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adaptation to circumstances. It is clear that in the purely Vedic times there was no worship of Shiva ; neither, indeed, was there of Vishnu. But the universal god of the Bactrians would seem to have been the true Deity, whose name, like the Hebrews, the Christians, and the Persians, they were unwilling to take in vain. When this pure belief had become, through the inevitable accumulations of years, encrusted with the worship of Agni, of Varuna, Indra, and others, the truth became dormant. But though the Word spake not, it influenced the religion and practices of the Aryans, which were everywhere mild, pure and full of grateful affection for divine protection. When, therefore, this universal godhead lay hidden in the breasts of the Brahmins, and the worship of Indra had become predominant, it still influenced the religion fast becoming depraved, and the rites of Indra were mild and pure. But this is essentially the characteristic of the adoration of Vishnu, in marked contrast to the atrocities of Sivaitic worship. We must suppose, then, that the Brahmans, conscious of their guilt in introducing the adoration of Shiva, attempted to represent the true God, the divine word; and clothed him hitherto unseen, unmentioned, but ever felt, in the attributes and with the forms of Indra.
This hypothesis, which has but little authority to support it, is recommended, however, by a circumstance which has escaped the notice of mythologists. Vishnu is called universally Narayanah,* which means "God of the Aryans.” It has been shown that Indra was particularly the god worshipped in the later Aryan period, and it certainly seems a natural consequence that the two, Vishnu and Indra, are one, or that Narayanah refers to the true God.
If Brahma never received popular worship, being essentially a deity of the records, and not of the temples, it is not so with Vishnu. Although in later times the worship of Shiva became predominant, and the adoration of Vishnu was considered old-fashioned, and hardly respectable for a Brahmin who desired to stand well in the community, yet his
• Col. Vans Kennedy's Researches.
worship has been perpetuated by his avatars, or incarnations, in various forms. Of these he informed his adorers that the full number would be ten, nine of them having elapsed, and the tenth being now anxiously expected by the faithful.
The first three were under animal forms; the first as fish, when he informs a pious prince of an approaching deluge, in which the world would be submerged and its inhabitants drowned. He gives him instructions to build an ark, and to enter it with his family and couples of all living things, and to rely upon him for succor. The account is remarkably similar to that of Genesis, though tinged with a burlesque extravagance never found in the Hebrew sacred writings. The fourth incarnation was in the form of a dwarf, and the others under human form. But the seventh, eighth, and ninth are famous avatars; the seventh was Rama, the eighth Krishna, and the ninth Buddha.
Rama is a warrior god, and the battles which he fights are apparently against demons, and for the recovery of Swerga. It is, however, believed by Bunsen,* that these contests were not celestial, by any means, but an actual contest carried on in the Doab, or land of the two rivers, by princes who claimed to be descended from the sun; and that Rama was a leader who pretended to divine origin to increase his authority and the enthusiasm of his followers. But it is fair to say that Bunsen sees dynasties of kings under the most hopeless myths, and will not accept as gods any who cannot be traced to Phænicia. It may be, as he suggests, that the Ramayana, in which the exploits of Rama are recorded, does really refer to such a contest. But there is one reason why some hesitation should be felt before accepting his theory; and that is, that Rama is only one in a series of avatars, and to explain away this would necessitate the explanation of all the others. But the distinguished mythologist, Max Müller,t has believed that the Ramayana is founded on the same subject as the Iliad, and that both refer to the expulsion of the opposers of the Brahminic caste and the dominant worship of Indra.
* Place of Egypt in Universal History.
The introduction of Hunaiman, the monkey god, and the army of monkeys mounted on bears, which charges the squadrons of elephants led on by the demons, seems, however, to require a different explanation from that offered by Sir William Jones. He considers it merely the luxuriant play of Hindu imagination; but it can scarcely be imagined that the presence of the monkey god in the Hindu Pantheon is due to the Ramayana. Had Hesiod and Homer never lived, the Greek mythology might have lost some poetical adornments, but not one solid fact. They invented nothing, but gave in glowing rhymes and with undying images the beliefs of their respective times. And so with the author of the Ramayana epic. Had Hunaiman held no place among the Hindu gods, we may be assured that he would not have fought side by side with Rama. The truth would seem to point to an alien origin. The Hindu gods are elemental, and can be traced to the theory of emanation. The Turan deities are astro-cosmic, changing into anthropomorphic; but animal worship, the belief that all animals, or any specific animals, had a god who cared for their interests and would severely punish any ill treatment of them, that belief is negro fetish, and altogether dissimilar from either Aryan or Turan.
