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* confined to the Taittiriya schools.

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the Kānvasinto seventeen books (kånda). The first nine books of the former, o to the first eleven of the Kānvas, and consisting of sixty adhyāyas, form a kind of running commentary on the first eighteen books of the Vāj.-Samhitâ; and it has been plausibly suggested by Prof. Weber that this portion of the Brähmana may be referred to in the Mahābhāshya on Pān. iv. 2, 60, where à Sata. patha and a Shashti-patha (i.e., “consisting of 60 paths”) are mentioned together as objects of study, and that consequently it may at one time have formed an independent work. This view is also sapported by the circumstance that of the remaining five books (10–14) of the Mādhyandinas the third is called the middle one (madhyama); while the Kānvas apply the same epithet to the middlemost of the five books (12-i6) preceding their last one. This last book would thus seem to be treated by them as a second * and not without reason, as it is of the Upanishad 9rder, and bears the special title of Brihad. (great) dramyaka.” Except in books 6–10 (M.), which treat of the construction of fire-altars, and recognize the sage Šândilya as their chief authority, Yājñavalkya's opinion is frequently referred to in the Śatapatha as authoritative. . This is especially the case in the later books, part of the Brihad-āranyaka being even called Yājñavalkiya-kānda. As regards the age of the Śatapātha, the probability is that the main body of the work is considerably older than the time of Pānini, but that some of its latter parts were considered by Pánini's critic Rātyāyana to be cf about the same age as, or not much older than, Pånini. Even those portions had probably been long in existence !: they obtained recognition as part of the canon of the White ajus. The contemptuous manner in which the doctrines of the Charakaadhvaryus are repeatedly animadverted upon in the Śatapatha betrays not a little of the odium theologicum on the part of the divines of the Wājasaneyins towards their brethren of the older schools. Nor was their animosity confined to mere literary warfare, but they seem to have striven by every means to gain ascendency over their rivals. The consolidation of the Brähmanical hierarchy and the institution of a common system of ritual worship, i which called forth the liturgical Vedic collections, were doubtless consummated in the so-called Madhya-desa, or “middle country,” lying between the Sarasvati and the confluence of the Yamunā and Gangă ; and more especially in its western part, the Kuru-kshetra, or land of the Kurus, with the adjoining territory of the Panchālas, between the Yamunā and Gangå. From thence the original schools of Waidik ritualism gradually extended their sphere over the adjacent parts. The Charakas seem for a long time to have held sway in the western and north-western regions; while the Taittiriyas n course of time spread over the whole of the peninsula south of he Narmadā (Nerbudda), where their ritual has remained preeminently the object of study till comparatively recent times. The Vājasaneyins, on the other hand, having first gained a footing in the lands on the lower Ganges, chiefly, it would seem, through the patronage of King Janaka of Videha, thence gradually worked their way westwards, and eventually succeeded in superseding the older schools north of the Windhya, with the exception of some isolated places where even now families of Brähmans are met with which profess to follow the old Samhitās. In Kalpa-satras the Black Yajurveda is o rich ; but, , owing to the circumstances just indicated, they are almost entirely The only Srauta-sătra of a Charaka school which has hitherto been recovered is that of the Mānavas, a subdivision of the Maitrāyanīyas. The Mánava-Śrautastltra" seems to consist of eleven books, the first nine of which treat of the sacrificial ritual, while the tenth contains the Śulva-sătra; and the eleventh is made up of a number of supplements (parisishta). The Mánava-grihya-satra is likewise in existence; but so far nothing is known, save one or two quotations, of a Mánavadharma-satra, the discovery of which ought to solve some important questions regarding the development of Indian law. Of sātraworks belonging to the Kathas, a single treatise, the Káthakagrihya-satra, is known; while Dr Jolly considers the Vishnu-smriti,” ...a o of law, composed in mixed siltras and Šlokas, to ing but a Vaishnava recast of the Kāthaka-dharma-sătra, which seems no longer to exist. As regards the Taittiriyas, the Kalpa-sătra most widely accepted among them was that of Apastamba, to whose school, as we have seen, was also due our existing recension of the Taittiriya-samhitā. The - pastamba-kalpa-Sátra consists of thirty praśna (questions); the first twenty-five of these constitute the Śrauta-sătra‘; 26 and 27 the Grihya-sătra; 28 and 29 the Dharma-sàtra"; and the last the Śulva-sătra. Prof. Bühler has tried to fix the date of this work somewhere between the 5th and 3rd

