An Essay on the SACRED ISLES in the West,
with other Essays connected with that Work.
BY CAPTAIN F. WILFORD.
Origin and Decline of the Christian Religion in India.
[Extracted from Asiatic Researches, vol. 10 (1811), pp. 27-157.]
I. IT appears, that long before Christ, a renovation of the universe was expected all over the world, with a Saviour, a King of Peace and Justice. This expectation is frequently mentioned in the Puranas: the Earth is often complaining that she is ready to sink back into Patala under the accumulated load of the iniquities of mankind: the Gods also complain of the oppression of the Giants. Vishnu comforts the Earth, his consort, and the Gods, assuring them, that a Saviour would come, to redress their grievances: and put an end to the tyranny of the Daityas, or Demons. That, for this purpose, he would be incarnated in the house of a shepherd, and brought up among shepherds. The followers of Buddha unanimously declare, that his incarnation in the womb of a virgin, was foretold several thousand years, though some say one thousand only, before it came to pass.1
A short time before the birth of Christ, not only the Jews, but the Romans, on the authority of the [p.28] Sibylline books, and the decision of the sacred college of the Etrurian augurs, were all of opinion, that this momentous event was at hand. This was equally the case in the east, and a miraculous star directed the holy men, who were living in anxious expectation, where to find this heavenly child. At that time the Emperor of India, uneasy at these prophecies, which, he conceived, portended his ruin and the loss of his empire, sent emissaries to inquire whether such a child was really born, in order to destroy him: and this happened exactly the 3101st year of the Cali-yuga, which was the first year of the Christian Era. This traditionary account is known all over India; and is equally current among the learned and the ignorant. But the Hindus fancy, that these old prophecies were fulfilled in the person of Crishna. What induced the Brahmens to adopt this idea, is not so obvious. It is possible, however, that they saw plainly, that if they admitted these prophecies to have been fulfilled about the time of Christ, some material alteration must, of course, have taken place in their religion. The Magi of scripture, who came from the east, where equally expecting this renovation; and the star served only to guide their steps. This expectation, of a renovation of the world, prevailed also among the Gothic tribes in the north: but after waiting patiently for some time, certain enterprising men set themselves up, for the promised Manu, or new Adam; and were acknowledged as such. According to their traditionary accounts, they were nettled, and puzzled with some strange reports from the east, about the appearance of some Æsir, Asæ, Gods, or god-like men; and Gylfe is supposed to have been sent to inquire into the truth of these reports. His embassy is the ground work of the Edda, which concludes with these remarkable words. "The new [p.29] Asæ then took to themselves the names of the ancient ones: and gave themselves to be the real Asa, or Gods." Odin was one of them, and advancing towards the north, Gylfe surrendered his kingdom to him. In consequence of these notions of a change in this sublunary world, a new system of religion in Britain, was set up in opposition to the old one, according to the ingenious Mr. Cleland: and this, he thinks, must have happened some time B.C. but, I think it happened later; for Hengist and Horsa were in the tenth degree of lineal descent from this new Odin; who, of course, was contemporary with Trenmor, who was deified by Fin-Gal his great grandson, who appointed him an Elysium, from which the sons of the feeble were excluded, and priests also, I believe. That Fingal and his followers held in contempt the old religion, is obvious from the ancient Galic Poems. Probably the defeat of the druids in Anglesea, for so we may call it in spite of their spells, and holy texts churned from their sacred Vedas, accelerated their ruin, and that of their religion: this, with some obscure prophecies, foretelling that a total change in civil and religious matters, was going to take place, induced many clever and enterprising persons to avail themselves of all these circumstances; and to give out, either, that they were this expected divine being, or to deify their own ancestors. Fixgal succeeded most completely: for, till very lately, many of the Irish, among the poorer class, believed, that the souls of the departed went into the Elysium, of Trenmor and Mac Cowal, according to the industrious inquirer J. Good, who lived above 200 years ago: and, if the Christian religion had not prevailed soon after. Trenmor would have been considered, in time, as the supreme being. In the same manner, the [p.30] Emperor Augustus was of course consecrated a God, after his death; and, both before and after, temples were erected in his honour, and sacrifices offered to him. The courtiers of Antony, acting upon the same principles, declared, that he was Osiris redivivus, born again, and that Cleopatra was Isis. Virgil adds, that the renovation of the world, so long foretold, was going to take place, and begin with the golden age as usual: then the Argonauts, in due time, with the Argo, would reappear: and that there would be another Typhis, a Trojan war again, in which Achilles would signalize himself.
The Hindu traditions, concerning this wonderful child, are collected in a treatise called the Vicrama-charitra, or history of Vicramaditya. This I have not been able to procure, though many learned Pandits have repeated to me, by heart, whole pages from them. Yet I was unwilling to make use of these traditions, till I found them in the large extracts made by the ingenious and indefatigable Major C. Mackenzie of the Madras establishment, and by him communicated to the Asiatick Society.
When I mentioned the Sibylline verses, I by no means intended the spurious ones, which are deservedly rejected by the learned : but the genuine ones, such as they existed in the time of Virgil; whose testimony is unquestionable, and incontrovertible. Whether these prophecies were really written by inspired women, is not now the question: they were certainly current all over the west, and this is enough for my purpose. There were several of them, and the most ancient were from the east. There was a Persian, a Chaldean, an Egyptian, and also, according to Pausanias and Ælian, Iudaia, or Jewish Sibyl from [p.31] Palestine. Such women probably never existed: but the prophetical verses, that were attributed to them, were extracted from the sacred records of their respective countries. The fourth eclogue of Virgil is entirely on the subject of this long expected renovation of the world.
The last great age, foretold by sacred rhymes,
In the original it is, foretold by the Cumoean Sibyl.
Renews its finished course; Saturnian times
Roll round again, and mighty years, begun
From Their first orb, in radiant circles run.
The base degenerate iron offspring, (or the Cali-yuga) ends,
A golden progeny (of the Crita, or golden age) from heaven descends:
O chaste Lucina, speed the mother's pains:
And haste the glorious birth; thy own Apollo reigns!
The lovely boy, with his auspicious face!
The son shall lead the life of gods, and be
By gods and heroes seen, and gods and heroes see.
Another Typhis shall new seas explore,
Another Argo land the chiefs upon the Iberian shore:
Another Helen other wars create,
And great Achilles urge the Trojan fate.
O of celestial seed! O foster son of Jove!
See, labouring nature calls thee to sustain
The nodding frame of heaven, and earth, and main:
See to their base restored, earth, seas and air.
These are the very words of Vishnu to the Earth, when complaining to him and
begging for redress.
It is obvious, that Virgil considered the momentous events of the Trojan war, the expedition of Jason in the Argo, and the rape of Helen or Lacshmi, as the necessary concomitants of a renovation of the world. The Cali-yuga, according to Virgil, ended a little before Christ, of whom he had no [p.32] knowledge: and according to Hesiod, and the Jainas in India, the Cali-yuga began about 1000 years B.C. and lasted, of course, the same number of years, which were natural ones in the west, but are considered as divine years in India.
About 60 years before the birth of Christ, the capital of the Roman Empire was alarmed by prodigies, and also by ancient prophecies, announcing, that an emanation of the deity was to be born about that time, and that a renovation of the world was to take place. In the year of Rome 690 and 63 B.C. the Senate, having been convened on the ninth day before the calends of October, or the 23d of September, in order to prepare against imminent dangers threatening the Empire, the whole city was alarmed by new causes of anxiety. P. Nigid. Figulus, the intimate friend of Cicero, who was then consul, having heard C. Octavius apologising to the Senate for his coming so late, on account of his wife having been just brought to bed, exclaimed, you have then begot a lord and master unto us. This Figulus was in such estimation at Rome, that he was reckoned among the most learned men: and such was his superior knowledge of the mathematics, and other sciences grounded upon them, that he was believed to deal in the occult sciences. That exclamation of his threw so much more terror into the minds of the Conscript Fathers, as for a few months before, it was constantly reported, that nature was bringing forth a king unto the world, and it was said, that the same was asserted in the Sibylline verses. Besides, oracles to that purport were constantly brought in from the most distant parts of the world. On this account, and more particularly on account of a prodigy that had just happened at Rome, the Senate terrified, issued a [p.33] decree, that no father, during the course of that year, should presume to lift up from the ground, or bring up a new-born male child. However, those among the Conscript Fathers, whose wives were with child, had the decree suppressed: and these prophecies and prodigies were afterwards applied to Augustus, who was born during the consulate of M. Tullius Cicero2 sixty-three years before Christ; but fifty-six according to several writers in the east, such as the author of the Lcbtarikh and others. Hence it is, that Nicolo de Conti, who was in Bengal, and other parts of India in the fifteenth century, insists that Vicramaditta was the same with Augustus, and that his period was reckoned from the birth of that Emperor, fifty-six years B.C.
In the year 119 B. C. in the time of Marius, such direful prodigies appeared, that the sacred college of Heteuria, on being consulted, declared that the eighth revolution of the world was at an end: and that another, either for the better, or the worse, was going to take place:3 and Juvenal, who lived in the first century, declares that he lived in this ninth revolution, which was then going on:4 for the Etruscans reckoned twelve of these revolutions, each of one thousand years, according to some: but according to others, these twelve revolutions constituted what they called the great year.
It may be asked, what prophecies are to be found in the Puranas concerning; this Saviour and avenger. I observed before, that the Hindus would have it, [p.34] that these prophecies were fulfilled long before, in the person of Cutsuna. In this, they were wiser than the Jews, who, by insisting that the Messiah is not yet come, have plunged themselves into inextricable difficulties, and have been forced, at last, to give up any further inquiry into the time of his appearance. In this manner, many of the Samaritans, in order to elude the prophecies concerning Christ, insist that they were fulfilled in the person of Joshua, whose name is the same with Jesus, and who, according to the Hebrew text, was contemporary with CRISHNA; and they have also a book of the wars of Joshua with Scaubec,5 which may be called their Mahabharat.
When I said, that the Hindus conceived, that the prophecies concerning a Saviour of the world, were fulfilled in the person of Crishna, I do by no means wish to convey an idea, that he was Christ, from whom he is as distinct a character, and person, as Joshua; and whose name, with the general outline of his history, existed long before Christ. "Yet the prolix accounts of his life," to use the words of Sir W. Jones, "are filled with narratives of a most extraordinary kind, and most strangely variegated. This incarnate deity of Sanscrit romance, was not only cradled, but educated among shepherds; a tyrant at the time of his birth, ordered all the male infants to be slain. He performed amazing, but ridiculous miracles, and saved multitudes, partly by his miraculous powers, and partly by his arms: and raised the dead, by descending for that purpose into the infernal regions. He was the meekest and best tempered of beings, washed the feet of the Brahmens, [p.35] and preached, indeed sublimely, but always in their favour. He was pure and chaste in reality, but exhibited every appearance of libertinism; lastly, he was benevolent and tender, and yet fomented and conducted a terrible war." The Yadus, his own tribe, and nation, were doomed to destruction for their sins, like the descendants of Yahuda or Yuda, which is the true pronunciation of Juda. They all fell, in general, by mutual wounds, a few excepted, who lead through Jambu-dwipa a miserable and wretched life. There are some to be found in Gurjarat: but they are represented to me as poor and wretched. "This motley story must induce an opinion,6 that the spurious gospels, which abounded in the first ages of Christianity, had been brought to India, and the wildest parts of them ingrafted upon the old fable of Crishna." Several learned missionaries are also of that opinion, though they carry the comparison too far. The real name of Crishna was Caneya, and he was surnamed Crishna, or the black, on account of his complexion.
The Hindus, having once fixed the accomplishment of these prophecies to a period greatly anterior to the Christian Era, every thing in their books was either framed, or new modelled accordingly; and particularly in the Puranas, every one of which is greatly posterior to our era: though many legends, and the materials in general, certainly existed before, in some other shape. Yet, as inconsistency and contradiction are the concomitants of falsehood and deceit, it may be supposed, that some circumstances and particulars, tending to remove the veil they have attempted to throw over these events, may have [p.36] escaped them. This is very probable; but as I never had the most distant idea of ever investigating this subject, till very lately, I may probably have overlooked many passages of this nature; and I recollect now only two material ones, which I mentioned before. These prophecies, in the Puranas, concerning this Saviour, declare, that he was to appear in the latter end of the third, and in the beginning of the fourth age: which can, by no means, be reconciled to the Christian Era, according to their mode of reckoning. The two passages, alluded to, are to be found in the Padma and Ganesa-puranas. In the first, Bali, an antediluvian, and in the fifth generation from the creation, is introduced requesting the God of Gods, or Vishnu, to allow him to die by his hand, that he might go into his paradise in the White Island. Vishnu told him, it was a favour not easily obtained; that he would, however, grant his request: but, says Vishnu, you cannot come into my paradise now; but you must wait, till I become incarnate in the shape of a boar, in order to make the world undergo a total renovation, to establish, and secure it upon a most firm and permanent footing: and you must wait a whole Yuga, till this takes place, and then you will accompany me into my paradise. A whole Yuga, or Maha-yuga, consists of 4.320,000 divine, or more probably 4,320 natural years.7 These, reckoned from the fifth antediluvian generation, will fall in, very nearly, with the beginning of the Christian Era, according to the Septuagint, and Josephus's computation. As to the [p.37] number of years, they are written 5,000 in round numbers in the Ganesa-purana: and, as these 5,000 years are not said to be divine ones, we have a right to suppose, that they were meant originally for natural years. Ganesa, who is identified with Vishnu, and has also an inferior paradise in the White Island, and another in the Euxine or Icshu Sea, thus says to a King of Cast or Benares, an antediluvian, and who, like Bali, wished much to be admitted into his elysium: "you cannot now enter my paradise in the Tykite Island; you must wait 5,000 years," when, it seems, it was to be opened. "But in the mean time, you may reside in my other paradise in the Euxine Sea." In the same manner Achilles, with Castor and Pollux, and I believe Cadmus, Peleus, &c. after residing a long time in the White Island in the Icshu Sea, were ultimately translated into the original White Island in the White Sea.
The White Island in the Euxine or Icshu Sea, has much affinity with the Limbus Patrum, or paradise of departed ancestors, who waited there for the coming of Christ, who was to open the celestial, and real paradise, for their reception.
Divines in India declare, that the surest proof of the divine mission of an Avatara is his coming being foretold: that prophecies concerning a Saviour are often repeated in them, some very plain, and others rather obscure: that they are, in short, one of the fundamental supports of their religion and Creed. That Crishna is considered as the first, in dignity and principal incarnation; and that the others are greatly inferior to this, and merely introduced to bring on the grand system of regeneration. In his time, the divine oracles were committed to writing, with a [p.38] more complete and perfect system of moral duties, and religious worship: and a race of Brahmens more pure, more enlightened, was introduced into India, Crishna is the last Avatara, or manifestation of the deity, but one; which, according to their sacred books and ours, will appear a little before the general dissolution of the world.
But let us return to the manifestation of Vishnu in the shape of a Boar, mentioned in the former passage. This manifestation is acknowledged to be that of the white Boar: for according to the Tapichanda, a section of the Scanda-purana, the Calpa of the Boar consists of four inferior ones, denominated from four manifestations of the great Boar. The first subordinate Calpa is that of the Curma-Varaha, or Tortoise-boar, this is the Carma-Avatara: the second was that of Adi-Varaha, called Adinatha also, particularly by the Jainas: this is the Varaha Avatara: the third is, that of Varaha, with the title of Crishna: and the fourth, and present Calpa, is that of the White Boar, and which is very little noticed in the Puranas. In the Prabhasa-chanda a section of the Scanda-purana also, these four Calpas have different names; and to them three more are added, making in all seven Calpas: and we are now in the seventh. These are the Calpas of Vishnu, under the seven different denominations of Sriva-vratta, Vamana contemporary with Bali, Vajranga, Camala-prabhu (Camulus Deus), Swaharta, Purushottama, and the seventh, Daitya-Sudana. In the fourth Calpa of Camala-prabhu, and which is called also the Calpa of Varaha, says the author, was born Icshwacu the son of Noah, in the Treta or second age: and the four last Calpas answer to the four Calpas of the Boar, the last of which is that [p.39] of Daitya-Sudana, thus called from Vishnu completely overthrowing the empire of the Daityas or Demons. These four Calpas are obviously to be reckoned from the flood. The Calpa of Purushottama, answers to that of Crishna; whose birth was followed by a general massacre of all the male children, through the whole country, by Cansa, in order to destroy him. But let us return to this wonderful child, who was to manifest himself to the world, when 3100 years of the Cali-yuga were elapsed, that is to say in the 3101, answering to the first year of the Christian Era, according to the Cumaricd-chanda, and the Vicrama-charitra. According to the same respectable authority, the purpose of his mission, was to remove from the world wretchedness and misery: and his name was to be 'Saca, or the mighty and glorious King.
Salivahana was the son of a Tacshaca, or carpenter; and was born, and brought up in the house of a potmaker. God is called Deva-Tashta, or God the artist or creator, in Sanscrit; and also Deva-Tashta, from which is derived Deo-Tat or Teutat in the west, called Twashta or Tuisto by the German tribes. He produced Mannus, man, the first Manu, who had three sons. In Greece, according to Pindar, God the father of mankind, and creator of the world, was called [Greek], the father and best artist. This carpenter, the father of Salivahana was not a mere mortal, he was the chief of the Tacshacas, a serpentine tribe, famous in the Puranas. There, they are declared to be the most expert artists and mechanics in the world: and they are by no means confined to a few trades; but their skill embraces every branch. When the elephant Airavata, with his immense retinue in the [p.40] same shape, came, in his way to the plains of Utara-Curu or Siberia, to worship at Prabhasa in Gurjarat, they planned and executed a road for him through the N. W.8 quarter of India, which is said still to exist. The Tacshacas, or Tachas, have, as usual, two countenances, that of serpents, and a human one, which they assume at pleasure.
The chief of them is obviously the same with the serpent Agatho-Dæmon, the Demi-urgos, Opifex, and artist of the Egyptians, Greeks, Gnostics, Basilidians, &c. These sectaries asserted, that the serpent was the father, and author of all arts and sciences: and this serpent, they said, was the Christ, who was thus the son of a carpenter and artist; and at the same time an incarnation of the great serpent, exactly like Salivahana, the Saca, or mighty and glorious King. Salivahana was the son, or rather an incarnation of the great serpent; and his mother was also of that tribe, and incarnate in the house of a pot-maker. She conceived at the age of one year and a half, the great serpent gently gliding over her, whilst she was asleep in her cradle.
The heresy of the Ophites spread widely at a very early period: they extolled the serpent, as the author of the science of good and evil. Such was, they said, the majesty and the power of the brass serpent, exposed upon a stake in the desert, that whatever man looked up to him was immediately cured. In the same manner that the serpent had been exalted upon a stake in the desert, for the good of the people, so it was necessary that Christ should be exalted also, upon a stake or cross, for the good of [p.41] mankind; and, in a scriptural sense, this serpent was the type of the Saviour of the world.
The pot-maker used to make figures of clay of all sorts, to amuse his grandson, who soon learned to imitate them; but he endued them with life. His mother carried him one day to a place full of serpents, telling him "go and play with them; they are your relations:" the child went and played with them, without fear, and without receiving the least injury. These two particulars are never omitted by the narrators.
About that time Vicramaditya, the Emperor of India, was made very uneasy, by general rumours, that the old prophecies were accomplished in the person of a child born of a virgin, and who would conquer India, and all the world. He sent emissaries every where to inquire into the truth of this extraordinary event, and find out this heaven-born child. They soon returned, and informed him, that it was but too true, and that the child was then in his fifth year. Vicuamaditya immediately raised a large army in order to destroy the child, and his adherents, in case he should have any. He advanced with all possible speed, and found the child surrounded with innumerable figures of soldiers, horses, and elephants. These the child endued with life, and attacked Vicramaditya, who was defeated, and left on the field of battle, mortally wounded by the hand of young Salivahana.9 The dying monarch only begged of his conqueror, that he would allow his own period to be equally current all over India with his. This the child granted, and then cut off [p.42] his head, which he flung into the middle of the city of Ujjayini, though at an immense distance. In the mean time Vicramaditya's army fell back toward Ujjayini, pursued by Salivahana's forces, and in their way crossed the Narmada. There the army of Salivahana, consisting of soldiers of mere clay, was suddenly dissolved, and disappeared in the waters of the river. After this, we hear no more of Salivahana, except that he disappeared in the 79th year of the Christian Era, which is the first, of his period. His name is not even mentioned in the lists, either of the Emperors of India, or of the Kings of Ujjain. Immediately after the death of Vicramaditya, his wife was delivered of a son, whom they wanted to crown Emperor of India, in the same manner as if Salivahana had never existed: but, being a posthumous child, he could not succeed to the empire; he was, however, perfectly eligible to the throne of the kingdom of Malata; and was of course immediately crowned at Ujjain.
This took place, according to the Cwnarica-chanda, in the first year of the Christian Era, when Salivahana was in his fifth year; and it is remarkable, that our Saviour was equally in his fifth year at that time. The principal circumstances of this legend are taken from the Apocryphal Gospel of the infancy of Jesus, written in Greek in the third century; of which an Arabic translation, made at a very early period, is still extant. Henry Syke has given a translation of it in Latin, with some fragments still remaining of the Greek original. In these fragments it is declared, that the infant Jesus, when five years of age, amused himself with making figures of clay, which he endued with life. This idle story is mentioned also in the Koran, and is well [p.43] known to Muselmans. This remarkable coincidence of historical facts, legendary tales, and also of times, in my humble opinion, cannot be merely accidental.
Those, who acknowledge, that there are four Vicramas, always consider Salivahana as one of them, and assert that he had of course a famous bard at his court called Calidasa. Thus, when called Vicramaditya, he always appears alone as King of Pratistitana, and as such he is represented in the appendix to the Agni-purana. This is the famous King of Pratistitana, with the title of Tri-Vicrama, or with the triple energy, as we have seen before: but his real name was Vi-Sama-Sila, or simply Sama-Sila. As Pratistitana is acknowledged to belong exclusively to Salivahana, as Ujjayini does to Vicramaditya, whatever King, called Vicrama, or Vicramaditya, is represented as sovereign of Pratistitana, the same is Salivahana: and, when we find a Vicramaditya said to have lived or reigned eighty-four years, him we must conclude to be Salivahana, according to the learned Pandits, and astronomers, who gave me this information.
