Page images

on at intervals of four days; fever coming on at intervals of seven days.

6. Whatever (kind of fever) remains may yield to the spells of Rājā Ajaypāl.

7. May move according to the potency of the incantations of ye, O thirty-three krors of deities!

In the district of Murshidabad in Bengal, fever is also supposed to be cured by charms or mantras, recitations from the epic Mahabharata in which Sri Krishna is represented as fighting the worst forms of fever, by the offering up of prayers to Nārāyana and Jarāsur who is represented in Hindu art as being fair-complexioned, having six hands and three faces, and wearing a tiger-skin, and whose worship takes place in the open air, generally thrice every day.[26] Similarly in Bundelkhand, it is believed that people suffering from quartan ague are cured of it by worshipping a local godling—a deified Rajput chieftain— named Rae Singh.[27]

The question arises-Who is Rājā Ajaypāl mentioned in the incantation set forth above? Perhaps he was a mighty sorcerer, or a local godling like Rae Singh, who was credited with the possession of a good deal of healing power.

I have already shown that, in Bengal, Bihar, and in the district of Gorakhpur in the United Provinces, much efficacy is ascribed to the tail of the common house-lizard as a curative agent. Its tail, if it is cut off on a Saturday, Sunday or Tuesday, and worn, wrapped up in a piece of linen, as an amulet by a person suffering from ague, is believed to cure him of it.[28]

I shall conclude this paper by saying that these cure-charms are exemplifications of the coercive power ascribed to the spoken words of persons who are popularly believed to be possessed of

[20] Vide Dr. Tull Walsh's History of Murshidabad District, pages 86-87. [''] Crooke's : An Introduction to the Popular Religion and Folklore of Northern India (Allahabad Edition of 1894), pages 126–127.

[] Vide my article On the Lizard in Indian Superstition and Folk-Medicine in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. LXVII, Part III, No. 1 of 1898,

pages 1546.

wonder-working powers. [29] These are addressed to the diseasedemon who is supposed to be afflicting the patient, and who is believed to be stronger than the exorcist himself. Hence the latter invokes deities and semi-divine personages like Sri Rāma and Rājā Ajaypal, whom he believes to be stronger than his antagonist-the disease-demon-to assist him in expelling the latter.

[20] Vide the Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay, Vol. IX, page 501.


(1) Corrupt Text of Cure-Charm No. I for Diarrhoa and Dysentery.

व्यतिसार १ दस्त

गंगा यमुना तौथेर पानि । यह काहिनो काहिनी । से खाइनो पानि । ब्याज हडते दूर हइनो व्यसुकेर बान्दाया तुलानी । सिद्धि गुरु श्री रामेर

[ocr errors]

(2) Corrupt Text of Cure - Charm No. II for Dysentery.

पेट से ब्याव खून का निकालना बंद करना । सागरेर कूले उपजिल शूल । ब्यारे पौ ब्योर पानि । व्यसुकेर सूचिनाम रक्त भूल छाड़ानि घमेरे आज्ञा । (3) Corrupt Text of Cure - Charm No. I for Rheumatism.

बात् रे बात् जाग लोम तोर जाति । व्यमावस्या मंगल बारे तोर उत्पति दुइयाबात्- पुद्दयावत्-पाथुरिया बात्, सजटिया बात्, रामे बोले न हरत् । लक्ष्मणे बोले न चल चल व्यसुर व्यंगे थाकिवार पैल लंकाय पड़ सिद्धि गुरु श्री रामेर व्याच्चा, गंगा यमुना त्रिवेणो व्यसुकार काहिनी अनुकार खंड कठना मानि ।

( 4 ) Corrupt Text of Cure - Charm No. II for Rheumatism.

बात बात व्यकाल बात्, अन्ध बात कृतज्ञते बात् कुट कुटरे बात् । आमार प्रति चक्रे शीघ्र फाट्। तमार डीके पवन पुत्र हनुमान कार याज्ञाय । राबा श्री रामेर बाज्ञा ।

( 5 ) Corrupt Text of Cure - Charm for Fever.

मनखा वैदाम नव के कपटी बसे कपाल हाव के मूले हनुमण्ड को व्याप सोखी जंग, पाड़ान रिवान मंत्र शान्ति गायत्री तामसेन देवता माहना राजा, तिजाट, एक ज्वरा, दो ज्वरा, तिन ज्वरा ; चारि ज्वरा, खात ज्वरा ; जो रहै तौ राजा अजय पालका चक्र व है; लॅतिस कोट देवता तेरे मंत्र को शक्ति से चलें । चोंच न खंड में जाय चोर नगारे वादानखाय । चणे बाम क्षणे दक्षिण, चणे व्ााो होर व्यजन सोरो स्मरिरे काया विख्यात होर ।

I.-Samasamayik Bharat, Parts I, II, III, & VIII.

By Professor Jogendra Nath Samaddar (Messrs. Samaddar Brothers, Moradpur, Patna).

This is the first attempt to present in Bengali a free translation of all the ancient foreign accounts of India available at the present day. Although summaries of what certain ancient Greek and Chinese travellers said about India in the past have already been given in Bengali in such books as Mr. Ram Pran Gupta's Prachin Bhārat, and in Megasthenes-er Bhārat Bibaran, no previous writer has attempted such a comprehensive task in Bengali as has been undertaken by Prof. Samaddar. The language of the translations is generally clear and simple, and the foot-notes add to the value and usefulness of the translations.

The introductions written for the four volumes by four distinguished scholars of Bengal add to the interest of the work. An interesting theory has been started by Mr. Nagendra Nath Basu, in his foreword to Part II, of the work. He says that Megasthenes came as an ambassador to the court not of Chandra Gupta but of his grandson Asoka. This is not the place to discuss the merits of this theory. to find in these volumes a number of printing mistakes which we hope will be corrected in a later edition. On the whole we have no hesitation in saying that Prof. Samaddar's work will prove a valuable contribution to the growing historical literature of Bengal.

We are sorry

« PreviousContinue »