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Skanda, one of the names of Shiva. But with reference to Krishna, we must believe that Heri is applied to him in a complimentary way by the poets, in the signification of celestial hero, and that it has no connection with “ the ancient god Heri," mentioned in the Kurana Puran.
The ninth avatar is that of Buddha, which took place apparently in modern time—that is, for mythology. pearance has been fixed at varying dates, but the average is about nine hundred and fifty years before the Christian era. The Buddhists, however, claim a far higher antiquity than that awarded by the Brahminical books, and say that Buddha is older than any Brahman deity. They maintain that the Brahmans came from other countries, and established their own religion mainly by the power of the sword on the ruins of the more ancient one of Buddha.* Heeren has remarked that the most finished rock temples of India are dedicated as well to the worship of Vishnu and Shiva as to that of Buddha; the sects of the former still existing, but the latter were expelled from Western India.t In the famous grotto of Elephanta a figure of Buddha is represented with a woolly head. He is seated in his usual crosslegged style, and between his legs is the fore part of a ship filled with strangers. In Salsette, in a pagoda, there is another image of Buddha. He has there long ears, woolly hair, and the inevitable ship in his lap.
Now the grottoes of Ellora are of red granite. In fact the whole mountain range extending in a horse shoe form for five miles from point to point, has been cut into a series of grotto temples, two or three stories in height, one above the other. These are all dedicated to various gods. The largest is called Kailasa, the heaven of Shiva.
In Karli and some other rock temples, the material is of a clay porphyry, the very hardest, most enduring kind of stone. Yet many of the sculptured representations have been so acted upon by the atmosphere that they can with difficulty be recognized. Yet here again images of Buddha are found. This would seem to substantiate the Buddhistic claims.
Coleman's Hindoo Mythology, p. 184.
| Asiatic Researches, vol. 3, p. 67.
Stobæus Eclog. Phy.
The Buddhist faith imputes creation to chance, and denies the existence of a Supreme Being. Virtue and goodness are their objects of worship, and these are adored under the forms of pious and learned sages, who have progressed according to the theory, to a condition of beatific rest. The doctrine of metempsychosis is firmly held, and to a degree that seems absurd. Hospitals are erected for the reception of animals, reptiles, insects, even the most loathsome and annoying, and these are daily fed with care by the attendants. So great is the Buddhist fear of destroying anmal life, that he lives only on flour, butter, cheese, fruits and sweetmeats, and it is recorded that a pious Jaina, to whom a mischievous Englishman showed a drop of water under the microscope, voluntarily starved himself, refusing both food and water.
How such a faith became connected with Vishnu is something which the Brahmans find it difficult to explain. The rather lame hypothesis has been started that Vishnu became Buddha, to lead two heretical sects into a heresy that would ensure their damnation. But the proofs in favor of the higher antiquity of Buddha are too strong to be controverted. From the denial of a Supreme Being, from the care of animals, from the deification of man, from the woolly head of the figures of the deity, and his distinctly African features, we draw the conclusion that Buddha, under perhaps some other name, was the original man god of African fetichism, even as Hunaiman is the monkey god.
The grotto temples of Ellora honor alike Vishnu and Shiva. Historians of mild analytic powers have believed that there was a time when Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva received equal adoration.* It is true that in the Purans the equality between the two latter is strictly enforced, and the pains of hell are promised to whoever shall deny this. Thus in the “Padma Puran
“He who thus worships Vishnu, in fact worships me, and whoever thinks otherwise shall be condemned to hell; for Vislınu Shiva, Shiva Vishnu are but one form, though existing separately." Nothing is here said about Brahma, and it may fairly be
* Col. Kennedy's Researches, p. 185.
doubted if Brahma was ever worshipped at all. Hence the theory of the Trimurti, or Hindu trinity, fell to the ground. But it may also be questioned if Vishnu was not at one time the paramount deity of India, his worship being supplanted by Shiva. Their temples are, indeed, side by side at Ellora, and the heavens of Kailasa and Vaikuntha are equally represented. But Shiva is even there everywhere predominant, with his consort Bahvani. The fact that these extraordinary structures are only to be found in western India, whereas the Brahmans clearly came from the north, should demonstrate to every one that the religions of Shiva and Vishnu were not one but twain. In fact Shiva ought to be looked upon as an interloper, as a poison that crept into the veins of Hindu mythology, and destroyed it.
Schlegel has remarked, that at a very early period the Hindu language suffered considerable foreign admixture from the various tribes that dwelt in the south and west (the Carnatic and the Mahratta country), and who became incorporated with the body of the nation.* These tribes were Turan, who are spoken of by many authors as Cushites, and their religion, similar to the general belief of the Turans, spread over Asia, Africa, and Europe. If Shiva is god of those tribes of whom Schlegel made mention, then his worship would be found identical with Turan worship elsewhere.