There was a King at that time called Vicramamitra, the seventeenth from Chandragupta, according to the Bhagavat, Brahmanda, Vayu and Vishnu-Puranas;10 and Vicramamitra or Vicramitra, as it is erroneously spelt, is synonymous with Vicramaditya or Vicramarca; and that Vicramamitra was intended for Vicramaditya, by the compilers of the Puranas, admits of no doubt, for they say, that his father was Ghosha-raja, who was the same with Gandharupa, as we have seen before.
Salivahana is considered under three different points of view, according to the
three different objects and purposes of his mission; and accordingly he is said
to be either an incarnation of Brahma, of Siva, or of Vishnu. He is sometimes
considered as conjointly possessing these three powers, and he is then said to
When the object of his mission is declared to be to destroy the kingdom, and power, of the Daityas or demons, he is then said to be an incarnation of Siva; as in the legends of Sama Sila King of Pratishtana.
In consequence of this destruction, a regeneration takes place, as attested in the legends of the good Mandavyeh called Sulastha, or he who was crucified. Salivahana is then said to be an incarnation of Brahma: and this is the general opinion of the inhabitants of the Dekhin, according to A. Roger, and others.
But, when considered independently of these two energies, meek and benevolent, doing good to all mankind, he is then Vishnu, and this is the opinion of the Salivansas in the provinces of Benares and Oude.
Thus we see, that Salivahana goes through the Trimurtti; and when these three energies are considered as united in him, he is then Vi-Sama-Sjla-Tri Vicrama King of Pratishtana, called also Saileyac-Chara, or simply Saileyam, in a derivative form.
Pratishtana is the usual Sanscrit expression for any consecrated place or spot, and it implies here, the holy and consecrated city, and is synonimous with the [p.45] Bet-al-Kaddes, and Bet-al-Mokaddes of the Musselmans.
Saileya-Dhara another name for it, is mentioned in the beginning of the Jyotirvidabharana an astronomical treatise, in which the author, giving an account of the six Sacas, says that Salivahana would appear at Saileya-dhara, or the city firmly seated upon a rock, which compound alludes to the city of Sion, whose foundations are upon the holy hills, "the city of our God, even upon his holy hill." Saileyam would be a very appropriate name, for it is also, in a derivative form from Saila, and is really the same with Saileya-dhara: and the whole is not improbably borrowed from the Arabic Dar-al-Salam, or Dar-es-Salem, the house of peace, and the name of the celestial Jerusalem, in allusion to the Hebrew name of the terrestrial one. The Sanscrit names of this city of the King of Saileyam, or Salen imply its being a most holy place, and consecrated apart, and that it is firmly seated upon a stony hill.
I mentioned, in the preceding essay, that Salivahana was also called Samudra-pala, that is to say, fostered by, or the son of, the ocean. This implies, that either he, or his disciples, came by sea; and this notion has a strong resemblance with a passage from the second book of Esdras, in which Christ is represented, as ascending from the sea, firmly seated upon a rock. This Christian romance is of great antiquity, for it is mentioned by Irenaeus, Clemens of Alexandria and Tertullian, who considered it as a book of some antiquity, and almost canonical.
All these sacred, and most expressive epithets, the Hindus have applied to an ancient city in India [p.46] now called Pattana, on the banks of the Godaveri: but with what propriety, will appear hereafter. Be this as it may, whether in India or out of it, there at Saileyam, Salivahana was to be born, of a virgin, one year and a half old: his father was to be the great Tacshaca or carpenter, and himself was to live in the humble cottage of a pot-maker. This legend is somewhat differently told by others, as we have seen in our account of Vicramaditya. His mother was a married woman; but her husband, a Brahmen, died, whilst she was still very young. She conceived by the great Tacshaca, carpenter or artist, and when her pregnancy became obvious, her two brothers, ashamed of her seemingly unwarrantable behaviour, left Pratisthtana, and the unfortunate young woman, thus unprotected, found an asylum in the humble cottage of a pot-maker: and, in the VICRAMA-CHARITRA, she is said to be his daughter; whilst according to another legend, Siva was incarnated in the womb of the wife of King Sura-Mahendraditya-Bhupati, and there was born, under the name of Sama-Sila-Tri-Vicrama, or with the triple energy.
It is declared in the Vicrama-charitra, that the birth of this divine child, from a virgin, had been foretold one thousand years before it happened, nay some say two thousand. That a Saviour was expected with a regeneration of the universe, all over the more civilised parts of world, in consequence of certain old prophecies, cannot be denied, at least in my humble opinion. It was firmly believed in the west: it was so in the east; and in the intermediate countries among the Hebrews, it was a fundamental tenet of their religion. Whether this notion was borrowed from the Jews or not, is immaterial to [p.47] the present subject. It is by no means necessary to have recourse to this expedient, in order to account for this once prevailing opinion, and I am rather inclined to think, that this was not the case.
The time of his birth is thus ascertained from the Camarica-charida, a section of the Scanda-purana,11 in which we read, Tat ah trishu sahasreshu sate chapyadhiceshu cha; Saca ncima bhamshyascha yotida-ridra haraca. "When three thousand and one hundred years of the Cali-yuga are elapsed, then Saca will appear and remove wretchedness and misery from the world." But it is necessary to observe here, that this is the first year of his reign, and that it has nothing to do with the first of his era. In the same manner, the author of that section says, that the first year of Vicramaditya's reign answered to the 3021 of the Cali-yuga, which date is equally unconnected with the first year of his era. In the appendix to the Agni-purana, we find that Sajlivahana began his reign 312 years after the death of Chanacya, and Chandragupta, which places it also in the first year of our era. It is remarkable however, that in the appendix to the Agni-purana, and the copy from it in the Ayin-Acberi, the years are computed, or reckoned, from the first of Salivahana's reign, answering to the first of Christ, but not from the first of the former's era.
Salivahana died in the year of our era 79, and he lived eighty-four years. According to the Vicrama-charitra, he was in the fifth year of his age, when he manifested himself to the world, and [p.48] defeated Vicramaditya. This places his manifestation in the first of the Christian Era, when Christ was also in his fifth year and in the latter end of it, for he was really born four years before the beginning of our era.
This places, also, the accomplishment of the old prophecies, Vicramaditya's inquiries after this divine child, born of a virgin, exactly in the first year of our era. For a thousand years before that event, the goddess Cali had foretold him, that he would reign, or rather his posterity, according to several learned commentators in the Dekhin, as mentioned by Major Mackenzie, till a divine child, born of a virgin, should put an end, both to his life and kingdom, or to his dynasty, nearly in the same words of Jacob12 foretelling to Judah, that the sceptre should not depart from him, or his Dynasty, until Shiloh came, Salivahana or King Sala.
As to his character, it is declared in the Cumdricadhanda, as we have seen before, that he would come for the purpose of removing wretchedness, and misery, from the world.
In the appendix to the Agni-purana, it is declared that in the holy and consecrated city of Pratishtana, firmly seated upon a rock, called Saileya-d'hara or Saileyam, through the mercy of Siva, would appear Salivahana, great and mighty, the spirit of righteousness and justice, whose words would be truth itself, free from spice and envy, and whose empire would extend all over the world (or in other words, that the [p.49] people would be gathered unto him) the conveyor of souls to places of eternal bliss. On account of this benevolent disposition, he is compared in the Vansavali to Dhananjaya or Arjjuna, whose character is so well delineated in the inscription on a pillar at Buddha. He did not exult over the ignorant and ill favoured: he neither vainly accepted adulation, nor uttered honey words, and was the wonder of all good men. His wonderful equanimity on all occasions, and with regard to every one, of whatever race: in life, and whatever might be their natural faculties, and mental dispositions, are implied by the epithet of Yi-Sama-Sila bestowed upon him.
His conception was miraculous, and in the womb of a virgin: he was the son of the great artist, and the virtue of his mother was at first suspected: but choirs of angels came down to worship her. His birth was equally wonderful: choirs of angels with the celestial minstrelsy attended on the occasion, showers of flowers fell from on high. The King of the country, hearing of these prodigies, was alarmed, and sought in vain to destroy him. He is made absolute master of the three worlds, heaven, earth and hell: good and bad spirits acknowledge him for their lord and master. He used to play with snakes, and tread upon the adder, without receiving the least injury from them: he soon surpassed his teachers; and, when five years of years of age, he stood before a most respectable assembly of the doctors of the land, and explained several difficult cases, to their admiration, and utmost astonishment; and his words were like ambrosia.
In the copies of the Vansavali, current through [p.50] the western parts of Lidia, he is constantly called Samudra-pala; because either he, or some of his disciples, came by sea; and he is of course the same with the Mlechhavatara, or incarnation of the deity among foreign tribes, mentioned in several astronomical tracts; and he is mentioned, in that character, in the section erroneously attributed to the Bhavishya. There he is declared to be Rumadesadhi-pati-Saceswara, the lord and master of the empire of Rome; and the author of the sacred period current through that vast empire; and which, according to the appendix to the Agni-purana, began to prevail over that of Vicramaditya in the year 676 of our era. We have seen before, that he was born for the purpose of removing misery from the world, and to check the power of the demons; and, at the earnest intreaties of the subaltern deities on earth, and all good men, who were groaning under their tyranny, Siva comforted them, and assured them, that after a certain time, he would be incarnated in the character of Vi-Sama-Sila, with the title of Tri-Vicrama, or with the triple energy.
The occasion of his being born, is declared also in the Vrihat-casha. The gods, being vexed by the wicked, went to Maha-deva, and said, "you and Vishnu, have destroyed the Asuras or Demons, but they are born again as Mlechhas, who constantly vex us and the Brahmens. They will not allow sacrifices to be performed, but destroy the implements and holy utensils: they even carry away the daughters of the Munis." Maha-deva promised relief, and caused one of his forms, or emanations, called Malyavana, to be incarnated, saying to him, "go and destroy the wicked: all the world [p.51] will submit to thy power, as well as good and wicked spirits." Then Mahadeva appeared to the father, informing him, that his wife would conceive, and the fruit of her womb be an incarnation of the deity: and he directed that his name should be Vicrama. When his mother had conceived, she became resplendent like the morning sun; and this resplendence answers to the Nur of the Muselmans, from which Issa proceeded. Immediately all the heavenly spirits came down to bow to her, and worship her. When the child was born, the celestial music was heard, and a shower of flowers took place. The high priest, who was childless, obtained also a son, as well as the prime minister.
In the legends relating to Salivahana, it is in general asserted, that his mother being found with child, her character suffered so much, that her two brothers, through shame, left their native country.
In the present legend, Salivahana, under the name of Vi-Sama-Sila with the triple energy, is represented as the son of a king, and as residing at Pratishtana, the consecrated city, or Saileyam. We are then informed, that young Vi-Sama-Sila made a surprising progress in learning, and soon surpassed his teachers. His father then resigned the kingdom to him, and Sama-Sila became king of heaven, earth and hell; all spirits, good and bad, obeyed his orders; his resplendence was like that of the sun, and his fame reached the White Island in the White Sea. The scene is then transferred to Ujjjain, where he appears like Vicramaditya: then follows a minute account of his words; but even then, there is [p.52] no mention made of his wars with Salivahana, for a very obvious reason, though in the latter part the story is somewhat misrepresented.
Let us now consider Sama-Sila or Sala-vahana, an incarnation of the great Tacshaca, in the humble cottage of a pot-maker in the skirts of Saileyam, or the consecrated city, as related above.13
Though without teachers in that humble station, he surpassed all the learned in knowledge and wisdom; and I have already mentioned the famous will, which puzzled all the princes and learned men of the country, till a solution of the mystery was given by Salivahana, who was then in the fifth year of his age.14
There is a curious account of Salivanana, and of his crucifixion, in the Raja Tarangirit, or history of Casmir. There we read, that 145 years after the accession of Vicrajiaditya to the throne, there appeared King Aryya, who was before prime minister of King Jaya-Indka, and whose name signifies the lord of victory, or of victorious hosts. It was decreed, that he should be wretched, and persecuted all his life time, and ultimately that he should die upon a cross; that he would be brought to life again, through the assistance of a Pharu-Canya, or damsel of the Serpentine tribe; and then would become a great and powerful monarch. The King, having been circumvented by his enemies, threw into a loathsome dun- [p.53] geon Sandhi-mati, for such was the name of his prime minister. But his enemies were not satisfied, and they informed the King, that Sarasvati, divine wisdom, or collectively those endued with divine knowledge, had declared that he would he a King. Jaya-Indra, called Chandra in the Ayin-Acberi, ordered him immediately to he crucified. There he remained, till his flesh dropped off, or was torn off by wild beasts. A certain holy man happened to pass by, and reading his destiny in the Brahmarida, or in his scull, immediately resolved to bring him to life again. For this purpose he performed the puja, and after the usual ceremonies and invocations, he rung the bell, and was surrounded by a fiery meteor, which announced the presence of the Yoginis, or forms of Devi. Then, arming himself with a scimitar, as usual on such appearances, he went to the forest, where the prime minister hung upon the cross. He was immediately surrounded by Yoginis, one of whom, the Phani-canya I mentioned before, arranged the bones together, and Sandhi-mati stood upon his legs. The King, hearing of this, went to the forest, when all the Yoginis disappeared: this resurrection of Andin-Mati took place in Milni-puri, or the city of holy contemplators. He then ascended the throne, and, on account of his transcendent virtues, was called Aryya-Raja, or the good King.
The author gives us then an account of his excellencies, and of his worth; and informs us that he was a servant and favourite of Mahadeva. The ways of the supreme being, says he, are wonderful, and truly pass all understanding and belief; yet there are similar instances recorded of old, such as in the [p.54] case of Paricshita, &c.15 The difference between the two eras of Vicramaditya and Salivahana, is made here to be 145 years, according to the computation used all over the Dekhin: for in the northern parts of India, they reckon only 135.
King Aryya is the same with the Pra-Aryyasira of the followers of Gautama in Siam, and other countries to the eastward of it. This signifies the mighty and venerable Sire, or chief of the Ahy-yas or Christians: and with him Buddha waged war, as well as with his disciple Pra-Swana, thus called because he loudly preached against the doctrine of Buddha. The Aryya-Raja is also the same with Deva-Twashta or Deva-Tat, who was crucified by order of Buddha. King Aryya was succeeded in the throne by Gopaditya, the grandson of king Yudhishthira, the immediate predecessor of Pretapaditya, who brought Vicramaditya from distant regions to Casmir, and made him King of that country. Pretapaditya, and Vicramaditya are epithets synonymous, or very nearly so.
Many learned Hindus, for several centuries past, conceive that the eldest Vicramaditya was far from being contemporary with Salivanana; and of course conclude, that he is not the famous Sacadwishi or Sacari, that is to say the enemy of Sali-vahana; and consequently they suppose, that Saca'ri must have been the epithet of some more modern Vicrama'ditya. This notion is countenanced certainly in several of the lists, which I have produced; and the author of the Raja-Tarangini ac- [p.55] knowledges, that it was the opinion of many; and though he does not countenance it, shews plainly, that in his time it was by no means a new idea.16 The compiler of the Vansacali seems willing to adopt it, when he says that many learned men reject the whole, as altogether fabulous, and unwarrantable. Their reason, I am told is, that Saca is the Mlech-navatara, who did not appear, or rather whose period was not known in India, till about 1200 years ago. In conformity to this idea, in the section attributed to the Bharishya-Purana, Saca is declared to be the lord and master of Rome, which is to be taken in a spiritual sense: and in the Agni-Purana, the introduction of his period into India is made to correspond with the year 676 of Christ.
This Mlechhavatara, or incarnation of the deity among foreign tribes, is peculiarly noticed in the Romaca-Siddhanta, an astronomical treatise, according to the system of the Romacas, or Romans, called Romaicoi by the Greeks. This treatise is said to be very voluminous, and is so scarce, that I have not been able to procure it; and I believe it is not to be found at Benares. This deficiency I have been able to supply from the Surydruna-samveda, the Siddlumta-Raja, and the Surya-Siddhanta. The sun, having been appointed by Brahma, to be the eye witness of all transactions in this world, and to regulate the hours and time, refused to obey, and withdrew into the desert, to perform tapasya, in order to be reunited to the Supreme Being. In consequence of this refusal, he was cursed by Puruhuta, or Indra, and Viranchi, or Brahma. In the Surya-Siddhan- [p.56] ta, it is said, that Maya, the chief engineer of the Daityas, and the son of Twasiita, made tapaaya in honour of the sun in order to obtain astronomical knowledge; the sun appeared to him, and said, "I know the rectitude of thy heart, and I am much pleased with thy tapasya. I shall therefore impart unto thee the doctrine of Time, and of the revolutions of the planets. But as no body can bear my refulgence, and as it is not in my power to stop my course, for a single moment (for this reason go back to thy own puri, town, or place of abode, and there I shall impart unto thee knowledge, in the town of Romaca, where I shall become the Mlechhavatara, through the curse of Brahma). This form of mine, here present, will teach thee everything:" then the sun, having directed this new form to teach him, disappeared, and Maya bowed himself to the ground before this emanation.
The sloca between the two brackets is not found in general in the copies of the Surya-siddhanta; yet without it there seems to be something wanting: but whether an interpolation or not, its purport is established in the following astronomical treatises. In the beginning of the Siddhanta-Raja, the author says, from history (Itihha) I know, that Bhascara-Surya became a Romaca, through the curse of Puruhuta and Viranchi. He became a Yaoana in Romaca-pattana, and in the garb and countenance of a Romaca, he composed a most complete treatise on astronomy.
In the beginning of the Surydruria-samaveda, the sun is introduced, saving, "I gave the Romaca-Siddhanta to Romaca, whilst living among the Yavanas, in consequence of Brahma's curse. Romaca taught [p.57] it Romaca-nagare in the town of Rome, for he dwelt among the Mlechhas in consequence of that, curse Romaca-puri is the town of Rome in the west. "Then," says Aruna, "how came you to assume the countenance of a Mitchha in the west, in a land of unrighteousness." "Brahma cursed me," answered the sun, "and said be thou born in the west, in Romaeapura, and of the Mlechhas, who are ignorant of the Vedas, of the Yajna, or of the proper mode of performing sacrifices, Carma, religious rites and discipline; who have rejected saicadharma, all religious duties, are duskta, inclined to evil, nastica, heretics; and who (the Romans) are a Yavana tribe, guilty of every sort of uncleanliness. Thus, in that shape, I taught them astronomy."
This Mlechhavatara, or superior incarnation17 of the deity among foreign tribes, Ruma-desa-pati the lord of the country or empire of Rowm, or Rome, (because his doctrine, institutes, and lazes prevail through it;) Romaca-nagare, said to reside in Rome its metropolis, (because he is revered and worshipped there with unusual magnificence;) Saceswara the lord of a sacred period, (or as I think it should be understood, after wham it is denominated,) is obviously Jesus Christ; at least it appears so to me. From his being a Saceszcara, the Hindus suppose him also to be a great astronomer. In the Surya-Siddhanta, he is repeatedly called Sri-Suryansa, or the blessed Suryansa; he is also styled Romaca-Avatara, or simply Romaca. In consequence of this, Salivahana is considered all over India as a great astronomer, or as a prince remarkably fond of astronomy.18
Various are the opinions about Sa'liva'hana: in general it is
believed, that he did not die, but was translated to heaven, being a Saca; after having
retired, for many years, into the desert, to give himself up to heavenly
I have mentioned, that the Hindus represented Salivahana in his fifth year, exactly like our Saviour in the first year of the Christian Era: it was not in consequence of deep chronological investigations, that they seemingly attempted to correct the mistake of Dionysius Exiguus, or the little; but because it was so in the Apocryphal Gospel of the infancy of Jesus, or rather because it was the general opinion in the east, that Jesus manifested himself to the world at that age. Salivahana did not marry, nor had he any offspring: for even in India, he is looked upon as a mysterious, and supernatural being, and called an Utpata, or prodigy.
I have thus arranged and brought together all the information I could procure, concerning Salivahana, under that name, or any of his well known titles, and as King of Pratishtana: for Salivahana and that holy city are intimately related to each other, and cannot be separated. Yet we find Salivahana sometimes leaving Pratishtana, and going to reside at Ujjain, after the defeat of Vicramadita; as in the legends relating to him, under the names of Vi-Sama-nSila, and Dhananjaya. It is nearly the same with Vicramaditya, whose history is equally connected with Ujjihan, or Ujjayini; I mean the real one, for there were several of them.
There are many other legends, concerning a certain holy man, who seems to be
meant for Salivahana; but as the application is not so obvious, they will be
inserted in a distinct place by themselves.
The followers of Buddha and Jina, as well as the followers of Brahma, claim Salivahana as their own; and in the Calpa-sutra-Calica, Salivahana, as his name is generally written, is said to be a form of Jina, with the title of Sabaca-pati, or Srajba-ca-pati. The followers of Gautama, the Bodhis-Swata in Siam, and the Burman Empire, called him Deva-Tat, which is a corruption from Dewa-Tashta or Deva-Twashta, the divine artist, or Tacshaca: and that it is so, is asserted from the Buddha-charitra in my possession, wherein he is called Visvacarma. They say, that he was a collateral form, or the brother of Buddha, and they are fully persuaded, that he is the same with Christ. Their being made contemporaries, shews that through this whole romance, there is an obvious allusion to the wars and feuds between their followers in subsequent ages.
This singular mode of treating historical events, is not peculiar to the Hindus; for the Greeks seldom distinguished between the tutelar deities, and their disciples, associates or followers, who were called by their titles. These tutelar deities were supposed to lead their armies in an invisible manner, though they sometimes appeared, and victory was always ascribed to them. Thus the wars of the Muhamedans with the Spaniards, might be ascribed to Muhamed, and St. Jago the champion of Spain, who led constantly her armies, and destroyed very many Moors; hence he [p.60] is called St. Jago Mata Moros. Diodorus, the Sicilian, says the same of Alexander the son of Jupiter;19 and, though dead, he was supposed to be at the head of the armies, and to regulate the conduct of their chiefs, and thus every victory was ascribed to him.
