James George Roche Forlong.

Short studies in the science of comparative religions, embracing all the religions of Asia ; online

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stands for Bod and Bitda, as in the case of the sacred Plpal
tree which Siamese call the Ton-po.

The Creator's symbols are represented as in figs. 4,5. Mon-
golians call them 0-Bo-s, Bogs or Bhogs — Russian terms foi-
gods or spirits, which in Skandinavia become Bil-s and Buds,
as his coarser symbols found in the rock-bound Haugs of

Fig. 4. — the TIBETO-BUD-IST HERME^^, mo.M Hie.


Norway are termed ; see the collections in the Bergen Museum
learnedly but erroneously discussed by the late director, Pro-
fessor Holmhoe, iu his
T'races de Budhisme en
Norwege. This writer
too has made the usual
mistake of confoundino;
the old Nature-god and
"spirit of the elements"
with the pious ascetic
of Bikl-a-Gayd — see de-
tails and illustration in
Rivers of Life, ii. 409
et seq.

Fig. 5.— -mongolian bo, o-bo, axd bud. Ancicut Sabcau sailors

called Lanka's peak the Al-mcdcar ; Buddhists, the lord Saindnto
Kuto, which Hindus, however, say signifies "the thorn of Kama "
as Samanta, "the destroyer of peace" — a form of Siva, Indra,
Sakra or Bliogi, in which gi or ji is an honorary affix. The
indenture on the Kuta is a Sri-Pad or " The Ineffable Foot,
Eay, or shaft," says Fergusson ; and the whole great cone is,
or was, in the language of the masses, a Bud, Bod, or MadrCl
— that familiar and kindly name which Tamils have ever applied
to village Bdd-d-kdls or " Bad-stones" as emblems of Madrfi or
Siva's great son and cdter ego.

These are common throughout Tel-lingdna and Southern
and Central India, where Mr Fawcett found them as abundant
in 1890 as Ave did some forty years earlier. He describes
them, their worship, and some of their cruel rites and sacrifices
in Bom. Andirop. Soc. Journ. of September 1890 ; but so little
is the cult understood, that even the learned Bishop Caldwell
often calls it Devil-ivorsliip, confusing it with that of Bhuts.
And, truly. Bods or Buds do naturally tend to become these
malevolent spirits of earth and air, trees, etc., as did Devas to
become de^dls ; the high gods or Ndths of Hindus to be the
Nats or Fayes of Trans-India, and as does the Mongolian and
Russian Bhag or Bog, to become the Bogi of our nurseries. He
is a very real and ancient god, none other than tlie original of


Bhaga-vat or Bliaga-vd, " The Supreme," " the God of Life
and of all Spirits," for " vCi is the elemental spirit by which all
exists, and which exists in all that lives," according to the
Vishnu Purana, vi. 5.

The geological centre of a land is commonly its tlicological
Olumpos ; thus the high " centre of the Jewel-India," is the
Bud or Mahadeva of Gondwana, as is "Adam's peak" that of
Ceylon ; China has its Olumpos in the snowy heights of or
Om ; Trojans their Ilium and their Ida. The high deity is
the spirit of life and destruction — the spirit of the storm, of the
rock-bound coast, of the dangerous defile, dark forest, weird
mountain, and angry fiood ; and must be layed or propitiated
at the most dreaded spots, whether the traveler or sailor be
Buddhist, Hindu, or Maslam, Not infrequently have we
thrown to him a rupee, or subscribed for cock or goat, at the
solicitation of our motlev followino; of Burmans, Tamils,
Telingas, etc., beseeching his god ship to let us scatheless
through his angry seas and river-torrents. Sir Walter Scott
recognizes the same spirit in his well-known lines addressed to
a terrified old abbot when crossing a dano-erous ford —

" Under you rock the Eddies sleep
Calm and silent, dark and deep,

Look, Father, look, and you'll laugh to see
How he gapes and stares with his eyes on thee."

