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know where the garden of Eden was situated; and, perhaps, it is now impossible to identify its site. Some have fixed it in China; others in Arabia, or Palestine : some have said it was on the banks of the Ganges; and others, in the island of Ceylon. The word Paradise, by which it is generally designated, is not Greek, but signifies, according to Dr. Clarke, in Arabic, a garden, a vineyard, and also the place of the blessed. It is a well-known fact, that, by all the inhabitants of the East, Ceylon is considered one of the most sacred spots on earth; and the Arabians and Persians believe it was the Paradise. Though the names Adam's bridge and Adam's peak, may not stamp with certainty the traditions concerning it; yet they show at least what has been, and still is, the popular opinion. It is, however, only fair to infer that the site chosen for the “ place of the blessed,” would be the most eligible that could be fixed on, not only in relation to the other parts of our globe, but also to universal nature; as its climate and productions would, in a great measure, depend on this. It is therefore as probable that it would be situated near to the Equator, as in any other place; for, after all deductions for the devastations made either by the fall, or the flood; the fairy scenes that there break upon our view; the profuse and unaided gifts of nature, joined with the fewness of the wants of the inhabitants, may lead us to conclude that we have found out as probable a spot for the abode of the first happy pair, as can any where else be pointed out.
16. — “ Of every tree in the garden thou mayest.
freely eat.” The margin reads, “ eating thou shalt eat;” and this is truly Oriental. Does a man who is under the care of a physician, feel doubtful whether or not he ought to eat some kind of food, which has been recommended to him; and does he ask, “ Shall I partake of this ? Should it be approved of by the physician, he will reply, “ Fear not; Posikavea, posikaliīm, - Eating you may eat.”
18. “ It is not good that the man should be alone.” In the book called the Scanda Purana *, it is said, “ By marrying a woman of a superior disposition, charity is promoted, penance is maintained, felicity in the celestial world is secured; the happiness of this world is acquired : and there is nothing difficult to obtain.”
18. — “ An help meet for him.” This is the polite way of speaking of a wife in the East, though it must be confessed that they associate with this term too much of the idea of a servant. Does an aged person advise a young friend to get married; he will not say, “ Seek for a wife,” but “ Try to procure a thunive, a help meet.” A man who repines at his single state, says, “I have not any female help in my house.” A widower says, “ Ah ! my children, I have now no female help.” A man, wishing to say something to his wife, will address her as follows: 66 My help meet, hear what I am going to say.” It is worthy of observation, that the margin has for help meet, “ as before him ;” and this gives a proper view of her condition, for she literally has to stand before her husband to serve him on all occasions, and especially when he takes his food; she being then his servant. Say to a woman, “ Leave thy husband ! ” she will reply, I will stand before him.”
66 No, no;
20. “ And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the
fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field.” “ It is well known, that the names affixed to the different animals, in Scripture, always express some prominent feature » « the triangle
* The Scanda Purana is one of the most sacred works of the Hindoos, and is regularly read through once a year in the temples of Siva. It contains some most curious allusions to, and illustrations of, antiquity, and may have been written about 1500 years ago, though it professes to detail events which occurred many thousands of years ago. It is now in course of translation for the Royal Asiatic Society..
and essential characteristic of the creature to which they are applied.” — Dr. A. Clarke.
It is an interesting fact, that nearly all the animals among the Hindoos, have names given to them, which either allude to their shape, or their habits. Hence, the Horse is called the “ thought,” which means he is as quick as thought. Also, the “ leaping one;” “the learned or trained one;" “he who causes dimness, ”i.e. by swiftness; “the mad one;” “the runner in circles; 66 he with the mane; face;" the hot one;" “ the shot arrow;" “ the driver of the wind;" “ the driven swiftness.”
