Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

That's French for "the ancient system," as in the ancient system of feudal privileges and the exercise of autocratic power over the peasants. The ancien regime never goes away, like vampires and dinosaur bones they are always hidden in the earth, exercising a mysterious influence. It is not paranoia to believe that the elites scheme against the common man. Inform yourself about their schemes here.

Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:20 am

Interesting Historical Events, Relative to the Provinces of Bengal, and the Empire of Indostan. With a Seasonable Hint and Persuasive to the Honourable The Court of Directors of the East India Company. As Also The Mythology and Cosmogony, Fasts and Festivals of the Gentoo's, Followers of the Shastah. And a Dissertation on the Metempsychosis, commonly, though erroneously, called the Pythagorean Doctrine
Part II.
by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.





It came to pass, when Jesus had risen from the dead, that he passed eleven years discoursing with his disciples, and instructing them only up to the regions of the First Commandment and up to the regions of the First Mystery.... Jesus said to his disciples: "I am come forth out of that First Mystery, which is the last mystery, that is the four-and-twentieth mystery".... Jesus had not told his disciples the total expansion of all the regions of the great Invisible and of the three triple-powers and of the four-and-twenty invisibles, and all their regions and their æons and their orders, how they are extended -- those which are the emanations of the great Invisible -- and their ungenerated and their self-generated and their generated and their light-givers and their unpaired and their rulers and their authorities and their lords and their archangels and their angels and their decans and their servitors and all the houses of their spheres and all the orders of every one of them. And Jesus had not told his disciples the total expansion of the emanations of the Treasury, nor their orders, how they are extended; nor had he told them their saviours, according to the order of every one, how they are; nor had he told them what guard is at every [gate] of the Treasury of the Light; nor had he told them the region of the Twin-saviour, who is the Child of the Child; nor had he told them the regions of the three Amēns, in what regions they are expanded; nor had he told them into what region the five Trees are expanded; nor as to the seven Amēns, that is the seven Voices, what is their region, how they are expanded...

And it came to pass then, on the fifteenth day of the moon in the month Tybi, which is the day on which the moon is full, on that day then, when the sun had come forth in his going, that there came forth behind him a great light-power shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure to the light conjoined with it. For it came out of the Light of lights, and it came out of the last mystery, which is the four-and-twentieth mystery, from within without.... the light was of divers kind, and it was of divers type, from below upwards, one [ray] more excellent than the other...

And Adamas, the great Tyrant, and all the tyrants in all the æons began to fight in vain against the light...

And I took from all a third of their power, that they should no more be active in their evil doings, and that, if the men who are in the world, invoke them in their mysteries -- those which the angels who transgressed have brought down, that is their sorceries, -- in order that, therefore, if they invoke them in their evil doings, they may not be able to accomplish them. And the Fate and the sphere over which they rule, I have changed and brought it to pass that they spend six months turned to the left and accomplish their influences, and that six months they face to the right and accomplish their influences. For by command of the First Commandment and by command of the First Mystery Yew, the Overseer of the Light, had set them facing the left at every time and accomplishing their influences and their deeds...

But they will raise a loan from those who know the mysteries of the magic of the thirteenth æon. And if they invoke the mysteries of the magic of those who are in the thirteenth æon, they will accomplish them well and surely, because I have not taken away power from that region, according to the command of the First Mystery...

If the horoscope-casters find the Fate and the sphere turned towards the left, according to their first extension, their words will come to pass, and they will say what is to take place. But if they chance on the Fate or the sphere turned to the right, they are bound to say nothing true, for I have changed their influences and their squares and their triangles and their octagons; seeing that their influences from the beginning onwards were continuously turned to the left and their squares and their triangles and their octagons. But now I have made them spend six months turned to the left and six months turned to the right. He who then shall find their reckoning from the time when I changed them, setting them so as to spend six months facing towards their left and six months facing their right paths, -- he who then shall observe them in this wise, will know their influences surely and will declare all things which they will do. In like manner also the consulters, if they invoke the names of the rulers and chance on them facing the left, will tell [men] with accuracy all things concerning which they shall ask their decans. On the contrary, if the consulters invoke their names when they face to the right, they will not give ear unto them, because they are facing in another form compared with their former position in which Yew had established them; seeing that other are their names when they are turned to the left and other their names when they are turned to the right. And if they invoke them when they are turned to the right, they will not tell them the truth, but they will confound them with confusion and threaten them with threatening. Those then who do not know their path, when they are turned to the right, and their triangles and their squares and all their figures, will find nothing true, but will be confounded in great confusion and will find themselves in great delusion, because I have now changed the works which they effected aforetime in their squares, when turned to the left, and in their triangles and in their octagons, in which they were busied continuously turned to the left; and I have made them spend six months forming all their configurations turned to the right, in order that they may be confounded in confusion in their whole range. And moreover I have made them spend six months turned to the left and accomplishing the works of their influences and all their configurations, in order that the rulers who are in the æons and in their spheres and in their heavens and in all their regions, may be confounded in confusion and deluded in delusion, so that they may not understand their own paths.

I have changed their path, that they might be deluded and fall into agitation and yield up the power which is in the matter of their world and which they fashion into souls, in order that those who shall be saved, might be quickly purified and raised on high, they and the whole power, and that those who shall not be saved, might be quickly destroyed...

I have shortened the times because of my elect; otherwise no soul would have been able to be saved.' And I have shortened the times and the periods because of the perfect number of the souls who shall receive the mysteries, that is to say, the 'elect'; and had I not shortened their periods, no material soul would have been saved, but they would have perished in the fire which is in the flesh of the rulers...

It came to pass then thereafter that I ascended to the veils of the thirteenth æon.... I entered into the thirteenth æon and found Pistis Sophia below the thirteenth æon all alone and no one of them with her. And she sat in that region grieving and mourning, because she had not been admitted into the thirteenth æon, her higher region. And she was moreover grieving because of the torments which Self-willed, who is one of the three triple-powers, had inflicted on her...

Formerly she was in the region of the height, in the thirteenth æon.... It came to pass, when Pistis Sophia was in the thirteenth æon, in the region of all her brethren the invisibles, that is the four-and-twenty emanations of the great Invisible, -- it came to pass then by command of the First Mystery that Pistis Sophia gazed into the height. She saw the light of the veil of the Treasury of the Light, and she longed to reach to that region, and she could not reach to that region. But she ceased to perform the mystery of the thirteenth æon, and sang praises to the light of the height, which she had seen in the light of the veil of the Treasury of the Light.

It came to pass then, when she sang praises to the region of the height, that all the rulers in the twelve æons, who are below, hated her, because she had ceased from their mysteries, and because she had desired to go into the height and be above them all. For this cause then they were enraged against her and hated her, [as did] the great triple-powered Self-willed, that is the third triple-power, who is in the thirteenth æon, he who had become disobedient, in as much as he had not emanated the whole purification of his power in him, and had not given the purification of his light at the time when the rulers gave their purification, in that he desired to rule over the whole thirteenth æon and those who are below it.... [the great triple-powered Self-willed] emanated out of himself a great lion-faced power, and out of his matter in him he emanated a host of other very violent material emanations, and sent them into the regions below, to the parts of the chaos, in order that they might there lie in wait for Pistis Sophia and take away her power out of her...

All the material emanations of Self-willed surrounded her, and the great lion-faced light-power devoured all the light-powers in Sophia and cleaned out her light and devoured it, and her matter was thrust into the chaos; it became a lion-faced ruler in the chaos, of which one half is fire and the other darkness.... When then this befell, Sophia became very greatly exhausted, and that lion-faced light-power set to work to take away from Sophia all her light-powers, and all the material powers of Self-willed surrounded Sophia at the same time and pressed her sore. And Pistis Sophia cried out most exceedingly.

Pistis Sophia again continued and still sang praises in a second repentance...

She continued again and uttered the third repentance...

Pistis Sophia again continued in the fourth repentance, reciting it before she was oppressed a second time...

The emanations of Self-willed again oppressed Pistis Sophia in the chaos and desired to take from her her whole light.... It came to pass then, when all the material emanations of Self-willed oppressed her, that she cried out and uttered the fifth repentance....

She uttered the sixth repentance...

She turned again to the height, to see if her sins were forgiven her, and to see whether they would lead her up out of the chaos. But by commandment of the First Mystery not yet was she hearkened to, so that her sin should be forgiven and she should be led up out of the chaos. When then she had turned to the height to see whether her repentance were accepted from her, she saw all the rulers of the twelve æons mocking at her and rejoicing over her because her repentance was not accepted from her. When then she saw that they mocked at her, she grieved exceedingly and lifted up her voice to the height in her seventh repentance...

When Pistis Sophia had uttered the seventh repentance in the chaos, the commandment through the First Mystery had not come to me to save her and lead her up out of the chaos. Nevertheless of myself out of compassion without commandment I led her into a somewhat spacious region in the chaos.... When the emanations of Self-willed had noticed that Pistis Sophia had not been led up out the chaos, they turned about again all together, oppressing her vehemently. Because of this then she uttered the eighth repentance...

It came to pass then thereafter, when the emanations of Self-willed oppressed Pistis Sophia in the chaos, that she uttered the ninth repentance...

It came to pass then, when Pistis Sophia had proclaimed the ninth repentance, that the lion-faced power oppressed her again, desiring to take away all powers from her. She cried out again....And in that hour her repentance was accepted from her. The First Mystery hearkened unto her, and I was sent off at his command. I came to help her, and led her up out of the chaos, because she had repented, and also because she had had faith in the Light and had endured these great pains and these great perils....Pistis Sophia then took courage and uttered the tenth repentance...

It came to pass then, when this lion-faced power saw me, how I drew nigh unto Pistis Sophia, shining very exceedingly, that it grew still more furious and emanated from itself a multitude of exceedingly violent emanations. When this then befell, Pistis Sophia uttered the eleventh repentance...

It came to pass then thereafter, that I drew near unto the chaos, shining very exceedingly, to take away the light from that lion-faced power. As I shone exceedingly, it was in fear and cried out to its self-willed god, that he should help it. And forthwith the self-willed god looked out of the thirteenth æon, and looked down into the chaos, exceedingly wrathful and desiring to help his lion-faced power. And forthwith the lion-faced power, it and all its emanations, surrounded Pistis Sophia, desiring to take away the whole light in Sophia. It came to pass then, when they oppressed Sophia, that she cried to the height, crying unto me that I should help her. It came to pass then, when she looked to the height, that she saw Self-willed exceedingly wrathful, and she was in fear, and uttered the twelfth repentance...

She continued again in the thirteenth repentance...

It came to pass when Pistis Sophia had uttered the thirteenth repentance, -- in that hour was fulfilled the commandment of all the tribulations which were decreed for Pistis Sophia for the fulfilment of the First Mystery, which was from the beginning, and the time had come to save her out of the chaos and lead her out from all the darknesses. For her repentance was accepted from her through the First Mystery; and that mystery sent me a great light-power out of the height, that I might help Pistis Sophia and lead her up out of the chaos...

It came to pass then, before I had led forth Pistis Sophia out of the chaos, because it was not yet commanded me through my Father, the First Mystery which looketh within, -- at that time then, after the emanations of Self-willed had perceived that my light-stream had taken from them the light-powers which they had taken from Pistis Sophia, and had poured them into Pistis Sophia, and when they again had seen Pistis Sophia, that she shone as she had done from the beginning, that they were enraged against Pistis Sophia and cried out again to their Self-willed, that he should come and help them, so that they might take away the powers in Pistis Sophia anew.

And Self-willed sent out of the height, out of the thirteenth æon, and sent another great light-power. It came down into the chaos as a flying arrow, that he might help his emanations, so that they might take away the lights from Pistis Sophia anew. And when that light-power had come down, the emanations of Self-willed which were in the chaos and oppressed Pistis Sophia, took great courage and again pursued Pistis Sophia with great terror and great alarm. And some of the emanations of Self-willed oppressed her. One of them changed itself into the form of a great serpent; another again changed itself also into the form of a seven-headed basilisk; another again changed itself into the form of a dragon. And moreover the first power of Self-willed, the lion-faced, and all his other very numerous emanations, they came together and oppressed Pistis Sophia and led her again into the lower regions of the chaos and alarmed her again exceedingly.

It came to pass then that there looked down out of the twelve æons, Adamas, the Tyrant, who also was wroth with Pistis Sophia, because she desired to go to the Light of lights, which was above them all; therefore was he wroth with her. It came to pass then, when Adamas, the Tyrant, had looked down out of the twelve æons, that he saw the emanations of Self-willed oppressing Pistis Sophia, until they should take from her all her lights. It came to pass then, when the power of Adamas had come down into the chaos unto all the emanations of Self-willed, -- it came to pass then, when that demon came down into the chaos, that it dashed down Pistis Sophia. And the lion-faced power and the serpent-form and the basilisk-form and the dragon-form and all the other very numerous emanations of Self-willed surrounded Pistis Sophia all together, desiring to take from her anew her powers in her, and they oppressed Pistis Sophia exceedingly and threatened her. It came to pass then, when they oppressed her and alarmed her exceedingly, that she cried again to the Light and sang praises...

I took Pistis Sophia and led her up to a region which is below the thirteenth æon, and gave unto her a new mystery of the Light which is not that of her æon, the region of the invisibles. And moreover I gave her a song of the Light, so that from now on the rulers of the æons could not [prevail] against her. And I removed her to that region until I should come after her and bring her to her higher region. It came to pass then, when I had led her to the region which is below the thirteenth æon, and was about to go unto the Light and depart from her, that she said unto me:

O Light of lights, thou wilt go to the Light and depart from me. And Tyrant Adamas will know that thou hast departed from me and will know that my saviour is not at hand. And he will come again to this region, he and all his rulers who hate me, and Self-willed also will bestow power unto his lion-faced emanation, so that they all will come and constrain me all together and take my whole light from me, in order that I may become powerless and again without light. Now, therefore, O Light and my Light, take from them the power of their light, so that they may not be able to constrain me from now on.'

It came to pass then, when I heard these words which Pistis Sophia had spoken unto me, that I answered her, saying: 'My Father, who hath emanated me, hath not yet given me commandment to take their light from them; but I will seal the regions of Self-willed and of all his rulers who hate thee because thou hast had faith in the Light. And I will also seal the regions of Adamas and of his rulers, so that none of them may be able to fight with thee, until their time is completed and the season cometh that my Father give me commandment to take their light from them.'

And thereafter I said again unto her: 'Hearken that I may speak with thee about their time, when this which I have said unto thee, will come to pass. It will come to pass when [the] three times are completed.'

Pistis Sophia answered and said unto me: 'O Light, by what shall I know when the three times will take place, so that I may be glad and rejoice that the time is near for thee to bring me to my region, and moreover rejoice therein that the time is come when thou wilt take the light-power from all them which hate me, because I have had faith in thy light?'

And I answered and said unto her: 'If thou seest the gate of the Treasury of the Great Light which is opened after the thirteenth æon, and that is the left [one], -- when that gate is opened, then are the three times completed.'

Pistis Sophia again answered and said: 'O Light, by what shall I know, -- for I am in this region, -- that that gate is opened?'

"And I answered and said unto her: 'When that gate is opened, they who are in all the æons will know because of the Great Light which will obtain in all their regions .... Moreover, if then the three times are completed, Self-willed and all his rulers will again constrain thee, to take thy light from thee, being enraged against thee and thinking that thou hast imprisoned his power in the chaos, and thinking that thou hast taken its light from it. He will then be embittered against thee, to take from thee thy light, in order that he may send it down into the chaos and it may get down to that emanation of his, so that it may be able to come up out of the chaos and go to his region. Adamas will attempt this. But I will take all thy powers from him and give them unto thee, and I will come to take them. Now, therefore, if they constrain thee at that time, then sing praises to the Light, and I will not delay to help thee. And I will quickly come unto thee to the regions which are below thee. And I will come down to their regions to take their light from them. And I will come to this region whither I have removed thee, and which is below the thirteenth æon, until I bring thee to thy region whence thou art come'...

It came to pass then, when that time came on, -- and I was in the world of men, sitting with you in this region, which is the Mount of Olives, -- that Adamas looked down out of the twelve æons and looked down at the regions of the chaos and saw his demon power which is in the chaos, that no light at all was in it, because I had taken its light from it; and he saw it, that it was dark and could not go to his region, that is to the twelve moons. Thereon Adamas again remembered Pistis Sophia and became most exceedingly wroth against her, thinking that it was she who had imprisoned his power in the chaos, and thinking that it was she who had taken its light from it. And he was exceedingly embittered; he piled wrath on wrath and emanated out of himself a dark emanation and another, chaotic and evil, the violent [one], so as through them to harass Pistis Sophia. And he made a dark region in his region, so as to constrain Sophia therein. And he took many of his rulers; they pursued after Sophia, in order that the two dark emanations which Adamas had emanated, might lead her into the dark chaos which he had made, and constrain her in that region and harass her, until they should take her whole light from her, and Adamas should take the light from Pistis Sophia and give it to the two dark violent emanations, and they should carry it to the great chaos which is below and dark, and cast it into his dark power which is chaotic, if perchance it might be able to come to his region, because it had become exceedingly dark, for I had taken its light-power from it...

-- Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S. Mead


• Part II.
o To the Most Noble Hugh, Duke and Earl of Northumberland; Earl Percy; Baron Warkworth of Warkworth Castle; Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the Counties of Middlesex and Northumberland, of the City and Liberty of Westminster, and of the town and country of the Town of Newcastle upon Tyne; Vice Admiral of all America, and of the County of Northumberland; One of the Lords of His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council; Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter; and Fellow of the Royal Society.
o Errata
o Chapter IV. The Religious Tenets of the Gentoos, followers of the Shastah of Bramah.
 Introduction
 Section I. Of God and His Attributes.
 Remarks.
 Section II. The Creation of Angelic Beings.
 Remarks.
 Section III. The Lapse of Part of the Angelic Bands.
 Section IV. The Punishment of the Delinquent Debtah.
 Remarks.
 Section V. The Mitigation of the Punishment of the Delinquent Debtah, and their Final Sentence.
 Remarks.
o Chapter V. Of the Creation of the Worlds
 Introduction
 Section VIII. Birmahah or Creation.
 Remarks.
o Chapter VI. The Gentoo manner of computing Time, and their conception of the age of the universe, and the period of its dissolution.
o Chap. VII. Of the Gentoo Fasts, and Festivals, &c.
 Introduction
 First Holy Day. Ouposs.
 Second. Ouposs.
 Third. Ouposs Poojah – Purrup.
 Fourth. Purrup, at night Poojah.
 Fifth. Ouposs-Poojah.
 Sixth. Ouposs-Purrup.
 Seventh. Ouposs.
 Eighth. Ouposs.
 Ninth. Ouposs.
 Tenth. Ouposs-Purrup.
 Eleventh. Ouposs.
 Twelfth. Purrup.
 Thirteenth. Purrup.
 Fourteenth. Ouposs.
 Fifteenth. Purrup.
 Sixteenth. Purrup.
 Seventeenth. Ouposs.
 Eighteenth. Ouposs.
 Nineteenth. Purrup.
 Twentieth. Ouposs.
 Twenty-first. Purrup.
 Twenty-second. Ouposs-Purrap.
 Twenty-third. Purrup.
 Twenty-fourth. Purrup.
 Twenty-fifth. Birto.
 Twenty-sixth. Ouposs.
 Twenty-seventh. Ouposs.
 Twenty-eighth. Ouposs.
 Twenty-ninth. Ouposs.
 Thirtieth. Purrup.
 Thirty-first. Ouposs.
 Thirty-two. Ouposs-Purrup.
 Thirty-second. Purrup.
 Thirty-third. Ouposs.
o Explanation of the Plate or Representation of the Gentoos' Grand Feast of the Drugah (Plate No. 2.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:23 am


To the Most Noble Hugh, Duke and Earl of Northumberland; Earl Percy; Baron Warkworth of Warkworth Castle; Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of the Counties of Middlesex and Northumberland, of the City and Liberty of Westminster, and of the town and country of the Town of Newcastle upon Tyne; Vice Admiral of all America, and of the County of Northumberland; One of the Lords of His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council; Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter; and Fellow of the Royal Society.

