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A BENARES STREET

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belonging to Mahadeva, “the great god”, meaning Ishwara, or Shiva, and are surmounted by his trident, the symbol of the Hindu trinity. Even Vishnu is regarded by his devotees only as another name for Ishwara.

The doctrine of the One in Many is symbolized by the peculiar construction of the temple spires. They

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are mostly of one type, the form of which was probably derived from an ancient Aryan tent or hut, or from some primitive non-Aryan fetish shrine. The curvilinear form in ancient times was no doubt formed of bamboos tied together at the top and strengthened with shorter horizontal pieces. The roof covering was of thatch, palm leaves, or skins. Afterwards the stonemasons found it easy to imitate this construction with slabs of the sandstones which abound in the Ganges valley. The type of stone temple which they first

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evolved is shown in the illustration of an ancient village temple in the Santhal Parganas of Bengal. This was later on elaborated into the multiform temple spire, found all over the Ganges valley, which is the usual type at Benares. By breaking up the main form into innumerable smaller spires, while still retaining

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the constructive unity, the Brahmins enforced the. teaching of their philosophic doctrines.

But it is not in its architectural features that the chief attraction of Benares lies. It is as a microcosm of Indian life, customs, and popular beliefs that it furnishes a never-ending fascination. Here the student may read a living commentary, more convincing than any record ever written, painted, or sculptured, of the **

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EVERYDAY LIFE life of ancient Egypt, Babylon, Nineveh, and Greece. Here the artist may see before him in the flesh the models of classic sculptors and painters, which might have served for the Panathenaic frieze, the statuettes of Tanagra, and the frescoes of Pompeii. There is an indescribable charm of colour in the throng of women on the ghâts and in the streets--the rainbow-tinted cotton saris of the United Provinces, with their varied shades of lemon, rose, and the palest blue, contrasting with the simple white of Bengal and the deeper notes of indigo, crimson, orange, and chestnut from the rich silks of the Deccan and southern India. The painter need, not search for subjects; he will rather be bewildered by the kaleidoscope of changing scenes, groups, and incidents, with marvellous backgrounds and surroundings, which pass before him in endless succession. ..

You may spend hours on the ghâts and in the streets and temples watching the old-world customs and the simple faith of the common people, who, however misguided, show an earnestness and deep :religious feeling which many conventional Christians might study with advantage. It must not be supposed that this faith and piety are common to all Hindus in the holy city. Unless report maligns them, there are many Brahmin priests in Benares leading immoral lives, and waxing rich and fat on the offerings of the pilgrims. It is certainly evident that many of those in charge of the temples, and more especially the low-class Brahmin Ganga-putras, or “sons of the Ganges", who act as guides and instructors to the ignorant pilgrim-folk, are more concerned in extracting money from the worshippers, and in pestering

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