Many gods are styled Bhut-Isvars or Spirit-lords. We
have seen Indra worshiped by Dravids at the Pongal Christmas
festival, as Bog or Bhogi, when he rej)resents the sun rising
from his wintry entombment. It was probably at this fete that
the Arabian travelers of the ninth century saw " girls being
devoted to Bod,'' as Renaudot wrote in 1733; and the rite
still continues in the j an gals of Central India, wherever our
magistrates are not numerous or vimlant enough.

Strictly speaking, Mddrci was a son of the Dravidian
Siva ; but Tamils fondly identify father and son, and call their
boys and girls Madrd and Mddrl. The name is very common
from Mddrd-patan (our "town of Madras, not Madras") and


eastwards to Burma aud Java. On the Mergui coast the god's
" al)odes " are inditierently called Bud-d-r Makcmis aod '' Madrd

The Madras were a very ancient and important people,
ruling; lono- before Aryan times, from Sakala on the Du-dhs of
the Biyas aud Chinab, still called Mddrd-des. They were
serpent-worshipers or Ndga-ists and Tdkas, (a cult they never
forsook in Dravidia, Ceylon, or Trans-India,) as the beautiful
sculptures of Boro-Bud-or and the Ndg-on Vdt or " Naga
Monastery" of Cam-bod-ia attest. In moving from N.W.
India they gave their name to many towns, rivers, and shrines,
from probably Mdt.kura to the Vindhyas, Madura and Mddnt-
■patan: See further details in Mr J. F. Hewitt's invaluable re-
searches in R.A.S. Journals of 1889-90.

We would not have here said so much regarding these old-
world names and the conception of this all-pervading spirit of the
universe, but that as Bog, Bod, and Bud, he seems to confuse
archseolooists from Skandinavia and Britain to India and China,
and so vitiate many valuable papers and researches. The old
god is not seen by those who only visit the town and city
temples of great gods like Vishnu, Siva, Indra, and other
Bhagavatas, nor indeed, if we search only in the chief shrines
of villages ; for he is not now favoured, at least outwardly, by
Pandits, Brahmans, or even local Parahits or Pujaris, but will
usually be found by those who know him lurking in some quiet
nook close 1)y. His holy place is the family niche or Deva
takht in hut or Immble cottage ; and there old and young-
cleanse, decorate and worship him every morn and eve. In
native states he is more prominent, and may be seen in corn-
fields, a cool corner of the cottage garden or bye-path, to
house, door or well, where the pious, and especially women and
children, may be seen sweeping and beflowering his modest
hypsethral shrines. He may be only " the smooth stone of the
stream" to which Isaiah says (Ivii. 6) his people gave meat and
drink offerings, or the Bast or Bashath D'^l, the Phenician
Set, or Ba'l Barith, or Latin Jupiter Fcederis as in Jeremiah xi.
13 and Judges viii. ; but he is still the Bud or Bod dearest of
all gods to the hearts of the peasants of Southern and Central

ii. malavs, malabars, mal-dives, malagasis. 113

Malas ur Malays.

This is by far the most important race not only in the
Indian seas, but from Africa to Polynesia. From unknown
times they have been enterprizing seafarers and colonizers
in most eastern ports and coasts. They have thronged East
Africa above 1000 years, and have even a colony at the Cape of
Good Hope. They traded everywhere throughout Madagascar
— their Mala-gasa, and the Mala-dvipas or Maldives. They
colonized 500 miles of the West Coast of India, still known as
Mala-bar ; the great islands of Sumatra and adjoining mainland
known as the Malaka Peninsula, extending over some 700
miles ; all the large island kingdoms of Java, Celebes and their
dependencies and the eponymous extensive Molucca group.
Their ancient history and general character partake of that of
Pelasgi, Leleges, Phenicians, and Venetians. The ocean and
its littorals they looked upon as very much their dominions,
and for some two millenniums they have been the carriers of
nations on the Eastern seas.

Their principal divisions in the Eastern Archipelago which
they call their Tana-Malayu or " Mrda-land," are —

1st. The Oyang-Mcdayit or leading trading and cultured

2nd. Do. -Benua and 0-Gunung ; " Men of the

plains and hills."

3rd. Do. -Lciut or Men of the sea.

4th, Do. -Utan do. Jano-al.


