The impulse to believe the absurd when presented with the unknowable is called religion. Whether this is wise or unwise is the domain of doctrine. Once you understand someone's doctrine, you understand their rationale for believing the absurd. At that point, it may no longer seem absurd. You can get to both sides of this conondrum from here.


Postby admin » Sat Aug 29, 2020 7:18 am

Part 1 of 3


"Not to commit any sin, to do good, and to purify one's mind, that is the teaching of the Awakened. . . .
"Better than Sovereignty over the earth, better than going to heaven, better than lordship over all the worlds is the reward of the first step in holiness."

-- Dhammapada, verses 178-183.

"Creator, where are these tribunals, where do these courts proceed, where do these courts assemble, where do the tribunals meet to which the man of the embodied world gives an account for his soul?"

-- Persian Vendidad, xix. 89.

"Hail to thee O Man, who art come from the transitory place to the imperishable!"

-- Vendidad, farg. vii., 136.

"To the true believer, truth, wherever it appears, is welcome, nor will any doctrine seem the less true or the less precious, because it was seen not only by Moses or Christ, but likewise by Buddha or Lao-tse."


UNLUCKILY for those who would have been glad to render justice to the ancient and modern religious philosophies of the Orient, a fair opportunity has hardly ever been given to them. Of late there has been a touching accord between philologists holding high official positions, and missionaries from heathen lands. Prudence before truth when the latter endangers our sinecures! Besides, how easy to compromise with conscience. A State religion is a prop of government; all State religions are "exploded humbugs"; therefore, since one is as good, or rather as bad, as another, the State religion may as well be supported. Such is the diplomacy of official science.

Grote in his History of Greece, assimilates the Pythagoreans to the Jesuits, and sees in their Brotherhood but an ably-disguised object to acquire political ascendancy. On the loose testimony of Herakleitus and some other writers, who accused Pythagoras of craft, and described him as a man "of extensive research . . . but artful for mischief and destitute of sound judgment," some historical biographers hastened to present him to posterity in such a character.

How then if they must accept the Pythagoras painted by the satirical Timon: "a juggler of solemn speech engaged in fishing for men," can they avoid judging of Jesus from the sketch that Celsus has embalmed in his satire? Historical impartiality has nought to do with creeds and personal beliefs, and exacts as much of posterity for one as for the other. The life and doings of Jesus are far less attested than those of Pythagoras, if, indeed, we can say that they are attested at all by any historical proof. For assuredly no one will gainsay that as a real personage Celsus has the advantage as regards the credibility of his testimony over Matthew, or Mark, or Luke, or John, who never wrote a line of the Gospels attributed to them respectively. Withal Celsus is at least as good a witness as Herakleitus. He was known as a scholar and a Neo-platonist to some of the Fathers; whereas the very existence of the four Apostles must be taken on blind faith. If Timon regarded the sublime Samian as "a juggler," so did Celsus hold Jesus, or rather those who made all the pretenses for him. In his famous work, addressing the Nazarene, he says: "Let us grant that the wonders were performed by you . . . but are they not common with those who have been taught by the Egyptians to perform in the middle of the forum for a few oboli." And we know, on the authority of the Gospel according to Matthew, that the Galilean prophet was also a man of solemn speech, and that he called himself and offered to make his disciples "fishers of men."

Let it not be imagined that we bring this reproach to any who revere Jesus as God. Whatever the faith, if the worshipper be but sincere, it should be respected in his presence. If we do not accept Jesus as God, we revere him as a man. Such a feeling honors him more than if we were to attribute to him the powers and personality of the Supreme, and credit him at the same time with having played a useless comedy with mankind, as, after all, his mission proves scarcely less than a complete failure; 2,000 years have passed, and Christians do not reckon one-fifth part of the population of the globe, nor is Christianity likely to progress any better in the future. No, we aim but at strict justice, leaving all personality aside. We question those who, adoring neither Jesus, Pythagoras, nor Apollonius, yet recite the idle gossip of their contemporaries; those who in their books either maintain a prudent silence, or speak of "our Saviour" and "our Lord," as though they believed any more in the made-up theological Christ, than in the fabulous Fo of China.

There were no Atheists in those days of old; no disbelievers or materialists, in the modern sense of the word, as there were no bigoted detractors. He who judges the ancient philosophies by their external phraseology, and quotes from ancient writings sentences seemingly atheistical, is unfit to be trusted as a critic, for he is unable to penetrate into the inner sense of their metaphysics. The views of Pyrrho, whose rationalism has become proverbial, can be interpreted only by the light of the oldest Hindu philosophy. From Manu down to the latest Swabhavika, its leading metaphysical feature ever was to proclaim the reality and supremacy of spirit, with a vehemence proportionate to the denial of the objective existence of our material world -- passing phantom of temporary forms and beings. The numerous schools begotten by Kapila, reflect his philosophy no clearer than the doctrines left as a legacy to thinkers by Timon, Pyrrho's "Prophet," as Sextus Empiricus calls him. His views on the divine repose of the soul, his proud indifference to the opinion of his fellow men, his contempt for sophistry, reflect in an equal degree stray beams of the self-contemplation of the Gymnosophists and of the Buddhist Vaibhashika. Notwithstanding that he and his followers are termed, from their state of constant suspense, "skeptics," "doubters," inquirers, and ephectics, only because they postponed their final judgment on dilemmas, with which our modern philosophers prefer dealing, Alexander-like, by cutting the Gordian knot, and then declaring the dilemma a superstition, such men as Pyrrho cannot be pronounced atheists. No more can Kapila, or Giordano Bruno, or again Spinoza, who were also treated as atheists; nor yet, the great Hindu poet, philosopher, and dialectician, Veda-Vyasa, whose principle that all is illusion -- save the Great Unknown and His direct essence -- Pyrrho has adopted in full.

These philosophical beliefs extended like a net-work over the whole pre-Christian world; and, surviving persecution and misrepresentations, form the corner-stone of every now existing religion outside Christianity.

Comparative theology is a two-edged weapon, and has so proved itself. But the Christian advocates, unabashed by evidence, force comparison in the serenest way; Christian legends and dogmas, they say, do somewhat resemble the heathen, it is true; but see, while the one teaches us the existence, powers, and attributes of an all-wise, all-good Father-God, Brahmanism gives us a multitude of minor gods, and Buddhism none whatever; one is fetishism and polytheism, the other bald atheism. Jehovah is the one true God, and the Pope and Martin Luther are His prophets! This is one edge of the sword, and this the other: Despite missions, despite armies, despite enforced commercial intercourse, the "heathen" find nothing in the teachings of Jesus -- sublime though some are -- that Christna and Gautama had not taught them before. And so, to gain over any new converts, and keep the few already won by centuries of cunning, the Christians give the "heathen" dogmas more absurd than their own, and cheat them by adopting the habit of their native priests, and practicing the very "idolatry and fetishism" which they so disparage in the "heathens." Comparative theology works both ways.

In Siam and Burmah, Catholic missionaries have become perfect Talapoins to all external appearance, i.e., minus their virtues; and throughout India, especially in the south, they were denounced by their own colleague, the Abbe Dubois. [1] This was afterward vehemently denied. But now we have living witnesses to the correctness of the charge. Among others, Captain O'Grady, already quoted, a native of Madras, writes the following on this systematic method of deception: [2] "The hypocritical beggars profess total abstinence and horror of flesh to conciliate converts from Hinduism. . . . I got one father, or rather, he got himself gloriously drunk in my house, time and again, and the way he pitched into roast beef was a caution." Further, the author has pretty stories to tell of "black-faced Christs," "Virgins on wheels," and of Catholic processions in general. We have seen such solemn ceremonies accompanied by the most infernal cacophony of a Cingalese orchestra, tam-tam and gongs included, followed by a like Brahmanic procession, which, for its picturesque coloring and mise en scene, looked far more solemn and imposing than the Christian saturnalias. Speaking of one of these, the same author remarks: "It was more devilish than religious. . . . The bishops walked off Romeward, [3] with a mighty pile of Peter's pence gathered in the minutest sums, with gold ornaments, nose-rings, anklets, elbow bangles, etc., etc., in profusion, recklessly thrown in heaps at the feet of the grotesque copper-colored image of the Saviour, with its Dutch metal halo and gaudily-striped cummerbund and -- shade of Raphael! -- blue turban." [4]

As every one can see, such voluntary contributions make it quite profitable to mimic the native Brahmans and bonzes. Between the worshippers of Christna and Christ, or Avany and the Virgin Mary, there is less substantial difference, in fact, than between the two native sects, the Vishnavites and the Sivites. For the converted Hindus, Christ is a slightly modified Christna, that is all. Missionaries carry away rich donations and Rome is satisfied. Then comes a year of famine; but the nose-rings and gold elbow-bangles are gone and people starve by thousands. What matters it? They die in Christ, and Rome scatters her blessings over their corpses, of which thousands float yearly down the sacred rivers to the ocean. [5] So servile are the Catholics in their imitation, and so careful not to give offense to their parishioners, that if they happen to have a few higher caste converts in a Church, no pariah nor any man of the lower castes, however good a Christian he may be, can be admitted into the same Church with them. And yet they dare call themselves the servants of Him who sought in preference the society of the publicans and sinners; and whose appeal -- "Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" has opened to him the hearts of millions of the suffering and the oppressed!

Few writers are as bold and outspoken as the late lamented Dr. Thomas Inman, of Liverpool, England. But however small their number, these men all agree unanimously, that the philosophy of both Buddhism and Brahmanism must rank higher than Christian theology, and teach neither atheism or fetishism. "To my own mind," says Inman, "the assertion that Sakya did not believe in God is wholly unsupported. Nay, his whole scheme is built upon the belief that there are powers above which are capable of punishing mankind for their sins. It is true that these gods were not called Elohim, nor Jah, nor Jehovah, nor Jahveh, nor Adonai, nor Ehieh, nor Baalim, nor Ashtoreth -- yet, for the son of Suddhadana, there was a Supreme Being." [6]

There are four schools of Buddhist theology, in Ceylon, Thibet, and India. One is rather pantheistical than atheistical, but the other three are purely theistical.

On the first the speculations of our philologists are based. As to the second, third, and the fourth, their teachings vary but in the external mode of expression. We have fully explained the spirit of it elsewhere.

As to practical, not theoretical views on the Nirvana, this is what a rationalist and a skeptic says: "I have questioned at the very doors of their temples several hundreds of Buddhists, and have not found one but strove, fasted, and gave himself up to every kind of austerity, to perfect himself and acquire immortality; not to attain final annihilation.

"There are over 300,000,000 of Buddhists who fast, pray, and toil. . . . Why make of these 300,000,000 of men idiots and fools, macerating their bodies and imposing upon themselves most fearful privations of every nature, in order to reach a fatal annihilation which must overtake them anyhow?" [7]

As well as this author we have questioned Buddhists and Brahmanists and studied their philosophy. Apavarg has wholly a different meaning from annihilation. It is but to become more and more like Him, of whom he is one of the refulgent sparks, that is the aspiration of every Hindu philosopher and the hope of the most ignorant is never to yield up his distinct individuality. "Else," as once remarked an esteemed correspondent of the author, "mundane and separate existence would look like God's comedy and our tragedy; sport to Him that we work and suffer, death to us to suffer it."

The same with the doctrine of metempsychosis, so distorted by European scholars. But as the work of translation and analysis progresses, fresh religious beauties will be discovered in the old faiths.

Professor Whitney has in his translation of the Vedas passages in which he says, the assumed importance of the body to its old tenant is brought out in the strongest light. These are portions of hymns read at the funeral services, over the body of the departed one. We quote them from Mr. Whitney's scholarly work:

"Start onward! bring together all thy members;
let not thy limbs be left, nor yet thy body;
Thy spirit gone before, now follow after;
Wherever it delights thee, go thou thither.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Collect thy body; with its every member;
thy limbs with help of rites I fashion for thee.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
If some one limb was left behind by Agni,
When to thy Fathers' world he hence conveyed you,
That very one I now again supply you;
rejoice in heaven with all your limbs, ye Fathers!" [8]

The "body" here referred to is not the physical, but the astral one -- a very great distinction, as may be seen.

Again, belief in the individual existence of the immortal spirit of man is shown in the following verses of the Hindu ceremonial of incremation and burial.

"They who within the sphere of earth are stationed,
or who are settled now in realms of pleasure,
The Fathers who have the earth -- the atmosphere -- the heaven for their seat,
The 'fore-heaven' the third heaven is styled,
and where the Fathers have their seat." -- (Rig-Veda, x.)

With such majestic views as these people held of God and the immortality of man's spirit, it is not surprising that a comparison between the Vedic hymns and the narrow, unspiritual Mosaic books should result to the advantage of the former in the mind of every unprejudiced scholar. Even the ethical code of Manu is incomparably higher than that of the Pentateuch of Moses, in the literal meaning of which all the uninitiated scholars of two worlds cannot find a single proof that the ancient Jews believed either in a future life or an immortal spirit in man, or that Moses himself ever taught it. Yet, we have eminent Orientalists who begin to suspect that the "dead letter" conceals something not apparent at first sight. So Professor Whitney tells us that "as we look yet further into the forms of the modern Hindu ceremonial we discover not a little of the same discordance between creed and observance; the one is not explained by the other," says this great American scholar. He adds: "We are forced to the conclusion either that India derived its system of rites from some foreign source, and practiced them blindly, careless of their true import, or else that those rites are the production of another doctrine of older date, and have maintained themselves in popular usage after the decay of the creed of which they were the original expression." [9]

This creed has not decayed, and its hidden philosophy, as understood now by the initiated Hindus, is just as it was 10,000 years ago. But can our scholars seriously hope to have it delivered unto them upon their first demand? Or do they still expect to fathom the mysteries of the World-Religion in its popular exoteric rites?

No orthodox Brahmans and Buddhists would deny the Christian incarnation; only, they understand it in their own philosophical way, and how could they deny it? The very corner-stone of their religious system is periodical incarnations of the Deity. Whenever humanity is about merging into materialism and moral degradation, a Supreme Spirit incarnates himself in his creature selected for the purpose. The "Messenger of the Highest" links itself with the duality of matter and soul, and the triad being thus completed by the union of its Crown, a saviour is born, who helps restore humanity to the path of truth and virtue. The early Christian Church, all imbued with Asiatic philosophy, evidently shared the same belief -- otherwise it would have neither erected into an article of faith the second advent, nor cunningly invented the fable of Anti-Christ as a precaution against possible future incarnations. Neither could they have imagined that Melchisedek was an avatar of Christ. They had only to turn to the Bagavedgitta to find Christna or Bhagaved saying to Arjuna: "He who follows me is saved by wisdom and even by works. . . . As often as virtue declines in the world, I make myself manifest to save it."

Indeed, it is more than difficult to avoid sharing this doctrine of periodical incarnations. Has not the world witnessed, at rare intervals, the advent of such grand characters as Christna, Sakya-muni, and Jesus? Like the two latter personages, Christna seems to have been a real being, deified by his school at some time in the twilight of history, and made to fit into the frame of the time-honored religious programme. Compare the two Redeemers, the Hindu and the Christian, the one preceding the other by some thousands of years; place between them Siddhartha Buddha, reflecting Christna and projecting into the night of the future his own luminous shadow, out of whose collected rays were shaped the outlines of the mythical Jesus, and from whose teachings were drawn those of the historical Christos; and we find that under one identical garment of poetical legend lived and breathed three real human figures. The individual merit of each of them is rather brought out in stronger relief than otherwise by this same mythical coloring; for no unworthy character could have been selected for deification by the popular instinct, so unerring and just when left untrammeled. Vox populi, vox Dei was once true, however erroneous when applied to the present priest-ridden mob.

Kapila, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, Basilides, Marcian, Ammonius and Plotinus, founded schools and sowed the germs of many a noble thought, and disappearing left behind them the refulgence of demi-gods. But the three personalities of Christna, Gautama, and Jesus appeared like true gods, each in his epoch, and bequeathed to humanity three religions built on the imperishable rock of ages. That all three, especially the Christian faith, have in time become adulterated, and the latter almost unrecognizable, is no fault of either of the noble Reformers. It is the priestly self-styled husbandmen of the "vine of the Lord" who must be held to account by future generations. Purify the three systems of the dross of human dogmas, the pure essence remaining will be found identical. Even Paul, the great, the honest apostle, in the glow of his enthusiasm either unwittingly perverted the doctrines of Jesus, or else his writings are disfigured beyond recognition. The Talmud, the record of a people who, notwithstanding his apostasy from Judaism, yet feel compelled to acknowledge Paul's greatness as a philosopher and religionist, says of Aher (Paul), [10] in the Yerushalmi, that "he corrupted the work of that man" -- meaning Jesus. [11]

Meanwhile, before this smelting is completed by honest science and future generations, let us glance at the present aspect of the legendary three religions.



Epoch: Uncertain. European science fears to commit itself. But the Brahmanical calculations fix it at about 6,877 years ago.

Christna descends of a royal family, but is brought up by shepherds; is called the Shepherd God. His birth and divine descent are kept secret from Kansa.

An incarnation of Vishnu, the second person of the Trimurti (Trinity). Christna was worshipped at Mathura, on the river Jumna (See Strabo and Arrian and Bampton Lectures, pp. 98-100).

Christna is persecuted by Kansa, Tyrant of Madura, but miraculously escapes. In the hope of destroying the child, the king has thousands of male innocents slaughtered.

Christna's mother was Devaki, or Devanagui, an immaculate virgin (but had given birth to eight sons before Christna).


Chistna is endowed with beauty, omniscience, and omnipotence from birth. Produces miracles, cures the lame and blind, and casts out demons. Washes the feet of the Brahmans, and descending to the lowest regions (hell), liberates the dead, and returns to Vaicontha -- the paradise of Vishnu. Christna was the God Vishnu himself in human form.

Christna creates boys out of calves, and vice versa (Maurice's Indian Antiquities, vol. ii., p. 332). He crushes the Serpent's head. (Ibid.)

Christna is Unitarian. He persecutes the clergy, charges them with ambition and hypocrisy to their faces, divulges the great secrets of the Sanctuary -- the Unity of God and immortality of our spirit. Tradition says he fell a victim to their vengeance. His favorite disciple, Arjuna, never deserts him to the last. There are credible traditions that he died on the cross (a tree), nailed to it by an arrow. The best scholars agree that the Irish Cross at Tuam, erected long before the Christian era, is Asiatic. (See Round Towers, p. 296, et seq., by O'Brien; also Religions de l'Antiquie; Creuzer's Symbolik, vol. i., p. 208; and engraving in Dr. Lundy's Monumental Christianity, p. 160.

Christna ascends to Swarga and becomes Nirguna.


Epoch : According to European science and the Ceylonese calculations, 2,540 years ago.

Gautama is the son of a king. His first disciples are shepherds and mendicants.

According to some, an incarnation of Vishnu; according to others, an incarnation of one of the Buddhas, and even of Ad'Buddha, the Highest Wisdom.

Buddhist legends are free from this plagiarism, but the Catholic legend that makes of him St. Josaphat, shows his father, king of Kapilavastu, slaying innocent young Christians (!!). (See Golden Legend.)

Buddha's mother was Maya, or Mayadeva; married to her husband (yet an immaculate virgin).


Buddha is endowed with the same powers and qualities, and performs similar wonders. Passes his life with mendicants. It is claimed for Gautama that he was distinct from all other Avatars, having the entire spirit of Buddha in him, while all others had but a part (ansa) of the divinity in them.

Gautama crushes the Serpent's head, i.e., abolishes the Naga worship as fetishism; but, like Jesus, makes the Serpent the emblem of divine wisdom.

Buddha abolishes idolatry; divulges the Mysteries of the Unity of God and the Nirvana, the true meaning of which was previously known only to the priests. Persecuted and driven out of the country, he escapes death by gathering about him some hundreds of thousands of believers in his Buddhaship. Finally, dies, surrounded by a host of disciples, with Ananda, his beloved disciple and cousin, chief among them all. O'Brien believes that the Irish Cross at Tuam is meant for Buddha's, but Gautama was never crucified. He is represented in many temples, as sitting under a cruciform tree, which is the "Tree of Life." In another image he is sitting on Naga the Raja of Serpents with a cross on his breast. [12]

Buddha ascends to Nirvana.


Epoch : Supposed to be 1877 years ago. His birth and royal descent are concealed from Herod the tyrant.

Descends of the Royal family of David. Is worshipped by shepherds at his birth, and is called the "Good Shepherd" (See Gospel according to John).

An incarnation of the Holy Ghost, then the second person of the Trinity, now the third. But the Trinity was not invented until 325 years after his birth. Went to Mathura or Matarea, Egypt, and produced his first miracles there (See Gospel of Infancy).

Jesus is persecuted by Herod, King of Judaea, but escapes into Egypt under conduct of an angel. To assure his slaughter, Herod orders a massacre of innocents, and 40,000 were slain.

Jesus' mother was Mariam, or Miriam; married to her husband, yet an immaculate virgin, but had several children besides Jesus. (See Matthew xiii. 55, 56.)


Jesus is similarly endowed. (See Gospels and the Apocryphal Testament.) Passes his life with sinners and publicans. Casts out demons likewise. The only notable difference between the three is that Jesus is charged with casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub, which the others were not. Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, dies, descends to hell, and ascends to heaven, after liberating the dead.

Jesus is said to have crushed the Serpent's head, agreeably to original revelation in Genesis. He also transforms boys into kids, and kids into boys. (Gospel of Infancy.)

Jesus rebels against the old Jewish law; denounces the Scribes, and Pharisees, and the synagogue for hypocrisy and dogmatic intolerance. Breaks the Sabbath, and defies the Law. Is accused by the Jews of divulging the secrets of the Sanctuary. Is put to death on a cross (a tree). Of the little handful of disciples whom he had converted, one betrays him, one denies him, and the others desert him at the last, except John -- the disciple he loved. Jesus, Christna, and Buddha, all three Saviours, die either on or under trees, and are connected with crosses which are symbolical of the three-fold powers of creation.

Jesus ascends to Paradise.


About the middle of the present century, the followers of these three religions were reckoned as follows: [12]

Brahmans, 60,000,000.

Buddhists, 450,000,000.

Christians, 260,000,000.

Such is the present aspect of these three great religions, of which each is in turn reflected in its successor. Had the Christian dogmatizers stopped there, the results would not have been so disastrous, for it would be hard, indeed, to make a bad creed out of the lofty teachings of Gautama, or Christna, as Bhagaved. But they went farther, and added to pure primitive Christianity the fables of Hercules, Orpheus, and Bacchus. As Mussulmans will not admit that their Koran is built on the substratum of the Jewish Bible, so the Christians will not confess that they owe next to everything to the Hindu religions. But the Hindus have chronology to prove it to them. We see the best and most learned of our writers uselessly striving to show that the extraordinary similarities -- amounting to identity -- between Christna and Christ are due to the spurious Gospels of the Infancy and of St. Thomas having "probably circulated on the coast of Malabar, and giving color to the story of Christna." [13] Why not accept truth in all sincerity, and reversing matters, admit that St. Thomas, faithful to that policy of proselytism which marked the earliest Christians, when he found in Malabar the original of the mythical Christ in Christna, tried to blend the two; and, adopting in his gospel (from which all others were copied) the most important details of the story of the Hindu Avatar, engrafted the Christian heresy on the primitive religion of Christna. For any one acquainted with the spirit of Brahmanism, the idea of Brahmans accepting anything from a stranger, especially from a foreigner, is simply ridiculous. That they, the most fanatic people in religious matters, who, during centuries, cannot be compelled to adopt the most simple of European usages, should be suspected of having introduced into their sacred books unverified legends about a foreign God, is something so preposterously illogical, that it is really waste of time to contradict the idea!

We will not stop to examine the too well-known resemblances between the external form of Buddhistic worship -- especially Lamaism -- and Roman Catholicism, for noticing which poor Huc paid dear -- but proceed to compare the most vital points. Of all the original manuscripts that have been translated from the various languages in which Buddhism is expounded, the most extraordinary and interesting are Buddha's Dhammapada, or Path of Virtue, translated from the Pali by Colonel Rogers, [15] and the Wheel of the Law, containing the views of a Siamese Minister of State on his own and other religions, and translated by Henry Alabaster. [16] The reading of these two books, and the discovery in them of similarities of thought and doctrine often amounting to identity, prompted Dr. Inman to write the many profoundly true passages embodied in one of his last works, Ancient Faith and Modern. [17] "I speak with sober earnestness," writes this kind-hearted, sincere scholar, "when I say that after forty years' experience among those who profess Christianity, and those who proclaim . . . more or less quietly their disagreement with it, I have noticed more sterling virtue and morality amongst the last than the first. . . . I know personally many pious, good Christian people, whom I honor, admire, and, perhaps, would be glad to emulate or to equal; but they deserve the eulogy thus passed on them, in consequence of their good sense, having ignored the doctrine of faith to a great degree, and having cultivated the practice of good works. . . . In my judgment the most praiseworthy Christians whom I know are modified Buddhists, though probably, not one of them ever heard of Siddartha." [18]

Between the Lamaico-Buddhistic and Roman Catholic articles of faith and ceremonies, there are fifty-one points presenting a perfect and striking similarity; and four diametrically antagonistic.

As it would be useless to enumerate the "similarities," for the reader may find them carefully noted in Inman's work on Ancient Faith and Modern, pp. 237-240, we will quote but the four dissimilarities, and leave every one to draw his own deductions therefrom:

1. "The Buddhists hold that nothing which is contradicted by sound reason can be a true doctrine of Buddha."

2. "The Buddhists do not adore the mother of Sakya," though they honor her as a holy and saint-like woman, chosen to be his mother through her great virtue.

3. "The Buddhists have no sacraments."

4. The Buddhists do not believe in any pardon for their sins, except after an adequate punishment for each evil deed, and a proportionate compensation to the parties injured.

1. "The Christians will accept any non-sense, if promulgated by the Church as a matter of faith." [19]

2. "The Romanists adore the mother of Jesus, and prayer is made to her for aid and intercession." The worship of the Virgin has weakened that of Christ and thrown entirely into the shadow that of the Almighty.

3. "The papal followers have seven."

4. The Christians are promised that if they only believe in the "precious blood of Christ," this blood offered by Him for the expiation of the sins of the whole of mankind (read Christians) will atone for every mortal sin.

Which of these theologies most commends itself to the sincere inquirer, is a question that may safely be left to the sound judgment of the reader. One offers light, the other darkness.

The Wheel of the Law has the following:

"Buddhists believe that every act, word, or thought has its consequence, which will appear sooner or later in the present or in the future state. Evil acts will produce evil consequences, [20] good acts will produce good consequences: prosperity in this world, or birth in heaven . . . in some future state." [21]

This is strict and impartial justice. This is the idea of a Supreme Power which cannot fail, and therefore, can have neither wrath nor mercy, but leaves every cause, great or small, to work out its inevitable effects. "With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again" [22] neither by expression nor implication points to any hope of future mercy or salvation by proxy. Cruelty and mercy are finite feelings. The Supreme Deity is infinite, hence it can only be JUST, and Justice must be blind. The ancient Pagans held on this question far more philosophical views than modern Christians, for they represented their Themis blindfold. And the Siamese author of the work under notice, has again a more reverent conception of the Deity than the Christians have, when he thus gives vent to his thought: "A Buddhist might believe in the existence of a God, sublime above all human qualities and attributes -- a perfect God, above love, and hatred, and jealousy, calmly resting in a quiet happiness that nothing could disturb; and of such a God he would speak no disparagement, not from a desire to please Him, or fear to offend Him, but from natural veneration. But he cannot understand a God with the attributes and qualities of men, a God who loves and hates, and shows anger; a Deity, who, whether described to him by Christian missionaries, or by Mahometans, or Brahmans, or Jews, falls below his standard of even an ordinary good man." [23]

We have often wondered at the extraordinary ideas of God and His justice that seem to be honestly held by those Christians who blindly rely upon the clergy for their religion, and never upon their own reason. How strangely illogical is this doctrine of the Atonement. We propose to discuss it with the Christians from the Buddhistic stand-point, and show at once by what a series of sophistries, directed toward the one object of tightening the ecclesiastical yoke upon the popular neck, its acceptance as a divine command has been finally effected; also, that it has proved one of the most pernicious and demoralizing of doctrines.

The clergy say: no matter how enormous our crimes against the laws of God and of man, we have but to believe in the self-sacrifice of Jesus for the salvation of mankind, and His blood will wash out every stain. God's mercy is boundless and unfathomable. It is impossible to conceive of a human sin so damnable that the price paid in advance for the redemption of the sinner would not wipe it out if a thousandfold worse. And, furthermore, it is never too late to repent. Though the offender wait until the last minute of the last hour of the last day of his mortal life, before his blanched lips utter the confession of faith, he may go to Paradise; the dying thief did it, and so may all others as vile. These are the assumptions of the Church.

But if we step outside the little circle of creed and consider the universe as a whole balanced by the exquisite adjustment of parts, how all sound logic, how the faintest glimmering sense of Justice revolts against this Vicarious Atonement! If the criminal sinned only against himself, and wronged no one but himself; if by sincere repentance he could cause the obliteration of past events, not only from the memory of man, but also from that imperishable record, which no deity -- not even the Supremest of the Supreme -- can cause to disappear, then this dogma might not be incomprehensible. But to maintain that one may wrong his fellow-man, kill, disturb the equilibrium of society, and the natural order of things, and then -- through cowardice, hope, or compulsion, matters not -- be forgiven by believing that the spilling of one blood washes out the other blood spirt -- this is preposterous! Can the results of a crime be obliterated even though the crime itself should be pardoned? The effects of a cause are never limited to the boundaries of the cause, nor can the results of crime be confined to the offender and his victim. Every good as well as evil action has its effects, as palpably as the stone flung into a calm water. The simile is trite, but it is the best ever conceived, so let us use it. The eddying circles are greater and swifter, as the disturbing object is greater or smaller, but the smallest pebble, nay, the tiniest speck, makes its ripples. And this disturbance is not alone visible and on the surface. Below, unseen, in every direction -- outward and downward -- drop pushes drop until the sides and bottom are touched by the force. More, the air, above the water is agitated, and this disturbance passes, as the physicists tell us, from stratum to stratum out into space forever and ever; an impulse has been given to matter, and that is never lost, can never be recalled! . . .

So with crime, and so with its opposite. The action may be instantaneous, the effects are eternal. When, after the stone is once flung into the pond, we can recall it to the hand, roll back the ripples, obliterate the force expended, restore the etheric waves to their previous state of non-being, and wipe out every trace of the act of throwing the missile, so that Time's record shall not show that it ever happened, then, then we may patiently hear Christians argue for the efficacy of this Atonement.

The Chicago Times recently printed the hangman's record of the first half of the present year (1877) -- a long and ghastly record of murders and hangings. Nearly every one of these murderers received religious consolation, and many announced that they had received God's forgiveness through the blood of Jesus, and were going that day to Heaven! Their conversion was effected in prison. See how this ledger-balance of Christian justice (!) stands: These red-handed murderers, urged on by the demons of lust, revenge, cupidity, fanaticism, or mere brutal thirst for blood, slew their victims, in most cases, without giving them time to repent, or call on Jesus to wash them clean with his blood. They, perhaps, died sinful, and, of course, -- consistently with theological logic -- met the reward of their greater or lesser offenses. But the murderer, overtaken by human justice, is imprisoned, wept over by sentimentalists, prayed with and at, pronounces the charmed words of conversion, and goes to the scaffold a redeemed child of Jesus! Except for the murder, he would not have been prayed with, redeemed, pardoned. Clearly this man did well to murder, for thus he gained eternal happiness? And how about the victim, and his or her family, relatives, dependants, social relations -- has justice no recompense for them? Must they suffer in this world and the next, while he who wronged them sits beside the "holy thief" of Calvary and is forever blessed? On this question the clergy keep a prudent silence.

