Hinduism And Buddhism, Volume II. (of 3) - An Historical Sketch
by Charles Eliot
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[Footnote 230: See Vasilief, Le Bouddhisme, Troisieme supplement, pp. 262 ff. Koeppen, Rel. des Buddha, I. 151. Takakusu in J. Pali Text Society, 1905, pp. 67-146.]

[Footnote 231: Records, translated by Takakusu, p. 15.]

[Footnote 232: They are mentioned in the Sarva-darsana-sangraha.]

[Footnote 233: Kern (Indian Buddhism, p. 126) says they rejected the authority of the Sutras altogether but gives no reference.]

[Footnote 234: See Vasilief, pp. 301 ff. and various notices in Hsuean Chuang and Watters. Also de la Vallee Poussin's article in E.R.E.]

[Footnote 235: Hsuean Chuang informs us that when he was in Srughna he studied the Vibhasha of the Sautrantikas, but the precise significance of this term is not plain.]

[Footnote 236: Fa-Hsien's Travels, chap. XVI.]

[Footnote 237: This figure is probably deduced from some artificial calculation of possible heresies like the 62 wrong views enumerated in the Brahma-Jala sutra.]

[Footnote 238: He must have lived in the fourth century as one of his works (Nanjio, 1243) was translated between 397 and 439.]

[Footnote 239: Watters, Yuean Chwang, II. 221-224. Nanjio, 1237. The works of Gunamati also are said to show a deep knowledge of the Sankhya philosophy.]

[Footnote 240: For the history of logic in India, see Vidyabhusana's interesting work Mediaeval School of Indian Logic, 1909. But I cannot accept all his dates.]

[Footnote 241: Dinnaga's principal works are the Pramana-samuccaya and the Nyaya-pravesa. Hsuean Chuang calls him Ch'en-na. See Watters, II. 209. See Stcherbatskoi in Museon, 1904, pp. 129-171 for Dinnaga's influence on the development of the Naiyayika and Vaiseshika schools.]

[Footnote 242: His personal name is said to have been P'u-ti-to-lo and his surname Ch'a-ti-li. The latter is probably a corruption of Kshatriya. Hsiang-Chih possibly represents a name beginning with Gandha, but I can neither find nor suggest any identification.]

[Footnote 243: See B.E.F.E.O. 1903, pp. 379 ff.]

[Footnote 244: His evil deeds are several times mentioned by Hsuean Chuang. It required a miracle to restore the Bo tree.]

[Footnote 245: See Ettinghausen, Harshavardhana, Appendix III.]

[Footnote 246: The appearance of Gauri as a dea ex machina at the end hardly shows that Harsha's Buddhism had a Saktist tinge but it does show that Buddhists of that period turned naturally to Sivaite mythology.]

[Footnote 247: Harshacarita, chap. VII. The parrots were expounding Vasubandhu's Abhidharma-kosa. Bana frequently describes troops of holy men apparently living in harmony but including followers of most diverse sects. See Kadambari, 193 and 394: Harshacar. 67.]

[Footnote 248: It is curious that Bana (Harshacarita, VII.) says of this prince that from childhood he resolved never to worship anyone but Siva.]

[Footnote 249: The Rashtra-pala-paripriccha (Ed. Finot, pp. ix-xi, 28-33) inveighs against the moral degeneration of the Buddhist clergy. This work was translated into Chinese between 589 and 618, so that demoralisation must have begun in the sixth century.]

[Footnote 250: See Rhys Davids in J.R.A.S. 1891, pp. 418 ff.]

[Footnote 251: Hsuean Chuang was not disposed to underrate the numbers of the Mahayana for he says that the monks of Ceylon were Mahayanists.]

[Footnote 252: See the beginning of the Kathavatthu. The doctrine is formulated in the words Puggalo upalabbhati saccikatthaparamatthenati, and there follows a discussion between a member of the orthodox school and a Puggalavadin, that is one who believes in the existence of a person, soul or entity which transmigrates from this world to another.]

[Footnote 253: Sam. Nik. XXII. 221.]

[Footnote 254: This use of Nikaya must not be confused with its other use to denote a division of the Sutra-Pitaka. It means a group or collection and hence can be used to denote either a body of men or a collection of treatises. These Nikayas are also not the same as the four schools (Vaibhashikas, etc.), mentioned above, which were speculative. Similarly in Europe a Presbyterian may be a Calvinist, but Presbyterianism has reference to Church government and Calvinism to doctrine.

There were in India at this time (1) two vehicles, Maha-and Hinayana, (2) four speculative schools, Vaibhashikas, etc., (3) four disciplinary schools, Mula-sarvastivadins, etc. These three classes are obviously not mutually exclusive. Thus I-Ching approved of (a) the Mahayana, (b) the Madhyamika and Yogacara, which he did not consider inconsistent and (c) the Mula-sarvastivada.]

[Footnote 255: I-Ching, transl. Takakusu, p. 186.]

[Footnote 256: Three Asankhya Kalpas. I-Ching, Takakusu's transl. pp. 196-7. He seems to regard the Mahayana as the better way. He quotes Nagarjuna's allusions to Avalokita and Amitayus with apparent approval; he tells us how one of his teachers worshipped Amitayus and strove to prepare himself for Sukhavati and how the Lotus was the favourite scripture of another. He further tells us that the Madhyamika and the Yoga systems are both perfectly correct.]

[Footnote 257: Hsuean Chuang speaks of Mahayanists belonging to the Sthavira school.]

[Footnote 258: Quoted by Rockhill, Life of the Buddha, pp. 196 ff.]

[Footnote 259: Chaps. XXXVIII and XXXIX. He seems to say that it is right for the laity to make an offering of their bodies by burning but not for Bhikshus. The practice is recognized and commended in the Lotus, chap. XXII, which however is a later addition to the original work.]

[Footnote 260: I-Ching, transl. Takakusu, pp. 153-4 somewhat abridged. I-Ching (pp. 156-7) speaks of Matricheta as the principal hymn writer and does not identify him with Asvaghosha.]

[Footnote 261: I believe the golden image in the Arakan Pagoda at Mandalay is still washed with a ceremonial resembling that described by I-Ching.]

[Footnote 262: I-Ching says that monasteries commonly had a statue of Mahakala as a guardian deity.]

[Footnote 263: By the Gupta king, Narasinha Gupta Baladitya. Much information about Nalanda will be found in Satis Chandra Vidyabhusana's Mediaeval School of Indian Logic, pp. 145-147. Hsuean Chuang (Life, transl. Beal, p. 111) says that it was built 700 years before his time, that is, in the first century B.C. He dwells on the beauty of the buildings, ponds and flowers.]



The theme of this chapter is sad for it is the decadence, degradation and ultimate disappearance of Buddhism in India. The other great religions offer no precise parallel to this phenomenon but they also do not offer a parallel to the circumstances of Buddhism at the time when it flourished in its native land. Mohammedanism has been able to maintain itself in comparative isolation: up to the present day Moslims and Christians share the same cities rather than the same thoughts, especially when (as often) they belong to different races. European Christianity after a few centuries of existence had to contend with no rival of approximately equal strength, for the struggle with Mohammedanism was chiefly military and hardly concerned the merits of the faiths. But Buddhism never had a similarly paramount and unchallenged position. It never attempted to extirpate its rivals. It coexisted with a mass of popular superstition which it only gently reprobated and with a powerful hereditary priesthood, both intellectual and pliant, tenacious of their own ideas and yet ready to countenance almost any other ideas as the price of ruling. Neither Islam nor Christianity had such an adversary, and both of them and even Judaism resemble Buddhism in having won greater success outside their native lands than in them. Jerusalem is not an altogether satisfactory spectacle to either Christians or Jews.[264]

Still all this does not completely explain the disappearance of Buddhism from India. Before attempting to assign reasons, we shall do well to review some facts and dates relating to the period of decadence. If we take all India into consideration the period is long, but in many, indeed in most, districts the process of decay was rapid.

In the preceding chapter I have mentioned the accounts of Indian Buddhism which we owe to the Chinese travellers, Hsuean Chuang and I-Ching. The latter frankly deplores the decay of the faith which he had witnessed in his own life (i.e. about 650-700 A.D.) but his travels in India were of relatively small extent and he gives less local information than previous pilgrims. Hsuean Chuang describing India in 629-645 A.D. is unwilling to admit the decay but his truthful narrative lets it be seen. It is only of Bengal and the present United Provinces that he can be said to give a favourable account, and the prosperity of Buddhism there was largely due to the personal influence of Harsha.[265] In central and southern India, he tells us of little but deserted monasteries. It is clear that Buddhism was dying out but it is not so clear that it had ever been the real religion of this region. In many parts it did not conquer the population but so to speak built fortresses and left garrisons. It is probable that the Buddhism of Andhra, Kalinga and the south was represented by little more than such outposts. They included Amaravati, where portions of the ruins seem assignable to about 150 A.D., and Ajanta, where some of the cave paintings are thought to be as late as the sixth century. But of neither site can we give any continuous history. In southern India the introduction of Buddhism took place under the auspices of Asoka himself, though his inscriptions have as yet been found only in northern Mysore and not in the Tamil country. The Tamil poems Manimegalei and Silappadigaram, especially the former, represent it as prevalent and still preserving much of its ancient simplicity. Even in later times when it had almost completely disappeared from southern India, occasional Buddhist temples were founded. Rajaraja endowed one at Negapatam about 1000 A.D. In 1055 a monastery was erected at Belgami in Mysore and a Buddhist town named Kalavati is mentioned as existing in that state in 1533.[266] But in spite of such survivals, even in the sixth century Buddhism could not compete in southern India with either Jainism or Hinduism and there are no traces of its existence in the Deccan after 1150.