In many parts of the Peninsula, Christians are called, and considered, as followers of Buddha; and their divine legislator, whom they confound with the apostle of India, is declared to be a form of Buddha, both by the followers of Brahma, and those of Jina: and the information I had received on that subject, is confirmed by F. Paulino.20
Some legendary tales, obviously relating to the death of our Saviour, have found also their way into the Peninsula. There was a certain Peishe-cara Brahmen (for thus the Christians were called, and Christ in the Apocryphal Gospels, and by the Manicheans was considered as a Peishe-car Brahmen, an artist, manufacturer, or carpenter,) who came to a certain place, and there loudly proclaimed, that all persons in distress should come to him; and that he would take them under his protection, and even lay down his life for them. He was then sitting like a Muni, or contemplator; and many came to him: among them was a thief, who had robbed the King's palace to a considerable amount. The officers of justice soon arrived in pursuit or him, but the holy man would not deliver him up, saying, that he was [p.61] ready to die in his place; and in that of all those who claimed his protection. The King ordered, that the holy man should suffer immediate death, upon a Sula or Suli, which means a stake, either one for empaling, or a gibbet, or cross. Crucifixion being unknown to the Hindus, they of course, have no name for it: and Sula or Suli, originally a stake, signifies also a gibbet, or the cross; exactly like Stauros in Greek. It is so even in the Persian language; and so it was among the Romans, according to Seneca;21 crucifixion signified both empaling and extending the arms upon a cross bar, for these two modes of punishment were equally in use among them: a circumstance very little known.
Then the holy man was stretched upon the Sula, amidst the lamentations of the surrounding multitude, to whom he observed, that he came for that purpose, (to atone with his life for the sins of others). The Sula was suddenly changed into a Sala, or tree loaded with flowers; a pushpa-varslia took place, as usual on such occasions; that is to say, it rained flowers from on high; a celestial car, with divine choristers, came clown to translate into heaven the holy man, who, taking the thief by the hand, said, "thou shalt also be with me in Cailasa or paradise." Thus they went to Cailasa in the presence of an immense crowd, who with uplifted hands, loud huzzas, and tears of joy, testified their satisfaction, at the sudden change. The Muselmans, and the Manicheans, with many other sectaries, will not allow that Christ was really crucified. Some say, that it was a mere illusion; others allege, that he [p.62] disappeared, and went to heaven. The Manicheans, who spread their errors at a very early period, not only in the northern parts of India, but also in the Peninsula, always represented Christ crucified upon a tree, among its foliage and flowers. Though this legend is not applied to Sali-vahan, or Sala-vahan, as it is pronounced in the Dekhin; yet, when the good Peishe-car Brahmen was stretched upon the Sula or Suli, he was really Suli-vahana, or cross home: and when the Sula was changed into a Sala or tree, he was certainly Sala-vahan, or Sali-vahan, he was exalted, or home upon the tree. Though the punishment of the cross be unknown to the Hindus, yet the followers of Buddha have some knowledge of it, when they represent Deva-Tat, crucified by order of Buddha upon an instrument somewhat resembling a cross, according to the account of several travellers to Siam, and other countries.
We read in Sanscrit lexicons, that Salivahan was also called Hala a plough: it should he Hala-vahana, or in composition, Hali-vahana; he who was borne, or crucified upon a plough. The old Indian plough had originally the shape of the letter Y, like the old Latian Furca, or bifurcated stump of a tree. To one branch the plough-share was fixed; and the other branch served as a handle. In the statues of Vishnu, and Bala-rama, the plough in their hands is represented nearly in that manner; and, from that circumstance, Bala-rama is called also Hala, and Hali, or he with the plough.
The legend of the good Peishe-car Brahmen, is found in Major Mackenzie's historical sketches of the ancient kings of Varangola, otherwise I should [p.63] not have presumed to insert it here. It is interwoven with the history of the first Kings of that country, and of course the compilers by no means entertained an idea, that it was anterior to the Christian Era.
As I was mentioning this traditionary legend to some learned Pandits, they informed me, that the same, or one at least very much like it, was to be found in the Maha-Bharata, the Sahyadri-chanda a section of the Scanda-purana, and in the Bhagavata also. I produced the books, and they pointed out the respective pages immediately. I read the whole, and found it illustrated with circumstances of a most extraordinary nature.
In the Bhagavata, and its commentary, this legend is only alluded to. In the Maha-Bharata there is a short account of the transaction; but in the Sahyadri-chanda the legend is drawn to a very great length,22 and the principal features, and circumstances in these legends, which in reality are but one, are the following.
There appeared, in the Dekhin, a most holy Brahmen, of those called Peishe-caras, Tacshacas, Sabacas; or handicraftmen, and whose name was Manda-vyah. He proclaimed, that he came for the sole purpose of relieving the distressed; and that whatever men claimed his protection, he would readily grant it to them, and even lay down his own life for them. Very many of all descriptions came accord- [p.64] ingly; and among them a thief, who being pursued by the officers of justice, claimed his protection, which he readily granted, and was really crucified in his room. He then ascended into heaven, and took the thief along with him.
This circumstance is otherwise related in the above Puranas. A numerous banditti had taken shelter near the holy man, thinking themselves safe: but the officers of justice arriving, they were seized, and immediately crucified. The holy man was supposed to be a thief, numbered among them, and crucified also. He did not open his mouth, but remained absorbed in holy contemplation, inwardly repeating sacred names, with his arms extended, and uplifted.
Whilst on the cross, all the Rishis crowded from all parts of the world, in the shape of birds, to see him, and comfort him. A certain thief, who was also covered with leprosy, and, in consequence of it, deprived of the use of his limbs, was accidentally dropped at the foot of the cross, wrapped up like a child in his swaddling clothes. The man, after remaining there some time, was perfectly cured; and, being irradiated, repented, lived to a good old age, and obtained eternal bliss. A thick darkness over-spread the face of the world; and the animated creation was in the utmost distress, and consternation. The holy man, being afterwards taken down from the cross, descended in to hell, and there encountered, and overcame, death, or Yama. Then a general renovation of the world took place, under the inspection of Brahma. The holy man, from his having been crucified, was ever since called Sulastha, ox the cross-borne, which is synonymous with [p.65] Salivahana. If we prefix to this abstract the legends concerning the infancy of Salivahana, and the era of his manifestation, we shall have the principal circumstances of the life of our Saviour, either from the true Gospels, or from the Apocryphal ones.
There are two singular circumstances in these legends: the first is that it was decreed, that the iron should pierce the body of Mandavyah as well as that of Crishna, because both were accursed, though guiltless. The second is, that neither Crishna nor Mandavyah died, the first in consequence of his wound, nor the second after being crucified; and both are represented as contemporaries.
The Christian sectaries in the first ages, and Muhamed himself with the Muslemans to this day, highly reprobated the idea of Christ dying upon the cross, and even considered it almost a blasphemy. Crishna, though guiltless, was involved in the general curse denounced against his whole tribe, by which all the Yadus were doomed to be pierced with iron, and to die. Neither Crishna nor Mandavyah could die; but they were to be brought, as near as possible, to the point of death, that the words of the Muni should not be done away. Besides, Yama, as King of death, has a claim upon every individual, and with regard to some exalted characters, he must be satisfied, and a compromise must take place. But another difficulty arises; Yama cannot condemn a man to die, without some reason; it would be unjust in him, who is also King of justice. All incarnations of the deity, however dignified and exalted, such as that of Crishna, which is considered as the first in rank, and the most perfect of all; all [p.66] manifestations of the deity, I say, on becoming flesh, are more or less subjected to the infirmities, and even the weakness of human nature, being certainly involved, in some measure, in the gloom of maya, or worldly illusion. In this case, Yama is always sure to find some taint of negative guilt, in consequence of which he can at least bring them to death's door: and it was found that Mandavyah, in his infancy, had destroyed a feeble and innocent insect, by piercing him either with a needle or with a blade of grass. This fatal needle was the only thing that Christ ever possessed in this world; yet, however insignificant in itself, it was certainly a worldly implement, and it prevented his admission into heaven, according to Muselmans in India; neither will he ever be admitted till after his second manifestation, at the end of the world. Others say, that he was admitted into the fourth only, instead of the highest heaven, on that account.
We read in the Maha-Bharata, that there was a most holy and pious Brahmen called Mandavyah, who was making tapasya with his arms uplifted, absorbed in holy contemplation. Some loptras, lifters or thieves, placed themselves near him, with their stolen goods, thinking to be safe; but the King of that place, who was in pursuit of them, ordered them to be crucified, and as the holy man gave no answer, he was numbered among them, and crucified with the rest. In the night-time, all the Rishis, hearing of his misfortune, flocked from all quarters, in the shape of birds, to comfort him. In the mean time the thieves died on the cross; but the holy man remained meditating, without uttering a word, with his arms uplifted. The King hearing this, immediately saw that Mandvyah was a Rishi, and hastened [p.67] to take him down from the cross; and then falling at his feet, humbly bested his forgiveness. Immediately the Rishi descended into hell, and asked the King of death, and of justice, how he could allow him to be crucified, as he was guiltless. Yama answered, that in his infancy he had pierced an innocent insect with a blade of grass. The Rishi said, that at that age he could not incur guilt of any kind, and of course drove him out of the infernal kingdom; and willed, that he should be born of the womb of a woman of the Sudra tribe. This was effected in the house of Vicaitrayirya, who was dead; but Dwaipayana, or Vyasa, raised seed to him, through his wife and a handmaid. Yama was born of the latter under the name of Vidura, and remained on earth 100 years, during which the government of the infernal regions was committed to Aryama, according to the Bhagavata. In the Sahydari-chanda, we have a most prolix account of this momentous event, which I shall give in abstract.
'Whatever man listens with due attention to this legend, his sins shall be remitted. In the forest of Dandaca, in the Sahydari mountains in the Dekhin, on the banks of the river Pranita, was the hermitage of Mandavyah, a most holy Rishi, most benevolent, and no accepter of persons. There he remained, between five fires, entirely taken up with holy contemplation, and inwardly repeating sacred names. A numerous banditti, with the goods they had stolen, being pursued by the King at the head of a strong party, took shelter near the holy man. As soon as the King came, he ordered them all to be crucified immediately; and the holy man was numbered among them, and from his being crucified, he [p.68] was, from that time, surnamed Sulastha, or the cross-borne.
'There lived in the adjacent village a most virtuous and faithful wife, who was married to a thief, and a debauchee, whose whole body was covered with leprosy: some of his limbs had dropped, and others were deprived of motion. He was very fond of gambling, and his faithful wife used to carry him, wrapped up like a child in swaddling clothes, to a gambling house, where he spent a great part of the night, when she carried him back in the same manner. It was midnight, and the night very dark, she passed near the cross, and stumbling against it, she shook it violently, and let her husband fall at the foot of it. The holy man being put to great pain, said to her, at the rising of the sun, thy husband shall die. Such are the powers of a virtuous and faithful wife, that she forbade the sun to rise. A thick darkness covered the face of the world, and lasted 10,000 years, during which the gods and the created beings were in the utmost distress and consternation.
'All the gods, with Siva and Brahma, went to Vishnu the preserver, who resides on the northern shores of the White Sea, that is to say, in the sacred isles in the west. Vishnu was very much embarrassed, as he did not wish to reverse the decrees of either of two such exalted characters. After some consideration, he said to the gods, "Anasuya, the wife of Atri, is most virtuous and faithful; go to her, and prevail upon her to go and speak to the wife of the thief, when they will together come to some arrangement." Anasuya consented, and after having discussed the matter with her, every thing was [p.69] settled. In her character of a virtuous and faithful wife, she ordered that the husband should live; and Gunavati, the thief's wife, ordered the sun to rise. Still it was necessary to satisfy the holy Mandavyah, whose words could not be done away. They agreed, that in future all married women, when it is dark, or night, should remain as in a state of widowhood, taking off their nuptial dress and ornaments. The benevolent Manpavyah was easily pacified, the sun rose as usual, darkness was dispelled; the holy man, who had remained all the while absorbed in contemplation, with his arms uplifted, descended from the cross; the leper, at the foot of it, was cured of his disease, lived to a good old age, and obtained eternal bliss; and the two virtuous and faithful wives were crowned with honour and glory. The air was filled with numberless choirs of celestial minstrels, singing heavenly strains, and the whole concluded with a shower of flowers from on high. In the mean time, the animated beings had all perished; and Brahma was directed to proceed immediately to a new creation, and a general renovation of the world took place.
II. Christianity certainly had made a great progress in the Peninsula, even at a very early period. The venerable Pantjenus of Alexandria visited India, about the year 189, and there found Christians, who had a copy of the Gospel of St. Matthew in Hebrew, which he carried to Alexandria, where it existed in the time of Jerome. Frumentius, the Apostle of Abyssinia, who had resided a long time in India, and spoke the language remarkably well, preached the Gospel in the southern parts, where he had great influence, and was highly respected, having been for many years prime minister, and reset: of one [p.70] of the Kings, during his minority. There he converted many Hindus, and built many churches, and then went to Abyssinia. He came to India with his brother Adesius, along with their paternal uncle, a native of Tyre, who was a Christian, and a very learned man. He travelled into the interior parts of India as a philosopher, and having satisfied his curiosity, he re-embarked on his way back with his two nephews; but, happening to put into a certain harbour, in order to get a supply of water, they were, at their landing, suddenly attacked by the natives. Many perished, and the rest were carried into captivity. Among the former was the uncle; but his two nephews were presented to the King, who took particular notice of them, and they were afterward raised by him to the first dignities of the state. They obtained leave to revisit their native country, when Frumentius was ordained a bishop, and in that character went back to India. At the council of Nice, in the year 325, the Primate of India was present, and subscribed his name. In the year following, Frumentius was consecrated Primate of India, by Athanasius, at Alexandria. He resided in the Peninsula, and the Christians there had always a bishop, called the Primate of India. The Christian religion made also some progress in the north of India. Musaeus, bishop of Aduli, on the Abyssinian shores, visited the northern parts of India in the latter end of the fourth century, in company with the famous Palladius, a Goth from Galatia. When they arrived on the borders of India, they were both disgusted with the climate. Palladius went back, but Musaeus proceeded to the lesser Bokhara; where, it seems, he was more successful. Yet there was at Sirhind, or Serinda, a seminary for Christians, in the sixth century: for, in [p.71] the year 636, two Monks, who had long resided there, returned to their native country; and being at Constantinople, the Emperor Justinian sent for them, to inquire into the nature and origin of silk, and he prevailed upon them to go hack to Sirhind, in order to bring from thence the eggs of the real silk butterfly.
Theophilus, the famous Avian bishop,23 was a native of Divus, now Diu in Gujrat; and, as he was remarkably black, he was sirnamed the Blackamoor. His Hindu name was probably Deo-pal, perfectly synonymous with Theophilus in Greek, He flourished in the times of the great Constantine, and of his sons; and he had been sent to Constantinople with others as hostages. From this circumstance it appears, that the inhabitants of Gujrat, who have been always famous as pirates, had ill used the Roman traders. There was a great trade carried on at that time to India, by the Romans; and there was an annual fair held at Batus, for the vent of Indian and Chinese commodities, and there was a great concourse of merchants, many of whom were settled there. It was situated at some distance from the eastern bank of the Euphrates, and nearly in the same latitude with Antioch. He was very young when he was sent to Constantinople, where he studied, became a Christian, and embraced a monastic life. He was afterwards ordained a bishop, and sent to Arabia by Constantius, in order to promote the interests of the Christian religion. He met with great opposition from the Jews, [p.72] who were very numerous in that country; but succeeded at last, and built three churches, for the benefit chiefly of the Roman traders. One was at Taphar or Tapharon, now Dafar, and the metropolis of that country; the second was at Aden, near the straits of Babelmandel, and the third near the entrance of the Persian Gulf. From thence he went by sea to Diu, his native country, visited several parts of India, comforting the Christians, introducing wholesome regulations, and spreading the errors of Amus. He thence returned to Antioch, according to Suidas, where he lived a long time, highly respected. He accompanied afterwards Constantius Gallus into Germany, as far as Petavium, now Pettazv in Stiria, in the year 354.
Marutha, a Hindu, and a bishop of Suphara, now Sufferdam, assisted at the Synod of Sides, in Pamphylia, in the year 383. He was afterward translated to the bishoprick of Meyaserkin, on the borders of Mesopotamia, when Yezdejikd I., King of Persia, charmed with his piety, was very near becoming a Christian; and CHRYSOSTOM speaks highly in favour24 of our bishop. According to the Notitia of Nilus Doxopatuius, the Greek Patriarch or Antioch, ordained a certain Ramogyris Metropolitan of India; and, from his name, there is every reason to believe that he was also a native of India, where the appellation of Rama-gir is by no means uncommon. Cosmas Indicopleustes, who visited India about the year 522, says, that there were churches and priests, with the whole liturgy, in Ceylon: also on [p.73] the Malabar Coast, and in the north west of India. In these countries, says he, there are a vast number of churches.
The Mission of St. Thomas to India, with the surprising progress of the Christian religion, are facts, in my humble opinion, sufficiently authenticated. Jerome, who died in the year 420, speaks of the Mission of St. Thomas to India, as a fact universally acknowledged in his time: but I must refer the sceptic reader to the works of Fabricius, and Assemanni, unfortunately not to be procured in this country. But the learned history of the Anglo-Saxons by Mr. Turner will abundantly make up for this deficiency, in his dissertation on the embassy of the bishop of Shireburn, sent by the great Alfred, to the tomb of St. Thomas in India. That the holy Apostle suffered martyrdom in India, is sufficiently proved: but, at the same time, it is certain also, that his body was afterwards carried back, and deposited at Edessa, as attested by Rufinus, who went to Syria in the year 371, and remained there twenty-five years. The place, however, where he was first entombed, became a famous place of pilgrimage, where probably, they kept some particles of his body, either true or false: but the chief relic was his blood; which had impregnated the spot, where he suffered martyrdom. This earth was carried, in small quantities, all over the Peninsula; and, being drunk with water, proved most efficacious, in all sorts of diseases, and complaints. His tomb at Edessa was probably destroyed, during the wars of the Emperors of the west with the Persians; or afterwards by the Muselmans.
In the sixth century, Gregory of Tours, the father of French history, became acquainted with a [p.74] respectable man, called Theodorus, who had visited the tomb of St. Thomas in India. In the ninth century, Sighelm bishop of Shireburn was sent there also by Alfred, in consequence of a vow. Now, these two clergymen were too orthodox to worship the tombs and relics of an heretic, a Nestorian of the name of Thomas, as has been supposed by many; and they were too near the time, in which he lived, to have been imposed upon. The two Muselmans, who visited that place soon after Sighelm, mention the church of Thomas, on the Coast of Coromandel, as well as Marco Polo about the year 1292, long before the Portugueze had found their way to India. M. Polo says, that Christians and Muselmans were very numerous in the Peninsula.
The place where he suffered martyrdom, that is to say, the country about Madras, was seldom visited by merchants, as there was no trade. His body, or tomb at least, was in a small city of that country, and the native Muselmans, and Christians, held it in great veneration. Pilgrims, from distant countries, came to visit this holy place; and the earth impregnated with his blood, was given in some beverage, to sick and infirm people; and miracles were often performed there. In speaking of Aden in Arabia, he informs us, that "St. Thomas was said to have preached there, before he went to Maabar in India, where he suffered for Christ, and there reposes to this day his most holy body. In that country (Maabar) the Christians are good soldiers, and remarkable for their honesty."
The inhabitants say, that the holy Apostle was a great prophet, and they call him Avariia, which in their language signifies a holy and pious man. As [p.75] Marco Polo has given us the meaning of the word Avariia, it is very easy to reascend to its pure and original form, which is Av-Aryy in Sanscrit; and, as he says, that the Christians there were highly respected, being good soldiers, and above all, good and holy men, remarkable for their integrity, they were certainly Av-Aryyas, or Aryyas, as well as their holy Apostle. The word Avariia is derived from the Sanscrit compound Av-Aryya, from two words perfectly synonymous, Ava, and Aryya. The first is rendered in lexicons, by Suddha, or Pavitra, equally implying holiness, and purity. It is often used in composition, where it enhances the sense. One of the titles of Buddha is Ava-Locita, or Ava-Locana'th, the holy sovereign of the world: Ava-roha or A-roha, well seated. This word is very often pronounced Aba, and more particularly so, in the S. W. parts of India: and the same M. Polo mentions in the country of Lac, a race of most pious men called Abraiani and Abraiam in the M.S.S. But the editors thought proper to write that word, Abraja-mini; because they conceived that they were Brahmens. But it is much more probable, that it is the same word with Avariiam, or Avariia, which he mentioned before. Ab-Aryya in the objective case, in the singular number, makes Ab-Aryyam, and Ab-Aryyan in the plural, in the first case. These Abraiani, says he, have in abhorrence lying, theft, and cheating. They marry but one wife, and abstain from intoxicating liquors, and flesh. They eat moderately, and their fasts are long, and most severe: otherwise, says he, they are idolaters. He then mentions other idolaters in that country; but from the context, entirely different from the Ab-Aryyas: who it seems, were only degenerated Christians, who [p.76] had in great measure relapsed into the errors of their ancestors, and of their contemporaries.
From the situation, assigned to the country of Lac, by M. Polo, these good people, with the most austere manners, called Aryyas, seem to be the same with the holy and rigid penitents, and anchorets mentioned in the third century by Ptolemy in the country of Aridca, a derivative form from Aryya, under the name of Tabassi Magi, from the Sanscrit Tapaswi, pronounced Tabasa in the Tamuli Dialect; and which signifies contemplators, and by implication men performing austere penances, like the anchorets in the wilds of Thebes, and Tabawa in Egypt; which denominations are probably derived from Tapa, austerities, and Tapo-van, the wilderness of austerities. The Aryyas are mentioned in the Brahmanda-purana25 as a powerful tribe of foreigners (Mlechlia) living among the mountains of the Dekhin.
Ptolemy says, that Ariaca belonged to the Sadinci, a strange name certainly for a tribe. I suspect however, that it is derived from the Sanscrit Sadhana, and that the Aryyas were thus denominated by the native Hindus, in the same manner, that the Portugueze were styled is Bengal, T'hachurs, rulers or lords, and the English all over India are called Saheblocas, or Saheblogues, and the most apposite Sanscrit expression for the above epithets is Sadhana: the English are often styled by learned Pandits, Sadhana-Engriz: and the famous Bhoja is often called Sadhana Bhoja. M. Polo mentions also Abraians on the [p.77] Pearl-Fishery Coast; these were consulted by the fishermen; but, he says that they were bad men, and great sorcerers: and their descendants, to this day, are not much better. According to the acts of St. Thomas, and other notices, the holy Apostle embarked at Aden in Arabia, on his way to India, where he landed at a place called Halabor, and afterwards Salo-patan, synonymous with Salo-pur, or Sala-buram, Hala-buram; and now Cranganor. He was well received by Masdeus, called also Segamus, King of that country, whose son Zuzan he converted, and afterwards ordained him a Deacon. The Apostle, long after, suffered martyrdom, at a place called Calamina, known afterwards by the name of Mahar-pur, or the city of Peacocks, from the Sanscrit Meyur-pura; and the same which is called Mahar-pha by Ptolemy. Its present name is St. Thome, called by the Arabs, during the middle ages, Betuma, or Beit-Thoma, the house or church of Thomas.