1 The text, with Śankara's commentary, and an English translation, published by E. Röer, Bibl. Ind. 2 See P. v. Bradke, Z. D. M. G., vol. xxxvi. A MS. of a portion of the Śrautastltra, with the commentary of the famous Mimamsist Kumārila, has been photolithographed by the India Office, under Goldstücker's supervision. * Editcd and translated by J. Jolly. * In course of publication, by R. Garbe, in Bibl. Ind. * G. Bühler has published the text with extracts from Haradatta's commentary, also a translution in Sacred Books of the East,

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also the youngest Veda is proved by its language, which, both from a lexical and a grammatical point of view, marks an intermediate stage between the main body of the Rik and the Brāhmana period. It is not less manifest from the spirit of its contents, which shows that the childlike trust of the early singer in the willingness of the divine agents to comply with the earnest request of their pious worshipper had passed away, and in its place had sprung up a superstitious fear of a host of malevolent powers, whose baleful wrath had to be deprecated or turned aside by incantations and magic contrivances. How far some lower form of worship, practised by the conquered race, may have helped to bring about this change of religious belief it would be idle to inquire ; but it is far from improbable that the hymns of the Rik reflect chiefly the religious notions of the more intelligent and educated minority of the community, and that superstitious practices like those disclosed by the greater part of the Atharvan and a portion of the tenth book of the Rik had long obtained among the people, and became the more prevalent the more the spiritual leaders of the people gave Ho up to theosophic and metaphysical speculations. Hence also verses of the Atharvaveda are not unfrequently used in domestic (grihya) rites, but very seldom in the Śrauta ceremonial. But, even if these or such like spells and incantations had long been in popular use, there can be no doubt that by the time they were collected they must have adapted themselves to the modifications which the vernacular language itself had undergone in the mouths of o This body of spells and hymns is traditionally connected with uwo old mythic priestly families, the Angiras and Atharyans, their names, in the plural, serving either singly or combined (Atharvāngirasas) as the oldest appellation of the collection. Instead of the Atharvans, another mythic family, the Bhrigus, are similarly connected with the Angiras (Bhrigvangirasas) as the depositaries of this mystic science. The current text of , the Atharva-samhitā"—apparently the recension of the Saunaka school —consists of some 750 different pieces, about five-sixths of which is in various metres, the remaining portion being in prose. . The whole mass is divided into twenty books. The principle of distribution is for the most part a merely formal one, in books i.-xiii. pieces of the same or about the same number of yerses being placed together in the same book... The next five books, xiv.– xviii., have each its own special subject:—xiv. treats of marriage and sexual union; xv., in prose, of the Wrātya, or religious vagrant; xvi. consists of prose formulas of conjuration; xvii. of a lengthy mystic hymn; and xviii. contains all that relates to death and funeral rites. Of the last two books no account is taken in the Atharva-prātišākhya, and they indeed stand clearly in the relation of supplements to the original collection. The eighteenth book ...i. was the result of a subsequent gleaning of pieces similar g The Sulva-s0tra has been published, with the commentary of Kapardisvåmin, and a translation by G. Thibaut, in the Benares Pandit, 1875. The Dhurma-Sütra has been translated by G. Bühler, Sacred Books, xiv. 7 Edited by A. Weber. 8 Weber, Ind. Stud., iii. 9 Text and German translation by A. Stenzler. 10 Edited, with Uvata's commentary, and a German translation, by A. wober, *śīa. been published by W. D. Whitney, with a translation and a commentary by an unknown author, called Tribliáshyaratna, i.e., “jewel of the three commentaries,” it being founded on three older commentaries by Vararuchi, (? Kātyāyana), Mahisheya, and Atreya. 12 Edited by Pross. Roth and Whitney, 1856. The second vol., which was to contain the Wariae Lectione, remains still unpublished. Prof. Whitney, however, has lately brought out an Index Verborum to the work. The first three books have been translated into German by Prof. Weber. Ind. Stud., vols. lv. xiii., xvii.

to those of the earlier books, which had probably escaped the collectors' attention; while the last book, consisting almost entirely of hymns to. Indra, taken from the Rik-samhita, is nothing more than a liturgical manual of the recitations and chants required at the Soma sacrifice. The Atharvan has come down to us in a much less satisfactory state of preservation than any of the other Samhitās, and its interpretation, which offers considerable difficulties on account of numerous popular and out-of-the-way expressions, has so far received comparatively little aid from native sources. A com. mentary by the famous Vedic exegete Säyana, which has lately come to light in India, may, however, É. expected to throw light on some obscure passages. Even more important is the discovery, some

Years ago, through the exertions of Sir William Muir, of an entirely.