My Lord,

It is with equal deference and pleasure that I submit the following performance to your Grace's perusal; being persuaded you will not think it altogether unworthy of your notice from the important, but uncommon subject it treats upon. Neither do I apprehend you will think my inducement to this work an unbecoming one, when I tell your Grace my intention was to rescue the originally untainted manners, and religious worship of a very ancient people from gross misrepresentation.

I thought it most unjust that the wisdom and tents of BRAMAH and the ancient BRAMINS should be longer disgraced by the strange innovations and practices of their modern brethren; for from these unworthy successors alone have been disseminated the general accounts which we are hitherto made acquainted with of the theology of these people.

Hence it is that although the wisdom of the Eastern sages has been proverbially famous, yet we find them represented to us, in most relations, as a race, from the beginning, equally credulous and ignorant. From such imputations I have endeavoured to vindicate them; not by labored apologies, but by a simple display of their primitive theology, which I would willingly hope cannot but be acceptable to the public, in so inquisitive and learned an age as this.

Whatever small degree of approbation my imperfect labors may obtain from the world, I rest assured it will applaud my choice of a patron on whose judgement and candor I can securely rely; as being a personage whose exalted titles are rendered more resplendent by the amiable virtues and qualities that adorn them -- Virtues! which have endeared him alike to prince and people.

I have the honor to subscribe myself,

My Lord Duke,

Your Grace's most obedient

and most humble servant,

Beenham House, Berks,
Nov. 1st, 1766.

J. Z. Holwell.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:23 am


Page 12 line 17 for Chatah read Chartah.
Page 12, line 24 for Chatah read Chartah.
Page 13 line 4 for Chatah read Chartah.
Page 14 line 8 for Chatah read Chartah.
Page 13 line 22 for Chatah read Chartah.
Page 14 line 4 for Chatah read Chartah.
Page 14 line 12 for Chatah read Chartah.
Page 15 line 3 for Chatah read Chartah.
Page 15 line 14 for Chatah read Chartah.

[Librarian's Note: "antient" changed to "ancient"; "independant" changed to "independent"; "litteral" changed to "literal"; "exteriour" changed to "exterior;" "casts" changed to "castes;" "stedfast" changed to "steadfast;" "Viedam" changed to "Veda;" "stile" changed to "style;" "truely" changed to "truly;" "shew" changed to "show;" "chaunt" changed to "chant;" "encumbent" changed to "incumbent;" "quaere" changed to "question;" "prophane" changed to "profane;" "tryal" changed to "trial;" "comprize" changed to "comprise;" "superiour" changed to "superior;" "subtility" changed to "subtlety;" "tyed" changed to "tied;" "marvellous" changed to "marvelous;" "neighbourhood" changed to "neighborhood;" "centre" changed to "center;" "publick" changed to "public;" "ingaged" changed to "engaged;" "contemners" changed to "condemners;" "Manechean" changed to "Manichaean;" "Bengall" changed to "Bengal;" "expence" changed to "expense;" etc.]

The Binder is desired to place this before Page 1, of the second part of Interesting Historical Events.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:30 am

Part 1 of 3

Chap. IV. The Religious Tenets of the Gentoos, followers of the Shastah of Bramah.


We have already premised, that in the prosecution of this our fourth general head, we should touch only on the original principal tenets of these ancient people the Gentoos; for were we to penetrate into, and discuss the whole of their modern ceremonials, and complicated modes of worship; our labor would be without end: these are as diffuse, as the ancient fundamental tenets of Bramah are short, pure, simple and uniform; in this predicament the Gentoos are not singular, as the original text of every theological system, has, we presume, from a similar cause, unhappily undergone the same fate; thought at first promulged as a divine institution.

We shall not say much regarding the antiquity of these people; nor shall we amuse ourselves with the reveries of chronologers and historians; who have labored to fix with precision (though not two of them agree in opinion) the various migrations after the flood: it shall suffice for our purpose, that by their own showing, Indostan was as early peopled, as most other parts of the known world.

The first invaders of this empire, found the inhabitants a potent, opulent, civilized, wise, and learned people; united under one head, and one uniform profession of divine worship; by the fundamental principles of which, they were precluded communication, and social converse, with the rest of mankind; and these invasions first made them a warlike people also.

Alexander the Great, invaded them in later times, and found them in the same state; and though it should seem, from Arrian's and Quintus Curtius's history of that Prince's expeditions, that the different principalities he conquered, were independent kingdoms, and governed by independent Kings and Princes; yet the Gentoo records of Bindoobund and Banaras show, that at that period, and much later, all the principalities of this empire, were in subjection to, and owed allegiance to one head, styled the Mhaahah Rajah of Indostan; a Prince of the Succadit family, said to be lineally descended from their great Prince and Legislator Bramah; and that it was not until after the extinction of this sacred family (as the Gentoos call it) that the Rajahs assumed an independency.

But it did not sufficiently sooth the vanity of Alexander, nor that of his historians, to record his conquests of a few petty Rajahs and Governors of provinces; and though we do not contest the fact of that invasion, yet we think ourselves justified in concluding the greatest party of its history is fabulous; yet, that it claims greater credit and belief, than those of Bacchus and [Sesostris[/i]: the Greek and Latin construction and termination of the names, and places, of the Princes and kingdoms of Indostan, said by Alexander's historians to be conquered by him; bear not the least analogy or idiom of the Gentoo language, either ancient or modern; as any one the least conversant in it can testify; and although the ground work of their history was founded on fact, yet the superstructure carries strongly the semblance of invention and romance: And he who is acquainted with this empire, and can give full credit to those legends, may upon as just a foundation believe Alexander to have been the son of Jupiter Ammon; or, with Q. Curtius, that the Ganges opened into the Red Sea.

The annals of the Gentoos, give testimony of Alexander's invasion; where he is recorded under the epithets, of Mhaahah Dukkoyt, e Kooneah, a most mighty robber and murderer; but they make not any mention of a Porus, nor of any name that has the smallest allusion or likeness to it; and yet the action between Alexander and this imaginary King Porus, has been pompously exhibited by the historians of the former, and has happily afforded subject matter for representations, that do the highest honour to the art and genius of man.

The liberty we have taken with these so long celebrated historians, may seem to our readers to be foreign to our subject, but in the end we hope it will appear otherwise; when they find that these authors have (either from their own fertile inventions, or from mis-information, or rather from want of a competent knowledge in the language of the nation) mis-represented, or to speak more favorably, mis-conceived their religious tenets as much as they have the genius and state of their government.

The space of time employed in Alexander's expedition in this empire, did not afford a possibility of acquiring any adequate knowledge of a language in itself so highly difficult to attain in the smallest degree of perfection, even from many years residence and intimate converse with the natives; can it be possibly believed then, that any of Alexander's followers could in this short space acquire such perfection in the Gentoo language as could enable them justly to transmit down the religious system of a nation, with whom they can scarcely be said to have had any communication?

There are numerous surviving ancient Greek and Latin sources on Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, as well as some Asian texts. The five main surviving accounts are by Arrian, Plutarch, Diodorus Siculus, Quintus Curtius Rufus, and Justin. In addition to these five main sources, there is the Metz Epitome, an anonymous late Latin work that narrates Alexander's campaigns from Hyrcania to India. Much is also recounted incidentally by other authors, including Strabo, Athenaeus, Polyaenus, Aelian, and others. Strabo, who gives a summary of Callisthenes, is an important source for Alexander's journey to Siwah.

Most primary sources written by people who actually knew Alexander or who gathered information from men who served with Alexander are lost, but a few inscriptions and fragments survive. Contemporaries who wrote accounts of his life include Alexander's campaign historian Callisthenes; Alexander's generals Ptolemy and Nearchus; Aristobulus, a junior officer on the campaigns; and Onesicritus, Alexander's chief helmsman. Finally, there is the very influential account of Cleitarchus who, while not a direct witness of Alexander's expedition, used sources which had just been published. His work was to be the backbone of that of Timagenes, who heavily influenced many historians whose work still survives. None of his works survived, but we do have later works based on these primary sources.

The five main sources


• Anabasis Alexandri (The Campaigns of Alexander in Greek) by the Greek historian Arrian of Nicomedia, writing in the 2nd century AD, and based largely on Ptolemy and, to a lesser extent, Aristobulus and Nearchus. It is generally considered one of the best sources on the campaigns of Alexander as well as one of the founders of a primarily military-based focus on history. Arrian cites his source by name and he often criticizes them. He is not interested in the King's private life, overlooking his errors. That Alexander should have committed errors in conduct from impetuosity or from wrath, and that he should have been induced to comport himself like the Persian monarchs to an immoderate degree, I do not think remarkable if we fairly consider both his youth and his uninterrupted career of good fortune. I do not think that even his tracing his origin to a god was a great error on Alexander's part if it was not perhaps merely a device to induce his subjects to show him reverence 888. (Arrian 7b 29)
• Indike Which according to Artisan made more sense.

• Life of Alexander (see Parallel Lives) and two orations On the Fortune or the Virtue of Alexander the Great (see Moralia), by the Greek historian and biographer Plutarch of Chaeronea in the second century, based largely on Aristobulus and especially Cleitarchus. Plutarch devotes a great deal of space to Alexander's drive and desire and strives to determine how much of it was presaged in his youth. He also draws extensively on the work of Lysippus, Alexander's favorite sculptor, to provide what is probably the fullest and most accurate description of the conqueror's physical appearance.


• Bibliotheca historica (Library of world history), written in Greek by the Sicilian historian Diodorus Siculus, from which Book 17 relates the conquests of Alexander, based almost entirely on Cleitarchus and Hieronymus of Cardia. It is the oldest surviving Greek source (1st century BC). Diodorus regarded Alexander like Caesar as a key historical figure and chronological marker.


• Historiae Alexandri Magni, a biography of Alexander in ten books, of which the last eight survive, by the Roman historian Quintus Curtius Rufus, written in the 1st century AD, and based largely on Cleitarchus through the mediation of Timagenes, with some material probably from Ptolemy. His work is fluidly written, but reveals ignorance of geography, chronology, and technical military knowledge, focusing instead on the character. According to Jona Lendering: ..the real subject was not Alexander, but the tyranny of Tiberius and Caligula. (It can be shown that Curtius Rufus' description of the trial of Philotas is based on an incident during the reign of Tiberius)...Curtius copies Cleitarchus' mistakes, although he is not an uncritical imitator.


• The Epitome of the Philippic History of Pompeius Trogus by Justin, is highly compressed version of an earlier history by Trogus, with the selections governed by Justin's desire to make moralistic points, rather than with an eye for the history itself.

-- Historiography of Alexander the Great, by Wikipedia

Touching the antiquity of the scriptures, we are treating of, we have much more to say, in support of our conjecture and belief, that the Shastah of Bramah, is as ancient, at least, as any written body of divinity that was ever produced in the world. But it is previously necessary, that we explain the word Bramah, which has been variously wrote, and indiscriminately applied by many authors, and particularly by Baldeus, who confounds Birmah and [Bramah[/i] as being the same person, though nothing in nature can be more different. This could proceed only, from the specific meaning and origin of those words not being clearly understood; and this we conceive has led many other writers into the same error: our present disquisition therefore calls, not only for the explanation of these words, but also of the other two supposed primary created beings Bistnoo, and Sieb. For unless these three persons Pirmah, Bistnoo, and Sieb, are distinctly comprehended, and held in remembrance, a considerable portion of the allegorical part of the Shastah of Bramah, will appear utterly unintelligible.

Different authors style him, Bruma, Brama, Burma, Brumma, Birmah, Bramah; and although they write him thus variously, they are unanimous in thinking him the same person, and give him the same attributes. They are all, it is true, derivatives from the same root, Brum, or Bram (for these are synonimous in the Shastah) but none of all the above appellatives are to be found in the Shastah, but Birmah and Bramah. They are all compounded of brum or bram, a spirit, or essence, and mah, mighty; brum, in an absolute and simple sense signifies the spirit or essence of God, and is but upon one occasion mentioned as a person, and that is when brum is represented with the habiliments and four arms of Birmah, floating on a leaf, upon the face of a troubled chaos, immediately preceding the act of the creation of the universe. -- Birmah is understood in an absolute personal sense, and in a figurative one; in the former as the first of the three primary created angelic beings -- in this sense the word signifies literally the mighty second. For though Birmah is the first of the three prime beings, he is styled second in power to God only, and sometimes in the Shastah has the name of Birmahah, the most mighty second. -- In the figurative sense the word Birmah means creation, created, and sometimes creator, and represents what the Bramins call, the first great attribute of God, his power of creation.

Brumah is the title solely appropriated to the Promulger of the Shastah, and implies the spirituality and divinity of his mission and doctrines; hence it is, that his successors assumed the name of Bramins, supposing themselves to inherit the same divine spirit.

As the word Birmah, is used in a personal, and figurative sense, so is Bistnoo and Sieb; personally, as being the second and third of the first created angelic beings, who had pre-eminence in heaven, the word Bistnoo, literally signifies a cherisher, a preserver, a comforter; and Sieb, a destroyer, an Avenger, a mutilator, a punisher; and these three persons, when figuratively applied in the Shastah (as they frequently are) represents what the Bramins call the three first and great attributes of God, his power to create, his power to preserve, and his power to change or destroy. And we shall see that in the distribution of the almighty's commands to these primary persons, tasks are assigned to each, of a very different nature; to Birmah, works of power, government and glory; to Bistnoo, works of tenderness and benevolence; and to Sieb, works of terror, severity and destruction. This last mentioned person is the object of great dismay and terror to the Gentoos, but modern expounders of Bramah's Shastah have softened the rigor of his character by giving him names and attributes of a very different nature from that of Sieb. They call his Moisoor (a contraction of Mahahsoor, the most mighty destroyer of evil) and under this soothing title he is worshipped, not as Sieb the destroyer, but as the destroyer of evil. The other epithet they have given to him is Moideb, (a contraction of Mahahdebtah, the most mighty angel) in this sense he is worshipped as the averter of evil, and under this character he has the most altars erected to him.

This necessary interpretation and explanation premised, we proceed to the Shastah itself; and shall faithfully give a detail of the origin of this book; and the several innovations and changes it has suffered: a detail -- which although known by all the learned amongst the Bramins, is yet confessed but by a few, and those only, whose purity of principle and manners, and zeal for the primitive doctrines of Bramah's Shastah, sets them above disguising the truth; from many of these, we have had the following recital.

That, when part of the angelic bands rebelled, and were driven from the face of God, and expelled from the heavenly regions; God doomed them in his wrath, to eternal punishment and banishment; but, that by the intercession of the faithful remaining bands, he was at length inclined to mercy, and to soften the rigor of their sentence, by instituting a course only, of punishment, purgation, and purification; through which, by due submission, they might work out a restoration to the seats they had lost by their disobedience.

That God in full assembly of the faithful bands specified their course of punishment, purgation and purification; registered, and declared his decree, immutable, and irrevocable; and commanded Birmah, to descend to the banished delinquents and signify unto them the mercy and determination of their creator.

That Birmah fulfilled God's command, descended to the delinquent angels, and made known unto them the mercy and immutable sentence, that God their creator had pronounced and registered against them.

That the great and unexpected mercy of God, at first made a deep impression upon all the delinquents, except on the leaders of their rebellion; these in process of time, regained their influence, and confirmed most of the delinquents in their disobedience, and thereby the merciful intentions of their creator, became in a great measure frustrated.

That about the beginning of the present age (i.e. 4,866 years ago) the three primary created beings and the rest of the faithful angelic host, feeling the deepest anguish for the exalted wickedness of their delinquent brethren, concluded it could only proceed, from their having by time, forgot the terms of their salvation; which had been only verbally delivered to them by Birmah: they therefore petitioned the Almighty, that he would be pleased to suffer his sentence, and the conditions of their restoration, to be digested into a body of written laws for their guidance; and that some of the angelic beings, might have permission to descend to the delinquents, to promulge and preach this written body of laws unto them, that they might thereby be left without excuse, or the plea of ignorance, for their continuance in disobedience.

That God assented, to the petitions of the angelic bands; when they, one and all, offered to undertake this mission, but God selected from amongst them those whom he deemed most proper for this work of salvation; who were appointed to descend to the different regions of the habitable universe. That a being from the first rank of angels was destined for the eastern part of this globe, whom God dignified with the Name of Bramah, in allusion to the divinity of the doctrine and mission he had in charge.

That Birmah by the command of God dictated to Bramah and the other deputed angels, the terms and conditions, which had been primarily delivered to the delinquents, by the mouth of Birmah; that Bramah received, and entered the laws of God in Debtah Nagur, (literally, the language of angels) and that when Bramah descended at the beginning of the present age, and assumed the human form and government of Indostan, he translated them into the Sanscrit, a language then universally known throughout Indostan; and called the body of laws the Chatah Bhade [A written book.] Shastah of Bramah (literally, the four scriptures of divine words of the mighty spirit) which he promulged, and preaced to the delinquents, as the only terms of their salvation and restoration.

That for the space of a thousand years, the doctrines of the Chatah Bhade, were preached and propagated, without variation or innovation; and many of the delinquents benefited from them and were saved: but that about the close of this period, some Goseyns [Gentoo Bishops] and Battezaaz [Expounders of the Shastah.] Bramins, combining together, wrote a paraphrase on the Chatah Bhade, which they called the Chatah [Six.] Bhade of Bramah [From the promulging this Bhade, the Polytheism of the Gentoo's took its rise.], or the six scriptures of the mighty spirit; in this work the original text of Bramah's Chatah Bhade was still preserved. -- About this period also it was, that the Goseyns and Battezaaz Bramins, began to appropriate to themselves the use of the Sanscrit character, and instituted in the place of it the common Indostan character in use at this day: it was now also that they first began to veil in mysteries, the simple doctrines of Bramah.

That about five hundred years later, that is, fifteen hundred years from the first promulgation of Bramah's Shastah; the Goseyns, and the Battezaaz Bramins, published a second exposition, or commentary on the Chatah Bhade; which swelled the Gentoo scriptures to eighteen books: these the commentators entitled the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah, or the eighteen books of divine words; it was drawn up in a compound character, of the common Indostan, and Sanscrit; -- the original text of the Chatah Bhade, was in a manner sunk and alluded to only; the histories of their Rajahs and country, were introduced under figures and symbols, and made a part of their religious worship, and a multitude of ceremonials, and exterior modes of worship, were instituted; which the commentators said were implied in Bramah's Chatah Bhade, although not expressly directed therein, by him; and the whole enveloped in impenetrable obscurity by allegory and fable, beyond the comprehension even of the common tribe of Bramins themselves; the laity being thus precluded from the knowledge of their original scriptures and a new system of faith broached unto them, which their ancestors were utterly strangers to.

That this innovation of the Aughtorrah Bhade produced a schism amongst the Gentoo's, who until this period had followed one profession of faith throughout the vast empire of Indostan; for the Bramins of Cormandell and Mallabar finding their brethren upon the course of the Ganges had taken this bold step to inslave the laity, set up for themselves, and formed a scripture of their own, founded as they said upon the Chatah Bhade of Bramah; this they called the Veda[Veda in the Mallabar language signifies the same as Shastah in the Sanskrit, viz. divine words -- and sometimes, the words of God.] of Brummah, or divine words of the mighty spirit; -- these commentators, by the example of their brethren, interspersed in their new religious system, the histories of their governors, and country, under various symbols and allegories, but departed from that chastity of manners, which was still preserved in the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah.

Thus the original, plain, pure, and simple tenets of the Chatah Bhade of Bramah (fifteen hundred years after its first promulgation) became by degrees utterly lost; except, to three or four Goseyn families, who at this day are only capable of reading, and expounding it, from the Sanscrit character; to these may be added a few others of the tribe of Batteezaaz Bramins, who can read and expound from the Chatah Bhade, which still preserved the text of the original, as before remarked.

