heaven conquer

form (Ganga), Indra. In obedience

union

and

Ocean, and
left the
son

to to

Siva's the

command,
from

Ganga
them
a

becoming

united

Ocean,
'

and skies, proceeded,at

Kennedy, Hindu

Myth.,' p. 456.

18
whose

The
birth the earth

Inferior
trembled Brahma
see

Deities.

and

wept, and
to

the three worlds

inded with noise. this commotion, and

coming
the

askingto
his

inquirethe cause child, Ganga lays it in


not

of his

lap.when
ther

it seized

head, and
Brahma,

would

loose

it until its

opened its hand.


From
his

id,

"

holding so

admiring let him firmly,

the child's
be

named

strength, Jalandbe

hara," and

bestowed

by unconquered boyhood falandhara's


wind, he flew
over

him this boon, that he "should upon the gods and enjoy the three worlds."
was

full of wonders.
; his

the

ocean

pets

were

up by the lions which he had

Borne

mght ;
When
withdrew which he

and

the

birds largest

and
at

fishes

were

subject to
of

him.

grew up to from the sea his

manhood,
and

Sukra's

request, his
has

father

Jambadwipa, the
bearing

residence
his
name

holy men,
become

became

home,

celebrated.*
a

Maya,

the architect of the

Asuras, there built him


as

his father installed him beautiful city, the charm

king,and

Sukra

gave

by which he could raise the dead to life. He married Vrinda,the daughterof an Apsaras named Swarna, and after his wedding made -m war upon the gods. In order t"" lead to a conflict, he sent a messenger to Indra, whom lie found "surrounded and thirty-three by three hundred
him millions of deities," to demand the

restoration
other

of the

moon,

the

Amrita,
-iid

horse, gem, elephant,


robbed

tree, and
at the

of things

which

he

churningof his uncle, the Sea Milk ; and also to resign Swarga. As Indra refuses to accede to this request, raises an army of warriors having the Jalandhara of heads horses, elephants, and lions,with camels, cats, tigers,
which Indra's

Indra had

him,

abode
to

is

soon

surrounded. for aid. battle


commences.

The

crods in their
Multitudes
resort to

resort tremity
mi

Vishnu

Vishnu's arrival the


on

are

lain

both

sides, but

the

gods, when
which

wounded,

the

mountains,where
At

they

find herbs

quicklyrestore

them.

lengththe greater gods and the leaders of the Daityas Indra falls insensible,Rudra nally is taken engage; when and Kuvera Is laid low bv a blow of a mace. prisoner, After
The
present

Jullunder.

The
the this,

Asuras
in favour

"

Jalandhara.
gods.
When Indra

369
struck

tide turns
most

of the

the Bali, asked


"

costly gems dropped from


body, and with the purity of
of the his

his mouth
cut

; he therefore

for his From

his thunderbolt
the actions,

it into of his

many

parts.
became

parts

body
came

the germs gems. from his blood diamonds, from his eyes sapphires, from his marrow emeralds, from his flesh crystals, and from coral, Indra
to

various

From

his bones

from rubies, his tongue

his teeth

pearls."
attacked
the

beingin his turn


; and

Vishnu by Jalandhara, attack him

comes

the

rescue

though

Asuras with

in immense

numbers, and
them
as

the

sky

is dark

if they were

leaves.

their arrows, Vishnu throws overOne of their number, named

Shailaroma, losinghis head, seized hold of Garuda, when his body ; Garuda immediatelythe severed head rejoined seeing flew his off with this wonderful master. Jalandharawas event,
him far, from following as prevented
he

had

to

call in the aid of

Sukra

to

restore

his warriors

to

life.

Hearingthat
through using

the soldiers of the herbs obtained

gods were
an

also restored island


to

to

life

from asked

called

Drona,

situated in the Sea of

submerge it. of restoration, they appealed to Being deprivedof this means laid low by the Daitya, was Vishnu,who, attackingJalandhara,
and would
have

Milk, he

his uncle

been

slain but

for Lakshmi's

intercession with
remain
near

her cousin. the

In return

for his lifeVishnu

promisedto
now

Sea

of Milk. and

having Jalandhara,

conquered the gods,

happiness. from heaven, and deprived The gods,however, being expelled contented with of sacrifices and the Amrita, did not long remain conducted them to Brahma, who their lot. They went together seated on a throne and attended by whom to Siva, they found myriads of devoted servants, naked, deformed, curly-haired,

enjoyedpeace

"

with matted
the
case

locks and

covered

with dust." declared

On

Brahma

stating
had been

for the in

gods,Siva

that, if Vishnu
it
was

unsuccessful alone should could


unite

the demon, fighting form

overcome

to

impossiblethat he advised that the gods him ; he, therefore, by which their common weapon enemy
this

might

be

destroyed.Acting on

advice,the gods,glowing
2

70

The

Inferior
of

Deities.

with

anerer

darted forth volumes


of his

the
the

consumingbeams
added

flames,to which Siva added third eye. Vishnu, too, when summoned,
Siva
the
to

his flame

excusing Daitya,
a

of anger, and asked himself from the task on

destroy
that the and

ground
; but

falandharawas
deities were

relative of Lakshmi.
as

Visvakarma

alarmed
heel
on

they saw

the

glowing mass
with forth such Brahma's
"such

Siva,
it into

placinghis
that
the

it,whirled

round

and formed it,

the discus, called Sudarsana, which

sent

beams fiery beard


was

srods cried
as

out

"Preserve

us."
"

scorched
"

he took
a

it into

his hand,
"

is the

result of his
arm.

to a gift "tiering

blockhead

but

Siva hid it under intended him attack


to

Narada husband
as at
an

informed

Jalandharaof the
Parvati's win her.

of

Siva,
her Rahu

and, enlarging on
that he

beauty, excited
With this

attack
sent

might
to

objecthe
On

ambassador,
court

summon

Siva to submission.

his arrival

the

in the form

delivered his master's message the envoy to Siva, of Panchanana, who did not deign to speak ; but the
eat
an

to the snake Vasuki,falling

awful

ground from his hair,began to s rat. such Seeing this,Kartikeya's peacock made noise that the snake disgorged the rat and returned
then

to
a

his proper place. Lakshmi 1 of Amrita, with which that


most
was

entered

the

assembly ground

with

she resuscitated

Brahma's the

fifth head uttered from

in Siva's hand

; the

head

on rolling

boastful

language, until
children and

myriads
live
a

of hideous

forms

Siva's locks quietedit. Rahu, seeing all this, asked


his wife and
vouchsafed

Siva to forsake
a

mendicant's him
the

life. At
was

sign
the

from Siva, Nandi, the bull, showed


answer to

door; this
demand. marched it and
he

his illustrious master's


on,

War

being
a

determined

Jalandhara
had forsaken

first
taken

to

Kailasa ; but
on position

findingthat
mountain
his

Siva

near

Lake

Manasa,
marches

up a surrounded the

spread destruction "like

against them, and of the deluge;" reserves, waters ho of the gods suffers loss. r, being brought up, the army Parvati, hearingthat her sons, Ganesa and Kartikeya, are hardly ed, urged her husband to go in person and put forth his not to himself unnecessarily. Before y. though expose
the

mountain

with

troops. Nandi

The
Siva

Asuras

"

Jalandhara.

371

home, leaving

during his disguise might visit and Manibhadra, two


battle. When
the

warned Parvati to be on her guard carefully absence, as it was possiblethe Daitya in some
her ; after

this, accompanied by Virabhadra

of his anger, he went to the field of the Daityas and the attenconflict between dants forms for
some

of Siva had

continued

time, Jalandharadevised
more

planby

which

he

hoped to

succeed

than easily

form and the command Giving his own the form chief,the Daitya king assumed Dunvarana into Nandi, and, taking the heads

by fighting. of his troops to a of Siva, changed


of Ganesa
and

Kartikeya under
Parvati this, of his
to
was

his arms, overwhelmed real

hastened with hid make


to

to

Siva's abode.

Seeing
doubt listen
not

grief ; but

having
would

some

being the
one

Siva,she
To

herself and

his overtures

of love.

certain of his
her

she identity,

caused

of her

attendants

assume

form that

and he

visit the
was

Daitya,who, returningwith
the
were

the

information
a

not

true

Siva,Parvati hid herself in


bees which Vishnu meantime had
In

and her companions lotus, around


more

changed into
In the

hovered

her. successful
a

been
the

with
he

Vrinda, the wife of Jalandhara.


made she
eaten
a saw

guiseof
his

Brahman,

hermitagenear
her

her

and palace, severed his eyes


in
a

caused from

her to dream

that flesh

husband's

head

body, his
out

by

wild
with
an

Distracted
where forest,
to

animals, and this dream,

plucked
her
came

by
was

vultures. into the about On

high fever

she rushed

Ogress met
the

her,ate
Brahman

mules, and
to

attack

her, when
form

her
to

rescue.

reaching the hermitage,Vishnu


himself into the of her

induced

her

enter,

changed

husband, and there they lived time. At lengthVrinda, seeingthrough the togetherfor some him cursed Vishnu, telling that, as he had wronged disguise, he would himself be wronged, and, having purified Jalandhara, Her body was herself from her sin,died. burned, her mother into the Ganges. The threw them collected the ashes, and
forest in which
she
was

burned

has

ever

since borne

the

name

of

Vrindavana,*near

Mount

Govardhana.