For the Konkan, Maharashtra and Gujarat, Hsuean Chuang's statistics are fairly satisfactory. But in all this region the Sammitiya sect which apparently was nearer to Hinduism than the others was the most important. In Ujjain Buddhism was almost extinct but in many of the western states it lingered on, perhaps only in isolated monasteries, until the twelfth century. Inscriptions found at Kanheri (843 and 851 A.D.), Dambal (1095 A.D.) and in Miraj (1110 A.D.) testify that grants were made to monasteries at these late dates.[267] But further north the faith had to endure the violence of strangers. Sind was conquered by the Arabs in 712; Gujarat and the surrounding country were invaded by northern tribes and such invasions were always inimical to the prosperity of monasteries.

This is even more true of the Panjab, the frontier provinces and Kashmir. The older invaders such as the Yueeh-chih had been favourably disposed to Buddhism, but those who came later, such as the Huns, were predaceous barbarians with little religion of any sort. In Hsuean Chuang's time it was only in Udyana that Buddhism could be said to be the religion of the people and the torrent of Mohammedan invasion which swept continuously through these countries during the middle ages overwhelmed all earlier religions, and even Hinduism had to yield. In Kashmir Buddhism soon became corrupt and according to the Rajatarangini[268] the monks began to marry as early as the sixth century. King Lalitaditya (733-769) is credited with having built monasteries as well as temples to the Sun, but his successors were Sivaites.

Bengal, especially western Bengal and Bihar, was the stronghold of decadent Buddhism, though even here hostile influences were not absent. But about 730 A.D. a pious Buddhist named Gopala founded the Pala dynasty and extended his power over Magadha. The Palas ruled for about 450 years and supplied a long and devout line of defenders of the faith. But to the east of their dominions lay the principality of Kanauj, a state of varying size and fortunes and from the eighth century onwards a stronghold of Brahmanic learning.

The revolution in Hinduism which definitely defeated, though it did not annihilate Buddhism, is generally connected with the names of Kumarila Bhatta (c. 750) and Sankara (c. 800). We know the doctrines of these teachers, for many of their works have come down to us, but when we enquire what was their political importance, or the scope and extent of the movement which they championed we are conscious (as so often) of the extraordinary vagueness of Indian records even when the subject might appeal to religious and philosophic minds.[269] Kumarila is said to have been a Brahman of Bihar who abjured Buddhism for Hinduism and raged with the ardour of a proselyte against his ancient faith. Tradition[270] represents him as instigating King Sudhanvan to exterminate the Buddhists. But nothing is known of this king and he cannot have had the extensive empire with which he is credited.

Sankara was a Brahman of the south who in a short life found time to write numerous works, to wander over India, to found a monastic order and build four monasteries. In doctrine and discipline he was more pliant than Kumarila and he assimilated many strong points of Buddhism. Both these teachers are depicted as the successful heroes of public disputations in which the interest at stake was considerable. The vanquished had to become a disciple of the vanquisher or to forfeit his life and, if he was the head of an institution, to surrender its property. These accounts, though exaggerated, are probably a florid version of what occurred and we may surmise that the popular faith of the day was generally victorious. What violence the rising tide of Hinduism may have wrought, it is hard to say. There is no evidence of any general persecution of Buddhism in the sense in which one Christian sect persecuted another in Europe. But at a rather later date we hear that Jains were persecuted and tortured by Saiva princes both in southern India and Gujarat, and if there were any detailed account, epigraphic or literary, of such persecutions in the eighth and ninth centuries, there would be no reason for doubting it. But no details are forthcoming. Without resorting to massacre, an anti-Buddhist king had in his power many effective methods of hostility. He might confiscate or transfer monastic property, or forbid his subjects to support monks. Considering the state of Buddhism as represented by Hsuean Chuang and I-Ching it is probable that such measures would suffice to ensure the triumph of the Brahmans in most parts of India.

After the epoch of Sankara, the history of Indian Buddhism is confined to the Pala kingdom. Elsewhere we hear only of isolated grants to monasteries and similar acts of piety, often striking but hardly worthy of mention in comparison with the enormous number of Brahmanic inscriptions. But in the Pala kingdom[271] Buddhism, though corrupt, was flourishing so far as the number of its adherents and royal favour were concerned. Gopala founded the monastery of Odontapuri or Udandapura, which according to some authorities was in the town of Bihar. Dharmapala the second king of the dynasty (c. 800 A.D.) built on the north bank of the Ganges the even more celebrated University of Vikramasila,[272] where many commentaries were composed. It was a centre not only of tantric learning but of logic and grammar, and is interesting as showing the connection between Bengal and Tibet. Tibetans studied there and Sanskrit books were translated into Tibetan within its cloisters. Dharmapala is said to have reigned sixty-four years and to have held his court at Patna, which had fallen into decay but now began to revive. According to Taranatha his successor Devapala built Somapuri, conquered Orissa and waged war with the unbelievers who had become numerous, no doubt as a result of the preaching of Sankara. But as a rule the Palas, though they favoured Buddhism, did not actively discourage Hinduism. They even gave grants to Hindu temples and their prime ministers were generally Brahmans who[273] used to erect non-Buddhist images in Buddhist shrines. The dynasty continued through the eleventh century and in this period some information as to the condition of Indian Buddhism is afforded by the relations between Bengal and Tibet. After the persecution of the tenth century Tibetan Buddhism was revived by the preaching of monks from Bengal. Mahipala then occupied the throne (c. 978-1030) and during his reign various learned men accepted invitations to Tibet. More celebrated is the mission of Atisa, a monk of the Vikramasila monastery, which took place about 1038. That these two missions should have been invited and despatched shows that in the eleventh century Bengal was a centre of Buddhist learning. Probably the numerous Sanskrit works preserved in Tibetan translations then existed in its monasteries. But about the same time the power of the Pala dynasty, and with it the influence of Buddhism, were curtailed by the establishment of the rival Sena dynasty in the eastern provinces. Still, under Ramapala, who reigned about 1100, the great teacher Abhayakara was an ornament of the Mahayana. Taranatha[274] says that he corrected the text of the scriptures and that in his time there were many Pandits and resident Bhikshus in the monasteries of Vikramasila, Bodh-Gaya and Odontapuri.

There is thus every reason to suppose that in the twelfth century Buddhism still nourished in Bihar, that its clergy numbered several thousands and its learning was held in esteem. The blow which destroyed its power was struck by a Mohammedan invasion in 1193. In that year Ikhtiyar-ud-Din Muhammad,[275] a general of Kutb-ud-Din, invaded Bihar with a band of only two hundred men and with amazing audacity seized the capital, which, consisting chiefly of palaces and monasteries, collapsed without a blow. The monks were massacred to a man, and when the victors, who appear not to have understood what manner of place they had captured, asked the meaning of the libraries which they saw, no one was found capable of reading the books.[276] It was in 1193 also that Benares was conquered by the Mohammedans. I have found no record of the sack of the monastery at Sarnath but the ruins are said to show traces of fire and other indications that it was overwhelmed by some sudden disaster.

The Mohammedans had no special animus against Buddhism. They were iconoclasts who saw merit in the destruction of images and the slaughter of idolaters. But whereas Hinduism was spread over the country, Buddhism was concentrated in the great monasteries and when these were destroyed there remained nothing outside them capable of withstanding either the violence of the Moslims or the assimilative influence of the Brahmans. Hence Buddhism suffered far more from these invasions than Hinduism but still vestiges of it lingered long[277] and exist even now in Orissa. Taranatha says that the immediate result of the Moslim conquest was the dispersal of the surviving teachers and this may explain the sporadic occurrence of late Buddhist inscriptions in other parts of India. He also tells us that a king named Cangalaraja restored the ruined Buddhist temples of Bengal about 1450. Elsewhere[278] he gives a not discouraging picture of Buddhism in the Deccan, Gujarat and Rajputana after the Moslim conquest of Magadha but adds that the study of magic became more and more prevalent. In the life of Caitanya it is stated that when travelling in southern India (about 1510 A.D.) he argued with Buddhists and confuted them, apparently somewhere in Arcot.[279] Manuscripts preserved in Nepal indicate that as late as the fifteenth or sixteenth century Bengali copyists wrote out Buddhist works, and there is evidence that Bodh-Gaya continued to be a place of pilgrimage. In 1585 it was visited by a Nepalese named Abhaya Raja who on his return erected in Patan a monastery imitated from what he had seen in Bengal, and in 1777 the Tashi Lama sent an embassy. But such instances prove little as to the religion of the surrounding Hindu population, for at the present day numerous Buddhist pilgrims, especially Burmese, frequent the shrine. The control of the temple passed into the hands of the Brahmans and for the ordinary Bengali Buddha became a member of India's numerous pantheon. Pandit Haraprasad Sastri mentions a singular poem called Buddhacaritra, completed in 1711 and celebrating an incarnation of Buddha which apparently commenced in 1699 and was to end in the reappearance of the golden age. But the being called Buddha is a form of Vishnu and the work is as strange a jumble of religion as it is of languages, being written in "a curious medley of bad Sanskrit, bad Hindi and bad Bihari."

It is chiefly in Orissa that traces of Buddhism can still be found within the limits of India proper. The Saraks of Baramba, Tigaria and the adjoining parts of Cuttack describe themselves as Buddhists.[280] Their name is the modern equivalent of Sravaka and they apparently represent an ancient Buddhist community which has become a sectarian caste. They have little knowledge of their religion but meet once a year in the cave temples of Khandagiri, to worship a deity called Buddhadeva or Caturbhuja. All their ceremonies commence with the formula Ahimsa parama dharma and they respect the temple of Puri, which is suspected of having a Buddhist origin.