*ifferent recension of the Atharva-samhita, preserved in Kashmir. This new recension,” supposed to be that of the Paippalāda school, consists likewise of twenty books (kånda), but both in textual matter and in its arrangement it differs very much from the current text. A, considerable portion of the latter, includin unfortunately the whole of the eighteenth book, is wanting; j, the hymns of the nineteenth book are for the most part found also in this text, though not as a separate book, but scattered over the whole collection. Possibly, therefore, this recension may have formed one of the sources whence the nineteenth book was compiled. The twentieth book is wanting, with the exception of a few of the verses not taken from the Rik. As a set-off to these shortcomings the new version offers, however, a good deal of fresh matter, amounting to about one sixth of the whole. From the Mahābhāshya and other works quoting as the, beginning of the Atharva-samhitā verse that coincides with the first verse of the sixth hymn of the current text, it has long been known that at least one other recension must have existed; but owing to the defective state of the Kashmir MS, it cannot be determined whether the new recension (as seems likely) corresponds to the one referred to in those works. The only Brähmana of the Atharvan, the Gopatha-bráhmana,” is probably one of the most modern works of its class. It consists of two parts, the first of which contains cosmogonic speculations, interspersed with legends, apparently taken from other Brah. manas, and general instructions on religious duties and observances; while the second part treats, in a very desultory mannen of vasious points of the sacrificial ceremonial. The Kalpa-sătras belonging to this Veda comprise both a manual of Śrauta rites, the Vaitána-sătra,” and a manual of domestic rites, the Kaušika-satra." The latter treatise is not only the more inter. esting of the two, but also the more ancient, being actually quoted in the other. The teacher Kaušika is repeatedly referred to in the work on points of ceremonial doctrine. Connected with this Sūtra are upwards of seventy Parisishtas, or supplementary treatises, mostly in metrical form, on various subjects bearing on the performance of grihya rites. The last, satra-work to be notice connexion with this Veda is the Saunaktya Chaturádhyāyiká,” being a Prätišākhya of the Atharva-samhitā, so called from its consisting of four lectures (adhyāya). Although Saunaka can hardly be credited with being the actual author .# the work, considering

probably to be assigned to the later period of Vedic literature; whilst the others presuppose more or less distinctly the existence of some fully .. system of philosophy, especially the Vedānta, or the Yoga. The sectarian Upanishads, on the other hand—identifying the supreme spirit either with one of the forms of Vishnu (such as, the Nārāyana, Nrisimha-tápaniya, Rānatāpaniya, Gopāla-tápaniya), or with Siva (e.g. tile Rudrooanishad). or with some other deity—belong to post-Vedic times.

[I. THE CLASSICAL PERIoD.

The classical literature of India is almost entirely a product of artificial growth, in the sense that its vehicle was not the language of the general body of the people, but of a small and educated class. It would scarcely be possible, even approximately, to fix the time when the literary idiom ceased to be understood by the common people. We only know that in the 3d century B.C. there existed several dialects in different parts of northern India which differed considerably from the Sanskrit; and Buddhist tradition, moreover, tells us that Gautama Śākyamuni himself, in the 6th century B.C., made use of the local dialect of Magadha (Behar) for preaching his new doctrine. Not unlikely, indeed, popular dialects, differing perhaps but slightly from one another, may have existed as early as the time of the Vedic hymns, when the Indo-Aryans, divided into clans and tribes, occupied the Land of the Seven Rivers; but such dialects must, at any rate, have sprung up after the extension of the Aryan sway and language over the whole breadth of northern India. Such, however, has been the case in the history of all nations; and there is no reason why, even with the existence of local dialects, the literary language should not have kept in touch with the people in India, as elsewhere, but for the fact that from a certain time that language remained altogether stationary, allowing the vernacular dialects more and more to diverge from it. Although linguistic research had been successfully carried on in India for centuries, the actual grammatical fixation of Sanskrit seems to have taken place about contemporaneously with the first spread of Buddhism; and indeed that popular religious movement undoubtedly exercised a powerful influence on the linguistic development of India.

A. Poetical Literature.

1. Epic Poems.—The Hindus, like the Greeks, possess two The

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members of his school. Whether this Saunaka is identical with the writer of that name to whom the final redaction of the Śākalao: of the Rik is ascribed is not known; but it is worthy of note that on at least two points where Sakalya is quoted by Pānini, the Chaturādhyāyikā seems to be referred to rather than the Rikiprätišākhya. , Saunaka is quoted once in the VājasaneyiP. a; and it is possible that o had the Chatur.# in view, though his reference does not quite tally with the respective rule of that work. Another class of writings already alluded to as traditionally connected with the Atharvaveda are the numerous Upanishads” which do not specially attach themselves to one or other of the Samhitas, or Brähmanas of the other Vedas. The Átharvana. upanishads, mostly composed in Ślokas, may be roughly divided into two classes, viz., those of a purely speculative or general pantheistic character, treating chiefly of the nature of the supreme o: and the means of attaining to union therewith, and those of a sectarian tendency. Of the former category, a limited number —such as the Prašna, Mundaka, and Māndūkya-upanishads—have

