Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies

By J. A. Dubois; Henry King Beauchamp | Go to book overview

most Brahmins neglect and are even altogether ignorant of the greater part of them.

The Kshatriyas and the Vaisyas must also perform the sandhya; but it is not as obligatory for them, especially for Vaisyas, as it is for Brahmins. Furthermore, the mantrams and ceremonials of the latter are quite different, and not nearly so numerous.

The Jains also perform the sandhya. As for the Sudras, they can only make simple ablutions, without any prayers or ceremonies; but any one who wishes to be distinguished from the vulgar herd, and to be considered a more exalted person, rarely fails to perform the ablutions at least once a day. To see them one would never think that those who perform the sandhya are actuated in any way by a spirit of devotion. The Brahmin gets through all these ceremonies and repeats all these prayers as quickly as possible; he is like a schoolboy gabbling over a lesson he has learnt by heart; and this, like everything else, is all performed perfunctorily and as a duty to be discharged with all possible celerity.


CHAPTER VIII

Brahminical Fasts.—The Custom of Rubbing the Head and Body with Oil.—The Over-indulgence of Brahmins.—Their Scrupulous Observance of Custom.—Reflections on this Subject.—Their Samaradhanas, or Public Feasts.—Sudra Feasts.

Brahmins are obliged to keep frequent and often prolonged fasts1. They are expected to accustom themselves to them as indispensable adjuncts of their religion from the day they assume the triple cord. Even old age, infirmity, or sickness, unless it be very serious, is not held to exempt them from these fasts.

____________________
1
One is perpetually struck by the numerous points of resemblance between the manners and customs of modern Brahmins and those of the Pharisees, with which we have become acquainted through the Holy Scriptures. Their lives are full of the same affectations, they share the same dread of defilement, there are the same continual ablutions and bathings, the same scrupulous attention to the outward observance of the law, the same frequent fasts, &c.; but all this is tainted by overweening pride, ostentation, and hypocrisy. What St. Matthew says of this sect (xxiii. 27) might certainly be applied without injustice to the Brahmins of India.—Dubois.

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Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Editor's Preface to Third Edition iii
  • Prefatory Note v
  • Editor's Introduction viii
  • Contents xxix
  • Author's Preface 1
  • General View of Society in India, and General Remarks on the Caste System 14
  • Chapter I 14
  • Chapter II 27
  • Chapter III 38
  • Chapter IV 44
  • Chapter V 48
  • Chapter VI 80
  • Chapter VII 97
  • Chapter VIII 108
  • Chapter IX 111
  • Chapter X 123
  • Chapter XI 134
  • Chapter XII 138
  • Chapter XIII 143
  • Chapter XIV 155
  • The Four States of Brahminical Life 160
  • Chapter I 160
  • Chapter II 170
  • Chapter III 178
  • Chapter IV 186
  • Chapter V 194
  • Chapter VI 205
  • Chapter VII 235
  • Chapter VIII 269
  • Chapter IX 282
  • Chapter X 288
  • Chapter XI 295
  • Chapter XII 306
  • Chapter XIII 316
  • Chapter XIV 326
  • Chapter XV 332
  • Chapter XVI 336
  • Chapter XVII 343
  • Chapter XVIII 350
  • Chapter XIX 355
  • Chapter XX 368
  • Chapter XXI 376
  • Chapter XXII 392
  • Chapter XXIII 401
  • Chapter XXIV 415
  • Chapter XXV 420
  • Chapter XXVI 433
  • Chapter XXVII 450
  • Chapter XXVIII 474
  • Chapter XXIX 482
  • Chapter XXX 489
  • Chapter XXXI 500
  • Chapter XXXII 509
  • Chapter XXXIII 517
  • Chapter XXXIV 522
  • Chapter XXXV 528
  • Chapter XXXVI 538
  • Religion 542
  • Chapter I 542
  • Chapter II 556
  • Chapter III 567
  • Chapter IV 577
  • Chapter V 612
  • Chapter VI 636
  • Chapter VII 648
  • Chapter VIII 654
  • Chapter IX 667
  • Appendix I 685
  • Appendix II 701
  • Appendix III 706
  • Appendix IV 708
  • Appendix Vi. 717
  • Index 723
  • Some Opinions of the Press *
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