Nagendranath Vasu has published some interesting details as to the survival of Buddhist ideas in Orissa.[281] He traces the origin of this hardy though degraded form of Mahayanism to Ramai Pandit,[282] a tantric Acarya of Magadha who wrote a work called Sunya Purana which became popular. Orissa was one of the regions which offered the longest resistance to Islam, for it did not succumb until 1568. A period of Sivaism in the tenth and eleventh centuries is indicated by the temples of Bhuvaneshwar and other monuments. But in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the reigning dynasty were worshippers of Vishnu and built the great temples at Puri and Konarak, dedicated to Jagannatha and Surya-narayana respectively. We do not however hear that they persecuted Buddhism and there are reasons for thinking that Jagannatha is a form of the Buddha[283] and that the temple at Puri was originally a Buddhist site. It is said that it contains a gigantic statue of the Buddha before which a wall has been built and also that the image of Jagannatha, which is little more than a log of wood, is really a case enclosing a Buddhist relic. King Prataparudra († 1529) persecuted Buddhism, which implies that at this late date its adherents were sufficiently numerous to attract attention. Either at the beginning of his reign or before it there flourished a group of six poets of whom the principal were Acyutananda Dasa and Caitanya Dasa.[284] Their works are nominally devoted to the celebration of Krishna's praises and form the chief vernacular scripture of the Vaishnavas in Orissa but in them Krishna, or the highest form of the deity by whatever name he is called, is constantly identified with Sunya or the Void, that favourite term of Mahayanist philosophy. Passages from them are also quoted stating that in the Kali age the followers of the Buddha must disguise themselves; that there are 3000 crypto-Buddhists hidden in various parts of Orissa, that Hari has been incarnate in many Buddhas and that the Buddha will appear again on earth. The phrase "I take refuge in the Buddha, in Mata Adisakti (= Dharma) and in the Sangha" is also quoted from these works and Caitanya Dasa describes five Vishnus, who are apparently identical with the five Dhyani Buddhas.[285]

Taranatha states that the last king of Orissa, Mukunda Deva, who was overthrown by the Mohammedans in 1568, was a Buddhist and founded some temples and monasteries. In the seventeenth century, there flourished a Buddhist poet named Mahadevadasa,[286] and the Tibetan pilgrim Buddhagupta visited among other sites the old capital of Mayurabhanja and saw a stupa there. It is claimed that the tribe known as Bathuris or Bauris have always been crypto-Buddhists and have preserved their ancient customs. They are however no credit to their religion, for one of their principal ceremonies is hook-swinging.[287]

The doctrine of the Bathuris is called Mahima Dharma and experienced an interesting revival in 1875.[288] A blind man named Bhima Bhoi had a vision of the Buddha who restored his sight and bade him preach the law. He attracted some thousands of adherents and led a band to Puri proclaiming that his mission was to bring to light the statue of Buddha concealed in the temple. The Raja resisted the attempt and the followers of Bhima Bhoi were worsted in a sanguinary encounter. Since that time they have retired to the more remote districts of Orissa and are said to hold that the Buddha will appear again in a new incarnation. They are also called Kumbhipatias and according to the last census of India (1911) are hostile to Brahmans and probably number about 25,000.

Traces of Buddhism also survive in the worship of a deity called Dharma-Raja or Dharma-Thakur which still prevails in western and southern Bengal.[289] Priests of this worship are usually not Brahmans but of low caste, and Haraprasad thinks that the laity who follow it may number "several millions." Though Dharma has come to be associated with the goddess of smallpox and is believed even by his adorers to be a form of Vishnu or of Siva, yet Dhyana, or meditation, forms a part of his worship and the prayers and literature of the sect retain some traces of his origin. Thus he is said to be highly honoured in Ceylon and receives the epithet Sunyamurti.

A corrupt form of Buddhism still exists in Nepal.[290] This country when first heard of was in the hands of the Nevars who have preserved some traditions of a migration from the north and are akin to the Tibetans in race and language, though like many non-Aryan tribes they have endeavoured to invent for themselves a Hindu pedigree. Buddhism was introduced under Asoka. As Indian influence was strong and communication with Tirhut and Bengal easy, it is probable that Buddhism in Nepal reflected the phases which it underwent in Bengal. A Nepalese inscription of the seventh century gives a list of shrines of which seven are Sivaite, six Buddhist and four Vishnuite.[291] After that date it was more successful in maintaining itself, for it did not suffer from Mohammedan attacks and was less exposed to the assimilative influence of Brahmanism. That influence however, though operating in a foreign country and on people not bred among Brahmanic traditions, was nevertheless strong. In 1324 the king of Tirhut, being expelled thence by Mohammedans, seized the throne of Nepal and brought with him many learned Brahmans. His dynasty was not permanent but later in the fourteenth century a subsequent ruler, Jayasthiti, organized society and religion in consultation with the Brahman immigrants. The followers of the two religions were arranged in parallel divisions, a group of Buddhists classified according to occupation corresponding to each Hindu caste, and appropriate rules and ceremonies were prescribed for the different sections. The code then established is still in force in essentials and Nepal, being intellectually the pupil of India, has continued to receive such new ideas as appeared in the plains of Bengal. When these ascended to the mountain valleys they were adopted, with free modification of old and new material alike, by both Buddhists and Hindus, but as both sects were geographically isolated, each tended to resemble the other more than either resembled normal Buddhism or Hinduism. Naturally the new ideas were mainly Brahmanic and Buddhism had no chance of being fortified by an importation of even moderately orthodox doctrine. In the fourteenth century arose the community of wandering ascetics called Nathas who were reverenced by Hindus and Buddhists alike. They rejected the observances of both creeds but often combined their doctrines and, though disavowed by the Brahmans, exercised a considerable influence among the lower castes. Some of the peculiar deities of Nepal, such as Matsyendranath, have attributes traceable to these wanderers. In 1769 Nepal was conquered by the Gurkhas. This tribe seems related to the Tibetan stock, as are the Nevars, but it had long been Hinduized and claimed a Rajput ancestry. Thus Gurkha rule has favoured and accelerated the hinduizing of Nepalese Buddhism.

Since the time of Hodgson the worship of the Adi-Buddha, or an original divine Buddha practically equivalent to God, has been often described as characteristic of Nepalese religion and such a worship undoubtedly exists. But recent accounts indicate that it is not prominent and also that it can hardly be considered a distinct type of monotheistic Buddhism. The idea that the five Dhyani-Buddhas are emanations or manifestations of a single primordial Buddha-spirit is a natural development of Mahayanist ideas, but no definite statement of it earlier than the Kalacakra literature is forthcoming, though many earlier works point towards it.[292] In modern Nepal the chief temple of the Adi-Buddha is on the hill of Svayambhu (the self-existent) near Katmandu. According to a legend preserved in the Svayambhu Purana, a special divine manifestation occurred in ancient times on an adjoining lake; a miraculous lotus arose on its surface, bearing an image, over which a Caitya was subsequently erected. The shrine is greatly venerated but this Adi-Buddha, or Svayambhu, does not differ essentially from other miraculous images in India which are said not to consist of ordinary matter but to embody in some special way the nature of a deity. The religion of Nepal is less remarkable for new developments of Buddhism than for the singular fusion of Buddhism with Hinduism which it presents and which helps us to understand what must have been the last phase in Bengal.

The Nepalese Brahmans tolerate Buddhism. The Nepala-mahatmya says that to worship Buddha is to worship Siva, and the Svayambhu Purana returns the compliment by recommending the worship of Pasupati.[293] The official itinerary of the Hindu pilgrim includes Svayambhu, where he adores Buddha under that name. More often the two religions adore the same image under different names: what is Avalokita to the one is Mahakala to the other. Durga is explained as being the incarnation of the Prajna-paramita and she is even identified with the Adi-Buddha. The Nepalese pantheon like the Tibetan contains three elements, often united in modern legends: firstly aboriginal deities, such as Nagas and other nature spirits: secondly definitely Buddhist deities or Bodhisattvas of whom Manjusri receives the most honour: thirdly Hindu deities such as Ganesa and Krishna. The popular deity Matsyendranath appears to combine all three elements in his own person.

Modern accounts of Nepal leave the impression that even corrupt Buddhism is in a bad way, yet the number of religious establishments is considerable. Celibacy is not observed by their inmates, who are called banras (bandyas). On entering the order the novice takes the ancient vows but after four days he returns to his tutor, confesses that they are too hard for him and is absolved from his obligations. The classes known as Bhikshus and Gubharjus officiate as priests, the latter being the higher order. The principal ceremony is the offering of melted butter. The more learned Gubharjus receive the title of Vajracarya[294] and have the sole right of officiating at marriages and funerals.

There is little learning. The oldest scriptures in use are the so-called nine Dharmas.[295] Hodgson describes these works as much venerated and Rajendralal Mitra has analysed them, but Sylvain Levi heard little of them in 1898, though he mentions the recitation of the Prajna-paramita. The Svayambhu Purana is an account of the manifestation of the Adi-Buddha written in the style of those portions of the Brahmanic Puranas which treat of the glories of some sacred place. In its present form it can hardly be earlier than the sixteenth century A.D. The Nepala-mahatmya is a similar work which, though of Brahmanic origin, puts Buddha, Vishnu and Siva on the same footing and identifies the first with Krishna. The Vagvati-mahatmya[296] on the other hand is strictly Sivaite and ignores Buddha's claims to worship. The Vamsavali, or Chronicle of Nepal, written in the Gurkha language (Parbatiya) is also largely occupied with an account of sacred sites and buildings and exists in two versions, one Buddhist, the other Brahmanical.

