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Sorcery ; temples ; human sacrifices.
if real, would each be a realisation of Satan,-Shiva, Kali, Mata,
a especially the last as the goddess of small-pox, with her annual festival of saptam sital. “Like priest, like people" is a scriptural maxiin, “ as are the gods so are the worshippers” is a Hindu one.
, “ Be ye holy; for I am holy," is a great principle taught by the Holy One Himself. How can friends of India hope to succeed in elevating and repairing the character of the people, without endeavouring to purify their ideas of the Object of worship?
The following is extracted by Dr. Allen from a journal in which he had described the Hindu temple of immorality at Jejury:
“ Here is a celebrated temple of Khundoba, who is believed to be an incarnation of Shiva. His incarnation, it is believed, took place in this vicinity, and, after accomplishing the object for which it was assumed, the god ascended to heaven from the top of a hill in front of the village. Hence this place became the principal seat of his worship."
A description of the temple is then quoted from a work on India; and Dr. Allen proceeds :
“Since this description was written, the temple has apparently suffered in its revenues and popularity. The rites of idolatry, however, are performed here with much parade and pomp. The dancing girls have been dedicated to the god, generally by their parents, though sometimes children have been purchased for this purpose. This dedication is made professedly in the fulfilment of vows, though the true reason sometimes is the inability of the parents to form marriage connexions for their daughters. On arriving at a certain age, the unhappy girl is brought to the temple, and in a prescribed form is dedicated and presented as an offering to the god. The customary ceremony of marriage is then performed between her and the idol, and this is the only marriage that she ever enters. This dedication to the god, with the succeeding ceremony of marriage to the idol, is only an introduction to a life of prostitution."* (Pp. 389, 390.)
We may pass Dr. Allen's remarks on Indian cave temples by referring our readers, for the most full and satisfactory account of them, to the able and valuable papers of the Rev. Dr. Wilson on that subject, with which Dr. Allen's limited but correct remarks agree.
In his remarks on the Hindu sacrifices, Dr. Allen says: “ There is abundant evidence from the early records of Hindus that human sacrifices were sometimes offered. The Institutes of Menu say the sacrifice of a horse, of a bull, and of a man, in the Kali
See the Rev. J. M. Murray Mitchell's important pamphlet on this subject. VOL, V.--NO. I.
Yug (the present age) ought to be avoided.” He appears to have taken this from Ward,-an authority worthy of general reliance. But I find no such statement in Manu, though Sir W. Jones gives it at the end of his English Translation, among some passages collected by Brahmans, and this passage is referred to the Aditya Purana. Manu's only allusion to these sacrifices will be found in the 11th Chapter, where are mentioned the sacrifice of the horse (aswamedha), and of the cow (gosáva), called in other Hindu books gau medha, and other sacrifices called swarjit, viswajit, and abhijit, among which the human sacrifice may be included, though it is not expressly mentioned; and of these sacrifices there is no limitation as to yugs. Dr. Allen, by not quoting the words - by twice-born men,” has made the passage appear too favourable to the Brahimans; for by their own showing men not twice-born may perform human sacrifices in the Kali Yug. But perhaps it will be said, as Colebrooke alleges to be the design of the Veda, that these sacrifices are not real but typical. There is no necessity of discussing this question to fasten a charge on the Hindu books; for in the siilok preceding that adduced from Manu, a Brahmanicide is taught that he may atone for his sin by performing an obscene mutilation, and walking backward țill he drop dead. Nor is this the only enactment of immolative penances involving direct suicide which is met in this code. The immolation of woman, the cremation, not of her inanimate remains, but her living form, follows naturally from a number of shloks in the fifth chapter. In an address to Agni, in one of the Vedic Hymns, the hapless widow is expected to enter the fire. While many such evidences show wliat ancient Hinduism was, no quotations are needed to show that the practice continued down to our times, and that only Christian rulers from the West decreed it to be a crime.
On the subject of transmigrations, as connected with the doctrine of bhuts or ghosts, Europeans commit numerous mistakes. We lately heard it stated that none but some flagrant monster of wickedness ever became a bhut. Dr. Allen states this part of Hindu belief more correctly.
“ After death and the judgment, the reward of the good actions having been enjoyed, and the punishment of the bad actions having been endured, —or, as some say, the excess of the good above the bad having been enjoyed, or the excess of the bad above the good having been suffered, as the character of each person may be,—the spirit returns again to the earth for a new birth. Some of the Puranas say, and such appears to be the general opinion, that each spirit must go through a great
Metempsychosis. Early marriages.
number of births (some say 8,400,000) before it again assumes a human form. During this long period it may exist in minerals and vegetables, (for the Hindus believe these substances are sentient beings,) or in insects, or reptiles, or fishes, or fowls, or animals, till the cycle shall be completed before it again enters a human form." (P. 412.) Were we condescending to notice mere linguistic niceties, we might have asked by what refinement fishes, reptiles, &c. are enumerated distinctly from animals. He also justly states the consequences of the doctrine of transmigration, in teaching men to refer the good or evil of the present life to karm—that is, the works performed in a former birth, thus freeing them from the painful but salutary monitions of conscience, and taking away the sense of moral responsibility: “ Such opinions have a natural tendency to prevent all gratitude and thankfulness to any divine being for any favors or blessings. They also prevent any sense of guilt and penitence for sin, as well as feelings of shame when suffering punishment for sinful actions. They invest the affairs of this life with a kind of fatality, and produce feelings of indifference and despondency." (P. 415.)