Steve Anderson was one of these American criminals -- convicted of double murder, arson, and robbery. Before the hour of his death he was "converted," but, the record tells us that "his clerical attendants objected to his reprieve, on the ground that they felt sure of his salvation should he die then, but could not answer for it if his execution was postponed." We address these ministers, and ask them to tell us on what grounds they felt sure of such a monstrous thing. How they could feel sure, with the dark future before them, and the endless results of this double murder, arson, and robbery? They could be sure of nothing, but that their abominable doctrine is the cause of three-fourths of the crimes of so-called Christians; that these terrific causes must produce like monstrous effects, which in their turn will beget other results, and so roll on throughout eternity to an accomplishment that no man can calculate.

Or take another crime, one of the most selfish, cruel, and heartless, and yet the most frequent, the seduction of a young girl. Society, by an instinct of self-preservation, pitilessly judges the victim, and ostracizes her. She may be driven to infanticide, or self-murder, or if too averse to die, live to plunge into a career of vice and crime. She may become the mother of criminals, who, as in the now celebrated Jukes, of whose appalling details Mr. Dugdale has published the particulars, breed other generations of felons to the number of hundreds, in fifty or sixty years. All this social disaster came through one man's selfish passion; shall he be forgiven by Divine Justice until his offense is expiated, and punishment fall only upon the wretched human scorpions begotten of his lust?

An outcry has just been made in England over the discovery that Anglican priests are largely introducing auricular confession and granting absolution after enforcing penances. Inquiry shows the same thing prevailing more or less in the United States. Put to the ordeal of cross-examination, the clergy quote triumphantly from the English Book of Common Prayer the rubrics which clearly give them the absolving authority, through the power of "God, the Holy Ghost," committed unto them by the bishop by imposition of hands at their ordination. The bishop, questioned, points to Matthew xvi., 19, for the source of his authority to bind and loose on earth those who are to be blessed or damned in heaven; and to the apostolic succession for proof of its transmission from Simon Barjona to himself. The present volumes have been written to small purpose if they have not shown, 1, that Jesus, the Christ-God, is a myth concocted two centuries after the real Hebrew Jesus died; 2, that, therefore, he never had any authority to give Peter, or any one else, plenary power; 3, that even if he had given such authority, the word Petra (rock) referred to the revealed truths of the Petroma, not to him who thrice denied him; and that besides, the apostolic successon is a gross and palpable fraud; 4, that the Gospel according to Matthew is a fabrication based upon a wholly different manuscript. The whole thing, therefore, is an imposition alike upon priest and penitent. But putting all these points aside for the moment, it suffices to ask these pretended agents of the three gods of the Trinity, how they reconcile it with the most rudimental notions of equity, that if theng has been given them, they did not also receive the ability by miracle to obliterate the wrongs done against person or property. Let them restore life to the murdered; honor to the dishonored; propes of human and divine justice to recover their equilibrium. Then we may talm say, if they can do this. Hitherto the world has received nothing but sophistry -- believed on blind faith; we ask palpable, tangible evidence of their God's justice and mercy. But all are silent; no answer, no reply, and still the inexorable unerring Law of Compensation proceeds on its unswerving path. If we but watch its progress, we will find that it ignores all creeds, shows no preferences, but its sunlight and its thunderbolts fall alike on heathen and Christian. No absolution can shield the latter when guilty, no anathema hurt the former when innocent.

Away from us such an insulting conception of divine justice as that preached by priests on their own authority. It is fit only for cowards and criminals! If they are backed by a whole array of Fathers and Churchmen, we are supported by the greatest of all authorities, an instinctive and reverential sense of the everlasting and everpresent law of harmony and justice.

But, besides that of reason, we have other evidence to show that such a construction is wholly unwarranted. The Gospels being "Divine revelation," doubtless Christians will regard their testimony as conclusive. Do they affirm that Jesus gave himself as a voluntary sacrifice? On the contrary, there is not a word to sustain the idea. They make it clear that he would rather have lived to continue what he considered his mission, and that he died because he could not help it, and only when betrayed. Before, when threatened with violence, he had made himself invisible by employing the mesmeric power over the bystanders, claimed by every Eastern adept, and escaped. When, finally, he saw that his time had come, he succumbed to the inevitable. But see him in the garden, on the Mount of Olives, writhing in agony until "his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood," praying with fervid supplication that the cup might be removed from him; exhausted by his struggle to such a degree that an angel from heaven had to come and strengthen him; and say if the picture is that of a self-immolating hostage and martyr. To crown all, and leave no lingering doubt in our minds, we have his own despairing words, "NOT MY WILL, but thine, be done!" (Luke xxii. 42. 43.)

Again, in the Puranas it may be found that Christna was nailed to a tree by the arrow of a hunter, who, begging the dying god to forgive him, receives the following answer: "Go, hunter, through my favor, to Heaven, the abode of the gods. . . . Then the illustrious Christna, having united himself with his own pure, spiritual, inexhaustible, inconceivable, unborn, undecaying, imperishable, and universal Spirit, which is one with Vasudeva, abandoned his mortal body, and . . . he became Nirguna" (Wilson's Vishnu Purana, p. 612). Is not this the original of the story of Christ forgiving the thief on the cross, and promising him a place in Heaven? Such examples "challenge inquiry as to their origin and meaning so long anterior to Christianity," says Dr. Lundy in Monumental Christianity, and yet to all this he adds: "The idea of Krishna as a shepherd, I take to be older than either (the Gospel of Infancy and that of St. John), and prophetic of Christ" (p. 156).

Facts like these, perchance, furnished later a plausible pretext for declaring apocryphal all such works as the Homilies, which proved but too clearly the utter want of any early authority for the doctrine of atonement. The Homilies clash but little with the Gospels; they disagree entirely with the dogmas of the Church. Peter knew nothing of the atonement; and his reverence for the mythical father Adam would never have allowed him to admit that this patriarch had sinned and was accursed. Neither do the Alexandrian theological schools appear to have been cognizant of this doctrine, nor Tertullian; nor was it discussed by any of the earlier Fathers. Philo represents the story of the Fall as symbolical, and Origen regarded it the same way as Paul, as an allegory. [24]

Whether they will or not, the Christians have to credit the foolish story of Eve's temptation by a serpent. Besides, Augustine has formally pronounced upon the subject. "God, by His arbitrary will," he says, "has selected beforehand certain persons, without regard to foreseen faith or good actions, and has irretrievably ordained to bestow upon them eternal happiness; while He has condemned others in the same way to eternal reprobation"!! (De dono perseverantae). [25]

Calvin promulgated views of Divine partiality and bloodthirstiness equally abhorrent. "The human race, corrupted radically in the fall with Adam, has upon it the guilt and impotence of original sin; its redemption can be achieved only through an incarnation and a propitiation; of this redemption only electing grace can make the soul a participant, and such grace, once given, is never lost; this election can come only from God, and it includes only a part of the race, the rest being left to perdition; election and perdition (the horribile decretum) are both predestinated in the Divine plan; that plan is a decree, and this decree is eternal and unchangeable . . . justification is by faith alone, and faith is the gift of God."

O Divine Justice, how blasphemed has been thy name! Unfortunately for all such speculations, belief in the propitiatory efficacy of blood can be traced to the oldest rites. Hardly a nation remained ignorant of it. Every people offered animal and even human sacrifices to the gods, in the hope of averting thereby public calamity, by pacifying the wrath of some avenging deity. There are instances of Greek and Roman generals offering their lives simply for the success of their army. Caesar complains of it, and calls it a superstition of the Gauls. "They devote themselves to death . . . believing that unless life is rendered for life the immortal gods cannot be appeased," he writes. "If any evil is about to befall either those who now sacrifice, or Egypt, may it be averted on this head," was pronounced by the Egyptian priests when sacrificing one of their sacred animals. And imprecations were uttered over the head of the expiatory victim, around whose horns a piece of byblus was rolled. [26] The animal was generally led to some barren region, sacred to Typhon, in those primitive ages when this fatal deity was yet held in a certain consideration by the Egyptians. It is in this custom that lies the origin of the "scape-goat" of the Jews, who, when the rufous ass-god was rejected by the Egyptians, began sacrificing to another deity the "red heifer."

"Let all sins that have been committed in this world fall on me that the world may be delivered," exclaimed Gautama, the Hindu Saviour, centuries before our era.

No one will pretend to assert in our own age that it was the Egyptians who borrowed anything from the Israelites, as they now accuse the Hindus of doing. Bunsen, Lepsius, Champollion, have long since established the precedence of Egypt over the Israelites in age as well as in all the religious rites that we now recognize among the "chosen people." Even the New Testament teems with quotations and repetitions from the Book of the Dead, and Jesus, if everything attributed to him by his four biographers is true -- must have been acquainted with the Egyptian Funereal Hymns. [27] In the Gospel according to Matthew we find whole sentences from the ancient and sacred Ritual which preceded our era by more than 4,000 years. We will again compare. [28]

The "soul" under trial is brought before Osiris, the "Lord of Truth," who sits decorated with the Egyptian cross, emblem of eternal life, and holding in his right hand the Vannus or the flagellum of justice. [29] The spirit begins, in the "Hall of the Two Truths," an earnest appeal, and enumerates its good deeds, supported by the responses of the forty-two assessors -- its incarnated deeds and accusers. If justified, it is addressed as Osiris, thus assuming the appellation of the Deity whence its divine essence proceeded, and the following words, full of majesty and justice, are pronounced! "Let the Osiris go; ye see he is without fault. . . . He lived on truth, he has fed on truth. . . . The god has welcomed him as he desired. He has given food to my hungry, drink to my thirsty ones, clothes to my naked. . . . He has made the sacred food of the gods the meat of the spirits."

In the parable of the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew xxv.), the Son of Man (Osiris is also called the Son) sits upon the throne of his glory, judging the nations, and says to the justified, "Come ye blessed of my Father (the God) inherit the kingdom. . . . For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat; I was thirsty and ye gave me drink . . . naked and ye clothed me." [30] To complete the resemblance (Matthew iii. 12): John is made to describe Christ as Osiris, "whose fan (winnow or vannus) is in his hand, and who will "purge his floor and gather his wheat into the garner."

The same in relation to Buddhist legends. In Matthew iv. 19, Jesus is made to say: "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men," the whole adapted to a conversation between him and Simon Peter and Andrew his brother.
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Part 2 of 3

In Schmidt's "Der Weise und der Thor," [31] a work full of anecdotes about Buddha and his disciples, the whole from original texts, it is said of a new convert to the faith, that "he had been caught by the hook of the doctrine, just as a fish, who has caught at the bait and line is securely pulled out." In the temples of Siam the image of the expected Buddha, the Messiah Maitree, is represented with a fisherman's net in the hand, while in Thibet he holds a kind of a trap. The explanation of it reads as follows: "He (Buddha) disseminates upon the Ocean of birth and decay the Lotus-flower of the excellent law as a bait; with the loop of devotion, never cast out in vain, he brings living beings up like fishes, and carries them to the other side of the river, where there is true understanding." [32]

Had the erudite Archbishop Cave, Grabe, and Dr. Parker, who so zealously contended in their time for the admission of the Epistles of Jesus Christ and Abgarus, King of Edessa, into the Canon of the Scripture, lived in our days of Max Muller and Sanscrit scholarship, we doubt whether they would have acted as they did. The first mention of these Epistles ever made, was by the famous Eusebius. This pious bishop seems to have been self-appointed to furnish Christianity with the most unexpected proofs to corroborate its wildest fancies. Whether among the many accomplishments of the Bishop of Caesarea, we must include a knowledge of the Cingalese, Pehlevi, Thibetan, and other languages, we know not; but he surely transcribed the letters of Jesus and Abgarus, and the story of the miraculous portrait of Christ taken on a piece of cloth, by the simple wiping of his face, from the Buddhistical Canon. To be sure, the bishop declared that he found the letter himself written in Syriac, preserved among the registers and records of the city of Edessa, where Abgarus reigned. [33] We recall the words of Babrias: "Myth, O son of King Alexander, is an ancient human invention of Syrians, who lived in old time under Ninus and Belus." Edessa was one of the ancient "holy cities." The Arabs venerate it to this day; and the purest Arabic is there spoken. They call it still by its ancient name Orfa, once the city Arpha-Kasda (Arphaxad) the seat of a College of Chaldeans and Magi; whose missionary, called Orpheus, brought thence the Bacchic Mysteries to Thrace. Very naturally, Eusebius found there the tales which he wrought over into the story of Abgarus, and the sacred picture taken on a cloth; as that of Bhagavat, or the blessed Tathagata (Buddha) [34] was obtained by King Binsbisara. [35] The King having brought it, Bhagavat projected his shadow on it. [36] This bit of "miraculous stuff," with its shadow, is still preserved, say the Buddhists; "only the shadow itself is rarely seen."

In like manner, the Gnostic author of the Gospel according to John, copied and metamorphosed the legend of Ananda who asked drink of a Matangha woman -- the antitype of the woman met by Jesus at the well, [37] and was reminded by her that she belongs to a low caste, and may have nothing to do with a holy monk. "I do not ask thee, my sister," answers Ananda to the woman, "either thy caste or thy family, I only ask thee for water, if thou canst give me some." This Matangha woman, charmed and moved to tears, repents, joins the monastic Order of Gautama, and becomes a saint, rescued from a life of unchastity by Sakya-muni. Many of her subsequent actions were used by Christian forgers, to endow Mary Magdalen and other female saints and martyrs.

"And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward," says the Gospel (Matthew x. 42). "Whosoever, with a purely believing heart, offers nothing but a handful of water, or presents so much to the spiritual assembly, or gives drink therewith to the poor and needy, or to a beast of the field; this meritorious action will not be exhausted in many ages,"* says the Buddhist Canon.

At the hour of Gautama-Buddha's birth there were 32,000 wonders performed. The clouds stopped immovable in the sky, the waters of the rivers ceased to flow; the flowers ceased unbudding; the birds remained silent and full of wonder; all nature remained suspended in her course, and was full of expectation. "There was a preternatural light spread all over the world; animals suspended their eating; the blind saw; and the lame and dumb were cured," etc. [39]

We now quote from the Protevangelion:

"At the hour of the Nativity, as Joseph looked up into the air, 'I saw,' he says, 'the clouds astonished, and the fowls of the air stopping in the midst of their flight. . . . And I beheld the sheep dispersed . . . and yet the sheep stood still; and I looked into a river, and saw the kids with their mouths close to the water, and touching it, but they did not drink.

"Then a bright cloud overshadowed the cave. But on a sudden the cloud became a great light in the cave, so that their eyes could not bear it. . . . The hand of Salome, which was withered, was straightway cured. . . . The blind saw; the lame and dumb were cured." [40]

When sent to school, the young Gautama, without having ever studied, completely worsted all his competitors; not only in writing, but in arithmetic, mathematics, metaphysics, wrestling, archery, astronomy, geometry, and finally vanquishes his own professors by giving the definition of sixty-four kinds of writings, which were unknown to the masters themselves. [41]

And this is what is said again in the Gospel of the Infancy: "And when he (Jesus) was twelve years old . . . a certain principal Rabbi asked him, 'Hast thou read books?' and a certain astronomer asked the Lord Jesus whether he had studied astronomy. And Lord Jesus explained to him . . . about the spheres . . . about the physics and metaphysics. Also things that reason of man had never discovered. . . . The constitutions of the body, how the soul operated upon the body, . . . etc. And at this the master was so surprised that he said: 'I believe this boy was born before Noah . . . he is more learned than any master.'" [42]

The precepts of Hillel, who died forty years B. C., appear rather as quotations than original expressions in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus taught the world nothing that had not been taught as earnestly before by other masters. He begins his sermon with certain purely Buddhistic precepts that had found acceptance among the Essenes, and were generally practiced by the Orphikoi, and the Neo-platonists. There were the Philhellenes, who, like Apollonius, had devoted their lives to moral and physical purity, and who practiced asceticism. He tries to imbue the hearts of his audience with a scorn for worldly wealth; a fakir-like unconcern for the morrow; love for humanity, poverty, and chastity. He blesses the poor in spirit, the meek, the hungering and the thirsting after righteousness, the merciful and the peace-makers, and, Buddha-like, leaves but a poor chance for the proud castes to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Every word of his sermon is an echo of the essential principles of monastic Buddhism. The ten commandments of Buddha, as found in an appendix to the Pratimoksha Sutra (Pali-Burman text), are elaborated to their full extent in Matthew. If we desire to acquaint ourselves with the historical Jesus we have to set the mythical Christ entirely aside, and learn all we can of the man in the first Gospel. His doctrines, religious views, and grandest aspirations will be found concentrated in his sermon.

This is the principal cause of the failure of missionaries to convert Brahmanists and Buddhists. These see that the little of really good that is offered in the new religion is paraded only in theory, while their own faith demands that those identical rules shall be applied in practice. Notwithstanding the impossibility for Christian missionaries to understand clearly the spirit of a religion wholly based on that doctrine of emanation which is so inimical to their own theology, the reasoning powers of some simple Buddhistical preachers are so high, that we see a scholar like Gutzlaff, [43] utterly silenced and put to great straits by Buddhists. Judson, the famous Baptist missionary in Burmah, confesses, in his Journal, the difficulties to which he was often driven by them. Speaking of a certain Ooyan, he remarks that his strong mind was capable of grasping the most difficult subjects. "His words," he remarks, "are as smooth as oil, as sweet as honey, and as sharp as razors; his mode of reasoning is soft, insinuating, and acute; and so adroitly does he act his part, that I with the strength of truth, was scarcely able to keep him down." It appears though, that at a later period of his mission, Mr. Judson found that he had utterly mistaken the doctrine. "I begin to find," he says, "that the semi-atheism, which I had sometimes mentioned, is nothing but a refined Buddhism, having its foundation in the Buddhistic Scriptures." Thus he discovered at last that while there is in Buddhism "a generic term of most exalted perfection actually applied to numerous individuals, a Buddha superior to the whole host of subordinate deities," there are also lurking in the system "the glimmerings of an anima mundi anterior to, and even superior to, Buddha." [44]

This is a happy discovery, indeed!

Even the so-slandered Chinese believe in One, Highest God. "The Supreme Ruler of Heavens." Yuh-Hwang-Shang-ti, has his name inscribed only on the golden tablet before the altar of heaven at the great temple at Pekin, T'Iantan. "This worship," says Colonel Yule, "is mentioned by the Mahometan narrator of Shah Rukh's embassy (A.D. 1421): 'Every year there are some days on which the emperor eats no animal food. . . . He spends his time in an apartment which contains no idol, and says that he is worshipping the God of Heaven.'" [44]

Speaking of Shahrastani, the great Arabian scholar, Chwolsohn says that for him Sabaeism was not astrolatry, as many are inclined to think. He thought "that God is too sublime and too great to occupy Himself with the immediate management of this world; that He has, therefore, transferred the government thereof to the gods, and retained only the most important affairs for Himself; that further, man is too weak to be able to apply immediately to the Highest; that he must, therefore, address his prayers and sacrifices to the intermediate divinities, to whom the management of the world has been entrusted by the Highest." Chwolsohn argues that this idea is as old as the world, and that "in the heathen world this view was universally shared by the cultivated." [45]

Father Boori, a Portuguese missionary, who was sent to convert the "poor heathen" of Cochin-China, as early as the sixteenth century, "protests in despair, in his narrative, that there is not a dress, office, or ceremony in the Church of Rome, to which the Devil has not here provided some counterpart. Even when the Father began inveighing against the idols, he was answered that these were the images of departed great men, whom they worshipped exactly on the same principle, and in the same manner, as the Catholics did the images of the apostles and martyrs." [46] Moreover, these idols have importance but in the eyes of the ignorant multitudes. The philosophy of Buddhism ignores images and fetishes. Its strongest vitality lies in its psychological conceptions of man's inner self. The road to the supreme state of felicity, called the Ford of Nirvana, winds its invisible paths through the spiritual, not physical life of a person while on this earth. The sacred Buddhistical literature points the way by stimulating man to follow practically the example of Gautama. Therefore, the Buddhistical writings lay a particular stress on the spiritual privileges of man, advising him to cultivate his powers for the production of Meipo (phenomena) during life, and for the attainment of Nirvana in the hereafter.

But turning again from the historical to the mythical narratives, invented alike about Christna, Buddha, and Christ, we find the following:

Setting a model for the Christian avatar and the archangel Gabriel to follow, the luminous San-tusita (Bodhisat) appeared to Maha-maya 'like a cloud in the moonlight, coming from the north, and in his hand holding a white lotus.' He announced to her the birth of her son, and circumambulating the queen's couch thrice . . . passed away from the dewa-loka and was conceived in the world of men. [48] The resemblance will be found still more perfect upon examining the illustrations in mediaeval psalters, [49] and the panel-paintings of the sixteenth century (in the Church of Jouy, for instance, in which the Virgin is represented kneeling, with her hands uplifted toward the Holy Ghost, and the unborn child is miraculously seen through her body), and then finding the same subject treated in the identical way in the sculptures in certain convents in Thibet. In the Pali-Buddhistic annals, and other religious records, it is stated that Maha-devi and all her attendants were constantly "gatified with the sight of the infant Bodhisatva quietly developing within his mother's bosom, and beaming already, from his place of gestation, upon humanity "the resplendent moonshine of his future benevolence." [50]

Ananda, the cousin and future disciple of Sakya-muni, is represented as having been born at the same time. He appears to have been the original for the old legends about John the Baptist. For example, the Pali narrative relates that Maha-maya, while pregnant with the sage, paid a visit to his mother, as Mary did to the mother of the Baptist. Immediately, as she entered the apartment, the unborn Ananda greeted the unborn Buddha-Siddhartha, who also returned the salutation; and in like manner the babe, afterward John the Baptist, leaped in the womb of Elizabeth when Mary came in. [51] More even that that; for Didron describes a scene of salutation, painted on shutters at Lyons, between Elizabeth and Mary, in which the two unborn infants, both pictured as outside their mothers, are also saluting each other. [52]

If we turn now to Christna and attentively compare the prophecies respecting him, as collected in the Ramatsariarian traditions of the Atharva, the Vedangas, and the Vedantas, [53] with passages in the Bible and apocryphal Gospels, of which it is pretended that some presage the coming of Christ, we shall find very curious facts. Following are examples:


1st. "He (the Redeemer) shall come, crowned with lights, the pure fluid issuing from the great soul . . . dispersing darkness" (Atharva).

2d. "In the early part of the Kali-Yuga shall be born the son of the Virgin" (Vedanta).

3d. "The Redeemer shall come, and the accursed Rakhasas shall fly for refuge to the deepest hell" (Atharva).

4th. "He shall come, and life will defy death . . . and he shall revivify the blood of all beings, shall regenerate all bodies, and purify all souls."

5th. "He shall come, and all animated beings, all the flowers, plants, men, women, the infants, the slaves . . . shall together intone the chant of joy, for he is the Lord of all creatures . . . he is infinite, for he is power, for he is wisdom, for he is beauty, for he is all and in all."

6th. "He shall come, more sweet than honey and ambrosia, more pure than the lamb without spot" (Ibid.).

7th. "Happy the blest womb that shall bear him" (Ibid.).

8th. "And God shall manifest His glory, and make His power resound, and shall reconcile Himself with His creatures" (Ibid.).

9th. "It is in the bosom of a woman that the ray of the Divine splendor will receive human form, and she shall bring forth, being a virgin, for no impure contact shall have defiled her" (Vedangas).


1st. "The people of Galilee of the Gentiles which sat in darkness saw great light" (Matthew iv. from Isaiah ix. 1, 2).

2d. "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son" (Isaiah vii. quoted in Matthew i. 23).

3d. "Behold, now, Jesus of Nazareth, with the brightness of his glorious divinity, put to flight all the horrid powers of darkness" (Nicodemus).

4th. "And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish" (John x. 28).

5th. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! behold, thy King cometh unto thee . . . he is just . . . for how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids" (Zechariah ix.).

6th. "Behold the lamb of God" (John i. 36). "He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter" (Isaiah 53).

7th. "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb" (Luke i.); "Blessed is the womb that bare thee" (xi. 27).

8th. "God manifested forth His glory" (John, 1st Ep.). "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself" (2 Corinth. v.).

9th. "Being an unparalleled instance, without any pollution or defilement, and a virgin shall bring forth a son, and a maid shall bring forth the Lord" (Gospel of Mary, iii.).

Let there be exaggeration or not in attributing to the Atharva-Veda and the other books such a great antiquity, the fact remains that these prophecies and their realization preceded Christianity, and Christna preceded Christ. That is all we need care to inquire.

One is completely overwhelmed with astonishment upon reading Dr. Lundy's Monumental Christianity. It would be difficult to say whether an admiration for the author's erudition, or amazement at his serene and unparalleled sophistry is stronger. He has gathered a world of facts which prove that the religions, far more ancient than Christianity, of Christna, Buddha, and Osiris had anticipated even its minutest symbols. His materials come from no forged papyri, no interpolated Gospels, but from sculptures on the walls of ancient temples, from monuments, inscriptions, and other archaic relics, only mutilated by the hammers of iconoclasts, the cannon of fanatics, and the effects of time. He shows us Christna and Apollo as good shepherds; Christna holding the cruciform chank and the chakra, and Christna "crucified in space," as he calls it (Monumental Christianity, fig. 72). Of this figure -- borrowed by Dr. Lundy from Moor's Hindu Pantheon -- it may be truly said that it is calculated to petrify a Christian with astonishment, for it is the crucified Christ of Romish art to the last degree of resemblance. Not a feature is lacking; and, the author says of it himself: "This representation I believe to be anterior to Christianity. . . . It looks like a Christian crucifix in many respects. . . . The drawing, the attitude, the nail-marks in hands and feet, indicate a Christian origin, while the Parthian coronet of seven points, the absence of the wood, and of the usual inscription, and the rays of glory above, would seem to point to some other than a Christian origin. Can it be the victim-man, or the priest and victim both in one, of the Hindu Mythology, who offered himself a sacrifice before the worlds were? Can it be Plato's Second God who impressed himself on the universe in the form of the cross? Or is it his divine man who would be scourged, tormented, fettered; have his eyes burnt out; and lastly . . . would be crucified?" (Republic, c. ii., p. 52, Spens. Trans.). It is all that and much more; Archaic Religious Philosophy was universal.

As it is, Dr. Lundy contradicts Moor, and maintains that this figure is that of Wittoba, one of the avatars of Vishnu, hence Christna, and anterior to Christianity, which is a fact not very easily to be put down. And yet although he finds it prophetic of Christianity, he thinks it has no relation whatever to Christ! His only reason is that "in a Christian crucifix the glory always comes from the sacred head; here it is from above and beyond. . . . The Pundit's Wittoba then, given to Moor, would seem to be the crucified Krishna, the shepherd-god of Mathura . . . a Saviour -- the Lord of the Covenant, as well as Lord of Heaven and earth -- pure and impure, light and dark, good and bad, peaceful and war-like, amiable and wrathful, mild and turbulent, forgiving and vindictive, God and a strange mixture of man, but not the Christ of the Gospels."

Now all these qualities must pertain to Jesus as well as to Christna. The very fact that Jesus was a man upon the mother's side -- even though he were a God, implies as much. His behavior toward the fig-tree, and his self-contradictions, in Matthew, where at one time he promises peace on earth, and at another the sword, etc., are proofs in this direction. Undoubtedly this cut was never intended to represent Jesus of Nazareth. It was Wittoba, as Moor was told, and as moreover the Hindu Sacred Scriptures state, Brahma, the sacrificer who is "at once both sacrificer and victim"; it is "Brahma, victim in His Son Christna, who came to die on earth for our salvation, who Himself accomplishes the solemn sacrifice (of the Sarvameda)." And yet, it is the man Jesus as well as the man Christna, for both were united to their Chrestos.

Thus we have either to admit periodical "incarnations," or let Christianity go as the greatest imposture and plagiarism of the ages!

As to the Jewish Scriptures, only such men as the Jesuit de Carriere, a convenient representative of the majority of the Catholic clergy, can still command their followers to accept only the chronology established by the Holy Ghost. It is on the authority of the latter that we learn that Jacob went, with a family of seventy persons, all told, to settle in Egypt in A.M. 2298, and that in A.M. 2513 -- just 215 years afterward -- these seventy persons had so increased that they left Egypt 600,000 fighting men strong, "without counting women and children," which, according to the science of statistics, should represent a total population of between two and three millions!! Natural history affords no parallel to such fecundity, except in red herrings. After this let the Christian missionaries laugh, if they can, at Hindu chronology and computations.

"Happy are those persons, but not to be envied," exclaims Bunsen, "who have no misgivings about making Moses march out with more than two millions of people at the end of a popular conspiracy and rising, in the sunny days of the eighteenth dynasty; who make the Israelites conquer Kanaan under Joshua, during and previous to the most formidable campaigns of conquering Pharaohs in that same country. The Egyptian and Assyrian annals, combined with the historical criticism of the Bible, prove that the exodus could only have taken place under Menephthah, so that Joshua could not have crossed the Jordan before Easter 1280, the last campaign of Ramses III. in Palestine being in 1281." [54]

But we must resume the thread of our narrative with Buddha.

Neither he nor Jesus ever wrote one word of their doctrines. We have to take the teachings of the masters on the testimony of the disciples, and therefore it is but fair that we should be allowed to judge both doctrines on their intrinsic value. Where the logical preponderance lies, may be seen in the results of frequent encounters between Christian missionaries and Buddhist theologians (pungui). The latter usually, if not invariably, have the better of their opponents. On the other hand, the "Lama of Jehovah" rarely fails to lose his temper, to the great delight of the Lama of Buddha, and practically demonstrates his religion of patience, mercy, and charity, by abusing his disputant in the most uncanonical language. This we have witnessed repeatedly.

Despite the notable similarity of the direct teachings of Gautama and Jesus, we yet find their respective followers starting from two diametrically opposite points. The Buddhist divine, following literally the ethical doctrine of his master, remains thus true to the legacy of Gautama; while the Christian minister, distorting the precepts recorded by the four Gospels beyond recognition, teaches, not that which Jesus taught, but the absurd, too often pernicious, interpretations of fallible men -- Popes, Luthers, and Calvins included. The following are two instances selected from both religions, and brought into contrast. Let the reader judge for himself:

"Do not believe in anything because it is rumored and spoken of by many," says Buddha; "do not think that is a proof of its truth.

"Do not believe merely because the written statement of some old sage is produced; do not be sure that the writing has ever been revised by the said sage, or can be relied on. Do not believe in what you have fancied, thinking that, because an idea is extraordinary, it must have been implanted by a Deva, or some wonderful being.

"Do not believe in guesses, that is, assuming something at hap-hazard as a starting-point, and then drawing conclusions from it -- reckoning your two and your three and your four before you have fixed your number one.

"Do not believe merely on the authority of your teachers and masters, or believe and practice merely because they believe and practice.

"I [Buddha] tell you all, you must of yourselves know that this is evil, this is punishable, this is censured by wise men; belief in this will bring no advantage to any one, but will cause sorrow; and when you know this, then eschew it." [55]

It is impossible to avoid contrasting with these benevolent and human sentiments, the fulminations of the OEcumenical Council and the Pope, against the employment of reason, and the pursuit of science when it clashes with revelation. The atrocious Papal benediction of Moslem arms and cursing of the Russian and Bulgarian Christians have roused the indignation of some of the most devoted Catholic communities. The Catholic Czechs of Prague on the day of the recent semi-centennial jubilee of Pius IX., and again on the 6th of July, the day sacred to the memory of John Huss, the burned martyr, to mark their horror of the Ultramontane policy in this respect, gathered by thousands upon the neighboring Mount Zhishko, and with great ceremony and denunciations, burned the Pope's portrait, his Syllabus, and last allocution against the Russian Czar, saying that they were good Catholics, but better Slavs. Evidently, the memory of John Huss is more sacred to them than the Vatican Popes.

