THE LUNAR YEAR OF THE HINDUS

THE PRESIDENT
[i.e. Sir William Jones]

[Extracted from his Works, vol. 1, pp. 375-411.]


HAVING lately met by accident with a wonderfully curious tract: of the learned and celebrated RAGHUNANDANA, containing a full account of all the rites and ceremonies in the lunar year, I twice perused it with eagerness, and present the Society with a correct outline of it, in the form of a calendar, illustrated with short notes: the many passages quoted in it from the Vedas, the Puranas, the Sastras of law and astronomy, the Calpa, or sacred ritual, and other works of immemorial antiquity and reputed holiness, would be thought highly interesting by such as take pleasure in researches concerning the Hindus, but a translation of them all would fill a considerable volume, and such only are exhibited as appeared most distinguished for elegance or novelty.

The lunar year of three hundred and sixty days, is apparently more ancient in India than the solar, and began, as we may infer from a verse in the Matsya, with the month Aswin, so called, because the moon was at the full, when that name was imposed, in the first lunar station of the Hindu ecliptick, the origin of which, being diametrically opposite to the bright star Chitra, may be ascertained in our sphere with exactness; but, although most of the Indian fasts and festivals be regulated by the days of the moon, yet the most solemn and remarkable of them [p.376] have a manifest reference to the supposed motions of the sun; the Durgotsava and Holica relating as clearly to the autumnal and vernal equinoxes, as the sleep and rise of VISHNU relate to the solstices: the Sancrantis, or days on which the sun enters a new sign, especially those of Tula and Mesha, are great festivals of the solar year, which anciently began with Pausha near the winter solstice, whence the month Margastirsha has the name of Agrahayana, or the year is next before. The twelve months, now denominated from as many stations of the moon, seem to have been formerly peculiar to the lunar year; for the old solar months, beginning with Chaitra, have the following very different names in a curious text of the Veda on the order of the six Indian seasons; Madbu, Madhava, Sucra, Suchi, Nabbas, Nabhasya, Isa, Ursa, Sahas, Sabasya, Tapas, Tapasya. It is necessary to premise, that the muchya chandra, or primary lunar month, ends with the conjunction, and the gauna chandra, or secondary, with the opposition: both modes of reckoning are authorized by the several Puranas; but, although the astronomers of Casi have adopted the gauna month, and place in Bhadra the birthday of their pastoral god, the muchya is here preferred, because it is generally used in this province, and especially at the ancient seminary of Brahmens at Mayapur, now called Navadivipa, because a new island has been formed by the Ganges on the site of the old academy. The Hindus define a tithi, or lunar day, to be the time, in which the moon passes through twelve degrees of her path, and to each pacsia, or half month, they allot fifteen tithis, though they divide the moon's orb into sixteen phases, named Calas, one of which they suppose constant, and compare to the string of a necklace or chaplet, round which are placed moveable gems and flowers: the Mahacala is the day of the conjunction, called Ama, or Amavasya, and defined by GOBHILA, the day of the nearest approach to the sun; on which obsequies are performed to the manes of the Pitris, or certain progenitors of the human race, to whom the darker fortnight is peculiarly sacred. [p.377] Many subtile points are discussed by my author concerning the junction of two or even three lunar days in forming one fast or festival; but such a detail can be useful only to the Brahmens, who could not guide their flocks, as the Raja of Crislmanagar assures me, without the assistance of RAGHUNANDAN. So fond are the Hindus of mythological personifications, that they represent each of the thirty tithis as a beautiful nymph; and the Gayatritantra, of which Sannyast made me a present, though he considered it as the holiest book after the Veda; it contains flowery descriptions of each nymph, much resembling the delineations of the thirty Roginis, in the treatises on Indian musick.