To trace their origin w^e must here digress from trans-
Indian story to that of most Ancient India, which we trust to
make clear and interesting by aid of the annexed map which
appeared in R. As. J. of Ap. '89, and in Mr Hewitt's Ruling
Races of Prehistoric Times. He kindly permitted us to coj)y
his map, and w^e have added thereto many names illustrating
our subject. To his writings and researches in abstruse Sanskrit
literature we are also indebted for confirmation of much early
pre-Aryan Indian history which, though long previously sus-
pected and hinted at in Rivers of Life, we did not advance when
writing that work, not having then sufficient evidence to do so.



We are uow conviDced that Malays are part of that early
Mongol influx of Mcdas or Manas, who are so prominent in
ancient Indian history and tradition, as Miigs, Moghs, Munds,
Maghs, ]\[ons, Mans, Kols, Kasis, or the Kosis of Kosala, after
whom India was primarily called Kolaria. One large body of
these entered India through the high passes of the principal
rivers of Oudh, in the highlands of ancient Kosala, where the
sacred Sravasti and Malini ("river of Malas"), the Iravati and
Sclrayu, Ghagra or Gogra of Lucknow break through and in-
tersect the Hima-Malayaii chain. The sources of these rivers
are close to the Elysium of many Indian races — a sacred tradi-
tional gathering ground around the holy lakes oi Mayia-saravar,
said to symbolize the bounteous Vishnu.

Colonizers from this high Asian valley would, in settling
on the plains of India, be first naturally called after their Indian
chief center, hence the Kosis of Kosala ; the Kasis of Banaras,
the Sakyas of Sclketa, &c. All, as Mr Hewitt shows, were
Kolarian Mallas, Muns, Mous, or Mans, which last name may
have followed them from the Mana-SaQ'avar, a lake of Manas ;
though this, like the Mal-iui (river), may have been called after
them. Undoubtedly Indians, especially in unlettered ages,
would first know them as Mdlayas, because issuing from " the
mountains," the Hima-Malas, or Himalayas, or snow-hills, for
though Alya is "place or abode," m is a strange movable
letter, and MCda and Mtde are common wide-spread words for
hills throuo-hout India. But it is not here necessary, or even of
much consequence, to lay any stress on the etymologies of these
vastly ancient race-names ; enough that they are facts lying at
the base of all the ancient history of Indian and trans-Indian
states and races.

After reaching the Ganges near Kasi or Kosi (Banaras)
and Patna, the Malas came to be called Maghs and ]\Iughs, as
in the Mugh-Kalingce, and Empire of Magadhas of Greek times.
They settled as Munds, Mans, and Kols over the highlands of
the Da-'munda, or "River of Munds," and from them did Baugal,
or " land of Bangas," obtain the name of Mundaka, as in the
Ramayana and Niisik cave inscriptions. It was their Karna-
Suvania — " Holy or Golden-land " ; and Pliny spoke of them


as the Munda-loi, or Mon-edcs, strictly Kolarian terms like
Mod, Man, Mai, and Mavellyer. Here, as Muf/Jw-Kcd-lingce,
they established their ever sacred Mountain shrine — " The
Mund-ar " of their Turanian Siva or KCda, the Mons Mcdleus
of Ptolemy (IGO a.c), and the Paris-iidth of later Hindus, and
of all Turanian Bangds, or " Bengalis."

The first northern kingdom — a Confederacy — embraced
Rohilkand (with apparently holy Sravasti as the capital), Bahar
and the country around Banaras, in all 400 by 150 miles of the
richest states of Hindostan. Out of this arose the Vajjian, or
Vrijian Confederacy, with Kusa Nagar as the capital, and
here Buddha died in the most sacred of Mala groves, and
within which was the holy Mut, or "Stone of Judgment"
of the Mala chiefs. Buddha and his followers had many
Malayan characteristics, as in the grove and serpent worship
of all Kolarian peoples. In Buddha's time the King of Banaras,
Prasenajit, married Mallika, a Mali maiden, and Maha-namo, a
daughter of the Sakya (Saket) Raja ruling Kosala, of Avhich
Prasenajit was suzerain lord.

