The Sacred City of the Hindus: An Account of Benares in Ancient and Modern Times

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Trübner & Company, 1868 - 388 pages

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Page 6 - The traveller could scarcely make his way through the press of holy mendicants, and not less holy bulls. The broad and stately flights of steps which descended from these swarming haunts to the bathingplaces along the Ganges, were worn every day by the footsteps of an innumerable multitude of worshippers.
Page 6 - Commerce had as many pilgrims as religion. All along the shores of the venerable stream lay great fleets of vessels laden with rich merchandise. From the looms of Benares went forth the most delicate silks that adorned the balls of St. James's and of Versailles, and in the bazaars the muslins of Bengal and the sabres of Oude were mingled with the jewels of Golconda and the shawls of Cashmere.
Page 6 - The schools and temples drew crowds of pious Hindoos from every province where the Brahminical faith was known. Hundreds of devotees came thither every month to die : for it was believed that a peculiarly happy fate awaited the man who should pass from the sacred city « into the sacred river.YNor was superstition the only motive which allured strangers to that great metropolis.
Page 3 - When Babylon was struggling with Nineveh for supremacy, when Tyre was planting her colonies, when Athens was growing in strength, before Borne had become known, or Greece had contended with Persia, or Cyrus had added lustre to the Persian monarchy, or Nebuchadnezzar had captured Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of Judaea had been carried into captivity, she had already risen to greatness, if not to glory.
Page 41 - Moreover, it is of great importance to bear in mind, that, as a man can hardly be better than his religion, the nature of the Hindu partakes of the supposed nature of the gods whom he worships. And what is that nature? According to the traditions handed about amongst the natives, and constantly dwelt upon in their conversation, and referred to in their popular songs, which, perhaps, would be sufficient proof...
Page xxx - History of Bengal, p. 36. Elsewhere we read, that, " having broken the idols in above a thousand temples, he purified and consecrated the latter to the worship of the true God.
Page 190 - ... and an expression of sympathy with these holy mourners, would sufficiently comfort them, and give them an ostensible reason for returning to their usual employment. Accordingly, all the British functionaries went to the principal ghat, expressed their sorrow for the distress in which they saw them, but reasoned with them on the absurdity of punishing themselves for an act in which they had no share, and which they had done their utmost to prevent or to avenge.
Page 130 - But finding that brass instruments did not come up to the ideas which he had formed of accuracy, because of the smallness of their size, the want of divisions into minutes, the shaking and wearing of their axes, the displacement of the centres of the circles, and the shifting of the planes of the instruments, he concluded that the reason why the determinations of the ancients such as Hipparchus and Ptolemy proved inaccurate...
Page 5 - Benares, a city which in wealth, population, dignity, and sanctity was among the foremost of Asia. It was commonly believed that half a million of human beings was crowded into that labyrinth of lofty alleys, rich with shrines and minarets and balconies and carved oriels, to which the sacred apes clung by hundreds. The traveller could scarcely make his way through the press of holy mendicants and not less holy bulls.
Page xxxvi - For the sanctity of its inhabitants, of its temples and tanks, of its wells and streams, of the very soil that is trodden, of the very air that is breathed, and of everything in it and around it, Benares has been famed for thousands of years.

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