In what manner the Hindus contrive so far to reconcile the lunar and solar years, as to make them proceed concurrently in their ephemerides, might easily have been shown by exhibiting a version of the Nadiya or Varanes almanack; but their modes of intercalation form no part of my present subject, and would injure the simplicity of my work, without throwing any light on the religion of the Hindus. The following tables have been very diligently compared by myself with two Sanscrit almanacks, with a superficial chapter in the work of ABULFAZI, and with a list of Indian holidays published at Calcutta; in which there are nine or ten fasts called Jayantis, distinguished chiefly by the titles of the Avataras, and twelve or thirteen days marked as the beginnings of as many Calpas, or very long periods, an hundred of which constitute BRAHMA'S age; but having found no authority for those holidays, I have omitted them: some festivals, however, or fasts, which are passed over in silence by RAGHUNANDAN, are here printed in Italick letters; because they may be mentioned in other books, and kept holy in other provinces or by particular sects. I cannot refrain from adding, that human sacrifices were anciently made on the Mahanavami; and it is declared in the Bhaivtshya Purana, that the head of a slaughtered man gives DURGA a thousand times more satisfaction than that of a buffalo:

[p.378]

Narena s'irasa mra pujita vidbiivannripa, trtpta bbawed bans'am
Durga verjhani lacjhamfoacba
.

But in the Brahma every neramedha, or sacrifice of a man, is expressly forbidden; and in the fifth book of the Bhagawat are the following emphatical words: "Ye tuiba vat purusidb purusoamedbena yajante, yascha Jlriya nripasun c'hadanti, tanscha tascha te pasava iba nibata, yatna sddane yatay anta, racsodgana sannied iva sudhittina vaddyasric pivanti;" that is, "Whatever men in this world sacrifice human victims, and, whatever women eat the flesh of male cattle, those men and those women shall the animals here slain torment in the mansion of YAMA, and, like slaughtering giants, having cleaved their limbs with axes, shall quaff their blood." It may seem strange, that a human sacrifice by a man should be no greater crime than eating the flesh of a male beast by a woman; but it is held a mortal offence to kill any creature, except for sacrifice, and none but males must ever be sacrificed, nor must women, except after the performance of a sradha by their husbands, taste the flesh even of victims. Many strange ceremonies at the Durgatsava still subsist among the Hindus both male and female, an account of which might elucidate some very obscure parts of the Mosaick law; but this is not a place for such disquisitions. The ceremony of swinging with iron hooks through the muscles, on the day of the Cherec, was introduced, as I am credibly informed, in modern times, by a superstitious prince, named Vana, who was a Saiva of the most austere sect: but the custom is bitterly censured by learned Hindus, and the day is, therefore, omitted in the following abridgement of the Tithi Tatwa.

[p.379]

ASWINA.

I. Navaratricam. a.
II.
III. Acmaya. b.
IV.
V. Sayam-adhivafa. c.
VI. Shaftyadicalpa bodhanam. d.
VII. Patrica-pravefa. e.
VIII. Mahaflitami fandhipuja.
IX. Mahanavami. f. Manwantara. g.
X. Vijaya. h.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV. Aswini Cojagara. i.

a. By some the first nine nights are allotted to the decoration of DURGA with ceremonies peculiar to each. Bhawishyottara.
b. When certain days of the moon fall on certain days of the week, they are called acshayas, or unperishable.
c. The evening preparation for her dress.

[p.380]

d. On this day she is commonly awakened, and her festival begins. Devi-purana.
e. She is invited to a bower of leaves from nine plants, of which the Silva is the chief.
f. The last of the three great days. "The sacrificed beasts must be killed at one blow with a broad sword or a sharp axe." Calicapurana.
g. The fourteen days, named Manwantaras, are supposed to be the first of as many very long periods, each of which was the reign of a MENU: they are all placed according to the Bhaivisljya and Matjya.
h. The goddess dismissed with reverence, and her image cast into the river, but without Mantras. Baudhdyana.
i. On this full moon the fiend NICUMBHA led his army against DURGA; and LACSHMI descended, promising wealth to those who were awake: hence the night is passed in playing at ancient chess. CUVE'RA also and INDRA are worshipped. Lainga and Brahma.