"The worship of words is more pernicious than the worship of images," remarks Robert Dale Owen. "Grammatolatry is the worst species of idolatry. We have arrived at an era in which literalism is destroying faith. . . . The letter killeth." [56]

There is not a dogma in the Church to which these words can be better applied than to the doctrine of transubstantiation. [57] "Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life," Christ is made to say. "This is a hard saying," repeated his dismayed listeners. The answer was that of an initiate. "Doth this offend you? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words (remata, or arcane utterances) that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life."

During the Mysteries wine represented Bacchus, and bread Ceres. [58]

The hierophant-initiator presented symbolically before the final revelation wine and bread to the candidate who had to eat and drink of both in token that the spirit was to quicken matter, i.e., the divine wisdom was to enter into his body through what was to be revealed to him. Jesus, in his Oriental phraseology, constantly assimilated himself to the true vine (John xv. 1). Furthermore, the hierophant, the discloser of the Petroma, was called "Father." When Jesus says, "Drink . . . this is my blood," what else was meant, it was simply a metaphorical assimilation of himself to the vine, which bears the grape, whose juice is its blood -- wine. It was a hint that as he had himself been initiated by the "Father," so he desired to initiate others. His "Father" was the husbandman, himself the vine, his disciples the branches. His followers being ignorant of the terminology of the Mysteries, wondered; they even took it as an offense, which is not surprising, considering the Mosaic injunction against blood.

There is quite enough in the four gospels to show what was the secret and most fervent hope of Jesus; the hope in which he began to teach, and in which he died. In his immense and unselfish love for humanity, he considers it unjust to deprive the many of the results of the knowledge acquired by the few. This result he accordingly preaches -- the unity of a spiritual God, whose temple is within each of us, and in whom we live as He lives in us -- in Spirit. This knowledge was in the hands of the Jewish adepts of the school of Hillel and the kabalists. But the "scribes," or lawyers, having gradually merged into the dogmatism of the dead letter, had long since separated themselves from the Tanaim, the true spiritual teachers; and the practical kabalists were more or less persecuted by the Synagogue. Hence, we find Jesus exclaiming: "Woe unto you lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge [the Gnosis]: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering ye prevented" (Luke xi. 52). The meaning here is clear. They did take the key away, and could not even profit by it themselves, for the Masorah (tradition) had become a closed book to themselves as well as to others.

Neither Renan nor Strauss, nor the more modern Viscount Amberley seem to have had the remotest suspicion of the real meaning of many of the parables of Jesus, or even of the character of the great Galilean philosopher. Renan, as we have seen, presented him to us as a Gallicized Rabbi, "le plus charmant de tous," still but a Rabbi; and one, moreover, who does not even come out of the school of Hillel, or any school either, albeit he terms him repeatedly "the charming doctor." [59] He shows him as a sentimental young enthusiast, sprung out of the plebeian classes of Galilee, who imagines the ideal kings of his parables the empurpled and jewelled beings of whom one reads in nursery tales. [60]

Lord Amberley's Jesus, on the other hand, is an "iconoclastic idealist," far inferior in subtilty and logic to his critics. Renan looks over at Jesus with the one-sidedness of a Semitomaniac; Viscount Amberley looks down upon him from the social plane of an English lord. Apropos of this marriage-feast parable, which he considers as embodying "a curious theory of social intercourse," the Viscount says: "Nobody can object to charitable individuals asking poor people or invalids without rank at their houses. . . . But we cannot admit that this kind action ought to be rendered obligatory . . . it is eminently desirable that we should do exactly what Christ would forbid us doing -- namely, invite our neighbors and be invited by them as circumstances may require. The fear that we may receive a recompense for the dinner-parties we may give, is surely chimerical. . . . Jesus, in fact, overlooks entirely the more intellectual side of society." [61] All of which unquestionably shows that the "Son of God" was no master of social etiquette, nor fit for "society"; but it is also a fair example of the prevalent misconception of even his most suggestive parables.

The theory of Anquetil du Perron that the Bagaved-gita is an independent work, as it is absent from several manuscripts of the Maha-Bharata, may be as much a plea for a still greater antiquity as the reverse. The work is purely metaphysical and ethical, and in a certain sense it is anti-Vedic; so far, at least, that it is in opposition with many of the later Brahmanical interpretations of the Vedas. How comes it, then, that instead of destroying the work, or, at least, of sentencing it as uncanonical -- an expedient to which the Christian Church would never have failed to resort -- the Brahmans show it the greatest reverence? Perfectly unitarian in its aim, it clashes with the popular idol-worship. Still, the only precaution taken by the Brahmans to keep its tenets from becoming too well known, is to preserve it more secretly than any other religious book from every caste except the sacerdotal; and, to impose upon that even, in many cases, certain restrictions. The grandest mysteries of the Brahmanical religion are embraced within this magnificent poem; and even the Buddhists recognize it, explaining certain dogmatic difficulties in their own way. "Be unselfish, subdue your senses and passions, which obscure reason and lead to deceit," says Christna to his disciple Arjuna, thus enunciating a purely Buddhistic principle. "Low men follow examples, great men give them. . . . The soul ought to free itself from the bonds of action, and act absolutely according to its divine origin. There is but one God, and all other devotas are inferior, and mere forms (powers) of Brahma or of myself. Worship by deeds predominates over that of contemplation." [62]

This doctrine coincides perfectly with that of Jesus himself. [63] Faith alone, unaccompanied by "works," is reduced to naught in the Bagaved-gita. As to the Atharva-Veda, it was and is preserved in such secrecy by the Brahmans, that it is a matter of doubt whether the Orientalists have a complete copy of it. One who has read what Abbe Dubois says may well doubt the fact. "Of the last species -- the Atharva -- there are very few," he says, writing of the Vedas, "and many people suppose they no longer exist. But the truth is, they do exist, though they conceal themselves with more caution than the others, from the fear of being suspected to be initiated in the magic mysteries and other dreaded mysteries which the work is believed to teach." [64]

There were even those among the highest epoptae of the greater Mysteries who knew nothing of their last and dreaded rite -- the voluntary transfer of life from hierophant to candidate. In Ghost-Land [65] this mystical operation of the adept's transfer of his spiritual entity, after the death of his body, into the youth he loves with all the ardent love of a spiritual parent, is superbly described. As in the case of the reincarnation of the lamas of Thibet, an adept of the highest order may live indefinitely. His mortal casket wears out notwithstanding certain alchemical secrets for prolonging the youthful vigor far beyond the usual limits, yet the body can rarely be kept alive beyond ten or twelve score of years. The old garment is then worn out, and the spiritual Ego forced to leave it, selects for its habitation a new body, fresh and full of healthy vital principle. In case the reader should feel inclined to ridicule this assertion of the possible prolongation of human life, we may as well refer him to the statistics of several countries. The author of an able article in the Westminster Review, for October, 1850, is responsible for the statement that in England, they have the authentic instances of one Thomas Jenkins dying at the age of 169, and "Old Parr" at 152; and that in Russia some of the peasants are "known to have reached 242 years." [66] There are also cases of centenarianism reported among the Peruvian Indians. We are aware that many able writers have recently discredited these claims to an extreme longevity, but we nevertheless affirm our belief in their truth.

True or false there are "superstitions" among the Eastern people such as have never been dreamed even by an Edgar Poe or a Hoffmann. And these beliefs run in the very blood of the nations with which they originated. Carefully stripped of exaggeration they will be found to embody an universal belief in those restless, wandering, astral souls, which are called ghouls and vampires. An Armenian Bishop of the fifth century, named Yeznik, gives a number of such narratives in a manuscript work (Book i., §§ 20, 30), preserved some thirty years ago in the library of the Monastery of Etchmeadzine. [67] Among others, there is a tradition dating from the days of heathendom, that whenever a hero whose life is needed yet on earth falls on the battle-field, the Aralez, the popular gods of ancient Armenia, empowered to bring back to life those slaughtered in battle, lick the bleeding wounds of the victim, and breathe on them until they have imparted a new and vigorous life. After that the warrior rises, washes off all traces of his wounds, and resumes his place in the fray. But his immortal spirit has fled; and for the remainder of his days he lives -- a deserted temple.

Once that an adept was initiated into the last and most solemn mystery of the life-transfer, the awful seventh rite of the great sacerdotal operation, which is the highest theurgy, he belonged no more to this world. His soul was free thereafter, and the seven mortal sins lying in wait to devour his heart, as the soul, liberated by death, would be crossing the seven halls and seven staircases, could hurt him no more alive or dead; he has passed the "twice seven trials" the twelve labors of the final hour. [68]

The High Hierophant alone knew how to perform this solemn operation by infusing his own vital life and astral soul into the adept, chosen by him for his successor, who thus became endowed with a double life. [69]

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John iii. 3). Jesus tells Nicodemus, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit is spirit."

This allusion, so unintelligible in itself, is explained in the Satapa-Brahmana. It teaches that a man striving after spiritual perfection must have three births: 1st. Physical from his mortal parents; 2d. Spiritual, through religious sacrifice (initiation); 3d. His final birth into the world of spirit -- at death. Though it may seem strange that we should have to go to the old land of the Punjab and the banks of the sacred Ganges, for an interpreter of words spoken in Jerusalem and expounded on the banks of the Jordan, the fact is evident. This second birth, or regeneration of spirit, after the natural birth of that which is born of the flesh, might have astonished a Jewish ruler. Nevertheless, it had been taught 3,000 years before the appearance of the great Galilean prophet, not only in old India but to all the epoptae of the Pagan initiation, who were instructed in the great mysteries of LIFE and DEATH. This secret of secrets, that soul is not knit to flesh, was practically demonstrated in the instance of the Yogis, the followers of Kapila. Having emancipated their souls from the fetters of Prakriti, or Mahat (the physical perception of the senses and mind -- in one sense, creation), they so developed their soul-power and will-force, as to have actually enabled themselves, while on earth, to communicate with the supernal worlds, and perform what is bunglingly termed "miracles." [70] Men whose astral spirits have attained on earth the nehreyasa, or the mukti, are half-gods; disembodied spirits, they reach Moksha or Nirvana, and this is their second spiritual birth.

Buddha teaches the doctrine of a new birth as plainly as Jesus does. Desiring to break with the ancient Mysteries, to which it was impossible to admit the ignorant masses, the Hindu reformer, though generally silent upon more than one secret dogma, clearly states his thought in several passages. Thus, he says: "Some people are born again; evil-doers go to Hell; righteous people go to Heaven; those who are free from all worldly desires enter Nirvana" (Precepts of the Dhammapada, v., 126). Elsewhere Buddha states that "it is better to believe in a future life, in which happiness or misery can be felt; for if the heart believes therein, it will abandon sin and act virtuously; and even if there is no resurrection, such a life will bring a good name and the regard of men. But those who believe in extinction at death will not fail to commit any sin that they may choose, because of their disbelief in a future." [71]

The Epistle to the Hebrews treats of the sacrifice of blood. "Where a testament is," says the writer, "there must be of necessity the death of the testator. . . . Without the shedding of blood is no remission." Then again: "Christ glorified not himself to be made High Priest; but He that said unto him: Thou art my son; TO-DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE" (Heb. v. 5). This is a very clear inference, that, 1, Jesus was considered only in the light of a high priest, like Melchisedek -- another avatar, or incarnation of Christ, according to the Fathers; and, 2, that the writer thought that Jesus had become a "Son of God" only at the moment of his initiation by water; hence, that he was not born a god, neither was he begotten physically by Him. Every initiate of the "last hour" became, by the very fact of his initiation, a son of God. When Maxime, the Ephesian, initiated the Emperor Julian into the Mithraic Mysteries, he pronounced as the usual formula of the rite, the following: "By this blood, I wash thee from thy sins. The Word of the Highest has entered unto thee, and His Spirit henceforth will rest upon the NEWLY-BORN, the now-begotten of the Highest God. . . . Thou art the son of Mithra." "Thou art the 'Son of God,' " repeated the disciples after Christ's baptism. When Paul shook off the viper into the fire without further injury to himself, the people of Melita said "that he was a god" (Acts xxviii.). "He is the son of God, the Beautiful!" was the term used by the disciples of Simon Magus, for they thought they recognized the "great power of God" in him.

A man can have no god that is not bounded by his own human conceptions. The wider the sweep of his spiritual vision, the mightier will be his deity. But where can we find a better demonstration of Him than in man himself; in the spiritual and divine powers lying dormant in every human being? "The very capacity to imagine the possibility of thaumaturgical powers, is itself evidence that they exist," says the author of Prophecy. "The critic, as well as the skeptic, is generally inferior to the person or subject that he is reviewing, and, therefore, is hardly a competent witness. If there are counterfeits, somewhere there must have been a genuine original." [72]

Blood begets phantoms, and its emanations furnish certain spirits with the materials required to fashion their temporary appearances. "Blood," says Levi, "is the first incarnation of the universal fluid; it is the materialized vital light. Its birth is the most marvellous of all nature's marvels; it lives only by perpetually transforming itself, for it is the universal Proteus. The blood issues from principles where there was none of it before, and it becomes flesh, bones, hair, nails . . . tears, and perspiration. It can be allied neither to corruption nor death; when life is gone, it begins decomposing; if you know how to reanimate it, to infuse into it life by a new magnetization of its globules, life will return to it again. The universal substance, with its double motion, is the great arcanum of being; blood is the great arcanum of life."

"Blood," says the Hindu Ramatsariar, "contains all the mysterious secrets of existence, no living being can exist without. It is profaning the great work of the Creator to eat blood."

In his turn Moses, following the universal and traditional law, forbids eating blood.

Paracelsus writes that with the fumes of blood one is enabled to call forth any spirit we desire to see; for with its emanations it will build itself an appearance, a visible body -- only this is sorcery. The hierophants of Baal made deep incisions all over their bodies and produced apparitions, objective and tangible, with their own blood. The followers of a certain sect in Persia, many of whom may be found around the Russian settlements in Temerchan-Shoura, and Derbent, have their religious mysteries in which they form a large ring, and whirl round in a frantic dance. Their temples are ruined, and they worship in large temporary buildings, securely enclosed, and with the earthen floor deeply strewn with sand. They are all dressed in long white robes, and their heads are bare and closely shaved. Armed with knives, they soon reach a point of furious exaltation, and wound themselves and others until their garments and the sand on the floor are soaked with blood. Before the end of the "Mystery" every man has a companion, who whirls round with him. Sometimes the spectral dancers have hair on their heads, which makes them quite distinct from their unconscious creators. As we have solemnly promised never to divulge the principal details of this terrible ceremony (which we were allowed to witness but once), we must leave the subject. [73]

In the days of antiquity the sorceresses of Thessaly added sometimes to the blood of a black lamb that of an infant, and by this means evoked the shadows. The priests were taught the art of calling up the spirits of the dead, as well as those of the elements, but their mode was certainly not that of Thessalian sorceresses.

Among the Yakuts of Siberia there is a tribe dwelling on the very confines of the Transbaikal regions near the river Vitema (eastern Siberia) which practices sorcery as known in the days of the Thessalian witches. Their religious beliefs are curious as a mixture of philosophy and superstition. They have a chief or supreme god Aij-Taion, who did not create, they say, but only presides over the creation of all the worlds. He lives on the ninth heaven, and it is but from the seventh that the other minor gods -- his servants -- can manifest themselves to their creatures. This ninth heaven, according to the revelation of the minor deities (spirits, we suppose), has three suns and three moons, and the ground of this abode is formed of four lakes (the four cardinal points) of "soft air" (ether), instead of water. While they offer no sacrifices to the Supreme Deity, for he needs none, they do try to propitiate both the good and bad deities, which they respectively term the "white" and the "black" gods. They do it, because neither of the two classes are good or bad through personal merit or demerit. As they are all subject to the Supreme Aij-Taion, and each has to carry on the duty assigned to him from eternity, they are not responsible for either the good or evil they produce in this world. The reason given by the Yakuts for such sacrifices is very curious. Sacrifices, they say, help each class of gods to perform their mission the better, and so please the Supreme; and every mortal that helps either of them in performing his duty must, therefore, please the Supreme as well, for he will have helped justice to take place. As the "black" gods are appointed to bring diseases, evils, and all kinds of calamities to mankind, each of which is a punishment for some transgression, the Yakuts offer to them "bloody" sacrifices of animals; while to the "white" they make pure offerings, consisting generally of an animal consecrated to some special god and taken care of with great ceremony, as having become sacred. According to their ideas the souls of the dead become "shadows," and are doomed to wander on earth, till a certain change takes place either for the better or worse, which the Yakuts do not pretend to explain. The light shadows, i.e., those of good people, become the guardians and protectors of those they loved on earth; the "dark" shadows (the wicked) always seek, on the contrary, to hurt those they knew, by inciting them to crimes, wicked acts, and otherwise injuring mortals. Besides these, like the ancient Chaldees, they reckon seven divine Sheitans (daemons) or minor gods. It is during the sacrifices of blood, which take place at night, that the Yakuts call forth the wicked or dark shadows, to inquire of them what they can do to arrest their mischief; hence, blood is necessary, for without its fumes the ghosts could not make themselves clearly visible, and would become, according to their ideas, but the more dangerous, for they would suck it from living persons by their perspiration. [74] As to the good, light shadows, they need not be called out; besides that, such an act disturbs them; they can make their presence felt, when needed, without any preparation and ceremonies.

The blood-evocation is also practiced, although with a different purpose, in several parts of Bulgaria and Moldavia, especially in districts in the vicinity of Mussulmans. The fearful oppressions and slavery to which these unfortunate Christians have been subjected for centuries has rendered them a thousand-fold more impressible, and at the same time more superstitious, than those who live in civilized countries. On every seventh of May the inhabitants of every Moldavo-Valachian and Bulgarian city or village, have what they term the "feast of the dead." After sunset, immense crowds of women and men, each with a lighted wax taper in hand, resort to the burial places, and pray on the tombs of their departed friends. This ancient and solemn ceremony, called Trizna, is everywhere a reminiscence of primitive Christian rites, but far more solemn yet, while in Mussulman slavery. Every tomb is furnished with a kind of cupboard, about half a yard high, built of four stones, and with hinged double-doors. These closets contain what is termed the household of the defunct: namely, a few wax tapers, some oil and an earthen lamp, which is lighted on that day, and burns for twenty-four hours. Wealthy people have silver lamps richly chiselled, and bejewelled images, which are secure from thieves, for in the burial ground the closets are even left open. Such is the dread of the population (Mussulman and Christian) of the revenge of the dead that a thief bold enough to commit any murder, would never dare touch the property of a dead person. The Bulgarians have a belief that every Saturday, and especially the eve of Easter Sunday, and until Trinity day (about seven weeks) the souls of the dead descend on earth, some to beg forgiveness from those living whom they had wronged; others to protect and commune with their loved ones. Faithfully following the traditional rites of their forefathers, the natives on each Saturday of these seven weeks keep either lamps or tapers lighted. In addition to that, on the seventh of May they drench the tombs with grape wine, and burn incense around them from sunset to sunrise. With the inhabitants of towns, the ceremony is limited to these simple observances. With some of the rustics though, the rite assumes the proportions of a theurgic evocation. On the eve of Ascension Day, Bulgarian women light a quantity of tapers and lamps; the pots are placed upon tripods, and incense perfumes the atmosphere for miles around; while thick white clouds of smoke envelope each tomb, as though a veil had separated it from the others. During the evening, and until a little before midnight, in memory of the deceased, acquaintances and a certain number of mendicants are fed and treated with wine and raki (grape-whiskey), and money is distributed among the poor according to the means of the surviving relatives. When the feast is ended, the guests approaching the tomb and addressing the defunct by name, thank him or her for the bounties received. When all but the nearest relatives are gone, a woman, usually the most aged, remains alone with the dead, and -- some say -- resorts to the ceremony of invocation.

After fervent prayers, repeated face downward on the grave-mound, more or less drops of blood are drawn from near the left bosom, and allowed to trickle upon the tomb. This gives strength to the invisible spirit which hovers around, to assume for a few instants a visible form, and whisper his instructions to the Christian theurgist -- if he has any to offer, or simply to "bless the mourner" and then disappear again till the following year. So firmly rooted is this belief that we have heard, in a case of family difficulty, a Moldavian woman appeal to her sister to put off every decision till Ascension-night, when their dead father would be able to tell them of his will and pleasure in person; to which the sister consented as simply as though their parent were in the next room.

That there are fearful secrets in nature may well be believed when, as we have seen in the case of the Russian Znachar, the sorcerer cannot die until he has passed the word to another, and the hierophants of White Magic rarely do. It seems as if the dread power of the "Word" could only be entrusted to one man of a certain district or body of people at a time. When the Brahmatma was about to lay aside the burden of physical existence, he imparted his secret to his successor, either orally, or by a writing placed in a securely-fastened casket which went into the latter's hands alone. Moses "lays his hands" upon his neophyte, Joshua, in the solitudes of Nebo and passes away forever. Aaron initiates Eleazar on Mount Hor, and dies. Siddhartha-Buddha promises his mendicants before his death to live in him who shall deserve it, embraces his favorite disciple, whispers in his ear, and dies; and as John's head lies upon the bosom of Jesus, he is told that he shall "tarry" until he shall come. Like signal-fires of the olden times, which, lighted and extinguished by turns upon one hill-top after another, conveyed intelligence along a whole stretch of country, so we see a long line of "wise" men from the beginning of history down to our own times communicating the word of wisdom to their direct successors. Passing from seer to seer, the "Word" flashes out like lightning, and while carrying off the initiator from human sight forever, brings the new initiate into view. Meanwhile, whole nations murder each other in the name of another "Word," an empty substitute accepted literally by each, and misinterpreted by all!

We have met few sects which truly practice sorcery. One such is the Yezidis, considered by some a branch of the Koords, though we believe erroneously. These inhabit chiefly the mountainous and desolate regions of Asiatic Turkey, about Mosul, Armenia, and are found even in Syria, [75] and Mesopotamia. They are called and known everywhere as devil-worshippers; and most certainly it is not either through ignorance or mental obscuration that they have set up the worship and a regular inter-communication with the lowest and the most malicious of both elementals and elementaries. They recognize the present wickedness of the chief of the "black powers"; but at the same time they dread his power, and so try to conciliate to themselves his favors. He is in an open quarrel with Allah, they say, but a reconciliation can take place between the two at any day; and those who have shown marks of their disrespect to the "black one" now, may suffer for it at some future time, and thus have both God and Devil against them. This is simply a cunning policy that seeks to propitiate his Satanic majesty, who is no other than the great Tcherno-bog (the black god) of the Variagi-Russ, the ancient idolatrous Russians before the days of Vladimir.

Like Wierus, the famous demonographer of the sixteenth century (who in his Pseudomonarchia Daemonum describes and enumerates a regular infernal court, which has its dignitaries, princes, dukes, nobles, and officers), the Yezidis have a whole pantheon of devils, and use the Jakshas, aerial spirits, to convey their prayers and respects to Satan their master, and the Afrites of the Desert. During their prayer-meetings, they join hands, and form immense rings, with their Sheik, or an officiating priest in the middle who claps his hands, and intones every verse in honor of Sheitan (Satan). Then they whirl and leap in the air. When the frenzy is at its climax, they often wound and cut themselves with their daggers, occasionally rendering the same service to their next neighbors. But their wounds do not heal and cicatrize as easily as in the case of lamas and holy men; for but too often they fall victims to these self-inflicted wounds. While dancing and flourishing high their daggers without unclasping hands -- for this would be considered a sacrilege, and the spell instantly broken, they coax and praise Sheitan, and entreat him to manifest himself in his works by "miracles." As their rites are chiefly accomplished during night, they do not fail to obtain manifestations of various character, the least of which are enormous globes of fire which take the shapes of the most uncouth animals.
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Lady Hester Stanhope, whose name was for many years a power among the masonic fraternities of the East, is said to have witnessed, personally, several of these Yezidean ceremonies. We were told by an Ockhal, of the sect of Druses, that after having been present at one of the Yezidis' "Devil's masses," as they are called, this extraordinary lady, so noted for personal courage and daring bravery, fainted, and notwithstanding her usual Emir's male attire, was recalled to life and health with the greatest difficulty. Personally, we regret to say, all our efforts to witness one of these performances failed.

A recent article in a Catholic journal on Nagualism and Voodooism charges Hayti with being the centre of secret societies, with terrible forms of initiation and bloody rites, where human infants are sacrificed and devoured by the adepts (!!). Piron, a French traveller, is quoted at length, describing a most fearful scene witnessed by him in Cuba, in the house of a lady whom he never would have suspected of any connection with so monstrous a sect. "A naked white girl acted as a voodoo priestess, wrought up to frenzy by dances and incantations that followed the sacrifice of a white and a black hen. A serpent, trained to its part, and acted on by the music, coiled round the limbs of the girl, its motions studied by the votaries dancing around or standing to watch its contortions. The spectator fled at last in horror when the poor girl fell writhing in an epileptic fit."

While deploring such a state of things in Christian countries, the Catholic article in question explains this tenacity for ancestral religious rites as evidence of the natural depravity of the human heart, and makes a loud call for greater zeal on the part of Catholics. Besides repeating the absurd fiction about devouring children, the writer seems wholly insensible to the fact that a devotion to one's faith that centuries of the most cruel and bloody persecution cannot quench, makes heroes and martyrs of a people, whereas their conversion to any other faith would turn them simply into renegades. A compulsory religion can never breed anything but deceit. The answer received by the missionary Margil from some Indians supports the above truism. The question being: "How is it that you are so heathenish after having been Christians so long?" The answer was: "What would you do, father, if enemies of your faith entered your land? Would you not take all your books and vestments and signs of religion and retire to the most secret caves and mountains? This is just what our priests, and prophets, and soothsayers, and nagualists have done to this time and are still doing."

Such an answer from a Roman Catholic, questioned by a missionary of either Greek or Protestant Church, would earn for him the crown of a saint in the Popish martyrology. Better a "heathen" religion that can extort from a Francis Xavier such a tribute as he pays the Japanese, in saying that "in virtue and probity they surpassed all the nations he had ever seen"; than a Christianity whose advance over the face of the earth sweeps aboriginal nations out of existence as with a hurricane of fire. [76] Disease, drunkenness, and demoralization are the immediate results of apostasy from the faith of their fathers, and conversion into a religion of mere forms.

What Christianity is doing for British India, we need go to no inimical sources to inquire. Captain O'Grady, the British ex-official, says: "The British government is doing a shameful thing in turning the natives of India from a sober race to a nation of drunkards. And for pure greed. Drinking is forbidden by the religion alike of Hindus and Mussulmans. But . . . drinking is daily becoming more and more prevalent. . . . What the accursed opium traffic, forced on China by British greed, has been to that unhappy country, the government sale of liquor is likely to become to India. For it is a government monopoly, based on almost precisely the same model as the government monopoly of tobacco in Spain. . . . The outside domestics in European families usually get to be terrible drunkards. . . . The indoor servants usually detest drinking, and are a good deal more respectable in this particular than their masters and mistresses . . . everybody drinks . . . bishops, chaplains, freshly-imported boarding-school girls, and all."

Yes, these are the "blessings" that the modern Christian religion brings with its Bibles and Catechisms to the "poor heathen." Rum and bastardy to Hindustan; opium to China; rum and foul disorders to Tahiti; and, worst of all, the example of hypocrisy in religion, and a practical skepticism and atheism, which, since it seems to be good enough for civilized people, may well in time be thought good enough for those whom theology has too often been holding under a very heavy yoke. On the other hand, everything that is noble, spiritual, elevating, in the old religion is denied, and even deliberately falsified.

Take Paul, read the little of original that is left of him in the writings attributed to this brave, honest, sincere man, and see whether any one can find a word therein to show that Paul meant by the word Christ anything more than the abstract ideal of the personal divinity indwelling in man. For Paul, Christ is not a person, but an embodied idea. "If any man is in Christ he is a new creation," he is reborn, as after initiation, for the Lord is spirit -- the spirit of man. Paul was the only one of the apostles who had understood the secret ideas underlying the teachings of Jesus, although he had never met him. But Paul had been initiated himself; and, bent upon inaugurating a new and broad reform, one embracing the whole of humanity, he sincerely set his own doctrines far above the wisdom of the ages, above the ancient Mysteries and final revelation to the epoptae. As Professor A. Wilder well proves in a series of able articles, it was not Jesus, but Paul who was the real founder of Christianity. "The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch," say the Acts of the Apostles. "Such men as Irenaeus, Epiphanius, and Eusebius have transmitted to posterity a reputation for untruth and dishonest practices; and the heart sickens at the story of the crimes of that period," writes this author, in a recent article. [77] "It will be remembered," he adds, "that when the Moslems overran Syria and Asia Minor for the first time, they were welcomed by the Christians of those regions as deliverers from the intolerable oppression of the ruling authorities of the Church."

Mahomet never was, neither is he now, considered a god; yet under the stimulus of his name millions of Moslems have served their God with an ardor that can never be paralleled by Christian sectarianism. That they have sadly degenerated since the days of their prophet, does not alter the case in hand, but only proves the more the prevalence of matter over spirit all over the world. Besides, they have never degenerated more from primitive faith than Christians themselves. Why, then, should not Jesus of Nazareth, a thousandfold higher, nobler, and morally grander than Mahomet, be as well revered by Christians and followed in practice, instead of being blindly adored in fruitless faith as a god, and at the same time worshipped much after the fashion of certain Buddhists, who turn their wheel of prayers. That this faith has become sterile, and is no more worthy the name of Christianity than the fetishism of Calmucks that of the philosophy preached by Buddha, is doubted by none. "We would not be supposed to entertain the opinion," says Dr. Wilder, "that modern Christianity is in any degree identical with the religion preached by Paul. It lacks his breadth of view, his earnestness, his keen spiritual perception. Bearing the impress of the nations by which it is professed, it exhibits as many forms as there are races. It is one thing in Italy and Spain, but widely differs in France, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Great Britain, Russia, Armenia, Kurdistan, and Abyssinia. As compared with the preceding worships, the change seems to be more in name than in genius. Men had gone to bed Pagans and awoke Christians. As for the Sermon on the Mount, its conspicuous doctrines are more or less repudiated by every Christian community of any considerable dimensions. Barbarism, oppression, cruel punishments, are as common now as in the days of Paganism.

"The Christianity of Peter exists no more; that of Paul supplanted it, and was in its turn amalgamated with the other world-religions. When mankind are enlightened, or the barbarous races and families are supplanted by those of nobler nature and instincts, the ideal excellencies may become realities.

"The 'Christ of Paul' has constituted an enigma which evoked the most strenuous endeavor to solve. He was something else than the Jesus of the Gospels. Paul disregarded utterly their 'endless genealogies.' The author of the fourth Gospel, himself an Alexandrian Gnostic, describes Jesus as what would now be termed a 'materialized' divine spirit. He was the Logos, or First Emanation -- the Metathron. . . . The 'mother of Jesus,' like the Princess Maya, Danae, or perhaps Periktione, had given birth, not to a love-child, but to a divine offspring. No Jew of whatever sect, no apostle, no early believer, ever promulgated such an idea. Paul treats of Christ as a personage rather than as a person. The sacred lessons of the secret assemblies often personified the divine good and the divine truth in a human form, assailed by the passions and appetites of mankind, but superior to them; and this doctrine, emerging from the crypt, was apprehended by churchlings and gross-minded men as that of immaculate conception and divine incarnation."

In the old book, published in 1693 and written by the Sieur de la Loubere, French Ambassador to the King of Siam, are related many interesting facts of the Siamese religion. The remarks of the satirical Frenchman are so pointed that we will quote his words about the Siamese Saviour -- Sommona-Cadom.