Brindaban.
2

-.

-"

The

Inferior

Deities.

landhara, hearing
mad with

of

his

wife's the

deception
By
Sukra's final

and

death,
of

was

rage

and,
the

leaving
life,and

neighbourhood

Parvati's
his dead made.

home,
he

returned
..ere

to

field of battle.
to
a

power
was a

restored

grand

charge
after

length Siva
encounter, Siva
cut"

and

Jalandhara
the

personally fight ; employs


no sooner summons

desperate
powers,
resumes

in which

Daitya
but

various severed
to

magical
than

off his head,


his

it is

it the

iva in place. or energies


who think

extremity
the

his

aid

female
the aid rest,

of

gods, Brahmi,
of the and

Vaishnavi. and with

and

up in

the

blood

giant,
the

their their

Siva

succeeds and
\"

destroying him,

gods

regain

kingdom

si" "ns.

374
whilst

Tin:

Inferior

Deities.

ceremonies. cow-dung is necessary for various purifying similar at which Regularworshipof the cow takes placeyearly, remonies arc performedto those which are employed at the are of images; the horns and bodies of the cows painted, rsliip and they are then bathed in the rivers. Some peopleare said to the cow daily. ship
GARUDA.

inula the
.

or

Superna

is

mythical being,half-man

and

half-

Vahan

of Vishnu.

Though
appears

not

divine,he strictly

in all Vishnu's frequently and, being worshipped exploits,

togetherwith to give
his birth and When
to

his
some

it is necessary lord, of description

deeds.
sons

Daksha's

refused

people the world,he produced thirteen of whom sixtydaughters,


he gave in
"

to

Kasyapa the
come

sage ; of

these,two

into

prominence
Garuda. celebrated
:

connexion

with
two

Vinata bore him Garuda


and called the

sons,

Aruna

the

also former, the and

was Superna,

king of

feathered tribes,
of the enemy Aruna became

the remorseless race."


as
"

serpent
famous Sun.
.

the

charioteer of the
progeny
a

The

of Kadru thousand

were (theother sister)

mmeasurable
aid

powerfulmany-headed snakes,of The of mother might,subject to Garuda."*


t,,

have

laid

an

egg;

hence

her

son

assumed

bird-like form.

Another legend makes


*
i

"

Garuda

the

son

of

Kasyapa and

Diti.

Vishnu

Purana,' p.

19.

Garuda.
This laid

375
would predicted, After the lapse of Indra's

dame all-prolific
a

an some

egg,

which, it was
great evil.
from
the

yield her

deliverer from
years,

five hundred

Garuda

the abode, extinguished

sprang fire that

egg, flew to him

surrounded enabled

it,conquered its
to

guards,and bore off his captive mother.


on falling

the

Amrita, which
few
grass,

liberate

drops

of the

immortal

beverage
;

some

Kusa

it became

consecrated eternally lacerated

and

the

lickingit,so serpents greedily sharp grass, that they have boon of immortality was
"

with the But


the

ever

their tongues since remained forked.


to

ensured
soon
as

them
was

partakingof the Amrita." * body expanded till it touched


terrified.
were

As
the

Garuda
other

by their born, his


were

sky

; the

animals

His

driven The

mountains" The like the lightning. eyes were of his away with the wind caused by the flapping rays

wings.
Garuda for

which

quarters of the world


must

be

an

body set the four that fire ; the affrighted on gods imagining incarnation of Agni, resorted to that deity
issued
enemy

from

his

| protection."
is the mortal
her

Garuda

of snakes. the
that

His

mother

Vinata

with quarrelled the respecting

Kadru, sister,
of the
horse

mother
was

of the

snakes,
at

colour
ocean

produced
been occasion

the

churning of the enmity between

; since that time

there has On
the

constant

their

descendants.

of

his

the serpents,alarmed at the thought of his having marriage, children who them, made a fierce attack on him ; might destroy but the result
ever was
as

that he slew them


an

save all,

one,

which
To

he has

since

worn

ornament

round

his neck.

this

day

three times of Garuda Hindus superstitious repeat the name before going to sleep at night, a safeguard as againstsnakes. The % gives the followinglegend from the Mahabharata and of his of his liberating from servitude, accounts his mother His mother, having lost of Vishnu. appointment as the Vahan her wager the colour of the with her sister respecting sea-

reduced to servitude to the serpents,who, produced horse,was immortal, promisedto liberate her on being anxious to become

Moor's

'

Hindu

Pantheon,' 341.

f Ward, ii.200.

% Ibid. ii.201.

"76
n

The

Inferior

Deities.
Chandra
Before

that

her

son

Garuda

should

bring

them

(theMoon), whose brightspots arc he went this expedition on irting

filled with Amrita.


to

his mother

for

food, who

he could advised him to go to the sea-shore and gather whatever man careful not to eat a Brahbut entreated him to be most find, time feel a burning sensation ; adding, Should you at any
"

stomach,be sure you have eaten a Brahman." off on his journey. this warning, he set receiving ing through a country inhabited by fishermen, he at one
in your
drew inspiration
it among

in houses, trees,
inhabitants

cattle, men,
one
was

and
a

other animals.

the
an

swallowed

Brahman, who
that

ised such
unable
to

intolerable

burning in
unless To
met

his stomach

Garuda,
to
come

bear

it,called in the
refused

greatest haste
his

for him
a

The

Brahman

wife,

fisherman's consented.

Kasyapa (he his hunger the Pole to appease as lake where and tortoise were .1 certain an elephant fighting. The tortoise was and the elephant hundred one eightymiles long, and sixty. Garuda with one claw seized the elephant, with the other the tortoise, and perched with them on a tree eight hundred high. But the tree was unable to bear the ponderous thousands of pigmy Brahmans weight,and, unhappily, then were of its branches. on one worshipping Trembling lest he should oy any of them, he took the bough in his beak, continuing to hold the elephant and tortoise in his claws, and flew to a
shines
who Star),

him. lighter, might accompany I'm.suing his journey, Garuda

this Garuda
his father

directed him

mountain
OH
'

in

an

uninhabited country, where

he finished his repast

the tortoise and elephant. iruda having surmounted dangers,at last seized astonishing
moon

the

wing. On his return, however, beingattacked by Indra and the gods, he overcame all, epting\ ishnu. Even Vishnu was so severely put to it in with t, that he came to terms him Garuda, made and immortal, promised him a higherseat than his own ; while
pari Garuda
n;

and

concealed

it under

his

became

the Vahan

or

carrier

of

Vishnu.

sha]

rides upon in the Garuda, while the latter, of afl ig, sits at the top of Vishnu's car.

Vishnu

Garuda.
In the

377

as doing great service Ramayana Garuda is represented and peculiarities and his powers are and his followers, to Rama of Hanuman it repeatedlyreferred to. Thus, in the description is said, that
"

Like thunderbolt
And

in frame

was

he,

swift

as

Garud's

self could flee."*

In like

manner
"

it is said of two
of offspring Sugriva,
And

heroes
the

Bali,Indra's

Sun, mighty one,


with Garud's
arts

They, both endowed


And

skilled in all the

Wandered And
lions

might, fight, the forest through, in arms and snakes and tigers slew."f
of

When

Ansuman

found
to

the ashes of the

sixtythousand
been
water
"

sons

of

J who, owing Sagar,


was

Kapila'scurse,
he

had
no

and destroyed, with which


to

in distress because for the


"

could
sees

obtain

offer oblations

dead, he

their uncle

Of birds who
Then

King Garud, best beyond compare, wing the fields of air.


thus
son

unto

the

weeping man

The
'

of Vinata

Grieve

not, O
a

began : hero,for their fall,

Who

died

death

approved of
that if he and
to

all.' ""
can

Garuda

then tells Ansuman descend from

succeed

in

inducing
to touch to

Ganga
these

to

heaven,

with her streams and life, when

ashes,the dead

shall return

ascend finally Rama

Indra's heaven. In the into the of description the

cityof Ayodha,
to Garuda's
"

is a reference forest,

had gone to snakes : antipathy

The

citywore
"

No

look of
a

beauty as before
on a

Like

dull river

lake

By
In

Garud

robbed

of every account

snake."

||
on resting a

the

lines following

is

an

of Garuda's

Griffiths's' " Griffiths's '

Ramayana,' i. 94. Ramayana,' i. 186.

f Ibid. i. 96. ||Ibid. ii. 167.

% See Ganga.

The
when

Inferior Deities.
tortoise
as

tree

he

was

narrated

above.
to
""

off the elephantand the carrying Ravana, impelledby the accounts

of Sita's

beaut}', goes

see

her, and
saw a

on

his
a

journey
cloud,

He With

like fig-tree hundred


a

mighty branches
a

earthward

bowed.

It stretched For hermit

and made leagues,

bands

welcome

shade.