[p.381]

ASWINA:
or Cartica.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII. Dagdha. a.
IX.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV. Bhutachaturdasi Yamaterpanam. b.
XV. Lacfhmipuja dipanwita. c. Syamapuja. Ulcadanam. d.

a. The days called dagdha, or burnt, are variable, and depend on some inauspicious conjunctions. Vidya-Jirmani.
b. Bathing and libations to YAMA, regent of the south or the lower world, and judge of departed spirits. Lainga.

[p.382]

c. A fast all day, and a great festival at night, in honour of LACSHMI, with illuminations on trees and houses: invocations are made at the same time to CUVE'RA. Rudra-dhera.

"On this night, when the Gods, having been delivered by CESAVA, were slumbering on the rocks, that bounded the sea of milk,
LACSHMI, no longer fearing the Daityas, slept apart on a lotos." Brahma.

d. Flowers are also offered on this day to SYAMA, or the black, an epithet of BHAVANI, who appears in the Calijug, as a damsel twelve years old. Varanasi Pansica. Torches and flaming brands are kindled and consecrated, to burn the bodies of kinsmen, who may be dead in battle or in a foreign country, and to light them through the shades of death to the mansion of YAMA. Brahma.

These rites bear a striking resemblance to those of CERES and PROSERPINE.

[p.383]

CARTICA.

I. Dyuta pratipat. a. Belipuja. b.
II. Bhratri dwitiya. c.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII. Acshaya.
VIII. Gofht'hafhtarm. d.
IX. Durga navami. e. Yugadya. f.
X.
XI. Utt'hanaicadasi. g. Baca panchacam.
XII. Manwantara.
XIII.
XIV. Srihertrutt'hanam.
XV. Cartici. Manwantara. Danamavafyacam. h.

a. MAHADEVA was beaten on this day at a game of chance by PARVATI: hence games of chance are allowed in the morning; and the winner expects a fortunate year. Brahma.
b. A nightly festival, with illuminations and offerings of flowers, in honour of the ancient king BELI. Famena.
c. YAMA.

[p.384]

c. YAMA, child of the Sun, was entertained on this lunar day by the river-goddess YAMUNA, his younger sister: hence the day is sacred to them both; and sisters give entertainments to their brothers, who make presents in return. Lainga Mahabharata.
d. Cows are on this day to be fed, caressed, and attended in their pastures; and the Hindus are to walk round them with ceremony, keeping them always to the right hand. Bhima paracrama.
e. "To eat nothing but dry rice on this day of the moon for nine successive years, will secure the favour of DURGA." Calica purana.
f. The first day of the Treta Yuga. Vaishnava. Brahma,
g. VISHNU rises on this day, and in some years on the fourteenth, from his slumber of four months. He is waked by this incantation: "The clouds are dispersed; the full moon will appear in perfect brightness; and I come, in hope of acquiring purity, to offer the fresh flowers of the season: awake from thy long slumber, awake, O Lord of all worlds!" Vardha. Matsya. The Lord of all worlds neither slumbers nor sleeps. A strict fast is observed on the eleventh; and even the Baca, a water-bird, abstains, it is said, from his usual food. Vidya Siromani.
h. Gifts to Brahmens are indispensably necessary on this day. Ramayana.

[p.385]

CA'RTICA:
or Margastrisha.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV. Acshaya.
XV. Gosahastri, a.

a. Bathing in the Ganga, and other appointed ceremonies, on this day will be equally rewarded with a gift of a thousand cows to the Brahmens. Vyasa.

[p.386]

MARGASI'RSHA.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI. Guha strashti. a.
VII. Mitra septami. b, Navannam.
VIII. Navannam.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII. Ac'handa dwadasi. Navannam.
XIII.
XIV. Pamana chaturdasi. c.
XV. Margastrishi. Navannam.

a. Sacred to SCANDA, or CA'RTICE'YA, God of Arms. Bhaivishya.
b. In honour of the Sun. Navannam signifies new grain, oblations of which are made on any of the days to which the word is annexed.
c. GAURI to be worshipped at night, and cakes of rice to be eaten in the form of large pebbles. Bhaivishya.