How much soever the primitive religion of the Gentoos suffered by these innovations; their government underwent no change for many centuries after, all acknowledging allegiance to one universal Rajah of the Succadit family, lineally descended from their Prince and Lawgiver Bramah. -- The Princes of this line opposed the innovations made in their primitive faith, with a fruitless opposition, which endangered the existence of their own government; so that at length they were reduced to the necessity of subscribing, first to the Chatah Bhade, and subsequently to the Aughtorrah Bhade; although their wisdom foresaw, and foretold, the fatal consequences these innovations would have on the state and the nation: but the Goseyns and Bramins, having tasted the sweets of priestly power by the first of these Bhades, determined to enlarge, and establish it, by the promulgation of the last; for in this the exterior modes of worship were so multiplied, and such a numerous train of new divinities created, which the people never before had heard or dreamed of, and both the one and the other were so enveloped by the Goseyns and Bramins in darkness, penetrable to themselves only, that those professors of divinity, became of new and great importance, for the daily obligations of religious duties, which were by these new institutes imposed on every Gentoo, from the highest to the lowest rank of the people, were of so intricate, and alarming a nature, as to require a Bramin to be at hand, to explain and officiate, in the performance of them: they had however the address to captivate the minds of the vulgar, by introducing show and parade into all their principal religious feasts, as well as fasts; and by a new single political institution, to wit, the preservation of their caste or tribe, the whole nation was reduced to sacerdotal slavery.

From the period that the Aughtorrah Bhade was published as the rule of the Gentoo faith and worship, superstition, the sure support of priestcraft, took fast possession of the people; and their consciences, actions, and conduct, in spirituals and temporals, were lodged in the breasts of their household Bramins, and at their disposal; for every head of a family was obliged to have one of those ghostly fathers at his elbow, and in fact the people became in general mere machiens, actuated and moved, as either the good or evil intentions of their household tyrant dictated.

The Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah, has been invariably followed by the Gentoos inhabiting from the mouth of the Ganges to the Indus, for the last three thousand three hundred and sixty six years. This precisely fixes the commencement of the Gentoo mythology, which, until the publication of that Bhade, had no existence amongst them: every Gentoo of rank or wealth, has a copy of this scripture in his possession; under the care and inspection of his domestic Bramin; who every day reads and expounds a portion of it to the family.

Sixteen hundred and seventy nine years from the promulgation of the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah, the sacred line of Bramah became extinct, in the person of Succadit, the last Mahahmahah Rajah; (most mighty King) he reigned over all Indostan, sixty years; his decease caused a general lamentation amongst the people; and from his death, a new Gentoo Epocha took place, called the AEra of Succadit; and the present year (A.D. 1766) is the year of Succadit, sixteen hundred eighty seven.

The death of Succadit, became not only remarkable for a new Epocha of time, but also for another signal event in the Gentoo annals; namely, a total revolution of their government: the royal and sacred line being extinct, the Viceroys of this extensive empire (who had been for some years strengthening themselves in their respective governments, and preparing for this expected event) on the demise of Succadit, set up a claim of independency, to the lands over which they had ruled under the emperor: they all assumed the title of Rajah, a distinction which, before this memorable period, had been only given to four or five of the first officers of the state; who also generally filled the chief governments of the empire. -- Confusion followed -- Those commanders who found themselves invested with greater force and power, attacked, conquered, and joined to their governments, the territories of those who lay contiguous to them; whilst others who lay more distant preserved their independency: and thus the empire was divided into as many kingdoms, as there had been Viceroyships and Governments. -- Between these Rajahs, there subsisted a continual warfare. -- From an empire thus divided against itself, what could be expected, but that which, in a few centuries, consequently and naturally followed.

For the simple and intelligible tenets and religious duties, enjoined by the Chartah Bhade, being thus absorbed and lost, in the attention and adherence, paid to the extravagant, absurd, and unintelligible non-essentials of worship, instituted by the Aughtorrah Bhade; laid the foundation of the miseries, with which in succeeding times, Indostan was visited; and the merciful intention of God, for the redemption of the delinquent angels, (destined to inhabit this part of the earthly globe) was rendered fruitless. -- The holy Tribe of Bramins, who were chosen and appointed by Bramah himself, to preach the word of God, and labor the salvation of the delinquents; in process of time lost sight of their divine original, and in it's place substituted new and strange doctrines; that had no tendency, but to the establishing their own power: the people hearkened unto them, and their minds were subdued and enslaved; their ancient military genius, and spirit of liberty was debilitated; discord and dissention arose amongst the rulers of the land, and the state grew ripe for falling at the first convulsion; and in the end suffered an utter subversion, under the yoke of Mahommeden tyranny; as a just punishment inflicted on them by God, for their neglect of his laws, commands, and promises, promulged to them, by his great and favored angel Bramah, in the Chartah Bhade Shastah.

The foregoing detail, contains the genuine conceptions and belief, which the Bramins themselves entertain of the antiquity of their scriptures, and of the two remarkable innovations they have undergone; particulars which we have had repeatedly confirmed to us, in various conferences with many of the most learned and ingenuous, amongst the laity of the Koyt [The tribe of Writers.], and other Castes, who are often better versed in the doctrines of their Shastah than the common run of the Bramins themselves.

We hope it will not be displeasing to our readers, if from the foregoing recital, we reduce into a narrow compass, and into one view, the steadfast faith of the Gentoos. Touching the antiquity of their scriptures; (the point now only under our consideration) it appears therefore that they date the birth of the tenets and doctrines of the Shastah, from the expulsion of the angelic beings from the heavenly regions; that those tenets were reduced into a written body of laws, four thousand eight hundred and sixty-six years ago, and then by God's permission were promulged and preached to the inhabitants of Indostan. That these original scriptures underwent a remarkable change or innovation a thousand years after the mission of their Prophet and Lawgiver Bramah, in the publication of the Chatah Bhade Shastah; and that three thousand three hundred and sixty-six years past, these original scriptures suffered a second and last change or innovation, in the publication of the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah; which occasioned the first and only schism amongst the Gentoos, that subsists to this day, namely between the followers of the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah, and the followers of the Veda.

Without reposing an implicit confidence in the relations the Bramins give of the antiquity of their scriptures; we will with our readers indulgence, humbly offer a few conjectures that have swayed us into a belief and conclusion, that the original tenets of Bramah are most ancient; that they are truly original, and not copied from any system of theology, that has ever been promulged to, or obtruded upon the belief of mankind: what weight our conjectures may have with the curious, or how far it may rather appear in the prosecution of our work, that other theological systems have been framed from this, we readily submit to those, whose genius, learning and capacity in researches of this kind, are much superior to our own.

It has been without reserve asserted, that the Gentoos received their doctrines and worship, from the Persees or Egyptians; but without (as we conceive) any degree of probability, or grounds, for the foundation of this opinion; reason and facts, seeming to us, to be on the side of the very contrary opinion.

That there was a very early communication between the empires of Persia, Egypt and Indostan, is beyond controversy; the former lay contiguous to Indostan; and although Egypt lay more remote from it, there still was an early passage open between them, by the navigation from the Red Sea, to the Indus: therefore it will appear no strained conclusion, if we say; it is most likely there had been frequent intercourse between the learned Magi of both those nations, and the Bramins, long before the last mentioned sages were visited by Zoroaster and Pythagoras.

It is necessary to remark that the Bramins did not, indeed could not, seek this intercourse, for the principles of their religion forbad their travelling, or mixing with other nations; but so famed were they in the earliest known times for the purity of their manners, and the sublimity of their wisdom and doctrines, that their converse was sought after, and solicited universally by the philosophers, and searchers after wisdom and truth. For this character of them, we have the concurring testimony of all antiquity.

At what period of time, Indostan was visited by Zoroaster and Pythagoras, is not clearly determined by the learned; we will suppose it, with the generality of writers, to have been about the time of Romulus. -- That these sages travelled, not to instruct, but, to be instructed; is a fact that may be determined with more precision; as well as, that they were not in Indostan together. -- As they both made a long residence with the Bramins North West of the Ganges (for the name of Zarahurst, and Pythagore retain a place in the Gentoo annals "as travellers in "search of wisdom") it is reasonable to conclude they might in some degree be instructed in the Sanscrit Character, and consequently, in the doctrines and worship instituted by the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhades.

Mr. Holwell has produced no critical characters by which we can judge of the authenticity of his Gentoo annals; and till that is established, we must think they serve no greater degree of credit than the ancient Histories of Ireland, Scotland, and England, by Keating, Boece, and Geoffrey of Monmouth.

-- Holwell's Historical Events, &c. Part II, Excerpt from The critical review, or Annals of Literature, Volume 22, by A Society of Gentlemen, July, 1766

The "Gentoo Annals" cannot be identified.

-- The British Discovery of Hinduism in the Eighteenth Century, by Prentice-Hall of India Limited, New Delhi, 1960 [Printed by J. Middleton for G. Claridge & Co. Ltd., and published by Prentice-Hall of India Limited, New Delhi.

It is worthy notice that the metempsychosis as well as the three grand principles taught in the greater Eleusinian mysteries; namely, the unity of the godhead, his general providence over all creation, and a future state of rewards and punishments; were fundamental doctrines of Bramah’s Chartah Bhade Shastah, and were preached by the Bramins, from time immemorial to this day, throughout Indostan: not as mysteries, but as religious tenets, publicly known and received; by every Gentoo, of the meanest capacity; this is a truth, which, we conceive, was unknown to the learned investigator of the Eleusinian mysteries; or it is probable he would, with more caution, have asserted, that the Eastern nations received their doctrines from the Egyptians.

Although the polytheism of the Gentoos had its origin from the first promulgation of the Chatah Bhade Shastah, and their mythology from the publication of the Aughtorrah Bhade; yet the above mentioned theological dogmas remained inviolable and unchanged: and as these, with the firm persuasion of the pre-existent state of the spirit, or soul, have ever been, and still are, the very basis of all the Gentoo worship; it appears to us most probable, (from the early communication before remarked, and the reasons before given) that the Egyptians borrowed these tenets from the Bramins.

That Pythagoras took the doctrine of the metempsychosis, from the Bramins, is not disputed: yet future times erroneously styled it Pythagorean; an egregious mistake, which could proceed only from ignorance of its original.

Whatever may have been the period, that Indostan was visited by the two travelling sages abovementioned; it is acknowledged that Pythagoras undertook that journey, some years later than Zoroaster: — when Pythagoras left India, he went into Persia, where he conversed with the Magi of that country, and was instructed in their mysteries; and is said (with probability of truth) to have held many conferences with Zoroaster, on the doctrines of the Bramins. They had both been initiated in all the mysteries; and learning, of the Egyptians; and Pythagoras, in his second visit to Egypt, before his return to Greece, probably repaid the debt of wisdom he had received from the Magi, by giving them new, and stronger lights, into the theology, cosmogony and mythology of the Bramins, from their Chatah, and Aughtorrah Bhades.

The moral institutes, of Zoroaster, and Pythagoras; inculcated and taught by the one to the Persians; and by the other, to the Greeks; truly bore the stamp of divine, but their system of theology, surely that of madness. They had so long, and intensely thought, and reasoned on the divine nature, and the cause of evil; that the portion of divine nature they possessed, seemed utterly impaired, and bewildered, as soon as they began to form their crude principles into a system; they appear to have preserved the basis and outlines of Bramah's Shastah, on which (probably in conjunction with the Persian and Egyptian Magi) they raised an aerial superstructure, wild and incomprehensible and labored to propagate an unintelligible jargon of divinity, which neither themselves, nor any mortal since their time, could explain, or reduce to the level of human understanding.

How far, on a comparison between the modes of worship, instituted by the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhades, and those of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, it may appear that those of the Bramins are originals, and those of the latter copies only, we submit to the enquiry of the learned into those intricate studies, when in the course of our work we exhibit to the reader some specimens of the Gentoo mythology, and an account of their fasts and festivals.

By the fundamental doctrines and laws of the Gentoos, they cannot admit of proselytes or converts, to their faith or worship; nor receive them into the pale of their communion, without the loss of their caste, or tribe; a disgrace, which every Gentoo would rather suffer death than incur: and although this religious prohibition, in its consequences, reduced the people to a slavish dependence on their Bramins; yet it proved the cement of their union as a nation; which to this day remains unmixed with any other race of people. -- These are circumstances which, to the best of our knowledge, remembrance, and reading; peculiarly distinguish the Gentoos, from all the nations of the known world, and plead strongly in favor of the great antiquity of this people, as well as the originality of their scriptures.

Another consideration, to the same purpose, claims our notice; namely the perpetuity of the Gentoo doctrines, which through a succession of so many ages, have still remained unchanged, in their fundamental tenets; -- for although the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhades, enlarged the exteriors of their worship, yet these derive their authority and essence, in the bosom of every Gentoo, from the Chartah Bhade of Bramah: and it is no uncommon thing, for a Gentoo, upon any point of conscience, or any important emergency in his affairs or conduct, to reject the decision of the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhades, and to procure, no matter at what expence, the decision of the Chartah Bhade, expounded from the Sanscrit.

Enough has been said, to show that the genuine tenets of Bramah, are to be found only in the Chartah Bhade; and as all who have wrote on this subject, have received their information from crude, inconsistent reports, chiefly taken from the Aughtorrah Bhade, and the Veda; it is no wonder that the religion of the Gentoos has been traduced, by some, as utterly unintelligible; and by others, as monstrous, absurd, and disgraceful to humanity:-- our design is to rescue these ancient people, from those imputations; in order to which we shall proceed, without further introduction or preface, to investigate their original scriptures, as contained in the Chartah Bhade; at the close of each section we shall subjoin, such remarks, and explanations, as may appear to us necessary and pertinent to our subject.

For the greater perspicuity, we will present to our readers the fundamental doctrines of the Bramins, under five distinct sections; as they are ranged in the first book of this Shastah: viz.  

I. Of God and his Attributes.
II. The creation of Angelic Beings.
III. The Lapse of part of those Beings.
IV. Their Punishment.
V. The mitigation of that Punishment, and their final Sentence.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:32 am

Part 2 of 3

Sect. I.

Of God and his Attributes.

God is One. [Ekhummesha, literally, the one that ever was; which we translate, the eternal one.] Creator of all that is. -- God is like a perfect sphere, without beginning or end. God rules and governs all creation by a general providence resulting from first determined and fixed principles. -- Thou shalt not make enquiry into the essence and nature of the existence of the ETERNAL ONE, nor, by what laws he governs. -- An enquiry into either, is vain, and criminal. -- It is enough, that day by day, and night by night, thou seest in his works; his wisdom, power, and his mercy. -- Benefit thereby.


The foregoing simple and sublime description of the Supreme Being, constitutes the first chapter, or section of the Shastah. -- The Bramins of the Aughtorrah Bhade teach, that there originally existed a chapter of the Shastah, which explained and solely treated of the divine nature and essence; but that it was soon irrecoverably lost, and never transmitted to posterity by Bramah, who tore it out of his Chartah Bhade.

Baldeus, who resided thirty years on the Island of Ceylon, and has given a laborious translation of the Veda; recites a similar anecdote from those scriptures, and says, ‘that the lost part treated of God, and the origin of the universe, or visible worlds, the loss of which is highly lamented by the Bramins." -- In which this author seems to have plunged into a double error; first, in alleging the part lost, treated of the origin of the universe; whereas both the Veda, and Shastah, are elaborate on the subject; and fix not only the period of its creation, but also its precise age, and term of duration, (as we shall show hereafter); consequently and secondly, they could not properly be said to lament a loss they never sustained. -- But in truth, the whole of this matter is allegorical, a circumstance, which Baldeus, it seems, never adverted to.

In various discourses we have had, with some learned Bramins, on the above cited passage of the Aughtorrah Bhade, they were all unanimous in their sense and interpretation of it: namely, that to man was given for the exercise of his reason, and virtue, the contemplation of the visible wonders of the creation; but, that the ETERNAL ONE had precluded all enquiry into his origin, nature and essence, and the laws by which he governs; as subjects inexplicable to, and beyond the limited powers of created beings; therefore it is emphatically said, that Bramah tore out that part, implying the prohibition of such enquiries, as useless and presumptuous.

Had one tythe of the time and trouble, which the just mentioned ecclesiastic bestowed in rendering a literal translation of the Veda, been employed in attempting an explanation of its mysteries; his labors might have proved worthy the attention of the learned; whereas, by contenting himself with a bare version, without aiming at the interpretation of the allegorical parts of those scriptures, his toils, which must have been great and intense, have only produced a monster, that shocks reason and probability. -- They are misrepresentations like these, which we have lamented in the preliminary discourse, to the first part of this our work, as injurious to human nature; various and enormous are the mistakes, which this author has fallen into from the above cause, through the whole of his voluminous work, which might be proved in a multitude of instances; but one shall suffice as a specimen of the whole, which nothing but the mistaken zeal of a Christian can excuse.

The Veda (according to Baldeus) gives the same place and power to Birmah or Bramah (for he erroneously makes these names synonimous) as the Shastah does; and as the Mallabars acknowledge Bramah to be the son of God, and supreme governor of angels; nay even ascribe to him a human form: so it is evident, that these attributes, must have their origin from what they have heard, though perhaps confusedly, of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

Sect. II

The Creation of Angelic Beings.

The ETERNAL ONE, absorbed in the contemplation of his own existence; in the fullness of time, resolved to participate his glory and essence with beings capable of feeling, and sharing his beatitude, and of administering to his glory. -- These beings then were not. -- The ETERNAL ONE willed. -- And they were. -- He formed them in part of his own essence; capable of perfection, but with the powers of imperfection; both depending on their voluntary election. The ETERNAL ONE first created Birmah, Bistnoo, and Sieb; then Moisasoor, and all the Debtah-Logue. [Debtah, angels; Logue, a people, multitude, or congregation; Debtah-Logue, the angelic host.] -- The Eternal One gave pre-eminence to Birmah, Bistnoo and Sieb. -- He appointed Birmah, Prince of the Debtah-Logue, and put the Debtah under subjection to him; he also constituted him his vicegerent in heaven, and Bistnoo and Sieb, were established his co-adjutors.

The ETERNAL ONE divided the Debtah into different bands, and ranks, and placed a leader or chief over each. These worshipped round the throne of the ETERNAL ONE according to their degree, and harmony was in heaven. -- Moisasoor, chief of the first angelic band, led the celestial song of praise and adoration to the Creator, and the song of obedience to Birmah his first created. And the ETERNAL ONE rejoiced in his new creation.


Mankind in general of every denomination, and religious profession, have subscribed to the opinion of the existence of angelic beings; and have each formed their crude, peculiar, and imaginary conceptions of their origin and destination. -- Crude and imaginary indeed! must be the best human construction, on so marvellous a subject. -- The simple, rational, and sublime cause, assigned by Bramah, for this act of creation; is most worthy a great and benign being, and conveys a striking and interesting impression, not only of his power, but of his benevolence.

Bramah, in the opening of this section, seems to place the Eternal One, in the situation of an absolute, good, and powerful monarch, without subjects; which in fact is being no monarch at all: for however happy, or blessed such a being may be, in the contemplation of his own sole existence and almighty power; yet he cannot (say the Bramins) be completely so, without partakers in his glory and beatitude; who should also, be conscious of the tenure of their own existence, as well as of the power, and benevolent intentions of their creator, and worship him, accordingly.

But a blind and necessary obedience and worship, from any new creation of rational beings, (which must have followed had they been created perfect) would have fallen short of their Creator's purpose; therefore Bramah says, the ETERNAL ONE, formed them "capable of perfection, but with the powers of imperfection;" without subjecting them to either, that their adoration and obedience should be the result of their own free-will; the worship alone worthy his acceptance.

From the doctrine contained in this section it appears, that the powers of perfection and imperfection, (or in other words the powers of good and evil) were coeval in the formation of the first created beings: -- the Bramins in their paraphrase on this chapter, reconcile the supposed incompatibility of the existence of moral evil, consistently with the justice, power, and goodness of the supreme being, by alleging, "that as the Debtah were invested with the absolute powers of perfection, their lapse from that state, cannot impeach either the power, justice, or goodness of the ETERNAL ONE; whose motives for their creation were benevolent; and the duty enjoined them light and easy. -- To chant forth for ever, the praises of their Creator -- to bless him for their creation, and to acknowledge, and be obedient to Birmah, and his two co-adjutors Bistnoo and Sieb."