Masdeus, the name of the King, who kindly received St. Thomas, Zuzan that of his son, and Segamus his own surname, are all Hindi denominations. Masdeus is for Basdeo, the usual pronunciation of Vasu-deva in the spoken dialects. Segamus is for Sugama, synonymous with Sugat, and shews that he was a follower of Buddha: and Sangama, even now, is not an uncommon name in India, particularly in the Peninsula. Zuzan is for Sajana, or Sezan, as written by Father Giorgi. It is the name of the father of Buddha, called also Ajana, by the Puranics; and the disciple and successor of Manes, who pretended to be an incarnation of Buddha, was called Sisinius.
The place of his martyrdom is called Calamina by Hippolytus, according to Mr.
Turner. Calamina is a Tamidi denomination, and literally signifies earth, and
stones, alluding to the nature of the soil. It is synonymous with Mana-para,
which signifies the same thing, according to F. Bartolemeo, a missionary
acquainted with both the Sanscrit and Tamuli languages: but I by no means
conceive them to be the same place. Cala or Calu in Tamuli signifies a stone, or
Gallon in French, and Mana earth. Thus, point Calymere, the true name of which
is Cala-medu, signifies the stony hill. There were two bishops of the name of
Hippolytus, one of whom resided in Arabia, and they were contemporaries.
The latter probably wrote the treatise concerning the peregrinations of the
Apostles, and died, A. D. 230.26 Dorotheus, another bishop, born in the year 254,
wrote also on the same subject; and some fragments of his work are to be found
at the end of the Chronicon Paschale. There he asserts, that St. Thomas died at
Calamita (Cala-medu,) which is synonymous with Calamina, or nearly so.
Some Manicheans, at a very early period, went to the Malabar Coast: for, according to La Croze, in his history of Christianism in India, the Christians of that country said, that, before they had submitted to the jurisdiction of the Catholicos, or Nestorian Patriarch, and of course, before the arrival of Mar-Thome, there came into their country a certain Mannacavassar, who preached a new doctrine, seduced the people by his prestiges, and introduced his errors. La Croze did not understand the mean- [p.79] ing of the word Mannacavassar; but suspected that he was a Manichean. He was called, by the people of the Dekhin, Mani-Cavissar, which signifies the bard, the prophet Mani. Cavissar is derived from the Sanscrit Cavi, poetry, songs, and Iswara, lord, chief: Cavisar, for Cavyeswara, signifies the lord of the song, or the chief bard, and is used in that sense in the Peninsula, according to Major Mackenzie.
The two Muselman travellers in the ninth century, and the Nubian Geographer, probably on their authority, declare, that there were many Christians, Manicheans, Jews, and Muselmans in Ceylon: and that the King encouraged their public meetings, and that the learned Hindus of that country used to frequent them; and that the King kept secretaries to write down their respective histories, and the exposition of their doctrines and laws. These two travellers were in Ceylon, at that time; and these meetings, as well as the places at which they were held, are called Charchitah, the Puranics, and appointed for the purpose of making Charcha, search or investigation, into new dogmas, and opinions, which began to disturb the peace of the country.
The Muhamedans in India acknowledge the early establishment of the Christians in that country. Ferishta, in his general history of Hindostan, says: "Formerly, before the rise of the religion of Islam, a company of Jews and Christians came by sea into the country (Malabar) and settled as merchants or Pishcams. They continued to live there until the rise of the Muselman religion."27
III. The decline of the Christian religion in India, must be attributed, in a
great measure, to the progress, equally rapid and astonishing, of Islamism, in
Syria, Persia, Egypt and Arabia. The Christians in these countries, being in a
state of distraction, no longer sent pastors to India; as we are informed in a
letter written in the seventh century, and still extant, according to Mr.
Turner. There we see the Nestorian Patriarch Jesujabus of Abiabene, reproaching
the Metropolitan of Persia, with having shut the doors of the episcopal
imposition of hands, before many people of India: that the sacerdotal succession
had been interrupted, from the maritime borders of Persia, down to Colon, or
Coilan, a space of above 1200 Parsangs. This agrees with what is related by
Mnselman writers, who say, that in the reign of the Caliph Abdulmalec, in the
latter end of the seventh century, the Christians of India sent to Simon, the
Syrian and Jacobite Patriarch of Alexandria, requesting that he would
send them a bishop.28
The bulk of the Christians of St. Thome, according to Mr. Wrede, like the Aryyas, consisted of converts from the higher classes; and they were nearly upon the same footing with the Brahmens, and Nairs or nobles. They were originally much respected by the Hindus, and native princes; and they considered themselves equal in rank with the Brahmens and Nairs, and claimed the same exemptions and privileges, which were granted to them. Many amongst them, preserve till now the manners, and mode of life of the Brahmens, as to personal cleanliness, and abstaining from animal food: and the Roman missiona- [p.81] ries, in general, adopt the same regimen, in order to gain credit among them.
These Christians were then very properly denominated Aruyjs and Tacshacas, or Peishcara Brahmens. These and their Kings probably introduced the Christian Era into their country: but, in the same manner, that their sanctity, and their power in India are foretold in the Puranas, their fall is equally mentioned. When, says the compiler of the Vayu-Purana, their time is come, the Aryyas will pass away, like the rest.
These good Aryyas are called Sahvas, Salavas and Salyas in the Cumarica-charida. These three forms are regular, but the last, according to Mr. Joinville, prevails in the Dekhin, and Ceylon, where they are called Sala, Salyas, and Chalhjas, because, I suppose, they were the followers of Sala. They are called also in that country, Saca-ltajar-Vansas, and Salavansas in the western parts of India. They are now followers of Buddha; and in the Peninsula the Christians are included in the general denomination of Bauddhists, and their divine legislator is considered as a form of Buddha.
The chief of the Salyas, or Aryyas, is called Aryyasira by the followers of Buddha, a Sanscrit compound implying as much. He was overthrown by Buddha, and yet he is called Pra-Aryyasira, or Pra-Aria-seria, the venerable Sire, or chief of the Aryyas.
The Manicheans, and the Muselmans, on the authority of the Apocryphal Gospel of the childhood of Christ, and that of St. Barnabas, of which [p.82] they have copies in Arabic, Persian, and even in the western languages of Africa, represent Christ, as the most complete Tacshaca, that ever existed. He was not only an excellent carpenter and statuary; but he was deeply skilled in the combination of all sorts of colours. For this reason, the ingenious H. Syke, who has given us a translation of the Gospel of Christ's childhood, from the Arabic, and some fragments of the original in Greek, says, that dyers in Persia, consider Christ as their patron. It seems indeed, that the greatest part of the Christians, in Arabia and Persia, were handicraftsmen: and that they were accordingly called Peishe-caras, both because they were really so, and because they were the followers of the great Tacshaca or Peishe-caras. According to D'Herbelot, the disciples of Christ were called in Persian and Arabic, Kassarins or Kassdruns, and Havaryims, that is to say, fullers and bleachers: and the priests of the Christians of St. Thomas are called Kassanars to this day, perhaps for Kassaruns.
Mr. Joinville, in his account of Ceylon29 mentions the arrival of numerous families of these Peishecdras, Peish-cars, into that island; and declares, that they were all artificers, and handicraftsmen, as implied by their name, which is truly of Persian origin; though used all over India, in the northern parts of which, it is generally pronounced Peishe-Raz. According to T. Hyde, the Parsis in India, are all artificers, and those in Kirman deal chiefly in woollens.
There were formerly Brahmens in India, says the [p.83] same gentleman, who were handicraftsmen, such as weavers, weaving stuffs variegated with gold and silver, and of divers colours. These were called, from that circumstance, Peish-cari-Brahmens. But they could not be followers of Brahma; for the employments of weavers, and dyers, are absolutely incompatible with the sacerdotal class: in extreme distress a Brahmen may sell stuffs, but even then, under very peculiar restrictions. They might however have called themselves Brahmens, at least their priests, without any impropriety; for every priest is really a Brahmen in his own religion. A few individuals might have become weavers; but then, they would lose their cast, and it is impossible that a numerous body of Brahmens should follow that profession. It is then much more probable, that they were not, strictly speaking, Brahmens of Hindu extraction; but the followers of a new religion, introduced by foreigners, the disciples of a Peish-cara, and themselves Peish-caras, or at least many of them.
Their first arrival in Ceylon, happened nearly about 1845, after the famous war between Rama and Ravana, called the Ravana-Yuddha. Rama lived thirteen generations before the Cali-yuga, answering to about 400 years; and the Cali-yuga began 1370 years before Christ. The completion of the 1845 years will then fall about 77 years after Christ. Vijaya, according to Captain Mahony, was the first King of Ceylon, after this period of 1845; during which, the island was desolate, and overrun by Demons. Then, says the same gentleman, the Christian natives insist, that this King Vijaya was crowned 77 years after the birth of our Saviour. This King Vijaya was not a Bauddhist: for the ninth King after him was the first who embraced [p.84] that religion; and his name was Deveni-pati. All the missionaries to China, were really Tacshacas, or Peish-cara-Brahmens, in the strictest sense of the word, as well as the pious Moravians: and Paul the Apostle was a Tacshaca, and a Peish-cara-Brahmen: and, by the account of Mr. Wrede in his narrative of the Christians of St. Thome, they were formerly Peish-caras: for, says he, they were in fact the only, or at least, the principal merchants in the country, till the arrival of the Arabs.
The ingenious Mr. Joinville, on the authority of several treatises in the Magadhi language, the names of which he mentions, says, that there were even Kings among these Peish-cara-Brahmens, in the Peninsula, to the number thirty-five:30 from the context, it appears, that some were in a collateral, and others in a successive line. The names of their kingdoms, or rather their Metropolitan Cities, were Solo-patan; Maha-patan (now Patan, the Baitana of Ptolemy in the Dekhin, on the banks of the Godaveri, to the southward of Dowletabad); Curu (now Cauri, or Coyr); Gadahare (Gauda); Macanda, (now Mahamrida-pilli); and Casi. This is confirmed in the Bhagavat, Vayu, and Brahmana-puranas, in which it is declared31 that Aryya, or Saca, and $alava was the name of a dynasty of Kings in India; and who were to be immediately followed by the invasion of numerous swarms of other foreign tribes; and of the dynasty of these Sacas, there were five and twenty Kings, according to the Puranas in the chapters on futurity.
Solo-patan was a sea-port town, according to Cos- [p.85] mas Indopleustes, about the middle of the sixth century, on the Pepper or Malabar Coast. There were, says he, five sea-ports famous for trade; Parti, Mangarouth, Salou-patna, Nalo-patana, and Poudu-patana; and all these names are truly Indian. There are several places in the Peninsula, called Parti-guddy, or fort of Parti. Mangarouth seems to be Mangalore, and Nalo-patana, Nali-suram; Salon-patana is called Sooloo-pato now by the people of Ceylon, and had Kings of its own of the Peishe-care-Brahmen tribe, or Christians.
Salo-patan, otherwise Salo-buram, and Salo-pur, is the same with Hala-bor where St. Thomas landed, and its present name is Cranganore. There he converted Sajana son of the King of that country.
We read in the history of the Christians of St. Thomas, that they had Christian Kings of their own; the first of whom, was called Baliarte, from the Sanscrit Bali-arhat. After several successions, one of these Christian Kings dying without male issue, adopted the King of Diamper for his son, according to the custom of the country, though he was a heathen, and appointed him his successor.
That a society of Peishe-caras, weavers, and handicraftsmen, however numerous, should have Kings of their own, is inadmissible; unless they were upon such a footing, as the Christians were formerly in the Peninsula. St. Thomas converted the son of the King of some country on the coast of Malabar; and the Puranas declare, that there was a dynasty of Aryya Kings.
The name of Avaryya is not totally unknown in [p.86] the Peninsula: they have still in great veneration, a certain Sibyl of divine origin, most pious, and good, called Avyar; and who lived in the ninth century. A translation of some of her moral sentences, is inserted in the seventh vol. of the Asiatic Researches. It seems she was conversant with the Christians of that country; for among her proverbs, there are some, that are far from being in the usual style of the Hindus.
The descendants, or followers, of Salavahana are mentioned in the commentary upon the Calpailruma. In religious matters, and particularly in the east, they generally call the followers of any reformer, or legislator, his descendants. In the above commentary Salavahana is declared to be a Jaina, meaning, either a follower, or a form of Jina. He is called there also, a Sravaca, or Lavaca; that is to say a Peish-cara. In the western parts of India, as in Gurjarat, they call all tradesmen, banyans, &c. Savacas, or Sabacas. The famous Calicacharya is supposed to have visited Salavahana, at Pratishtana in the Dekkin; and, according to the above commentary, he was born 993 years after the ascension of Jina, or 43 years B.C. He travelled all over the Peninsula, teaching, and explaining the doctrine of Jina; and particularly among the Sabacas. He is supposed to have taught Saeavahana some peculiar rites, to be observed at the full, and new moon; which, he promised, he would enjoin his descendants, or followers to observe. The posterity of a Sabaca, or Peish-cara, particularly in India, were necessarily Peish-caras, and Sabacas. A patronymic denomination was also given to them; for they are called Salivas, Salavas, and Salbas in the Cumarka-cumida, answering to the Arabic expression, of Ashab-al-Salib, [p.87] or Salb, the followers of the cross, or of him, who was crucified. According to A. Roger, there is still in the Dekkin a considerable tribe of men called Salavadis, from the Sanscrit Salavadicas, the Salavas or followers of Sala.
In the Vayu-purana, they are called Sacas, and in that passage, this name is used in the room of Aryya to be found in other Puranas; and it is declared there, that they would appear with the Andhiras and Pulindas; the dynasty of the first began in the year 1 after Christ: and it is obvious from the context, that the dynasty of the Sacas, Aryyas, or Satvas was contemporary with those of the Andhras, and Pulindas; though we cannot fix precisely the time when it began. By Pulindas, they understand dynasties of Kings from the lowest and vilest classes in India.
The descendants, or followers of King Saca, are called by Mr. Joinville, and Captain Mahony, Saca-Raja-Vansas, a true Sanscrit expression, implying as much: and we have seen, that there are still in the Dekkin, and Ceylon, some families or tribes so called to this day. I was greatly surprised, sometime ago, to hear from most respectable Pandits, that there was in the district of Benares, and in the province of Oude, a tribe of Rajaputras, who boasted of their descent from Salavahana; and that the chief of that tribe was considered as a living hereditary deity, and a form of Vishnu, like their Sire Salavahana. What is still more surprising, is, that this chief does what he can to conceal his divinity, and to make people believe, that it is not so. But in despite of his endeavours, some peculiar circumstances will occasionally betray him; and such an instance, it is laid, happened last century. They are descended [p.88] more probably from the follower of another Sala-vahana, a Manichean, or Mani himself, as I observed before.
As these Rajaputs call themselves Faisyas, synonymous with Srauaca or tradesman, it seems, that they originally followed that profession. Probably some will say, that if the Saca-Rqja-Cumaray, had been once Christians, they must of course have lost their cast. This might be the case now: but, I do not believe it was so formerly; and then, the Puranas afford us immediate remedy, for in the chapters on futurity, it is declared, that the Kings of Magadim would raise men of the lowest classes to the rank of Brahmens, and other superior casts; exactly like Jeroboam, and other Kings of Israel. This prophecy was to take place, after the fall of the Anahra dynasty in the seventh century.32
Besides, a whole district, a whole tribe, might embrace another religion, without losing cast; the full exercise of its privileges being always confined to themselves. For we must not think, that persons or the same cast, will communicate one with another all over India, and eat together, or of food dressed by another. The communication is confined to a few families in their neighbourhood, whom they know to be strict observers of the rules relative to their cast. The rest of the tribe are in a great measure outcasts to them. This almost incredible adherence to the punctilio of casts, was in a great measure owing probably to the rapid increase of the religion of Buddha, then afterwards of that of Christ, and [p.89] Muhamed, and of the heresy of Manes, in the N. W. parts of India, and also on the coast of Malabar, and Ceylon. Among the Christians in the Peninsula, be they Protestants, Roman Catholics, or Nestorians, there are Brahmens, who are nearly upon the true footing with the other Brahmens: and, when acquainted with them, such civilities, as are usual among bred people, are never omitted. The Christian Brahmens most rigorously abstain from beef, and animal food, though they say they can eat of it. The greatest part of the Brahmens in Persia, Turan, and near Baku, eat beef, but never of the flesh of the cow, like many of the Egyptians of old. There are several of these Brahmens settled at Benares; and they are acknowledged as such, though not much respected, being nick-named Vedabrashtas, or breakers of the Vedas; for a Brahmen may be a heretic without losing his cast, which is not so much connected with his creed as might be supposed. In short, the Hindus acknowledge themselves, and it appears from their sacred books, that they ate beef formerly; but they took care to inform me, at the same time, that they never ate of the flesh of the cow. It is declared, that there are no Cshettris now, or in other words, that the second class no longer exists. Yet those, who have been raised to that rank from the lowest classes, are treated as such by every Brahmen.
We read in the institutes of Menu, that all the Chasyas, or those who inhabit the snowy mountains, have lost their cast. Yet they must have recovered it; for there are numerous families of Brahmens in those countries, particularly in Almorah or Comduh, and much respected at Benares, who by no means consider the bulk of the inhabitants, who are Chasyas, [p.90] as outcasts. They assured me on the contrary, that they considered them as belonging to the second class, and that they are treated as such by every Brahmen, in despite of Menu and of the Puranicas.
Let us suppose some extensive district in India solely inhabited by Europeans, and that these were entirely willing to conform, in every thing, to the religion of Brahma, and the manners of the Hindus. Their resolution would be highly approved of by every Brahmen; and they would soon find many to officiate, and pray for them, on their being of course paid for their trouble. Let us add to this, numerous grants of land, villages, honours, privileges, and an entire submission to their will, they would soon treat them as Cshettris, as they do the present Rajputs. It is true, they could neither intermarry, nor eat with the other Hindus, but the four great classes never intermarry, nor eat, but with particular families of the same tribe in their own class. After a few generations, they would say of these Europeans, what they say of the present Rajputs and Mahrattas, that they were not originally Cshettris nor Brahmens, and are a spurious race. This would not do, it is true, for a single individual, who would find himself insulated, and lost entirely, unless he assumed the character of an anchoret or penitent. I had long conversations with learned Pandits, on the subject, and this was their opinion, and that even they might have Brahmens of their own, by studying their sacred books, and obtaining the necessary knowledge, which would not be attended with much difficulty. With regard to their ancestors having ate beef, this could be no objection, as there is not a Hindu, whose ancestors, at some remote period, it is true, did not eat beef, and every sort of animal food, except [p.91] perhaps a few unclean sorts. Whatever man, say the learned, performs the duties (Carina) of a Cshetta, him you must consider as a Cshettri. But what should put an end to the controversy, at least in my humble opinion, is that the Mahrattas, a numerous and respectable tribe of Brahmens, and Cshettris, are acknowledged, all over India, to be foreigners from the western parts of Persia, who left their native country not 1200 years ago, as I shall shew in the appendix. Even though this alleged origin of the Mahrattas should prove untrue, yet the universal acknowledgment of it is very much in favour of my assertion.
The followers of Brahma, and those of Buddha, were by no means indifferent to the progress of foreign creeds. They often ordered conferences to be held, where the principles of these religions were inquired into, the history of their legislators, &c. This was practised in Ceylon in the ninth century, according to Renaudot's two Muselman travellers; and Brahmens unanimously acknowledge, that this was their practice formerly, with regard to the Bauddhists; and that these conferences were called Charcha, or investigation, search, Cherche in French; and that towns appointed for that purpose, were called Charchita-nagari, one of which is mentioned in the Cimarica-charida. "In the year 3291 of the Cali-yuga (or 101 after Christ) King Sudhaca will reign in the town of Charchita nagara, and destroy the workers of iniquity." This points out a persecution in religious matters, at a very early period. These conferences ended in bloodshed, and the most cruel and rancorous persecution of the followers of Buddha, even from the confession of the Brahmens themselves. They were tied hand and foot, and [p.92] thus thrown into rivers, lakes, ponds, and sometimes whole strings of them. Be this as it may, the followers of Buddha did not fail to retaliate whenever it was in their power; for Dr. F. Buchanan informs me, that in the Dekkin the Jainas make their boast of the cruelties that they exercised at different times upon the Brahmens, and that there are even inscriptions still extant in which they are recorded. This general persecution was begun by a Brahmen called Cumarilla-Bhattacharya, and carried on afterwards by Sancaracharya, who nearly extirpated the whole race. It is difficult to say when this took place; but as there were vast numbers of Bauddhists in the Peninsula, in the Gangetic Provinces, and Gujarat, in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries, this general proscription could not of course have taken place at these periods. It is very probable that the Christians were occasionally involved in these persecutions, as the Christians of St. Thomas are considered as Bauddhists in the Dekkin, and either their divine legislator, or his apostle Thomas, is asserted to be a form of Buddha.
The Hindus, and more particularly the followers of Buddha and Jina, fancy, that there are hidden mysteries in certain numbers. It was so formerly in the west, among the heathens, the Jews, and the Christians. All over the world, the numbers one and three were considered as radical; and their combination was subject to whimsical rules. They are by no means to be added together, for one and three, in a mystical sense, are but one and the same thing, We might suppose, that the square, and cube of three would be sacred numbers; but it is by not means the case. Eight is the mystical number, and [p.93] three times eight, or twenty-four, is a sacred number; and being multiplied by three, the product is mystical also, and the number of years of Jina's life. The reason is, that one stands in the centre representing Jina, who is three and one. Eight forms sprang from this toward the eight corners of the world, and each of these is three and one, but we cannot say, that these eight forms, with the original m& in the centre, make either nine, or twenty-seven; for though each collateral form is perfectly district from each other, yet it is individually the same with the original one. Sectaries, at an early period entertained accordingly strange notions concerning the number of years that Christ lived concealed, performed the duties of his ministry, and lastly about the length of his life. They conceived that every circumstance relating to so exalted a character, was mysterious. Some insisted that he lived thirty, thirty-three, forty, and others nearly, but not quite fifty years. Stephanus Gobarus has collected many of these idle notions, in the extracts made of his works by Photius.