[p.387]

MA'RGASI'RSHA:
or Pausha.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII. Pupashtaca. a.
IX. Dagaba.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV.

a. Cakes of rice are offered on this day, which is also called Amari, from INDRA, to the Manes of ancestors. Gobhila.

[p.388]

PAUSHA.

I. The morning of the Gods, or beginning of the old Hindu year.
II. Dagaba.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI. Manwantara.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV. Paushu.

[p.389]

PAUSHA:
or Magha.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI,
VII.
VIII. Mansashtaca. a.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV. Ratanti, or the waters speak. b.
XV.

a. On this day, called also Prajapatya, from Prajapati, or the Lord of Creatures, the flesh of male kids or wild deer is offered to the Manes. Gobhila. "On the eighth lunar day, ICSHWACU spoke thus to his son VICUCSHI: Go, robust youth, and having slain a male deer, bring his flesh for the funeral oblation." Herivansa.
b. Bathing at the first appearance of ARUNA, or the dawn. Tama.

[p.390]

MAGHA.

I.
II.
III.
IV. Varada chaturthi. Gauripuja. a.
V. Sri panchami. b.
VI.
VII. Bhiscara septami. c. Macari. Manwantara.
VIII. Bhishmamtami. d.
IX. Mahananda.
X.
XL Bhaimi. e.
XII. Shattiladanam.
XIII.
XIV.
XV. Maghi. Yugadya. g. Danamavafyacam.

a. The worship of GAURI, surnamed Varada, or granting boons. Bhaivishyottara.
b. On this lunar day SARASWATI, here called SRI the goddess of arts and eloquence, is worshipped with offerings of perfumes, flowers, and dressed rice: even the implements of writing and books are treated with respect and not used on this holiday. Samvatfara pradipa.

A Meditation on SARASWATI.

'May the goddess of speech enable us to attain all possible felicity; [p.391] she, who wears on her locks a young moon, who mines with exquisite lustre, whose body bends with the weight of her full breasts, who sits reclined on a white lotos, and from the crimson lotos of her hands pours radiance on the instruments of writing, and on the books produced by her favour!' Sarada tilaca.

c. A fast in honour of the Sun, as a form of VISHNU. Varaha Purana. It is called also Macart from the constellation of Macara, into which the Sun enters on the first of the solar Magha. Critya calpa tarit. This day has also the names of Rat'bya and Ratyba septarm, because it was the beginning of a Manivantara, when a new Sun ascended his car. Narasinba. Matsya.
d. A libation of holy water is offered by all the four classes to the Manes of the valiant and pious BHI'SHMA, son of GANGA. Bhaivisoydttara.
e. Ceremonies with tila, or sesamum, in honour of BHIMA. Vishnu dherma.
f. Tila offered in six different modes. Matsya.
g. The first day of the Caliyuga. Brahma.

[p.392]

MAGHA:
or P'halguna.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII. Sacashtaca. a.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV. Siva-ratri. b.
XV.

a. Green vegetables are offered on this day to the Manes of ancestors: it is called also Vaiswedtoisa from the Vaiswedevah, or certain paternal progenitors. Gobhila.
b. A rigorous fast, with extraordinary ceremonies in honour of the Sivalinga or Phallus. Isana samhita.

[p.393]

P'HALGUNA.

I.
II.
III.
IV. Dagdha.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII. Govinda dwadasi. a.
XIII.
XIV.
XV. P'halguna Manwantara. Dolayatra. b.

a. Bathing in the Ganga for the remission of mortal sins. Padma.
b. Holica, or P'halgutsava, vulgarly Husi, the great festival on the approach of the vernal equinox. Kings and people sport on this day in honour of Govinda, who is carried in a dala, or palanquin. Brahma. Scanda.

