Page images
PDF

Sci-htsho-ma, (S. G6pd,) the wife of SHAKYA, upon hearing of her being upbraided by the domestics for not concealing her face when in company with others, expresses herself in some verses (against the veil), the meaning of which is as follows :

“ Sitting, standing, and walking, those that are venerable, are pleasing when not concealed. A bright gem will give more lustre if put on the top of a standard. The venerable are pleasing when they go, they are agreeable also when they come. They are so whether they stand or whether they are sitting. In every manner the venerable are pleasing. The man excellent in virtue is pleasing when he speaks ; he is so also when he sits still. As an example, doth not the Kalapinka bird appear more beautiful when she chaunteth her lovely song in your presence? The venerable man who putteth on a garment made of the kusha grass, or whose squalid clothing concealeth not his emaciated body, still shineth with his own lustre. He that hath good qualities is adorned by those qualifications. They who have put off all vices are venerable. Fools, committing vices, howmuchsoever they be adorned, are never pleasing. Those that have malice in their heart and speak a sweet language are like a poisoned bowl into which nectar is poured; or a cleft on a rock that is rough both inside and outside. Communion with such men is as though you would touch the mouth of a snake. With respect to the venerable, all resort to them, all reverence them. They are supported and cherished by all men, as the stairs descending to the water’s edge are kept in repair by the multitude. The venerable are always like a bowl full of milk and curd. It is a great happiness to see human nature capable of such purity. Fraught with blissful consequences is the gift of such men as have renounced the company of the wicked, and being directed by a venerable religious guide, are become enamoured of the doctrine of the most perfect (Buddha). For such as have restrained their body, have suppressed the several defects of it, have refrained their speech, and never use a deceitful language ; and having subdued the flesh,are held in restraint by a pure conscience : for such, to what purpose is the veiling of the face P They thathave acunnning heart are impudent and shameless; and having not the required qualities, do not speak the truth :—though they should cover their body even with a thousand clothes, they would go about in the world more naked than the unclothed. They that have concealed their passions, and have kept them under subjection, and are content with their own husbands, and think not on any other ;—-such women, when not concealed by a veil, shine forth like the sun and moon. Moreover DRANGSnono, (S. R.s"ki,) the great Lord (God), who is wise in knowing the hearts of others, yea, also the whole company of the gods, know my thoughts, my good morals, my virtues, my obligation, and my chastity. Therefore, why should I conceal my face P”

Zas-Qtsang-ma, (S. Shuddhodana, the father of SHAKYA,) her fatherin-law, was much pleased with these expressions, and presented her with several precious things. He uttered at the same time one sléka, the meaning of which is this: “ My son being adorned with such qualities as he has, and my daughter-in-law having such virtuous qualifications as she describes ; to see two such pure persons united together, is like when butter and ghee are mixed together.”

[ocr errors]

As breathing in accordance with the virtuous sentiments of the above favourable specimen of the Tibetan sacred works, we may here extract a curious correspondence, (whether imaginary or real we will not pretend to determine,) stated to have taken place between a princess of Ceylon and the Buddhist saint. This letter is very generally known and admired throughout Tibet, being introduced in every collection of epistolary forms for the instruction of youth.

Ratmivali’s Letter to Shzikya.

Mutig-chen, (S. Ratnavali,) a young princess of Ceylon, the daughter of the king of Singala, having been informed by some merchants of Central India ( Madhyam) of Buddha and of his doctrine; she was much pleased with it; and, when those merchants returned

home, she sent some presents to CHOM-DAN-DAS (SHAKYA), with a letter of the following contents :

[ocr errors]

birth, sickness, and fear ; Lord! who art greatly celebrated by thy far extending renown, from the Sage’s ambrosial portion, kindly grant me ! (meaning religious instruction or wisdom.”)

SI-IAKYA received this letter, and sent to the princess apicture of Buddha on cotton cloth, with some verses written above and below the

image, containing the terms upon which refuge is obtained with Buddha, Dhurma, and Sangha ; and a few fundamental articles of the faith; together with two stanzas recommendatory of Buddhism. In a letter to the king of Singala, SHAKYA prescribes with what solemnity this image should be received, the letter perused, and made known in Ceylon.

The stanzas are these. See Dulva, vol. 5, leaf 30,

[ocr errors]

lake.) Whoever has lived a pure or chaste life, according to the precepts of this Dulvd, shall be free from transmigration, and shall put an end to all his miseries.”

The compendium, or sum of the Buddhistic doctrine in one sl6ka, runs thus :

[ocr errors][graphic]

II.-Some Remarks upon the Country to the South-west of Hoshungabad, and of the Soil, Cultivation, &c. of that part of the Valley of the Nerbudda, situated between Hoshungahaol and the Fort of Mukrai, in the lower range of the Kali-bheet Hills. By Lieut. R. H. Miles.