It is not obvious at first, why Salivahana is made to have lived eighty-four years; but it appears to me, that this number was in some measure a sacred period among the first Christians, and also the Jews, and introduced in order to regulate Easter-day; and it is the opinion of the learned, that it began five years before the Christian Era, and the fifth year of that cycle was really the fifth of Christ, but the first only of his manifestation to the world, according to the Apocryphal Gospels; and it was also the first of the Christian Era. In this manner the cycle of eighty-four years ended on the 79th of the Christian, which was the first of Saliva- [p.94] hanas Era, and was probably mistaken for the period of his life. It is mentioned by St. Epiphanius, who lived about the middle of the fourth century.33
IV. The followers of Buddha, in Siam and the Burman Empire, mention the wars of their legislator with Deve-Tat, who, they say, is the legislator of the Christians. He is the same who is called a Tacshaea also by the Hindus, and who manifested himself in the first year of the Christian Era. They say that he was either a brother, or a relation of Buddha; or in other words, he was a collateral form of Buddha. They acknowledge some conformity between his doctrine and theirs; because, as they say, his disciples borrowed many things from Buddha. He allowed them, however, to kill and cat all sorts of animals, and seduced very many of the disciples of Buddha; and, aspiring to sovereignty, he waged war against Samana-Gautama. He appeared at the head of a new sect, and engaged several kings and nations to join him. He had the gift of miracles, and asserted that he was a god. Deve-Tat being several times worsted in this war, made overtures of peace, and Samana-Gautama consented, on condition that he would subscribe to three articles which he was going to propose. These were to worship, first, God; then his word; and thirdly, the person who imitates divine perfection, or, in other words, to worship Buddha. This last article was rejected by Deve-Tat or his disciples, and they went to war again; when Deve-Tat was defeated in the forest of Salatuyah in the Peninsula.34 He was taken pri- [p.95] soner, and empaled alive, with his limbs trussed up, upon a double cross; and in that state hurled into the infernal regions. Samana-Gautama, however, foretold, that in the end he would really become a god. Buddha, or Gautama is also represented waging war with Pra-Aria-Seria, for Pra-Abyya-Sira, the venerable chief, or Sire of the Aryyas or Christians; and another chief of them, called Pra-Swane, or Pra-Swana, from his loudly preaching against the doctrine of Gautama. Buddha and Deva-Twashta are made contemporaries in this romance: but this can be no objection; for it is only in allusion to the wars of their followers in subsequent times. The learned are very well acquainted, that this mode of writing history once prevailed in the west at a very early period.
The beginning of the seventh century is remarkable for the introduction of new eras among the civilized nations of the world. The Christian Era was introduced at Constantinople in the year 526; but, as the learned observe, it was a hundred years before it was generally adopted, and this was in the beginning of the seventh century.
In Persia, the era of Yezdegird began in the year 632; that of the Hejra was introduced by Omar in the year 638. Those of Siam with the Burmahs have an era beginning in the year 638; but as they borrowed everything relating, either to their religion or their astronomy, from Ceylon, and the Peninsula of India, this period must have originated there. The Japanese consider the ascension of the latter Buddha, under the name of Guso-bosatz, as a memorable epoch; and it happened in the year 631, because they say that he lived only fifty-nine [p.96] years, and he was born in the year 578. According to the Satrujaya-mahatmya, the translation into heaven of Guso-bosatz or Gaja-Vastshta, that is to say, he who abides in the mortal form of an elephant, and called in the above treatise Sri-hasti-sena, a compound nearly of the same import, happened three years, eight months and fifteen days before the time of the Panchmaras, or Muhamed and his four associates; that is to say, he died in November 617. But if we suppose with the Pauranics, that he lived sixty-six years, his ascension will fall in the year 638, according to the computation of the Burmans and Siamese. This Buddha was born in the year 500, and reigned sixty-six years, according to the Cumdrica-chanda, in some copies of which we read 63 and 64; but he appears to be the same with Gaja-Vasishta, both being represented as the last incarnation of Buddha; the Japanese having mistaken the era of his manifestation as a god, or his death, for that of his manifestation as a man.
Thus the Jainas in India say, that their legislator died in the year 1036 B.C. which the divines of Tibet consider as the year of his birth.
The Christians of India, in the seventh century, were actuated by the same principles, and chose the supposed year of Christ's ascension for the first of their new era. They were at that time in India in the most profound ignorance, through the want of pastors, as we observed before; and their religion was a strange medley of the Christian, and of that of Buddha, which prevailed at that time in the Peninsula; insomuch, that M. Polo considered some of the Aryyas, in despite of their virtues, as idolaters. Sali-vahana, or Deva-Tat, was considered as a brother or relation of Buddha.
Our blessed Saviour entered on his mission when thirty years of age, like
Buddha; and like him, he was born of a virgin: the additional years were
introduced from their mistaking the ecclesiastical cycle of 84 years for the
period of his life; and like them, the Christians made a point of reckoning
their era from this supposed year of his ascension. This was not peculiar to the
Hindus; the Christians of Egypt chose the various manifestations of Christ,
during his ministry, and the different events of his life, in preference to that
of his birth. According to the appendix to the Agni-purana, the era of Saca, or
Salavahana, was introduced into India, or began to prevail, in the year
corresponding to that of Christ 676, exactly 135 years after the death of a
certain Vicramaditya. The bloody wars between these two exalted characters, are
supposed to have been only about their respective eras; and Vicramaditya, in his
dying moments, thought of nothing but his era; whilst it is the general opinion,
that it began at his death, and of course he could not be the author of it. One
would imagine that Salavahana's era would have begun the moment that he became a
Saca, by putting to death another Saca, such as Vicramaditya was; but it
happened otherwise: Salavahana thought no more of his own era, which was
introduced after his death, by his followers, or adherents in the Dekkin; for it
never was used in any other part of India except Bengal.
It is therefore my humble opinion, that the Christian Era was introduced, and new modelled in India by the Christians, and the Aryya, or Salava, Kings, on the decline of the Christian religion; and used by them and other Hindus in their intercourse with them.
It is supposed, that the Brahmens are too proud to borrow any thing from their
neighbours; but this is by no means the case; and whenever they are acquainted
with the circumstance, they will most candidly acknowledge it, particularly
astronomers and physicians.
After the conquests of Alexander, and for many centuries after, there seems to have been an eager desire in India for foreign arts and sciences, curiosities, instruments of music, wine, and even beautiful damsels from Greece. According to Ælian and Dio Chrysostom, the Hindus, as well as the Persians, had the works of Homer translated into their native languages: and Philostratus says, that they were well acquainted with the ancient heroes of Greece; and that they had statues made by Grecian artists. And this is very possible, as the Greeks of Bactriana were in possession of the Panjab for more than a hundred and twenty years. The Kings of Magadha repeatedly wrote to the successors of Alexander for sophists, or learned men, from Greece; and lately the famous Jaya-Sinha, Raja of Jaypur, wrote to the King of Portugal for learned men, and he had several sent to him; and the King of France sent him also an astronomer, P. Boudier. He had the elements of Euclid translated into Sanscrit, part of which fell into the hands of Mr. Davis. There, it is said, that this valuable book, originally written by Visvacarma, or Twashta, the artist god, had been lost for many thousand years; but was rescued from obscurity by the extraordinary efforts of Jaya-sinma.
He had also another voluminous treatise, called the Siddhanta-Samrat, on geometry and astronomy, en- [p.99] tirely compiled from various authors from the west. The greatest part of it is now in my possession, and was procured at Jaypur by Colonel Collins, resident with Sindia. Mr. Davis informs me also, that at the same time the work of Theodosius, on the sphere was translated into Sanscrit. As these thefts are not recorded, the circumstance is hardly known now to any of the natives. Jaya-sinha had also an extract made of all the constellations in Senex's celestial planisphere, and instead of 72 asterisms, he had 144 made out, by splitting all those that would admit of it into two or three new ones. The royal oak of course has found its way there, under the name of Mula-vricsha, the radical or primeval tree; and the Indian is called a Sarendra, or the chief of archers; and as the Hindus have no altars, the constellation of that name has been converted into a footstool.
There is a famous astronomer, whose works, or at least part of them, are still extant, well known all over India, and declared to have been a foreigner, as implied by his name of Yavanacharya, or the Grecian philosopher, and who lived, according to tradition, a little before the time of Muhamed. The Hindus give the name of Yavaaas, or Greeks, to the inhabitants of the countries to the west of India, probably because the Greeks were once masters of Persia, and afterwards the seat of empire was fixed at Constantinople. From the account they give of him, it does not appear that he was a native of Greece, but only deeply skilled in the learning of the Greeks, having probably attended the university at Alexandria.
They say that he was a Brahmen, born in Arabia, [p.100] the inhabitants of which country were at that time followers of Brahma, and that the Sanscrit language was studied and well understood there by the learned. He came to India, where he resided for a long time, and in his old age he returned to his native country, in order to end his days at Macshes-wara-sthan, or Mecca, in the performance of religious duties. Dr. Buchanan informs me, that he saw in the Dekkin several tribes of Jainas, who insisted that they came originally from Mecca or Arabia; and that they were expelled by Muhamed, or his successors.
There are certainly followers of Brahma and Brahmens to this day in Arabia; and I am credibly informed, by natives of that country, that in the interior parts there are still many idolaters, whom they suppose to be followers of Brahma, or Hindus, as they call them. The greatest part of the old names of places in Arabia are either Sanscrit or Hindi: and Pliny mentions two celebrated islands on the southern coasts of Arabia, in which there were pillars with inscriptions in characters unknown, I suppose, to the Greek merchants who traded there: but these were probably Sanscrit; as one of these two islands was called Isura or Isvara's island, and the other Rinnea, from the Sanscrit Hriniya, or the island of the merciful goddess.
The Hindus claim Mecca as a place of worship belonging to them, and certainly with good reason. They say, that they were allowed to go and worship there for several centuries after the introduction of the religion of Muhamed; but were afterwards positively forbidden even to approach this sacred place.
I always conceived, that there was only one sage of the name of Yavanacharya,
who was considered as a foreigner; but having consulted lately several learned
astronomers, they informed me, that there were no less than five who are
considered as foreigners. Their names are Chatta, Chutta, Romaca, Hillaja, and
Dishana; these, it is said, were Yavanas or Greeks. They certainly have very
little resemblance with any Greek proper names, which we are acquainted with. Be
this as it may, they are all supposed to have returned to their native country,
with an intention to end their days at Mecca. From this circumstance, I suspect
that they were Greeks from the famous university of Alexandria, and Mecca was at
a very early period a famous place of worship. Guy Patin mentions a medal of
Antoninus, in which it is called Moca the sacred, the inviolable, and using its
own laws: and of this I took notice in my essay on Semiramis. The university at
Alexandria was in a flourishing state, from the time of the Ptolemies to the
fourth and fifth centuries, and even till the time of Muhamed. Hindus often
visited that famous city; for Ptolemy conversed with several in the third
century, who appear to have been well-informed men.
These five foreign astronomers wrote many books, but few remain; and the reason, in the very words of my learned friends, is, that the substance of these treatises having been incorporated into more recent tracts, they were of course neglected, and afterwards lost. This acknowledgment from Brahmens surprised me not a little; but I find that astronomers in general, and learned physicians, are much more tractable and conversable than the other Hindus.
Whatever may he our opinion about these
five strangers, their names, and their country; yet from such an acknowledgment,
and more particularly so from Hindus, we may rest assured, that there is some
truth in it. The Hindus reckon three and twenty famous astronomers, eighteen of
whom were natives of India; and the five others, foreigners. These they insist
were natives of Arabia: and if so, they were called Yavandchdryas, not because
they were of Grecian extraction: but because they were skilled in the learning
of the Greeks. Indeed their names, or rather surnames, appear to be Arabic. Hallage, and Cathan are names well known to Arabian writers: and Ebn-Dissan is
the name of a famous impostor born at Edessus. Of Romaca or the Mlechhavatara, I
took particular notice before, and Dishan is the name of Omar in several copies
of Raghu-natha's list; and it was he who first established the era of Muhamed in
the year of Christ 638, and for this reason, they supposed him also to be a
great astronomer, as well as Romaca. There is another astronomer, called Cangha
or Cangham, and Cangheh, whom the Hindus suppose to have been a foreigner; yet
Muselman writers say, that he was a Hindu, and perhaps he lived on the western
frontiers of India. By D'Herbelot he is called Cancah-al-Hindi, Kenker, Kencar
and Cangha. He wrote a treatise on astrology, in Hindi or rather Sanscrit, which
was translated into Arabic, and is said to be extant. He is perhaps the same
with Mangheh, who, according to D'Herbelot, made so conspicuous a figure at the
court of Harun-al-Rashid, about the year 808, as a physician. The famous
Dandamis or Dama-Damis is unknown to [p.103] the
Hindus; but the Muselmans in India call him Tumtum, and D'Herbelot
Thomthom-al-Hendi. He is noticed by Abul-Fazil in his preface to the third
volume of the Ayin-Acberi. He was probably thus called, because he lived upon a
Dumdum, or Dumduma, which is a platform of earth, now more generally called a
Chebootra or Thana, from Sthana a stand.
As the names, or rather the surnames of these foreigners, are in great part derivable from the Arabic, and from no other language, it is not improbable, but that several, if not all of them, were from Arabia, whatever their religious tenets might have been. The first of them, according to tradition, lived a little before Muhamed, when the schools of Alexandria, and Berytus in Phoenice, were still flourishing. From that period, learning began to revive among the followers of Muhamed; and of course this learned man flourished, from the latter end of the sixth, or from the beginning of the seventh century to the time of Al-Mamon, who reigned at Balkh in the tenth, and till the invasion of India by the Muselmans.
The Hindus, at an early period, were famous for their knowledge of astronomy and astrology. The latter is entirely grounded upon the former; and the accuracy of the decisions, and predictions, depends entirely upon the precision, with which the conjunctions, oppositions, and the various aspects of the heavenly bodies are ascertained. In the first century, Hindu astrologers were in high estimation and repute at Rome, and none but the richest men could afford to [p.104] employ them. It appears, from Arrian35 on the authority of Megasthenes,36 that in the time of Alexander, they had almanacks, with predictions concerning the weather, and impending calamities, such as they have at present, but more particularly so in the Peninsula, Strabo says, that the Brahmens professed astronomy;| and he extols, at the same time, the attention they paid to learning. Q. Curtius testifies, that they skilfully observed the motions of the heavenly bodies.37 Eusebius, who lived in the third and the beginning of the fourth century, says that it was a Hindu, who first delineated schemes of the heavens, or the principal constellations. His name was Andubarius, and he was considered as the founder of astronomy in India, and was famous for his skill and wisdom. According to Eusebius, he lived soon after the flood, in the western parts of India; and this famous astronomer probably formed, and delineated the twenty-seven lunar mansions, which seem to be the exclusive property of the Hindus. The opinion of Eusebius, and the other learned authors whom I have mentioned, was certainly that of the age in which they lived; and Strabo says that the notions of the Hindus concerning the universe, and the sphericity of the earth, were the same with those of the Greeks. They had a code of laws in the time of Alexander, and they wrote upon a sort of paper; for thus I understand the words [Greek], upon cloth well beaten.38 Strabo takes notice, that in his time some asserted, that the Hindus were acquainted with the use of letters, whilst others denied it. He adduces the above passage from Nearchus in [p.105] proof of the former assertion; but the passage against it from Megasthenes is by no means conclusive; and seems to me, on the contrary, to prove that they were acquainted with the use of letters; for it implies only that they used no writing in their courts of justice in camp, where every thing was settled in a summary way; and it is even so to this day. Besides, says our author, such is the probity of the Hindus, that all the time he was in the camp of Sandrocuptos, which consisted of 400,000 men, none but petty thefts were ever brought before these courts, and they (the judges) even could not write. Under such circumstances, neither any code of laws, nor much learning, or any writing, were necessary; common sense and integrity were the only requisites on the part of the judges.39
During the first centuries of the Christian Era, the Hindus were very fond of travelling. Their Kings sent frequent embassies to the Roman and Greek Emperors: and some of these Embassadors went as far as Spain. Others visited Alexandria and Egypt, where Ptolemy, in the third century, saw them, and conversed with them. Some of these Embassadors had long conferences, at Babylon, or rather Seleucia, with the famous Bardesanes: and pilgrimages to the Sthan of Maha-Bhaga, now Mabog, or Bambyke in Syria, were very common, according to Lucian, as cited by the authors of the ancient Universal History. Even to this day, pilgrims from India go to Persia, Georgia, Moscow, and Arabia, Bootan, China, and even Siberia.
We are not to suppose, that there never was any intercourse between
the more western countries of the old continent. There were diviners and
soothsayers in Syria and Palestine, from beyond the east, that is to say from
beyond Persia, and of course from India, 700 years before Christ, according to
Isaiah; and these, long after, found their way even to Rome; and, according to
some, it was a Hindu, that had been shipwrecked in the Red Sea, who first
pointed out the way to India by sea.40 Xerxes, when he invaded Greece in the year
480 B.C. had a large body of Hindus with him, whose officers were men of
respectability, and there is little doubt but that they had Brahmens with them.
Three hundred years before our era, the Carthaginians had numerous elephants from India, and their mahots or drivers were Hindus. They seldom used the African elephants, which, says Pliny, were timorous, and could not bear the sight of the elephants from India.41 The Carthaginians had no proper name for an elephant, and from the mahots they adopted the Hindu name Gaja, which they pronounced Gaisa. Till that time, they, as well as the Phoenicians their ancestors, called them Elaph or Alpha, beeves or oxen:42 and the Romans, when they saw Pyrrhus's elephants, called them also Laca Boves, and this was in the year 280 B.C.
Polybius43 informs us, that in the year answering [p.107] to 251 B.C. Metellus defeated Asdrudal in Sicily, killed six and twenty of his elephants, took one hundred and four, and sent them to Rome, with their drivers, who were Hindus. According to the same author, when Hannibal crossed the Rhone 218 years B.C. the drivers of his elephants were also Hindus; and after this period, we find a Hindi word for an elephant introduced into Italy; for till that time, they called them large oxen. This name was Barrus, or Baro, as it is written by Isidorus,44 who says, that it was a Hindu denomination: Baro and Baronem in the objective case, are from the Sanscrit Barana and Baranam. From Barrus or Baro, the Latins made barritus, to express a noise like that made by an elephant, and also the verb barrire; and probably the word Ebur is derived from it.
When Manlius marched, at the head of an army, through Caria and Pamphylia, 189 years B.C. he came to the banks of a river, near the fort of Thabusion, called the river Indus, or of the Hindu; from a Hindu mahot, who fell into it from his elephant, and was drowned;45 and this was on the borders of the greater Phrygia. Sometime before this, we read in Alciphron's letters, that Hindus of both sexes, in the capacity of servants, were not uncommon in Greece. Several emigrations took place from India, and we find some tribes of Hindus settled in Colchis, where are Hindus to this day; and Hesychius asserts, that the Sindi of Thrace came originally from India.46 When Q. Metellus Celer was proconsul of Gaul, 59 years B.C. the famous Ariovist king of [p.108] the Suevi made a present to him of some Hindus, who had been shipwrecked on the German shores. They were merchants, who had ventured thus far from their native country.47 In the Vrihat-catha we read of several Hindu merchants, who visited the Sacred Isles in the west, and being shipwrecked, they were made slaves; and some of them were so fortunate, as to obtain their liberty, and to revisit their native country. It is declared there, that they went a great part of the way by land, and then embarked at a place called Itanca:48 another harbour is mentioned also under the name of Pauta-pur, and this subject I shall resume when I come to treat of the Sacred Isles. Sthahlenberg saw a Hindu at Tobolsk, who went from India to that place, through China. Bell saw another Hindu from Madras, on the banks of the Argone; and Mr. Duncan, Governor of Bombay, introduced another to my acquaintance, who had been there also. The distance from the Indus to England is one fourth less than that from Madras to Tobolsk through China;49 and the embassadors of Porus travelled as far as Spain 24 years B.C. The constant embassies, sent from India to the Emperors of Rome and Constantinople, are well known to the learned, even as late as the sixth century; but in the seventh, the growing power of the Muhamedans became an insurmountable obstacle to any further intercourse. Besides, the present state of society, manners and politics in the west, make it impossible for Hindu pilgrims to travel through Eu- [p.109] rope. They would be stopped at every step, and occasionally confined; and instead of alms, they would receive insults only from the lower classes.
But the most famous of all, was the embassy sent by Porus to Augustus: the embassadors went to Spain, where he was at that time, 24 years B.C. according to Orosius; and the purport of their commission was to enter into an alliance with him. But, as some time was spent before any progress could be made in this affair, other embassadors were sent by Porus, some years after, when they found the Emperor at Samos. This Porus in his letter boasted, that he was lord paramount over 600 kings; and, in the supplement to the Bhavishya-purana, it is declared, that no less than 800 kings were the vassals of the famous Vicramaditya. With them were, also embassadors from Pandion, king of the southern parts of the Peninsula; and they had in their train a Brahmen, a native of Brigagosha (now Baroach) called Chad-ga the Sarmana, Zarmanos Chagas. He chose to remain behind, and attached himself to Augustus, in whose service he remained for some time, in the capacity, it seems, of an augur or soothsayer.50
When the Emperor was at Athens, Chadga the Sarmana caused himself to be initiated into the sacred mysteries, though it was not the usual time; and soon after he voluntarily ended his days on a funeral pile. Calanus followed Alexander of his own accord, and ascended likewise the funeral pile at Pasargada. There was even a large detachment of [p.110] Hindus, who followed Alexander into Persia, and which we find on the borders of Media, with Eumenes, eight years after the death of the former. It was commanded by the brave Ketfus, probably Ketu, or the fiery meteor of war; and there was certainly little, or no compulsion used by the Greeks, for they took even their wives and families along with them. Keteus died fighting valiantly, and his two wives insisted upon burning themselves with the dead body; but it was found that the eldest was with child, and therefore she was prevented from following her husband. The youngest went triumphantly, and was led by her brother, and other relatives, and servants, to the funeral pile.51
Claudius received also an embassy from a king of Ceylon: and when Trajan was marching against the Parthians in the year 103, some princes of India sent embassadors to him, requesting him to settle some disputes between them and their neighbours, probably the Parthians. It is remarkable, that during this expedition, Trajan was constantly supplied with oysters from Great Britain; and which were preserved fresh, by a particular process, discovered by one of the first epicures of the age. There were embassadors from India sent to Antoninus Pius, to Diocletian, and Mamian; to Theodosius, Heraclius, and Justinian; and we read52 of two Hindu kings, putting themselves under the protection of Diocletian and Maximian, and their names were Gennobon and Rsatecii. In the year 274, Aurelian took Palmyra, and made Queen Zenobia [p.111] prisoner. There he found a body of Hindus, whom he carried to Rome, to grace his triumph. Damascius, who was contemporary with Justinian, in his life of Isidorus, relates several curious anecdotes of Severus, a Roman, but by birth an African, and who lived in the time of the Emperor Anthemius. Severus was a philosopher of most austere manners, and great learning, and fond of the society of learned men. After the death of that Emperor in 473, he retired to Alexandria, where he received at his house several Brahmens from India, and whom he treated with the greatest hospitality and respect. Dates and rice were their food, and water their beverage, and they shewed not the least curiosity, refusing to go and see the most superb fabrics and palaces, with which that famous city was adorned.53
It is remarkable, that ancient travellers make no mention of the monstrous statues of the Hindus. The historians of Alexander take notice of the Sibae, carrying among their standards the image of Hercules, whoever he was. The Suraseni round Muttra on the Jumna, had also a statue of Hercules,54 or Bala-deva. Philostratus takes notice of some figures cut out of the rock beyond Hardwar; but these statues had nothing monstrous in them, no more than those made by Grecian artists in the Panjab, according to the same author. It is not improbable then, that at that time the Hindus had not yet attempted to represent, either in stone or wood, their monstrous deities. They were first introduced to our [p.112] knowledge by Jews, according to Claudian, who wrote in the fifth century, and who says:
--------------------------Jam frugibus aptura
Æquor, et assuetum sjlvis delphina videbo:
Jam cochleis homines jimctos, et quidquid inane
Nutut Judaicis, quae pingitur India, velis.
