Charles Reed Peers.

Universal classics library (Volume 6) online

. (page 26 of 37)
Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 26 of 37)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

hold the face of a woman. Those of this sect who are



married, called Grihasth' a, show great regard for the Jatis,
before whom, by a refinement of respect, they scarce dare
bend their body. Whenever they receive a Jati in their
house, they do whatever he orders, according to their power.
They are divided into two classes : the Lunugl and Pujdris.
The first are those who adore God as one, and think Him
free from all imperfections and contradictions, descents and
conjunctions, and who worship no idol. The Pujdris ven-
erate the image of a deity, and have temples for it. The
durvishes of both classes, called Jatis, at the time of taking
meals, go into the houses of friends, and take only as much
food as may not cause a privation to the people of the
house : thus they visit several houses until they get satiated.
They drink no cold water, but go from place to place, and
wherever anybody has warm water for bathing, they take
a little of it, and having thus collected sufficient water,
they let it cool and then drink it.

Thk Maha-atmas

Similar to the durvishes of both classes is a third sect,
called Mahd-dtma ; they have the dress and appearance of
Jatis ; only they do not pluck their hair with tweezers, but
cut it. They accumulate money, cook their meal in their
houses, drink cold water, and take to them a wife. Far-
z^nah KhushI says : I saw in Guzerat of the Panjab, a
S'rivara, and requested him to give me a full account,
which may be deemed true beyond any doubt, of the peo-
ple of his sect. He related as follows : " The men of my
faith may live retired from the world, or devoted to busi-
ness ; they do no harm to anybody ; but there are many of
them eager for science, and as many bereft of knowledge.'*
One or the Maha-5,tmas was a learned man ; the wife of a
rich man devoted herself to his service ; one day she com-
plained to him of the unkindness of her husband ; the
S ' rivara gave no answer ; wherefore the woman said : " An-
other time I will not wait on thee, because thou takest no
interest in me.'' The S'rivara rejoined: "If even thy visit
were agreeable to me, it would be of no service to thee.'*


He then took up a bit of grass, and having breathed upon
it, gave it to the woman, saying: **Put on a clean gar-
ment, and, having ground the grass, rub it upon thy garment
until thy husband becomes kind to thee.'* The woman re-
turned to her house, and having ground the grass upon a
stone, intended to rub it upon her garment, when the hus-
band entered into the room, therefore the grass she had
ground remained upon the stone. When night fell in, they
shut the door of the house. The stone at every moment
jumped from its place, knocked against the board of the
door, and fell back ; the woman and her husband were as-
tonished. The man asked his wife the reason of it, and
she, from fear, told him what had taken place. The man
rose and opened the door of the house ; the stone was set
in motion, and rolled on until it reached the house of the
Mah^-dtma. Many other similar stories are told of the Sri-
varas. Khushi said that he had seen the Jati just mentioned,
who by the power of incantation put stones into motion ;
he praised him, but declared that this man was really a
Jati, but not a Maha.-4tma.

The author of this book affirms he has seen a great num-
ber of Srivaras and their followers. From them he knew
Meher chand, a Lumi, in the year 1056 of the Hegira
(1646 A. D.), in Dotarah, which is under the dominion of
Jodpur M4raw4r, he found also Siva rama, a Pujari, in
Mirta, which place belongs to Marawar, and one named
yagna, a Banian, in Rdwel Pandi : he was adorned with
all the good qualities of Jatis. When he saw a bird in the
hands of a fowler, he bought it of him and set it free.
This sect do whatever they can for the liberation of living
beings. Many of them are rdjas in several places and coun-
tries. When one brings a goat which he has bought some-
where, and is disposed to kill it, they come from their
shops and buy the animal at a high price ; thus it has been
seen that, having assembled from all hands a great number
of sheep, they appointed a person to take care of them. It
is said, that in Guzerat lived a Banian who was a Jati;
one day, a Muselman Durvish sat down before his shop,
and having picked vermin from his coat, was about to kill
it ; the Banian interpopcd ; the Durvish said : ** If thou wilt


give me something, I may spare it ** ; the Banian offered a
fie; the other wanted more and more, until the bargain
closed with the sum of one hundred rupees, which the Ban-
ian paid for the liberation of the offensive insect. Hafiz
Shirazi says: —

"Avoid hurting anj living animal, and do whatever thou likest,
For in my book of laws there is no crime but this.>>