"How marvellous soever they pretend the birth of their Saviour has been, they cease not to give him a father and a mother. [78] His mother, whose name is found in some of their Balie (Pali?) books, was called, as they say, Maha MARIA, which seems to signify the great Mary, for Maha signifies great. However it be, this ceases not to give attention to the missionaries, and has perhaps given occasion to the Siamese to believe that Jesus being the son of Mary, was brother to Sommona-Cadom, and that, having been crucified, he was that wicked brother whom they give to Sommona-Cadom, under the name of Thevetat, and whom they report to be punished in Hell, with a punishment which participates something of a cross. . . . The Siamese expect another Sommona-Cadom, I mean, another miraculous man like him, whom they already named Pronarote, and whom they say was foretold by Sommona. He made all sorts of miracles. . . . He had two disciples, both standing on each hand of his idol; one on the right hand, and the other on the left . . . the first is named Pra-Magla, and the second Pra Scaribout. . . . The father of Sommona-Cadom was, according to this same Balie Book, a King of Teve Lanca, that is to say, a King of Ceylon. But the Balie Books being without date and without the author's name, have no more authority than all the traditions, whose origin is unknown." [79]

This last argument is as ill-considered as it is naively expressed. We do not know of any book in the whole world less authenticated as to date, authors' names, or tradition, than our Christian Bible. Under these circumstances the Siamese have as much reason to believe in their miraculous Sommona-Cadom as the Christians in their miraculously-born Saviour. Moreover, they have no better right to force their religion upon the Siamese, or any other people, against their will, and in their own country, where they go unasked, than the so-called heathen "to compel France or England to accept Buddhism at the point of the sword." A Buddhist missionary, even in free-thinking America, would daily risk being mobbed, but this does not at all prevent missionaries from abusing the religion of the Brahmans, Lamas, and Bonzes, publicly to their teeth; and the latter are not always at liberty to answer them. This is termed diffusing the beneficent light of Christianity and civilization upon the darkness of heathenism!

And yet we find that these pretensions -- which might appear ludicrous were they not so fatal to millions of our fellow-men, who only ask to be left alone -- were fully appreciated as early as in the seventeenth century. We find the same witty Monsieur de la Loubere, under a pretext of pious sympathy, giving some truly curious instructions to the ecclesiastical authorities at home, [80] which embody the very soul of Jesuitism.

"From what I have said concerning the opinions of the Orientals," he remarks, "it is easy to comprehend how difficult an enterprise it is to bring them over to the Christian religion; and of what consequence it is that the missionaries, which preach the Gospel in the East, do perfectly understand the manners and belief of these people. For as the apostles and first Christians, when God supported their preaching by so many wonders, did not on a sudden discover to the heathens all the mysteries which we adore, but a long time concealed from them, and the Catechumens themselves, the knowledge of those which might scandalize them; it seems very rational to me that the missionaries, who have not the gift of miracles, ought not presently to discover to the Orientals all the mysteries nor all the practices of Christianity.

"'Twould be convenient, for example, if I am not mistaken, not to preach unto them, without great caution, the worshipping of saints; and as to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, I think it would be necessary to manage it with them, if I may so say, and not to speak to them of the mystery of the Incarnation, till after having convinced them of the existence of a God Creator. For what probability is there, to begin with, of persuading the Siamese to remove Sommona-Cadom, Pra Mogla, and Pra Scaribout from the altars, to set up Jesus Christ, St. Peter, and St. Paul, in their stead? 'Twould, perhaps, be more proper not to preach unto them Jesus Christ crucified, till they have first comprehended that one may be unfortunate and innocent; and that by the rule received, even amongst them, which is, that the innocent might load himself with the crimes of the guilty, it was necessary that a god should become man, to the end that this man-God should, by a laborious life, and a shameful but voluntary death, satisfy for all the sins of men; but before all things it would be necessary to give them the true idea of a God Creator, and justly provoked against men. The Eucharist, after this, will not scandalize the Siamese, as it formerly scandalized the Pagans of Europe; forasmuch as the Siamese do not believe Sommona-Cadom could give his wife and children to the Talapoins to eat.

"On the contrary, as the Chinese are respectful toward their parents even to a scruple, I doubt not that if the Gospel should be presently put into their hands, they would be scandalized at that place, where, when some told Jesus Christ that his mother and his brethren asked after him, he answered in such a manner, that he seems so little to regard them, that he affected not to know them. They would not be less offended at those other mysterious words, which our divine Saviour spoke to the young man, who desired time to go and bury his parents: 'Let the dead,' said he, 'bury the dead.' Every one knows the trouble which the Japanese expressed to St. Francis Xavier upon the eternity of damnation, not being able to believe that their dead parents should fall into so horrible a misfortune for want of having embraced Christianity, which they had never heard of. . . . It seems necessary, therefore, to prevent and mollify this thought, by the means which that great apostle of the Indies used, in first establishing the idea of an omnipotent, all-wise, and most just God, the author of all good, to whom only everything is due, and by whose will we owe unto kings, bishops, magistrates and to our parents the respects which we owe them.

"These examples are sufficient to show with what precautions it is necessary to prepare the minds of the Orientals to think like us, and not to be offended with most of the articles of the Christian faith." [81]

And what, we ask, is left to preach? With no Saviour, no atonement, no crucifixion for human sin, no Gospel, no eternal damnation to tell them of, and no miracles to display, what remained for the Jesuits to spread among the Siamese but the dust of the Pagan sanctuaries with which to blind their eyes? The sarcasm is biting indeed. The morality to which these poor heathen are made to adhere by their ancestral faith is so pure, that Christianity has to be stripped of every distinguishing mark before its priests can venture to offer it for their examination. A religion that cannot be trusted to the scrutiny of an unsophisticated people who are patterns of filial piety, of honest dealing, of deep reverence for God and an instinctive horror of profaning His majesty, must indeed be founded upon error. That it is so, our century is discovering little by little.

In the general spoliation of Buddhism to make up the new Christian religion, it was not to be expected that so peerless a character as Gautama-Buddha would be left unappropriated. It was but natural that after taking his legendary history to fill out the blanks left in the fictitious story of Jesus, after using what they could of Christna's, they should take the man Sakya-muni and put him in their calendar under an alias. This they actually did, and the Hindu Saviour in due time appeared on the list of saints as Josaphat, to keep company with those martyrs of religion, SS. Aura and Placida, Longinus and Amphibolus.

In Palermo there is even a church dedicated to Divo Josaphat. Among the vain attempts of subsequent ecclesiastical writers to fix the genealogy of this mysterious saint, the most original was the making him Joshua, the son of Nun. But these trifling difficulties being at last surmounted, we find the history of Gautama copied word for word from Buddhist sacred books, into the Golden Legend. Names of individuals are changed, the place of action, India, remains the same -- in the Christian as in the Buddhist Legends. It can be also found in the Speculum Historiale of Vincent of Beauvais, which was written in the thirteenth century. The first discovery is due to the historian de Couto, although Professor Muller credits the first recognition of the identity of the two stories to M. Laboulaye, in 1859. Colonel Yule tells us that [82] these stories of Barlaam and Josaphat, are recognized by Baronius, and are to be found at p. 348, of The Roman Martyrology, set forth by command of Pope Gregory XIII., and revised by the authority of Pope Urban VIII., translated out of Latin into English by G. K. of the Society of Jesus. [83]

To repeat even a small portion of this ecclesiastical nonsense would be tedious and useless. Let him who doubts and who would learn the story read it as given by Colonel Yule. Some [84] of the Christian and ecclesiastical speculations seem to have embarrassed even Dominie Valentyn. "There be some, who hold this Budhum for a fugitive Syrian Jew," he writes; "others who hold him for a disciple of the Apostle Thomas; but how in that case he could have been born 622 years before Christ I leave them to explain. Diego de Couto stands by the belief that he was certainly Joshua, which is still more absurd!"

"The religious romance called The History of Barlaam and Josaphat was, for several centuries, one of the most popular works in Christendom," says Col. Yule. "It was translated into all the chief European languages, including Scandinavian and Sclavonic tongues. . . . This story first appears among the works of St. John of Damascus, a theologian of the early part of the eighth century." [85] Here then lies the secret of its origin, for this St. John, before he became a divine, held a high office at the court of the Khalif Abu Jafar Almansur, where he probably learned the story, and afterwards adapted it to the new orthodox necessities of the Buddha turned into a Christian saint.

Having repeated the plagiarized story, Diego de Couto, who seems to yield up with reluctance his curious notion that Gautama was Joshua, says: "To this name (Budao) the Gentiles throughout all India have dedicated great and superb pagodas. With reference to this story, we have been diligent in inquiring if the ancient Gentiles of those parts had in their writings any knowledge of St. Josaphat who was converted by Balaam, and who in his legend is represented as the son of a great king of India, and who had just the same up-bringing, with all the same particulars that we have recounted of the life of the Budao. And as I was travelling in the Isle of Salsette, and went to see that rare and admirable pagoda, which we call the Canara Pagoda (Kanhari Caves) made in a mountain, with many halls cut out of one solid rock, and inquiring of an old man about the work, what he thought as to who had made it, he told us that without doubt the work was made by order of the father of St. Josaphat to bring him up in seclusion, as the story tells. And as it informs us that he was the son of a great king in India, it may well be, as we have just said, that he was the Budao, of whom they relate such marvels." [86]

The Christian legend is taken, moreover, in most of its details, from the Ceylonese tradition. It is on this island that originated the story of young Gautama rejecting his father's throne, and the king's erecting a superb palace for him, in which he kept him half prisoner, surrounded by all the temptations of life and wealth. Marco Polo told it as he had it from the Ceylonese, and his version is now found to be a faithful repetition of what is given in the various Buddhist books. As Marco naively expresses it, Buddha led a life of such hardship and sanctity, and kept such great abstinence, "just as if he had been a Christian. Indeed," he adds, "had he but been so, he would have been a great saint of our Lord Jesus Christ, so good and pure was the life he led." To which pious apothegm his editor very pertinently remarks that "Marco is not the only eminent person who has expressed this view of Sakya-muni's life in such words." And in his turn Prof. Max Muller says: "And whatever we may think of the sanctity of saints, let those who doubt the right of Buddha to a place among them, read the story of his life as it is told in the Buddhistical canon. If he lived the life which is there described, few saints have a better claim to the title than Buddha; and no one either in the Greek or the Roman Church need be ashamed of having paid to his memory the honor that was intended for St. Josaphat, the prince, the hermit, and the saint."

The Roman Catholic Church has never had so good a chance to Christianize all China, Thibet, and Tartary, as in the thirteenth century, during the reign of Kublai-Khan. It seems strange that they did not embrace the opportunity when Kublai was hesitating at one time between the four religions of the world, and, perhaps through the eloquence of Marco Polo, favored Christianity more than either Mahometanism, Judaism, or Buddhism. Marco Polo and Ramusio, one of his interpreters, tell us why. It seems that, unfortunately for Rome, the embassy of Marco's father and uncle failed, because Clement IV. happened to die just at that very time. There was no Pope for several months to receive the friendly overtures of Kublai-Khan; and thus the one hundred Christian missionaries invited by him could not be sent to Thibet and Tartary. To those who believe that there is an intelligent Deity above who takes a certain concern in the welfare of our miserable little world, this contretemps must in itself seem a pretty good proof that Buddhism should have the best of Christianity. Perhaps -- who knows -- Pope Clement fell sick so as to save the Buddhists from sinking into the idolatry of Roman Catholicism?

From pure Buddhism, the religion of these districts has degenerated into lamaism; but the latter, with all its blemishes -- purely formalistic and impairing but little the doctrine itself -- is yet far above Catholicism. The poor Abbe Huc very soon found it out for himself. As he moved on with his caravan, he writes -- "every one repeated to us that, as we advanced toward the west, we should find the doctrines growing more luminous and sublime. Lha-Ssa was the great focus of light, the rays from which became weakened as they were diffused." One day he gave to a Thibetan lama "a brief summary of Christian doctrine, which appeared by no means unfamiliar to him [we do not wonder at that], and he even maintained that it [Catholicism] did not differ much from the faith of the grand lamas of Thibet. . . . These words of the Thibetan lama astonished us not a little," writes the missionary; "the unity of God, the mystery of the Incarnation, the dogma of the real presence, appeared to us in his belief. . . . The new light thrown on the religion of Buddha induced us really to believe that we should find among the lamas of Thibet a more purified system." [87] It is these words of praise to lamaism, with which Huc's book abounds, that caused his work to be placed on the Index at Rome, and himself to be unfrocked.

When questioned why, since he held the Christian faith to be the best of the religions protected by him, he did not attach himself to it, the answer given by Kublai-Khan is as suggestive as it is curious:

"How would you have me to become a Christian? There are four prophets worshipped and revered by all the world. The Christians say their God is Jesus Christ; the Saracens, Mahomet; the Jews, Moses; the idolaters, Sogomon Borkan (Sakya-muni Burkham, or Buddha), who was the first god among the idols; and I worship and pay respect to all four, and pray that he among them who is greatest in heaven in very truth may aid me."

We may ridicule the Khan's prudence; we cannot blame him for trustingly leaving the decision of the puzzling dilemma to Providence itself. One of his most unsurmountable objections to embrace Christianity he thus specifies to Marco: "You see that the Christians of these parts are so ignorant that they achieve nothing and can achieve nothing, whilst you see the idolaters can do anything they please, insomuch that when I sit at table, the cups from the middle of the hall come to me full of wine or other liquor, without being touched by anybody, and I drink from them. They control storms, causing them to pass in whatever direction they please, and do many other marvels; whilst, as you know, their idols speak, and give them predictions on whatever subjects they choose. But if I were to turn to the faith of Christ and become a Christian, then my barons and others who are not converted, would say: 'What has moved you to be baptized? . . . What powers or miracles have you witnessed on the part of Christ? You know the idolaters here say that their wonders are performed by the sanctity and power of their idols.' Well, I should not know what answer to make, so they would only be confirmed in their errors, and the idolaters, who are adepts in such surprising arts, would easily compass my death. But now you shall go to your Pope, and pray him on my part to send hither an hundred men skilled in your law; and if they are capable of rebuking the practices of idolaters to their faces, and of proving to them that they too know how to do such things, but will not, because they are done by the help of the Devil and other evil spirits; and if they so control the idolaters that these shall have no power to perform such things in their presence, and when we shall witness this, we will denounce the idolaters and their religion, and then I will receive baptism, and then all my barons and chiefs shall be baptized also, and thus, in the end, there will be more Christians here than exist in your part of the world." [88]

The proposition was fair. Why did not the Christians avail themselves of it? Moses is said to have faced such an ordeal before Pharaoh, and come off triumphant.

To our mind, the logic of this uneducated Mongol was unanswerable, his intuition faultless. He saw good results in all religions, and felt that, whether a man be Buddhist, Christian, Mahometan, or Jew, his spiritual powers might equally be developed, his faith equally lead him to the highest truth. All he asked before making choice of a creed for his people, was the evidence upon which to base faith.

To judge alone by its jugglers, India must certainly be better acquainted with alchemy, chemistry, and physics than any European academy. The psychological wonders produced by some fakirs of Southern Hindustan, and by the shaberons and hobilhans of Thibet and Mongolia, alike prove our case. The science of psychology has there reached an acme of perfection never attained elsewhere in the annals of the marvellous. That such powers are not alone due to study, but are natural to every human being, is now proved in Europe and America by the phenomena of mesmerism and what is termed "spiritualism." If the majority of foreign travellers, and residents in British India, are disposed to regard the whole as clever jugglery, not so with a few Europeans who have had the rare luck to be admitted behind the veil in the pagodas. Surely these will not deride the rites, nor undervalue the phenomena produced in the secret lodges of India. The mahadthevassthanam of the pagodas (usually termed goparam, from the sacred pyramidal gateway by which the buildings are entered) has been known to Europeans before now, though to a mere handful in all.

We do not know whether the prolific Jacolliot [89] was ever admitted into one of these lodges. It is extremely doubtful, we should say, if we may judge from his many fantastic tales of the immoralities of the mystical rites among the Brahmans, the fakirs of the pagodas, and even the Buddhists (!!) at all of which he makes himself figure as a Joseph. Anyhow, it is evident that the Brahmans taught him no secrets, for speaking of the fakirs and their wonders, he remarks, "under the direction of initiated Brahmans they practice in the seclusion of the pagodas, the occult sciences. . . . And let no one be surprised at this word, which seems to open the door of the supernatural; while there are in the sciences which the Brahmans call occult, phenomena so extraordinary as to baffle all investigation, there is not one which cannot be explained, and which is not subject to natural law."

Unquestionably, any initiated Brahman could, if he would, explain every phenomenon. But he will not. Meanwhile, we have yet to see an explanation by the best of our physicists of even the most trivial occult phenomenon produced by a fakir-pupil of a pagoda.

Jacolliot says that it will be quite impracticable to give an account of the marvellous facts witnessed by himself. But adds, with entire truthfulness, "let it suffice to say, that in regard to magnetism and spiritism, Europe has yet to stammer over the first letters of the alphabet, and that the Brahmans have reached, in these two departments of learning, results in the way of phenomena that are truly stupefying. When one sees these strange manifestations, whose power one cannot deny, without grasping the laws that the Brahmans keep so carefully concealed, the mind is overwhelmed with wonder, and one feels that he must run away and break the charm that holds him."

"The only explanation that we have been able to obtain on the subject from a learned Brahman, with whom we were on terms of the closest intimacy, was this: 'You have studied physical nature, and you have obtained, through the laws of nature, marvellous results -- steam, electricity, etc.; for twenty thousand years or more, we have studied the intellectual forces, we have discovered their laws, and we obtain, by making them act alone or in concert with matter, phenomena still more astonishing than your own.'"

Jacolliot must indeed have been stupefied by wonders, for he says: "We have seen things such as one does not describe for fear of making his readers doubt his intelligence . . . but still we have seen them. And truly one comprehends how, in presence of such facts, the ancient world believed . . . in possessions of the Devil and in exorcism." [90]

But yet this uncompromising enemy of priestcraft, monastic orders, and the clergy of every religion and every land -- including Brahmans, lamas, and fakirs -- is so struck with the contrast between the fact-supported cults of India, and the empty pretences of Catholicism, that after describing the terrible self-tortures of the fakirs, in a burst of honest indignation, he thus gives vent to his feelings: "Nevertheless, these fakirs, these mendicant Brahmans, have still something grand about them: when they flagellate themselves, when during the self-inflicted martyrdom the flesh is torn out by bits, the blood pours upon the ground. But you (Catholic mendicants), what do you do to-day? You, Gray Friars, Capuchins, Franciscans, who play at fakirs, with your knotted cords, your flints, your hair shirts, and your rose-water flagellations, your bare feet and your comical mortifications -- fanatics without faith, martyrs without tortures? Has not one the right to ask you, if it is to obey the law of God that you shut yourselves in behind thick walls, and thus escape the law of labor which weighs so heavily upon all other men? . . . Away, you are only beggars!"

Let them pass on -- we have devoted too much space to them and their conglomerate theology, already. We have weighed both in the balance of history, of logic, of truth, and found them wanting. Their system breeds atheism, nihilism, despair, and crime; its priests and preachers are unable to prove by works their reception of divine power. If both Church and priest could but pass out of the sight of the world as easily as their names do now from the eye of our reader, it would be a happy day for humanity. New York and London might then soon become as moral as a heathen city unoccupied by Christians; Paris be cleaner than the ancient Sodom. When Catholic and Protestant would be as fully satisfied as a Buddhist or Brahman that their every crime would be punished, and every good deed rewarded, they might spend upon their own heathen what now goes to give missionaries long picnics, and to make the name of Christian hated and despised by every nation outside the boundaries of Christendom.


As occasion required, we have reinforced our argument with descriptions of a few of the innumerable phenomena witnessed by us in different parts of the world. The remaining space at our disposal will be devoted to like subjects. Having laid a foundation by elucidating the philosophy of occult phenomena, it seems opportune to illustrate the theme with facts that have occurred under our own eye, and that may be verified by any traveller. Primitive peoples have disappeared, but primitive wisdom survives, and is attainable by those who "will," "dare," and can "keep silent."



1. "Edinburgh Review," April, 1851, p. 411.

2. 2. "Indian Sketches; or Life in the East," written for the "Commercial Bulletin," of Boston.

3. See chapter ii. of this vol., p. 110.

4. It would be worth the trouble of an artist, while travelling around the world, to make a collection of the multitudinous varieties of Madonnas, Christs, saints, and martyrs as they appear in various costumes in different countries. They would furnish models for masquerade balls in aid of church charities!

5. Even as we write, there comes from Earl Salisbury, Secretary of State for India, a report that the Madras famine is to be followed by one probably still more severe in Southern India, the very district where the heaviest tribute has been exacted by the Catholic missionaries for the expenses of the Church of Rome. The latter, unable to retaliate otherwise, despoils British subjects, and when famine comes as a consequence, makes the heretical British Government pay for it.

6. "Ancient Faiths and Modern," p. 24.

7. "Fetichisme, Polytheisme, Monotheisme."

8. "Oriental and Linguistic Studies," "Vedic Doctrine of a Future Life," by W. Dwight Whitney, Prof. of Sanscrit and Comparative Philology at Yale College.

9. "Oriental and Linguistic Studies," p. 48.

10. In his article on "Paul, the Founder of Christianity," Professor A. Wilder, whose intuitions of truth are always clear, says: "In the person of Aher we recognize the Apostle Paul. He appears to have been known by a variety of appellations. He was named Saul, evidently because of his vision of Paradise -- Saul or Sheol being the Hebrew name of the other world. Paul, which only means 'the little man,' was a species of nickname. Aher, or other, was an epithet in the Bible for persons outside of the Jewish polity, and was applied to him for having extended his ministry to the Gentiles. His real name was Elisha ben Abuiah."

11. "In the 'Talmud' Jesus is called AUTU H-AIS, , that man." -- A. Wilder.

12. See Moor's plates, 75, No. 3.

13. Max Muller's estimate.

14. Dr. Lundy: "Monumental Christianity," p. 153.

15. Buddhaghosa's "Parables," translated from the Burmese, by Col. H. T. Rogers, R. E.; with an introduction by M. Muller, containing "Dhammapada," 1870.

16. Interpreter of the Consulate-General in Siam.

17. "Ancient Faith and Modern," p. 162.

18. Ibid.

19. The words contained within quotation marks are Inman's.

20. See vol. i. of this work, p. 319.

21. p. 57.

22. Matthew vii. 2.

23. P. 25.

24. See Draper's "Conflict between Religion and Science," p. 224.

25. This is the doctrine of the Supralapsarians, who asserted that "He [God] predestinated the fall of Adam, with all its pernicious consequences, from all eternity, and that our first parents had no liberty from the beginning."

It is also to this highly-moral doctrine that the Catholic world became indebted, in the eleventh century, for the institution of the Order known as the Carthusian monks. Bruno, its founder, was driven to the foundation of this monstrous Order by a circumstance well worthy of being recorded here, as it graphically illustrates this divine predestination. A friend of Bruno, a French physician, famed far and wide for his extraordinary piety, purity of morals, and charity, died, and his body was watched by Bruno himself. Three days after his death, and as he was going to be buried, the pious physician suddenly sat up in his coffin and declared, in a loud and solemn voice, "that by the just judgment of God he was eternally damned." After which consoling message from beyond the "dark river," he fell back and relapsed into death.

In their turn, the Parsi theologians speak thus: "If any of you commit sin under the belief that he shall be saved by somebody, both the deceiver as well as the deceived shall be damned to the day of Rasta Khez. . . . There is no Saviour. In the other world you shall receive the return according to your actions. . . . Your Saviour is your deeds and God Himself. (1)

(1) "The Modern Parsis," lecture by Max Muller, 1862.

26. "De Isid. et Osir," p. 380.

27. Every tradition shows that Jesus was educated in Egypt and passed his infancy and youth with the Brotherhoods of the Essenes and other mystic communities.

28. Bunsen found some records which show the language and religious worship of the Egyptians, for instance, not only existing at the opening of the old Empire, "but already so fully established and fixed as to receive but a very slight development in the course of the old, middle, and modern Empires," and while this opening of the old Empire is placed by him beyond the Menes period, at least 4,000 years B.C., the origin of the ancient Hermetic prayers and hymns of the "Book of the Dead," is assigned by Bunsen to the pre-Menite dynasty of Abydos (between 4,000 and 4,500 B.C.), thus showing that "the system of Osirian worship and mythology was already formed 3,000 years before the days of Moses."

29. It was also called the "hook of attraction." Virgil terms it "Mystica vannus Iacchi," "Georgics," i., 166.

30. In an Address to the Delegates of the Evangelical Alliance, New York, 1874, Mr. Peter Cooper, a Unitarian, and one of the noblest practical Christians of the age, closes it with the following memorable language: "In that last and final account it will be happy for us if we shall then find that our influence through life has tended to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, and soothe the sorrows of those who were sick and in prison." Such words from a man who has given two million dollars in charity; educated four thousand young girls in useful arts, by which they gain a comfortable support; maintained a free public library, museum, and reading-room; classes for working people; public lectures by eminent scientists, open to all; and been foremost in all good works, throughout a long and blameless life, come with the noble force that marks the utterances of all benefactors of their kind. The deeds of Peter Cooper will cause posterity to treasure his golden sayings in its heart.

31. "Aus dem Tibetischen ubersetzt und mit dem Originaltexte herausgegeben," von S. J. Schmidt.

32. "Buddhism in Tibet," by Emil Schlagintweit, 1863, p. 213.

33. "Ecclesiastical History," 1. i., c. 13.

34. Tathagata is Buddha, "he who walks in the footsteps of his predecessors"; as Bhagavat -- he is the Lord.

35. We have the same legend about St. Veronica -- as a pendant.

36. "Introduction a l'Histoire du Bouddhisme Indien," E. Burnouf, p. 341.

37. Moses was a most notable practitioner of Hermetic Science. Bearing in mind that Moses (Asarsiph) is made to run away to the Land of Midian, and that he "sat down by a well" (Exod. ii.), we find the following:

The "Well" played a prominent part in the Mysteries of the Bacchic festivals. In the sacerdotal language of every country, it had the same significance. A well is "the fountain of salvation" mentioned in Isaiah (xii. 3). The water is the male principle in its spiritual sense. In its physical relation in the allegory of creation, the water is chaos, and chaos is the female principle vivified by the Spirit of God -- the male principle. In the "Kabala," Zachar means "male"; and the Jordan was called Zachar ("Universal History," vol. ii., p. 429). It is curious that the Father of St. John the Baptist, the Prophet of Jordan -- Zacchar -- should be called Zachar-ias. One of the names of Bacchus is Zagreus. The ceremony of pouring water on the shrine was sacred in the Osirian rites as well as in the Mosaic institutions. In the Mishna it is said, "Thou shalt dwell in Succa and pour out water seven, and the pipes six days" ("Mishna Succah," p. 1). "Take virgin earth . . . and work up the dust with living WATER," prescribes the Sohar (Introduction to "Sohar"; "Kabbala Denudata," ii., pp. 220, 221). Only "earth and water, according to Moses, can bring forth a living soul," quotes Cornelius Agrippa. The water of Bacchus was considered to impart the Holy Pneuma to the initiate; and it washes off all sin by baptism through the Holy Ghost, with the Christians. The "well" in the kabalistic sense, is the mysterious emblem of the Secret Doctrine. "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink," says Jesus (John vii.).

Therefore, Moses the adept, is naturally enough represented sitting by a well. He is approached by the seven daughters of the Kenite Priest of Midian coming to fill the troughs, to water their father's flock. Here we have seven again -- the mystic number. In the present biblical allegory the daughters represent the seven occult powers. "The shepherds came and drove them (the seven daughters) away, but Moses stood up, and helped them, and watered their flock." The shepherds are shown, by some kabalistic interpreters, to represent the seven "badly-disposed Stellars" of the Nazarenes; for in the old Samaritan text the number of these Shepherds is also said to be seven (see kabalistic books).
Then Moses, who had conquered the seven evil Powers, and won the friendship of the seven occult and beneficent ones, is represented as living with the Reuel Priest of Midian, who invites "the Egyptian" to eat bread, i.e., to partake of his wisdom. In the Bible the elders of Midian are known as great soothsayers and diviners. Finally, Reuel or Jethro, the initiator and instructor of Moses, gives him in marriage his daughter. This daughter is Zipporah, i.e., the esoteric Wisdom, the shining light of knowledge, for Siprah means the "shining" or "resplendent," from the word "Sapar" to shine. Sippara, in Chaldea, was the city of the "Sun." Thus Moses was initiated by the Midianite, or rather the Kenite, and thence the biblical allegory.

38. Schmidt: "Der Weise und der Thor," p. 37.

39. "Rgya. Tcher. Rol. Pa.," "History of Buddha Sakya-muni" (Sanscrit), "Lalitavistara," vol. ii., pp. 90, 91.

40. "Protevangelion" (ascribed to James), ch. xiii. and xiv.

41. "Pali Buddhistical Annals," iii., p. 28; "Manual of Buddhism," 142. Hardy.

42. "Gospel of the Infancy," chap. xx., xxi.; accepted by Eusebius, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Jerome, and others. The same story, with the Hindu earmarks rubbed off to avoid detection, is found at Luke ii. 46, 47.

43. Alabaster: "Wheel of the Law," pp. 29, 34, 35, and 38.

44. E. Upham: "The History and Doctrines of Buddhism," p. 135. Dr. Judson fell into this prodigious error by reason of his fanaticism. In his zeal to "save souls," he refused to peruse the Burmese classics, lest his attention should be diverted thereby.

45. "Indian Antiquary," vol. ii., p. 81; "Book of Ser Marco Polo," vol. i., p. 441.

46. "Ssabismus," vol. i., p. 725.

47. Murray's "History of Discoveries in Asia."

48. "Manual of Buddhism," p. 142.

49. See Inman's "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism," p. 92.

50. "Rgya. Tcher. Rol. Pa.," Bkah Hgyour (Thibetan version).

51. Gospel according to Luke, i. 39-45.

52. Didron: "Iconograph. Chretienne Histoire de Dieu."

53. There are numerous works deduced immediately from the "Vedas," called the "Upa-Ved." Four works are included under this denomination, namely, the "Ayus," "Gandharva," "Dhanus," and "Sthapatya." The third "Upaveda" was composed by Viswamitra for the use of the Kshatriyas, the warrior caste.

54. Bunsen's "Egypt's Place in Universal History," vol. v., p. 93.

55. Alabaster: "Wheel of the Law," pp. 43-47.

56. "The Debatable Land," p. 145.

57. "We divide our zeal," says Dr. Henry More, "against so many things that we fancy Popish, that we scarce reserve a just share of detestation against what is truly so. Such are that gross, rank, and scandalous impossibility of transubstantiation, the various modes of fulsome idolatry and lying impostures, the uncertainty of their loyalty to their lawful sovereigns by their superstitious adhesion to the spiritual tyranny of the Pope, and that barbarous and ferine cruelty against those that are not either such fools as to be persuaded to believe such things as they would obtrude upon men, or, are not so false to God and their own consciences, as, knowing better, yet to profess them" (Postscript to "Glanvill").

58. Payne Knight believes that Ceres was not a personification of the brute matter which composed the earth, but of the female productive principle supposed to pervade it, which, joined to the active, was held to be the cause of the organization and animation of its substance. . . . She is mentioned as the wife of the Omnipotent Father, AEther, or Jupiter ("The Symbolical Language of Ancient Art and Mythology," xxxvi.). Hence the word, of Christ, "it is the Spirit that quickeneth, flesh profiteth nothing," applied in their dual meaning to both spiritual and terrestrial things, to spirit and matter.
Bacchus, as Dionysus, is of Indian origin. Cicero mentions him as a son of Thyone and Nisus. [[Dionusos]] means the god Dis from Mount Nys in India. Bacchus, crowned with ivy, or kissos, is Christna, one of whose names was Kissen. Dionysus is preeminently the deity on whom were centred all the hopes for future life; in short, he was the god who was expected to liberate the souls of men from their prisons of flesh. Orpheus, the poet-Argonaut, is also said to have come on earth to purify the religion of its gross, and terrestrial anthropomorphism, he abolished human sacrifice and instituted a mystic theology based on pure spirituality. Cicero calls Orpheus a son of Bacchus. It is strange that both seem to have originally come from India. At least, as Dionysus Zagreus, Bacchus is of undoubted Hindu origin. Some writers deriving a curious analogy between the name of Orpheus and an old Greek term, [[orphos]], dark or tawny-colored, make him Hindu by connecting the term with his dusky Hindu complexion. See Voss, Heyne and Schneider on the Argonauts.