Thither
An

the feathered

elephantand
on lighted a

And

king of yore tortoise bore, bough to eat

The
The

of his taloned feet. captives

The Gave

bough, unable to sustain crushingweight and sudden


with sprays
*

Loaded
*

way

beneath

strain, spring, the feathered king.


and

leaves of

The

feathered monarch

raised the weisrht


O

Of the
The
*

huge bough, and


*

bore

away
*

loosened load and soul conceived


snatch
rent

captured prey.
*

His To

the

high emprise
the skies.

the Amrit

from

He Then
And That

the nets

of iron

first, burst,
away

through the
watched

jewel chamber

bore the drink of heaven


in Indra's

palacelay."*

In the
were

nt

and his brother great conflict with Ravana, as Rama wounded and of serpents dead, owing to a flight well-nigh Garuda by [ndrajit, appeared to restore them, and thus
to carry
on

enabled them

the
"The

Avar.

His

approach

and

work

are

thus described :

rushingwind
banks

Red

flashed from lightnings


mountains

grew loud, of cloud. rose,

shook, the wild waves And, smitten by resistless blows, I Uprooted fell each stately tree That fringed the margin of the sea.
All

The

lifewithin the w. rhen,.i, the Vanars

iters

feared

gazed, appeared

' Jriffiths's iii.162. Ramayana,'

Garuda.
a wondrous King Garud's self, sight, in flames of fiery light.

379

Disclosed
From

his fierce eye in sudden dread All serpents in a moment fled ; And The
On

those transformed vanished princes, his sons Raghu's hailed the lords o'er them
touched

to

in the
eyes

that bound shafts, ground. he bent,

And Then
And

omnipotent.

stooped the feathered king,

their faces with his wing-.

His
And

healingtouch

their pangs allayed, closed each rent the shafts had made.
were

Again their eyes Again the smooth


For this

brightand bold ; * skin shone like gold."


Rama

great work

of restoration
: replied

expressed his

titude, gra-

whereupon Garuda
"

In me, O Raghu's son, behold One who has loved thee from of old.

Garud, the lord of all that fly, Thy guardian and thy friend am I. could loose Not all the gods in heaven These numbing bonds, this serpent noose,
Wherewith For Were fierce Ravan's
son,

renowned

magic arts, your


arrows

limbs had

bound.

Those

fixed in every

limb

mighty snakes,transformed by him. Bloodthirsty race, they live beneath The earth, and slaywith venomed teeth."

Garuda
ways.

is

and in pictures represented he has the head


a

Sometimes

and

sculpturein various with a wings of a bird,


at

human
he has

body
a

; sometimes and human face,

he has
the

body
AND

bird's claws ; and of a bird.

others

JATAYUS Garuda had


two sons,

SAMPATI.

Jatayus and Sampati,who also As he, Lakshman, and Sati reached the hermitassisted Rama. age in the forest where a they intended to remain, they saw
"

named

Griffiths's '

Ramayana,' v.

153.

3So
mi

Tin:

Inferior

Deities.

vulture, of size and


earance,

Rama

Struck with unparalleled." strength inquiredwho he was, when Jatayus inoffered to be their friend:

ned them

of his parentage, and


"

Thy readyhelperwill I be And guard thy house, if thou


When thou and

Lakshman

agree : urge the


*

chase,

By

Sita's side shall be my

place."

J.VI

AVIS.

T]

fer was

; and accepted

when
his

Rama

saw

the

stag which
after it with

nt to attract

him

from

home,

he

went

Griffiths's Ramayana,' iii. 68.


'

Tin:

Inferior

Deities.

[atayuswas

able

to

tear

off the

ten

left

arms

of Ravana,

but

others unfortunately

seizes his sword,


hurries When

At grew to replacethem. and. after giving the vulture


to

length Ravana
a

mortal

blow,

off with
Rama upon

Sita
and

Lanka.
commence

Lakshman

their search

for Sita,

they come

dying bird, and, seeingthe marks of blood has been guilty; but, after hearing upon him, at firstthink that he visit and flight, from him the story of Ravana's they see the bird expire and perform his funeral rites. In their search, reaching the sea-shore, but still ignorant of followers see of their monkey mense imSita's whereabouts,some an weak with age, who, hearing them mention vulture, Jatayus' When of his welfare. he told that had been name, inquires slain by Ravana, the vulture informs them that this victim of his own the giant was other than brother ; and no in revenge them where Ravana ts them, by informing and Sita were at
the

that moment.
immense

He

told them

that he had

Garuda's

power

to

see

distances, and, mounting into the sky, saw Lanka, and told the Vanar chiefs that the object of their search was there.
I baring

this, Hanuman
to
assure

Sita. and

her of

despatched to communicate Rama's her. coming to rescue


was

with

0"J

CHAPTER
GANGA.

VIII.

Ganga
whose

the (theGanges),
waters
are

chief of the sacred


have

streams

of

India,
all

said

to

the

power

of

from cleansing

past, present, and


is believed the
account to

future

sins,

be her

divine,and
birth and forms
an

of
on

appearance

earth

interesting episode in the The story is told Ramayana. to Rama by the hermit Visvamitra, as he was travelling
with

Rama

and As

his brother
soon
as

Lakshman.
reach

they

the banks

of the sacred

stream,
"

They

and

bathed, as paid
due
as :
"

Scripturebids, god and shade."

Oblations

to

As Rama
The

soon

they were
O

seated,

said

I yearn saint, Ganga s tale to three-pathed

GANGA.

learn.

urged,recounted both The birth of Ganga and her growth : The mighty hill with metals stored, the mountains' lord, Himalaya, is, The father of a lovely pair Of daughters, fairest of the fair. Their mother, offspring of the will Of Meru, everlasting hill,
'

Thus

The
Menu,

Inferior

Deities.

darling, graced Himalaya's


beauty of her daintywaist.

With
(

cider-born ; then came ranga was known fair one The by Uma's name. Then all the gods of heaven, in need Of To
The

Ganga'shelp their vows great Himalaya came


mountain
not

king to

speed, and pruyed yieldthe maid.


to

He,

of regardless

the weal

Of the three worlds, with holy zeal His daughter to the Immortals gave cleanse and waters ( ranga, whose fair and at pleasure, Who roams

"

save,

free,

Purging all sinners, to the sea. The three-pathed Ganga thus obtained, The gods their heavenly homes regained.' *
"

The

sage
a

next

tells Rama

that

there

was

mighty King
most

of

Ayodha
have accounts,

named
son,

f who, being Sagara,

childless and

anxious

the saint Bhrigu (or, accordingto other propitiated hundred a hi- grandson) by penances extendingover with Sagar's said : At lengththe saint, pleased worship,
"
"

king, spring, mighty thou shalt win a glorious And name, Which O but thou shalt claim chief, none,
From host of
sons

thee, O Sagar,blameless
shall

irimths's'

Ramayana,'i. 171.

f S
r

i's birth w.is supernatural. His father Bahu, King of Ayodha. The mother of Sagara from Ins kingdom. accompanied cpelled husband to the forest, but, owing to a poisonous drug having been she could not bring forth her son, with whom by .1 rival wife, When her husband had been pregnant for seven died,she wished years.

1 with lu-" body ; but this was preventedby a sage named Aurva. would yet be born, and grow up to be a mighty red her that her son In: was born, Aurva gave him the name Sagara (Sa,"with," king. When himself was Aurva also born in an 1. "poison*'). extraordinary \ king named and was Kritavirya very liberal to the Bhrigus, theybecame rich. His descendants being poor, they throughhis Liberality : an help of tin- Bhrigus. On this being refused them, they made (In. Brahmans of this family, 1 mii even slayingall they could find, tildren in the womb. One concealed her unborn child in her woman I hi K ihattriya tin of this, tried t"" slay him, but he issued from ", hearing with mch lustre that he blinded his persecutors. And bom from the thigh uru) of his mother,he was called Aurva.

wh

Ganga.
thy queens a son shall bear, Maintainer of thy race and heir ;
And Some

385

One

of

of the other there shall be thousand sixty


born
to

thee.'" * to

Hearing this,the
is to have

wives
son,

are

anxious the

know

which
; but

of them this the


one son

the

one

and

which

multitude

Brahman and

leaves them

to decide.

Kesini wishes for the

Sumati

is pleased with the prospect of


"
'

thousand. havingsixty

passed. The elder consort bare son Ansuman, the heir. Then Sumati,the younger, gave Birth to a gourd,O hero brave, Whose when burst and cleftin two, rind,
A

Time

called

Gave
In

thousand sixty
care

babes the
nurses

to

view. laid

All these with

; they stayed, and youthful Till, strength complete, age Forth speedingfrom each dark retreat, All peers in valour, years, and might, thousand The sixty to light.' came f
"

jarsof oil

and there

After
or

horse

King Sagara determined to make an Asvamedha sacrifice. Preparations for this are accordingly made,
time

and

Prince the

Ansuman,

the

son

of

the elder

wife,is appointed
the
set

king to follow the horse set apart for the horse was to be for,according to the ritual, by
allowed for
a

sacrifice;
and free,

wherever it would. year to wander obtain knowing the great merit that Sagar would and fearing that he might even lose his crown, sacrifice,
"

whole

Indra

by

this

Veilinghis form
down

guise, Came appointedday, upon And drove the victim horse away."J
the

in demon

The

officiating priest, beingaware


"

of

cries out this,

Haste,king ! now let the thief be slain ; Bring thou the chargerback again; The sacred rite prevented thus of us." all and scathe to woe Brings Ramayana,' i. 174. f Ibid. i. 175. J Ibid. i. 177.
2

Griffiths's'

The

Inferior

Deities.
his

incited by King Sagar,

the

Brahman,
:

urges

sons

to search

until they find the stolen horse


""

Brave
These

sons

of mine, I know
are so

not
now

how
;

demons

mighty
so

The

began priests

the rites

well,

All sanctified with

prayer and

spell.