The cantonrnent of Hoshungabad is situated on a high kankar bank, on the southern side or left bank of the Nerbudda. The bed of the river below the bank is likewise of kankar, and presents in the dry season a rocky appearance. This kankar formation in the river extends about half way across it, and runs parallel with the bank above, Whose length extends one mile and a quarter, uninterrupted and

unchanged. -The situation of the town and fort, (which latter is of stone, quad

rangular in shape, and with high walls,) is in a gentle hollow to the westward of the cantonments. The bank of the river is not only low under the town, but changes its kankar nature for a loamy soil, much adulterated with sand. The current in front of the town is slack; and the channel both wider and deeper than opposite the can

tonment. In the height of the rains, the Nerbudda reaches barely half way up

the above-mentioned kankar bank; although in some seasons the waters have risen so high as to be on a level with the ghats of the town; but such instances are of rare occurrence.

The rains of 1826 were extremely heavy, and the Nerbudda rose to an awful height. In that year a very curious and singular circumstance was witnessed by some of the ofiicers there. It was as follows: Between the fort and the race-course there were some small stunted shrubs, or bushes, approaching the species known by the name of byr, which grew not far from the river's edge; in the centre of one of which, some natives, who happened to be passing by the spot early one morning, perceived a curious looking mass, apparently entangled therein ; and which, on a nearer approach, they much to their surprise discovered to be a young alligator !——-a few ropes having been procured from the cantonments, they were thrown in running nooses over his tail, head, and body, by which means he was hauled out of his brambly resting-place, and lattee-mar’d to death. He measured about six feet in all. The river had covered the bush the day preceding, into which it is conjectured the velocity of the stream had carried him with such force, as to make his extrication therefrom hopeless, and the river having fallen during the night had left him high and dry-—when taken, it was observed, that he was minus a paw, which had been amputated at the wrist.

At the distance of about 50 yards above the junction of the Town river with the Nerbudda, there is a ledge of black lime-stone rock, which stretches the whole way across the Nerbudda, connecting the two banks by a causeway, as it were ; a fine waterfall is the result—while immediately below it is an exceedingly deep (koond) hole, which is literally alive with immense alligators. The ascent from its steepness and slippery nature is impracticable to them, and they content themselves with sporting about in the deep water at its base.

From this waterfall to the Goondry Ghat, (fol-dable from November to June,) the Nerbudda is both deep and broad :—cultivation meets the eye on the southern side, while a dense jungle and impervious underwood skirts the very bank on its northern face.

The entrance to the Towa, for the distance of 100 yards or so, is intricate on account of hidden rocks below, and also large masses and blocks of rock, some of a black, some of a white, and some of a reddish tinge, which are scattered about at different elevations above the level of the water. These being passed, the channel of the river is unob

structed‘ in the rains, beyond Simlkhéra ; the current flowing over a sandy bed and soil, between low banks, at times shelving to the water’s edge.

At the distance of about one hundred and fifty yards below the village of Boodeny, there is another ledge of rock, which, stretching right across, connects both banks. This ledge, however, is neither so wide nor so high as the former one mentioned ; although the roaring of the water falling over it is heard a long way off. That obstruction being cleared, the river pursues its onward course in quickened speed, and depth, and likewise width of stream, for some distance below the village cf Doongurwara.

Both the long, as well as the bull-mouthed alligator is met with in the Nerbudda. I recollect one of the latter having been shot by a ball, which perforated his brain, and which on measurement reached nine feet 10 inches in all. Curiosity having led us to open him, in the hopes of meeting in his maw with some of the silver ornaments, which had graced the wrists and ankles of the little children, which had been taken away, when bathing at the ghats, by these amphibious monsters ; our labours were rewarded by finding simply the hairy hide of a young hywna, which one of the party had ordered to be thrown into the river a short time antecedent to the capture of the alligator. It was conjectured, that the hairy particles with which the hide was covered had prevented its being digested.

The country all the way to Seonee, where there is an old stone gurhee, or fort, is one fine, extended, sheet of cultivation; the soil being a rich black loam. This town is situated about 34 miles to the S. W. of Hoshungabad, and is without exception one of the best looking and cleanest towns in this part of India. It possesses, moreover, a very wide street, which is the principal thoroughfare. The houses too are mostly new, and built with great regularity and neatness. I allude particularly to the new suburb, at the south end of the town, which has arisen since the country became settled and quiet under our rule. To the south of the town, several young mango topes were planted, and also several pucka boulees erected. The south-east view presents a range of mountains in the distance, while to the S. S. E. the fortress of Souleegurh, which is built on the top of a rocky isolated hill, at the distance of 12 or 15 kds, is visible. There are several wealthy mafiajuns resident in the town, besides several dookandars, who carry on a small trade with Hoshungabad, Boorhanpoor, and other places of less note in the neighbourhood. The exports are but few, and these consist chiefly of grain and ghee, at least they are the staple commodities of export. Iron smelted in the neighbouring hills forms also a small article of export. Seonee is a great place of resort for Brinjary bullock

« PreviousContinue »