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on the adjoining plain. Processions, accompanied by music, were passing and repassing in every direction. In the processions many persons were daubed over with the sacred ashes of cows ordure. Hundreds of these were inflicting self-torture. In one procession, I saw ten persons, each with more than a hundred iron pins inserted in the flesh. In another, each devotee had a cluster of artificial serpents fastened with iron pins to his naked back. In other processions, many had the left arm perforated, for the insertion of rods from five to fifteen feet in length. These rods were kept in constant and quick motion through the flesh, to increase the pain. Some had their tongues pierced, for the insertion of similar rods, which were occasionally drawn rapidly up and down through the tongue. One man, having a rod fifteen feet long, and, at the largest end, nearly one inch in diameter, commencing with the smaller end, drew the whole rod through his tongue. After wiping the blood from it upon his garment, he thrust it again into his tongue. Others were drawing living serpents through their tongues and dancing around like maniacs. In the streets through which the processions passed were devotees, with their sides pierced; a rope passed through each incision, and the ends of the two ropes were fastened to four stakes driven into the earth. In this condition, the infatuated creatures dance backward and forward, drawing the ropes, at each movement, through their lacerated flesh. On the afternoon of the next day, swinging machines were erected at the places of concourse. They consisted of a perpendicular post, about twenty-five feet high, upon the top of which was a transverse beam, balanced on its centre, and turning on a pivot. A rope was attached to one end of this beam, by which the other cou. be elevated or depressed at pleasure. From this end, nany of the worshippers were suspended by iron hooks inserted into the muscular parts of their backs. I have in my possession a pair of hooks which have been used for that purpose. These hooks I saw thrust into a man's naked back. The rope attached to them was made fast to the beam of the machine, by which he was lifted up twenty-five or thirty feet from the earth. It was then put in a circular motion on its pivot, and the poor sufferer made to swing with great rapidity for some minutes. Thousands and tens of thousands, annually, are thus cruelly tortured on these machines.
No. 32 is a wen:pie of Shiva, which I saw near Allahabad. It is surrounded by a high mound, composed wholly of the fragments of earthen bottles. Un one of the last days of February, from twenty to forty thousand pilgrims assemble, each being provided with two or three earthen bottles, containing water from the Ganges, and a few copper coins. Such is the offering they make to Shiva ; and, believing him to be greatly pleased with the act, they dash and break the bottles against the temple. The next day, the Brahmins, faithful and true to Shiva, do not forget to pick up the money, and, as the trustees of the idol, keep it for him. That the temple may not be buried beneath the fragments of this novel offering, and that no coin may escape their vigilance, they also have the broken bottles reinoved to a short distance, where they had accumulated to the extent here represented. It cannot be difficult to understand why this peculiar mode of worship was invented by the Brahmins. It may also serve as an illustration of the manner in which they take advantage of the credulity of the people and secure a large amount of property.
The two figures in engraving 33 are portraits of individuals whom I had the opportunity of frequently seeing. The one on the left is the portrait of a religious mendicant. The number of mendicants in India amounts to many hundreds of thousands. As a religious duty, they forsake their families and friends, renounce every useful occupation, and wander from place to place, begging their food. They are literally clothed with filth and rags; the latter, in many instances, being less in quantity than the former. Some of them are decorated with large quantities of false hair, strings of human bones, and artificial snakes. Others carry a human skull containing a most filthy mixture. If no money or food be given them by those persons of whom they solicit alms, they profess to eat the filth out of the skull, as an act of revenge. One sect of them, professing to be extremely anxious to avoid destroying animal life, carry a broom, composed of soft cotton threads, gently to sweep the insects from their path. They also erect hospitals for the reception of aged, sick, and lame animals. There is an institution of this kind in the vicinity of Bombay, which, in 1840, contained from fifty to one hundred horses, one hundred and seventy-five oxen and cows, and two hundred dogs, beside cats, monkeys, and repriles. It has been said
that paganism never erected a hospital ; but this is not quite true. I believe, however, that these are the only hospitals that have been erected by the worshippers of idols.
There is another sect of mendicants, who are worshippers of Krishna. Though men, they put on the dress and ornaments, and assume the manners, of milkmaids. This is supposed to be very pleasing to the object of their worship; for, when he was on earth, he is said to have been very partial to the milkmaids, and to have married no fewer than sixteen thousand of them.
The other figure on the same engraving is a portrait of PuriSuttema, an individual with whom I was well acquainted. For seven years he had been a religious mendicant. At length he read a Christian tract entitled “A Precept to the Inhabitants of this Part of the World, by the Missionaries.” “By studying it,” said he, “I found there was a great difference between the notions I had imbibed and the virtuous precepts contained in that book ; I plainly saw that my former way was all deception, and that this book pointed out a better.” He embraced that better way, and is now a preacher of the gospel.
Many religious mendicants subject themselves to various modes of self-torture. Engravings, Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are portraits of individuals, selected as specimens of this class of persons.
The devotee represented by engraving, No. 2 I saw at a festival on the banks of the Ganges. He had kept his left arm thus elevated until it had become stiff and permanently fixed, the muscles and sinews had lost all power of producing motion, and the flesh had become withered. The finger-nails, as you perceive, had grown to the enormous length of six or eight inches. During my residence in Hindustan, I saw as many as nine persons with their arms elevated in the position here delineated.
The devotee represented by engraving, No. 3 has both arms elevated. This man I saw frequently in the city of Benares. In answer to my inquiries relative to his history, I was told that, in the earlier part of his life, he served as a soldier ; but, having lost his right leg, he became unfit for the duties of the army. In order to secure a livelihood, as well as a large stock of religious merit, he turned devotee. Having substituted a wooden leg in the place of the one lost, he took a small idol in each hand, and elevated them above his head until his arms became perfectly stiff and immovable.