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woman's caste remained upon Nanac's forehead. After his
having left the house, the neighbors saw^ the mark, and sup-
posed his having had an intimate connection with the
woman ; wherefore she was abused by the people and re-
pudiated by her husband.

This woman came one day to Nanac, and said : " I have,
upon the way of God, rendered thee a service, and now
they revile me for it.* Nanac answered: ^* To-morrow will
the gate of the fort be shut, but shall not be opened unless
thou appliest thy hand to it." The next day, in spite of all
efforts to open the gate, they could not succeed, and re-
mained in great consternation. JNIen and beasts, far from
water, could not go out to fetch it. The inhabitants ad-
dressed themselves to all men who had a reputation for
sanctity, but their prayers were in vain. At last they had
recourse to Nanac, and said, " O durvish, what is there to
be done ? '* He answered : " The gate shall not be opened
except by the hand of a woman who never lost her virtue
with a stranger.** The inhabitants brought all the women
who had a reputation for chastity to the gate of the fort,
but it remained shut : on that account they sat down hope-
less. At the time of evening prayer came at last the friend
of Baba Nanac to the gate. The people laughed at her ;
her husband and her relations were ashamed and abused her.
The woman, without listening to the speeches of the people,
struck the gate wnth her hand and it opened. All men
were astonished and ashamed : they fell at the feet of the
woman.

The bdni, that is to say the poems, of Nanac, are, as it
were, perfumed with devotion and wisdom ; still more
can this be said of his speeches about the grandeur and
sanctity of God. All is in the language of the yats of the
Panjab, and yat in the dialect of the Panjab, means a vil-
lager or a rustic.

Nanac's disciples are not conversant with the Sanscrit
language. The precepts and regulations which Nanac es-
tablished among them will be explained hereafter.

Nanac said in his poems that there are several heavens
and earths; and that prophets, and saints, and those that



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 287

are supposed to have descended from above (avatS,rs), and
persons distinguished by piety, obtain perfection by zeal in
the service of God; that whoever devotes himself to the
veneration of God, whatever road he may choose, will come
to God, and that the means to this is, to avoid hurting any
living being.

«Be true and thou shalt be free ;
Truth belongs to thee, and thj success to the Creator. »

Nanac left children in the Penj-ab ; they are called Kar-
taris ; but according to the opinion of some, he had no
offspring. They say that after Nanac's decease, his place was
by his order occupied by the Guru Angad, of the Srin
tribe of Kshatriyas ; next succeeded the Guru Amaradas, of
the tribe of the Bhol4yi-Kshatriyas ; after him came the
Guru RdtnadaSy who was of the Sddahi-Kshatriyas, and
also called the Sri-guru. Rama-das, dying, left his dignity
to his son Arjun tnal. During the life of this Guru, the
Sikhs, that is to say his followers, grew great in number
and in faith. They said, BS,ba Nanac is a god, and the
world his creation; but Nilnac in his poems reckons himself
a servant of God, and he calls God Ndr^ijdn (Narayana),
Parabrahma, and Permaisher (Paramos vara), who is with-
out a body, and has nothing corporeal, nor deigns to be
united with a bodily frame. The Sikhs say that Nanac, in
the same manner, had been without a real body, but visi-
ble by the power of his individuality, and they believe that,
when Nanac expired, his spirit became incarnate in the
person of Angad, who attended him as his confidential
servant. Angad, at his death, transmitted his soul into the
body of Amara das ; and thus Guru, in the same manner,
conveyed his spirit into the body of Rdma-das ; whose
soul transmigrated into the person of Arjunmal ; in short
they believe that with a mere change of name, Nanac the
First became Nanac the Second, and so on to the Fifth, in
the person of Arjunmal. They say, that whoever does not
recognize in Arjunmal the true Bdbd Nfmac, is an un-
believer ; they have a number of tales about the founder of
their sect, and assert that Bdba Nanac in a former world
was the radja Janak.



