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corner, and in a chamber detached from the building, is a colossal figure of Némináth, cut in black stone.
The whole of the building is of the richest white marble, superbly cut into numerous devices; and it is worthy of remark that there is not an inch of stone unornamented, and not two domes of the same pattern, though 133 in number, and all are carved. The grand dome is a most chaste piece of workmanship, and so light do the pillars appear, that it could hardly be imagined they could support the superincumbent weight.
Adjoining to this building is a room called “ Háthísal,” or the Elephant Hall, which seems once to have also had a roof of domes, and in which are the figures of ten marble elephants, with drivers, each about four feet high, and caparisoned in the modern style of those of the native princes, with every rope, tassel, and cloth beautifully and correctly carved, and apparently, the cars and riders excepted, from one block of marble. The workmanship is exceedingly good, and the representation of the animal is very superior to Indian sculpture in general.
The floor of this room is of black marble, while that of the temple is of white. At the door there is a large equestrian statue of the founder, who, in an inscription, is described as “ Bímalnáth, a Banian of Chandoulí, to whom the gods had been propitious.” It is rudely executed, and is evidently the workmanship of later days.
The whole of this temple is said to have occupied a period of fourteen years in building, and to have cost eighteen crores of rupees, in addition to fifty-six lacs spent in levelling the side of the hill on which it is built.
The next temple to be described is the northern one, which is dedicated to Némináth, the twenty-second deified saint of the Jains. It is, with regard to design and material, much the same as the one mentioned; but, although of equal length, it is ten paces wider, from which addition the architect has been able to make the colonnade double on all sides without contracting the area too much, and which has a good effect. The pagoda of the god is in the centre, and faces the west. It has also a cupola in front of it, the same as the other in size, though far inferior in execution : but the greatest ornament in this temple, and indeed on Abú, is a portico between this cupola and the pagoda. It is supported by pillars, and the roof is formed by nine small domes most exquisitely carved. The stones on both sides the entrance of the temple are deeper cut than any marble I ever saw; and, if I mistake not, approach in resemblance to Hogarth’s line of beauty. This part of the building is said to have cost eighteen lacs of rupees, and I can well credit the people who gave me the information.
All round the temple and in front of the colonnade, small images of the god are placed, to the number of forty-six, in front of each of which are two sculptured domes.
The east side of the building is not divided into compartments, but consists of one long room, in which are placed ten marble elephants, which are more minutely carved than those described, the very twisting of the ropes being represented. In rear of these are the iinages of the different contributors to the "holy undertaking,” rudely cut out in stone, and represented as holding purses full of money ready to be appropriated. There are inscriptions under all these figures, mentioning at length the names of the different “pious individuals,” most of whom appear to have been Banians.
In the south-western corner of the building are two inscriptions cut in
marble and fixed into the wall, but they are in such a good state of preservation that it becomes very questionable if they are of the same age as the teinples. They are in the Bálbad character, and giving (as I learnt from the people, there being no one who could read them with me) a genealogical account of the different founders and their relatives. Above the niches containing the smaller images, there are also inscriptions, with the names of the builders, in Gúzerátí character. From all of these it appears that this temple was built An. Vicr. 1293, or A.D. 1236, nearly 600 years since, by two brothers, Bast and Fest Pál; Banians, also of the ruined city of Chandouli, and one of whom is said to have been kámdár to the Delhi emperor. The building is said to have cost twelve crores of sonias, a coin equivalent to ten rupees, in addition to the expense of the portico; and although it is superior to the other temple, this is undoubtedly an exaggeration.
The sculpture of the small domes in this pagoda, from being of a higher order of architecture than the others, deserves remark. In several of them are representations of the gods; in particular a group of the procession of Indra, king of the gods, who is believed to have descended from heaven at the birth, marriage, and installation of Rikabdeo; also another of Némináth's marriage, both of which are pretty well executed in marble. Nothing more attracted my notice, however, than the group next to the one just described, it being a representation of one of the Mahommedan emperors of Delhí. I observed also that very common ornaments throughout the temple were small Mahommedan tombstones.
Superstition has, however, pre-eminently shown itself in the portico. While admiring its beauty I observed the capital of one of the pillars to be of coarse unpolished black stone, which induced me to ask the cause of such a disfiguration ; when the people informed me that it had been done intentionally to keep off the evil eye, as in a place like this, where all was beauty, it would inevitably fall and become bewitched if there were no foil. The floor of this temple is of mixed marble, being both black and white; and under the great dome there is a slab of yellow marble, said to have been brought from Jesalmír.