59. "Vie de Jesus," p. 219.

60. Ibid., p. 221.

61. "Analysis of Religious Belief," vol. i., p. 467.

62. See the "Gita," translated by Charles Wilkins, in 1785; and the "Bhagavad-Purana," containing the history of Christna, translated into French by Eugene Burnouf. 1840.

63. Matthew vii. 21.

64. "Of the People of India," vol. i., p. 84.

65. Or "Researches into the Mysteries of Occultism"; Boston, 1877, Edited by Mrs. E. Hardinge Britten.

66. See "Stone Him to Death"; "Septenary Institutions." Capt. James Riley, in his "Narrative" of his enslavement in Africa, relates like instances of great longevity on the Sahara Desert.

67. Russian Armenia; one of the most ancient Christian convents.

68. "Egyptian Book of the Dead." The Hindus have seven upper and seven lower heavens. The seven mortal sins of the Christians have been borrowed from the Egyptian Books of Hermes with which Clement of Alexandria was so familiar.

69. The atrocious custom subsequently introduced among the people, of sacrificing human victims, is a perverted copy of the Theurgic Mystery. The Pagan priests, who did not belong to the class of the hierophants, carried on for awhile this hideous rite, and it served to screen the genuine purpose. But the Grecian Herakles is represented as the adversary of human sacrifices and as slaying the men and monsters who offered them. Bunsen shows, by the very absence of any representation of human sacrifice on the oldest monuments, that this custom had been abolished in the old Empire, at the close of the seventh century after Menes; therefore, 3,000 years B.C., Iphicrates had stopped the human sacrifices entirely among the Carthaginians. Diphilus ordered bulls to be substituted for human victims. Amosis forced the priests to replace the latter by figures of wax. On the other hand, for every stranger offered on the shrine of Diana by the inhabitants of the Tauric Chersonesus, the Inquisition and the Christian clergy can boast of a dozen of heretics offered on the altar of the "mother of God," and her "Son." And when did the Christians ever think of substituting either animals or wax-figures for living heretics, Jews, and witches? They burned these in effigy only when, through providential interference, the doomed victims had escaped their clutches.

70. This is why Jesus recommends prayer in the solitude of one's closet. This secret prayer is but the paravidya of the Vedantic philosopher: "He who knows his soul (inner self) daily retires to the region of Swarga (the heavenly realm) in his own heart," says the Brihad-Aranyaka. The Vedantic philosopher recognizes the Atman, the spiritual self, as the sole and Supreme God.

71. "Wheel of the Law," p. 54.

72. A. Wilder: "Ancient and Modern Prophecy."

73. While at Petrovsk (Dhagestan, region of the Caucasus) we had the opportunity of witnessing another such mystery. It was owing to the kindness of Prince Melikoff, the governor-general of Dhagestan, living at Temerchan-Shoura, and especially of Prince Shamsoudine, the ex-reigning Shamchal of Tarchoff, a native Tartar, that during the summer of 1865 we assisted at this ceremonial from the safe distance of a sort of private box, constructed under the ceiling of the temporary building.

74. Does not this afford us a point of comparison with the so-called "materializing mediums"?

75. The Yezidis must number over 200,000 men altogether. The tribes which inhabit the Pashalik of Bagdad, and are scattered over the Sindjar mountains are the most dangerous, as well as the most hated for their evil practices. Their chief Sheik lives constantly near the tomb of their prophet and reformer Adi, but every tribe chooses its own sheik among the most learned in the "black art." This Adi or Ad is a mythic ancestor of theirs, and simply is, Adi -- the God of wisdom or the Parsi Ab-ad the first ancestor of the human race, or again Adh-Buddha of the Hindus, anthropomorphized and degenerated.

76. Within less than four months we have collected from the daily papers forty-seven cases of crime, ranging from drunkenness up to murder, committed by ecclesiastics in the United States only. By the end of the year our correspondents in the East will have valuable facts to offset missionary denunciations of "heathen" misdemeanors.

77. "Evolution," art. Paul, the Founder of Christianity.

78. We find in Galatians iv. 4, the following: "But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law."

79. The date has been fully established for these Pali Books in our own century; sufficiently so, at least, to show that they existed in Ceylon, 316 B.C., when Mahinda, the son of Asoka, was there (See Max Muller, "Chips, etc.," vol. i., on Buddhism).

80. "A New Historical Relation of the Kingdom of Siam," by M. de la Loubere, Envoy to Siam from France, 1687-8, chap. xxv., London; "Diverse Observations to be Made in Preaching the Gospel to the Orientals."

The Sieur de la Loubere's report to the king was made, as we see, in 1687-8. How thoroughly his proposition to the Jesuits, to suppress and dissemble in preaching Christianity to the Siamese, met their approval, is shown in the passage elsewhere quoted from the Thesis propounded by the Jesuits of Caen ("Thesis propugnata in regio Soc. Jes. Collegio, celeberrimae Academiae Cadoniensis," die Veneris, 30 Jan., 1693), to the following effect: ". . . neither do the Fathers of the Society of Jesus dissemble when they adopt the institute and the habit of the Talapoins of Siam." In five years the Ambassador's little lump of leaven had leavened the whole.

81. In a discourse of Hermes with Thoth, the former says: "It is impossible for thought to rightly conceive of God. . . . One cannot describe, through material organs, that which is immaterial and eternal. . . . One is a perception of the spirit, the other a reality. That which can be perceived by our senses can be described in words; but that which is incorporeal, invisible, immaterial, and without form cannot be realized through our ordinary senses. I understand thus, O Thoth, I understand that God is ineffable."

In the Catechism of the Parsis, as translated by M. Dadabhai Naoroji, we read the following:

"Q. What is the form of our God?"

"A. Our God has neither face nor form, color nor shape, nor fixed place. There is no other like Him. He is Himself, singly such a glory that we cannot praise or describe Him; nor our mind comprehend Him."

82. "Contemporary Review," p. 588, July, 1870.

83. "Book of Ser Marco Polo," vol. ii., pp. 304, 306.

84. Ibid.

85. Ibid.

86. "Dec.," v., lib. vi., cap. 2.

87. "Travels in Tartary," etc., pp. 121, 122.

88. "Book of Ser Marco Polo," vol. ii., p. 340.

89. His twenty or more volumes on Oriental subjects are indeed a curious conglomerate of truth and fiction. They contain a vast deal of fact about Indian traditions, philosophy and chronology, with most just views courageously expressed. But it seems as if the philosopher were constantly being overlaid by the romancist. It is as though two men were united in their authorship -- one careful, serious, erudite, scholarly, the other a sensational and sensual French romancer, who judges of facts not as they are but as he imagines them. His translations from Manu are admirable; his controversial ability marked; his views of priestly morals unfair, and in the case of the Buddhists, positively slanderous. But in all the series of volumes there is not a line of dull reading; he has the eye of the artist, the pen of the poet of nature.

90. Les Fils de Dieu, "L'Inde Brahmanique," p. 296.
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Part 1 of 3


"My vast and noble capital, my Daitu, my splendidly-adorned;
And thou, my cool and delicious summer-seat, my Shangtu-Keibung.
. . . . . . . . . . .
Alas, for my illustrious name as the Sovereign of the World!
Alas, for my Daitu, seat of sanctity, glorious work of the immortal Kublai!
All, all is rent from me!"

-- COL. YULE, in Marco Polo.

"As for what thou hearest others say, who persuade the many that the soul, when once freed from the body, neither suffers . . . evil nor is conscious, I know that thou art better grounded in the doctrines received by us from our ancestors, and in the sacred orgies of Dionysus, than to believe them; for the mystic symbols are well known to us who belong to the 'Brotherhood.'"


"The problem of life is man. MAGIC, or rather Wisdom, is the evolved knowledge of the potencies of man's interior being; which forces are Divine emanations, as intuition is the perception of their origin, and initiation our induction into that knowledge. . . . We begin with instinct; the end is OMNISCIENCE."


"Power belongs to him WHO KNOWS."

-- Brahmanical Book of Evocation.

IT would argue small discernment on our part were we to suppose that we had been followed thus far through this work by any but metaphysicians, or mystics of some sort. Were it otherwise, we should certainly advise such to spare themselves the trouble of reading this chapter; for, although nothing is said that is not strictly true, they would not fail to regard the least wonderful of the narratives as absolutely false, however substantiated.

To comprehend the principles of natural law involved in the several phenomena hereinafter described, the reader must keep in mind the fundamental propositions of the Oriental philosophy which we have successively elucidated. Let us recapitulate very briefly:

1st. There is no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of law -- eternal, immutable, ever active. Apparent miracle is but the operation of forces antagonistic to what Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F. R. S. -- a man of great learning but little knowledge -- calls "the well-ascertained laws of nature." Like many of his class, Dr. Carpenter ignores the fact that there may be laws once "known," now unknown to science.

2d. Nature is triune: there is a visible, objective nature; an invisible, indwelling, energizing nature, the exact model of the other, and its vital principle; and, above these two, spirit, source of all forces, alone eternal, and indestructible. The lower two constantly change; the higher third does not.

3d. Man is also triune: he has his objective, physical body; his vitalizing astral body (or soul), the real man; and these two are brooded over and illuminated by the third -- the sovereign, the immortal spirit. When the real man succeeds in merging himself with the latter, he becomes an immortal entity.

4th. Magic, as a science, is the knowledge of these principles, and of the way by which the omniscience and omnipotence of the spirit and its control over nature's forces may be acquired by the individual while still in the body. Magic, as an art, is the application of this knowledge in practice.

5th. Arcane knowledge misapplied, is sorcery; beneficently used, true magic or WISDOM.

6th. Mediumship is the opposite of adeptship; the medium is the passive instrument of foreign influences, the adept actively controls himself and all inferior potencies.

7th. All things that ever were, that are, or that will be, having their record upon the astral light, or tablet of the unseen universe, the initiated adept, by using the vision of his own spirit, can know all that has been known or can be known.

8th. Races of men differ in spiritual gifts as in color, stature, or any other external quality; among some peoples seership naturally prevails, among others mediumship. Some are addicted to sorcery, and transmit its secret rules of practice from generation to generation, with a range of psychical phenomena, more or less wide, as the result.

9th. One phase of magical skill is the voluntary and conscious withdrawal of the inner man (astral form) from the outer man (physical body). In the cases of some mediums withdrawal occurs, but it is unconscious and involuntary. With the latter the body is more or less cataleptic at such times; but with the adept the absence of the astral form would not be noticed, for the physical senses are alert, and the individual appears only as though in a fit of abstraction -- "a brown study," as some call it.

To the movements of the wandering astral form neither time nor space offer obstacles. The thaumaturgist, thoroughly skilled in occult science, can cause himself (that is, his physical body) to seem to disappear, or to apparently take on any shape that he may choose. He may make his astral form visible, or he may give it protean appearances. In both cases these results will be achieved by a mesmeric hallucination of the senses of all witnesses, simultaneously brought on. This hallucination is so perfect that the subject of it would stake his life that he saw a reality, when it is but a picture in his own mind, impressed upon his consciousness by the irresistible will of the mesmerizer.

But, while the astral form can go anywhere, penetrate any obstacle, and be seen at any distance from the physical body, the latter is dependent upon ordinary methods of transportation. It may be levitated under prescribed magnetic conditions, but not pass from one locality to another except in the usual way. Hence we discredit all stories of the aerial flight of mediums in body, for such would be miracle, and miracle we repudiate. Inert matter may be, in certain cases and under certain conditions, disintegrated, passed through walls, and recombined, but living animal organisms cannot.

Swedenborgians believe and arcane science teaches that the abandonment of the living body by the soul frequently occurs, and that we encounter every day, in every condition of life, such living corpses. Various causes, among them overpowering fright, grief, despair, a violent attack of sickness, or excessive sensuality may bring this about. The vacant carcass may be entered and inhabited by the astral form of an adept sorcerer, or an elementary (an earth-bound disembodied human soul), or, very rarely, an elemental. Of course, an adept of white magic has the same power, but unless some very exceptional and great object is to be accomplished, he will never consent to pollute himself by occupying the body of an impure person. In insanity, the patient's astral being is either semi-paralyzed, bewildered, and subject to the influence of every passing spirit of any sort, or it has departed forever, and the body is taken possession of by some vampirish entity near its own disintegration, and clinging desperately to earth, whose sensual pleasures it may enjoy for a brief season longer by this expedient.

10th. The corner-stone of MAGIC is an intimate practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity, their qualities, correlations, and potencies. Especially necessary is a familiarity with their effects in and upon the animal kingdom and man. There are occult properties in many other minerals, equally strange with that in the lodestone, which all practitioners of magic must know, and of which so-called exact science is wholly ignorant. Plants also have like mystical properties in a most wonderful degree, and the secrets of the herbs of dreams and enchantments are only lost to European science, and useless to say, too, are unknown to it, except in a few marked instances, such as opium and hashish. Yet, the psychical effects of even these few upon the human system are regarded as evidences of a temporary mental disorder. The women of Thessaly and Epirus, the female hierophants of the rites of Sabazius, did not carry their secrets away with the downfall of their sanctuaries. They are still preserved, and those who are aware of the nature of Soma, know the properties of other plants as well.

To sum up all in a few words, MAGIC is spiritual WISDOM; nature, the material ally, pupil and servant of the magician. One common vital principle pervades all things, and this is controllable by the perfected human will. The adept can stimulate the movements of the natural forces in plants and animals in a preternatural degree. Such experiments are not obstructions of nature, but quickenings; the conditions of intenser vital action are given.

The adept can control the sensations and alter the conditions of the physical and astral bodies of other persons not adepts; he can also govern and employ, as he chooses, the spirits of the elements. He cannot control the immortal spirit of any human being, living or dead, for all such spirits are alike sparks of the Divine Essence, and not subject to any foreign domination.

There are two kinds of seership -- that of the soul and that of the spirit. The seership of the ancient Pythoness, or of the modern mesmerized subject, vary but in the artificial modes adopted to induce the state of clairvoyance. But, as the visions of both depend upon the greater or less acuteness of the senses of the astral body, they differ very widely from the perfect, omniscient spiritual state; for, at best, the subject can get but glimpses of truth, through the veil which physical nature interposes. The astral principle, or mind, called by the Hindu Yogin fav-atma, is the sentient soul, inseparable from our physical brain, which it holds in subjection, and is in its turn equally trammelled by it. This is the ego, the intellectual life-principle of man, his conscious entity. While it is yet within the material body, the clearness and correctness of its spiritual visions depend on its more or less intimate relation with its higher Principle. When this relation is such as to allow the most ethereal portions of the soul-essence to act independently of its grosser particles and of the brain, it can unerringly comprehend what it sees; then only is it the pure, rational, supersentient soul. That state is known in India as the Samaddi; it is the highest condition of spirituality possible to man on earth. Fakirs try to obtain such a condition by holding their breath for hours together during their religious exercises, and call this practice dam-sadhna. The Hindu terms Pranayama, Pratyahara, and Dharana, all relate to different psychological states, and show how much more the Sanscrit, and even the modern Hindu language are adapted to the clear elucidation of the phenomena that are encountered by those who study this branch of psychological science, than the tongues of modern peoples, whose experiences have not yet necessitated the invention of such descriptive terms.

When the body is in the state of dharana -- a total catalepsy of the physical frame -- the soul of the clairvoyant may liberate itself, and perceive things subjectively. And yet, as the sentient principle of the brain is alive and active, these pictures of the past, present, and future will be tinctured with the terrestrial perceptions of the objective world; the physical memory and fancy will be in the way of clear vision. But the seer-adept knows how to suspend the mechanical action of the brain. His visions will be as clear as truth itself, uncolored and undistorted, whereas, the clairvoyant, unable to control the vibrations of the astral waves, will perceive but more or less broken images through the medium of the brain. The seer can never take flickering shadows for realities, for his memory being as completely subjected to his will as the rest of the body, he receives impressions directly from his spirit. Between his subjective and objective selves there are no obstructive mediums. This is the real spiritual seership, in which, according to an expression of Plato, soul is raised above all inferior good. When we reach "that which is supreme, which is simple, pure, and unchangeable, without form, color, or human qualities: the God -- our Nous."

This is the state which such seers as Plotinus and Apollonius termed the "Union to the Deity"; which the ancient Yogins called Isvara, [1] and the modern call "Samaddi"; but this state is as far above modern clairvoyance as the stars above glow-worms. Plotinus, as is well known, was a clairvoyant-seer during his whole and daily life; and yet, he had been united to his God but six times during the sixty-six years of his existence, as he himself confessed to Porphyry.

Ammonius Sakkas, the "God-taught," asserts that the only power which is directly opposed to soothsaying and looking into futurity is memory; and Olympiodorus calls it phantasy. "The phantasy," he says (in Platonis Phaed.), "is an impediment to our intellectual conceptions; and hence, when we are agitated by the inspiring influence of the Divinity, if the phantasy intervenes, the enthusiastic energy ceases; for enthusiasm and the ecstasy are contrary to each other. Should it be asked whether the soul is able to energize without the phantasy, we reply, that its perception of universals proves that it is able. It has perceptions, therefore, independent of the phantasy; at the same time, however, the phantasy attends it in its energies, just as a storm pursues him who sails on the sea."

A medium, moreover, needs either a foreign intelligence -- whether it be spirit or living mesmerizer -- to overpower his physical and mental parts, or some factitious means to induce trance. An adept, and even a simple fakir requires but a few minutes of "self-contemplation." The brazen columns of Solomon's temple; the golden bells and pomegranates of Aaron; the Jupiter Capitolinus of Augustus, hung around with harmonious bells; [2] and the brazen bowls of the Mysteries when the Kora was called, [3] were all intended for such artificial helps. [4] So were the brazen bowls of Solomon hung round with a double row of 200 pomegranates, which served as clappers within the hollow columns. The priestesses of Northern Germany, under the guidance of hierophants, could never prophesy but amidst the roar of the tumultuous waters. Regarding fixedly the eddies formed on the rapid course of the river they hypnotized themselves. So we read of Joseph, Jacob's son, who sought for divine inspiration with his silver divining-cup, which must have had a very bright bottom to it. The priestesses of Dodona placed themselves under the ancient oak of Zeus (the Pelasgian, not the Olympian god), and listened intently to the rustling of the sacred leaves, while others concentrated their attention on the soft murmur of the cold spring gushing from underneath its roots. [5] But the adept has no need of any such extraneous aids -- the simple exertion of his will-power is all-sufficient.

The Atharva-Veda teaches that the exercise of such will-power is the highest form of prayer and its instantaneous response. To desire is to realize in proportion to the intensity of the aspiration; and that, in its turn, is measured by inward purity.

Some of these nobler Vedantic precepts on the soul and man's mystic powers, have recently been contributed to an English periodical by a Hindu scholar. "The Sankhya," he writes, "inculcates that the soul (i. e., astral body) has the following powers: shrinking into a minute bulk to which everything is pervious; enlarging to a gigantic body; assuming levity (rising along a sunbeam to the solar orb); possessing an unlimited reach of organs, as touching the moon with the tip of a finger; irresistible will (for instance, sinking into the earth as easily as in water); dominion over all things, animate or inanimate; faculty of changing the course of nature; ability to accomplish every desire." Further, he gives their various appellations:

"The powers are called: 1, Anima; 2, Mahima; 3, Laghima; 4, Garima; 5, Prapti; 6, Prakamya; 7, Vasitwa; 8, Isitwa, or divine power. The fifth, predicting future events, understanding unknown languages, curing diseases, divining unexpressed thoughts, understanding the language of the heart. The sixth is the power of converting old age into youth. The seventh is the power of mesmerizing human beings and beasts, and making them obedient; it is the power of restraining passions and emotions. The eighth power is the spiritual state, and presupposes the absence of the above seven powers, as in this state the Yogi is full of God."

"No writings," he adds, "revealed or sacred, were allowed to be so authoritative and final as the teaching of the soul. Some of the Rishis appear to have laid the greatest stress on this supersensuous source of knowledge." [6]

From the remotest antiquity mankind as a whole have always been convinced of the existence of a personal spiritual entity within the personal physical man. This inner entity was more or less divine, according to its proximity to the crown -- Chrestos. The closer the union the more serene man's destiny, the less dangerous the external conditions. This belief is neither bigotry nor superstition, only an ever-present, instinctive feeling of the proximity of another spiritual and invisible world, which, though it be subjective to the senses of the outward man, is perfectly objective to the inner ego. Furthermore, they believed that there are external and internal conditions which affect the determination of our will upon our actions. They rejected fatalism, for fatalism implies a blind course of some still blinder power. But they believed in destiny, which from birth to death every man is weaving thread by thread around himself, as a spider does his cobweb; and this destiny is guided either by that presence termed by some the guardian angel, or our more intimate astral inner man, who is but too often the evil genius of the man of flesh. Both these lead on the outward man, but one of them must prevail; and from the very beginning of the invisible affray the stern and implacable law of compensation steps in and takes its course, following faithfully the fluctuations. When the last strand is woven, and man is seemingly enwrapped in the net-work of his own doing, then he finds himself completely under the empire of this self-made destiny. It then either fixes him like the inert shell against the immovable rock, or like a feather carries him away in a whirlwind raised by his own actions.

The greatest philosophers of antiquity found it neither unreasonable nor strange that "souls should come to souls, and impart to them conceptions of future things, occasionally by letters, or by a mere touch, or by a glance reveal to them past events or announce future ones," as Ammonius tells us. Moreover, Lamprias and others held that if the unembodied spirits or souls could descend on earth and become guardians of mortal men, "we should not seek to deprive those souls which are still in the body of that power by which the former know future events and are able to announce them. It is not probable," adds Lamprias, "that the soul gains a new power of prophecy after separation from the body, and which before it did not possess. We may rather conclude that it possessed all these powers during its union with the body, although in a lesser perfection. . . . For as the sun does not shine only when it passes from among the clouds, but has always been radiant and has only appeared dim and obscured by vapors, the soul does not only receive the power of looking into futurity when it passes from the body as from a cloud, but has possessed it always, though dimmed by connection with the earthly."

A familiar example of one phase of the power of the soul or astral body to manifest itself, is the phenomenon of the so-called spirit-hand. In the presence of certain mediums these seemingly detached members will gradually develop from a luminous nebula, pick up a pencil, write messages, and then dissolve before the eyes of the witnesses. Many such cases are recorded by perfectly competent and trustworthy persons. These phenomena are real, and require serious consideration. But false "phantom-hands" have sometimes been taken for the genuine. At Dresden we once saw a hand and arm, made for the purpose of deception, with an ingenious arrangement of springs that would cause the machine to imitate to perfection the movements of the natural member; while exteriorly it would require close inspection to detect its artificial character. In using this, the dishonest medium slips his natural arm out of his sleeve, and replaces it with the mechanical substitute; both hands may then be made to seem resting upon the table, while in fact one is touching the sitters, showing itself, knocking the furniture, and making other phenomena.

The mediums for real manifestations are least able, as a rule, to comprehend or explain them. Among those who have written most intelligently upon the subject of these luminous hands, may be reckoned Dr. Francis Gerry Fairfield, author of Ten Years among the Mediums, an article from whose pen appears in the Library Table for July 19, 1877. A medium himself, he is yet a strong opponent of the spiritualistic theory. Discussing the subject of the "phantom-hand," he testifies that "this the writer has personally witnessed, under conditions of test provided by himself, in his own room, in full daylight, with the medium seated upon a sofa from six to eight feet from the table hovering upon which the apparition (the hand) appeared. The application of the poles of a horse-shoe magnet to the hand caused it to waver perceptibly, and threw the medium into violent convulsions -- pretty positive evidence that the force concerned in the phenomenon was generated in his own nervous system."

Dr. Fairfield's deduction that the fluttering phantom-hand is an emanation from the medium is logical, and it is correct. The test of the horse-shoe magnet proves in a scientific way what every kabalist would affirm upon the authority of experience, no less than philosophy. The "force concerned in the phenomenon" is the will of the medium, exercised unconsciously to the outer man, which for the time is semi-paralyzed and cataleptic; the phantom-hand an extrusion of the man's inner or astral member. This is that real self whose limbs the surgeon cannot amputate, but remain behind after the outer casing is cut off, and (all theories of exposed or compressed nerve termini to the contrary, notwithstanding) have all the sensations the physical parts formerly experienced. This is that spiritual (astral) body which "is raised in incorruption." It is useless to argue that these are spirit-hands; for, admitting even that at every seance human spirits of many kinds are attracted to the medium, and that they do guide and produce some manifestations, yet to make hands or faces objective they are compelled to use either the astral limbs of the medium, or the materials furnished them by the elementals, or yet the combined aural emanations of all persons present. Pure spirits will not and cannot show themselves objectively; those that do are not pure spirits, but elementary and impure. Woe to the medium who falls a prey to such!

The same principle involved in the unconscious extrusion of a phantom limb by the cataleptic medium, applies to the projection of his entire "double" or astral body. This may be withdrawn by the will of the medium's own inner self, without his retaining in his physical brain any recollection of such an intent -- that is one phase of man's dual capacity. It may also be effected by elementary and elemental spirits, to whom he may stand in the relation of mesmeric subject. Dr. Fairfield is right in one position taken in his book, viz.: mediums are usually diseased, and in many if not most cases the children or near connections of mediums. But he is wholly wrong in attributing all psychical phenomena to morbid physiological conditions. The adepts of Eastern magic are uniformly in perfect mental and bodily health, and in fact the voluntary and independent production of phenomena is impossible to any others. We have known many, and never a sick man among them. The adept retains perfect consciousness; shows no change of bodily temperature, or other sign of morbidity; requires no "conditions," but will do his feats anywhere and everywhere; and instead of being passive and in subjection to a foreign influence, rules the forces with iron will. But we have elsewhere shown that the medium and the adept are as opposed as the poles. We will only add here that the body, soul, and spirit of the adept are all conscious and working in harmony, and the body of the medium is an inert clod, and even his soul may be away in a dream while its habitation is occupied by another.

An adept can not only project and make visible a hand, a foot, or any other portion of his body, but the whole of it. We have seen one do this, in full day, while his hands and feet were being held by a skeptical friend whom he wished to surprise. [7] Little by little the whole astral body oozed out like a vapory cloud, until before us stood two forms, of which the second was an exact duplicate of the first, only slightly more shadowy.

The medium need not exercise any will-power. It suffices that she or he shall know what is expected by the investigators. The medium's "spiritual" entity, when not obsessed by other spirits, will act outside the will or consciousness of the physical being, as surely as it acts when within the body during a fit of somnambulism. Its perceptions, external and internal, will be acuter and far more developed, precisely as they are in the sleep-walker. And this is why "the materialized form sometimes knows more than the medium," [8] for the intellectual perception of the astral entity is proportionately as much higher than the corporeal intelligence of the medium in its normal state, as the spirit entity is finer than itself. Generally the medium will be found cold, the pulse will have visibly changed, and a state of nervous prostration succeeds the phenomena, bunglingly and without discrimination attributed to disembodied spirits; whereas, but one-third of them may be produced by the latter, another third by elementals, and the rest by the astral double of the medium himself.

But, while it is our firm belief that most of the physical manifestations, i.e., those which neither need nor show intelligence nor great discrimination, are produced mechanically by the scin-lecca (double) of the medium, as a person in sound sleep will when apparently awake do things of which he will retain no remembrance. The purely subjective phenomena are but in a very small proportion of cases due to the action of the personal astral body. They are mostly, and according to the moral, intellectual, and physical purity of the medium, the work of either the elementary, or sometimes very pure human spirits. Elementals have naught to do with subjective manifestations. In rare cases it is the divine spirit of the medium himself that guides and produces them.

As Baboo Peary Chand Mittra says, in a letter [9] to the President of the National Association of Spiritualists, Mr. Alexander Calder, [10] "a spirit is an essence or power, and has no form. . . . The very idea of form implies 'materialism.' The spirits [astral souls, we should say] . . . can assume forms for a time, but form is not their permanent state. The more material is our soul, the more material is our conception of spirits."

Epimenides, the Orphikos, was renowned for his "sacred and marvellous nature," and for the faculty his soul possessed of quitting its body " as long and as often as it pleased." The ancient philosophers who have testified to this ability may be reckoned by dozens. Apollonius left his body at a moment's notice, but it must be remembered Apollonius was an adept -- a "magician." Had he been simply a medium, he could not have performed such feats at will. Empedocles of Agrigentum, the Pythagorean thaumaturgist, required no conditions to arrest a waterspout which had broken over the city. Neither did he need any to recall a woman to life, as he did. Apollonius used no darkened room in which to perform his aethrobatic feats. Vanishing suddenly in the air before the eyes of Domitian and a whole crowd of witnesses (many thousands), he appeared an hour after in the grotto of Puteoli. But investigation would have shown that his physical body having become invisible by the concentration of akasa about it, he could walk off unperceived to some secure retreat in the neighborhood, and an hour after his astral form appear at Puteoli to his friends, and seem to be the man himself.

No more did Simon Magus wait to be entranced to fly off in the air before the apostles and crowds of witnesses. "It requires no conjuration and ceremonies; circle-making and incensing are mere nonsense and juggling," says Paracelsus. The human spirit "is so great a thing that no man can express it; as God Himself is eternal and unchangeable, so also is the mind of man. If we rightly understood its powers, nothing would be impossible to us on earth. The imagination is strengthened and developed through faith in our will. Faith must confirm the imagination, for faith establishes the will."

A singular account of the personal interview of an English ambassador in 1783, with a reincarnated Buddha -- barely mentioned in volume i. -- an infant of eighteen months old at that time, is given in the Asiatic Journal from the narrative of an eye-witness himself, Mr. Turner, the author of The Embassy to Thibet. The cautious phraseology of a skeptic dreading public ridicule ill conceals the amazement of the witness, who, at the same time, desires to give facts as truthfully as possible. The infant lama received the ambassador and his suite with a dignity and decorum so natural and unconstrained that they remained in a perfect maze of wonder. The behavior of this infant, says the author, was that of an old philosopher, grave and sedate and exceedingly courteous. He contrived to make the young pontiff understand the inconsolable grief into which the Governor-General of Galagata (Calcutta) the City of Palaces and the people of India were plunged when he died, and the general rapture when they found that he had resurrected in a young and fresh body again; at which compliment the young lama regarded him and his suite with looks of singular complacency, and courteously treated them to confectionery from a golden cup. "The ambassador continued to express the Governor-General's hope that the lama might long continue to illumine the world with his presence, and that the friendship which had heretofore subsisted between them might be yet more strongly cemented, for the benefit and advantage of the intelligent votaries of the lama . . . all which made the little creature look steadfastly at the speaker, and graciously bow and nod -- and bow and nod -- as if he understood and approved of every word that was uttered." [11]

As if he understood! If the infant behaved in the most natural and dignified way during the reception, and "when their cups were empty of tea became uneasy and throwing back his head and contracting the skin of his brow, continued making a noise till they were filled again," why could he not understand as well what was said to him?