If in the
Or

depths of earth he
the ocean's

hide,

lurk beneath

tide,

Pursue, dear sons, the robber's track ; Slay him and bring the chargerback.
The whole of this broad earth
to

explore,
;

from Sea-garlanded

shore

shore
*

Yea, dig her


I mil you
see

up with

the horse

might and main, again."


Each the
at

The

sons

commence

their
means

search.

digs a league in
of the earth
;

depth, and
but
cannot

by
see

this
the

they reach
Alarmed and

centre

horse.

their destructive what is

work,

the

gods repairto Brahma,


them with

tell him

happening,

lie cheers

the information

that Vishnu, in the form

of

will protect the Earth,his bride, and that these sons Kapila, consumed The to ashes. ir will be gods,encouraged for and patiently wait by these words, repairto their home

deliverance
thousand into the earth without obsixty digging leagues of the horse, the princes return to their father, taining any tidings them to dig on, and askingwhat can be done. Sagar commands ".tin until the horse is found. tie their search At lengththey
"

After

Saw
In

Vasudeva
form Kapil's
mar

(Vishnu)standingthere,
he loved to
wear

And The

the

God everlasting sod.

victim
saw

the chargercropped with

They
The
.\n"l

joy and

fancied robber and


on

eager eyes the prize,

him

rushed
'

the furious
!

band,
Stand

Cryingaloud, Stand, villain

!'

' Griffiths's

i. 177. Ramayana,'

Ganga.
'

387

Kapilcried, tide ; passion's that his might, Then, by proud array * All scorched to heaps of ashes lay."
Avaunt ! avaunt His bosom flusht with

! ? great

of his Hearing no news his grandson Ansuman sent of all he meets that
he
on

sons, to

the look is

king became
after them.

anxious,and
He
the

inquires
tion informaAt

the

earth,and

encouragedby
back the
stolen
were

shall

length he
and

reaches

certainly bring the spot where his


with
at grief

horse.

brothers

consumed,
this moment

is overwhelmed

their fate.

At

his uncle Garuda


"

appears

and

consoles

him, saying:

Grieve not, O hero,for their fall, Who died a death approvedof all. Of

mighty strength they met their fate hand, whom none can mate. By Kapil's Pour forth for them no earthly wave,
holier flood their
crave. spirits

Snow, below, Her waves, that cleanse all mortal stain, wash their ashes pure again. Would whom all revere, Yea, when her flood, Rolls o'er the dust that moulders here, The sixty freed from thousand, sin, Ganga would
turn

If, daughter of the Lord


her

of

stream

home and draw

in Indra's heaven with ceaseless

shall win.

Go,
To

labours try the goddess from the sky.


take the

Return, and with thee


So shall

steed;

rite succeed."! thy grandsire's

The for

princetakes the steed ; 30,000 years King Sagar was


to
come

the sacrifice is how thinking At

and completed,

he

could

induce

Ganga
to

down

from

heaven.

not havingsucceeded length,


went

in
heaven.
to

forming a
Ansuman
some

successful

the monarch himself plan, reigned in his stead,who, in his of

turn,

his brothers. His son liberating also made but equallyunsuccessful, effort. It a similar, Dilipa this work. son was Bhagirath to accomplish given to Dilipa's tried
means

find

Griffiths's'

Ramayana,' i. 183.

f Ibid. i. 186.
2

Tin:
[rath had
to

Inferior

Deities.
to

no

son.

He, in order
from their

obtain

this

boon,

and

free his kinsmen

sad

fate, practisedmost
:

until at lengthBrahma lusterities,


""

said

Blest

monarch, of

glorious race,
won

Thy fervent
Some boon

rites have

my

grace.
:
*

Well hast thou wrought thine awful task


in turn, O

hermit,ask."

To which

as replies Bhagirath
"

follows:
receive from
me

Let

Sagar'ssons

Libations that
Let The That To

they long to see. Ganga with her holy wave ashes of the heroes lave,
so

ascend may bliss that ne'er shall end. heavenly my

kinsmen
O

And
Nor

give,I
let my

pray,

god, a

son,

house

be all undone."

this the

: god replies
"

As

thou

prayest, it shall be.

in Swarga (Heaven) flow, waves Ganga, Is daughter of the Lord of Snow. Win To For Siva

whose

that his aid be lent

hold her in her mid earth alone will never


torrents

descent,
bear
upper

These

hurled from
to

air." f

Brahma
for

then
a

re-ascended
year
arms

the

skies;

but

mained Bhagirath re-

whole
"

With While

with

upraised, refusing rest, toe the earth he prest." one

Siva, pleased with


"f the descent
was n""t at

this of

devotion, promised
waters
on

to

sustain
; but

the

the

his head
to

Ganga
:

all
U

when pleased
(

commanded
she

descend

to earth

He Anil

calls me,' in her wrath

cried,

all my flood shall sweep And whir] him in its whelming tide To lull's profoundest deep.'" J
"

* Griffiths's i. 190. Ramayana,'

| Ibid.

Ibid. i. 193.

The

Inferior

Deities.

complete list,but merally known.


Male

it contains

the

names

of

the

rivers

most

rivers

"

The
:
"

Sona
The

and

the

Brahmaputra.
the the

Female

rivers
the

Godavarl,
the the

Kaverl,

the

Atreyl,
the

the

Karaloya,
the

Bahuda,

GomatI,

Sarayu,
the

Gandaki,
the the

Varahi, the CharmanwatI, the utaml, the Karmanasha,

Shatadru,

Vipasha,

Airavati, the Chandrabhaga,

Vitasta, the Sindhu, the Krishna, the VetravatI, the Bhairava.*

Ward,

ii. 217.

THE

BEL.

391

CHAPTER

IX

SACRED

TREES.

SEVERAL

trees

of,or
meritorious
act

regarded as sacred ; they being representative of the deities. It is a dear to, some peculiarly to plantand water them, and such is the respect
are even

cherished

for them, that

their withered

branches

are

not

THE

BANYAN

TREE.

allowed the

to

be

burnt.

The

same

ceremonies

are

observed taken
at

at
care

of planting
some

these trees, or, when


their

they have
are

been

of for

time, at
of
:
"

as consecration,

observed
the
names

the

settingup
sacred
trees

an

image.
or

The

followingare

of the

The Vishnu.

Asvatta,

Pipul

Tree

sacred (Fiats religiosd),

to

/2

Tin:

Inferior

Deities.
*

The

Yata,

Banyan
or

or

Indian

Fig
Bel

Tree

also Indica), (Ficus

red to Vishnu.

The

Yilva,
Vakula

Wood-apple,or

Tree

f {"gk

Marmelos),

red to Siva. The The

(Mimusops Elengi).

The The

Haritaki {Terminalia chebuld). emblicd). (Phyllanthus Amalaki, or Etnblic Myrobalans

Nimba, or Nim Tree % (Meliaazadirachta). or sanctum). The Tulsi " (Ocintutn gratissimum The Tulsi is very commonly worshipped by the followers of tended his repreas Vishnu ; and the plant is most carefully sentative. with cleaned it is Every morning the ground near it. During -dung and water ; at night a lamp is hung near is hung of the year, a vessel of water months th i hottest When the it so that it can over constantlyreceive moisture. idol which has been an as plant dies, it is cast into the river, When the worship is concluded. be when would a worshipped to planta sprigof Tulsi it is a common custom person is dying, his head. The near originof the worship of the Tulsi is said named Tulsi be the following: A woman engaged in and asked austerities for a long period, boon, as a ligious that she might become the wife of Vishnu. Lakshmi, hearingof cursed her, and changed her into the plant which bears this, her name. his follower with the Vfehnu, however, comforted that he would assume the form of the Shalgrama,and surance ntinue mar her.|| The Vayu and the Padma Puranas teach that the Tulsi was of the products of the churning of the one
a
"

in.

In

addition

to

these

trees

should

be

mentioned

the Durva

and (Agrostis linearis)

vhich form part of the offerings made to ves or flowers of most of the trees
II"

Mahabharata
Kusa
iss.

has

When

(Poa cynosuroides\ gods; as do all mentioned. previously legend accountingfor the sacredness of Garuda of the Amrita brought some
grass

Kusa

the

t
p. 400-

Sec

p. 390.

X See Ward, ii.204.

p. 411

Sacred

Trees.

393 serpent deities,as


from
lest

from

the

moon

to

give
for his
not

to

the

Nagas,
it to

or

the

price to
tried
to

be

paid

mother's
to

release
them

servitude, Indra

induce

him
oust

give
from

they, becoming
would
not

immortal, should
consent
to to

him

his throne. told Indra

Garuda
that

this

arrangement,
he

but

after Garuda and

it

was

eiven
fore

the

snakes the

could in Indra the


a

steal it from
vessel
on

them.
grass,

therethe the grass


;

placed
were

Amrita

the

whilst that

Nagas
ambrosia

bathing,
must

stole

it.