{ onetic theories of that teacher, which were afterwards perfected y

* It is in the hands of Prof. R. v. Roth, who has given an account of it in his academic dissertation, “Der Atharvaveda in Kaschmir,” 1875. * Edited, in the Bibl. Ind., by Rájendralāla Mitra. * Text and a German translation published by R. Garbe, * This difficult treatise is about to be published by Prof. Bloomfield, Two sections of it have been printed and translated by A. Weber “Omina et Portenta,” 1859. Edited and translated by W. D. Whitney. * For a full list of existing translations of and essays on the Upani. shads, see Introd. So Max Müller's Upanishads, Sacred, Books, i.

The Rāmāyana, i.e., poem “relating to Rāma,” is ascribed to the poet Wālmīki; and, allowance being made for later additions here and there, the poem indeed presents the appearance of being the work of an individual genius. In its present form it consists of some 24,000 slokas, or 48,000 lines of sixteen syllables, divided into seven books.

(I.) King Dašaratha of Košala, reigning at Ayodhyā (Oudh), has four sons born him by three wives, viz., Rāma, Bharata, and the twins Lakshmana o Satrughna. Rāma, by being able to bend an enormous bow, formerly the dreaded weapon of the god Rudra, wins for a wife Sità, daughter of Janaka, king of Videha. (Tirhut). (II.) On his return to Ayodhyā he is to be appointed heir-apparent (yuva-rāja, i.e., juvenis rex); but Bharata's mother †. the king to banish his eldest son for fourteen years to the wilderness, and appoint her son instead, Separation from his favourite son soon i. the king's heart; whereupon the ministers call on Bharata to assume the reins of government. He refuses, however, and, betaking himself to Rāma's retreat on the Chitrakūta mountain (in Bundelkhund), implores him to return ; but, unable to shake Rāma's resolve to complete his term of exile, he consents to take charge of the kingdom in the meantime.” (III.). After a ten years' residence in the forest, Rāma attracts the attention of a female demon (Rákshast); and, infuriated by the rejection, of her advances, and by the wounds inflicted on her by Lakshmana, who keeps Rāma, company, she inspiros her brother Rāvana, demonking of Ceylon, with love for Sità, in consequence of which the latter is carried off by him to his capital Lanka. While she resolutely rejects the Rākahasa's addresses, Rāma sets out with his

brother to her rescue. (IW.) After numerous adventures they

enter into an alliance with Sugriva, king of the monkeys; and, with the assistance of the monkey-general Hanumān, and Rāvana's own brother Vibhishana, they prepare to assault Lankä. (V.) The monkeys, tearing up rocks and trees, construct a passage_across the straits— the so-called Adam's Bridge, still designates Rāma's Bridge in India. (VI.) Having crossed over with his allies, Rāma, after many hot encounters and miraculous deeds, slays the demon and captures the stronghold ; whereupon he places Vibhishana on the throne of Lankä. To allay Rāma's misgivings as to any taint she might have incurred through contact with the demon, Sità now undergoes an ordeal by fire; after which they return to Ayodhyā, where, after a triumphal entry, Rāma is installed. (WII.) In the last book—probably a later addition—Rāma, seeing that the peoole are not yet satisfied of Sità's purity, resolves to #. her away; whereupon, in the forest, she falls in with Vālmiki himself, and at his hermitage gives birth to two sons. . While growing up there, they are taught by the sage the use of the bow, as well as the Vedas, and the Rāmāyana as far as the capture of Lankä and the royal entry into Ayodhyā. Ultimately Rāma discovers and recognizes them by their wonderful deeds and their likeness to himself, and takes his wife and sons back with him.

The Mahābhārata," i.e., “the great (poem or feud) of the Bhāratas,” on the other hand, is not so much a uniform epic poem as a miscellaneous collection of epic poetry, consisting of a heterogeneous mass of legendary and didactic matter, worked into and round a central heroic narrative. The authorship of this work is aptly attributed to Vyāsa, “the arranger,” the personification of Indian diaskeuasis. Only the bare outline of the leading story can here be given.