The nine Vajian tribes confederated, Turanian fashion, with
the nine tribes of the Dravidian Likchavi (S. BJcs. E. xxii. 26G)
before the time of Alexander, indeed at this period they were
a powerful confederated State, maintaining their independence
in spite of the northern Kosalias, the Magadha Sakyas and the
Muo-hu Kal-lino-se. The Leao;ue became a Vidaha State, with
holy Vaisala as a capital overlooking the rising imperial city
of Patali-putra (Patna), which eventually absorbed it. Mr
Hewitt's researches show that Vajians were thorougldy Kolarian
in race, social and communal customs, religion and government ;
and none more competent to here speak, than the successor of
Colonel Dalton as Commissioner or Governor of Bengal Kolaria.

Another Mala colony from the sacred Turanian gathering
ground — Mana-Saravar- — seems to have entered the Panjalj
by the Valley of the Satlej, called by them as in Oudh, the
Scirdyu ; and here also they have a Papti and Iravati, or
Purushni, showing an intimacy with their brethren on the
Mal-ini or Sarju. The Satlej is said to take the overflow of the
Mana-Saravar, and would lead the colonists into the lands of the


Tugras or Trujartns^ a powerful Dravidian tribe known in tlie
Rig Vecla as Nagas, or " Sons of the Serpent ; " also into Madrci-
desa, or "land of Madras," a people who, like Mfdas, gradually
worked south to Dravidian Madura, and jMadra-patuam, the
Tamil name of the Driivid capital, Madras.

The Panjab Malis very early concentrated around Multau,
the junction of the " Five Rivers " — their Mrda-tana — and from
here they ruled all the Lower Panj;lb and Upper Sind under the
name of Ydna or Yavana Malis. This must have been long
before the reign of Darius I., for his General, Scylax, in 509 B.C.,
here drove on the Kdsyapas — a Gandhdri people wlio had
descended from beyond Trdva-desa. Multiin was then — early in
the sixth century B.C. — known as Kasyaka-pur or Sun town,
the Kdspa-puros of Herodotos, who calls it the capital of the
Fdktues — our Afghans. But the Kaspa remind us of Caspiana,
from which so many Turanian Dravids, and afterwards Aryan
peoples came to N.W. India.

The J\Ialia-bharata notices both Northern and Southern
Malis in the ftir back ages of Bharata-varsha. The Southern
are termed Yavanas and Serpent worshipers or Nishadhas, and
they centered around Mala-tana and the very sacred shrine of
Vinasana, where the ever holy Sarasvati becomes subteranean
in the desert sands. All this portion of India was then ruled
by Ahi-l'shtras, or " Serpent Warriors," Kurus, Nishadhas, or
Nahushas, distinguished as " The Seven Snake Kings." Aryans
said that " the sacred Naga" — that is, " snake worship," came
to their northern Brahmans through southern Mdlayas " — a
term long applied to the western Ghats about Bombay (see the
Ophiolatrous rites and sacrifices described in the Maha-bharata,
also by Mr Hewitt in R. As. J. Ap. '89, p. 253 et seq. Note
also that ancient Delhi was Nagapur long before it was Indra-
prastha, and that Alexander was chiefly opposed by Ophiolat-
rous Mrdas, Nishiidas or Nahushas leagued with Kathse, Khati-
avars and Kosis ; that in those days all southwards was
Mali-land or Mrd-wa, even to the Narl^ada, their Ndr-Munda
or " River of Munds," and beyond it still was Mala rashtra, the
Avanti of Uj-jains, the holy city of Malw^a and of Jains.

It would be digressing too much from our subject to here


trace Malas throughout India, though Malayan names make
this easy. Clearly the Panjfib Millas passed over all Rajputilna
and largely settled along the sea-coasts of Saur-rashtra
our Katch and Gujarat. We have often lingered by and
sketched the ruins of one of their eastern capitals at Mund-or
or Mand-ur in the Jodh-pur — once Mur-ivdr state of
Rajputana, where Royal Mdhtores had ruled, claiming descent
from the very ancient and revered shrine of the Mcdi-nCitha or
Siva of Jasol, on the Luni river which divides Mar-war (pro-
bably MCdi-iDdr), from the large State of Mdldni bordering on
the Rann of Katch, a great inland sea and really a portion of
the Arabian Ocean.