[p.394]

P'HA'LGUNA:
or Chaitra.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII. Sitala puja.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII. Mahavdruni?
XIV.
XV. Maunl. a. Acshaya. Manwantara.

a. Bathing in silence, Vyasa. Scanda,

[p.395]

CHAITRA.

I. The luni-solar year of VICRAMADITYA begins.
II.
III. Manwantara.
IV.
V.
VI. Scanda-mashti. a.
VII.
VIII. Asocashtami. b.
IX. Sarama-navami. c.
X.
XL
XII.
XIII. Madana-trayodasf. d.
XIV. Madana-chaturdasi. e.
XV. Chaitri. Manwantara.

a. Sacred to CARTICEYA, the God of War. Devi-purana.
b. Men and women of all classes ought to bathe in some holy stream, and, if possible, in the Brahmaputra: they should also drink water with buds of the Asoca floating on it. Scanda.
c. The birthday of RAMA CHANDRA. Ceremonies are to be performed with the mystical stone Salagratna and leaves of Tulasi. Agastya.

[p.396]

d. A festival in honour of CAMA DEVA, God of Love. Bhawisoya.
e. The same continued with musick and bathing. Saurdgama. Devala.

The Hymn to CAMA.

1. Hail, God of the flowery bow; hail, warriour with a fish on thy banner; hail, powerful divinity, who causest the firmness of the sage to forsake him, and subduest the guardian deities of eight regions!
2. O CANDARPA, thou son of MADHAVA! O MA'RA, thou foe of SAMBHARA! Glory be given to thee, who lovest the goddess RETI; to thee, by whom all worlds are subdued; to thee, who springest from the heart!
3. Glory be to MADANA, to CAMA; to Him, who is formed as the God of Gods; to Him, by whom BRAHMA, VISHNU, SIVA, INDRA, are filled with emotions of rapture!
4. May all my mental cares be removed, all my corporal sufferings terminate! May the object of my soul be attained, and my felicity continue for ever! Bhaiviya-purana.

[p.397]

CHAITRA:
or Vaisacha.

I.
II. Dagdha.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII. Varuni. a.
XIV. Angaraca dinam. b.
XV.

a. So called from Varuna, or the lunar constellation Satabbisha: when it falls on Saturday, it is named Mahavarunt. Bathing by day and at night in the Ganga, Scanda.
b. Sacred, I believe, to the planet Mangala. "A branch of Snubi (Euphorbia) in a whitened vessel, placed with a red flag on the housetop, on the fourteenth of the dark half of Cbaitra, drives away sin and disease." Raja martanda.

[p.398]

VAISACHA.

I.
II.
III. Acshaya triti'ya. a. Yugadya. b. Paras'urdma.
IV.
V.
VI. Dagdha.
VII. Jabnufeptami.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII. Pipitaca dwadasi. c.
XIII.
XIV. Nrifinha chaturdasi.
XV. Vais'ac'hL Danamavafyacam.

a. Gifts on this day of water and grain, especially of barley, with oblations to CRISHNA of perfumes, and other religious rites, produce fruit without end in the next world. Scanda. Brahma. Bhawishya.
b. The first day of the Satya yuga. Brahma. Vaijhnava. "Water and oil of tila, offered on the Yugadyas to the Pitris, or progenitors of mankind, are equal to obsequies continued for a thousand years." Vishnu-purana.

[p.399]

This was also the day, on which the river Ganga flowed from the foot of Vishnu down upon Himalaya, where she was received on the head of Siva, and led afterwards to the ocean by king Bhagirasha: hence adoration is now paid to Ganga, Himalaya, Sancara, and his mountain Cailasa, nor must Bhagirasha be neglected. Brahma.
c. Libations to the Manes. Raghunandan.

Note on p. 393.
Dolayatra. b.

Compare this holiday and the superstition on the fourth of Bhadra with the two Egyptian festivals mentioned by PLUTARCH; one called the entrance of OSIRIS into the Moon, and the other, his confinement or inclosure in an Ark.