But let us return to the decadence of Buddhism in India. It is plain that persecution was not its main cause nor even very important among the accessory causes. The available records contain clearer statements about the persecution of Jainism than of Buddhism but no doubt the latter came in for some rough handling, though not enough to annihilate a vigorous sect. Great numbers of monasteries in the north were demolished by the Huns and a similar catastrophe brought about the collapse of the Church in Bihar. But this last incident cannot be called religious persecution, for Muhammad did not even know what he was destroying. Buddhism did not arouse more animosity than other Indian religions: the significant feature is that when its temples and monasteries were demolished it did not live on in the hearts of the people, as did Hinduism with all its faults.

The relation between the laity and the Church in Buddhism is curious and has had serious consequences for both good and evil. The layman "takes refuge" in the Buddha, his law and his church but does not swear exclusive allegiance: to follow supplementary observances is not treasonable, provided they are not in themselves objectionable. The Buddha prescribed no ceremonies for births, deaths and marriages and apparently expected the laity to continue in the observance of such rites as were in use. To-day in China and Japan the good layman is little more than one who pays more attention to Buddhism than to other faiths. This charitable pliancy had much to do with the victories of Buddhism in the Far East, where it had to struggle against strong prejudices and could hardly have made its way if it had been intolerant of local deities. But in India we see the disadvantages of the omission to make the laity members of a special corporation and the survival of the Jains, who do form such a corporation, is a clear object lesson. Social life in India tends to combine men in castes or in communities which if not castes in the technical sense have much the same character. Such communities have great vitality so long as they maintain their peculiar usages, but when they cease to do so they soon disintegrate and are reabsorbed. Buddhism from the first never took the form of a corporation. The special community which it instituted was the sangha or body of monks. Otherwise, it aimed not at founding a sect but at including all the world as lay believers on easy terms. This principle worked well so long as the faith was in the ascendent but its effect was disastrous when decline began. The line dividing Buddhist laymen from ordinary Hindus became less and less marked: distinctive teaching was found only in the monasteries: these became poorly recruited and as they were gradually deserted or destroyed by Mohammedans the religion of the Buddha disappeared from his native land.

Even in the monasteries the doctrine taught bore a closer resemblance to Hinduism than to the preaching of Gotama and it is this absence of the protestant spirit, this pliant adaptability to the ideas of each age, which caused Indian Buddhism to lose its individuality and separate existence. In some localities its disappearance and absorption were preceded by a monstrous phase, known as Tantrism or Saktism, in which the worst elements of Hinduism, those which would have been most repulsive to Gotama, made an unnatural alliance with his church.

I treat of Tantrism and Saktism in another chapter. The original meaning of Tantra as applied to literary compositions is a simplified manual.[297] Thus we hear of Vishnuite Tantras and in this sense there is a real similarity between Buddhist and tantric teaching, for both set aside Brahmanic tradition as needlessly complicated and both profess to preach a simple and practical road to salvation. But in Hinduism and Buddhism alike such words as Tantra and tantric acquire a special sense and imply the worship of the divine energy in a female form called by many names such as Kali in the former, Tara in the latter. This worship which in my opinion should be called Saktism rather than Tantrism combines many elements: ancient, savage superstitions as well as ingenious but fanciful speculation, but its essence is always magic. It attempts to attain by magical or sacramental formulae and acts not only prosperity and power but salvation, nirvana and union with the supreme spirit. Some of its sects practise secret immoral rites. It is sad to confess that degenerate Buddhism did not remain uncorrupted by such abuses.

It is always a difficult and speculative task to trace the early stages of new movements in Indian religion, but it is clear that by the eighth century and perhaps earlier the Buddhism of Bihar and Bengal had fallen a prey to this influence. Apparently the public ritual in the Viharas remained unchanged and the usual language about nirvana and sunyata was not discarded, but it was taught that those who followed a certain curriculum could obtain salvation by magical methods. To enter this curriculum it was necessary to have a qualified teacher and to receive from him initiation or baptism (abhisheka). Of the subsequent rites the most important is to evoke one of the many Buddhas or Bodhisattvas recognized by the Mahayana and identify oneself with him.[298] He who wishes to do this is often called a sadhaka or magician but his achievements, like many Indian miracles, are due to self-hypnotization. He is directed to repair to a lonely place and offer worship there with flowers and prayers. To this office succeed prolonged exercises in meditation which do not depart much from the ancient canon since they include the four Brahma-viharas. Their object is to suppress thought and leave the mind empty. Then the sadhaka fills this void with the image of some Bodhisattva, for instance Avalokita. This he does by uttering mystic syllables called bija or seed, because they are supposed to germinate and grow into the figures which he wishes to produce. In this way he imagines that he sees the emblems of the Bodhisattva spring up round him one by one and finally he himself assumes the shape of Avalokita and becomes one with him. Something similar still exists in Tibet where every Lama chooses a tutelary deity or Yi-dam whom he summons in visible form after meditation and fasting.[299] Though this procedure when set forth methodically in a mediaeval manual seems an absurd travesty of Buddhism, yet it has links with the early faith. It is admitted in the Pitakas that certain forms of meditation[300] lead to union with Brahma and it is no great change to make them lead to union with other supernatural beings. Still we are not here breathing the atmosphere of the Pitakas. The object is not to share Brahma's heaven but to become temporarily identified with a deity, and this is not a byway of religion but the high road.

But there is a further stage of degradation. I have already mentioned that various Bodhisattvas are represented as accompanied by a female deity, particularly Avalokita by Tara. The mythological and metaphysical ideas which have grown up round Siva and Durga also attached themselves to these couples. The Buddha or Bodhisattva is represented as enjoying nirvana because he is united to his spouse, and to the three bodies already enumerated is added a fourth, the body of perfect bliss.[301] Sometimes this idea merely leads to further developments of the practices described above. Thus the devotee may imagine that he enters into Tara as an embryo and is born of her as a Buddha.[302] More often the argument is that since the bliss of the Buddha consists in union with Tara, nirvana can be obtained by sexual union here, and we find many of the tantric wizards represented as accompanied by female companions. The adept should avoid all action but he is beyond good and evil and the dangerous doctrine that he can do evil with impunity, which the more respectable sects repudiate, is expressly taught. The sage is not defiled by passion but conquers passion by passion: he should commit every infamy: he should rob, lie and kill Buddhas.[303] These crazy precepts are probably little more than a speculative application to the moral sphere of the doctrine that all things are non-existent and hence equivalent. But though tantrists did not go about robbing and murdering so freely as their principles allowed, there is some evidence that in the period of decadence the morality of the Bhikshus had fallen into great discredit. Thus in the allegorical Vishnuite drama called Prabodhacandrodaya and written at Kalanjar near the end of the eleventh century Buddhists and Jains are represented as succumbing to the temptations of inebriety and voluptuousness.

It is necessary to mention this phase of decadence but no good purpose would be served by dwelling further on the absurd and often disgusting prescriptions of such works as the Tathagata-guhyaka. If the European reader is inclined to condemn unreservedly a religion which even in decrepitude could find place for such monstrosities, he should remember that the aberrations of Indian religion are due not to its inherent depravity, but to its universality. In Europe those who follow disreputable occupations rarely suppose that they have anything to do with the Church. In India, robbers, murderers, gamblers, prostitutes, and maniacs all have their appropriate gods, and had the Marquis de Sade been a Hindu he would probably have founded a new tantric sect. But though the details of Saktism are an unprofitable study, it is of some importance to ascertain when it first invaded Buddhism and to what extent it superseded older ideas.

Some critics[304] seem to imply—for their statements are not very explicit—that Saktism formed part if not of the teaching of the Buddha, at least of the medley of beliefs held by his disciples. But I see no proof that Saktist beliefs—that is to say erotic mysticism founded on the worship of goddesses—were prevalent in Magadha or Kosala before the Christian era. Although Siri, the goddess of luck, is mentioned in the Pitakas, the popular deities whom they bring on the scene are almost exclusively masculine.[305] And though in the older Brahmanic books there are passages which might easily become tantric, yet the transition is not made and the important truths of religion are kept distinct from unclean rites and thoughts. The Brihad-aranyaka contains a chapter which hardly admits of translation but the object of the practices inculcated is simply to ensure the birth of a son. The same work (not without analogies in the ecstatic utterances of Christian saints) boldly compares union with the Atman to the bliss of one who is embraced by a beloved wife, but this is a mere illustration and there is no hint of the doctrine that the goal of the religious life is obtainable by maithuna. Still such passages, though innocent in themselves, make it easy to see how degrading superstitions found an easy entrance into the noblest edifices of Indian thought and possibly some heresies condemned in the Kathavatthu[306] indicate that even at this early date the Buddhist Church was contaminated by erotic fancies. But, if so, there is no evidence that such malpractices were widespread. The appendices to the Lotus[307] show that the worship of a many-named goddess, invoked as a defender of the faith, was beginning to be a recognized feature of Buddhism. But they contain no indications of left-handed Tantrism and the best proof that it did not become prevalent until much later is afforded by the narratives of the three Chinese pilgrims who all describe the condition of religion in India and notice anything which they thought singular or reprehensible. Fa-Hsien does not mention the worship of any female deity,[308] nor does the Life of Vasubandhu, but Asanga appears to allude to Saktism in one passage.[309] Hsuean Chuang mentions images of Tara but without hinting at tantric ritual, nor does I-Ching allude to it, nor does the evidence of art and inscriptions attest its existence. It may have been known as a form of popular superstition and even have been practised by individual Bhikshus, but the silence of I-Ching makes it improbable that it was then countenanced in the schools of Magadha. He complains[310] of those who neglect the Vinaya and "devote their whole attention to the doctrine of nothingness," but he says not a word about tantric abuses.[311]

The change probably occurred in the next half century[312] for Padma-Sambhava, the founder of Lamaism who is said to have resided in Gaya and Nalanda and to have arrived in Tibet in 747 A.D., is represented by tradition as a tantric wizard, and about the same time translations of Tantras begin to appear in Chinese. The translations of the sixth and seventh centuries, including those of I-Ching, comprise a considerable though not preponderant number of Dharanis. After the seventh century these became very numerous and several Tantras were also translated.[313] The inference seems to be that early in the eighth century Indian Buddhists officially recognized Tantrism.

