Charles Reed Peers.

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connection with water. By the tortoise is meant the lord,
or conservative angel, of earth ; as their mythology relates
that the Avatar of the tortoise occurred for the purpose of
the earth being supported on its back, as is actually the
case ; : they have also especially mentioned the tortoise, as
it is both a land and aquatic creature, and that after water
comes earth. By the boar are meant the passions and the
propagation of living creatures ; and as to the tradition
of a demon having stolen away the earth and taken it
under the water, and of his being pursued by Vishnu under
the form of a boar, and slain by his tusks, its import is as
follows : the demon means dissolute manners, which de-
stroyed the earth with the deluge of sensuality; but on the
aid of the spirit coming, the demon of dissoluteness was
overthrown by the tusks of continence : the boar is particu-



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 187

larly mentioned, because its attribute is sensuality; and it
was reckoned an Avatar, because continence is virtue. The
Narsinh, or "man-lion,** is the lord, or conservative angel
of heroism ; and as this constitutes a most praiseworthy
quality, they said that the Narsinh was a form with a lion's
head and a human body, for when they spoke of impetuous
bravery in a man, the}^ made use of the term "lion." By
Vdmana, or "dwarfish stature,** they meant, the lord of
reason, strength of reflection, and an intellectual being; the
dwarfish stature implying that, notwithstanding a diminu-
tive person, important results may be obtained through him;
as in almost a direct allusion to this, people say : " An in-
telligent man of small stature is far superior to the tall
blockhead.** By Rajah Bali, they typify generosity and
liberality.

Shid6sh was delighted at this interpretation, and said :
" They have also recorded that Krishna had sixteen thou-
sand wives ; and when one of his friends who thought it
impossible for Krishna to visit all of them, said to try him:
^Bestow on me one of thy wives,* Krishna answered: 'In
whatever female's apartment thou findest me not, she is
thine.* His friend went into the different apartments, but
in every one of them he beheld the god engaged in con-
versation with its mistress.** This story implies, that the love
of Krishna was so rooted in their hearts, that they cared for
none besides, having his image present to their eyes and
dwelling every moment on his beloved idea.

The tradition of Vishnu's always bearing the Chakra in
his hand (a kind of military weapon) alludes to the knowl-
edge and decisive demonstration which are unattainable with-
out the aid of soul.

In Mahadeo, they allude to our elementary nature by the
serpent twined round his neck ; they mean anger, and the
other reprehensible qualities which result from corporeity;
by his being mounted on a bull, the animal propensities ; by
the tradition of his place of repose being the site for burn-
ing the dead is signified the total dispersion of the parti-
cles of bodies and the perishable nature of things. Mahadeo's
drinking poison is also to the same purport. In this sense
they also say that Mahadeo is the destroyer of all worldly



1 88 THE DABISTAN

things ; that is, elemental nature imperatively requires the
dissolution of combination (connection), and that ultimately
death comes in the natural course.



Celestial Wives

They also hold that every angel has a wife (female
energy) of a similar generic constitution, and originally de-
rived from Brahma ; and as we have before stated, the phi-
losophers call the first intelligence the True Sire, and the
universal soul. Eve; and thus he is the head and the wife
the shoulder; the universal soul is the body of the empyr-
eal heaven; and in like manner the other celestial souls
and bodies have wives of the elementary nature ; as they
give the appellation of wife, or energy, to whatever is the
manifest source of action.

Moreover the established doctrine held by these sectaries
is, that each class should worship a particular angel, and
the w^ife or female energy of that angel ; that worshiper re-
garding the object of his adoration as God, and all others
as created beings; for example, many believe Nardyan to be
the supreme God ; several others look up to Mahad^o, and
many to the other male and female divinities; and thus,
pursuant to the four V6das, which according to their com-
mon belief are a celestial revelation, they do not hold any
angel who is the object of their praise as distinct from
God : by which they mean that God, who is without equal,
having manifested Himself under innumerable modes of ap-
pearance, contemplates the glorious perfection of His essence
in the mirrors of His attributes ; so that, from the most
minute atom to the solar orb, His holy and divine essence
is the source of all that exists : —




Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 18 of 37)