« PreviousContinue »
HARLS-CHANDRA Twenty-eighth king of the Solar race, and son of Tri-sanku. He was celebrated for his piety and justice. There are several legends about him. The Aitareya Brahmana tells the story of his purchasing SimaA-sephas to be offered up as a vicarious sacrifice for his own son. (See iSunaAsephas.) The Mahabharata relates that he was raised to the heaven of Indra for his performance of the Raja-suya sacrifice and for his unbounded liberality. The Markanrfeya Purana expands the story at considerable length . One day while Harischandra was hunting he heard female lamentations, which proceeded "from the Sciences, who were being mastered by the austerely fervid sage Viswamitra, and were crying out in alarm at his superiority." Haris-chandra, as defender of the distressed, went to the rescue, but Viswamitra was so provoked by his interference that the Sciences instantly perished, and Harischandra was reduced to a state of abject helplessness. Viswamitra demanded the sacrificial gift due to him as a Brahman, and the king offered him whatever he might choose to ask, "gold, his own son, wife, body, life, kingdom, good fortune," whatever was dearest . Viswamitra stripped him of wealth and kingdom, leaving him nothing but a garment of bark and his wife and son. In a state of destitution he left his kingdom, and Viswamitra struck Saibya, the queen, with his staff to hasten her reluctant departure. To escape from his oppressor he proceeded to the holy city of Benares, but the relentless sage was waiting for him and demanded the completion of the gift . With bitter grief wife and child were sold, and there remained only himself. Dharma, the god of justice, appeared in the form of a hideous and offensive Chan<£ala, and offered to buy him. Notwithstanding the exile's repugnance and horror, Viswamitra insisted upon the sale, and Haris-chandra was carried off "bound, beaten, confused, and afflicted," to the abode of the Chanrfala. He was sent by his master to steal grave-clothes from a cemetery. In this horrid place and degrading work he spent twelve months. His wife then came to the cemetery to perform the obsequies of her son, who had died from the bite of a serpent . They recognised each other, and Haris-chandra and his wife resolved to die upon the funeral pyre of their son, though he hesitated to take away his own life without the consent of his master. After all was prepared, he HARIS-CHANDRA—HARI- VANS A. 119
gave himself up to meditation on Vishnu. The gods then arrived, headed by Dharma and accompanied by Vimamitra. Dharma entreated him to refrain from his intention, and Indra informed him "that he, his wife, and son, had conquered heaven by their good works." Haris-chandra declared that he could not go to heaven without the permission of his master the Cha?«/ala. j Dharma then revealed himself. When this difficulty was removed, Haris-chandra objected to go to heaven without his faithful subjects. "This request was granted by Indra, and after Viswamitra had inaugurated Rohitaswa, the king's son, to be his successor, Haris-chandra, his friends, and followers, all ascended in company to heaven." There he was induced by the sage Narada to boast of his merits, and this led to his expulsion from heaven. As he was falling he repented of his fault and was forgiven. His downward course was arrested, and he and his followers dwell in an aerial city, which, according to popular belief, is still visible occasionally in mid-air.
HARITA, HARITA 1. A son of Yuvanaswa of the Solar race, descended from Ikshwaku. From him descended the Harita Angirasas. In the Linga Purana it is said, "The son of Yuvanaswa was Harita, of whom the Haritas were sons. They were, on the side of Angiras, twice-born men (Brahmans) of Kshatriya lineage ;" or according to the Vayu, "they were the sons of Angiras, twice-born men (Brahmans), of Kshatriya race," possibly meaning that they were sons raised up to Harita by Angiras. According to some he was' a son of Chyavana. 2. Author of a Dharma-sastra or law-book.
HARITAS, HARITA-ANGIRASES. See Harita.
HABITS, HARITAS. 'Green.' In the ifcg-veda the horses, or rather mares, of the sun, seven or ten in number, and typical of his rays. "The prototype of the Grecian Charites."—Max Muller.
HARI-VANSA The genealogy of Hari or Vishnu, a long poem of 16,374 verses. It purports to be a part of the Mahabharata, but it is of much later date, and "may more accurately be ranked with the Pauranik compilations of least authenticity and latest date." It is in three parts ; the first is introductory, and gives particulars of the creation and of the patriarchal and regal dynasties; the second contains the life and adventures of Krishna; and the last and the third treats of the future of the
world and the corruptions of the Kali age. It contains many indications of its having been written in the south of India.
HARSHAiVA A deity who presides overthe6raddha offerings
HARYASWA A grandson of the Kuvalayaswa who killed the demon Dhundhu. The country of Panchala is said to have been named from his five (pancha) sons. There were several others of this name. t
HARYASWAS. Five thousand sons of the patriarch Daksha, begotten by him for the purpose of peopling the earth . The sage Narada dissuaded them from producing offspring, and they "dispersed themselves through the regions and have not returned."
HASTINA-PURA The capital city of the Kauravas, for which the great war of the Mahabharata was waged. It was founded by Hastin, son of the first Bharata, and hence, as some say, its name; but the Mahabharata and the Vishnu Purana call it the "elephant city," from hastin, an elephant. The ruins are traceable near an old bed of the Ganges, about 57 miles N.E. of Delhi, and local tradition has preserved the name. It is said to have been washed away by the Ganges.
HASYARA'AVA 'Ocean of laughter.' A modern comic piece in two acts, by a Panrfit named Jagadisa. "It is a severe but grossly indelicate satire upon the licentiousness of Brahmans assuming the character of religious mendicants."—Wilson.