Tantric Buddhism was due to the mixture of Mahayanist teaching with aboriginal superstitions absorbed through the medium of Hinduism, though in some cases there may have been direct contact and mutual influence between Mahayanism and aboriginal beliefs. But as a rule what happened was that aboriginal deities were identified with Hindu deities and Buddhism had not sufficient independence to keep its own pantheon distinct, so that Vairocana and Tara received most of the attributes, brahmanic or barbarous, given to Siva or Kali. The worship of the goddesses, described in their Hinduized form as Durga, Kali, etc., though found in most parts of India was specially prevalent in the sub-himalayan districts both east and west. Now Padma-Sambhava was a native of Udyana or Swat and Taranatha represents the chief Tantrists[314] as coming from there or visiting it. Hsuean Chuang[315] tells us that the inhabitants were devout Mahayanists but specially expert in magic and exorcism. He also describes no less than four sacred places in it where the Buddha in previous births gave his flesh, blood or bones for the good of others. Have we here in a Buddhist form some ancient legend of dismemberment like that told of Sati in Assam? Of Kashmir he says that its religion was a mixture of Buddhism with other beliefs.[316] These are precisely the conditions most favourable to the growth of Tantrism and though the bulk of the population are now Mohammedans, witchcraft and sorcery are still rampant. Among the Hindu Kashmiris[317] the most prevalent religion has always been the worship of Siva, especially in the form representing him as half male, half female. This cult is not far from Saktism and many allusions[318] in the Rajatarangini indicate that left-hand worship was known, though the author satirizes it as a corruption. He also several times mentions[319] Matri-cakras, that is circles sacred to the Mothers or tantric goddesses. In Nepal and Tibet tantric Buddhism is fully developed but these countries have received so much from India that they exhibit not a parallel growth, but late Indian Tantrism as imported ready-made from Bengal. It is here that we come nearest to the origins of Tantrism, for though the same beliefs may have flourished in Udyana and Kashmir they did not spread much in the Panjab or Hindustan, where their progress was hindered at first by a healthy and vigorous Hinduism and subsequently by Mohammedan invasions. But from 700 to 1197 A.D. Bengal was remote alike from the main currents of Indian religion and from foreign raids: little Aryan thought or learning leavened the local superstitions which were infecting and stifling decadent Buddhism. Hsuean Chuang informs us that Bhaskaravarma king of Kamarupa[320] attended the fetes celebrated by Harsha in 644 A.D. and inscriptions found at Tezpur indicate that kings with Hindu names reigned in Assam about 800 A.D. This is agreeable to the supposition that an amalgamation of Sivaism and aboriginal religion may have been in formation about 700 A.D. and have influenced Buddhism.

In Bihar from the eighth century onwards the influence of Tantrism was powerful and disastrous. The best information about this epoch is still to be found in Taranatha, in spite of his defects.

He makes the interesting statement that in the reign of Gopala who was a Buddhist, although his ministers were not (730-740 A.D.), the Buddhists wished their religious buildings to be kept separate from Hindu temples but that, in spite of protests, life-sized images of Hindu deities were erected in them.[321] The ritual too was affected, for we hear several times of burnt offerings[322] and how Bodhibhadra, one of the later professors of Vikramasila, was learned in the mystic lore of both Buddhists and Brahmans. Nalanda and the other viharas continued to be seats of learning and not merely monasteries, and for some time there was a regular succession of teachers. Taranatha gives us to understand that there were many students and authors but that sorcery occupied an increasingly important position. Of most teachers we are told that they saw some deity, such as Avalokita or Tara. The deity was summoned by the rites already described[323] and the object of the performer was to obtain magical powers or siddhi. The successful sorcerer was known as siddha, and we hear of 84 mahasiddhas, still celebrated in Tibet, who extend from Rahulabhadra Nagarjuna to the thirteenth century. Many of them bear names which appear not to be Indian.

The topics treated of in the Tantras are divided into Kriya (ritual), Carya (apparently corresponding to Vinaya), Yoga, and Anuttara-yoga. Sometimes the first three are contrasted with the fourth and sometimes the first two are described as lower, the third and fourth as higher. But the Anuttara-yoga is always considered the highest and most mysterious.[324] Taranatha says[325] that the Tantras began to appear simultaneously with the Mahayana sutras but adds that the Anuttara-yoga tantras appeared gradually.[326] He also observes that the Acarya Ananda-garbha[327] did much to spread them in Magadha. It is not until a late period of the Pala dynasty that he mentions the Kalacakra which is the most extravagant form of Buddhist Tantrism.

This accords with other statements to the effect that the Kalacakra tantra was introduced in 965 A.D. from Sambhala, a mysterious country in Central Asia. This system is said to be Vishnuite rather than Sivaite. It specially patronizes the cult of the mystic Buddhas such as Kalacakra and Heruka, all of whom appear to be regarded as forms of Adi-Buddha or the primordial Buddha essence. The Siddha named Pito is also described as the author of this doctrine,[328] which had less importance in India than in Tibet.

On the other hand Taranatha gives us the names of several doctors of the Vinaya who flourished under the Pala dynasty. Even as late as the reign of Ramapala (? 1080-1120) we hear that the Hinayanists were numerous. In the reign of Dharmapala (c. 800 A.D.) some of them broke up the great silver image of Heruka at Bodh-Gaya and burnt the books of Mantras.[329] These instances show that the older Buddhism was not entirely overwhelmed by Tantrism[330] though perhaps it was kept alive more by pilgrims than by local sentiment. Thus the Chinese inscriptions of Bodh-Gaya though they speak at length of the three bodies of Buddha show no signs of Tantrism. It would appear that the worship celebrated in the holy places of Magadha preserved a respectable side until the end. In the same way although Tantrism is strong in the literature of the Lamas, none of the many descriptions of Tibet indicate that there is anything scandalous in the externals of religion. Probably in Tibet, Nepal and mediaeval Magadha alike the existence of disgraceful tantric literature does not indicate such widespread depravity as might be supposed. But of its putrefying influence in corrupting the minds of those who ought to have preserved the pure faith there can be no doubt. More than any other form of mixed belief it obliterated essential differences, for Buddhist Tantrism and Sivaite Tantrism are merely two varieties of Tantrism.

What is happening at Bodh-Gaya at present[331] illustrates how Buddhism disappeared from India. The abbot of a neighbouring Sivaite monastery who claims the temple and grounds does not wish, as a Mohammedan might, to destroy the building or even to efface Buddhist emblems. He wishes to supervise the whole establishment and the visits of pilgrims, as well as to place on the images of Buddha Hindu sectarian marks and other ornaments. Hindu pilgrims are still taken by their guides to venerate the Bodhi tree and, but for the presence of foreign pilgrims, no casual observer would suppose the spot to be anything but a Hindu temple of unusual construction. The same process went a step further in many shrines which had not the same celebrity and effaced all traces and memory of Buddhism.

At the present day the Buddha is recognized by the Brahmans as an incarnation of Vishnu,[332] though the recognition is often qualified by the statement that Vishnu assumed this form in order to mislead the wicked who threatened to become too powerful if they knew the true method of attaining superhuman powers. But he is rarely worshipped in propria persona.[333] As a rule Buddhist images and emblems are ascribed to Vishnu or Siva, according to sectarian preferences, but in spite of fusion some lingering sense of original animosity prevents Gotama from receiving even such respect as is accorded to incarnations like Parasu-rama. At Bodh-Gaya I have been told that Hindu pilgrims are taken by their guides to venerate the Bodhi-tree but not the images of Buddha.

Yet in reviewing the disappearance of Buddhism from India we must remember that it was absorbed not expelled. The result of the mixture is justly called Hinduism, yet both in usages and beliefs it has taken over much that is Buddhist and without Buddhism it would never have assumed its present shape. To Buddhist influence are due for instance the rejection by most sects of animal sacrifices: the doctrine of the sanctity of animal life: monastic institutions and the ecclesiastical discipline found in the Dravidian regions. We may trace the same influence with more or less certainty in the philosophy of Sankara and outside the purely religious sphere in the development of Indian logic. These and similar points are dealt with in more detail in other parts of this work and I need not dwell on them here.


[Footnote 264: Written before the war.]

[Footnote 265: Even at Kanauj, the scene of Harsha's pious festivities, there were 100 Buddhist monasteries but 200 Deva temples.]

[Footnote 266: Rice, Mysore and Coorg from the Inscriptions, p. 203.]

[Footnote 267: See the note by Buehler in Journ. Pali Text Soc. 1896, p. 108.]