These Rahtores no doubt became the ruling, "powerful" or
" great " Mahd-Rdhtas or Mahrattas of the Bombay highlands,
and Mahcl-rashta. They repelled in our seventeenth century
the forces of the Great Mughal, and even threatened to sweep
the British out of Calcutta, as our " Mahratta Ditch " still bears
witness to. Another branch of Milla Rajputs are said to have
founded and long ruled South Panchala from Kanoj ; and
Rajput chiefs have assured us their traditions and histories
agree, that from Kosala to the Ganges many kingdoms of Sakyas
were once theirs.

On reaching the Saur-rashta sea-board in Gujarat, the
Malas found their true vocation on the great inland seas and
then the ocean, and finally annexed as their own all the littoral
of Western India, which for 500 miles we still call 3Iala-bar
or " Mala-land." Gradually they overflowed to the Maldives
or Mdla dvipas and Mala-gasa, where the rulers still bear this
old Mala name of Yonas or Yovas or Hovas — that is, Yavanas
or "Foreign" Princes. Mr J. Barras in his Decades, and M.
Flacourt in his Hist. MadacjfMccir, state that the Malays of
the Indian Archipelago had from prehistoric times, free inter-
course with the Malagasis, " certainly for 2000 years." They
are described as a widely trading and enterprising sea-faring
people, who, ages ago, had found their way to the Persian and
Arabian coasts, which of course were freely navigated by
Gujerati Mrdas long before Alexander took his fleet from the
mouth of the Indus to Babylon.


There were here considerable movements in 510 B.C., when
the Persian army of Darius I. seized the Panjalj and navigated
the Indus, nor relaxed hold thereon till the fall of the Empire
at Arbela in 327, when Greeks seized all, and greatly extended
the Jndo- Aryan possessions. The wealth of India was proverbial
in the west during all the 4tli and 5th centuries B.C., and the
Yona or Yavana Mfdas were then the most prominent Indian
people, as Alexander found to his cost. They carried on a
lucrative coastino; trade from the delta of the Indus into all the
ports of the Persian or Eruthrian Sea, as it was also called ; and
it was their mariners who enabled the Greek army to embark
on the Indus and sail therefrom.

Mrdas were specially fond of liill gods, and there are many
legends of these, beginning with the first Indian Meru or
" high Kailasa," the heaven of Sivaites, the first great mountain
(deity) of India which they would see as they tracked down the
Satlej from their Manasa lake. Kailasa was thought to be
Mund-cm, a northern Meru, the waters of which fed the sacred
lake. According^ to the Vishnu Purfina the ocean fell on this
Meru and coursing down it, and four times round it, formed
the four rivers of Paradise, feedino; the four sacred lakes of this
Eastern Eden. It was believed that both the Sarayus, the Satlej,
and the Sravasti, feeders of the Ganges, as well as Great Ganga
itself issued from the Mana-sarvar lakes — legendary tales no doubt
of Malas as they wended their way through the Hima-Mfdayas.

Sir S. Raftles in his Java (i. 191) notices many marks of
intercourse between Java and Malao-asa ; he savs the latter " was
ruled by Mfdays from our early centuries," and that there is a
great conformity in the languages of the rulers of the two islands
and in official terms, showins; that India is the source of both.
The first ruling class were knowm as Sakfdavas, and we have
elsewhere shown that a great body of Malas from " Dcsa San-
grda," (Panjclb) went to Java about 150 to 200 a.c.