They,
licked

thinking
it ; the
are

be

on

Kusa

grass,

sharp

slit their and the

tongues,

and

hence

the touched

grass,

having

been

serpents'tongues by the Amrita,

forked

is

holy.

THE

FIG

TREE.

394

Miscellaneous

Minor

Deities.

CHAPTER
MISCELLANEOUS
MINOR

X.
DEITIES.

I.

SHIT

ALA.

SHITALA

is the
is

deitywho

Bengaliname supposed to have

for the

and small-pox,
that disease.

for the The


"

charge of meaning
who makes is

of the word cold."

is

She

This

dess god-

a goldas represented ting siten-complexioned woman a or on lotus, ridingon an

ass,

dressed in red clothes.

Before
or

more

water

image of this kind, commonly a pan of merely, Shitala is woran

shippedin
from

the

will preserve

hope that she her worshippers


year

this dire disease. of the spring


were

In the Hindus
:J

the

in the habit of
children who
years

Ufe

their inoculating
were on

ALA.

of age ; which occasion the Brahman


two

about

presents to render Shitala


"rk was successful to

performedthe operation and promised in case propitious,


the close

who

give still greater gifts. At

the flowers that were operation presentedto the goddess '1 in the hair of the child as a charm. On behalf of afflicted with small-pox, made are and offerings

daily;

Man

as a.

395
is

when

the

is thought patient
an

to

be

he ill, dangerously

in front of
water

image
been

of

Shitala,bathed
to

in,and
go

given to
about
to

placed drink,
with
a

that

has

offered

her. teach

Beggars
is sacred the

stone,

which partlygilded,

they

Shitala, and,

her praises, receive presents from singing

superstitious.*

2.

MANASA.

Manasa
wife of

is the

sister of

Vasuki, the King of the Snakes

; the

a sage Jaratkaru, ; and being the 'Queen of regarded as the protectress of

the Snakes

is

men

from
name

those

other Anreptiles.

known

is

of

by which she is stroyer Vishahara, "the depoison." Generally

made to her without are offerings image being made, a any branch
an

of

tree,a pan
snake
; when

of water,
her
presentatives re-

earthen

being
her

image
woman

is

made,

it is that

of

clothed
a

with

on snakes, sitting

lotus, or
A

standing
song

upon upon

snake.
the the

founded

followingstory concludes worship of this deity.


merchant named

A
not

Chanda

only refused to worship the proManasa, but professed


contempt
for her. In
sons
MANASA.

foundest

process of time six of his died from snake-bites. To Lakindara dwelt in


an

avoid

similar

his fate,

eldest
a

son

iron house

; but

Manasa

caused

snake

Ward, ii.139.

,6
enter

Miscellaneous

Minor

Deities.

througha crevice,which
his death
her
too.

bit him

on

his

wedding-day

and
went

caused

weepingto
to

widow, however, escaped, and mother-in-law, who, with the neighbours,


Chanda the goddess through propitiate evil had come to the family ; Manasa to prevailupon him not to remain
to
so

His

tried vainly

induce
so

wl herself

influence hostile to her.


throw
a

much friends At

urged his

last he
with that
came

far

yielded to
his

their

wishes her
to

as

flower single

his

left hand restored

towards
sons

image, worship

which

so

her delighted
as
men

she
to

and life,

from that time,


has become The

know

of her power,

her

celebrated.*

gives the following particulars regarding her husband, was her marriage. Jagatakaru, eminent an sage, all who had practised bathed in the great austerities, holy tanks, abstained from matrimony, and, as a result of his penance and had of his a dry and shrivelled body. In the course fasting, he saw number of men wanderings,coming to a place where a over a hanging from a tree with their heads downwards deep with rat gnawing at the rope by which a abyss, pended, susthey were he learned that they were his own to ancestors, doomed endure this misery because, their children being dead, they had no release them to one by performing certain religious (i.e. ceremonies) ; and he, who by having a son might have set them free,was refused to marry. and given up to a life of austerity When they are told that Jagatakaruis the man through whose abstinence they are him and to suffering, they entreat marry
ecure

Mahabharata

their deliverance.

He

consents

to

do

so

on

condition
him

that

parents

of

the

girl he marries

give
to
son

her

to

willingly.

Vasuki hearingof this,offers his sister her and has a son named Asika. This
""l

the sage, who marries effected the ance deliver-

hirace

ancestors, and
in
:

also

rendered

good

service

to

the

nt ma,!
m.

them saving

from

destruction
was

when

Janamejaya
exterminate

rifice of snakes, and

wishful to

Ward, ii. 142.

Miscellaneous nmonite, though the Hindus


Mount

Minor
declare

Deities.
it is stone, found
is that

in

Gandakl
there and

in
are

Nepal.

The

popularbelief
of insects
which

in this

mountain

multitudes

the perforate river Gandaka,


common ones

they when
out

into the falling perforated, of


nets.

are are

taken about

by

means
a

The

more

the size of

watch, and
inside
are

and their size, hollowness,


names culiarities special

pricevaries accordingto colouring, according to which


their
the
rarer

given. For

kinds

as

much

Rs.

2000

are

; and given
-T

when

it is remembered

that it is believed
a

that the p 1 lakshinavarta in), caw


never

of

one

of these
whose

ammonites, and
convolutions
to
are

shell called towards


at that

shell a [i.e.
be

the

poor, it is not

be wondered

large

should prices with parting


p"

As it is also believed that in paid for them. it is natural that those them they invite misfortune, should wish to retain them ; to sell them for gain
be
as a

arded
A
"

most

dishonourable

deed.

reason

for the sacredness

of the

Shalgrama is
his
Brahma

found
a

in the

Bh LgavataPurana.' t"" become t"" Brahma

Sani commenced

reignwith

request
to

subjectto him;
to

referred him
When into

Vishnu,who
he

asked

him

that called, finding

call upon him the next day. Vishnu had transformed himself
a
worm

mountain, he Vishnu
umed

became

named the

for twelve

years.

At

and Vajrakita, of that time expiration

afflicted Vishnu
stones

his proper this mountain

and shape,

ordered be

that henceforth

the

should (Gandakl)

worshippedas
in this form
a

tative^ represenin their

of himself.*

The

Brahmans
at
over

usually worshipVishnu
In

daily puja

home.
the

the

hot

season

vessel
water

of water

is

suspended
on

Shalgrama, and
it cool ; another

the

continually

it

keeps

vessel is

l"

tch the water, The marks


the soul

which
of it

is drunk
arc

in the
to
men

shown of the
to

placed under it eveningby the worwhen dying,in the


them
at

1"

liefthat the concentration


ensure
a

mind

on

this time

will

safe passage

Vishnu's heaven.t

'"nit

of the

t'w

"

originof the worship of the Shalgrama, see -jWard, ii. 221.

The

Dhenkt"

Ka

? Who

399

5.
The Dhenki is
a

THE

DHENKT.

logof wood fixed rice, pounding bricks to powder,"c.


women,

to

used pivot,
raise

for

husking
by
certain

It is generally worked

who, by standing on
then let it fall

the

one

end,

it to

by its own weight. It is said to be the Vahan Narada, and it is believed that,owing or vehicle of to a blessing pronounced upon it by him, it became an object of worship. A a initiating religiousteacher, when disciple into the mysteries of Hinduism, told him to say, Dhenki, Dhenki." and coming upon was Narada, hearing this, delighted, incantation his Vahan by which he became gave him another It is worshippedat the admitted into heaven. and was perfect with the Poita or time of marriage, at the investiture of a son of givingrice to a child Brahmanical thread, at the ceremony

height and

"

and
a

on

other of
the

festive occasions.

Raja

Naladanga

the close of the last century is said to have spent Rs. 300,000 in celebrating At the Dhenki.

worshipof

6. KA The Athenians "The


were

? WHO

not

alone in the

the worshipping had


so

"

Unknown

God."
broken the

authors

of

Brahmanas

completely

of the poetical with the past, that, forgetful character of hymns (ofthe Vedas),and the yearningof the poets after

the unknown
into
1

god, they

exalted

the

interrogative pronoun
' '

itself

and acknowledged a god, Ka ? or Who In the ? deity, Kanshltaki Brahmana,' in the Brahmana,' in the Taittiriya Tandya Brahmana,' and in the SatapathaBrahmana,' wherever is Prajapati, verses occur, the author states that Ka interrogative Nor did they stop here. Some of the or the lord of creatures. occurred were called hymns in which the interrogative pronoun was having kad or quid. But soon a new adjective Kadvat, i.e. the the but sacrifices and not offered hymns, also, only formed, called Who-ish.' At the time of the to Kaya, or god, were
a
'
'

'

'

40

Miscellaneous

Minor

Deities.

Panini

(the great grammarian),


as

this rule
Ka later

word

had

acquired
After

such

atimacy
J.
we
can

to

call for here

separate

explaining
Brahman. Sanskrit with laws

its formation.

tmmentator

explains
that
as a

by

this,
of

hardly
Ka

wonder appears
even

in

the

literature
a

the
of
one

Puranas,
his
own,

recognised god,
; and

genealogy
of Manu

perhaps
of
the

wife of

that

in

the

""f the
name

recognised
Kaya."
and
on

forms

marriage,
occurs

generally
under Ka it is
is

known the

by
monstrous

the

Prajapati marriage,
In
'

title
1

of

the

Mahabharata Purana'

identified

with

taksha,

in the
account

Bhagavata
of their

probably

similarity to

applied to Kasyapa, Prajapati.

