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to a TALITA-MARAM, i.e. a tree which has “ spreading shady branches."
People may repose there during the heat of the day: they have defence and comfort. Jesus was the
green tree” under whom the Jews might have reposed. If, then, they did such things to the “ green tree,” what would be done to themselves, the dry, the leafless trees of the desert ? The lightnings of heaven did strike them; the Roman eagles did pounce on them; thousands were cut to the ground, and thousands went as slaves to the land of the conquerors.
48. — “ And all the people that came together to that
sight, beholding the things which were done, smote
their breasts, and returned.” Grief is often far more violent in the East than in England. The frantic mother, bereaved of her son, or the wife bereft of her husband, beats her BREAST as if she intended to burst a passage to her vitals.
I have sometimes been amazed at the blows which in their agony they thus inflict upon themselves. “ Alas! alas ! that amma (i. e. lady) will never cease to beat her breasts."
Chap. I. verse 1. — “ The Word was God.” Some think Abyos, which is rendered “word,” ought not to have been translated, but to have been given as a proper name of our Saviour. Thus he would have been called the Logos instead of the “ Word.” I do not undertake to dispute the opinion ; but I state it as a remarkable fact that in one of the sacred books of the Hindoos Scandan the son of the supreme Siva is called the word. It is said that when Scandan was questioning Brahma respecting the FOUR VEDAS, the latter did not give a correct answer, which led Scandan to check him, saying, “ Enough, stop, what is the meaning of the first WORD, that with which thou didst begin? And the god WHO IS THAT word ! as out of one of his six faces, smiled.” See Scanda Purāna. The word which Scandan, the son of the supreme,
alludes to, is KUDILI. The supreme is also called OM", which word no one pretends to explain. +
32. - I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a
dove." The dove in the East is not celebrated for innocence; hence the heathen do not take a favourable view of this passage. The manne-prā, i. e. speckled dove, is spoken of as being full of cunning.
66 Who has stolen my book? I suppose the manne-prā.”
Why has that man gone to her house? Alas! as the speckled dove,” i. e. for an evil purpose.
* 0, pronounced as in home.
+ When the priest presents the lighted lamp to the idol, he moves it in such a way as to trace or form the letters which compose the word om. No strict Hindoo will repeat the word.
III. 3. Except a man be born again, he cannot see
the kingdom of God.” When a Brahmin youth has the sacred string put on him for the first time he is said to be born again; but when put on the second time, Iru-purappāli, he is twice born: it is to him the second birth, and he can now perform all the ceremonies of his religion.
8. — “ The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou
hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence
it cometh, and whither it goeth.” When a man is unhappy because he does not understand his circumstances, when things come upon him which cannot be accounted for by himself or by others, it is asked, “ Do you know whence cometh the wind ?” “You say you know not how this matter will end : do you know in what quarter the present wind will blow the next moment ?”
16. — “God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son.” The Jews were angry with Christ because he said, “ that God was his FATHER, making himself EQUAL with God.” Here, then, as a son, they understood him as making himself EQUAL to the Father. He says of himself, as a son, in another place, “ I and
Father are one." The Jews understood him to speak of himself as the son of God, “ because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” If, therefore, he had spoken of himself as a son of God, in reference to his mere human generation, they would not have been angry with him. I make these observations and allusions to introduce some curious, and, as I think, important passages from the Scanda Purāna. After the gods had been much oppressed by their cruel enemies, the Assurs (who were demigods of immense power), they went to the supreme Siva and said, “ Swamy, we entreat you to grant a son, to arise from yourself, to whom, like yourself, shall belong neither
BEGINNING, middle, nor end, shape, nor want of shape.” Remark, that though he was to be a son! he was, also, to be without BEGINNING ! Again, it is recorded in another place in the same work,“ Shapeless, yet possessing shape, and without BEGINNING. Being one, yet not one, but many." Pārvati, the consort of Siva", enquired of him, 66 What are the
of Scandal your son ?” to whom he replied, “ He is my own ENERGY: between myself and him there is no difference ; like myself, he is omnipresent, and though but an infant, he is not only omniscient, but able to bestow divine wisdom, and the bliss that results from it, on all who desire it.” This son was the energy of Siva, he was a part! of himself, and, therefore, was without beginning. + Notice, also, the object for which this son sprang from Siva : - it was to destroy the fiendish Assurs, who were the ENEMIES of the gods; and he accomplished that object, for he extirpated them all.
VI. 27.-" Him bath God the Father sealed.” (2 Cor.
i. 22. Eph. i. 13. iv. 30. Rev. vii. 4.) The holy ashes which are rubbed on the foreheads of the heathen are called “the seal of Siva." The Brahmins are named “the seals of the gods.” Should a man refuse to worship, to reverence a priest, it is said to him, “ Ah! can you do so? has he not the seal of God ?”
68. — “ To whom shall we go? thou hast the words of
eternal life.” The gods, in their complaints to Siva against their enemies, said, “ Except yourself, who is there of whom we can implore help? As the crow flies again and again ROUND THE MAST OF
Scandan, the son of Siva, was not produced by sexual intercourse; he sprang from the frontal eye of his father. Minerva had not a mother, she came from the head of Jupiter.
+ “ Siva is eternal,” Scandan is a part of Siva, therefore Scandan is eternal !
THE VESSEL IN THE ROLLING SEA*, so Swamy, whenever afflictions come, with the exception of Cailāsumt, we have no other place of refuge: except yourself, there is no one can remove our distress. We could eat poison, we could leap into the raging fire, but the distress inflicted by our enemies we cannot endure, we cannot endure." Scanda Purāna.
VII. 3. -" His brethren.” In eastern language it is common to apply the word brother or sister to those relations who have no right to it in England. Thus, cousins are called “ brothers;” i. e. the sons of brothers are called brothers; but a daughter, though she would be called sister by her cousins, yet her children would not be addressed in the same way, machān," i. e. cousin, would be their proper title. The name sister, which Abraham gave to his wife, is still given to the same degree of relationship. Gen. xx. 12. “ She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother.”
38. — “ Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living
water." It is said of divine sages, of great gooroos, “ Ah! in their heads are kept the rivers of life, or life-giving rivers.” The figure in reference to them is, I doubt not, taken from Siva, as the Ganges is said to flow from his head.
XI. 31. — “ She goeth unto the grave to weep.” An affectionate widow goes occasionally to the place of burning, or where her husband is interred, to weep there. Fridays and Sundays are the especial days for such a visit. Should the white ants have made their nests there, she pours milk on them.
This passage is very curious. Can there be any allusion to the “raven which went forth to and fro until the waters were dried up from off the earth ?”
+ The abode of Siva.