In the royal line of Hastinápura (the ancient Delhi)—claiming descent from the moon, and hence called the Lunar race (somavamsa), and counting among its ancestors King, Bharata, after whom India is called Bhārata-varsha (land of the Bhāratas)—the succession lay between two brothers, when Dhritarāshtra, the elder, being blind, had to make way for his brother Pändu. After a time the latter retired to the forest to pass the remainder of his life in hunting; and Dhritarāshtra assumed the government, assisted by his uncle Bhishma, the Nestor of the poem. After some years Pându died, leaving five sons, viz., Yudhishthira. Bhima, and Arjuna by his chief wife Kunti, and the twins Nakula and Sahadeva by Mádri. The latter having burnt herself along with her dead husband, Kunti returned with the five princes to Hastinäpura, and was well received by the king, who offered to have his nophews brought up together with his own sons, of whom he had a hundred, Duryodhana Theing the eldest. . From their great-grandfather Kuru both families are called Kauravas; but for distinction that name is more usually applied to the sons of Dhritarāshtra, while their <ousins, as the younger line, are named, after their father, Pándavas. The rivalry and varying fortunes of these two houses form the main plot of the great epopee. The Pându princes soon proved themselves greatly superior to their cousins; and Yudhishthira, the eldest of them all, was to be appointed heir-apparent. But, by his son's advice, the king, good-natured but weak, induced his nephews for a timé to retire from court and reside at a house where the unscrupulous Duryodhana meant to destroy them. They escaped, however, and passed some time in the forest, with their mothel. Here Draupadi, daughter of King Drupada, won by Arjuua in open contest, became the wife of the five brothers. Qn that occasion they also met their cousin, Kunti's nephew, the famous Yādava prince Krishna of Dvārakā, who ever afterwards remained their faithful friend and confidential adviser. Dhritarāshtra now resolved to divide the kingdom between the two houses; whereupon the Pāndavas built for themselves the city of Indraprastha (on the site of the modern Delhi). After a time of great prosperity, Yudhishthira, in a game of dice, lost everything to Duryodhana, when it was settled that the Pāndavas should retire to the forest for twelve years, but should afterwards be restored to their kingdom if they succeeded in so an additional year in disguise, without being recognized by anyone. During their forest-life they met with many adventures, among which

may be mentioned their encounter with King Jayadratha , of After

Chedi, who had carried off Draupadi from their hermitage. the twelfth year has expired they leave the forest, and, assuming various disguises, take service at the court of king Virāta of Matsya. Here all goes well for a time till the queen's brother Kichaka, a great warrior and commander of the royal forces, falls in love with

* There are 'several complete editions published in India, the handiest in 4 vols., Calcutta, 1834–9. Numerous episodes from it have been printed and translated by European scholars. There is a French translation, by H. Fauche, of about one half of the work but it must be used with caution. An English translation is being brought out at Calcutta by Pratap Chundra Roy.

21–11*

Draupadi, and, is slain by Bhima. ...The Kauravas, profiting by Kichaka's death, how invade the Matsyan kingdom, when the Pāndavas side with king Wirāta, and there ensues, on the field of Kurukshetra, a series of fierce battles, ending in the annihilation of the Kauravas. Yudhishthira now at last becomes yuva-rāja, and eventually king,-Dhritarāshtra having resigned and retired with his wife and Kunti to the forest, where they soon after perish in a conflagration. Learning also the death of Krishna, Yudhishthira himself at iast becomes tired of life and resigns his crown; and the five princes, with their faithful wife, and a dog that joins them, set out for Mount Meru, to seek admission to Indra's heaven. On the way one by one drops off, till Yudhishthira alone, with the dog, reaches the gate of heaven; but, the dog being refused admittance, the king declines entering without him, when the dog turns out to be no other than the god of Justice himself, having assumed that form to test Yudhishthira's constancy. But, finding neither his wife nor his brothers in heaven, and being told that they are in the nether world to expiate their sins, the king insists on sharing their fate, when this, too, proves a trial, and they are all reunited to enjoy perpetual bliss. Whether this story is partly based, as Lassen suggested, on historical events, perhaps a destructive war between the neighbouring tribes of the Kurus and Panchâlas, or whether, as Dr A. Holtzmann thinks, its principal features go back to Indo-Germanic times, will probably never be decided. The complete work consists of upwards of 100,000 couplets, its contents thus being nearly eight times the buik of the Iliad and Odyssey combined. It is divided into eighieen books, and a supplement, entitled Harivamsa, or genealogy of the god Hari (Krishna-Vishnu). In the introduction, Vyāsa, being about to dictate the poem, is made to say (i. 81) that so far he and some of his disciples knew 8800 couplets; and further on (i. 101) he is said to have composed the collection relating to the Bhāratas (bhārata-samhitā), and called the Bhāratam, which, not including the episodes, consisted of 24,000 slokas. Now, as a matter of fact, the portion relating to the feud of the rival houses constitutes somewhere between a fourth and a fifth of the work; and it is highly probable that this portion once formed a separate poem, called the Bhārata. But, whether the former statement is to be understood as implying the xistence, at a still earlier time, of a yet shorter version of about one-third of the present extent of the leading narra. tive cannot now be determined. While some of the episodes are so loosely connected with the story as to be readily severed from it, others are so closely interwoven with it that their removal would seriously injure the very texture of the work. This, however, only shows that the original poem must have undergone some kind of revision, or perhaps repeated revisions. That such has indeed taken place, at the hand of Brähmans, for sectarian and caste purposes, cannot be doubted. The earliest direct information regarding the existence of epic poetry in India is contained in a passage of Dion Chrysostom (c. 80 A.D.), according to which “even among the Indians, they say, Homer's poetry is sung, having been translated by them into their own dialect and tongue;” and “the Indians are well acquainted with the sufferings of Priam, the lamentations and wails of Andromache and Hecuba, and the prowess of Achilles and Hector.” Now, although these allusions would suit either poem, they seem on the whole to correspond best to certain incidents in the Mahābhārata, especially as no direct mention is made of a warlike expedition to a remote