The people usually claim four other days for their sports, and sprinkle one another with a red powder in imitation of vernal flowers: it is commonly made with the mucilaginous root of a fragrant plant, coloured with Eakkam, or Sappan-wood, a little alum being added to extract and fix the redness.

[p.400]

VAISAC'HA:
or Jyajsha.

I.
II.
III.
IV. Dagdha.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XII.
XIII.
XIV. Savitri vratam. a.
XV.

a. A fast, with ceremonies by women, at the roots of the Indian fig-tree, to preserve them from widowhood. Parasara. Rajamdrtanda. Critya chintameni.

[p.401]

JYAISHTHA.

I.
II.
III. Rembha tritiya. a.
IV.
V.
VI. Aranya shashti. b.
VII. Acjhaya.
VIII.
IX.
X. Dasahara. c.
XI. Nirjalaicddasi. d.
XII.
XIII.
XIV. Champaca chaturdasi.
XV. Jyaishthi. Manwantara.

a. On this day of the moon the Hindu women imitate REMBHA, the seaborn goddess of beauty, who bathed on the same day, with particular ceremonies. Bhatvishyottara.
b. Women walk in the forests with a fan in one hand, and eat certain vegetables in hope of beautiful children. Raja martanda.

[p.402]

See the account given by PLINY of the Druidical mistletoe, or viscum, which was to be gathered, when the moon was six days old, as a preservative from sterility.
c. The word means ten-removing, or removing ten sins, an epithet of Ganga, who effaces ten sins, how heinous soever, committed in ten previous births by such as bathe in her waters. Brahma-vaherta.

A Couplet by SANC'HA.

"On the tenth of Jyaijhtha, in the bright half of the month, on the day of MANGALA, son of the Earth, when the moon was in Hasta, this daughter of JAHNU burst from the rocks, and flowed over the land inhabited by mortals: on this lunar day, therefore, she washes off ten sins (thus have the venerable sages declared) and gives an hundred times more felicity, than could be attained by a myriad of Aswamedhas, or sacrifices-of a horse."

d. A fast so strict, that even water must not be tasted.
e. A festival, I suppose, with the flowers of the Champaca.

[p.403]

JYAISHTHA:
or Asharha.

I.
II.
III.
IV. Dagata.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X. Ambuvachi pradam. a.
XII.
XIII. Ambuvachi tyagah.
XIV.
XV. Gofahafri.

a. The Earth in her courses till the thirteenth.

[p.404]

ASHADHA.

I.
II. Ratha Yatra. a.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X. Manwantara.
XI. Sayanaicadasi. Ratrau s'ayanam. b.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV. Asharhi. Manwantara. Danamavasyacam.

a. The image of CRISHNA, in the character of Jaganndsha, or Lord of the Universe, is borne by day in a car, together with those of BALARAMA and SUBHADRA: when the moon rises, the feast begins, but must end, as soon as it sets. Scanda.
b. The night of the Gods beginning with the summer solstice, VISHNU reposes four months on the serpent SESHA. Bhagavata. Mettsya. Varaha.

[p.405]

A'SHA'D'HA:
or Sravana.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V. Manasapanchami. a.
VI. Dagdha.
VII.
VIII. Manwantara.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV.

a. In honour of Devi, the goddess of nature, surnamed Manasa, who, while VISHNU and all the Gods were sleeping, sat in the shape of a serpent on a branch of Snubi, to preserve mankind from the venom of snakes. Garuda. Devipurana.

[p.406]

SRAVANA.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V. Nagapancharhi. a.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII.
XIV.
XV. S'ravani.

a. Sacred to the demigods in the form of Serpents, who are enumerated in the Padma, and Garuda puranas. Doors of houses are smeared with cow-dung and Nimba-leaves, as a preservative from poisonous reptiles. Bhaivishya. Retnacara.

Both in the Padma and Garuda we find the serpent CALIYA, whom CRISHNA flew in his childhood, among the deities worshipped on this day; as the Pythian snake, according to CLEMENS, was adored with APOLLO at Delphi.