Human penal laws, which have their existence in every well regulated government of the world; always pre-suppose that the individuals subjected to those laws, are invested with full powers and capacity of paying obedience to them; otherwise, their imposition becomes an act of tyranny; but the premises granted, then the breach and violation of them is criminal, and justly punishable, without an imputation of injustice in the institutor. -- Shall man then appear scrupulously cautious in his institutes and laws, not to offend against reason and justice, and yet dare to doubt of, or arraign the justice of his Creator?

Whence the origin, and existence of moral evil? Is a question that has puzzled, and exercised the imagination, and understanding of the learned and speculative in all ages. -- We confess we have hitherto met with no solution of this interesting enquiry, so satisfactory, conclusive, and rational as flows from the doctrine before us. -- Authors have been driven to very strange conclusions on this subject, nay some have thought it necessary to form an apology in defence of their Creator, for the admission of moral evil into the world; and assert, "That God was necessitated to admit moral evil in created beings, from the nature of the materials he had to work with; that God would have made all things perfect, but that there was in matter an evil bias, repugnant to his benevolence, which drew another way; whence arose all manner of evils:" and that, therefore, "to endue created beings with perfection; that is to produce good exclusive of evil, is one of those impossibilities, which even infinite power cannot accomplish." And consequently that from this apologetical cause only, "The wickedness and miseries of God's creatures can be fairly reconciled, with his infinite power and goodness."

Interesting as this subject is, and must be, to every thinking being, our best conceptions of it, must fall far short of certainty; it is however surely incumbent on us to adopt such sentiments (more especially when we resolve to broach them to the world) as will appear most worthy infinite power and infinite goodness. -- How far this consideration has been regarded in the reveries cited in the preceding paragraph, we submit to our readers; in our own conceptions we cannot help saying those authors appear to us to have left the argument in a much worse state than they found it; and in place of a rational apology for their Creator, seem the rather tacitly to impeach his power, in the first and greatest of his attributes; his power of creation: -- For God is not only the creator of angels and men; but creator of matter also; and could have made that perfect, had he so willed. -- Whether God could endue created beings with perfection, or produce good exclusive of evil, we conceive is not the question; (although a doubt of it is highly presumptuous, if not impious) but the question is whether God could create a race of beings, endued with the powers of absolute free agency; -- on the certainty of which position, the possibility of sin in created beings absolutely, and necessarily depends.

How much more rational and sublime the text of Bramah, which supposes the Deity's voluntary creation, or permission of evil; for the exaltation of a race of beings, whose goodness as free agents could not have existed without being endued with the contrasted, or opposite powers of doing evil.

Sect. III

The Lapse of Part of the Angelic Bands.

From the creation of the Debtah Logue, joy and harmony encompassed the throne of the ETERNAL ONE, for the space of Hazaar par Hazaar Munnuntur; [A phrase often made use of in the Shastah to express infinite extension or duration of time; the word Munnuntur in its absolute and literal sense will be subsequently explained; the word Hazaar, literally signifies a thousand; Hazaar par Hazaar, thousands upon thousands.] and would have continued to the end of time, had not envy and jealousy took possession of Moisasoor, and other leaders of the angelic bands; amongst whom was Rhaabon, the next in dignity to Moisasoor; -- they, unmindful of the blessing of their creation, and the duties enjoined them, reject the powers of perfection, which the ETERNAL ONE had graciously bestowed upon them, exerted their powers of imperfection, and did evil in the sight of the ETERNAL ONE. -- They withheld their obedience from him, and denied submission to his vicegerent, and his coadjutors, Bistnoo, and Sieb, and said to themselves — We will rule — And fearless of the omnipotence, and anger of their Creator, they spread their evil imaginations amongst the angelic host, deceived them, and drew a large portion of them from their allegiance. -- And there was a separation from the throne of the ETERNAL ONE. -- Sorrow seized the faithful angelic spirits, and anguish was now first known in heaven.

Sect. IV.

The Punishment of the Delinquent Debtah.

The ETERNAL ONE, whose omniscience, prescience and influence, extended to all things, except the actions of beings, which he had created free; beheld with grief and anger, the defection of Moisasoor, Rhaabon, and the other angelic leaders and spirits. -- Merciful in his wrath, he sent Birmah, Bistnoo and Sieb, to admonish them of their crime, and to persuade them to return to their duty;-- but they exulting in the imagination of their independence, continued in disobedience. -- The ETERNAL ONE then commanded Sieb, [Why Sieb was sent on this command has been already explained in our introduction.] to go armed with his omnipotence, to drive them from the Mahah Surgo, [Supreme heaven, literally the great eminence, from Mahah, great; and Surgo, high; eminent in a local sense, the firmament being commonly distinguished, by the Gentoos, by the name of Surgo.] and plunge them into the Onderah, [Onder, dark; Onderah, intense darkness.] there doomed to suffer unceasing sorrows, for Hazaar par Hazaar Munnunturs. [In this place the expression (which we have explained in a preceding note) means everlasting.]


That there was a defection or rebellion in heaven, the records of antiquity, sacred and profane, bear allusive testimony of; -- we will not aver, that this opinion took its rise from the doctrines of the Bramins, though it is most probable it did; be this as it may, we cannot help concluding, that the conceptions conveyed by the Shastah, of this extraordinary event, are more consistent with, and do greater honor to the dignity of an omnipotent being, than those handed down to us in fables of the sages, poets and philosophers of Egypt, Greece and Rome. -- From these our Milton copied, with extravagance of genius and invention. -- They all, without exception, unworthily impeach God's omnipotence by the powers of contention given to the apostate angels, to oppose their Creator in arms and battle; and although sacred writ [Revelations, chap. xii. ver. 7.] seems to countenance this warfare in heaven, it can only allude to the act of expulsion of the delinquents, as any other interpretation would lessen omnipotence.

The Shastah opens this section by denying the prescience of God touching the actions of free agents; the Bramins defend this dogma by alleging, his prescience in this case, is utterly repugnant and contradictory to the very nature and essence of free agency, which on such terms could not have existed.

Sect. V.

The Mitigation of the Punishment of the delinquent Debtah, and their final sentence.

The rebellious Debtah groaned under die displeasure of their Creator in the Onderah, for the space of one Munnuntur; during which period, Birmah, Bistnoo and Sieb, and the rest of the faithful Debtah, never ceased imploring the ETERNAL ONE, for their pardon and restoration. -- The Eternal One, by their intercession at length relented, -- and although he could not foresee the effect of his mercy on the future conduct of the delinquents: yet unwilling to relinquish the hopes of their repentance, he declared his will. -- That they should be released from the Onderah, and be placed in such a state of trial and probation, that they shall still have power, to work out their own salvation. The ETERNAL ONE then promulged his gracious intentions, and delegating the power and government of the Mahah Surgo, to Birmah; he retired into himself, and became invisible to all the angelic host, for the space of five thousand years. -- At the end of this period he manifested himself again, resumed the throne of light, and appeared in his glory. -- And the faithful angelic bands, celebrated his return in songs of gladness.

When all was hushed, the ETERNAL ONE said, let the Dunneahoudah [Dooneah, or dunneah, the world, Dunneahoudah, the worlds, or the universe.] of the fifteen Boboons [Boboons, regions or planets.] of purgation and purification appear, for the residence of the rebellious Debtah. -- And it instantly appeared.

And the ETERNAL ONE said, let Bistnoo, [Why Bistnoo was sent on this service we have already explained in our introduction.] armed with my power, descend to the new creation of the Dunneahoudah, and release the rebellious Debtah from the Onderah, and place them in the lowest of the fifteen Boboons.

Bistnoo stood before the throne and said, ETERNAL ONE, I have done as thou hast commanded. -- And all the faithful angelic host, stood with astonish- ment, and beheld the wonders, and splendor of the new creation of the Dunneahoudah.

And the ETERNAL ONE spake again unto Bistnoo and said: -- I will form bodies for each of the delinquent Debtah, which shall for a space be their prison and habitation; in the confines of which, they shall be subject to natural evils, in proportion to the degree of their original guilt. -- Do thou go, and command them to hold themselves prepared to enter therein, and they shall obey thee.

And Bistnoo stood again before the throne, and bowed and said, Eternal One, thy commands are fulfilled. -- And the faithful angelic host, stood again astonished, at the wonders they heard, and sung forth the praise and mercy of the ETERNAL ONE.

When all was hushed, the ETERNAL ONE said again unto Bistnoo, The bodies which I will prepare for the reception of the rebellious Debtah, shall be subject to change, decay, death, and renewal, from the principles wherewith I shall form them; and through these mortal bodies, shall the delinquent Debtah undergo alternately eighty-seven changes, or transmigrations; subject more or less, to the consequences of natural and moral evil, in a just proportion to the degree of their original guilt, and as their actions through those successive forms, shall correspond with the limited powers which I shall annex to each; -- and this shall be their state of punishment and purgation.

And it shall be, -- That when the rebellious Debtah shall have accomplished and passed through the eighty-seven transmigrations — they shall from my abundant favor, animate a new form, and thou Bistnoo shalt call it Ghoij. [Ghoij, the cow; Ghoyal, cows; Goijalbarry, a cow-house.]

And it shall be, -- that when the mortal body of the Ghoij shall by a natural decay, become inanimate, the delinquent Debtah shall, from my more abundant favor, animate the form of Mhurd, [Mhurd, the common name of man, from Murto, matter, or earth.] and in this form I will enlarge their intellectual powers, even as when 1 first created them free; and in this form shall be their chief state of their trial and probation.

The Ghoij shall be by the delinquent Debtah, deemed sacred and holy, for it shall yield them a new and more delectable food, and ease them of part of the labor, to which I have doomed them. -- And they shall not eat of the Ghoij, nor of the flesh of any of the mortal bodies, which I shall prepare for their habitation, whether it creepeth on Murto, or swimmeth in Jhoale, [Jhoale, water, fluid.] or flyeth in Oustmaan, [The air.] for their food shall be the milk of the Ghoij, and the fruits of Murto.

The mortal forms wherewith I shall encompass the delinquent Debtah are the work of my hand, they shall not be destroyed, but left to their natural decay; therefore whichsoever of the Debtah, shall by designed violence bring about the dissolution of the mortal forms, animated by their delinquent brethren, -- thou Sieb, shalt plunge the offending spirit into the Onderah, for a space, and he shall be doomed to pass again the eighty-nine transmigrations, whatsoever stage he may be arrived to, at the time of such his offence. -- But whosoever of the delinquent Debtah, shall dare to free himself by violence, from the mortal form, wherewith I shall inclose him, -- Thou Sieb shalt plunge him into the Onderah for ever. -- He shall not again have the benefit of the fifteen Boboons of purgation, probation, and purification.

And I will distinguish by tribes and kinds, the mortal bodies which I have destined for the punishment of the delinquent Debtah, and to these bodies I will give different forms, qualities and faculties, and they shall unite and propagate each other in their tribe and kind, according to a natural impulse which I will implant in them; and from this natural union, there shall proceed a succession of forms; each in his kind and tribe, that the progressive transmigrations of the delinquent spirits, may not cease.

But whosoever of the delinquent Debtah shall unite with any form out of his own tribe and kind; thou Sieb shalt plunge the offending spirit into the Onderah, for a space, and he shall be doomed to pass through the eighty-nine transmigrations, at whatsoever stage he may be arrived, at the time he committed such offence.

And if any of the delinquent Debtah shall (contrary to the natural impulse which I shall implant in the forms which they shall animate) dare to unite in such unnatural wise, as may frustrate the increase of his tribe and kind; thou Sieb shalt plunge them into the Onderah for ever. -- And they shall not again be entitled to the benefit of the fifteen Boboons of purgation, probation and purification.

The delinquent and unhappy Debtah, shall yet have it in their power, to lessen and soften their pains and punishment, by the sweet intercourse of social compacts; and if they love and cherish one another, and do mutual good offices, and assist and encourage each other in the work of repentance for their crime of disobedience; I will strengthen their good intentions, and they shall find favor. -- But if they persecute one another, 1 will comfort the persecuted, and the persecutors shall never enter the ninth Boboon, even the first Boboon of purification.

And it shall be, -- That if the Debtah benefit themselves of my favor in their eighty-ninth transmigration of Mhurd, by repentance and good works, thou Bistnoo shalt receive them into thy bosom and convey them to the second Boboon of punishment and purgation, and in this wise shalt thou do, until they have passed progressively the eight Boboons of punishment, purgation and probation, when their punishment shall cease, and thou shalt convey them to the ninth; even the first Boboon of purification.

But it shall be, -- That if die rebellious Debtah, do not benefit of my favor in the eighty-ninth transmigration of Mhurd, according to the powers, wherewith I will invest them; -- Thou Sieb, shalt return them for a space into the Onderah, and from thence after a time which 1 shall appoint, Bistnoo shall replace them in the lowest Boboon of punishment and purgation for a second trial; -- and in this wise shall they suffer, until by their repentance and perseverance in good works, during their eighty-ninth mortal transmigration of Mhurd, they shall attain the ninth Boboon, even the first of the seven Boboons of purification. -- For it is decreed that the rebellious Debtah shall not enter the Mahah Surgo, nor behold my face, until they have passed the eight Boboons of punishment, and the seven Boboons of purification.

When the angelic faithful host, heard all that the ETERNAL ONE had spoken, and decreed, concerning the rebellious Debtah; they sung forth his praise, his power, and justice.

When all was hushed! the ETERNAL ONE said to the angelic host, I will extend my grace to the rebellious Debtah, for a certain space, which I will divide into four Jogues. [Jogues, ages, precise periods of time.] In the first of the four Jogues, I will, that the term of their probation in the eighty-ninth transmigration of Mhurd, shall extend to 100,000 years — in the second of the four Jogues, their term of their probation in Mhurd, shall be abridged to 10,000 years — in the third of the four Jogues, it shall be yet abridged to 1,000 years — and in the fourth Jogue to 100 years only. -- And the angelic host, celebrated in shouts of joy, the mercy and forbearance of God.

When all was hushed! the ETERNAL ONE said, It shall be, -- that when the space of time, which I have decreed for the duration of the Dunneahoudah, and the space which my mercy has allotted for the probation of the fallen Debtah, shall be accomplished, by the revolutions of the four Jogues, -- in that day, should there be any of them who remaining reprobate, have not passed the eighth Boboon of punishment and probation, and have not entered the ninth Boboon, even the first Boboon of purification; -- thou Sieb shalt, armed with my power, cast them into the Onderah for ever. -- And thou shalt then destroy the eight Boboons of punishment, purgation and probation, and they shall be no more. -- And thou Bistnoo shalt yet for a space preserve the seven Boboons of purification, until the Debtah, who have benefited of my grace and mercy, have by thee been purified from their sin: -- and in the day when that shall be accomplished, and they are restored to their state, and admitted to my presence, -- thou Sieb shalt then destroy the seven Boboons of purification, and they shall be no more.

And the angelic faithful host trembled at the power, and words of the ETERNAL ONE.

The ETERNAL ONE, spoke again and said: -- I have not withheld my mercy from Moisasoor, Rhaboon, and the rest of the leaders of the rebellious Debtah; -- but as they thirsted for power, I will enlarge their powers of evil; -- they shall have liberty to pervade, and enter into the eight Boboons of purgation and probation, and the delinquent Debtah, shall be exposed and open to the same temptations, that first instigated their revolt: but the exertion of those enlarged powers, which I will give to the rebellious leaders, shall be to them, the source of aggravated guilt, and punishment; and the resistance made to their temptations, by the perverted Debtah; shall be to me the great proof, of the sincerity of their sorrow and repentance.

The ETERNAL ONE ceased. -- And the faithful host shouted forth songs of praise and adoration, mixed with grief, and lamentation for the fate of their lapsed brethren. -- They communed amongst themselves, and with one voice by the mouth of Bistnoo, besought the ETERNAL ONE, that they might have permission to descend occasionally to the eight Boboons of punishment, and purgation, to assume the form of Mhurd, and by their presence, council and example, guard the unhappy and perverted Debtah, against the further temptations of Moisasoor, and the rebellious leaders. -- The ETERNAL ONE assented, and the faithful heavenly bands, shouted their songs of gladness and thanksgiving.

When all was hushed! the ETERNAL ONE spake again and said, -- Do thou Birmah, arrayed in my glory, and armed with my power, descend to the lowest Boboon of punishment and purgation, and make known to the rebellious Debtah, the words that 1 have uttered, and the decrees which I have pronounced against them, and see they enter into the bodies, which I have prepared for them.

And Birmah stood before the throne, and said, ETERNAL ONE I have done as thou hast commanded. The delinquent Debtah rejoice in thy mercy, confess the justice of thy decrees, avow their sorrow and repentance, and have entered into the mortal bodies which thou hast prepared for them.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:32 am

Part 3 of 3


The foregoing is almost a literal translation from the Chartah Bhade of Bramah, as we despaired of reaching the sublime style and diction of the original; -- it will not we hope be displeasing to our reader, if we assist his memory and recollection by a recapitulation of the ground work of these doctrines, presented to him in one connected view; the more especially, as we shall also be thereby the better enabled to form our necessary explanatory remarks.

We have seen that the original divine institutes of Bramah are simple and sublime, comprehending the whole compass of all that is; God, angels, the visible and invisible worlds, man and beasts; and is comprised under the following articles of the Gentoo Creed. To wit —

"That there is one God, eternal, omnific, omnipotent, and omniscient, in all things excepting a prescience of the future actions of free agents. -- That God from an impulse of divine love and goodness, first created three angelic persons to whom he gave precedence, though not in equal degree. -- That he afterwards from the same impulse created an angelic host, whom he placed in subjection to Birmah his first created, and to Bistnoo and Sieb, as coadjutors to Birmah. -- That God created them all free, and intended they should all be partakers of his glory and beatitude, on the easy conditions of their acknowledging him their Creator, and paying obedience to him, and to the three primary created personages, whom he had put over them. -- That, in process of time, a large portion of the angelic host at the instigation of Moisasoor and others of their chief leaders, rebelled and denied the supremacy of their Creator, and refused obedience to his commands. That in consequence the rebels were excluded heaven, and the sight of their Creator, and doomed to languish for ever in sorrow and darkness. That, after a time, by the intercession of the three primary, and the rest of the faithful angelic beings, God relented, and placed the delinquents in a more sufferable state of punishment and probation, with powers to gain their lost happy situation. -- That for that purpose a new creation of the visible and invisible worlds instantaneously took place, destined for the delinquents. -- That the new creation consisted of fifteen regions, seven below, and seven above this terraqueous globe, and that this globe and the seven regions below it are stages of punishment and purgation, and the seven above stages of purification, and consequently that this globe is the eighth, last and chief stage of punishment, purgation and trial. -- That mortal bodies were prepared by God, for the rebel angels, in which they were for a space to be imprisoned, and subject to natural and moral evils, more or less painful in proportion to their original guilt, and through which they were doomed to transmigrate under eighty-nine different forms, the last into that of man, when the powers of the animating rebel spirits, are supposed to be enlarged equal to the state of their first creation. -- That under this form God rests his chief expectations of their repentance and restoration, and if they fail, and continue reprobate under this form, they are returned to the lowest region, and sentenced to go through the same course of punishment, until they reach the ninth region, or first stage of purification, where although they cease from punishment, and gain remission and forgiveness of their guilt of rebellion; yet, they are not permitted to enter heaven, nor behold their Creator, before they have passed the seven regions of purification. -- That the rebel leaders had power given them by God, to enter the eight regions of punishment and probation, and that the faithful angelic spirits, had permission occasionally to descend to those regions, to guard the delinquents against die future attempts of their leaders. -- And that, consequently, the souls, or spirits which animate every mortal form, are delinquent angels in a state of punishment, for a lapse from innocence, in a pre-existent state."

