Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Kidderpore bridge 1

From Seebpore to Baleca:
Khooter Sær

1 Jeerat bridge

2
Sulkea

3
Near the hospital 1
Watson's Ghat

Ghoosri Chokey Ghat 2
1
Balee

3 Bhobaneepore

2

Seebpore Kalee Ghat

1 6

From Belee to Bydyabatee. Tolley Gunge 2 Serampore

1 Naktulla 1 From Burahnagar to Chanok.

2 Bydyabatee

1

Dukhineshwar Dhon-nagur i Agurpara

4 From Bydyabatee to Bassbareea. Saha Gunge

2 Chundun-nagur 3 Bassbareea

2 Chinchura 2 Bhudreshwur

1 Byshnub Ghat

2 From Calcutta to Burahnugur. Etal Ghat

2
Soorer Bazar

2
Russapagli
1

2

Burah nugur Koot Ghat 2 Kashipore

1 Gurria 1 Chitpore

1 Bassdhuni 2 Areeadoha

3 3 Dadpore and near it

Chanuk

1 From Barrypore to Bahipore Sookchur

1 Jo nagur

2 Khurdoha and near it 2 Moosilpoore

1

From Chanok to Kachrapara. Bishoopoor 3. Eesuapore

2 Balia 1 Koomorhatta

2 Gunga Dwar 1 Kachrapara

3 Gochurun Gat & Bhatpara

1 Telia

1

Total (in six months) 116

[ocr errors]

The above report was made by persons of the Hindoo cast, deputed for that purpose. They were ten in number, and were stationed at different places during the whole period of the six months. They gave in their account monthly, specifying the name and place, so that every individual instance was sub

to investigation immediately after its occur2. By an account taken in 1803, the number of women sacrificed during that year within thirty miles round Calcutta was two hundred and seventy-five.

rence.

3. In the foregoing report of six months in 1804, it will be perceived that no account was taken of burnings in a district to the west of Calcutta, nor further than twenty miles in some other directions; so that the whole number of burnings within thirty miles round Calcutta, must have been considerably greater than is here stateck

4. The average number (according to the above report) of women burning within thirty miles round Calcutta, is nearly twenty per month.

5. One of the above was a girl of eleven years of age. Instances sometimes occur of children of ten years old burning with their husbands. *

6. In November of last year two women, widows of one Brahmin, burnt themselves with his body at Barnagore, within two miles of Calcutta.

7. About the same time a woman burnt herself at Kalee Ghat, with the body of a man, who was not her husband. The inan's name was Toteram Doss. The woman was a Joginee of Seebpore.

8. In the province of Orissa, now subject to the British government, it is a custom that when the wife of a man of rank barns, all his concubines must burn with her. In the event of their refusal, they are dragged forcibly to the place and pushed with bamboos into the flaming pit. It is usual there to dig a pit, instead of raising a pile. The truth of this fact (noticed by some writers) is attested by the Pundits now in the college of Fort William, natives of that province.

E

Religious Mendicants. The Hindoo Shasters commend a man if he retire from the world, and, devoting himself to solitude, or to pilgrimage, live on the spontaneous productions of the earth, or by mendicity. This principle,

• They often snarty at the age of nias.

operating on an ignorant and superstitious people, has, in the revolution of ages, produced the consequence which might be expected. The whole of Hindostan swarms with lay beggars. In some districts there are armies of beggars. They consist, in general, of thieves and insolvent debtors; and are excessively ignorant, and notoriously debauched.

This begging system is felt as a public evil by the industrious part of the community, who, for fear of the despotic power and awful curse of this fraternity, dare not withhold their contributions.

These beggars, often coming into large towns naked, outrage decency, and seem to set Christian police at defiance.

The Pundits consider these mendicants as the public and licensed corrupters of the morals of the people; and they affirm that the suppression of the order would greatly contribute to the civil improvement of the vatives of Hindostan.

F. Different Hindoo Sects in Bengal. The discrepancy of religious belief in the province of Bengal alone (which province has been accounted the strong hold of the Brahminical superstition,) will illustrate the general state of the other provinces of Hindostan.

In Bengal there are five classes of natives who are adverse to the 'Brahminical system; and who may be termed dissenters from the Hindoo practices and religion.

1. The followers of Chytunya of Nuddeea. This philosopher taught that there is no distinction of cast; a tenet which alone undermines the whole system of Hinduism.

2. The followers of Ram Doolal, who is now living at Ghosepara, near Sookhsagur. These are computed to be twenty thousand in number, and are composed of every denomination of Hindoos and Mus

sulmans. They profess a kind of deism. Of this sect some have already embraced the Christian faith.

3. A third great body were lately followers of Shiveram Doss, Jugutanundu Katee. This man, who is yet alive, was believed to be a partial incarnation of the Deity. They have addressed several letters to the protestant missionaries, and are ready to abjure idol-worship and other errors.

4. Another class of Hindoo sceptics is to be found at Lokephool in Jessore. Their representative at this time is Neelo, surnamed the Sophist. Some of these have repeatedly visited the missionaries, and invited them to go amongst them. They have received the Bible and other religious books in the Bengalee language, which they now teach in a school established for the instruction of children.

5. The fifth class, which is very numerous, profess respect for the opinions of a leader named Amoonee Sa, residing in Muhummud Shawi. They have lately sent two deputations to the Christian missionaries, requesting a conference with them on the doctrines of the gospel.

Now, "what forbids that these men should be baptized:” We do not offer them a religion, but the people themselves, awake to their own concerns, come to us and ask for it. What policy, what philosophy is that, which forbids our granting their request? It must certainly have been an ignorance of facts which has so long kept alive amongst us the sentiment, that religion is not to be mentioned to the natives.

That which prevents the sects, abovementioned from renouncing (even without our aid) all connection with Hindoos or Mussulmen, is the want of precedent in the north of India of a community of native Christians, enjoying political consequence, as in the south. The ignorance of the people is so great, that they doubt whether their civii liberties are equally secure to them under the denomination of Christian,

as under that of Hindoo or Mussulman; and they do not understand that we have yet recognised in our code of native law, any other sect than that of Hindoo and Mussulman.

G. Ancient civilization of India. The constant reference of some authors to what is termed the ancient civilization of the Hindoos, gives currency to an opinion in Europe, that the natives of India are yet in an improved state of society.

It is probable that the Hindoos were once a civiliz ed people, in the sense in which the ancient Chaldeans and ancient Egyptians are said to have been civilized. The result of the most accurate researches on this subject, appears to be the following.

From the plains of Shinar, at the time of the dispersion, some tribes migrated towards the East to India, and some towards the west to Egypt, while others remained in Chaldea. At an early period; we read of the “wisdom and learning of the Egyptians," and of the Chaldeans; and it is probable that the “wisdom and learning” of the Hindoos were the same in degree, at the same period of time. In the mean while patriarchal tradition (which had accompanied the different tribes at the beginning) pervaded the mythology of all.

It may be presumed further, that the systems of the Hindoos would remain longer unaltered with them, by reason of their remote and insulated situation; from which circumstance also, their writings would be more easily preserved.

We collect from undoubted historical evidence, that during a period of twelve hundred years, a free intercourse subsisted between India, Egypt, Greece and Chaldea. 'Of course the “wisdom" of each of these nations respectively must have been common to all, and their systems of theology and astronomy would have been allied to each other, as we know in

« EdellinenJatka »