This view, which all must admit is reasonable, is singularly easy of proof. The earliest faith of the Turan nations was a belief in two active principles, male and female, from whose union all things proceeded. In the Hebrew the verse, “ And the earth was without form and void,"+ should have been translated, “And the earth was tohu bohu." Now these words, according to Bunsen, were the earliest names of the male and female principles. Hu being admitted to be an invocation, the monosyllables to and bo remain. It must be noted that all early forms of language are of one syllable, and if others are found, they are not genuine, but belong to a later age. This is plain from the very nature of the growth of language. Now to is still found in the Chinese, and bo survives in India, as Bohwani, the bride of Shiva, accepted * Literature and Wisdom of the Hindus.
† Genesis, c. i., v. 2.
by all writers as the personification of the producing power of nature. The idea involved is simply the birth of all things from chaotic conditions; and, indeed, in its highest sense, may be taken to define, in a clumsy manner, the chemical theory of affinity. But for the mass it only meant a great male god and a great female goddess, whose symbols were the lingam and the yoni (the phallos and ithiphallos), and who were visibly represented under the forms of a bull and cow, probably the strongest and most fruitful animals known to those fierce and cruel nomads.
Whether the bloody human sacrifices which distinguish this worship arose from the sanguinary disposition of the Turans, or from a perception that in all births there is the germ of death, and that the Lord of life is also the Lord of death, is 'hard to determine. But it is probable that the sacrifices came first from the Turan habit of slaying their captives, and the philosophy came afterwards from the Aryans, who adopted it from their neighbors, to excuse or to explain it.
At what time this simple faith of the primal generative powers became blended with astral worship is also lost in the
The Turan warrior shepherds guarding their flocks by night, as they gazed over the vast plains of central Asia, watched with wondering,awe struck eyes tlie panorama of the heavens, and the solemn sweep of the stars around the pole. Hence arose the notion that the heaven of Shiva was situated there. Little by little, after generations of awed watchers, the belief stole into the hearts of these bearded warriors that the stars were gods whose tireless eyes watched over the destinies of the human race. And so the constellations were named. Chief among them was that of the Bull, or Taurus, by which they symbolized To. Hence their cosmic god, though the name To was lost, was always known as the bull. Thus Baal is frequently called Baal Tor; and thus the chief god of the northern nations is Thor, and Zeus was invoked as aşık tavpa,* "worthy bull." Amun, the Egyptian cosmic god, was worshipped under the visible form of a bull,
mist of ages.
* Bunsen, Pluce of Egypt in Universal Ilistory, book 5.
who afterward was considered as a separate god Apis. And Shiva has for his vahan the sacred bull.*
In the Sivaitic mythology, which preserved far greater unity than any other from its slighter admixture with star worship, we find names almost as ancient as those quotedthose of Hara, Hari, and Hari Gauri. Of Hari mention has already been made, but Gauri has indubitable reference to a cow. Hari Gauri is explained by the Brahminical writers as Shiva and Bohwani—that is the cosmic bull and cow-To and Bo. Now the earth, in one of the Purans, appears before Vishnu in the form of a cow. The Sanskrit word for cow is gai. We, therefore, may explain Hari Gauri as the generative influence of the sun upon the fertile earth. We have already remarked that in Hesiod there is a myth of Ouranos and Gaia, in which Ouranos devours the offspring of their union as fast as they are produced, till Kronos, a child reared in secrecy, mutilates his father, and prevents his begetting further offspring. Bunsen and others have clearly shown the meaning to be that in chaos there were many creations which disappeared until the last Kronos or definite time, when the creative power was either destroyed or became dormant. Here the earth is called gaia, and the connection between the Hesiodic myth and the Sivaitic fables may be considered indubitable. Also in the Phoenician mythology Hastoreth (Astarte) means "the throne of the cow.” + Isis, among the Egyptians, is always represented with a head-dress of cows' horns and a globe between them, symbolizing clearly the earth.
But it is not alone in mere nomenclature, or even in extemal symbolisms, that this connection of the Greek with the Turanian part of the Hindu religion, will be found. The worship of Zeus was accompanied with human sacrifices, and cruel rites, such as gashing the body of the votary with knives, and the sacrifice of strangers. Hence he is ironically called “the hospitable," and the friend of hospitality; and it must be repeated that Zeus is also triopthalmos, having an eye in his forehead like the horrible Shiva. This has
Coleman, p. 86.
† Bunsen, Place of Egypt, book 4.