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the catalogue of omens, of things and days considered as lucky, or unfortunate, will be found on examination, to be equally numerous with those of the Greeks, and in many instances precisely the same.*
some dreadful misfortune would befall him on that day, unless averted by the prayers of the righteous, and by pious offerings.
"Whether the Sultan's mind was now depressed by fear, or tainted by superstition, he repaired to his palace, and issued orders for all the ceremonies prescribed by the Brahmins to be duly performed, and, having given them several presents, requested their prayers for the prosperity of his government.
"His father, Hyder Ally, was very superstitious, and never commenced any undertaking without consulting the Brahmins, whom he liberally paid. This is the first time we have heard of Tippoo's consulting them."+
* Many examples might be adduced, of this affinity; but we shall mention one only in regard to omens, and which, ridiculous as it may seem, did not by any means appear so to the Hindus. A Rajah of an illustrious family in the province of Rajahmundry, demanded an interview with the chief, or European governor. The day
† See " A Descriptive Catalogue of the Oriental Library of the late Tippoo Sultan, and Memoirs of his life, &c." by Charles Stewart, Esq.
and hour were accordingly fixed for their meeting, which was at the Government House, in a fort adjoining to the town also named Rajahmundry, and which is the capital of the province. The Rajah, whose place of residence was about thirty miles from it, but who had come thither on purpose for the meeting, was lodged in the town. He set out for the interview, accompanied by a numerous retinue, but in coming through one of the gates of the fort, a soldier happened to sneeze. The Rajah immediately gave orders to halt, offered up some short prayer, and sending for his first minister, who was in a palankin behind him, ordered him to wait on the chief, with a request to defer their meeting until some more auspicious moment. On returning to the place where he lodged, Brahmins and divines were summoned, to be consulted on the occasion. Yet the Rajah, abstracted from superstitious prejudices, was a sensible man. His prejudices were the effects of impressions received in infancy, and which his education instead of correcting, had confirmed.
With the Greeks and Romans, sneezing was regarded as infallibly portentous. But things considered as ominous equally by the Hindus, and by the ancient inhabitants of Egypt, Greece, and Italy, are too numerous to be quoted. We shall only add one other example. It is the regard for the right side, in preference to the left. We shall select an instance, which shews that even the most enlightened minds, and men of the most enterprizing characters, are not always free from the influence of early impressions, and hence it is of the highest importance to guard children from
imbibing any notions that may tend to shackle the mind, or weaken the powers of reason. Pliny very gravely reports, that on the day when Augustus narrowly escaped from being killed in a mutiny, it was recollected that he had put on the left shoe before the right. "Divus Augustus laevum prodidit sibi calceum præpostere inductum, quo die seditione militari propè afflictus est." (Plin. lib. ii. c. 7.) In dressing, the right side of the body was always clothed first. If a servant presented his master with the left sleeve of his garment first, or his left shoe or sandal, it was considered as portending something unlucky.
ON THE PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY OF THE HINDŪS.
WHATEVER variety of opinions may obtain among the Hindus concerning spirit and matter, as well as the creation and deluge, the fundamental principles of their religion consist in the belief of the existence of one Supreme Being only, of the immortality of the soul, and a future state of rewards and punishments. Their precepts of morality inculcate the practice of virtue as necessary for procuring happiness even in this transient life; their religious doctrines make their felicity in a future state to depend on it.*
* "The doctrine of the metempsychosis is fully explained in the Institutes of Menu. The other dog
When speaking of the Supreme Being, they frequently use the expressions of, the first cause; the universal and eternal essence ; that which has ever been, and which will ever continue; that which vivifies and pervades all things; he who is every where present, and causes the celestial bodies to revolve in the course he has prescribed to them.*
mata may be epitomized in the following heads:-1. The existence of one God, from whom all things proceed, and to whom all must return. 2. A tripartite division of the good principle, for the purposes of creation, preservation, and renovation. 3. The necessary existence of an evil principle, occupied in counteracting the benevolent purposes of the first, in their execution by the devata, or subordinate genii, to whom is entrusted the control over the various operations of nature."-Edinburgh Review, vol. xvii. p. 322.
* "One great and incomprehensible Being has alone existed from all eternity. Every thing we behold, and we ourselves, are portions of him. The soul, mind, or intellect, of gods and men, and of all sentient creatures, are detached portions of the universal soul, to which at stated periods they are destined to return. But the mind of finite beings is impressed by an uninterrupted series of illusions, which they consider as real, until again united to the great fountain of truth. Of