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bring back the Hindus to the purity of their primitive doctrines, and correct the abuses that had been introduced into them. He wished, if it were possible, to engage all mankind to embrace the same faith, and for the short time they have to remain in this world, to live in peace with each other. In order to conciliate the Hindus and Mohammedans, and induce them more readily to adopt his tenets, he shewed a certain complacency for the usages of both.
The cow race is considered with as much sacred regard by the Sikhs as by the Hindūs; and we may presume that the Hindu law which prescribes this, was preserved by Nanac for the same reason, for which certainly it was ordained, viz. the extreme utility of the animal. Milk, variously prepared, and butter, especially when melted
of the Brachmans; the Brachman is the superior of the tribes; the husband is the superior of women; but the stranger is the superior of all."-Sketches of the Hindus, by the Author of this Essay, vol. i. p. 232, et seq.
and refined into what is termed Ghee,* are universally used by all Hindūs, but especially by those to whom animal food is forbidden. The ox is the chief beast of burthen throughout India, and the only one employed in tillage. Nanac, though a Hindu by birth, and originally of the Brahminical religion, seems to have been equally well acquainted with the Koran as the Vedas, and to have approved many things contained in both: but, while he allowed the Hindus and Mohammedans to retain such usages as did not materially affect his own doctrines, he boldly opposes their errors. He speaks of Mohammed and his successors without acrimony, but reprobates their attempts to propagate their religion by violence: "Put on armour (says he) that will hurt no one; let thy coat of mail be that of reason, and convert
* The Ghee may be preserved a considerable time without injury, and is used by Europeans and Mohammedans as well as Hindus, for culinary purposes, as butter is in Europe.
thy enemies to friends. Fight with valour, but let thy weapon be the word of God." When speaking of the founders of the Hindu and Mohammedan religions, he says: "These are all perishable, God alone is immortal. He alone is a true Hindu whose heart is just, and he only a good Mohammedan whose life is pure."
The first successors of Nanac adhered strictly to the doctrines and spirit of their leader; and though Har Govind, the fifth in succession from him, armed his followers, it was on a principle of self-defence. But Guru Govind, the tenth and last great spiritual chief, gave a new character to the religion of the Sikhs. Animated with a sense of his own wrongs, and those of his tribe, when addressing himself to the Hindūs, in whom he principally trusted, to enable him to oppose the Mohammedans, he sought, by every means, to rouse them to join with him against these. He 'conjured them to devote themselves to arms, by which alone they could hope to deliver
themselves from their oppressors. The dis-
Nanac, in order to conciliate the Mohammedans to his tenets, prohibited the use of hog's flesh; and, by not mentioning circumcision, seemed to leave it to them to do in that respect as they thought fit; but Govind expressly forbad the latter, and recommended the former; and the hog, especially the wild hog, which is of a much superior quality to the domestic animal, has become a favourite food with the Sikhs.
But, notwithstanding all that was done by Nanac, and more especially by Govind, in conformity to the notions of the Hindus, the precepts that were openly professed by both, are subversive of almost the whole practice and mode of worship of the Brahmins. The religion of the Sikhs not only denies a plurality of Gods, but forbids the use of idols, even in the sense explained by the Hindu Pandits, of being merely representations of the different attributes of the Supreme Being; contrary to that of the Hindūs, it admits of proselytes, and eating