Max

M tiller
j

quoted

in

Dowson's

'

Classical

Dictionary,'s.

"

v.

Ka?"

THE

LOTUS.

4oi

CHAPTER
SUPERHUMAN,
THOUGH
NOT

XI.

DIVINE

BEINGS.

I.

APSARASAS,

GANDHARVAS,

AND

KINNARAS.

The

Apsarasas are
the

nymphs, the

heaven, and the Kinnaras


form band
in

in that the

of Indra's singers with horses' heads, human who beings The Apsarasas are of Kuvera. not Urvasi and
a

Gandharvas

prominent
mentioned.
seven

Vedas, but

few

others

are

In Manu In the

and prominent, attribute their originto the the Ramayana and the Puranas It is said that when forth they came churning of the ocean. the Asuras would have from the waters, neither the gods nor to all. They have the them for wives,so they became common of pleasure." "wives of the gods,"and "daughters appellations Manus.
"

they are said to be the Epic poems they become

creations of the

agitated deep up sprung legionof Apsarasas,so named That to the watery element they owed Their being. Myriads were they born,and all and In vestures heavenlygems ; heavenlyclad, Yet more divine their native semblance,rich of grace, of youth and beauty. With all the gifts followed ; yet thus fair, A train innumerous Nor god nor demon sought their wedded love ; remain their charms Thus, Raghava ! they still
Then
The
"

from the

The
"

common

treasure

of the host of heaven."


or

In the Puranas the

various

ganas

classes of them

are

tioned; men'

the 'Hari Vansa fourteen, 'VayuPurana'enumerates as being daivika,divine,' or seven. They are againdistinguished in former said be to ten are 'worldly.'The laukika, number, and these are the heavenly and the latter thirty-four, charmers
*

Superhuman,

though

not

divine

Beings.

fascinated heroes, as Urvasi, and allured austere sages from Rembha. The and their devotions and penances, as Menaka millions of them, but Kasi Khand' says there are thirty-five
who

sixtyare the principal.The Apsarasas, then, are fairylike beings,beautiful and voluptuous. They are not prudish the wives or mistresses of the Gandharvas, and are earth Their amours of their favours. on in the dispensation and have been they are the rewards in Indra's numerous, fall in battle. They have the held out to heroes who paradise they power of changing their forms and givegood luck to whom
one ily

thousand

and

favour." *
The
'

Vishnu

Purana

'

t says

that the

Gandharvas
were

were

the

of offspring

Brahma.
;

"The

Gandharvas

next

bibing born, im*

they were drinkingof the goddess of speech, born, and thence their appellation (gam dhayantah, drinking them the descendants of Purana J makes speech')." The same is said to be their grandsire. isyapa and Arishta, and Brahma The Tad ma cording AcPurana' speaksof them as the children of Vach. to the 'Vishnu Purana/ the 'Gandharvas, called Mauof the Muni who were sixtymillions Kasyapa), neyas (orsons in number, had defeated the Nagas or snake gods, and seized preciousjewels and usurped their dominion." upon their most The snakes resorted to Vishnu for help, who informed them that he would enter into Purukutsa and then destroythe Gandharvas. The river Nagas sent their sister N armada, the personified N irbudda, succeeded in her to ask the aid of Purukutsa, who and the Gandharvas "rk, were destroyed. As a reward the this power is gave to Narmada, that whoever worshipped r and called upon her name should be safe from the poison of snakes and all other poison too. In the 'Satapatha Brahmana/ and the Puranas,is a story of l'uni ravas and the Apsaras Urvasi which will give some idea of the character of these beings in Hindu Mythology. Urvasi was of Mitra compelledto leave heaven owing to the imprecation d Varnna. She was and loved by Pururavas, the son of seen
melody
Jl

f Page 41.

t Page 150-

Rakshasas.
Budha

403

by

the

daughterof Manu,
She
said
:
"

and

agreed to
two

live with him which


never

on

certain conditions.

I have

rams

must
seen

always remain near me undressed,and by me


The inhabitants the Gandharvas
came

day

and

night;
eat

you

must

be

I must
were

only ghi,or clarifiedbutter."


for Urvasi's return, so
rams

of heaven

anxious

and by night

stole her

as

Pururavas

them rushed into Urvasi's room in his attempt to rescue dressed, unfilled the room, and beingseen a flash of lightning by to remain the nymph, the condition under which she consented

with him distracted

being broken, she


at

returned and bride, After

to

heaven.

Pururavas
about
meet

was

the loss of his

wandered
to

he found for her ; when and present him with a him


that if he would

her,she promised
son.

searching him yearly


told of object

five annual
the

visits she

offer a

sacrifice with

her, his gaining


became
a

effort would

be successful. He

express the made

attempt,

Gandharva, and

gainedeternal

of her love. possession

2.

RAKSHASAS.
a

These

formidable
are

beingsform
all

prominentfeature
are

in Hindu

legend. They
Parvati gave the moment
to

Brahmans, yet

described

as

cannibals.

tribe the power to arrive at maturity born. They had the power of assuming they were read of them now as now as horses, any form at will ; and we of them had as as as a now tigers. Some buffaloes, many the whole hundred heads. Rama's

Amongst

the

more

noted

Ravana, "c. Indrajit, he was Kumbhakarna, the brother of Ravana, immediately and gatheredeverything into his born, stretched forth his arms
mouth that he could reach. from Indra's
heaven

foe;and his relatives

beings was Kumbhakarna, Vibhishena,

of these

At

one

time another

he seized five hundred

nymphs
hundred

; at

time

the wives of

and sages, and cows threatened to destroy him, unless he his demands continued should for
;
ten

Brahmans

innumerable.
became
a more

Brahma moderate
in

commenced he, therefore, thousand


to

life of

that austerity

years, which

have

power

swallow

up

gods lest he gods and men everything,


2

terrifiedthe

404

Superhuman,

though

not

divine

Beings.

included.

In their distress
enter

they appealed
and

to

Brahma,
him
was

who
to

caused ask
as a

irasvati to
"

Kumbhakarna

induce This
not

'ii

that

he

might sleep eternally.


of the Rakshasas that he
eat
were

plan

successful. with
at

But

the

friends asked

pleased
for
he
a

the the

result, and
end

Brahma

might
as

awake
as

day
to

of

each
was

half-year and
acceded
miles
was

much
in

wished.
is said

This have the

request
been

to.

His
;

house

Lanka

20,000

long
800
"

but

Lanka

itself, according
of three

to

Ramayana,
The
-et

only

miles been

in circumference.*

Rakshasas
of

have

classified

as

sorts,

one

as

on beings like the Yakshas," or supernatural attendants these harmless sive inoffenand were K.u\era, the god of wealth, of the gods ; sort of Titans, or enemies as a beings ; another
"

and

in lastly, who animate

the

common

acceptation of
human

the

term,

demons

and

fiends
men,

haunt

cemeteries, disturb bodies, devour


all
sorts

harass sacrifices,

devout
vex are

dead in

beings,
These

and last

and
the
some

afflict mankind

of
was

ways.

Rakshasas,
authorities,

of whom

Ravana
are

chief; and
like

according

to

they
The

descended,
to

Ravana

himself,

from

Pulastya. According
Brahma's
foot.
and
;
'

other

authorities, they
'

Vishnu
a

Purana

makes

them

from sprang descendants of their


son

Kasyapa
Rakshas
the
waters, led

Khasa,
formed It
the

daughter
certain
is

of Daksha, that when


gnaw the

through
Brahma them Rakshasas

and

the Ramayana

states

created

he

Rakshasas. poems
were

beings to thought that


barbarian

who of

were

the
were

Epic
The

rude

races

of India, who

subdued

by the Aryans.f
name

Bhuta

is

given
:

to

similar

the attendants
1

of Siva
names

hence

Bhuta the term the

"f Siva's many


more possible

; and

beings who are is one Natha, Lord of Spirits, is applied to a class Pisachas
class described above.

of

if

offensive

than

Rakshasas

W'.ud,

li.

[48.

t Dowson,

s.

v.

406
ihma, the
supreme

Index.
80 deity, Si tion deriva-

; hymn to, 82 the 84 ; called NaraCreator, Brahma, yana, 85 ; formation of his five heads,

of the name,

Dhananjaya, a Dharmaraja,a
Dhata,
a name

name name

of
of

Agni, 24

of Vahan

of why deprived

his fifthhead, 86 ;

DhenkI, the Dhenuka, an


1S6

Varna, 74 Brahma, 91 of Narada, 399


slain

Asura

by Balarama,
the

shipsSiva,

ceased,90; 3.8 Brahmana, defined, 4

90 ; his worship now cursed by his son Xarada,

the father Dhritarashtra, 344

of

Kurus,

of Agni, 18 a name Brahmanaspati, of the,to Lanka, 338 building Bridge, of Agni, 18 a name Brihaspati,

Dhumketu, a Digambara, a
Discus of

name

of of how

Agni, 24
Siva, 235 formed, 28

name

Vishnu,
of
name name

Diti, the wife


;

Buddha,
was

incarnation

of

Vishnu, 188
account

Divakara, a
a Divapati,

Kasyapa, 57 of Surya,29
of

this liuddha

the founder

of Buddhism?