[Footnote 268: Rajatarangini, III. 12.]

[Footnote 269: See for the supposed persecution of Buddhism in India, J.P.T.S. 1896, pp. 87-92 and 107-111 and J.R.A.S. 1898, pp. 208-9.]

[Footnote 270: As contained in the Sankara-dig-vijaya ascribed to Madhava and the Sankara-vijaya ascribed to Anandagiri.]

[Footnote 271: Taranatha in his twenty-eighth and following chapters gives an account, unfortunately very confused, of the condition of Buddhism under the Pala dynasty. See also B.K. Sarkar, Folklore Element in Hindu Culture, chap. XII, in which there are many interesting statements but not sufficient references.]

[Footnote 272: See Vidyabhusana's Mediaeval School of Indian Logic, p. 150, for an account of this monastery which was perhaps at the modern Parthaghata. I have found no account of what happened to Nalanda in this period but it seems to have disappeared as a seat of learning.]

[Footnote 273: See Taranatha, chap. XXVIII.]

[Footnote 274: Chap. XXXVI. It is interesting to notice that even at this late period he speaks of Hinayanists in Bengal.]

[Footnote 275: Often called Muhammad Bakhtyar but Bakhtyar seems to have been really his father's name.]

[Footnote 276: Raverty, Tabat-i-Nasiri, p. 552. "It was discovered that the whole of that fortress and city was a college and in the Hindi tongue they call a college Bihar."]

[Footnote 277: Many of them have been collected by Pandit Haraprasad Sastri in Jour. As. Soc. Bengal, 1895, pp. 55 ff. and in his Discovery of living Buddhism in Bengal, Calcutta, 1897.]

[Footnote 278: Chap. XL ad fin. Is the Ramacandra whom he mentions the last Yadava King (about 1314)? Taranatha speaks of his son.]

[Footnote 279: Caitanya-caritamrita, chap. VII, transl. by Jadunath Sarkar, p. 85. This biography was written in 1582 by Krishnadas. Caitanya died in 1533.]

[Footnote 280: Census of India, 1901: vol. VI. Bengal, pp. 427-430.]

[Footnote 281: The Archaeological Survey of Mayurabhanj (no date? 1911), vol. I. pp. cv-cclxiii. The part containing an account of Buddhism in Orissa is also printed separately with the title Modern Buddhism, 1911.]

[Footnote 282: For Ramai Pandit see Dinesh Chandra Sen, Hist. Bengali Language and Lit. pp. 30-37, and also B.K. Sarkar, Folklore Element in Hindu Culture, p. 192, and elsewhere. He appears to have been born at the end of the tenth century and though the Sunya Purana has been re-edited and interpolated parts of it are said to be in very old Bengali.]

[Footnote 283: Nagendranath Vasu quotes a couplet from the Mahabharata of the poet Saraladasa: "I pay my humble respects to the incarnation of Buddha who in the form of Buddha dwells in the Nilacala, i.e. Puri." The Imperial Gazetteer of India (s.v. Puri Town) states that in modern representations of Vishnu's ten avataras, the ninth, or Buddhavatara, is sometimes represented by Jagannatha.]

[Footnote 284: I give the dates or the authority of Narandra Nath while thinking that they may be somewhat too early. The two authors named wrote the Sunya Samhita and Nirguna Mahatmya respectively.]

[Footnote 285: l.c. clxxvi ff., ccxix-ccxxiii, ccxxxi.]

[Footnote 286: Author of a poem called Dharmagita.]

[Footnote 287: l.c. cxvi ff. and ccxxxii.]

[Footnote 288: l.c. ccxxxiv ff.]

[Footnote 289: See Haraprasad Sastri, l.c. He gives a curious account of one of his temples in Calcutta. See also B.K. Sarkar, Folklore Element in Hindu Culture for the decadence of Buddhism in Bengal and its survival in degenerate forms.]

[Footnote 290: See B.H. Hodgson, Essays on the languages, literature and religion of Nepal and Tibet, 1874. For the religion of Nepal see also Wright, History of Nepal, 1877; C. Bendall, Journal of Literary and Archaeological Research in Nepal, 1886; Rajendralal Mitra, Sanskrit Buddhist literature of Nepal; and especially S. Levi, Le Nepal, 3 vols. 1905-8.]

[Footnote 291: S. Levi in J.A. II. 1904, p. 225. He gives the date as 627.]

[Footnote 292: The doctrine of the Adi-Buddha is fully stated in the metrical version of the Karanda-vyuha which appears to be a later paraphrase of the prose edition. See Winternitz, Gesch. Ind. Lit. II. i. 238.]

[Footnote 293: Compare the fusion of Sivaism and Buddhism in Java.]

[Footnote 294: Or Vajracarya-arhat-bhikshu-buddha, which in itself shows what a medley Nepalese Buddhism has become.]

[Footnote 295: See above chap. XX. for some account of these works.]

[Footnote 296: Dedicated to the sacred river Vagvati or Bagmati.]

[Footnote 297: Hardly any Buddhist Tantras have been edited in Europe. See Bendall, Subhashita-sangraha for a collection of extracts (also published in Museon, 1905), and De la Vallee Poussin, Bouddhisme, Etudes el Materiaux. Id. Pancakrama, 1896.

While this book was going through the press I received the Tibetan Tantra called Shrichakrasambhara (Avalon's Tantric Texts, vol. VII) with introduction by A. Avalon, but have not been able to make use of it.]

[Footnote 298: See Foucher, Iconographie bouddhique, pp. 8 ff. De la Vallee Poussin, Bouddhisme, Etudes et Materiaux, pp. 213 ff. For Japanese tantric ceremonies see the Si-Do-In-Dzon in the Annales du Musee Guimet, vol. VIII.]

[Footnote 299: In ancient Egypt also the Kher heb or magician-priest claimed the power of becoming various gods. See Budge, Osiris, II. 170 and Wiedemann, Magic im alten Aegypten, 13 ff.]

[Footnote 300: The Brahma-viharas. E.g. Dig. Nik. XIII.]

[Footnote 301: Mahasukhakaya or vajrakaya.]

[Footnote 302: De la Vallee Poussin, Bouddhisme, Etudes et Materiaux, p. 153.]

[Footnote 303: See Subhashita-sangraha edited by Bendall. Part II. pp. 29 ff. especially p. 41. Parasvaharanam karyam paradaranishevanam Vaktavyam canritam nityam sarvabuddhamsca ghatayet. See also Tathagata-guhyaka in Rajendralal Mitra's Sanskrit Literature in Nepal, pp. 261-264.]

[Footnote 304: For instance De la Vallee Poussin in his Bouddhisme, Etudes et Materiaux, 1896. In his later work, Bouddhisme, Opinions sur l'histoire de la dogmatique, he modifies his earlier views.]

[Footnote 305: See Dig. Nik. XX. and XXXII.]

[Footnote 306: Kathav. XXIII. 1 and 2.]

[Footnote 307: These appendices are later additions to the original text but they were translated into Chinese in the third century. Among the oldest Sanskrit MSS. from Japan is the Ushnisha-vijaya-dharani and there is a goddess with a similar name. But the Dharani is not Saktist. See text in Anec. Oxon. Aryan series.]

[Footnote 308: He speaks of Kwan-shih-yin but this is probably the male Avalokita.]

[Footnote 309: Mahayana-sutralankara, IX. 46. Of course there may be many other allusions in yet unedited works of Asanga but it is noticeable that this allusion to maithuna is only made in passing and is not connected with the essence of his teaching.]

[Footnote 310: Transl. Takakusu, p. 51.]

[Footnote 311: Taranatha, chap. XXII seems also to assign a late origin to the Tantras though his remarks are neither clear nor consistent with what he says in other passages. He is doubtless right in suggesting that tantric rites were practised surreptitiously before they were recognized openly.]

[Footnote 312: It is about this time too that we hear of Tantrism in Hinduism. In the drama Malati and Madhava (c. 730 A.D.) the heroine is kidnapped and is about to be sacrificed to the goddess Canda when she is rescued.]

[Footnote 313: See the latter part of Appendix II in Nanjio's Catalogue.]

[Footnote 314: E.g. Lalitavajra, Lilavajra, Buddhasanti, Ratnavajra. Taranatha also (tr. Schiefner, p. 264) speaks of Tantras "Welche aus Udyana gebracht und nie in Indien gewesen sind." It is also noticeable, as Gruenwedel has pointed out, that many of the siddhas or sorcerers bear names which have no meaning in Aryan languages: Bir-va-pa, Na-ro-pa, Lui-pa, etc. A curious late tradition represents Saktism as coming from China. See a quotation from the Mahacinatantra in the Archaeological Survey of Mayurabhanj, p. xiv. Either China is here used loosely for some country north of the Himalayas or the story is pure fancy, for with rare exceptions (for instance the Lamaism of the Yuean dynasty) the Chinese seem to have rejected Saktist works or even to have expurgated them, e.g. the Tathagata-guhyaka.]

[Footnote 315: His account of Udyana and Kashmir will be found in Watters, chapters VII and VIII.]

[Footnote 316: Traces of Buddhism still exist, for according to Buehler the Nilamata Purana orders the image of Buddha to be worshipped on Vaisakha 15 to the accompaniment of recitations by Buddhist ascetics.]

[Footnote 317: For notices of Kashmirian religion see Stein's translation of the Rajatarangini and Buehler, Tour in Search of Sanskrit manuscripts. J. Bomb. A.S. 1877.]

[Footnote 318: VI. 11-13, VII. 278-280, 295, 523.]

[Footnote 319: I. 122, 335, 348: III. 99, V. 55.]