From this it appears, that in his time the Romans adorned their houses with
tapestries, worked by Jews, and representing all the wild and monstrous figures
of Hindu mythology, such as men growing out of shells. This is an obvious
allusion to Sanchasura, and his tribe living in shells, and peeping out of them
in Shaneha-dwipa or Zangh-Bar.
In the year 529, a king of the Hemiarites in Arabia, called Al-Mondar, a general name for the kings of that tribe, and generally residing at Hirah, invaded Syria; and the Roman exarchs, or Governors, were obliged to fly to India for shelter, and certainly by sea, as the Romans were at war with the Persians55 and probably they found no other means of escaping, but by getting on board of some ship just going to sail for India.
There were at Rome augurs, and diviners from all nations, but mostly from Chaldea. There were some from Armenia, Egypt, and even a few Jews, and particularly women from that nation. There were also astrologers, says Juvenal,56 from Phrygia and India; and none but very rich people employed these, and this was about the middle of the first [p.113] century. There were many Hindus at Alexandria, according to Ptolemy, who lived in the beginning of the third century. The inhabitants of Europe, at an early period, did by no means show so much readiness in leaving their native homes to visit distant countries, and particularly India. We are told that Pythagoras and Democritus visited the Hindu sages; but these accounts are delivered in too vague a manner, to deserve any credit.
The first European upon record, who visited India, is Scylax, a Greek and experienced seaman, sent by Darius Hystaspes above 500 years B.C. to explore India. For this purpose he went to Caspatyrus or Caspapyrus, now Coshahpoor upon the Hydaspes, called also Indus, and by the Hindus the lesser Sindhu or Sindh. Having made the necessary arrangements, he sailed down a large river, which flowed toward the east, and then he entered the ocean, and returned by the way of the Red Sea, and sailed to the bottom of it, where his voyage ended, after a circumnavigation, both on the river and by sea, of two and thirty months. This river is unfortunately called the Indus by Herodotus; otherwise, from the particulars, such as the course of that river, and the time that his circumnavigation lasted, one would suppose that it was the Ganges; and indeed many learned men are of that opinion.
The next European who visited India was the philosopher Piledon, about 430 years B.C. but it was not an act of his own. He is said to have been an Elean, probably because he was a native of Elea in the lesser Asia. It is recorded of him, that he was taken, and detained by Indians and afterwards sold by them as a slave. It is probable, that he had been [p.114] sold first to some Persian nobleman, sometime after appointed to the government of some district in India, where Phaedon was carried away by a party of Hindus. Be this as it may, we find him afterwards at Athens, as a slave again, to a man, who kept women and handsome young men, for the purpose of prostitution. He was redeemed by Alcibiades at the request of Socrates, whose disciple he became. He founded the Eliac school, called Eretrian afterwards, from its having been transferred to Eretria in Eubcea, by Menedemus his successor.57
There was a regular trade carried on, to India, from the accession of the Ptolemies to the throne of Egypt, to the conquest of that country by the Romans, which did not cease till the middle of the seventh century, when the growing power of the Muhamedans put an insurmountable obstacle to a regular intercourse. The Greeks under the Ptolemies, had settlements at Callian near Bombay; but they were driven out of them by the native kings. It seems also from the Peutingerian Tables, that the Romans had considerable settlement near Muziris now Mirjee, where they had erected a temple in honour of Augustus;58 and they had also two cohorts, or 1200 men, to protect their trade. The imports and exports were the same as they are to this day, as it appears from Arrian's Periplus, and the Justinian code.
The Greek Kings of Bactriana ruled over all the countries on the banks of the Indus, even as far as Sirhind, during a period of 129 years, that is to [p.115] say from the year 255 to 126 B.C. Even some of them were in possession of the western parts of the Gangetic provinces: and Demetrius is mentioned as one of them; and according to Sig. Bayer, he never was King of Bactriana or Balk, but of some inland part of India, extending beyond the Ganges, about the year 195 B.C. According to Strabo, his predecessor Menander conquered the countries to the east of the Hypimis, as far as the Jumna.59 His empire extended from Pattalcna, to Zizerus, which I take to be the small, but famous lake called Jid-jer, or the spring of Jid noticed by Ctesias, under the name of Sid, and a little to the westward of the Jumna and Dilli.60
To these conquests Demetrius added some maritime countries to the eastward of Patalene, such as Sigertis, and the kingdom of Tessariostus, now the countries of Cachha and Gujjarat, as I shall show in the appendix.
There are now numerous Hindus roving all over Arabia and Persia, as far as Astrachan, or settled in some places of trade for a few years only, when they return to India.61 for I take no notice here of numerous tribes of Hindus, who are considered as natives of Persia, Turan and Colchis or Georgia: they are called Hindi all over these countries, and have been settled there from time immemorial.62
From the Malabar Coast they go to Mozambique, where they have agents, who
generally reside there seven or eight years; and Strahlenberg takes notice of a
merchant from the Malabar Coast, at Astrachan.63 From
Surat and Gujjarat, they go
to Mascot and other trading places in Arabia, where Brahmens are to be found
also, according to Niebuhr. Arrian in his Periplus says, that the inhabitants of
the island of Dioscoridis (now Socotora,) consisted of Arabs and Hindus, with a
few Greeks, settled there on account of the trade to India. The famous Pran-puri
told me, that when he was at Baharein on the Persian Gulf, he was informed by
the Hindus, whom he found settled there, that they used to go formerly to Egypt,
where they had houses of agency, but that they had left off going there for
about two or three generations.
This shows, that there was between the Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians and the Hindus, a constant and reciprocal intercourse (which is by no means the case now) for a period of 1200 years at least: and to which nothing, but the overgrowing power of the Muselmans, could put a stop. In visiting the sages of Babylonia and Egypt, the Hindus must have been greatly surprised, and their vanity humbled, when They heard them talk of their remote antiquity. Then, and not before, in my opinion, they resolved not to be behind hand with any of them; and certainly they have succeeded wonderfully. Neither the Greeks and Romans, nor the Turdetani, a Galic nation, though settled in Spain, according to Strabo, carried history, and the beginning of things, beyond [p.117] a period of 6000 years, exactly like the Jews, and Hindus formerly, according to Megasthenes. The Gothic tribes entertained also the same notions, as appears from the cosmogony of Orpheus, who was a Goth.64
The Hindus had the system of the Yugas long before; but this was not peculiar to them, for it prevailed all over the west, and Hesiod, who lived between 900 and 1000 years before Christ, declares that Cali-yuga was just beginning; and the Jainas assert that it began about that time. Though the Yugas are of a very great antiquity all over the world, yet the Hindus did not think of stretching their duration to such an enormous length, till a period comparatively modern; and the Yugas in the west were also the component of their grand Calpa, which consisted equally of 12,000 years, but with this difference, that in the west these were considered as natural years, which is not the case in the east, at least now.
The first time we heard, in the west, of this extravagant system of chronology, was about the middle of the ninth century; when we were informed by Abu-Mazar, a famous astronomer, who lived at the court of Al-Mamun at Balkh, that the Hindus reckoned from the flood or the beginning of the Cali-yuga, to the Hejra, 720,634,442,715 days, or 3725 years.
There is obviously a mistake, originating either with the transcriber or translator: but it may be ea- [p.118] sily rectified. There is exactly that number of years, from the beginning of the Cali-yuga to the Hejra: but that immense number of days are reckoned from the creation to the Cali-yuga, according to Bramma-gupta's system. Mr. Davis, after reading this passage in my manuscript, kindly undertook to examine it more particularly, and I beg leave to refer to his learned note on the subject, in the appendix at the end of the essay on Vicramaditya and Salivahana.65
Till that time, the extravagant numbers of the Hindus were unknown to the Greeks and Romans, with whom they kept up a constant intercourse. That the Hindus concealed the whole from them, is inadmissible: for it is natural to suppose, that they were equally vain with the rest of mankind. We are well acquainted with the pretensions of the Egyptians and Chaldeans to antiquity: and surely they did not take the trouble of inventing fables to conceal them. On the contrary, Megasthenes, a man or no ordinary abilities,66 who had spent the greatest part of his life in India, in a public character, and was well acquainted with the chronological systems of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Jews, made particular inquiries into their history, and declares, according to Clemens of Alexandria, that the Hindus and Jews were the only people, who had a true idea of the creation of the world, and the beginning of things: and we learn from him, that the history of the Hindus did not go back above 5042 years, from the invasion of India by Alexander. Manuscripts differ: some have 5042, or 6042: others have 5402 [p.119] years, and three months; for he calculated even the months; but the difference is immaterial in the present case.
This period of the Hindus was adopted afterwards by the Persians, or was common to both: and the latter reckoned, from the creation to the era of Melic-shah, in the year 1079 of Christ, 6,586 years;67 that is, they placed the creation 5507 years before Christ. It appears also from George of Trebizond, that the Persians reckoned, from the flood to the year of Christ 632, or era of Yezdejird, 3,735 years, ten months, and twenty-three days, conformably to the ideas of Abu-mazar: and this is again the period of the Cali-yuga of the Hindus. From Alexander's entering India, to the same era of Melic-shah, there are 1408 years, which deducted from 6,5S6, there remains 5178; and this I believe was originally the true reading in Megasthenes's account of India. Be this as it may, the difference, relatively speaking, is not very considerable, and is immaterial in the present case.
Christ was the son of a carpenter, and himself a carpenter, or Tacshaca in Sanscrit. The Persians called him a Peishe-cara, handicraftsman and tradesman. In the Calpa-druma-Calica, a treatise of the Jainas, and in my possession, Salavahana, called by the Hindus a Tacshaca, and said to be also the son of a Tacshaca, Tashta, or Twash'ta, is declared to have been a Sravaca or Savaca, a tradesman: and in the western parts of India, as in Gurjarat, all banyans and tradesmen are called Savacas. The words of the Calico, are, Salavahana Namd Rdja-Jaina; Parama Sravaca-pati. The King called Salava- [p.120] hana was a Jaina, and the lord and master of the St'avacas or Sdabacas, as more generally written and pronounced.
Even the name of Sali-vahan, Saliban, and Salban, as he is called in the spoken dialects, seems to be of Persian and Arabic origin, as well as Peisheh-car, the name of his followers. Salib, or Salib, signifies a stake, a cross, a gibbet, the Roman Furca; like the Greek Stakes, Salib or Sala signifies also crucified, and in the plural form, it becomes Salub, and Salban. Ashab-al-Salib, means the Christians in Arabic, that is to say, the followers of the crucified. The best Sanscrit expression for this is Saliva, Salava, or Salwa in a derivative form, and these are indifferently pronounced Salaba, or Salba, and in the plural number Salaban, and Salban. In the Cumdrica-chanda, these Salavas, or Salbans, are mentioned, in the same page with Saca, or Salavahana, and as existing at the time this Purana was written. The copy of that section of the Scanda-purana in my possession, was written about 230 years ago in Gurjarat: and the writer or transcriber, well knowing, that Savaca was a title of Saca, or Salivahana, wrote first Savaca, instead of Saca; but recollecting himself, and finding that there was a redundant syllable in the verse, he drew two small strokes with the pen across the middle syllable, showing, that it was to be left out, and the whole word to be read Saca. In the Lucknow copies of this section, no mention is made of Saca, and the whole verse is omitted.
The copies from Chitra-cuta, have the whole verse; but the name of Saca is variously written, sometimes Sacra, Sraca, &c. These readings are obviously erroneous. There were no other copies of that sec- [p.121] tion at Benares but those procured from Chitra-cuta, and Lucknow, till I was lately presented with a neat copy 230 years old, from Gujarat, by a Pandit of that country. The Lucknow copies are tolerably accurate; but those from Chitra-cuta are miserably mangled, through the carelessness of transcribers. The passage relating to Saca, is in the following words; Tatah trishu sahasreshu sate chapyadhictshucha; Saco narna bhatishyascha yotidaridra haracah; and whether we read Saca or Savaca, it points to the same individual.
The idea that Salivahana was borne on a tree, cross, or furca, they might have borrowed from the Manicheans, who represented Christ stretched upon a tree. Vahana, bahana, and vaha or baha, are nouns derived from the verb vah, zeho, to carry; and used both in an active and passive sense. Thus Havyapdhana is one of the titles of Agni, or fire. Indra is called Megha-vahana, or the cloud borne; Grandha-vaha is the wind, from its being the vehicle of perfumes. The clouds loaded with water are called Vdri-vaha. Thus Sal-bah, Hal-bah, Sal-bahana, &c. may signify either he who carries his cross, or who was borne, or exalted upon the cross. Crucifer is one of the titles of Christ, perfectly answering to Sala-baha.
The Hindus are very fond of forms or emanations, which they consider to be the same with the original from which those emanations sprang; and disciples are very often considered as so many forms of their masters. It is then very possible, that they should have considered the Apostle and disciple, who first preached the Gospel in India, as a form of Christ, or as Christ himself, after several centuries had elapsed; and thus possibly have mistaken the year [p.122] of the death of the form, or disciple, for that of his principal. Now some of the Apostles lived to a great age; and St. Thomas, for instance, is supposed to have lived seventy-three years, and to have suffered martyrdom about the seventy-fourth or seventy-fifth year of the Christian Era.
The year of the death of Vicramarca, and that of the manifestation of Sal-bahan, are acknowledged to be but one and the same; and they are obviously so, according to the Cumarica-chanda, that remarkable year was the 3101st of the Cali-yuga, and the first of the Christian Era, thus coinciding also with the Samaritan text, which is a remarkable circumstance.
Some learned Pandits, from the western parts of India, are of opinion, that the era of Vicramaditya was originally reckoned from the first year of his reign, in the year 3044; and that, after a reign of fifty-six years, his death happened in the year 3101.
This was certainly the opinion of the author of the Cumarica-chanda, and of the Pandits who assisted Abul Fazil, who says, in his summary of the history of the Kings of Alalava, that Vicramaditya's era began the first year of his reign; and this makes this legend more consistent and probable.
In the Vrihat-Catha, Salivahana is called Nri-sinha, or the man-lion, answering to the lion of the tribe of Juda; and one of the forms of Buddha is called Nri-sinha, both by the Pauranics and the Bauddhas. Sacti-sinha, or the energetic lion, is also the name of Salivahaxa in the appendix to the Agni-purana. According to the Vrihat-catha, Vi- [p.123] cramaditya marched from his capital city Patali-putra, or Patna, to wage war against Nri-sinha, King of Pratishthana.
VI. The cross, though not an object of worship among the Bauddhas, is a favourite emblem and device with them. It is exactly the cross of the Manicheans, with leaves and flowers springing from it, and placed upon a mount Calvary, as among the Roman Catholics. They represent it various ways; but the shaft with the cross bar, and the Calvary remain the same. The tree of life and knowledge, or the Jambu tree, in their maps of the world, is always represented in the shape of a Manichean cross, eighty-four Yojanas (answering to the eighty-four years of the life of him who was exalted upon the cross), or 423 miles high, including the three steps of the Calvary.
This cross, putting forth leaves and flowers, (and fruit also, as I am told) is called the divine tree, the tree of the gods, the tree of life and knowledge, and productive of whatever is good and desirable, and is placed in the terrestrial Paradise. Agapius, according to Photius,68 maintained, that this divine tree in Paradise, was Christ himself. In their delineations of the heavens, the globe of the earth is filled up with this cross and its Calvary. The divines of Tibet place it to the S. W. of Meru, towards the source of the Ganges. The Manicheans always represented Christ crucified upon a tree among the foliage. The Christians of India, and of St. Thomas, though they did not admit of images, still entertained the greatest veneration for the cross. They [p.124] placed it on a Calvary, in public places, and at the meeting of cross roads; and it is said, that even the heathen Hindus in these parts paid also great regard to it. I have annexed the drawings of two crosses, from a hook entitled the Cshttra-samasa, lately given to me by a learned Bauddha, who is visiting the holy places in the countries bordering upon the Ganges.69 There are various representations of this mystical symbol, which my friend the Jati could not explain to me; but says, that the shaft and the two arms of the cross remain invariably the same, and that the Calvary is sometimes omitted. It becomes then a cross, with four points, sometimes altered into a cross cramponne, as used in heraldry.
In the second figure there are two instruments depicted, the meaning of which my learned friend, the Jati, could not explain. Neither did he know what they were intended to represent; but, says he, they look like two spears: and indeed they look very much like the spear and reed, often represented with the cross. The third figure represents the same tree, but somewhat nearer to its natural shape. When it is represented as a trunk without branches, as in Japan, it is then said to be the seat of the supreme One. When two arms are added, as in our cross, the Trimurti is said to be seated there. When with five branches, the five Sugats, or grand forms of Buddha, are said to reside upon them. Be this as it may, I cannot believe the resemblance of this cross and Calvary, with the sign of our redemption, to be merely accidental. I have written this account of the progress of the Christian religion in India, with the impartiality of an historian, fully [p.125] persuaded that our holy religion cannot possibly receive any additional lustre from it.
The word Mlech'ha in Sanscrit, does not signify literally a foreigner; but it is generally understood in that sense by the Pauranics, when announcing, in a prophetical style, the different powers who were to rule over India. Hear now, says the author of the Vishnu-purana, hear now what will come to pass in these times: powerful Kings among the Aryya-Mlech'has will appear; they will subvert the reigning religion, spoil and deceive the Prajas, or the people.
In the Bhagavata, they are called Abrahmavar-chasah in the plural, and Abrahmavarchah in the singular; because, as they understood not the fundamental tenets of their own religion, through their spiritual blindness, and the hardness of their hearts, they gave it up to embrace a new one.
In the Brahmanda we read, then will come the Arvya-Mleclvhas, who will seduce the people; they will he proud, and at the same time distrustful, as if constantly alarmed.
In the Vayu-purana it is declared, that generations of Kings will rise, and set like the sun. Then will come the Aryya-Mechhas, who will forsake the Dharma, religious creed, Carma worship, Tirtha the places of pilgrimage of their ancestors; they will seduce the people with their new doctrine, and will grow worse and worse every day. After them Sarva Mechha, all sorts of foreign and impure tribes will overrun the country.
Such is the character given of these good Aryyas, called Avariiam, and Abraiam, as well as their [p.126] Apostle, even as low as the times of M. Polo in the 13th century. From Abaryyam, the Pauranics probably made A-Brahma, in order to shew their contempt of them, but more particularly in the latter times, when they grew worse and worse; and M. Polo speaks of some of the Abraiam, or Abramiam, nearly in the same terms. Yet in his time the denomination of Avariiam, in Sanscrit Avaryyam, and Abaryyam, was applied to them; and he was told that it signified good and pious men.
I had, for a long time past, particularly inquired from the Bauddhas whether they knew any thing of the wars of Buddha with Tevetat;70 but I was always answered in the negative. It was my fault in some measure; I did not make use of the other synonymous names of that enemy of the religion of Buddha. I mentioned before, that I supposed that Tevetat was a corruption from Deva-Tashta, synonymous with Deva-Twashta, or Deva-Silpi, the divine artist, or carpenter, who is more generally known under the name of Visva-carma, or the universal artist. Under this last appellation, Tevetat is known to them. Soon after a learned Jati presented me with a book called the Buddha-charitsal with leave to take a copy, in which the wars of Buddha, with Visva-carma, or Deva-Twashta, are related. It is a most voluminous work, and still it is incomplete, and the seat of war was in India.
PART I.—CHAPTER I.
Of the two Tri-Cu-Vadri, or Mountains with three Peaks;
one in the N. W. and the other in the S. E. Quarters of the Old Continent.
I. TRI-CUTADRI, the mountain (Adri) with three peaks (Tri-Cuta,) answers to
[Greek] and [Greek] in Greek: for in that language [Greek] signifies properly
a peak, summit, and implicitly a headland, or promontory. Polynus calls Mount
Meru or Meros, Tri-coryphus: it is true, that he bestows improperly that epithet
on Mount Meru near Cabul, which is inadmissible. Meru, with its three peaks on
the summit, and its seven steps, includes and encompasses really the whole
world, according to the notions of the Hindus and other nations, previously to
their being acquainted with the globular shape of the earth. I mentioned in the
first part, that the Jews were acquainted with the seven stages, Zones or Dwipas
of the Hindus; but I have since discovered a curious passage from the Zohar-Manasse
on the creation, as cited by Basnage, in his history of the Jews71 "There are,"
says the author, "seven earths, whereof one is higher than the other; for the
holy-land is situated upon the highest earth, and Mount Moriah (or Meru) is in
the middle of that holyland. This is the hill of God, so often men-
[p.128] tioned in the Old Testament, the mount of
the congregation, where the mighty King sits in the sides of the north,
according to Isaiah, and there is the city of our God."72 The
Meru of the Hindus
has the name of Sabad, or the congregation, and the gods are seated upon it in
the sides of the north. There is the holy city of Brahma-purl where resides
Brahma with his court, in the most pure and holy land of Iluvratta.
Thus Meru is the worldly temple of the supreme being, in an embodied state, and or the Tri-Murti, or sacred Triad, which resides on its summit, either in a single, or three-fold temple, or rather in both: for it is all one, as they are one and three. They are three, only with regard to men involved in the gloom of worldly illusion; but to men who have emerged out of it, they are but one; and their three-fold temple, and mountain with its three peaks, become one equally. Mythologists in the west called the world, or Meru, with its appendages, the temple of God, according to Macrobius.