We will presume to say, that the difference between the doctrines hitherto imputed, to these ancient people, when compared with the original tenets of the Chartah Bhade, will now appear so obvious to the learned and curious reader, that a further discussion of this point, is we conceive needless, and would in truth be a tacit reflection upon his understanding. -- Yet we are far from condemning the authors, who have treated on this subject; they took their information from the best lights they had; -- it is only to be regretted, that in place of drinking at the fountain head, they have swallowed the muddy streams which flowed from the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhades. -- The author on his departure from Bengal in the year 1750, imagined himself well informed in the Gentoo religion, his knowledge had been acquired by conversations with the Bramins of those Bhades who were near, as little acquainted with the Chartah Bhade of Bramah, as he was himself, and he had then thoughts of obtruding his crude notions on the public, had not a different necessary application of his time luckily prevented him.

When we peruse some portions of Milton’s account of the rebellion and expulsion of the angels, we are almost led to imagine, on comparison, that Bramah and he were both instructed by the same spirit; had not the soaring, ungovernable, inventive genius of the latter, instigated him to illustrate his poem with scenes too gross and ludicrous, as well as manifestly repugnant to, and inconsistent with, sentiments we ought to entertain of an omnipotent being (as before remarked) in which we rather fear he was inspired by one of these malignant spirits (alluded to in the Shastah and elsewhere) who have from their original defection, been the declared enemies of God and man. -- For however we are astonished and admire the sublimity of Milton’s genius, we can hardly sometimes avoid concluding his conceits truly diabolical. -- But this by the by. --

Our readers are now possessed for the first time of a faithful account of the metempsychosis of the Bramins — commonly called the transmigration of souls, a term hitherto we believe little understood, that this doctrine was originally peculiar to the Gentoos, will not admit of doubt, although in after times it was embraced by the Egyptian Magi, and by some sects amongst the Chinese and Tartars. -- Pythagoras, who favored this doctrine, and was a convert to it, labored to introduce it amongst his countrymen the Greeks, but failed in the attempt. He succeeded better with them, in the theogony, cosmogony and mythology of the Bramins’ Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah, although these constituted no part of the original theology of Bramah.

As we have reserved a part expressly for a dissertation on the doctrine of the metempsychosis, we will avoid further mention of it here; but as the Bramins of the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhades, inculcate and teach many corollary branches of doctrine which spring from this root, it is necessary that we recite a few of the most established ones.

"When the delinquent Debtah, by the mediation of Birmah, Bistnoo and Moisoor, and the faithful angelic host, were released from the Onderah; all, except Moisasoor, Rhaabon, and the rest of the rebel leaders, were so struck with the goodness and mercy of the ETERNAL ONE, that they persevered in a pious resignation and true penitence, during the first of the four Jogues, and multitudes ascended, and passed through the fifteen Boboons, and regained their forfeited estate. -- This period of time is called in the Shastah the Suttee Jogue, when the term of the spirits' probation in Mhurd, was extended to one hundred thousand years.

"In the second of the four Jogues, Moisasoor and the rebel leaders so effectually exerted their influence over the delinquent Debtah, that they soon began to forget their crime and disregard their punishment in the Onderah; they rejected the councils and examples of the guardian Debtah, and stood a second time in defiance of their Creator; and Moisasoor drew over one third of the remaining unpurified spirits. -- This period is distinguished in the Shastah, by the name of the Tirtah Jogue, in which the ETERNAL ONE retrenched the term of the spirits’ probation in Mhurd, to ten thousand years. In this Jogue however, many persevered in goodness, ascended through the fifteen Boboons, and regained the Mahah Surgo.

"In the third of the four Jogues, Moisasoor's influence increased, and he drew over half of the remaining unpurified spirits, in each of the eight Boboons of punishment and probation. This period is called in the Shastah, the Duapaar, or Dwapaar Jogue, in which the term of probation in Mhurd, was reduced to one thousand years; yet in this Jogue there were many who ascended and regained the Mahah Surgo.

"In the fourth Jogue, Moisasoor acquired as full possession of the hearts of the remaining delinquent Debtah as when they first rose in rebellion with him, with very few exceptions; this period in the Shastah is called the Kolee Jogue, in which the term of probation in Mhurd is limited to one hundred years only. -- Yet even this Jogue affords some instances of the delinquent spirits surmounting the eight lower Boboons, by penitence and good works; notwithstanding the unwearied diligence of Moisasoor, Rhaaboon, and the rest of the rebellious leaders, and delinquent Debtah, who had a second time fallen under his influence."

The four Jogues or ages having been so frequently mentioned in the last paragraphs, we cannot do better than explain their meaning here, as such explanation would prove too long for a note, it may be remembered, they are called the Suttee Jogue, the Tirtah Jogue, the Dupaar Jogue, and the Kolee Jogue; we will speak to each in their order.

The Suttee Jogue, or the first age, literally the age of truth, figuratively the age of goodness; -- in this age Endeer is fabled to be born, according to the Aughtorrah Bhade; and appointed King of the Universe — the word Endeer literally signifies good, and is in that Shastah opposed to Moisasoor or evil, and the various battles said to be fought between this rebel angel and Endeer, and their descendants in every Jogue, allegorically exhibit the conflicts and progress of good and evil in the universe; Endeer's being appointed universal monarch in the Suttee Jogue, alludes to the state of the delinquent Debtah in this age, upon their emerging from the Onderah, when the impression of God's mercy acted so powerfully on their hearts, as to preserve them in penitence and purity, during this age, notwithstanding the utmost efforts of Moisasoor (or evil) and his adherents, to engage them in a second defection. -- From the word Suttee (truth) the word Sansah in Bengals, and Sutch, in the Moors are derived, -- any one acquainted in the least degree with those tongues, knows that the phrase Sansah Kotah, in the one, and Sutch Bhaat, in the other, is commonly used to assert the verity of any thing advanced, and simply signifies, words of truth.

The Tirtah Jogue, or second age. -- By the term prefixed to this age, the order of the Jogues should seem inverted, as the word in its simple construction signifies third. -- The words, teen, tarah, tise, trese, and tetrese, which express the numbers three, thirteen, twenty-three, thirty and thirty-three, are all derivatives from the Sanscrit, Tirtah, or Tirtea, as it is sometimes wrote, and means the third, but oftener the third part, as in the present instance, where the term Tirtah Jogue given to the second age, is allusive to the second defection of one third of the remaining unpurified delinquent spirits, from that penitence and purity which governed them in the Suttee Jogue. -- In this age Rhaam is fabled to be born for the protection of the delinquent Debtah, against the snares and attempts of Moisasoor and his adherents. The word Rhaam in the Sanscrit, literally signifies protector, but in many parts of the Aughtorrah Bhade this personage is mentioned in a more extended sense, as the protector of kingdoms, states and property. -- Rhaam! Rhaam! is used as a pious salutation, between two Gentoos when they meet in the morning, thereby recommending each other's person and property to the protection of this Demi-god.

The Duapaar Jogue, or third age. -- This term prefixed to the third age, alludes to the second defection from penitence and goodness of one half of the remaining unpurified Debtah — dua, or dwa simply signifies, two, or the second, but here by the addition of paar, it means the half; thus duapaar deen, expresses half the day, and duapaar rhaat half the night, that is if the phrase issues from the mouth of a polite Gentoo — but the vulgar would say adah deen and adah rhaat, adah being the common Bengal word for half. -- In the beginning of this Jogue the Aughtorrah Bhade fixes the birth of Kissen Taghoor. -- The word kissen in the Sanscrit signifies a scourge, and this being is in that Bhade frequently distinguished as the scourge of tyrants and tyranny. -- Tagoor literally means revered, respected, and is a common appellation given to Bramins.

The Kolee Jogue, or the fourth and present age. -- Kolee in the Sanscrit signifies corruption, pollution, impurity, consequently Kolee Jogue means the age of pollution. -- In this age (say the Bramins) children shall bear false witness against their parents, and before the expiration of it — the stature of the Mhurd by the wickedness of the rebellious Debtah that animates it, shall be so reduced, that he will not be able to pluck a Bygon (berengelah [The Egg Plant.]) without the help of a hooked stick. -- We have often, whilst at the head of the judicial court of Cutcherry at Calcutta, heard the most atrocious murders and crimes confessed, and an extenuation of them attempted, by pleading, it was the Kolee Jogue. -- How far the poetical conceits of Ovid, and others, touching the golden, &c. ages, have been framed from Bramah's four Jogues, we leave to the investigation of the curious.

It is an established doctrine of the Aughtorrah Bhade, that the three primary created personages, as well as the rest of the heavenly angelic faithful spirits, have from time to time according to the permission given them by God, descended to the eight Boboons of punishment, and have voluntarily subjected themselves to the feelings of natural and moral evil, for the sake of their brethren, the delinquent Debtah. And to this end, have undergone the eighty-nine transmigrations; [Hence the Gentoos’ dread of killing even by accident any thing that has life, as thereby they may not only dispossess the spirits of their allied Debtah, but also, those of the celestial Debtah, who are working for their redemption.] and that it is those benevolent spirits, who have at different times appeared on this earthly region, under the mortal forms and names of Endeer, Bramah, Jaggernaut, Kissen Tagoor, Rhaam, Luccon, Kalkee (or Kallee), Sursuttee, Gunnis, Kartic, &c. -- that have opposed and fought against Moisasoor, Rhaabon, and their iniquitous adherents — and have proved themselves under the various characters of Kings, Generals, Philosophers, Lawgivers and Prophets, shining examples to the delinquent Debtah, of stupendous courage, fortitude, purity and piety. -- That their visitations were frequent during the Tirtah, and Duapaar Jogues, but rare since the commencement of the Kolee Jogue, because in this age the delinquent Debtah in general are deemed utterly reprobate, and hardened in their wickedness beyond the powers of council or example; so that they are in a manner left, and given up to their own powers, and abandoned to the full influence of Moisasoor. -- But that there are still in every period of time some few instances of the delinquents’ exertion of their own powers for their salvation, and that when this is manifested to God, he permits the celestial Debtah invisibly to aid, confirm, and support them.

Although the Shastah of Bramah denies the prescience of God respecting the actions of free-agents, yet the Bramins maintain that his knowledge extends to the thoughts of every created being, and that the moment a thought is conceived by the soul or spirit, it is sympathetically conveyed to God. -- It is upon this principle that the adorations, prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, which the Gentoos prefer to the Deity himself are offered in solemn silence; but it is not so with regard to the invocations and worship, instituted by the Aughtorrah Bhade to be paid to the subordinate celestial beings, for these are addressed in loud prayer, joined to the clang of various musical instruments.

We have already slightly touched on the religious veneration paid to the Ghoij in a particular district of Bengali, although it is beyond doubt, that their devotion to this animal was universal throughout Indostan in former times. -- The original source of this regard, was of a two fold nature, as a religious and political institution: first, in a religious sense; as holding in the rotation of the metempsychosis, the rank immediately preceding the human form; this conception is the true cause of that devout, and sometimes enthusiastic veneration paid to this animated form, for the Bramins inculcate that when the Ghoij suffers death by accident or violence, or through the neglect of the owner, it is a token of God's wrath against the wickedness of the spirit of the proprietor, who from thence is warned that at the dissolution of his human form, he will not be deemed worthy of entering the first Boboon of purification, but be again condemned to return to the lowest region of punishment: hence it is, that not only mourning and lamentation ensue on the violent death of either cow of calf — but the proprietor is frequently enjoined, and oftener voluntarily undertakes, a three years pilgrimage in expiation of his crime, forsaking his family, friends and relations, he subsists during his pilgrimage on charity and alms. -- It is worthy remark, that the penitent thus circumstanced, ever meets with the deepest commiseration, as his state is deemed truly pitiable; two instances have fallen within our own knowledge where the penitents have devoted themselves to the service of God, and a pilgrimage during the term of their life.

Secondly, the Ghoij is venerated by the Gentoos in a political sense, as being the most useful and necessary of the whole animal creation, to a people forbid feeding on flesh, or on any thing that had breathed the breath of life; for it not only yielded to them delectable food, but was otherways essentially serviceable in the cultivation of their lands; on which depended their vegetable subsistence.

The Gentoos hold that the females of all animated forms are, more or less, favored of God, but more eminently in the form of Moiyah in the eighty-ninth transmigration; the word signifies excellent, and is applied to the female of Mhurd; Rhaan is the common name for woman, though it usually means a married Moiyah, and the Gentoo princesses have no higher title than Rhaanee. The female or Moiyah of Mhurd, is supposed to be animated by the most benign and least culpable of the apostate angels, and that from this form, in every period of the four Jogues, an infinitely greater number of the delinquent spirits, have entered the first region of purification, than from the form of Mhurd.

The sudden death of infants, the Bramins say, marks the spirit favored of God, and that it is immediately received into the bosom of Bistnoo, (the preserver) and conveyed to the first region of purification. -- The sudden death of adults, on the contrary, they pronounce a mark of God's wrath against the animating spirit, as its term of probation in Mhurd, is cut short. -- The great age of man, when it is accompanied with the enjoyments of his faculties and understanding, is pronounced by the Bramins to be the greatest blessing God can bestow upon this mortal state, as thereby the term of the spirit's probation is prolonged; adding that the limited space of one hundred years, decreed by God in the present Kolee Jogue, is full short for the works of repentance and goodness, and that when the life and understanding is preserved beyond that limited term, it ought to be deemed a signal mark of God's special grace and favor.

Longevity, in (what we call) the brute creation, is by the Bramins esteemed a mark of the great delinquency of the spirits which animate those tribes, because they are so long debarred and withheld from their great and chief state of probation in Mhurd. -- The Gentoos estimate the greater or lesser delinquency of the apostate spirits, by the class of mortal forms they are doomed to inhabit; thus, all voracious and unclean animals are supposed to be animated by the most malignant spirits; -- if a hog or dog touch a Gentoo, he is defiled, not from the animal form, but from the persuasion, that the Debtah animating that form, is a malignant spirit. -- Every voracious animal, that inhabits the earth, air and waters, and men whose lives and actions are publicly and atrociously wicked, come under that class of spirits. -- On the contrary, those spirits that animate the forms which subsist on vegetables, and do not prey upon each other, are pronounced favored of God.

The general warfare which is observed in the animal world, whereby the destruction of one species is the necessary support and subsistence of others, the Bramins assert is the lot of punishment decreed by God for the most guilty of the apostate angels, who are thereby made his instruments of punishment to each other, every of these tribes being a destined prey to one another. -- The natural enmity which some classes of animals bear to others, whereby they live in a continued state of war and contention, whenever they meet, although they do not subsist on each other, proceeds they say from the same cause; the delinquent Debtah being destined as a punishment, in those forms to exercise that propensity to hatred, envy, and animosity, on one another, which they had so impotently dared to exert against their Creator.

The rotation of animal forms destined for the habitation of the delinquent Debtah are not, say the Bramins, precisely the same, on repetition of the eighty-nine transmigrations; but are arbitrary and rest with the will of God; but it is their belief that the least guilty of the Debtah, transmigrate only through those forms which by their nature are destined to subsist on the vegetable creation; and that the three changes immediately preceding the spirits animating the Ghoij (that is the eighty-fifth, eighty-sixth, and eighty-seventh) are into the most innocent of the species of birds, the goat and the sheep, the animals most favored of God, next to the Ghoij and Mhurd. -- From hence the rigid Bramins execrate with bitterness, the cruelty of those nations, who wickedly and wantonly, select and slaughter the best beloved created forms of God, namely the birds, the goat, the sheep, and the cow, to satisfy their unnatural lust of appetite, in defiance not only to his express command and prohibition, but in opposition to the natural and obvious construction of the mouth and digestive faculties of Mhurd, which marks him, destined with other forms most favored of God, to feed and subsist on the fruits and produce of the earth with the additional blessing of the milk of the Ghoij, and of other animals. -- For this degeneracy, they account no otherwise, than piously lamenting the pitiable state of Mhurd, since the commencement of the Kolee Jogue, adding, that by just consequence the transgression carries its punishment along with it, for by this assemblage of unnatural and forbidden food, variety of diseases are entailed, which cut short the term of probation in Mhurd, by which the delinquent spirit robs himself of more than half of that space of indulgence and trial which his Creator has graciously bestowed upon him, and which he by a fresh instance of his disobedience, ungratefully rejects.

Ovid in his fifteenth book of Metamorphoses introduces Pythagoras dissuading mankind from killing and feeding on his fellow creatures. Our readers will excuse us, if we transcribe such parts of his pathetic arguments, as are strictly in point with the subject of the preceding paragraph.

He first the taste of flesh, from tables drove.
And argued well, if arguments could move.
O mortals! from your fellows’ blood abstain.
Nor taint your bodies, with a food profane;
While corn and pulse by nature are bestow’d,
And planted orchards bend their willing load;
While labor’d gardens wholesome herbs produce.
And teeming vines, afford their gen’rous juice;
Nor tardier fruits of cruder kind are lost.
But tam'd by fire or mellow’d by the frost;
While kine to pails distended udders bring.
And bees their honey, redolent of spring;
While earth, not only can your needs supply.
But lavish of her stores, provides for luxury;
A guiltless feast, administers with ease.
And without blood, is prodigal to please;
Wild beasts their maws, with their slain breth’ren fill,
And yet not all, — for some refuse to kill;
Sheep, goats, and oxen, and the nobler steed.
On browse and corn, and flow’ry meadows feed;
Bears, tigers, wolves, the angry lion’s brood.
Whom heaven endu’d with principles of blood.
He wisely sunder’d, from the rest to yell.
In forest, and in lonely caves to dwell;
Where stronger beasts, oppress the weak by night
And all in prey, and purple feasts delight.

O impious use! to Nature’s laws opposed.
Where bowels are, in others’ bowels closed;
Where fatten’d, by their fellow’s fat they thrive.
Maintain’d by murder, and by death, they live;

’Tis then for nought, that mother Earth provides
The stores of all she shows, and all she hides;
If men with fleshy morsels must be fed.
And chaw with bloody teeth the breathing bread;
What else is this, but to devour our guests.
And barb’rously renew Cyclopean feasts?
We by destroying life, our life sustain.
And gorge th’ ungodly maw, with meats obscene.

Not so the golden age, who fed on fruit.
Nor durst with bloody meals their mouths pollute;
Then birds, in airy space, might safely move.
And tim’rous hares on heaths securely rove.
Nor needed fish the guileful hooks to fear.
For all was peaceful, and that peace sincere.
Whoever was the wretch, and curs’d be he.
That envy’d first, our food’s simplicity;
The essay of bloody feasts, on brutes began.
And after forged the sword to murder man;
Had he the sharpened steel, alone employed
On beasts of prey, which other beasts destroyed.
Or man invaded, with their fangs and paws,
This had been justifyed by Nature’s laws.
And self defence: — but who did feasts begin
Of flesh, he stretch’d necessity, to sin.
To kill man-killers, man has lawful power.
But not the extended licence to devour.

Ill habits gather, by unseen degrees.
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas;
The sow, with her broad snout, for rooting up,
Th' entrusted seed, was judg’d to spoil the crop;
And intercept the sweating farmer’s hope.

The covetous churl, of unforgiving kind,
The offender of the bloody priest resign'd;
Her hunger was on plea, for that she dy’d;
The goat came next in order to be tried.
The goat had crop’d the tendrils of the vine.
In vengeance the laity, and clergy join.
Where one had lost his profit, one his wine.
Here was, at least, some shadow of offence.
The sheep was sacrificed, on no pretence.
But meek, and unresisting innocence.
A patient, useful creature, born to bear.
The warm and woolly fleece, that cloth’d her murderer;
And daily to give down the milk she bred,
A tribute for the grass on which she fed:
Living both food and raiment she supplies.
And is of least advantage, when she dies.

How did the toiling ox, his death deserve,
A downright simple drudge, and born to serve?
O tyrant! with what justice can'st thou hope;
The promise of the year a plenteous crop.
When thou destroy’st thy laboring steer, who till’d
And plough’d with pain, thy else ungrateful field?
From his yet reeking neck, to draw the yoke.
That neck with which the surly clods he broke;
And to the hatchet, yield thy husband man.
Who finished autumn, and the spring began.