This trace of negro religion in western India will be fully borne out by a consideration of the lower classes of the Malabar coast, of western Madras. Their hair is woolly, their features distinctly African, their brain of negro contour. Nor does this fact refer solely to the Madrassis. Among the islands of the eastern archipelago it recurs, until in Papua the resemblance is so marked that the discoverer called it “New Guinea."
The eighth avatar is that of Krishna. This incarnation is, perhaps, even more celebrated among the scholars of Europe than that of Rama, owing, probably to the luxuriant poetry which describes his feats of arms and his amours. He has been thought by Bunsen to be identical with Hercules, but his characteristics are all those of Apollo. Krishna first revealed his divine nature when, as a herdsman, hs was keeping the cattle of Garga, a prohita, or officiating priest of Vishnu
His master invoked the holy name of Narayan, and Krishna ran to him with more than mortal benignity in his countenance. There is evidently a strong point of connection with the Greek myth of their god Apollo, who kept the herds of King Admetus.
This is still further strengthened by the characteristics of both deities, for it is not so much in the outward form and the mere symbols that we are to trace the connection of foreign mythologies. It is rather in the character and conduct of the deities. Thus Krishna, like Apollo, is the patron of poetry and music, and his amours with the pastoral muses, the Gopyas, is the theme of the famous poem, the Gita-govinda.
This poem bears a curious resemblance to the Song of Solomon, and the passion of Krishna for the amorous Radha bears, according to Brahmanical scholars, the same interpretation as the affection of the deity for the human soul. The general amours of Krishna with the Gopyas may also be understood as referring to the desire of the human intellect for those arts which soften the understanding and bind together, in sympathetic harmony, the masses of humanity. Everything which is too warmly colored, and is unchaste, is explained as maya, or illusion.
Krishna is known by many names, but more habitually by that of Heri, around which title much confusion clings. It appears to belong more especially to Shiva, and in the Naraduya Paran. Vishnu, speaking of the latter, says:
“But who can declare the greatness of him who assumes the form of the Lingam (phullus)? For that form represents both Hara and Hari; since there is no difference between them, and he who thinks there is commits a sin.”
Shiva also, in another Paran,t says:
“Though I am the sole self-existent gou, incorporeal, immutable, still do I assume various forms. Amongst the skilled in divine knowledge I am Brahma; amongst those exempt from maya I am that ancient god, Hari."
It must be confessed that this is puzzling. If it was not that Shiva proclaims himself as the sole self-existent deity,
Sir W. Jones' Works, vol. 24, p. 216 to 250.
+ Col. Vans Kennedy's Researches.
it might be imagined that Heri was Time, but Shiva, as Time, is Kal, a word never used in this Puran. The idea that Heri is identical with Homs, the Egyptian Apollo, or sun-god, has been scouted by Bunsen, who believes Hom to have been of Phænician origin. Herodotus declared that he could see no identity between Homs and Phæbos Apollo. Pomey, in his Pantheum Mythicum, declares the identity of Krishna with the latter, but does not trouble himself about the word Heri. Perhaps the explanation may be found in the meaning of the word, for hara, in Sanskrit, has the meaning of agent, or doer. Thus, likewise, hara is a writer, or clerk ; bolnehara, an orator. Heri would, therefore, have the meaning of active principle, and, as a title, would probably be synonymous with hero. It may be that the Greek word heros has the same derivation.
Formerly, in England, when a man was forcibly robbed on the highway, he raised the hue and cry in the following style: “Haro, hue and cry. Help, every true man. forcibly withheld from mine own.” And in France and in the Channel Islands it was once the practice for the complainant to cry out in any public assembly : “Haro, haro, à mon aide, mon prince. Haro, on m'a fait tort.” This has been explained as referring to a Norman prince, a Berserker, one Haro, but it is capable of receiving a very different explication.
If a philologist were asked to explain the word hue he would at once admit that it was part of an old invocation to the Deity, “ Allah hu,” cry the Osmanlis of to-day as did their Turan forefathers. Ta-ho is the Chinese name for the Deity. Hari ho is the name by which Shiva is known in Thibet. In the sentence, “Ho, every one that thirsteth," ho would be classed as an interjection, yet its connection with hue is indisputable. There can be little doubt that it means "hear us," and that “Haro, hue and cry" is the forgotten relic of an old Pagan invocation, as truly as “O Baal, hear us,” was an invocation for the Syrians.
How it came to be known in England is a question foreign to the subject. Yet, en passant, we may credit the Danes with it, seeing that Skandinavia, their country, gets its name from