Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies

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

that another member of the same house will will die before the year is out1. The only way to stave it off is to sacrifice a living animal, such as a ram, a he-goat, a fowl, &c., as a burnt offering.

Thus superstition follows the Hindu even to the last days of his existence. We have already seen what silly fancies assail him from his cradle. The child born under an unlucky star is not only himself destined, according to common belief, to all sorts of troubles and accidents during the course of his life, but he brings bad luck to those with whom he is united by the ties of blood; and it is not uncommon to see parents, convinced of the truth of these so-called malign influences, quietly abandoning on a highroad innocent babes who happened to be born on a certain day which the prognostications of the professional astrologer have signified to be unlucky, or else handing them over to any one who is bold enough to run the risk of assuming charge of such an ill-omened burden2. There are even unnatural parents of this kind who go the length of cruelly, strangling or drowning these tiny victims of most stupid and at the same time most atrocious superstition3.


CHAPTER XXXI

The Third Condition of Brahmins, viz. Vanaprastha, or Dweller in the Jungle.—The Respect paid to Vanaprasthas.—Conjectures as to their Origin.—Comparison between them and the Wise Men of Greece and other Philosophers.—The Rules of the Vanaprasthas.— Their Renunciation of the World and Pleasures of the Senses.— Their Moral Virtues.

The third condition of Brahmins is that of Vanaprastha, that is to say, dweller in the jungle. I doubt if there are any of them left in the country watered by the Indus and the Ganges, where this sect, of philosophers certainly

____________________
1
It is also believed that a death on a Thursday entails two other deaths in the same family.—Ed.
2
Nowadays this is not practiscd.—Ed.
3
Cases of infanticide were in quite recent times witnessed daily, especially on the banks of the Ganges, until at last the Government of Lord Wellesley declared that any one guilty of such a crime would be tried in the courts and punished with all the rigour of the law. This measure has had the good effect of diminishing the evil, but has not rooted it out altogether.—Dubois.

-500-

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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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