Nor this alone! but heaven itself to bribe.
We to the gods, our impious acts ascribe;
First recompence with death, their creatures toil.
Then call the blest above to share the spoil.

The fairest victim, must the pow’rs appease
(So fatal 'tis sometimes too much to please)
A purple fillet his broad brow adorns.
With flow’ry garlands crown’d and gilded horns:
He hears the murd’rous prayer the priest prefers.
But understands not! ’tis his doom he hears:
Beholds the meal, betwixt his temples cast,
(The fruit and product of his labors past,)

And in the water, views perhaps the knife.
Uplifted to deprive him of his life;
Then broken up alive, his entrails sees
Torn out for priests t’inspect the gods’ decrees.

From whence, O mortal man! this gust of blood
Have you deriv’d? and interdicted food?
Be taught by me, this dire delight to shun.
Warn'd by my precepts, by my practice, won;
And when you eat the well-deserving beast.
Think, on the lab’rer of your field, you feast.

Then let not piety be put to flight,
To please the taste of glutton appetite;
But suffer inmate souls secure to dwell,
Lest from their seats your parents you expel;
With rabid hunger feed upon your kind,
Or from a beast dislodge a brother’s mind.

That Pythagoras carried such sentiments from the Bramins, and labored to obtrude them upon his countrymen, is beyond controversy; the pathetic persuasives he urged to them in that age to abstain from the feeding on their brethren of the creation, proved however as ineffectual then, as we conceive it would be in the present, the more's the pity — for it is to be feared we shall to the end of the chapter — Rise, kill and eat.

Regarding the description (which Ovid puts in the mouth of Pythagoras) of the ancient religious sacrifices, we must in justice to the Bramins say he could not borrow it from them; in this particular the original religious tenets of the Gentoos differ from all the ancients, for they were strangers to those bloody sacrifices and offerings; neither of the Gentoo Bhades having the least allusion to that mode of worshipping the deity; and the Bramins say, nothing but Moisasoor himself could have invented so infatuated and cruel an institution, which is manifestly so repugnant to the true spirit of devotion, and abhorrent to the ETERNAL ONE.

That every animal form is endued, with cogitation, memory and reflection, is one of the most established tenets of the Bramins; indeed it must consequentially be so, on the supposed metempsychosis of the apostate spirits, through these mortal forms. -- Every state of the delinquent spirits’ abode in the eight Boboons, they say, is a state of humiliation, punishment and purgation, that of Mhurd not excepted; and that the purpose of the ETERNAL ONE would be defeated by himself, had he not endued them with rationality and a consciousness of their situation. -- In the form of Mhurd alone, is the spirit’s state of probation, because in this form only, he again becomes an absolute and free agent; and in this alone lies the difference between Mhurd, and the rest of the animal created forms, for in these, the spirit’s intellectual faculties are circumscribed, more or less, by the varied construction of the forms, and limited within certain bounds, which they cannot exceed, -- that consciousness of those confined powers, and envy at the superior state of Mhurd, constitutes ( their chief punishment; that this unceasing envy, and resentment of the usurped tryanny which Mhurd assumed over the animal creation (from the beginning of the Kolee Jogue) are the causes which made them in general shun his society, and live in a state of enmity with him, according to the force of the natural powers, which the ETERNAL ONE has endued them with; that where some of the species appear an exception to this general bent, it proceeds from the weakness of their natural powers; or the superior craft and subtlety of Mhurd, who first deceitfully allured them to slavery and destruction. -- That neither envy or enmity in the animal created forms, nor usurped tyranny on the part of Mhurd, had existence in the breasts of either, before the beginning of the Kolee Jogue, when a universal degeneracy of almost all the remaining unpurified Debtah prevailed through all their mortal forms — which until that period had lived in amity and harmony, as conscious of being involved under the same sentence and displeasure of their Creator; and lastly — that the usurped tyranny of Mhurd over the rest of the delinquent angels was displeasing to the ETERNAL ONE, and will be a charge exhibited against the spirit by Bistnoo at the dissolution of Mhurd, for that in place of cherishing the unhappy delinquents during their state of humiliation and punishment, they do, by the force of their tyrannic usurpation, labor to make their state more miserable, than the ETERNAL ONE intended it should be, in violation of his express injunction, that they should love one another.

The Bramins hold, that every distinct species of animal creation have a comprehensive mode of communicating their ideas, peculiar to themselves; and that the metempsychosis of the delinquent spirits extends through every organised body, even to the smallest insect and reptile; -- they highly venerate the bee, and some species of the ant, and conceive the spirits animating those forms are favored of God, and that its intellectual faculties, are more enlarged under them, than in most others.

Although we have already shown that the bloody sacrifices of the ancients was no part of the Gentoo tenets, yet there subsists amongst them at this day, a voluntary sacrifice, of too singular a nature, to pass by us unnoticed; the rather as it has been frequently mentioned by various authors, without we conceive that knowledge and perspicuity which the matter calls for; the sacrifice we allude to, is the Gentoo wives burning with the bodies of their deceased husbands. We have taken no small pains to investigate this seeming cruel custom, and hope we shall be able to throw same satisfactory lights on this very extraordinary subject, which has hitherto been hid in obscurity; in order to which we will first remove one or two obstructions that lie in our way, and hinder our nearer and more perfect view of it.

The cause commonly assigned for the origin of this sacrifice (peculiar to the wives of this nation) is, that it was a law constituted to put a period to a wicked practice that the Gentoos' wives had of poisoning their husbands; -- for this assertion we cannot trace the smallest semblance of truth, and indeed the known fact, that the sacrifice must be voluntary, of it's self refutes that common mistake. -- It also has been a received opinion, that if the wife refuses to burn, she loses her caste (or tribe) and is stamped with disgrace and infamy, an opinion equally void of foundation in fact as the other.-- The real state of this case is thus circumstanced. -- The first wife (for the Gentoo laws allow bigamy, although they frequently do not benefit themselves of the indulgence, if they have issue by the first) has it in her choice to burn, but is not permitted to declare her resolution before twenty-four hours after the decease of her husband; -- if she refuses, the right devolves to the second, -- if either, after the expiration of twenty-four hours, publicly declare, before the Bramins and witnesses, their resolution to burn, they cannot then retract. If they both refuse at the expiration of that term, the worst consequence that attends their refusal, is lying under the imputation of being wanting to their own honor, purification, and the prosperity of their family, for from their infancy, they are instructed by the household Bramin to look upon this catastrophe, as most glorious to themselves, and beneficial to their children: the truth is, that the children of the wife who burns, become thereby illustrious, and are sought after in marriage by the most opulent and honourable of their caste, and sometimes received into a caste superior to their own.

That the Bramins take unwearied pains to encourage, promote, and confirm in the minds of the Gentoo wives, this spirit of burning, is certain (their motives for it, the penetration of our readers may by and by probably discover) and although they seldom lose their labor, yet instances happen, where fear, or love of life, sets at nought all their preaching; for it sometimes falls out that the first wife refuses, and the second burns; at others, they both refuse; and as but one can burn, it so happens, that when the second wife has issue by the deceased, and the first none, there commonly ensues a violent contention between them, which of the two shall make the sacrifice; but this dispute is generally determined by the Bramins, in favor of the first, unless she is prevailed on by persuasion, or other motives to wave her right, in favor of the second. -- Having elucidated these matters, we will proceed to give our readers the best account, we have been able to obtain of the origin of this remarkable custom.

At the demise of the mortal part of the Gentoos' great lawgiver and prophet Bramah, his wives, inconsolable for his loss, resolved not to survive him, and offered themselves voluntary victims on his funeral pile. -- The wives of the chief Rajahs, the first officers of the state, being unwilling to have it thought that they were deficient in fidelity and affection, followed the heroic example set them by the wives of Bramah; -- the Bramins (a tribe then newly constituted by their great legislator) pronounced and declared, that the delinquent spirits of those heroines, immediately ceased from their transmigrations, and had entered the first Boboon of purification — it followed, that their wives claimed a right of making the same sacrifice of their mortal forms to God, and the manes of their deceased husbands; -- the wives of every Gentoo caught the enthusiastic (now pious) flame. -- Thus the heroic acts of a few women brought about a general custom, the Bramins had given it the stamp of religion, they foisted it into the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhades, and instituted the forms and ceremonials that were to accompany the sacrifice, strained some obscure passages of Bramah's Chartah Bhade, to countenance their declared sense of the action, and established it as a religious tenet throughout Indostan, subject to the restrictions before recited, which leaves it a voluntary act of glory, piety and fortitude. -- Whether the Bramins were sincere in their declared sense, and consecration of this act, or had a view to the securing the fidelity of their own wives, or were actuated by any other motives, we will not determine. --

When people have lived together to an advanced age, in mutual acts of confidence, friendship and affection; the sacrifice a Gentoo widow makes of her person (under such an affecting circumstance as the loss of friend and husband) seems less an object of wonder; -- but when we see women in the bloom of youth, and beauty, in the calm possession of their reason and understanding, with astonishing fortitude, set at nought, the tender considerations of parents, children, friends, and the horror and torments of the death they court, we cannot resist viewing such an act, and such a victim, with tears of commiseration, awe and reverence.

We have been present at many of these sacrifices: in some of the victims, we have observed a pitiable dread, tremor, and reluctance, that strongly spoke repentance for their declared resolution; but it was now too late to retract, or retreat; Bistnoo was waiting for the spirit. -- If the self doomed victim discovers want of courage and fortitude, she is with gentle force obliged to ascend the pile, where she is held down with long poles, held by men on each side of the pile, until the flames reach her; her screams and cries, in the mean time, being drowned amidst the deafening noise of loud musick, and the acclamations of the multitude. -- Others we have seen go through this fiery trial, with most amazing steady, calm, resolution, and joyous fortitude. -- It will not we hope be unacceptable, if we present our readers with an instance of the latter, which happened some years past at the East India company's factory at Cossimbuzaar, in the time of Sir Francis Russell’s chiefship; the author, and several other gentlemen of the factory were present, some of whom are now living: -- from a narrative, which the author then transmitted to England he is now enabled to give the particulars of this most remarkable proof of female fortitude, and constancy.

At five of the dock on the morning of the 4th of February, 1742-3, died Rhaam Chund Pundit of the Mahahrattor tribe, aged twenty-eight years; his widow (for he had but one wife) aged between seventeen and eighteen, as soon as he expired, disdaining to wait the term allowed her for reflection, immediately declared to the Bramins and witnesses present her resolution to burn; as the family was of no small consideration, all the merchants of Cossimbuzaar, and her relations, left no arguments unessayed to dissuade her from it — Lady Russell, with the tenderest humanity, sent her several messages to the same purpose; -- the infant state of her children (two girls and a boy, the eldest not four years of age) and the terrors and pain of the death she sought, were painted to her in the strongest and most lively colouring — she was deaf to all, -- she gratefully thanked Lady Russell, and sent her word she had now nothing to live for, but recommended her children to her protection. -- When the torments of burning were urged in terrorem to her, she with a resolved and calm countenance, put her finger into the fire, and held it there a considerable time, she then with one hand put fire in the palm of the other, sprinkled incense on it, and fumigated the Bramins. The consideration of her children left destitute of a parent was again urged to her. -- She replied, he that made them, would take care of them. She was at last given to understand, she should not be permitted to burn; [The Gentoos are not permitted to burn, without an order from the Mahommedan government, and this permission is commonly made a prequisite of.] this for a short space seemed to give her deep affliction, but soon recollecting herself, she told them, death was in her power, and that if she was not allowed to burn, according to the principles of her caste, she would starve herself. -- Her friends, finding her thus peremptory and resolved, were obliged at last to assent.

The body of the deceased was carried down to the water side, early the following morning, the widow followed about ten o’clock, accompanied by three very principal Bramins, her children, parents, and relations, and a numerous concourse of people. The order of leave for her burning did not arrive from Hosseyn Khan, Fouzdaar of Morshadabad, until after one, and it was then brought by one of the Soubah's own officers, who had orders to see that she burnt voluntarily. -- The time they waited for the order was employed in praying with the Bramins, and washing in the Ganges; as soon as it arrived, she retired and stayed for the space of half an hour in the midst of her female relations, amongst whom was her mother; she then divested herself of her bracelets, and other ornaments, and tied them in a cloth, which hung like an apron before her, and was conducted by her female relations to one corner of the pile; on the pile was an arched arbor formed of dry sticks, boughs and leaves, open only at one end to admit her entrance; in this the body of the deceased was deposited, his head at the end opposite to the opening. -- At the corner of the pile, to which she had been conducted, the Bramin had made a small fire, round which she and the three Bramins sat for some minutes, one of them gave into her hand a leaf of the bale tree (the wood commonly consecrated to form part of the funeral pile) with sundry things on it, which she threw into the fire; one of the others gave her a second leaf, which she held over the flame, whilst he dropped three times some ghee on it, which melted, and fell into the fire (these two operations, were preparatory symbols of her approaching dissolution by fire) and whilst they were performing this, the third Bramin read to her some portions of the Aughtorrah Bhade, and asked her some questions, to which she answered with a steady, and serene countenance; but the noise was so great, we could not understand what she said, although we were within a yard of her. -- These over, she was led with great solemnity three times round the pile, the Bramins reading before her; when she came the third time to the small fire, she stopped, took her rings off her toes and fingers, and put them to her other ornaments; here she took a solemn majestic leave of her children, parents, and relations; after which, one of the Bramins dip'd a large wick of cotton in some ghee, and gave it ready lighted into her hand, and led her to the open side of the arbor; there, all the Bramins fell at her feet; -- after she had blessed them, they retired weeping; -- by two steps, she ascending the pile and entered the arbor; on her entrance, she made a profound reverence at the feet of the deceased, and advanced and seated herself by his head; she looked, in silent meditation on his face, for the space of a minute, then set fire to the arbor, in three places; observing that she had set fire to leeward, and that the flames blew from her, instantly seeing her error she rose, and set fire to windward, and resumed her station; ensign Daniel with his cane, separated the grass and leaves on the windward side, by which means we had a distinct view of her as she sat. With what dignity, and undaunted a countenance, she set fire to the pile the last time, and assumed her seat, can only be conceived, for words cannot convey a just idea of her. -- The pile being of combustible matters, the supporters of the roof were presently consumed, and it tumbled upon her.

We see our fair country-women shudder at an action, which we fear they will look upon, as a proof of the highest infatuation in their sex. -- Although it is not our intention here to defend the tenets of the Bramins, yet we may be allowed to offer some justification on behalf of the Gentoo women in the action before us. -- Let us view it (as we should every other action) without prejudice, and without keeping always in sight our own tenets and customs, and prepossessions that too generally result therefrom, to the injury of others;-- if we view these women in a just light, we shall think more candidly of them, and confess they act upon heroic, as well as rational and pious principles: in order to this we must consider them as a race of females trained from their infancy, in the full conviction of their celestial rank; and that this world, and the corporeal form that incloses them, is destined by God, the one as their place of punishment, the other as their prison. -- That their ideas are consequently raised to a soothing degree of dignity befiting angelic beings. -- They are nursed and instructed in the firm faith — that this voluntary sacrifice, is the most glorious period of their lives, and that thereby the celestial spirit is released from its transmigrations, and evils of a miserable existence, and flies to join the spirit of their departed husband, in a state of purification; add to this, the subordinate consideration of raising the lustre of their children, and of contributing by this action to their temporal prosperity; -- all these it must be owned are prevalent motives, for cheerfully embracing death, and setting at nought every common attachment which the weakness of humanity urges, for a longer existence in a world of evil. -- Although these principles are in general so diametrically contrary to the prevailing spirit, and genius of our fair country-women, who (from a happy train of education) in captivating amusements and dissipation, find charms sufficient in this world, to engage their wishes for a perpetual residence in it; yet we will depend on their natural goodness of heart, generosity and candor, that they will in future look on these their Gentoo sisters of the creation, in a more favorable, and consistent light, than probably they have hitherto done; and not deem that action an infatuation, which results from principle. Let them also recollect that their own history affords illustrious examples in both sexes of voluntary sacrifices by fire, because they would not subscribe even to a different mode of professing the same faith. Besides — a contempt of death, is not peculiar to the women of India, it is the characteristic of the nation; every Gentoo meets that moment of dissolution, with a steady, noble, and philosophic resignation, flowing from the established principles of their faith.

Before we close this subject, we will mention one or two more particulars relative to it. It has been already remarked in a marginal note, that the Gentoo women are not allowed to burn, without an order of leave from the Mahommedan government; it is proper also to inform our readers this privilege is never withheld from them. -- There have been instances known, when the victim has, by Europeans, been forceably rescued from the pile; it is currently said and believed (how true we will not aver) that the wife of Mr. Job Charnock was by him snatched from this sacrifice; be this as it may, the outrage is considered by the Gentoos, an atrocious, and wicked violation of their sacred rites and privileges.

Having now brought our fourth general head to a conclusion, and faithfully, to the best of our knowledge (with the materials we are possessed of) exhibited the original tenets of the ancient Bramins, according to the first book of Bramah's Chartah Bhade; and having in our remarks given such elucidations as we thought our subject called for, we submit our imperfect work (for imperfect we must still call it) with all due deference to the public; hoping that some more capable head and hand, will be stimulated by our endeavours, to produce a more full, and satisfactory relation, of the rest of his doctrines. -- A large field is yet left open, for the exercise of industry and talents. Bramah’s first section of his second book on the creation of this globe, will be the subject of our next general head. -- His third book directing the plain and simple modes of worship to be paid to God, and the three primary created beings, and his fourth sublime book, (which the Gentoos commonly call Bramah Ka, Insoff Bhade, or, Bramah's book of justice) wherein is expressly recited and enjoined, the duties and offices, which the delinquent Debtah shall observe and pay to each other; these two last mentioned books, and part of the second, we say, must lie in oblivion, until some one, blessed with opportunity, leisure, application, and genius, brings them to light.

The End of the Fourth Chapter.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:33 am

Chap. V. Of the Creation of the Worlds


In the fifth section of our last general head, Bramah recites, that the ETERNAL ONE (after he had promulged his gracious intention, of mitigating the punishment of the fallen angels, at the intercession of the remaining faithful host), "retired into himself, and became invisible to them, for the space of five thousand years." -- In his introduction to the act of creation of the worlds in his second book, he takes again occasion to repeat the above mentioned passage, and explains it by an inference, that during that space, the ETERNAL ONE was employed in meditation on his intended new creation; -- and although it appears, from the same section, that this stupendous work, was produced by an instantaneous fiat of the Deity, yet Bramah, to display the infinite and amazing wisdom of his Creator, enters into a sublime, and philosophic disquisition and description, of his modes (if we may be allowed the expression) and manner of creation, in the marvellous construction of the fifteen Boboons, that constitute the Dunneahoudah, or universe; -- these descriptions, he couches under allegories, then commonly and familiarly understood, at which the reader will the less wonder, when he knows, that at this day it is the usual mode of conversing, amongst well educated Gentoos.

In this exhibition of infinite wisdom, Bramah gives a short, simple and elevated description, of each of the fifteen Boboons, their situation, their rank, and peculiar destination, with the appellations appropriated to the angelic inhabitants, in their progressive passage from one sphere to another. Our memory only supplies us with the names of the sojourners of the ninth, fifth, sixth and seventh, that is, the first, and three last of the seven regions of purification, to wit, the spheres of the Pereeth logue, [Logue, literally people. Pereeth logue, purified people.] the Munnoo logue, [Munnoo logue, people of contemplation, from mun, or mon, thought, reflection, alludes to God’s being worshipped in this sphere in silent meditation.] the Debtah logue, [In this sphere the angels are first supposed to regain properly their title of Debtah.] and the Birmah logue; [In this sphere the delinquents are supposed to be cleansed from the pollution of their sin, regenerated, and fit to enter again the Mahah Surgo, and to be readmitted to the presence of their Creator.] in the last mentioned sphere, according to the Bramins’ computation, a complete day is equal to twenty-eight Munnunturs of vulgar time. (Vid. sixth or next general head.)

