Page images
PDF

BRAHMAVARTTA—BRIHASPATI. 63

stanzas." The copies known rather exceed this number of stanzas, but the contents do not answer to this description. "The character of the work is so decidedly sectarial, and the sect to which it belongs so distinctly marked—that of the worshippers of the juvenile Krishna and Radha, a form of belief of known modern origin "—that it must be a production of a comparatively late date. A specimen of the text and translation has been published by Stenzler.

BRAHMAVARTTA "Between the two divine rivers, SaraswatI and DrishadwatI, lies the tract of land which the sages have named Brahmavartta, because it was frequented by the gods."—Manu, ii. 17.

BRAHMA-VEDA A name given to the Atharvan or fourth Veda, the Veda of prayers and charms.

BRAHMA-YUGA 'The age of Brahmans' The first or Knta-yuga. See Yuga.

BRAHMOTTARA PURAAA. See Brahma Purana .

BitfHAD ARAiVYAKA, BitfHAD UPANISHAD. Tho Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad belongs to the $atapatha Brahmana, and is ascribed to the sage Yajnawalkya . It has been translated by Dr. Roer, and published in the Bibliotheca Indica. See Aranyaka and Yajnawalkya .

B.R/HAD-DEVATA An ancient work in slokas by the sage <Saunaka, which enumerates and describes the deity or deities to which each hymn and verse of the i?tg-veda is addressed. It frequently recites legends in support of its attributions.

B/2/HAD-RATHA The tenth and last king of the Maurya dynasty, founded by Chandragupta .

Bi?/HAN NARADIYA PURAiVA. See Narada Purina. Bi?/HASPATL In the i?tg-veda the names Bnhaspati and Brahmanaspati alternate, and are equivalent to each other. They are names "of a deity in whom the action of the worshipper upon the gods is personified. He is the suppliant, the sacrificer, the priest, who intercedes with gods on behalf of men and protects mankind against the wicked. Hence he appears as the prototype of the priests and priestly order; and is also designated as the Purohita (family priest) of the divine community. He is called in one place 'the father of the gods,' and a widely extended creative power is ascribed to him. He is

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

also designated as 'the shining' and ' the gold-coloured,' and as 'having the thunder for his voice' "

In later times he is a flight. He is also regent of the planet Jupiter, and the name is commonly used for the planet itself. In this character his car is called Niti-ghosha and is drawn by eight pale horses. He was son of the i?ishi Angiras, and he bears the patronymic Angirasa. As preceptor of the gods he is called Animishiicharya, Chakshas, Ijya, and Indrejya. His wife, Tara, was carried off by Soma, the moon, and this gave rise to a war called the Taraka-maya. Soma was aided by Usanas, Rudra, and all the Daityas and Danavas, while Indra and the gods took the part of Brihaspati. "Earth, shaken to her centre," appealed to Brahma, who interposed and restored Tara to her husband. She was delivered of a son which Brihaspati and Soma both claimed, but Tara, at the command of Brahma to tell the truth, declared Soma to be the father, and the child was named Budha. There is an extraordinary story in the Matsya and Bhagavata Puranas of the i?ishis having milked the earth through Brihaspati. (See Vishnu Purana, i . pp. 188, 190.) Brihaspati was father of Bharadwaja by Mamata, wife of Utathya. (See Bharadwaja.) An ancient code of law bears the name of B?-ihaspati, and he is also represented as being the Vyasa of the "fourth, Dwapara age." There was a Mislu of the name in the second Manwantara, and one who was founder of an heretical sect. Other epithets of Brihaspati are Jiva, 'the living,' Dldivis, 'the bright,' Dhishana, 'the intelligent,' and, for his eloquence, Glsh-pati, 'lord of speech'

B/i/HAT-KATHA A large collection of tales, the original of the Kathii-sarit-sagara (q.v.).

Bi2/HAT-SANHITA A celebrated work on astronomy by Varaha Mihira. It has been printed by Kern in the Bibliotheca Indica-, who has also published a translation in Jour. B. A. S. for 1870 and following years.

BUDDHA Gotama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. Vishnu's ninth incarnation. See Avatara.

BUDHA 'Wise, intelligent.' The planet Mercury, son of Soma, the moon, by RohinI, or by Tara, wife of Brihaspati. (See Brihaspati.) He married Ila, daughter of the Manu Vaivaswata, and by her had a son, Pururavas. Budha was author of a hymn in the .Rtg-veda. (See Ila.) From his parents he is called CHAITANYA-CHANDRODA YA—CHAMUNDA. 65

Saumya and Rauhineya. He is also called Praharshana, Rodhana, Tunga, and Syamanga, 'black-bodied.' The intrigue of Soma with Tara was the cause of a great quarrel, in which the gods and the Asuras fought against each other. Brahma compelled Soma to give up Tara, and when she returned to her husband she was pregnant . A son was born, who was so beautiful that BnTiaspati and Soma both claimed him. Tara for a long time refused to tell his paternity, and so excited the wrath and nearly incurred the curse of her son. At length, upon the command of Brahma, she declared Soma to be the father, and he gave the boy the name of Budha. This name is distinct from Buddha.

CHAITANYA-CHANDRODAYA 'The rise of the moon of Chaitanya.' A drama in ten acts by Kavi-karma-pura. It is published in the Bibliotheca Ittdica. Chaitanya was a modern Vaishnava reformer, accounted an incarnation of Krishna .