Years ago, a small party of travellers were painfully journeying from Kashmir to Leh, a city of Ladahk (Central Thibet). Among our guides we had a Tartar Shaman, a very mysterious personage, who spoke Russian a little and English not at all, and yet who managed, nevertheless, to converse with us, and proved of great service. Having learned that some of our party were Russians, he had imagined that our protection was all-powerful, and might enable him to safely find his way back to his Siberian home, from which, for reasons unknown, some twenty years before, he had fled, as he told us, via Kiachta and the great Gobi Desert, to the land of the Tcha-gars. [12] With such an interested object in view, we believed ourselves safe under his guard. To explain the situation briefly: Our companions had formed the unwise plan of penetrating into Thibet under various disguises, none of them speaking the language, although one, a Mr. K----, had picked up some Kasan Tartar, and thought he did. As we mention this only incidentally, we may as well say at once that two of them, the brothers N----, were very politely brought back to the frontier before they had walked sixteen miles into the weird land of Eastern Bod; and Mr. K----, an ex-Lutheran minister, could not even attempt to leave his miserable village near Leh, as from the first days he found himself prostrated with fever, and had to return to Lahore via Kashmere. But one sight seen by him was as good as if he had witnessed the reincarnation of Buddha itself. Having heard of this "miracle" from some old Russian missionary in whom he thought he could have more faith than in Abbe Huc, it had been for years his desire to expose the "great heathen" jugglery, as he expressed it. K---- was a positivist, and rather prided himself on this anti-philosophical neologism. But his positivism was doomed to receive a death-blow.

About four days journey from Islamabad, at an insignificant mud village, whose only redeeming feature was its magnificent lake, we stopped for a few days' rest. Our companions had temporarily separated from us, and the village was to be our place of meeting. It was there that we were apprised by our Shaman that a large party of Lamaic "Saints," on pilgrimage to various shrines, had taken up their abode in an old cave-temple and established a temporary Vihara therein. He added that, as the "Three Honorable Ones" [13] were said to travel along with them, the holy Bikshu (monks) were capable of producing the greatest miracles. Mr. K-----, fired with the prospect of exposing this humbug of the ages, proceeded at once to pay them a visit, and from that moment the most friendly relations were established between the two camps.

The Vihar was in a secluded and most romantic spot secured against all intrusion. Despite the effusive attentions, presents, and protestations of Mr. K----, the Chief, who was Pase-Budhu (an ascetic of great sanctity), declined to exhibit the phenomenon of the "incarnation" until a certain talisman in possession of the writer was exhibited. [14] Upon seeing this, however, preparations were at once made, and an infant of three or four months was procured from its mother, a poor woman of the neighborhood. An oath was first of all exacted of Mr. K----, that he would not divulge what he might see or hear, for the space of seven years. The talisman is a simple agate or carnelian known among the Thibetans and others as A-yu, and naturally possessed, or had been endowed with very mysterious properties. It has a triangle engraved upon it, within which are contained a few mystical words. [15]

Several days passed before everything was ready; nothing of a mysterious character occurring, meanwhile, except that, at the bidding of a Bikshu, ghastly faces were made to peep at us out of the glassy bosom of the lake, as we sat at the door of the Vihar, upon its bank. One of these was the countenance of Mr. K----'s sister, whom he had left well and happy at home, but who, as we subsequently learned, had died some time before he had set out on the present journey. The sight affected him at first, but he called his skepticism to his aid, and quieted himself with theories of cloud-shadows, reflections of tree-branches, etc., such as people of his kind fall back upon.

On the appointed afternoon, the baby being brought to the Vihara, was left in the vestibule or reception-room, as K---- could go no further into the temporary sanctuary. The child was then placed on a bit of carpet in the middle of the floor, and every one not belonging to the party being sent away, two "mendicants" were placed at the entrance to keep out intruders. Then all the lamas seated themselves on the floor, with their backs against the granite walls, so that each was separated from the child by a space, at least, of ten feet. The chief, having had a square piece of leather spread for him by the desservant, seated himself at the farthest corner. Alone, Mr. K---- placed himself close by the infant, and watched every movement with intense interest. The only condition exacted of us was that we should preserve a strict silence, and patiently await further developments. A bright sunlight streamed through the open door. Gradually the "Superior" fell into what seemed a state of profound meditation, while the others, after a sotto voce short invocation, became suddenly silent, and looked as if they had been completely petrified. It was oppressively still, and the crowing of the child was the only sound to be heard. After we had sat there a few moments, the movements of the infant's limbs suddenly ceased, and his body appeared to become rigid. K---- watched intently every motion, and both of us, by a rapid glance, became satisfied that all present were sitting motionless. The superior, with his gaze fixed upon the ground, did not even look at the infant; but, pale and motionless, he seemed rather like a bronze statue of a Talapoin in meditation than a living being. Suddenly, to our great consternation, we saw the child, not raise itself, but, as it were, violently jerked into a sitting posture! A few more jerks, and then, like an automaton set in motion by concealed wires, the four months' baby stood upon his feet! Fancy our consternation, and, in Mr. K----'s case, horror. Not a hand had been outstretched, not a motion made, nor a word spoken; and yet, here was a baby-in-arms standing erect and firm as a man!

The rest of the story we will quote from a copy of notes written on this subject by Mr. K----, the same evening, and given to us, in case it should not reach its place of destination, or the writer fail to see anything more.

"After a minute or two of hesitation," writes K----, "the baby turned his head and looked at me with an expression of intelligence that was simply awful! It sent a chill through me. I pinched my hands and bit my lips till the blood almost came, to make sure that I did not dream. But this was only the beginning. The miraculous creature, making, as I fancied, two steps toward me, resumed his sitting posture, and, without removing his eyes from mine, repeated, sentence by sentence, in what I supposed to be Thibetan language, the very words, which I had been told in advance, are commonly spoken at the incarnations of Buddha, beginning with 'I am Buddha; I am the old Lama; I am his spirit in a new body,' etc. I felt a real terror; my hair rose upon my head, and my blood ran cold. For my life I could not have spoken a word. There was no trickery here, no ventriloquism. The infant lips moved, and the eyes seemed to search my very soul with an expression that made me think it was the face of the Superior himself, his eyes, his very look that I was gazing upon. It was as if his spirit had entered the little body, and was looking at me through the transparent mask of the baby's face. I felt my brain growing dizzy. The infant reached toward me, and laid his little hand upon mine. I started as if I had been touched by a hot coal; and, unable to bear the scene any longer, covered my face with my hands. It was but for an instant; but when I removed them, the little actor had become a crowing baby again, and a moment after, lying upon his back, set up a fretful cry. The superior had resumed his normal condition, and conversation ensued.

"It was only after a series of similar experiments, extending over ten days, that I realized the fact that I had seen the incredible, astounding phenomenon described by certain travellers, but always by me denounced as an imposture. Among a multitude of questions unanswered, despite my cross-examination, the Superior let drop one piece of information, which must be regarded as highly significant. 'What would have happened,' I inquired, through the shaman, 'if, while the infant was speaking, in a moment of insane fright, at the thought of its being the "Devil," I had killed it?' He replied that, if the blow had not been instantly fatal, the child alone would have been killed.' 'But,' I continued, 'suppose that it had been as swift as a lightning-flash?' 'In such case,' was the answer, 'you would have killed me also.'"

In Japan and Siam there are two orders of priests, of which one are public, and deal with the people, the other strictly private. The latter are never seen; their existence is known but to very few natives, never to foreigners. Their powers are never displayed in public, nor ever at all except on rare occasions of the utmost importance, at which times the ceremonies are performed in subterranean or otherwise inaccessible temples, and in the presence of a chosen few whose heads answer for their secrecy. Among such occasions are deaths in the Royal family, or those of high dignitaries affiliated with the Order. One of the most weird and impressive exhibitions of the power of these magicians is that of the withdrawal of the astral soul from the cremated remains of human beings, a ceremony practiced likewise in some of the most important lamaseries of Thibet and Mongolia.

In Siam, Japan, and Great Tartary, it is the custom to make medallions, statuettes, and idols out of the ashes of cremated persons; [16] they are mixed with water into a paste, and after being moulded into the desired shape, are baked and then gilded. The Lamasery of Ou-Tay, in the province of Chan-Si, Mongolia, is the most famous for that work, and rich persons send the bones of their defunct relatives to be ground and fashioned there. When the adept in magic proposes to facilitate the withdrawal of the astral soul of the deceased, which otherwise they think might remain stupefied for an indefinite period within the ashes, the following process is resorted to: The sacred dust is placed in a heap, upon a metallic plate, strongly magnetized, of the size of a man's body. The adept then slowly and gently fans it with the Talapat Nang, [17] a fan of a peculiar shape and inscribed with certain signs, muttering, at the same time, a form of invocation. The ashes soon become, as it were, imbued with life, and gently spread themselves out into a thin layer which assumes the outline of the body before cremation. Then there gradually arises a sort of whitish vapor which after a time forms into an erect column, and compacting itself, is finally transformed into the "double," or ethereal, astral counterpart of the dead, which in its turn dissolves away into thin air, and disappears from mortal sight. [18]

The "Magicians" of Kashmir, Thibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary are too well known to need comments. If jugglers they be, we invite the most expert jugglers of Europe and America to match them if they can.

If our scientists are unable to imitate the mummy-embalming of the Egyptians, how much greater would be their surprise to see, as we have, dead bodies preserved by alchemical art, so that after the lapse of centuries, they seem as though the individuals were but sleeping. The complexions were as fresh, the skin as elastic, the eyes as natural and sparkling as though they were in the full flush of health, and the wheels of life had been stopped but the instant before. The bodies of certain very eminent personages are laid upon catafalques, in rich mausoleums, sometimes overlaid with gilding or even with plates of real gold; their favorite arms, trinkets, and articles of daily use gathered about them, and a suite of attendants, blooming young boys and girls, but still corpses, preserved like their masters, stand as if ready to serve when called. In the convent of Great Kouren, and in one situated upon the Holy Mountain (Bohte Oula) there are said to be several such sepulchres, which have been respected by all the conquering hordes that have swept through those countries. Abbe Huc heard that such exist, but did not see one, strangers of all kinds being excluded, and missionaries and European travellers not furnished with the requisite protection, being the last of all persons who would be permitted to approach the sacred places. Huc's statement that the tombs of Tartar sovereigns are surrounded with children "who were compelled to swallow mercury until they were suffocated," by which means "the color and freshness of the victims is preserved so well that they appear alive," is one of these idle missionary fables which impose only upon the most ignorant who accept on hearsay. Buddhists have never immolated victims, whether human or animal. It is utterly against the principles of their religion, and no Lamaist was ever accused of it. When a rich man desired to be interred in company, messengers were sent throughout the country with the Lama-embalmers, and children just dead in the natural way were selected for the purpose. Poor parents were but too glad to preserve their departed children in this poetic way, instead of abandoning them to decay and wild beasts.
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Part 2 of 3

At the time when Abbe Huc was living in Paris, after his return from Thibet, he related, among other unpublished wonders, to a Mr. Arsenieff, a Russian gentleman, the following curious fact that he had witnessed during his long sojourn at the lamasery of Kounboum. One day while conversing with one of the lamas, the latter suddenly stopped speaking, and assumed the attentive attitude of one who is listening to a message being delivered to him, although he (Huc) heard never a word. "Then, I must go"; suddenly broke forth the lama, as if in response to the message.

"Go where?" inquired the astonished "lama of Jehovah" (Huc). "And with whom are you talking?"

"To the lamasery of * * *," was the quiet answer. "The Shaberon wants me; it was he who summoned me."

Now this lamasery was many days' journey from that of Kounboum, in which the conversation was taking place. But what seemed to astonish Huc the most was, that, instead of setting off on his journey, the lama simply walked to a sort of cupola-room on the roof of the house in which they lived, and another lama, after exchanging a few words, followed them to the terrace by means of the ladder, and passing between them, locked and barred his companion in. Then turning to Huc after a few seconds of meditation, he smiled and informed the guest that "he had gone."

"But how could he? Why you have locked him in, and the room has no issue?" insisted the missionary.

"And what good would a door be to him?" answered the custodian. "It is he himself who went away; his body is not needed, and so he left it in my charge."

Notwithstanding the wonders which Huc had witnessed during his perilous journey, his opinion was that both of the lamas had mystified him. But three days later, not having seen his habitual friend and entertainer, he inquired after him, and was informed that he would be back in the evening. At sunset, and just as the "other lamas" were preparing to retire, Huc heard his absent friend's voice calling as if from the clouds, to his companion to open the door for him. Looking upward, he perceived the "traveller's" outline behind the lattice of the room where he had been locked in. When he descended he went straight to the Grand Lama of Kounboum, and delivered to him certain messages and "orders," from the place which he "pretended" he had just left. Huc could get no more information from him as to his aerial voyage. But he always thought, he said, that this "farce" had something to do with the immediate and extraordinary preparations for the polite expulsion of both the missionaries, himself and Father Gabet, to Chogor-tan, a place belonging to the Kounboum. The suspicion of the daring missionary may have been correct, in view of his impudent inquisitiveness and indiscretion.

If the Abbe had been versed in Eastern philosophy, he would have found no great difficulty in comprehending both the flight of the lama's astral body to the distant lamasery while his physical frame remained behind, or the carrying on of a conversation with the Shaberon that was inaudible to himself. The recent experiments with the telephone in America, to which allusion was made in Chapter V. of our first volume, but which have been greatly perfected since those pages went to press, prove that the human voice and the sounds of instrumental music may be conveyed along a telegraphic wire to a great distance. The Hermetic philosophers taught, as we have seen, that the disappearance from sight of a flame does not imply its actual extinction. It has only passed from the visible to the invisible world, and may be perceived by the inner sense of vision, which is adapted to the things of that other and more real universe. The same rule applies to sound. As the physical ear discerns the vibrations of the atmosphere up to a certain point, not yet definitely fixed, but varying with the individual, so the adept whose interior hearing has been developed, can take the sound at this vanishing-point, and hear its vibrations in the astral light indefinitely. He needs no wires, helices, or sounding-boards; his will-power is all-sufficient. Hearing with the spirit, time and distance offer no impediments, and so he may converse with another adept at the antipodes with as great ease as though they were in the same room.

Fortunately, we can produce numerous witnesses to corroborate our statement, who, without being adepts at all, have, nevertheless, heard the sound of aerial music and of the human voice, when neither instrument nor speaker were within thousands of miles of the place where we sat. In their case they actually heard interiorly, though they supposed their physical organs of hearing alone were employed. The adept had, by a simple effort of will-power, given them for the brief moment the same perception of the spirit of sound as he himself constantly enjoys.

If our men of science could only be induced to test instead of deriding the ancient philosophy of the trinity of all the natural forces, they would go by leaps toward the dazzling truth, instead of creeping, snail-like, as at present. Prof. Tyndall's experiments off the South Foreland, at Dover, in 1875, fairly upset all previous theories of the transmission of sound, and those he has made with sensitive flames [19] bring him to the very threshold of arcane science. One step further, and he would comprehend how adepts can converse at great distances. But that step will not be taken. Of his sensitive -- in truth, magical -- flame, he says: "The slightest tap on a distant anvil causes it to fall to seven inches. When a bunch of keys is shaken, the flame is violently agitated, and emits a loud roar. The dropping of a sixpence into a hand already containing coin, knocks the flame down. The creaking of boots sets it in violent commotion. The crumpling or tearing of a bit of paper, or the rustle of a silk dress does the same. Responsive to every tick of a watch held near it, it falls and explodes. The winding up of a watch produces tumult. From a distance of thirty yards we may chirrup to this flame, and cause it to fall and roar. Repeating a passage from the Faerie Queene, the flame sifts and selects the manifold sounds of my voice, noticing some by a slight nod, others by a deeper bow, while to others it responds by violent agitation."

Such are the wonders of modern physical science; but at what cost of apparatus, and carbonic acid and coal gas; of American and Canadian whistles, trumpets, gongs, and bells! The poor heathen have none such impedimenta, but -- will European science believe it -- nevertheless, produce the very same phenomena. Upon one occasion, when, in a case of exceptional importance, an "oracle" was required, we saw the possibility of what we had previously vehemently denied -- namely, a simple mendicant cause a sensitive flame to give responsive flashes without a particle of apparatus. A fire was kindled of branches of the Beal-tree, and some sacrificial herbs were sprinkled upon it. The mendicant sat near by, motionless, absorbed in contemplation. During the intervals between the questions the fire burned low and seemed ready to go out, but when the interrogatories were propounded, the flames leaped, roaring, skyward, flickered, bowed, and sent fiery tongues flaring toward the east, west, north, or south; each motion having its distinct meaning in a code of signals well understood. Between whiles it would sink to the ground, and the tongues of flame would lick the sod in every direction, and suddenly disappear, leaving only a bed of glowing embers. When the interview with the flame-spirits was at an end, the Bikshu (mendicant) turned toward the jungle where he abode, keeping up a wailing, monotonous chant, to the rhythm of which the sensitive flame kept time, not merely like Prof. Tyndall's, when he read the Faerie Queene, by simple motions, but by a marvellous modulation of hissing and roaring until he was out of sight. Then, as if its very life were extinguished, it vanished, and left a bed of ashes before the astonished spectators.

Both in Western and Eastern Thibet, as in every other place where Buddhism predominates, there are two distinct religions, the same as it is in Brahmanism -- the secret philosophy and the popular religion. The former is that of the followers of the doctrine of the sect of the Sutrantika. [20] They closely adhere to the spirit of Buddha's original teachings which show the necessity of intuitional perception, and all deductions therefrom. These do not proclaim their views, nor allow them to be made public.

"All compounds are perishable," were the last words uttered by the lips of the dying Gautama, when preparing under the Sal-tree to enter into Nirvana. "Spirit is the sole, elementary, and primordial unity, and each of its rays is immortal, infinite, and indestructible. Beware of the illusions of matter." Buddhism was spread far and wide over Asia, and even farther, by Dharm-Asoka. He was the grandson of the miracle-worker Chandragupta, the illustrious king who rescued the Punjab from the Macedonians -- if they ever were at Punjab at all -- and received Megasthenes at his court in Pataliputra. Dharm-Asoka was the greatest King of the Maurya dynasty. From a reckless profligate and atheist, he had become Pryadasi, the "beloved of the gods," and never was the purity of his philanthropic views surpassed by any earthly ruler. His memory has lived for ages in the hearts of the Buddhists, and has been perpetuated in the humane edicts engraved in several popular dialects on the columns and rocks of Allahabad, Delhi, Guzerat, Peshawur, Orissa, and other places. [21] His famous grandfather had united all India under his powerful sceptre. When the Nagas, or serpent-worshippers of Kashmere had been converted through the efforts of the apostles sent out by the Sthaviras of the third councils, the religion of Gautama spread like wild-fire. Gandhara, Cabul, and even many of the Satrapies of Alexander the Great, accepted the new philosophy. The Buddhism of Nepal being the one which may be said to have diverged less than any other from the primeval ancient faith, the Lamaism of Tartary, Mongolia, and Thibet, which is a direct offshoot of this country, may be thus shown to be the purest Buddhism; for we say it again, Lamaism properly is but an external form of rites.

The Upasakas and Upasakis, or male and female semi-monastics and semi-laymen, have equally with the lama-monks themselves, to strictly abstain from violating any of Buddha's rules, and must study Meipo and every psychological phenomenon as much. Those who become guilty of any of the "five sins" lose all right to congregate with the pious community. The most important of these is not to curse upon any consideration, for the curse returns upon the one that utters it, and often upon his innocent relatives who breathe the same atmosphere with him. To love each other, and even our bitterest enemies; to offer our lives even for animals, to the extent of abstaining from defensive arms; to gain the greatest of victories by conquering one's self; to avoid all vices; to practice all virtues, especially humility and mildness; to be obedient to superiors, to cherish and respect parents, old age, learning, virtuous and holy men; to provide food, shelter, and comfort for men and animals; to plant trees on the roads and dig wells for the comfort of travellers; such are the moral duties of Buddhists. Every Ani or Bikshuni (nun) is subjected to these laws.

Numerous are the Buddhist and Lamaic saints who have been renowned for the unsurpassed sanctity of their lives and their "miracles." So Tissu, the Emperor's spiritual teacher, who consecrated Kublai-Khan, the Nadir Shah, was known far and wide as much for the extreme holiness of his life as for the many wonders he wrought. But he did not stop at fruitless miracles, but did better than that. Tissu purified completely his religion; and from one single province of Southern Mongolia is said to have forced Kublai to expel from convents 500,000 monkish impostors, who made a pretext of their profession, to live in vice and idleness. Then the Lamaists had their great reformer, the Shaberon Son-Ka-po, who is claimed to have been immaculately conceived by his mother, a virgin from Koko-nor (fourteenth century), who is another wonder-worker. The sacred tree of Kounboum, the tree of the 10,000 images, which, in consequence of the degeneration of the true faith had ceased budding for several centuries, now shot forth new sprouts and bloomed more vigorously than ever from the hair of this avatar of Buddha, says the legend. The same tradition makes him (Son-Ka-po) ascend to heaven in 1419. Contrary to the prevailing idea, few of these saints are Khubilhans, or Shaberons -- reincarnations.

Many of the lamaseries contain schools of magic, but the most celebrated is the collegiate monastery of the Shu-tukt, where there are over 30,000 monks attached to it, the lamasery forming quite a little city. Some of the female nuns possess marvellous psychological powers. We have met some of these women on their way from Lha-Ssa to Candi, the Rome of Buddhism, with its miraculous shrines and Gautama's relics. To avoid encounters with Mussulmans and other sects they travel by night alone, unarmed, and without the least fear of wild animals, for these will not touch them. At the first glimpses of dawn, they take refuge in caves and viharas prepared for them by their co-religionists at calculated distances; for notwithstanding the fact that Buddhism has taken refuge in Ceylon, and nominally there are but few of the denomination in British India, yet the secret Byauds (Brotherhoods) and Buddhist viharas are numerous, and every Jain feels himself obliged to help, indiscriminately, Buddhist or Lamaist.

Ever on the lookout for occult phenomena, hungering after sights, one of the most interesting that we have seen was produced by one of these poor travelling Bikshu. It was years ago, and at a time when all such manifestations were new to the writer. We were taken to visit the pilgrims by a Buddhist friend, a mystical gentleman born at Kashmir, of Katchi parents, but a Buddha-Lamaist by conversion, and who generally resides at Lha-Ssa.

"Why carry about this bunch of dead plants?" inquired one of the Bikshuni, an emaciated, tall and elderly woman, pointing to a large nosegay of beautiful, fresh, and fragrant flowers in the writer's hands.

"Dead?" we asked, inquiringly. "Why they just have been gathered in the garden?"

"And yet, they are dead," she gravely answered. "To be born in this world, is this not death? See, how these herbs look when alive in the world of eternal light, in the gardens of our blessed Foh?"

Without moving from the place where she was sitting on the ground, the Ani took a flower from the bunch, laid it in her lap, and began to draw together, by large handfuls as it were, invisible material from the surrounding atmosphere. Presently a very, very faint nodule of vapor was seen, and this slowly took shape and color, until, poised in mid-air, appeared a copy of the bloom we had given her. Faithful to the last tint and the last petal it was, and lying on its side like the original, but a thousand-fold more gorgeous in hue and exquisite in beauty, as the glorified human spirit is more beauteous than its physical capsule. Flower after flower to the minutest herb was thus reproduced and made to vanish, reappearing at our desire, nay, at our simple thought. Having selected a full-blown rose we held it at arm's length, and in a few minutes our arm, hand, and the flower, perfect in every detail, appeared reflected in the vacant space, about two yards from where we sat. But while the flower seemed immeasurably beautified and as ethereal as the other spirit flowers, the arm and hand appeared like a mere reflection in a looking-glass, even to a large spot on the fore arm, left on it by a piece of damp earth which had stuck to one of the roots. Later we learned the reason why.

A great truth was uttered some fifty years ago by Dr. Francis Victor Broussais, when he said: "If magnetism were true, medicine would be an absurdity." Magnetism is true, and so we shall not contradict the learned Frenchman as to the rest. Magnetism, as we have shown, is the alphabet of magic. It is idle for any one to attempt to understand either the theory or the practice of the latter until the fundamental principle of magnetic attractions and repulsions throughout nature is recognized.

Many so-called popular superstitions are but evidences of an instinctive perception of this law. An untutored people are taught by the experience of many generations that certain phenomena occur under fixed conditions; they give these conditions and obtain the expected results. Ignorant of the laws, they explain the fact by supernaturalism, for experience has been their sole teacher.

In India, as well as in Russia and some other countries, there is an instinctive repugnance to stepping across a man's shadow, especially if he have red hair; and in the former country, natives are extremely reluctant to shake hands with persons of another race. These are not idle fancies. Every person emits a magnetic exhalation or aura, and a man may be in perfect physical health, but at the same time his exhalation may have a morbific character for others, sensitive to such subtile influences. Dr. Esdaile and other mesmerists long since taught us that Oriental people, especially Hindus, are more susceptible than the white-skinned races. Baron Reichenbach's experiments -- and, in fact, the world's entire experience -- prove that these magnetic exhalations are most intense from the extremities. Therapeutic manipulations show this; hand-shaking is, therefore, most calculated to communicate antipathetic magnetic conditions, and the Hindus do wisely in keeping their ancient "superstition" -- derived from Manu -- constantly in mind.

The magnetism of a red-haired man, we have found, in almost every nation, is instinctively dreaded. We might quote proverbs from the Russian, Persian, Georgian, Hindustani, French, Turkish, and even German, to show that treachery and other vices are popularly supposed to accompany the rufous complexion. When a man stands exposed to the sun, the magnetism of that luminary causes his emanations to be projected toward the shadow, and the increased molecular action develops more electricity. Hence, an individual to whom he is antipathetic -- though neither might be sensible of the fact -- would act prudently in not passing through the shadow. Careful physicians wash their hands upon leaving each patient; why, then, should they not be charged with superstition, as well as the Hindus? The sporules of disease are invisible, but no less real, as European experience demonstrates. Well, Oriental experience for a hundred centuries has shown that the germs of moral contagion linger about localities, and impure magnetism can be communicated by the touch.

Another prevalent belief in some parts of Russia, particularly Georgia (Caucasus), and in India, is that in case the body of a drowned person cannot be otherwise found, if a garment of his be thrown into the water it will float until directly over the spot, and then sink. We have even seen the experiment successfully tried with the sacred cord of a Brahman. It floated hither and thither, circling about as though in search of something, until suddenly darting in a straight line for about fifty yards, it sank, and at that exact spot the divers brought up the body. We find this "superstition" even in America. A Pittsburg paper, of very recent date, describes the finding of the body of a young boy, named Reed, in the Monongahela, by a like method. All other means having failed, it says, "a curious superstition was employed. One of the boy's shirts was thrown into the river where he had gone down, and, it is said, floated on the surface for a time, and finally settled to the bottom at a certain place, which proved to be the resting-place of the body, and which was then drawn out. The belief that the shirt of a drowned person when thrown into the water will follow the body is well-spread, absurd as it appears."

This phenomenon is explained by the law of the powerful attraction existing between the human body and objects that have been long worn upon it. The oldest garment is most effective for the experiment; a new one is useless.

From time immemorial, in Russia, in the month of May, on Trinity Day, maidens from city and village have been in the habit of casting upon the river wreaths of green leaves -- which each girl has to form for herself -- and consulting their oracles. If the wreath sinks, it is a sign that the girl will die unmarried within a short time; if it floats, she will be married, the time depending upon the number of verses she can repeat during the experiment. We positively affirm that we have personal knowledge of several cases, two of them our intimate friends, where the augury of death proved true, and the girls died within twelve months. Tried on any other day than Trinity, the result would doubtless be the same. The sinking of the wreath is attributable to its being impregnated with the unhealthy magnetism of a system which contains the germs of early death; such magnetisms having an attraction for the earth at the bottom of the stream. As for the rest, we are willing to abandon it to the friends of coincidence.

The same general remark as to superstition having a scientific basis applies to the phenomena produced by fakirs and jugglers, which skeptics heap into the common category of trickery. And yet, to a close observer, even to the uninitiated, an enormous difference is presented between the kimiya (phenomenon) of a fakir, and the batte-bazi (jugglery) of a trickster, and the necromancy of a jadugar, or sahir, so dreaded and despised by the natives. This difference, imperceptible -- nay incomprehensible -- to the skeptical European, is instinctively appreciated by every Hindu, whether of high or low caste, educated or ignorant. The kangalin, or witch, who uses her terrible abhi-char (mesmeric powers) with intent to injure, may expect death at any moment, for every Hindu finds it lawful to kill her; a bukka-baz, or juggler, serves to amuse. A serpent-charmer, with his ba-ini full of venomous snakes, is less dreaded, for his powers of fascination extend but to animals and reptiles; he is unable to charm human beings, to perform that which is called by the natives mantar phunkna, to throw spells on men by magic. But with the yogi, the sannyasi, the holy men who acquire enormous psychological powers by mental and physical training, the question is totally different. Some of these men are regarded by the Hindus as demi-gods. Europeans cannot judge of these powers but in rare and exceptional cases.

The British resident who has encountered in the maidans and public places what he regards as frightful and loathsome human beings, sitting motionless in the self-inflicted torture of the urddwa bahu, with arms raised above the head for months, and even years, need not suppose they are the wonder-working fakirs. The phenomenon of the latter are visible only through the friendly protection of a Brahman, or under peculiarly fortuitous circumstances. Such men are as little accessible as the real Nautch girls, of whom every traveller talks, but very few have actually seen, since they belong exclusively to the pagodas.

It is surpassingly strange, that with the thousands of travellers and the millions of European residents who have been in India, and have traversed it in every direction, so little is yet known of that country and the lands which surround it. It may be that some readers will feel inclined not merely to doubt the correctness but even openly contradict our statement? Doubtless, we will be answered that all that it is desirable to know about India is already known? In fact this very reply was once made to us personally. That resident Anglo-Indians should not busy themselves with inquiries is not strange; for, as a British officer remarked to us upon one occasion, "society does not consider it well-bred to care about Hindus or their affairs, or even show astonishment or desire information upon anything they may see extraordinary in that country." But it really surprises us that at least travellers should not have explored more than they have this interesting realm. Hardly fifty years ago, in penetrating the jungles of the Blue or Neilgherry Hills in Southern Hindustan, a strange race, perfectly distinct in appearance and language from any other Hindu people, was discovered by two courageous British officers who were tiger-hunting. Many surmises, more or less absurd, were set on foot, and the missionaries, always on the watch to connect every mortal thing with the Bible, even went so far as to suggest that this people was one of the lost tribes of Israel, supporting their ridiculous hypothesis upon their very fair complexions and "strongly-marked Jewish features." The latter is perfectly erroneous, the Todas, as they are called, not bearing the remotest likeness to the Jewish type; either in feature, form, action, or language. They closely resemble each other, and, as a friend of ours expresses himself, the handsomest of the Todas resemble the statue of the Grecian Zeus in majesty and beauty of form more than anything he had yet seen among men.

Fifty years have passed since the discovery; but though since that time towns have been built on these hills and the country has been invaded by Europeans, no more has been learned of the Todas than at the first. Among the foolish rumors current about this people, the most erroneous are those in relation to their numbers and to their practicing polyandry. The general opinion about them is that on account of the latter custom their number has dwindled to a few hundred families, and the race is fast dying out. We had the best means of learning much about them, and therefore state most positively that the Todas neither practice polyandry nor are they as few in number as supposed. We are ready to show that no one has ever seen children belonging to them. Those that may have been seen in their company have belonged to the Badagas, a Hindu tribe totally distinct from the Todas, in race, color, and language, and which includes the most direct "worshippers" of this extraordinary people. We say worshippers, for the Badagas clothe, feed, serve, and positively look upon every Toda as a divinity. They are giants in stature, white as Europeans, with tremendously long and generally brown, wavy hair and beard, which no razor ever touched from birth. Handsome as a statue of Pheidias or Praxiteles, the Toda sits the whole day inactive, as some travellers who have had a glance at them affirm. From the many conflicting opinions and statements we have heard from the very residents of Ootakamund and other little new places of civilization scattered about the Neilgherry Hills, we cull the following:

"They never use water; they are wonderfully handsome and noble looking, but extremely unclean; unlike all other natives they despise jewelry, and never wear anything but a large black drapery or blanket of some woollen stuff, with a colored stripe at the bottom; they never drink anything but pure milk; they have herds of cattle but neither eat their flesh, nor do they make their beasts of labor plough or work; they neither sell nor buy; the Badagas feed and clothe them; they never use nor carry weapons, not even a simple stick; the Todas can't read and won't learn. They are the despair of the missionaries and apparently have no sort of religion, beyond the worship of themselves as the Lords of Creation." [22]

We will try to correct a few of these opinions, as far as we have learned from a very holy personage, a Brahmanam-guru, who has our great respect.