Indra, 53
Benares
"

iSS; Puranic
relics of Buddha

of, 190
ff.;

Divodasa,
Vishnu

the

king of

misled

by

Lalita-Vistara account if.;

of, 199

Budha,

one

of the

preserved, 205 planets, 360

191 Draupadi,the wife of the

as

Buddha,

Pandus, 349
and

Drona,

the

preceptor of the Kurus

Pandus,346 Durga, a demon slain by Durga, 248 Durga, 248 ft; when worshipped,251 ; her names, 256 Duryodhana, the ruler of Hastinapur,
incarnation of Vishnu, 211 liaitanya, of Lakshmi, 112 a name Chanchala, " slain by Durga,250 a demon lhanda, Chandi,a form of Durga, 255 " handra, one of the planets, 360 : see
"

350

Dyaus

and

the Vedic

the most ancient of Prithivi, gods, 10 ; Dyaus superseded


10

by Indra, 11 Prithivi,

Puranic

account

of

also Soma.
a ndrashekara, " a name 'hlugaratha,

name

of

Siva, 235
E.

of
name

Agni, 24
of

Chhaya, 28 " a liinnamustaka,


a Sage Chyavaoa, "

Durga, 264

of Indrani,53 son Chitragupta, cured by the Asvins, 38 !ivilization, of, 12 origin


'

Ekadanta, a name Ekavira,a name

of of

Ganesa, 270 Kali, 261

the, 139 plenty,

'

eation, the, Manu's account of, 86; \ edic, 283 ; Puranic, 287 ff. Flood, the,account
rata, 113
vata, 115 D.
Il
a iksha,

; account

of, from Mahabhaof, from Bhaga-

son

of
name

Brahma, 309 {[.


of

I I mm, I

J);;

Vishnu, 107 fendadhara,name of Vama, 74 ibhuja, name of Durga,256 ha, the fatherof Rama, 143
n ;i

a Lira,

G.

Gandharvas,the,402

Gandhavaha,a

tribewho
;i

{{. I to build the

to Lanka, [6] bridge I "attatreya, Sage,139 iki,mother of Krishna, 168 of Uma, 23S me

of Vayu, 56 name Ganesa, 267 ; birth of, 268 ff.; object of his birth, 272 ; hymn to, 273 ;

n~.

writer of the Mahabharata, 274; recent incarnation of, 274 ; outwits 281 Kartikeya, of Durga, 266 a name Ganesajanani,

Index.
Ganga, daughter of Himalaya, 383 ; 389 brought to earth by Bhagirath, of name a Siva, 235 Gangadhara,
Garuda,
birth the vehicle Vishnu enemy of Vishnu, acts
as as a

407

Jof Durga, 257 a form Jagaddhatri, 264 Jagadgauri, of Vishnu, Jagannath, an incarnation
,, ,,

of disciple
renders

of, 374;

Buddha, 191 ; of snakes, 375;


377
;
courages en-

service to
Ansuman

Rama,
to

208

ff.
of Lakshmi, 112 of the Asura, the son his conflict

seek

for

his

uncles,387 guide, 51 ; a Gautama, Indra's spiritual of Buddha, 192 name of, 25 ; 25 ; praise Gayatri,the, quoted, a wife of Brahma, 94 of Siva, 235 Girisha,a name of Krishna, 184 Gopal, a name

a name Jaladhija, an Jalandhara,

Ocean with

Ganga, 367 ; Indra, 368 ; overcomes


assumes

and

369 ;
robbed slain

the form his wife

of

Vishnu, Siva, 371 ; by Vishnu, 371 ;


of

Gopinath,
Guardians

,,

a Grahapati,

name

of the

184 Surya,30 world,the, 323


,, ,,

by Siva, 372 of Varuna, 37 a name Jalapati,

of

Jamadagni,the
137

father

of

Parasurama,

H.

of Parasurama, 1 38 Jamadagnya, a name of Vishnu, 107 a name Janarddana, vana, who a vulture foughtwith RaJatayus, 156,380 ff. of Durga, 256 Jaya,a name

Hanuman,
his

the

ally of Rama,

158

ff ;
.

birth, 332, and work, 334 ff. of Vishnu, 107 name a Hari, of Lakshmi, 112 a name Haripriya, Harischandra, 35 Hidimba, wife of Bhima, 347
a

K. Ka ? 399

slain by Rama, 156 a giant Hiranyagarbha, of Vishnu, 106 a name Kaitabhajit, by Hiranyakasipu, the of a name Yama, 74 Kala, in the Nrisingha incarnation, Vishnu man, attacked by Hanudemon a Kalanemi, 124 ; a son of Kasyapa, 307 335 Vishnu slain by Hiranyaksha,the demon
name

of Brahma, 91 slain demon

Kabandha,

in the Boar

incarnation, 124

son

of

Kasyapa, 307

a Kalaratri, Kali, a form Sita,260

name

of

Kali, 261

of
;

Durga, 257 regardedas a

; assumed

distinct

by deity,
her,

261 ; human 262 Kali Kalki Avatara

sacrifices offered

to

of,206 Yuga, description


of

Vishnu, 205

Indra, attributes 46
;

of, 45

; appearance

of,
vited ; in; his

Vedic
to

account

of birth

drink

of the

of,47 Soma, 48

of, 292 Kalpa, explanation of Durga, 256 a name Kalyayani, Kamadeva, 213

conflict with Vrittra, 48 ; legend of a of Indra, mortal raised to the position and na, KrishIndra between 49 ; conflict

Kandarpa, a
Kansa,

name

of

Kamadeva, 252
came

the Asura of

Krishna

to

slay,

167 ff. Kapali,a Kapila, Kapila,a Durga, 256 256 form of Vishnu, 386 of Durga, 256 Karali, a name of Surya,30 a Karmasakshi, name Kama, a son of Surya, 344 ; character of,346 276 ff. Kartikeya,
name
,,
,,

of,51 ; heaven of, immortality with Tvastri quarrels ; na, and Visvarupa, 65 ; outwitted by Krish173 ; cursed by Bhrigu,302 of Ravana, 161 a son Indrajit,
51 ;

described,52

Indrani,the
Isana,
a name
,,

wife of

Indra, 53
235

of Siva, 235
,,

Ishwar,

40S

Index.
king slain by virva, a Kshattriya
139

Mahabharata,
--"

the

great
of of of of of

war

of

the,

^"

ff.
a a a a

Sage,the
a
name

father of

Garuda,

Mahadeva, Mahakala,

name
name name name

Siva,228
Siva, 235 Kali, 263

of I hirga, 250

Mahamari,
see

a
.

name

of Vishnu, 105

Mahamaya,
Mahendra,
a

Durga, 249

Kctu, the
K
a
.. .

descendingnode, 376:
be, ;oi ol Brahma, 306
of Vishnu,

name
name

i ihu.

Maheshwara, a

Indra, 53 of Siva, 235

son

Kr
.

incarnation

166 ;

this Avatara, releases the


1
.
-

167;

saved from

by
;
a

Mahisha, a demon slain by Durga, 250 of Durga, 257 a name .Mahishamardini, Manasa, the goddessof snakes, 395 Manda, a demon slain by Durga, 250 ff.

: stroys
sons

l'utana,171

of Kuvera

360 : Mangala, one of the planets, also Kartikeya.


of Kamadeva, Manmatha, a name as Manu, visited by Brahma

see

_" ; :-

destroysthe
India,

1 iakasura,
restores

217
a

1;

oul

mantaka,
the Kai.
"
""

170 ipis,
-

..

Audita, 17.S; relieves Mathura, 179;


.

by protects Radha, i7"", Kesin, and


with fights

173; 175 ; beloved

the

fish,

Manvantara,292
Mara,
a name

of

Kamadeva,

217

Maricha,a
154 ff.

hermit who

assisted

Ravana,

Naraka,
. -

1S0 ;

Fever, 181 ; over1S0; destroys a rival Krishna, 1S1 ; his death, him in the Mahato rences rata, 183; a deceiver,184; visits
352 Hastinapur, ft'.

Kridmakrora,

name

of

Durga, 266
74

of Brahma, 307 a son Marichi, of Surya, 30 Martanda, a name of Marut, a name Vayu, 56 Maruts, the, 57. of Krishna, 184 a name Mathuranath, Matsya Avatara, the, 113

Kritanta,
a

name

of Yama,

Meghavahana,
Mihira, a
Mitra and
name

name

Kuii:

n,

name

of Durga,

256

of

of Indra, 53 Surya,30 of of

Kumlihakarna. a Rakshas, 403 ma, incarnation of Vishnu, 119

Varuna, 31 Siva, 235

KuruN

the

sons :. a

of
name

Dritarashtra, 344 ff. of kamadeva, 217 riches, 321

a name Mritunjaya, a Muktakesi, name

Durga, 264

Mukunda,

name

of Vishnu, 107

Kuvera, the god

of

N.

nan, the brother of Kama,


1 -: 107
;

147

tin-churning of

Nakula, a son of Nala,the builder 336


Nanda,
the 170 ff.

the Asvins, 345


of the

bridgeto Lanka,
Krishna,

th( product, of this


1

foster-father of

of ription
Ill
.

Lakshmi

:.