Hence this most sacred temple of the supreme being, is generally typified by a cone or pyramid, with either a single chapel on its summit, or with three; either with, or without steps.
This worldly temple is also considered, by the followers of Buddha, as the tomb of the son of the spirit of heaven, whom I conceive to be the first man, re-emerging in every Culpa, or the first lawgiver, often confounded with the first man. His bones, or limbs were scat- [p.129] tered all over the face of the earth, like those of Osiris and Jupiter Zagreus. To collect them was the first duty of his descendants and followers, and then to entomb them. Out of filial piety, the remembrance of this mournful search was yearly kept up by a fictitious one, with all possible marks of grief and sorrow, till a priest announced, that the sacred relics were at last found. This is practised to this day by several Tartarian tribes of the religion of Buddha; and the expression of the bones of the son of the spirit of heaven is peculiar to the Chinese, and some tribes in Tartarif.
The Bauddliists in this country are so close, reserved, and ignorant, in general, that hardly any information can be obtained on this subject. Besides, they acknowledge that it is so awful a theme, that they really avoid to make it a subject of conversation. They confess that the pyramids, in which the sacred relics are deposited, be their shape what it will, are an imitation of the worldly temple of the supreme being, and which is really the tomb of the first of his embodied forms; or of his son, in the language of the Chinese, Tartars, and of the Greeks also, who were little acquainted with the system of emanations and incarnations. They also declare, that many of these pyramids do not really contain the bones of the Thacur, or Lord: and though they are to be supposed, and asserted to contain them, the real place where they are deposited, should remain unknown, in order to prevent profanation; exactly like the various tombs of Osiris. For this reason, the sacred relics, instead of being deposited in the pyramid, are always placed in a small vault deep under ground, at some distance from it, as at Sarnasha near Benares.
This monument is about fifty feet high, of a cylindrical form, with its top
shaped like a dome. Similar monuments, but never more than three or four feet
high, are often erected by Hindus, upon the spot where a married woman burned
herself with her husband. These monuments are in general called Sati; and the
enormous one at Sarnath is a sort of Sati over the bones of Buddha. According to
tradition, it was erected over the ashes of those who fell there in battle, in
the invasion of the Muslemans. But this is impossible; as this monument is the
chief and principal piece of that sacred fabric, which was begun many years
before the said invasion. The only part that was finished is the tomb of Buddha;
all the others, which were intended for the splendour of the place, and the
convenience of the royal inhabitants and priests, remaining in an unfinished
state. The secret vault, in which these relics are deposited in general, is
called the Thacar's Cuti, the room or cell of the Lord; and in the inscription
found amongst the ruins above this cell, it is declared that Stuirpala and
Vasanta, sons of a King of Gaur, in Bengal, built this Cuti. It follows from
hence, that these were the persons who deposited there the Thacurs bones. In the
above inscription it is declared, that this happened in the year of Vicramaditya
1083, or of our Lord either 1017 or 1027.73 In the inscription found at
Islamabad,74 these relics, consisting of a few bones, are said to have been
deposited in two brass vessels in a Cuti, or room under ground. In the account
of the [p.131] discovery of two urns at Samasha, it is
mentioned that the Cuti was eighteen cubits, or twenty-seven feet, under
ground.75 There the relics were deposited in an urn, enclosed in a vessel of
marble, in the shape, and of the size of the famous Barberini monument. There
were a few bones only, with various trinkets, which consisted of pieces of
coloured glass, all of them perforated, with thin leaves of gold, and some
coarse pearls. These ornaments are by no means a proof that these bones were
those of a female. It is more probable, that they formed a chaplet used by
devout people, or rosaries and bracelets, with which the statues of Buddha are
generally decorated. The marble vessel, which contained the urn, is more highly
finished than that of the Barberini monument. The urn itself is of a more
elegant form than that in the above monument. It is in the shape and of the size
of a chalice; it has no carved figures, but elegant mouldings, exquisitely
finished, and is of green marble. I suspect the whole to be of foreign
workmanship; for it is totally different, both in shape and workmanship, from
vases in use among the Hindus, either at this day or in former times.
Philostratus informs us, that statues, by Grecian artists, were by no means
uncommon in the N. W. parts of India. Strabo says also, that altars of Grecian
workmanship were often found in the western parts of India, and Arrian, in his
Periplus, takes notice of altars and of small temples in the Grecian taste, near
Barygaza or Baroach, The practice of thus preserving the bones of Buddha is of
great antiquity; for it is expressly mentioned by Clemens of Alexandria, who
says, that [p.132] they were deposited under a pyramid. In the
history of China we read, that in the year 335, a bone of Fo was sent from
to the Emperor of that country, who was highly pleased with this precious relic:
though his minister Hanyu made a very spirited remonstrance against this
innovation; and which is to be found in Du Halde's China.
The followers of Brahma are not addicted to the worship of dead men's bones, and I know but one instance to the contrary. At Jagan-natha they have a bone of Chrishna, which is considered as a most precious and venerable relic; so much so, that few people are allowed to see it: and Hindus are not fond of making it the subject of conversation, any more than the Bauddhas.
The shape of these monuments is always either that of a pyramid or of a cone, with some trifling deviations occasionally. Thus the cone assumes the shape of a trump-roof: sometimes it is formed by the revolution of a cymatium, or Ogive round an axis; and these two forms are generally said to be in the shape of a bell. Mount Meru, and the seven stories, are represented in the shape of a trump by the divines of Ceylon, according to Mr. Joinville's delineation in the seventh volume of the Asiatic Researches. The pyramid is equally subject to the same variations, the hips, or angles, being sometimes in the shape of a cymatium. As Mount Meru is also represented of a cylindrical form, the tombs of the Thacur are equally made in that shape, as that of Sarndtha. Sacrifices and offerings are never made in Tibet, without placing before the devotees a cone or pyramid, the image of Meru and of the worldly Linga. Brahmens, instead of either, make a cylinder [p.133] of earth, and for the same purpose. This they call the primeval Linga; which was represented in the west, and to this day in the Dekkin, by a cone, according to Arnobius and other authors.
The steps, stories, and retreats are always omitted in India: but I was told, that it was considered as immaterial. The seven stories, however, are marked by lines, in a delineation of the worldly temple and tomb of Buddha, in a large map of the world, accompanying the Cshetra-samasa, a geographical treatise in my possession. This representation of the mountain of God struck me forcibly, and was the occasion of further inquiries into this subject. It is of the same shape with the pyramids of Egypt: the base only is a little shorter, with a small flat top, with a chapel in honour of Buddha. The sides are smooth, as in the pyramids; but the seven stories are represented by lines, which brings it still nearer to the tower of Babel. The pyramids of Egypt are not all alike: some are in the shape of a cone; one with recesses is mentioned by Denon, who notices also another with a circular base. The square base of this worldly temple is peculiar to the Bauddhists of Tibet; for in India the Brahmens, and the Jainas, always give it a circular form. In the representation of it in the Cshetra-samasa, it is a square. Though the dimensions are much neglected, yet in all these monuments at Benares, the most modern, and of course the most perfect, are of a conical figure; the perpendicular section of which, through the centre, is an equilateral triangle. There is always a small temple on the summit, except one near Benares, at a place called Camowy. Such of these monuments as belong to the Bauddhas are called the [p.134] temples of Buddha: they might also be called the temples of Bala or Balas, one of the titles of Buddha, but little known now, and more particularly so to the vulgar. The word Balas, properly pronounced, sounds exactly like Belos in Greek, and Belus in Latin. May we not then reasonably suppose, that the temple and tomb of Belus at Babylon, was precisely a similar monument, and calculated for the very same purpose.
On the summit of it was a chapel, dedicated to Belus, according to Herodotus. Diodorus, the Sicilian, says there were three; but this is immaterial: for Balas is three and one. Besides, the temple of Herodotus probably consisted of three chapels. About the centre of the tower, in the middle, was the tomb of Balas, and near it, in the body of the pyramid also, another chapel, exactly as in the great pyramid of Giza in Egypt. It is probable, however, that the bones of Belus were not deposited in the ostensible tomb, but were concealed in a secret vault, in some other part of the pyramid or tower. It appears then, that the pyramids were similar fabrics, and intended for the very same purpose. For the Egyptians, the Phenicians likewise, had their Belus, as well as the Babylonians and Hindus: and this Belus, it is probable, was originally the same through these different countries. In the eastern parts of Bengal, particularly toward the Sunderbunds, there is, almost in every village, a representation of this worldly temple, of earth with steps. The whole is neatly plastered with a whitish clay; and on stated festivals, the statue of some favourite deity is placed on the summit, in a small, but handsome portable temple, Some of these fabrics [p.135] are from five to twenty feet high, according to the circumstances and zeal of the villagers. These are considered as a representation of mount Meru; and, in the inscription of Sarnath, the conical mount, near the sacred repository, is called Meru.
Like all the temples and tombs of Belus in India, the pyramids had no opening whatever, except one or two. It is however pretty certain, that all the pyramids were not intended for the reception of the bones of Belus. Many were probably intended for the burial of a very few exalted and sacred characters, like the grand Lamas of Tibet, with a few others, who are always buried under pyramids: but these are acknowledged to be forms of Buddha, though of an inferior rank. As the Egyptians concealed most carefully the real place where their Belus was entombed, it is not unlikely that the great pyramid was only an ostensible one, and of course allowed to remain open. For we are told, that the body of him for whom it was intended, never was deposited there; or if deposited, it was not into the ostensible tomb, but into some secret place under the pyramid. The limbs of Osiris were buried separately, and on the very spot where Isis found them: and he was torn into fourteen pieces; others say six-and-twenty. The general opinion is, that Isis collected all the limbs in a coffin, like which she made many others, and presented them to several cities through Egypt; assuring privately every one, that they possessed the real one. It is supposed, that Osiris was entombed near Memphis, though the spot never was known.
The tower of Babel seems then to have been the worldly temple of the spirit of heaven, and the tomb [p.136] of his son, either the first man of the Calpa, or the most ancient king and legislator of the country.
There were four Adams, and four Buddhas also; and we are now under the fourth, according to the traditions of the Muselmans, and of the Bauddhas. Adam's body was, at his own request, entombed in a cave or vault, called Alconuz, in a mountain in the centre of the world; and of course the Meru of the Hindus, and represented by artificial hills, either of stone or earth, and of various shapes, like Meru.
His descendants removed to that holy mountain; the wicked offspring of Cain were allowed only to dwell at the foot of it, whilst that of Seth were seated higher up, as far as the top; where they lived in great sanctity and purity of manners, every day worshipping God on the summit of the mountain, and visiting the body of Adam in his vault, as the means of procuring the divine blessing.76 This mountain, in the centre of the earth, with seven steps or stories, or mount Meru, was really the mountain of God, the worldly temple of the spirit of heaven, and the tomb of his son. Cointus of Smyrna says, that this holy mountain was depicted upon the shield of Achilles; and that on its summit resided the efficacy or Sacti of the world, or of the supreme being, towering to the skies: and he adds, that this most sacred place was very difficult of access.
The limbs, or bones, of this son of the spirit of heaven, Puencu in Chinese, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysius, or Adam, were dispersed all over the [p.137] world. Adam's remains, after the flood, were divided among his posterity, and his scull fell to the share of Shem, who deposited it in a vault on mount Calvary, near the holy hill of Moriah or Morek. The inhabitants of Ceylon showed formerly one of his teeth; and they have now one of his tusks: for their last Adam or Buddha, was incarnate in the shape of an elephant; and ascended into heaven, from the summit of the peak of Adam. Muselmans, who were settled in the Peninsula, and in that island, at a very early period, concluded, and not without some plausible ground, that this Buddha must have been Adam: and accordingly, Persian writers gravely inform us, that Adam was banished to Ceylon, and thence translated into heaven, from the summit of the peak, which was denominated after him. Zarades, Zoroades or Zarat was the name given, by the Chaldeans, to the eldest Zoroaster, claimed equally by the Persians. Some say that Belus taught the Chaldeans astronomy, whilst others insist, that it was Zarades or Zoroaster, whom several learned men consider as the same with Mizraim, the son of Ham. Be this as it may, the eldest Zarades was the son of Oromazes, the spirit of heaven, according to Suidas. Like Adam, he directed that his bones should be carefully preserved: his precepts for a long time were complied with; and his relics, carefully and secretly entombed, like those of Bala or Buddha. like the limbs of Osiris, and like those of Bacchus at Delphi, became an object of worship. The eldest Zoroaster, called Zarades, Zoroades and Zaratls by the Chaldeans, is probably the same with Belus and the Saurid of Arabian writers: and the Goddess Zaretis was probably his consort. Several learned oriental writers insist that Zoroades, or Zoroaster assisted at [p.138] the building of the tower of Babel; and that he is the same with Zohac or Nimrod, and that under the name of Saurid he built the great pyramid in Egypt. The Parsis in India say, that he was a native of China; but I suppose that they originally meant Bactria, seemingly the native country of the Chinas, according to the Puranas, and the earliest Persian and Arabian authors, who say that formerly the country about Samarcand was called Chinistan, and its inhabitants Chinas.77
II. The three peaks of Meru are, one of gold, the other of silver, and the third of iron, stone or earth, which is considered as the same. Thus, the iron age is generally called the age of stone or earth in India. In the west, mankind was produced from stones, thrown by Deucalion and Pyrrha behind their backs, in the beginning of the iron age; and from them sprang the present stony or stone-hearted race.
In consequence of this, some powerful princes are declared, in the Puranas and other books, to have erected three mountains, of gold, silver, and stone; or three pyramids or conical hills, like the three peaks of Meru, though the materials they were built with were only stone or clay. Polyenus has given us the names of these three peaks, Menon, Candaslis, and Corasibe; which, however distorted and disfigured, may be still traced back to their original standard. For this purpose let us suppose, that a traveller asked a Hindu the names of these three peaks, the Hindu probably answered Maim, Curithachya, Cailasopi, or literally in English, Mana, [p.139] Cuntha thus called, Cailasa also. The first peak, it is true, is not known under that name; but it is described as such, and this appears to be its real name. Upon it Brahma resides, and his seat is called Brahma-puri, or the town of Brahma: it is also Mana-puri, the town of Mana, or of his heart, or the delight of his heart, near the famous lake of Mana or Manasa, the waters of which, proceeding from heaven, are the delight of his heart likewise. They are otherwise said to proceed from his heart, and indeed every thing there is from his heart. The obvious meaning of Mana is mind, (mens,) but it is always rendered here heart, because the mind proceeds from the heart, according to the Hindus, who even are able to trace its track through the body to the head. The radical name of Vai-Cuntha is Cuntha, an ideot. The name of Vishnu's mother, in one of his incarnations, during the fifth Manwantara, was Cuntha or the ideot; and as she was very much so, she was called Vi Cuntha Vishnu, since that time, is surnamed Vai Cuntha; and after him, the peak on which he resides is denominated likewise. In Cailasopi, api signifies also. This Tri-cutadri, or mountain with three summits, is declared to be the lord of mountains; and of course the other Tri-coryphean hills, for there are many, are considered as inferior to it. The next in rank is the three-peak-land in the N. W. emphatically called the White island, the island of the Moon, a celestial earth or region, a terrestrial heaven or paradise.
The next to this is the Tri-cuta mountain in the south-east, including the peninsula of Maided, Sumatra, and Ceylon. These two Tri-cutadris are declared to correspond to each other, in their respective quarters, and their Teja, Cirnn'a, or splendour, are the [p.140] constant theme of the Pauranics and other Hindu writers. These two Tri-cutas, or three-peaked-islands may probably be the two islands of Cerne, east and west, of the ancients. When speaking in general terms, the Pauranics sometimes place them, one in the east, and the other in the west. But numerous and explicit passages show, that they are situated in the N. W. and S. E. quarters of the old continent. There are however, some few passages, which place them north and south of Meru; and Lanca is now considered as situated on the equator, exactly to the south of Ujjayini, Meru, and opposite to the island of the moon. The last assigned situation was the first I hit upon, on my first acquaintance with the Puranas, and perplexed me very much; as the Pandits, I was acquainted with, insisted that the White island, one of the peaks of the western Tri-cuta, was in the N. W. quarter, that is to say, it occupied the whole space between the N. W. and N. points: and that likewise the eastern Tri-cutadri was between the S. and S. E. points. Unfortunately, they could not then produce the necessary vouchers from their sacred books; but in the mean time, they exhibited the accompanying map of Jambu, in order to illustrate the subject.
In the plate, the map of Jambu is represented under three different projections. The first is according to the ideas of the Pauranics, in which one half of the equator is obviously combined with another half of the meridian, on the plain of which the map is projected. I have marked the degrees of longitude upon the equator, and the degrees of latitude north, upon an arch of the first meridian. No notice is ever taken of these particulars by the Pauranics; but a little reflection will show the original [p.141] design of this diagram, though the projection be ever so disfigured.
The true projection of it should be in the shape of what the ancients called the
bottom part of a sling: and this was admitted by Dionysius Periegetes.
Posidonius before him admitted of it also: but he insisted, that the greatest
length of this projection was in a north and south direction. This sort of
projection is represented in the third number of the same plate. Number II.
represents the same portion of the globe, that is to say, the northern part of
the old continent, as projected in the usual form, upon the plain of the first
In the first and second numbers, the two Tri-cutaldris, or islands, abounding with Cirriria or resplendence, are represented diametrically opposite, with all due symmetrical arrangement in every part, to which the Hindus will always sacrifice truth. There are, however, some general outlines, which are strictly true. There are really three islands, or dwipas in the south east, and as many in the north west quarter of the old continent, corresponding exactly, or nearly so, to each other; and they have also the same names. The rest of the superstructure owes its origin to the fertile and inventive genius of the Hindus, The idea, however, is by no means a modern one; nor was it confined to India: for ancient writers in the west acknowledged two islands, called Came, one in the east, and the other in the west: the latter, called also Cirene, was placed near the straits of Hercules; and was said to consist equally [p.142] of three islands. The eastern Cerne, it is true, was said to be near the eastern shores of Africa. This mistaken notion arose, through the information of the Hindus, who will have it that the dwipa of Lanca really joins the shores of Saneha, Zeng, or Africa. The Nubian geographer adopted this idea, as well as Arabian writers in general.
The Gods are represented as travelling from one Tri-cuta to the other; and the grand depot for souls after death, is at Yama-puri, in the Peninsula of Maided; from which, on certain days fixed for that purpose, they set off together for Dhanna-puri in the north west, which they reach after a painful march of twelve months.
These three islands in the south east, are in general called Lanca; and in every one of them is supposed to be a city called a Lanca-puri, and there is actually a place of that name in Sumatra, according to Mr. Marsden. The walls of these three cities are of the same metal with the soil of their respective islands: of course the walls and palaces of Lanca-puri in the Gold-Island, are of that metal; and of silver in the Silver-Island. In the island of iron, brass, stone, or clay, the walls are of these materials: but more generally they are said to be either of iron or brass. The Gold-Island, or Suvarna, is also called Maha-Lanca and Ma-Lanca; from which is probably derived its modern name of Maided; which is also called Maldehya in the Devi-purana.
These islands were well known to the ancients, under the appellations of Chryse, Argyrca, and Taprobane. That of Taprobane, though generally understood of Ceylon, was also extended to the three islands; for [p.143] Stephanus of Byzantium says, that Argyrca, the Silver-Island, or Sumatra, made part of Taprobane, and very properly too: for Taprobane is obviously derived from the Hindi Tapu-Ravana, the island, or islands of Havana, who was the lord of them, and whose name, in the spoken dialects, particularly in the Dekkin, is always pronounced Raban. Their Sanscrit names are Canchana or the Gold-Island; Rajata the silver one, and Sinhala is Ceylon. On the latter the epithet of Iron-Island is never bestowed in any book which I have seen: but it is understood as a matter of course: it was called also the brass country by Ptolemy, though strangely misplaced by him.
From various documents, through different channels, he has introduced twice in his map of that country, this Tri-cutadri, first, as three islands or Peninsulas, and also as three countries on the mainland, under the names of gold, silver, and brass countries. Mr. Danville has proved that the Peninsula of Maided, with most of the places belonging to it, are twice repeated, and made contiguous by him.
In the Gold-Island, or Ma-Lanca, is the abode of Yama, called Yama-puri, or in the spoken dialects Jam-cote, a place well known to Arabian and Persian writers. It is also called Lanca-puri, Lanca-nagara, the town of Lanca; and the straits of Maided are called, in the Puranas, Lanca-dwara, or the gates of Lanca,78 as we shall see in the course of this work. Canca is another name of Yama or Pluto; and as the place of his abode is in Malanca, according to the [p.144] Puranas, the Lanca-dwara or gates of Lanca, the straits of Maided might be called also with propriety the gates of Canca, Pluto, or Canca-dwara. This denomination is never used now by the Pauranics but there is no doubt, that it was so formerly; for the Cancador of Ali-Coshgi, and other early Muselman writers, is obviously derived from Canca-dwara, Canca's door or gate. It is true, that they make a town of it, which they call also more correctly Cancanor for Canca-nur, which last is acknowledged to be the same with Cancanagara, the town of Canca: and in the Dekkin they always say nur or nuru, instead or nagar. This town is obviously the same, which is called Cocco-nagara or Conco-nagara by Ptolemy. The country of Canca is Cancadesa in Sanscrit; hence Muselman writers call it also Gung-diz.
Cancapuri or Canca nagara is then the same with Yama-puri or Jamcote, called also in the Puranas Maha-Lanca-puri, or Ma-Lanca: and it is probably the same with that called Balanca by Ptolemy, and placed by him in Long. 162° and in 4° 40' Lat. North. It appears, however, that Muselman writers understood by it the town of Saba or Zaba: for Yama-puri or Jam-cote is a mythological city and never existed.
We observed before that Ptolemy has introduced into his map the golden country, island or peninsula, not only twice; but that he has likewise introduced twice, most of the places belonging to that country. Accordingly Conco nagara is again noticed under the name of Coccoro nagara, or Cocco nagara; from which Muselman writers have made Caracor for Canca-rai-ghur, the house or place of abode of Canca-Ra'ja' or Yama: but they consider it as the same with Cancanor. This town [p.145] they call also Canacor, which is some place in the Gangetic provinces: but I have shown before, that Canacor or Cancar, was the capital city of the country of Gancar-atha, or of the Gangaridæ in Bengal.