There is a class among the Hindus who give themselves
the term of Muselman-sofis, and really agree in several
tenets and opinions with the Sufis. Thus, in the first
place, they devote themselves to celibacy. As they have
heard that there are ten classes of Sanyasis, and twelve of
Yogis, they also pretend to be divided into fourteen classes;
when they meet together, the questions which they ask are :
Who are the four sages, and which are the fourteen noble
families? and they impose upon their disciples many years
of service, before they reveal to them the four sages and
the fourteen families; they say: The sage of sages is the
illustrious Muhammed (may the peace of God be upon
him!); after him, devoted to godliness, Ali (may the bless-
ing of God be upon him!); from him the khalifat devolved
upon Imam Hossain ; then Khaja Hossen, of Basora, also
was his disciple and a khalif : these four personages are the
four sages. They say, besides, from Khaja Hossen, of Basora,
sprang two branches : the first was that of the khalif Hos-
sen Basorl Habib AjemI, from whom nine families pro-
ceeded, named as follows : the J'lb'idn^ Tdikeridn, Kcrkhidii,
Sikatidn, yenidldn, Gazr'^nldn, Tus'idn, F'erdusidn, and
Sohevwardidn. From the second khalifat of Hossen Basori,
which was that of the Shaikh Abdul Wahid Zaid, came
forth five families with the following titles : the Zebtr'iaft,
Aids' 'tan, Adhamian, Uabirian, and Chesht'tdfi: and these
are the fourteen noble families. It is said, that there ex-
ists a congregation of pious sectaries, who do not adhere to
the prophet Muhammed, although they acknowledge him
to be a blessed gatherer of the harvest of virtuous perfec-
tion : they relate, that one day the prophet was taking a
pleasure-walk under the guidance of Jabril, and came to a
place where a great tumult was heard. Jabril said : " This


is the threshold of pleasure: enter into the house. '^ The
prophet consented to go in, and there he saw sitting forty-
persons as naked as they came from their mother, and a
band busy serving: but whatever service the prophet re-
quested thein to command him to do, they did not comply,
until the moment to grind bang* arrived. When they had
ground it, they had no cloth through which they could
strain and purify it ; then the prophet, having taken his
turban from his head, purified through it the juice of the
bang, the color of which remained on the turban ; whence
the garment of the BinI Hashem is green. When the
prophet rendered them this service, they were glad, and said
among themselves: "Let us give to this messenger of God,
who is always running to the door of the ignorant, a little
of the bang, that he may obtain the secrets of the Al-
mighty power**: so they gave the remains of the juice to
the prophet. When he had drunk it he became possessed
of the secrets of the angel of destiny, and whatever men
heard from him came through the means of this bounty.

There is a great number of this sect in Hindostan, and
among the most celebrated of them are, in the first
line, the lifaddrian, who, like the Sany^sis Avadhuts, wear
the hair entangled ; and the ashes which they and the
Sanyusis rub upon their bodies are called bhastna ; besides,
they carry iron chains on their heads and necks, and have
black flags and black turbans ; they know neither prayers
nor fasts; they are always sitting at a fire; they drink a
great deal of bang; and the most perfect among them go
about without any dress, in severe cold, in Kabul, and
Kachmir, and such places. These also consume much
bang, and to the praise of one of their sect they say:
*' Such a one takes two or three seers of bang.** When
they sit together, they relate, that in the night, when
the prophet ascended through the seven stages of heaven,
he received the command of God to wander through the
heavens. When he arrived at the door of paradise, he
found the entrance as narrow as the eve of a needle ; the
porter made him a sign to enter; the prophet said: "With

*Bang is an inebriating, maddening draught, made of hemp-leaves,
henbane, opium, or masloe.


this body, how shall I enter through this passage?" Jabrll
replied: *^ Say : dam madar^'* (^* the breath of Madar/* a
particular ejaculation of this sect). The prophet said so,
upon which the najrow door opened, and he entered

