Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies

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

not in a position to give any particulars as to their merit, or even of their contents, seeing that I have never taken the trouble to read any of them.

More fortunate than the French, who are never weary of repeating that no epic poem exists in their literature, the Hindus boast of a great number. The two most celebrated are the Ramayana and the Bhagavata. Both are of inordinate length. The former recounts the deeds and exploits of Vishnu under the incarnation of Rama; while the latter relates the adventures of Vishnu metamorphosed in the form of Krishna. Their authors have introduced into them the whole idolatrous system of the country—a system on which they are often at variance among themselves. It may be easily understood that the 'unities' prescribed by Aristotle have not been observed in these epics. The Bhagavata takes up its hero even before his birth, and does not quit him till after he is dead.

The fertile imagination of the ancient Greeks conceived nothing that can be compared with the incredible powers and wonderful achievements of the Hindu heroes, whose exploits are celebrated in these books. Even the colossal Enceladus and the giant Briareus, with his fifty heads and his hundred hands, were but pigmies compared with the wonderful giants who, according to the Ramayana, sometimes fought for Rama and sometimes against him.


CHAPTER XXIII

Brahmin Philosophy.—The Six Sects called Shan Mata.—The Doctrine
of the Buddhists.

I have previously shown (in Part II, Chapter XI) that the ancient Brahmins recognized one Supreme and Almighty Being, possessing all the attributes that reasonable man should ascribe to such a Being. It is impossible to believe that these sages, being thus impressed with the idea of so perfect a Godhead, could have countenanced the absurdities of polytheism and idolatry. It was their successors who adopted these absurdities, little by little, until they led the nation, whose oracles they were, into all the extravagant doctrines in which they are now involved. It must never-

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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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