CHAITRA-RATHA The grove or forest of Kuvera on Mandara, one of the spurs of Meru; it is so called from its being cultivated by the gandharva Chitra-ratha.

CHAKORA A kind of partridge. A fabulous bird, supposed to live upon the beams of the moon.

CHAKRA-VARTl. A universal emperor, described by the Vishnu Purana as one who is born with the mark of Vishnu's discus visible in his hand; but, Wilson observes, "the grammatical etymology is, 'He who abides in or rules over an extensive territory called a Chakra.'"

CHAKSHUSHA The sixth Manu. See Manu.

CHAMPA Son of Prithu-liiksha, a descendant of Yayati, through his fourth son, Anu, and founder of the city of Champa.

CHAMPA, CHAMPAVATI, CHAMPA-MALINI, CHAMPA-PURL The capital city of the country of Anga. Traces of it still remain in the neighbourhood of Bhiigalpur. It was also called MalinI, from its being surrounded with champaka trees as with a garland (male). It is said to have derived its name from Champa, its founder, but the abundant champaka trees may assert a claim to its designation.

CHAMUiYDA An emanation of the goddess Durga, sent forth from her forehead to encounter the demons Chanda and Munrfa. She is thus described in the Markanrfeya Purana:—

E

[ocr errors]

"From the forehead of Ambika (Durga), contracted with wrathful frowns, sprang swiftly forth a goddess of black and formidable aspect, armed with a scimitar and noose, bearing a ponderous mace, decorated with a garland of dead corpses, robed in the hide of an elephant, dry and withered and hideous, with yawning mouth, and lolling tongue, and bloodshot eyes, and filling the regions with her shouts." When she had killed the two demons, she bore their heads to Durga, who told her that she should henceforth be known, by a contraction of their names, as Chi. munrfa.

CHAiVAKYA A celebrated Brahman, who took a leading part in the destruction of the Nandas, and in the elevation of Chandra-gupta to their throne. He was a great master of finesse and artifice, and has been called the Machiavelli of India. A work upon morals and polity called Chanakya Sutra is ascribed to him. He is the chief character in the drama called Mudrarakshasa, and is known also by the names Vishnu-gupta and Kau/ilya. His maxims have been translated by Weber.

CHANDA, Chaivim. The goddess Durga, especially in the form she assumed for the destruction of the Asura called Mahisha.

CHAiVPI-MAHATMYA, CHAiraDXA-MAHATMYA The same as the Cha?kflpa/ha.

CHAADlPAr, CHAiyTlPAniA A poem of 700 verses, forming an episode of the Markanrfeya Purana. It celebrates Durga's victories over tho Asuras, and is read daily in the temples of that goddess. The work is also called Devimahatmya. It has been translated by Poley and by Burnouf.

CHANDRA The moon, either as a planet or a deity. See Soma.

CHANDRA-GUPTA This name was identified by Sir W. Jones with the Sandracottus or Sandrocyptus mentioned by Arrian and the other classical historians of Alexander's campaign; and somewhat later on as having entered into a treaty with Seleucus Nicator through the ambassador Megasthenes. The identification has been contested, but the chief writers on Indian antiquities have admitted it as an established fact, and have added confirmatory evidence from various sources, so that the identity admits of no reasonable doubt. This identification is of the utmost importance to Indian chronology; it is the CHANDRA-GUPTA. 67

only link by which Indian history is connected with that of Greece, and everything in Indian chronology depends upon the date of Chandra-gupta as ascertained from that assigned to Sandracottus by the classical writers. His date, as thus discovered, shows that he began to reign in 315 ac., and as he reigned twenty-four years, his reign ended in 291 ac. Chandra-gupta is a prominent name in both Brahmanical and Buddhist writings, and his accession to the throne is the subject of the drama Mudra-rakshasa.

When Alexander was in India, he learned that a king named Xandrames reigned over the Prasii (Prachyas) at the city of Palibothra, situated at the confluence of the Ganges and another river called Erranaboas (the Sone). At this time, Sandracottus was young, but he waged war against Alexander's captains, and he raised bands of robbers, with whose help he succeeded in establishing freedom in India.

Hindu and Buddhist writers are entirely silent as to Alexander's appearance in India, but they show that Chandra-gupta overthrew the dynasty of the Nandas, which reigned over Magadha, and "established freedom in India by the help of bands of robbers." He established himself at Pa7ali-putra, the capital of the Nandas, which is identical with the Greek Palibothra, and this has been shown to be the modern Patna. That town does not now stand at the confluence of two rivers, but the rivers in the alluvial plains of Bengal frequently change their courses, and a change in the channel of the Sone has been established by direct geographical evidence. There is a difficulty about Xandrames . This is no doubt the Sanskrit Chandramas, which some consider to be only a shorter form of the name Chandra-gupta, while others point out that the Greek references indicate that Xandrames was the predecessor of Sandracottus, rather than Sandracottus himself.

The dynasty of the Nandas that reigned over Magadha are frequently spoken of as the "nine Nandas," meaning apparently nine descents ; but according to some authorities the last Nanda, named Maha-padma, and his eight sons, are intended. Mahapadma Nanda was the son of a Sudra, and so by law he was a Siidra himself. He was powerful and ambitious, cruel and avaricious. His people were disaffected; but his fall is represented as having been brought about by the Brahman Chanakya.

« PreviousContinue »