Nobody has ever seen more than five or six of them at one time; they will not talk with foreigners, nor was any traveller ever inside their peculiar long and flat huts, which apparently are without either windows or chimney and have but one door; nobody ever saw the funeral of a Toda, nor very old men among them; nor are they taken sick with cholera, while thousands die around them during such periodical epidemics; finally, though the country all around swarms with tigers and other wild beasts, neither tiger, serpent, nor any other animal so ferocious in those parts, was ever known to touch either a Toda or one of their cattle, though, as said above, they never use even a stick.

Furthermore the Todas do not marry at all. They seem few in number, for no one has or ever will have a chance of numbering them; as soon as their solitude was profaned by the avalanche of civilization --which was, perchance, due to their own carelessness -- the Todas began moving away to other parts as unknown and more inaccessible than the Neilgherry hills had formerly been; they are not born of Toda mothers, nor of Toda parentage; they are the children of a certain very select sect, and are set apart from their infancy for special religious purposes. Recognized by a peculiarity of complexion, and certain other signs, such a child is known as what is vulgarly termed a Toda, from birth. Every third year, each of them must repair to a certain place for a certain period of time, where each of them must meet; their "dirt" is but a mask, such as a sannyasi puts on in public in obedience to his vow; their cattle are, for the most part, devoted to sacred uses; and, though their places of worship have never been trodden by a profane foot, they nevertheless exist, and perhaps rival the most splendid pagodas -- goparams -- known to Europeans. The Badagas are their special vassals, and -- as has been truly remarked -- worship them as half-deities; for their birth and mysterious powers entitle them to such a distinction.

The reader may rest assured that any statements concerning them, that clash with the little that is above given, are false. No missionary will ever catch one with his bait, nor any Badaga betray them, though he were cut to pieces. They are a people who fulfill a certain high purpose, and whose secrets are inviolable.

Furthermore, the Todas are not the only such mysterious tribe in India. We have named several in a preceding chapter, but how many are there besides these, that will remain unnamed, unrecognized, and yet ever present!

What is now generally known of Shamanism is very little; and that has been perverted, like the rest of the non-Christian religions. It is called the "heathenism" of Mongolia, and wholly without reason, for it is one of the oldest religions of India. It is spirit-worship, or belief in the immortality of the souls, and that the latter are still the same men they were on earth, though their bodies have lost their objective form, and man has exchanged his physical for a spiritual nature. In its present shape, it is an offshoot of primitive theurgy, and a practical blending of the visible with the invisible world. Whenever a denizen of earth desires to enter into communication with his invisible brethren, he has to assimilate himself to their nature, i.e., he meets these beings half-way, and, furnished by them with a supply of spiritual essence, endows them, in his turn, with a portion of his physical nature, thus enabling them sometimes to appear in a semi-objective form. It is a temporary exchange of natures, called theurgy. Shamans are called sorcerers, because they are said to evoke the "spirits" of the dead for purposes of necromancy. The true Shamanism -- striking features of which prevailed in India in the days of Megasthenes (300 B.C.) -- can no more be judged by its degenerated scions among the Shamans of Siberia, than the religion of Gautama-Buddha can be interpreted by the fetishism of some of his followers in Siam and Burmah. It is in the chief lamaseries of Mongolia and Thibet that it has taken refuge; and there Shamanism, if so we must call it, is practiced to the utmost limits of intercourse allowed between man and "spirit." The religion of the lamas has faithfully preserved the primitive science of magic, and produces as great feats now as it did in the days of Kublai-Khan and his barons. The ancient mystic formula of the King Srong-ch-Tsans-Gampo, the "Aum mani padme houm," [23] effects its wonders now as well as in the seventh century. Avalokitesvara, highest of the three Boddhisattvas, and patron saint of Thibet, projects his shadow, full in the view of the faithful, at the lamasery of Dga-G'Dan, founded by him; and the luminous form of Son-Ka-pa, under the shape of a fiery cloudlet, that separates itself from the dancing beams of the sunlight, holds converse with a great congregation of lamas, numbering thousands; the voice descending from above, like the whisper of the breeze through foliage. Anon, say the Thibetans, the beautiful appearance vanishes in the shadows of the sacred trees in the park of the lamasery.

At Garma-Khian (the mother-cloister) it is rumored that bad and unprogressed spirits are made to appear on certain days, and forced to give an account of their evil deeds; they are compelled by the lamaic adepts to redress the wrongs done by them to mortals. This is what Huc naively terms "personating evil spirits," i.e., devils. Were the skeptics of various European countries permitted to consult the accounts printed daily [24] at Moru, and in the "City of Spirits," of the business-like intercourse which takes place between the lamas and the invisible world, they would certainly feel more interest in the phenomena described so triumphantly in the spiritualistic journals. At Buddha-Ila, or rather Foht-lla (Buddha's Mount), in the most important of the many thousand lamaseries of that country, the sceptre of the Boddhisgat is seen floating, unsupported, in the air, and its motions regulate the actions of the community. Whenever a lama is called to account in the presence of the Superior of the monastery, he knows beforehand it is useless for him to tell an untruth; the "regulator of justice" (the sceptre) is there, and its waving motion, either approbatory or otherwise, decides instantaneously and unerringly the question of his guilt. We do not pretend to have witnessed all this personally -- we wish to make no pretensions of any kind. Suffice it, with respect to any of these phenomena, that what we have not seen with our own eyes has been so substantiated to us that we indorse its genuineness.

A number of lamas in Sikkin produce meipo -- "miracle" -- by magical powers. The late Patriarch of Mongolia, Gegen Chutuktu, who resided at Urga, a veritable paradise, was the sixteenth incarnation of Gautama, therefore a Boddhisattva. He had the reputation of possessing powers that were phenomenal, even among the thaumaturgists of the land of miracles par excellence. Let no one suppose that these powers are developed without cost. The lives of most of these holy men, miscalled idle vagrants, cheating beggars, who are supposed to pass their existence in preying upon the easy credulity of their victims, are miracles in themselves. Miracles, because they show what a determined will and perfect purity of life and purpose are able to accomplish, and to what degree of preternatural ascetism a human body can be subjected and yet live and reach a ripe old age. No Christian hermit has ever dreamed of such refinement of monastic discipline; and the aerial habitation of a Simon Stylite would appear child's play before the fakir's and the Buddhist's inventions of will-tests. But the theoretical study of magic is one thing; the possibility of practicing it quite another. At Bras-ss-Pungs, the Mongolian college where over three hundred magicians (sorciers, as the French missionaries call them) teach about twice as many pupils from twelve to twenty, the latter have many years to wait for their final initiation. Not one in a hundred reaches the highest goal; and out of the many thousand lamas occupying nearly an entire city of detached buildings clustering around it, not more than two per cent. become wonder-workers. One may learn by heart every line of the 108 volumes of Kadjur, [25] and still make but a poor practical magician. There is but one thing which leads surely to it, and this particular study is hinted at by more than one Hermetic writer. One, the Arabian alchemist Abipili, speaks thus: "I admonish thee, whosoever thou art that desirest to dive into the inmost parts of nature; if that thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. If thou knowest not the excellency of thine own house, why dost thou seek after the excellency of other things? . . . O MAN, KNOW THYSELF! IN THEE IS HID THE TREASURE OF TREASURES."

In another alchemic tract, De manna Benedicto, the author expresses his ideas of the philosopher's stone, in the following terms: "My intent is for certain reasons not to prate too much of the matter, which yet is but one only thing, already too plainly described; for it shows and sets down such magical and natural uses of it [the stone] as many that have had it never knew nor heard of; and such as, when I beheld them, made my knees to tremble and my heart to shake, and I to stand amazed at the sight of them!"

Every neophyte has experienced more or less such a feeling; but once that it is overcome, the man is an ADEPT.

Within the cloisters of Dshashi-Lumbo and Si-Dzang, these powers, inherent in every man, called out by so few, are cultivated to their utmost perfection. Who, in India, has not heard of the Banda-Chan Ramboutchi, the Houtouktou of the capital of Higher Thibet? His brotherhood of Khe-lan was famous throughout the land; and one of the most famous "brothers" was a Peh-ling (an Englishman) who had arrived one day during the early part of this century, from the West, a thorough Buddhist, and after a month's preparation was admitted among the Khe-lans. He spoke every language, including the Thibetan, and knew every art and science, says the tradition. His sanctity and the phenomena produced by him caused him to be proclaimed a shaberon after a residence of but a few years. His memory lives to the present day among the Thibetans, but his real name is a secret with the shaberons alone.

The greatest of the meipo -- said to be the object of the ambition of every Buddhist devotee -- was, and yet is, the faculty of walking in the air. The famous King of Siam, Pia Metak, the Chinese, was noted for his devotion and learning. But he attained this "supernatural gift" only after having placed himself under the direct tuition of a priest of Gautama-Buddha. Crawfurd and Finlayson, during their residence at Siam, followed with great interest the endeavors of some Siamese nobles to acquire this faculty. [26]

Numerous and varied are the sects in China, Siam, Tartary, Thibet, Kashmir, and British India, which devote their lives to the cultivation of "supernatural powers," so called. Discussing one of such sects, the Taosse, Semedo says: "They pretend that by means of certain exercises and meditations one shall regain his youth, and others will attain to be Shien-sien, i.e., 'Terrestrial Beati,' in whose state every desire is gratified, whilst they have the power to transport themselves from one place to another, however distant, with speed and facility." [27] This faculty relates but to the projection of the astral entity, in a more or less corporealized form, and certainly not to bodily transportation. This phenomenon is no more a miracle than one's reflection in a looking-glass. No one can detect in such an image a particle of matter, and still there stands our double, faithfully representing, even to each single hair on our heads. If, by this simple law of reflection, our double can be seen in a mirror, how much more striking a proof of its existence is afforded in the art of photography! It is no reason, because our physicists have not yet found the means of taking photographs, except at a short distance, that the acquirement should be impossible to those who have found these means in the power of the human will itself, freed from terrestrial concern. [28] Our thoughts are matter, says science; every energy produces more or less of a disturbance in the atmospheric waves. Therefore, as every man -- in common with every other living, and even inert object -- has an aura of his own emanations surrounding him; and, moreover, is enabled, by a trifling effort, to transport himself in imagination wherever he likes, why is it scientifically impossible that his thought, regulated, intensified, and guided by that powerful magician, the educated WILL, may become corporealized for the time being, and appear to whom it likes, a faithful double of the original? Is the proposition, in the present state of science, any more unthinkable than the photograph or telegraph were less than forty years ago, or the telephone less than fourteen months ago?

If the sensitized plate can so accurately seize upon the shadow of our faces, then this shadow or reflection, although we are unable to perceive it, must be something substantial. And, if we can, with the help of optical instruments, project our semblances upon a white wall, at several hundred feet distance, sometimes, then there is no reason why the adepts, the alchemists, the savants of the secret art, should not have already found out that which scientists deny to-day, but may discover true tomorrow, i.e., how to project electrically their astral bodies, in an instant, through thousands of miles of space, leaving their material shells with a certain amount of animal vital principle to keep the physical life going, and acting within their spiritual, ethereal bodies as safely and intelligently as when clothed with the covering of flesh? There is a higher form of electricity than the physical one known to experimenters; a thousand correlations of the latter are as yet veiled to the eye of the modern physicist, and none can tell where end its possibilities.

Schott explains that by Sian or Shin-Sian are understood in the old Chinese conception, and particularly in that of the Tao-Kiao (Taosse) sect, "persons who withdraw to the hills to lead the life of anchorites, and who have attained, either through their ascetic observances or by the power of charms and elixirs, to the possession of miraculous gifts and of terrestrial immortality." [29] (?) This is exaggerated if not altogether erroneous. What they claim, is merely their ability to prolong human life; and they can do so, if we have to believe human testimony. What Marco Polo testifies to in the thirteenth century is corroborated in our own days. "There are another class of people called Chughi" (Yogi), he says, "who are indeed properly called Abraiamans (Brahmans?) who are extremely long-lived, every man of them living to 150 or 200 years. They eat very little, rice and milk chiefly. And these people make use of a very strange beverage, a potion of sulphur and quicksilver mixed together, and this they drink twice every month. . . . This, they say, gives them long life; and it is a potion they are used to take from their childhood." [30] Bernier shows, says Colonel Yule, the Yogis very skilful in preparing mercury "so admirably that one or two grains taken every morning restored the body to perfect health"; and adds that the mercurius vitae of Paracelsus was a compound in which entered antimony and quicksilver. [31] This is a very careless statement, to say the least, and we will explain what we know of it.

The longevity of some lamas and Talapoins is proverbial; and it is generally known that they use some compound which "renews the old blood," as they call it. And it was equally a recognized fact with alchemists that a judicious administration, "of aura of silver does restore health and prolongs life itself to a wonderful extent." But we are fully prepared to oppose the statements of both Bernier and Col. Yule who quotes him, that it is mercury or quicksilver which the Yogis and the alchemists used. The Yogis, in the days of Marco Polo, as well as in our modern times, do use that which may appear to be quicksilver, but is not. Paracelsus, the alchemists, and other mystics, meant by mercurius vitae, the living spirit of silver, the aura of silver, not the argent vive; and this aura is certainly not the mercury known to our physicians and druggists. There can be no doubt that the imputation that Paracelsus introduced mercury into medical practice is utterly incorrect. No mercury, whether prepared by a mediaeval fire-philosopher or a modern self-styled physician, can or ever did restore the body to perfect health. Only an unmitigated charlatan ever will use such a drug. And it is the opinion of many that it is just with the wicked intention of presenting Paracelsus in the eyes of posterity as a quack, that his enemies have invented such a preposterous lie.

The Yogis of the olden times, as well as modern lamas and Talapoins, use a certain ingredient with a minimum of sulphur, and a milky juice which they extract from a medicinal plant. They must certainly be possessed of some wonderful secrets, as we have seen them healing the most rebellious wounds in a few days; restoring broken bones to good use in as many hours as it would take days to do by means of common surgery. A fearful fever contracted by the writer near Rangoon, after a flood of the Irrawaddy River, was cured in a few hours by the juice of a plant called, if we mistake not, Kukushan, though there may be thousands of natives ignorant of its virtues who are left to die of fever. This was in return for a trifling kindness we had done to a simple mendicant; a service which can interest the reader but little.

We have heard of a certain water, also, called ab-i-hayat, which the popular superstition thinks hidden from every mortal eye, except that of the holy sannyasi; the fountain itself being known as the ab-i-haiwan-i. It is more than probable though, that the Talapoins will decline to deliver up their secrets, even to academicians and missionaries; as these remedies must be used for the benefit of humanity, never for money. [32]

At the great festivals of Hindu pagodas, at the marriage feasts of rich high-castes, everywhere where large crowds are gathered, Europeans find guni -- or serpent-charmers, fakirs-mesmerizers, thaum-working sannyasi, and so-called "jugglers." To deride is easy -- to explain, rather more troublesome -- to science impossible. The British residents of India and the travellers prefer the first expedient. But let any one ask one of these Thomases how the following results -- which they cannot and do not deny -- are produced? When crowds of guni and fakirs appear with their bodies encircled with cobras-de-capello, their arms ornamented with bracelets of corallilos -- diminutive snakes inflicting certain death in a few seconds -- and their shoulders with necklaces of trigonocephali, the most terrible enemy of naked Hindu feet, whose bite kills like a flash of lightning, the sceptic witness smiles and gravely proceeds to explain how these reptiles, having been thrown in cataleptic torpor, were all deprived by the guni of their fangs. "They are harmless and it is ridiculous to fear them." "Will the Saeb caress one of my nag?" asked once a guni approaching our interlocutor, who had been thus humbling his listeners with his herpetological achievements for a full half hour. Rapidly jumping back -- the brave warrior's feet proving no less nimble than his tongue -- Captain B----'s angry answer could hardly be immortalized by us in print. Only the guni's terrible body-guard saved him from an unceremonious thrashing. Besides, say a word, and for a half-roupee any professional serpent-charmer will begin creeping about and summon around in a few moments numbers of untamed serpents of the most poisonous species, and will handle them and encircle his body with them. On two occasions in the neighborhood of Trinkemal a serpent was ready to strike at the writer, who had once nearly sat on its tail, but both times, at a rapid whistle of the guni whom we had hired to accompany us, it stopped -- hardly a few inches from our body, as if arrested by lightning and slowly sinking its menacing head to the ground, remained stiff and motionless as a dead branch, under the charm of the kilna. [33]

Will any European juggler, tamer, or even mesmerizer, risk repeating just once an experiment that may be daily witnessed in India, if you know where to go to see it? There is nothing in the world more ferocious than a royal Bengal tiger. Once the whole population of a small village, not far from Dakka, situated on the confines of a jungle, was thrown into a panic at the appearance of an enormous tigress, at the dawn of the day. These wild beasts never leave their dens but at night, when they go searching for prey and for water. But this unusual circumstance was due to the fact that the beast was a mother, and she had been deprived of her two cubs, which had been carried away by a daring hunter, and she was in search of them. Two men and a child had already become her victims, when an aged fakir, bent on his daily round, emerging from the gate of the pagoda, saw the situation and understood it at a glance. Chanting a mantram he went straight to the beast, which with flaming eye and foaming mouth crouched near a tree ready for a new victim. When at about ten feet from the tigress, without interrupting his modulated prayer, the words of which no layman comprehends, he began a regular process of mesmerization, as we understood it; he made passes. A terrific howl which struck a chill into the heart of every human being in the place, was then heard. This long, ferocious, drawling howl gradually subsided into a series of plaintive broken sobs, as if the bereaved mother was uttering her complaints, and then, to the terror of the crowd which had taken refuge on trees and in the houses, the beast made a tremendous leap -- on the holy man as they thought. They were mistaken, she was at his feet, rolling in the dust, and writhing. A few moments more and she remained motionless, with her enormous head laid on her fore-paws, and her bloodshot but now mild eye riveted on the face of the fakir. Then the holy man of prayers sat beside the tigress and tenderly smoothed her striped skin, and patted her back, until her groans became fainter and fainter, and half an hour later all the village was standing around this group; the fakir's head lying on the tigress's back as on a pillow, his right hand on her head, and his left thrown on the sod under the terrible mouth, from which the long red protruding tongue was gently licking it.

This is the way the fakirs tame the wildest beasts in India. Can European tamers, with their white-hot iron rods, do as much? Of course every fakir is not endowed with such a power; comparatively very few are. And yet the actual number is large. How they are trained to these requirements in the pagodas will remain an eternal secret, to all except the Brahmans and the adepts in occult mysteries. The stories, hitherto considered fables, of Christna and Orpheus charming the wild beasts, thus receives its corroboration in our day. There is one fact which remains undeniable. There is not a single European in India who could have, or has ever boasted of having, penetrated into the enclosed sanctuary within the pagodas. Neither authority nor money has ever induced a Brahman to allow an uninitiated foreigner to pass the threshold of the reserved precinct. To use authority in such a case would be equivalent to throwing a lighted taper into a powder magazine. The Hindus, mild, patient, long-suffering, whose very apathy saved the British from being driven out of the country in 1857, would raise their hundred millions of devotees as one man, at such a profanation; regardless of sects or castes, they would exterminate every Christian. The East India Company knew this well and built her stronghold on the friendship of the Brahmans, and by paying subsidy to the pagodas; and the British Government is as prudent as its predecessor. It is the castes, and non-interference with the prevailing religions, that secure its comparative authority in India. But we must once more recur to Shamanism, that strange and most despised of all surviving religions -- "Spirit-worship."

Its followers have neither altars nor idols, and it is upon the authority of a Shaman priest that we state that their true rites, which they are bound to perform only once a year, on the shortest day of winter, cannot take place before any stranger to their faith. Therefore, we are confident that all descriptions hitherto given in the Asiatic Journal and other European works, are but guess-work. The Russians, who, from constant intercourse with the Shamans in Siberia and Tartary, would be the most competent of all persons to judge of their religion, have learned nothing except of the personal proficiency of these men in what they are half inclined to believe clever jugglery. Many Russian residents, though, in Siberia, are firmly convinced of the "supernatural" powers of the Shamans. Whenever they assemble to worship, it is always in an open space, or a high hill, or in the hidden depths of a forest -- in this reminding us of the old Druidical rites. Their ceremonies upon the occasions of births, deaths, and marriages are but trifling parts of their worship. They comprise offerings, the sprinkling of the fire with spirits and milk, and weird hymns, or rather, magical incantations, intoned by the officiating Shaman, and concluding with a chorus of the persons present.
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Part 3 of 3

The numerous small bells of brass and iron worn by them on the priestly robe of deerskin, [34] or the pelt of some other animal reputed magnetic, are used to drive away the malevolent spirits of the air, a superstition shared by all the nations of old, including Romans, and even the Jews, whose golden bells tell the story. They have iron staves also covered with bells, for the same reason. When, after certain ceremonies, the desired crisis is reached, and "the spirit has spoken," and the priest (who may be either male or female) feels its overpowering influence, the hand of the Shaman is drawn by some occult power toward the top of the staff, which is commonly covered with hieroglyphics. With his palm pressing upon it, he is then raised to a considerable height in the air, where he remains for some time. Sometimes he leaps to an extraordinary height, and, according to the control -- for he is often but an irresponsible medium -- pours out prophecies and describes future events. Thus, it was that, in 1847, a Shaman in a distant part of Siberia prophesied and accurately detailed the issue of the Crimean war. The particulars of the prognostication being carefully noted by those present at the time, were all verified six years after this occurrence. Although usually ignorant of even the name of astronomy, let alone having studied this science, they often prophesy eclipses and other astronomical phenomena. When consulted about thefts and murders, they invariably point out the guilty parties.

The Shamans of Siberia are all ignorant and illiterate. Those of Tartary and Thibet -- few in number -- are mostly learned men in their own way, and will not allow themselves to fall under the control of spirits of any kind. The former are mediums in the full sense of the word; the latter, "magicians." It is not surprising that pious and superstitious persons, after seeing one of such crises, should declare the Shaman to be under demoniacal possession. As in the instances of Corybantic and Bacchantic fury among the ancient Greeks, the "spiritual" crisis of the Shaman exhibits itself in violent dancing and wild gestures. Little by little the lookers-on feel the spirit of imitation aroused in them; seized with an irresistible impulse, they dance, and become, in their turn, ecstatics; and he who begins by joining the chorus, gradually and unconsciously takes part in the gesticulations, until he sinks to the ground exhausted, and often dying.

"O, young girl, a god possesses thee! it is either Pan, or Hekate, or, the venerable Corybantes, or Cybele that agitates thee!" the chorus says, addressing Phaedra, in Euripides. This form of psychological epidemic has been too well known from the time of the middle ages to cite instances from it. The Choroea sancti Viti is an historical fact, and spread throughout Germany. Paracelsus cured quite a number of persons possessed of such a spirit of imitation. But he was a kabalist, and therefore accused, by his enemies, of having cast out the devils by the power of a stronger demon, which he was believed to carry about with him in the hilt of his sword. The Christian judges of those days of horror found a better and a surer remedy. Voltaire states that, in the district of Jura, between 1598 and 1600, over 600 Lycanthropes were put to death by a pious judge.

But, while the illiterate Shaman is a victim, and during his crisis sometimes sees the persons present, under the shape of various animals, and often makes them share his hallucination, his brother Shaman, learned in the mysteries of the priestly colleges of Thibet, expels the elementary creature, which can produce the hallucination as well as a living mesmerizer, not through the help of a stronger demon, but simply through his knowledge of the nature of the invisible enemy. Where academicians have failed, as in the cases of the Cevennois, a Shaman or a lama would have soon put an end to the epidemic.

We have mentioned a kind of carnelian stone in our possession, which had such an unexpected and favorable effect upon the Shaman's decision. Every Shaman has such a talisman, which he wears attached to a string, and carries under his left arm.

"Of what use is it to you, and what are its virtues?" was the question we often offered to our guide. To this he never answered directly, but evaded all explanation, promising that as soon as an opportunity was offered, and we were alone, he would ask the stone to answer for himself. With this very indefinite hope, we were left to the resources of our own imagination.

But the day on which the stone "spoke" came very soon. It was during the most critical hours of our life; at a time when the vagabond nature of a traveller had carried the writer to far-off lands, where neither civilization is known, nor security can be guaranteed for one hour. One afternoon, as every man and woman had left the yourta (Tartar tent), that had been our home for over two months, to witness the ceremony of the Lamaic exorcism of a Tshoutgour, [35] accused of breaking and spiriting away every bit of the poor furniture and earthenware of a family living about two miles distant, the Shaman, who had become our only protector in those dreary deserts, was reminded of his promise. He sighed and hesitated; but, after a short silence, left his place on the sheepskin, and, going outside, placed a dried-up goat's head with its prominent horns over a wooden peg, and then dropping down the felt curtain of the tent, remarked that now no living person would venture in, for the goat's head was a sign that he was "at work."

After that, placing his hand in his bosom, he drew out the little stone, about the size of a walnut, and, carefully unwrapping it, proceeded, as it appeared, to swallow it. In a few moments his limbs stiffened, his body became rigid, and he fell, cold and motionless as a corpse. But for a slight twitching of his lips at every question asked, the scene would have been embarrassing, nay -- dreadful. The sun was setting, and were it not that dying embers flickered at the centre of the tent, complete darkness would have been added to the oppressive silence which reigned. We have lived in the prairies of the West, and in the boundless steppes of Southern Russia; but nothing can be compared with the silence at sunset on the sandy deserts of Mongolia; not even the barren solitudes of the deserts of Africa, though the former are partially inhabited, and the latter utterly void of life. Yet, there was the writer alone with what looked no better than a corpse lying on the ground. Fortunately, this state did not last long.

"Mahandu!" uttered a voice, which seemed to come from the bowels of the earth, on which the Shaman was prostrated. "Peace be with you . . . what would you have me do for you?"

Startling as the fact seemed, we were quite prepared for it, for we had seen other Shamans pass through similar performances. "Whoever you are," we pronounced mentally, "go to K----, and try to bring that person's thought here. See what that other party does, and tell * * * what we are doing and how situated."

"I am there"; answered the same voice. "The old lady (kokona) [36] is sitting in the garden . . . she is putting on her spectacles and reading a letter."

"The contents of it, and hasten," was the hurried order while preparing note-book and pencil. The contents were given slowly, as if, while dictating, the invisible presence desired to afford us time to put down the words phonetically, for we recognized the Valachian language of which we know nothing beyond the ability to recognize it. In such a way a whole page was filled.

"Look west . . . toward the third pole of the yourta," pronounced the Tartar in his natural voice, though it sounded hollow, and as if coming from afar. "Her thought is here."

Then with a convulsive jerk, the upper portion of the Shaman's body seemed raised, and his head fell heavily on the writer's feet, which he clutched with both his hands. The position was becoming less and less attractive, but curiosity proved a good ally to courage. In the west corner was standing, life-like but flickering, unsteady and mist-like, the form of a dear old friend, a Roumanian lady of Valachia, a mystic by disposition, but a thorough disbeliever in this kind of occult phenomena.

"Her thought is here, but her body is lying unconscious. We could not bring her here otherwise," said the voice.

We addressed and supplicated the apparition to answer, but all in vain. The features moved, and the form gesticulated as if in fear and agony, but no sound broke forth from the shadowy lips; only we imagined -- perchance it was a fancy -- hearing as if from a long distance the Roumanian words, "Non se pote" (it cannot be done).

For over two hours, the most substantial, unequivocal proofs that the Shaman's astral soul was travelling at the bidding of our unspoken wish, were given us. Ten months later, we received a letter from our Valachian friend in response to ours, in which we had enclosed the page from the note-book, inquiring of her what she had been doing on that day, and describing the scene in full. She was sitting -- she wrote -- in the garden on that morning [37] prosaically occupied in boiling some conserves; the letter sent to her was word for word the copy of the one received by her from her brother; all at once -- in consequence of the heat, she thought -- she fainted, and remembered distinctly dreaming she saw the writer in a desert place which she accurately described, and sitting under a "gypsy's tent," as she expressed it. "Henceforth," she added, "I can doubt no longer!"

But our experiment was proved still better. We had directed the Shaman's inner ego to the same friend heretofore mentioned in this chapter, the Kutchi of Lha-Ssa, who travels constantly to British India and back. We know that he was apprised of our critical situation in the desert; for a few hours later came help, and we were rescued by a party of twenty-five horsemen who had been directed by their chief to find us at the place where we were, which no living man endowed with common powers could have known. The chief of this escort was a Shaberon, an "adept" whom we had never seen before, nor did we after that, for he never left his soumay (lamasery), and we could have no access to it. But he was a personal friend of the Kutchi.

The above will of course provoke naught but incredulity in the general reader. But we write for those who will believe; who, like the writer, understand and know the illimitable powers and possibilities of the human astral soul. In this case we willingly believe, nay, we know, that the "spiritual double" of the Shaman did not act alone, for he was no adept, but simply a medium. According to a favorite expression of his, as soon as he placed the stone in his mouth, his "father appeared, dragged him out of his skin, and took him wherever he wanted," and at his bidding.

One who has only witnessed the chemical, optical, mechanical, and sleight-of-hand performances of European prestidigitateurs, is not prepared to see, without amazement, the open-air and off-hand exhibitions of Hindu jugglers, to say nothing of fakirs. Of the mere displays of deceptive dexterity we make no account, for Houdin and others far excel them in that respect; or do we dwell upon feats that permit of confederacy, whether resorted to or not. It is unquestionably true that non-expert travellers, especially if of an imaginative turn of mind, exaggerate inordinately. But our remark is based upon a class of phenomena not to be accounted for upon any of the familiar hypotheses. "I have seen," says a gentleman who resided in India, "a man throw up into the air a number of balls numbered in succession from one upwards. As each went up -- and there was no deception about their going up -- the ball was seen clearly in the air, getting smaller and smaller, till it disappeared altogether out of sight. When they were all up, twenty or more, the operator would politely ask which ball you wanted to see, and then would shout out, 'No. 1,' 'No. 15,' and so on, as instructed by the spectators, when the ball demanded would bound to his feet violently from some remote distance. . . . These fellows have very scanty clothing, and apparently no apparatus whatever. Then, I have seen them swallow three different colored powders, and then, throwing back the head, wash them down with water, drunk, in the native fashion, in a continuous stream from a lotah, or brass-pot, held at arm's length from the lips, and keep on drinking till the swollen body could not hold another drop, and water overflowed from the lips. Then, these fellows, after squirting out the water in their mouths, have spat out the three powders on a clean piece of paper, dry and unmixed." [38]

In the eastern portion of Turkey and Persia, have dwelt, from time immemorial, the warlike tribes of the Koordistan. This people of purely Indo-European origin, and without a drop of Semitic blood in them (though some ethnologists seem to think otherwise), notwithstanding their brigand-like disposition, unite in themselves the mysticism of the Hindu and the practices of the Assyrio-Chaldean magians, vast portions of whose territory they have helped themselves to, and will not give up, to please either Turkey or even all Europe. [39] Nominally, Mahometans of the sect of Omar, their rites and doctrines are purely magical and magian. Even those who are Christian Nestorians, are Christians but in name. The Kaldany, numbering nearly 100,000 men, and with their two Patriarchs, are undeniably rather Manicheans than Nestorians. Many of them are Yezids.