288 THE DABISTAN



The Story of Janaka

When Sakha-daiv (Saha deva), the son of Bai&s (Vyasa),
a rakhaisher (rakshasa), came to Janak, in order to learn
from him the path of God, he found the raja, who had
thrown one of his feet into the fire ; men on foot and on
horseback formed a file ; Nawabs and Vizirs were busy
about the affairs of the state ; elephants and horses presented
themselves to the view. Saha dev thought in his mind
that such occupations and worldly concerns were unbecom-
ing so pious a man. The raja, who was skilled in pene-
trating the hearts of others, found it out, and, employing the
power of magic, he caused fire to fall upon the houses, so
that at last all the horses and fine palaces were burnt. The
rdja seemed neither to hear, nor to see, nor to care any-
thing about what happened, until the fire reached the house
where he and Saha d6v were. Janak did not throw one
look upon it. The fire fell upon the wooden cup, which
they call there kermandel, and which Saha ddv used for
drinking water. He now, senseless, jumped from his place,
and took hold of his kermandel. The r&ja smiled, and said
to him : " All my people, and all this, my property, were
burnt ; my heart was not bound to them ; wherefore I let
them be consumed, and feel no pain about them ; but thou,
on account of thy kermandel, jumpedst senseless from thy
place. It is now clear whose heart is bound to the things
of this world. '^ Saha dev was ashamed of his having been
disturbed. This tale was heard from the followers of Nanac.

The history of Janak and of Saha d6v is contained in the
yo^ bashest^ which is one of the principal books of the
Hindus, in the following manner: Bisvamiter (Vis' vamitra)
in presence of the Rakshasas addressed this speech to
RS,machander : " O Rdmachander, venerate thy father and
mother; thou who issuedst from them so beautiful, thou
hast accomplished thy task; by the goodness of thy nature
and by the purity of thy character, thou hast polished the
mirror of thy heart, and given it such a brightness, that the
perfection of God is manifest in it ; the success which a
zealous disciple obtains, after many difficulties and pious



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 289

exercises under the direction and instruction of a Rakshasa,
during a long period of time, that success became thy share
without trouble ; thine became the science to be acquired ;
and thine is, even in this life, the emancipation in the
form of Saha d6v, the son of Vyasa, He, thy father, on
account of the excellence of his pure form and of his di-
vine nature, having come forth wise from the womb of his
mother, without any assistance manifested his perfection,
and on account of the clearness of his intellect, whatever
on the way of his journey, was accessible to wisdom and
excellence, was open to his looks, and no veil nor curtain re-
mained before him ; nevertheless, even with such advantages,
he was inquisitive with Rakshasas and wise men in matters
of theology, so that these personages, or pious penitents,
gave him directions and lessons and offered him their ad-
vice with alacrity. Thus am I ready to give thee some
instruction, and communicate some precepts of wisdom to
thee.'^ Therefore R4machander inquired of Visvdmiter :
" As Saha dev brought the full measure of wisdom from
the body of his mother, and as his nature was en-
dowed with such perfection, my prayer is, that you may
favor me with an explicit account of him, and explain to
me by what means he procured to himself the advice of
the wise, and in what manner the Rakshasas imparted
instruction to him." Visvamiter replied : "O Ramachander,
thy condition is as fortunate as that of Saha dev ; such
was his dignity and excellence, that men, by listening to
his tale, feel themselves emancipated, and are no more sub-
ject to be born again. O Ramachander, he too was im-
pressed with the idea that in no condition this world is
permanent, but that all that is seen changes every moment,
and passes from one state to another. One guest arrives
and comes into the world, another dies and goes out of
the world ; the one is agitated v/ith distress, the other is
quiet ; the one exulting, the other overcome with grief ; in
short, whoever and w^hatever exists in this world is liable to
change ; there is not the least hope of firmness and steadiness,
and nothing is worthy to bind our hearts. But that which is
firm and steady, deserves that we attach our hearts to it,
and that we perpetually are mindful of, and fix our
19



290 THE DABISTAN

thoughts and meditate upon it. Nothing, however, is firm
and steady but the pure being of Brahma^ that is to say,
the supreme and true entity of God. Moreover, who-
ever directs his mind solely toward the divinity, will at-
tain the knowledge of it, and render himself perfectly free
from the desires of the heart, and from the pleasures of the
body, which tend to swell and to fetter the soul. And like
the bird Pdpihd, which is fond of the water which falls from
the cloud JVdisdn, and does not taste of any other liquid
from river or well, but thirsting only for drops from the
cloud Niiisan, is taken up with the search for them ; thus
Saha dev, having made himself independent and free from
all desires and allurements, was always immersed in the
contemplation of Brahma, and having dissolved his own be-
ing in the reality of God, he knew Brahma, and attained
the state of absolute repose and quietness. When he thus
became a master of excellence, and as perfect as other rak-
shasas, then he felt the desire of his heart accomplished,
and with a mind more splendid than the moon of a fort-
night, he passed through the troubles of life, according to
the words of the prophet : ^With a heavenly mind upon the
carpet of eternity.''^