The subject of " Literary matters" introduces a very tempting theme—the Romanising system as it has been called,—that is, the system ably advocated a number of years ago, and largely acted on in the East and North of India, of employing the English characters in the native languages. We could not compress any intelligible summary of the arguments on either side of this question within moderate bounds; and we hasten on, regretting that it is a topic so much neglected.
We feel a little startled at Dr. Allen's idea of early Hindu marriages. Unhappy as such early marriages often must be, yet I am not certain but in India, where society is so corrupt, employment so difficult to procure, temptations to licentiousness so great, and the means of supporting families so hard to be realised, greater evils would result from parents allowing their children to grow up unmarried, and then to marry as they please or not marry at all.” (P. 459.) Did he not see that some of these reasons tell directly against the conclusion he supports ? Thus, how is the difficulty of supporting a family a reason for an early marriage ? St. Paul would have drawn an opposite conclusion, from “ the present distress” or difficulty he would have inferred the wisdom of remaining unmarried, and this in regard to persons in any stage of life. He adds :—" No doubt families, if
the marriage connexion between the parents was formed at mature age, and from their free choice, would generally be happier.” On what ground then does he think early marriages a minor evil ? Why without them “ the social and moral state would be worse than it is now.” He acknowledges that if widows could have the right of remarrying, it would essentially alter the case. since he wrote that is on the point of being realised.
The licentious state of society may well cause in the bosoms of parents the most painful apprehensions in regard to their youthful daughters. But are they saved from sin and ruin by the course adopted ? Is the moral evil lessened or checked ? Or, on the contrary, has not the moral evil and the early marriage system grown up together to their present rank maturity ? While the root of the evil is allowed to remain in the soil, will not the poisonous shoots of the tree for ever rise, in spite of all puny efforts to lop them? The early marriage of girls has one effect, it prevents an ostensible offspring of extra nuptial intercourse. The children are born under the shade of matrimony. But is purity secured? Does general conjugal confidence exist? Why all tlie stringent rules, from the days of Manu till now, for holding woman in bondage? Why hier seclusion amongst the respectable Hindu, Parsi, and Mohamedan classes ? She cannot perform the polite duty of seeing a visitor. She cannot take an evening airing with her husband. He can neither honour himself nor her, by giving hier bis name, nor by naming her by her own name. Her education was inserted into native society like the thin end of a wedge, and driven home by an intelligent few in spite of the stern bigotry of their respective castes. It is by the education of woman, her sound enlightenment, the development of her mind, the expansion of her views, the making her feel that she is really a human person, with a human soul, and the opening of true views of the future, that the conservation of her virtue will be secured. This has, by the divine blessing, made our country's daughters what they are; and this will in time produce the same effect on the women of India. But early marriages, while continued, will only lead on to a more and more effete state of national impurity. In the days, happily gone by, Satis followed, alas! too naturally. But there there is hope for woman.
Sati is abolished, and the rights of widows are being granted by law. And her education is beginning to make progress.
The allowance of polygamy, and the partial prevalence of it among all the heathen denominations in the country, are described ; and the subject is resumed under the head of Christianity
Polygamy ; case of converls.
45. -why, we cannot conjecture, unless to maintain the position that a polygamist, becoming a Cliristian, should be allowed to maintain conjugal intercourse with his plurality. He thus states his arguments : “ Supposing now that any Hindu, or Mohamedan, or Jew, who las several wives, to whom he has been legally married, should give evidence of piety, and wish to make a public profession of Christianity, what shall be done in respect to his polygamy? This man cannot divorce any of his wives if he would, and it would be great injustice to them and their children if he should. He cannot annul his legal obligation to provide for them ; should be put them away, or all but one, they will still be legally his wives, and cannot be married to any other man. And further, they have done nothing to deserve such unkindness, cruelty, and disgrace at his bands. (P. 552.)
He follows this with some rather confused remarks,-apparently afraid to state the opposite opinion. One would suppose that if the practice be, as he says, “contrary to the Christian dispensation,” it must also be contrary to the ten commandments.
We certainly never would have discovered, lad he not enlightened us, that a man might be living contrary to the Christian dispensation", and “ not be violating any of the ten commandments." But now what room for doubt? Elkanah and David were polygamists, in the times of the ignorance at which“ God winked"; therefore polygamy must be sustained, though not a passage be quoted from the New Testament in its favour. Polygamy is allowed to be per se wrong ; butifit occur in the case of a person who afterwards becomes a Christian, it is pronounced right, a duty, to slırink from which would be injustice and cruelty. Is not this to make wrong right?-to call evil good ? The arguments are quoted from a certain writer of the last age in London, and are all drawn from the Old Testament. We reject not an argument from this quarter, but we would require to settle whether the subject of argument were typical, ceremonial, judicial, or moral. In this case some of the arguments are of the last kind, and if sound, in point of interpretation, would establish the conclusion. But that in Old Testament times polygamy was ever practised with divine sanction, we most emphatically deny. The proofs adduced have been often refuted. “Abraham took a second wife. True, but not by divine direction, but by the entreaty of Sarah. Elkanah had two wives. In the corrupt times of Eli's lax priesthood and government, this abuse had doubtless prevailed. It is recorded; but does authentic history, by recording, confer a sanction ? Surely a refutation of this were superfluous. His household vexations are also recorded