They say, when Badih eddin Madar came to Hindostan,
he became a Yogi, whom the Hindus held in great esteem,
and who had a great number of followers. Madar took a
house; he sent a little boy, whose name was Jamen, with
the order to fetch some dry cowdung with which he
wanted to kindle a fire. It so happened that Jamen fell
in with an assembly of Yogis, who, supposing him a
Muselman, killed, cut into pieces, and devoured the boy.
Some time after, not receiving anything to light up his
fire, Madar went in search of Jamen, and found the as-
sembly of Yogis, to whom he said: *^ What have you done
with my good little boy ? " They answered : *^ We have
not seen him." Madar called him loud by his name, and
the members of Jamen, from within the bodies of the as-
sembled Yogis, answered ^'^ Dam madar?^ Madar then
said to the Yogis : " Shall I bring forth Jamen from you
all, or from one only of you ? " They replied : " From one
body only." By the power of Madar, the limbs of the
boy having united, in a manner that no body perceived
anything of it, in the belly of the principal Yogi, Jamen
fell out from the nose of the same, so that neither the
nostril of the Yogi's nose was enlarged, nor the boy's
limbs diminished : whereupon the Yogis chose to run
away. Maddr settled at this place, which till now is
known by the name of Makanpiir. The Madarlan come,
as many as possible, from all parts of the world, once a
year, on a fixed day, to Makanpur, and say that the blind
and lame find their cure in that place.

They relate also, that Chistdpd, the wife of Baharam
Gul, in order to put to the test the Muhammedan and In-
dian durvishes and saints, came once among them who
were assembled, and said: ^^ Whoever will loosen the
bracelet of beads (called Sdmran) upon my arm, without
betraying the least symptom of lust, he is a perfect saint."
All the pretenders to perfect sanctity, Muselmans and Hin-


dus, presented themselves, but at the sight of Chistapa,
they all were maddened with love, such was the beauty of
her face: at last the turn came to Jamen, who approached
her, and loosened the bracelet in a manner which, at the
same time, evinced his manly strength, and his complete
command over himself. On that account, Jamen was pro-
claimed victorious over all the Muselmans and Hindus.
And they have a great number of other similar stories.

Another sect, the yelal'ian, are disciples of Said jfelal,
of Bokhara; his sepulchre is in the village Auch, in the
district of Sind ; these sectaries profess to be Shlahs, while
the Medarian are Sunis, on which account they revile each
other. The former know of neither prayers nor fasts, nor
any other practices of piety with which the Sufis are oc-
cupied ; they take a great deal of bang, and used to eat
snakes and scorpions. When the adepts among them see
a snake, they put it whole into their mouth and swallow
it, saying : ** This is a fish of the holy Ali ** ; in eating a
scorpion they remark : ^* This is a prawn of Ali " : and the
\vorms which are found in the water, they call the little
crabs of Ali. Like the Medarian, the Jelalian go naked, and
even in the severely cold season wear no garment; they sit
before the fire like the Medarian, but do not wear matted
hair; frequently they shave four parts of their body, and
lead a wandering life in the world. Some of them bring
everything that they gain to their master, and when they
go for instruction to a preceptor, they deliver to him what-
ever they possess in ready money and other property; after
which he presents them with a turban, and his list of saints ;
they wear that on their heads, and hang this on their necks.
They believe that, when Jzrail comes to take their soul,
the turban descending covers their eyes so that they may
not behold the face of the angel of death, which is exceed-
ingly terrific.

The sect of the Vishnavas follow the doctrine of Gosain
Jani. We hold the information from Jogendas, that they
called their master Jehan, and his followers, composed of
Hindus and Muselmans, adopted the creed of Vishnavi.
This is as follows : they hurt no living being; they avoid
fellowship with men of another creed among the Hindus


and Muselmans; they pray five times a-day, with their face
toward the east; they have the names of God, of the di-
vinities, of the prophet upon their lips, such as Allah,
M'lkdil, Jzrd'd, Jibrail, Muha/nmed, Jl, and others ; they
bury their dead; they confer benefits upon others to the
extent of their power ; a number of their Durvishes pretend
to be afflicted with maladies and beg alms, and whatever
they so collect they distribute to the blind and lame, and
to people of that description.

Further to be noticed is the sect of the Surya-makhan,
that is, of "the worshipers of the sun.*' These derive
their origin from an ancient nation of Hindus, and are
divided into classes. The one of them says : The great
luminary is one of the divinities of the first rank ; he has
dtmd and buddhi, that is " soul and intellect '* ; the light of
the stars and the splendor of the universe proceeds from
him ; he is the asht bhuvana loka, that is, " the origin of
the eight worlds, '* and of all earthly beings; the sarva
prabhd deva, "the God of all radiance,*' the chief and
ruler of all divinities, the deity of heavens, the king of the
stars; the Mahajy6ti, or "the great light," worthy of praise;
and of namaskara, that is " respectful salutation," and of
adoration; and of h6m, or "sacrificial perfumes." When
the sun rises with his pure body, they stand opposite to
him, and after adoration recite a Sanskrit prayer, the para-
phrase of which is as follows :