island for the rescue of an abducted woman, the resem

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not only certain that the Bhārata legend must have been current in his time (; c. 400 B.C.), but most probable that it existed already in poetical form, as undoubtedly it did at the time of Patanjali, the author of the “great commentary” on Pānini (c. 150 B.C.). The great epic is also mentioned, both as Bhārata and Mahābhārata, in the Grihya-satra of Ašvalāyana, whom Lassen supposes to have lived about 350 B.C. Nevertheless it must remain uncertain whether the poem was then already in the form in which we now have it, at least as far as the leading story and perhaps some of the episodes are concerned, a large portion of the episodical matter being clearly of later origin. It cannot, however, be doubted, for many reasons, that long before that time heroic song had been diligently cultivated in India at the courts of princes and among Kshatriyas, the knightly order, generally. In the Mahābhārata itself the transmission of epic legend is in some way connected with the Sūtas, a social class which, in the caste-system, is defined as resulting from the union of Kshatriya men with Brâhmana women, and which supplied the office of charioteers and heralds, as well as (along with the Māgadhas) that of professional minstrels. Be this as it may, there is reason to believe that, as Hellas had her dot}ot who sang the KAéa Čvöpów, and Iceland her skalds who recited favourite sagas, so India had from olden times her professional bards, who delighted to sing the praises of kings and inspire the knights with warlike feelings. But if in this way a stock of heroic poetry had gradually accumulated which reflected an earlier state of society and manners, we can well understand why, after the Brähmanical order of things had been definitely

established, the priests should have deemed it desirable to

subject these traditional memorials of Kshatriya chivalry and prestige to their own censorship, and adapt them to their own canons of religious and civil law. Such a revision would doubtless require considerable skill and tact; and if in the present version of the work much remains that seems contrary to the Brähmanical code and pretensions—e.g., the polyandric union of Draupadi and the Pându princes—the reason probably is that such legendary, or it may be historical, events were too firmly rooted in the minds of the people to be tampered with ; and all the clerical revisers could do was to explain them away as best they could. Thus the special point alluded to was represented as an act of duty and filial obedience, in this way, that, when Arjuna brings home his fair prize, and announces it to his mother, she, before seeing what it is, bids him share it with his brothers. Nay, it has even been suggested, with some plausibility, that the Brāhmanical editors have completely changed the traditional relations of the leading characters of the story. For, although the Pāndavas and their cousin Krishna are constantly extolled as models of virtue and goodness, while the Kauravas and their friend Karna—a son of the sungod, born by Kunti before her marriage with Pându, and brought up secretly as the son of a Sūta—are decried as monsters of depravity, these estimates of the heroes' characters are not unfrequently belied by their actions,— especially the honest Karna and the brave Duryodhana contrasting not unfavourably with the wily Krishna and the cautious and somewhat effeminate Yudhishthira. These considerations, coupled with certain peculiarities on the part of the Kauravas, suggestive of an original connexion of the latter with Buddhist institutions, have led Dr Holtzmann to devise an ingenious theory, viz., that the traditional stock of legends was first worked up into its present shape by some Buddhist poet, and that this version, showing a decided predilection for the Kuru party, 'as the representatives of Buddhist principles, was after. twards revised in a contrary senee, at the time of the