Jum-cote or Lanca-puri, which D'Herbelot writes Giamcout, they place, with the Hindus, in the centre of the Peninsula, in five degrees of Lat. North, and in Long. 176 or 175, according to Abul-Fazil and others; and Ptolemy places Balonca, or Ma-Lanca-puri in Lat. 4° 40' North, and in Long.' 162. The Longitude of Lanca or Ma-Lanca may be ascertained from the Burawas; a circumstance very unusual. Yama-puri is declared in these sacred books to be the general rendezvous of the departed from all parts of the world, and from which they proceed in a body with a proper guard, composed of the servants of Yama, to Dharma-puri, which I shall show hereafter to be the purgatory of St. Patrick in Hiranya or Suvameya, the gold island in the west. The days and distances are accurately described, which summed up amount to 81,554 Yojanas.79 The breadth of the world is 100,000 Yojanas, equal to 180' of longitude: and these 81,554 Yojanas answer of course to 146° 48', which subtracted from 180 degrees, leave 33; the half of which 16 30' is the longitude of Dharma puri, and added to 146' 50' will place Ma-Lanca or Jum-cote in long. 162 20'. For these two places are at the furthermost extremities of the earth, which forms a perfect circle, surrounded by a sea, every where of the same breadth. This singular route of the departed will be the subject of a separate paragraph. It passes through India, in [p.146] the direction of the first range of snowy mountains. The Pandits, whom Abul-Fazil consulted, placed Cancador 126.5 Yojanas from Lanca, or the peak of Adam, which is in t0° of longitude, according to them. Yama-puri is accordingly 12054 Yojanas from Lanca; some reckon 1242, which will place Yama-puri in long. 178". 22'.
The commentator on the Surya-Siddhanta, has reduced that distance very much; for he says that Lanca, or the three islands, occupy a space of 30 degrees along the equator; and this will bring their assumed longitude of the easternmost shores of Ma-Lanca nearer to its real one.
As Ptolemy places Ma-Lanca-puri in the same longitude with the Pauranics, he must have used the same data, and which he had probably received from the Hindus whom he conversed with at Alexandria. Ma-Lanca being, according to the Pauranics, in the centre of the Peninsula, it must be of course in about five degrees of Latitude North: and there it is placed by Abul-Fazil: and in 4° 20' by Ptolemy. Ma Lanca is called in the Puranas Yamala and Malaya; which last denomination it still retains. It is styled also Canchana-pada, or with the golden skirts. It may be translated the country of the golden feet, a title assumed by the Emperors of Ava, and other Kings of that part of the world: and the Malayan breeze is as famous in the east, as the Sabccan in the west, and its capital was also called Saba or Zaba.
In the beginning of the Brahmanda-purana, it is declared, that the strong hold of Yama in Tri-cuta, that is to say the Peninsula of Malaca, is 100 Yojanas long, and 30 broad, which is sufficiently accurate.
Ptolemy mentions there a place called Malaioucolon,
probably from the Sanscrit Malaya-cudam, which implies a place on the borders or shores of
same is called Maletur by Marco-Polo; Malaya-tir and Malaya-cidam
synonymous. Perimula in Ptolemy, I suppose to be derived from the Sanscrit Pari-Malaya,
which implies the same thing. For it is probable, that they were acquainted only
with the tiram, tir or culam of the Peninsula: and Canchana-pada
signify the foot, skirts of the golden mountain, or Peninsula.
The next island is Sumatra, called in the Puranas Rajata, or silver island, the Argyre of the western geographers. In the Vrihat-catha it is called Naircela or Nalicera and Srimat, or the fortunate, and synonymous with Srimatra.
That famous island is called now Sumatra, and by former European travellers Symotta. In the same book, and in the Hitopadesa, it is called Carpura, or camphire island. In the spoken dialects, that word is pronounced Capur and Cajur. Marco-Polo gives the name of Fanfur to one of its provinces, probably for Canfur or Campar, as it is now called. A beautiful lake on the island, is mentioned in the Hitopadesa under the name of Padma-nilaya, or the abode of Padma-devi.
It is also called Mandara in the Puranas: and as it is represented as a most delightful country, it may be denominated Su-Mandara; and it was called Samander by former geographers. But it seems, that this appellation is derived from Samander in the spoken dialects of India, from the Sanscrit Samudra, which signifies the ocean. The author of the Periplus mentions an island near the Ganges called Oceanis; and [p.148] El-Edrissi says that the island of Samandar is near the Ganges. Probably the author of the Periplus confounded it with Sagara island, a name of the same import, at the mouth of the Ganges and called also Oceanis by Diodorus the Sicilian. The context, however of this author, and of more modern geographers, show that it cannot be the same island. Salmasius and others improperly laugh at the idea of an island at sea being called Oceanis. This Oceanis was probably the place of abode of old Samudra, the old man of the sea, often mentioned in romances in the east.
The word Samudra, or Samundur, are pronounced Sumundu, and Mundu in the dialects of Ceylon; and there is an island of that name mentioned by ancient geographers in the eastern seas, and supposed by them to be the same with Taprobane or Ceylon; but Stephanus of Byzantium says that the silver island made part of Taprobane, which is really the case. It is also called by them Palai-Simundu, which I take to be a corruption from Pulo-Simundu, Pulo-Symotta, the island of Simundu, or Symotta. The description of that island, under the name of Simondu, does by no means agree with Ceylon: but is easily reconciled with Sumatra, though we know but little of the interior parts.
The large lake called Megisba, with the metropolis, does not exist in Ceylon, but is probably that extensive lake to the south of Menangcabow, mentioned by Mr. Marsden in his map of Sumatra, from which several large rivers seem to issue. The harbour of Hippuros or Ipporus in Pulo-Simundu is called Aypoor by Danville, and Ippu by Mr. Marsden from the Sanscrit and Hindi I-pura or I-pu, and in a derivative from Aipira, the town of the goddess [p.149] Bhavani. From this lake issues the river Andragueru or Indergeree, in Sanscrit Indra-giri; because its source is in the giri or mountain of Inbra, or Maghaba; from whom probably the lake in the plains below was denominated Maghaba or Megisba, according to Pliny, and Padma-nilaya or the place of abode of Padma-devi the consort of Vishnu, in the Hitopadesa.
From this lake issued two rivers, according to Pliny; one called Palesimundus flowed towards the south, and towards a town of the same name (perhaps the modern Palembang) which was the metropolis of the island, and had a famous harbour. The river divided then into three streams, the smallest of which was five furlongs broad, and the largest two miles nearly. Thus I translate this passage of Pliny: for it is impossible that three such large arms of a river should fall into a harbour. According to Mr, Marsden, this lake communicates with the river of Palembang: for, says he, the inhabitants avail themselves of this lake in transporting their goods to, and from Palembang.80
The other river, toward the north, and supposed to issue from that lake, was called Cydara; probably because it flowed through the country of Ru or Aru, called Daru by former European travellers: the capital of which, on its banks, was probably called Cota-Ru, or the town and fort of Ru. This is the largest river in the island, and of course its source far remote into the interior parts of the country. The river Siac seems to be a branch of it: and the Campar is supposed to communicate with the river Indra-giri. Op- [p.150] posite to this, toward the west, another river flows from the mountains of Indra-giri, and is called Andrapour or Indrapour from the Sanscrit Indra pura: and I believe that the town is the same which is called Andra-Simundu by Ptolemy, and foisted into Ceylon by him, on a supposition that it was the same island with Pulo-Simundu; and I believe that this is not the only place in Taprobane, that belongs to Pido-Slmundu. The mountains of Indra, or Maghaba in the island of Sumatra, are mentioned in the Vrthal-catha, under the name of Baidhaca, which is synonymous with Attrha, from its summit being capped with clouds: and Indra, who presides over rain, resides above the clouds: hence he is called Meghavahana, Meghabahana, and in conversation Meghaban, or the cloud borne. The other mountains in Sumatra, mentioned in the Vrihat-catha, are Mainaca Vrishabha, and Chacra. Upon these four mountains, as many gods are, in the same book, declared to reside, and to trowel occasionally in their self-moving cars to the White Island in the west, in order to pay their respects to Vishnu, and his consort Abdhitanata, or the daughter of the Ocean. Naricela, another name for this island, implies its abounding with cocoa-nut trees, the leaves of which being agitated by the winds strike against each other, and seem to repeat the words Boc-hoc or Vac-vac: or the continual noise which they make is compared by the Hindus to what is called in Hindi Boc-boc or constant chattering. Su-matra is then the island of Boc-boc, Vac-vac or Wac-wac of Arabian authors; who say that the leaves of these trees striking against each other seem to repeat the word Wac.
Sumatra appears to me to be the same island, in which Jambulus is supposed to have resided seven years, and from which he went to Palibothra. The [p.151] inhabitants, says he, have two tongues, or languages; their own first; and probably the Malay was the other, which they spoke fluently, but I suppose only in the districts bordering upon the sea. Jambulus takes notice, that this island abounded with hot springs, which is true of Sumatra, but not of Ceylon. They had also an alphabet, consisting of twenty-eight letters, divided into seven classes, each of four letters. There were seven original characters, which, after undergoing four different variations each, constituted these seven classes. They wrote also from top to bottom: and that this was the case formerly in Sumatra is my opinion.81 For the manners of the natives of the Philippine islands, correspond in so many striking particulars, with those of the Sumatrans82 that no doubt can be entertained, says Mr. Marsden, if not of a sameness of origin, at least of an intercourse and connexion, in former times, which no longer exists. They used to write from top to bottom, till the Spaniards taught them to write from left to right. The Tagala alphabet in these islands, has certainly great affinity with those of Sumatra.
The two alphabets of the Sumatrans consist only, one of twenty-three, and the other of nineteen letters: but it is probable that there were two sorts of them formerly, as in India, and which were originally the same. One was used by the more civilized [p.152] and learned classes, and at court; the other was current among the lower classes, whose poor and barren dialect had fewer sounds to express. Be this as it may, the elements of their alphabets have an obvious affinity with those of the Sanscrit. The Sanscrit alphabet, after striking off the double letters, and such as are used to express sounds peculiar to that language, has a surprising affinity with the old alphabets used in Europe; and they seem to have been originally the same. This subject I intend to resume hereafter. The Emperors of Sumatra, when endeavouring to introduce civilization into their country, opened an intercourse with India, but more particularly with the kingdom of Magactha, and Palibothra; for as Mr. Marsden judiciously observes,83 the Malay language has received no improvement from the dialects of the Peninsula in India. All the Hindi and Sanscrit words in that language are such as were in use at the court of the Emperors of India, residing in Bahar, and among the better sort of the inhabitants of that country.
The Kings of Sumatra call themselves Maha-rajas to this day; their prime ministers are called Mantri,84 which are both Sanscrit terms. In their language Bewa and Dewata are derived from Deva and Devata in Sanscrit; the first of which signifies God, and the other a deity. Among the names of places in Sumatra, very few are Sanscrit, but the following are undoubtedly such; viz. Indragiri, Indrapura, Ipura or Aipura, Sinha-pura; Singa-pour, or Sincapour.
Jambulus says that this tract of islands, or Lanca, consisted of seven principal ones; and to this day in [p.153] the Peninsula, Lanca is often called Yail-Lanca or the seven Lancas; because it consisted of seven islands. This information I owe to Mr. Duncan, Governor of Bombay. From Yail-Lanca former travellers made Ylanca.
Sumatra is perhaps the island of Sabalq mentioned in one of the Puranas; and it is the same which is called Saivala or Saibala in the Vayu purana, section of the earth, and represented as a mountainous region in the skirts of Bhadrdava, or that part of the old continent between the N. E. and S. E. quarters. From Saibala, Apuleius and Aristotle85 probably made Phebol or Psebol, as some learned men are inclined to read it, The former says, that in the eastern seas, there are two large islands, Taprobane and Phebol: Aristotle places the latter opposite to Arabia, and we have seen before that the Pauranics, Arabian and Persian authors insist, that Sumatra is close to the continent of Africa. The island of Sabala is probably the Samil or Shamel of El-Edrissi and other eastern geographers, who call it also Sabil. The country of Cephala is noticed by former European travellers; and in the year 1543, adventurers from that country plundered and ravaged part of the island of Sumatra.86
III. Let us now pass to the third island, or Sinhala, now Ceylon. Its Sanscrit name is a derivative form from Sinya, a lion, and it was given to it on account of its being inhabited by Sinhalas, or the [p.154] offspring of a lion.87 It is, however, more generally called Lanca in the Puranas, and is represented there as the country of Havana, or Raban, the brother of Cuicra; and both were born at the extremities of the world, in the N. W. As he was contemporary with Ramachandra, if there ever was such a being, he must have lived about 1800 years before Christ. The wars of Ravana in Lanca, and the adjacent countries, are famous all over India, and make an era in the history of Ceylon. Traditionary legends in that island say, that the consequence of this bloody war, the island was depopulated, and remained in that state for 1845 years, being only inhabited by Daityas, or rather savage tribes. Ceylon was afterwards called Sahrca, or Stilavam according to F. Bartholomeo, from the Sakyas, a certain tribe in India, called also in the Puranas Salavas. The famous peak of Adam was called Salmaka, or the mountain of Sala. It is mentioned in the commentary on the Surya-Siddhanta; in which it is said, that Maya the offspring of the Sun, by the daughter of the divine Ticashta in the west, came from Romaca-nagara, or Rome to the mountain of Salmala in Lanca, to make tapasya in honour of the sun, in order to obtain astronomical knowledge from him. Another name for it is Samamla from Saimiya-Nala another son of Twashta, who built Rama's bridge. Twashta is the chief engineer of the gods, and his grand-son Maya of the Daityas.
The appellation of Salica, or Salice, as it was called by ancient geographers of the second century, is also a regular derivative form in Sanscrit, from Sali or Salis: this denomination was unknown to Pliny. According to F. Bartholomeo, and former [p.155] travellers, Ceylon was called Ham, and Hanad, Hariat; the country of Ha, which signifies the earth in general. Tranad, or Trandte, another name for it, signifies the three countries, meaning I suppose the three islands of Lanca.
The Hindus reckon the longitude from the meridian of Lanca, passing through the peak of Salmala, the place of worship called Rameswara, (or dedicated to Iswara, with the title of Rama), Avanti or Ujjain, Meru, and the mountain of Vatsa in Cara or Siberia, which last is most probably an imaginary place in that country. The place of Rama was called Arima by Muselman writers; and they said that it was under the equator, and exactly half way between the straits of Alexander or Malaca, and those of Hercules or Gades in the west: and they gave the name of Gadir or Gades to these two straits, both leading into two vast Mediterranean seas; and through Arima the Hindus, and even some Arabian authors, it is said, made their first meridian to pass. Ali-Coshi a Persian astronomer, who lived about 350 years ago, say, that in his time some Hindus placed their first meridian at Caucadora, or Jum-cote in the east.88 I believe that some of them did so formerly, and this of course occasioned afterwards some confusion. Their first meridian then passed through the eastern Cerne, and the last through the western one, the several islands of which tract were the original islands of the blessed. When this mode of reckoning was altered, the meridian was placed in the middle of the world, yet it still passed through the eastern Cerne; though through a different part of it. This [p.156] induced them also to bring one extremity of the western Cerne under the same meridian, probably for the sake of symmetry, which was certainly a sufficient reason with them. Thus the iron peaks of the two Tri-cutadris fell in the same meridian, and the northern one might be about Nova-Zembla.
This made me suppose, on my first acquaintance with the Puranas, that the White Island was an Utopian land, and I resolved of course to give myself no further trouble about it. The ingenious Mr. Bailly would not have failed, to have considered this projection of the northern Tri-cuta, as a confirmation of his own system. There is another instance of the fondness of the Hindus for a symmetrical arrangement, and noticed by Strabo, as we have seen in the first part. The mountains to the north of India are in an oblique direction, and the first range of the snowy mountains is in the same line with Romacapattan or Rome, and Yamapuri or Jumcote, as placed by the Hindus, one at the furthest extremities of the west, and the other in the same manner toward the east, as represented in the second number of the accompanying plate. But as this oblique direction of the mountains to the north of India, does not look so well in the mode of projection adopted by the Hindus, they have represented them in a parallel direction with the equator; and with them Jumcote and Rome. Strabo highly reprobates that alteration in the direction of the mountains to the north of India; and which in his time, had been adopted by geographers in the west.
The two Gadirs, called the eastern and western gates, by Arab and Persian authors, are in an oblique direction, and may be called the terrestrial gates: [p.157] for in heaven there are also two gateways, one in the west in the tropic of Cancer and the other in the east in the other tropic. These were called the gates of the sun: the southern one was denominated the water gate, and the fire gate was in the north. The souls of the departed ascend through one gate, and those who are to be born again descend through the other, according to western mythologists. The Hindus have also two roads, one in the north or left, and the other in the south. Those who follow the left path, ascend through the northern road; and those, who follow the right one, ascend through the southern path.
1 See also As. Res. vol. vi. p. 267.
2 See Supplement to Tit. Liv. cii. Decad. c. 39.
3 Plutarch in Syllam, p. 456.
4 Juvenal, Satyr, xiii. v. 28.
5 Reland de Samarit. p. 15, &c.
6 As. Res. vol. l. p. 2, 3.
7 These are a component part of the great year, or period of 12,000 years, used both in the east, and in the west, and also in Persia. In India they say that these are divine years; but in Etruria and Persia, they insisted, that these were only natural years.
8 Cumarica-chanda, p. 155.
9 See Asiat. Research. Vol. IX. p. 115, 120.
10 Sections on Futurity.
12 Genesis, chap. 49. v. 10.
13 Page 39.
14 As. Res. vol. ix. p. 128.
15 See Raja Tarangini, and the extract from it in the Ayin Acberi, history of the Kings of Cashmir.
16 Sacari Vicramaditva iti sabhraniama Yritaib, anvair atriinyatha lec'bivis'anrvddi cadarlhitam.
17 Inferior incarnations are denominated Avantara.
18 See also Mr. Gentil's Voyage, p. 214 and 238.
19 Diod. Sic p. 660 and 678.
20 Systema Brahmanicum, p. 161.
21 Seneca de Consol. ad Murcium, p. c. 20.
22 Bhagavata; Section 1. p. 13. Maha-Bharata; Section I.
23 See Philistorgius, Sozomenes, &c.
24 Photii Biblioth. p. 38, &c.
25 Section of the Earth.
26 Series Patrum, p. 6.
27 Asiat. Reg. Miscell. p. 151.
28 See D'Herbelot's Biblioth. Orient, v. Hend. u. Siud p. 415.
29 As. Res. vol. vii. p. 433, 443.
30 As. Res. vol. vii. p. 443.
31 In the Sections on Futurity.
32 See Brahmanda and Vayu-puranas. Section on Futurity.
33 See Basnage's History of the Jews, page 436. English translation.
34 This is noticed also in the As. Res. vol. vi. p. 369.
35 Arrian de Indicis.
36 Lib. 15.
37 Lib. 8.
38 Strabo, lib. 15. p. 717.
39 Strabo, lib. 15. p. 609.
40 Strabo, p. 98 and 100.
41 Salmas. Exercitat. Plinian. p. 221.
42 Hesych. under the word Alpha.
43 Polyb. Lib. 1. p. 42. and Lib. 8. p. 200.
44 Isidor. de origin.
45 Tit. liv. lib. xxxviii. C. 14.
46 Bryant's Mythol. Vol. 3d. p. 21.
47 Cornel. Nepos apud Plin. Sueton. Cicero fan Vatin. c. 10. Plutarch, &c.
48 Vri hat-cat ha Lambaca or Section the 5th called also Chaturadrica.
49 Strahlenbbrg p. 103. Asiat. Researches vol. vi. 483.
50 Strabo. Dio. Plutarch and Nicol. Damascen.
51 Diodor. Sic. lib. xix. C. 2.
52 Anc. Univ. Hist. vol. viii. p. 78.
53 Photii Bibliotheca, p. 1040 and Suidas v. Severus.
54 Asiat. Researches, vol. v. p. 294.
55 Du Fresnoy, Chronolog. A.D. 529.
56 Sat. vi. v. 534 and 549.
57 See Suidas, Hesychius de illustrib; and Laertius.
58 See Peutingerian Tables.
59 Strabo, Lib. 11. p. 516.
60 See Maurice's Modern History of Hindoston, vol. 1. p. 95. It is called erroneously Bhedar in the Ayin-Acberi, vol. 2. p. 301.
61 Forster's Travels, vol. 2.
62 According to the late Nabob Mehdi-Ali-Khan, a native of Mesched. See Essay on the origin of Mecca, Asiatic Researches, vol. 5.
63 P. 333.
64 See Gesner's notes on the fragments of Orpheus, also Fabricius Cod. Pseudepigr.
65 As. Res. v. p. p. 242.
66 See Asiatic Researches, vol. 5. p. 260.
67 Bailli's Astronom. Ind. p 251.
68 Phot. Biblioth. p. 403.
69 Plate 2.
70 In the Lalita vistara purana, which was brought by Major Knox from Nepal, the name of Buddha's kinsman and rival is Devadatta (answering to Deodatus). It is probable, that Laeoubere's Tevetat is a corruption of the name of Devadatta. H. T. C.
71 See English Translation, p. 247.
72 Isaiah, c. 14. v. 17, Psalm 48, &c.
73 As. Res. v. 5. p. 133.
74 As. Res. v. 2.
75 As. Res. vol. v. p. 181.
76 Anc. Univ. Hist. vol. I. &c.
77 D'Herbelot's Biblioth. Orient, voce Tarikh and Tabari. Sir W. Ouseley's Translat. of Ebn Haucal in the Appendix.
78 Scanda-purana, section of Tapi chanda.
79 Ganesa Purana.
80 History of Sumatra, p. 9.
81 Dr. Leyden. who had been lately engaged in inquiries concerning the tribes inhabiting the islands of the eastern Archipelago, partly confirms this conjecture by the information, that the mode of writing, practised by one of the tribes in Sumatra (the Battas), is perpendicular: but instead of commencing at the top of the line, the writing begins at the bottom. Marsden's Batta alphabet is stated to be correct, provided the plate be turned in a perpendicular instead of a horizontal direction. H. T. C.
82 History of Sumatra, p. 255.
83 As. Res. v. iv. p. 233.
84 Hist. of Sumatra, p. 285, and from Mantri the Portuguese made Mandarin.
85 Aristot. de Mundo.
86 Hist. of Sumatra, p. 610.
87 As. Res. v, vii. p, 48.
88 Abulfedæ Chorasmiæ, &c. descriptio int. Goegraph. min. vol. iii. p. 9.