[Footnote 320: Also called Kumara.]

[Footnote 321: Similarly statues of Mahadevi are found in Jain temples now, i.e. in Gujarat.]

[Footnote 322: This very unbuddhist practice seems to have penetrated even to Japan. Burnt offerings form part of the ritual in the temple of Narita.]

[Footnote 323: See for instance the account of how Kamalarakshita summoned Yamari.]

[Footnote 324: So too the Samhitas of the Vaishnavas and the Agamas of the Saivas are said to consist of four quarters teaching Jnana, Yoga, Kriya and Carya respectively. See Schrader, Introd. to Pancaratra, p. 22. Sometimes five classes of Tantras are enumerated which are perhaps all subdivisions of the Anuttara-yoga, namely Guhyasamaja, Mayajala, Buddhasammayoga, Candraguhyatilaka, Manjusrikrodha. See Taranatha (Schiefner), p. 221.]

[Footnote 325: Chap. XLIII. But this seems hardly consistent with his other statements.]

[Footnote 326: The Lamas in Tibet have a similar theory of progressive tantric revelation. See Waddell, Buddhism of Tibet, pp. 56, 57.]

[Footnote 327: In the reign of Mahipala, 978-1030 A.D.]

[Footnote 328: Taranatha, p. 275. For the whole subject see Gruenwedel, Mythologie des Buddhismus, pp. 41-2 and my chapters on Tibet below.]

[Footnote 329: Schiefner (transl. Taranatha, p. 221) describes these Sravakas or Hinayanists as "Saindhavas welche Cravakas aus Simhala u.s.w. waren." They are apparently the same as the Saindhava-cravakas often mentioned by Taranatha. Are they Hinayanists from Sindh where the Sammitiya school was prevalent? See also Pag Sam Jon Zang, pp. cxix, 114 and 134 where Sarat Chandra Das explains Sendha-pa as a brahmanical sect.]

[Footnote 330: The curious story (Taranatha, p. 206) in which a Buddhist at first refuses on religious grounds to take part in the evocation of a demon seems also to hint at a disapproval of magic.]

[Footnote 331: This passage was written about 1910. In the curious temple at Gaya called Bishnupad the chief object of veneration is a foot-like mark. Such impressions are venerated in many parts of the world as Buddha's feet and it seems probable, considering the locality, that this footprint was attributed to Buddha before it was transferred to Vishnu.]

[Footnote 332: There are no very early references to this Avatara. It is mentioned in some of the Puranas (e.g. Bhagavata and Agni) and by Kshemendra.]

[Footnote 333: But see the instances quoted above from Kashmir and Nepal.]



The present book deals with Hinduism and includes the period just treated in Book IV. In many epochs the same mythological and metaphysical ideas appear in a double form, Brahmanic and Buddhist, and it is hard to say which form is the earlier.

Any work which like the present adopts a geographical and historical treatment is bound to make Buddhism seem more important than Hinduism and rightly, for the conversion and transformation of China, Japan and many other countries are a series of exploits of great moment for the history not merely of religion but of civilization. Yet when I think of the antiquity, variety and vitality of Hinduism in India—no small sphere—the nine chapters which follow seem very inadequate. I can only urge that though it would be easy to fill an encyclopaedia with accounts of Indian beliefs and practices, yet there is often great similarity under superficial differences: the main lines of thought are less numerous than they seem to be at first sight and they tend to converge.




The striking difference between the earlier and later phases of Indian religious belief, between the Vedic hymns, Brahmanas, Upanishads and their accessory treatises on the one hand, and the epics, Puranas, Tantras and later literature on the other, is due chiefly to the predominance in the latter of the great gods Siva and Vishnu, with the attendant features of sectarian worship and personal devotion to a particular deity. The difference is not wholly chronological, for late writers sometimes take the Vedic standpoint and ignore the worship of these deities, but still their prominence in literature, and probably in popular mythology, is posterior to the Vedic period. The change created by their appearance is not merely the addition of two imposing figures to an already ample pantheon; it is a revolution which might be described as the introduction of a new religion, except that it does not come as the enemy or destroyer of the old. The worship of the new deities grows up peacefully in the midst of the ancient rites; they receive the homage of the same population and the ministrations of the same priests. The transition is obscured but also was facilitated by the strength of Buddhism during the period when it occurred. The Brahmans, confronted by this formidable adversary, were disposed to favour any popular religious movement which they could adapt to their interests.

When the Hindu revival sets in under the Guptas, and Buddhism begins to decline, we find that a change has taken place which must have begun several centuries before, though our imperfect chronology does not permit us to date it. Whereas the Vedic sacrificers propitiated all the gods impartially and regarded ritual as a sacred science giving power over nature, the worshipper of the later deities is generally sectarian and often emotional. He selects one for his adoration, and this selected deity becomes not merely a great god among others but a gigantic cosmical figure in whom centre the philosophy, poetry and passion of his devotees. He is almost God in the European sense, but still Indian deities, though they may have a monopoly of adoration in their own sects, are never entirely similar to Jehovah or Allah. They are at once more mythical, more human and more philosophical, since they are conceived of not as creators and rulers external to the world, but as forces manifesting themselves in nature. An exuberant mythology bestows on them monstrous forms, celestial residences, wives and offspring: they make occasional appearances in this world as men and animals; they act under the influence of passions which if titanic, are but human feelings magnified. The philosopher accommodates them to his system by saying that Vishnu or Siva is the form which the Supreme Spirit assumes as Lord of the visible universe, a form which is real only in the same sense that the visible world itself is real.

Vishnu and Rudra are known even to the Rig Veda but as deities of no special eminence. It is only after the Vedic age that they became, each for his own worshippers, undisputed Lords of the Universe. A limiting date to the antiquity of Sivaism and Vishnuism, as their cults may be called, is furnished by Buddhist literature, at any rate for north-eastern India. The Pali Pitakas frequently[334] introduce popular deities, but give no prominence to Vishnu and Siva. They are apparently mentioned under the names of Venhu and Isana, but are not differentiated from a host of spirits now forgotten. The Pitakas have no prejudices in the matter of deities and their object is to represent the most powerful of them as admitting their inferiority to the Buddha. If Siva and Vishnu are not put forward in the same way as Brahma and Indra, the inference seems clear: it had not occurred to anyone that they were particularly important.

The suttas of the Digha Nikaya in which these lists of deities occur were perhaps composed before 300 B.C.[335] About that date Megasthenes, the Greek envoy at Pataliputra, describes two Indian deities under the names of Dionysus and Herakles. They are generally identified with Krishna and Siva. It might be difficult to deduce this identity from an analysis of each description and different authorities have identified both Siva and Krishna with Dionysus, but the fact remains that a somewhat superficial foreign observer was impressed with the idea that the Hindus worshipped two great gods. He would hardly have derived this idea from the Vedic pantheon, and it is not clear to what gods he can refer if not to Siva and Vishnu. It thus seems probable that these two cults took shape about the fourth century B.C. Their apparently sudden appearance is due to their popular character and to the absence of any record in art. The statuary and carving of the Asokan period and immediately succeeding centuries is exclusively Buddhist. No temples or images remain to illustrate the first growth of Hinduism (as the later form of Indian religion is commonly styled) out of the earlier Brahmanism. Literature (on which we are dependent for our information) takes little account of the early career of popular gods before they win the recognition of the priesthood and aristocracy, but when that recognition is once obtained they appear in all their majesty and without any hint that their honours are recent.

As already mentioned, we have evidence that in the fifth or sixth century before Christ the Vedic or Brahmanic religion was not the only form of worship and philosophy in India. There were popular deities and rites to which the Brahmans were not opposed and which they countenanced when it suited them. What takes place in India to-day took place then. When some aboriginal deity becomes important owing to the prosperity of the tribe or locality with which he is connected, he is recognized by the Brahmans and admitted to their pantheon, perhaps as the son or incarnation of some personage more generally accepted as divine. The prestige of the Brahmans is sufficient to make such recognition an honour, but it is also their interest and millennial habit to secure control of every important religious movement and to incorporate rather than suppress. And this incorporation is more than mere recognition: the parvenu god borrows something from the manners and attributes of the olympian society to which he is introduced. The greater he grows, the more considerable is the process of fusion and borrowing. Hindu philosophy ever seeks for the one amongst the many and popular thought, in a more confused way, pursues the same goal. It combines and identifies its deities, feeling dimly that taken singly they are too partial to be truly divine, or it piles attributes upon them striving to make each an adequate divine whole.