One day, during a pleasui^e excursion in this world, he
happened to reach the mountain Sumair, that is Alburz,
which in Arabia is called J^df. Upon the top of this
mountain, he saw his father Vy&sa, who in a cavern was
occupied with the contemplation of Brahma. Having sa-
luted his father according to the custom of the Hindus, he
asked him : *' My worthy father, you who possess the knowl-
edge of the supreme being, inform me in what manner this
knowledge of the unity of God is diffused in the multitude,
in what way the creatures of this world obtain their forms,
to what period their existence is extended, what is the
cause of their duration, and how their existence happens to
be renewed several times, in order that I may possess
proper notions of the state of this world, and that I may
unravel this mystery to myself.**

Vy&sa, according to the desire of his son, explained the
original state of the creation in clear words ; but as the
mind of the sage was involved in his own thoughts, and



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 291

occupied with the contemplation of Brahma, he gave only
a short account of the creation and of the development of
this world to Saha d6v, who did not derive an entire sat-
isfaction from it. Vyasa knew his thoughts, and said: *^0
son, my mind being immersed in the study and in the con-
templation of God, I cannot, for want of time, impart to
thee at present distinctly the account which thou desirest ;
but I will put thee in the way by which thou mayst arrive
at the satisfaction of thy heart, and I will send thee to a
man who will gratify thee. Know then, that in the coun-
try of Tirhut is a town called Mithila, and there resides
Janaka, the R4ja, who is an excellent man, and possesses
incomparable knowledge. Go to him, and engage him to
satisfy thy heart. He will give thee an explicit account of
the creation of the world from beginning to end.^^

Saha dev, according to the direction of his father, having
left him, went into Tirhut, to the town of Mithila. He
saw a city populous, and delightfully built ; the soldiers
content with the Raja, and the rayots (country people)
happy and satisfied. Nobody complained at that time of
his lot : in the evening every one laid down in his corner,
and at daybreak attended the court of Raja Janaka. The
guards at the door observed Saha d^v, tapasi, that is, a
pious adorer of God, the son of Vyasa, who stood at the
gate and asked entrance. The raja Janaka, before he re-
ceived the report of it, knew from inward knowledge and
from the light of his mind, the purpose of Saha dev's
mind ; but in order to try his character, and to put his
sincerity and his individuality to the test, he took no notice
of the appearance of the stranger. Saha-dev, who had
come near him, remained there one day and one night. On
the next day, Janaka set about his business ; the great and
the vulgar appeared before him. This day, too, and the fol-
lowing eight days and eight nights, the rdja did not address
any question to Saha dev, who remained in his place with-
out saying a word to anybody.

The eighth day, the rdja Janak, when he saw that Saha
dev stood the test by showing the mark of excellence and
betraying no unsteadiness, he ordered that the stranger
should be introduced into the interior of the palace and



292 THE DABISTAN

into the private apartments. Beforehand, he enjoined the
maids of the bed-chamber and all the people of the palace
that, on Saha dev's arrival, they should place before him
all sorts of exquisite viands and agreeable perfumes, and
whatever might allure the mind, and that they should en-
deavor to fascinate and to madden him. When Saha dev, by
order of the raja Janaka, had entered the private apart-
ments, handsome w^omen brought before him from all sides
delicious meats, and garments, and everything that was at-
tracting, and showed him great respect ; after humble pros-
trations, they placed him in an elegant apartment. During
other seven days and nights the raja did not appear before
him.