One of these tribes is noted for its fire-worshipping predilections. At sunrise and sunset, the horsemen alight and, turning towards the sun, mutter a prayer; while at every new moon they perform mysterious rites throughout the whole night. They have a tent set apart for the purpose, and its thick, black, woolen fabric is decorated with weird signs, worked in bright red and yellow. In the centre is placed a kind of altar, encircled by three brass bands, to which are suspended numerous rings by ropes of camel's hair, which every worshipper holds with his right hand during the ceremony. On the altar burns a curious, old-fashioned silver lamp, a relic found possibly among the ruins of Persepolis. [40] This lamp, with three wicks, is an oblong cup with a handle to it, and is evidently of the class of Egyptian sepulchral lamps, once found in such profusion in the subterranean caves of Memphis, if we may believe Kircher. [41] It widened from its end toward the middle, and its upper part was of the shape of a heart; the apertures for the wicks forming a triangle, and its centre being covered by an inverted heliotrope attached to a gracefully-curved stalk proceeding from the handle of the lamp. This ornament clearly bespoke its origin. It was one of the sacred vessels used in sun-worship. The Greeks gave the heliotrope its name from its strange propensity to ever incline towards the sun. The ancient Magi used it in their worship; and who knows but Darius had performed the mysterious rites with its triple light illuminating the face of the king-hierophant!

If we mention the lamp at all, it is because there happened to be a strange story in connection with it. What the Koords do, during their nocturnal rites of lunar-worship, we know but from hearsay; for they conceal it carefully, and no stranger could be admitted to witness the ceremony. But every tribe has one old man, sometimes several, regarded as "holy beings," who know the past, and can divulge the secrets of the future. These are greatly honored, and generally resorted to for information in cases of theft, murders, or danger.

Travelling from one tribe to the other, we passed some time in company with these Koords. As our object is not autobiographical, we omit all details that have no immediate bearing upon some occult fact, and even of these, have room but for a few. We will then simply state that a very expensive saddle, a carpet, and two Circassian daggers, richly mounted and chiselled in gold, had been stolen from the tent, and that the Koords, with the chief of the tribe at the head, had come, taking Allah for their witness that the culprit could not belong to their tribe. We believed it, for it would have been unprecedented among these nomadic tribes of Asia, as famed for the sacredness in which they hold their guests, as for the ease with which they plunder and occasionally murder them, when once they have passed the boundaries of their aoul.

A suggestion was then made by a Georgian belonging to our caravan to have resort to the light of the koodian (sorcerer) of their tribe. This was arranged in great secrecy and solemnity, and the interview appointed to take place at midnight, when the moon would be at its full. At the stated hour we were conducted to the above-described tent.

A large hole, or square aperture, was managed in the arched roof of the tent, and through it poured in vertically the radiant moonbeams, mingling with the vacillating triple flame of the little lamp. After several minutes of incantations, addressed, as it seemed to us, to the moon, the conjurer, an old man of tremendous stature, whose pyramidal turban touched the top of the tent, produced a round looking-glass, of the kind known as "Persian mirrors." Having unscrewed its cover, he then proceeded to breathe on it, for over ten minutes, and wipe off the moisture from the surface with a package of herbs, muttering incantations the while sotto voce. After every wiping the glass became more and more brilliant, till its crystal seemed to radiate refulgent phosphoric rays in every direction. At last the operation was ended; the old man, with the mirror in his hand, remained as motionless as if he had been a statue. "Look, Hanoum . . . look steadily," he whispered, hardly moving his lips. Shadows and dark spots began gathering, where one moment before nothing was reflected but the radiant face of the full moon. A few more seconds, and there appeared the well-known saddle, carpet, and daggers, which seemed to be rising as from a deep, clear water, and becoming with every instant more definitely outlined. Then a still darker shadow appeared hovering over these objects, which gradually condensed itself, and then came out, as visibly as at the small end of a telescope, the full figure of a man crouching over them.

"I know him!" exclaimed the writer. "It is the Tartar who came to us last night, offering to sell his mule!"

The image disappeared, as if by enchantment. The old man nodded assent, but remained motionless. Then he muttered again some strange words, and suddenly began a song. The tune was slow and monotonous, but after he had sung a few stanzas in the same unknown tongue, without changing either rhythm or tune, he pronounced, recitative-like, the following words, in his broken Russian:

"Now, Hanoum, look well, whether we will catch him -- the fate of the robber -- we will learn this night," etc.

The same shadows began gathering, and then, almost without transition, we saw the man lying on his back, in a pool of blood, across the saddle, and two other men galloping off at a distance. Horror-stricken, and sick at the sight of this picture, we desired to see no more. The old man, leaving the tent, called some of the Koords standing outside, and seemed to give them instructions. Two minutes later, a dozen of horsemen were galloping off at full speed down the side of the mountain on which we were encamped.

Early in the morning they returned with the lost objects. The saddle was all covered with coagulated blood, and of course abandoned to them. The story they told was, that upon coming in sight of the fugitive, they saw disappearing over the crest of a distant hill two horsemen, and upon riding up, the Tartar thief was found dead upon the stolen property, exactly as we had seen him in the magical glass. He had been murdered by the two banditti, whose evident design to rob him was interrupted by the sudden appearance of the party sent by the old Koodian.

The most remarkable results are produced by the Eastern "wise men," by the simple act of breathing upon a person, whether with good or evil intent. This is pure mesmerism; and among the Persian dervishes who practice it the animal magnetism is often reinforced by that of the elements. If a person happens to stand facing a certain wind, there is always danger, they think; and many of the "learned ones" in occult matters can never be prevailed upon to go at sunset in a certain direction from whence blows the wind. We have known an old Persian from Baku, [42] on the Caspian Sea, who had the most unenviable reputation for throwing spells through the timely help of this wind, which blows but too often at that town, as its Persian name itself shows. [43] If a victim, against whom the wrath of the old fiend was kindled, happened to be facing this wind, he would appear, as if by enchantment, cross the road rapidly, and breathe in his face. From that moment, the latter would find himself afflicted with every evil -- he was under the spell of the "evil eye."

The employment of the human breath by the sorcerer as an adjunct for the accomplishment of his nefarious purpose, is strikingly illustrated in several terrible cases recorded in the French annals -- notably those of several Catholic priests. In fact, this species of sorcery was known from the oldest times. The Emperor Constantine (in Statute iv., Code de Malef., etc.) prescribed the severest penalties against such as should employ sorcery to do violence to chastity and excite unlawful passion. Augustine (Cite de Dieu) warns against it; Jerome, Gregory, Nazianzen, and many other ecclesiastical authorities, lend their denunciation of a crime not uncommon among the clergy. Baffet (book v., tit. 19, chap. 6) relates the case of the cure of Peifane, who accomplished the ruin of a highly-respected and virtuous lady parishioner, the Dame du Lieu, by resort to sorcery, and was burned alive for it by the Parliament of Grenoble. In 1611, a priest named Gaufridy was burned by the Parliament of Provence for seducing a penitent at the confessional, named Magdelaine de la Palud, by breathing upon her, and thus throwing her into a delirium of sinful love for him.

The above cases are cited in the official report of the famous case of Father Girard, a Jesuit priest of very great influence, who, in 1731, was tried before the Parliament of Aix, France, for the seduction of his parishioner, Mlle. Catherine Cadiere, of Toulon, and certain revolting crimes in connection with the same. The indictment charged that the offence was brought about by resort to sorcery. Mlle. Cadiere was a young lady noted for her beauty, piety, and exemplary virtues. Her attention to her religious duties was exceptionally rigorous, and that was the cause of her perdition. Father Girard's eye fell upon her, and he began to manoeuvre for her ruin. Gaining the confidence of the girl and her family by his apparent great sanctity, he one day made a pretext to blow his breath upon her. The girl became instantly affected with a violent passion for him. She also had ecstatic visions of a religious character, stigmata, or blood-marks of the "Passion," and hysterical convulsions. The long-sought opportunity of seclusion with his penitent finally offering, the Jesuit breathed upon her again, and before the poor girl recovered her senses, his object had been accomplished. By sophistry and the excitation of her religious fervor, he kept up this illicit relation for months, without her suspecting that she had done anything wrong. Finally, however, her eyes were opened, her parents informed, and the priest was arraigned. Judgment was rendered October 12th, 1731. Of twenty-five judges, twelve voted to send him to the stake. The criminal priest was defended by all the power of the Society of Jesus, and it is said that a million francs were spent in trying to suppress the evidence produced at the trial. The facts, however, were printed in a work (in 5 vols., 16mo), now rare, entitled Recueil General des Pieces contenues au Procez du Pere Jean-Baptiste Girard, Jeuite, etc., etc. [44]

We have noted the circumstance that, while under the sorcerous influence of Father Girard, and in illicit relations with him, Mlle. Cadiere's body was marked with the stigmata of the Passion, viz.: the bleeding wounds of thorns on her brow, of nails in her hands and feet, and of a lance-cut in her side. It should be added that the same marks were seen upon the bodies of six other penitents of this priest, viz.: Mesdames Guyol, Laugier, Grodier, Allemande, Batarelle, and Reboul. In fact, it became commonly remarked that Father Girard's handsome parishioners were strangely given to ecstasies and stigmata! Add this to the fact that, in the case of Father Gaufridy, above noted, the same thing was proved, upon surgical testimony, to have happened to Mlle. de Palud, and we have something worth the attention of all (especially spiritualists) who imagine these stigmata are produced by pure spirits. Barring the agency of the Devil, whom we have quietly put to rest in another chapter, Catholics would be puzzled, we fancy, despite all their infallibility, to distinguish between the stigmata of the sorcerers and those produced through the intervention of the Holy Ghost or the angels. The Church records abound in instances of alleged diabolical imitations of these signs of saintship, but, as we have remarked, the Devil is out of court.

By those who have followed us thus far, it will naturally be asked, to what practical issue this book tends; much has been said about magic and its potentiality, much of the immense antiquity of its practice. Do we wish to affirm that the occult sciences ought to be studied and practiced throughout the world? Would we replace modern spiritualism with the ancient magic? Neither; the substitution could not be made, nor the study universally prosecuted, without incurring the risk of enormous public dangers. At this moment, a well-known spiritualist and lecturer on mesmerism is imprisoned on the charge of raping a subject whom he had hypnotized. A sorcerer is a public enemy, and mesmerism may most readily be turned into the worst of sorceries.

We would have neither scientists, theologians, nor spiritualists turn practical magicians, but all to realize that there was true science, profound religion, and genuine phenomena before this modern era. We would that all who have a voice in the education of the masses should first know and then teach that the safest guides to human happiness and enlightenment are those writings which have descended to us from the remotest antiquity; and that nobler spiritual aspirations and a higher average morality prevail in the countries where the people take their precepts as the rule of their lives. We would have all to realize that magical, i.e., spiritual powers exist in every man, and those few to practice them who feel called to teach, and are ready to pay the price of discipline and self-conquest which their development exacts.

Many men have arisen who had glimpses of the truth, and fancied they had it all. Such have failed to achieve the good they might have done and sought to do, because vanity has made them thrust their personality into such undue prominence as to interpose it between their believers and the whole truth that lay behind. The world needs no sectarian church, whether of Buddha, Jesus, Mahomet, Swedenborg, Calvin, or any other. There being but ONE Truth, man requires but one church -- the Temple of God within us, walled in by matter but penetrable by any one who can find the way; the pure in heart see God.

The trinity of nature is the lock of magic, the trinity of man the key that fits it. Within the solemn precincts of the sanctuary the SUPREME had and has no name. It is unthinkable and unpronounceable; and yet every man finds in himself his god. "Who art thou, O fair being?" inquires the disembodied soul, in the Khordah-Avesta, at the gates of Paradise. "I am, O Soul, thy good and pure thoughts, thy works and thy good law . . . thy angel . . . and thy god." Then man, or the soul, is reunited with ITSELF, for this "Son of God" is one with him; it is his own mediator, the god of his human soul and his "Justifier." "God not revealing himself immediately to man, the spirit is his interpreter," says Plato in the Banquet.

Besides, there are many good reasons why the study of magic, except in its broad philosophy, is nearly impracticable in Europe and America. Magic being what it is, the most difficult of all sciences to learn experimentally -- its acquisition is practically beyond the reach of the majority of white-skinned people; and that, whether their effort is made at home or in the East. Probably not more than one man in a million of European blood is fitted -- either physically, morally, or psychologically -- to become a practical magician, and not one in ten millions would be found endowed with all these three qualifications as required for the work. Civilized nations lack the phenomenal powers of endurance, both mental and physical, of the Easterns; the favoring temperamental idiosyncrasies of the Orientals are utterly wanting in them. In the Hindu, the Arabian, the Thibetan, an intuitive perception of the possibilities of occult natural forces in subjection to human will, comes by inheritance; and in them, the physical senses as well as the spiritual are far more finely developed than in the Western races. Notwithstanding the notable difference of thickness between the skulls of a European and a Southern Hindu, this difference, being a purely climatic result, due to the intensity of the sun's rays, involves no psychological principles. Furthermore, there would be tremendous difficulties in the way of training, if we can so express it. Contaminated by centuries of dogmatic superstition, by an ineradicable -- though quite unwarranted -- sense of superiority over those whom the English term so contemptuously "niggers," the white European would hardly submit himself to the practical tuition of either Kopt, Brahman, or Lama. To become a neophyte, one must be ready to devote himself heart and soul to the study of mystic sciences. Magic -- most imperative of mistresses -- brooks no rival. Unlike other sciences, a theoretical knowledge of formulai without mental capacities or soul powers, is utterly useless in magic. The spirit must hold in complete subjection the combativeness of what is loosely termed educated reason, until facts have vanquished cold human sophistry.

Those best prepared to appreciate occultism are the spiritualists, although, through prejudice, until now they have been the bitterest opponents to its introduction to public notice. Despite all foolish negations and denunciations, their phenomena are real. Despite, also, their own assertions they are wholly misunderstood by themselves. The totally insufficient theory of the constant agency of disembodied human spirits in their production has been the bane of the Cause. A thousand mortifying rebuffs have failed to open their reason or intuition to the truth. Ignoring the teachings of the past, they have discovered no substitute. We offer them philosophical deduction instead of unverifiable hypothesis, scientific analysis and demonstration instead of undiscriminating faith. Occult philosophy gives them the means of meeting the reasonable requirements of science, and frees them from the humiliating necessity to accept the oracular teachings of "intelligences," which as a rule have less intelligence than a child at school. So based and so strengthened, modern phenomena would be in a position to command the attention and enforce the respect of those who carry with them public opinion. Without invoking such help, spiritualism must continue to vegetate, equally repulsed -- not without cause -- both by scientists and theologians. In its modern aspect, it is neither a science, a religion, nor a philosophy.

Are we unjust; does any intelligent spiritualist complain that we have misstated the case? To what can he point us but to a confusion of theories, a tangle of hypotheses mutually contradictory? Can he affirm that spiritualism, even with its thirty years of phenomena, has any defensible philosophy; nay, that there is anything like an established method that is generally accepted and followed by its recognized representatives?

And yet, there are many thoughtful, scholarly, earnest writers among the spiritualists, scattered the world over. There are men who, in addition to a scientific mental training and a reasoned faith in the phenomena per se, possess all the requisites of leaders of the movement. How is it then, that, except throwing off an isolated volume or so, or occasional contributions to journalism, they all refrain from taking any active part in the formation of a system of philosophy? This is from no lack of moral courage, as their writings well show. Nor because of indifference, for enthusiasm abounds, and they are sure of their facts. Nor is it from lack of capacity, because many are men of mark, the peers of our best minds. It is simply for the reason that, almost without exception, they are bewildered by the contradictions they encounter, and wait for their tentative hypotheses to be verified by further experience. Doubtless this is the part of wisdom. It is that adopted by Newton, who, with the heroism of an honest, unselfish heart, withheld for seventeen years the promulgation of his theory of gravitation, only because he had not verified it to his own satisfaction.

Spiritualism, whose aspect is rather that of aggression than of defense, has tended toward iconoclasm, and so far has done well. But, in pulling down, it does not rebuild. Every really substantial truth it erects is soon buried under an avalanche of chimeras, until all are in one confused ruin. At every step of advance, at the acquisition of every new vantage-ground of FACT, some cataclysm, either in the shape of fraud and exposure, or of premeditated treachery, occurs, and throws the spiritualists back powerless because they cannot and their invisible friends will not (or perchance can, less than themselves) make good their claims. Their fatal weakness is that they have but one theory to offer in explanation of their challenged facts -- the agency of human disembodied spirits, and the medium's complete subjection to them. They will attack those who differ in views with them with a vehemence only warranted by a better cause; they will regard every argument contradicting their theory as an imputation upon their common sense and powers of observation; and they will positively refuse even to argue the question.

How, then, can spiritualism be ever elevated to the distinction of a science? This, as Professor Tyndall shows, includes three absolutely necessary elements: observation of facts; induction of laws from these facts; and verification of those laws by constant practical experience. What experienced observer will maintain that spiritualism presents either one of these three elements? The medium is not uniformly surrounded by such test conditions that we may be sure of the facts; the inductions from the supposed facts are unwarranted in the absence of such verification; and, as a corollary, there has been no sufficient verification of those hypotheses by experience. In short, the prime element of accuracy has, as a rule, been lacking.

That we may not be charged with desire to misrepresent the position of spiritualism, at the date of this present writing, or accused of withholding credit for advances actually made, we will cite a few passages from the London Spiritualist of March 2, 1877. At the fortnightly meeting, held February 19, a debate occurred upon the subject of "Ancient Thought and Modern Spiritualism." Some of the most intelligent Spiritualists of England participated. Among these was Mr. W. Stainton Moses, M. A., who has recently given some attention to the relation between ancient and modern phenomena. He said: "Popular spiritualism is not scientific; it does very little in the way of scientific verification. Moreover, exoteric spiritualism is, to a large extent, devoted to presumed communion with personal friends, or to the gratification of curiosity, or the mere evolution of marvels. . . . The truly esoteric science of spiritualism is very rare, and not more rare than valuable. To it we must look to the origination of knowledge which may be developed exoterically. . . . We proceed too much on the lines of the physicists; our tests are crude, and often illusory; we know too little of the Protean power of spirit. Here the ancients were far ahead of us, and can teach us much. We have not introduced any certainty into the conditions -- a necessary prerequisite for true scientific experiment. This is largely owing to the fact that our circles are constructed on no principle. . . . We have not even mastered the elementary truths which the ancients knew and acted on, e.g., the isolation of mediums. We have been so occupied with wonder-hunting that we have hardly tabulated the phenomena, or propounded one theory to account for the production of the simplest of them. . . . We have never faced the question: What is the intelligence? This is the great blot, the most frequent source of error, and here we might learn with advantage from the ancients. There is the strongest disinclination among spiritualists to admit the possibility of the truth of occultism. In this respect they are as hard to convince as is the outer world of spiritualism. Spiritualists start with a fallacy, viz.: that all phenomena are caused by the action of departed human spirits; they have not looked into the powers of the human spirit; they do not know the extent to which spirit acts, how far it reaches, what it underlies."

Our position could not be better defined. If Spiritualism has a future, it is in the keeping of such men as Mr. Stainton Moses.

Our work is done -- would that it were better done! But, despite our inexperience in the art of book-making, and the serious difficulty of writing in a foreign tongue, we hope we have succeeded in saying some things that will remain in the minds of the thoughtful. The enemies of truth have been all counted, and all passed in review. Modern science, powerless to satisfy the aspirations of the race, makes the future a void, and bereaves man of hope. In one sense, it is like the Baital Pachisi, the Hindu vampire of popular fancy, which lives in dead bodies, and feeds but on the rottenness of matter. The theology of Christendom has been rubbed threadbare by the most serious minds of the day. It is found to be, on the whole, subversive, rather than promotive of spirituality and good morals. Instead of expounding the rules of divine law and justice, it teaches but itself. In place of an ever-living Deity, it preaches the Evil One, and makes him indistinguishable from God Himself! "Lead us not into temptation" is the aspiration of Christians. Who, then, is the tempter? Satan? No; the prayer is not addressed to him. It is that tutelar genius who hardened the heart of Pharaoh, put an evil spirit into Saul, sent lying messengers to the prophets, and tempted David to sin; it is -- the Bible-God of Israel!

Our examination of the multitudinous religious faiths that mankind, early and late, have professed, most assuredly indicates that they have all been derived from one primitive source. It would seem as if they were all but different modes of expressing the yearning of the imprisoned human soul for intercourse with supernal spheres. As the white ray of light is decomposed by the prism into the various colors of the solar spectrum, so the beam of divine truth, in passing through the three-sided prism of man's nature, has been broken up into vari-colored fragments called RELIGIONS. And, as the rays of the spectrum, by imperceptible shadings, merge into each other, so the great theologies that have appeared at different degrees of divergence from the original source, have been connected by minor schisms, schools, and off-shoots from the one side or the other. Combined, their aggregate represents one eternal truth; separate, they are but shades of human error and the signs of imperfection. The worship of the Vedic pitris is fast becoming the worship of the spiritual portion of mankind. It but needs the right perception of things objective to finally discover that the only world of reality is the subjective.

What has been contemptuously termed Paganism, was ancient wisdom replete with Deity; and Judaism and its offspring, Christianity and Islamism, derived whatever of inspiration they contained from this ethnic parent. Pre-Vedic Brahmanism and Buddhism are the double source from which all religions sprung; Nirvana is the ocean to which all tend.

For the purposes of a philosophical analysis, we need not take account of the enormities which have blackened the record of many of the world's religions. True faith is the embodiment of divine charity; those who minister at its altars, are but human. As we turn the blood-stained pages of ecclesiastical history, we find that, whoever may have been the hero, and whatever costumes the actors may have worn, the plot of the tragedy has ever been the same. But the Eternal Night was in and behind all, and we pass from what we see to that which is invisible to the eye of sense. Our fervent wish has been to show true souls how they may lift aside the curtain, and, in the brightness of that Night made Day, look with undazzled gaze upon the UNVEILED TRUTH.




1. In its general sense, Isvara means "Lord"; but the Isvara of the mystic philosophers of India was understood precisely as the union and communion of men with the Deity of the Greek mystics. Isvara-Parasada means, literally, in Sanscrit, grace. Both of the "Mimansas," treating of the most abstruse questions, explain Karma as merit, or the efficacy of works; Isvara-Parasada, as grace; and Sradha, as faith. The "Mimansas" are the work of the two most celebrated theologians of India. The "Pourva-Mimansa" was written by the philosopher Djeminy, and the "Outtara-Mimansa" (or Vedanta), by Richna Dvipayna Vyasa, who collected the four "Vedas" together. (See Sir William Jones, Colebrooke, and others.)

2. Suetonius: "August."

3. Plutarch.

4. "Pliny," xxx., pp. 2, 14.

5. "Servius ad. AEon," p. 71.

6. Peary Chand Mittra: "The Psychology of the Aryas"; "Human Nature," for March, 1877.

7. The Boulogne (France) correspondent of an English journal says that he knows of a gentleman who has had an arm amputated at the shoulder, "who is certain that he has a spiritual arm, which he sees and actually feels with his other hand. He can touch anything, and even pull up things with the spiritual or phantom arm and hand." The party knows nothing of spiritualism. We give this as we get it, without verification, but it merely corroborates what we have seen in the case of an Eastern adept. This eminent scholar and practical kabalist can at will project his astral arm, and with the hand take up, move, and carry objects, even at a considerable distance from where he may be sitting or standing. We have often seen him thus minister to the wants of a favorite elephant.

8. Answer to a question at "The National Association of Spiritualists," May 14th, 1877.

9. "A Buddhist's Opinions of the Spiritual States."

10. See the "London Spiritualist," May 25, 1877, p. 246.

11. See Coleman's "Hindu Mythology."

12. Russian subjects are not allowed to cross the Tartar territory, neither the subjects of the Emperor of China to go to the Russian factories.

13. These are the representatives of the Buddhist Trinity, Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha, or Fo, Fa, and Sengh, as they are called in Thibet.

14. A Bikshu is not allowed to accept anything directly even from laymen of his own people, least of all from a foreigner. The slightest contact with the body and even dress of a person not belonging to their special community is carefully avoided. Thus even the offerings brought by us and which comprised pieces of red and yellow pou-lou, a sort of woollen fabric the lamas generally wear, had to pass through strange ceremonies. They are forbidden, 1, to ask or beg for anything -- even were they starving -- having to wait until it is voluntarily offered; 2, to touch either gold or silver with their hands; 3, to eat a morsel of food, even when presented, unless the donor distinctly says to the disciple, "This is for your master to eat." Thereupon, the disciple turning to the pazen has to offer the food in his turn, and when he has said, "Master, this is allowed; take and eat," then only can the lama take it with the right hand, and partake of it. All our offerings had to pass through such purifications. When the silver pieces, and a few handfuls of annas (a coin equal to four cents) were at different occasions offered to the community, a disciple first wrapped his hand in a yellow handkerchief, and receiving it on his palm, conveyed the sum immediately into the Badir, called elsewhere Sabait, a sacred basin, generally wooden, kept for offerings.

15. These stones are highly venerated among Lamaists and Buddhists; the throne and sceptre of Buddha are ornamented with them, and the Taley Lama wears one on the fourth finger of the right hand. They are found in the Altai Mountains, and near the river Yarkuh. Our talisman was a gift from the venerable high-priest, a Heiloung, of a Kalmuck tribe. Though treated as apostates from their primitive Lamaism, these nomads maintain friendly intercourse with their brother Kalmucks, the Chokhots of Eastern Thibet and Kokonor, but even with the Lamaists of Lha-Ssa. The ecclesiastical authorities however, will have no relations with them. We have had abundant opportunities to become acquainted with this interesting people of the Astrakhan Steppes, having lived in their Kibitkas in our early years, and partaken of the lavish hospitality of the Prince Tumene, their late chief, and his Princess. In their religious ceremonies, the Kalmucks employ trumpets made from the thigh and arm bones of deceased rulers and high priests.

16. The Buddhist Kalmucks of the Astrakhan steppes are accustomed to make their idols out of the cremated ashes of their princes and priests. A relative of the author has in her collection several small pyramids composed of the ashes of eminent Kalmucks and presented to her by the Prince Tumene himself in 1836.

17. The sacred fan used by the chief priests instead of an umbrella.

18. See vol. i., p. 476.

19. See his "Lectures on Sound."

20. From the compound word sutra, maxim or precept, and antika, close or near.

21. It sounds like injustice to Asoka to compare him with Constantine, as is done by several Orientalists. If, in the religious and political sense, Asoka did for India what Constantine is alleged to have achieved for the Western World, all similarity stops there.

22. See "Indian Sketches"; Appleton's "New Cyclopedia," etc.

23. Aum (mystic Sanscrit term of the Trinity), mani (holy jewel), padme (in the lotus, padma being the name for lotus), houm (be it so). The six syllables in the sentence correspond to the six chief powers of nature emanating from Buddha (the abstract deity, not Gautama), who is the seventh, and the Alpha and Omega of being.

24. Moru (the pure) is one of the most famous lamaseries of Lha-Ssa, directly in the centre of the city. There the Shaberon, the Taley Lama, resides the greater portion of the winter months; during two or three months of the warm season his abode is at Foht-lla. At Moru is the largest typographical establishment of the country.

25. The Buddhist great canon, containing 1,083 works in several hundred volumes, many of which treat of magic.

26. "Crawfurd's Mission to Siam," p. 182.

27. "Semedo," vol. iii., p. 114.

28. There was an anecdote current among Daguerre's friends between 1838 and 1840. At an evening party, Madame Daguerre, some two months previous to the introduction of the celebrated Daguerrean process to the Academie des Sciences, by Arago (January, 1839), had an earnest consultation with one of the medical celebrities of the day about her husband's mental condition. After explaining to the physician the numerous symptoms of what she believed to be her husband's mental aberration, she added, with tears in her eyes, that the greatest proof to her of Daguerre's insanity was his firm conviction that he would succeed in nailing his own shadow to the wall, or fixing it on magical metallic plates. The physician listened to the intelligence very attentively, and answered that he had himself observed in Daguerre lately the strongest symptoms of what, to his mind, was an undeniable proof of madness. He closed the conversation by firmly advising her to send her husband quietly and without delay to Bicetre, the well-known lunatic asylum. Two months later a profound interest was created in the world of art and science by the exhibition of a number of pictures taken by the new process. The shadows were fixed, after all, upon metallic plates, and the "lunatic" proclaimed the father of photography.

29. Schott: "Uber den Buddhismus," p. 71.

30. "The Book of Ser Marco Polo," vol. ii., p. 352.

31. Ibid., vol. ii., p. 130, quoted by Col. Yule in vol. ii., p. 353.

32. No country in the world can boast of more medicinal plants than Southern India, Cochin, Burmah, Siam, and Ceylon. European physicians -- according to time-honored practice -- settle the case of professional rivalship, by treating the native doctors as quacks and empirics; but this does not prevent the latter from being often successful in cases in which eminent graduates of British and French schools of Medicine have signally failed. Native works on Materia Medica do not certainly contain the secret remedies known, and successfully applied by the native doctors (the Atibba), from time immemorial; and yet the best febrifuges have been learned by British physicians from the Hindus, and where patients, deafened and swollen by abuse of quinine, were slowly dying of fever under the treatment of enlightened physicians, the bark of the Margosa, and the Chiretta herb have cured them completely, and these now occupy an honorable place among European drugs.

33. The Hindu appellation for the peculiar mantram or charm which prevents the serpent from biting.

34. Between the bells of the "heathen" worshippers, and the bells and pomegranates of the Jewish worship, the difference is this: the former, besides purifying the soul of man with their harmonious tones, kept evil demons at a distance, "for the sound of pure bronze breaks the enchantment," says Tibullius (i., 8-22), and the latter explained it by saying that the sound of the bells "should be heard [by the Lord] when he [the priest] goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when he goeth out, that he die not" (Exodus xxviii. 33; Eccles. xiv. 9). Thus, one sound served to keep away evil spirits, and the other, the Spirit of Jehovah. The Scandinavian traditions affirm that the Trolls were always driven from their abodes by the bells of the churches. A similar tradition is in existence in relation to the fairies of Great Britain.

35. An elemental daemon, in which every native of Asia believes.

36. Lady, or Madam, in Moldavian.

37. The hour in Bucharest corresponded perfectly with that of the country in which the scene had taken place.

38. Capt. W. L. D. O'Grady: "Life in India."

39. Neither Russia nor England succeeded in 1849 in forcing them to recognize and respect the Turkish from the Persian territory.

40. Persepolis is the Persian Istakhaar, northeast of Shiraz; it stood on a plain now called Merdusht. At the confluence of the ancient Medus and the Araxes, now Pulwan and Bend-emir.

41. "AEgyptiaci Theatrum Hierogliphicum," p. 544.

42. We have twice assisted at the strange rites of the remnants of that sect of fire-worshippers known as the Guebres, who assemble from time to time at Baku, on the "field of fire." This ancient and mysterious town is situated near the Caspian Sea. It belongs to Russian Georgia. About twelve miles northeast from Baku stands the remnant of an ancient Guebre temple, consisting of four columns, from whose empty orifices issue constantly jets of flame, which gives it, therefore, the name of Temple of the Perpetual Fire. The whole region is covered with lakes and springs of naphtha. Pilgrims assemble there from distant parts of Asia, and a priesthood, worshipping the divine principle of fire, is kept by some tribes, scattered hither and thither about the country.

43. Baadey-ku-Ba -- literally "a gathering of winds."

44. See also "Magic and Mesmerism," a novel reprinted by the Harpers, thirty years ago.
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