" Whatever beautiful light and high splendor thou pos-
sessest overflows the eyes from the excessive bounty of thy
manifestation ; thou art that light which is not surpassed
by any other in the display of splendor; thine is the first
prayer, for thou art the substitute of God, and we place
our hope in thy bounty ; to thee we address the pra^-ers of
our wants, that v/e may experience and loudly proclaim thy
mercy. When this light is thy face, whatever we can say
of the splendor, the beauty, and perfection of the supreme
intellectual soul and of the pure wisdom, is but that one
light which we recognize above in thy bountiful being,
which thou temperest and displayest ; this light derives its
glory from thee, and supplication is due to this light. Give
us thy assistance in the abnegation of worldly pleasures ;


render us equal to thyself in the purity of light, and by
thy knowledge grant us union with thee ; the wish of all
virtuous hearts is, that they may, far removed from all sen-
sual delights, be made happy in the communion with those
who are like thee : we abandon all worldly delights, that
we may become similar to thee in splendor, and arrive to
thee, and remain with thee.'^

The other class of the Stiryamakhan say : Whatever exists
in the Svoargaloka and in the Bhuloka^ that is, in the
upper and lower world, draws its origin from the sovereign
great luminary ; by his glorious appearance we fill our
lojdni, or ^* eyes,** with kalyattuffi, or "auspicious light";
and we hear the Sandkdras, that is, " the incorporeal be-
ings *' ; by him we acquire bziddhi, that is, "intellect,** the
professor of which attaches his heart to nothing exterior;
on that account they call the sun natha, "a sovereign, or
divine being,** and pay worship to him. Both classes ab-
stain from hurting living beings, and are on that ac-
count called Jiva dayd, "compassionate of life**; they do
good to others as much as they can, wherefore they are
termed punyavantas, " virtuous ** ; they keep far away from
falsehood and iniquity, for which they are entitled dhar-
mamayds, "righteous.** The gr'ihastha, or "householder,**
contents himself with one str'i, or "wife.~^ They divide the
sun into several parts, which they call dyuvd murtayas,
"figures of the sun**; but the first class reckons among the
Pandits^ or "learned,** an order of men who have a system
about dkdsa^ "ether,** girayas, "mountains,** tdrd fhal,
" starry firmament ** ; about the rising of heavenly bodies
and the prognostics which are connected with them; they
possess perfectly the canons of the V4da anga, " sacred sci-
ence,^ in which the medical is comprised; and they set a
great value upon buddhi, " intellect ** ; and dharanam, that
is, "the application of the thinking faculty **; and they say,
that this is the mediator between what is sankhyanafn,
"rational,** or probable, and sadhanam, "substantiated,**
which last is the form of things perceived; and the right
appreciation of probabilities is attained by dint of buddhi
and aharanam, that is, by high intelligence; this is fixing
the thought of contemplation, or arriving at the science of


what is perceived and what is probable or rational ; this
comprehends properly two sciences which are possessed by
the jif^ndriya loka^ that is, " by those sages who have sub-
dued the senses.'^

The Manushya bhakta, or "worshipers of mankind,**
recognize the being of God in man ; they know no being
more perfect than mankind, and think that it contains
nothing of a bad nature.

A particular sect is to be found in Kashial, a place in
the mountainous province of Kachmir. They worship
idols ; the son takes the property acquired by his father to
himself ; but leaves whatever he gains to his sons, so that
it may be the firewood belonging to his father that may
burn his body. When one of them dies, a barber from
without the house goes before the dead, and then brings
the message that such a one w^ants something for a meal,
upon which they go to work to prepare it; and this so-
ciety is kept up for some days; then, they burn the dead;
after cremation, they erect over his ashes an image of
stone, one half of which is male, and the other female;
and when no son of his remains, they marry his wife with a
column of the house, and whoever comes upon a visit of
condolence has intercourse with the woman until a son
be produced, and to him the inheritance is bestowed.
This sect have no regard for the life of animals.

Another sect exists in the mountains of Kachmir, with
the name of Durds. Among them it is customary for
brothers to have but one wife ; occasionally they sell house,
land, wife, and children ; whoever buys the house owns
all these; they also pawn their wife. Some of them, even
when they become Muselmans, still adhere to this custom.
They also do not spare animals.