The Lion is called, “the king of beasts ;” “the victorious one;” “he with claws." The Tiger is, “ the springer;" “ the spotted one;" “ the beautifulone.” The Elephant, “ the mountain with hands;" “the slothful one;” “the roarer;" "he whose mouth hangs down;' “ the tusker;" “ he who drinks two ways” (through the trunk and mouth); “the warrior;" - he whose hands has a hole in it” (alluding to the proboscis); when in love, 66 the mad one;” 66 he with the large foot;” “ the pie-bald one." * The Ox, or Cow — in youth, “the happy one.” Mādu, “the teated one.” The Cat, “ tiger of the house ;” “ the sleeper.” The Dog is, “ he who lives by the scent;” “ he who vomits;” “ the hero; “the idle one.” The Sheep is named, “the timid one;” “the leaper.” The Alligator is called, “he who conceals himself;" “ he who comes from eggs.” The Bear, “the triangle stepped one.” The Monkey, “the thief!” “ he who never diest;” “ he who lives in the branches.” The Hog,“ he who dwells in the forest;” “the hot one;" “ the angry;" “ the tusked one;” “ the ground tearer.” The Jackal," he of tricks, or cunning;” “the envious one.” The Turtle, “the stone-bodied
These animals are sometimes thus marked. In travelling through the Batticaloa district, in 1821, I saw one of that description. He was feeding in the long grass; and after giving a look at me and my companions, he resumed his employment.
+ The natives believe that, except when killed by man or some animal, the monkey never dies.
one; » « he who comes from eggs;" “ he who conceals his members.” The Ass, “ he with the large mouth.” The Deer, " the small mouthed one."
Birds are generally called, “ the sickness faced ones” (meaning the sickness of birds generally appears first in the face or head); "those who come from eggs.” The Arrows, “the givers of omens.” The Crow is, “ the receiver of offerings” (alluding to those who fast on the Saturday in honour of Sanne Saturn, who give part of their rice to the crows). The KāKā, “he with the iron beak." The Peacock, "he whose riches or pleasures are in feathers.” The Eagle, “he who flies aloft;" “ the flesh eater.” The Pigeon, “ the stone eater.” The Serpent, “he who walks on his belly;" “the secret one;' “he of tricks;” “ he who fears a noise;" “ he who has a jacket” (alluding to his slipping off the skin); “ he who has eyes for ears, or he who hears by his eyes;” “ the coiled one;" 66 the circle.”
23. —" She shall be called WOMAN." The term woman in the original is the feminine form of the term translated man, and may properly be defined sheman; and it is a striking coincidence, that, in the Tamul language, manuthan is man, but manuthe is woman, or female man; the e being the feminine termination.
III. 4. — “ The serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall
not surely die.” Every fact which casts light on the history of the serpent as the agent of our fall, whether derived from its own habits, or from Eastern story, must be exceedingly interesting. If that creature was the medium through which sin and misery entered into the world; is it not probable that, amongst a people possessing such ancient literature, of such curious and romantic habits, some references to that great event would be preserved? Accordingly, we find in their books, superstitions, and sayings, strong allusions to that fact.
The following is principally taken from an ancient work called Brahma-Uttaa Kāndam. The gods in the most remote antiquity were subject to death, which in order to prevent, they resolved to make Amutham (i. e. ambrosia), by the eating of which they might gain immortality. They therefore went with great sprightliness to their work. The sea of milk was the churn, a mountain was the churning stick; and the large serpent called Vāsuke, was the rope which whirled it round. The gods commenced their operations, but the serpent, by being thus pulled in contrary directions, became sick, and vomited poison into the ambrosia. They all then became greatly alarmed, as their hopes of immortality were destroyed. The body of Vishnoo became black from the heat, and they ran off with the greatest consternation. They then made their prayers to Siva, the supreme, that this terrible evil might be removed; and he complied with their request, by drinking up the poison. From which time he has always been known by the name of the " necked one,” because the colour of the poison always remained in his neck, as a sign of what he had done. The gods then joyfully partook of the ambrosia, and gained immortality.
Amongst the gods there were two giants in disguise, who also began to eat the ambrosia: but the sun and moon, seeing them, gave the signal to the gods; and Vishnoo struck off their heads : but the ambrosia having gone down as far as the neck, that part could not be destroyed. The heads thus severed, they assumed the form of serpents: the one was called Irāku, which was black in colour; the name of the other was Keathu, which was red. They then, in revenge, seized the sun and the moon, which caused them to be eclipsed.
In former times, the serpent, and other animals, are believed to have had the gift of speech, and many instances are on record where their conversations are given. Thus, the great
* This by the Hindoos, at this day, is believed to be the true cause of an eclipse.