Among the processes which have contributed to form Vishnu and Siva we must reckon the invasions which entered India from the north-west.[336] In Bactria and Sogdiana there met and were combined the art and religious ideas of Greece and Persia, and whatever elements were imported by the Yueeh-chih and other tribes who came from the Chinese frontier. The personalities of Vishnu and Siva need not be ascribed to foreign influence. The ruder invaders took kindly to the worship of Siva, but there is no proof that they introduced it. But Persian and Graeco-Bactrian influence favoured the creation of more definite deities, more personal and more pictorial. The gods of the Vedic hymns are vague and indistinct: the Supreme Being of the Upanishads altogether impersonal, but Mithra and Apollo, though divine in their majesty, are human in their persons and in the appeal they make to humanity. The influence of these foreign conceptions and especially of their representation in art is best seen in Indian Buddhism. Hinduism has not so ancient an artistic record and therefore the Graeco-Bactrian influence on it is less obvious, for the sculpture of the Gupta period does not seem due to this inspiration. Neither in outward form nor in character do Vishnu and Siva show much more resemblance to Apollo and Mithra than to the Vedic gods. Their exuberant, fantastic shapes, their many heads and arms, are a symbol of their complex and multiple attributes. They are not restricted by the limits of personality but are great polymorphic forces, not to be indicated by the limits of one human shape.[337]


Though alike in their grandeur and multiplicity, Vishnu and Siva are not otherwise similar. In their completely developed forms they represent two ways of looking at the world. The main ideas of the Vaishnavas are human and emotional. The deity saves and loves: he asks for a worship of love. He appears in human incarnations and is known as well or better by these incarnations than in his original form. But in Sivaism the main current of thought is scientific and philosophic rather than emotional.[338] This statement may seem strange if one thinks of the wild rites and legends connected with Siva and his spouse. Nevertheless the fundamental conception of Sivaism, the cosmic force which changes and in changing both destroys and reproduces, is strictly scientific and contrasts with the human, pathetic, loving sentiments of Vishnuism. And scandalous as the worship of the generative principle may become, the potency of this impulse in the world scheme cannot be denied. Agreeably to his character of a force rather than an emotion Siva does not become incarnate[339] as a popular hero and saviour like Rama or Krishna, but he assumes various supernatural forms for special purposes. Both worships, despite their differences, show characteristics which are common to most phases of Indian religion. Both seek for deliverance from transmigration and are penetrated with a sense of the sorrow inherent in human and animal life: both develop or adopt philosophical doctrines which rise high above the level usually attained by popular beliefs, and both have erotic aspects in which they fall below the standard of morality usually professed by important sects whether in Asia or Europe.

The name Siva is euphemistic. It means propitious and, like Eumenides, is used as a deprecating and complimentary title for the god of terrors. It is not his earliest designation and does not occur as a proper name in the Rig Veda where he is known as Rudra, a word of disputed derivation, but probably meaning the roarer. Comparatively few hymns are addressed to Rudra, but he is clearly distinguished from the other Vedic gods. Whereas they are cheerful and benevolent figures, he is maleficent and terrible: they are gods of the heaven but he is a god of the earth. He is the "man-slayer" and the sender of disease, but if he restrains these activities he can give safety and health. "Slay us not, for thou art gracious," and so the Destroyer comes to be the Gracious One.[340] It has been suggested that the name Siva is connected with the Tamil word civappu red and also that Rudra means not the roarer but the red or shining one. These etymologies seem to me possible but not proved. But Rudra is different in character from the other gods of the Rig Veda. It would be rash to say that the Aryan invaders of India brought with them no god of this sort but it is probable that this element in their pantheon increased as they gradually united in blood and ideas with the Dravidian population. But we know nothing of the beliefs of the Dravidians at this remote period. We only know that in later ages emotional religion, finding expression as so-called devil-dancing in its lower and as mystical poetry in its higher phases, was prevalent among them.

The White Yajur Veda[341] contains a celebrated prayer known as the Satarudriya addressed to Rudra or the Rudras, for the power invoked seems to be now many and now one. This deity, who is described by a long string of epithets, receives the name of Sankara (afterwards a well-known epithet of Siva) and is blue-necked. He is begged to be Siva or propitious, but the word is an epithet, not a proper name. He haunts mountains and deserted, uncanny places: he is the patron of violent and lawless men, of soldiers and robbers (the two are evidently considered much the same), of thieves, cheats and pilferers,[342] but also of craftsmen and huntsmen and is himself "an observant merchant": he is the lord of hosts of spirits, "ill-formed and of all forms." But he is also a great cosmic force who "dwells in flowing streams and in billows and in tranquil waters and in rivers and on islands ... and at the roots of trees ...": who "exists in incantations, in punishments, in prosperity, in the soil, in the threshing-floor ... in the woods and in the bushes, in sound and in echo ... in young grass and in foam ... in gravel and in streams ... in green things and in dry things.... Reverence to the leaf and to him who is in the fall of the leaf, the threatener, the slayer, the vexer and the afflicter." Here we see how an evil and disreputable god, the patron of low castes and violent occupations, becomes associated with the uncanny forces of nature and is on the way to become an All-God.[343]

Rudra is frequently mentioned in the Atharva Veda. He is conceived much as in the Satarudriya, and is the lord of spirits and of animals. "For thee the beasts of the wood, the deer, swans and various winged birds are placed in the forest: thy living creatures exist in the waters: for thee the celestial waters flow. Thou shootest at the monsters of the ocean, and there is to thee nothing far or near."[344]

These passages show that the main conceptions out of which the character of the later Siva is built existed in Vedic times. The Rudra of the Yajur and Atharva Vedas is not Brahmanic: he is not the god of priests and orderly ritual, but of wild people and places. But he is not a petty provincial demon who afflicts rustics and their cattle. Though there is some hesitation between one Rudra and many Rudras, the destructive forces are unified in thought and the destroyer is not opposed to creation as a devil or as the principle of evil, but with profounder insight is recognized as the Lord and Law of all living things.

But though the outline of Siva is found in Vedic writings, later centuries added new features to his cult. Chief among these is the worship of a column known as the Linga, the emblem under which he is now most commonly adored. It is a phallic symbol though usually decent in appearance. The Vedas do not countenance this worship and it is not clear that it was even known to them.[345] It is first enjoined in the Mahabharata and there only in two passages[346] which appear to be late additions. The inference seems to be that it was accepted as part of Hinduism just about the time that our edition of the Mahabharata was compiled.[347] The old theory that it was borrowed from aboriginal and especially from Dravidian tribes[348] is now discredited. In the first place the instances cited of phallic worship among aboriginal tribes are not particularly numerous or striking. Secondly, linga worship, though prevalent in the south, is not confined to it, but flourishes in all parts of India, even in Assam and Nepal. Thirdly, it is not connected with low castes, with orgies, with obscene or bloodthirsty rites or with anything which can be called un-Aryan. It forms part of the private devotions of the strictest Brahmans, and despite the significance of the emblem, the worship offered to it is perfectly decorous.[349] The evidence thus suggests that this cultus grew up among Brahmanical Hindus in the early centuries of our era. The idea that there was something divine in virility and generation already existed. The choice of the symbol—the stone pillar—may have been influenced by two circumstances. Firstly, the Buddhist veneration of stupas, especially miniature stupas, must have made familiar the idea that a cone or column is a religious emblem,[350] and secondly the linga may be compared to the carved pillars or stone standards erected in honour of Vishnu. Some lingas are carved and bear one or four faces, thus entirely losing any phallic appearance. The wide extension of this cult, though its origin seems late, is remarkable. Something similar may be seen in the worship of Ganesa: the first records of it are even later, but it is now universal in India.

It may seem strange that a religion whose outward ceremonies though unassuming and modest consist chiefly of the worship of the linga, should draw its adherents largely from the educated classes and be under no moral or social stigma. Yet as an idea, as a philosophy, Sivaism possesses truth and force. It gives the best picture which humanity has drawn of the Lord of this world, not indeed of the ideal to which the saint aspires, nor of the fancies with which hope and emotion people the spheres behind the veil, but of the force which rules the Universe as it is, which reproduces and destroys, and in performing one of these acts necessarily performs the other, seeing that both are but aspects of change. For all animal and human existence[351] is the product of sexual desire: it is but the temporary and transitory form of a force having neither beginning nor end but continually manifesting itself in individuals who must have a beginning and an end. This force, to which European taste bids us refer with such reticence, is the true creator of the world. Not only is it unceasingly performing the central miracle of producing new lives but it accompanies it by unnumbered accessory miracles, which provide the new born child with nourishment and make lowly organisms care for their young as if they were gifted with human intelligence. But the Creator is also the Destroyer, not in anger but by the very nature of his activity. When the series of changes culminates in a crisis and an individual breaks up, we see death and destruction, but in reality they occur throughout the process of growth. The egg is destroyed when the chicken is hatched: the embryo ceases to exist when the child is born; when the man comes into being, the child is no more. And for change, improvement and progress death is as necessary as birth. A world of immortals would be a static world.

When once the figure of Siva has taken definite shape, attributes and epithets are lavished on it in profusion. He is the great ascetic, for asceticism in India means power, and Siva is the personification of the powers of nature. He may alternate strangely between austerities and wild debauch, but the sentimentality of some Krishnaite sects is alien to him. He is a magician, the lord of troops of spirits, and thus draws into his circle all the old animistic worship. But he is also identified with Time (Mahakala) and Death (Mrityu) and as presiding over procreation he is Ardhanaresvara, half man, half woman. Stories are invented or adapted to account for his various attributes, and he is provided with a divine family. He dwells on Mount Kailasa: he has three eyes: above the central one is the crescent of the moon and the stream of the Ganges descends from his braided hair: his throat is blue and encircled by a serpent and a necklace of skulls. In his hands he carries a three-pronged trident and a drum. But the effigy or description varies, for Siva is adored under many forms. He is Mahadeva, the Great God, Hara the Seizer, Bhairava the terrible one, Pasupati, the Lord of cattle, that is of human souls who are compared to beasts. Local gods and heroes are identified with him. Thus Gor Baba,[352] said to be a deified ghost of the aboriginal races, reappears as Goresvara and is counted a form of Siva, as is also Khandoba or Khande Rao, a deity connected with dogs. Ganesa, "the Lord of Hosts," the God who removes obstacles and is represented with an elephant's head and accompanied by a rat, is recognized as Siva's son. Another son is Skanda or Kartikeya, the God of War, a great deity in Ceylon and southern India. But more important both for the absorption of aboriginal cults and for its influence on speculation and morality is the part played by Siva's wife or female counterpart.

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