Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies

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

PART III
RELIGION

CHAPTER I

Origin of the Trimurti and the Primitive Idolatry of the Hindus.— Comparison between the Greek and Indian Divinities.—Peculiar Idolatry of the Hindus.—Worship of the Elements represented by the Trimurti.

The Hindus understand by the word Trimurti the three principal divinities whom they acknowledge. These are Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. The word properly signifies 'the three powers,' viz. Creation, the special attribute of Brahma; Preservation, the attribute of Vishnu; and Destruction, the attribute of Siva1.

These three divinities are represented sometimes singly with their special emblems, and sometimes joined together in a single body with three heads. It is under the latter form that they obtain the name of Trimurti, which means, at once, both the three bodies and the three powers. This union of persons is the allegorical symbol of the existence of things created, which can neither be produced nor preserved without the agreement and the sanction of these three powers.

The Trimurti is recognized and worshipped generally by all Hindus except the Jains. Although many Hindus are specially devoted, some to Siva and others to Vishnu, nevertheless when these two divinities are united with Brahma in a single body with three heads they all pay equal worship to the three without regard to the particular points of doctrine which otherwise separate them.

____________________
1
The first is the religion of activity and works; the second, that of faith and love; the third, that of austerity, contemplation, and spiritual knowledge. This last is regarded as the highest, because it aims at, entire cessation of action and total effacement of all personal entity and identity by absorption into simple Soul.— Monter-Willaims.

-542-

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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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