HAVIR-BHUJ, HAVISH-MATA Pitris or Manes of the Kshatriyas, and inhabitants of the solar sphere. See Pitris.
HAYA-GRlVA 'Horse-necked.' According to one legend, a Daitya who stole the Veda as it slipped out of the mouth of Brahma while he was sleeping at the end of a kalpa, and was killed by Vishnu in the Fish Avatara. According to another, Vishnu himself, who assumed this form to recover the Veda, which had been carried off by two Daityas.
HAYA-SIRAS, HAYA-SlRSHA 'Horse-head.' In the Mahabharata it is recorded that the sage Aurva (q.v.) "cast the fire of his anger into the sea," and that it there "became the great Haya-siras, known to those acquainted with the Veda, which vomits forth that fire and drinks up the waters." A form of Vishnu.
In the Bhagavata Purana Brahma is represented as saying, "In my sacrifice Bhagavat himself was Haya-slrsha, the male of HEMA-CHANDRA—HIRANYAKSHA. 121
the sacrifice, whose colour is that of gold, of whom the Vedas and the sacrifices are the substance and the gods the soul; when he respired, charming words came forth from his nostrils."
HEMA-CHANDRA Author of a good Sanskrit vocabulary, printed under the superintendence of Colebrooke.
HEMADRL 'The golden mountain,' i.e., Meru.
HEMA-KUTA 'Golden peak.' A chain of mountains represented as lying north of the Himalayas, between them and Mount Meru.
HLDIMBA (mas.), HLDIMBA (fem.). A powerful Asura, who had yellow eyes and a horrible aspect . He was a cannibal, and dwelt in the forest to which the Panrfavas retired after the burning of their house. He had a sister named Hirfimba, whom he sent to lure the Panrfavas to him; but on meeting with Bhima, she fell in love with him, and offered to carry him away to safety on her back. Bhima refused, and while they were parleying, Hitftmba came up, and a terrible fight ensued, in which Bhima killed the monster. Hirfimba was at first much terrified and fled, but she returned and claimed Bhima for her husband. By his mother's desire Bhima married her, and by her had a son named Ghafotkacha.
HIMACHALA, HIMADRL The Himalaya mountains.
HIMAVAT. The personification of the Himalaya mountains, husband of Mena or Menaka, and father of Uma and Ganga.
HIRAiVYA-GARBHA 'Golden egg' or 'golden womb' In the i?ig-veda Hiranya-garbha "is said to have arisen in the beginning, the one lord of all beings, who upholds heaven and earth, who gives life and breath, whose command even the gods obey, who is the god over all gods, and the one animating principle of their being." According to Manu, Hiranya-garbha was Brahma, the first male, formed by the undiscernible eternal First Cause in a golden egg resplendent as the sun. "Having continued a year in the egg, Brahma divided it into two parts by his mere thought, and with these two shells he formed the heavens and the earth; and in the middle he placed the sky, the eight regions, and the eternal abode of the waters." See Brahma.
HIRAjyYAKSHA 'Golden eye.' A Daitya who dragged the earth to the depths of the ocean. He was twin-brother of Hirawyakasipu, and was killed by Vishnu in the Boar incarnation.
HIRAVYA-KASIPU. 'Golden dress.' A Daitya who, according to the Mahabharata and the Pura?ias, obtained from Siva the sovereignty of the three worlds for a million of years, and persecuted his son Prahlada for worshipping Vishnu. He was slain by Vishnu in the Nara-sinha, or man-lion incarnation. He and Hiranyiiksha were twin-brothers and chiefs of the Daityas.
HITOPADESA 'Good advice.' The well-known collection of ethical tales and fables compiled from the larger and older work called Pancha-tantra. It has been often printed, and there are several translations; among them is an edition by Johnson of text, vocabulary, and translation.
UOTi?/. A priest who recites the prayers from the Rig- veda.
Hi?/SHIKESA A name of Krishna or Vishnu.
HOATAS. According to Wilson, "the White Huns or IndoScythians, who were established in the Panjab and along the Indus at the commencement of our era, as we know from Arrian, Strabo, and Ptolemy, confirmed by recent discoveries of their coins," and since still further confirmed by inscriptions and additional coins. Dr. Fitzedward Hall says, "I am not prepared to deny that the ancient Hindus, when they spoke of the Hunas, intended the Huns. In the Middle Ages, however, it is certain that a race called Huna was understood by the learned of India to form a division of the Kshatriyas."—V. P. ii. 134.
HUN-DESA The country round Lake Manasarovara.
HUSHKA HUVISHKA A Tushkara or Turki king, whose name is mentioned in the Raja Tarangini as Hushka, which has been found in inscriptions as Huvishka, and upon the corrupt Greek coins as Oerki. He is supposed to have reigned just at the commencement of the Christian era. See Kanishka.
IDA. In the ifrg-veda Irfa is primarily food, refreshment, or a libation of milk; thence a stream of praise, personified as the goddess of speech. She is called the instructress of Manu, and frequent passages ascribe to her the first institution of the rules of performing sacrifices. According to Sayana, she is the goddess presiding over the earth. A legend in the iSatapatha Brahmana represents her as springing from a sacrifice which Manu performed for the purpose of obtaining offspring. She was claimed by Mitra-Varuna, but remained faithful to him who had pro