'
.

h0M
of

!
name

formed, 28 Lai diini,112

Nandi, Siva's bull,373 Narada, a son of Brahma,


appearance
at

317
of

ff.; bis

the

court to

Vudhish-

Brahma, 91

thira, 350;
37o
a Narayana,

his advice
name

Jalandhara,
also

of

Brahma, 85 ;

M.

Vishnu,99 Nlla,a son of Agni,


of
a Nilmadhava, name

339
of Vishnu, 210 shun by Durga,

of Kai adeva, 217 Of Vi Imu, 107

Nisumhha,
252

giant

Nrisingha Avatara,the, 124

Index.
Rama

409
Chandra
divine from

Avatara,
was

o. of the, 108 Ocean, the churning of the word, 82 Om, explanation

why
his

this incarnation

the, 142 ff ; made, 144 ;


.

Ahalya

assistants, 147 ; a 148 ; curse,

releases marries is divine

Sita, 150;
251.

is

taught that he

by Brahma, 164 ; worshipped Durga,


P.

Padma,

name
,,

of Lakshmi,
,,

112 112

Padmalaya,
Panchanana,

Rati, wife of Kamadeva, 215 ff. Ravana, a Rakshas, 143 ; his destruction foretold by Sita, 149 ; his birth,
321

form

of Siva, 236

Pandu,

the father of the Pandus, 345 ff. of Garuda, 191 a name Panyakirti,

Paramesthi, a name a name Parasakti,


Parasurama

of

Brahma, 91

of Durga, 260

Ravi, 360 : see also Surya. Revati,wife of Balarama, 187 of Tvastri, 64 Ribhus, the pupils Richika, grandfather of Parasurama,

Avatara, the,135; his birth, with Rama Chandra, 140 meeting 137; Parijata tree,the, 51 a storm deity, Parjanya, 54 she Parvati, wife of Siva, 241 ; how

136
Rivers,the sacred,390
Rudra,
his quarrel with Brahma, 87 ; of,89 : see Siva. origin

Rukmini, the wife of Krishna, 168

fair, 242 ; why she reappeared earth,243 of Varuna, 37 Pasi, a name of Vayu, 56 Pavan, a name Penance, forms of,280 Pisachas,the,404 of Vishnu, 107 Pitamvara, a name of Yama, 74 a name Pitripati, Planets,the, 359 of Varuna, 37 Prachetas,a name Prachetasas, the reputed parents of Daksha, 311 of Kamadeva, 215 Pradyumna, a name 126 ff. of Hiranyakasipu, son Prahlada,the
became
on

S.

Sagara,Asvamedha
Sahadeva, Sakambhari, Sakra, a name
a son a name

of the of

of,384 ff. Asvins, 345

of Durga, 256 Indra,53


war,

Salya,a leader
Samana,
Samavurti
a name

in the Pandu

354

of Yama,
,, ,,

74 74

Sambhu,

name

of

Siva, 226
off

Sampati, 159, 379


that carried Samvara, 129 ; a demon Kamadeva, 215 Sangna, wife of Surya, 28 Sanhita,definition of a, 4 Sani, a planet, 362 of Siva, 226 ff. Sankara, a name Santanu, father of Bhishma, 342
a Saptajihva,

the term explained, Prajapati, 309 wife of Pulastya, Prithi, 305 Prithivi : see Dyaus ; also as sprung from the foot of Vishnu, 13 12 Prithu,father of Prithivi, Pulaha, a son of Brahma, 306

Pulastya,
Purusha,
a

,,

,,

305

Puranas, the, 77 Purushottama,


of Vishnu, 107 107 ,, ,, sun-god,30
name

of Agni, 24 name wife of the Brahma, 91 ff. Sarasvati,

Pushan, a

Sasti, 397 Sati,a name

of Qma, 238 the brother of Rama, 147 Satrughna, Satyavan, a hermit restored to life by

R.

Yama,
;
bassador am-

72
of

Rahu, the

ascending node, 363


to Siva for

Jalandhara, 370
became

wife of Satyavan, 72 ; a name Savitri, Sarasvati, 94 : see also Surya. of Brahma, 91 a name Savitripati,

king who Raji,an earthly


49

Indra,
"

169 ; incarnate Sesha, the serpent deity,


Balarama, 185 Shalgrama, the, 397 Shitala, 394
in

Rakshasas, the, cloud demons, 54

c^e"

scription of,403

4io

Index.
Trees,sacred,390 Trident of Siva,the,how

of Durga, 256 a name Siddha-Senani, 257 Singhavahini, birth of, 149 ; and previous "ita, origin rejected by her husband, 163 ff.: see
,, ,, ,,

Tryambaka,
Tulsi,a
Tvastri
or

name

of

produced,28 Siva,235

sacred

Rama.
.

plant, 392 Visvakarma,64

a,

worshippedby Brahma, 90
the destruction of

tells ; fore-

overcome

Ravana, 157; stroyer, by Krishna, 180; the de21S ; identified with Kucha,
with
;

U.

220,

and
222

Uma,
226

Agni, ; slighted by Daksha,


221

marries
222

the sacrifice, destroys 224


; reason

; ;

an

ascetic,
called

Uma, the wife of Siva, 238 ff. and attributes of,40 Ushas, origin

for

this, 227

why

Mahadeva,
eve,

229 ;

originof his third represented by the Linga,


; how
;

228 ;

V. Vahans
of the
a

233

:na,
was

of,59 description

60 broughtto earth,

his

the plant marriage,

gods,the,373
of

Vahni,

name

Agni, 24
name

62 ; identified with the moon, seduces Tara, 62 : see also Chandra. of Vayu, 56 a name Sparsana,

61 ;

Sraddhadeva, a
Sri, a
Sthanu
,,

name

of

Yaraa, 74

name

of
name

a Srikanta,

Lakshmi, 107 of Siva, 235


"

235
282 Kartikeya,

Subhadra, sister of Krishna,349

Pulastya, 321 Yama, 74 Vaka, an Asura slain by Bhlma, 347 Vamana incarnation, the, 130 Vanars, the Monkey tribe, 157, 326 ff. Varahar incarnation, the, 121
of

a Vaikunthanath, a name Vaisravana, a name Vaisravas, a name Vaivasvata,

of of

of Vishnu, 107 Kuvera, 321

Subramanya, a Sngriva, king 326 IT.

name

of the

Varuna

and

Mitra, 31

of

Vanars, 29, 157,

33 ; human refuses
to

; characteristicsof, sacrifices offered to, 34 ;


seasons

worshippedin
;

of

drought,36

Sukanva, wife of Chyavana, 38 Sukra, the preceptor of the Asuras, 103


a

accede

to

Rama's

prayer, 337

planet, 361 slain by Durga, 252 {{. Sumbha, a giant Suparnakha,a sister of Ravana, 152 ff.
Superna, a
name

of

Garuda, 374

Surya, an Aditya, 16 ; hymns to, 26 ; comes originof, 27 ; his marriage,28 ; bea

horse,28
: see

names

of, 29

; his

children, 29
wife of Surya, a name Sushna,

also Ravi.

the of

Asvins, 37

Vrittra, 49

rga, India's heaven, 52 of Indra,53 a name Swargapati,


a Swayambhu, name

of

Vishnu, 107

T.
of the,5 ttiriyas, origin a monkey leader, 147; I 'urga, 2(' 1

I'M,

name

of

L,wife of
'Iaraka, a
a

62 Vrihaspati,
"

of Brahma, 315 a son Vasishtha, Vasudeva, the father of Krishna, 168 ff. of Vayu, 56 Yata, a name Vayu, a storm-god, 55 Vedas, the,3 ; their number, names, and divisions, 4 ; recensions of, 5 a name of Sita,149 Vedavati, Vedic deities, 7 ; how they became superior to the Asuras, 7, and to other deities, 8 of Durga, 256 a name Vijaya, emanation of Siva, 371 Virabhadra, an Viradha, a giant slain by Rama, 152 ; cursed by Kuvera, 324 Vishnu, the Preserver,98 ; superiority other over gods, 100 ; admitted by for Siva,101 ; his work. 101 ; reason his incarnations, 103 ; benefits from the worship of, 104 ; conquered in battle by Jalandhara, 171 of Vishnu, 107 Vishvamvara,a name
\

isvakarma
the

: see

Tvastri.

The

maker

of

demon, 214 of I "urga, Tarini, d; 256


I "lie, divisions of,

image

of

Jagannath,209

293

a hermit, 147 Visvamitra, a son of Visvakarma, 65 VisvaiTipa,

Index.

411

the preceptor Vrihaspati,

of the

gods,

of the planets, 361 191 ; one Vyasa, aRishi, 343; father of Pandu, "c.,

Yakshas, the, 404 Yakshi, wife of Kuvera, 325 Yama, origin of, 67 ; his kingdom, 68

347

miraculous

powers

of, 353

marriage,71
72

interview

with

Savitri,
Krishna,

Yoganindra,
Y.

the

energy

of

169 of Dharma, Yudhishthira, a son 345 ; character of,345 ; king of Hastinapur, Vishnu, 107

Yadapati,a name Yajneswara, a name

of

Varuna, 37
of

356 ; enters heaven, 358 Yugas, the four, 293

THE

NIM

TREE.

PI

PAL

LEAVES.