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 10 - 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 203 - I resolved," — these are the words of Hastings himself, — "to draw from his guilt the means of relief to the Company's distresses, to make him pay largely for his pardon, or to exact a severe vengeance for past delinquency.
Page 10 - 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 10 - 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 240 - Brahmani geese, while the two farther ones carry only single birds. Over the - nearest pair of geese, on the right hand of the figure, there is a frog. The attitudes of the birds are all good, and even that of the human figure is easy, although formal. The lotus scroll, with its flowing lines of graceful stalk, mingled with tender buds, and full blown flowers, and delicate leaves, is very rich and very beautiful.
Page xxxiv - Major Stewart's 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." Colonel Briggs's translation from Farishta, Vol. I., p. 179. many centuries, is •well-nigh a blank. Its religious character was not, in the eyes of its Islamite masters, a thing to recommend it; and commercial or political importance it had none.1 Even Akbar, with all his toleration of Hinduism, and occasional...
Page 194 - Two or three days' abstinance, however, tired them; and a hint was given to the magistrates and other public men, that a visit of condolence and some expression of sympathy would comfort them, and give them some excuse for returning to their usual course of life. Accordingly, the British functionaries went to the principal ghat, and 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,...
Page 45 - 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 13 - The name of Benares excites deep emotion* in tne breast of every pious Kinaoo, and his constant prayer is, " Holy Kasi ! Would that I could see the eternal city favored of the gods ! Would that I might die on its sacred soil!
Page 2 - For the sanctity of its inhabitants — of its temples and reservoirs — 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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