On the foundation of Bramah's description of the fifteen Boboons, the compilers of the Augotorrah Bhade have raised an elaborate chimerical superstructure: that confounds the understanding.

As the Bramins' conceptions and calculation of the age and future duration of the universe, will be the subject of our next general head, we shall say nothing more of it here, than to remind our readers, that they date its existence from the rebellious angels being released from the Onderah.

We again lament the loss of our materials, which confines us to the eighth section of Bramah's second book that treats only of the creation of this terrestrial planet, to which we will now proceed, premising that it is distinguished by the title of the eighth Boboon of Murto, which literally signifies the region of earth.

Sect. VIII.

Birmahah [This title is prefixed to every section of Bramah’s second book, Birmah in the figurative sense (before explained) signifying creation.] or Creation.

And it was — that when the ETERNAL ONE, resolved to form the new creation of the Dunneahoudah, he gave the rule of Mahah Surgo to his first created Birmah, and became invisible to the whole angelic host.

When the ETERNAL ONE, first began his intended new creation of the Dunneahoudah, he was opposed by two mighty Ossoors, [The common appellation given to giants, but is variously used in the Shastah, to express excrescence, excretion, and secretion.] which proceeded from the wax of Brum’s ear; and their names were Modoo [Discord, enmity.] and Kytoo. [Confusion, tumult.]

And the ETERNAL ONE, contended and fought with Modoo and Kytoo, five thousand years, and he smote them on his thigh, [Reduced them to subjection, or obedience: touching the thigh, amongst the ancient Gentoos, was a token of subjection.] and they were lost and assimilated with Murto.

And it was, -- that when Modoo and Kytoo were subdued, the ETERNAL ONE emerged from his state of invisibility, and glory encompassed him on every side!

And the ETERNAL ONE spoke, and said, Thou Birmah [Power of creation. Vid. introduction to the fourth chapter.] shalt create and form all things that shall be made in the new creation of the fifteen Boboons of punishment, and purification, according to the powers of the spirit, wherewith thou shalt be inspired. -- And thou, Bistnoo [Preserver. Vid. introduction to the fourth chapter.] shalt superintend, cherish, and preserve all the things and forms which shall be created. -- And thou, Sieb [Mutilator, destroyer. Vid. introduction, &c.] shalt change, or destroy, all creation, according to the powers, wherewith I will invest thee.

And when Birmah, Bistnoo, and Sieb, had heard the words of the Eternal One, they all bowed obedience. [The foregoing exordium of the general act of creation of the Dunneahoudah, proceeds every one of the fifteen sections of Bramah's second book.]

The ETERNAL ONE spoke again, and said to Birmah, Do thou begin the creation and formation of the eighth Boboon, of punishment and probation, even the Boboon of Murto, according to the powers of the spirit wherewith I have endued thee, and do thou, Bistnoo, proceed to execute thy part.

And when Brum [Birmah and Brum, are, in the set of creation, synonymous terms.] heard the command, which the mouth of the Eternal One had uttered; he straightways formed a leaf of beetle, and he floated on the beetle leaf over the surface of the Jhoale; and the children [Supposed remains of discordant matter. The Bramins supposed the first principles of things prior to the creation of the universe, to have been in a fluid state.] of Modo and Kytoo, fled before him, and vanished from his presence.

And when the agitation of the Jhoale had subsided, by the powers of the spirit of Brum, Bistnoo straightways transformed himself into a mighty boar, [The Gentoos’ symbol of strength, because, in proportion to his size, he is the strongest of all animals.] and descending into the abyss of Jhoale, he brought up the Murto on his tusks. Then spontaneously issued from him, a mighty tortoise, [The Gentoos' symbol of stability.] and a mighty snake. [The Gentoos’ symbol of wisdom.]

And Bistnoo put the snake erect upon the back of the tortoise, and placed Murto upon the head of the snake.

And all things were created and formed by Birmah in the eighth Boboon of punishment and probation, even the eighth of Murto, according to the powers of the spirit, wherewith the ETERNAL ONE had endued him.

And Bistnoo took upon him the superintendence and charge of all that was created, and formed, by Birmah in the eighth Boboon of Murto; and he cherished and preserved them, as the words of the ETERNAL ONE had directed, and commanded.


In the same sublime allegorical manner, has Bramah described the creation of Surjee, [The Sun.] and Chunder, [The Moon.] and the other twelve Boboons of the Dunneahoudah, without pretending, or aiming to dive into, and explain, the principles of matter, or the nature of those essential laws of motion by which the Deity guides and governs his creation; the wisdom of Bramah has elsewhere marked such fruitless enquiries, with the stamp of presumption and folly; and that the knowledge of these, and the mode of the existence of God, is concealed even from the three primary created beings themselves.

From the foregoing specimen of the creation of the eighth region, as well as from Bramah's historical discussion of the other fourteen, it is most obvious, that the personages which he introduces as actors in the work of that creation were intended by him to be taken only in a figurative sense, as expressive of the three supreme attributes of the Deity, his power to create, his power to preserve, and his power to change, or destroy, as before hinted. [Vid. Introduction to the fourth chapter.] -- For if they were to be understood in any other sense, it would expressly contradict his own text, where he represents the creation of the Dunneahoudah as proceeding from the instantaneous fiat of the ETERNAL ONE; and a further proof of Bramah's plain intention, results from his prefixing the same exordium to each of his sections of creation.

But as the real sense and meaning of the allegory (then clearly understood by all) was, in process of time, lost to the generality of the Gentoos; the compilers of the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhades, took the advantage (which ignorance and time gave them) and not only realised Bramah's three mystical beings, but created also a multitude of subordinate actors, and made Demi-gods and divinities of them all, instituting particular days, fasts, and festivals, and other exterior worship, to each: -- thus Surjee and Chunder, Modoo and Kytoo, and a race of their children and descendants, became Demi-gods and heroes; and scorning to confine themselves to the eighth Boboon, they ransacked the fourteen, and framed divinities of the principal personages which their wild imagination supposed resident in each of them, and allotted to them peculiar divine worship, which subsists to this day.

It will not, we hope, be thought an improbable conjecture, if we say, that the allegorical parts of Bramah's Chartah Bhade, (which truly bears a divine semblance) being thus perverted or grossly mistaken by the very tribe, which he had instituted guardians over it, and being subsequently communicated to the Egyptian Magi, and by them circulated through the states of Greece, afforded them, as well as Rome and the whole Western world, those inexhaustible supplies of mythological systems, which held their existence and authority even long after the light of Christianity had shone upon them. -- But to resume our more immediate subject.

The act of creation of the Boboon of Murto, is represented in the annexed plate No. 1. which (with others we shall have occasion to present to the reader) was drawn by the instructions, and under the eye of a judicious Bramin of the Battezaar tribe, the tribe, as before noticed, usually employed in expounding the Shastahs.

Brum [Spirit or essence of the ETERNAL ONE: vide Introduction to the fourth chapter.] is represented lying and floating on a leaf of beetle, over the troubled surface of the abyss of Jhoale; the three primary beings appear before it, in the posture of adoration, Birmah on the right, Bistnoo in the middle, and Sieb on the left. -- On the right, above the abyss, is figured a huge boar, bearing on his tusks a lump of earth. -- On the left, above the abyss, is represented a tortoise, on which a snake rests his tail, bearing Murto (or the earth) on his head. -- Brum and Birmah are habited alike; and are each figured with four heads and four arms. -- The three primary beings, are supposed in the posture of adoration, to be receiving the commands of the ETERNAL ONE, touching his projected new creation; and the other figures express the three gradations of the work, namely the beginning, the progress, and completion. [Vide Plate No. 1.]

Notwithstanding the sagacious reader, by a bare reference to the marginal notes which we have affixed to the text of Bramah, will readily conceive the spirit of the allegory contained in it; yet as some passages of it require a further explanation than could be huddled into a note, we will add the whole interpretation of it under one connected view.

The ETERNAL ONE having determined on the creation of the universe, like a supreme wise architect, he retired for a space to project his stupendous plan, and prepare his materials. -- He was opposed in the operation by the discord, confusion and tumult of the elements that compose the abyss of Jhoale; -- he separated, subdued, brought them under subjection, and prepared them to receivers intended impressions. -- He exerts his three great attributes, to create, preserve, or destroy, which are figuratively represented by the three primary created beings. -- His spirit floats upon the surface of the abyss of Jhoale, or fluid matter. -- Creation takes place. -- Birmah (or Creation) is represented with four heads and four arms to denote the power of God in the act of creation. -- Bistnoo the preserver is transformed into a mighty boar, emblematically signifying the strength of God in the act of creation. The tortoise mystically denotes the stability and permanency of the foundation of the earth, and the snake the wisdom by which it is supported. These latter operations are given to Bistnoo, because the earth was the grand principle or parent, from whence he was to draw the means for the preservation of the future animal creation, destined for the prisons of the rebellious Debtah; a work which we may gather from Bramah's text, was reserved for the hand of God himself, as they were to be endued with rational powers. -- It may be asked why Brum, is represented floating, particularly on a beetle leaf? To this we can only reply, that the plant is deemed sacred amongst the Gentoos, its culture is made under the auspices of the Shastah, and instruction of the Bramins; unclean persons are prohibited entering into a beetle garden, as the approach of any impurity is pronounced fatal to the plant, in the infancy of its growth.

To conclude this general head — how far Homer, Virgil, Lucretius, Ovid, Lucian, &c. have in their conceptions of the creation, (by means of the Egyptians) built on, and availed themselves of the simple cosmogony of Bramah, we leave the learned and curious to trace. -- Although in fact, it is obvious, that this ancient sage, aimed at no other solution of that stupendous and incomprehensible act, than to inculcate, that the universe was produced by the essence and voluntary power, strength and wisdom of God. That it is preserved and sustained by original constituent powers impressed on it by the Deity, and that it is liable to change and dissolution, at his divine pleasure and will.

The End of the Fifth Chapter.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:34 am

Chap. VI. The Gentoo manner of computing Time, and their conception of the age of the universe, and the period of its dissolution.

[From Bramah’s Chartah Bhade, in the supplement to his Birmahah.]

Sixty nimicks, or winks of the eye, make one pull.

Sixty pulls, make one gurree.

Sixty gurrees, make one complete day, or one day and one night.

Three hundred and sixty-five complete days and fifteen gurrees make one solar year.

The Gentoos divide the complete day into eight parts, to which they give the term [/i]paar[/i], commencing their day at six in the morning; -- thus ek paar dheen [Literally, one part of day.] equals our nine in the morning; duapaar dheen, our noon; teenpaar dheen, our three afternoon; chaarpaar dheen, our six in the evening; --the divisions of the night are distinguished by the word rhaat (night) in place of dheen, as eh poor rhaat, equals our nine at night; and so on.

It is the province of the Bramins in this country to keep the account of time, and there is no Gentoo of distinction but retains in his house and on his journeys one of these time keepers, whose entire business it is to regulate time, and strike the gurrees as they pass, on the Ghong, an extended sheet of copper, which yields the sound of a solemn bell.

Bramah measures space or duration of time, from the creation of the Dunneahoudah, or universe, by the revolutions of the four Jogues.

Age / Years  

The first age, or Suttee Jogue, contains thirty-two lac years of vulgar time, or / 3,800,000
The second age, or Tirta Jogue, sixteen lac, or / 1 ,600,000
The third age, or Dwapaar Jogue, eight lac, or / 800,000
The fourth age, or Kolee Jogue, four lac, or / 400,000
-- / 6,000,000

Ekutter (seventy-one) revolutions of the four Jogues make one Munnuntur of vulgar time, or years 426,000,000.

(The word Munnuntur, is in this place strictly applied by Bramah to space of time, but it is by him frequently used with a retrospect signification to the act of creation, and is sometimes given as an additional name to Birmah, as Birmah Munnuah, alluding to the creation being the result of thought and meditation; -- the word, as we before remarked in a marginal note, springs from Mon, or Mun, thought, reflection; Munnoo Logue, the people of thought, or contemplation. -- The compilers of the Aughtorrah Bhade derive the word Munnuntur from Munnuah or Munnooah, whom (by perverting the sense of Bramah) they make to be the fabulous personal offspring of Birmah, and report mighty feats of his prowess in war, against Moisasoor, and his adherents.)

When Bramah descended to promulge the written law and commands of the ETERNAL ONE to the Gentoos, he at the same time (namely, the beginning of the present Kolee Jogue [Vide Introduction to the fourth chapter.]) declared, "from the registers of Surgo, that the Dunneahoudah, was then entering into the eighth revolution of the four Jogues, in the second Munnuntur;" consequently, according to Bramah’s account, (and if our calculation be right) the precise age of this, and the other fourteen planets of the universe, amounted to, at that period, four hundred and sixty eight millions of years. And if we subtract the 4,866 years, which have elapsed since the descent of Bramah, we shall find the remainder of the Kolee Jogue will be 359,134 years; at the expiration of which, Bramah pronounced and prophesied, that the patience and forbearance of the Eternal One would be withdrawn from the delinquent Debtah, and destruction by fire fall upon the eight regions of punishment, purgation and probation. [Vide towards the close of the fifth section.]

In the supplement to his Birmahah, Bramah likewise taught, that the Boboon of Murto, had undergone three remarkable changes, and would undergo three more, before its final dissolution in common with the other seven Boboons; but he specifies not of what nature those changes were, or would be; -- he also declares, "[i]that after a long space, a second new creation will take place; but of what kind, or on what principles it would be constructed, was only known to the ETERNAL ONE."

The cause of the superstitious veneration paid by the Gentoos to the numericals ONE and THREE has, we conceive, been obvious to the discerning reader as he travelled thro' these sheets. -- It is remarkable, that a Gentoo never gives or receives an obligation for an even sum; if he borrows or lends a hundred, a thousand, or ten thousand rupees, the obligation runs for a hundred and one, a thousand and one, ten thousand and one, &c. The Mahommedans, in conformity only, have generally adopted this custom; hence it was, that the revenues stipulated to be paid annually by Soujah Khan [Suja Khan, Nawab of Bengal, 1727-39.] into the royal treasury, were one khorore, one lac, one thousand, one hundred, and one rupee [10,100,111.].

The End of the Sixth Chapter.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:35 am

Chap. VII. Of the Gentoo Fasts, and Festivals, &c.

[From the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhade Shastahs.]


As the Gentoo year begins the first of April, we will trace their holy days as they fall in turn from that day, premising that the word Ouposs signifies a fast, Purrup a feast, and Poojah worship, but when accompanied with an offering, it is then called Birto Poojah. -- Poojah is also sometimes used to signify the altar on which they offer.

The Gentoo holy days are guided by the course and age of the moon, and generally take their donomination from that, or from the religious duties that are enjoined on those particular days, and sometimes from both.

Their offerings consist of fruits, some particular sacred plants and flowers, powdered sugar, salt, meal, and different kinds of grain.

First Holy Day. Ouposs.

Okhuij Tertea, falls on the third day of the new moon in April, and is dedicated to the giving alms and benefactions to the Bramins, as the word Okhuij imports. -- This day is also ordained for making the Gentoo pickle called Kossundee, made only on this day, by the wives of the Bramins; it is composed of green mangos, tamarind, mustard seed, and fresh mustard seed oil; it is deemed a holy pickle, and the only one the Gentoos use with their food.

Second. Ouposs.

Poornemee, [Poorah, full] falls on the full moon in April, and is strictly ordained for washing and purifying in the river Ganges, and for distributing charity.

Third. Ouposs Poojah -- Purrup.

Orun [Orun, the morning star, often used to express the dawn of day.] Sustee, falls on the sixth day of the new moon in May, and is dedicated to the goddess Sustee, the goddess of generation, who is worshipped when the morning star appears, or at dawn of day, for the propagation of children, and to remove barrenness. -- On this day presents are usually made by the parents to their sons in law, and the day ends with a purrup or feast.

Fourth. Purrup, at night Poojah.

Dussarrah, as the word imports, falls on the tenth day of the new moon in May; it is dedicated to the God Gunga, the God of the Ganges, who is fabled to have arrived on earth on this day of the moon, and in this month -- it is also dedicated to the Goddess Moonshee Tagooran, [Tagooran, priestess, sometimes goddess.] Goddess of snakes, and fabulous daughter of Sieb.

Fifth. Ouposs-Poojah.

Poornemee falls on the full moon in May, and is dedicated to Jaggernaut, (synonymous with Bistnoo.) This day is otherwise called from the duty enjoined on it, the Sinan, [Sinan, bathing.] Jattra, [Jattra, literally signifies a dance of many.] or general washing in the Ganges -- and it is almost incredible to think the immense multitude of every age and sex that appears on both sides of the river, throughout it's whole course, at one and the same time.

Sixth. Ouposs-Purrup.

Rhutt Jattra, falls on the second day of the new moon in June; it is dedicated to Jaggernaut and Bistnoo. -- On this day the Rhutt, or triumphal car of Jaggernaut, is carried forth about a mile, rests, and is returned on the ninth day of the moon. -- From the seventh day of the moon to the tenth, both inclusive, is the UMBOOBISSEE; during which space, the earth is left to her purgations, and neither plough, spade, or any other instrument of tillage, permitted to molest her. -- The term UMBOOBISSEE, which needs no further explanation, is applied to women under the same circumstances.

Seventh. Ouposs.

Syon [Syon, sleep, repose.] Ekkadussee, as the last word imports, falls on the eleventh day of the new moon in June, and is a solemn fast. Jaggernaut (or Bistnoo) is fabled to sleep for four months: -- which only signifies that the rainy season about this time setting in for four months, the care of Bistnoo (the preserver) is suspended, as immaterial, the rains securing their crops of grain.

Eighth. Ouposs.

Poornemee, as the word imports, falls on the full moon in June, and is dedicated to washing in the Ganges, and charity to the Bramins.

Ninth. Ouposs.

Duadussee, as the word signifies, falls on the twelfth day of the new moon in July, and is devoted to washing in the Ganges, and giving alms.

Tenth. Ouposs-Purrup.

Ekkadussee, Teradussee, Chowtadussee and Poornemee, the eleventh, thirteenth, fourteenth, of the new moon in July, to the Poornemee or full inclusive, are dedicated to the Joolna Jattra of Kissen Tagoor; but these are not directed by the Shastah, and are only observed by the Gentoos of the Kettery tribe.

Eleventh. Ouposs.

Jurmo [Jurmo, nativity.] Oostoomee falls on the eighth day after the full, or twenty-third day of the moon in July, and is dedicated to the birth of Kissen Tagoor, who is fabled to have then descended for the destruction of Kunksoo Rajah, a famous Ossoor and tyrant. It is observed as a solemn fast.

Twelfth. Purrup.

Lukee [Lukee, plenty, affluence.] Poojah falls on the first Thursday in the month of August; she is the Gentoo Goddess of all kinds of grain, and is fabled to be the wife of Bistnoo, the preserver; she is worshipped at this time on the coming in the Paddy, the name given to rice in the husk. -- The day concludes with a feast.

Thirteenth. Purrup.

Unnunto Birto, falls on the fourteenth day of the moon in August, and is dedicated to Bistnoo with the epithet of Unnunto, or the unknown; an offering of grain is made to him, and the day concludes with a feast.

Fourteenth. Ouposs.

Arundah Poojah falls on the thirtieth day of August, and is dedicated to Moonshee Tagooran (the feminine of Tagoor) Goddess of snakes. -- The precise interpretation of Arundah we have lost, and will not impose on our readers. -- Although this day is a fast, it ends in a feast of the new rice, boiled early, and eaten cold; to which essential circumstance we think the word Arundah, given to this Poojah, alludes; but we are not positive.

Fifteenth. Purrup.