The people of the inner apartments, according to the
r&ja's orders, did what they could in a thousand different
ways to please him : they approached him, clasped their
hands with his, rubbed his hands and feet ; they served and
tempted him by four principal means, namely : first, by the
splendor of handsome maids ; secondly, by offering him
whatever may charm the senses ; thirdly, by tokens of re-
spect; and, fourthly, by rubbing his hands and feet. Their
intent was, if there remained any human feeling in him, to
rouse it up. Saha dev, like a mountain that is not moved
by any wind, stood firm ; he took notice of nothing, and
threw not even a look vipon the beautiful moon-faced dam-
sels about him. The rdja Janaka, when informed that not
the least trace of human feeling, lust, or desire had re-
mained in the young man, and that he had freed himself
from the fetters of error and sensuality, ran without hesita-
tion from the place where he was, and touched the feet of
Saha dev, saying : —

** Be thou happy, O rakshasa ! who art united with the
supreme spirit, and in whom has remained no trace of the
qualities of water, earth, and of human nature ; thou, who
hast acquired whatever may be desirable to thy regeneration :
for thou possessest the knowledge of God. Now^, tell me,
with what intention didst thou come to me, and what dost
thou expect from our meeting?*^ Saha dev replied to the
r4ja: *' My intention in coming here was to obtain from thee
a true account of the creation ; in what manner this world



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 293

came forth from the unity of the divine being, and how
from him, the One, proceeded the duality and multiplicity
of forms. Explain this to me, and impress it distinctly
upon my mind. Although I received from my father some
true notion of the creation of this world, and although
from the interior light and from the purity of heart which
I have acquired by my devotion, the truth of the great
question presents itself to my mind, yet I desire instruction
from thee, and hope to receive it from thy tongue.**

The raja Janak revealed to Saha dev, according to his
wish, the history of the creation of the world. After that
Saha dev said again to the rdja: ^' O king! it is certain
that between steady, wise, and learned men there is no con-
tradiction ; so does the account of the origin of the world,
which I have heard from my father Vyasa, and which I
have well impressed upon my mind, agree with that which
thy tongue has communicated to me. The substance of it
is, that the creation of the world and the existence of its
inhabitants took place by the will and by the disposition
of Brahma, and according to the purpose of the supreme
being, and that, when it is the desire of Brahma, the world
is created, and when the supreme being finds it right to
withdraw himself from the circle of beings, the world re-
turns to nothing, and its inhabitants are again enveloped
with the veil of nothingness and voidness, and nothing re-
mains but God.

** In like manner is the existence of all bodies connected
with the w^ill of the divine spirit, so that every being in
dependence upon this will, and in conformity with the
principles of its own nature, each time comes into, and goes
out of, the world, or is born and dies. It is when the
worldly desires, connections, and concerns are annihilated,
that a man no more returns to nor leaves this world; birth
and death upon this earth no more concern him, because
the ties formed by his desires are broken.'*

Saha dev continued : " O raja, what thou hast said is
impressed upon my mind ; but tell me, if there remains any-
thing, however minute it may be, of the account of this
world; this too I wish to hear.** The raja Janaka said:
* The account of the world is such as thou hast heard.



294 THE DABISTAN

That holy being, without a name, without a mark, without
an equal, is pure and free from lust and desire, and his
providence brings forth this world. He, the one perfect
being, in what a multitude of beings does he not manifest
himself! And if he removes from this creation the support
of his will and of his providence, nothing remains but him-
self—the only being. O Saha dev, thou who hast purified
thy heart from the attachments of this body, and liberated
it from all desires and seductive propensities, thou hast con-
vinced thyself of the truth that, whatever appears before
our eyes, is nothing, and has neither reality nor substance ;
what was to be performed, thou hast accomplished it; what
was to be known, thou hast acquired it, and thou hast
proved thyself true; on that account thou art, even in thy
life-time, possessed of niukt (emancipation); that is to say:
as a person, when the soul has left his body, is freed from
the want of aliment, so hast thou, although still in the
state of life and health, been liberated from all bodily
wants. Happy be thy life! blessed be thy age, O Saha dev!**

Vis' vamitra continued : ^* O Ramachander, thou hast ac-
quired the same knowledge as Saha dev ; in the same man-
ner as he abandoned all desires, subdued all the appetites
of his five senses, and possessed perfect freedom, in the
same manner thou must not permit any sort of desire to
enter in thy heart. There is no other means of mukt but
this: to this thou must tend.**