[p.407]

SRVANA:
or Bhadra.

I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII. Dagdha.
VIII. Crifhnajanmamtami. a. Jayanti. b.
IX.
X.
XI.
XII.
XIII. Yugadya. c.
XIV.
XV. Amavasya.

a. The birthday of CRISHNA, son of MAHAMAOPA in the form of DEVACI. Vasjhitha. Bhawisiyottara.
b. A strict fast from midnight. In the book, entitled Divaita nirnaya, it is said that the Jayanti yoga happens, whenever the moon is in Rohini on the eighth of any dark fortnight; but VARAHA MIHIRA confines it to the time, when the Sun is in Sinha. This fast, during which CHANDRA and ROHINI are worshipped, is also called Rohini vrata. Brahmanda.
c. The first day of the Dwapara Yuga. Brahma.

[p.408]

BHADRA.

I.
II.
III. Manwantara.
IV. Heritalica. Ganesa chaturthi. Nashtachandra. a.
V. Rishi panchami.
VI.
VII. Acshaya lalita. b.
VIII. Durvamtami. c.
IX.
X.
XI. Parswaperivertanam. d.
XII. S'acrott'hanam. e.
XIII.
XIV. Ananta vratam. f.
XV. Bhadri.

a. CRISHNA, falsely accused in his childhood of having stolen a gem from PRASENA, who had been killed by a lion, hid himself in the moon to see which on the two fourth days of Bhadra is inauspicious. Brahma. Bhojadsoa.
b. A ceremony, called Cuccuti vratam, performed by women in honour of SIVA and DURGA. Bhawishya.

[p.409]

c. "The family of him, who performs holy rites on this lunar day, shall flourish and increase like the grass durva." It is the rayed AGROSTIS. Bhaivisttara.
d. VISHNU sleeping turns on his side. Matjya. Bhawisiya.
e. Princes erect poles adorned with flowers, by way of standards, in honour of INDRA: the ceremonies are minutely described in the Calica purana.
f. Sacred to VISHNU with the title of ANANTA, or Infinite. Bhaivishyattara.

[p.410]

BHADRA:
or Aswina.

I. Aparapacsha. Brahma savitra.
II.
III.
IV. Nashta-chandra.
V.
VI.
VII. Agastyodayah. a.
VIII.
IX. Bodhanam. b.
X.
XL
XII.
XIII. Maghatrayodad fraddham.
XIV.
XV. Mahalaya. Amavasya.

a. Three days before the fun enters the constellation of Canya, let the people, who dwell in Gaura, offer a dish of flowers to AGASTYA. Brahma-vaiversa.

Having poured water into a sea-shell, let the votary fill it with white flowers and unground rice: then, turning to the south, let him offer it [p.411] with this incantation: Hail, CUMBHAYONI, born in the fight of MITRA and VARUNA, bright as the blossom of the grass casa; thou, who sprangest from AGNI and MARUTA. Casa is the Spontaneous SACCHARUM. Narasinha.

This is properly a festival of the solar year, in honour of the sage AGASTYA, supposed, after his death, to preside over the star Canopus.

b. Some begin on this day, and continue till the ninth of the new moon, the great festival, called Durgotsava, in honour of DURGA, the goddess of nature; who is now awakened with sports and musick, as she was waked in the beginning by BRAHMA during the night of the Gods. Calica purana.

Note on p. 383.
Utthanaicadasf. g.

In one almanack I see on this day Tulasi-vivasa, or the Marriage of TULASVI, but have no other authority for mentioning such a festival. TULASVI was a Nymph beloved by CRISHNA, but transformed by him into the Parnasa, or black Ocymum, which commonly bears her name.

GENERAL NOTE.

If the festivals of the old Greeks, Romans, Persians, Egyptians, and Goths, could be arranged with exactness in the same form with these Indian tables, there would be found, I am persuaded, a striking resemblance among them; and an attentive comparison of them all might throw great light on the religion, and, perhaps, on the history, of the primitive world.