Further to be noticed in Hindostan is the tribe of
Dkaids, one of the lowest classes of men ; they eat every-
thing but men; they worship the sun. The author of this
book met one day in Sikakul, in the district of Kalinga,
one of these men, whose name was Ndga, and asked him:
"Who are the best men among all the tribes.?'* The man
answered: "The Dhaids,^^ and subjoined: "When they
leave the body they unite with God ; when a Brahman


dies, he becomes a cow ; when a Muselman expires, he is
transformed into a plant. *^ I inquired further: ** If the
Dhaids be so highly favored by God, why should they eat
everything which they find, the flesh of cows, horses,
mice, and the like?'* The man replied: "It is because
God loves this tribe that he gave them this command:
*Eat whatever you like.***

The Choharas are now to be mentioned, known in Hin-
dostan as cleaners of privies and sweepers of the ground ;
and in the exercise of this profession they visit the houses.
They say their master was Shah Jhuna ; he, in one hand
a besom of gold, and in the other a basket of silver, cleans
now in the fourth heaven the house of God, and sweeps
the apartments of the Highest. This tribe too eat every-
thing as the Dhaids.


The Nanac-Panthians,* who are known as composing
the nation of the Sikhs, have neither idols nor temples of
idols. Ndnac belonged to the tribe of Bedians, who are
Kshatriyas. His reputation rose in the time of Zehir-ed-
din Baber Padshah (who inhabits heaven). Before the
victory of this king over the Afghans, Nanac was a grain-
factor of Daulet khan Lodi, who ranked among the dis-
tinguished Umras of Ibrahim Khan, the sovereign of Hin-

A durvish came to Nanac, and subdued his mind in such
a manner that he, Nanac, having entered the granary, gave
away the property of Daulet-Khan, and his own, whatever
he found there and in his house, and abandoned his wife
and children. Daulet Khan was struck with astonishment
at hearing this, but, recognizing in Nanac the mark of a
durvish, he withheld his hand from hurting him. In a
short time Nanac made a great progress in piety ; at first
he took little nourishment ; afterward he allowed himself
but to taste a little cow-milk ; next a little oil ; then noth-

* Nanac was born A. D. 1469, in a small village called Talwandi,
now Raya-pur, in the province of Lahore. He was the only son of
Kalu, of the Kshatriya caste, and the Vedi tribe of the Hindus.


ing but water, and at last he took nothing but air : such
men the Hindus call pavana haris.

Nanac had a great number of disciples. lie professed the
unity of God, which is called the law of Muhammed, and
believed the metempsychosis, or transmigration of the soul
from one body to another. Having prohibited his disciples
to drink wine and to eat pork, he himself abstained from
eating flesh, and ordered not to hurt any living being.
After him, this precept was neglected by his followers ; but
Arjun mal, one of the substitutes of his faith, as soon as
he found that it was wrong, renewed the prohibition to
eat flesh, and said : '•'■ This has not been approved by
Ndnac.** Afterward, Hargovind, son of Arju7imal, eat flesh,
and went to hunt, and his followers imitated his example.

Nanac praised the religion of the Muselmans, as well as
the Avatars and the divinities of the Hindus; but he knew
that these objects of veneration were created and not cre-
ators, and he denied their real descent from heaven, and
their union with mankind. It is said that he wore the ro-
sary of the Muselmans in his hand, and the Zunar, or the
religious thread of the Hindus, around his neck. Some of
his distinguished disciples report of him more than can here
find room.

One of these reports is, that Nanac, being dissatisfied
with the Afghans, called the Moghuls into the country, so
that in the year 932 of the Hegira (A. D. 1525) Zehir ed-
din Baber padshah (who is in heaven) gained the victory
over Ibrahim, the king of the Afghans. They say also that
Nanac, during one of his journeys, finding himself one
night in a fort, was absorbed in a vision of God. Chil-
dren played around him, and some put their hands upon his
body, without any motion being perceived in him ; they
sewed his eyelids, his nostrils, and his flesh together, and
tied his hands fast. When Nanac recovered his senses, he
found himself in this state, and went to a neighboring house,
at the threshold of which he called out : ** Ho! is there any-
body in the house who may free my eyelids sewed together
and my hands?" A handsome woman, having conducted
him into the house, untied his hands and tore the threads
by which his eyelids were sewed together with her teeth


asunder, on which account the color of the mark of the

Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 26 of 37)