After that he addressed the rakshasas and all those who
were present, in the following speech : ^^ O rakshasas ! and
you who seek the road of God, know that, as Ramachander,
by the purity of his nature and by the goodness of his dis-
position, raised himself to the highest dignity, not less
ought to be the excellence of all the wise who are destined
to the acquisition of mukt; thirsting for the knowledge of
the highest, they ought to listen to the speeches of all those
who devote themselves to God ; nay, the truth and the
faith, which Ramachander possessed, ought to be common,
and productive of the same consolation and tranquillity to
all those who, not in vain, aspire to wisdom and sanctity.
I have imparted to Rdmachander what I knew to be the
best; now is the time of Bashest (Vasishta), who attained



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 295

such a perfection of a rakshasa, that nothing that is, was,
and will be, is concealed to him, and he has no equal in
the world. So far goes the text of "Jog hahest?^

The Guru Nanac, according to the belief of his followers,
was in former times the raja called Janak, and united the
dignity of a king with that of a saint. He called mankind
to God. The author of this work heard from distinguished
Sikhs that, when Bdba Nanac appeared in the Sat-jog, a
great number of Sikhs assembled around him. He sent a
cow into the kitchen. When prepared, it was brought into
the assembly; some ate of it, others were afraid to do so.
The Guru prayed to God that the cow^ might rise again,
and all those who had been afraid, beholding this miracle,
approached him praying : '-'• Now we shall eat whatever you
order.** Nanac answered: "Not now be it so: mine and
your engagement prevails in the Treta-Jog.** Afterward,
at the revolution of the Tr6ta-jog, the Guru appeared.
The disciples assembled; then a slaughtered horse was
brought into the assembly in the manner beforesaid. Some
ate of it; others abstained from it. The Guru prayed, and
the horse was brought to life. Those who had been afraid
prayed as before. He replied again : " Your word and mine
are engaged for the Dw^apar-jog. ** In this age they brought
a slaughtered elephant into the assembly of his foUow^ers.
The same happened as I said before, and he appointed them
for the Kali-jog. In this age, they say, a man was brought
into the assembly ; w^hoever ate, became free ; who ab-
stained from it remained subject to durance, and some of
the Sikhs call Nanac the slave of God.

It is also related that, when Nanac died, in the Sat-jog,
two roads opened before his soul : the one led to heaven,
the other to hell. Nanac chose the latter, and having de-
scended below, he brought all the inhabitants out of hell.
The Lord God said to him : '' These sinners cannot enter
heaven; you must return into the world and liberate them.'*
On that account Nanac came to this world, and his fol-
lowers are the former inhabitants of hell ; the Guru comes
and goes, until that multitude shall have found their salva-
tion. Except the zealots among the Sikhs, no m.an else
believes Bdba Nanac a god.



296 THE DABISTAN



THE TABITIAN SECT



According to one of their treatises, they call God
Kajak, and believe him to be one, infinite, all mighty ;
they maintain his manifestation under three forms, as the
Hindus; they say, if any one finds God, he converses
with him without the aid of a palate and of a tongue :
this is the condition of a prophet. They declare moreover
that the spirit is eternal, and that spirits are sent down ;
the soul, if it knows itself and God, ascends to the upper
world ; if not, it remains in the nether world. The author
of this book heard from one of their distinguished person-
ages that, when the rational soul separates from this body,
it goes to the upper world; and from the heavens it rises
further ; and above this there is a sea, in which is a
mountain; and on its top God, the supreme Lord, resides.
If that soul has been virtuous, the divinity manifests itself
to it under a pleasing form; so that from its aspect the
soul derives superlative delight, which no tongue can ex-
press, and remains eternally without change, happy and
blissful in its contemplation. But if the soul has been in-
iquitous, God appears to it under a strange and terrific
figure, than which none can be more repulsive and hideous,
so that from terror it throws itself from the heavens down,
and becomes confined in dust.

Among these sectaries was a man called Pawn Pishna,
exceedingly pious. Of this saint's miracles they relate that,
having jumped upon a stone, the trace of his foot remained
impressed upon it, and now they perform pilgrimages to
it. They say further that, when this perfect man reaches
the term of his life, he convokes the people about him,
and out of the crowd he chooses one, to whom in their
presence he delivers his books and his effects, and says :
^* I will come to thy house'*; after that, his soul leaves
the body, which is buried according to their customs. The
wife of this guardian then brings forth a son, whose
tongue develops itself so as to speak in one year, or
sooner; he convokes witnesses, and in their presence he
takes the things which are counted to him by the guardian,




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