The two remaining temples are about 365 years old, and very inferior, both as to workmanship and materials, when compared with the others. Under the dome of the southern one, there is some attempt at mosaic work, and the floor is inlaid with five different kinds of marble.
The whole of these temples are in a good state of preservation, notwithstanding the attempts that have been made to destroy them. The tails, trunks, and riders of the elephants have been broken off, though since replaced; and the dome of Adesirjí-dewal is cracked in one or two places. The earthquake of 1819 is said to have had some effect on these buildings, but although the Brahmans and Jains formerly carried on violent controversies, it does not appear that the former injured the Jain temples. The natives themselves speak with horror of the oppression of a Mahommedan prince known to them by the name of Bogra Badshah, who is said to have ordered the temples in Abú to be levelled. Natives are at all times but bad chronologists, nor are they in this instance able to give any distinct account either of the time or of the indivi. dual whose name excites such irritating feelings.
It is on record, however, that a sultan of Ahmedabad in Guzerát, by name Mahmúd Begra, sent a force to levy tribute on the Parsees, A.D. 1450, and from the similarity of names, and the connection that subsisted between two
such mercantile places as Ahmedabad and Chandouli, it does not appear to me at all improbable that this is the individual.* The hand of time is now, however, fast injuring these buildings, and, throughout, the marble gives signs of decay.
Without placing too much reliance on the inscriptions above alluded to, there is a circumstance which goes far to fix the date of these temples at a period when the Mahommedan power was great in India. All the figures are throughout represented with beards, which we know to be at variance with Hindú customs, and which is, without doubt, attributable to the same cause, that induces the Hindú subjects of a Mahommedan government to follow the custom of their rulers, namely, submission to the powers that be. In Sind, at the present tiine, such is the custom of all Hindús, and it is perhaps owing to this that the Moslem rulers ever spared the temples of the submissive people they conquered. It is to the same cause, I presume, that we have the representation of the emperor of Delhi, though from the founder being his kárdár, it may be more easily accounted for.
With very few exceptions, the people on Abú do not worship at the temples of Dilwárra, and there are only one or two Gurjis at the place, who could give, from sheer ignorance, little or no information concerning the surrounding scene of grandeur. They have, however, one good quality, which our country, men can well appreciate, a total freedom from all prejudice, so that we entered the sanctum-sanctorum of the inner temple without a murmur on their part, nor did they object to our handling the gods themselves.
There were, besides, two inmates of the temples whom I must not omit to mention. They were women who had taken a vow of chastity, retired from the world, and dedicated themselves entirely to religion, or, as they themselves say, had become sadú. One of them was young, and had retired on the death of her husband. They spent their time in reading their religious books, which they readily showed, and were quite free from that prevailing reserve in Indian women, so much so, that they followed us through the atria of the temples, and were ever ready to explain, as far as in their power, the different objects of our curiosity.
It was from them I learnt the names of the twenty-four deified saints or gods of the Jains, which are as follows: 1, Rikabdeo; 2, Ajilnath ; 3, Sambunáth; 4, Abumandji ; 5, Súmtanáth; 6, Padan Prabú ; 7, Supárisnáth; 8, Chanda Prabu ; 9, Subatanáth; 10, Sítalnáth; 11, Siansnáth; 12, Waspují; 13, Bimal. náth; 14, Anandnáth; 15, Darnnáth; 16, Santínáth ; 17, Kutonáth; 18, Aránáth ; 19, Milnáth; 20, Muní Subartji; 21, Nawínáth ; 22, Némináthjí ; 23, Párisnáthjí; 24, Mahávarú; and it is not difficult to distinguish, by the expressive affix of “ji,” even from among this long list, the favoured or favourite gods to whom the temples are dedicated.
I also learned from these people, that there are large assemblages of people on Abú at different but unfixed periods, and that they chiefly come from Guzerat, Marwar, Ajmere, Malwa, and Bombay, all of which, except the latter, are, in fact, the surrounding countries. The natives of India are, as it is well known, fond of perching their temples on the tops of hills and other remarkable places; and it is no doubt owing, as well to the isolated situation, as the great size of the mountain, that such a position has been chosen. There is,
* I should have been more disposed to attribute the injury which the temples of Abú have received to Mahmúd of Ghizni, who came by Ajmir into Guzerát, in 1024, through Patan, and who was so zealous in the destruction of Hindu gods and temples, and has been rendered fanious by the demolition of the one at Patan Somnáth in Kattywar; but if the inscription be true, the whole of these temples, even the oldest of them, are of a posterior date to that conqueror's inroad. Asiat.Journ.N.S.Vol.14.No.53.
however, no marble on Abú, and certainly at present, no roads by which the enormous blocks of it could have been brought up from the pits that are at the base of the mountain; so that it is to be presumed they have been destroyed.