Drugah Poojah falls on the seventh day of the new moon in September, and continues the eighth and ninth. The eighth is observed as a fast by those who have no children. -- This is the grand general feast of the Gentoos, usually visited by all Europeans, (by invitation) who are treated by the proprietor of the feast with the fruits and flowers in season, and are entertained every evening whilst the feast lasts, with bands of singers and dancers. -- This Goddess is the first in rank an ddignity, and the most active of all the fabulous deities of the Aughtorrah Bhade, and is styled the wife of Sieb, the destroyer, the third of the three primary created beings. She is as often styled Bowannee, [Persevering.] as Drugah; [Virtue.] and frequently Bowannee Drugah: the cause of her descent is thus derived: -- God having appointed Endeer [Goodness.] and his descendants universal Rajahs of the world, the appointment was illy brooked by Moisasoor; [Evil.] he thereupon drew together his adherents, and waged war against Endeer and his descendants, who were at last in the Duapaar Jogue obliged to fly, and leave the government of the world to Moisasoor; which proved the source of ravages, murders, and confusion. -- Endeer, and his few adherents, were confined to a small portion of the world, from whence, in compassion to mankind, they with piety and humility petitioned the three primary created beings to implore the ETERNAL ONE to redress the grievances resulting from the usurped power of Moisasoor. -- The three beings interceded, and obtained permission that bowannee Drugah should descend on the earth, for the destruction of Moisasoor and his adherents, which the Gentoos are taught to believe she will in the end effect, and finally restore the government of the world to Endeer and his descendants, according to the first intention of the ETERNAL ONE. Hence was the Drugah Poojah instituted, during which the Supreme Being is invoked, through her meditation, to hasten that wished-for period. -- The allegory in the foregoing recital is so plan by a reference to the marginal notes, that we will not affront the understanding of our readers by offering an explanation, although we shall illustrated it further when we give a particular interpretation of the plate No. 2.

Sixteenth. Purrup.

Dussumee, or the tenth day of the new moon in September, when the image of Drugah is cast into the Ganges, with the universal acclamations of the people, and is said to be returned to her husband Sieb. Purification by washing in the Ganges on this day is strictly enjoined.

Seventeenth. Ouposs.

Lukee Poojah falls on the full moon in September, on which she is worshipped all night, during which nothing is drank but the water of the coco nut.

Eighteenth. Ouposs.

Kalleka, Kalkee or Kallee Poojah, (for they are synonymous) falls on the last day of the moon in September. This goddess is worshipped all the night of that day universally, but in a more particular manner at Kallee Ghat, about three miles south of Calcutta; an ancient Pagoda dedicated to her there, stands close to a small brook, which is by the Bramins deemed to be the original course of the Ganges. -- The parts of the Gentoo Goddess (like the parts of some modern saints) are worshipped in various parts of Indostan, her eyes at Kallee Ghat, her head at Banaras, her hand at Bindoobund; but where the remains of her are distributed has escaped our memory. [Plat No. 3.] -- She takes her name from her usual habiliment, which is black, and is frequently called the black Goddess; Kallee is the common name for ink. -- She is fabled to have sprung, completely armed, from the eye of Drugah, at a time when she was hard pressed in battle by the tyrants of the earth. [The various heads which appear scattered over the plate, signify the many tyrants and monsters she flew in conjunction with Drugah.] -- On this fast, worship and offerings are paid to the manes of deceased ancestors. Besides the last mentioned annual custom, every Gentoo keeps the anniversary of their father's death, in fasting and worship to his manes, which is called Baap ka Surraad. [Sacred to the father.] -- It is worthy remark (by the bye) that in all Devonshire, the word Kallee expresses black or smut; why the same combination of letters should convey the same ideal to people so far removed from each other, we leave the curious to account for.

Nineteenth. Purrup.

Raas [A circle.] Jattra, falls on the full moon in October, and is continued to seventeenth of the moon; it is dedicated to Kissen Tagoor Kettry. -- This feast is universally observed, but in a most extraordinary manner celebrated at Bindoobund, in commemoration of a marvelous event which is fabled to have happened in the neighborhood of that place. -- A number of virgins met to celebrate, in mirth and sports, the descent of Kissen: [Plate No. 4.] in the heighth of their joy, the God appeared amongst them, and proposed to them a dance, to which they objected, as they were many, and he but one; to obviate this objection, he divided himself into as many Kissens as there were virgins, who immediately entered into a circular dance with them, as represented in the plate No. 4. In the center circle he is represented standing in a disengaged attitude, attended by the nymphs Nundee and Bringhee (joys and sports) who are making him offerings of flowers and fruits.

Twentieth. Ouposs.

Kartik Poojah falls on the last day of the moon in October. -- This divinity is fabled to be the youngest son of Moisoor (or Sieb) and Drugah; he is worshipped on this day by those who have not been blessed with children, and man and woman are enjoined a strict fast. -- The word Kartik, strictly means consecration, hence this divinity is said to be the invisible guardian, and superintendant of the Gentoo Pagodas. The word also sometimes signifies holiness. The month of October takes its name from him, because in this month the Pagodas are generally consecrated.

Twenty-first. Purrup.

Novono [New rice.] is celebrated on the first lucky Thursday in November, on the first coming in of the new grain of the second crop; the lucky Thursday is fixed in a consultation of Bramins, and is a general feast.

Twenty-second. Ouposs-Purrap.

Lukkee Poojah falls on the first Thursday in the month of December, on getting in all the new harvest, when this favorite Goddess of the Gentoos receives a solemn thanksgiving for all the blessings of the year; the day is passed in fasting, worship, washing and purifying in the Ganges; at night they feast.

Twenty-third. Purrup.

Lukee Poojah Sankrantee [Sunkrantee signifies the last day in every month.] falls on the last day in December, when this Goddess is again worshipped as on the last mentioned holy-day, excepting the fast. On this day bread is distributed in alms, according to every one's ability.

Twenty-fourth. Purrup.

Seeree Punchemee falls on the fifth day of the new moon in January, and is dedicated to Sursuttee, [Invention, contrivance, ingenuity, genius. ], the Gentoo Goddess of arts, and letters. -- She is fabled to be the daughter of Birmah and Birmaanee. The Koyt Caste, or tribe of writers, are prohibited the use of pen and ink on this festival, which are consecrated to her for the day, and a cessation is put to business of every kind. -- Seeree signifies fortune, success, and is the first word of every epistolary correspondence in the Gentoo language.

Twenty-fifth. Birto.

Orun Oodee, [Rising of the dawn.] Suptimee, falls on the seventh day of the new moon in January, and is called Soorjee Poojah, or worship to the sun; to whom offerings are made of peculiar flowers in the Ganges.

Twenty-sixth. Ouposs.

Bhim Ekadussee falls on the eleventh day of the new moon in January; the day is dedicated to Kissen, and commemorates the abstinence of Bhim, a voracious Eater, who fasted on this day; he is called the brother of Judisteen. Bhim is the common name of reproach for a Glutton, but who this Judisteen is, or what the occult meaning and real signification of this fast, has slipped our memory, and we will not substitute any interpretation that is not warranted by our materials, or from our certain and clear knowledge.

Twenty-seventh. Ouposs.

Poornemee, or the full moon in January, is dedicated to Bistnoo, the cherisher. -- Fasting, washing and alms.

Twenty-eighth. Ouposs.

Siebrateer, Chowturdussee, or the fourteenth after the full, falls on the twenty-ninth day of the moon in January, and is dedicated to Sieb, the destroyer, who is worshipped with fasting, offerings, and prayer all the night, as the additional rateer annexted to the title of this holy day imports.

Twenty-ninth. Ouposs.

Govindussee falls on the twelfth day of the moon in February, and is dedicated to Bistnoo the comforter, as the word Govin, or Govindu signifies, and is one of the many appellatives given to the second of the three primary created persons, and he is worshipped on this day with fasting, prayer, &c.

Thirtieth. Purrup.

Dole [Dole, a drum.] Jattra falls on the Poornemee or full moon in February, and is sacred to Kissen Tagoor. On this feast day it is that the Gentoos cast the powder of a certain red flower, called Faag, on all they meet; but whence this custom, or for what cause this feast was first instituted, has escaped us.

Thirty-first. Ouposs.

Barranee Jattra, or Modoo Kistna [Kisen, Kistna, are synonymous with Bistnoo, but allude to different attributes.] Tiradussee (the thirteenth after the full) falls on the twenty-eighth day of the moon in February: if this falls on a Saturday, it is called Barranee, and if the star Satoo Bissah is then on the meridian, it is called Mahah Barranee; and again, if the star Soobo Jogue is in conjunction with Satoo Bissah, it is then called [Most great.] Mahah Mahah Barranee. -- These conjunctions are uncertain, but when they happen, it is deemed a most holy day, and is observed by universal purification in the Ganges, and worship and offerings to Soorjee, or the sun. It fell out last on the twenty-eighth of February, 1759. -- As we have lost the precise meaning and etymology of the word Barranee, and confess ourselves ignorant of the astronomy of the Bramins, we will not attempt an explanation of this fast.

Thirty-two. Ouposs-Purrup.

Lukee Poojah falls on the first Thursday in March, when this goddess is worshipped universally, and thanked for all the productions of hte earth, all being brought forth by this time.

Thirty-second. Purrup.

Durgah Poojah, and Bhasuntee [The end, final, conclusive, alluding to this being the last feast of the year, preceding the Gentoo Lent.] Poojah, falls on the seventh day of the new moon in March, and continues the eighth, ninth and tenth -- on the last, her image is cast into the Ganges. This feast is instituted for the same purposes as the other grand one, but not with that parade and universality.

Thirty-third. Ouposs.

Sieb, or Sunnias [Penitents.] Poojah, is from the first to the thirtieth of March, with only a short suspension during the term of the Durgah Poojah above-mentioned -- The Sunnias Poojah, is the Gentoo Lent; their penances, mortifications, and self corporal punishments, have been so often described, we will not particularize any of them. The Churruck [Literally signifies a Wheel -- but the circle which the penitent describes in swinging round has given it this appellation.], or day of swinging, falls on the thirtieth. From this penance the three castes, or tribes, of Bramins, Bydees, [Bydees, the tribe that profess the practice of physick.] and Koyts, are exempted by the Aughtorrah Bhade; and, in fact, none but the very lowest of the people go through any of the public penances; but, every caste fasts and worships the twenty-ninth, the day preceding the Churruck. -- This solemn fast is dedicated to Sieb, or Moideb, or Moisoor, the Mutilator, and averter of evil; through whom, at this season, the ETERNAL ONE is invoked, to defend them from the influence of Moisasoor and his adherents, and avert the final doom pronounced against the delinquent Debtah.

There is a festival instituted to Rhaam, the protector, which is entitled the Rhaam Jattra, but the precise time of its celebration we have utterly forgot. -- Rhaam is another of the multitude of names, or rather attributes, given to Bistnoo, the preserver.

How far the origin of the fasts, festivals, terms, &c. of the Egyptians, Greeks and Latins, may be traced from the Chatah and Aughtorrah Bhade Shastahs, we submit and recommend to the elucidation of our learned readers, who will be the better enabled to make such an enquiry from what follows.
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Re: Interesting Historical Events, by J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

Postby admin » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:36 am

Explanation of the Plate or Representation of the Gentoos' Grand Feast of the Drugah.

Plate No. 2.

The representation of the Drama in this grand Gentoo feast will, we doubt not, appear genuine to many thousands now in England, as it is a sight that few who have visited Bengall have not indulged themselves with; and we may take the liberty of saying, that but very few amongst the multitude who have seen it could form the smallest judgment of its intention or signification; to these, therefore, we flatter ourselves it will afford some pleasure, the having a subject explained to them, on which they have often looked with pity and amazement! because they did not understand it. -- The intention of this feast we have already given in its proper place, to which the reader may advert, under the title of Drugah Poojah No. 15. and shall now proceed to the explanation of the chief personages in the plate.

The center and principal figure is Drugah or Virtue; she is represented, with ten arms, descending on a dragon -- mystically showing the power and irresistible force of virtue, when exerted with vigor. -- She is crowned, one of her hands is armed with a spear, and she is environed with a snake -- with another hand she binds Moisasoor (or Evil) with a snake, and kills him by thrusting her spear through his heart, thereby implying that Virtue's safest and surest guard against vice or evil is wisdom, of which the snake, as before observed, is the symbol. -- The battles [Vide Drugah Poojah, fifteenth.] said to have been fought between Endeer, [Good.] and Moisasoor, [Evil.] in which the latter generally proved victorious, without the assistance of Drugah Bowannee, or persevering virtue, implies that moral evil can only be successfully combated therewith. -- The ravages, murders, and confusion, which are said to be the consequences in the world of the flight of Endeer and victory of moisasoor, [Vide Drugah Poojah.] emblematically signify the fatal and natural effects of vice or evil triumphant, which must necessarily be attended with destructive scenes of violence. -- Hence, Moisasoor is fabled to have transformed himself, after his victory, into a mad buffola, a symbol of ungovernable rage, whose head is seen in the annexed plate lying at the feet of Drugah. -- Although Moisasoor in the plate appears to be slain by Drugah, yet this act is only a prophetic representation of the death and destruction he will in the end suffer by her hand, when Endeer shall be restored, and Good be predominant in the world again and triumph over Moisasoor or Evil. -- Endeer being appointed by God universal Rajah of the world, mystically points out his benevolent intentions, that it should be governed by goodness and piety, and the allegory is as obvious where Moisasoor is said illy to brook the appointment. [Vide Drugah Poojah.]

On the right of Drugah are represented the figures of Sieb, her husband, and of Lukee, the goddess of grain. -- Sieb is sitting on a white bull, the symbol of purity and dominion; he is environed with a snake, holding in one hand a Dumboor, [A small drum.] and in the other a Singee, [A musical horn.] musical instruments in use at all the Gentoo festivals; allegorically pointing out that Wisdom is the most effectual averter of evil, and that mirth, joy and gladness, are the natural effects of its being averted from us.

The goddess Lukee is represented standing in an easy attitude; she is crowned with ears of grain, and is encircled by a plant bearing fruit, which passes through both her hands, the root of which is under her feet; she (as all the superior Gentoo divinities are) is environed by a snake. -- The meaning conveyed by this figure is so obvious it needs no explanation.

Underneath the figure of Sieb is represented the divinity named Ghunnis. [Purity, or sincerity of heart.] -- He has no peculiar day of worship instituted in honor of him, for this manifest reason, because all the addresses, offerings and worship, which are made to the supreme, and superior beings, are preferred through his mediation, and promoted by a prior offering and worship paid to him; so that he may be properly styled the God of offerings. -- He is fabled to be the first born of Moisoor (or Sieb) and Drugah; all worship and offerings being made through him, mystically signifies that purity and sincerity of heart must be the source from whence the Deity is invoked. -- He is represented with four arms, sitting on an altar, environed with a snake, and with the head of a white elephant, the symbols of purity, riches and dominion or strength, which, the Gentoos say, includes every blessing, and cannot be justly and properly acquired but by pure and sincere acts of devotion to God, and good works to man and his fellow creatures. -- His four arms are only representative of the power, force and efficacy of sincerity in worship and prayer.

On the left of Drugah is represented the figure of Sursuttee, the Gentoo Goddess of arts, letters and eloquence, so fully described under the feast called Seeree Punchumee (twenty-fourth.) In the plate, she appears environed with a snake, standing in a careless, disengaged posture, holding in her hands a reed, of which the writing pens are usually made.

On the left of Sursuttee is represented the idol of Rhaam, the protector of empires, states, and property, already explained. [Vide explanation of the Tirtah Jogue, or second age, chap. 4.] -- In the plate, he is figured crowned, encircled with a snake, and riding upon a monkey; in his left hand he holds a bow, and is represented in the attitude of having just discharged an arrow from it. To understand this representation, a short historical recital becomes necessary. -- Rhaaboon, [Lawless violence.] the subvertor of empires, states and property, is ever contrasted with Rhaam in the course of the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah -- This prime agent of Moisasoor is fabled to have run away with Sithee, [Literally, property.] the wife of Rhaam; and for the recovery of her, that book exhibits a long detail of furious battles fought between Rhaam and Rhaaboon with various success; mystically painting the contentions that ever have subsisted in the world touching empires and property, in general. Under these the ancient history of Indostan and its Rajahs is obscurely couched. -- In one of the most bloody of these battles, Rhaam being sore pressed, was obliged to call in as an auxiliary, Hoonmhon Prince of the monkeys, by whose assistance he routed Rhaaboon and recovered his wife -- Sithee; implying only that lawless force, must be sometimes combated with craft, policy, and stratagem, of which the monkey throughout Indostan is the known emblem. -- The last mentioned battle is represented in the plate number 5. where Rhaam appears engaged with Rhaaboon, and the attitude of Rhaam (in the plate of the Drugah) as having discharged the fatal arrows from the back of the monkey, alludes to that battle: in the plate No. 5. Rhaam is supported by his brother Lukkon, or fortitude, each encircled with snakes; and Rhaaboon (as he generally is) is represented with ten arms, and as many heads of monsters, which intimate the force of lawless tyranny and power. -- Although the emblematic sense of the monkey is so obvious, yet the crafty Bramins have established a belief that Rhaam transformed himself into, and is always present under that form; the people swallowed the delusion in a literal sense, and it is upon this principle, that numerous colleges of Bramins are supported by the people for the maintenance of those animals, near the groves where they usually resort; one of them is at Amboah in the neighborhood of Culna, on the Ganges. -- In the time of the Rhaam Jattra the Bramins exhibit a kind of theatrical masque, wherein the many flights, and escapes of Sithee, and the various stratagems of Rhaaboon to retain her, and of Rhaam to recover her, with the final battle, which gave him the repossession of her, are all thrown into action, and the dialogue taken from the Aughtorrah Bhade Shastah. We have been frequently present at this theatrical exhibition, and received much pleasure and amusement; one circumstance at the conclusion is worth mentioning -- when Rhaam had recovered his wife Sithee, he refuses to cohabit with her, until she has given some signal proof, that she had suffered no contamination, or violation, during her abode with Rhaaboon; on which (by an ingenious piece of machinery) she passes thro' a fire, comes out unhurt, and then Rhaam with raptures, receivers her to his arms.

Below the idol of Rhaam on the plate of the Drugah is that of Kartik; for the explanation of this fast, see number twenty-four. -- He is represented, armed at all points for war, and riding on a peacock, the Gentoo symbol of pride and ostentation, intimating that those qualities and vices of the mind must be subdued, as being previously necessary to the approach and admission into their Pagodas; he is armed as a guardian, capable of defending from violation the divinity within, wherever there is a congregation of idols, in a Tagoor Bharree, [Literally a house for divinities.] his idol is placed at the door. -- A gnetoo had within our memory an only son dangerously ill of a fever, he paid solemn worship, vows and offerings, for his recovery, not only to the goddess of fevers, but to all the other Gods, and Goddesses besides -- His son died -- the father, frantic with grief and despair, sallied out before day, broke open a Tagoor Bharree in a buzaar south of the town of Calcutta, where Kartik being off his guard and mingled with the other divinities -- he cut all their heads off; his intention was to have proceeded round the town (as he confessed on examination) and to have decollated every God in all the Tagoor bharries of the places, but the second he came to, Kartik was upon his guard at the door, and presenting his dart at him, brought him to his senses, and providentially saved the rest of his brother divinites.

Below the figures of Lukee and Sursuttee stand the representation of two divine nymphs, Nundee joy, and Bringee sports; they are both encircled by snakes, implying, that joy and sports at all their festivals, should be circumscribed by prudence and wisdom.

On the right between Sieb and Ghunnis, is represented a boat, in which Nundee and Bringee are carrying Drugah to her husband Sieb, after she had been cast into the Ganges; and in the copartment opposite between the figures of Rhaam and Kartik, are represented two nymphs in a kind of threatening posture, advising him to take better care of his wife another time, and keep her at home.

In the center of the arch is represented Sursuttee and four female attendants, one rpesenting to her the palmiral leaf, the original paper, another a piece of wax, the third an ink stand, the fourth a pen, the use of which are all interdicted on her festival, and made an offering to her. -- The two end copartments Kallee and Druga, each engaged with two giant tyrants of the earth. -- The other division of the arch, allude to different passages of the Aughtorrah Bhade, which have escaped our memory.

End of the Explanation of Plate No. 2.
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