Prähmanical reaction, by votaries of Vishnu, when the Puddhist features were generally modified into Saivite tendencies, and prominence was given to the divine nature of Krishna, as an incarnation of Vishnu. The chief objection to this theory probably is that it would seem to make such portions as the Bhagavad-gità (“song of the holy one")—the famous theosophic episode, in which Krishna, in lofty and highly poetical language, expounds the doctrine of faith (bhakti) and claims adoration as the incarnation of the supreme spirit—even more modern than many scholars may be inclined to admit as at all necessary, considering that at the time of Patanjali's Mahābhāshya the Krishna worship, as was shown by Prof. Bhandarkar, had already attained some degree of development. Of the purely legendary matter incorporated with the leading story not a little, doubtless, is at least as old as the latter itself. Some of these episodes—especially the well-known story of Nala and Damayanti, and the touching legend of Sãvitri–form themselves little epic gems, of which any nation might be proud. There can be no doubt, however, that this great storehouse of legendary lore has received considerable additions down to comparatively recent times, and that, while its main portion is considerably older, it also contains no small amount of matter which is decidedly more modern than the Rāmāyana. As regards the leading narrative of the Rāmāyana, while it is generally supposed that the chief object which the poet had in view was to depict the spread of Aryan civilization towards the south, Mr T. Wheeler has tried to show that the demons of Lankä against whom Rāma's expedition is directed are intended for the Buddhists of Ceylon. Prof. Weber, moreover, from a comparison of Rāma's story with cognate Buddhist legends in which the expedition to Lankä is not even referred to, has endeavoured to prove that this feature, having been added by Vālmiki to the original legend, was probably derived by him from some general acquaintance with the Trojan cycle of legends, the composition of the poem itself being placed by the same scholar somewhere about the beginning of the Christian era. Though, in the absence of positive proof, this theory, however ably supported, can scarcely be assented to, it will hardly be possible to put the date of the work farther back than about a century before our era; while the loose connexion of certain “passages in which the divine character of Rāma, as an avatār of Vishnu, is especially accentuated, raises a strong suspicion of this, feature of Rāma's nature having been introduced at a later time. A remarkable feature of this poem is the great variation of its text in different parts of the country, amounting in fact to several distinct recensions. The so-called Gauda. recension, current in Bengal, which differs most of all, has been edited, with an Italian translation, by G. Gorresio; while the version prevalent in western India, and published at Bombay, has been made the basis for a beautiful poetical translation by Mr R. Griffith. This diversity has never been explained in a quite satisfactory way; but it was probably due to the very popularity and wide oral diffusion of the poem. Yet another version of the same story, with, however, many important variations of details, forms an episode of the Mahābhārata, the relation of which to Vālmīki's work is still a matter of uncertainty. To characterize the Indian epics in a single word:— though often disfigured by grotesque fancies and wild exaggerations, they are yet noble works, abounding in passages of remarkable descriptive power, intense pathos, and high poetic grace and beauty; and, while, as works of art, they are far inferior to the Greek epics, in some respects they appeal far more strongly to the romantic. mind of Europe, namely, by their loving appreciation of natural beauty, their exquisite delineation of womanly love and devotion, and their tender sentiment of mercy and forgiveness. 2. Purānas and Tantras.-The Purán as are partly legendary partly speculative histories of the universe, ompiled for the purpose of promoting some special, locally prevalent form of Brähmanical belief. They are sometimes styled a fifth Veda, and may indeed in a certain sense be looked upon as the scriptures of Brāhmanical India. The term purána, signifying “old,” applied originally to prehistoric, especially cosmogonic, legends, and then to collections of ancient traditions generally. The existing works of this class, though recog. nizing the Brähmanical doctrine of the Trimărti, or triple manifestation of the deity (in its creative, preservative, and destructive activity), are all of a sectarian tendency, being intended to establish, on quasi-historic grounds, the claims of some special god, or holy place, on the 'devotion of the people. For this purpose the compilers have pressed into their service a mass of extraneous didactic matter on all manner of subjects, whereby these works have become a kind of popular encyclopædias of useful knowledge. It is evident, however, from a comparatively early definition given of the typical Purāna, as well as from numerous coincidences of the existing works, that they are based on, or enlarged from, older works of this kind, more limited in their scope, and probably of a more decidedly tritheistic tendency of belief. Thus none of the Purānas, as now extant, is probably much above a thousand years old, though a considerable proportion of their materials is doubtless much older, and may perhaps in part go back to several centuries before our era. In legendary matter the Purānas have a good deal in , common with the epics, especially the Mahābhārata, the compilers or revisers of both classes of works having evidently drawn their materials from the same fluctuating mass of popular traditions. They are almost entirely composed in epic couplets, and indeed in much the same easy flowing style as the epic poems, to which they are, however, geatly inferior in poetic value. According to the traditional classification of these works, there are said to be eighteen (nahá-, or great) Purámas, and as many Upa-puránas, or subordinate Purānas. The former are by some authorities divided into three groups of six, according as one or other of the three primary qualities of external existence—goodness, darkness (ignorance), and passion—is supposed to prevail in them viz., the Vishnu, Náradiya, Bhāgavala, Garuda, Padma, Varāha; Matsya, Karina, Linga, Siva, Skanda, Agni, Brahmánda, Brahmavaivarta, Márkandeya, Bhavishya, V6 mana, and Brahma-Purámas. In accordance with the nature of the several forms of the Trimūrti, the first two groups chiefly devote themselves to the commendation of Vishnu and Śiva respectively, whilst the third group, which would properly belong to Brahman, has been largely appropriated for the promotion of the claims of other deities, viz., ishnu in his sensuous form of Krishna, Devi, Ganeśa, and Sūrya. As Prof. Banerjea has shown in his preface to the Mārkandeya, this seems to have been chiefly effected by later additions and interpolafions. The insufficiency of the above classification, however, appears from the fact that it omits the Váyu-purána, robably one of the oldest of all, though some MSS. substitute it }. one or other name of the second group. The eighteen o Purānas are said to consist of together 400,000 couplets. In Northern India the Vaishnava Purānas, especially the Bhāgavata and Vishnu,” are by far the most popular. The Bhāgavata was formerly supposed to have been composed by Wopadeva, the mmarian, who lived in the 13th century. It has, however, en shown” that what he wrote was a synopsis of the Purāna,