The French have of late been necessarily looking closely
into the ethnology of Malagasis, and M. Haray, in the Rev.
Scientijique of Sept. 1895, tells us that "the Sakalavas or first
Indo-colonizers, are still markedly Indo-nesian, though less so
than the Anti-merina or Hovas," of whom there are about


one million. These gradually moved some two centuries ago
from their landing places to the central highlands, whilst the
Sakalavas remain all alono- the northern and east coasts. The
ordinary Malagasis, adds M. Hamy, "resemble the Malay of the
Indo-Archipelago . . . physically, intellectually and morally.
. . . Almost without exception their dialects are like those of
the Sumatra Bataks ; . . . they dress like the Indo-Malays,
wear their hair in the same fluffy tresses, and have the same
household utensils, musical instruments, &c. . . . The higher
Hova [Yova or "Foreign") nobility have all the characteristics
of the pure Malay," but as they immigrated without their wives,
and mixed freely with all islanders, the type of the lower classes
is much obscured.

During our 8rd and 4th centuries the Eastern branch of the
Chalukian Malas were conquering and settling down over all the
old Andhra kingdom, now called Tel-linga-ana. They seem to
have left the Gangetik watersheds by the Da-munda river and
Mugho-kal-linga, and to have established a kingdom stretching
from Orisa to over all the Krishna delta ; whilst their brethren,
the Western Chalukians — often called Cholas, or Chaeras, or
Keras, were also passing south from Mala-wa by the Nar-
Munda, where, as Jainas, Buddhists, Siavas, and Nagaists, they
had constructed two to three centuries B.C., the beautiful hill
and cave shrines of El-ura, Ajanta, and others. They probably
founded the Rata states which rose to be a kingdom of Maha-
Ratas, and long settled about Bijia or Vijia Nagar. A portion
of them established states down along the Mala-bar coast, and
finally ousted Palavas from central Dravidia, as these had ousted
Pandyas, all being congenital Turanian peoples.

It is not clear whether the Eastern or Western Malas seized
the very ancient East Coast capital of Md-Bcdi-pur, our " Seven
Pagodas." This lies thirty -five miles south of 3fc(dra-patana7n,
or " town of Madras," a people who had also come from the far
off" Panjab State of Madra-desd. All good authorities, includ-
ing Mr James Fergusson, agree that there is an unmistakable
similarity in the architecture and faith of El-ur and Ma-Velipur,
or Ma-Malli-pur, as the old site came to be named on its
occupation by Malas, see the Madras Government Historical


Papers of 1869. There seems, thus, no doubt that it was the
Western builders of El-ura who here carved out the w^ondrous
monolithik temples and caves in the intractable granitik basalt
of this east coast promontory, especially the Tiger Cave, and
one or two Jaina-like shrines of the fourth or fifth century a.C.
Mr Fergusson says these cannot be put back later than our fifth
or sixth centuries, and he calls attention to the strange " long
apses similar to the temples sculptured at Bharahut, which
cannot be later than the second century B.C." Eastern Arch. i.
The builders of Ma-Mallapur were great Nagaists, a faith
common to India and Ceylon. There is a bas-relief on a
rock 90 feet long and 40 deep, entirely devoted to Ndga
ivorship, which at once connects the temple faith and
artificers with the ancient serpent-clad temple corridors of
the Ndga-Vdt of Cambodia, a name which seems to show the
race came from Camhod—a cradle of Naga-ism on the Indus.
The history of Md-BCdi-pur stretches back into the mythical
times of the Vth Hindu Avatar when Vishnu was a contempt-
ible Vdhmana or Manikin, beseechino- favors from the great
Turanian Balis then ruling South India from Miila-pur, one of
the capitals of Ban Asuras. Even in the later mythical period
of the quasi Aryan Krishna, the Ylllth Avatar, this too eagerly
adopted non- Aryan, did not succeed in lopping off" all the arms,
i.e., states of the Bali monarch, for truly there never has been
any real Aryan domination in India beyond a portion of the Gan-
2;etic vallev,^ where Arvans have but acted on, and been reacted
upou by Turano-Dravids, Bangas Maghs, Malas, Magadhas, &c.
From the Malabar and Chola Mandel coasts, Turanian
colonies pushed seawards as well as landwards, and many
have ever since clung to a seafaring life, as in the coast tribes

Online LibraryJames George Roche ForlongShort studies in the science of comparative religions, embracing all the religions of Asia ; → online text (page 13 of 63)