From some specimens in my possession, it would seem that the summit of Abú is granite; but great part of the exposed rocks are in a state of decomposition, and break off in flakes.
The vicinity of Abú, though now without a large town, has been, as is discoverable from ruins, and according to tradition, a well-cultivated and thicklypeopled country.
About nine miles from Girwar, a village at the base of Abú, and half that distance or less from the Banâs river, are the ruins of a great and ancient city called Chandoulí, said to have been eighteen miles in circumference, and which is now without an inhabitant.
The natives have numerous fabulous accounts concerning the place, and believe it to have been one of eighty-four towns or villages that were destroyed by a “shower of stones” 300 years ago ; and that a famine and scarcity of fuel ensuing, the people fled to Guzerát, and settled at Ahmedabad. I myself had not an opportunity of visiting the ruins of this city, but am informed that all its buildings are thrown down as if by an earthquake, the occurrence of which could, I have no doubt, be accurately assertained by inquiry on the spot. Its antiquity may be readily discovered from the temples on Abú having been built by the Banians of this once-opulent city, as proved by the inscriptions before alluded to, and great numbers of small marble images of Párasnáth, the same as those on Abú, being constantly dug from among the ruins. *
* From the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.
THE KAZEE OF EMESSA.
ORIGIN OF THE STORY OF SHYLOCK.
The origin of the story of Shylock the Jew, and the pound of flesh, in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, is now satisfactorily traced, like many, if not most, of the ancient tales of Europe, to the East. Sir Thomas Munro had the merit of the discovery, * but the entire story has never yet, we believe, been given to the English reader. The following version of it was purchased at Calcutta, about thirty years ago, by the gentleman who has favoured us with it. The MS. from which it was taken once belonged to the celebrated Claude Martin. The original author is of course unknown: the property of such compositions as this is lost through age.
There lived once, in the same city, an affluent Jew and an indigent Mussul.
The latter fell at length into such distress, that he went to the Jew, and begged a loan of a hundred dinars; saying that he had a favourable opportunity of trading with the money, and promising half the profits in return for the favour. The Jew, though a great miser, had long cast the eyes of affection on the Mussulman's wife, a woman of extraordinary beauty, but of strict chastity, and who was fondly attached to her husband. He hoped, however, that if he could involve the poor man in distress, and force her to intercede for him, he might gain his wicked purpose. With this motive, therefore, he spoke kindly, and said, “ if
will give the pledge I shall require, you shall have the money without interest.” The Mussulman, somewhat astonished at his liberality, asked what pledge he wanted; and the Jew replied, consent that, in case you do not pay the money by a given day, I shall cut off a pound of flesh from your body.” But the poor man, fearing the dangers and delays which might befal him, refused.
In a couple of months, however, being hard pressed by poverty and the hunger of his children, he came back and took the money; and the Jew had the precaution to call in several respectable men of the Mahomedan faith to witness the terms of their agreement.
So the Mussulman set off on his journey, which was prosperous; and sent the money in good time to his wife, that she might discharge the debt. But she, not knowing what pledge he had given, and being much perplexed by domestic difficulties, applied the money to her household purposes; and the penalty of the bond was incurred.
It was some time after this, that the Mussulman was joyfully returning, with large gains, and in the confident belief that he had escaped from the snares of the Jew, when he fell among thieves, who plundered him of all, and he came home as poor as he went out.
Presently, the Jew politely called to inquire after his health; and next day returned to claim the fulfilment of his bond. The luckless merchant told him his story; the relentless Jew replied, “my money or the pledge.” And thus they went on some days in hot contention, till the neighbours interfering, advised them to refer the matter to the kazee.
To the kazee, accordingly, they went; who, after a patient hearing of the cause, decreed that the merchant had forfeited his pledge, and must submit to the penalty. But to this he would by no means consent; protesting against
* See his Life and Correspondence, vol. i. p. 64, and Malone's Edition of Shakespeare.