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evil genius. The Hindus do the same. Pythagoras pretended that the evil genii not only caused diseases, but frightful dreams.*
In India, as formerly in Greece, every wood and mountain, every fountain and stream, is sacred to some divinity. "Nullus enim locus sine genio est, qui per anguem plerumque ostenditur."+ The great rivers claimed beings of superior order; the rivulets and fountains had those of inferior rank. Three goddesses of the waters, highly venerated, and from whom three celebrated rivers take their names, are- -Ganga, "who sprang, like armed Pallas, from the head of the Indian Jove; Yamuna, daughter of
* Diogenes Laertius in Pythag. tom. ii. p. 900. (edit. Longolii).
Servius in Æneid.
"The Hindu mythology has animated all nature. It has peopled the heavens, the air, the earth, and waters, with innumerable tribes of imaginary beings, arrayed in tints borrowed from the fervid imaginations of tropical climes."-Edinburgh Review, vol. xvii. p. 315.
Surya, or the sun, and Sareswati. All three met at Prayaga, thence called Triveni, or the three platted locks; but Sareswati, according to the popular belief, sinks under ground, and rises again at Triveni near Hugli, where she rejoins her beloved Ganga."* The Brahmaputra, as the name expresses, is the son of Brahma; and that noble river, the Krishna, is sacred to Krishen, the incarnate Vishnu. It would be almost endless to enumerate the various sacred streams.
"We have mentioned the Lotos as being highly venerated by the Hindūs. It is particularly sacred to Lacshmi, the wife of Vishnu, in her attributes of Sris, goddess of plenty, who presides over the harvests. She is sometimes represented holding a Lotos in her hand; at others sitting on one; and by poets she is frequently denominated Padma-Devi,+ the goddess of the Lotos, Padma being one of the Sanscrit
+ Mr. Wilford however ascribes that epithet to Cali.
names of that plant. At others they call her, she who dwells in the Lotos, and also she who sprung from the Lotos." But the Lotos here spoken of must not be confounded with the Rhamnus Lotos of Lybia, on the coast of what was anciently called the Syrtis Minor, and which gave name to the people, called, by the Greeks, Lotophaga. The Rhamnus Lotos is a shrub about four or five feet high, producing numerous berries; which, being variously prepared, furnished an article of excellent food to the inhabitants of the country. Homer ascribes to it the quality of producing forgetfulness; but this must be considered as a poetical figure, to express the happiness of a people, furnished with a delicious aliment, without the necessity of labour, and which inclined those who visited the country to remain there, and forget their own.* Xenophon mentions it in his harangues to the Ten thousand;† and Pliny
* See Odyssey, lib. ix. v. 94 & seq.
says, it furnished subsistence to the Roman armies when traversing that part of Africa.* A late celebrated traveller,+ speaking of this plant, says: "These (its berries), called Tomberongs, are small farinaceous berries, of a yellow colour and delicious taste, which I know to be the fruit of the Rhamnus Lotos of Linnæus. The negroes shewed us two large baskets full, which they had collected in the course of the day. These berries are much esteemed by the natives; who convert them into a sort of bread, by exposing them for some days to the sun, and afterwards pounding them gently in a wooden mortar, until the farinaceous part of the berry is separated from the stone. This meal is then mixed with a little water, and formed into cakes; which, when dried in the sun, resemble in colour and flavour the sweetest gingerbread. The stones are afterwards put into a vessel of water, and
* Pliny, lib. v. c. 4.-and lib. xiii. c. 17 and 18. + See Travels in the Interior of Africa, by Mungo Park, 8vo. edit. p. 147 & seq.
shaken about, so as to separate the meal which may still adhere to them: this communicates a sweet and agreeable taste to the water; and with the addition of a little pounded millet, forms a pleasant gruel called fondi, which is the common breakfast in many parts of Ludamar, during the months of February and March. This fruit is collected by spreading a cloth upon the ground, and beating the branches with a stick."*
The Lotos, venerated by the Hindus, and formerly by the Egyptians, is an aquatic plant. Sir William Jones, in the argument to two Hymns to Pracriti, says: It may here be observed, that Nymphæa, not Lotos, is the generic name in Europe
*See also Herodotus, lib. iv. c. 177 and 178.Athenæus, Deipnoso. lib. xiv. c. 18, who quotes the 12th Book of Polybius, which is lost.-Theophrastus's Hist. Plant. lib. iv. c. 4.-Shaw's Travels, vol. i. p. 262 et seq.-Article by M. des Fontaines, Mémoires de l'Academie des Sciences, 1788, p. 443.—Rennell's Geographical System of Herodotus, examined and explained, p. 625 & seq.