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and that the latter is already quoted in a work by Ballāla Sena of Bengal, in the 11th century.

From the little we know regarding the Upa-purănas, their character does not seem to differ very much from that of the principal Purānas. One of them, the Brahmánda purána, contains, as an episode, the well known Adhyātma-Rámáyana, a kind of spiritualized version of Vālmīki's poem. Besides these two classes of works there is a large nuinber of so-called Sthala-puránas, cr chronicles recounting the history and merits of some holy “place” or shrine, where their recitation usually forms an important part of the daily service. Of much the same nature are the numerous Māhātmyas (literally “relating to the great spirit ”), which usually profess to be sections of one or other Purāna. Thus the Devimáhátmya, which celebrates the victories of the great goddess Durgā over the Asuras, and is daily read at the temples of that deity, forms a section, though doubtless an interpolated one, of the Márkandeya-purăna.

The Tantras, which have to be considered as a later Tantres.

development of the sectarian Purānas, are the sacred writings of the numerous Sáktas, or worshippers of the female energy (śakti) of some god, especially the wife of iva, in one of her many forms (Pârvati, Devi, Kāli, Bhavāni, Durgā, &c.). This worship of a ferale representation of the divine power appears already in some of the Purānas; but in the Tantras it assumes quite a peculiar character, being largely intermixed with magic performances and mystic rites, partly, it would seem, of a grossly immoral nature. This class of writings does not appear to have been in existence at the time of Amarasimha (6th century); but they are mentioned in some of the Purānas. They are usually in the form of a dialogue between Śiva and his wife. Their number is very large; but they still await a critical examination at the hands of western scholars. Among the best known may be mentioned the Rudra 3/āmala, Kulárnava, Syâmâ-rahasya, and Kaliká-tantra.

3. Modern Epics.-A new class of epic poems begin to Modern make their appearance about the 5th or 6th century of *P*.

our era, during a period of renewed literary activity which

has been fitly called 8 the Renaissance of Indian literature.

These works differ widely in character from those that had preceded them. The great national epics, composed though they were in a language different from the ordinary vernaculars, had at least been drawn from the living stream of popular traditions, and were doubtless readily understood and enjoyed by the majority of the people. The later productions, on the other hand, are of a decidedly artificial character, and must necessarily have been beyond the reach of any but the highly cultivated. They are, on the whole, singularly deficient in incident and invention, their subject matter being almost entirely derived from the old epics. Nevertheless, these works are by no means devoid of merit and interest; and a number of them display considerable descriptive power and a wealth of enuine poetic sentiment, though unfortunately often clothed in language that deprives it of half its value. The simple heroic couplet has mostly been discarded for, various more or less elaborate metres; and in accordance with this change of form the diction becomes gradually more complicated,—a growing taste for unwieldy compounds, a jingling kind of alliteration, or rather agnomination, and an abuse of similes marking the increasing artificiality of these productions.

The generic appellation of such works is kāvya, which, meaning “poem,” or the work of an individual poet (kavi), is already applied to the R4māyana. Six poems of this kind are singled out by native rhetoricians as standard works, under the title of Mahdkāvya, or great poems. Two of these are ascribed to the famous dramatist Kālidasa, the most prominent figure of the Indian Renaissance, and truly a master of the poetic art. He is said to have been one of the nine literary “gems” at the court of Vikramāditya, now generally identified with King Vikramāditya, Harsha of Ujjayini (Ujjain or Oujein), who reigned about the middle of the 6th century, and seems to have originated the Vikramāditya era, reckoned from 56 B.c. Of the poets whose works have come down

* M. Müller, India: What can it teach us! note G:

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